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The Mad Prophet is C Bryan Lavigne: writer, artist, musician and dedicated Anarcho-Syndicalist. He has written articles for YellowTimes.org and Open Source Politics, which can also be found in various other publications.

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Saturday, August 30, 2003

And You Thought It Was Just A Conspiracy Theory.

The CEO of Diebold Inc., which is trying to sell electronic voting machines to the state of Ohio, recently told Ohio Republicans that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." Now, is that the guy that you want in charge of developing machines that leave no paper trail of how you cast your vote? [Link]

How To Screw Republicans.

Teddy over at It's Still The Economy has some ideas about how to tank Bush's re-election and improve your own financial situations at the same time. A good idea for those of you who have income greater than the cost of your basic needs (unlike me and a few ten million other people.)

Faux News - Lying Liars Lying Their Lying Liar Asses Off.

Brit Hum:

"Two hundred and seventy seven U.S. soldiers have now died in Iraq, which means that, statistically speaking, U.S. soldiers have less of a chance of dying from all causes in Iraq than citizens have of being murdered in California...which is roughly the same geographical size. The most recent statistics indicate California has more than 2,300 homicides each year, which means about 6.6 murders each day. Meanwhile, U.S. troops have been in Iraq for 160 days, which means they are incurring about 1.7, including illness and accidents, each day."


A Buzzflash reader:

6.6 average daily murders in California with 38,000,000 people at risk. (6.6/38,000,000 = probability is 0.0000002)

1.7 average DAILY military related deaths in Iraq with 150,000 solders at risk (1.7/150,000 = probability is 0.00001)

RELATIVE RISK = RISK IN IRAQ / RISK IN CALIFORNIA = 67.5 (when done on a calculator)



Fox News - So Stupid Even Numbers Are Beyond Their Mental Capacity.

The Mosque Bombing.

The death toll of the third bombing in Iraq this month has risen to 107, up from the original estimate of 75. And four men -- two Iraqis and two Saudis -- have been arrested. Link.

UPDATE! - The four men were actually captured mere minutes after the bombing by a crowd who thought they looked "bizarre." The bombs were in two vehicles and consisted of 1,550 pounds of dynamite, mortars and grenades. Authorities are claiming Saddam loyalists and Al-Qu'eda worked together on this and the other bombings. Link.

'NUTH'R UPDATE! - CNN claims 125 people were killed. [link]

Oh Fuck, Here We Go....

The California insanity is spreading to other states. A group of conservatives upseat about *gasp* a tax increase are starting a movement to recall Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn, a Republican.

Ha, they really do eat their own.

Link via Morons.org.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Strange Similarities.

This new bombing has some strange (probably coincidental,) similarities to the '85 bombing of the Mosque in Lebanon. Both used large carbombs to target Shi'ite clerics at Mosques crowded with civilians congregating for Friday prayer. And both killed scores of innocent people in order to assassinate a single man.

The difference is that this one was successful; the target actually died. More civilians were killed in this explosion too. And I doubt the CIA had anything to do with this one directly, considering Ayatollah Mohammed Bakir Hakim was a US ally and this is bound to do the Thug Administratiion no good whatsoever. I don't doubt that there are CIA fingerprints somewhere down the line though, or at the very least that whoever did this took insperation from the Lebanon bombing.

I'd be interested to know if the bombs themselves have any similarities.

More Authoritarian Repression.

The home of two San Diego activists was raided by the brownshirts yesterday. They're being accused of arson.

San Diego Union Tribune
San Diego Channel Dot Com

Non-Union Workers Getting A Place In The AFL-CIO.

This is a good idea:

Hoping to increase its political clout, the AFL-CIO announced yesterday that it was creating a novel organization for non-union workers who agree with the labor movement on many issues and want to campaign alongside labor on those issues.

Federation officials said they hoped the new organization, to be called Working America, would attract more than 1 million members to lobby Congress and to join demonstrations on issues from raising the minimum wage to stopping the privatization of Social Security.

"There are millions of working people who would like to be part of the AFL-CIO's efforts for social justice and want a voice to speak out and work to change the direction of this country," John Sweeney, the federation's president said at a news conference yesterday.

"Working America will give them this chance."


It'll be well worth it for them to make a stronger connection with people like me, non-union workers (I, personally, am working under the table for food money right now,) who believe in the cause and would like to be a part of it. Unions shouldn't be just about helping their members; they should be about protecting all working people, which will automatically swell the ranks.

The AFL-CIO - Working America

Ah-nuld The Asshole.

"Obviously, I've made statements that are ludicrous and crazy and outrageous and all those things." - Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Yeah, I recall this one thing about running for Governor of California. Now how fucking crazy was that? Dude musta been hopped up on meth and cough syrup to make a statement that outrageous.


Oh, and if you've been hiding under a rock lately, like I have, check out The Arnie Gang Bang Story at The Smoking Gun.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Fake Iraqi Defectors?

You've gotta be fucking kidding me:

Frustrated at the failure to find Saddam Hussein's suspected stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, allied intelligence agencies have launched a major effort to determine if they were victims of bogus Iraqi defectors who planted disinformation to mislead the West before the war.

The goal, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official, "is to see if false information was put out there and got into legitimate channels and we were totally duped on it." He added, "We're reinterviewing all our sources of information on this. This is the entire intelligence community, not just the U.S."


We know where the false intelligence came from! It came from the Bush [mis]Administration. Fuck.

Thanks again to Terry for dropping this in my inbox.

Fucking Nazi Scumbags.

50 Nazis rally at the statehouse in Indianapolis and 200 people hold a counter-demonstration. So, who got harrassed by the pigs? You guessed it, the liberal counter-protesters. And if you say that Infoshop is a biased source, fine, but the NSM's homepage confirms the Infoshop story (not gonna link to it, just going there to get their side of the story was bad enough.)

Hondurans Don't Want The IMF's Dirty Money.

Protests turned into riots as angry Hondurans rallied against the governments efforts to procure a $1 billion IMF loan. An IMF loan comes at a heavy price, with policy decisions made in secret that hurt the vast majority of people in the country. I'm suprised this shit doesn't spark revolutions.

Link (via Infoshop.)
Why We Protest.
IMF Policies Make Patient Sicker.

Bush Skimps On Pay Raises For Federal Employees... Again.

Fucking asshole. He's spent $70 billion on Iraq so far, with an additional $1 billion every week, and he wants to limit raises for federal employees to save $11 billion. What a dick. And remember, this is the second time he's done this. And the second time he's used "the war on terra" to justify it. Fucking stupid son of a bitch.

More Dead Soldiers.

Two dead and five wounded in two seperate attacks against US soldiers yesterday. A British soldier was also killed and one wounded north of Basra when a mob fired upon them with small arms and RPG's.

Oxfam, the World Bank and the IMF have all pulled their personel out of Iraq. One third of the UN staff have left. And the Red Cross, who weathered the invasion, are pulling their people out of Iraq or reassigning them to posts outside of Baghdad.

Iraqi women, afraid of being kidnapped and raped, are donning veils and staying indoors, avoiding school and work.

There's a crime wave going on that 40,000 Iraqi police can't handle, but hey, at least the small businesses don't have to pay any taxes.

The US decision to consider bringing in the UN might be news, but even if they're serious (and I doubt they are,) they still want the US to be in charge of the force.

The Greatest Figures In American History.

John Hawkins has the Left-Wing Bloggers' choices for the greatest figures in American history up. Here are my picks:

Martin Luther King
Ella Baker
Rosa Parks
Abe Lincoln
Franklin Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt
Tom Paine
John Brown
Sojourner Truth
Harriet Tubman
Howard Zinn
Emma Goldman
John Mitchell
Kate Mullaney
Eugene Victor Debs
Mother Jones
Susan B. Anthony

And several hundred million nameless men and women in the Labor movement, the Civil Rights, Abolishionist and Sufferagist movements as well as writers, artists, scientists, teachers, martyrs and common working folk. Histroy may have forgotten, but their hard work and sacrifice were not in vain.

And Cesar Chavez should have been on there too, but he slipped my mind when I typed out the e-mail.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Buy Me This.

Tomorrow's my birthday. Why doesn't someone buy me one of these. Musician's Friend has the Fly Classic on sale. Pleeeeeeease? Pretty please? Sexual favors are not completely outta the question, I'm not below whoring myself out for such a beautiful instrument.

Dead Presidents.

Terry just dropped this one in my inbox:

One night, George W. Bush was awakened in the White House by the ghost of George Washington. President Bush asked the ghost, "Mr. Washington, sir, what is the best thing I can do to help the American people?"

"Set an honest and honorable example, George W., just as I did."

The following evening, the ghost of Thomas Jefferson appeared before Bush in the dark bedroom.

"Mr. Jefferson, sir," George W. asked, "what is the best thing I can do to help the American people?"

"Preserve the land for future generations and stay out of foreign affairs."

Bush wasn't sleeping well the next night and saw yet another figure moving in the shadows. It was the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. "Mr. Lincoln, sir, what is the best thing I can do to help the American people?" George W. asked.

Lincoln replied "Go see a play."

Haha. Burn.

Labor Day Is Coming.

Even though I prefer May Day as my worker's holiday, I can still get in the spirit of Labor Day.

  • Unionized workers make 26% more than non-union workers.
  • 75% of union workers have health insurance, compared to 50% of non-union workers.
  • 70% of union workers have a pension, compared to 14% of non-union workers.
  • The 10 states where unions are strongest have a better standard of living than the 10 states where unions are weakest.
  • 42 million non-union workers want to join a union.
  • 25% of employers fire workers illegally for union activity.
  • 75% of employers hire union-busters.
  • 52% of employers threaten to call the IRS when undocumented workers are involved in unionizing.
  • 51% of employers threaten to close the plants, 1% actually do.

The AFL-CIO Labor Day 2003.

More Ten Commandments Madness.

This is really funny:

Protesters also hoped to keep the monument in place at least until Wednesday, when a hearing is set for the last-ditch lawsuit they filed seeking a temporary restraining order.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Mobile says forced removal would violate the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion.

Link (via Angry Bear.)

So now they're saying that this is a matter of Religious Freedom, whereas before their whole damn arguement was based on their assertion that the Ten Commandments were historically significant and had nothing to do with religion.

Can you say "doublethink"?

Nuclear Bunker Busters.

I think this article has it's facts a bit wrong. It says the Nuclear Posture Review is calling for the development of a 100 kiloton nuclear bunker buster, which is hard for me to believe since that is five or six times the size of Hiroshima (15-20 kT, depending on who you ask.) That's not a bunker buster, that's a fucking tactical nuclear weapon. No, really, that's an actual tactical nuclear weapon.

They can't be thinking of using tactical nuclear weapons. No way. From what I understand, these bunker busters are supposed to be mini-nukes, with yeilds of less than one kiloton (which would still kill everyone in a half mile radius even if detonated slightly below ground level.)

Recommended Reading:

Fuel for the Fire, Dangerous talk about useable nukes - by Alistair Millar.
Misc. Facts About Nuclear Weapons.
Nuke FAQ.
High Energy Weapons Archive.

Update On The CBO Report.

Yesterday I posted on a new report from the Congressional Budget Office that predicted an increase of $1.4 trillion in the national debt over the next 10 years (2004-2013.) I found this very hard to believe because the forecast for next years deficit is fully one-third of that figure alone.

Well, I was right. The CBS article that I had gotten the info from didn't have the whole story. That $1.4 trillion is the baseline figure, which means it doesn't take into account the inevitable continuance of Bush policies. From The Boston Globe:

For instance, in its study, the CBO calculated the impact on the deficit of such initiatives as a prescription drug benefit, permanent tax cuts, and increases in defense spending -- all of which are likely to find their way into the budget in some form. To take one example, extending the Bush tax cuts would swell the deficit by $1.56 trillion between 2004 and 2013, the CBO estimates.

So, when the GOP makes the tax cuts permanent, as of course they will, the debt over the next ten years will swell by a total $3 trillion. And that's just for the old tax cuts. Bush will most likely push for new tax cuts too, among other things.

If Bush is booted next year, hopefully, the new Democratic President will be able to curb this debt expansion by rescinding the cuts and balancing the budget. But if Bush is re-elected, spend & cut policies could easily add $5 trillion (the CBO's adjusted forecast,) to the debt in the next decade.

Well, I may not be an economist, but sometimes I do know what I'm talking about. It looks like CBS was being a GOP shill by framing the higher numbers as a Democratic criticism of the CBO, rather than as a prediction of the report itself.

Ha Ha.

The IAEA has now found more evidence of WMD in Iran than Bush has found in Iraq. Haha.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Quote Of The Day.

"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." - George Orwell

Some Fiscal Irresponsibility For Ya.

CBS reports that a Congressional Budget Office analysis states that the federal government will rack up another $1.4 trillion in debt in ten years (2004-2013.) The CBO also confirms that the deficit for this year (ending on Sept 30th) will just top $400 billion and that fiscal year 2005 could add another $480 billion dollars.

I'm a little confused here. If the deficit comes close to $500 billion in 2004 that leaves only $900 billion for the other 9 years ($100 billion a year.) I can only assume that the CBO is assuming that Bush will not win re-election in 2004, and thus will only have 2 more years to screw us with deficits. The new Democratic President will then be able to balance the budget before going into surplus (which, in these ridiculous forecasts, can be counted against debt accumulation even if it isn't actually used to pay down the debt,) in much the same way that Clinton did.

If you assume that Bush will win in 2004 and keep doing things exactly as he has been, debt will easily reach another $2-3 trillion in the next 6 years alone. If you want to be even more pessimistic and assume that Bush will keep pushing the ceiling higher it might even go as high as $4 trillion in additional debt by the end of his second term. And then if you want to get apocalyptic and imagine that another fiscally irresponsible Republican gets the White House in 2008, the debt might double in the next ten years.

Is there an economist in the house? Am I totally off base here?

Of course, the CBO has a history of low balling Bush's deficits:

In its last budget estimates in March, the CBO predicted that the deficit would be $246 billion this year, but would move gradually back toward the black and result in an accumulated surplus of $891 billion in the 2004-2013 period. [...]

Senate Dems on the Budget Committee are a bit more pessimistic. They estimate an additional $3.7 trillion in debt over the next ten years, and $6.3 trillion if the SS surplus now being raided by the Bushites is factored out. Rep. John Spratt of the Budget Committee notes that the CBO analysis does not take into account the fact that Bush and Co. are going to rescind the sunset clauses in the current tax cuts as well as push for more cuts.

Is the CBO just being reeeeally optimistic or are they GOP shills? I don't know.

This Modern World.

Tom Tomorrow looks at Bush's successes in this week's comic. Quite funny.

More Lying From Those Bastions Of Personal Responsibility.

Under the Bush Dictatorship, even the air quality in NY after the WTC attacks is a "national security" matter that has to be covered up and lied about. I guess after 9-11, we poor, uneducated masses couldn't handle the shock of knowing that the air around the WTC was somewhat less than healthy.

The Things You Didn't See On The News.

For over a month Palestinian militants refrained from sending suicide bombers to attack Israel.

But Israel didn't reciprocate. Land confiscation continued. Bids to build new illegal settlements, commissioned by the Israeli government, were published in Israeli newspapers. Raids on West Bank towns and villages never ceased. Threats, incitement and provocative schemes by Israeli officials -- such as attempts by a Knesset member to force his way into al-Aqsa Mosque, which sparked the ongoing uprising in the first place -- were a daily practice. (Link via Factivism.)

Yet, to no surprise of course, the Palestinians alone will be blamed for the breakdown of the roadmap. Even though the Israeli violations were indeed an everyday occurance.

The Media signaled an end to the truce on August 12th when two suicide bombers attacked Israel and killed 2 people. What they didn't say about the "truce" was that 17 Palestinians were killed in the weeks before the attacks. Some truce.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Another Bush Claim Proven False.

US weapons experts in Iraq have concluded that the Bush [mis]Administration's claims about Iraqi drones being used for chemical and biological warfare were baseless:

Huddled over a fleet of abandoned Iraqi drones, U.S. weapons experts in Baghdad came to one conclusion: Despite the Bush administration's public assertions, these unmanned aerial vehicles weren't designed to dispense biological or chemical weapons.

The evidence gathered this summer matched the dissenting views of Air Force intelligence analysts who argued in a national intelligence assessment of Iraq before the war that the remotely piloted planes were unarmed reconnaissance drones.

Link (via Hammerdown.)

Bush Lied. People Died. Now let's Impeach the Son of a Bitch and throw his dictatorial ass in prison!

A Fun Little Game.

It's not very challenging, but I've been having a good laugh going through this list of Shrub quotes and figuring out which ones were written for him and which ones he thought up himself. Yeah, like I said, not very challenging, but you do find gems like this:

"They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program."

Obviously one he thought up himself. It's so awfully sad when the President of the United States is a 57-year-old man known to most people as "the boy king." You can't deny that he acts and speaks like a child though. Looks like one too. So sad.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Racism Is Alive, Well and Institutionalized In America.

From Nathan Newman, via Gail Davis:

Sending out matched resumes where the only differences were whether the candidate was white or black and a former felon or not, Prager found the usual fact that black applicants get fewer interviews than white applicants.

But most shocking-- "black non-offenders fall behind even whites with prior felony convictions."

Repeat that-- a white criminal gets more job interviews than a black person with no record at all. It almost boggles the mind that there are people who maintain that racism is no longer prevalent in our society.

Raise your hand if you're a white man (or woman) in America and think that Affirmative Action is unfair. You're an asshole. Sit down, shut up. You have very probably gotten a job sometime in your life -- and possibly in the recent past -- over an equally or more qualified minority applicant simply because the color of your skin happens to be white. I better not hear you complain again.

The King Of All Frivolous Lawsuits!

No, I'm not talking about the Fox News/Al Franken thing. That's small potatoes compared to this one. Via Factivism we learn that a group of Egyptians in Switzerland are sueing "all the Jews of the World" over gold, silver and various other things "stolen" out of Egypt during the Exodus.

That is so fucking stupid. Who the fuck thought up this public relations disaster?

I have an idea though: The "Jews of the Wolrd" should countersue! Yes, they should sue Egypt for reperations for all of their years of enslavement! Hahaha!!!!

Kathy Boudin Could Lose Her Parole.

Under a little-used provision of state law the NY Parole Board could reconsider its decision to parole Kathy Boudin. Write a letter to the board and ask them to stand fast to their previous judgement.

Wal-Mart Kills Puppies Too.

The company could be facing a class-action lawsuit representing as many as one million current and former female employees:

The women bringing the lawsuit claim Wal-Mart discriminates against its female employees in promotions, compensation and job assignments. Women are assigned predominately to the lowest-paying positions and systematically denied advancement opportunities, according to their suit.

These women are the latest employees to assert Wal-Mart engages in mistreatment of employees—including its current assaults on workers’ federal rights to join a union, receive overtime pay and engage in free speech, says Al Zack, assistant director of strategic programs for United Food and Commercial Workers.

Read the rest.