Sunday, December 05, 2004

Humorous Hoaxes and Tragic Truth

I haven’t the time to wonder with you about what my mind has been so hysterically exposed to today, but I will tell you this there are countless rude, crude Wright Wingnuts willing to fight Canada to see the return of their crusading messiah burning in a Bush Whacked state of flaming rage that Canada has such nerve as to accuse such a righteous man as his Wrighteousness. It is just satirical sweet almost justice juice, I have no idea if the people that forwarded me the CNN article even knew themselves, but if they read the links I sent in Reply I apologize for getting serious and raining on ‘our parade’, OH what a parade that would have been even in the rain.

First float must have glided by before the crowds gathered ....

- Humor - If Only It Were True News - Humor -

Canadian authorities arrest US president George W. Bush
Paul K. J. Copyright: PKJ -

Finding some truth to the spoof in the blog world ....

just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to screw with your blog

boffoblog points out some strange coincidence about skippy's site today, and if we were the type to believe in a nation-wide conspiracy to silence criticism of the ruling elite, we'd be worried.

last night we linked to boffoblog, who informed us of a great spoof on the nets about awol in canada. the spoof is in the form of a cnn web page, and the graphics make it look oh-so-authentic. boffo warns everyone to go check it out before cnn's lawyers get a smell of it, and go all cease-and-desist on the spoofer's ass.

the spoof story, accompanied by a pic of a bruised awol, goes thusly:

bush arrested

canada charges president with war crimes

on the first of his two-day planned visit to canada, george w. bush was taken into custody by canadian authorities citing war crime charges. under canadian law, even a non-citizen can be charged for crimes committed outside of canada once that individual enters the country.

the arrest claims that president bush has been "party to the crime of torturing prisoners held in guantáánamo bay and abu ghraib."

canadian prime minister paul martin released a written statement indicating that "proceedings have commenced against president george w. bush under the crimes against humanity and war crimes act (s. 9(3)).

" irwin cotler, minister of justice and attorney general of canada, had began an investigation into the alleged crimes of the bush administration on the basis of reports prepared by human rights organizations, journalists and scholars as well as recent decisions by u.s. courts.

"let this serve as a warning to any current or former official of the bush administration, like secretary of defense donald rumsfeld," said cotler, "that they enter canada at their own risk."and it goes on. ...(see above links)

But hang on a sec, why can't it be true, just for a few days, please oh please, please.

BBC Falls for Bhopal Hoax

The hoaxing of the BBC has now been all over the news. In case you haven't heard, on Friday the BBC broadcast an interview with a man claiming to be a representative of Dow Chemical, Jude Finisterra (is the guy's last name supposed to mean 'the end of the world'?). During the interview the man said that Dow had decided to accept full responsibility for the chemical disaster that killed thousands of people in Bhopal twenty years ago, and in addition it would pay $12 billion in compensation to the victims. The BBC broadcast the interview twice, causing Dow's stock value to promptly drop. Later that same day it became clear that the man wasn't a representative of Dow, and the BBC apologized for falling for a hoax. Though it tried to duck responsibility somewhat by claiming that it was the victim of an 'elaborate deception'. Was the deception really that elaborate? According to this NY Times article, the BBC was actually the one to make first contact with the hoaxers via a website that 'appeared to be Dow Chemical's web site'. So they fell for a hoax website. That's not that elaborate a deception. The man they interviewed was reportedly (in reality) Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men (a movie about them).
Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004
Permalink Comments (0) Category: Business/Finance, Journalism

Bush Arrested in Canada
mock CNN page with news about Bush being arrested in Canada and charged with war crimes has been doing the rounds, and apparently fooling quite a few people. It's pretty well done. The url even looks like it could be the real thing.Axis of Logic also has a satirical article about Bush being arrested on their site. Apparently the Axis of Logic article got picked up by the Google newsbot and was temporarily posted as a real headline on Google News. Hairy Houdini, as he promised in the Hoax Forum, sent me a screen cap of this (Thanks, HH, though unfortunately it doesn't look like your christmas wish will come true). I'm not sure if the mock CNN page and the Axis of Logic article are related in any way.
Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2004
Permalink Comments (12) Category: Hoax Websites, Politics

Now True News, Tragic Truth

‘Save the world, not the Empire‘
Printed on Wednesday, December 01, 2004 @ 00:00:58 CST

By Ramzy Baroud Guest Columnist (Qatar)
( -- If the invasion of Iraq was indeed a desperate attempt to guard the interests of the ill-defined American empire, then the experience of the last 20 months might’ve been the needed historical imperative that classically precedes the disintegration and demise of great empires.

No single factor leads to this grim reality, but a combination does.

The American public was duped into backing two dreadful wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq, thinking that by preemptively eliminating the ‘‘gathering dangers’' in these extremely poor countries, another 9/11 scenario might be thwarted. The elite coalition in Washington, however, had another scenario in mind, one almost of no relevance to the subject of averting terrorism altogether, but in fact one that is likely to spur the intensification of violence and counter violence. This is neither to suggest that the war in Afghanistan was devised on the same pretexts of the latter war, nor that the ruling class in Washington adheres to the same political, ideological or self-motivated philosophy.

The increasingly prevailing narrative now indicates that Iraq was the prize sought by the neo-conservative elements in US administrations as early as a decade prior to September 11, 2001. While the justifications for the war were modified according to the political atmosphere in Washington, Israel’s security was, and remains a focal point. This in part explains why neo-conservatives are often labeled the ‘‘Likudists’’ on Capital Hill, referring to Israel’s right wing Likud party. The allegation is equally strengthened by the incontrovertible fact that some neo-cons –– as they are often called - have served as advisors to past Israeli governments.

But the war party’s interests are, of course, not limited to that of Israel, or even to any other lone factor, be it strategic control over oil reserves, obstructing the growing Chinese economic force from encompassing the Middle East, defending the reputation of a weakening empire, or simply hunting for some Pentagon contracts. Added to that is the religious fanaticism and its rampant fervor that has more institutionalized and far-reaching influence in Washington than anywhere else in the world, with the possible exception of Israel and Iran.

To preserve these interests and widen them to reach other troubled (read exploitable) spots around the world, the average American must be kept under the watchful eye of state propaganda: Mission: Be Very Afraid.

Indeed, when in fear, people huddle, seeking salvation and deliverance; they learn to trust and become more gullible and are easily manipulated. In fear, presidents like George W. Bush achieve prominence, get reelected, rise to the status of the modern-day Messiah in the eyes of some, or many. It is, indeed, telling to see how Bush’s popularity fluctuates according to the variation of the terrorism scale alert. The nearer America is to the stage of ‘‘imminent threat,’’ the more worthy and trusted he becomes.

And in fear, easy explanations are sought as common sense peters out of the public discourse. Context, history and cultural sensibility are abandoned in favor of Bill O’Reily’s "factor", which now sets the stage, influences the agenda and dishonestly relates the truth as seen by hateful fanatics. Racist talk show hosts ride the wave to the end: "Nuke the Arabs", France or any other who dares question the way of the righteous, the mighty, the proprietors of manifest destiny.

In a state as dismal as that, "shoot to kill" becomes the only prevailing doctrine that precedes in its significance the profusion of international law that was forged as a result of a century of conflicts and war. Only the war general has the exclusive right to decide who is to live and who is to die, what city is to be destroyed and when: thus, the massacre of Fallujah. Peace is no longer the ultimate objective, but death for its sake, thus: "We didn’t get rid of the insurgency in Fallujah, but we definitely killed a lot of them," according to a US commentator.

But Americans, even if too frightened by the uncertain future, cannot be allowed access to information on the ongoing genocide in Iraq or any other battles for democracy. Full details must be hidden from the public. Even such a tactic is canonized somewhere by a neo-conservative publication. Robert Kaplan, a leading neo-conservative, writes in the Atlantic Monthly: "the best information strategy is to avoid attention-getting confrontations in the first place and to keep the public's attention as divided as possible. We can dominate the world only quietly, so to speak.

The moment the public focuses on a single crisis like the one in Iraq, it becomes a rallying point around which lonely and alienated people in a global mass society can define themselves through an uplifting group identity."

Therefore, by exposing the public to a controlled narrative, while blending the half-truths of the self-censoring corporate media to that of the propaganda-driven official account, the "rascal multitudes" can be kept under control. Add to that the occasional and well-calculated manipulation of terrorism alert levels and unleashing racist media pundits who insist that only by mass-murdering distanced and little understood "rag-heads" can Americans live in peace.

But even in conquest, common sense shouldn’t be altogether discarded. Why agitate a conflict with Iran if the Pentagon is struggling to locate a meager 5,000-7,000 additional troops to deploy to Iraq to fight an already lost war, which has kept 139,000 US troops busy fighting a few thousand lightly armed Iraqis? Why would a ‘‘moderate’' like the resigning Secretary of State Collin Powell insist on provoking the Iran front without any evidence of the latter’s ill intentions? Hasn’t America had enough of his ruse about Iraq’s ‘'stockpiles’’ of weapons of mass destruction? Why is the Israeli media –– the Jerusalem Post in particular - frantically trying to prove that Iran was the actual security threat to Israel, not Iraq? (Oops, we invaded the wrong country again). It won’t be long before serious talk about the army draft is introduced to this repellent discourse, not to secure America, but to secure the narrow interests of Washington’s war coalition.

September 11 didn’t break America. In fact, it constituted an opportunity to make it stronger and to rally world solidarity. What is in fact hurting America, diminishing its spirit, its reputation and its chances of maintaining its relevance and prominence, is this endless lust for war by a coalition of Armageddon-crying fanatics, neo-conservative pro-Israeli ideologues, aging war generals who are adamant about bringing democracy by killing everyone who dares to question their motives, and a president who must truly believe that he is God’s gift to humanity. To make this wretched discourse more digestible to the public, we are inundated with the wisdom of numerous ‘‘experts’’ who keep justifying why it was necessary for the US to take on (or take out) half the world and, like stock market experts, only rationalize a debacle after it unfolds.
The insurgency in Iraq is not nearing an end. In fact, "the daily number of attacks and incidents in Iraq is now running more than 100 per day, or double what it was before the Fallujah offensive began," according to a Knight Ridder article. What is equally perpetual is the desire in Washington to go after other ‘‘rouge states,’’ for the neo-conservatives’ "total war" cannot possibly achieve its full potential in Iraq and Afghanistan alone.

What that means precisely for the future of the empire is unclear. But it is out of the question that a positive scenario can possibly stem from this ongoing calamity. And since there is one percent more Americans who voted for Bush than for John Kerry, then the president has the needed mandates - that of God and of the people - to carry on with the fight against forces of darkness and the "axis of evil."

Nothing else shall bring an end to the international chaos and disorder, ensued and nurtured by fundamental and right-wing elements, but the course of action on the internal fronts in both Iraq and the United States: continued resistance in Iraq, and popular opposition at home. The focus here should neither be to salvage a disintegrating empire or a faltering reputation of a superpower, but to reclaim this world of ours, ruled by rogue fanatics and equally rogue states.

[Ramzy Baroud is a veteran Arab-American journalist. A regular columnist in many English and Arabic publications, he is editor-in-chief of Palestine Chronicle and head of the Research & Studies Department at English.]

The Ohio recount is going on now and needs help

Unlike John Kerry who folded before looking to see what cards he had been dealt, Green Party candidate David Cobb didn't concede the race in Ohio, and can complete a recount if the people can come up with the green. David Cobb and Michael Badnarik raised $150,000 in 4 days in order to make a recount possible and now they need help in the form of 1400 additional volunteers to make it happen! Read a Nov 22nd update from Michigan IMC on the recount effort in Ohio

Electoral Problems here, Electoral Victories in South America

Evidence of vote tampering include: ballot tricks, machine problems, hacking, and vote skimming. While some stew in anger towards Kerry, others are calling on him to "unconcede." While some strive to impeach Bush, others are preparing for the Counter Inauguration. Various new orgs such as Voters Unite along with the two factions of BlackBox Voting (1, and 2), both want your money and assistance to continue to probe Diebold. Meanwhile Mother Jones can say "we told ya so."
Things beneath the equator are going in a different direction, with elections in
Uruguay, Brasil and Venezuela (English) further establishing a leftist opposition to IMF policies. For more info, see indymedia Brazil Indymedia (Portuguese) and Uruguay Indymedia (Spanish),

What Now?

George W. Bush was re sElected president of the United States of America on November 2nd, amid widespread voter disenfranchisement, and concerns about electronic voting systems. Across the nation people took to the streets in protest. In Columbus Ohio, people stormed the statehouse, In San Fransisco, 5,000 people took to the streets, In DC a hundred people had a snake march through downtown, and in Portland police used pepper spray on the more than one thousand people who took to the streets. People protested in dozens of other American cities Here in Houston, Beyond the Ballots called for protests on the second and third. On the third a dozen or so Houstonians meet at the Federal building. While some marched, other felt frustrated and alienated. Much though has been put into why Kerry conceded the election so soon, who is to blame for Kerry's loss, and whether democracy comes out of the electoral system or from the streets. People in Houston and around the world are trying to figure out what to do next. There has been a call for a community meeting on November 14th at the Diedrich Coffee Shop on Montrose, to strategize future action here in Houston. In December the Radical Encuentro Camp is going to be hosted in Houston, and activists from across Texas will be coming to share skills, and learn strategies and tactics to create a better world, from non-violent direct action, and making our own media to anti-racist tools, and affinity group organizing. The theme of this 7th REC camp, is moving beyond electoral politics. In February the Austin IMC is hosting the IndyConfrence. Keep publishing your ideas, reports of actions and events, and announcements to Houston Indymedia. Many people are looking for ways to participate and transform our community and world.

Cacerolazo march, rally and protest against the War Profiteers

In the end of the December of 2001 the people of Argentina took to the streets banging pots and pans, and with the cry of "Que se Vayan Todos" or "throw them all out". Popular resistance in the streets forced 5 presidents out of office and limited the grip of the International Monetary Fund and the business class on the sovereignty of Argentina. Here in Houston on October 28th, citizens took to the streets, adopting the tactics off the Cacerolazo and demanding that the War Profiteers Halliburton and KBR and the Bush regime be thrown out of our community and out of office. The march against the War Profiteers met on October 28th at 4pm at Midtown Park, with more than a hundred people armed with signs, puppets, chants, a Free and Radical marching band and lots of people banging pots and pans. See Pictures: 1 2 3 4 5 Quick-time Video 5.9 Mb A group of Houstonians also brought War Profiteering to the attention of Houstonians on the 27th when they dropped 7 banners around Houston.

Got a reply to my reply to the CNN page, they do NOT want to believe it is NOT true. Nor do I but what do you do but Wonder.



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