It is now legal to kill Arabs in the US. This will come as welcome news to millions of Americans who find it frustrating to be obliged to merely pay others to kill them in faraway lands.
A Kos blogger, keever77, picked up Bassim's story a little over a week ago. Here is a blip from the post there, as well as his source urls.
A college-style house party was held at an apartment complex in Mission Viejo, CA. Early in the morning on Saturday February the 6th around 1:30 am, there was a verbal altercation between a group of 4 to 6 friends and other party goers over a thrown can of soda. As the altercation escalated, a neighbor living next to the party, Douglas Bates, an off duty U.S. Custom's officer, left his home with his badge in hand and gun drawn confronting the group of 4 to 6 friends. Apparently he was upset at the noise and commotion. Mr. Bates then pistol whipped one member of the group. As that was happening, Bassim Chmait, one member of the group, stepped forward toward Bates and his friend who had been whipped, and then was shot in the head by Douglas Bates.
Every member at the scene was unarmed except for Mr. Bates. After shooting Bassim, Mr. Bates simply walked back into his apartment. The Orange County Sheriff's Department Spokesman, Jim Amormino stated, "We treated this the same as we would any case. There was no clear evidence of a crime being committed, so there was nothing to book him on."
Here are the reports that this information was taken from:
General Boykin was not a happy man. Despite its overwhelming popularity, the Citizen Defender program was not living up to expectations in the field.
"I want some answers, men." The General held up a spiral-bound report. "According to this, we've got almost 100% participation among Preferred households with Internet Access cards, including those who requested, and received, cards just so they could be part of CD. That's over 50 million households, that's I don't know how many million targets - it says somewhere in here - fired on every day for 90 days. Now you tell me how come we don't have a depopulated and secured region."
Rick Sanchez took a deep breath. "Well, sir, there are several factors. One, the one we believe is responsible for the majority of failed hits, is insurgent sabotage of the remote sensors. And jamming of the GPS signals."
"How the hell are they able to do that?" Boykin demanded.
"Sir, our intelligence indicates that the enemy is employing a number of strategies," General Graner opened a folder. "One that we didn't anticipate is the use of decoys specifically designed to foil the heat-sensitive sensors."
"What kind of decoys?"
"Heated scrap metal sir, bricks, also heated. On some occasions it appears the enemy has used bread."
"Bread? BREAD?" Boykin's face was almost purple.
"Are you telling me that we have spent billions of dollars, and given the American people to believe that they are eliminating terrorists, so that the US armed forces can blow up loaves of bread?"
"Well, not exclusively bread, sir. Sometimes bricks..."
The problem lay, at least partly, with the technology itself. The sensors could not be completely hidden from view, or they would not be able to receive or transmit signals. Within a few days of the launch, over 80% of the sensors had been damaged or destroyed. Repair teams could not keep up. It took one person only a few seconds to render a sensor useless, and it took two men at least half a day to repair or replace and test one.
"And how the hell do they get the bread or the bricks or whatever the hell they put in there without triggering the sensor?"
Sanchez squirmed in his chair. "Um, catapults, sir."
"Catapults? What the hell, catapults? They think this is the Dark Ages?"
"Um, well, they're a primitive people, sir."
"And foreign fighters, sir." Graner was worried that Boykin would have a cardiovascular incident. Maybe if he could change the focus from bread and catapults...
"The information we're getting from the theatre is that in recent weeks, over 95% of Indonesian support personnel have deserted their posts within 24 hours of arrival, and there are credible reports that they have joined the insurgency."
"Or been kidnapped by insurgents and forced to fight, " he added, noticing that this information did not seem to be calming his commanding officer down.
"And just how many Indonesian support personnel are we talking about, General?"
"We think no more than 14 million, sir. Over a period of 12 or more weeks."
President for Life Jeb Bush did not enjoy cabinet meetings. Though not a brilliant man, he had no illusions about the nature of his position, and was acutely aware that his cabinet had none. Their false deference to him was embarrassing. Everybody knew that he was window dressing, with about as much real political influence as senile old Queen Liz. He just wanted to get the damn thing over with and get back to his yacht, where, his personal assistant had informed him, some very nice merchandise awaited him. General Detention had some good product. Fresh, clean, new in box, the way Jeb liked it.
"Secretary Miller, while I completely agree with you that the problem of Informals must be addressed, surely you must be aware that at this time we simply do not have the resources to apprehend over a hundred million individuals, even for a direct transfer to General Disposal."
"Mr. vice President, I do not feel it is a problem we can afford to ignore any longer."
"Then let me see a plan, Mr. Secretary. Show me how you intend to fund it, and staff it, and get back to me. Meanwhile, what I will do is instruct the news media to refer to them as Persons of Interest. That's a sound idea, doable, and will help us out a lot down the road when we do have the wherewithal to move."
Miller sat back, silent, the tips of his ears a bright pink.
Secretary of Values Reverend Jerry Falwell cleared his throat to break the awkward silence. "Mr. Vice President Emeritus, I see you have a copy of my proposal - "
Rove nodded. "Oh yes, the Department of Chastity and Doctrine. You were thinking of this as a new cabinet post?"
"Sub-cabinet, sir. Such a department would fall under the broader umbrella of Values, thereby maintaining the constitutional mandate of separation of church and state. Congress shall pass no law..."
"Yes, yes, I know," Rove waved his hand impatiently. "Do you have a candidate in mind?"
"Why yes, Mr. Vice President Emeritus, I do. An old colleague of mine, extremely well qualified. In fact, I have taken the liberty of sounding him out on the idea, very indirectly and discreetly of course, and I believe I can say that he will be proud to serve, his life has been one of service, to the Lord, to his country - "
"Name?" Rove sneaked a glance at his watch. It had been a long week, and he was looking forward to a little downtime with Jeb, on the yacht.
"I was thinking of my good friend Dr. Pat Robertson," Falwell smiled round the table. I believe he is already well known to all of you."
Ben Silverman looked at the wrinkled little snapshot. She was not what Ben would call a babe. Plain, really, but to his client, this was the most beautiful woman on earth. Ben put the photo back into his inside pocket and ordered his coffee.
"No dairy, right?" the teenaged boy smirked at him.
"No dairy!" declared Ben. Funny how a few weeks ago that had felt like an Act of Resistance somehow. Working on Roger's case was working on his head. For the first time in his privileged, Preferred life, he felt like he was doing something worthwhile. A couple of times he had been surprised to find himself wondering what it would be like, to love someone, someone with zero babe points, so much that you would spend your last dime for the chance to spend the rest of your life walking behind an ox and living in a grass hut, just so you could be with her.
Ben punched Roger's number into his cell phone. "We're getting closer. Got some papers for you to sign."
The Restoration of Democracy Act of 2005, said the official press release on the subject, "protects America two ways: One, by eliminating needless spending. Americans do not want to spend their money on politicians, they want to spend their money keeping America safe. And it gives our legislative branch a long-overdue update, bringing it in line with the nations post-911 needs."
There was no doubt that streamlining the 535-member bicameral body into the ten-member Congress Committee had saved billions of dollars annually, or if it had not technically saved them, it had definitely redirected them to the war effort.
The identities of the Committee's members, like most of the laws they passed, were secret, for reasons of national security, but it was widely believed, and correctly so, that the Committee consisted of the Cabinet.
Pat Robertson was both proud and humbled to be allowed the privilege to serve in both capacities, and on the day the Committee voted unanimously to ratify the Chastity Amendment to the Constitution, Robertson felt that if God called him home in that moment, he could go serene in the knowledge that he had served his nation and served it well, without regrets of anything left undone.
Falwell shared his joy. Smiling at the little group at the round table, his eyes twinkled. "You know I'm gonna say it," he began. "Congress has passed no law..."
He lowered his voice, his expression serious again."And I do not believe that there are any who will suggest that our Founding Fathers, the framers of our blessed constitution, carried in their hearts the intention that our sisters, our wives and daughters, should be UN-chaste."
Technically, the Chastity Amendment applied to both males and females, but only unmarried females would be subject to mandatory virginity tests, while males would merely be required to sign an affidavit. When questioned about this discrepancy by a free-lance journalist from Denmark, Falwell answered with a stony look that "it was thus that the Lord hath ordained." Later that day, the Danish ambassador was summoned to Washington to receive a formal demand that the journalist be voluntarily waived over the US jurisdiction for indefinite detention. Failure to do so, the ambassador was informed, would leave the United States no other choice but to assume that it was the official policy of the Danish government to challenge the sovereignty of the United States, and appropriate steps would be taken, with military action not ruled out. Before night fell in the nation's capital, the journalist was hooded, shackled, and bolted to the floor in Special Detention Camp Six, whose location was officially undisclosed but unofficially known to be about an hour from Pittsburgh.
The initial reconnaissance flights over Paris as Operation European Freedom grew nearer had made the campaign very real to Denmark. Nor could Denmark deny US intelligence reports that indicated the reporter had links to the International Red Cross, listed as a terrorist organization since 2006. She had sat on the board of directors of the Copenhagen chapter.
Education Secretary Bob Jones III re-read the letter, trying to decide whether and how to respond. It was from an old friend, even more significantly, a wealthy and generous alumnus of the institution his grandfather had founded, and to which he was still connected, both emotionally and officially, despite his having had to resign from the Presidency in order to serve in the Cabinet.
Edwin Ivey's daughter Melissa had failed the virginity test that since the passage of the Chastity Act, was now mandatory in all schools.
Ivey cited a history of medical findings from a variety of standard reference works that agreed that hymeneal tissue could be compromised as the result of using internal sanitary protection, as well as participation in certain sports, including gymnastics and equestrian activities, among others, even if the young woman had not been sexually active.
"Melissa," the letter went on, "turned eleven last month, and has scarcely been out of the sight of either her mother or me since the day she was born. The idea that she has been involved in sexual activity is preposterous, and to subject an innocent child of Preferred status to brutal Taser torture is not only barbaric, it is un- American."
There was, in fact, quite a flurry of activity going on in his office, in cooperation with the Departments of Values and Chastity and Doctrine, on this very subject. Not Melissa specifically, but the idea of subjecting Preferreds to Tasering was controversial. By unwritten agreement, even before the Chastity Amendment, Preferreds who stepped outside the law were fined, or occasionally given community service sentences, the old fashioned kind that involved picking up trash or mopping emergency room floors. This had the strength of tradition, those who contributed more to the economy had always been allowed a little leeway when they needed it, and it went a long way toward maintaining support for rigorous measures as needed against non-Preferreds, thus keeping Taser sales strong.
Calling the law barbaric and un-American, however, was a violation Patriot IV. That, decided Jones, bumped the whole thing above his pay grade. He pushed a button on his phone. "Get me Secretary Reverend Falwell."
Haley was relieved that the plan to round up Persons of Interest (previously known as Informals) had apparently been scrapped. "How would they do it?" asked Rick. "with what army that's not already off occupying one country or another?"
"Still," insisted Haley. "It's time for me to move." MaryBeth had been back again, this time trying to persuade Haley that if she was really so dead-set against a GoodJob, to consider applying for a Personal Sponsorship. MaryBeth knew some people who might be interested, even though Haley was older than most applicants.
Personal Sponsorship meant that any Preferred with a certain income level could pay a fixed fee to the Office of Homeland Security, and receive any General Detainee, GuestJobber, or Person of Interest as Special Category Taxable Property. The individual would them become the private property of the sponsor, with no use or disposal restrictions, however the sponsor would be held financially and legally liable for any act committed by the Special Category Taxable, or "scat" as they were commonly called.
General principle aside, Haley had no desire to become a scat. She was quite aware of what happened to them, more often than not, although CNN and its fellow networks frequently ran heartwarming feature stories about down on their luck people who had been lucky enough to get Sponsors and now worked only eight hours a day in luxurious homes, ate good food every day, had their own private rooms and baths, and had become born-again Christians into the bargain.
"How about those apartments over by the river?" Rick suggested. "They've been vacant for a few months, but construction won't start for almost a year." The crew chief of the company that got the contract was a customer of Rick's, but wouldn't be a paying customer for much longer, he had said, unless he got a good steady gig to bridge the gap between now and converting those apartments to offices.
"Worth a look." Haley sipped her tea. "Sounds better than the storage container. I'd be movin' on up to the big time."
"I'll go with you," Rick offered. "Hey, by the way, I think a customer of yours came in here a couple of weeks ago. Guy with glasses? Has a little boy?"
"Hmm, maybe," Haley was wondering if by any chance, the water might still be connected in the apartments. Sometimes they forgot.. "Oh, yeah! the one I almost gave the kid's book to for free!"
Rick nodded. "Yeah, he was reading it in here."
Haley frowned. "That's not cool. I mean - in here, sure, but his dad really shouldn't encourage him to carry books around in public."
"And I told him as much," Rick wiped down the counter and reached for his jacket. "But I think they are going to be leaving the country soon, anyway. He was kind of vague. Now let's go take a look at your new home - maybe."
"Brother Robert," Falwell took Jones' outstretched hand, but instead of shaking it, clasped it between his own. "The Lord is not a respecter of persons, and he is not a respect of the agents of unchasteness. Satan assumes many forms, and we are not here to debate the means of the girl's sin, whether it be by foreign object, man, or beast. It is our duty to love the sinner enough to punish the sin, and help the lost lamb back to the fold."
Falwell released Jones' hand and bowed his head. "Let us have a word of prayer."
"So what happens now?" Roger put the pen down. He was not used to writing so much, even his name, and he had signed so many documents his hand was cramping.
"Now I fax these in," Ben handed the stack of papers to his paralegal. Actually, Peggy faxes these in," he smiled at the young woman. "That gets the ball rolling. Then I FedEX the hard copies over, in a few days they'll send us, well, another stack of papers."
"But those you won't have to sign," he added, seeing the dismay on Roger's face. Ben paused. This was fun.
"Those you put in a folder with your passport and take with you to the airport. Those papers will include one-way tickets for you and Chuchito to Morelia. From there you'll get a bus or a buggy or whatever they have down there to the village I'm not even going to try to pronounce. Everything you need will be in the packet, and the authorities in Morelia will know who you are and give you any help you need with transportation."
Ben grinned. This was REALLY fun.
"She'll be at the gate, waiting for you. You'll fly to Morelia together, all 3 of you."
Roger closed his eyes, took deep breaths. He would not, would NOT let himself get carried away yet. He needed to see those tickets, hold them in his hand. And he needed to see MariLuz there in the airport, sitting on an ugly plastic chair, waiting to take him home.
"Thanks, Ben," Roger breathed.
"It's my pleasure," said Ben. To his surprise, he really meant it.
"It's a nice area," Rick gestured toward the little park. "Just one checkpoint in and out, and there's a shortcut around that."
The water was still connected, Haley was pleased to note. "And I think we can keep it that way," Rick winked. Being generous with one's biryani here and there had its rewards. The water bureau had to hire Persons of Interest sometimes. There were just not that many blue collar Preferreds, and one of the regulars was one of Rick's regulars, in times of water bureau contracts and in between as well.
Haley looked around. The place was pretty clean, a little dusty from disuse, but no real dirt or what she called "demolition chunks." And as Rick had promised, demolition had not begun. The apartments were indeed, just sitting there, waiting for occupants.
Best of all, it was free. No rent to pay till the crews came in, ten months from now, almost a year. If she was really careful, and cut down on food and batteries, she could save, maybe enough for a seat in a van to Mexico and a new nose.... posted at
Saturday, February 19, 2005 | Welcome America's very first Citizen Defender
"Ms. Hughes, this is, um," The nervous aide checked his notes. "Matthew."
"Hi, Matthew! My name's Karen. This is a pretty big day for you, huh? I bet you're excited about being on TV!"
"I'm going to be on TV!" Matthew yelled, spinning in his swivel chair.
"Matthew!" admonished his mother. "That's not how we behave!"
"Kids are kids," Hughes smiled. "He'll do great. He's just perfect!"
"They're almost ready for him, ma'am," the aide's Adam's apple twitched.
"Secretary Reverend Fallwell is finishing up."
To say that Daniel Pipes felt constrained would be an understatement. Since his appointment as Homeland Security Secretary, he had found himself hemmed in at every turn.
His Protocols for a New America had gotten rave reviews at the Pentagon. Rove called it one of the most compelling post-911 documents to date, but getting it implemented was like pulling teeth.
"We have to pace ourselves, Dan," the Vice President Emeritus had told him. "Look how far we've come in less than a decade. Besides, I have some ideas about one of your Protocols. I like the savings figures you projected on the Transition to General Disposal for the High Risk Detainee population. It's a labor-intensive, high-cost operation. I'm thinking that we can go beyond savings, actually make it a source of revenue."
Pipes frowned. "Private sponsorship? But who would - "
"Nope," smiled Rove. "Empower them as Givers."
Pipes tried to suppress an involuntary shudder.
"Mr. Vice President, do you think the market - "
"Would want Arab organs?" Rove chuckled. "Not if they are presented as such, of course not. But clients don't ask things like that."
Individuals selected as living organ banks were officially called "Givers." Though neither they nor their survivors received any compensation, recipients paid a hefty fee to Schering-Bayer-Pfizer, as well as to both surgeons.
The Givers program was, according to the White House, compassionate conservatism at its best. "No longer will any individual be obliged to be a burden to the State," the statement read. "Every American, no matter what his circumstances, can make a significant and unique contribution to our great economy, and help his fellow man at the same time. America is still and always will be the Land of Opportunity."
"With all respect, Mr. Vice President Emeritus," Pipes chose his words carefully. "To be a Chosen as a Giver is a privilege..."
Rove smiled. "Indeed it is, Dan. And America does not withhold privileges on the basis of religion or ethnicity."
Roger didn't get too many days off, and he didn't want to waste a minute of this one. Whatever Big Event was going on, they didn't want cleaning people around, they were emptying out every building. Security, they said. Roger could care less. "Wake up, you lazy penguin," he tickled his son awake.
"Are we going on an adventure?" Chuchito rubbed his eyes and reached for his sneakers. "Not with dirty teeth," Roger pushed his son toward the bathroom.
An adventure meant getting on a bus and going somewhere in the city they knew nothing about, just to see what and who was there. Most Preferreds would consider this both dangerous and foolish, but Roger was not a Suit. He did not come from Suit stock, and Chuchito made friends wherever he went. Roger had never met an ethnic or economic group that did not have something good to eat or an interesting story to offer him and his little boy, and if they got lucky, both.
Today Roger decided they would check out the street the book lady had told them about, with the little food stand. He needed distraction more than Chuchito, just so he wouldn't call his lawyer every five minutes.
"And so, my American brothers and sisters, thanks to this wondrous gift, and to your Blessed Resolve, the hard work of the War on Terror is about to get a little easier - and to give you an idea of just how easy, I'd like to introduce you to a young friend of mine who is taking his place in history today - Brothers and sisters, please welcome America's very first Citizen Defender - Matthew Connor!"
Falwell stepped away from the podium, microphone in hand.
"Your parents gave you a good name, Matthew. That's a name from the Bible. How old are you, Matthew?"
"And you like to play the computer games, you must be pretty good."
"Matthew stared at the mike, nodding vigorously. Falwell chuckled.
"Well, Matthew, you know you don't have to be a long-winded preacher like me to play computer games or to help America win the War on Terror. Now you just sit down here. You're the expert, not me, I never have understood the computers much, just too old, I guess." Falwell paused to allow the audience to applaud politely at what tomorrow's papers would call a quip.
"Now General Graner taught you how to play, didn't he? What was that like, learning a new game from a real live Abu Ghraib hero?"
Matthew shrugged. "It's not a very hard game."
"Well, folks, you hear that. Out of the mouths of babes. All right, Matthew, let's show America what you and General Graner have been working on. Why don't you tell all the boys and girls watching at home how to play."
"Um, well, you click start, see? and in a minute a little red dot - there it is - ok, it's going to get bigger, wait till it's as big as a dime, and then you put your mouse on it and click - and see, the little red thing blows up."
Matthew grinned and reached for the microphone.
"I just killed a bad guy! I just killed a terr'ist!"
The audience rose to its feet, applauding. "Matthew! Matthew!"
Matthew jumped up and down. "Yeah!"
Falwell beamed, let the applause continue for a minute, then closed his eyes, held up his hand. His other hand dropped to Matthew's head.
"Brothers and Sisters, let us pray. Heavenly Father, we thank you today for Matthew, our little Citizen Defender, we thank you for the gift of this technology. In the Bible we read that a little child shall lead them, and we thank you for...."
"Sholeh, Niki can't carry you and pull the clothes too," Noushin tied one more knot in the bundle and wedged it into the rickety cart. Niki shot her a baleful look, twitched her tail. "Lazy thing, it's just clothes," Noushin laughed, rubbed the goat's ears, and scooping up Sholeh, ran back to the bank for one last splash before heading home.
Sharuz placed a baby turtle carefully on his sister's head. "Turtle hat!" he shrieked. Sholeh lay down in the shallow water and watched the bewildered turtle paddle away. "Turtle hat wants to swim!" she announced. "And so do I."
"Next time," Noushin gathered up the wriggling twins. "Time to go home now. "Turtle hat will still be here."
The road home was really more of a path. The "good" road, though not paved, was wider and smoother, and had served the little village for more centuries than anyone could count, but it was full of landmines now, and such a frequent recipient of US bombing raids that there was not one family in the village who did not have at least one grave to tend.
Although they had been told to walk, the twins' preferred method of locomotion, when Niki was otherwise engaged, consisted of a few hops followed by falling to the ground and rolling over and over while tickling each other mercilessly.
Noushin shook her head. Half the day at the river, they were so clean, and here she would bring them home for all the neighbors to see, literally rolled in dirt. At least it won't be a shock, she thought. This happened every time she did the family wash.
Now they came running up to her, tugging at her skirts. "We want bread and honey when we get home!" Noushin smiled at them, "Bath first."
The flash, the blast, came without warning, but her mother's instinct extended her arms to her children before she could even think. And arms, twins, clothes and goat exploded into a red mist, her scream still hanging in the air.
"It was a very successful launch. Our target was a known terrorist command and control center in the north of Iran. An area where Americans have taken some return fire more than once. I guess you could call it a rat's nest. But today, thanks to little Matthew, it's insurgent-free. It's safe for Americans. Little Matthew saved some American lives today, and now as Citizen Defenders, every American can do the same. We are very excited about this program, and thank you, Larry, for having me here tonight"
"It's an honor and a privilege to have you here, Sir. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chief, General Chief. How should we address you General Sanchez?"
"Larry, you can call me Rick. And I just want to say, before we go on, that in just the few hours that the Citizen Defender Program has been operational, we now have over 7 million homes online, that participated in our advance enrollment, and almost 40 million in the pipeline."
"40 million?" King sat up. "Now that is - well, that is simply amazing. That is - well, that is like effectively increasing our armed forces by 40 million, is it not, General?"
"It certainly is, Larry. And I think another reason the program is so popular, it's something that families can do together. A lot of times nowadays parents don't have as much time as they'd like to spend with their kids, and here is a way to spend quality family time, and also protect our American way of life."
"And I believe we have an 800 number, and a website? Where people who haven't signed up yet can be a part of this, can become Citizen Defenders? Producers, can we get that number up on the screen?"
The shy-looking man and his irrepressible little boy reminded Rick of another time, another place, another chatty little boy out for a treat with his dad.
"I can read!" Chuchito called out to him. "See my book?"
Against his better judgment, Roger had let Chuchito bring the Kids Guide to World Religions along so he wouldn't be bored on the long subway ride to the bus stop. It had not occurred to him that Chuchito would call attention to the illegal book in a public place. He looked around nervously. Luckily, it was still early. They were the only customers.
Rick did not seem alarmed. "Good for you!" he said. "That's a very nice book." To demonstrate his prowess, Chuchito read a few sentences from his favorite section - Hinduism. "It doesn't say why the people are blue, though"
"The people who live there aren't really blue." Rick laughed. "But you are a very good reader!"
Chuchito looked disappointed. "The gods and goddesses are blue," Rick added quickly. "They are blue to represent how God is so big he is not only the earth, but the sky and the ocean."
"Can you tell me about Krishna? The book doesn't really have it all."
Rick smiled. Who better than a good Muslim from Lahore who claimed to be Swiss to tell a little Mexican boy about Krishna? Some things about America not even Washington could change. He poured some tea and sat down next to Chuchito.
"Once upon a time, in a far-away land called Mathura, there was a bad, evil king named Kamsa..."
Time to move, Haley thought, completing her morning ritual of brushing her teeth and bemoaning her nose. She didn't feel comfortable having MaryBeth know where she lived any more, and she'd been here six months. That was a pretty long time for an Informal to stay in one place anyway. And the murmurs of an impending crackdown on Informals showed signs of eclipsing the nose question.
"Those who choose to live outside the norms of society, those who reject our American way of life, at the same time that they benefit from the use of our streets, they don't reject our dollars when they have something to sell you, now do they?" Homeland Intelligence Czar Zell Miller had a three point plan: Round em up, and bring em to General Detention. The third point of his plan involved phasing out the term "Informal."
"It's deceptive," he said. "It's an innocent sounding name for people who are anything but innocent. They are a threat to everything that as Americans, we hold dear. Calling them Informals gives loyal, hard-working Americans a false sense of security. That's a raw deal."
Miller recommended using the term "Persons of Interest." posted at
Wednesday, February 16, 2005 | The Children are the Greatest Threat
In Charles Dickens' famous story, the spirit of Christmas Present shows Scrooge two children hidden under his robe. The girl," he says, is want, and the boy is ignorance. Although he warns Scrooge that both are dangerous, he adds "most of all, beware this boy."
Dickens, of course, was writing in a day when deadly weapons were less readily available, even to the poor. Today, the spirit might advise Scrooge to beware both equally.
Right around half of the world's children today do not live as children. They are slaves, some are even called slaves, others are called indentured, some are called "migrants" or "agricultural workers," and many are called "guaranteed clean virgin, you want all night or just little while, I get for you cheap."
Well over half the world's children will carry with them to adulthood, should they reach it, the one overriding lesson society has taught them: human life has no value, and theirs has even less.
This will be the guiding principle of the majority of the world's next generation, from Palestine to the Texas panhandle, from the auction houses of Pashtunistan where little girls can be purchased for $100 (It is said that prior to the US invasion, the price was only a sack of rice. Amrika has improved the economy.), to the Minneapolis bus station, where little girls can be picked up for the price of a meal, and the eventual price of the commodity determined later, depending on the buyer.
If you need tomatoes picked in Florida, a couple of phone calls can produce an entire field crew for you, at a very reasonable price, and if you plan on a short season, upkeep costs are not a factor. Just send them out and work them, and when that bunch becomes unusable, bring in another. Much more economical than providing food and housing.
Naturally, conditions are not so luxurious in the Majority World, where savvy western investors can maximize revenues thanks to a labor force that hits the quarry or the sweatshop 3 or 4 years out of the (frequently raped) womb, and with a bit of rice gruel here and there, can provide nearly two decades of use, in many cases.
Is the United States the only country who profits from this? Hardly. It may, however, be the only country who could put a serious dent in it merely by refusing to profit from it.
But that would not be pragmatic. A free market is a basic American value, whether the commodity in question is food, medicine, or human beings. America rewards the wily entrepreneur who sees where the money is, and delivers the product to the buyer with the biggest wad in hand.
There would not even be a United States if it were not for that good old free market principle that empowered millions of human beings to become part of it in such a special way.
And still does, today. Must be doing something right, to last 200 years.
So why should Americans be so afraid of all those poor children? They are, after all, the weakest of the weak. The only voices who attempt to speak up for them are insignificant bleeding hearts who on closer examination frequently reveal themselves to be socialists, apologists for people who want to kill Americans, or both. Where is this terrible danger?
The answer: Everywhere. And all the bombs in the world cannot stay the hand of even one who decides to put into practice the lesson you have taught. posted at
Tuesday, February 15, 2005 | The Common Enemy
A couple, whose income would once have been called middle is now low. They married late, they have a young son. At first, they had hoped to put aside something for his education, but as conditions have changed, the mother tells me, they have changed their strategy, and are now doing all they can to pay off the mortgage on their little starter home, the only one they could afford. They had thought at one time, that they might even get a second mortgage, if it came to that, to pay for their child's education, but now they say, their first concern must be that he has housing. If they can pay off the mortgage, at least they can leave him that. Unless he becomes wealthy, his chances of being able to purchase his own home are slight, and the cost of an education beyond a couple of years of community college has become so high that it is no longer a realistic goal. Paying off their mortgage is, though, and that is what they will do.
A single mother lives with her parents. It is cramped, but she is lucky there is any room at all. Her dead-end low paying job has health insurance. There is no way I could afford housing on my own, she admits, and without the health insurance, I could not afford even doctor visits, much less medicine. Her parents did take out a second mortgage to send her to school, and she makes more than minimum wage. Still, when her parents die, their life insurance will still not be enough to pay off the house. They had had different expectations, back in those days.
Another young mother wipes juice from her four year old's chin. She too once had high hopes for him, but now, she says, she will settle for keeping him out of the army. To this end, she is looking for job opportunities overseas. I know what the jobs of the future are in America, she sighs.
Politicians no longer even bother with the pretense of empty promises to the poor. Now they address themselves to the shrinking middle class, but even there they do not hold out glittering dreams of prosperity. The new rallying cry is vote for me and maybe you will be one of the lucky ones who does not slip into poverty.
As the costs of higher education itself skyrockets, the latest trend is for educational institutions to require that students have health insurance. For children of affluent parents with family health plans, this is not an issue, but for the less well-off, for whom paying the tuition itself has cleaned out the family assets, purchasing health insurance is no more a possible dream than it was before the child was accepted at the university.
For many young people, the decision of "what to do" after high school involves more than where and what to study, but whether they want to start their careers with a crisp new degree and a crisp load of debt that dwarfs that assumed by their parents when they bought that starter home as newlyweds.
With traditional slavery technically outlawed, the US has been obliged to develop creative workarounds over the last century and a half, and they have done a yeoman's job. From usurious credit card companies to ghettos, social programs that do more to help politicians' cousins get jobs as bureaucrats or construction contracts than they do to actually reduce the number of poor, to the concerted effort to keep medical treatment a commercial product, which is quite effective in reducing the number of poor, quite literally, to laws that permit companies to fire the worker who earns $60 an hour and hire someone in India to do his job for $8 an hour, to the creation of an under-underclass of (mostly Latin American) underserfs, who toil for nearly nothing for the privilege of sending a sack of beans home to feed children who would otherwise starve, and on and on.
The fresh college graduate with a debt he is increasingly unlikely to pay off in his lifetime is just one more element.
No one knows exactly how many Americans, every day, reluctantly accept the fact that they can no longer afford housing. The luckier ones move in with friends or family, others simply wander the streets, acclimating themselves to their new life, or something like it, long before it came to this, they were already The Enemy.
The idea that a day's work should be at a minimum, equal to the value of a day's survival is considered as preposterous, as dangerous, as the idea that medical treatment is a human right.
PBS is currently showing a series on the role of slavery in US history, and even for those who attended "liberal" colleges and took "Black studies" courses, it may offer some food for thought for those interested in just what is meant by "American values."
David Walker's Appeal is just as relevant today as when it was written. Issues of race, ethnicity and class in the US have reached critical mass, as the domestic gap between have and have not has widened, and moved closer to its international counterpart.
They may not like it, they may prefer to "frame" it in all kinds of elegant and attractive ways, but the affluent know, they cannot escape the undeniable if unlovely truth: the common Enemy is the Poor. posted at
Saturday, February 12, 2005 | Niger slaves have lessons for Americans
Fatima told us she had been working for her master for as long as she could remember.
She said her master did not pay her, but fed and clothed her.
"What can I do?" she said. "I have no money, I need food, I have children and so if I can work for a man who at least feeds me then that is good."
When I asked her if she was a slave she looked at the ground, and said yes.
She seemed humiliated by her status, but seemed to have no greater expectations of her life.
While encouraging to those who stand to profit, others may find it disturbing to reflect on just how much oppression people can be made to endure.
As greater numbers of Americans slide complacently into a more slickly packaged version of Fatima's fate, fewer than ever before have greater expectations for their own lives.
It is now accepted that a son will be less prosperous than his father, and his son even poorer, for the first time in the history of the genocidal would-be nation, the pseudo-states established on ancient tribal lands, united in their bloodlust, in their greed.
It is understood that medical treatment is a commercial product, to be purchased by the rich and not dreamed of by the poor, who are increasingly empowered to do their part to help the economy by being subsumed into the excitingly dynamic American prison industry.
In American culture, poverty is considered a character defect, a lack of moral values, a crime to be punished,, itself a punishment from God, a punishment to be imposed by the wealthy on those who are not doing enough to make them wealthier.
In an unusual expression of concern for the 50% or so of the world's children who are variously enslaved, indentured, and imprisoned for the glory of some rich man or other's bank account, a recent CNN report pointed out that for 8 billion dollars, every child in the world could be provided with primary education.
To appreciate how difficult it would be for Americans to part with such a staggering sum, click here.
The rousing success of American-style entrepreneurship and wealth management in Niger notwithstanding, history has its own lessons, and US investors would be wise to include in their considerations that this particular area of Niger is somewhat isolated: " country that you can drive through for hours without seeing a soul...A nation of vast, barren and windswept landscapes..," therefore such a happy result should not be taken for granted in a populous electrified land chock-a-block with modems and media.
Those thick dusty tomes, the crumbling scrolls, the faded inscriptions on which mankind has committed events to posterity over the millennia soberly remind the prudent investor that golden goose entrails will stain even the finest silken of laps, that as surely as night follows morning, Fatima will have her Epiphany, though her master may be tragically deprived of his, poor thing, and another Bastille will fall.
The burgeoning swells of the American poor, the huddled masses still yearning for that free breathing stuff the statue spoke of, they are the wild card in the Great Game, the ever-changing algorithm of balance, biscuit, no biscuit, hurry, just a bit of biscuit over here, every day another American Fatima is surprised to discover that she feels something strange and new, an expectation, perhaps, for her life? And every day, an American Madame Fatima sits quietly, not knitting, but sharpening the tools of the weak, against which there is no defense.*
Friday, February 11, 2005 | Popes and Princes and Pyongyang and Persia
The Pope surprised his funeral planners again, and went home to begin a spiritual retreat in his onsite hospital, and will continue to preside over the last remnant of the Roman Empire until such time as secret plans can be finalized.
The Prince of Wales, noted for his consistent refusal to have his ears pinned back, announced that he will marry his lover of 30 odd years, and set tongues a-wagging over titles and rings and ecclesiastical negotiations and what WILL she wear, and who will see Diana's face in the clouds on the Day, and her assassination was totally an accident and anybody who says different is - well, Harrod's just hasn't ever been the same, now has it, really?
April 8th, the date set for the wedding, may or may not be nestled cozily among the next developments in Amrika's thrilling nuclear drama. North Korea reminded Washington again today that it does indeed possess certain strategic assets, and Teheran coyly winked and fluttered its fan, reminding us that we had better hope they have them too, or few cuddly American three year olds will be fortunate enough to land a plush job at Wal-Mart, so busy will they be providing material for Dahr Jamail.
Or maybe, with apologies to Elvis Costello, somebody will just put out the big light. Optimists can think of this as a sort of species-wide do-over. posted at
Wednesday, February 09, 2005 | The Case Against Democracy
Words like Democracy, Freedom, Liberty, do not mean the same things to all people.
To Americans, a country is a democracy if it agrees with US policies. Elections can be mostly media events, it does not matter if only a few of the people vote, and it does not matter whether the votes are accurately counted.
In some other countries, they have a different view.
While the American definition of freedom and liberty includes indefinite imprisonment without charges, torture, sexual predation, shutting down newspapers, murdering journalists and putting tape on the mouths of those who criticize the US, many people around the world have something else in mind when they hope for freedom and liberty.
When Bush says he will bring freedom and democracy to the world, what comes into the world's mind is Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Mazar al Sharif, Palestine.
When he speaks of tyranny, the world thinks of many regimes installed and maintained by the US for the express purpose of preventing the people from choosing their own government and enacting their own policies that may not be advantageous to US business interests.
Lately some in Washington have begun to speak of how the Iraqi people must rise up and defend their country. Many Iraqis are doing just that, and the US calls them insurgents and terrorists.
What the Americans mean is that Iraqis must kill their neighbors when ordered to do so by American soldiers.
While this redefinition of words and phrases has without question been invaluable in maintaining domestic support for US policies, they have been just as effective at obliterating the possibility of dialogue and negotiation.
This is no accident, and ironically is one of the more transparent and honest aspects of US policy, built as it is on the primordial principle that the world is US property, that self-defense is a privilege that can be granted or revoked only by the US.
In the US itself, democracy involves the 25% richest people choosing which protege of which corporation will represent that corporation before the warlords as they decide which population it will be most profitable to exterminate next. Almost invariably, the winner of any election is the candidate with the most money. American democracy involves aborted elections, where registrations are discarded, votes that are not counted at all, votes that no one really knows what they were because they are recorded (or not) on sophisticated computer programs that have no system of checks and balances.
While some may cling to the archaic notion of democracy as having to do with everyone in a polity having a voice, few would suggest that if, for example, the people of Arabia were tomorrow magically relieved of their princes and went about the business of choosing a representative government accountable to the populace, that the result would be at all pleasing to US defense and energy industries.
Such a government would in fact, not be considered a democracy by the US, who would immediately launch "operations" to effect "regime change" and bring American-style freedom and democracy to Arabia, most likely by re-installing the princes, or maybe they would go for an elected president, like, say, Egypt.
Dictionaries and reference works notwithstanding, the US has effectively redefined and remade democracy in the image it has chosen, and it is not a system of government anyone would want, it is incompatible with the continuance of human life on earth.
In so doing, they have made democracy into global public enemy number one, and given billions of people all over the world almost as many reasons to hate freedom. posted at
Thursday, February 03, 2005 | God, Speaking Through Bush, Promises More Slaughter, Poverty, War Booty
Amid standing ovations by adoring proteges of America's burgeoning weapons industry, CNN commentators were moved to tears for the second time in a week as God, speaking through Bush, blessed the reverent throng with revelations of his plans for American business.
Divine promises of unending bloodshed and slaughter, translating into billions, possibly trillions of dollars in revenue, fell sweet as Gilead's balm on the ears of the nation's noble population reduction community, and no manna was ever more joyfully received than the sacred covenant of expedited feudalism, as the Golden Calf of the West pledged to protect those whose coffers bulge with the blood and the bones of those who dare to stand between America and its oil from the spectre of a Homeland-grown middle class.
A nation united, rich and poor alike pledged to the same goal of increased wealth for the rich and a shorter life of blessed obedience for the poor, whose numbers the Celestial Blossom vowed to swell beyond even the considerable dreams of General Dynamics and Raytheon, beyond the unspoken prayers of the Walton family, soaring above even the heroic imagination of Kellog, Brown and Root, a vast ocean of poor poorer than poor, a cornucopia of ever more desperate, humble poor, existing only to serve, in the fields, in the prisons, in the kitchens and factories and slaughterhouses, whose lives, though brief, glow bright as the sun, and fall, a golden drop of that sun, even as another takes their place, into the warchests of their masters, the countinghouses of Sahib.
To these poor, these noble savages alone, is given the sweetest gift of all, the liberty of sacrifice, the freedom of the tomb. posted at
Tuesday, February 01, 2005 | Manifest Democracy Soothes Battered American Souls
The reaction to Operation Iraqi Election Show has more to do with the American (and American wannabe) psyche than with US activities in the Middle East.
To the casual non-US observer, traditional American jingoism may appear as solid as ever, and for the most part, this is the case.
Look closely however, and a more complex picture emerges. Though barely perceptible, Americans tend to find the prodromal symptoms that warn of crack potential quite alarming, and this is more than understandable.
Emerging from an election campaign where candidates openly differed on the best way to run the crusade, what the US political class wants most now is unity, harmony, and to be reassured that they are right, and that the world knows it, and loves them for it just as much as they love American movies and snack foods.
This may sound absurd to people who do not believe that the US should be invading or occupying other countries at all, who do not accept the premise that the earth's petroleum resources are by divine right the property of the United States, the United States being defined as a loosely allied consortium of arms and energy corporations, but what those people do not understand is that for mainsteram American voters, that is the bedrock principle on which their very existence is based.
To seriously suggest, for example that Iraq, oil included, belongs to the Iraqi people, or that Iran has the same right to have whatever weapons it wants as the United States does, is to commit, within the American cultural context, an act of ideological terrorism.
Such a notion calls into question the legitimacy of the US itself, and twitches the veil that conceals the horror their nation has become. Americans want to get behind their president and cheer on their gunmen. They do not want the bombing of Teheran to start until after the Michael Jackson trial.
If the footage that moved the CNN cousins almost to tears had just a smidge of help from a few camouflage-clad production assistants in body armor, if the people who walked to the secret polling places to vote for the secret candidates were ordered to do so on pain of losing the food ration that keeps their children just a smidge less malnourished than the average Darfur refugee tot, if the same gunmen who blew the feet off their grandfather yesterday and hauled their son off to torture camp last week banged on the door and demanded to know why they were not out slogging to the polls, if the voting lines were contained a disproportionate number of collaborators, "exiled" Iraqis brought in from Dearborn to encore their stellar performance at the unforgettable statue-tumbling event, and poor deluded Kurds, looking for all the world like the abused housewife who plasters every new bruise with the desperate mantra that this time he'll really change, if those same Kurds felt it would be better for everybody if the Christians didn't vote, if the whole thing was nothing but a plastic turkey in a flight suit, Americans do not want to know.
What they do want is to begin, at long last, their process of healing and unity secure in the knowledge that they have brought freedom and democracy to Iraq, according to the plan which God has revealed through Bush, and they have sent a chilling message to all other countries that whatever Americans may lack, be it health care, housing, or jobs that can provide either, one thing they do have is Resolve. posted at
Actions like Sep 11 do not happen in a vaccuum.
Long before those hijackers ever stepped foot on the planes the damage
had been done. They were brainwashed with the same type of garbage
propaganda that is spewed from Fatwa's weblog.
Middle Eastern countries are so much more barbaric today and preAmercia than America can ever hope to be...America has only been around 230 years...who did you blame for everything before that Ductape? I am calling a Fatwa on your bullshit!
IMO - terrorist plain and simple. He is an Al queda operative who
should be put in a cage on gitmo Skinner
My favorite..."In Defense of Holocaust Deniers"
I always thought that "The Enemy Within" was just a metaphore for liberalism, that is, until I encountered Ductape Fatwa. He should be in an orange jumpsuit for sure.
peopleforchange.netductape is either a commie, al queda, or a deep cover mole
Tells you something about this asshole doesn't it. He's really serious.
I believe that DF is nothing but a Republican plant...
Ductape is a commie, a terrorist, and he drinks blood too. He drinks
Capitalist blood. He eats unborn babies too
Give me your address and I'll send you $20 and a thank-you note for taking your hatred elsewhere.
A terrorist with a sense of humor!
He ain't nuthin' but shit
inadequate, halfway house bullshit
You are a dumbass. Fuck you and your condescension about us "benighted sheeple." hamletta
Untruthful, damaging bullshit
no better than the neocons and no different than Timothy McVeigh
dailykos.coma turd in the punchbowl...if DF were Joe Hill he probably would have killed himself rather than get put to death.
A compost pile of fecundity
dailykos.comdespicable and literally mentally ill