First, I'd like to share this letter that I just got. I've slightly edited it (marked by stars) to keep it anonymous:
Thank you for your web site. It has helped put my mind to rest after learning that my son *** had a suspension (hope that's the right word) a few weeks ago. I must admit I was horrified to learn that he had had these hooks in his back and was lifted off the ground, but I have taken a look at your web site and feel better knowing it is not some back street alley organisation.
After all he is my son and I want to make sure he is safe and always will be no matter how old he gets. Thanks to a man called *** he is being pierced in a sterile atmosphere and I now know he is being looked after properly.
I know this sounds corny, but hey, I am his mum. I am proud of who he is, piercings and all — even with his *** *** *** *** ***. He is not on drugs and he is not a hooligan, but a well mannered and caring young man who would kill me if he knew I was writing this. My son *** ***.
I just thought that was really cool. I told her that of everything he's going through, knowing that he's got her support will probably affect him the most profoundly and positively. Anyway, I just thought it was awesome to get a letter like that.
Norman Mailer predicts that America is growing an empire, but losing democracy.
I'll let his words do the talking:
...America is going to become a mega-banana republic where the army will have more and more importance in Americans' lives. It will be an ever greater and greater overlay on the American system. And before it is all over, democracy, noble and delicate as it is, may give way. My long experience with human nature — I'm 80 years old now — suggests that it is possible that fascism, not democracy, is the natural state.
Indeed, democracy is the special condition — a condition we will be called upon to defend in the coming years. That will be enormously difficult because the combination of the corporation, the military and the complete investiture of the flag with mass spectator sports has set up a pre-fascistic atmosphere in America already.
The US has admitted that after Iraq is “liberated“, it's going to take an occupying force of hundreds of thousands of troops in order to keep it safe (and what's that going to cost?)… And I don't know if anyone caught the interview with General Wesley Clark (military analyst and former NATO supreme commander), but according to Gen. Clark (interviewed by Paula Zahn),
ZAHN: [Are there] strong ties between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda?
CLARK: Not necessarily now. But in the aftermath ... [al Qaeda will be there] for radical recruiting efforts.
That is, to be very very clear on this: war on Iraq guarantees more terrorists, more funding for terrorists, and of course more terrorist attacks on America and other Western nations. The traitors who've seized control of the US government know this, and desire this. It serves their goals* (ie. replacing the American Republic with the American Empire, and replacing democracy with fascism).
Rummy's latest lie is that Iraq is better armed now than they were in 1991. Come on. This is about the stupidest thing I've heard in some time… Although Ari's claim that Bush isn't trying to “buy UN votes” (ie. bribe poor nations into supporting the war) is up there too — and it got him laughed out of the briefing room. Seriously, the reporters just kept laughing at him until he stormed out of the room.
Outside of the fact that as long as alcohol and cigarettes are legal this type of prosecution is wrong, and that the notion of arresting someone for selling something legal (pipes, etc.) because those products could be misused is fundamentally counter to fair justice in my opinion, redirecting the web traffic means they're collecting data on anyone who visits these sites. This is an information gathering operation — none of these websites have yet been convicted of anything. Their customer records have been seized, and you can bet that's going in your permanent record, even if it's not acted on.
TIME TO BUILD A BIGGER BOMB! Now seriously, wouldn't the world be better off instead of building giant bombs, we just worked on the construction of giant bongs? I'm sure someone out there is printing BONGS NOT BOMBS shirts…
* I don't think it's a primary motivating factor at this point, but I will mention that given that the US has bought $1.6 billion of Iraqi oil in the last two months (two thirds of their entire production), that one certainly shouldn't fully discount the “black gold” conspiracy theory. I think that the fascist empire theory is closer to the core truth though.