jokah.com

28Nov/040

Nice to be back home despite the unpleasant weather. Picked up the little guy from the cat-sitter yesterday morning, and he has been non-stop cuddly and affectionate. Wonder how long that will last...

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20Nov/040

Pretty wired this morning so got up just after 2:00 and finished Howard Zinn's autobiography, You Can't Stay Neutral on a Moving Train. Very inspiring, highly recommended.

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18Nov/040

Greens Shame Dems. Despite widespread pre-election concerns over electronic voting machine-enabled fraud, Democrats have shown little interest in the recount efforts being made by third parties. While the recounts are unlikely to change the overall outcome, they are needed to verify the integrity of the system.

The Greens, who don't stand to win anything except the respect and admiration of all decent people, raised nearly $150,000 in only four days to challenge George Bush's unofficial 136,000 vote margin in each of Ohio's poll precincts. Kerry had the same option and plenty of cash on hand ($15 million in unspent campaign funds), but took the Skull and Bones path, fearing a contested outcome might damage the legitimacy of a system that he values just as dearly as his erstwhile opponent, George Bush - Black voters be damned. There is no law against making a concession speech and getting a recount, but oligarchs like Kerry treasure stability above all else - it keeps them on top.

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It is an awesome indictment of Kerry and the DNC that two minor parties are doing the Democrat's - and democracy's - work. As is Ralph Nader, whose recount in New Hampshire may lead him to do the same in Florida.

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17Nov/040

Judge Questions Long Sentence in Drug Case. Drug law reform is long overdue.

In a case that has spurred intense soul-searching in legal circles, a 25-year-old convicted drug dealer, who was arrested two years ago for selling small bags of marijuana to a police informant, was sentenced on Tuesday to 55 years in prison.

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The judge then urged Mr. Angelos's lawyer, Jerome H. Mooney, not only to appeal his decision but to ask President Bush for clemency once all appeals were exhausted. He also urged Congress to set aside the law that made the sentence mandatory.

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The question of Mr. Angelos's sentence was at the center of a debate as to whether it was fair to send a minor drug dealer to prison for 55 years when a murderer, rapist or terrorist, according to the same sentencing directives, would ordinarily receive no more than about 25 years.

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2Nov/040

In paranoid moments, I used to imagine Bin Laden to be a modern day Emmanuel Goldstein, an artificial source of fear which fuels the massive American war machine. The problem with this theory is that (1) any person who actually pays attention to what he says might discover some ugly truths about the way the U.S. conducts foreign policy, and (2) this administration tends to go out of its way to suppress his messages. Here are some excerpts from the latest release which likely did not appear in the mainstream press (courtesy of Cryptome).

No-one except a dumb thief plays with the security of others and then makes himself believe he will be secure. Whereas thinking people, when disaster strikes, make it their priority to look for its causes, in order to prevent it happening again.

[snip]
And that day, it was confirmed to me that oppression and the intentional killing of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy. Destruction is freedom and democracy, while resistance is terrorism and intolerance.

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This means the oppressing and embargoing to death of millions as Bush Sr. did in Iraq in the greatest mass slaughter of children mankind has ever known, and it means the throwing of millions of pounds of bombs and explosives at millions of children - also in Iraq - as Bush Jr. Did, in order to remove an old agent and replace him with a new puppet to assist in the pilfering of Iraq's oil and other outrages.

[snip]
Is defending oneself and punishing the aggressor in kind, objectionable terrorism? If it is such, then it is unavoidable for us.

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This is in addition to our having experience in using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers, as we, alongside the Mujahideen, bled Russia for ten years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat.

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It is true that this shows that al-Qaida has gained, but on the other hand, it shows that the Bush administration has also gained, something of which anyone who looks at the size of the contracts acquired by the shady Bush administration-linked mega-corporations, like Haliburton and its kind, will be convinced. And it all shows that the real loser is...you.

[snip]
So I say to you, over 15 000 of our people have been killed and tens of thousands injured, while more than a thousand of you have been killed and more than 10 000 injured. And Bush's hands are stained with the blood of all those killed from both sides, all for the sake of oil and keeping their private companies in business.

[snip]
Be aware that it is the nation who punishes the weak man when he causes the killing of one of its citizens for money, while letting the powerful one get off, when he causes the killing of more than 1000 of its sons, also for money.

During his campaign, Kerry spoke often about the need to kill UBL, but that line of thought misses the point entirely.

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1Nov/040

Latin America Leans Further to the Left. This is perhaps the most exciting election-related news I have read this year.

The left made more inroads into Latin America in four elections this weekend as crisis-weary voters tired of decades of U.S-backed market reforms warmed to pragmatic platforms of economic growth with better distribution of wealth.

 

Tiny Uruguay became the latest South American nation to elect a leftist leader in a historic shift while the left notched up victories in local elections that could set the tone for future presidential votes in Brazil, Chile and Venezuela.

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