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Surf-Worthy Sites:

Administration and Cost of Elections

Alaska Wilderness League

American Antitrust Institute

American Association of Retired Persons

American Federation of Government Employees

American Friends Service Committee

American Institute of Philanthropy

American Lands Alliance

American Library Asociation

American Peace

American Rivers

Americans for Computer Privacy

Americans for Democratic Action

Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Amnesty International

Anthrax Vaccine Network

Arms Control Association

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now

Atomic Veterans of America


Behind the Label

Black Box Voting

Bread for the World

Brennan Center for Justice


Business and Human Rights Resource Center

Campaign Against Arms Trade

Campaign Against Depleted Uranium

Campaign Finance Institute

Campaign for America's Future

Campaign for Safe and Affordable Drinking Water

Campaign for the Abolition of Sweatshops and Child Labor

Campaign to Ban Genetically Engineered Foods

Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods

CEE BankWatch Network

Center for Constitutional Rights

Center for Defense Information

Center for Democracy and Citizenship

Center for Digital Democracy

Center for Economic and Policy Research

Center for Food Safety

Center for International Policy

Center for Justice and Accountability

Center for National Security Studies

Center for Nonproliferation Studies

Center for Public Integrity

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Center for Voting and Democracy

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Chemical Industry Archives

Chernobyl Children's Project

Child Labor Coalition

Child Protective Services Watch

Children's Defense Fund

Chilling Effects Clearinghouse

Christian Aid

Chronic IllNet

Chronology of Incorporation and Monopoly

Citizen Action Project

Citizen Works

Citizens Against Government Waste

Citizens for Tax Justice

Citizens Network on Essential Services

Clary-Meuser Research Network

Clean Clothes Campaign

Coalition for a Competitive Pharmaceutical Market

Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers

Commercial Alert

Common Cause

Common Dreams

Commonweal Institute

Community Rights Council

Concord Coalition


Consumer Federation of America

Consumer Project on Technology

Consumer Research

Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering

Corporate Crime Reporter

Corporate Europe Observatory

Corporate Responsibility Coalition

Corporate Sunshine Working Group

Corporate Welfare Information Center

Corporate Welfare Shame Page


Corps of Engineers Watch

Council for a Livable World

Council on Hemispheric Affairs

Cronus Connection: Election Fraud and Voting Machines

Death Penalty Information Center

Defense and the National Interest

Democracy 21


Depleted Uranium Education Project

Depleted Uranium Watch

DES Action


Disabled American Veterans

Discernment Ministry International



Earth Institute


EarthRights International

Economic Policy Institute

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Electronic Privacy Information Center

Electronic Voting

Endgame Research

Energy Future Coalition

Environmental Investigation Agency

Environmental Working Group

Facts About Olestra

Fair Taxes for All

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting


Families of
September 11

Families USA: Voice for Health Care Consumers

Family Farm Alliance

Farm Credit Quagmire

FAS Project on Government Secrecy

FDA Review

Federation of American Scientists

Fellowship of Reconciliation

Fielding's DangerFinder

Fight Bad Faith Insurance Companies

Focus on the Corporation

Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights

Fourth Freedom Forum

Free Expression Policy Project

Friends of the Earth

Genocide Documentation Centre

Genocide in the 20th Century

Global Exchange


GRACE Factory Farm Project

Gulf War Veterans

Gush Shalom

Health Care Comparisons Worldwide

Health Privacy Project

Healthy Building Network

Heifer International

History House

Human Rights Watch

iAbolish: Anti-Slavery Web Portal


Independent Judiciary

Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton

Infact: Challenging Corporate Abuse

Initiative & Referendum Institute

Instant Runoff Voting

Institute for Energy and Environmental Research

Institute for Health Freedom

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Institute for Policy Studies

Institute for Public Accuracy

Interfaith Alliance

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

International ANSWER

International Atomic Energy Agency

International Campaign to Ban Landmines

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions

International Federation for Alternative Trade

International Fellowship of Reconciliation

International Institute for Environment and Development

International Labor Rights Fund

International POPs Elimination Network

Jewish Unity for a Just Peace

Keep Antibiotics Working

Landmine Survivors Network

League of Conservation Voters

League of Women Voters

Let's Invest in Families Today

Liberals Like Christ

Local Harvest

Los Alamos Study Group

Low Level Radiation Campaign

Maquila Solidarity Network

March for Justice


Measles Initiative

Mines Advisory Group


Mothers for Peace

Moving Ideas

National Center for Children in Poverty

National Coalition Against Censorship

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

National Committee for an Effective Congress

National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare

National Farmers Union

National Freedom of Information Coalition

National Freedom Scorecard

National Gulf War Resource Center

National Institute on Money in State Politics

National Labor Committee for Worker and Human Rights

National Organization for Rare Disorders

National Parks Conservation Association

National Priorities Project

National Vaccine Information Center

National Voting Rights Institute

Native American Rights Fund


Natural Resources Defense Council

Neturei Karta

New Rules Project


No Free Lunch: Just Say No to Drug Reps

No Spray Coalition

Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development

Nuclear Control Institute

Nuclear Threat Initiative

Office of Management & Budget Watch Money in Politics

Open Society Institute

Organic Consumers Association

Our Stolen Future

Oxfam International

Participatory Democracy

Pax Christi International

People for the American Way

Pesticide Action Network North America

Physicians for Human Rights

Polaris Institute

Political Money Line

Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy

Project Against the Present Danger

Project on Government Oversight

Project Underground

Project Vote Smart

Protection Project


Public Citizen

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibity

Rainforest Action Network


Reaching Critical Will

Reclaim Democracy

Reclaim the Media


Resource Center of the Americas

Responsible Wealth

Rethinking Schools

Right-To-Know Network

Safe Tables Our Priority: Food Safety and Food-Borne Illness


Save the Children

Secretive World of Voting Machines

Send a Cow

September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

Shared Hope International

Small Business Survival Committee

Society for Animal Protective Legislation

Soft Money Laundromat

Sojourners: Christians for Justice and Peace

Soldiers for the Truth

Soy Online Service

Sprawl Busters


Stop Carnivore

Stop Disney Sweatshops

Stop Patient Abuse Now Coalition


Sweetwater Alliance

Swords to Plowshares

Talion: Voting Machines

Tax Foundation

Taxpayers for Common Sense

Ten Thousand Villages

Third World Traveler

Tort Reform Reader


Transparency International

Traprock Peace Center

Truth About Credit

20/20 Vision

UN Landmines Fact Sheet

UN Population Fund

Union of Concerned Scientists

United for a Fair Economy

United for Peace & Justice

Uranium Medical Research Centre

US Campaign to Ban Landmines

US Congregational Life Survey

US Public Interest Research Group

Veterans for Common Sense

Vital Voices Global Partnership

VoteWatch: Repository for Voter Complaints

Water Aid

Water Barons Government Accountability Project

Wilderness Society

WISE Uranium Project

Womens International League for Peace & Freedom

World Resources Institute

WorldWatch Institute

Worldwide Fund for Mothers Injured in Childbirth


Yucca Mountain Facts

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Saturday, August 30, 2003

Federal Regulators Seek to Clear Utilities

Trying to make the California Energy Scam go away, per the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

Federal regulators filed motions to dismiss claims that utilities illegally manipulated the power market to profit during California's power crisis, and a federal court judge dismissed seven class-action lawsuits that accused Duke Energy and other defendants of manipulating energy prices.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission attorneys filed motions Friday to dismiss claims against more than a dozen public and private companies in an investigation into manipulation of the state's power market...Federal regulators have been investigating possible manipulation for 18 months. During the probe, now-bankrupt Enron said that it had used questionable trading strategies in California with names like Fat Boy and Death Star...

"FERC trial staff seems to move aggressively only to the extent of letting companies off the hook," said Lockyer spokesman Tom Dresslar.

dystopia 2:48 PM - [Link]

Death and Hesitation in Iraq

It looks like that little punk Bremer's hightailed it out of Baghdad since the UN bombing. The NY Times reports:

The car bomb that killed one of Iraq's most important spiritual leaders today was apparently met by a political vacuum in the nation's capital, where the Iraqi and American officials charting the country's future seemed unsure who should respond and how.

Ayatollah Muhammad Bakr al-Hakim, a symbol of moderation in this restive land, was dead. Religious leaders called for blood and vengeance, and in some places the ayatollah's mourners took to the streets. Yet here in Baghdad, the Iraqi and American officials charged with shepherding this country toward democratic rule went about their business as if little had changed.

There were no speeches calling for calm and few public appearances by anyone in charge. L Paul Bremer III, the chief American administrator, was on vacation. Nobody seemed to know when exactly he would return. The American military command here said nothing.

Where the hell is that little bastard? Perle's French villa?

dystopia 2:24 PM - [Link]

Voting Machine Controversy in Ohio

Via the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

The Aug 14 letter from Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc--who has become active in the re-election effort of President Bush--prompted Democrats this week to question the propriety of allowing O'Dell's company to calculate votes in the 2004 presidential election.

O'Dell attended a strategy pow-wow with wealthy Bush benefactors--known as Rangers and Pioneers--at the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch earlier this month. The next week, he penned invitations to a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser to benefit the Ohio Republican Party's federal campaign fund--partially benefiting Bush--at his mansion in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington.

Shit the bed. You need to read this, and help me holler about it.

dystopia 2:07 PM - [Link]

Today in Dystopian History: August 30

1637: Anne Hutchinson was charged with "traducing the ministry" in Boston.

1682: William Penn first sailed to the New World.

1759: Samson Occom, a Mohegan, was ordained a minister by the Suffolk Presbytery of Long Island, NY.

1781: The French defeated the British in the Battle of Chesapeake Capes.

1800: Gabriel Prosser's slave revolt was betrayed.

1813: After brutal US raids on Creek villages, the Red Sticks retaliated with the Massacre at Fort Mims.

1819: The Treaty of Fort Harrison ceded all Kickapoo lands in Illinois and Indiana.

1831: A treaty was signed by the Ottawa at Miami Bay, ceding their lands in Ohio.

1842: The Tariff Act banned the import of indecent material, the first federal anti-pornography law.

1862: The Second Battle of Bull Run ended.

1862: Confederates under Edmund Kirby Smith routed the Union army in the Battle of Richmond.

1881: After Col Eugene Carr tried to arrest an Apache shaman, Indian scouts revolted at Cibicue Creek.

1900: The Portland Labor Press was founded.

1908: The UMW called off a bitter coal strike in Birmingham.

1919: A race riot broke out in Knoxville, TN.

1935: The Revenue Act, or Wealth Tax, became law.

1945: The USS San Juan began evacuating Allied POWs from Japan.

1962: US Army helicopters airlifted VNAF troops into the jungles of Quang Ngai, in Operation Lam Son II.

1963: Viet Cong ground fire shot down a US helicopter near Tay Ninh, killing 2.

1964: The Democrats refused to seat the Freedom Democratic Party at the national convention instead of the segregationist Mississippi Democratic Party.

1967: Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as the first black Justice of the Supreme Court.

1967: At Phong Le, Communist sappers blew a bridge out from under a Marine regiment, killing or wounding 42.

1968: During the Democratic National Convention, Chicago police invaded Sen Eugene McCarthy's headquarters and attacked his staffers.

1971: Ten empty school buses were blown up in Pontiac, MI, just before busing to achieve integration began.

1980: Rep Michael Myers was convicted in the Abscam sting.

1981: The Nashville Tennessean reported that KKK Grand Wizard Bill Wilkinson was an FBI informant.

1983: Judy Johnson's son was interviewed about sexual abuse at the McMartin Preschool.

1990: In a speech, President Bush said that a new world order could emerge from the Gulf crisis.

1994: Lockheed and Martin Marietta signed a merger, creating one of the world's biggest defense contractors.

1996: Rep Maxine Waters and Sen Dianne Feinstein sent letters to the Attorney General asking that she investigate CIA involvement in drug trafficking.

2002: The FTC voted unanimously in favor of the $15 billion merger of Conoco and Phillips.

dystopia 12:43 PM - [Link]

Friday, August 29, 2003

Foundations Paying Millions to Trustees

From the Common Dreams NewsWire, a revealing look at parasites in high places running a high-dollar scam:

A new study analyzing the tax returns of 238 foundations has revealed that in a single year, they spent nearly $45 million on "trustee fees"--the vast bulk of which go to their own predominately wealthy boards of directors rather than to the charitable causes they were set up to fund...Of this amount, $31,054,256 was distributed to individual board members--$24,749,451 at the large foundations and $6,304,805 at the smaller foundations. The remainder, $13,837,726, went to bank trustees at 25 foundations...

Based on the 990-PF's and our follow-up phone calls, we found that, with a number of notable exceptions, trustees in general spent little time on foundation business.

The Internal Revenue Service and the state attorneys general, which have the responsibility for overseeing foundation activities, have not had the resources or, at times, the will to effectively crack down on abuses.

dystopia 5:28 PM - [Link]

Print Media Banned from Victory Tour

A behind-the-scenes report by Howard Altman, booted out of Ashcroft's appearance at, ironically, the National Constitution Center, in the Philadelphia City Paper:

The little Secret Service agent...stops me from following a flock of television reporters heading for a brief presser with the man who could not even beat a corpse.

"You can't go in here," says the little Secret Service agent..."I am sorry," she says as the last of the camera crews whiz by. "But he is not talking to print. Only talking to television"...

"I think it sucks, but if he wants to talk to TV, there's not much we can do," Nick Fox, a New York Times national editor, responds via e-mail. "The president does that; I can't recall the AG doing it."

Found via American NewsReel.

dystopia 4:38 PM - [Link]

Even Republicans Say Ashcroft Out of Control

The Victory Tour bombed in Boise, per Capitol Hill Blue:

One of this state's most prominent politicians, Rep CL "Butch" Otter (R), is leading an effort in Congress to curtail the centerpiece of Ashcroft's anti-terrorism strategy, the USA Patriot Act. Sen Larry E Craig (R-Idaho), who used to croon alongside Ashcroft in a senatorial quartet, said this month that Congress may have to consider scaling back parts of the law. And in a state with an all-GOP congressional delegation, several city councils and the legislature are considering resolutions condemning Ashcroft's tactics in the war on terrorism.

"Ashcroft wants more power," said state Rep Charles Eberle (R-Post Falls), who has drafted a resolution critical of the Patriot Act. "What a lot of us in Idaho are saying is, 'Let's not get rid of the checks and balances'...People out here in the West are used to taking care of themselves. We don't like the government intruding on our constitutional rights."

The tour's tanking with other GOPers for a different reason--because it draws too much voter attention to the controversy over Patriot I & II:

Even some Republicans are troubled by Ashcroft's visits to 18 cities in 16 states, questioning whether the tour will do more harm than good by focusing attention on the civil liberties issue. Larry D Thompson, the departing deputy attorney general, and key White House officials reached out to several conservatives in recent weeks to enlist their help, only to hear of deep concerns about the act from some allies...

dystopia 4:13 PM - [Link]

14 Busted in Opium Ring

It's here! Afghan opium at your doorstep, thanks to the non-War on Drugs in post-war Afghanistan. AZCentral reports:

Federal agents arrested 14 men and seized 88 pounds of raw opium smuggled from Afghanistan and Iran as part of a suspected international drug ring.

John Fernandes, acting special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Los Angeles, said in announcing the arrests Thursday that the smuggling organization was well-structured and had "vast capabilities" to import and distribute raw opium easily converted to heroin.

The article caught my eye because of an item in yesterday's Dystopian History. While looking for a good link on Afghanistan's resurgent opium production, I learned that in February 2001, UN drug control officers claimed they found poppy cultivation in that country nearly wiped out under Taliban rule.

I remembered reading a while back that somebody's been doing some aerial spraying there, killing some locals along with the crops. Then, just a week or two ago, I was reading that US troops in Afghanistan have been stumbling across plenty of poppy fields, but aren't doing anything about them because it isn't their job.

I dunno. Whatever is or isn't being done, it doesn't appear to be working.

dystopia 3:39 PM - [Link]

Musharraf's Army Breaking Ranks

Asia Times reports on Pakistan's dangerously fractured forces:

It is an open secret in Washington now that a delegation of senior Pakistani army officers, sent to Afghanistan prior to the US invasion ostensibly to convince the Taliban to step down, actually spent their time instructing the Taliban on how to protect their weapons from the impending US aerial bombing...

After taking over from Sharif, Musharraf placed a team of religious zealots in all prominent positions. Now he is reversing that trend and is ditching many stalwarts in favor of new, more flexible, faces--faces that are presumably more acceptable to the US.

This has not been without severe backlash. Three known assassination plots have been hatched against the general, but he has remained undeterred; in fact, moves to rid the services of religious-minded officers have gathered pace, and many have been given their marching orders or passed over for promotion.

The situation bears watching. The army's really pissed right now because Musharraf agreed to send Pakistani troops into Iraq, so they might pull something sneaky there like in Afghanistan--potentially bad news for US troops.

dystopia 3:10 PM - [Link]

Today in Dystopian History: August 29

1641: A representative government, the Board of Twelve Men, was selected in New Amsterdam.

1758: The first Indian reservation in the US, Edge Pillock, was established in New Jersey.

1779: Gen John Sullivan defeated the Mohawks in the Battle of Newton.

1786: Shay's Rebellion began in Northampton, MA.

1852: The Mormon revelation on celestial marriage was first made public by Elder Orson Pratt.

1861: The first US currency was produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

1863: The US Army issued General Order 64, assigning the Provost Marshal General to conscript "all able-bodied men of color" into the Corps d'Afrique.

1865: In the Battle of Tongue River, US troops attacked an Arapaho village, killing 60 men, women and children.

1911: Ishi, the last survivor of the stone-age Yahi Yana tribe, was discovered in California.

1921: Newspapers noted that KKK members had tarred and feathered 43 Texans during the previous week.

1925: US Marines were deployed to Shanghai to protect the International Settlement.

1942: The Red Cross accused Japan of refusing passage of food, medicine, and other supplies for American POWs.

1945: Secret Army and Navy reports on the attack on Pearl Harbor were released.

1950: Assistant Secretary of State Edward Barrett claimed that most of the "captive populations" in Soviet satellite nations opposed Russia, calling for increased US propaganda to split the communist bloc.

1957: After Sen Strom Thurmond's 24-hour filibuster ended, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act.

1957: 2,300 people witnessed a Nevada nuclear test on-site, so the US Army could test its effects on humans.

1970: 30,000 Chicanos gathered in East LA to protest the disproportionate number of Chicano soldiers dying in Vietnam; journalist Ruben Salazar and 2 others were killed by police.

1970: Selective Service reported that prosecutions for draft evasion had increased 10 times since 1965.

1973: President Nixon was ordered by Judge John Sirica to turn over the Watergate tapes.

1980: The State Department recommended that the Commerce Department not sell commercial jets to Iraq due to its support of terrorism.

1983: 2 US Marines were killed by mortar shells at the Beirut airport.

1990: Harken president Mike Faulkner proposed a deal between Harken and Harvard Management's venture capital arm; George W Bush motioned "to approve the Company continuing its discussion...and authorized management to proceed in negotiations..."

1996: A letter from Sen Barbara Boxer to CIA Director John Deutch was published, asking Deutch to investigate CIA involvement in drug trafficking.

1996: Presidential advisor Dick Morris resigned due to a sex scandal.

2002: VP Dick Cheney opined that new UN weapons inspections were unlikely to guarantee that Iraq had ended its WMD programs; Iraqi VP Ramadan opined that inspections were a "waste of time" as the US had already decided on "changing the regime by force."

dystopia 1:46 PM - [Link]

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Mystery of the 'Jobless Recovery'

The Christian Science Monitor says:

Consider these facts: Employment growth at the moment is the lowest for any recovery since the government started keeping such statistics in 1939. The labor force shrank in July as discouraged workers stopped seeking employment. The number of people employed has fallen by more than 1 million since the "recovery" began in the fall of 2001. The upshot: Better throw a ballpark frank on the barbecue this weekend instead of a T-bone.

Happy Labor Day.

dystopia 6:05 PM - [Link]

Republicans Take Over K Street

Okay, well, we already knew about this, but this article in the Christian Science Monitor is still a pretty aggravating read on lobbying, Congress and the revolving door:

At least 160 former members of Congress are currently registered as lobbyists. As former members, they have special access to the floor of the Congress, the exclusive gym, dining rooms, and the most valuable perk on Capitol Hill: a parking space.

Some of the top Republicans in the 107th Congress are about to see their one-year statute of limitations on lobbying former congressional colleagues expire. These include former House majority leader Dick Armey and Republican Conference Chairman JC Watts of Oklahoma. Some say they expect to do much the same work they did in the Congress, but for a lot more money...

The reason a former GOP lawmaker is worth so much to a lobby shop is access. Armey notes that while he is still barred from lobbying Congress, he is working on issues with the Bush administration. "You can almost not find an agency in this government that does not have an Armey guy in it," he says, referring to former aides.

dystopia 5:56 PM - [Link]

Groups Sue to Obtain Documents on Utah Deal

The Wilderness Society says:

Conservationists filed suit yesterday in Federal District Court here charging the Interior Department is illegally withholding documents concerning a deal struck in secret that prohibits government identification and protection of wilderness-quality lands on more than 150 million acres.

The "no more wilderness" deal was cooked up behind closed doors by Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Utah Governor Mike Leavitt, who is now President Bush's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency...

The lands at stake are overseen by the BLM. Under the "no more wilderness" deal...the BLM could no longer inventory its lands across the West to determine if they have wilderness values, nor could the agency protect such lands as "Wilderness Study Areas." Norton also agreed that BLM had no authority to protect lands for their wilderness character above a few million acres protected a decade ago as Wilderness Study Areas.

Lotsa luck. Saw that vile Norton chick on C-Span yesterday, talking anti-environmental propaganda to schoolchildren. Didn't like it one bit.

dystopia 4:55 PM - [Link]

Veterans and Supporters: Register to Vote!

Veterans for Common Sense offers this very important reminder, along with a handy link for online voter registration:

Veterans for Common Sense asks you to do your truly patriotic duty and Register to Vote. VCS wants to assist citizens with registering to vote before the 2004 presidential election. Via a new online voter registration tool, you can register to vote, update your address or change your party registration in a few easy steps. If you've moved or have never been registered to vote before, now's the time!

To Register to Vote, click on the link below:

Working for Change

Please be sure to ask your friends if they are registered to vote. And remember, please vote on Election Day because every vote matters!

dystopia 4:35 PM - [Link]

2002 Worst Smog Season in Years, Outlook Bleak

A press release from the US Public Interest Research Group says:

On the eve of key EPA and Congressional decisions on air pollution laws, new data show that 2002 was the worst smog season in recent years, according to a new Clear the Air report released today by US PIRG. Danger in the Air: Unhealthy Levels of Smog in 2002 found that smog monitors in 41 states and the District of Columbia recorded unhealthy levels of air pollution on nearly 9,000 occasions in 2002, nearly double the number of violations of the national health standard for smog in 2001.

EPA is expected to finalize the most sweeping rollback in the 33-year history of the Clean Air Act as early as today or tomorrow. Congress will return next week to face decisions on a new EPA Administrator and the administration's plan to allow power plants to pump millions more tons of smog-forming pollutants into the air.

"Smog triggers asthma attacks, sends hundreds of thousands of Americans to emergency rooms each summer, and keeps kids from playing outdoors on hot days," said US PIRG Clean Air Advocate Emily Figdor. "The Bush administration's plan to weaken the Clean Air Act is like pouring gasoline on a fire--it will make a bad situation much worse," she continued.

That whistling noise? Oh, that's just my bronchioles--pay no mind.

dystopia 4:18 PM - [Link]

Perle Cites Errors, Urges Power Transfer

According to Yahoo! News, Perle's been talking to the press while summering at his French chateau:

Richard Perle, a leading Pentagon adviser and architect of the US war to topple Saddam Hussein, said the United States had made mistakes in Iraq and that power should be handed over to the Iraqis as fast as possible...

Goshamighty. He really ought to be more careful about what he says on foreign soil. Might get dixie-chicked or something.

dystopia 4:02 PM - [Link]

Today in Dystopian History: August 28

1609: Henry Hudson discovered Delaware Bay.

1645: The Narragansetts ceded to the English the Pequot lands the tribe gained in the Treaty of Hartford.

1676: King Philip's Great Captain, the elderly Annawon, was captured in Rehoboth and executed.

1798: The first commercial vineyard in the US was planted in Kentucky by Jean Jacques DuFour.

1830: The first US-built steam locomotive, the Tom Thumb, made its first run.

1862: The Battle of Second Manassas began.

1867: The US took formal possession of the uninhabited Midway Islands.

1869: 3 members of John Wesley Powell's Grand Canyon expedition quit; after climbing the cliffs at Separation Canyon, they were promptly killed by Indians.

1884: The first known photograph of a tornado was made near Howard, SD.

1917: Suffragists were arrested while picketing the White House.

1918: Big Bill Haywood and other IWW leaders were sentenced to 5 to 20 years prison for draft obstruction.

1933: The Filipino Labor Union led 6,000 California lettuce workers on strike.

1933: Executive Order No. 6260 regulated the hoarding and exporting of gold.

1935: The Public Utility Holding Company Act put the public utilities industry under the oversight of the FTC.

1937: The Toyota Motor Company was founded.

1941: The Office of Price Administration was created.

1942: The Reigner Cable was forwarded to American rabbi Stephen Wise, exposing Nazi plans to exterminate millions of Jews.

1945: US emissary Patrick Hurley escorted Mao Tse-tung to Chungking to negotiate with Chiang Kai-shek.

1951: The Hawaii 7 were arrested under the Smith Act.

1955: Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi for talking to a white woman in an "improper" way.

1963: Rev Martin Luther King, Jr, delivered the I Have a Dream speech during the March on Washington.

1968: US ambassador John Gordon Mein was killed in a kidnap attempt in Guatemala City.

1968: During the Democratic National Convention, Mayor Daley explained violence against protesters to the press: "The policeman isn't there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder."

1981: The governor of Nevada met with White House officials to protest placement of MX missiles in his state.

1986: John Walker's Navy colleague Jerry Whitworth, convicted of spying for the Soviet Union, was sentenced to 365 years.

1987: The home of the Ray family, who went to court to get their AIDS-afflicted hemophiliac sons admitted to public school, was destroyed by arson in Arcadia, FL.

1995: Chase Manhattan and Chemical Bank announced their $10 billion deal, creating the biggest bank in the US.

1996: NBC Nightly News reported that the diet drug Fenfluramine might cause heart problems.

2002: The Globe & Mail reported that Afghanistan was becoming the top producer of opium once again.

dystopia 3:21 PM - [Link]

Internet Outage

I'm sorry I had no news for you yesterday. The long-awaited rain for my dessicated garden finally came, along with a thunderbolt that knocked me offline.

Prob'ly wouldn't have had that much to say anyway--I've been in deep thought mode this week and haven't felt like talking about much of anything.

dystopia 9:15 AM - [Link]

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Today in Dystopian History: August 27

1665: A performance of Ye Bare and Ye Cubb in Virginia began the American entertainment industry.

1758: Col John Bradstreet captured Fort Frontenac from the French.

1776: In the Battle of Long Island, British troops under Gen William Howe defeated Gen George Washington's rebel forces.

1832: Black Hawk surrendered, ending the Black Hawk War.

1859: The first commercially-productive oil well was drilled near Titusville, PA.

1894: Congress passed the Wilson-Gorman Tariff, which included a 2% income tax soon struck down by the Supreme Court.

1917: Charles Schenk was arrested; the Supreme Court later said a clear and present danger was posed by his anti-draft leaflet "Long Live the Constitution of the US."

1928: The Kellogg-Briand pact was signed in Paris, seeking to outlaw war as an instrument of national policy, but it lacked any means of enforcement.

1941: Japanese PM Konoe Fumimaro announced that he wanted to enter into direct negotiations with President Roosevelt to prevent the Japanese conflict with China from escalating into world war.

1942: The first Japanese-American inmates arrived at the Granada Relocation Center in Colorado.

1949: An anti-communist mob broke up a Paul Robeson concert in Peekskill, NY.

1950: NBC and General Foods abruptly fired star Jean Muir from the hit TV show The Aldrich Family after a Red Channels pamphlet accused her of being a communist.

1963: The submarine USS Grayback suffered a serious fire while operating in the northern Pacific, killing one.

1965: The USS Shangri-La and the USS Newman K Perry collided off Sardinia, killing one.

1967: The Peace Torch, lit in Hiroshima, began its journey from San Francisco to Washington, DC, for a rally against the war.

1969: Bob Eaton was jailed for 3 years for refusing to be drafted.

1980: US ambassador John Gunther Dean survived an assassination attempt in Beirut.

1980: The House Armed Services Committee investigated why development of the B-2 stealth bomber was kept secret from Congress.

1981: A report that former Green Beret Luke Thompson was recruited to train terrorists in Libya stemmed from charges against former CIA agent Edwin Wilson.

1986: Congress reinstated the Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin tribes of Oregon.

1996: California Gov Pete Wilson signed an order to halt state benefits to illegal immigrants.

1998: Pacifist David Dellinger, age 83, was arrested while protesting a nuclear reactor.

1998: Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-'Owhali appeared in a US federal court to face charges in the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

2000: Russia sued the US tobacco industry in Florida to recover the medical costs of smokers, charging that the companies hid the health risks of cigarettes and damaged Russia's economy.

2001: Site preparation work began for the WW II memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

dystopia 2:11 PM - [Link]

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Started Your Christmas Shopping Yet?

You might consider shopping with a fair trade organization this year. Here's a few to browse:

Ten Thousand Villages
Fair Trade Quilts & Crafts
Global Exchange Fair Trade Store
TransFair USA
Bright Hope International

These places provide an outlet for workers around the world to sell all kinds of original hand-crafted merchandise, including clothing, jewelry, food, textiles, home decor, toys, etc.

It seems like most everything for sale in Corporate America these days is imported from one place or another. To me, fair trade shopping is a more appealing choice.

dystopia 5:45 PM - [Link]

Attacks on Federal Resource Employees Rising

Homegrown terrorism is a growing problem for employees on public lands, and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility wants you to know that the Bush administration isn't doing much about it:

Agency incident reports, obtained by PEER through the Freedom of Information Act, document a growing danger to employees of the US Forest Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as crime and anti-federal sentiments intensify on public lands...

"These numbers may be only the tip of the iceberg, as many people in the field are discouraged from reporting threats and assaults...By its environmental policies, the Bush Administration is actually encouraging defiance of resource regulations, leaving its own staff to deal with growing conflicts without backing from above"...

"While Attorney General Ashcroft is spreading alarm about foreign terrorists, his Justice Department continues to ignore threats coming from the radical property rights community...

dystopia 4:36 PM - [Link]

Today in Dystopian History: August 26

1765: In Milton, MA, the home of Lt Gov Thomas Hutchinson was destroyed in a Stamp Act riot.

1791: John Fitch patented the first steamboat.

1839: The Amistad was seized off Long Island, NY.

1873: The St Louis school board authorized the first public kindergarten in the US.

1874: Men in disguise took 16 blacks from a Trenton, TN, jail and shot them to death after the shooting of 2 mules by blacks.

1908: The NY Division of Child Hygiene was the first in the US.

1919: UMW organizer Fannie Sellins and Joseph Starzeleski were killed by deputies during a strike.

1920: The 19th Amendment was declared ratified, granting women the right to vote.

1935: The United Auto Workers union was founded.

1942: Howard Perry, the US Marine Corps' first black recruit in 167 years, reported to Montford Point.

1945: The US announced it would occupy Korea south of the 38th parallel; the Soviet Union was to occupy the north.

1949: The submarine USS Cochino exploded and sank off Norway, killing 6 rescuers and a civilian engineer.

1967: Maj George Day was captured when his F-100F was shot down over North Vietnam.

1968: The Democratic National Convention opened in Chicago; police and the National Guard clashed with protesters.

1969: In Washington, Quinault Indians closed reservation lands to development by non-Indians.

1981: The Secretary of Education announced a commission to recommend ways to improve US schools, resulting in the report A Nation at Risk.

1981: The CIA admitted that former agents, including Edwin Wilson, had illegal dealings with Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi.

1982: Benjamin Sasway was convicted of refusing to register for the draft.

1992: President Bush signed the Animal Enterprise Protection Act to protect commercial and academic research facilities from attacks by animal activists.

1992: A mistrial was declared in the Iran-Contra coverup trial of CIA spy Clair George.

1992: President Bush imposed the Southern No Fly Zone in Iraq and announced Operation Southern Watch.

1993: Task Force Ranger flew into Mogadishu to begin pursuing Aidid and his top lieutenants.

1996: Barbara Jewell asked President Clinton to clear her son's name in the Olympic Park bombing.

1996: US financier Robert Vesco was convicted in a Cuban court of scheming to defraud Cuba's pharmaceutical industry.

1998: The FCC closed pirate radio stations in Cleveland.

1998: The DOJ announced an investigation into whether Microsoft bullied Intel into delaying new technology.

1998: Sudan filed a criminal lawsuit against the US for bombing the El-Shifa pharmaceutical company.

2002: VP Dick Cheney told a VFW audience: "The Iraqi regime has in fact been very busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents, and they continue to pursue the nuclear program..."

dystopia 1:15 PM - [Link]

Monday, August 25, 2003

Rally Against US Militarism

There will be a mass march on Washington the weekend of October 25-26 to demand an end to the occupation in Iraq and to protest the Patriot Act on the second anniversary of its signing. International ANSWER has the info.

dystopia 6:12 PM - [Link]

Executive Excess

A press release from United for a Fair Economy says:

CEOs at companies with the largest layoffs, most underfunded pensions and biggest tax breaks were rewarded with bigger paychecks, according to a new report, "Executive Excess 2003: CEOs Win, Workers and Taxpayers Lose."

Median CEO pay skyrocketed 44 percent from 2001 to 2002 at the 50 companies with the most announced layoffs in 2001, while overall CEO pay rose only 6 percent. These layoff leaders had median compensation of $5.1 million in 2002, compared with $3.7 million at the 365 large corporations surveyed by Business Week...

At the 24 Fortune 500 companies with the most subsidiaries in offshore tax havens, median CEO pay over the 2000 to 2002 period was $26.5 million--87 percent more than the $14.2 million median three-year pay at firms surveyed by Business Week.

dystopia 5:01 PM - [Link]

Today in Dystopian History: August 25

1540: Explorer Hernando de Alarcón traveled up the Colorado River.

1718: New Orleans was founded by Jean Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville.

1737: An agreement was signed by Thomas Penn and Munsee chiefs for the sale of Indian lands along the Delaware River, resulting in the Walking Purchase.

1860: Gold was discovered at Aurora, NV.

1862: The Secretary of War ordered Brig Gen Rufus Saxton to organize black troops.

1893: A Colored Peoples' Day was featured at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

1902: Al-Huda began publication in NYC, the first Arabic daily newspaper in the US.

1915: The first Yellow Cab debuted, in Chicago.

1916: The National Park Service was established.

1921: The West Virginia governor asked President Harding for federal troops and military aircraft to put down labor unrest in the coal mines.

1925: Black labor organizer A Phillip Randolph founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.

1937: The Pullman Company signed a contract with the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, one of the first labor victories for black workers.

1939: A riot broke out in San Antonio after Mayor Maury Maverick defended the free speech rights of communists to speak at the municipal auditorium.

1941: Flight instruction began at the Tuskegee Institute, which prepared 926 Tuskegee Airmen for combat in WWII.

1944: The Red Ball Express began operations, transporting materiel to US troops advancing through France from Normandy to the German border.

1945: Capt John Birch was shot to death in China.

1948: The Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors was founded in Philadelphia.

1950: The USS Benevolence sank after a collision with the SS Mary Luckenbach in San Francisco Bay; 23 died.

1950: President Truman ordered the federal seizure of railroads to prevent a strike.

1967: American Nazi leader George Lincoln Rockwell was killed by a sniper.

1968: Chicago police clubbed people in Lincoln Park who refused to leave at curfew.

1972: The Washington Post reported that Archer Daniels Midland CEO Dwayne Andreas, whose $25,000 Nixon contribution ended up in the Watergate fund, had received a federal bank charter with unusual speed.

1985: White House documents confirmed that President Reagan was an FBI informant in Hollywood in the late 1940s while head of the Screen Actors Guild.

1985: Samantha Smith, invited to the Soviet Union after writing a letter calling for peace, died in an airplane crash at age 13.

1993: American Amy Biehl was killed in South Africa.

1993: Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman was indicted by a federal grand jury for terrorist activities, including the World Trade Center bombing.

1995: Harry Wu, human rights activist, returned to the US after being expelled by China, accused of spying.

dystopia 2:43 PM - [Link]

Listen While You Surf:


i.e. America Radio

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Books Worth Reading (linked to reviews):

The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood (1986)

How the Good Guys Finally Won: Notes from an Impeachment Summer, by Jimmy Breslin (1975)

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar (1990)

Big Blues: The Unmaking of IBM, by Paul Carroll (1993)

Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson (1962)

The Road Ahead, by Bill Gates with Nathan Myhrvold and Peter Rinearson (1996)

Charismatic Chaos, by John F MacArthur, Jr (1992)

The American Way of Birth, by Jessica Mitford (1992)

Ethel: A Fictional Autobiography, by Tema Nason (1990)

Arrogant Capital: Washington, Wall Street, and the Frustration of American Politics, by Kevin Phillips (1994)

Flying High: The Story of Boeing and the Rise of the Jetliner Industry, by Eugene Rodgers (1996)

Clearing the Air, by Daniel Schorr (1977)

Trammell Crow, Master Builder: The Story of America's Largest Real Estate Empire, by Robert Sobel (1989)

The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed, by David Stockman (1986)

Oil Man: The Story of Frank Phillips and the Birth of Phillips Petroleum, by Michael Wallis (1995)

Marathon: The Pursuit of the Presidency 1972-1976, by Jules Witcover (1977)

Belly Up: The Collapse of the Penn Square Bank, by Philip L Zweig (1985)