Author Archive | 5by5

‘PSYWAR': Connecting The Dots In Iraq

Jessica Lynch is awarded the Bronze Star, Prisoner of War and Purple Heart medals.

Jessica Lynch is awarded the Bronze Star, Prisoner of War and Purple Heart medals.

This is just a sidenote, but it’s an interesting one about the propaganda used on Americans during the illegal invasion.

We all know about the Jessica Lynch story, and how the military waited to “rescue” her and her fellow Army mechanics from their Iraqi doctors (who were portrayed at the time as “terrorists” holding them hostage, instead of medical professionals giving them proper treatment under the Geneva Conventions) until they had a camera crew in place to record it all for propaganda purposes.

But what I hadn’t put together, was the TIMING of the revelation of that operation, and how it worked in conjunction with another event.

The same day that the Pentagon revealed this “heroic story” (which Jessica Lynch herself finds embarrassing, apparently not appreciating her role as a tool of propaganda), they had blasted the Palestine Hotel with a tank killing journalists there, and also killed another journalist in the process of blowing up the Al Jazeera studios.… Read the rest

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The Power To Control Information And Culture Itself

Wikileaks logoSeems Bank of America was so nervous about what Wikileaks would be revealing about them, that they went on the attack, and now we have some of the details about this, ironically thanks to both Wikileaks and a similar organization, Crowdleaks.

A very interesting anonymous post on this matter was made over at the Slashdot website:

Three information security consultancies with links to US spy agencies cooked up a dirty tricks campaign late last year to destroy Wikileaks by exploiting its perceived weaknesses, reads a presentation released by the whistleblowers’ (pdf) organization that it claimed to be from the conspirators. Consultants at US defense contractors Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies and HBGary proposed to lawyers for a desperate Bank of America an alliance that would work to discredit the whistleblowers’ website using a divide and conquer approach. Since the plan was hatched, disgruntled volunteers mentioned in the PDF broke away from Wikileaks, financial institutions withdrew services, Apelbaum was harassed by the US Government and Amazon denied service to Wikileaks’ website.

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Chamber of Commerce Betrays America Again: Opposes 9/11 Responders Healthcare Bill

USCoCIt seems that the Chamber of Commerce lobbied against the bill to give specialized healthcare to 9/11 rescuers which would have been fully paid for by closing a $7.4 billion dollar tax loophole that benefited FOREIGN corporations.

The very misnomered “U.S.” Chamber of Commerce is best known for throwing gobs of money into the last election at the idiotic Supreme Court’s urging, attempting to get a flood of corporate hacks masquerading as populists elected to Congress, and also for it’s fearless “leader”, Tom Donohue, who famously claimed he’d make any candidate who even dared MENTION helping the poor, bleed and cry.

Yeah. A real prince among men. And that is the real spirit of that organization. A giant eff you to anyone who isn’t a billionaire, that claims to work for small businesses, but doesn’t. Nathan Diebenow writes in RAW Story:

The US Chamber of Commerce lobbied to kill a bill that would have helped cover medical expenses and compensation for first responders and survivors of the Sept.

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Senator Bernie Sanders Defends Regular Americans

Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

The Estate Tax (which was given an Orwellian rename by the Republicans as the “Death Tax”) does and will not hurt you — unless it is abolished.

The Estate Tax affects only 3/10 of 1% of the richest Americans. We’re not even talking about the wealthy here, we’re talking about the OBSCENELY wealthy here.

To put this in context, if the Republicans get what they want, it would mean $30 BILLION in tax cuts for the Walton family (who own Walmart) alone.

So they barely pay their workers a living wage and abuse them in a hundred other ways, drive multiple small businesses out of the marketplace which are major drivers of economic growth in the country, and the Republicans in the Senate and an all-too compliant President Obama, want to rewards them for all that by giving them a tax cut that is more than the gross national product of some of the nations of the world.… Read the rest

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Truth Is Contagious: WikiLeaks Copycat in Russia

rospil

Rospil.info, the Russian whistleblowing site

It seems that the phenomenon of WikiLeaks is spreading to other countries, and inspiring digital denizons to take on corruption elsewhere. The newest example of this is a Russian political activitst named Alexei Navalny, who is crusading against the rampant corruption that has infected the center of the former Soviet Union. Tired of the Russian oligarchy, mobsters, and generally getting ripped off at every turn, this guy is quite popular with regular folks.

Personally, I’m hoping his actions spawn a counterpart in China next.

This recent development also speaks to the incorrect nature of a central assumption which has been made about this sort of thing by the mainstream old-school press, who still don’t understand “the interwebs”. Borders don’t matter anymore, and shutting down free speech isn’t as easy as eliminating one person anymore. The power of the web is it’s very distributed, decentralized nature. And some people still have to learn that you can either adapt to that reality, or be crushed by it.… Read the rest

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Democrats Actually SHRANK Spending & the Deficit

Despite a lot of intentional misinformation put out by the GOP and their propaganda ministry at Fox or partisan radio shows like Rush Limbaugh, it seems the actual numbers say something completely different about the nature of the economy. On the subject of both the deficit and government spending, they are similarly incorrect/deluded in part because they listen to a relentless droning of rightwing media nearly exclusively.

The actual RAW DATA from the non-partisan OMB communicates something completely different however.

Per AFP via Raw Story:

  • The U.S. deficit actually SHRANK 9% in the last fiscal year, down 122 billion dollars over the previous year.
  • Democrats also brought down the cost of the financial “rescue” of the banks by $240 billion.
  • 2010 marked the largest DECLINE in government spending since 1984.
  • And thanks to cutting corporate loopholes, revenue increased by 3%.

Of interest in the article as well, is this statement by Republican Judd Gregg, who said, “Just a few years ago, the deficit was under 500 billion dollars.”

That’s quite correct Judd.… Read the rest

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Loon Running for Office in Oregon

You just have to watch this thing to believe it: That's Republican candidate for Congress in Oregon's 4th District, Art Robinson, who believes that:
  • We should restart above-ground nuclear testing because "a little radiation is a good thing for the human body."
  • He wants to "dissolve radioactive waste in water", and "sprinkle radiation over our oceans and over America".
  • AIDS is fake, and just a collection of other diseases given the term "AIDS", and that "AIDS may be little more than a general classification of deaths resulting from exposure to homosexual behavior."
  • Global warming is fake and claims that the number of scientists who agree with him outnumber the amount of scientists who disagree with him (a notion so easily disproven it's not even worth bothering to shoot down).
Note if you will that he characterizes Ms. Maddow as "incapable of understanding his scientific theories," thereby...
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Senator Orrin Hatch (R) Says, If You’re Out Of Work, You’re A Drug Addict

Orrin Hatch

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

What is it with morons from Utah getting all up in other people’s business? Here’s the latest stupidity to emanate from that part of the country, from Raw Story:

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) offered an amendment Tuesday that would require drug tests for those who seek welfare and unemployment benefits. States have the authority to enact drug testing requirements for their welfare programs under the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton, but they are not mandated to conduct tests under current law.”

Now it was lame enough that the moderate Republican (no, he WASN’T a Liberal), Bill Clinton, allowed this invasive nonsense to be pulled on welfare recipients (Why in hell aren’t we drug-testing bankers? You MUST be high to think some of the gambles those idiots took were a great idea.) just to placate the insane-o hard right Republicans. However this Orrin jerk from Utah wants to expand it to say to millions of law-abiding citizens who are merely down on their luck that, “If you’re poor, unfortunate, or unemployed even due to circumstances beyond your control, you’re obviously a drug addict as well, and should be treated as such.

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Latitude 33, Disney, and High Strangeness. Oh My!

Disneyland Entryway Plaque. Photo: Cburnett (GNU)

Disneyland Entryway Plaque. Photo: Cburnett (GNU)

This is a wonderfully giant bucket of weird – in the “Happiest Place on Earth!” Let us journey down the rabbit hole into some strange factoids about Disneyland:

•    Disneyland theme park is located at roughly 33 degrees latitude.
•    33rd Degree Masons include J. Edgar Hoover, famed occultist Manly P. Hall, former President George Bush Sr, and none other than Walt Disney himself.
•    A private club at Disneyland is called “Club 33″, supposedly named after the first 33 corporate sponsors of the theme park. It is the only place in the park where alcohol is served.
•    Disneyland was designed by Harrison “Buzz” Price and Cornelius Vanderbilt Wood, consultants from the famed Chevron Oil-founded, DARPA-funded Stanford Research Institute which produced such gems as “Men Staring At Goats” remote viewing projects for the U.S. Army as a part of our battle to keep up with the Russians and their paranormal exploits.… Read the rest

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United Against The Threat of Cartoons

Jesus as portrayed in 'South Park' (courtesy Comedy Central)

Jesus as portrayed in 'South Park' (courtesy Comedy Central)

Apparently endeavoring to prove that some Christians can be just as stupid and petty as some Muslims, we have geniuses like the Catholic League’s William “13-year olds are not children” Donohue, closeted Family Research Council celebrity Tony “Look How Perfect My Hair Is” Perkins, and conservobot talk show weenie Michael “I’m A Self-Hating Jew” Medved teaming up like a twisted version of the Super Friends to save Jesus from the threat of vile cartooning:

From Reuters/Yahoo News:

Comedy Central’s “JC” is in development, which means it’s still a couple of steps from getting the green light as a series. The project is about Jesus trying to live as a regular guy in New York City and wanting to escape the shadow of his “powerful but apathetic father.” Because Comedy Central recently censored “South Park” for its portrayals of the Prophet Muhammad, some Christian leaders see the prospect of a Jesus cartoon as proof of an offensive double standard.

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