Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Thoughts Exactly

2011: A Brave New Dystopia
The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” The debate, between those who watched our descent towards corporate totalitarianism, was who was right. Would we be, as Orwell wrote, dominated by a repressive surveillance and security state that used crude and violent forms of control? Or would we be, as Huxley envisioned, entranced by entertainment and spectacle, captivated by technology and seduced by profligate consumption to embrace our own oppression? It turns out Orwell and Huxley were both right. Huxley saw the first stage of our enslavement. Orwell saw the second.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sense, Security and Soft Power

Last week I was reading a story about US President Barak Obama when suddenly it hit me bang smack in the face - the craziness!

Obama was praising the increased security of US airports this year, no doubt prompted by the public outcry over intrusive TSA pat-downs and pornographic body-scanners. Well of course US airports are safer, sir - security has increased a thousandfold since 9/11. The security industry has become a burgeoning monster, with an endless spawn of bloated companies funded by the US government. The official US military and *cough!* defence budget this year is over a trillion dollars! And meanwhile, of course, the government in Washington is giving itself ever-increasing powers to wiretap US citizens, lock them up without trial, and even kill them.

But you probably know all that.

What hit me was this: I suddenly asked myself where the USA might be today if the Bush administration had reacted quite differently to 9/11? In the days after the attack, if you remember, people across the USA were loudly asking "Why do they hate us?" I suspect few of those people really wanted to know the answer. And of course, the government was in no hurry to explain.

"They hate our freedoms!" Bush cried. That was good enough for the mob: it was time to go and kill some foreigners!

But what if the US government had acknowledged the truth? What if there had been a bit more serious public discussion of Bin Laden's list of grievances? What if average citizens had earnestly tried to understand how "God's own" USA might appear to citizens living under US-backed repressive regimes in Africa or the Middle East? What if the US government and media had agreed that violent terrorist attacks like 9/11, inexcusable though they may be, are a near-inevitable form of payback for the worst aspects of US foreign policy around the globe?

And then what if they had decided to combat further terrorist attacks, not by waging war and cranking up national security to ever more absurd levels, but by implementing a kinder, gentler foreign policy, where all that talk about "freem and moxy" actually meant something?

Remember, there was huge global sympathy for the USA after 9/11, and it was a perfect opportunity for Washington to focus on what they call "Soft Power". Instead we got "Shock and Awe", two un-winnable wars, millions dead, mutilated, and displaced, and a crazy new "Long War" on terrorism (which is basically just a recipe for throwing endless money at the US military-industrial-security complex).

And then I thought about the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of Communist Russia, and another historic lost opportunity for US "Soft Power". At that time, rather than offering a hand to confused citizens stepping out from behind the Iron Curtain, Washington seemed more intent on rubbing their noses in their government's ideological defeat. Self-interest and financial imperatives ruled, when compassion and generosity might have produced better long-term outcomes. Perhaps it's no coincidence that the US president's name back then was also Bush.

Now I know what you are thinking. Who really believes all that hokum about "Truth, justice and the American Way!"? This ain't no comic book, right? And who says the US government didn't pull off 9/11 themselves anyway? Hunh?

Sure, we can all be cynical (and probably should). But sometimes it's worth taking a peek through our jaded world-weariness and thinking: "There must be a better way!" It's sometimes worth looking back at critical historic junctures and asking if we took the right path or the wrong one. Like John Lennon said, "Imagine..."

Of course, if the USA had taken the "Soft Power" approach and modified its foreign policies after 9/11, there would still be the potential for terrorist attacks. "Haters gonna hate," as the kids say these days. But there would be much less reason to hate the USA. There would be much less reason for this crazy overdose of "security" at airports and everywhere else. The world would be a better place, and the US economy might not be a slow-motion train-wreck right now.

Why didn't it happen, then? Well, because the people making the decisions in Washington are not interested in peace. The show is being run by Big Business, and Big Business is in the business of war big time. So there was really never any question that the "soft power" approach would even be considered. But it's nice sometimes to just imagine that things really could be a bit different if the world was not so crazy.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ikea Wood

I once had a girl
Or should I say
She once had me?
She showed me her room:
"Isn't it good
Ikea wood?"

She asked me to stay
And words of affection were spoken.
But I looked around
And I noticed my condom was broken.

Cops sat on her rug
Wasting their time
Hearing her whine.
They talked until two
Then the cops said,
"Let's put this to bed."

She told me she'd worked in the US
And wanted an Aids test.
I said I was busy and flew off to face
A big talk-fest.

And when I awoke
I couldn't get a loan
My credit was blown.
So I got a lawyer.
It's no bloody good,
Ikea wood.

(Apologies to John Lennon, but I'm sure he would understand).

Who Cares If They Call It "Socialism"? It's TRUE!

Via John Quiggin:
The nation and the bulk of the people are better off when strategic natural monopoly assets are government owned. That means;

- Water
- Grid Power
- Communications infrastructure
- Education
- The power to issue both fiat money and debt money (taking the latter power off private banks)
- All mineable natural resources (leased to companies with high royalties to govt.)

People who argue against these propositions are either corporate capitalists and the rich out for self interest or people who are sadly fooled by corporate capitalist propaganda.

It’s really that basic.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

This is what a top US progressive blog looks like?

Wakey, Wakey

-ql 05:10


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday Night


-Atrios 21:02


I'm No Bob Shrum Or Mark Penn

But, uh, jobs?

-Atrios 19:03


Extra Xmas Over

Did I miss anything today?

-Atrios 17:38


Cocktail Thread?

A first for me.

-ql 17:26


Afternoon Thread II

Forget that other thread.

-ql 15:17


Lunch Thread

Since some people actually have to work on Christmas Day, extra Xmas today for me.

-Atrios 12:20


Afternoon Thread

Damn, it's cold out there.

-ql 12:19


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Read The Comments, Mr Ambassador

Response to US Ambassador's attack on WikiLeaks:
US hypocrisy is nauseating. How much "freedom of expression" did the US tolerate when it was backing murderous rightwing dictators like Pinochet throughout South America? Where is the freedom for Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghans today? How much freedom do all those people on your "No Fly" lists enjoy? We can all see your commitment to freedom in Guantanamo Bay.

Lies, lies, lies and hypocricy. "Freedom"? Bah! You even torture the English language.

Gary Lord

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Real Terror

2010's world gone wild: Quakes, floods, blizzards
Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed at least a quarter million people in 2010 - the deadliest year in more than a generation. More people were killed worldwide by natural disasters this year than have been killed in terrorism attacks in the past 40 years combined.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Could Happen?

Government Secrecy Helped WikiLeaks
If governments are serious about doing something about WikiLeaks, they could:

■ Implement far-reaching FOI laws that encourage public access to information that has not been sanitised by media advisers or other PR workers.

■ Create a culture where public servants and politicians facilitate access of the information they hold on behalf of the public.

■ Pass proper whistleblower protection that guarantees anonymity (as has been in force in countries such as Sweden for the past 60 years and has not created chaos or the continuous fall of governments).

■ Implement potent shield laws for journalists, which would give reporters confidence in granting anonymity to sources when needed.

Such reforms would in part deplete the soils in which WikiLeaks is growing. The current responses - describing WikiLeaks as terrorism, calling for the execution of Julian Assange and trying to shut it down behind the scenes is not worthy of mature liberal democracies. In fact, such tactics will probably make WikiLeaks stronger.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Krugman's Lament

Wall Street Whitewash:
In the end, those of us who expected the [GFC] crisis to provide a teachable moment were right, but not in the way we expected. Never mind relearning the case for bank regulation; what we learned, instead, is what happens when an ideology backed by vast wealth and immense power confronts inconvenient facts. And the answer is, the facts lose.

"May?" "Internal"?

Bank of America Suspends Payments From WikiLeaks:
“This decision is based upon our reasonable belief that WikiLeaks MAY be engaged in activities that are, among other things, inconsistent with our INTERNAL policies for processing payments.”

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wikileaks: What Now?

"This is merely the end of the beginning," Julian Assange triumphantly declared on his release from Wandsworth Prison last week. So what's the next chapter of the Wikileaks saga, and where is all this heading anyway?

Money problems are likely to be the enigmatic Aussie's most immediate concern. A host of US financial institutions - including Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and Bank of America - have already blocked Wikileaks transactions, leaving the organisation struggling to deal effectively with the massive wave of global public attention. Wikileaks have already set up a defense fund for Assange, and changed their bank details so that supporters can still send money. And with a crowd of wealthy supporters assembled, cash flow should be only a short-term problem.

Wikileaks are now preparing to hit back against the banksters. For starters, they have promised to reveal embarrassing details about Bank of America, which they warn could "bring down the bank". They have kindly advised customers to take their money elsewhere before details emerge.

Given US public anger at Wall Street, plus Obama's extension of Bush tax cuts for the rich, it's just possible that such new revelations of banking corruption could spark a change in US public support for Wikileaks. The smear campaign against Assange has been mostly counter-productive around the globe, with ordinary people flocking to support the besieged organisation. But in the USA, where sensationalized television headlines from FOX and CNN dictate the mood, people are more easily swayed.

Wikileaks' negative US public perception could also be improved if Swedish authorities decide to drop the rape charges against Assange. Given the substance of allegations now made public, it's hard to see enough evidence for a UK judge to ever support extradition. So unless the Swedes have some new facts to offer, the case is likely to go no further. At worst, it could further hamper Assange's ability to move freely around the world, but he's hardly likely to travel much now in any case.

More important is the issue of US extradition. It appears the US government is now pressuring Private Bradley Manning to provide incriminating evidence against Julian Assange. If they can do that, or find some other rap to pin on him, then they will be relentless in pressuring their international partners to hand him over into US custody. If that happens, Assange will assuredly be locked away indefinitely. Guantanamo Bay, anyone?

But meanwhile, and whatever happens to Assange, it is clear that the Wikileaks team will continue working. The US Embassy Cables will continue eroding Washington's credibility on the world stage, which has already suffered greatly from the lies surrounding Iraq WMDs. US "soft power" will continue to plummet along with its economic power. And Wikileaks will continue looking to publish more leaks from other sources.

That is a critical issue. Will more leakers come forward, gradually transforming the way information moves through government and the media? Or will prospective leakers be warned off by the treatment the US government is currently dishing out to Assange and Manning? Well, I think the answer is already evident: the harder the US government and its political allies have tried to shut down Wikileaks, the stronger the organisation has become.

Since the US first shut down the original Wikileaks website, more than 2,000 "mirrored" sites have sprung up. There are now a host of copycat "leaks" sites springing up around the globe, employing the same business model and technology as Wikileaks. A new social movement has already been born.

Holed up in a snowy English mansion while his legal battles continue, I can't help wondering if Julian Assange is not just a little surprised to see how quickly all this has evolved, and how effectively his plans to challenge great power have proved true. What next? Stay tuned.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Who Cares What Moodys Says?

Moodys just downgraded Ireland's credit rating by 5 stars (now Baa1 - is that funny to anyone else?). So why should anyone care what Moodys says?
As the housing market collapsed in late 2007, Moody's Investors Service, whose investment ratings were widely trusted, responded by purging analysts and executives who warned of trouble and promoting those who helped Wall Street plunge the country into its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

A McClatchy investigation has found that Moody's punished executives who questioned why the company was risking its reputation by putting its profits ahead of providing trustworthy ratings for investment offerings.

Instead, Moody's promoted executives who headed its "structured finance" division, which assisted Wall Street in packaging loans into securities for sale to investors. It also stacked its compliance department with the people who awarded the highest ratings to pools of mortgages that soon were downgraded to junk. Such products have another name now: "toxic assets."

... "How on earth could a bond issue be AAA one day and junk the next unless something spectacularly stupid has taken place? But maybe it was something spectacularly dishonest, like taking that colossal amount of fees in return for doing what Lehman and the rest wanted," McDonald wrote.

Isn't it interesting that Ireland just took up a big IMF loan and THEN got downgraded? Parliament approved an 85 billion euro EU/IMF bailout package just two days ago.

Now this Moodys downgrade is gonna make paying back that IMF loan harder, obviously. The Irish government might even have to make some deals with Uncle Sam... Psst! You wanna buy some arms, Paddy?

The economic hitmen strike again. Ireland has been pwned. No wonder people on the Emerald Isle think they have a puppet government. But who is pulling the strings?

h/t @Marketmentat who was onto Moodys years ago.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

From The Diaries Of Jualian Assange

Sat 16 Jun 2007 : Everyone and no one wants to save the world
When the world extended to one's surrounding hills and mountains and over them was only legend, saving the world was approchable and a natural activity to all of independent character.

You do not need to justify the possession of these noble instincts. Such attributes are normally distributed. You have a constellation of these attributes and that makes you who you are. Recognise that the substantial ones are invariant.

You must satisfy your invariant instincts or you will be at odds with your own character. It is only when we are not at odds with our basic makeup that we can find life meaningful.

To exercise your instinct for saving the world, requires saving what you perceive to be the world.

Being modern, educated and wordly, the world you perceive is immense and this is disempowering compared to the valley world of your ancestors where your feelings were forged and where saving 10 people saved 10% of the "world"'s population.

Here lays the difficulty in actualising your character. Your perception is of a world so vast that that you can not envisage your actions making a meaningful difference.

People try to fool themselves and others into believing that one can ``think globally and act locally', however to anyone with a sense of proportion (not most people, btw) thinking globaly makes acting locally seem to be a marginal activity. It's not setting the world to rights.

To meaningfully interact with the world, you have to either constrain your perception of what it is back to valley proportions by eschewing all global information (most of us here have engaged on just the opposite course which is what has provoked this discussion), losing your sense of perspective, or start seriously engaging with the modern perception of the world.

That latter path can be hard to find, because it is only satisfied by creating ideas or inventions that have a global impact. Perhaps I have found one, and there's others out there, but for most people of your character a combination of eschewing knowledge of those parts of the world they can't change, and robust engagement with the parts they can is probably optimal.

Do not be concerned about when one is to do good, who defines good, etc. Act in the way you do because to do otherwise would to be at odds would to be at odds with yourself. Being on a path true to your character carries with it a state of flow, where the thoughts about your next step come upon waking, unbidden, but welcome.

I support similarly minded people, not because they are moral agents, but because they have common cause with my own feelings and dreams.

Dr. GAZ: Inside The Mind Of Rupert Murdoch

This is an irate response to FOX News' shamefully ridiculous character assassination of Julian Assange:
News Ltd founder and editor-in-chief Rupert Murdoch is a zealot and a purist who sees the world in simple terms: Great injuries are done to the powerful when innocent people or concerns can operate freely. The highest good comes from spreading lies and innuendo about such entities or individuals, using any means necessary and despite any negative consequences or loss of life, because a greater good — namely, wealth — is served.

Rupert Murdoch wants to force his brand of info-therapy on all of us. He wants to enter the psyches of governments and corporations (and maybe me, if I displease him) as a kind of omnipresent superego—making us “choose” complete opacity, vague truthiness and (to his eye) loyalty, lest he be exposed as a fraud before the entire world, with the blood of his posturing or lies or half-truths spilling wherever it might.

The roots of Mr. Murdoch’s quest to wrest wealth from corners of the world where misinformation reigns — for better or for worse — may well come from his own life story.

According to available sources, Murdoch was born to a media mogul father who had little time for his children. The fact that Murdoch Snr was a member of the wealthy elite may or may not mean that young Rupert was subjected to mental and/or physical abuse, but it could certainly mean that he sees any powerful individuals as worthy of being opposed and, if necessary, destroyed.

Lots of secrets may have marred Rupert Murdoch’s development. It isn’t clear whether he embraces the Jewish faith of his natural mother, or just the political zeal of his fellow Zionist expansionists.

It isn’t clear whether such anti-Moslem inclination motivated his part in promoting the Iraq War.

It isn’t clear why he feels the need to keep accumulating ever more wealth and power.

It isn’t clear what abuse was perpetrated upon him at boarding schools.

It isn’t clear what he knows about The Bildeberg Group and why he always attends summits at Davos.

It isn’t clear what happened to Rupert Murdoch when he was supposed to be having a childhood. Was he allowed to play outside? Was he forced to wear blazers and bow ties? Did he read Machiavelli and learn to lie again and again and again, until he could barely discern reality from fiction, anymore?

What is clear is that the foundation of Rupert Murdoch’s psyche includes little respect, much disengagement, little opportunity to bond with normal people (and, therefore, little opportunity to develop friendships), and significant suffering because of deep and dark secrets that he is terrified might be exposed.

That may just be enough to explain (but not excuse) a man on a quest to destroy any bright light or truth in the world, almost as if doing so could undo whatever injuries were done to him.

Dr. Gaz is an armchair psychiatrist and author of of the Wendi Deng Watchers Club. He is a long-time blogger and can be seduced by the taste of a nice creme caramel.


WikiLeaks founder's eclectic influences from anarchist to Aeschylus -

"If there is a book whose feeling captures me it is First Circle by Solzhenitsyn," Assange wrote in 2006. "How close the parallels to my own adventures! ... Such prosecution in youth is a defining peak experience. To know the state for what it really is! To see through that veneer the educated swear to disbelieve in but still slavishly follow with their hearts!"

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Helen Thomas Knows It

"We are owned by propagandists against the Arabs. There's no question about that. Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists. No question in my opinion."
former White House correspondent Helen Thomas

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Message To The World

A Message from Israeli Military Prison on International Human Rights Day:
My imprisoned husband Abdullah Abu Rahmah passed the fallowing message through his lawyer:

A year ago tonight, on International Human Rights Day, our apartment in Ramallah was broken into by the Israeli military in the middle of the night and I was torn away from my wife Majida, my daughters Luma and Layan, and my son Laith, who at the time was only nine months old.

As the coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements I was convicted of "organizing illegal demonstrations" and "incitement." The "illegal demonstrations" refer to the nonviolent resistance campaign that my village has been waging for the last six years against Israel's Apartheid Wall that is being built on our land.

I find it strange that the military judges could call our demonstrations illegal and charge me for participating in and organizing them after the world's highest legal body, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, has ruled that Israel's wall within the occupied territories is illegal and must be dismantled. Even the Israeli supreme court ruled that the Wall's route in Bil'in is illegal.

I have been accused of inciting violence: this charge is also puzzling. If the check points, closures, ongoing land theft, wall and settlements, night raids into our homes and violent oppression of our protests does not incite violence, what does?

Despite the occupations constant and intense incitement to violence in Bil'in, we have chosen another way. We have chosen to protest nonviolently together with Israeli and International supporters. We have chosen to carry a message of hope and real partnership between Palestinians and Israelis in the face of oppression and injustice. It is this message that the Occupation is attempting to crush through its various institutions including the military courts. An official from the Israeli Military Prosecution shamelessly told my Attorney, Gaby Lasky, that the objective of the military in my prosecution is to "put an end" to these demonstrations.

The crime of incitement that I have been convicted of is defined under Israeli military decree 101 regarding the prohibition of hostile action of propaganda and incitement as "The attempt, verbally or otherwise, to influence public opinion in the Area in a way that may disturb the public peace or public order" and carries a 10 year maximal sentence. This definition is so broad and vague that it can be applied to almost any action or statement. Actually, these words could be considered incitement if they were spoken in the occupied territories.

On the 11th of October of this year I was sentenced to 12 months in prison, plus 6 months suspended sentence for 3 years, and a fine. My family and I, especially my daughters, were counting the days to my release. The military prosecution waited until just a few days before the end of my sentence before appealing against my release, arguing that I should be imprisoned longer. I have completed my sentence but remain in prison. Though international law considers myself and other activists as human rights defenders, the occupation authorities consider us criminals whose freedom and other rights must be denied.
In the year that I have spent in prison, the demonstrations in Bil'in, Naalin, Al Maasara, and Beit Omar have continued. Nabi Saleh and other villages have taken up the popular struggle. Within this year, the International campaign calling for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions of Israel until it complies with International law has grown considerably, as have legal actions against Israeli war crimes. I hope that soon Israel will no longer be able to ignore the clear condemnation of its policies coming from around the world.

In the year that I have spent in prison, my son Laith has taken his first steps and said his first words, and Luma and Layan have been growing from children to beautiful young girls. I have not been able to be with them, to walk holding their hands, to take them to school as they and I are used to. Laith does not know me now. And my wife Majida has had to care for our family alone.

In 2010 children in Bil'in and throughout the West bank are still being awakened in the middle of the night to find guns pointed at their heads. In the year that I have spent in prison, the military has carried out dozens of night raids in Bil'in with the purpose of removing those involved in the popular struggle against the occupation.

Imagine if heavily armed men forced their way into your home in the middle of the night. If your children were forced to watch as their father or brother was blindfolded, handcuffed, and taken away. Or if you as a parent were forced to watch this being done to your child.

This week the door of our cell was opened and a sixteen year boy was pushed inside. My friend Adeeb Abu Rahmeh was shocked to recognize his son, Mohammed, whom Adeeb had not seen since he himself was arrested during a nonviolent demonstration 16 months ago.

Mohammad smiled when he saw his Father, but his face was red and swollen and it was clear that he was in pain. He told us that he had been taken from his home two nights previously. He spent the first night blindfolded and shackled, being moved from one place to another. The next day after a terrifying, disoriented, and sleepless night he was taken to an interrogation room, his blindfold was removed and an interrogator showed him pictures of people from the village. When questioned about the first picture he told the interrogator that he did not recognize the person. The interrogator slapped him hard across the face. This continued with every question that Mohammad was asked: when he did not give the answer that the interrogator wanted, he was slapped, punched and threatened. Mohammad's treatment is not unusual.

Young boys from our village have been taken from their homes violently and report being denied sleep, food, and water and being kept in Isolation and threatened and often beaten during interrogation.

What was unusual about Mohammad is that he did not satisfy his interrogator and with competent representation was released within a few days. Usually children, just because they are children, will say whatever the interrogator wants them to say to make such treatment stop. Adeeb, myself, and thousands of other prisoners are being held in prison based on testimonies forced or coerced out of these children. No child should ever receive such treatment.

When the children who had testified against me retracted what they said in interrogation and told the military judge that their testimonies where given under duress, the judge declared them hostile witnesses.

Adeeb Abu Rahmah and I are the first to be convicted with incitement and participation in illegal demonstrations since the first Intifada but, unfortunately, it does not seem that we will be the last.

I often wonder what Israeli leaders think they will achieve if they succeed in their goal of suppressing the Palestinian popular struggle? Is it possible that they believe that our people can sit quietly and watch as our land is taken from us? Do they think that we can face our children and tell them that, like us, they will never experience freedom? Or do they actually prefer violence and killing to our form of nonviolent struggle because it camouflages their ongoing theft and gives them an excuse to continue using us as guinea pigs for their weapons?

My eldest daughter Luma was nine years old when I was arrested. She is now ten. After my arrest she began going to the Friday demonstrations in our village. She always carries a picture of me in her arms. The adults try to look after her but I still worry for my little girl. I wish that she could enjoy her childhood like other children, that she could be studying and playing with her friends. But through the walls and barbed wire that separates us I hear my daughter's message to me, saying: "Baba, they cannot stop us. If they take you away, we will take your place and continue to struggle for justice." This is the message that I want to bring you today. From beyond the walls, the barbed wire, and the prison bars that separate Palestinians and Israelis.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Never Fear, Wikileaks Is Here

Critics of Wikileaks claim that some things must be kept secret, that governments need to be able to act confidentially, and that ordinary citizens cannot have a significant say in affairs of state because there are some things they should never know. That may be true, assuming your system of government is functioning properly. But as top-level inertia on major global crises indicates, our supposedly democratic Western systems of government are not working properly.

Global warming is surely the most pressing example. Despite decades of scientific evidence and ever-increasing public support for action, our governments (led by Washington) have proven themselves capable of little more than earnest platitudes. Big Business leaders have done everything possible to undermine the science, confuse the public, and successfully lobby against change in the corridors of power. Their efforts have been fully supported by a compliant corporate media.

The Middle East is another intractable problem. The central conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is so heavily politicised that professional Western commentators are reluctant to even discuss today's inhumane apartheid reality in the Occupied Territories. The Israeli lobby controls US government decision-making, while US client states support Washington's auto-reflexive veto of any UN condemnation of Israeli atrocities. Again, the media supports the charade. Well-meaning citizens are somehow brain-washed into thinking that Zionist interests equate to their own, never mind the terrorists being created as a result.

Then there's the financial turbulence afflicting economies around the world, with Ireland, Greece and Iceland only the latest major victims. If banks like Goldman Sachs are a "great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity" then the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are major tentacles, reaching deep down into the bowels of national wealth. Elite "economic hit-men" do their jobs, the world's mega-billionaires grow ever more obscenely rich, profit-gorging on taxpayer-funded bailouts, and our governments pretend there's nothing they can do about it.

And let's not forget the bloody Energy Wars raging in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, where millions of innocent citizens are being murdered, maimed and displaced as a result of Western lies, greed and criminal incompetence.

Enough! Evidently, something has to change. But what can be done? The normal democratic avenues for regulation, accountability and change are simply not functioning as they supposedly should.

Public enquiries have become long-winded wastes of public money. Elaborate cover-ups are orchestrated with the help of willing stooges in the media, parliament and judiciary. Military enquiries are even more farcical. Whistle-blowers are hunted down and exposed, facing legal action and character assassination from the highest levels, while the crimes they reveal are brushed aside.

And don't even think that the Fourth Estate might come riding to the rescue. Independent media outlets face funding dilemmas, smear attacks, and lack of access, while the corporate media is hopelessly compromised by political and business agendas.

In such a deeply corrupted environment, the only remaining solution is for ordinary citizens to pry open the machinations of government and expose the truth to all who care to look. Of course our leaders like to talk about "Open Government", but only during election campaigns (particularly when minor parties threaten their cosy hold on power). The reality terrifies them. But now Open Government has arrived, whether they like it or not, and there is no turning back. The technology utilised by Wikileaks and similar groups is available to anyone.

It is no coincidence that those most loudly condemning Wikileaks have the most clearly vested interests in protecting their own dark secrets. It's also no coincidence that Wikileaks is enjoying huge outpourings of support from the general public. Wikileaks currently has over 473,000 followers on Twitter (up 20,000 in a day), plus over a million followers on Facebook. Attempts to shut down the website have led to the creation of over 1300 "mirror sites" in just a few days. Online discussions around the globe are almost invariably dominated by supportive comments.

Wikileaks is the most recent, potent and visible manifestation of widespread global anger at the ever-increasing confluence of government policy and Big Business interests. We, the people, have been steadily abandoned by our leaders. We want our democracies back, and Wikileaks offers us the hope of real change.

Ordinary citizens have nothing to fear, and much to celebrate, from this new cyber-space revolution.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wikileaks v. Wild West

Glenn Greenwald -
Just look at what the U.S. Government and its friends are willing to do and capable of doing to someone who challenges or defies them -- all without any charges being filed or a shred of legal authority. They've blocked access to their assets, tried to remove them from the Internet, bullied most everyone out of doing any business with them, froze the funds marked for Assange's legal defense at exactly the time that they prepare a strange international arrest warrant to be executed, repeatedly threatened him with murder, had their Australian vassals openly threaten to revoke his passport, and declared them "Terrorists" even though -- unlike the authorities who are doing all of these things -- neither Assange nor WikiLeaks ever engaged in violence, advocated violence, or caused the slaughter of civilians.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

#IMWIKILEAKS - How To Mirror

Click this WikiLeaks link for more help - Mass Mirroring our website
Mass-mirroring Wikileaks

Wikileaks is currently under heavy attack.

In order to make it impossible to ever fully remove Wikileaks from the Internet, we need your help.

if you have a unix-based server which is hosting a website on the Internet and you want to give wikileaks some of your hosting resources, you can help!

Please follow the following instructions:

* Setup an account where we can upload files using RSYNC+SSH (preferred) or FTP
* Put our SSH key in this server or create an FTP account
* Create a virtual host in your web server, which, for example, can be
* send the IP address of your server to us, and the path where we should upload the content. (just fill the form below)

We will take care of all the rest: Sending pages to your server, updating them each time data is released, maintaining a list of such mirrors. If your server is down or if the account don't work anymore, we will automatically remove your server from the list.

Our content is only html/css/javascript/png static files, so we don't require much resource to host it.

The complete website should not take more than a couple of GB at the moment (with base website and cablegate data)

To add your mirror to the list, please download the SSH key you will find below, then fill the following form to add your website to our mirror list :
IP Address of your server *
add ":port" if you are using a port other than 22 for SSH or 21 for FTP, IPv6 should be written with brackets [ ] like [2001:67e::44]:22
Login we should use to access this server *
Password we should use, ONLY if we should use FTP
absolute path where we should upload the html data. *
Hostname you configured on your http server to serve the pages (if not *
I know that this may be dangerous if I host a virtual host, and I'm ok with this risk. *
and also (not required)
an email address where we can contact you if we saw your server offline or have any other problem (we will keep it confidential)
Any comment about this mass-mirroring project ?

The KEY you should allow is :
ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAABIwAAAQEAtmX4Jx8NGcCEiwEIQAcHKS1s+N9GLzca9Ffu4ItBEB/6jVTEoamnxnYt0WHQ0I+jpN3g/k2lF3MTncUjwrLorWSxPLI6giGTheT4vhLZQOVZV4O+GS0CETMKVsrclPLhHouW891QU84eHACuTh+KUvuhs3pV0EHYHnAVCIs8JuU03ZTNIIuuYFVf7P3BCIa8pnncUcy722ZB7qlWCjjjpBxLGr1/EyOTsZD76Kl8BBoiZDwXCgFzvKYe2NqhqRBb8bo0CP6QyyROxcgBLYtvBJurhMNQ7qTZJBF5DjeDQrCvCZsEwlffV5BFoQY5ISnZgkKC00Ww65y6+EwCZ9WvSw==
you can also download this key here

this keyfile signatures are:

* ssh fingerprint : 2048 72:16:b8:6a:e4:02:6f:69:ac:b4:7a:6a:9e:00:f1:b0
* sha1sum : f1dde3ec690466fc76f94bcf557ae94ce6e92c56
* md5sum : 95ce4351299d723907e048c81877d3e5
* sha256sum : c1737e11e3e0a5f4e782f75bb99b63fe4523fb29e3b2b8845ee9e53b7f21c3d1
* bubblebabble digest :

+--[ RSA 2048]----+
| |
| . |
|o . . |
| = . . |
|E . . o S |
|.+ + . + |
|..B + |
|o=+o |
|B* |

Friday, December 3, 2010

At What Point Does A Guy Like Duncan Black Wake Up To What Is Really Happening in the USA?


Let's Fret About Deficit Then Trade Your Tax Cuts For My Tax Cuts

Getting from Tapper and Ambinder through the twitter machine that the scoop is the White House is going to trade extending Bush tax cuts for extending some of the tax cuts that were in the stimulus bill and unemployment insurance fund extension. Now obviously I think most of those tax cuts were reasonable and don't mind extending them, but I'm sick of this insane ritual of talking about the deficit as if it's the greatest problem we face for the past 10 months and then... cutting taxes. No wonder voters are confused.

-Atrios 17:16


WL Central | An unofficial WikiLeaks information resource
2010-12-03: WikiLeaks domain dropped by EveryDNS [Update 2: New domain up]
Submitted by admin on Fri, 12/03/2010 - 06:36

DNS provider has dropped the domain, apparently after DDoS attacks, WikiLeaks has said on Twitter.

EveryDNS explained its decision: "The interference at issue arises from the fact that has become the target of multiple distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks. These attacks have, and future attacks would, threaten the stability of the infrastructure, which enables access to almost 500,000 other websites."

You can still reach WikiLeaks via, or at as of the time of this update.

You can support WikiLeaks via , , or

Cablegate releases are reachable at or via torrent search.

Update: WikiLeaks is now accessible at

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wikileaks is your friend

If This Be Treason… by Thomas Knapp --
We’ve been here before, many times. Not many remember, but the most vehement western objections to Russia’s "October Revolution" were concerned not with nature of Bolshevism but with this language in Lenin’s Decree on Peace:

"We have to fight against the hypocrisy of the governments, which, while talking about peace and justice, actually carry on wars of conquest and plunder. Not one single government will tell you what it really means. But we are opposed to secret diplomacy and can afford to act openly before all people."

Beyond Wikileaks

After secrets: Missing the point of WikiLeaks | The Economist
The basic question is not whether we think Julian Assange is a terrorist or a hero. The basic question certainly is not whether we think exposing the chatter of the diplomatic corps helps or hinders their efforts, and whether this is a good or bad thing. To continue to focus on these questions is to miss the forest for the texture of the bark on a single elm. If we take the inevitability of future large leaks for granted, then I think the debate must eventually centre on the things that will determine the supply of leakers and leaks. Some of us wish to encourage in individuals the sense of justice which would embolden them to challenge the institutions that control our fate by bringing their secrets to light. Some of us wish to encourage in individuals ever greater fealty and submission to corporations and the state in order to protect the privileges and prerogatives of the powerful, lest their erosion threaten what David Brooks calls "the fragile community"—our current, comfortable dispensation.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Whaaat? We Just Divert Money Around The World For Fun!

Letter reveals extent of Frank Lowy battle with ATO:
The US Senate committee claimed the existence of the Luperla deposit and a sophisticated international trust structure indicated the Lowys were trying to hide assets from tax authorities.

But the Lowys denied any wrongdoing...