Thursday, January 05, 2006

Rotten core of Washington Republican establishment

This is what I was talking about when I noted exactly how outrageous this scandal is. It isn't so much that Abramoff bought influence or pampered (illegally) elected officials... I mean, we'll always have corrupt politicians - it's a rat-dirty business... Having said that, this stuff makes me want to vomit...

I mean, Republicans have been riding the religious right to victory at the polls for the last 25 years... Delay, Ney, Doolittle, Burns - they all claim to be devout Christains... Not sure if you heard Abramoff yesterday, but he was talking about meriting forgiveness from the Almighty...

After this?

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/01/04/1524256

Here are some select quotes from the link, but it's a Amy Goodman interview with Brian Ross, Chief Investigative Correspondent for ABC News. The first quotes are excerpts from a 20/20 peice done by Ross that ran in 1998.

BRIAN ROSS: In fact, American authorities have discovered many Chinese workers are forced to sign secret agreements, known as shadow contracts, before they leave China, severely and, in some ways, illegally restricting their activities while on American soil. For example, in this agreement translated into English by American authorities, workers are forbidden to participate in any religious or political activity or to ask for a salary increase or even to fall in love or get married, much as might be the case in mainland China.

ALLAN STAYMAN: To allow them to bring that on to U.S. soil is a very deep concern. We've now documented the facts that management coerces female workers who become pregnant into having abortions.

BRIAN ROSS: Several of the cases, the government says it has documented, were at this factory, the one with a contract to make Ralph Lauren Polo t-shirts. This Chinese woman, Tu Xiao Mei, made t-shirts and pants at the factory until she became pregnant.

TU XIAO MEI: When I told them I was pregnant, they told me to have an abortion.

BRIAN ROSS: Tu Xiao Mei says she refused to have the abortion and has now been barred from entering the factory.

BRIAN ROSS: And you're going to have your baby?

TU XIAO MEI: Yes.

BRIAN ROSS: Will you get your job back then?

TU XIAO MEI: Cannot.

BRIAN ROSS: Cannot get her job back, she says.

BRIAN ROSS: We want to ask you about the abortions, do you know about the complaints?

BRIAN ROSS: The bosses at the factory said they didn't want to talk about what they called ridiculous allegations. But human rights workers say it's common practice at this factory and others.

ERIC GREGOIRE: With 11,000 Chinese workers here, I have never seen a Chinese garment factory worker have a baby in my entire four years on Saipan.

BRIAN ROSS: There are no children in those barracks?

ERIC GREGOIRE: None. Inside that factory Chinese law applies, and Chinese law is supreme.

BRIAN ROSS: Even though it's the United States of America?

ERIC GREGOIRE: That's right. The flag doesn't fly inside there.

....

BRIAN ROSS: Saipan has cultivated some powerful friends back in Washington, spending millions of dollars on lobbyists and free trips in the middle of the winter for members of Congress and their staff. Congressman Tom DeLay of Houston, the third-ranking Republican in the House, went as a guest of the Saipan government over the Christmas holiday, a trip that included a tour of several factories and barracks, with one that even Congressman DeLay had to concede was nothing to write home about.

TOM DeLAY: But, you know, this trip has been very beneficial.

BRIAN ROSS: Still, at a fancy New Year's Eve dinner thrown in his honor, DeLay praised the outgoing governor and vowed to fight efforts back in Washington to change Saipan's immigration and labor laws.

TOM DeLAY: Because you are a shining light for what is happening in the Republican Party, and you represent everything that is good about what we're trying to do in America, in leading the world in the free market system.

BRIAN ROSS: And DeLay is just one of more than 80 influential congressmen and congressional staff members who have been brought out to Saipan, most put up, as was DeLay, at the beachfront Hyatt Regency. About as far from the island sweatshops as it is possible to get on Saipan.























What follows is Amy Goodman's interview:

AMY GOODMAN: Well, you did that piece, what, some more than seven years ago. Your response now?

BRIAN ROSS: Well, it's interesting to watch this unfold because the man behind the scenes in every case was Jack Abramoff. In the footage we had on World News Tonight last night showing DeLay arriving in Saipan. He's wearing a funny-colored floral hat and is greeted by a man in a beard who's Jack Abramoff. Big bear hugs all around. And it was Abramoff then who shepherded him around the island, made sure he would see what he wanted him to see. And DeLay took his family along. It was New Year's Eve. Temperatures were very nice, much nicer than back in the States. And that's what Abramoff was able to achieve. DeLay then became active in blocking legislation that would have cracked down on some of those terrible labor practices in Saipan.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to go to the issue of forced abortion, which is astounding given Tom DeLay's stand on abortion. Can you talk about that?

BRIAN ROSS: Well, it's completely counter to anything that DeLay or most Republicans seem to espouse, that was, on that island there were forced abortions. And the workers there who are all young women, who often had to pay to get these jobs, knew the rules. And they were barred from having boyfriends and certainly barred from having children if they became pregnant. They knew where to go, and there were a few essential back-alley abortion mills on the island. And that's where these young Chinese women went in order to keep their jobs. And that was the deal. That's part of the situation that was essentially endorsed by DeLay when he fought the laws. The laws were established essentially exempting Saipan, although it is a U.S. territory, from U.S. labor laws.

AMY GOODMAN: So, of course, the clothing that is made there says "Made in the U.S.A."

BRIAN ROSS: Exactly right. They have the exemptions made in the U.S.A. Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, all the major brands have garment factories there, owned primarily by Chinese industrialists from Hong Kong who brought in Chinese material. And the Chinese workers who lived in something akin to -- I don't want to call it a labor camp, but it was surrounded by barbed wire. They were taken on the backs of trucks to these factories. They work 10, 12 hours a day, then brought back to their camps. An ugly scene there, one that was defended effectively by the garment manufacturers and by the government of Saipan at the time, with the expenditure of millions of dollars on Jack Abramoff.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Vomiting in my mouth

Jesus once said, "You always have the poor with you..."

And that's too bad. Jesus made his comment to Judas when Judas asked why some expensive oil wasn't sold and proceeds given to the poor. Of course Judas' real motive was that he was the holder of the money purse and he was dipping into it...

Today, many people are today saying that, "We will always have corruption in politics." They are making their comments at a time when a lobbyist has pled guilty to bribery and other charges... at a time when many politicians are sweating bullets and praying to god hoping really hard that Abramoff (the lobbyist) doesn't point the finger of accusation in their direction...

But that's too bad.

Because it is just to easy to say that all politicians are corrupt. And this scandal is too depraved to be glossed over like that.

People need to realize exactly who this pious Jack Abramoff actually was. People need to learn what their pious representatives were willing to do in order to get some of Abramoff's cash and favors.

Of course, there was the Indian gambling scandal that has received a decent amount of airing through the Indian Affairs Committee hearings in the Senate... You know, in which Abramoff uses Ralph Reed and Michael Scanlon to steal from the tribes by taking both sides of the issue - his lobbying firm was taking money from one tribe to lobby for approval of an Indian gaming license... Meanwhile, another tribe, already blessed with their license but not desirous at all of any new competition, was paying Abramoff's people to lobby against the other tribe's gaming license approval... nice bunch... called the Indians "troglodytes" too... What a nice boy! Did I mention that he's religious too?

But that's not the worst. The worst probably won't ever be totally known, but right now, as far as I've been able to ascertain, the Marianis Island lobbying is going to rank up there with some of the most disgusting and cynical rat shit that's ever been perpetrated in Congress...

The Marianis Islands are American territories. But they aren't afforded the protection of American laws - at least not labor laws. So some morally repugnant businessman saw an opportunity - he shipped a bunch of poor Asians into the islands with promises of jobs and opportunity. Once there, they were essentially kidnapped and used as slave labor making garments. It was a pretty good racket until someone noticed and started making a stink about it. An investigation was started, but just as it was getting off the ground, George Bush was elected. Presto! No more prosecutor (he was re-assigned), no more investigation...

Never one to miss an opportunity to shake someone down, the republicans in Washington hit their mark. Before long, Abramoff was taking payments to ensure that American labor laws never became applicable to the Marianis Islands. Even Tom Delay went to visit the hitherto unknown territory...

I dunno... maybe it's me...

But I agree - there will always be dirt in politics. Somebody will always be on the take, and somebody will always be willing to spread some cash around for a tax break here or a contract there... I despise it, but politics is a disgusting business and as long as the game stays within some kind of limits, well, I'm a grown-up and I can take it... we'll catch the bad guys when we can, fine them, run them out of politics and make them spend some time stewing about their stupidity in a pen for a while...

But this is something else altogether. Abramoff's othe clients included a murderous African dictator, the aparthied regime of South Africa and the aforementioned Marianis Island clan... In each case, people's lives were destroyed in inhumanly cruel ways... And Abramoff abetted them...

But it didn't end with Abramoff. All the big names you hear, Delay, Ney, Burns, Doolittle... they all claim to be the most devout evangelical Christains they can be. They proudly proclaim that they are doing "God's work".

I've got something to say about that.

I'm not much of a believer, but I am comforted in the fact that if these guys are correct about what they profess to believe, well....

they will certainly be stationed at a lower rung of hell than I will when we get there... It's gonna feel good knowing they are suffering somewhere beneath me...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Explain this to me

I'm constantly walking around in a state of wonderment. Everything is so ass backwards, and I know it is real, but I have trouble assimilating and accepting the surreal world we live in.

Case in point cames from the New York Times. Today's article about the FBI watching activist groups reveals an organization using their counter-terrorists agents to keeping tabs on - get this - Catholic Workers and Greenpeace...

I dunno, but these groups, as far as I've been able to ascertain, work towards a better world for all of us. Why is it that whenever any authoritative government apparatus decides to overstep its bounds and aggressively spy on people they shouldn't be spying on, using methods that they shouldn't be using and keeping records they shouldn't be keeping, that it invariably happens to be animal rights/environmental, peace activists or labor groups that they choose to target. Just once couldn't we hear about them aggressively pursuing law breaking politicians or corporate criminals? Why is it that when the EP fucking A tells people that the air around ground zero is safe, and it turns out to be incredibly toxic, the law hounds aren't sicced on the liars? When Enron steals thousands of people's retirements, it takes an investigative journalist to peal back the curtain and expose the craven ponzi scheme? What kind of NSA file did Ken Lay have?

ugh.

What kind of world do we live in when we chase down vegan activists using the FBI, but we ignore right wing extremist abortion bomber enablers? What kind of file do you think Ralph Reed has?

Ya know, this ties into a second peice I wanted to write about. All you hear on the news channels with regards to the NYC transit strike are commuters (walkers) expressing their disdain for the union. One lady said something like everyone is losing their retirement and having to pay for their health care. I don't have any sympathy for them." Could this be anymore stupid? Of course everyone is losing in the work place. That's exactly why they are striking. At a time when corporate profits are increasing steadily (hence the "great economy"), wages are stagnant in all but a few fields... Not only are wages stagnant, people's benefits are being cut. More people than ever before don't take their allotted vacation time because they are afraid to - they don't want to give management a reason to fire them. Productivity is through the roof and the richest amongst us are consolidating their grip on the nations wealth like no time since the robber baron age of Warren Harding...

And this woman has the nerve to complain about workers taking a stand.

This is what I think should be happening: the police union should stand in solidarity with their transit brothers. Refuse overtime. Other unions should begin work slowdowns and coordinated "sick" absences. For the labor movement in this country to abandon their union brothers is trajic. Did you know that in this years MTA surplus, there is enough money to give every transit worker a $30,000 bonus? That comes after the MTA has done all of its maintenance and upgrades... Anyone wanna take a look at MTA executive pay and benefit packages?

Anyway, again the little guy gets screwed and then gets blamed for asking for some lubricant. That's the story of America in the 21st century, so far. Ugh.

Monday, December 19, 2005

A question about "responsibility"

The President seems to be awfully fond of "taking responsibility" of late...

Two questions:

1) Why wasn't he as willing to accept responsibility in say, summer of 2004?
2) Now that he has "taken responsibility" in late 2005, what are the consequences? When a criminal takes responsibility, they plead guilty and pay consequences. Hell, when anyone accepts responsibility for ineptitude, criminality or otherwise poor performance, there are generally consequences. Even athletes find themselves traded or cut... So what does it mean for Bush?

I can tell you what it means for me: no more Republican enablers in Congress. I hope y'all feel the same way.

Today's O'Falafel Call

Subject:  FISA/NSA Wiretaps


O'Reilly began the show with Judge Napolitano and discussed the case.  To his credit, the whacko judge was on the right side.  The argument revolved around war powers and O'Reilly kept beating him up with a red herring (wish I could see that in real life)...  Anyway, O'Reilly was saying that when you've got a call on the line, you don't have time for judges.  Napolitano really had no response except to say that it was against the law to do what the administration did.  Why am I not surprised that a Fox News analyst didn't know the facts?


A second issue surrounded the issue of the leak itself and the NYT publishing the story.  


I addressed both points in my call - transcript on the flip.  I was "Fred from Waterford, NY".



O'Falafel:  Waterford, NY.  Fred, what say you?

Me:  I'm surprised the judge didn't familiarize himself with the statute before coming on your show because he would have been able to correct you by telling you that FISA does allow for emergency wire-taps immediately - you just have to go before a judge within 72 hours to get approval for those wire-taps - after they've already begun.  So if you have a call coming in you can IMMEDIATELY record it - you just have to make it before the judge within 72 hours.  And as far as the New York Times goes...

O'Falafel:  hmm-mmm

Me:  (spoken in incredulous tone) You think people don't know that we're spying on terrorists in this country?  I mean, what did this leak really do?

O'Falafel:  well it just creates more chaos for the Bush administration, but let me address your first point which is a very good point...  the Bush administration contends that it didn't have to go before the judge because it was given the authority to wage the war on terror in a military way.  And let me give you an - and I want you to reply to this - so if you're on the front lines with all the high-tech gear we have now in the war - and you are trying to hunt down Osama bin Laden and his pals or whoever - and you are eavesdropping - you know you can eavesdrop now with all kinds of machines - and you are in the field - you aren't gonna go 72 hours later before a civilian judge and ask if you can do that - because there's too much of it - there's too much paperwork involved, there's the process of it...  when you wage an aggressive war you basically hunt down and kill the enemy and that's what it comes down to.  Bush is saying, look, I have the authority to hunt down and kill the enemy without every 72 hours having to go back and check with a judge for a warrant.  Now whether that will hold up or not, I can't say.  I believe it will.  What say you, Fred?

Me:  I would say that in any kind of law enforcement operation it's not...

O'Falafel:  this isn't a law enforcement operation...

Me:  ok...  any kind of spying operation, anything like that, eavesdropping operations - it's not the spies that go before the judge - it's the lawyers and the beaurocracy that talk to the judge

O'Falafel  Ok, Ok  I got it - look...  it's two different views...  that this war on terror should be adjudicated in the courts....


I don't usually do this - I prefer, generally, to let the record speak for itself...  but...  let's take this apart - it's just too rich...


well it just creates more chaos for the Bush administration

so the Bush administration should remain above critical examination by the free press?  Why, that's a novel argument!


the Bush administration contends that it didn't have to go before the judge because it was given the authority to wage the war on terror in a military way.  And let me give you an - and I want you to reply to this - so if you're on the front lines with all the high-tech gear we have now in the war - and you are trying to hunt down Osama bin Laden and his pals or whoever - and you are eavesdropping - you know you can eavesdrop now with all kinds of machines - and you are in the field

can you here the gears grinding between his ears?  he's reaching hard.  I love these moments because more often than not, as he thinks aloud, he digs his grave deeper


you aren't gonna go 72 hours later before a civilian judge and ask if you can do that - because there's too much of it - there's too much paperwork involved, there's the process of it...  when you wage an aggressive war you basically hunt down and kill the enemy and that's what it comes down to.  Bush is saying, look, I have the authority to hunt down and kill the enemy without every 72 hours having to go back and check with a judge for a warrant.  Now whether that will hold up or not, I can't say.  I believe it will.  What say you, Fred?



if I had it to do over again, I'd say that Bill just spouted a boatload of spin.  Nobody denies that wanting to "hunt down and kill" terrorists.  How many Americans that we've spied on have we "hunted down and killed"?


Ok, Ok  I got it - look...  it's two different views...  that this war on terror should be adjudicated in the courts....

that's the best you could do, O'Falafel?  Recycle some old republican talking point?  ugh.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

A lesson you should learn sooner rather than later

Way too many people took this administration at its word during the run-up to the Iraq war. Despite a history of lies, propaganda and manufactured evidence in our nation's previous wartime history, people were entirely credulous. It's too bad.

I've been waiting for someone to do this one justice...  maybe it's been overlooked because this scandal developed over several administrations, Republican and Democrat... who knows?  What matters is the indisputable record...


First - perhaps there are lawyers with relevant knowledge that can comment on this because I am not entirely up to speed on the law.  That said, I do know that it is illegal for the United States government to use our tax dollars to spread propaganda to Americans...  keep that in mind as you follow me to the other side...


what will you find there?  Oh...  well, just that the entire Iraq war was cooked up and sold to us as an extension of a 15 year old propaganda operation.  Remember the Iraqi National Congress - the organization led by Ahmed Chalabi that fed us Curveball and all the other lying miscreants selling information about WMD?  It was a propaganda front.  You paid for it.

The story comes to us from Rolling Stone.




One of the most powerful people in Washington, Rendon is a leader in the strategic field known as "perception management," manipulating information -- and, by extension, the news media -- to achieve the desired result. His firm, the Rendon Group, has made millions off government contracts since 1991, when it was hired by the CIA to help "create the conditions for the removal of Hussein from power." Working under this extraordinary transfer of secret authority, Rendon assembled a group of anti-Saddam militants, personally gave them their name -- the Iraqi National Congress -- and served as their media guru and "senior adviser" as they set out to engineer an uprising against Saddam.


Did you catch that?  The entire Iraqi National Congress was created from scratch by a propogandist paid by your tax dollars.  There was never any groundswell movement of disillusioned Iraqi exiles with heartfelt desire to return their homeland to peaceful rule...  It was all a sham - paid for by the CIA...




Strapped to the polygraph machine was Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, a forty-three-year-old Iraqi who had fled his homeland in Kurdistan and was now determined to bring down Saddam Hussein. For hours, as thin mechanical styluses traced black lines on rolling graph paper, al-Haideri laid out an explosive tale. Answering yes and no to a series of questions, he insisted repeatedly that he was a civil engineer who had helped Saddam's men to secretly bury tons of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. The illegal arms, according to al-Haideri, were buried in subterranean wells, hidden in private villas, even stashed beneath the Saddam Hussein Hospital, the largest medical facility in Baghdad.


It was damning stuff -- just the kind of evidence the Bush administration was looking for. If the charges were true, they would offer the White House a compelling reason to invade Iraq and depose Saddam. That's why the Pentagon had flown a CIA polygraph expert to Pattaya: to question al-Haideri and confirm, once and for all, that Saddam was secretly stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.


There was only one problem: It was all a lie. After a review of the sharp peaks and deep valleys on the polygraph chart, the intelligence officer concluded that al-Haideri had made up the entire story, apparently in the hopes of securing a visa.


The fabrication might have ended there, the tale of another political refugee trying to scheme his way to a better life. But just because the story wasn't true didn't mean it couldn't be put to good use. Al-Haideri, in fact, was the product of a clandestine operation -- part espionage, part PR campaign -- that had been set up and funded by the CIA and the Pentagon for the express purpose of selling the world a war. And the man who had long been in charge of the marketing was a secretive and mysterious creature of the Washington establishment named John Rendon.



snip...



Although Rendon denies any direct involvement with al-Haideri, the defector was the latest salvo in a secret media war set in motion by Rendon. In an operation directed by Ahmad Chalabi -- the man Rendon helped install as leader of the INC -- the defector had been brought to Thailand, where he huddled in a hotel room for days with the group's spokesman, Zaab Sethna. The INC routinely coached defectors on their stories, prepping them for polygraph exams, and Sethna was certainly up to the task -- he got his training in the art of propaganda on the payroll of the Rendon Group. According to Francis Brooke, the INC's man in Washington and himself a former Rendon employee, the goal of the al-Haideri operation was simple: pressure the United States to attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein.


As the CIA official flew back to Washington with failed lie-detector charts in his briefcase, Chalabi and Sethna didn't hesitate. They picked up the phone, called two journalists who had a long history of helping the INC promote its cause and offered them an exclusive on Saddam's terrifying cache of WMDs.


For the worldwide broadcast rights, Sethna contacted Paul Moran, an Australian freelancer who frequently worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corp. "I think I've got something that you would be interested in," he told Moran, who was living in Bahrain. Sethna knew he could count on the trim, thirty-eight-year-old journalist: A former INC employee in the Middle East, Moran had also been on Rendon's payroll for years in "information operations," working with Sethna at the company's London office on Catherine Place, near Buckingham Palace.


"We were trying to help the Kurds and the Iraqis opposed to Saddam set up a television station," Sethna recalled in a rare interview broadcast on Australian television. "The Rendon Group came to us and said, 'We have a contract to kind of do anti-Saddam propaganda on behalf of the Iraqi opposition.' What we didn't know -- what the Rendon Group didn't tell us -- was in fact it was the CIA that had hired them to do this work."


The INC's choice for the worldwide print exclusive was equally easy: Chalabi contacted Judith Miller of The New York Times. Miller, who was close to I. Lewis Libby and other neoconservatives in the Bush administration, had been a trusted outlet for the INC's anti-Saddam propaganda for years. Not long after the CIA polygraph expert slipped the straps and electrodes off al-Haideri and declared him a liar, Miller flew to Bangkok to interview him under the watchful supervision of his INC handlers. Miller later made perfunctory calls to the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, but despite her vaunted intelligence sources, she claimed not to know about the results of al-Haideri's lie-detector test. Instead, she reported that unnamed "government experts" called his information "reliable and significant" -- thus adding a veneer of truth to the lies.


Her front-page story, which hit the stands on December 20th, 2001, was exactly the kind of exposure Rendon had been hired to provide. AN IRAQI DEFECTOR TELLS OF WORK ON AT LEAST 20 HIDDEN WEAPONS SITES, declared the headline. "An Iraqi defector who described himself as a civil engineer," Miller wrote, "said he personally worked on renovations of secret facilities for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in underground wells, private villas and under the Saddam Hussein Hospital in Baghdad as recently as a year ago." If verified, she noted, "his allegations would provide ammunition to officials within the Bush administration who have been arguing that Mr. Hussein should be driven from power partly because of his unwillingness to stop making weapons of mass destruction, despite his pledges to do so."


For months, hawks inside and outside the administration had been pressing for a pre-emptive attack on Iraq. Now, thanks to Miller's story, they could point to "proof" of Saddam's "nuclear threat." The story, reinforced by Moran's on-camera interview with al-Haideri on the giant Australian Broadcasting Corp., was soon being trumpeted by the White House and repeated by newspapers and television networks around the world. It was the first in a long line of hyped and fraudulent stories that would eventually propel the U.S. into a war with Iraq -- the first war based almost entirely on a covert propaganda campaign targeting the media.


By law, the Bush administration is expressly prohibited from disseminating government propaganda at home. But in an age of global communications, there is nothing to stop it from planting a phony pro-war story overseas -- knowing with certainty that it will reach American citizens almost instantly. A recent congressional report suggests that the Pentagon may be relying on "covert psychological operations affecting audiences within friendly nations." In a "secret amendment" to Pentagon policy, the report warns, "psyops funds might be used to publish stories favorable to American policies, or hire outside contractors without obvious ties to the Pentagon to organize rallies in support of administration policies." The report also concludes that military planners are shifting away from the Cold War view that power comes from superior weapons systems. Instead, the Pentagon now believes that "combat power can be enhanced by communications networks and technologies that control access to, and directly manipulate, information. As a result, information itself is now both a tool and a target of warfare."



I dunno how to flog this story and get it the attention it deserves...  but the families of the 2144 dead and twenty thousand wounded Americans deserve to know that the entire thing was a marketing campaign...  That ad executives paid for by the CIA and Pentagon created the INC, that the INC supplied a mounds of savory lies for the neocons, the neocons spun the lies to the Times and other media outlets, and all along the American people were played for suckers.


Remember that the next time you see some political suit express their respect for the troops.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Let's get a jump on things...

One of my favorite blogs is RigorousIntuition, by Jeff Wells. It's mostly high-brow conspiracy theory stuff - and scary as hell. It WILL change the way you think about the world if you spend enough time there...

Anyway...

Today, he's got this post. I'm not sure exactly where he is going with the story about Tia (though, the truth is, I just had a baby daughter... after reading his stories about ritual abuse, missing children, etc... well, it's just one of the ways his posts have dramatically reshaped my thinking... It used to be that I'd hear that every year thousands of kids disappear and I'd kinda roll my eyes... no more.)

Anyway...

The part you should know follows...
EPA TO ALLOW PESTICIDE TESTING ON ORPHANS & MENTALLY
HANDICAPPED CHILDREN

As the Organic Consumers Association lays it out, children are protected from the testing of pesticides and chemical with these exceptions:
  • 1. Children who "cannot be reasonably consulted," such as those that are mentally handicapped or orphaned newborns, may be tested on. With permission from the institution or guardian in charge of the individual, the child may be exposed to chemicals for the sake of research.

  • 2. Parental consent forms are not necessary for testing on children who have been neglected or abused.

  • 3. Chemical studies on any children outside of the U.S. are acceptable.


Just thought you should know...

Day One: Intro

This will be mostly a linking blog - much like Eschaton by Atrios... not a lot of commentary - unless I think I've got something noteworthy to add... but with so much info flying under the radar, I hope this becomes a place that y'all can count on to bring you the newest, most relevant and overlooked political, environmental and social news and commentary - all in one place...

In addition, I'll probably start blogging my talk radio misadventures here also...

so... tune in tomorrow.