The Daily Dystopian

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05/18/03 - 05/24/03
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05/04/03 - 05/10/03
04/27/03 - 05/03/03
04/20/03 - 04/26/03
04/13/03 - 04/19/03
04/06/03 - 04/12/03
03/30/03 - 04/05/03
03/23/03 - 03/29/03
03/16/03 - 03/22/03

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, September 27, 2003

CIA Seeks Probe of White House

Hot dog! Had to stop reading so I could jump up and dance with glee. MSNBC reports:

The CIA has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations that the White House broke federal laws by revealing the identity of one of its undercover employees in retaliation against the woman's husband, a former ambassador who publicly criticized President Bush's since-discredited claim that Iraq had sought weapons-grade uranium from Africa...

I've been hoping they'd do that.

dystopia 3:43 PM - [Link]

North Korea Calls Rumsfeld 'Psychopath'

And a "stupid man." Some might say the pot's calling the kettle black, but I still got a pretty good chuckle out of it.

dystopia 3:37 PM - [Link]

Today in Dystopian History: September 27

1779: John Adams was selected to negotiate peace with Britain; John Jay was named minister to Spain.

1789: Edmund Randolph was the first Attorney General.

1830: The Choctaw ceded all lands east of the Mississippi in the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

1846: James Wiley Magoffin was arrested as a spy in New Mexico.

1854: The American ocean liner Arctic sank in the Atlantic with 435 people on board.

1860: US Marines landed to enforce US interests in Colombia.

1864: Confederate guerrillas led by Bloody Bill Anderson massacred unarmed Union soldiers at Centralia, MO.

1877: Interior Secretary Carl Schurz fired the commissioner of Indian Affairs.

1878: Dull Knife and Little Wolf tried to lead the surviving Northern Cheyenne back home to Montana.

1886: Mormon John Taylor allegedly received a revelation sanctioning polygamy.

1920: News of the Nationalist Chinese government.

1941: The first 14 Liberty ships were launched.

1942: The US Liberty ship Stephen Hopkins fought a mismatched battle with the German raider Stier; both ships sank.

1942: Signalman Douglas Munro was killed while evacuating Marines from Guadalcanal--the only Coast Guard member ever awarded the Congressional MOH.

1944: US forces began their attack on Metz.

1944: The first major plutonium-producing reactor began operating on seized Indian land at Hanford, WA.

1950: US forces took Seoul; a mortar hit a US command post at Anui, killing 6.

1954: The Watkins Committee recommended the censure of Sen Joe McCarthy.

1956: Flying a rocket-powered X-2, Capt Mel Apt was the first to reach Mach 3, but died when the plane crashed.

1962: The US sold Hawk anti-aircraft missiles to Israel.

1964: The Warren Commission issued its report on the assassination of President Kennedy.

1966: The Hunters Point Riot began in San Francisco.

1986: The Senate approved the Tax Reform Act.

1991: The Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocked on Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court nomination.

1993: The Mollen Commission began hearings on corruption in the NYC police department.

1994: Republican candidates pledged to support the Contract with America.

1996: The Taliban seized Kabul and executed Afghan President Najibullah.

1996: A judge approved Pabst Brewing Company's plan to end health-care benefits for retirees.

1999: The White House announced the biggest federal budget surplus in US history.

2001: The WSJ reported that several Carlyle Group members had met with the Saudi royal family and the bin Ladens in Saudia Arabia.

2001: The Guardian reported that Italian and Egyptian officials had warned the US that explosive-packed airliners might be used to attack President Bush at the July 2001 Genoa G8 summit.

dystopia 2:25 PM - [Link]

Friday, September 26, 2003

Hold the Pepperoni

Wisconsin workers are fighting back against Tyson's tyranny, per Dollars & Sense:

...[A] top management official suggests that Tyson's objectives have less to do with the larger economic forces cited in the Times, and more to do with the chicken giant's own designs for downgrading working conditions in the beef and pork industry. "We're not pleading poverty," says Ken Kimbro, Tyson's senior vice president for human resources. "We're not saying the Jefferson facility is losing money. We're saying the cost in Jefferson is out of line and we have to make adjustments." In fact, a closer look reveals a highly profitable corporation that has built an empire in a notoriously dangerous, low-paying industry, and now wants to extend its influence into traditionally unionized sectors.

Well, goshamighty. Heaven forbid a blue-collar worker should be able to earn a safe, decent living.

But then, Americans expect too much money and too many benefits, don't they? Immigrant labor, legal or illegal, is much cheaper and much less likely to hassle the brass.

dystopia 5:26 PM - [Link]

Captive Labor in the USA

Dollars & Sense reports on one of America's dirty little secrets--the horrors heaped upon workers held hostage by their immigrant status:

On the night of June 25, 2000, Remigio Damián, a Peruvian shepherd, collapsed on the doorstep of a local farmer. Feverish and frail, Remigio had spent the past four days walking through mountains and pastures to escape his employer--a prominent local landowner...

One year later, after a slow and bureaucratic government investigation into the matter, Remigio's boss was handed the following sentence: not a dime to be paid in fines, not a day to be spent in jail, just a requirement that he write a manual on how he will treat new hires...

Stereotype has it that such abuse and injustice is confined to remote regions of the Third World, but Remigio did not work in the pastures of Cusco, or anywhere near the Andes. Remigio Damián worked in Colorado for Louis Peroulis, a wealthy rancher, and his case is typical of what may be the most exploited group of laborers in America: foreign sheepherders.

Remigio wasn't even an illegal alien--he was issued an H2A visa. A 2000 article from The Militant says:

On September 25 the Department of Labor filed civil charges against the rancher, John Peroulis and his sons, Louis Peroulis and Stan Peroulis. The Moffat Country Sheriffs office reported it has received complaints about the Peroulises from herders since 1992.

According to documents from the US district court in Denver, the Labor Department's inspectors found that the Peroulises "have been mistreating, and continue to mistreat their H-2A herders." The documents cite several charges, including "abuse, confiscating herders' documents, preventing the herders from communicating with their families by telephone, withholding or destroying some of the herders' mail, and retaliating against herders who complained or supplied investigators with information regarding complaints"...

Other cases, other places--all over the US:

Defense Rests in Immigrant Case
Immigrants File Suit Against 99˘ Stores
Immigrants Routinely Face Abuse
Supreme Court Hurts Immigrant Workers

dystopia 4:46 PM - [Link]

Tractor Standoff Farmer Guilty

Remember Dwight Watson, the farmer in the pond in DC? It sounds like he's headed to the pokey for a while.

Do you remember what he was trying to tell us? Regardless of what you think of tobacco, it's worth reviewing. Here's a refresher from the blog archive:

Tobacco farmer Dwight Watson's voice poured through the phone line like cream on a slice of sweet-potato pie. He was calling from North Carolina, where his family has grown tobacco for 150 years. He had read my column asking why, despite billion-dollar liability suits that slammed tobacco companies for their deadly and addictive product, cigarettes are still on the market.

"If people are going to point fingers at the tobacco companies and farmers, then you have to point fingers at the government, too," he said. "It's the government that won't let farmers plant low-nicotine tobacco."

I checked it out. He's right.

Seeds for low-nicotine tobacco were essentially banned by the USDA in 1963. To this day, in order to be eligible for full government price supports, farmers must certify each year that they are not growing any low-nicotine varieties.

The Charlotte Observer further explained Mr Watson's issues:

Farmers are growing the smallest crop ever this year and the inability of cigarette companies to agree on division of fees "is crushing our house," Renegar said.

Farmer Dwight Watson of Whitakers said his quota has been cut in half over the past five years, from about 120 acres to 55 acres. The business is regulated by the government, Watson said, and the government can turn the farmers' problems around.

"Why is the American tobacco farmer being put out of business when we grow the best tobacco in the world?" he asked.

dystopia 3:07 PM - [Link]

Cheney Debate Rekindles Over Halliburton Ties

Oh, goody! Critics nipping at Teflon Dick's heels just got a bit of a boost. The Houston Chronicle says:

The Congressional Research Service, without mentioning Cheney by name, has concluded that the kind of deferred salary and unexercised stock options the vice president has been receiving from Halliburton could constitute a continuing "financial interest" in the company under federal ethics rules.

Could's ass. It's continuing, it's financial, and it's interesting. Case closed.

dystopia 2:24 PM - [Link]

Today in Dystopian History: September 26

1675: Militia troops under Col John Washington and Maj Thomas Trueman attacked a Susquehannock village and killed 5 chiefs under a flag of truce.

1775: Edward Rutledge proposed that all black soldiers in the Continental Army be discharged.

1776: The British executed American spy Nathan Hale.

1776: Ben Franklin, Silas Deane, and Thomas Jefferson were named US commissioners to France.

1777: British troops occupied Philadelphia.

1789: Thomas Jefferson was appointed the first Secretary of State, and Samuel Osgood the first Postmaster General.

1810: West Florida was declared an independent republic, which lasted for 74 days.

1833: In the Treaty of Chicago, the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatami ceded their remaining lands in Illinois.

1864: Gen Sterling Price's troops attacked a Union garrison in the Battle of Pilot Knob.

1906: President Roosevelt opened lands within the Walker River Paiute reservation to white settlement.

1914: The FTC was created to enforce antitrust and consumer protection laws.

1918: The Battle of the Argonne began.

1918: A German U-boat torpedoed and sank the USCGC Tampa, killing all on board.

1921: President Hoover convened a national conference on unemployment.

1940: A US embargo was imposed on scrap iron and steel exports to Japan.

1945: President Truman announced that, under the Potsdam Agreement, German naval vessels would be divided between the US, UK and the USSR.

1945: Maj Peter Dewey was the first American killed in Vietnam.

1946: Commandant Vandegrift approved the Marine Corps' postwar policy of limiting blacks to "small, self-contained units performing traditional laboring tasks..."

1959: Soviet leader Khrushchev spent the day at President Eisenhower's farm.

1960: VP Richard Nixon and Sen John Kennedy held the first televised debate between presidential candidates.

1965: Liberation Radio announced the Viet Cong's execution of 2 US POWs, Capt Rocky Versace and Sgt Kenneth Roraback.

1970: The Scranton Commission released its report on the Kent State killings.

1973: Radioactive tritium was discovered in drinking water near the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant.

1980: The DOE insisted that gas released by an underground nuclear test in Nevada posed no health hazard.

1984: President Reagan explained why a new iron gate still lay on the ground, uninstalled, at the US embassy in Beirut a week after the fatal bombing.

1996: Newt Gingrich was investigated by the House Ethics Committee for misuse of tax-exempt funds.

1998: The Prescription Fairness Act was introduced to substantially reduce prescription drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries, but was killed within 4 days.

2000: Industry lobbying gutted safety legislation arising from the Ford-Firestone fiasco.

2001: The Guardian reported that the White House had been preparing to attack Afghanistan before 9/11.

2002: The US Food & Agribusiness Exposition began in Cuba.

2002: A judge rejected a patients' class-action suit against HMOs but allowed a doctors' suit to continue.

dystopia 1:25 PM - [Link]

Thursday, September 25, 2003

On TV Last Night

Finally saw Bowling for Columbine for the first time. Oh, my. Scary, embarrassing, wrenching, and so true.

After that, we watched Joseph Wilson slam the Wrecking Crew on C-Span, and we leaped about with joy.

dystopia 4:59 PM - [Link]

Levi's: Made in the USA--Not!

Levi Strauss closes the last of its North American plants, meaning more jobs gone foever. According to the Financial Times:

Levi Strauss said it would close its San Antonio operations by the end of the year and its three Canadian facilities by March 2004 and shift production to its global sourcing network.

Bruce Raynor, president of Unite, the largest apparel workers' union in North America, said the job losses and plant closures were the result of US trade policies that allowed companies to "scour the globe for the cheapest, most vulnerable labour" they could find.

Over several years of restructuring, the company has closed six US factories and two in Europe and shifted most of its production to Asia and Latin America...

dystopia 4:28 PM - [Link]

India Inc's Problem of Plenty

Thought this was an interesting read in the Asia Times:

India Inc is starting to realize that being cash-rich is awkward if there are no places to invest. But corporate India's growing dilemma is finding productive places to invest an ever-growing mountain of cash as the country's economy sprints ahead. Too much of India Inc's corporate reserves are sitting in treasuries or debt instruments of various kinds, analysts say...

Lately, however, some companies have started returning their idle cash to shareholders. Hero Honda Ltd, for instance--India's largest motorcycle maker, with a tie-up with Honda of Japan--paid dividends at rates unprecedented in Indian corporate history: 900 and 850 percent respectively (on the share's par value) out of its reserve in the fiscal years 2001-02 and 2002-03. HLL and Infosys also have returned money to shareholders over the past two years. These two companies paid dividends of 550 and 540 percent this year, and dividends of 500 and 400 percent respectively last year.

What a contrast between their economy and ours, eh? I don't hold it against India (or any other country) for accepting the work--not for a minute. Their responsibility is to the welfare their own nation, so more power to 'em.

But I'm guessing that a major percentage of all that cash was permanently sucked out of the US economy, thanks to all the outsourcing and offshoring that's putting so many Americans out of work and shorting the US treasury.

For that, I blame Congress and Corporate America. And the lobbyists and the political parties. And us, for not paying more attention.

dystopia 3:15 PM - [Link]

Today in Dystopian History: September 25

1493: Columbus began his second voyage to the New World.

1639: The first printing press in America was set up.

1655: Gov Johan Rising surrendered New Sweden.

1690: Publick Occurrences, the first American newspaper, published its one and only edition.

1775: Col Ethan Allen was captured at Montreal.

1780: Gen Benedict Arnold fled West Point when he learned of Maj John André's capture and that Gen George Washington was about to arrive.

1789: 12 amendments to the US Constitution were proposed; 10 became the Bill of Rights.

1793: Chickamauga Cherokees attacked white settlers near Knoxville, TN.

1804: The 12th Amendment was adopted due to the 1800 Jefferson/Burr election.

1818: The Treaty of Edwardsville was signed with the Peoria, ending the Illini Confederation.

1846: Gen Stephen Kearny and 300 US dragoons left New Mexico to invade California.

1861: Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles authorized enlistment of former slaves as Union sailors.

1867: Cattleman Oliver Loving died of gangrene at Fort Sumner, NM, after an Indian attack.

1890: Mormon leaders issued the Mormon Manifesto, commanding all members to uphold US anti-polygamy laws.

1890: Sequoia National Park was established.

1959: Soviet leader Khrushchev spent the last 2 days of his trip to the US with President Eisenhower.

1974: It was first reported that fluorocarbons from aerosol cans were destroying the ozone layer.

1975: A Senate committee revealed 238 illegal FBI burglaries against "domestic security targets."

1980: The US government began relocating Cuban refugees from Miami to Fort Chaffee, AR.

1981: President Reagan withdrew a proposal to cut school lunches.

1981: The Secretary of Energy announced the dismantling of the DOE.

1981: Saudi Arabia rejected modifications in purchase terms of AWACS from the US.

1989: President Bush reaffirmed US commitment to a UN treaty to eliminate chemical weapons.

1996: Negotiations on a Vietnam-US trade pact began.

1996: The House passed a controversial immigration bill.

1996: Millions of taxpayer dollars were funding TV studios used by incumbent congressmen to win re-election.

1996: Loral Space Communications announced the purchase of Skynet from AT&T for $712.5 million.

2001: An explosion at an Alabama coal mine killed 13.

2001: The NRC announced a comprehensive review of nuclear plant security.

2001: President Bush urged Congress to expand the government's authority to conduct wiretaps and detain suspects.

dystopia 12:28 PM - [Link]

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Ashcroft Seeks Stiffest Charges in All Cases

Such a control freak. Yahoo! News says:

Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a national directive Monday to the Justice Department's army of federal prosecutors that would limit their discretion in plea negotiations and require them to seek the most serious charges in all criminal cases...

"The direction I am giving our US attorneys today is direct and emphatic," Ashcroft said.

The prison-for-profit industry should be very happy. Might throw him a barbecue or something.

dystopia 5:27 PM - [Link]


New flash movie from Symbolman on Diebold and electronic voting machines.

BTW, Diebold's trying to shut down BBV, claiming copyright infringement on a link. Imagine that.

dystopia 5:14 PM - [Link]

9/11 Widow Sues President Bush

Also Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, the DOD, the CIA, the NSA, the DIA and the Council on Foreign Relations, per the Philly Inquirer:

A New Hampshire woman whose husband died in one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center sued President Bush and other government officials yesterday, contending their negligence of airport security resulted in the Sept 11 terrorist attacks...

"We just don't believe the federal government has been honest with us," said Philip J Berg, a Lafayette Hill lawyer, Democratic activist and former gubernatorial candidate...

"Her position is that they are not going to buy her out," Berg said.

Good for her. I think her chances of getting any info out of them are prob'ly slim to none, but that may change before too long.

dystopia 4:42 PM - [Link]

Today in Dystopian History: September 24

1627: Peter Stuyvesant agreed to the Board of Nine Men to help govern New Amsterdam.

1776: Gen George Washington wrote to Congress on the creation of a permanent army.

1789: Congress passed the First Judiciary Act, providing for an Attorney General and a Supreme Court; John Jay was the first Chief Justice.

1794: President Washington suppressed the Whiskey Rebellion.

1819: Lewis Cass negotiated a treaty with the Chippewa at Saginaw.

1862: President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus throughout the country after Copperheads criticized its suspension in the South.

1869: Jay Gould and James Fisk tried to corner the gold market, panicking Wall Street.

1905: 4,000 of Louis Gantz's 7,000 sheep were killed.

1941: The Japanese consul in Hawaii was ordered to report the number and location of battleships at Pearl Harbor.

1941: 15 Allied countries signed the Atlantic Charter.

1953: 23 American POWs refused to return to the US during Operation Big Switch.

1961: Herbert Lee was shot to death by State Rep EH Hurst in Liberty, MS.

1963: The Senate ratified the Limited Test Ban Treaty.

1963: Secretary of Defense McNamara and Gen Maxwell Taylor arrived in Saigon to assess the situation.

1964: The Minuteman II ICBM was first tested.

1968: Draft files were destroyed in Milwaukee.

1969: The Chicago 8 trial opened in Chicago.

1969: Eli Black bought majority control of United Fruit Company in Central America.

1980: As the Iran-Iraq War began, candidate Ronald Reagan refused briefings on the conflict from President Carter's State Department.

1981: The Senate limited US aid to El Salvador.

1981: CIA director William Casey urged total exemption from FOIA requirements for intelligence agencies.

1996: The US signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

1997: The Senate voted to loosen FDA approval requirements for new drugs.

1997: IRS employees testified that the IRS does bully American citizens.

1998: Stocks fell due to fear that the Long Term Capital disaster could wreck the entire banking system.

2001: Newsweek reported that on September 10, top Pentagon officials suddenly cancelled travel plans for the next morning.

2002: State governments were issued a plan on how to vaccinate all Americans against smallpox in case of an outbreak.

2002: The British dossier on Iraq's WMD potential was released.

2002: Dynegy was fined $3 million in an SEC fraud investigation into round trip energy trades.

dystopia 3:09 PM - [Link]

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Home Improvement Marathon

We learned late last week that an appraiser was coming to evaluate our house on Monday morning. DH refinished the kitchen cabinets, installed new light fixtures, trimmed the lawn and did various repair jobs, while I painted the living room, dining room, main bathroom, entry hall, kitchen and breakfast room, shampooed all the carpets, Old English-ed the woodwork, scrubbed floors, toilets, windows, etc, all in 2 days. DH crashed at 5:30 Monday morning, but I didn't stop until the appraiser came. Arrrr...

The house looks lovely. The appraiser was gone by 10:30am and I spent the rest of the day sawing logs. Zzzzz...

Everything hurts. My fingers still don't want to bend. Neither does the rest of me. If I sit still too long, it takes a while to get various parts working again. Owwwww...

Did I mention that the house looks lovely? We've gotten a bit of rain so my garden has burst into bloom again, making the view from inside extra nice.

Don't have a clue what's happening in the news. Last I heard, there was a big hurricane going on.

I'm sitting here debating with myself on whether to read the news or go stretch out on the couch and enjoy some quiet horizontalism.

If I don't post anything else today, you'll know where I'm at.

dystopia 3:44 PM - [Link]

Today in Dystopian History: September 23

1561: King Philip II of Spain halted colonizing in Florida.

1696: Quaker Jonathan Dickinson was shipwrecked.

1779: John Paul Jones, commanding the Bonhomme Richard, captured the HMS Serapis.

1780: British Maj John Andre was caught with papers revealing the plot to surrender West Point.

1805: Lt Zebulon Pike bought land from the Sioux for a military post on the Minnesota River.

1806: The Lewis & Clark expedition returned to St Louis from the Pacific Northwest.

1845: The NY Knickerbockers, the first baseball team, was formed.

1862: In the Battle of Wood Lake, US troops engaged 700 Sioux warriors under Chief Little Crow.

1864: Captured Mosby's Rangers were executed by Union soldiers at Front Royal, VA.

1923: 2,800 attended the dedication of the Greene County KKK Church in Xenia, OH.

1950: Congress passed the McCarran Internal Security Act over President Truman's veto.

1951: The first transcontinental telecast, Crusade for Freedom, was broadcast as part of Operation Octopus.

1952: VP candidate Richard Nixon gave his Checkers speech after a slush fund set up by wealthy supporters was revealed.

1954: A Japanese fisherman from the Lucky Dragon died from exposure to the US' atomic testing fallout.

1955: A jury acquitted 2 men of murdering Emmett Till.

1957: A white mob forced 9 black students to withdraw from a Central High School in Little Rock.

1972: Weekly US casualty figures in Vietnam showed no fatalities for the first time since 1965.

1976: In a presidential debate, the audio cut out while Jimmy Carter denounced CIA and FBI invasions of Americans' privacy under Republican administrations.

1980: The nuclear warhead from a Titan II missile that exploded in its Arkansas silo was flown to the Pantex plant in Amarillo.

1981: Secretary of State Alexander Haig met with the Soviet foreign minister to discuss deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe.

1981: The US government acknowledged that it exposed US troops to Agent Orange in Vietnam.

1983: The president of the National Kidney Foundation denounced Dr H Barry Jacobs' plan to buy kidneys from poor people.

1994: American Thomas Hargrove was kidnapped in Colombia.

1997: Congressional hearings began on abusive practices by the IRS against US citizens.

1998: US financial institutions paid $3.5 billion to bail out Long-Term Capital Management to avoid a collapse that would devastate financial markets.

1999: The Senate blocked a proposal to increase royalties on oil and gas from federal lands.

2000: The House considered honoring former President Reagan with a monument on the National Mall.

2002: Salomon Smith Barney was fined $5 million for issuing biased and uncritical research reports.

dystopia 2:03 PM - [Link]

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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)