••can ye pass the acid test?••

ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

& defeat it ye must, for only then can we begin to realize liberty & justice for all.

time bomb tick tock? nervous tic talk? war on war?

or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

the presumed rationale is that police infiltrate dissident organizations to learn if they plan to break laws.

no one can dispute the validity of that, but amy goodman astutely pointed out the real danger: that infiltrators will act as provocateurs.

jim dwyer seemed unaware of the possibility, but i know of a case of an undercover cop who—apparently out of ideological motives—attempted to destroy a group that never broke local or state laws:

an anti-draft group called the resistance formed during the vietnam war. its logo was the greek letter omega, the international symbol for an ohm, the unit of electrical resistance.

the philadelphia branch had offices on the top two floors and operated a printing press in the basement of a beautiful old walnut street building used since 1946 as headquarters of the women's international league for peace and freedom (WILPF).

starting in the summer of 1968 the resistance shared some of its space with a direct action group called committee for nonviolent action (CNVA) that lacked funds for rent on the storefront they used till then, and several other peace groups also used the building.

the cop called himself bob thompson. he was 30ish, stocky, blond-haired, and had what might be called all-american good looks. saying he was an ex-marine who opposed the war and wanted to help, he began working in the office in '68. he said he had no income, so the group scraped together a small subsistence allowance. before long he struck up a relationship with one of the female volunteers and moved in with her.

when "law'n'order" (white supremacist) 3rd party presidential candidate george wallace held a rally in philly, thompson prominently wore his omega pin and made sure witnesses saw him put dirt in the gas tanks of some parked motorcycles belonging to members of an outlaw bike gang called the warlocks, who were attending the gathering. when the bikers learned what happened they blamed the resistance, which they considered a club like themselves, so it shouldn't give its pins to anyone but its members and was responsible for anything done by someone wearing its symbol, just as the warlocks would've been responsible for something done by anyone wearing their colors.

confrontations and assaults followed.

one of the quirkiest sequences of events of those strange days ensued. ira einhorn, a beer-bellied, longhaired humbug who for a few years successfully passed himself off as a hippie 'guru' and activist (and later became the 'unicorn killer' and fled to europe for 20 years thanks to the intervention of former DA and soon-to-be senator arlen specter), persuaded the jewish Y to let him use their building to stage a fundraiser to appease the violent racist gang—several of whom often wore german ww2 helmets—by buying them off with money to repair their bikes. the event produced a few thousand dollars. it's hard to say if the bikers were satisfied.

two acts of arson occurred, the first a small one in a filing cabinet in the resistance's 3rd floor office, the other on the first floor, where the WILPF had its front office. the second fire wasn't till march 1970. it gutted most of the building. the perpetrator(s) remain(s) unknown.

some time before the second fire the group planned a protest to take place during a political event at the luxurious bellevue-stratford hotel on broad street. at a planning session thompson suggested resisters enter the gathering wearing bloody garments. he told police his proposal would be followed. that brought about a massive cop presence on the street outside, including publicity hungry commissioner (and future mayor) frank rizzo, who told tv viewers what was planned, but the bloody clothes never materialized.

thompson's cover was blown when he got sick and checked into the old philadephia general hospital. his girlfriend went to visit him. it's not clear if he realized his bed was in the police ward.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

GOPs pay back NRA, crime wins

last week's headlines on the rising violent crime rate shouldn't get dismissed as a minor blip on the radar screen. gun crime [nonfatal, fatal] has gone up sharply for two straight years after declining for an unprecedented eleven straight.

the in-denial NRA leadership will try to explain away two facts: the long drop began immediately after passage of the brady gun-control bill in november 1993, while the new upswing started right after the gop congress reciprocated NRA support by letting the assault weapon ban expire in september 2004.

the spin will likely come at least partly thru the same fallacious arguments they've used in the past, like the car analogy, guns-prevent-crime claims, the guns-don't-kill-people/people-do slogan, the claim that people who want to kill and can't get a gun will use some other weapon, and state/federal comparisons, so let's look at them plus the gun-nuts' world-government phobia and fears they'll lose their precious firearms.

first, how can the higher number of deaths and injuries caused by cars show no need for gun control, since motor vehicles and their use are heavily regulated because they're so dangerous? before i can drive i must pass a physical exam, a vision test, a written test, and a driving test. then i get a license i must renew every few years. to own a vehicle i have to register it with the state, display a numbered plate on it, get it inspected annually, and buy liability insurance every year. when driving or even parking i must comply with a long list of laws and ordinances and must avoid use of various substances. if i fail to comply, i can get fined &/or jailed &/or lose my license to drive &/or have my car impounded temporarily or permanently, depending on the nature of the infraction and my past record. all that even if i never hurt anyone or try to. show me where gun regs are anywhere near as strict. furthermore, only a tiny percentage of injuries and deaths caused by motor vehicles are intentional. with guns the reverse is true: the number of accidents is very small compared to assaults and suicides. it's simply a false analogy. there is no valid comparison.

second, the gun lobby cites statistics derived from cases of gun owners who say they've prevented crimes by using or displaying their weapons. well, maybe they're right, but so what? gun control isn't for infringing arms rights of law-abiding citizens: it's to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and mental cases. why does the NRA say the opposite?

third, are guns or people the killers? seriously, they're just playing with words here. of course people kill. it's as irrelevant as the above argument on crime prevention. what matters is that guns make people far more effective killers than the weapons used in nearly all other homicides. those weapons more effective than guns are either highly regulated or totally illegal except in warfare.

fourth, along similar lines is the idea that killers will find other weapons if they can't get guns. yes, some will, but the crime rates show most won't kill at all. when homicide rates fell from 1994 thru 2004, nearly all the downturn was in gun homicides. the graph of killings with other weapons is nearly flat.

[to be continued]

holier, more moral, more competent than us, & have more ideas, but...

mistakes were made!
—AG gonzo

and here's a few of them (not necessarily in chronological order):

ghwb's wife barbara gets pregnant;

texas air national guard lets barb's issue gwb (no, not the bridge) get away with several kinds of crap;

• local authorities in maine let DCI ghwb pay small fine and get gwb out of DUI charge;

• gwb hooks up with rasputin rove;

investors join with gwb to buy baseball team;

• town gives new stadium deed to team for free;

• gwb hooks up with future-AG gonzo;

• texans elect gwb governor (twice!);

• puppy powell, miss muffet rice, poet-don't-know-it rummy, and others hook up with gwb;

• primary voters give gwb lead in 2k;

• gwb hooks up with svengali cheney;

• voters vote for gwb;

• 5 USSC justices halt FL recount...
i could go on, but you don't really want that, do you?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

choi oon-hyuk died for you

political elitists believe they and their group have superior ability—lacking in the vast majority of folk—to think deeply about complex ideas and make decisions on vital issues.

elitist leaders, therefore, use highly simplistic arguments, emotional appeals, and symbolism to persuade folk to support their aims.

that is no less true when the question is whether or not to go to war. but the reality is always far more complex.

to get a glimpse into how much more, if you ever get a chance to see the kbs series seoul 1945,

don't miss it!

here's some invaluable resources for keeping up to date on immigration issues:


US immigration and customs enforcement

bender's immigration bulletin, daily edition
from yahoo:

from c-span:

i sent him this eml:
dear mr meehan:

i applaud your efforts to repeal "don't-ask/don't-tell."

in addition to moral/ethical reasons, my objection to the policy is a strategic one, very different from those i commonly hear. i'm surprised no one mentions it, and i think it should be stressed:

any requirement that motivates people to keep personal secrets also makes them vulnerable to blackmail.

i'm sure i don't need to spell out the implicit national security threat for you.

congratulations on the new job.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

from c-span:

from yahoo:

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
—seventh item of king george iii's "history of repeated injuries and usurpations" enumerated in the declaration of independence, 1776

the founding fathers voted that passage into the declaration, so they must have agreed immigration is good for this country.

the ku klux klan does not.

so it's the founding fathers versus the KKK.

whose side are you on?

over 60% of american workers think they'd be better off in a union, but 98% of senate gops seem to believe otherwise. they voted to amend an antiterror bill to stop airport screeners from unionizing.

as usual their excuse is national security. in their minds workers' rights make the nation less safe.

the head of their party agrees. he's threatened to veto the act.

looks like he may get his chance.
o, so reagan won the cold war, did he? read or listen.
robert fisk's new book is the great war for civilisation: the conquest of the middle east.

you can watch or read his interview on yesterday's democracy now! &/or see him saturday afternoon on book tv.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

senate dems to the right of lieberman:

Lieberman 75%
Pryor 75%
Baucus 70%
Landrieu 65%
Rockefeller 60%
Nelson, Bill 60%
Nelson, Ben 35%

the most liberal gop senators:

Chafee 80%
Collins 45%
Snowe 45%

of course, the most liberal gop is no longer in the senate....

(2006 ADA voting records: 100%=completely liberal, 0%=completely conservative)
the white house should not have a faith-based office. it should have a reason-based office.
annie laurie gaylor, freedom from religion foundation, after supreme court hearing of lawsuit to abolish faith-based federal funding

yeah, but it would be empty. who would staff it? they'd have to go outside the bush administration and find somebody new. and how would they know who to hire? who do they have that's qualified to recognize a person capable of reason? tony snow?
media research:

surprisingly (to me, at least), ailes' blog is kind of interesting....

correxion: ailes the blogger says he's not fox666's ailes. sorry.

Friday, March 02, 2007

everything that exists or happens is a result of intent or accident or some combination of the two.

the vast majority of cervical cancer cases fit into the last category, since a sexually transmitted virus causes them.

the good news is last summer the FDA approved a vaccine to prevent that virus. the most effective time to use it is before girls become sexually active. you may have heard the governor of texas ordered giving it to girls whose parents don't object.

you'd think the opt-out would be enough to satisfy rightwingers, wouldn't you? guess again.

those repressed sex phobes are terrified that their daughters, once inoculated, won't be afraid to have premarital intercourse.

apparently they'd rather see them die.
so, one day, some archeologists find an ancient family tomb containing some bone boxes, one with a name on it that could be translated 'jesus son of joseph.'

years later a famous movie man 'discovers' some dna has been found in the box and other boxes have names implying jesus had children. the movie man decides it proves there was a historical jesus and gets a lot of publicity.

so a church official says if you're a good xian you can't believe it because you have to believe jesus was resurrected so his bones never got buried.

does that mean a good xian has to believe there was no historical jesus?

well, actually, there's nothing conclusive either way, so why all the fuss? are folk so addled by the complexities of life that they grasp at whatever simple straws they get offered that give them the least bit of hope that what they learned as children might rest on some firm footing?

ya know, i wonder why believing in some highly improbable event trumps following fundamental principles in defining someone as a follower of a religion.

like, say a soldier or a terrorist kills a bunch of innocent folk. if he believes in the resurrection, he's a xian. if he believes an angel spoke to the prophet, he's a muslim. the fact that he breaks a basic moral teaching of both faiths has nothing to do with it.

i guess the key words there are 'fact' and 'faith.' if you have faith you ignore fact. if you have facts you need no faith. never the twain shall meet.

faith boggles common sense.