Flying Snail - News & Views for Remnants of Paradise
Tell-A-Vision = Why Not Try Love Again?

Closing Argument

Boston Legal Speech on America

Amestizo ~ BLOG + NEW:

Shocking! The real purpose of your life! by Alan Watts &feature=player_embedded

Notes from ~@~ Listed Below:

A Day in India ~

George Carlin, The American Dream ~

I, Pet Goat II ~

Why the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Suck

Police Officer, Wife, Could Face Jail Time for Saving a Deer

Gio Benitez, Mosheh Gains and Emily Stanitz report: Article Source

Should an Indiana couple go to jail for saving Bambi?

That's the question surrounding the case of Jeff and Jennifer Counceller, who rescued an injured fawn and nursed it back to health at their Connersville, Ind., home. The couple now faces the possibility of jail time and fines after state officials charged them with a misdemeanor for harboring the animal.

Jeff Counceller, a police officer in Connersville, and his wife were charged with unlawful possession of a deer, a misdemeanor that punished to its fullest extent could put the Councellers in jail for up to 60 days and cost them up to $2,000 in fines.

The couple rescued the deer more than two years ago after finding it on their neighbor's porch. The Councellers said the deer had sustained injuries, and they wanted to nurse it back to health.

"I could feel all of the open wounds all along her back side and she wouldn't stand up," Jennifer Counceller told ABC News.

They brought the deer home and named her Little Orphan Dani.

The Councellers said an Indiana Conservation Officer stopped by their home and discovered the deer this past summer. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources wanted to euthanize Dani, saying she might be dangerous and a threat to people.

“I was devastated. I spent a year and several months nursing her into adulthood, getting to the point where she was able to go out on her own,” Counceller said.

On the day Dani was to be put down, the Councellers said she inexplicably escaped from their backyard. Even though Dani disappeared back into the wild, the Councellers’ legal problems didn’t go with the fawn.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources said it couldn’t comment on pending litigation but that it did discourage people from taking in injured wildlife. This case could go to court next month, and if charges aren’t dropped, it will be left for a jury to decide whether the Councellers broke the law.

“No matter what the law is, we did what was right for the animal,” Counceller said.

Meanwhile, the story has caused uproar on the Internet. A Facebook support page has more than 6,400 “Likes” in support of the couple. An online petition to drop the charges already has more than 3,800 signatures.

Rick on wrote, “An act of humanity should not be rewarded with a sentence.”

Michelle on Facebook wrote, “They are being punished for having compassion and showing kindness.”

The Councellers’ case could go to court next month. [All links at source.]

Your enemy is not surrounding your country,

Republican McConnell Intends to Ruin Country? Open true Salon article in new tab or window
Your enemy is ruling your country!

by Balz ~ Revised Version ~~ Original Version

Year after year, Politicians have gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums of money, and taken great risks to build & keep weapons of mass destruction. But why? The only possible explanation; the only possible use they could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack.

With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, Politicians could resume their ambitions of conquest in the Middle East for wealthy Oil Corporatists and Israel; creating deadly havoc in that region, and the United States people must recognize this as a threat to their Democracy.

Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by a War Criminal Bush Administration, and others facing indictment, reveal Politicians aid and protect terrorists, and secretly, without fingerprints, could create another 9/11, or provide one of their hidden weapons to terrorists, or help terrorists develop their own weapons.

Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Politicians could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses, and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those Neocon hijackers with other weapons and other plans -- this time armed by evil Politicians.

It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known.

Peace loving Activists will do everything in their power to make sure that day never comes. (Applause)

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have politicians, terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions; politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late.

Trusting in the sanity and restraint of POLITICIANS is not a strategy, and it is not an option. (Applause)

Politicians, who are assembling the world's most dangerous weapons, have already used them -- (Shock, Awe, and MK77) -- leaving thousands of innocent civilian citizens dead, blind, or disfigured.

Refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained -- by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape.

If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning. (Applause)

And tonight I have a message for the brave, oppressed, and apathetic people of the United States:

Your enemy is not surrounding your country -- your enemy is ruling your country. (Applause)

And the day evil politicians are removed from power, will be the day of your liberation. (Applause)

They/Them ~ Patriot Act ~ Telecom Crimes & Punishment ~ Drop Dead

Operation Last Resort

Mike Wilhelm ~ Charlatans, Flamin' Groovies, Loose Gravel, and more

Strawberry Roan by Mike Wilhelm &feature=player_embedded

Most artists have edited Strawberry Roan lyrics.
Here are the complete lyrics as written by Curley Fletcher, 1915.

Published on Jan 22, 2013 by Mike Wilhelm

I'm a-layin' around just spendin' my time, Out of a job and ain't holdin' a dime, When a fellow steps up and says, "I suppose That you're a bronc fighter by the looks of your clothes." "You figures me right, I'm a good one," I claim, "Do you happen to have any bad ones to tame?" He says he's got one, a bad one to buck, And for throwin' good riders, he's had lots of luck.

He says that this pony has never been rode, That the boys that gets on him is bound to get throwed; Well I gets all excited and asks what he pays To ride that old pony for a couple of days. He offered a ten-spot, I says "I'm your man, 'Cause the bronc never lived that I couldn't fan; The horse never lived, he never drew breath, That I couldn't ride 'til he starved plumb to death.

"I don't like to brag but I got this to say, That I ain't been piled in many a day." Says he, "Get your saddle, I'll give you a chance." So I gets in his buckboard and drifts to his ranch. I stays until mornin' and right after chuck, I steps out to see if this outlaw can buck. Down in the horse corral standin' alone Was this caballo, a strawberry roan.

His legs is all spavined, he's got pigeon toes, Little pig eyes and a big Roman nose, Little pin ears that touch at the tip And a double square iron stamped on his hip. Ewe-necked and old with a long lower jaw, I can see with one eye, he's a reg'lar outlaw. I puts on my spurs - I'm sure feelin' fine - Turns up my hat and picks up my twine.

I throws that loop on him and well I know then, That before he gets rode, I'll sure earn that ten, I get my blinds on him and it sure was a fight, Next come my saddle, I screws it down tight. Then I piles on him and raises the blind, I'm right in his middle to see him unwind. Well, he bows his old neck and I guess he unwound, For he seems to quit livin' down on the ground.

He goes up toward the east and comes down toward the west; To stay in his middle, I'm doin' my best. He sure is frog-walkin', he heaves a big sigh. He only lacks wings for to be on the fly. He turns his old belly right up towards the sun, He sure is a sun-fishin' son of a gun. He is the worst bucker I've seen on the range; He can turn on a nickel and give you some change.

While he's a-buckin', he squeals like a shoat, I tell you, that pony has sure got my goat. I claim that, no foolin', that bronc could sure step But I'm still in my saddle, a-buildin' a rep. He hits on all fours and suns up his side, I don't see how he keeps from sheddin' his hide. I loses my stirrups and also my hat, I'm grabbin' the leather and blind as a bat.

With a phenomenal jump, he goes up on high, And I'm settin' on nothin', way up in the sky, And then I turns over and comes back to earth And lights into cussin' the day of his birth. I knows the horses I ain't able to ride Is some of them livin' - they haven't all died, But I bets all my money there ain't no man alive, That can stay with that bronc when he makes that high dive!

Keith Lampe ~ Co-Founder of YIPPIE and Progressive Activist Groups + Video Channel

Restore the Amazon

So We Can Keep Growing Food Outdoors

January 26, 2013

Dear VV Friends and Colleagues,

Okay, here's some more important info on the Amazonian emergency.

Please circulate it as much as you can--especially the piece in Spanish so maybe eventually there'll be a Citizens' Restoration Initiative involving at very least all the Amazonian nations.

Thank you.

For all our relations, Pondo, Volunteer

Amazonía: grito de auxilio

Amigas y amigos,

En el corazón de Ecuador, una mega empresa quiere perforar la selva amazónica más virgen para convertirla en un pozo de petróleo. El pueblo Kichwa de Sani Isla, que está resistiendo ferozmente, acaba de pedirnos ayuda para salvar su hogar.

Los Kichwa habitan en un territorio donde los jaguares viven libremente y una sola hectárea tiene más biodiversidad que todo Norte América. Por eso, desde hace años, la comunidad firmó un acuerdo declarando que nunca vendería sus tierras. Pero ahora, el gobierno de Ecuador está tratando de comprarlos y de venderle cuatro millones de hectáreas de la Amazonía a las petroleras. El presidente Rafael Correa está en plena campaña electoral y debe aclarar su posición sobre el medio ambiente y los derechos de los pueblos indígenas. Si podemos generar un escándalo global y convertir la protección de la Amazonía en un tema electoral, podremos frenar esta fiebre del petróleo.

Hasta ahora esta valiente comunidad ha permanecido firme, pero las petroleras podrían llegar en cualquier momento -- por eso nos piden apoyarles para salvar la Amazonía. Firma esta petición ahora y compártela. Si un millón de personas nos sumamos, crearemos una tormenta mediática que haga recapacitar a Correa:

Después de que Texaco y otras compañías petroleras contaminaron el agua de Ecuador y devastaron irreversiblemente sus valiosísimos ecosistemas, Correa consiguió que su país fuera el primero en reconocer “los derechos de la Madre Tierra” en su Constitución, anunciando que Ecuador no estaba en venta. Además, puso en marcha una innovadora iniciativa para que otros países contribuyan a que Ecuador no explote el petróleo de un área del Parque Nacional Yasuní -- y así proteger su increíble riqueza natural en vez de destruirla. Pero ahora Correa está a punto de vender la Amazonía.

Sorprende que parte de las tierras de los Kichwa están dentro del Parque Nacional Yasuní, pero el plan maestro de Correa es aún más chocante. En pocos días, funcionarios públicos iniciarán una gira mundial para ofrecer a inversores extranjeros los derechos de explotación petrolera en cuatro millones de hectáreas al sur de la Amazonía (un área más grande que Holanda). Ecuador, como cualquier otro país, puede argumentar que tiene derecho a beneficiarse de sus recursos naturales, pero no puede obviar los derechos constitucionales de los pueblos indígenas y de sus preciosos bosques.

Ahora mismo Correa lucha por ganar su reelección. Es el momento perfecto para hacerle cumplir sus promesas medioambientales y lograr que la Constitución de la Pacha Mama cobre valor. Firma ya para apoyar al pueblo Kichwa en la defensa de sus bosques:

Nuestra comunidad ha luchado año tras año por la conservación de la Amazonía en Brasil y en Bolivia, y ha conseguido importantes victorias en solidaridad con las comunidades indígenas. Ahora llegó la hora de Ecuador. Respondamos a este urgente llamado a la acción y defendamos la selva amazónica.

Con esperanza y determinación,

Alex, Pedro, Alice, Laura, Marie, Ricken, Taylor, Morgan, Luis y todo el equipo de Avaaz

Más información:

Pueblo Kichwa asegura que morirá luchando por salvar el Amazonas (Veo Verde)

Segunda carta abierta del pueblo Kichwa al Gobierno Nacional de Ecuador (Oliwatch Sudamérica)

La pugna por el petróleo de la Amazonía (BBC)

Ecuador inicia subasta de petróleo en medio de protestas indígenas (Global Voices)

Ecuador buscará petróleo en la Selva Tropical (Clan Eco)

Indígenas ecuatorianos y el presidente Correa enfrentados por el petróleo de la Amazonía (Ecología Verde)

Wife of Military Profiteer Revives Assault-Weapons Ban

Nobody Cares Dianne Feinstein's Husband Made A Killing During Bush's Illegal Iraq War?

Senator Feinstein's Iraq Conflict

As a member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, Senator Feinstein voted for appropriations worth billions to her husband's firms

by Peter Byrne

IN THE November 2006 election, the voters demanded congressional ethics reform. And so, the newly appointed chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is now duly in charge of regulating the ethical behavior of her colleagues. But for many years, Feinstein has been beset by her own ethical conflict of interest, say congressional ethics experts.

As chairperson and ranking member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee (MILCON) from 2001 through the end of 2005, Feinstein supervised the appropriation of billions of dollars a year for specific military construction projects. Two defense contractors whose interests were largely controlled by her husband, financier Richard C. Blum, benefited from decisions made by Feinstein as leader of this powerful subcommittee.

Each year, MILCON's members decide which military construction projects will be funded from a roster proposed by the Department of Defense. Contracts to build these specific projects are subsequently awarded to such major defense contractors as Halliburton, Fluor, Parsons, Louis Berger, URS Corporation and Perini Corporation. From 1997 through the end of 2005, with Feinstein's knowledge, Blum was a majority owner of both URS Corp. and Perini Corp.

While setting MILCON agendas for many years, Feinstein, 73, supervised her own staff of military construction experts as they carefully examined the details of each proposal. She lobbied Pentagon officials in public hearings to support defense projects that she favored, some of which already were or subsequently became URS or Perini contracts. From 2001 to 2005, URS earned $792 million from military construction and environmental cleanup projects approved by MILCON; Perini earned $759 million from such MILCON projects.

In her annual Public Financial Disclosure Reports, Feinstein records a sizeable family income from large investments in Perini, which is based in Framingham, Mass., and in URS, headquartered in San Francisco. But she has not publicly acknowledged the conflict of interest between her job as a congressional appropriator and her husband's longtime control of Perini and URS—and that omission has called her ethical standards into question, say the experts.

Insider Information

The tale thickens with the appearance of Michael R. Klein, a top legal adviser to Feinstein and a long-time business partner of Blum's. The vice-chairman of Perini's board of directors, Klein was a partner in Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, a powerful law firm with close ties to the Democratic Party, for nearly 30 years. Klein and Blum co-own ASTAR Air Cargo, which has military contracts in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Klein also sits on the board of SRA International, a large defense contractor.

In an interview with this reporter in September, Klein stated that, beginning in 1997, he routinely informed Feinstein about specific federal projects coming before her in which Perini had a stake. The insider information, Klein said, was intended to help the senator avoid conflicts of interest. Although Klein's startling admission was intended to defuse the issue of Feinstein's conflict of interest, it had the effect of exacerbating it.

Klein said that he regularly gave Feinstein's chief of staff, Mark Kadesh, lists of Perini's current and upcoming contractual interests in federal legislation, so that the senator would not discuss, debate, vote on or participate in matters that could affect projects in which Perini was concerned.

"Earmarks, you know, set asides, you name it, there was a system in place which on a regular basis I got notified, I notified her office and her office notified her," Klein said.

"We basically identified any bid that Perini was going for and checked to see whether it was the subject of already appropriated funds or funds yet to be appropriated, and if it was anything that the senator could not act on, her office was alerted and she did not act on it."

This is an extraordinary thing for Klein and the senator to do, since the detailed project proposals that the Pentagon sent to Feinstein's subcommittee for review do not usually name the firms already contracted to perform specific projects. Nor do defense officials typically identify, in MILCON hearings, which military construction contractors were eligible to bid on upcoming work.

In theory, Feinstein would not know the identity of any of the companies that stood to contractually benefit from her approval of specific items in the military construction budget—until Klein told her.

Klein explained, "They would get from me a notice that Perini was bidding on a contract that would be affected as we understood it by potential legislation that would come before either the full Congress or any committee that she was a member of. And she would as a result of that not act, abstain from dealing with those pieces of legislation."

However, the public record shows that contrary to Klein's belief, Feinstein did act on legislation that affected Perini and URS.

According to Klein, the Senate Select Committee on Ethics ruled, in secret, that Feinstein did not have a conflict of interest with Perini because, due to the existence of the bid and project lists provided by Klein, she knew when to recuse herself. Klein says that after URS declined to participate in his conflict of interest prevention plan, the ethics committee ruled that Feinstein could act on matters that affected URS, because she did not have a list of URS' needs. That these confidential rulings are contradictory is obvious and calls for explanation.

Klein declined to produce copies of the Perini project lists that he transmitted to Feinstein. And neither he nor Feinstein would furnish copies of the ethics committee rulings, nor examples of the senator recusing herself from acting on legislation that affected Perini or URS. But the Congressional Record shows that as chairwoman and a ranking member of MILCON, Feinstein was often involved in supervising the legislative details of military construction projects that directly affected Blum's defense contracting firms.

After reviewing the results of this investigation, Wendell Rawls, executive director of the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C., observes that by giving Feinstein notice of Perini's business objectives, Klein achieved the opposite of preventing a conflict of interest.

Rawls comments, "Sen. Feinstein has had a serious conflict of interest, a serious insensitivity to ethical considerations. The very least she should have done is to recuse herself from having conversations, debates, voting or any other kind of legislative activity that involved either Perini Corporation or URS Corporation or any other business activity where her husband's financial interests were involved.

"I cannot understand how someone who complains so vigorously as she has about conflicts of interest in the government and Congress can have turned such a deaf ear and a blind eye to her own. Because of her level of influence, the conflict of interest is just as serious as the Halliburton-Cheney connection."

Called Into Question

Here are a few examples from the Congressional Record of questionable intersections between Feinstein's legislative duties and her financial interests:

At a MILCON hearing in 2001, Feinstein interrogated defense officials about the details of constructing specific missile defense systems, which included upgrading the early warning radar system at Cobra Dane radar on Shemya Island, Alaska. In 2003, Perini reported that it had completed a contract to upgrade the Cobra Dane radar system. It has done similar work at Beale Air Force Base in California and in the United Kingdom. URS also bids on missile defense work.

In the 2002 MILCON hearings, Feinstein questioned an official about details of the U.S. Army's chemical demilitarization program. URS is extensively involved in performing chemical demilitarization work at key disposal sites in the United States.

At that same hearing, Feinstein asked about the possibility of increasing funding for anti-terrorism-force protection at Army bases. The following year, on March 4, 2003, Feinstein asked why the anti-terrorism-force protection funds she had advocated for the year before had not yet been spent. On April 21, 2003, URS announced the award of a $600 million contract to provide, among other services, anti-terrorism-force protection for U.S. Army installations.

Beginning in 2003, both Perini and URS were awarded a series of open-ended contracts for military construction work around the world, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. Under Feinstein's leadership, MILCON regularly approved specific project "task orders" that were issued to Perini and URS under these contracts.

At a March 30, 2004, MILCON hearing, Feinstein grilled Maj. Gen. Dean Fox about whether or not the Pentagon intended to prioritize funding the construction of "beddown" maintenance facilities for its new airlifter, the C-17 Globemaster. After being reassured by Fox that these funds would soon be flowing, Feinstein said, "Good, that's what I really wanted to hear. Thank you very much. Appreciate it very much, General." Two years later, URS announced a $42 million award to build a beddown maintenance facility for the C-17 at Hickam Air Base in Hawaii as part of a multibillion dollar contract with the Air Force. Under Feinstein's leadership, MILCON approved the Hickam project.

In mid-2005, MILCON approved a Pentagon proposal to fund "overhead coverage force protection" in Iraq that would reinforce the roofs of U.S. Army barracks to better withstand mortar rounds. On Oct. 13, 2005, Perini announced the award of a $185 million contract to provide overhead coverage force protection to the Army in Iraq.

In the 2005 MILCON hearings, Feinstein earmarked MILCON legislation with $25 million to increase environmental remediation at closed military bases. Year after year, Feinstein has closely overseen the environmental cleanup and redevelopment of McClellan Air Force Base near Sacramento, frequently requesting that officials add tens of millions of dollars to that project. URS and its joint ventures have earned tens of millions of dollars cleaning up McClellan. And CB Richard Ellis, a real estate company headed by Feinstein's husband Richard Blum, is involved in redeveloping McClellan for the private sector.

This investigation examined thousands of pages of documents, including transcripts of congressional hearings, U.S. Security and Exchange Commission filings, government audits and reports, federal procurement data and corporate press releases. The findings were shared with contracting and ethics experts at several nonpartisan, Washington, D.C.-based government oversight groups. Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit organization that analyzes defense contracts and who examined our evidence says, "The paper trail showing Sen. Feinstein's conflict of interest is irrefutable."

On the face of it, there is nothing objectionable about a senator closely examining proposed appropriations or advocating for missile defense or advancing the cleanup of a toxic military base. Blum profitably divested himself of ownership of both URS and Perini in 2005, ameliorating the conflict of interest. But Feinstein's ethical dilemma arose from the fact that, for five years, the interests of Perini and URS and CB Richard Ellis were inextricably entwined with her leadership of MILCON, which last year approved $16.2 billion for military construction projects.

Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington, remarks, "There are a number of members of Congress with conflicts of interest. [California Republican Congressman John T.] Doolittle, for example, hired his wife as a fundraiser, and she skimmed 15 percent off of all campaign contributions. Others, like [former] Speaker [Dennis] Hastert and Cong. [Ken] Calvert, were earmarking federal money for roads to enhance the value of property held by their families.

"But because of the amount of money involved," Sloan continues, "Feinstein's conflict of interest is an order of magnitude greater than those conflicts."

Family Matters

Californians elected San Francisco's former Mayor Dianne Feinstein to the Senate in 1992. She was overwhelmingly re-elected in November 2006. She is well liked by both liberals and conservatives. She supports abortion rights and gun control laws. She politicked this year for renewal of the Patriot Act and sponsored a constitutional amendment to ban American flag burning. She is currently calling for President Bush to set a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, but she strongly supported the invasions, occupations and "reconstructions" of both Iraq and Afghanistan. She sits on the Defense Appropriations subcommittee and the Senate Intelligence Committee, and she is a consistent hawk on matters military.

And she is wealthy. In 2005, Roll Call calculated Feinstein's wealth, including Blum's assets, at $40 million, up 25 percent from the year before. That made her the ninth wealthiest member of Congress. Feinstein's latest Public Financial Disclosure Report shows that in 2005 her family earned income of between $500,000 and $5 million from capital gains on URS and Perini stock combined. From CB Richard Ellis, Blum earned between $1.3 million to $4 million. (The report allows for disclosure of dollar amounts within ranges, which accounts for the wide variance.)

A talented financier and deal-broker, Blum, 70, presides over a global investment empire through a labyrinth of private equity partnerships. His flagship entity is a merchant banking firm, Blum Capital Partners, L.P., of which he is the chairman and general partner. Through this bank, Blum bought a controlling share of Perini in 1997, when it was nearly broke. He named his close associate, the attorney Michael R. Klein, to represent his interest on the board of directors. Blum declined to comment for this story. Perini CEO Robert Band deferred to Klein for comment.

In 2000, according to public records, Perini—which partly specializes in erecting casinos—earned a mere $7 million from federal contracts. Post-9/11, Perini transformed into a major defense contractor. In 2004, the company earned $444 million for military construction work in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as for improving airfields for the U.S. Air Force in Europe and building base infrastructures for the U.S. Navy around the globe. In a remarkable financial recovery, Perini shot from near penury in 1997 to logging gross revenues of $1.7 billion in 2005.

In December 2005, Perini publicly identified one of its main business competitors as Halliburton. The company attributed its growing profitability, in large part, to its Halliburton-like military construction contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the company warned investors that if Congress slammed the brakes on war and occupation in the Middle East, Perini's stock could plummet.

According to Klein and to public records, Blum's firm originally paid $4 a share for a controlling interest in Perini's common stock. After a series of complicated stock transactions, Blum ended up owning 13 percent of the company, a majority interest. In mid- and late 2005, Blum and his firm took their profits by selling about 3 million Perini shares for $23.75 per share, according to Klein and reports filed with the SEC. Klein says Blum personally owned 100,000 of the vastly appreciated shares when they were sold. Shortly thereafter, Feinstein began calling for winding down the Iraq war while urging that the "global war on terror" continue indefinitely.

Perini's Payday

It is estimated that Perini now holds at least $2.5 billion worth of contracts tied to the worldwide expansion of American militarism. Its largest Department of Defense contracts are "indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity" or "bundled" contracts carrying guaranteed profit margins. As is all too common, competitive bidding was minimal or nonexistent for many of these contracts.

In June, U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, released a report by the House Committee on Government Reform criticizing the Pentagon's growing use of bundled contracts. Waxman complained that these contracts give companies an incentive to increase costs. One of the "problem contracts" identified by Waxman was a no-bid, $500 million contract held by Perini to reconstruct southern Iraq's electrical grid.

In fact, bundled military construction contracts fueled Perini's transformation from casino builder to major war contractor. As of May 2006, Perini held a series of bundled contracts awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers for work in the Middle East worth $1.725 billion. Perini has also been awarded an open-ended contract by the U.S. Air Force for military construction and cleaning the environment at closed military bases. Perini shares that $15 billion award with several other firms, including URS.

Perini regularly performs military construction jobs from Afghanistan to Alaska. It built a biological warfare laboratory for the Navy in Virginia. It built fuel tanks and pipelines for the Navy in North Africa. Details of these projects are typically examined and approved or disapproved by MILCON.

At a 2001 MILCON hearing, Feinstein, attending to a small item, told Maj. Gen. Earnest O. Robbins that she would appreciate receiving an engineering assessment on plans to build a missile transport bridge at Vandenberg Air Force Base. He said he would give it to her. She also asked for and received a list of unfunded construction projects, which prioritize military construction wish lists down to the level of thousand-dollar light fixtures. While there is no evidence to point to nefarious intent behind Feinstein's request for these details, it is worth noting that Perini and URS have open-ended contracts to perform military construction for the Air Force. The senator could have chosen to serve on a subcommittee where she had no potential conflict of interests at all.

In 2003 hearings, MILCON approved various construction projects at sites where Perini and/or URS are contracted to perform engineering and military construction work. The sites included: Camp Lejeune; the Underwater Systems Lab in Newport, R.I.; Hill Air Force Base, Utah; the Naval facilities at Dahlgren, Va.; projects at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Ind., and Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico; and military bases in Guam, Diego Garcia and Crete.

There are some serious problems with Perini's work in Iraq. In June 2004, the Government Accountability Office reported that Perini's electrical reconstruction contract in southern Iraq suffered from mismanagement and lack of competition. In 2006, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction found that Perini was paid to construct multimillion-dollar electrical substations in the desert that could not be connected to the electrical grid. And the company was billing the government for purchasing and subcontracting costs that were not justified, according to the Defense Contract Audit Agency. An October 2005 audit by the Defense Department's Inspector General criticized the execution of Perini's cost-plus military construction work in Afghanistan, saying, "The contractor had an incentive to increase costs, because higher costs resulted in higher profit."

URS and McClellan

URS dwarfs Perini. With more than 100 subsidiaries, it employs nearly 30,000 engineers and workers worldwide. The firm's largest customer is the U.S. Army, from which it booked $791 million in work in 2005 out of a total revenue of $3.9 billion.

URS is not just a construction company; it also develops and maintains advanced weapons systems. In 2002, URS purchased weaponry firm EG&G Technical Services from the Carlyle Group, in which former President George H.W. Bush was a principal. But as profitable as its arms dealing division is, URS reports that its growth sectors are military construction, homeland security and environmental services for military sites under existing Defense Department contracts.

According to a database of federal procurement records made available for this investigation by Eagle Eye Publishers of Fairfax, Va., URS's military construction work in 2000 earned it a mere $24 million. The next year, when Feinstein took over as MILCON chair, military construction earned URS $185 million. On top of that, the company's architectural and engineering revenue from military construction projects grew from $108,726 in 2000 to $142 million in 2001, more than a thousandfold increase in a single year.

As Congress gave the Bush administration the green light on military spending after 9/11, the value of Blum's investment in URS skyrocketed. Between 2003 and 2005, URS' share price doubled. In late 2005, Blum resigned from the URS board of directors, after 30 years as a member. Simultaneously, he sold 5.5 million URS shares, worth about $220 million at market price.

The Congressional Record shows that in year after year of MILCON hearings, Feinstein successfully lobbied defense officials to increase the budget for military base cleanup and redevelopment, especially at the decommissioned McClellan Air Force Base. The detoxification of McClellan is a plum job: it is estimated to cost $1.3 billion and take many years to complete. There is, of course, nothing unusual about a senator advocating for projects that improve environmental health, particularly when the project is in her home state; and the Pentagon is notoriously lax about cleaning up its Superfund sites.

It turns out, though, that URS specializes in environmental consulting and engineering work at military installations. It holds a $69 million contract to manage the cleanup of Hill Air Force Base in Utah, which was awarded in 2004. It has a $320 million contract to remediate pollution at U.S. Army bases in the United States and the Caribbean, which was awarded in 2005. And from 2000 to 2005, URS and its partners were paid $204 million for work at McClellan Air Force Base, according to Eagle Eye.

At a MILCON hearing in 2001, Feinstein cited the environmental work at McClellan as needing more money. "That is a base that I am very familiar with, and I am glad that we were able to provide that funding so that work at McClellan can proceed," she said. Feinstein then asked for and received detailed information concerning the Pentagon's projected schedule to finish the McClellan cleanup and the effect of delaying cleanup upon its potential for commercial reuse.

At a MILCON hearing in March 2002, Chairwoman Feinstein interrogated Assistant Secretary of Defense Nelson F. Gibbs:

Sen. Feinstein: Is the Air Force capable of executing greater [cleanup] funding in 2003 at McClellan?

Mr. Gibbs: Yes, ma'am.

Feinstein: And how much would that be? How about $22 million?

Gibbs: That would be very close. That would be almost exact as a matter of fact. ... If you would like, I can provide for you a list of those individual projects.

Feinstein: I would. If you would not mind. Thank you very much.

The next week, Gibbs sent Feinstein a memo showing the addition of $23 million to the McClellan environmental budget, mostly for groundwater remediation, URS' specialty.

In the 2003 MILCON hearings, Feinstein told Dov S. Zakheim, then the Defense Department comptroller, that she "was really struck by the hit that environmental remediation [at McClellan Air Force Base] took. ... However, I have just [received] a list from the Air Force of what they could use to clean up ... McClellan, and one other base, and it is 64 million additional dollars this year."

Dr. Zakheim replied, "Well, let me first say that I remember your concern last year, and I am glad that we took care of [McClellan]. That is important."

Feinstein remarked that the Pentagon had already spent $7 billion on environmental cleanup of closed bases, and that another $3.5 billion should be immediately allocated so that the clean bases can be transferred to the private sector. Demonstrating her grasp of technical details, she remarked, "I am particularly concerned with the dilapidated condition of the sewer line at McClellan that continues to impede significant economic redevelopment of the base."

That is where CB Richard Ellis comes in.

The real estate firm is politically well-connected. Sen. Feinstein's husband chairs the board of directors. Bill Clinton's secretary of commerce, Michael Kantor, joined in 2004. Former Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle signed on in 2005. The firm specializes in consulting with local governments and developers from California to Puerto Rico on how best to redevelop cleaned-up military bases. It also brokers the sale and lease of redeveloped base lands to the private sector. Since Blum took over CB Richard Ellis, for example, the company has closed deals leasing tens of thousands of square feet of commercial space on cleaned-up portions of McClellan to private developers.

In a 2003 MILCON hearing, Sacramento County redevelopment official Robert B. Leonard told Feinstein, "We wanted to express our appreciation for your efforts over the last year in supporting our needs at McClellan." During the five years that Feinstein led the subcommittee, support for the McClellan cleanup and the redevelopment deals were particular focuses of her attention.

URS declined to comment for this story. The sole comment that Feinstein's office made in response to a series of written questions about facts in this story is that "Sen. Feinstein has never had any knowledge nor has she exercised any influence on the award of environmental cleanup contracts under the jurisdiction of the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee."

Let the Sunlight In

Last week, the Senate voted to close some significant loopholes in its ethics rules. But it stopped short of creating an office of public integrity, which would independently monitor lobbyists and members of Congress for ethical compliance. Setting her own limits on the extent of reform she will countenance, Feinstein says she is opposed to the creation of an independent congressional ethics watchdog. "If the law is clear and precise, members will follow it," she assured The New York Times on Nov. 18, 2006.

The problem with the existing rules governing congressional ethics is that they are neither clear nor precise, and neither are they effective. Senate rules governing conflicts of interest are so vaguely worded, say government watchdogs, that short of stashing cash bribes in the refrigerator, the line between serving constituents and serving oneself is often blurred. The public record shows that Feinstein has a history of crossing that blurry line.

Charles Tiefer is a professor of law specializing in legislation and government contracting at the University of Baltimore in Maryland. He served as solicitor and deputy counsel to the House of Representatives for 11 years. He has taught at Yale Law School and written books on congressional procedures and separation of powers. Tiefer observes that, unlike the executive and judiciary branches of government, Congress does not have enforceable conflict of interest rules. It is up to Sen. Feinstein's constituents, Tiefer says, to decide if she has a conflict of interest and to take whatever action they want. To make that possible, Feinstein should have publicly disclosed the details of her family investments in Perini, URS and CB Richard Ellis as they related to her actions on MILCON. Tiefer avers that when Klein gave Feinstein lists of Perini's interests, he worsened her conflict of interest.

"The senator should, at a minimum, have posted Klein's lists on her Senate website, so that the press and the public would be warned of her potential conflicts," Tiefer says, noting that she should also make public her correspondence with the Senate Ethics Committee.

As the arbiter of Senate rules on ethics, it is incumbent on Feinstein to provide the public with an explanation of why she did not recuse herself from acting on MILCON details that served her financial interests, and why she failed to resign from the subcommittee after she recognized the potential for conflicts of interest, which, unfortunately, materialized in an obvious way and over a long period of time.

Project Censored Top 25 of 2008

# 23 Feinstein’s Conflict of Interest in Iraq

Student Researcher: David Abbott, Amanda Spigut, and Ann Marie O’Toole
Faculty Evaluator: David McCuan, Ph.D.

Dianne Feinstein—the ninth wealthiest member of congress—has been beset by monumental ethical conflicts of interest. As a member of the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee (MILCON) from 2001 to the end of 2005, Senator Feinstein voted for appropriations worth billions of dollars to her husband’s firms.

From 1997 through the end of 2005, Feinstein’s husband Richard C. Blum was a majority shareholder in both URS Corp. and Perini Corp. She lobbied Pentagon officials in public hearings to support defense projects that she favored, some of which already were, or subsequently became, URS or Perini contracts. From 2001 to 2005, URS earned $792 million from military construction and environmental cleanup projects approved by MILCON; Perini earned $759 million from such projects.

In 2000, Perini earned a mere $7 million from federal contracts. After 9/11, Perini was transformed into a major defense contractor. In 2004, the company earned $444 million for military construction work in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as for improving airfields for the US Air Force in Europe and building base infrastructures for the US Navy around the globe. In a remarkable financial recovery, Perini shot from near penury in 1997 to logging gross revenues of $1.7 billion in 2005.

It is estimated that Perini now holds at least $2.5 billion worth of contracts tied to the worldwide expansion of the US military. Its largest Department of Defense contracts are “indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity” or “bundled” contracts carrying guaranteed profit margins. As of May 2006, Perini held a series of bundled contracts awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers for work in the Middle East worth $1.725 billion. Perini has also been awarded an open-ended contract by the US Air Force for military construction and cleaning the environment at closed military bases.

In 2003 hearings, MILCON approved various construction projects at sites where Perini and/or URS are contracted to perform engineering and military construction work. URS’s military construction work in 2000 earned it a mere $24 million. The next year, when Feinstein took over as MILCON chair, military construction earned URS $185 million. On top of that, the company’s architectural and engineering revenue from military construction projects grew from $108,726 in 2000 to $142 million in 2001, more than a thousand-fold increase in a single year.

Beginning in 1997, Michael R. Klein, a top legal adviser to Feinstein and a long-time business partner of Blum’s, routinely informed Feinstein about specific federal projects coming before her in which Perini had a stake. The insider information, Klein said, “was intended to help the senator avoid conflicts of interest.” Although Klein’s admission was intended to defuse the issue, it had the effect of exacerbating it, because in theory, Feinstein would not know the identity of any of the companies that stood to contractually benefit from her approval of specific items in the military construction budget—until Klein told her.

Feinstein’s husband has profited in other ways by his powerful political connections. In March 2002, then-Governor Gray Davis appointed Blum to a twelve-year term as a regent of the University of California, where he used his position as Regent to award millions of dollars in construction contracts to URS and Perini. At the time, he was the principal owner of URS and had substantial interests in Perini. In 2005, Blum divested himself of Perini stock for a considerable profit. He then resigned from the URS board of directors and divested his investment firm of about $220 million in URS stock.1

1. Peter Byrne, “Blum’s Plums” North Bay Bohemian, February 21, 2007.


Shortly before my expose of Senator Dianne Feinstein’s conflict of interest was published in January 2007, Feinstein, who had declined to substantively comment upon serious allegations of ethical misconduct as reported in the story, resigned from the Military Construction Subcommittee. I then wrote three follow-ups, including a news column on her resignation, an expose of her husband Richard Blum’s conflict of interest as a regent of the University of California, and an expose of Blum’s business partner, Michael R. Klein. With Blum’s financial backing, Klein, a war contractor, operates a non-profit called The Sunlight Foundation that awards millions of dollars to reporters and government watchdog groups to research government ethics.

In March, right-wing bloggers by the thousands started linking to and commenting upon these stories—agitating for a Congressional investigation of Feinstein. In just two days, the stories got 50,000 online hits. Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh did radio segments on my findings. I declined to appear on their shows, because I do not associate with racist, misogynist, homophobic demagogues. Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly invited me to be on his national TV show, but quickly uninvited me after I promised that the first sentence out of my mouth would frame Feinstein as a neoconservative warmonger just like O’Reilly.

As the storm of conservative outrage intensified, Joe Conason, from The Nation Institute, which had commissioned the Feinstein investigation, asked to have the tag thanking the Nation Institute for funding removed from my stories because, he said, Katrina vanden Heuval, The Nation’s editor and publisher, did not want the magazine or its non-profit institute to be positively associated with Limbaugh. I told Conason that not only was I required to credit The Nation Institute under the terms of our contract, but that The Nation’s editors should be proud of the investigation and gratified by the public reaction.

The back story to that encounter is that, in October, vanden Heuvel had abruptly killed the Feinstein story, which had been scheduled to run as a cover feature before the November 2006 election in which Feinstein was up for reelection. The Nation’s investigative editor, Bob Moser, who worked closely with me on the project from start to finish, wrote that I had done a “solid job,” but that the magazine liked to have a political “impact,” and since Feinstein was “not facing a strong challenge for reelection,” they were not going to print the story. Moser added that there was no “smoking gun,” which amazed me, since Klein’s admission that he was funneling defense contracting wish lists developed by Feinstein’s husband’s company directly to the senator, who was in a position to make those wishes come true, was a hot and smoking fact pointing toward corrupt practices. Subsequently, vanden Heuval wrote an editorial praising women leaders of the newly-empowered Democratic Party, including Feinstein: go figure.

I then sold the story to, who abruptly killed it right before publication, too. This time the editor’s explanation was that “someone talked to the Sunlight Foundation” and that Salon no longer saw the matter as a serious conflict of interest. So, I pitched the story to Slate, The NewRepublic, Harper’s, the Los Angeles Times and, by way of experiment, to the neoconservative American Spectator and Weekly Standard. Most of the editors praised the reporting, but turned down the story. I cannot help but believe that, considering the precarious balance of power in the post-election Senate, some of these editors were not eager to critique the ethics of a Democrat. As for rejection by the neoconservatives, I theorize that they secretly adore Feinstein, who has consistently supported Bush’s war and homeland security agenda and the illiberal Patriot Act.

So I sold the tale to the North Bay Bohemian, which, along with its sister papers in San Jose and Santa Cruz ran it on the cover—complete with follow-ups. After it appeared, the editors and I received a series of invective-filled emails from war contractor Klein (who is also an attorney) but, since he could show no errors of fact in the story, he did not get the retraction that he apparently wanted. In March, the story crested a Google tidal wave generated by left- and right-wing bloggers wondering why the mainstream media was ignoring the Feinstein scandal. After two dozen newspapers ran a McClatchy wire service article in April observing that no one had found any factual faults in my reporting, the lefty group Media Matters attacked me on its Web site as a right-wing pawn, without even calling me for comment, nor finding any errors in my reporting. I parried their fact-free insults with facts and they were compelled to correct the inaccurate rant.

On April 30, The Hill newspaper in Washington D.C. ran a highly-visible op-ed by a conservative pundit quoting from my story and comparing Feinstein (unfairly) to convicted felon and former Congressman, Duke Cunningham. As the Feinstein investigation gained national traction, mostly outside the realm of the mainstream media, one of Klein’s employees at the Sunlight Foundation posted a “critique” of my story, which was loaded with personal insults, but contained no factual substance. Not coincidentally, Feinstein’s press office distributes, upon request, a similarly-worded “rebuttal,” which insults my personal integrity, finds no factual errors, and does not address the damning fact, reported in the story, that four non-partisan ethics experts based in Washington D.C. found the senator had a conflict of interest after reviewing the results of my investigation.

Also, in April, CodePink and The Raging Grannies held a demonstration in front of the Feinstein-Blum mansion in San Francisco demanding that she return her war profits to the Iraqi people. That was my proudest moment.

Five months after the story was printed, opinion-floggers across the political spectrum continue to loudly ask why the mainstream media has not reported on Feinstein’s ethical problem. Some say that the hurricane of opinion raised by the investigation has killed Feinstein’s chance for a spot on the Democratic Party’s presidential ticket in 2008. Klein has continued to send me e-mails full of verbal abuse, misspellings, and implied threat of lawsuit.

Blissfully, I delete them.

Amestizo ~ BLOG + NEW:

Cornel West Explains Why It Bothers Him That Obama Will Be Taking The Oath With the Bible of MLK Jr. &feature=player_embedded

MAN: Man's relationship with the natural world by Steve Cutts ~

Amestizo ~ BLOG + NEW:

A Law So Awful It Literally Makes Judges Cry &feature=player_embedded

Notes from ~@~ Listed Below:

the EDGE by Piotr Kabat ~
A little homage to Hunter S. Thompson based on a "Gonzo The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson" excerpt.

Rock'n'Roll 1950s

Nobody for President = NONE OF THE ABOVE should be on voter ballots

Wavy Gravy's 'Hippy Icon, Flower Geezer'

by Robert Hurwitt, January 17, 2013, Article Source

Wavy Gravy at Flying Snail Ranch, photograph by C. Spangler
Wavy Gravy at Flying Snail Ranch, photograph by C. Spangler

Wavy Gravy doesn't remember much about his walk around the block with Albert Einstein. Small wonder. He was only a 5-year-old named Hugh Romney at the time. But he says he can remember "a shock of white hair" and "twinkling eyes." And Einstein's particular smell.

"I haven't smelled anything like that ever since," Gravy told the audience at the Marsh Berkeley at the opening of his new show last Friday.

Then, his eyes twinkling within his own unruly shock of white hair and whiskers, he added that, 71 years later, he's still waiting for the moment a stray familiar whiff will make him blurt out to some startled stranger, "You smell just like Albert Einstein."

The great physicist is only the first of many celebrated names casually dropped or comically evoked in the course of Gravy's self-descriptively titled "Hippy Icon, Flower Geezer & Temple of Accumulated Error."

Dylan, Dietrich

Bob Dylan, Lenny Bruce, Bill Graham, Marlene Dietrich, Alice Cooper and Paul Krassner crop up, among others, sometimes in odd combinations - as in a memory of Tiny Tim and beatnik icon Neal Cassady crooning a Bing Crosby tune together.

Not that any of those people, or the anecdotes that touched on everything from Woodstock to San Francisco's seminal 1960s improv group the Committee, will necessarily grace future performances. "Hippy Icon," like "the activist clown and former frozen dessert" (a reference to his onetime celebrity as a Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor) himself, is far from set in its ways.

As Marsh founder Stephanie Weisman explained, Gravy had such a good time performing a spur-of-the-moment holiday show, "Wavy Gravy and His Guided Mistletoes," at the Berkeley venue that he decided to return for several weeks of unstructured, seat-of-the pants reminiscences drawn from his eventful, wide-ranging life. Surprise guests may drop in at some shows, or, as on last Friday, not.

"Every night the show is a lot different," Weisman said. "A lot."

Each is a benefit

Each one is also a benefit for two of the humanitarian activist's longtime causes, his circus arts-based Camp Winnarainbow, and the Seva Foundation, co-founded by Gravy, Ram Dass and public health expert Larry Brilliant in 1978, which has done extensive work fighting diabetes and restoring eyesight from Tibet and Nepal to sub-Saharan Africa as well as working with American Indian health initiatives.

Gravy's Himalayan journey with Brilliant, which led to the founding of Seva - and, accidentally, the introduction of soap bubbles to Tibetan Buddhist services - was covered in one of the rambling tales. Winnarainbow was barely mentioned in passing.

Gravy began with some random anecdotes from childhood and his time as an acting student in New York, rooming with a coati, a raccoon-like Central American critter "with a long, erotic nose that goes around corners."

He faltered a bit, then warmed up by reading an odd tale about a "drool-encrusted" basset hound from his book "Something Good for a Change," which he seemed to find so infectiously funny that he soon had the audience laughing with him.

Lots of stories

The stories that followed ranged from his "teenage beatnik" coffeehouse-poet days in Boston, rooming with Dylan in Greenwich Village, decades of Hog Farm adventures from feeding the legions at Woodstock to a volcanic vat of cherry Jell-O on the Medicine Ball Caravan.

Chronology vanished in hazy shards of tales of Nepal, gigs with Tiny Tim and Manhattan street-poet icon Moondog, Nobody for President campaigns and comical protest arrests (as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny) - and songs, accompanying his strangely soothing raspy voice on a one-stringed instrument he called an "iktar" ("Sanskrit," he later explained, "for one string").

"This was a good night," a tired Gravy said, after talking with well-wishers and selling copies of "Something Good," DVDs of "Saint Misbehavin' " (Michelle Estrick's Gravy documentary), clown noses and Winnarainbow posters after the show. "There was no thinking about it. It just flowed."

Hippy Icon, Flower Geezer & Temple of Accumulated Error: Stories by Wavy Gravy. Through Feb. 10. The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley. $15-$50. (415) 282-3055.

Robert Hurwitt is The San Francisco Chronicle's theater critic and All Links Located at Source, listed above.

Gil Scott Heron, B Movie, Words located at botom of page here

Anonymous Hacks MIT,
Leaves Farewell Message for Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz
Image credit: Flickr, peretzp

by Stan Schroeder, Article Source

The Anonymous hacktivist group appears to have hacked MIT's website, leaving a tribute for Aaron Swartz, the online activist who recently committed suicide.

Swartz was a the co-founder of Demand Progress and founder of Infogami, a service later merged with Reddit. He committed suicide in New York City on Jan. 11.

MIT's website was defaced with a message claiming the prosecution of Swartz, who was arrested in 2011 for allegedly harvesting academic papers from the JSTOR online journal archive, was a "a grotesque miscarriage of justice".

"The situation Aaron found himself in highlights the injustice of U.S. computer crime laws, particularly their punishment regimes, and the highly-questionable justice of pre-trial bargaining. Aaron’s act was undoubtedly political activism; it had tragic consequences," says the message.

In the message, the Anonymous also lists several "wishes," including a reform of computer crime laws as well as copyright and intellectual property law.

"We call for this tragedy to be a basis for reform of computer crime laws, and the overzealous prosecutors who use them.

We call for this tragedy to be a basis for reform of copyright and intellectual property law, returning it to the proper principles of common good to the many, rather than private gain to the few.

We call for this tragedy to be a basis for greater recognition of the oppression and injustices heaped daily by certain persons and institutions of authority upon anyone who dares to stand up and be counted for their beliefs, and for greater solidarity and mutual aid in response.

We call for this tragedy to be a basis for a renewed and unwavering commitment to a free and unfettered internet, spared from censorship with equality of access and franchise for all."

The defacement of MIT's website comes hours after the institution announced it will be conducting an investigation of its involvement in the case of Aaron Swartz.

Don't Be Surprised When Radically Changes & Is No Longer Tended

An Art Key Rant of A Lesser Known Artist

One of these days Somebody will understand this and come up with a solution?

by C. Spangler

Devo, Beautiful World &v=56u6g0POvo0

I would assume everyone has heard the old saying, "One can lead a horse to water, but one can not make the horse drink." ... Well, in my opinion, that statement is true for Internet, where:

One can lead an individual to truth, but Nobody can make an individual believe it.

Boston Legal Speech on America &feature=player_embedded

A Little Background

First and foremost, I am currently fighting Oral Cancer and no longer have strength or patience to maintain these pages, properly. has been online since Wednesday, 28 January 1998, 15:00:00 GMT without advertisement because the original thought was ... 'that which would become Internet' "should be free for everyone" and would be done for "free."

This, in my opinion, was decided in our, Toad Hall basement by a group of computer professionals; most of which became extremely wealthy because of computers.

Moving Along

My first Internet site was the award winning "Nobody for President" page and was located on a friend's site == Special Thanks to Hank !!! ==; which was also Internet's first video page ( Nobody eventually got their own page and became

The Rant

Rather than make this a long rant, here is the gist., at one time, had a Google Rank of seven (7).

One day I posted an answer to a question, that was not being answered, on a popular Internet page, with a link back to FlyingSnail. Unfortunately, I forgot it was a page where some folks hung out that I had thrown out of Toad Hall's basement many years ago.

Coincidence or not, almost immediately, the next thing that happened was my Google page rank was dropped from a seven (7) to a six (6), then to a four (4), and eventually to a two (2).

It took me a year to get back to a three (3) page rank, a total of three years to get back to a five (5) page rank, and then it was dropped again to three (3).

It took another 2 years to get FlyingSnail's page back to a rank of four (4) where it stayed for years, and recently it was dropped to three (3), which is where it now stands.

Every time FlyingSnail's rank dropped, because it was a small artistic site run by a veteran, something was posted showing "there was more than met the eye about holders of page rank." For example, below is something from the January 2011 archive:

The War On Net Stupidity

Bush's Fraudulent War on Terror is nothing more than a rich man's plot against the poor
Illegal Patriot Act = Brought to you by Bush Republican's & Supported by Democrats

Down in the meadow, where the green grass grows, there sat Google without any clothes. Along came NSA swinging a chain, they pulled down their zipper, and out it came. Three months later, all was well. Six months later, began to swell. Nine months later:

US Citizens Have, Once Again, Been Sold Out by Corporate America

April 11, 1989

Date: Tue, 11 Apr 89 08:12:04 PDT
From: (C. Spangler)
Subject: NSA and Not Secure Agencies

San Francisco Chronicle, Chronicle Wire Services, April 11, 1989:

"Computer Group Wary of Security Agency

A public interest group said yesterday that the National Security Agency, the nation's biggest intelligence agency, could exert excessive control over a program to strengthen the security of computer systems throughout the federal government.

The group, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility - based in Palo Alto - urged key members of Congress to focus "particularly close scrutiny" on the agency's role in helping to implement legislation aimed at safeguarding sensitive but unclassified information in federal computers.

"There is a constant risk that the federal agencies, under the guise of enhancing computer security, may find their programs - to the extent that they rely upon computer systems - increasingly under the supervision of the largest and most secretive intelligence organization in the country," it said."

20 Years Later

SELinux Background

Researchers in the National Information Assurance Research Laboratory of the National Security Agency (NSA) worked with Secure Computing Corporation (SCC) to develop a strong, flexible mandatory access control architecture based on Type Enforcement, a mechanism first developed for the LOCK system. The NSA and SCC developed two Mach-based prototypes of the architecture: DTMach and DTOS. The NSA and SCC then worked with the University of Utah's Flux research group to transfer the architecture to the Fluke research operating system. During this transfer, the architecture was enhanced to provide better support for dynamic security policies. This enhanced architecture was named Flask. The NSA integrated the Flask architecture into the Linux® operating system to transfer the technology to a larger developer and user community. The architecture has been subsequently mainstreamed into Linux and ported to several other systems, including the Solaris™ operating system, the FreeBSD® operating system, and the Darwin kernel, spawning a wide range of related work.

The Pictures

Google Comes Under Fire for 'Secret' Relationship with NSA
Google Comes Under Fire for 'Secret' Relationship with NSA

We have mutated into a surveillance society - and must share the blame
We have mutated into a surveillance society - and must share the blame

Why Google is working in cahoots with America's spooks
Why Google is working in cahoots with America's spooks

Google teams up with National Security Agency to tackle cyber attacks
Google teams up with National Security Agency to tackle cyber attacks

Google / NSA Relationship via Bing
Google / NSA Relationship via Bing

Coincidence or not, it appears Google's "This site may be compromised" label, on one Archive page; which was NOT Compromised, caused a majority of sites that linked, to remove their links and multiple requests to re-list FlyingSnail were ignored. S0 ....,


and assume Corporatists and Politicians will love this post because, in effect, they have won and believe nothing can be done about it ...

Smiling Guy Fawkes

Grateful Dead, Dire Wolf, Shoreline Amphitheater &feature=player_embedded

Finally, I would like to thank, very much, those sites
who still link &

Karl Cohen ~ Association International du Film d'Animation-SF Newsletter

January 2013

This issue features lots of news about the upcoming awards ceremonies and features that have recently won best animation awards from various festivals. There are long articles about a festival in Belgrade (Serbia) and China, my article on Ron Diamond's largest edition of the Animated Show of Shows, a plug for a wonderful feature from France, The Rabbi's Cat, local news and much more.

Amestizo ~ BLOG + NEW:

PaperTab: Revolutionary paper tablet reveals future tablets to be thin and flexible as paper &feature=player_embedded

War Criminal George W. Bush ~ Me and My Shadow

Obama signs law giving himself, Bush lifetime Secret Service guards

By Olivier Knox, Yahoo News | The Ticket, Article Source

Former presidents have to give up rides on Air Force One. But now they don't have to give up being shadowed by the armed-and-earpiece bodyguards of the Secret Service.

President Barack Obama on Thursday signed into a law a measure giving him, George W. Bush, and future former presidents and their spouses lifetime Secret Service protection, the White House announced.

The legislation, crafted by Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, rolls back a mid-1990s law that imposed a 10-year limit on Secret Service protection for former presidents. Bush would have been the first former commander in chief affected.

At the time, lawmakers who supported the measure said it would save the government millions of dollars. They also argued that former presidents could hire private security firms (as Richard Nixon did after he decided to forgo Secret Service protection in 1985).

The bill had sailed through Congress with bipartisan support—it cleared the House of Representatives by voice vote in early December, and then zipped through the Senate unopposed. The law also provides protection for former presidents’ kids until age 16. But “protection of a spouse shall terminate in the event of remarriage.”

The Secret Service started protecting presidents in 1901 after the assassination of William McKinley. In 1965, Congress passed a law authorizing the agency, which is now a part of the Department of Homeland Security, to protect former presidents for life.

5 Ways President Obama Has Doubled Down on Bush's Most Tragic Mistakes

Obama has kept the U.S. on a permanent war footing, from drone strikes and proxy detentions to warrantless wiretapping and the continued operation of Guantanamo.

By Alex Kane, AlterNet, Article Source

On President Barack Obama's second full day in the Oval Office in 2009, he signed important executive orders that signaled a clear break with the excesses of George W. Bush's “war on terror.” Obama decreed that the Guantanamo Bay prison camp would be closed in a year and that the United States would no longer perpetrate torture. No longer would men, some of them innocent, languish without charges in what has been described as an American gulag by Amnesty International. No longer would men be subjected to brutal interrogation tactics that clearly amounted to torture, like water boarding.

The orders would “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great even in the midst of war, even in dealing with terrorism,” said Obama.

Fast-forward to today. Guantanamo remains open, warrantless wiretapping continues, and drone strikes have accelerated, leading to the deaths of innocent civilians and a burst in support for anti-American forces in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia. Instead of breaking with the Bush era, Obama has codified and permanently institutionalized the “war on terror” framework that has characterized American foreign policy since the September 11, 2001 attacks. And they have done all of this largely in secret, refusing to open up about how drone strikes are decided on. So while torture has been thrown out of the American playbook, other black marks remain. Obama has done everything but restore “core constitutional values” to how the U.S. conducts itself around the world.

Perhaps the most potent symbol of Obama's willingness to institutionalize Bush-era frameworks for dealing with terrorism is his January 2013 appointment of John Brennan as new Central Intelligence Agency director. Brennan was a key supporter of many Bush-favored tactics used by the CIA, including torture and extraordinary rendition. When Obama first contemplated appointing Brennan in his first term to the post he's been appointed to now, the outcry was swift and Brennan pulled out from consideration. Now, the reaction has been meek—a symbol of how Bush-era military and intelligence tactics have become normalized to the extent that nobody bats an eye when a man with a sordid record at the CIA is appointed to head up the entire agency.

Obama has kept the U.S. on a permanent war footing with no end in sight through a variety of methods. Here are five ways the Obama administration has institutionalized the never-ending war on terror.

1. Drones

The image of the gray, pilotless aircraft flying through the sky to eventually rain hellfire down will be indelibly tied to Obama. His administration has made drone strikes in countries like Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan the weapon of choice when it comes to dealing with suspected militants. You have to look at the numbers of drone strikes under the Bush and Obama administrations to truly appreciate how Obama has taken this Bush tool and increased its use exponentially.

The first drone strike in U.S. history occurred in 2002, when a CIA-operated drone fired on three men in Afghanistan. The drone strikes have since migrated over to battlefields away from U.S.-declared wars. In Pakistan, the Bush administration carried out a total of 52 strikes, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which closely tracks drone strikes. That led to the deaths of an estimated 438 people, including 182 civilians and 112 children. But the Obama administration has ordered at least 300 drone strikes in Pakistan—and Obama's second term has yet to begun. Those strikes have killed about 2,152 people, including 290 civilians, of whom 64 were children.

The drone strikes also have a devastating impact beyond the deaths reported. As a New York University/Stanford University study on drone strikes stated, the constant buzzing of drones in the sky “terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities. Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves.”

Instead of looking forward to how this permanent drone war might end, the Obama administration has decided to institutionalize the process. In October 2012, the Washington Post revealed that the administration had undertaken a two-year long strategy to institutionalize what has become known as the “kill list,” or the list of suspected terrorists the Obama administration unilaterally decides to kill by drone strikes. The administration calls it the “disposition matrix,” which refers to the different plans the administration has to “dispose” of suspected militants. The Post described the “matrix” as part of “the highly classified practice of targeted killing, transforming ad-hoc elements into a counterterrorism infrastructure capable of sustaining a seemingly permanent war.”

2. Warrantless Wiretapping

One of the enduring scandals of the George W. Bush years was that administration's practice of wiretapping American citizens with no warrant in order to spy on suspected terrorists. TheNew York Times, which broke the story in 2005, reported that “months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying.” The move raised concerns that the Bush administration was crossing constitutional limits on wiretapping Americans.

But the outcry from those concerned with civil liberties has largely been muted in the Obama era. In late December 2012, President Obama signed an extension of a law that allows the U.S. to “eavesdrop on communications and review email without following an open and public warrant process,” as NPR summed it up. The law was an extension of the 2008 law that legalized the Bush administration's wiretapping of American citizens.

As national security blogger Marcy Wheeler notes in a recent piece for the Nation, the president's signature on the new bill on wiretapping means that the U.S. “has nearly unrestrained authority to eavesdrop on those who communicate with people outside the country. The government doesn’t even need to show that these foreign targets are terrorists or that the conversations center around a plot. This means any international communication may be subject to wiretapping.”

3. Proxy Detentions

Under the Bush administration, the process of “extraordinary rendition” involved abducting people accused of terrorism and shipping them off to another country where they were interrogated and tortured. The Obama administration has continued to use foreign countries to detain and interrogate suspects, but the details of how they do it are changed from the Bush era. Still, the overall practice of using other security forces to do your dirty work remains in place.

The Washington Post reported on January 1 that “the Obama administration has embraced rendition — the practice of holding and interrogating terrorism suspects in other countries without due process — despite widespread condemnation of the tactic in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.” While the Post used the term “rendition,” the more accurate term would be “proxy detention,” as Mother Jones pointed out.

The most recent iterations of the practice of using other countries to detain suspects the U.S. wants to interrogate have been in countries like Dijibouti and Nigeria. The Post reported on one December 2011 case in which an man from Eritrea “revealed that he had been questioned in a Ni­ger­ian jail by what a U.S. interrogator described as a 'dirty' team of American agents who ignored the suspect’s right to remain silent or have a lawyer, according to court proceedings.”

Other cases have been publicized by Mother Jones. The magazine reported on the case of Yonas Fikre, a Muslim-American from Oregon who was detained in the United Arab Emirates. There, Fikre and his lawyers claim, he was beaten and held in stress positions. He claims there was cooperation between the FBI and UAE security forces. So the FBI was using the UAE forces to detain people the U.S. wanted to interrogate.

4. Guantanamo

Although the continued operation of the Guantanamo Bay camp is hardly the sole fault of President Obama, it does symbolize the abject failure to reject the Bush administration's approach to terrorism.

While it's important to note that the Republican Party has blocked Obama's desire to close Guantanamo, he has not expended political capital on closing the prison and has signed bills that restrict his ability to do so. The most recent bill concerning Guantanamo Bay crossed his desk at the beginning of the year.

Despite threatening to veto the bill because it restricted the executive branch's authority, Obama signed it, and curtailed his own ability to move ahead on closing the infamous camp, where people have languished without charge for years on end. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, where the Guantanamo provisions are included, restricts “the transfer of detainees into the United States for any purpose, including trials in federal court. It also requires the defense secretary to meet rigorous conditions before any detainee can be returned to his own country or resettled in a third country,” according to the Washington Post.

Human rights activists blasted the move. “Indefinite detention without trial at Guantanamo is illegal, unsustainable and against U.S. national security interests, and it needs to end,” Human Rights Watch's Andrea Prasow told the Post. “The administration should not continue to just blame Congress. President Obama should follow through on his earlier commitments and make the effort to overcome the transfer restrictions.”

5. Indefinite Detention

This issue, over all the others, says loud and clear that the Obama administration is preparing for an endless war on terror.

Domestically, indefinite detention reared its ugly head back in December 2011, when President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, a defense funding bill. Included in the bill was a provision allowing for indefinite military detention without charge or trial. Despite concerns raised by civil liberties activists, Obama signed the bill into law, although an executive signing statement vowed that the president would “not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens.”

That has not allayed the concerns of civil liberties groups. The American Civil Liberties Union states: “The NDAA’s dangerous detention provisions would authorize the president — and all future presidents — to order the military to pick up and indefinitely imprison people captured anywhere in the world, far from any battlefield....Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody, and many in Congress now assert that the NDAA should be used in the same way again.”

While no American citizens have been detained under the law yet, indefinite detention has been a hallmark of the war in Afghanistan. Thousands of detainees have remained in Bagram Air Field, including non-Afghan detainees. Picked up on the battlefield in Afghanistan, they have been held for years without charge or trial.

“Since 2002, the U.S. government has detained indefinitely thousands of people there in harsh conditions and without charge, without access to lawyers, without access to courts, and without a meaningful opportunity to challenge their detention,” the ACLU notes.

So as the Obama administration fills out its cabinet posts and prepares for another four years, the permanent war on terror will stay with us. From drones to proxy detentions to indefinite detention, the constitutional lawyer in the Oval Office has institutionalized and expanded some of the worst hallmarks of the lawless Bush era.

...and now a word from Politicians:

They/Them ~ Patriot Act ~ Telecom Crimes & Punishment ~ Drop Dead

Why Facebook Data Tends to Condemn You in Court

By Ryan Tate 01.07.13, Article Source

U.S. courts have a structural bias against “guilty” verdicts, but when it comes to Facebook data the situation is reversed: Social media activity is more readily used to convict you in a court of law than to defend you.

That’s because prosecutors generally have an easier time than defense attorneys getting private information out of Facebook and other social networks, as highlighted in an ongoing Portland murder case. In that case, the defense attorney has evidence of a Facebook conversation in which a key witness reportedly tells a friend he was pressured by police into falsely incriminating the defendant.

Facebook rebuffed the defense attorney’s subpoena seeking access to the conversation, citing the federal Stored Communications Act, which protects the privacy of electronic communications like e-mail – but which carves out an exemption for law enforcement, thus assisting prosecutors. “It’s so one-sided … they cooperate 110 percent anytime someone in the government asks for information,” one Oregon attorney told the Portland Oregonian, citing a separate case in which Facebook withheld conversations that could have disproved a rape charge, but turned over the same conversations when the prosecution demanded them.

Other defense attorneys voice similar complaints, and the judge in the murder case went so far as to call Facebook “flippant” and “frustrating” in its handling of the defense’s subpoenas. Facebook, for its part, has said it is inundated with judicial requests and tries to handle them uniformly within the confines of the law.

The trouble, it would seem, is that the law itself is not so uniform. As more and more communication shifts onto social networks like Facebook, the pro-prosecution bias of the Stored Communications Act is going to look less like a peculiar legislative oversight and more like a frightening erosion of the right to a fair trial. And if Facebook and its competitors want people to share more freely online, they should use their lobbying resources to fix that particular law.

Alerts + Notes from ~@~ Listed Below:

A tribute to Huell Howser of California's Gold, 1945~2013 &v=539jdK3eN1o

ARPSN Seismic Heliplots ~ Seismic Activity and Cobb [Mountain] Weather

Lake County, CA North/South Seismic Activity
Lake County, CA N/S Seismic Activity ~ Click
for large images & E/W Activity

Ann & Nancy Wilson ~ Stairway To Heaven &feature=player_embedded

Boptime with Even Steven + The Legends of Wilmington Jazz

Even Steven's Boptime
Boptime: Saturday, 6 AM Eastern time, 3 AM Pacific time
Go To: and:
Click on a listening link below the WVUD logo:
WVUD 91.3

Mike Wilhelm ~ Charlatans, Flamin' Groovies, Loose Gravel, and more

Down The Road Apiece/Tomorrow Night ~ Mike Wilhelm & Hired Guns 9-17-12 &feature=player_embedded

Autumn Fenders ~ Ralph Davis

Springer HD Chopper. Photography by Ralph Davis, 1969
HD Springer Chopper ~ 1969 Photography Album by Ralph Davis

Keith Lampe ~ Co-Founder of YIPPIE and Progressive Activist Groups

Pondo Mantra, Keith Lampe, November 2012 + YouTube Video Channel &v=yxXEBlc5slI&list=UUn23s8Fks1Bry-Pn1KJeWdg

Paul Krassner ~ The Realist/Writer/Comic/Investigative Satirist

Paul Krassner's Tweets of 2012

This is my first tweet. I have Writer's Block. I mean Twitter's Block. I'm waiting for a cure to be developed.

A minimalist summation of American culture in the Los Angeles Times on Conan O'Brien: "The Masturbating Bear will remain the intellectual property of NBC."

Perhaps Toyota should borrow a slogan from McDonalds: "You deserve a brake today."

Texting while having sex? Two thumbs up.

Double standard: Charles Rangel pays restitution for unpaid taxes; Wesley Snipes is sentenced to a few years behind bars for a similar response.

Excuse me, I have to take a Wiki-leak.

Join me in signing a letter to stop the inhumane detention of Private Bradley Manning.

I saw the movie The King's Speech and was disappointed that it didn't end with Porky Pig saying, "Th-th-the-that's all, folks!"

Steve Jobs' legacy is a form of alchemy -- he transformed planned obsolescence into a virtue

Poor Rick Santorum, he's afraid that if Roe vs. Wade isn't overturned by the Supreme Court, there will an epidemic of recreational abortions.

I stopped channeling Lenny Bruce the day he reminded me, "C'mon, Paul, you know you don't believe in that shit."

Today marks the 15th anniversary of Allen Ginsberg's death; he once told me he smokes not to get high, but rather because he likes to cough.

I went to the dentist today, and the hygienist gave me a choice of X-rays or a pat-down.

Summing up the presidential campaign: It'a battle between"Keep the government out of my Medicare" and "Keep the government out of my vagina."

I covered the Dan White trial and coined "the Twinkie defense."

The world desperately needs a campaign beginning with Kickstarter to raise funds to build an Iron Dome for the Palestinians.

Plan B has been aborted.

I voted for Barack Obama again, and yet now, although he wept for the loss of 20 kids, he never wept for the 178 kids killed by U.S. drones in Yemen and Pakistan.

The digitally colored edition of the infamous Disneyland Memorial Orgy poster by Mad magazine artist Wally Wood is available only at

Have a Merry War on Christmas and a Happy, Snappy and Fulfilling New Year.

Paul Krassner's Contributions to the Counterculture &feature=player_embedded

Alerts + Notes from ~@~ Listed Below:

Medical Marijuana helped Curtis undergoing oral cancer treatment
Medical Marijuana helps Curtis undergoing oral cancer treatment.
Visit My Oral Cancer Adventure page [in progress]

The Flower &feature=player_embedded

CAUTION: Vehicle may be Transporting Political Promises!
CAUTION: "POO PMPR" Vehicle may be Transporting Political Promises!

I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It's not a good use of our resources. -- Barack Obama, August 21, 2007

Marliese's Corner ~ San Francisco Events

Michelle Aldrich: Cancer Free! &feature=player_embedded

Michelle is a member of the San Francisco Medical Cannabis Task Force. She is on the Advisory Board for Patients Out of Time and, along with her husband Michael, are recipients of the High Times Lifetime Achievement Award. They have been prominent activists in the San Francisco area for close to half a century. This interview was conducted in April of 2012 at the Seventh National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics in Tucson, Arizona. The video of this interview can be viewed in its entirety on the Cannabis Therapeutics YouTube Channel, hosted by Patients out of Time.

United State Cafe ~ Historic Haight/Ashbury Coffee House, San Francisco, California

1975 Music Sets Recorded at the United State Cafe

United State Cafe Espresso Machine ~ Photograph by James Stark
United State Cafe Espresso Machine ~ Photograph by James Stark

Sound and Recording by C. Spangler

July 29, 1975 = Tuesday Night Class, featuring Keith Lampe A.K.A. Ponderosa Pine & more:

MP3: 83.4 MB =

August 02, 1975 = Robin Kilgore:

MP3: 91.1 MB =

August 09, 1975 = Jumpin Jupiter:

MP3: 136.9 MB =

August 12, 1975 = Gabriel Gladstar:

MP3: 101.6 MB =

August 13, 1975 = Happy Valley String Band:

MP3: 75.3 MB =

August 26, 1975 = Honey Creek:

MP3: 43.6 MB =

These recordings were never intended to be professional. They are a reminder of the bands and music I loved. Unfortunately, I was not able to record all of the people who performed at the United State Cafe ... Curtis

Amestizo ~ BLOG + NEW:

Best Marijuana Argument Ever: Given By Superior Court Judge James P. Gray &feature=player_embedded

Gomma TV ~ Punk TV Italy

Salvatore Iaconesi's: My Open Source [Cancer] Cure

Rome, December 2nd 2012: Everything goes really fine. I just had my latest Magnetic Resonance and the tumor seems to have completely stopped. I still have some time to fine-tune my strategy, and to continue it with energy and strength, preparing myself for surgery. ~ Salvatore &feature=player_embedded

I have a brain cancer.

I converted my digital medical records into open, accessible formats, turning them into a very personal form of Open Data.

This data is available at

Artists, scientists, doctors, designers, hackers are all invited to send me their cure.

In different cultures the word CURE means different things, referring to the body, the soul or to society.

Send me your cure at: and it will be published on the website, so that anyone (maybe someone with my same disease) will be able to benefit from it.

Rainbow Puddle ~ Stellar Light Shows

Experimental Psychology In Layers + YouTube Video Channel &feature=player_embedded

EAT ME = Mad Cow Wishing Everyone A Happy New Year from
Mad Cow Wishing Everyone A Happy New Year from

Should Be On Voter Ballots

Freedom of expression and freedom of speech aren't really important unless they're heard...It's hard for me to stay silent when I keep hearing that peace is only attainable through war. And there's nothing more scary than watching ignorance in action. So I dedicated this Emmy to all the people who feel compelled to speak out and not afraid to speak to power and won't shut up and refuse to be silenced. ~ Tommy Smothers

One Can Lead A Horse To Water, But...

Until there is a solution for this, where one solution has been provided, Nobody will bring Peace to Our Times, feed the hungry, care for the sick, and bake apple pie better than Mom. (otoh) If None of the Above was on voter ballots, it would be a huge step towards recovering U.S. political control, and Nobody gets it.

George Carlin, The Owners of America &feature=player_embedded
Nobody for President 2016 = NONE OF THE ABOVE on Voter Ballots

Oh, I hope that I see you again I never even caught your name As you looked through my window pane ~~ So I'm writing this message today I'm thinking that you'll have a way Of hearing the notes in my tune ~~ Where are you going? Where have you been? I can imagine other worlds you have seen ~~ Beautiful faces and music so serene ~~ So I do hope I see you again My universal citizen You went as quickly as you came ~~ You know the power Your love is right You have good reason To stay out of sight ~~ But break our illusions and help us Be the light ~ Listen ~ Message by Michael Pinder

Without love in the dream, it will never come true. ~ Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter

Artist, John Flores

The man whispered, "God, speak to me" and a meadowlark sang. But the man did not hear.

So the man yelled "God, speak to me" and the thunder rolled across the sky. But the man did not listen.

The man looked around and said, "God let me see you" and a star shined brightly. But the man did not notice.

And the man shouted, "God show me a miracle" and a life was born. But the man did not know.

So the man cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are there"

Whereupon God reached down and touched the man. But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

Somebody is looking at whatever you do, so always present your most charming you. ~ Artist: Curtis
Don't miss out on a blessing because it isn't packaged the way you expect.