Monday, January 30, 2012

Get Outta My Head, Lee Camp

I just found this guy, Lee Camp, online. If I were wryly and profanely funny, and a guy, I would be him. I already need a haircut almost as badly as he does.

I warn you, it contains a goodly portion of what my kids call "colorful lanuage." Don't watch it at work, but watch it.

Going Home

Home. It's wherever we hang our hats. It's sweet. It's a man's (or woman's) castle. Charity begins there. It's where our hearts are. It's wherever we hang our hats. And there are about as many versions of what it means as there are people.

For me, the word home conjures up different things, depending on the context. If I'm talking to someone else (at least most other people), "home" right now, is a house in Oklahoma where my husband, kids and I live at the moment. I would guess that's most people's definition of home--where they park their physical body and their stuff. Now, I like my house, and I love my family, but I have a hard time thinking that's all there is to "home." I've always had a place to live, and I've always had a family, but a lot of times, I haven't felt at home.

I used to have a little plaque someone gave me that said "Home is Where Your Story Begins." If that's the definition, I suppose most people would think of home as where you grew up and started your life. For me, that's not the case. I don't view my former haunts around Denver, Colorado, as home, even though I spent the vast majority of my life there. I left there because I wanted to, and I left behind a version of myself that I don't like very much--one who spent a lot of time on stuff that didn't matter much, like a lot of "education" that had mostly to do with going along with a lot of stupid ideas in order to not seem like a kook or a malcontent, and being a lawyer, which had mostly to do with making money.

In many ways, my existence prior to my 40s was much more a prelude than a life. It was the product of careful programming of society that tells you to do what's expected of you and not what makes you happy--to work harder to get ahead, so that you can pay someone to mow your beautiful lawn, and clean your beautiful house, and raise your beautiful children--since you don't have the time for all that foolishness, you're busy working to get ahead. So, yes, Denver was where my story began, but that's not home. I'm not that person any longer.

Some people would say that home is the place that you most want to be--where you feel most comfortable and part of something. By that definition, my home is a little town in northwest Iowa, where in my 40s, for the first time in my life, I finally had the guts to do what I wanted to do, and not what I thought I was supposed to. My decision to do that caused both admiration and consternation in people who knew me. Some said that running off to the boonies was a waste of my education and training. Some said they wished they had the courage to do the same. Some said I was just nuts. To all of those--maybe, but that was the closest I'd been to "home" in my life up to that point. And until recently, I thought it was that town and the people in it who made it feel that way.

But over the New Years' weekend, I had another spiritual awakening. I went on a road trip with my daughters and my friend back to my little Iowa "hometown." And on the way, I learned a bunch of important stuff (see my post titled Tea, Strippers, and Tie Dye for details), the gist of which is...if you want to be happy, do whatever it takes to really enjoy the stuff you're going to do anyway. And that's when I got within shooting distance of my new definition of home.

Home has to be more than where you live, or where you came from, because what if both of those places are not what you'd like them to be; are you then homeless? No, can't be. Home even has to be more than a dream of where you want be. What if you haven't yet found that place? Or what if you can't be there? I know there's more to it, because over the last several years, wherever I've been physically, I've felt like I've been getting closer and closer to home as I staged a coup to take over my own life.

Quitting my law practice and getting off the hamster-wheel lifestyle in the Denver burbs was a big first step. Taking my family to that tiny town where people know each other and wave at perfect strangers was the next. Shutting down the confounded TV machine, through which we are told a thousand times a day that we need to look a certain way, buy a boatload of stuff, and act like complete idiots to 'fit in,' was still a third. Learning who I am, really, and what matters to me, without listening to all the messages from the external peanut gallery, really got me rolling. Starting to take care of myself, quitting smoking and starting to eat right and exercise--took me further down the road. And then, for the past couple of years, learning to take with a large grain of salt just about everything that is "common knowlege" and starting to think more critically about what is (and what is not) got me right into the neighborhood. My aforementioned road trip weekend taught me how to be happier without changing a single thing about the world outside me--and got me so tantalizingly close to my new "home" that I felt like I needed to find a parking spot and start looking seriously for the address.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I listened to a lecture about spiritual growth, and in it was recommended a kind of ritual where you visualize being "safe in the arms of God." It referred to an inner knowledge that everything is as it should be--notwithstanding all the chaos and craziness that passes for a world right now. And suddenly I had it. Home is indeed where your heart is, but not in the sense we always think.

In native American lore, the turtle is a very honored creature. The tradition is that a turtle is at home, wherever it is--it carries its home with it. When stuff around the turtle gets crazy, or it needs protection, it goes inside itself, within the protective shell of it's own making, where all is calm and safe, and distinctly turtle-ish. That's where all my lessons have been leading--not back to my roots in Colorado, not to my adopted hometown in Iowa, and not to where I am now, but to a place of calm and safety inside that I carry around wherever I go.

I suppose that's why I've had so much cause to change myself in the last decade or so--I was remodeling before I moved in. And, you know... it still needs a little dusting, or maybe some new curtains, but it's looking pretty good inside myself right now--the kind of place I could call home.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Very Interesting

An article from Huffington Post Friday raises some interesting questions about the recent disclosure of Mitt Romney's tax returns. Apparently, Romney's returns show that he's parked many millions of dollars offshore, in the Cayman Islands in dubious partnerships, and in Swiss bank accounts.

Of course, as the Huffington Post article points out, this isn't so his money can work on its tan. He's avoiding taxes by taking advantages of loopholes in the tax laws that rich people paid Congress to make in the first place.

When you read the article, and I strongly recommend you do, pay particular attention to the postscript at the end. It questions how, given the annual limits on individual IRA contributions (around $35,000 per year), Romney managed to accumulate somewhere between $20 and $100 MILLION in his IRA. At $35,000 per year, that's a minimum of 571 years worth of contributions! Wow. Mitt doesn't look a day over 70.

I'll be accused again of having my tinfoil hat on, but I'll bet you dollars against dimes that in the very near future, we'll be finding out that there's some pretty interesting stuff going on in old Mitt's finances. I'd even venture to guess it might not be strictly legal... Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Even I Didn't Think of This

Ok, so I've raved about food from time to time. But even I wouldn't have thought of this:

From Natural News:

According to McDonald's own website, Chicken McNuggets are also made with "hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness" and "Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent." (

At least two of these ingredients are artificially synthesized industrial chemicals. TBHQ, a petroleum derivative, is used as a stabilizer in perfumes, resins, varnishes and oil field chemicals. Laboratory studies have linked it to stomach tumors. "At higher doses, it has some negative health effects on lab animals, such as producing precursors to stomach tumors and damage to DNA. A number of studies have shown that prolonged exposure to high doses of TBHQ may be carcinogenic, especially for stomach tumors." (

Dimethylpolysiloxane, a type of silicone, is used in caulks and sealants, as a filler for breast implants, and as key ingredient in Silly Putty. Says Wikipedia:

"PDMS is also used as a component in silicone grease and other silicone based lubricants, as well as in defoaming agents, mold release agents, damping fluids, heat transfer fluids, polishes, cosmetics, hair conditioners and other applications. PDMS has also been used as a filler fluid in breast implants, although this practice has decreased somewhat, due to safety concerns. PDMS is used variously in the cosmetic and consumer product industry as well. For example, PDMS can be used in the treatment of head lice..." (
Learn more:

Did you catch that? Not only do they use a chemical from varnish and oil fields, but one ingredient in McNuggets used to be used as filler for breast implants, until they determined there were "safety concerns," so they decided to put it in childrens' food. Yeah.

Ready to plant a garden now?

And Now, Back to...

Back to what? That's the question for today. I've been getting the sense, from the political scene, the mainstream news, and the US' take on world events that people are feeling like things are going back to the status quo. Personally, I have my doubts that the genie will go back in that cramped little bottle, but just in case, I'd like to review what that would mean, if any of you are among the people saying, "please, please, please, just one more century where we Americans get to dominate the world, print money like it's toilet paper, use far more than our share of ... well, everything, make messes and not clean them up, and ignorantly march along behind the phony stories of what has happened, is happening, and will happen in the world."

Is that where you want to go? Back? Back to world wars, children starving in [insert name of this week's third world poster country here], third world civil wars manufactured by world powers, world domination through scorched earth attacks followed by "nation-building," nuclear bombs and nuclear arms races, energy "crises," dot-com bubbles, housing bubbles, penny-stock scandals, manufactured recessions and depressions and degradation of everything we touch?

Or, do you want to move on? Do you want to demand a world where government is here to serve the people, where we don't live by that line in Animal Farm, "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others," where our children, and those in that third world poster country, all get to have a chance at a happy, healthy life? How about peace and leaving each other the hell alone, instead of perpetual boogeymen, holy wars, and hatred?

Martin Luther King, Jr., once said,

Cowardice asks the question, "is it safe?" Expediency asks the question, "is it politic?" Vanity asks the question "is it popular?" But conscience asks the question, "is it right?" And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right."

We've got a choice. The powers that be are trying very hard to convince the world that if we just stay home and be quiet, let the banks run the economy and the military-industrial complex go attack Iran so they can make a cool few trillion building it back and stealing its oil--if we just keep on sucking in their 'bread and circuses' and staying blind to all the ways they're screwing us and the rest of humanity, everything will be ok. If you're still reading me, you're among those who know that just ain't so. But you may be tempted. So, let's just put it like this...

We can start standing up, making ourselves clear, and requiring that things change at a very fundamental level. Or we can go back. And depending on what we decide, we're going to wind up with the world we deserve.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Couldn't Have Said It Better

Yesterday, there was a gathering in Annapolis, Maryland. A group of people gathered to support an action by the General Assembly of the State of Maryland demanding that Congress introduce an Amendment to the US Constititution overturning the Citizens United decision of the US Supreme Court.

In that decision, a majority of the Supremes thumbed their blue-blooded noses at the people of the United States and said that it is perfectly legal--no, actually "Constitutionally required" that for-profit corporations and unions be allowed to buy our government out from under us, rendering our votes meaningless and our freedom up for sale to the highest bidder, which of course is never going to be us.

They said it so well in a letter to Congress, that I'll shut up now, except to say that every American citizen who wants there to be an America ten years from now should be writing to their Representatives and Senators to demand the same. Here's their letter:

We the undersigned members of the Maryland General Assembly call upon you to pass a constitutional amendment to reverse the United States Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010), which declared that corporations enjoy the First Amendment political rights of the people and toppled dozens of state and federal laws and many decades of judicial precedent preventing corporations (and unions) from spending corporate (and union) treasury funds in political campaigns.

This radical departure from judicial precedent and democratic values has already brought a torrent of corporate money directly, much of it secret, into American politics, fundamentally distorting public elections and campaigns for public office. The decision poses a direct and dramatic threat to government “of the people, by the people and for the people”.

By bringing corporations into the heart of the political process, Citizens United changes the character of democracy. For-profit corporations (except benefit corporations) are legally bound to pursue the maximization of profits and economic advantage in all their endeavors. This is one reason why most United States Supreme Court Justices, from Chief Justice John Marshall to Chief Justice William Rehnquist to Justice Byron White to the four dissenting justices in Citizens United v. FEC, have rejected the claim that corporations have political rights.

Corporations enjoy special state-conferred economic and legal advantages not enjoyed by natural persons, including limited liability of the shareholders, perpetual life of the corporation itself, and favorable treatment of the accumulation and distribution of assets. These advantages permit corporations to amass vast sums of money that are spent properly for economic purposes but not for the purposes of intervening in democratic politics and entrenching corporate power.

Article V of the United States Constitution empowers the people, the states and the Congress to use the constitutional amending process to protect republican self-government. This power has repeatedly been used by the people when the Supreme Court has undermined the progress of popular democracy.
As members of the Maryland General Assembly, we sharply disagree with the majority decision in Citizens United v. Federal election Commission and call upon the United States Congress to propose and send to the states for ratification as soon as practicable a constitutional amendment to reverse this decision and restore fair elections and democratic sovereignty to the states and to the people.
Needless to say, if members of the U.S. Congress fail to act responsibly (as requested by this letter) and forward an amendment to the Constitution for the states to ratify, the legislatures of 34 states could act independently and pass resolutions in their respective states calling for an amendment to the Constitution.

Ending the corporate takeover of our electoral process and repeal of Citizens United by a constitutional amendment is absolutely necessary to restore our democracy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spitting in the Wind

For everyone who is thinking that the way to change stuff is to vote:

Results of the 2012 Presidential election will be tallied in over 900 jurisdictions in 26 states by a company called SOE Software. SOE is owned by a company called Scytl, which is a Spanish company.
Scytl in turn is owned by a single investor, a company called Balderton Capital Management, a British company.

The partners in Balderton Capital Management include two former high-level executives of Goldman Sachs and a former member of a task force reporting to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, "to drive delivery of the (British) government's key objectives." Hmmm.

Vote for the change? Probably not.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Their Lips Are Moving (Part Five)

All weekend, I debated with myself about what this Part Five would be. After many fits and starts, I've decided. I'm not going to research any more past lies for you. From the non-existent WMDs to 9/11, to various parts of the cold war, you know they're there. You've heard them referred to by the 'lunatic fringe' and the 'moonbats,' of which I guess I'm now a member. If you are interested, you have the most powerful research library ever known to man sitting right in front of you, and all you need is a slightly open mind and a few hours to find pretty convincing summaries of them.

Ultimately, though, thinking about lies in the past serves only one valid purpose--to make one skeptical about the lies to come, so that you don't fall for them too. So, instead of focusing on the ones behind us, today I'm going to focus on the lies we're going to hear in the near future.

Lie No. 1: Be Afraid. We're being bombarded with messages that tell us that some comet/asteroid/space station/etc. is going to hurtle into the earth and destroy everything, that the financial system crashing will be a cataclysm of vast proportion, that WWIII is inevitable, that we need to 'prepare' for the end of the world/life as we know it, and we'd better get an early start on being terrified, because the stores may run out of terror soon, and you don't want to be the only calm one on the block.

To start with, I'm pretty sure that the end of this bloodthirsty, oligarchical, corporate meat grinder of a system is a GOOD thing. After all, we're the meat, and people who think we're scum (remember the people in the Wall Street windows drinking martinis with their "we are the 1% " signs and wearing Halloween costumes mocking the people whose homes they'd been foreclosing on?) have been the ones turning the handle all these years. The end of that sounds a bit like wrenching the door open after you've slammed your finger in it. It's going to hurt like hell--for a minute. And then it'll start to feel better.

Second, if that system ends, WWIII ain't a happenin'. Wars haven't been driven by people like you and me. When have you ever woken up in the morning and said, "I think today, right after I do the laundry, I'll start a nuclear holocaust"? Well, big news--the regular people in China, Afghanistan, Russia, and everywhere else don't think that either. The same people turning the handle on the financial and political and corporate systems are the ones who want wars. They need them--to steal resources in other countries, to corporatize countries that haven't yet succumbed to their 'greed is good' mentality, to get contracts to destroy other countries and then more contracts to rebuild them, all with a profit built in. So, if their money-printing government machine (whether it prints Euros or Dollars or Yuan) is out of order, the chances of wars breaking out is vastly reduced.

Third, there's not a darn thing that any of us can do to 'prepare' if indeed an asteroid or something is going to decimate the earth. At that point, we're all well advised to have NOT spent our last days worrying, and instead to have enjoyed those days, a LOT.

Fourth, you can always jump on the terror bandwagon later. They tell you that they're going to run out of room, but don't worry--they'll make more space if you're one of the stragglers. You see, terror is great for the meat grinder. Terror makes people march calmly and sheeplike into ridiculous situations, like being surveilled and scanned and patted down everywhere you go (to be safe from the looming danger), or being interred in prison camps because of your nationality or your political views. So, there's always enough terror to go around, and you can get yours later.

So, don't be afraid. We're ok. We're much stronger and smarter than we give ourselves credit for, and we can figure out how to run a world without a few power-hungry sadistic maniacs telling us what to do.

Lie No. 2: You Are Helpless Victim of the Powers that Be. This one's a doozy. This is the one that TV and news reports and basically every aspect of western culture tells us, again and again. You can't change anything. You need NCIS, or Jack Bauer, or the FBI/CIA/NSA/TSA/HUD/SSA to address the threats you face.

Horse puckey. Most of the biggest threats are the ones they (the elite ones and their junkyard dogs in the government) are creating, so we're really only helpless because they've got us afraid of everything except what we really should be worried about--them.

We've got laws and regulations out the wazoo, and yet there are still drug cartels and mine disasters and massive oil spills and e. coli outbreaks and lead tainted toys and housing bubbles and massive unemployment and MF Global stealing billions of dollars and paying it to JP Morgan/Chase. If all that corruption and beauracracy is supposed to be protecting us, it's doing a damn poor job. So, we've just got to stop being afraid that we're too stupid and lazy to handle our own business (at least better than that), and viola! We're not helpless anymore.

Now, here's the big secret--the people at the top are scared spitless that one day we'll all wake up and recognize that they're the problem, and say, "you know, I've had enough, and I'm not playing anymore." No one of us can't resist them by force, but every one of us can resist their ideas. And a whole bunch of us, coming to the conclusion that we're tired of being grist for their mill, is a tide they can't turn back. Stop being a sheep, and you can't be herded anymore.

Lie No. 3: You aren't important, and what you do doesn't count. The biggest one of all. Every system that people regularly buy into reinforces this one. Religions tell us that we're spiritual dirt that can only be redeemed through some outside intervention--a savior, reading the right book, bowing at the right time in the right direction, or some combination of standing up, sitting down, reading archaic words and singing. Governments tell us that we're stupid--that we can't understand all the complex workings of the political system or the world economy, or whatever, and so we'd better just stand aside and let the real experts handle things. Baloney.

It should be rather apparent by now that the guys in charge are royal screw-ups. If they're so damn smart, why do we have financial crises, poverty, famine, violence, drug abuse, disease, and other scourges dominating our world? Our governments have had "wars" on these things for decades. Allow me to observe that if our world today is the result of the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the war on hunger, etc., then our "warriors" suck, and they need fired, and they need never to be elected to any position again, including dog catcher.

Likewise, if churches are so wonderful, then why are their buildings and their trappings the thing they're spending most of their money on? Why is their so-called 'social ministry' where they purport to help 'others,' such a small portion of their time and budget? Do you really think that God (all-knowing, all-powerful, eternal being who "is love") really needs for people to build 100,000 square foot shopping malls with stained glass windows in His honor? Or is that all something that the people in charge want, to show how holy they are, and how much power they wield?

We need to get clear on one thing--we're the ones who matter, not the people in charge. We're the ones who can fix stuff, if we start thinking for ourselves and stop following behind the parade of people who claim to know what's best for us. We are, in fact, the only things that matter--the saviors, if you will. If we decide to change our little corners of the world, by being generous, kind, and forgiving, then the world becomes generous, kind and forgiving, one little corner at a time.

So, now what? Some of you have been reading this blog since the beginning, and I hope you'll forgive me if I get in my wayback machine for a minute, and recall why this blog is named as it is. It was a reference to how big the world's problems are--elephantine, really, and to the old quip about how to eat an elephant--one bite at a time.

We just need to stop believing how powerless we are, and do something. Remember how in science we learned that energy never ends? That's true whether it's good energy or bad energy. We can sit around in fear and worry, anger and disgust, and pollute the atmosphere around us like a rotten onion in the cosmic soup, or we can start to make a positive difference. When you toss a rock into the water, the ripples reach the banks of the pond. The ripples from our choices, good and bad, can reach to the banks of eternity. So get rippling already. And don't forget to check their lips.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Another Bit of Truth In Between the Lies

In the category of "you would need more than a feather to knock me over" on hearing this news:

Swiss scientists have used supercomputers to trace through a database of 37 million corporations and their shareholders worldwide. They found that a core of 1318 companies control 80 percent of the world's wealth.

And, says the story in NewScientist,

When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a "super-entity" of 147 even more tightly knit companies - all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity - that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. "In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network," says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group. (emphasis mine)

In other words, the top one percent of companies, most of which are banks and financial companies, own each other and 40 percent of the entire world. Kind of removes all the mystery from the question how they've managed to get tens of billions of dollars in bailouts from the US government, special tax breaks, subsidies and a regulatory system that doesn't even understand what they do, much less regulate them.

It's time to stop wasting our lives making these guys richer, wouldn't you say?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Their Lips are Moving (Part Four)

Today's evidence that our government lies to us regularly and systematically relates to an event very close to home, literally. I suspect that some readers are about to go into "la la" mode. La la mode is that state of cognitive dissonance where one really doesn't want to know what one is about to hear because it's unpleasant and goes against what they've believed, and so one sticks their fingers in their ears and sings loudly--la la la.

I know this because for many years, I was in la la mode as well. It was very hard for me to face the truth about some things, because I lived them and felt them very personally--today's topic in particular. It was much easier to ignore those who were trying to tell us the truth, or to relegate them all to that category of "them"--the ones we think are so different from "us." It was easier to discredit the information just because of the label (right-winger, or nut-job, or malcontent) that got slapped on the source(s). The media is very good at that sort of labeling, you see. But eventually, my natural curiosity took over and I had to know. Now I do. I found out that the evidence is so strong as to really defy any explanation except that there's been a huge, calculated lie told to us, and the sources of that evidence are everything from middle aged ladies who work in offices to veterans to cops to business owners to the government itself.

You are free, of course, to la la to your hearts' content. But here's how I look at it: 1) information can only be dangerous if you don't have it; and 2) just because you don't know about something doesn't mean it's not there (e.g., before gravity was "discovered," did people float around?), so not knowing about bad stuff doesn't make it less bad, it just makes you more vulnerable to it. When you're done reading (if you aren't too busy singing), the links in this post lead you to hours of video, lots of articles, and dozens of witnesses that are a lot more persuasive than I. So with that in mind, here we go, with the lies we've been told about the Oklahoma City Bombing.

Official Story

The Oklahoma City bombing destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. It killed 168 people, including 19 children under the age of 6,and injured more than 680 people. The bombing destroyed or damaged hundreds of buildings within a sixteen-block radius, and totalled at least $652 million worth of damage.

Within 90 minutes of the explosion, an Oklahoma State Trooper happened to stop Timothy McVeigh for driving without a license plate and arrested him for unlawfully carrying a weapon (they really are lucky, aren't they?). It was said that evidence quickly linked McVeigh and his friend, Terry Nichols, to the attack. Michael and Lori Fortier were later identified as accomplices, but no one other than McVeigh was alleged to be at the scene of the bombing.

The story goes that McVeigh, an American militia movement sympathizer, had detonated an explosive-filled Ryder truck parked in front of the building, motivated by hatred of the federal government generally and in retribution for by what he perceived as unjust actions of the government against militia elements at Waco and Ruby Ridge. McVeigh supposedly timed his attack to coincide with the second anniversary of the deadly fire that ended the siege at Waco, Texas.

As a result of the bombing, the U.S. government passed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which seriously weakened the doctrine of habeas corpus in the United States, as well as legislation designed to increase the 'protection' and surveillance around federal buildings. The bombing has also been used to further discredit militia movements and others who question the integrity of the federal government.

Some Reasons The Official Story is a Lie

We've reached a place in the history of lies where the evidence is more complex and plentiful than to be presentable in a couple pages on a blog, so, in brief fashion, I will summarize just some of the evidence that the official story is cooked up. Tremendous quantities of detailed evidence is available on the internet, in print, and in video, for those who'd like to check it out. Please take this as merely an outline of places to start looking.

John Doe Number 2--Many of you may remember the composite sketch of the second suspect sighted at the scene of the Murrah Building bombing, known as John Doe Number 2 (McVeigh was at that time still John Doe number 1).

Witnesses had stated that McVeigh was with at least one other person in the Ryder truck on the day of the bombing, as well as a few months prior. See here. And here. Apparently, there is video evidence confirming a second man in the Ryder truck with McVeigh, but that evidence has not been released to the public. See here. And yet, the official story has no account of Number 2's involvement, and the FBI withdrew the arrest warrant for him and just stopped pursuing a person who may be guilty of 168 counts of murder. Hmmm.

The Prior Blast--While the official story only acknowledges one explosion-that of the truck bomb parked in front of the Murrah Building-both eyewitness statements and seismographic evidence proves there was more than one explosion on the morning the Murrah Building went down. The seismograph at the University of Oklahoma registered two blasts, ten seconds apart. Eyewitnesses inside and near the Murrah Building reported that there was a first, rumbling impact that felt similar to an earthquake or large thunderclap, and then with enough delay that some of them were able to seek cover under furniture, the second, huge explosion.

The Disappearing Bombs--At the time, news reports from several local and national news outlets referred to comfirmed reports of two bombs, in addition to the truck bomb that is said to have destroyed the building. Both unexploded bombs were reported as being recovered and presumably disarmed by authorities. On the video at the link above, that story is confirmed by then-Oklahoma-Governor, Frank Keating. It also comports with my recollection of the news at the time, which I followed closely, and remember quite clearly, because I was pregnant with my daughter at the time and the bombing of a daycare center set me into a major emotional episode, so I watched news coverage compulsively and with great interest.

After the initial reports, however, there was no discussion of the construction of those other bombs, which were referred to at the time as having been "sophisticated devices" that could only have been made by explosives experts, and which were inside the Murrah Building, which would have been under intense video surveillance. In fact, those two other bombs have disappeared entirely from the official version of events. Former FBI supervisor Ted Gunderson and frequent speaker on the subject of the OKC bombing contended before his death last year that it was critical to the official story that the only bomb be the ammonium nitrate truck bomb because Timothy McVeigh didn't have the knowledge necessary to make a more sophisticated type that experts believe was used in the bombing.

Advance Knowledge of the Bombing--Several Witnesses have given statements that "bomb squad" personnel were at the Murrah Building prior to the explosion. These witnesses were as varied as: an Oklahoma park ranger who says he was told by an acquaintence on the bomb squad that they had been at the building since the early morning checking out a tip that the federal courthouse might be bombed; the mother of a baby who was killed in the explosion who says she saw men in jackets with the words "Bomb Squad" on them standing across the street from the Murrah Building about an hour before the explosion; a local attorney who said he saw a bomb squad truck towing a trailer about a block and a half from the Murrah Building about an hour and a half before the bombing; an employee of the County Assessor's Office and an employee of the County Elections Board, each of whom separately reported seeing a bomb squad vehicle parked in front of the County Courthouse near the Murrah Building prior to the explosion; a private investigator who reported seeing a group of men in paramilitary uniform with police dogs who appeared to be investigating bushes near the County Courthouse across from the Murrah Building;

The Absent ATF-- According to the affidavit of a paramedic who was on the scene within five minutes of the explosion, that agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) told her that they were not in their office that morning. Another EMT has stated she also overheard one ATF agent say to another, “Is that why we got the page not to come in today?” Another witness claimed he was also told by ATF agents that they had been paged not to come in to work.

The Witness/Investigator Intimidation--Not blindly accepting the official story has proved a somewhat fruitless effort on the part of those who have tried it. A number of witnesses and investigators in the bombing case have been intimidated and even killed. These include OKC grand jury member Hoppy Heidelberg, Oklahoma City Police Officer (Ret.), Don Browning, Oklahoma City Police Officer (deceased), Terry Yeakey, and others.

The Secret Life of Tim McVeigh--A letter Tim McVeigh sent to his sister before the bombing that was published in the New York Times in 1998, as well as photographic evidence that you can see in the video linked above in the Disappearing Bombs section, indicate that McVeigh was recruited as and acted secretly in military 'Black Ops,' well after he was supposed to have been discharged from military service. This, of course, is nowhere in the official version of the story.

The Security Tape Mystery-- The Murrah Building was a federal office building as well as a federal courthouse. As a former lawyer who practiced mostly in federal courts, I can vouch for the fact that, even back in the 90's, you didn't get in or out of a federal building without providing identification and going through security scanners, and once you were there, you couldn't breathe without being videotaped from three angles. The Murrah Building and surrounding areas all had video surveillance, and for years, people tried to get ahold of those tapes to see what could be seen. The FBI staunchly refused to turn them over for over a decade. Finally, after filing a lawsuit and winning, a Salt Lake City attorney got what the FBI claims are all the tapes they have. The ones around the building pointed where they should have shown the moments before the blast have been edited to delete the time just before the bombing. The recordings resume after the explosion. The FBI claims that ALL FOUR cameras surrounding the building "ran out of tape" at the same time. Imagine the odds. And imagine the poor schmo who was up on poles or ladders or wherever, replacing that tapes so those cameras could all come back on right after the blast. Almost makes one believe in fairies. As the lawyer who fought for a decade to get the tapes said, "Four cameras in four different locations going blank at basically the same time on the morning of April 19, 1995. There ain't no such thing as a coincidence."

No, sir. But there is such a thing as a bald-faced lie.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Break From the Lies, for a Moment of Truth

Big news--a representative of the government has told a tiny bit of truth--that the government of Iran is NOT TRYING TO BUILD A NUCLEAR WEAPON. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta admitted Sunday on Meet the Press that Iran is not building the bomb. One is then led to the obvious question, "then how come we're massing troops over there and threatening them with battleships?" But that's only if you are a rational human...

He does go on to say that they're trying to develop "nuclear capability." You know, that's the totally safe, clean energy source that they've been telling us for the last three decades or so that we should have more of, notwithstanding Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. :-)

Here's the clip, and next time, Part Four of Their Lips Are Moving:

Their Lips Are Moving (Part Three)

For the last couple posts, I have been reviewing evidence that our government tells us lies. My only slightly tongue-in-cheek contention is: we can tell if they're lying by checking to see if their lips are moving. The evidence continues.

Today, my subject is the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. You will recall that in February, 1993, a truck bomb was detonated in the lower level of the World Trade Center's north tower. While the bomb had been intended to bring down both the north and south towers of the WTC and kill a quarter of a million people, it killed only 6 people, wounded about 1,000, and caused half a billion dollars in damage. We were told, ad nauseum, that some wildly evil Muslim extremists, bent on the destruction of the United States, were solely responsible for the bombing, and that they had planned on bombing other New York City landmarks as well. The FBI rather quickly ran down some information on a Ryder truck (it's so amazing that they always find those parts with id numbers!) and other leads and heroically caught the bad guys responsible for the bombing--several of the bombers were on trial only about 8 months after the bombing. [frantically wave the Stars and Stripes here]

Unfortunately for the FBI, a wild card was inserted in their patriotic narrative in the form of one Emad A. Salem, a former Egyptian military member and paid FBI informant, who emerged on the scene with the insane tale that he himself had infiltrated the bombers' cell, helped build the bomb with the knowledge and under the supervision of the FBI, and that the plan had been for him to ultimately make the bomb harmless by substituting inert material for the explosives, but he had been taken off the case by an FBI supervisor before he could do so.

Now, it's fairly clear that the government would want us to believe that Mr. Salem is either a nut or a liar, and of course, his story is not the official version of the events. But, interestingly, Mr. Salem had the advantage of hundreds of audiotapes of his conversations with members of the FBI (made without the knowledge of the agents) that seem to corroborate the more salient details of his crazy story, including that he had something to do with the building of the bomb, and that his involvement was known to and overseen by the FBI. Listen yourself. Most annoyingly for the government are the tapes with references by Salem to their prior knowledge of the bombing, and their unused opportunity to stop it.

From the New York Times, 10/27/93:

Some of the most striking passages in the transcripts show Mr. Salem agonizing over what he suggests was the failure of the F.B.I., despite his information, to halt the Feb. 26 bombing of the trade center, in which six people were killed. Although Mr. Salem is not a witness in that case, he was working with the Government at that time.
"They told me that 'we want to set this,' " Mr. Salem said, referring to the bomb in a conversation on April 1 with John Anticev, one of the F.B.I. agents he reported to, and sometimes complained to others about. " 'What's the right place to put this?' "
Then he added, still speaking to the agent: "You were informed. Everything is ready. The day and the time. Boom. Lock them up and that's that. That's why I feel so bad."
Mr. Salem, you're not the only one who should feel bad. We believed them.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Their Lips Are Moving (Part Two)

Last post, I discussed the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, the first of my reasons for saying that we should assume that the US government is lying anytime their lips are moving.   Today, my topic is the RMS Lusitania--the excuse for the US entering World War I.

In 1915, Britain and France had been at war with Germany for some time.  They were deep in debt from the issuance of war bonds financing the conflict, and the war was not going well due to the Germans' use of submarines, or U-Boats, which had established near impenetrable control of British shipping lanes.  Britain and France of course wanted the US involved in the war, as did business interests in the US, which faced losses if Britain and France defaulted on their bond debt.  But the American people wanted nothing of the war.(1)

At the time, the shipping lanes around Britain were virtually alive with German U-Boats, but the Lusitania was preapred for launch from the US to Britain..  Germany had made no secret that it would attack any ship attempting to bring war materials to Britain.   In fact, before the launch of the Lusitania, the German Embassy actually placed ads warning Americans not to board the ship because it would be attacked.  The US State Department, interestingly, prevented most of these ads from running. 

The Lusitania was taken into hostile waters, where a German U-Boat was known to have been operating, and was ordered to travel at reduced speed, to save coal, of all things.  In the midst of  the most dangerous phase of the trip, First Lord of Admiralty, Winston Churchill, ordered the destroyer protecting the Lusitania to abandon her, and the Lusitania was sunk with a single torpedo from a German U-Boat, followed by a massive secondary explosion, the source of which was the subject of debate and conjecture for many years.   Almost 1200 people were lost.

Of course, the sinking was portrayed in American media as unprovoked attack on a civilian vessel, and outrage over the incident eventually led to authorization for war.   Posters ran with a drawing of a woman and her baby drowning, together with the word "Enlist."   German officials at the time said that the Lusitania had been a legitimate military target, because it had been trying to run the German blockade of British ports with armaments, in violation of treaties.  Britain and the US denied this staunchly.

But in 2008, when divers reached the wreck of the Lusitania off the Irish coast, almost a century of lies by the British and American governments were exposed.  The ship indeed contained arms--some four MILLION rounds of large caliber amunition, plus other war materiel, all in disguised crates marked "butter," "oysters" and "cheese."  And so it became clear that the US and British governments had at least recklessly, and more probably intentionally, caused the sinking of the Lusitania and the killing of 1200 people and then cynically exploited it to incite outrage in the American public that would allow the US' entry into the war.  

This lie of the US government cost over 117,000 Americans their lives, and resulted in the wounding of more than 205,000 more. 

Are you getting the picture?

(1) See, Griffin, G. Edward, The Creature From Jekyll Island, American Media, c. 1994-2002

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Their Lips are Moving (Part One)

You've all no doubt heard the one about how you tell if a lawyer is lying.  Check to see if their lips are moving, right?  I can tell that one because I'm a recovering lawyer. 

But now that we've got troops in Israel and ships off Iran, and all that, I thought the time was ripe to say the same thing about the American government.  So, for the next couple of posts, I'll be telling you why--at least as long as I'm not designated an enemy of the state under the new NDAA that our President gave us for a New Years' present. 

So, here we go.  Let's review a few times when our government's "creativity" has gotten, shall we say, a bit out of hand, beginning with The Gulf of Tonkin Incident
For anyone who is either too young to remember, or who hasn't read about it sometime in the last few years,  the Gulf of Tonkin Incident was the thing that got the U.S. "all in" to the Vietnam War, and it was actually a pair of "incidents."  The first occurred when the USS Maddox, a US destroyer, was piddling around in the waters off  North Vietnam on August 2, 1964.  Of course, at the time, North Vietnam had been in hostilities with South Vietnam for some time, and France and the U.S. had been meddling in these hostilities for quite a while as well (remember?  Our troops were called "advisors").  Anyway, the story went that three North Vietnamese torpedo boats "attacked" the Maddox.   At the time, the government claimed that this attack was unprovoked, and occurred while the wholly innocent Maddox was on "routine patrol" in international waters--those rotten, bloodthirsty commies  attacked us for no reason at all.   Fortunately, there were no casualties, and little damage on the Maddox. 

The second "incident" was said to have occurred two days later on August 4, when the Maddox, out innocently in the Gulf again, fired for two hours on radar targets that were said to be attacking North Vietnamese torpedo boats.   Then-President Johnson went on  TV on August 5 and delivered an eloquent little humdinger of a speech in which he assured everyone that the US didn't want war, but that we just had to get over there and protect those poor South Vietnamese from the irrational aggression of the North.  It worked, and the Congress overwhelmingly passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution on August 7, beginning the US' major involvement in the war, which raged on for a decade and cost the lives of over 58,000 young men. 

Now, as they say, the rest of the story...  In 2005, documents were declassified that proved conclusively that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident was mullarkey--a pretext for war.   And it had virtually certainly been known as such at the time.  The first incident, on August 2, hadn't been an unprovoked attack on an innocent ship.  The Maddox had been conducting spying operations on North Vietnam, specifically trying to find openings for attacks on the North by South Vietnam.  So, basically, three tiny little PT boats buzzed a great big destroyer and fired at it to run it off from its spying maneuvers.  The Maddox clobbered them.  Not terribly surprising, right?  If someone sent a ship to our coast and was spying, we'd probably attack that ship too, wouldn't we?  And that would make perfect sense, and not make us bloodthirsty anythings.  So, while the President and his crew were portraying the Gulf of Tonkin as an act of unprovoked hostility and dragging America into a war that wound up killing and wounding MILLIONS of people, they knew--FOR CERTAIN--that the Maddox had been there spying, and that the reaction of the North Vietnamese was reasonable and not unduly hostile. 

And amazingly,  the second "incident"  never occurred at all.  The Maddox was sent back out to continue spying, this time with orders to go even closer to the North Vietnamese coast (translation:  to further provoke the North Vietnamese), but it turns out that the Navy fired on nothing, or perhaps on some sonar "ghosts."   According to records, well before Johnson had ever gone on TV to drum up support for the war, the commander of the Maddox, Captain John Herrick, had cabled to his command that there might have been no attack or enemy contact at all.    That there were no North Vietnamese ships is now accepted fact

Of course, there's always another side to things.  So let's take a moment to find some of the things that came to us as a result of the Vietnam War, which it appears we were manipulated into fighting by a lying government.   There was Agent Orange.  Dioxin.  Coining of the term Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The My-Lai Massacre.  Napalm.  And the 'killing machine on testosterone high' atmosphere and culture that turned somebody's little boy into this ... 

photo imported from here

Suppose we should start being just a tad more critical?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Things Are Not What They Seem

It seems that the media is telling us who won the Iowa caucuses, and--no surprise--it is the hand-picked, bought and paid for, groomed for the last several years successor to the Bush dynasty, Mitt Romney.

Or is it?  A caucus-goer who helped count the votes in Moulton in Appanoose County says that the State GOP and the media have it wrong.  According to DesMoines news channel, KCCI, there is evidence that Romney actually lost to Rick Santorum in Iowa.  Edward True, a 28 year old who caucused in Moulton, and wrote down the vote totals he saw at the 53-person caucus, says that Romney's 8 vote victory in the state is false, since there is a 20 vote error in Romney's favor, compared with the totals he helped count. 

The State GOP insists it got the numbers right, and that the "certified" totals will bear out its version of the events (at least after it convinces local officials to keep quiet about its "typos" in Romney's favor).   There's the reliability of elections for you. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tea, Strippers, and Tie Dye

My New Year's weekend was extraordinary.  My two teen daughters, my friend Dianna, and I went on a road trip back to the little town in Iowa my family called home before last year.  My girls and I planned for this trip to be reconnection with friends, and it was.  Dianna and I planned for it to be a middle-aged slumber party, and it was.  We didn't plan on it becoming a threshhold moment, but it was that too.

I'm the first to acknowledge that I have an amazing contingent of friends.  Every one different, every one wonderful in her own way. Our first visit, on the way into town, was to my friend, Barb, who has just bought a very old farmstead about ten miles out of town.  She's taken on a beautiful old three-story barn of a house in need of a good bit of sprucing up, as well as the care of several acres--all while she and her husband are in their fifties. They have plans to renovate the place, one room at a time.  To take on such a project requires an iron will, a lot of hope, and no small measure of insanity, but as she said, "This is the first good night's sleep I've had in a long time."  Nothing like a little elbow room, some fresh country air, and your very own quonset  (look it up) to give you peace of mind.   It was a lesson:  Chase your dream til you catch it, even when it sounds crazy to other people.

That night, as we sat in the living room of our borrowed accomodations, my girls safely off to their sleepovers with their buddies, Dianna and I talked and drank herb tea til the wee hours.  We've only known each other for less than a year and a half, so we haven't worn out old stories on one another, and we relived family joys and childhood traumas and strained relationships between sharing hopes and fears about our world and the one our kids will grow old in.   Before the night was over, it felt like we'd been friends forever.  It was a lesson:  You only get close to people when you share yourself.

Our next visit was to my friend Carmella, who epitomizes down to earth grace and beauty.  She lives on a farm a few miles from town,  in a home that is like the scene of a novel.  In warmer weather, a gorgeously tousled garden welcomes visitors.  A huge kitchen always has something delicious and homemade waiting.  Simple, beautiful, sturdy furniture looks like it's from a catalog, but is strictly made for living--no fussy stuff, and nothing that's only "for show."  In Carmella's house, everything has a story, from the furniture that her husband found and restored, to the walls, where an eclectic mix of quotations are painted.  It's probably the only place I've ever been where  Alan Kay, Rhett Butler, and Billy Joel get equal billing.   We sat for hours and drank coffee and talked, and felt as though we never wanted to leave.  It was a lesson:  If you want people to be around you, make the area around you a place where people feel comfortable and welcome to be.

That night was New Year's Eve, and while my girls took off to more sleepovers, Dianna and I stayed in.  The girls asked what we had planned, and we told them we were going to have tea.  When that  was panned as too boring, we said we might order strippers.   In the end, we forgot to call the strippers, but we did talk and laugh til well after the witching hour.   We talked about the ways that we've let our lives run us, instead of the other way around.  We talked about the ways we are each dissatisfied with where we find ourselves currently--living normal suburban lives when we are both anything but normal suburban people.  We talked about running, fleeing the normality and the workaday reality we're in.   But hours into the conversation, as if rung in by the arrival of the New Year, we suddenly began to talk not just about finding a better life, but about how we could make better the one we've already got.   And in the end, we came to a very clear lesson:  Happiness comes from inside when you make yourself forget that you might drown, let loose of the bank, put your feet downstream, and give yourself over to  ride the flow of life's everyday joy.  

The next visit was to my friend Jane.  Jane is an old hippie, with an eclectic fashion sense, a couple of gold teeth, the recipe for the best deviled eggs I've ever had, and an intellect that you don't often see.  She's the only person I know who would, this day and age, wear and love a cardigan with a giant bowling-ball-and-pins design knitted into it, and she's also the only person I know whose refrigerator is deep reading.   She truly, honestly, right down to her toes, couldn't give a furry rat's behind what anyone thinks of her, and yet she's one of the kindest and most generous people I know.  Jane greets every situation with a sense of humor and an absolute determination to enjoy it, learn from it, or both.  She is at every turn both comic and philosopher, both jester and sage, and being invited to sit on old bus seats around the wood stove in her basement and talk is a greater honor to me than any state dinner ever could be.  To be there was a lesson:  Know who you are and be that relentlessly, and the people who hang around you will be the ones who love the real you.

On our journey, we stopped at the Ice Cream Capital of the World, in a town called LeMars, Iowa.  More ice cream is made in the Blue Bunny factory there than anywhere else in the world.  It's also the home of a wonderful replica of an old fashioned soda fountain with Blue Bunny souvenirs and great ice cream.  After our sundaes, we went to buy souvenirs.  Dianna and I talked about it a bit and decided that we needed to get out of our comfort zone.  So we each bought a wildly colored tie dye sweatshirt that we would never have bought were it not for the lessons we'd learned on our trip.   And we wore them.  Two middle-aged women trundling through the midwest in eye-bleedingly-bright, tie-dyed sweatshirts.   As I drove, every time I would look down at my arms clad in my rainbow hued sweatshirt, I smiled. Other people, seeing our crazy shirts, smiled or shook their heads, and that made us laugh, and suddenly, there was a lot of smiling and laughing going on.  It was a lesson:  A comfort zone may be cozy and familiar, but it hardly ever makes you smile ear to ear.

We finished our journey and came back to the same lives we left a few days before, but we're not seeing them quite the same way anymore.  There's more understanding of how we dig our own ruts, how if you're not careful, you can easily lose the joyful parts of life--and we now know what to do about it.  And that brought us to our last lesson--whatever it takes--appreciating the people in your life for their own unique qualities, or having tea, or forgetting to call the strippers, or wearing tie-dye--  the way to be happy is to figure out how to really enjoy the stuff you're going to do anyhow.

Happy New Year.