Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The proven liars who can't understand why people mistrust them

Babbling Bibi. I'm always amused by liars who can't comprehend why people have ceased to accept their claims. For example, take a look at the image re-posted above. Do we need any further reason to discount everything said by Benjamin Netanyahu in his most recent address? Not really, although we should note that Mossad itself contradicted Bibi's 2012 claims (also delivered before the UN) that Iran poses a grave nuclear menace.

Bibi-watchers know that this man has compiled a long history of prevarication, as detailed here.

His recent speech was just one small part of a massive media effort to convince Americans that Iran poses a serious threat. Look at Iran's history: When was the last time that nation ever started a war? Iran is far less militaristic than are the United States and Israel, two of the most barbarous and dangerous countries on earth.

Silly Stevie. For another example of a liar whose bullshit can no longer find buyers, consider Steve Emerson. You know how people write LOL even when they have not actually laughed out loud? Emerson's missive to Talking Points Memo literally made me LOL. In fact, it almost brought me to the ROFLMAO point.
How is it that TPM has never called me or my organization for more than 15 years about all the news we disclosed on major stories concerning radical Islamic terrorism?
Has TPM secretly taken materials from CAIR as part of a explicit agreement to advance CAIR’s agenda? (Don’t worry, perjury can only be invoked when you are under oath)
You will recall, of course, that Emerson was the lunatic who said that Birmingham, England had become a Muslim-only zone. Actually, he had discredited himself long before that.

Back in the early 1990s, in a major piece assailing the "October Surprise" story, Emerson claimed to have uncovered Secret Service documents which provided George H.W. Bush with an alibi for a key date. This "evidence" was imaginary, as Emerson later admitted.

Mendacious Mark. The right-wing staged one of its patented blogswarms the other day -- and this one, surprisingly enough, had nothing to do with Brett Kimberlin. It was all about an alleged "Reuters" story by one Mark Langfan, who claimed that Obama threatened to shoot down the Israeli Air force if it attacked Iran.

Maybe Obama did and maybe Obama didn't. I don't know. But I do know this: Only a drooling idiot would go to a guy like Mark Langfan for the straight skinny on that topic -- or any other topic.

The piece in which Markie-poo makes that claim is filled with howlers. For example, he claims that Obama's alleged shoot-down policy came at the instigation of Zbigniew Brzezinski, who, we are told, hates Israel.

(What does Mark Langfan have against Zbig? Isn't Zbig a neocon? Well, yes, he is -- but not the right kind of neocon. Zbig is more concerned with hating Russia than with hating whoever the Israelis tell him to hate.)

Langfan's reportage derives from a few dubious stories published in a handful of tiny Middle Eastern newspapers. Come on: Do you really think that "a Bethlehem paper you’ve never heard of" would know the American President's innermost secrets?

Turns out this Langfan fellow doesn't work for Reuters at all, and isn't even a journalist. He's a lawyer who has transformed himself into an online annoyance. I get the impression that Langfan has hopes of becoming the new Michael Savage; right now, he's the Sub-Savage. 

That last link includes a particularly amusing example of Langfanian "logic"...
... today, Israel is surrounded by millions of people who are religiously inspired by the genocidal hate of Adolf Hitler.

Take Iran. Why did Persia change its name to Iran? In 1935, Reza Shah, the head of Persia changed the name of "Persia" to "Iran" because Reza Shah was a rabid Nazi-Hitler lover and wanted to show common cause with Hitler.

"Iran," in Farsi, means "Land of the Aryans." Therefore, today, the "Islamic Republic of Iran" really means the "Islamic Republic of Hitler."
It is, in fact, true that the Shah of Iran used "Light of the Aryans" as one of his titles. And when the Shah was in power, just who was his closest Middle Eastern ally?

That's right: Israel.

That fact used to be common knowledge. I recall attending a dinner party in the 1980s in which an Israeli guest described his happy experiences in the Shah's Iran. Alas, most of today's young people know nothing about the alliance between Israel and "Hitlerland East," and professional liars like Langfan don't want the current generation to learn anything about what really happened.

(By the way: Although it has fallen out of favor, the term "Aryan" continues to be used by some linguists and enthnographers. Nazi usage of that word was pure pseudoscience; neither the Germans nor any other European group had a right to call themselves "Aryans." The Iranians may be the only modern people we can call "Aryan" with any degree of accuracy, although most scholars would use the term "Indo-European." We may safely presume that all academics would scoff at Langfan's claim that "Aryan" may be considered a synonym for "Hitler.") 

Hilarious Hounshell and ignorable Ignatius. A particularly bizarre exercise in absurdity began when Politico editor Blake Hounshell tweeted a non-story claiming that Ed Snowden's lawyer was trying to negotiate Snowden's return to the United States. In fact, absolutely nothing had changed on the Snowden front. Hounshell had taken a story that should have read "The snow was white and cold today, as always" and turned it into "Oh my God! Today's snowfall was purple! And HOT! Everything in the world has CHANGED!"

The teevee pundits followed Hounshell's lead. David Ignatius hopped onto the CNN airwaves and bleated the following...
It must be very difficult to be Edward Snowden, living in the Moscow of Vladimir Putin, at a time when Putin’s opposition is being murdered in the streets, so I can’t help but think that Snowden wants out, and the fact that he’s willing to negotiate, which he said before he wouldn’t do, is interesting.
Hilarious. Glenn Greenwald's response is worth quoting...
For more than 60 years, U.S. elites have been eager to tell Americans that anyone living in Russia is inherently miserable. That’s particularly true of Western dissidents: the apocryphal stories of British defector Kim Philby being destroyed by a dark, lonely, miserable existence that culminated in his drinking himself to death are often invoked to suggest that a similar fate awaits Snowden (who doesn’t drink, who lives with his longtime girlfriend, who is regarded as a hero by millions and millions of people around the world, who receives awards and prestigious appointments, and who is incredibly gratified and fulfilled both by what he did and his current life).

That’s all Ignatius is up to with these claims, all based on the obvious media-created fiction that Snowden has suddenly realized how desperate he is to leave Russia. Again, this entire conversation — like the whole media blitz yesterday about this story — is all based on utter fiction.

This “everyone-in-Russia-is-miserable” line has been a staple of U.S propaganda since the end of World War II, and remarkably, nothing has changed.
The bottom line. People wonder how we can separate truth from fiction. Simple: Check resumes. Folks who have lied to you in the past may well be lying to you now.
Yeah, Emerson's a nut. But I suspect he was deliberately trolling Josh. Note the shrill tone of Josh's post.

Have you ever had an interaction with Josh Marshall? I have, several times, with the result that he has now blocked me on Twitter. He is very thin-skinned when his judgement is directly challenged. In my case, it was about his dismissing Snowden early on as something between a crook and a traitor, and ignoring the larger issues Snowden's leaks exposed.

He can't blacklist me on his RSS feed, and I continue to read his wordy but generally insightful commentary, a moderate voice to balance out all the radical left stuff I mostly read.

In fact, I consider myself a loyal Subprime member.

(Get it? Subprime.)

Michael, I used to think that Josh Marshall was the King of All Bloggers. Then 2008 happened, and he published a lot of anti-Clinton crap that pissed me off. Before that, my correspondence with him was very rare and very brief, but reasonably friendly.

Emerson spoke from the dark, pustular organ lodged where his heart should be. The guy is losing it.
Fool me once... Shame on... Shame on you. Fool me twice... You won't get fooled again!
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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Hasbara Sealioning

Sealioning is a new verb. It's, like, a thing.

If you're unfamiliar with the concept -- and if you have not yet seen the cartoon that started it all -- go here. Then here. For fun, try here.

But the original Sealioning cartoon does not even begin to cover what I've encountered -- almost daily -- behind the scenes of this very blog. (This site gives you a taste of it, although the trolls who attempt to heist my goat tend to be more brutish.)

Therefore, I have decided to improve upon the original cartoon.

The sea lion is clearly in the right, in the original. Okay, he's a bit persistent, but ultimately he is being polite and using logic to refute the baseless racism directed against his people. Since when do we side with the one peddling racist stereotypes?
He is NOT in the right in the original. You miss the point of sealioning: Just because you disagree with something I said, does not mean that I am obligated to engage with all comers. And if you are among those "comers," do not presume that a polite-but-persistent attitude requires me to acknowledge your existence.

I learned from hard experience that if I allow the 9/11 "controlled demolition" nutjobs to have their say, they will -- LITERALLY -- demand that I spend ten to twelve hours a day engaging with their "conspiracy cliches," forcing me to disengage from writing about any other topic. Sorry, but I won't be suckered -- or sealioned -- into that endless, endless fight. The only way to deal with those people is to think of them as cockroaches. Polite cockroaches and impolite cockroaches deserve the same dose of boric acid.
I don't think you've seen "sealioning" used as an accusation as often as I have. It is used all but exclusively by people who are openly prejudiced and object to anything but uncritical acceptance of their prejudice.

Now you can, if you want to, stand in public making objectionable and prejudiced statements. But if you do, don't expect any sympathy when the people you're insulting object.
Hahaha! Never heard the term 'sealioning' before but can easily relate to the endless, stupid arguments we've all experienced online. In the case of Israel if you dare criticize or disagree, the Nazi flag gets waved and you're automatically labeled anti-Semitic. We saw this same tactic during the 2008 election: anyone who criticized and/or didn't support Barack Obama was called out as a racist. And the attacks were endless, in your face, all to shut down any critical discourse.

I would say that in regards to Israeli action/stances, Americans are beginning to wake up, realizing that criticism is perfectly justified, even between allies. This last incursion into Gaza was the turning point for me. Netanyahu's election speech before the US Congress yesterday was another wake-up exercise, despite the Republican fervor and flag waving.

The beat goes on.

Stephen, I don't expect sympathy. I expect people to understand that nothing stops them from starting their own damned blogs and saying whatever they like. I didn't even have an internet connection when "Cannonfire" got going: I worked in the library.
Working from the library. That I like. You and Ray Bradbury, Joseph. When are you going to write your memoirs?
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Truth and narrative...

Who Killed Boris Nemtsov? Things have shaken out predictably: The mainstreamers scream "Putin diddit!" without bothering with evidence, while the non-mainstreamers scream "False flag!" without bothering with evidence. Justin Raimondo argues that evidence -- not narrative, not weltanschauung -- is what truly counts.
Funny how political murders in the US – the Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King – are invariably the work of a “lone nut,” but in Russia it’s always the Putin government...
Yet even Putin’s enemies, with some alarm, are now throwing doubt on the West’s conventional wisdom.

Speaking of the murder, Irina Khakamada, who co-founded with Nemtsov the opposition Solidarity Party, while blaming "the climate of intimidation," also warned that "the murder could herald a dangerous destabilization," according to Talking Points Memo. "It’s a provocation that is clearly not in Putin’s interests, it’s aimed at rocking the situation."
Putin eerily predicted this possibility in a comment made three years ago when he suggested that his enemies were not above murdering a prominent opposition figure so they could blame it on him.

The truth is likely a bit more prosaic.

Nemtsov’s enemies were legion: aside from Putin and his supporters, there are the more extreme nationalists who think Putin is a sell-out. Nemtsov’s open support for the Ukrainian government against his own country generated the kind of hatred antiwar activists had to endure during the Vietnam war: think Jane Fonda upon her return from Hanoi. Perhaps a bit more lethal are the oligarchs threatened by Nemtsov’s reform program – a series of "anti-corruption" measures ultimately aborted by his mentor, Boris Yeltsin.
There's a lot more on the other end of that link. I've not always been a Raimondo fan, but this is damned good writing. He ends the piece on this important note:
Putin is no angel, but if you want to see devils just look at his probable successors – no, not the Putinists, none of whom have the stature to measure up to the original, but the outright fascists and ultra-nationalists who will take full advantage of Washington’s open hostility. Add to this the fact that Russia, while nowhere near the power it once was, yet retains its nuclear arsenal, and you have all the makings of a global calamity in progress.
Google as arbiter of truth. Google previously would rank a website based on links, but now they will give a site top ranking if it tells "the truth" -- as Google defines truth. The example given involves anti-vaccination campaigners, whose sites supposedly outrank pro-vaccination websites. (Actually, that's not true.)
A Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. "A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy," says the team ( The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score.

The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings.
Insert standard Orwell reference here.

The vaccination thing is just a gimmick, a false issue designed to make the new system look reasonable. These people are motivated by other concerns. They want to rewrite history -- to rewrite reality itself -- without appearing to be censors.

I immediately flashed on the JFK assassination. Twenty years ago, all major newspapers routinely referred to Oswald as the "accused assassin" or the "presumed assassin." Now he is called the assassin, with no caveats. That's an important change, and it wasn't brought about by any new evidence. (All the new evidence has gone in the other direction.) Newsweek published a cover story which grandly announced that only three bullets were fired in Dealey Plaza. Newsweek refused to mention that the author of that story, Max Holland, has undeniable links to the CIA. Newsweek also did not mention that no less an authority than J. Edgar Hoover refused to go along with the "three bullets" fable.

I wrote the preceding paragraph to ask you people one question: Do you think that Google's Knowledge Vault -- a.k.a., the Ministry of Truth -- will allow any front-page links to websites such as CTKA (which has experienced a surprising readership growth)?

To cite a more recent example: Do you think that the new Ministry of Truth will allow any front-page links to stories about the true origins of the Ukraine crisis?

If we google the words "CIA funded Google" will the new Ministry of Truth allow us to see the truth?

"I, for one, welcome our new Israeli overlords!"  You gotta read this one. At least read the headline. I always enjoy it when the True Power decides to stop operating behind the scenes: "Here I am! Deal with me!" The honesty is refreshing.

It has become very clear that Bibi wants us to wage war on Iran on Israel's behalf. And he will do anything -- anything -- to get that war.

So what is with Obama? There are signs that the puppet is snapping his strings, and I honestly don't think he wants to fight Bibi's war. (Or rather, another one of Bibi's wars.) Intelligence sharing has been ramped down. I believe that Obama personally engineered the leak of the Mossad report indicating that Iran has no nuclear program, contradicting Bibi's Big Lie to the UN.

Good stuff. I like it.

So why this? And this?

One possible answer: The Hillary Factor.

Hillary's secret email account. Let's be honest: If a Republican did this, we'd be worried. Actually, Republicans have done exactly that.

The most important point here is sub-textual: If the NYT has turned against Hillary Clinton, then we should suspect that she has privately revealed to her closest aides that, if elected, she will do things that she cannot now state out loud. Of course, nothing is truly private these days.

It's worth noting that the hacker Guccifer -- best known for revealing Dubya's paintings, which he obviously wanted the world to know about anyways -- targeted the private emails between Hillary and Sidney Blumenthal. News accounts always fail to mention the fact that Sidney is the father of the courageous Max Blumenthal, who has become Israel's most important American critic.

Something is there. I'm not sure what. But it's...something.

The Clintons' relationship to the Blumenthal family is one of the reasons why I'm starting to re-warm to the idea of a Hillary presidency.
Raimondo is a Libertarian, so it's no surprise that a lot of us here would agree with his take on foreign policy much of the time. I used to read him pretty regularly, but got a bit tired of the hard core libertarians dominating the comment well as Raimondo's own occasional views on fiscal policy. Still though, he's very on the ball and mostly right when it comes to his foreign policy analysis.

I wouldn't get to interested in Clinton. She's Washington D.C. through and through. Not a good thing. She'll do whatever she has to to secure the office, then start turning in favors faster than you can say "unfulfilled campaign promise".
An interesting profile of Nemtsov by Mark Ames. It seems Nemtsov was a corrupt anti-corruption campaigner and helped to place Putin in a position to be Yeltsin's successor. Was his transformation into a Putin critic merely the result of being cut out of the action? This is not the standard heroic and sainted profile presented in the western media.

Boris Nemtsov: Death of a Russian Liberal
Looking at the Russia Times' e-mails from Sidney Blumenthal to Hillary, he provides a lot of what appear to be intelligence reports on Libya from "sensitive sources". On the assumption that he wasn't in a position to collect this information himself, it would seem that he was simply cutting and pasting excerpts from official intelligence reports collected by some other agency and forwarding them to Hillary via an unclassified, unencrypted e-mail account that would surely be targeted by, and vulnerable to, any number of countries' intelligence services, thus putting the sources and methods at risk.

If this was the case, then totally aside from Hillary's effort to avoid political accountability, both she and Blumenthal would appear to be misusing sensitive classified information in a very serious way. Any other government employee who did such a thing would be looking at some serious prison time.
I've been playing whack-a-mole wth Lone Nutters all week, ever since you and I helped spread the word about O'Reilly's lie regarding the George DeMohrenschildt suicide. For days, the very visible "Huffington Post" referred to GDM as a friend to "the assassin" of John F. Kennedy. While watching Rachel Maddow cover the story, I actually tweeted a 3-2-1 countdown to the moment when she would inevitably call Oswald "the assassin." Sure enough, she did. I wrote to both the Huffington Post and Maddow, and I told them that the legal and journalistic standard for an unconvicted person is to use the word "alleged" or "accused." And bless their hearts, at least one person at HuffPo got the memo, because yesterday they had a reference to Oswald as the "alleged" assassin. Hell, it evens says "alleged" on the plague at the Texas Schoolbook Depository! (But alas, at Tenth and Patton, the plaque from the Texas Historical Society identifies the interesectkon as the spot where Lee Harvey Oswald "murdered" J.D. Tippit. For this and countless other reasons, I pity future generations.
Joe, thought you'd find this NY Times piece (on Hillary & Zionism) interesting....

*Haim Saban's (longtime Clinton fundraiser) comment is very telling.
The progressive wing of the democrat party is beginning to voice their concern troll mentality towards Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton's Foundation because they want Elizabeth Warren to run. Gus's comment is an example of a concern troll progressive warning us about snowball, er Hillary Clinton.
While the progressive wing is the most powerful wing in the democrat party, it does not have the numbers when compared to the moderates in the democrat party and then throw in the republican moderates who are fine with Hillary Clinton and it is an uphill battle, but one they won in 2008 by getting Barack Obama past Hillary Clinton.
It's going to take both the neocons and the progressives working together to label snowball, er Hillary Clinton a polarizing influence so each of these two insane radical components of both parties can lasso in their larger moderate members from their own party.
Alessandro, I am not a "progressive" in any sense of the word, nor am I even a Democrat. Further, I am not "concern trolling" as I really don't care who anyone votes for since the whole thing is likely rigged anyway. I do still vote, however, just in case I'm wrong (not afraid of that, like so many people seem to be nowadays). I warn about Hillary because there are many, many damn good reasons to warn people. Joseph has much more lenience towards her than I do, and that is fine. I'd certainly rather have her in office than any of the Republicans who have made their intentions to run known. If she ends up being the one on the ballot, I will most likely vote for her, just to spare us from whatever ignorant Republican clown gets the nomination. However, that doesn't make Hillary a good choice. Her stint as secretary of state is all I needed to consider her a lost cause.
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Monday, March 02, 2015

Toward a definition of fascism

First, a personal note: Thanks from the very depths of my being to those who donated to help my dog Bella. After an extremely terrible period, my beloved hell-hound slept profoundly for more than a day -- and now seems to be rallying.

I'll have more canine reportage below. First, lets have a look at the rest of the world. It's in even worse shape.

Approval ratings. Bibi Netanyahu's approval ratings in the United States have gone up: 45% approval, up from 35% a few years ago. Disapproval ratings hold steady at 23-24 percent. (Also see here.) He is actually more popular in this country than in Israel, where half the voters are dissatisfied with him.

The horrors committed against the Palestinians in Gaza actually seem to have increased Bibi's favorability in the eyes of Americans.

I just don't know what to say.

People wonder why I have lost so much faith in humanity. How can one have faith in one's countrymen and women when they refuse to understand that they are supporting fascism -- not just in Israel, not just in Ukraine, but around the world?

On the other hand, the numbers cited in this piece by David Corn demonstrate that we have reasons for hope. It is one of the great ironies of history that American Jews are at least somewhat more sensible on the issue of Israel than are most American non-Jews.

The rise of the threat posed by ISIS may have led to the rise in Bibi's numbers. Most Americans see Israel as a bulwark against ISIS. Most Americans foolishly equate ISIS with Islam. Most Americans are absolutely ineducable when it comes to comprehending the divisions within Islam. Most Americans do not understand -- will not understand -- that both Israel and the government of the United States have quietly supported ISIS in our mad determination to topple Assad of Syria.

I've decided to post Norman Finkelstein's latest words about babbling Bibi. This interview is brief -- under ten minutes -- and it's quite insightful.

As Finkelstein makes clear, people like Alan Dershowitz are so quick to scream "Nazi!" that the accusation has lost all meaning. I think that Israel's blinkered defenders understand this fact, but they have become so psychologically addicted to the Godwin Gambit that they cannot stop themselves.

The F word. I suppose some will accuse me of self-contradiction because I scored the Dershowitzians for over-reliance on the Godwin Gambit while simultaneously scoring my fellow Americans for turning a blind eye to fascism. But there is no contradiction here.

We've been gulled into a false equivalence: Fascism = Nazism = anti-Semitism. This false equivalence remains lodged in the minds of many even when the Israelis act in a robustly fascist manner, and even when the Israeli police allow young thugs to behave like the brownshirts of old.

Fascism does not equate to anti-Semitism. Mussolini invented fascism -- at least, he invented the term; the concept had been burbling up for nearly a century -- yet he was not notably anti-Semitic. He even had a Jewish mistress.

(The Italian dictator adopted an anti-Jewish stance only after he became reliant on Hitler. There is a fair amount of interesting debate among historians about whether Musolini's later anti-Semitic tendencies reflected personal belief or political calculation.)

Neither, I am sorry to say, is democracy a reliable check on fascism. As noted in an earlier post, one of the most fascistic acts ever committed by this nation was the relocation of the Cherokee, which occurred during the administration of Andrew Jackson. He was elected fairly, and he enacted the popular will -- yet he oversaw an atrocity reminiscent of the worst of Hitler's deeds.

Not long ago, John Pilger had a few choice words to say about the modern recrudescence of fascism:
Like the fascism of the 1930s and 1940s, big lies are delivered with the precision of a metronome: thanks to an omnipresent, repetitive media and its virulent censorship by omission. Take the catastrophe in Libya.

In 2011, Nato launched 9,700 "strike sorties" against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. Uranium warheads were used; the cities of Misurata and Sirte were carpet-bombed. The Red Cross identified mass graves, and Unicef reported that "most [of the children killed] were under the age of ten".

The public sodomising of the Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi with a "rebel" bayonet was greeted by the then US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, with the words: "We came, we saw, he died." His murder, like the destruction of his country, was justified with a familiar big lie; he was planning "genocide" against his own people. "We knew... that if we waited one more day," said President Obama, "Benghazi, a city the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world."

This was the fabrication of Islamist militias facing defeat by Libyan government forces. They told Reuters there would be "a real bloodbath, a massacre like we saw in Rwanda". Reported on March 14, 2011, the lie provided the first spark for Nato's inferno, described by David Cameron as a "humanitarian intervention".

Secretly supplied and trained by Britain's SAS, many of the "rebels" would become ISIS, whose latest video offering shows the beheading of 21 Coptic Christian workers seized in Sirte, the city destroyed on their behalf by Nato bombers.
This, perhaps, takes us a step toward a more subtle and realistic definition of the new fascism: A willingness to believe lies. The endless struggle to sort fiction from fact seems so insurmountably difficult to the average person that many of us stop making the attempt. We choose "truths" which accord not with external reality but with convenience, self-interest or prejudice.

There is another factor. In order to strike the necessary populist chord, fascism must always play to the resentments held by the average person. The fascist wins when he manages to convince small people that they are not small. The fascist whispers these words into the ear of Mr. and Ms. Average:

"It does not matter if your personal accomplishments are few or nonexistent. It does not matter if you lack the intelligence and skill you pretend to have. Just by virtue of being born into a certain group -- or within the borders of a certain nation -- you can count yourself among the elect. You don't have to do anything: You are superior by accident of geography and genetics."

In short: One may usefully define the fascist as "He who seeks political advantage by manipulating the average person's fear of insignificance."

Thus, the very concept of American exceptionalism is inherently fascistic.

The same may be said of any other form of exceptionalism, except for that which is earned by individual achievement. And even when contemplating the works of history's few truly great individuals -- Michelangelo, Mahler, plug in whatever names you choose -- it is good to recall that, in the end, we are all worms. Even the best of us. We are all worms: Those four words are the best disinfectant against fascism that I know.

(Churchill accepted that formulation gladly, but added: "I do believe that I am a glow worm.")
Uniting fascism old and new is the cult of superiority. "I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being," said Obama, evoking declarations of national fetishism from the 1930s. As the historian Alfred W. McCoy has pointed out, it was the Hitler devotee, Carl Schmitt, who said, "The sovereign is he who decides the exception." This sums up Americanism, the world's dominant ideology. That it remains unrecognised as a predatory ideology is the achievement of an equally unrecognised brainwashing. Insidious, undeclared, presented wittily as enlightenment on the march, its conceit insinuates western culture.
Back to personal matters. In my preceding post, I did not tell the full truth about poor Bella. When she first became disoriented, I was away from home. We live with an older lady, who let Bella out of her room. The dog frantically wandered throughout the upper floor in a bizarre fashion, bumping into walls and trying to squeeze into impossibly small spaces, as though she had lost all sense of her own size. Then she rushed toward the stairs. The aforementioned lady tried to stop the dog but lost her own footing, and would have suffered serious injury if she had not grabbed the railing.

So my dog fell down a flight of stairs. At first, Bella seemed to suffer no physical injury, but late that night, she began to limp, and now cannot put much weight on her back leg. I fear that a torn ligament has turned her into a tripod dog. She spent a very strange and agonized night, still feeling compelled to wander aimlessly, yet unable to walk without pain.

Frankly, I prepared myself for the worst. But then I received a message from my brother, who told me that his son had (for professional reasons) recently met Aron Ralston, the man who was trapped under a boulder and had to amputate his own arm. My brother's message was simple: Never give up.

As dawn came, my dog finally fell asleep, and the sleep became peaceful. Now she eats and drinks and piddles normally. Although a larger dog with a torn ligament usually requires surgery, a smaller dog may heal. A brace -- not a terribly expensive item -- may help.

What caused her strange mental state? I no longer think that it was the product of vestibular disease. I think that she is experiencing "doggie Alheimers," or cognitive dysfunction syndrome. Signs of this disorder had cropped up throughout the preceding year, although they were subtle: Difficulty with stairs, not reacting when her name was called.

Frankly, it is difficult to tell when a dog is not quite in her right mind because...well, let's face it: Dogs are always kind of goofy, even at their best. We expect both humans and beasts to change with age, to become less playful and more obstinate.

The good news -- good not just for my dog, not just for your dog, but perhaps for all of us -- is that we now have a treatment option in the form of a drug called Anipryl. This drug is rather pricey, but the generic version -- Seleginil -- is much more affordable. I've read some accounts of pets that have seen remarkable improvement. There are also natural approaches which may be of aid.

If there are treatments for canine Alzheimers, then perhaps we humans have less to fear.

My great task now is to convince the vet to write a prescription without requiring expensive tests. Research indicates that those tests will cost more than we can afford, and may not be necessary.

Had I taken my beloved quadruped to the veterinarian on that first night, he probably would have pressured us to put the animal to sleep. Frankly, I still fear he will so advise. As long as my pooch is not in serious pain, as long as she enjoys good food and sleeps in comfort and gives my nose the occasional lick, the motto remains: Never give up.

Thanks for putting up with my ramblings, folks. I never claimed to be anything other than a small man who treasures his small family.

Was unable to comment on the doggie thread. You feed tuna? Have you considered mercury poisoning or worse, Fukushima entering the food chain?

When your pet/companion gets older and frail and at times sick, that period of time when you are nursing them back to health is in a strange way, a very happy time. You see them getting better and the wto of you become closer. You love doing everything you can for them and they are so appreciative. I had an elderly cat I gave warm water baths and blow dried his fur. He ate chicken breasts and mashed potatoes and took a short list of daily medications, but I loved doing everything I could to make him happy, comfortable and safe because he had given me so much during a very sad and lonely time in my life. I also had a cat that had kitty Alzeihmers. He would face the walls and meow. Everytime I came through the door, he would run to his food bowl regardless of the time. My pets a part of my small family, too. Bella will recover. She will do it for you.
Coconut oil, coconut milk (unsweetened out of a can) or coconut water. Any or all are great for many health issues. Coconut water is especially good for hydration and contains lots of electrolytes.
Google coconut oil for dogs and you'll find loads of information. So great for any kind of infection as it's antimicrobial, and improves the dry skin and coat that elderly pets have. Lubricates old joints also and helps heal wounds faster.

I've been using coconut oil for about 9 years but hadn't really thought about giving it to my pets until recently. Turns out most love it and will lick it right off the spoon.

It also improves Alzheimer's. I first read about this a few years ago where a Dr. Mary Newport was giving it to her husband and getting impressive results.

I've just been reading a book called Coconut Therapy for Pets, by Bruce Fife who's written a lot of books on coconut oil. I've had some of them for years, and used some of his recipes.

There are a few brands that make coconut products just for pets. One, called CocoTherapy makes coconut treats out of flakes that you can crumble into their food. Or you can just buy plain flakes at the health food store as long as they have no sugar or other additives. The coconut oil itself you can buy any brand of virgin coconut oil like Nutiva.

About a teaspoon a day per 10 pounds of body weight. I started with a 1/2 tsp. with my kitties, but worked up pretty fast as they're still very young and healthy and didn't have any detox reactions.

I agree with Ben you want to take it easy on the tuna. Or maybe avoid it entirely. Mercury does cause those kinds of dementia symptoms.

Miss Kitty
I want to thank everyone who has offered suggestions for non-standard therapies. Believe me, I'm open to all sorts of possibilities -- and I'll definitely try coconut oil.

I had switched over to tuna because so many web sites said that fish oil was helpful to dogs, and this seemed to be a convenient source. Right now, all she seems to want is chicken.

One sign of mercury poisoning is reddened gums, which, I am happy to say, is NOT among the things wrong with Bella.

Anon, that story about your elderly cat was incredibly touching. Frankly, part of me would like to take a couple of weeks' "vacation" from politics. Perhaps we can turn Cannonfire into a temporary pet blog, where we can all share heartwarming stories...?
Here is a link to the original Alfred McCoy essay quoted by John Pilger:

Tomgram: Alfred W. McCoy, The Unwritten American Rules of the Road | TomDispatch
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Friday, February 27, 2015

Readers, I need your input...

Regular readers know that the "mascot" of this blog is my dog Bella. She's an older dog with health issues, and there have been a couple of occasions in recent years when I feared that we were close to losing her. Fortunately, she has always pulled through. (A couple of years ago, when she needed an operation to remove two tumors, my readers were so generous that everyone in this household wept -- even yours truly, and I'm a surly old bastard.)

Today, I came home from lunch to discover a truly disturbing phenomenon: Bella was wandering around frantically, bumping into walls and chairs and everything else. I don't think she has gone blind, but I cannot be sure. She reacts to the sound of my voice only when I yell her name.

The dog seems to have completely lost her balance, as though her inner ear has completely malfunctioned. Worse, she would not stop moving -- she keeps trying to explore her world and get her bearings. Right now, I have her enclosed in an area consisting mostly of soft blankets.

There was also vaginal discharge, which has been a recurrent problem for the past couple of years.

I gave her an amoxicillin (an antibiotic, which she does not receive regularly) and a benadryl, which is usually enough to put her to sleep -- hell, it puts me to sleep. (On a  previous occasion, the vet once suggested benadryl, so I am presuming that it is safe for dogs.) For about half an hour, she kept wandering about in a very confused manner and had a difficult time staying still. I've also made sure that she has had plenty of water to drink.

Lately, her diet has consisted mostly of tuna. This morning, she had chicken and rice.

I'm writing this post to ask my readers if they have ever seen anything like this happen to their own dogs. Is this condition temporary?

I'll take her to the vet when I have the money, but right now, all I can do is try to keep her safe and calm.

One of my enemies once accused me of caring only about my dog and not about people. There's some truth in this. It's not that I dislike people, but I cannot deny my Bella is the truest joy in my existence.  Alas, she has reached the age where all I can do is plead for just one more year.

If anyone out there knows what is going on, please let me know. Her current disorientation is so difficult to watch.

This weekend, I was going to write part two of my memories of the Santa Susannah pass -- the rocky area that the Manson gang once called home. On my last trip there, I took Bella to explore those wonderful red rocks. She would leap from boulder to boulder like the Amazing Spider-Dog. What a great canine athlete!
Are her eyes "pinballing"? That is, sort of wildly rolling around. My older dog awoke one night with symptoms very similar to Bella's. It was an inner ear problem. (I feared a stroke). I believe it took a week or so for her to recover. Google "Old Dog Ear Syndrome" or vestibular disease to see if the symptoms match Bella's
I'm thinking that may be it...
I agree with Old Dog ear syndrome. I think they usually prescribe something like prednisone to bring it under control.

Good luck. Scary to watch but not deadly.
I am really grateful for the input. She doesn't have the eye twitch that (I have read) is common with vestibular syndrome, and her head is not tilted. She is eating, drinking a lot, but is incredibly restless.
Wow, I have never heard of Old dog ear syndrome. I'm hoping that Bella has that and will recover with treatment.

My brother's dog did go blind and was constantly bumping into things, but was not "restless."

My first dog, a doxie, did have a stroke. When we took her to the vet, she had a second stroke.

She then became restless, and was probably blind, to boot. It was a nightmare. She whimpered, she wouldn't sleep, she didn't seem to be able to be comforted. I stayed up with her, by her side and tucked her in, but she would not stay put. I stayed up all night for a couple of days till I was hallucinating, then finally gave the OK to put her down. :/

It doesn't sound as if Bella has the same symptoms, so I'm hoping it's this ear syndrome.

On my own hound-front, my darling doxie had his toe amputation, which was confirmed cancerous. But a slow-growing cancer, which likely was successfully excised. I'd never heard of toe cancer, either, but apparently it's common in canines?

"Half-paw" as I affectionately call him now, is finally feeling better, and walking on his healed paw. He had the "duck feet" that are "not considered a flaw" in dachshunds, so his half-paw actually looks like a normal paw compared to his natural oversized ones!

Keep us posted on Bella! Our canine companions are worth it!
I am so glad that the operation was successful with your doxie, zee. I've known dogs who have dealt with more severe amputations and adapted well.

I now don't think Bella has the ear syndrome because her eyes are not twitching. But she is definitely restless. She may have been blind for a while; I understand that this can happen after a stroke. Benadryl helps her rest, but there is only so much I can safely give her.
Take your lady to the vet, Joe.
See if there are any low-fee animal clinics or organizations in your area. I had a cat fixed by one of these places that actually drives a huge hospital on wheels throughout the city.She had the operation and shots for far less than my regular vet would charge and she recuperated much faster.
Don't give her the amoxycillin, Joe: first off, it goes bad after a while, or at least less effective. But more important, you need to give antibiotics for a definite time-span to kill off the baddies, and if you don't knock ALL of them out, the resistant ones will take over and REALLY do a number on her.

More important, please do take her to the vet, whatever the cost. The proper treatment may be very simple, but you'll never know otherwise, and she's likely to suffer as a result. I'm sure people here will be happy to help you -- and she's sure worth it!
Put up a tip jar, Joe. Don't be proud. We all love Bella.
Hoping for the best for you and Bella. Sending love from me and my friends. Please make that donate button work.
There is a vet on wheels in Baltimore....
hope all is well with bella joe..
I'm with Lincoln - Bella's mishpacha, Joe. Put up a damned tip jar and let us help.
Our Shitzu started drinking A LOT when I began feeding her blue buffalo several years ago.
I think too many sulfates in food can cause excessive drinking. I stopped feeding it to her and her excessive thirst went away.

The weird thing is all that drinking may be flushing out the kidneys which is not necessarily a bad thing in the short term, however all that drinking probably is excreting essential vitamins and nutrients as well which is probably not a good thing, especially if the excessive drinking continues.\

Any opinions out there on giving CoQ10 to Bella?
Afraid the best help you're going to get is going to come with cost. Find a vet, be honest about what you can afford, and see what comes of it.

She's an old dog, and has had a full life. Hope this ends positively for all of you.
Alessandro, when Blue Buffalo first came out I was giving demos for them and tried it out with my doxie. He didn't like it (and is generally a nonfussy eater). I was less than impressed with them and quit working for them, because I'm quaint in that I have to believe in a product I'm promoting. After your comment I gave a look-see for other reviews, and am astounded to see a class action against them. They're actually causing pet deaths and disorders....and they now source some of their ingredients from China!!! I spend hours to make sure my pet is not getting anything from China. Thank goodness you kept your pet off BB. Apparently the problem has gotten worse in the past few months.

As to CoQ10, again, I've worked for one brand, Qunol, to promote CoQ10 in Costco. I had regular customers who bought it for their dogs. I gave some to my mom, and now she doesn't miss a day and swears by it....she's on statins, so it's particularly vital for her. Be sure your CoQ10 says "ubiquinol" which is the more accessible form of the enzyme. It's good support for your heart, energy level, leg cramps and blood pressure. It would not harm a dog and may help with energy level. It may affect the bowels...I can't speak to that because I've not tried it on my dog. It's expensive!
Sorry to hear this, Joseph. My dogs have all lived long lives. But it's always too short and doesn't get any easier no matter how many times you go through it. The disorientation reminds me of our 12 year old collie who [towards the end of things] knew where her feed bowl was and the AC vent in the hallway. Just the essentials!

Can't offer any advice other than making her as comfortable as possible. That may mean a vet trip where they can hook her up to IV fluids. If it's her inner ear that would be treatable. But the symptoms could be indicative of a stroke or a spreading cancer. Or just an aging body which gets us all on the end, one way or the other.

Best to you and Bella. I know this hurts like hell. Been there.


This comment has been removed by the author.
I've been hoping to find some better news about wee Bella - please let us know what's needed - if we can help with a few pennies. I fear the worst from no news though. Thinking of you both and crossing fingers.

Low cost test would be a vitamin K shot to see if that replaces lost nutrients.
Alessandro, I'm so sorry to hear of your dear companion's passing. I do know that animals in pain and older animals lose interest in food, so don't regret giving her anything she would actually eat. I was just wondering about cat vs dog food, but have not researched it yet, nor CoQ10 for dogs.

I'm still in shock about Blue Buffalo....was your dog failing prior to having that food?

Don't get me started on vets. I should've done my own vets seemed so tentative on cancer I thought they'd made it up. I mean, toe cancer? Finally I looked it up. Real and very tricky. So far so good after the amputation.

I do hope Joe is working on the article he promised us and that Bella is on the mend....

prowlerzee, thanks for your comments. Our dog started having dying attacks shortly after I stopped the blue buffalo. She would make a yelping sound, then fall over. I would quickly pick her up and that seemed to get her going again. I told the vet about this and the vet said my picking her up and bouncing her like a baby had nothing to do with getting her heart pumping more normally. So the next time it happened she just lay there on the ground, helpless. I couldn't stand it and I picked her up, and she got better almost immediately.
Even though I took her off of the blue buffalo, she was itching so much I even tried giving her cat food, which she loved. Howver, the nutrients in cat food are different than dog food so that might not have been a good idea.
I had really poor communication with the vet's office just prior to her passing. I think she needed vitamin supplements for her heart and they had screwed up my phone number in their computer system and then not fixed it even after I watched them correct it. I was waiting for a call that never came. Out of desperation I had her hair cut to make sure she was not hot. She died later that same day after being such a good girl while getting her hair cut. She lived to 14 years of age but I think the Blue Buffalo zapped her even though I took her off of it after a short while. She developed this hesitation in her breathing right around the time of the Blue Buffalo and that never went away. I wish I had tried the C0Q10, I am of the opinion that when the heart does not have the right nutrient levels it just gets very weak and can stop, especially in an older dog.
Prowlerzee, I deleted my prior comment that you responded to and then slightly rewrote it so it is now below your comment.

Age is an issue, and I noticed over the final year of her life that she slowly would walk less and less distance on her walks.

However, the excessive drinking and the hesitation in the breathing seemed to occur during and after I had fed her the blue buffalo. It was given to me as a sample in a pet food store and then I bought a few more because she seemed to eat it ok. But she just started drinking so much I could not believe it. Her kidneys check out fine, possibly because she flushed them so well from all the water intake. However, I believe that led to vitamin deficiencies. They were supposed to give her a vitamin k shot the day before she died and I think they did not do it. There probably is no real way to know for sure what might have extended her life since it would require two identical dogs and each gets a different treatment, but the blue buffalo definitely made her thirsty and her end of life symptoms started soon after but might have been postponed with more vitamin supplements.
I only bring all of this up to make sure Joe tries something relatively low cost if cost is an issue.
guys, I have to say that I am stunned to read what you've said about Blue Buffalo, since it is a highly-regarded food. (And pricey.) But I was stunned to learn that Nutro, which Bella used to live on, had had some problems.

Right now, she just seems to want chicken. So I'm following her lead.
Chicken and rice is considered a staple combo for dogs. Be careful of chicken only because the salt content can be too high, especially in the outer skin.
The Blue Buffalo incident happened in early 2010, so BB has had 5 years to clean up their act, maybe they did?
But if they are outsourcing to China, that may not be the case. Sixty Minutes just ran a piece on Lumber Liquidators and their China laminate wood flooring manufacturers with formaldehyde levels that were way above the legal limit.
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Around and about on a cold winter eve...

The video above, by Ben Swann, provides a clear, fast-moving (downright zippy) explanation of the origin of ISIS. Swann dares to say that which the mainstream media refuses to say: That ISIS was, in large part, created by the United States.

Actually, Swann does not merely say it -- he proves it. I've made the same point in many previous posts, and so have a lot of other writers.

I'm not an uncritical fan of Mr. Swann, who is far too close to the Ron Paultards and the libertarians. But on this issue, he has it right. In particular, you should pay attention to the questions asked around the nine-minute mark.

The video embedded above is not just a must-see, it's a must-share. Get the word out!

The Supreme Court poised to end Obamacare. Looks like this may really be it...
But the stakes in King v. Burwell, which the court will hear on March 4, could scarcely be higher: If the plaintiffs prevail, millions of people in 34 states who bought insurance on federal exchanges would suddenly lose the subsidies that make it affordable. Consequently, most would lose their coverage. A Rand study pegged the number at 9.6 million people, with premiums soaring 47 percent for those still able to afford them.
My take: The Republicans would be hit hard. People who, at the moment, say that they don't like the ACA will suddenly realize that the Repulicans want to toss them back into a world where working people have to pay a lot more money.

Democrats will be able to argue -- soundly -- that we all need to rally around the party in the 2016 election, however disappointing the candidate might be. The Supreme Court factor would outweigh all other concerns.

Elections. Brad Friedman has a blockbuster story in Salon...
Electoral integrity has not improved in the U.S. over the past year, according to a new study. In fact, elections in Mexico now have more integrity than ours, the new survey, based on the observations of some 1,400 international election experts, finds.
(I think that last sentence would have read better if the verb had showed up earlier, but perhaps German Brad has been studying.)
Computerized voting systems — such as Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting machines — are 100% impossible to verify for accuracy after polls have closed. Yet, they are still used in about one-third of the country, and elsewhere around the world.

Hand-marked paper ballots can be examined after an election, but most jurisdictions in the U.S. tally those ballots by computerized optical-scan systems which either report results accurately or not. Without a human examination of those paper ballots — only sometimes allowed in the rare event a recount — it’s impossible to know whether results have been accurately tallied and reported.

By way of just one recent example, which citizens happened to notice, a November 2014 referendum in a small Wisconsin town, tallied by a computerized optical-scan system last year, reported only 16 votes cast by some 5,350 voters. Luckily, the problem was so obvious, attributed to a programming error by a local election official, it was too ridiculous to be overlooked. The correct results were eventually determined by publicly hand-counting the hand-marked paper ballots.

But what of malfunction or malfeasance in vote counts that are not so easily discovered, thanks to a lack of human-verified results? For example, a computer optical-scan system in Palm Beach County, FL announced the “winners” of four different elections incorrectly in 2012. Only a sharp-eyed election official and an eventual court-sanction hand-count determined that three of four of the originally announced “winners” were actually the losers of their races.
There simply has to be a better system. There simply is no reason why elections cannot produce a paper trail, and no reason why the parties cannot agree on a means of keeping that paperwork under secure lock and key.
A better electoral system for whom? It worked for Bush, and Anonymous claims that if they hadn't shut down Rove's secret system, Ohio would have gone for Romney.
>>I think that last sentence would have read better if the verb had showed up earlier, but perhaps German Brad has been studying.<< Thanks for this clever Teutonic aside.
Molly in D-land
Yeah, I don't think our "officials" are very interested in fixing this. I'm not sure how voters can fix it when their votes are either not being counted, or are counted incorrectly (not to mention the endless drive to fix imaginary "vote fraud"). I'm actually surprised that only a 3rd of the country uses the electronic machines (my area does not, but it does use the vote tallying machines, which are almost as bad).
I'll say it until they send me to the new gulag in Alaska: Without fair elections-- from districting, to voter ID to transparent tabulation--deomocracy does not exist. Fair elections should be issue #1 for anyone claiming to be a Democrat.

Interesting case that seems to be up your alley. This blogger appears to have nailed it in his title.
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Update on the BillCaseyHoneyPot mystery

If you don't know who "BillCaseyHoneyPot" is, read or skim the preceding post, then come back.

That investigation had me careening back and forth for an entire day. At first, I suspected that our mystery man was just a crackpot, then I learned a few things which suggested that he might really be someone with inside information about "spooky" matters, and that he had reason to adopt an exceedingly cryptic writing style. 

Well, it turns out that the mystery man is just a 46 year-old Pennsylvanian named Timothy Felix Miltz, an unsuccessful former software developer who lives (or lived) in a small, quaint green house in Indiana, Pennsylvania. For whatever reason, he likes to send lengthy comments to various websites. He usually talks about parapolitical matters, in a style best described as intriguing but not very comprehensible. Often, he adopts bizarre pseudonyms. Last year, he sent a series of messages to the Time Magazine website which appeared to threaten Carmen Ortiz, the prosecutor who brought down Aaron Swartz.

Although Miltz claims to be a child prodigy who attended college at the age of 12, his name does not appear on any website that discusses prodigies.

(As a side note, I did some basic homework on the topic of child prodigies, and was surprised to learn how many of them have had sad lives. A man with a reputed IQ of 250-to-300 -- yes, 300 -- ended up working a string of crappy blue-collar jobs. And then there's the Unabomber...)

Ah well. A writer must pursue the occasional long shot, or there's no fun to be had. The day will come when one of my long shots will pay off. But yesterday was not that day.

Incidentally, a kind reader informs us that the "Roman" mentioned so prominently in Mr. Miltz' ramblings is probably Khalil Roman, the former chief aide to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The BillCaseyHoneyPot mystery (updated)

(Please spread the word about this enigma! Someone who is not a regular reader of this blog may be able to offer a solution.)
If you're looking for a spooky head-scratcher, you may want to study the mysterious case of BillCaseyHoneyPot. At this writing, I don't know if we are dealing with an important matter or a complete waste of time. All I can do is give you the basics.

A couple of days ago, the Washington Post published an article on a device called Stingray, a suitcase-sized cell phone tower spoofer meant to help cops gather signals from a suspected miscreant. This technology is controversial for a number of reasons -- for one thing, it also scoops up data from non-suspects in the area.   

Although worrisome in and of itself, Stingray is not the focus of this particular post. What interests us here is the way one person reacted to the WP article.

That person goes by the handle BillCaseyHoneyPot. He flooded the WP website with a series of lengthy cryptic comments which strayed far from the original Stingray story. These comments, which frequently referenced the CIA and its leaders, were soon "disappeared" by the powers-that-be at the Post. Fortunately, Cryptome collected many of these communications before they vanished.  

BillCaseyHoneyPot may be a hacker, or he may be an intelligence insider. Possibly both. It is also possible that he is simply a leg-puller who has read a lot of stuff about spies. He could even be a total fruitcake.

I'm sure of only one thing: This fellow tries very hard to come across as someone who knows where all of the proverbial bodies are proverbially buried. 

Thom Hartmann's website is one of the very few to take note of BCHP (if I may be allowed to shorten his name). Here's an example of the mystery man's wit and wisdom...



and yet - sits on a 3/4 inch tape - TAKEN by a 12 year old - at a University in Pennsylvania -



I'll tell you THIS MUCH

Henry Kissinger should be on death row -

Porter Goss should be on death row







That last phrase -- "AND IT'S CURRENCY" -- indicates to me that we are not dealing with an intelligence professional. For one thing, most professionals would know when to use an apostrophe. (Someone who attended the University of Pennsylvania certainly would know that.) More importantly, BCHP sounds like one of those tiresome gold bugs. You know the kind: They are always ranting and raving about the insubstantial nature of paper money, and they often end up pitching an investment in gold mine shares. I stopped listening to those loons decades ago.

Nevertheless, some of BCHP's comments remind me of what Polonius said of Hamlet: How pregnant sometimes his replies are! a happiness that often madness hits on...
Big Bird was a WONDERFUL project though-

the optic was TERRIFIC - I celebrated being able to read a label off of a GOLF BALL From geo synch-



This article on WAPO is a simple focus on triangulation of EM fields -



and yet ? GROVER HAS BEEN LIVE - what ? 11 years?


No - not in this world .......


I do not believe that "GROVER" refers to Grover Norquist. Context indicates that the term may refer to a new NSA program or technology.

(Added note: A commenter who seems to know what he is talking about suggests that "Grover" refers to an app called GeoRover, produced by SAIC. See here.)

Here are a few more examples...


and SK-91 will pass over my head 3 times a day - until it is engulfed -


I have no idea what an SK-91 is; initial googling provided nothing useful. This next one is particularly fun:





I'll show you a war you can't win
Just for jolly, I googled that "key." The three hits all traced back to this Cryptome story.
I will give a HINT -


If you want PROPER OPTIC - as Phil Mudd would say at CIA - retired....

Sorry Phil- I KNOW this is NOT your message - HOWEVER -

Imagine what Enron did to California - with metered energy resources context to electricity?

Imagine the UNNAMED - YET to be given name - as to ANTI TRUST Sherman - Clayton -

ENTER STAGE LEFT - to this theatrical venue - CIA

Enter Stage RIGHT - United States Department of State

We're going to have a party
Philip Mudd is the former Deputy Director of counterintelligence for CIA. (Wasn't that Ray Rocca's old gig? I wonder if the ghost of "Mother" still roams the halls of the second floor...) Mudd once showed up on Colbert's show and offered the opinion that teevee turns viewers' brains into cotton candy. I kind of like this guy.


PORTER should be VERY GRATEFUL ROMAN is controlled.
The first line seems reasonable enough. I have no idea who "ROMAN" is. (If Gordon Novel were still alive, I might note that "roman" is French for "novel.")
THE BEST PART of all of this?

It's not what is MONITORED - realtime NOW in 2015

WHAT IS THE BEST is what was STORED in 1973

on a 3/4 tape

and FOR WHATEVER REASON - it just happened to be THE TAPE I said as a child - WOW - that looks cool - let's TAKE IT.
Turn your back on your nation? Ed would agree - maybe you're a traitor

but - turn your back on your species ? THAT IS TABOO.

Poor Ed, I keep calling him Eric in game - lol

I'm sure he's okay with it - I KNOW HE IS.
A reference to Ed Snowden? I believe so.

(By the way, Neil Patrick Harris got on my shitlist when he made that "for some treason" remark during the Oscars. But that's a topic for another time.)

however- Zabiullah Mujahid?

STILL SITS - phone UNTRIANGULATED by this what was it ? the ZINGER?
the WHAT ?

oh yeah - Stinger -hahahaha

Triangulation is SO 1998.

"Llamacoin" seems to refer to someone or something in the Bitcoin universe; see here.

Zabiullah Mujahid is a spokesperson for the Taliban; he lives in Pakistan. (He has a Twitter account, although clicking on that link might bring you to the attention of the NSA.) Interestingly, some people think that "Zabiullah Mujahid" is a group name used by multiple people.

"Loftus" probably refers to John Loftus, a writer on intelligence matters (and on Nazis) who is widely thought to have Mossad links.

WHAT WE don't know?

16 people SHOT - doesn't matter....

phones triangulated-


Though you've seen it?


US Department of State behind THIS ONE -





and yet?





I'll demonstrate...

DOJ can't TOUCH ME ON IT - why ?

Because - silly- DOS will sit there DAY IN DAY OUT -

saying it just ain't so.

LONELINESS TIMMY - isn't it- a troublesome problem...

How's that POST K Street - LIFE - TOWELL? WORKING OUT?

Hillary gives you an award as you tie a man up to your bed?


This last bit is particularly boggling. Towell is a former ambassador to Paraguay who, in 2009, was accused of sexually forcing himself on an 18 year-old male. Towell was in his 70s at the time. In case you are wondering how a man that age could overpower an 18 year-old, I should mention that a gun and a machete were involved. Allegedly.

Towell's ambassadorial stint occurred in the Reagan and Bush I administrations. Later, Towell was tied to "the great Paraguay mystery" which was once a hot topic throughout blogland...
In October 2006, the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina and Paraguayan and other Latin American newspapers reported that Towell was the administrator of a 173,000 acre ranch in the Chaco region of Paraguay on behalf of former President George H. W. Bush, under whom Towell served as U.S. ambassador to the country.
See here, here, and here. Although the Paraguay/Bush allegation was always quite fascinating, I see no evidence of a tie between Towell and Hillary Clinton.

Incidentally, Balochistan is a province in Pakistan where the CIA leases the Shamsi Airfield, from which drone strikes are launched. There has long been an independence movement in Balochistan, and one of the leading figures in that movement goes by the nomme-de-guerre "Baloch Sister."

Let's get back to BillCaseyHoneyPot. Is he a spook? A hacker? A crackpot? Or -- odd thought! -- some combination of all three?

My big problem here is the simple fact that BCHP has not given us a comprehensible linear narrative. Nothing here makes sense. We don't have a story.

BCHP has given us nothing but an unorganized collection of intriguing names. His penchant for bizarre linkages and schizy repetition hardly contributes to his credibility.

Right now, I'm leaning toward the theory that we're dealing with a crackpot. But I'm willing to be talked out of that stance. Do you have any insights into this matter?

(Added note: This post has attracted some striking commentary which now has me leaning away from the "crackpot" theory.)

(Bill-O, if you're reading these words, here's some advice: Try expressing yourself more clearly. These Dan Brownian games of peekaboo cannot possibly help anyone.)
I have my suspicions of who this is...he is talking on several levels to several factions. It is coded with clues and innuendo, for whoever bites and whoever is "watching." Someone was watching enough to have it removed- I am sure he is happy to have gotten their goat, so to speak. The rest is open to speculation, but I am familiar with
Anon, could you offer any further details? Anything at all?

I am all attention...
I really can't be sure of anything, and it could be that this person, knows the person I think this is-and they have the same history and training....but I recognize that writing as a style of someone. Most of his errors are done with purpose-won't get into it here, but there is a reason he does typos and grammar errors...
There are veiled threats in these messages-that may be true, but could just be a warning shot. I don't expect more to develop than this...they took it down, they were warned. Or at least that is how he will see it, for now.
It is a bit like a game of cat and mouse...the world trudges on...and we will never know his whole purpose in the warning. I could find it entertaining for awhile, but the mystery is pretty much going to remain a mystery. Nothing ever changes- ya know? That is my final take away.
Essentially- he isn't talking to us-not really. We are just a tool to speak to his true audience. Hope that makes sense. If you want more info- I might send a pm, but I don't really like getting too into these things on the internet nowadays.
I have to resist getting too dragged into this...but I will give you an idea of how his errors work-they are a mental test for the reader... Grover is probably GeoRover. Find GeoRover and you start to see more about him--it is a game for the reader too. He gave you a clue geosync....and then Grover. But again--I am too busy to be lured into this now.
I agree that sometimes punctuation and grammar and spellings errors are deliberate, to defeat style-analyzing bots that might otherwise connect the sensitive communication to other communications on the net. It's like disguising your handwriting.
/NOW as sure as the SUN WILL CROSS THE SKY
/and SK-91 will pass over my head 3 times a day - until it is engulfed -

(I have taken the liberty of inserting /s for poetic effect.)

"Engulfed"? "Skimps"? At least he doesn't talk about sodium morphate or apple pie.

Maybe this Twitter account, accountname "sk1mp", screenname "skimp", leads somewhere? The user appears to be interested in Wikileaks, NSA, French and US covert ops in Central Africa, and fascist doings in the US and elsewhere.


-> Las Vegas

-> a landline phone number in Maryland
I was going to comment that the "it's" seemed very purposeful and found that Anonymous had specific knowledge of that, so why it stood out to me is irrelevant. Interesting, tho!
Oh god I hope this is legit. The cabal running things behind the scenes - using violence and blackmail to avoid detection or widespread exposure - needs to have its wings clipped.

Whether or not anything will ever come of any of this basically comes down to whether or not there are still any institutions of power which haven't been completely corrupted yet.

Fingers crossed.
Just putting together some connections -
1973 + Kissinger + Helms (CIA)= Chile coup against Allende

Passports for Michael Townley et al through Paraguay before Orlando Letellier assassination, G.W. Bush was CIA director

Currency, gold-bug issue - 1973 Bretton Woods disolved by Nixon.

I can't help but wonder if the Helms tape refers to Kennedy, and that Pakistan ISI may have something to do with the alleged killing of Bin Laden.

Maybe he is suggesting that something - if revealed could shake the faith in the U.S. dollar.

Just thinkin'
There are numerous song lyric references in there......some complete, some modified. Not sure what significance this has. I do know that the last comment of his, or excerpt of a comment, that you posted has a few references to the lyrics of Starship Trooper, by the band Yes:


WHAT WE don't know?"

They actual lyrics are Sister Bluebird, while the second line is verbatim.

"Though you've seen it?


Again, verbatim lyrics from the song.



More verbatim lyrics from the same song.

There are different song lyrics interwoven in the other comments. I assume this would be part of the code he is using, but it's interesting to me. All the songs were pretty common on rock radio in the 70's and 80's.

BCHP identifies himself as a 46-year old in the complete rant - and at 12 years old (1981?) he went to Indiana University of PA where he saw spotted a 3/4" U-Matic Videocassette (which TV stations or professional video producers used in the 70s-80s) which seems to have damning evidence on it - which he claims is not for 'sale'. But it apparently exposes Nixon and Kissinger in some plan to hijack the U.S. - and alot of what we are dealing with in today's world stems from this videocassette which he harbors. Also, the "SK-91" which is "100% Pure Lockheed" may be referring to a newer reconnaissance aircraft, possibly taking over for the SR-71 "Blackbird". This 'mystery' is like finding the source/reason for a shortwave 'numbers' station.
The author's name is Timothy Felix Miltz - or Tim Miltz, as he signed earlier postings circa 2010, of which there are many (the consistent style is unmistakeable):

He claims to be a software engineer who first started working for CIA in the "Bush Sr era", which would've been 1975-1976. He says he left the Agency before "Homeland (Security)" was created, i.e. before 2002.

"Porter" is Porter Goss, Bush's CIA Chief from '04-'06.

The "Helms tape" seemingly references a recorded conversation between Richard Nixon and CIA Director Richard Helms in 1973.

In that conversation, Nixon famously mentioned "the Bay of Pigs thing", which made Helms extremely angry. It has long been speculated (by Nixon's aides, among others) that Nixon was not referring to the Bay of Pigs invasion itself - rather, it was a coded reference to the CIA's connection to the assassination of JFK. Nixon was thus attempting to subtly blackmail CIA into helping him quash the Watergate scandal.

There are many other interesting references made throughout his rants. The final thing he dangles to WaPo ("who killed Massoud") is a reference to the leader of the Afghan Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was assassinated on September 9, 2001.

Porter Goss was in Pakistan on that date through 9/11, meeting with Pakistani General Ahmad, "whose network had ties to Osama Bin Laden and directly funded, supported, and trained the Taliban" (according to Wikipedia).

If Tim Miltz is a delusional schizophrenic, he's at least a very well-read delusional schizophrenic.
Anon, I looked up the name. Last year, a Timothy Miltz sent a long series of disturbing letters to Time in the wake of the Aaron Swartz controversy...

It's obviously the same guy. The style is indeed unmistakable. And the overall message is worrying.

Basically, Miltz issued a public warning to Carmen Ortiz, the prosecutor who went after Swartz. He said that people would die if Ortiz did not resign, and he kept making reference to the fate of former CIA director Bill Colby (whose death remains a matter of some controversy).

Ortiz is still at her job, and the "people will die" prediction remains unfulfilled.

I wonder if Miltz got a visit from the cops or the FBI after that stunt...?

At any rate, thanks...
Towell is interesting.
Towell is indeed a very intriguing figure, worthy of further investigation.

As for Mr. Miltz...I'm definitely starting to think that there is less than meets the eye, here. I hope soon to learn the truth.
Still too busy to review this in detail, but I don't get the same feeling in both of these characters at first glance. Use of Caps does not equate to "same style" ...remember, one is threatening the lives of others-and one is putting their life on the line. Different.
When I have time - will look it over more.
google is your friend:
2 things: Check out @FearDept's Tweet:

It is suggested in a comment on that tweet that the author's name is Tim Miltz.

Now read the comments here from 2010:

I have no vested interest in this whatsoever. Just thought I would help you out - if this indeed does.

Ok- Joseph--you are convinced- and that's all that matters. i really am putting too much time into this. but the style is not exactly the same at reading with are trying too hard to make it something it isn't. You aren;t doing what he wants you to do, so it is now dead. But ask yourself something--who would put their name online-and tweet about making money on surveys, while also tweeting about their comments just last month? Do you think the intellect of this person is really the same of the other? I don't...I am smarter than Miltz-and that isn't saying a lot. . Moving on......

Khalil Roman

I believe Grover refers to the second programning law for quantum computing. It is used to search huge databases incredibly quickly. With the power of quantum computers all encryption is useless. Before you can blink a quantum computer will have your data pulled.

Google "Grover's Quantum Search Algorithm"

Important information from HoneyPot.

We are all Palestinians now !

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James O'Keefe is back. Am I the only one who smells sulphur and brimstone?

I'm sure you recall James O'Keefe, the young, Karl Rove-esque poltical operator who destroyed ACORN with one of the slimiest stunts in the history of political chicanery. Brad Friedman has devoted a number of exquisitely-researched posts to O'Keefe's antics: See here and here and here.

I've written about him too: Here and here and here

More than once, O'Keefe has been exposed as a kind of combination of Professor Harold Hill and G. Gordon Liddy. He once tried to bug a senator's office, and his ACORN "sting" led to a $100,000 settlement being leveled against him. The fact that O'Keefe was able to pay that fine without much sweat tells us much about his operation.

Something new is a-brewin' in O'Keefe-land. The following comes from a right-wing website...
Conservative journalist filmmaker James O’Keefe on Saturday tweeted an ominous message to those who follow him and his influential work.

“We have a story we’re going to release this coming week and I've never thought about this before but I am afraid for my life on this one,” O'Keefe announced Saturday afternoon.
We have a story we’re going to release this coming week and I've never thought about this before but I am afraid for my life on this one.

— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) February 21, 2015
What the story is one can only speculate, but for this one to be particularly risky in O'Keefe's estimation is saying something.
I have a bad feeling about this. And no, I do not have any fears that something bad will happen to Scurvy Jimmie. My fear is that he will do something particularly churlish.

The first comment on said right-wing website is worth reprinting here...
His right-wing admirers don’t seem to mind that O’Keefe’s short but storied career has been defined by a series of political stunts shot through with racial resentment. Now an activist organization that monitors hate groups has produced a photo of O’Keefe at a 2006 conference on “Race and Conservatism” that featured leading white nationalists. The photo, first published Jan. 30 on the Web site of the anti-racism group One People’s Project, shows O’Keefe at the gathering, which was so controversial even the ultra-right Leadership Institute, which employed O’Keefe at the time, withdrew its backing.
A peach of a fellow, Jimmy is.

On a related note:
Many of you will recall the film version of the novel Starship Troopers, by the quasi-fascist science fiction author Robert Heinlein. In that novel, only those who have performed military service, or some other dangerous duty, are granted the right to vote.

Believe it or not, USA Today editorialist Glenn Harlan Reynolds (a law prof at the University of Tennessee) feels that we should adopt that very system.

This is an absurd, extremist proposal. Nevertheless, and purely as a thought experiment, let us consider the advantages of such an arrangement.

The Reynolds/Heinlein plan would have kept Dick Cheney out of politics. Buh-bye, Sarah Palin. Adieu, Mitt Romney. Sayonara, Rush Limbaugh. Auf widersehen, James O'Keefe. Arrivederci, Rudolph Giuliani. Adios, Bill O'Reilly. Beat it, Ann Coulter.

Most conservative pundits would be out of a gig. Nearly every One Percenter in the land would be kept out of the voting booths -- and, one would hope, out of the political system altogether.

Amusingly, I would have the right to vote, despite never having served in the military. Remember, we are following Heinlein's rules. He made an allowance for anyone who has volunteered for a hazardous medical experiment -- and believe it or not, I once did just that.

Ah, the foolishness of youth...!

I won't tell you the details, but I can tell that the doctor required me to keep urine samples for several weeks after my release from the hospital. (Why? I'm not sure. He said something about wanting to see if the radioactivity left my body.) The samples were stored in the fridge, in emptied plastic orange juice containers. One night, while half-asleep, I stumbled into the kitchen and...

...and maybe I shouldn't finish that story.

Your humble host keeps unfolding like a flower, does he not? If ever you meet me, do not make me angry. You won't like me when I'm angry.
I believe ACORN simply changed its name.

Cause of Action and their List of ACORN allies and Rebrands
BOTTOM shelf, Joseph! He said keep the samples on the bottom shelf!
Joseph, you are just so ahead of the game. Alfred Webre (conspiracy therapist) believes that the liquid in your refrigerator may be the cure all.......... when drank (drunk?).

Anyway, you seem a little radioactive to me (in a good way, in a good way).

BTW, Isis died............. on Downton Abbey.
O'Keefe has on at least one occasion been used to take down a Republican. In Wisconsin, the Koch brothers' front, the "Club For Growth", hired him to take out a senior Republican State Senator who was opposed to the expansion of school vouchers at the expense of public schools. He stalked the pol at his favorite watering hole and captured him on video, drunkenly bragging about a plan to set up an illegal PAC for the upcoming campaign. The Senator declined to run for reelection and was replaced by a bought-and-paid-for Tea Bagger.

Money Trail Revealed: Did Eric O'Keefe Pay James O'Keefe for Hatchet Job on Wisconsin GOP Senate President? | Mary Bottari

Disobedience to Scott Walker is harshly punished within the Wisconsin Republican party.
The simple fact is that if the operation someone like O'Keefe or Jeffrey Epstein is in support of the overall fascist agenda, then no legitimate punishment will be exacted.

If however, someone endeavors in opposition to the fascist agenda, their punishment will be swift, severe, and disproportional to the alleged crime, i.e. Edward Snowden, Chelsea (nah Bradley) Manning, and Aaron Swartz.
Joseph, you served as a disseminator of truth during the years of the neo-fascist Buschist administration at a time when few people were willing to stick their necks out to oppose lawless war, torture, and the construction of the surveillance state.

For that hazardous duty you should have a generous pension for the rest of your life. Thank you for your service. Someday maybe an Oscar-winning movie will be made about your life.

Gareth, any state legislator that goes around getting drunk in public deserves what he gets, IMHO. Nursing a few beers with your homeys is one thing. Getting so plastered that you hang yourself is another.

I will wait with baited breath for O'Keefe's automobile to crash him at 60 mph into a palm tree.

Anonymous 3:16 PM:

In Wisconsin, being an alcoholic is practically a requirement of the job for state legislators. Politics floats on a sea of beer and brandy. The guy O'Keefe took out was a major A-hole, so no tears were shed, but it scared the shit out of the other Republicans, because he was the top dog. Nary a peep has been heard from anyone since. It's ein Reich, ein Fuhrer time in the Badger state.
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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bill O-LIE-ly

Bill O'Reilly's co-worker Eric Engberg has described what really happened to O'Reilly during the Falklands war. Engberg is completely convincing, and he certainly has no motivation for lying. It's clear that O'Reilly has been caught out. (Also see here.)

What I want to discuss here is another Bill O'Reilly lie -- a lie which is far more important, a lie which our media seems strangely reluctant to discuss.

In his book about the assassination of JFK, O'Reilly discusses the death of George de Mohrenshchildt, Lee Harvey Oswald's strange friend who also happened to know George H.W. Bush. De Mohrenschildt's links to the CIA were investigated by none other than a young Bill O'Reilly. The enigmatic George De Mohrenschildt committed suicide in Florida on March 29, 1977, just before he was scheduled to talk to an investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassination.

There has long been a controversy as to whether this suicide was genuine. O'Reilly, in his book, attempts to resolve that question with the claim that he personally heard the shotgun blast. We are supposed to believe that de Mohrenschildt pulled the trigger at the exact moment O'Reilly knocked on the door.

That claim simply is not true.

O'Reilly was in Dallas on that date. That evening, he called Gaeton Fonzi, the HSCA investigator referenced above (who later wrote The Last Investigation, one of the very best books about the JFK assassination). During that conversation, O'Reilly said that he heard a rumor that de Mohrenschildt had committed suicide, and wanted to know if this report was true.

O'Reilly told Fonzi that he had been trying to check the report by telephone from his studio in Texas. O'Reilly then said that he planned to fly out to Florida the next day.

Fonzi recorded the call. The recordings have been placed on the internet.

I just don't see any way that O'Reilly can talk his way out of this one. The man is a liar.

Question: Why won't Mother Jones or any other media outlet discuss the de Mohrenschildt fabrication?

(Many thanks to Joe Williams for the head's up!)
The fact that the corporate media is making a big deal out of Brian Williams' almost compulsive dishonesty is itself the height of hypocrisy.

The media no longer serves the public interest, just as government no longer serves the public interest. Both institutions have been wholly co-opted by shadowy moneyed interests with a laser-like focus on self-gratification and the consolidation of power, with both ends being met to the detriment of freedom and democracy.

By establishing an information gathering and dissemination apparatus which is dependent upon the largess of corporate interests subtly camouflaged under the auspices of advertising, the fascist state has successfully built the Ministry of Truth Orwell so presciently described. Seriously, what purpose would companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin have in promoting their brands in a retail format? Do they think viewers are going to purchase a new F-18 or are they simply justifying their investment in a controlled media?

Rather than accept the official line that Williams was simply the victim of his own hubris, we should consider the possibility that he was the victim of an orchestrated attack, and perhaps the same is true of O'Reilly. Dan Rather was sacrificed in order to change the focus from George Bush's unpunished AWOL during Vietnam to the liberal media's use of fraud to attack our patriotic dear leader. Maybe Rather was the victim, maybe he was a willing participant. It's much easier to pull something like this off when the fall guy doesn't push back very hard.

Both of these heretofore respected media personalities have now been shown to have been lying with impunity for decades, and yet with all of the media watchdog organizations dutifully documenting the myriad atrocities committed by the ostensibly opposing right- or left-sympathetic media counterparts, none has dug up these accusations in the past?

We'll likely never know what Brian Williams or Bill O'Reilly did to warrant the unceremonious end to their respective careers, but given the nearly non-stop parade of lies, dis- and mis-information, and outright propaganda perpetuated by the entirety of the media spectrum since the fascist fifth column accelerated its attack on Western democracy, if anything we should assume that those who are crowing the loudest about it doth protest too much. If you work in the corporate media then you are well aware that you have no control over the words that come out of your mouth.

You're a newsreader and your job is to catapult the propaganda that provides political cover and synthesized public support for the already-determined agenda of the deep state, and nothing more. Step out of line or question your orders and you quickly find yourself out of a job, and only then if you're lucky.
Speaking of orchestrated attacks, the Daily Mail sinks to a new low:

Wonder who leaked that to them?
Mother Jones won't talk about the deMorhrenschildt lie because FDavid Corn wants to deflect attention from his own flip-flop on the JFK conspiracy. And for 51 years, the secret motto at the New York Times is, "Avoid all the news that doesn't fit what we're told to print."
Well, now Media Matters has jumped on the story; so there's a feather in our collective cap, Joseph. Now if we could just get publicatoin like Media Matters to call Oswald "the accused assassin" instead of "the assassin." Alas,small steps.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Nutty Rudy and JFK

A couple of posts down, we talked about Rudy Giuliani's insane claim that Barack Obama became a commie under the tutelage of some mysterious, not-quite-visible Marxists whom he (Obama) supposedly met at the age of nine.

In yesterday's post, I noted that these alleged commie "agents of influence" are the products of the right-wing imagination. For example, Giuliani claims that one of these agents was Saul Alinski. Alinski was not a socialist and Obama never met him.

O'Reilly mentions Frank Marshall Davis, who did indeed know Obama's maternal grandfather. But the grandfather did not himself become any kind of a Marxist as a result of this association -- and neither, I feel certain, did young Obama.

In that earlier post, I noted that Rudy Giuliani's father was heavily involved in the mafia and even did a stint in Sing-Sing. By Giuliani's rules, we should now be drawing all sorts of dark conclusions about Rudy Giuliani.

(I'm not saying that Rudy is mobbed up. I'm saying that it is easier to believe that Rudy is mobbed up than to believe that a "Marxist" President would put Tim freakin' Geithner in charge of the economy.)

Rudy is at it again. There's one passage in particular I'd like to discuss...
“He doesn’t talk about America the way John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan did, about America’s greatness and exceptionalism,” said Giuliani.

“He was educated by people who were critics of the US. And he has not been able to overcome those influences.”
We cannot allow the right-wingers to replace the John Kennedy of history with a figment of their imaginations, which is exactly what Giuliani is trying to do here.

I don't recall a single speech in which JFK used that rather vile right-wing buzzword "exceptionalism." The right has redefined that term to mean "America gets to push other nations around without having to abide by international law." That's not the way Kennedy looked at the world.

True, he did say that America had to bear burdens which other nations did not carry. But if you look at his record, you'll see that he usually emphasized cooperation and mutual respect, even when dealing with nations opposed to our policies. For example, Kennedy's Alliance for Progress was created to foster international cooperation in economic matters.

In the final months of his life, JFK proposed scrapping the space race and inviting the USSR on a joint mission to the moon. That important fact is routinely ignored by those who bleat about American "exceptionalism."

Before Kennedy's presidency, America's attitude toward the non-aligned countries was marked by condescension and outright thuggery. Kennedy's policies were much humbler:
But beyond these matters, it was Kennedy's policies in places like Congo, Portuguese Africa, and West Irian that really brought him the appreciation and sympathy of the leaders of the non-aligned nations. These actions symbolized a clean break from the "with us or against us" attitude of John Foster Dulles. And it therefore acknowledged the desire of the non-aligned countries to go their own way with confidence. Knowing that the new president would understand that independence from Washington's dictates did not mean automatic alliance with the USSR...
For an excellent "slide" presentation on JFK's foreign policy farsightedness, go here.

Although the socialists who supposedly influenced Barack Obama are nothing more than right-wing hallucinations, there was a socialist who had an impact on John Kennedy. His name was Harold Laski, and his students at the London School of Economics included both Joe and Jack Kennedy.

In the 1960s, a few far-right nutballs argued that Laski had converted John Kennedy to a form of Marxism. Those claims prefigured the things that Rudy is saying now about Obama -- with one big difference: Giuliani is not on the fringe. In fact, he is considered to be within the mainstream of the Republican party, and many tea partiers would denounce him as too liberal.

How our political landscape has changed!

JFK's father, Joseph Kennedy, was asked about the "Laski connection." His words (as recorded in Michael O'Brien's JFK biography) are worth quoting here...
"I was confident that they [Joe and John] were both mature enough and sensible enough to be able to hear the other side and still make a choice for themselves." His sons, he made clear, "are going to have a little money when they get older, and they should know what the have-nots are thinking and planning... They should be exposed to someone of intelligence and vitality on the other side."

Contrary to Rudy Giuliani, I wish that Barack Obama had been exposed, during his college years, to "someone of intelligence and vitality" committed to the cause of the "have-nots." There was nobody like that at Occidental in Los Angeles. (There was, however, a political science professor linked to American intelligence, who may have seen young Obama as a promising recruit.) Later still, Obama fell under the influence of Zbigniew Brzezinski, who resembles Harold Laski about as much as I resemble Groot.
JFK not only proposed a joint USA-USSR moon mission, he proposed to the UN that armies, navies, and air forces be outlawed. Military forces would be tolerated only for maintaining internal security, not for waging war on other countries.
CNN ran a discussion yesterday, of Rudy's remarks, featuring such luminaries as George Pataki, Tom Ridge and Paul Wolfowitz. Underneath was a banner proclaiming rat-face to be "America's Mayor". When the fuck did this happen?
CNN hasn't provided actual news since it was acquired by AOL/Time Warner. It's purely a propaganda outlet of the ruling cabal (kabal?) now.
Gareth, somehow being photographed marching stalwartly down a dusty street on 9/11 without a face mask made Rudy into a 9/11 hero.

FDNY people were able to torpedo Rudy's presidential campaign by revealing the facts, but few Americans know those facts.
Well, Mr. C., I don’t have anything against julie annie or anyone else who wears tight pantyhose. It probably helps some people keep their brains from falling out of their ass. j ;)

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Davey meets Mister Bill

The Bill O'Reilly imbroglio has become quite amusing -- certainly moreso than the cognate Brian Williams imbroglio. When all is said and done, Williams is nothing more than an ambulatory hairdo, while Bill-O has, over the years, transformed himself into a genuine annoyance. His only saving grace is that he can be very funny. How can one not guffaw at the sight of a Fox News host accusing someone else of using journalism as a political weapon?

What's interesting here is not the fact -- and it does seem to be a fact -- that the Fox superstar has hyperbolized his war reporting experiences. What interests me is the way he has responded to the charges leveled by Mother Jones writer David Corn. Basically, O'Reilly outdid even the Great Dershowitz in the hysteria of his couter-attack, claiming the whole affair was a Great Liberal Conspiracy. Then he changed the topic to Al Franken, supposedly the worst liar ever. (If Franken lied about you, Bill, why didn't you sue the guy?) Sadly, O'Reilly neglected to call Corn a "serial prostitute."

If you closely compare O'Reilly's statement to Corn's charges, you'll see that many specifics go unanswered.

Undoubtedly, right-wing ops will now go after David Corn. They will scrutinize every aspect of his career, looking for any scrap of info that can be used to "prove" his godless bolshevism.

They'll be surprised to learn that a lot of people on the left don't trust the guy. A few even suspect that he maintains some sort of relationship with the CIA.

Why the mistrust? Much of it has to do with the fact that Corn has always had one foot in the mainstream while keeping the other planted in the alternative media. There aren't too many other Pacifica network alumni who could have developed the kinds of sources that make a piece like this possible. Like Adam Strange, Corn seems to pop back and forth between two worlds.

In the 1990s, Corn infuriated progressives when he helped to whip up the lynch mob against Gary Webb, the brave journalist who did so much to expose the Agency's ties to the cocaine trade. Corn went on to assail Greg Palast's important stories about vote tampering during the 2000 and 2004 elections.

In short: Corn made his name by going after our few remaining real journalists. Assailing a fake journalist like O'Reilly is, for Corn, rather uncharacteristic.

Corn wrote a book called Blonde Ghost, about the CIA's infamous Ted Shackley -- a work which few read, yet which nevertheless managed to piss off people on both the right and the left. Pro-Agency reviewers consider the biography biased, and its Amazon page features critical "reviews" from enough plants to start a small arboretum. More liberal critics feel that Corn's reliance on anonymous sources indicates that the project must have had the quiet approval of someone "on high." (Those who rely on the CIA for a paycheck or a pension usually won't talk to a reporter unless they've been given the go-ahead.) One of Corn's sources was a former CIA employee named Bradley Ayers, who worked with Shackley; he has called Corn's book a whitewash.

In 2002, Corn worked to discredit a group called ANSWER, which was organizing anti-war demonstrations. Basically, he called them a bunch of commies. He wrote a piece for the formerly progressive L.A. Weekly which, thirteen years later, looks a little snake-in-the-grassy:
Few of the dozens of speakers, if any, bothered suggesting a policy option regarding Saddam Hussein other than a simplistic leave-Iraq-alone. Jesse Jackson may have been the only major figure to acknowledge Saddam's brutality, noting that the Iraqi dictator should be held accountable for his crimes. What to do about Iraq? Most speakers had nothing to say about that.
At this stage of the game, that "simplistic leave-Iraq-alone" stance sounds like pretty good advice.

The next year, Corn helped to get the Valerie Plame scandal rolling. On July 14, 2003, Robert Novak wrote his infamous piece outing Plame. Two days later, in The Nation, Corn responded thus:
This is not only a possible breach of national security; it is a potential violation of law. Under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, it is a crime for anyone who has access to classified information to disclose intentionally information identifying a covert agent.
Eventually (though with no great haste), liberals picked up on this theme and used the Plame case to hammer away at Cheney and the Dubya administration. That was all to the good, of course -- but in hindsight, we should note that Corn's words can be interpreted as protective of the CIA's interests. Some cynics (not me, of course) might even suggest that the writer had personal reasons to feel angry about the blowing of a CIA agent's cover.

At any rate, it'll be very interesting to watch the conservative outrage battalions go after David Corn. How will they make use of the information listed above? In their zeal to damn Corn as a left-wing hit man, will any of them notice that some actual progressives have long suspected Corn of being an infiltrator?
I don't know much about corn but thanks for this and this alone is enough for me to dislike him.

In the 1990s, Corn infuriated progressives when he helped to whip up the lynch mob against Gary Webb

I do like Greg P.
It ain't just "a few progressives" who recognize the Cornster as a prime soloist in Langley's Mockingbird Choir, Joe.

We hardcore conspiracy mavens have had his number for quite a while, and his oh-so-clever, disinfo-nuanced stance on 9/11 only confirmed our well-placed suspicions in spades, as did DC's scurrilous attack on the martyred Gary Webb (RIP).

I certainly don't remember Corn attacking Gary Webb.

I went back and read Corn's archive ( and his criticism is fair. Webb WAS unable to lock down details about the money trail and CIA links, just as Corn said in his review of the book, but he also wrote that Webb got the overall story right. Corn later criticized the House report for covering up info that would have filled in those gaps and likely vindicated Webb. Am I missing something, or did Corn cherry-pick columns from his archive?

O'Reilly (like Corn) used to be a serious researcher into the JFK assassination. But his "Killing Kennedy" book is despicable propaganda. And it contains a documented lie about Bill's sleuthing. He claims he persoanlly heard the gunshot that killed George DeMohrenschildt, Lee Oswald's closest confidante (and probable CIA handler). In truth, he heard about DeMorhrenschildt's presumed suicide in Florida through the grapevine and called Gaeton Fonzi from another state to get confirmation.
Probably the best record of Corn's questionable history is here:
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Friday, February 20, 2015

Rudy sees red

I had not wanted to comment on Rudy Giuliani's recent exercise in Total Batshit Bug-nutsiness, but the latest is astonishing. Why on earth is Rudy doing this? Obama isn't going to run for anything ever again. So what compels Rudy to serve up slop like this?
“Look, this man was brought up basically in a white family, so whatever he learned or didn’t learn, I attribute this more to the influence of communism and socialism” than to his race, Giuliani told the Daily News.
Is this statement racist? I suspect so, and I'm not known for being Mr. Hypersensitive on such matters. Giuliani seems to be saying that one would expect a black family to teach kids to be Marxist. I don't know about you, but when I visit the "mostly black" areas of town, I don't run into a lot of people who like to quote Das Kapital.
"...The ideas that are troubling me and are leading to this come from communists with whom he associated when he was 9 years old” through family connections.

When Obama was 9, he was living in Indonesia with his mother and his stepfather. Giuliani said he was referencing Obama’s grandfather having introduced him to Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the Communist Party.

The former mayor also brought up Obama’s relationship with “quasi-communist” community organizer Saul Alinksy and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Obama knew communists when he was nine? Why isn't this fact mentioned in any of the Obama bios in my possession?

Obama's stepfather was an important aide to the CIA-installed dictator General Suharto. That's Rudy's idea of a communist?

Frank Marshall Davis does seem to have known Obama's maternal grandfather. This association did not transform the grandfather (a Kansas furniture salesman) into a Maxist, and I doubt that it had any impact on Obama.

Does Rudy really think that this acquaintance means that young Obama somehow contracted communist "cooties," and that the disease has stayed with him throughout his life? Ridiculous. That simply isn't how the world works. Even the John Birchers would laugh at that kind of inanity.

I met all kinds of people when I was nine. So what?

If it is fair to talk about someone that Barack Obama may or may not have met briefly at the age of nine, then it is certainly fair to talk about someone with whom Giuliani had an extremely close relationship over the course of many years.

Rudy Giuliani's father was seriously mobbed-up; he even did a spell in Sing-Sing. If we accept the contention that Obama must be a commie simply because his grandfather once knew a noted American lefty, then shouldn't we also presume that Rudy is a gangster?   

Obama never met Saul Alinksi -- in fact, Alinski died when Obama was ten years old. Moreover, Alinski was not a communist or even a socialist. He was an anti-racist and a labor organizer. I've seen no evidence that Obama's thinking has been influenced by any Alinski writings. (For more on the rumored Obama-Alinski connection, see Snopes.)

By the way, Rudy: Jeremiah Wright is not a communist -- he's an asshole. Do your research.

Not an asshole. If you look at the full context, he said things that were no more radical than anything you have written on this blog.

He was an inconvenience to Obama in 2008 and had to be thrown under the bus.
If Obama were a socialist, I'd have voted for him.

Holy shit you're right. Jeremiah Wright got smeared. I had thought i understood what Wright had said, but obviously hadn't. I hadn't taken the time to look at the source material. I hadn't seen his words presented like that.

How sad that so many of us have been running around believing such a gifted black preacher was an asshole.

Everyone should read that Wikipedia article.
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