Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Blue Screen of Death

This story really takes the Blue Screen of Death to a whole new level...
Most of us have stared in helpless despair at the dreaded blue screen; how much worse would you feel if that wasn't just your desktop gone but your combat display, and it really was the screen of death?

Surely we can't have our jolly tars let down by possibly untrustworthy, difficult to use kit such as Windows? Especially when you reflect that cost is not an issue. When you're buying destroyers at £1bn per hull, the price difference between 26 PCs and the same number of Sun workstations barely shows up.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Project for a new conspiracy theory PNCT

Rough sketch:
Saudi Arabia has a major influence on US politics. Saudi Arabia feels threatend by Saddam Hussein. Saudi Arabia influences the US to attack Iraq.

Based on this and this.

See: The tale of the 15 Saudis with boxcutters and the bearded Saudi in a cave.

Dear Mr. President

We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding

Instant classic.

Where is Waldo?

I know, this is old news, I just needed to post it here for completeness. The only thing I changed from the nytimes report are the malreported begining of the following paragraphs, each one was one sentence too early. And I added the highlighting.

Who could believe that one day we could witness the collapse of the Eastern Empire? But we have seen its fall during our lives and it collapsed in such a way that we have to refer to libraries because no trace of it is left. Imam [Khomeini] said Saddam must go and he said he would grow weaker than anyone could imagine. Now you see the man who spoke with such arrogance ten years ago that one would have thought he was immortal, is being tried in his own country in handcuffs and shackles by those who he believed supported him and with whose backing he committed his crimes. Our dear Imam said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement.

We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine. Is it possible to create a new front in the heart of an old front. This would be a defeat and whoever accepts the legitimacy of this regime [Israel] has in fact, signed the defeat of the Islamic world. Our dear Imam targeted the heart of the world oppressor in his struggle, meaning the occupying regime. I have no doubt that the new wave that has started in Palestine, and we witness it in the Islamic world too, will eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world.

But we must be aware of tricks. For over 50 years the world oppressor tried to give legitimacy to the occupying regime and it has taken measures in this direction to stabilize it. ...

Text of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Speech - New York Times
(If you are asked for login information, get them here)
Somehow, the last highlighted senctence just doesn't fit, the map part just seems wrong.

For me, the original seems like something like this:
1. Who thought that the Soviet Union would vanish?
2. Who would have thought that Saddam would be removed from power one day? Khomeini did.
3. Khomein said as well that one day the government in Israel will be gone.

He then continues about the fight against the Israeli *government*(which he calls regime) what could endager this fight and what could be gained from it.

Obviously, this is far from being peaceful. But except the one sentence, which I can neither confirm or deny (Do you speak Farsi?), he basicly says that change will come, sometimes not peaceful (as in Iraq). As I said before, I hate violence, I'm against war, but if you say that Ahmadienjad wants to wipe Israel off the map, then Bush and his cronies want to wipe Iraq off the map. For me, there is little difference, excpet one side has the better PR, better weapons and more money. Ask yourself where this money is from.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Now I'm drunk

So I post any colorful comic cartoon from YouTube I can find...

Fuck Beer and Television

I prefer Wine and YouTube...

Thanks Zefrank!

Some Cat Content

Ere is no TEEE in Briish

Ah, Jim Motley.

Thanks Tom at Music Thing!


Running On A Treadmill With The Benny Hill Theme

Thanks Stef!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The tale of the 15 Saudis

15 Saudis, lead by a Saudi and sponsored by Saudi money, attack the US and the US retaliate against - Afghanistan and Iraq. Of course it is much more comforting to think that the US government is full of liars and criminals than the alternative that the people in power in the US are plain stupid and couldn't tell their ass from their head.

A load of old bollocks courtesy of the BBC - Stef


Furthermore, the United States had known since 1994 that the Saudis were supporting Pakistan's nuclear development program, ultimately contributing upwards of a billion dollars. More recently, because Saudi law does not allow foreign agencies to directly question Saudi citizens, the FBI has not been allowed to interview Saudi suspects, including the families of the fifteen Saudi hijackers, about the 9/11 attacks. For more than a year after September 11 Saudi Arabia refused to provide advance manifests for flights coming into the United States—which could have led to a basic and potentially fatal breach of security. Although there are plenty of possible al Qaeda members awaiting trial, as of this writing there hasn't been a single Saudi arrest related to 9/11—not even of a material witness.
Consider the case of the Carlyle Group—a private investment company, founded in 1987, that almost since its inception has been conducting immensely profitable business with Saudi Arabia. From 1993 to 2002 the chairman of Carlyle was Frank Carlucci, who served first as Ronald Reagan's National Security Adviser and then as his Secretary of Defense. Carlyle's senior counselor is James Baker, who served as Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush—who in his post-presidency also happens to be a Carlyle adviser. Others who hang their hats at Carlyle include Arthur Levitt, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission under Bill Clinton, and now Carlyle's senior adviser; John Major, a former Prime Minister of Great Britain and the current chairman of Carlyle Europe; William Kennard, who chaired the Federal Communications Commission during the second Clinton Administration; Afsaneh Mashayekhi Beschloss, a former treasurer and chief investment officer of the World Bank; and Richard Darman, who ran the Office of Management and Budget under the first President Bush and also served as deputy secretary of the treasury under Reagan.

The Fall of the House of Saud - Robert Baer

Read all three parts. I don't know if it is true, but it certainly is an interesting piece to read. Btw, Robert Baer is the guy depicted in the movie Syriana.

Monday, February 19, 2007

It's all too beautiful

Looks like the Russians are a bit "tense" over the US deployment of its anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system in Poland and the Czech Republic plus the latest verbal hostilities from the US. The Russian RIA Novosti has some interesting articles:

(only as a translation from the German version)

And the bonus:

(via fefe, in German)

Playing right now: Small Faces - Itchycoo Park
Over Bridges of Sighs
To rest my eyes in shades of green
Under Dreaming Spires
To Itchycoo Park, that's where I've been
What did you do there? - I got high
What did you feel there? - Well I cried
But why the tears there? - I'll tell you why
It's all too beautiful, It's all too beautiful
It's all too beautiful, It's all too beautiful
I feel inclined to blow my mind
Get hung up, feed the ducks with a bun
They all come out to groove about
Be nice and have fun in the sun
I'll tell you what I'll do - What will you do?
I'd like to go there now with you
You can miss out school - Won't that be cool
Why go to learn the words of fools?

God, Inc

"How did the earthquake go?"

"Are you the guys who got me into Princeton."
"I could look it up."

"Well then I question the intelligence of his design."

Flower Tucci. A squirter. Nice. :-)

"I'm going to put a butterfly on my profile."

"You cure one disease, I have to invent another one."

Give the evidence to the MAFIA

[A] team of men wearing R.I.A.A. jackets was responsible for boxing the CDs and carting them to a warehouse for examination.

Hip-Hop Outlaw (Industry Version) - New York Times

Isn't this just grand? The police lets the R.I.A.A carry off the evidence. The ones who profit from a conviction. Fucking great.

But I think that the music industry has finally realized that the problem is not the consumer, it is the artists. Once there are no more artists, no more music and no more music "theft". Bravo!

(via fefe, in German)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I really hate violence...

... and I don't want to promote any kind of violent ideology, whether it is American, Iranian, Christian or Islamic. But I stumbled upon this video while searching for the meaning of the word Moronican and wanted to share it with the world, just to give you an idea why the US have already lost the war in Iraq and how they are creating that kind of "evil" they claim to be fighting. And not even pork bullets are going to make the US win. Just listen to the song they are using as background music. If I would live in Iraq, with such beautiful music, I would pick up a RPG and fight infidels.

LiveLeak.com - Video of Islamic State of Iraq Shooting Down an American Chinook Helicopter in Al-Karma

(The images you see if you click there show an US helicopter being shot down. If this disturbs you, don't click. Other than that, this video shows no graphic violence, which is far less than any Hollywood movie depicting the war in Vietnam. I guess in twenty years, we will see the movies showing how the Iraq war really was and everybody is going to say "Never again" and forget it when the government warns of a new danger, a new Emmanuel Goldstein)

As to the quote:

Military officials are growing increasingly concerned that Iraqi insurgents are successfully adapting their tactics to be more effective against American aircraft.

A CH-47 Chinook is a 40 year old unarmored helicopter. I guess you could shoot it down with anything that is bigger than a small caliber weapon, a starting or landing Chinook could be downed with a AK-47, some skill and some luck.

I'm probably the only person in the world who likes this

Strong Bad Email form Homestarrunner. I think it is just hilarious.

Warning, contains lethal dosages of Flash-animation, may cause seizures.

What is the Meatrix?

What is the Meatrix?

Real nice Flash-Animation.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Cognitive Dissonance

  • For years the US have being "fighting" against a relentless terrorist threat on US mainland and no attack has happened since 2001
  • For years the US have being "fighting" against a relentless inflow of drugs into the US mainland and every year hundreds of tons of drugs have slipped through

So what is the story here?

  • There is no terrorist threat
  • There is no "war on drugs"
  • Both

Sans the Lizards

David Huddleston playing Jeffrey Lebowski

Webster G. Tarpley playing himself (rather badly)

Finally I found that video from the Webster Tarpley presentation again (90 minutes).

It is nice to listen to Tarpley, he makes a wonderful presentation. No I did not check his facts, but he gives a really good lecture of patsies and 9/11. And he talks a bit about the "controlled demolition and cruise missile" blah blah bullshit as if he does not believe it, just to mention it. The main point he makes is that 9/11 was a coup, which is a interesting theory. The good thing about him, he does not feel mentally unstable like Alex Jones and does not talk about lizards like David Icke. Alas, I can't shake the feeling that he wants to sell me something, maybe it is just the suit and the tie.

Which brings me to this video of a presentation by Mike Rupert, who just feels like he's from the cast of some TV cop show from the eighties.

And by the way, I can see a game of Top Trumps with conspiracy theorists cards:

- Sentences said before being cut off by TV crew?
- 1
- 5! Alex Jones wins!
- Times being shot at?
- Zero
- Twice! Mike Rupert wins!

(Stole some ideas for this posting from Stef)

Just like a monkey...

... I have dutifully marked all "*bank"-spam messages as "phising" at the webinterface of my mailprovider. But what is the difference between spam and phising anyway? Yes, I know, phising is directed at the login information for my bank and other financial services. But spam mail wants to part me from my money as well. So in the end, what is the difference? I should mark all spam as phising...

I honestly did not know this

The Bavarian Illuminati

A movement of freethinkers that were the most radical offshoot of The Enlightenment — whose adherents were given the name Illuminati - was founded on May 1, 1776 in Ingolstadt.

Illuminati - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And I was born in Ingolstadt. Fuck, I honestly did not know this. This is a FNORD moment for me.

There are too many things I don't know.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why Iran will not be next

I could be wrong. I was wrong before, boy was I wrong before. Last summer, I thought Iran would be next, I thought the bombs would be falling within weeks. I thought the US would invade Iran. Or Syria. Or both. In 2003 I thought if the US would invade Iraq, it would be a good thing for the Iraqis. Boy was I unillumined and naive back then. And wrong, wrong, wrong.

Right now, we see the same bullshit fabricated intelligence as we have seen in 2003. But do the same means lead to the same ends?

To understand what will happened next, we have to know what happened before. I hope I have learned since then and can make an educated guess now. If I get this wrong, what I say will not have any relation to reality.

So why was Iraq attacked? Some people claim that it was some fuzzy "Old-School US Imperialism ™". Modern US imperialism has different means. Some claim that it was "For Oil". I don't think so, there are other countries with oil, more valuable countries. Why not go for Venezuela or Nigeria?

As I have said before, I think Iraq was attacked because some people wanted to transfer shitloads of tax-money into the accounts of the arms industry and into their own pockets. What better way than to start a war. Not something too big, but something that smolders for a very long time. Just like something we are seeing right now in Iraq. Perfect.

So what's the worst that could happen? Just imagine you have to show some PowerPoint slides to the executive board of some bigshot arms manufacturer in the US the day after an Democratic President has declared to pull out of Iraq and has been greeted by congressmen of both parties as an "American Gandhi". Oops, wrong meeting.

So what would happen if the US invaded Iran. Two things would be possible.
  1. The violence would tail off. In which case the president could declare "Job well done" and pull out. It was only Iran behind all that violence (which I don't think)
  2. The violence would not tail off. The US military would find itself awfully stretched. It would show that Iran wasn't behind all this insurgency business. The calls to pull out, which are getting louder already without a mess in Iran, would get even louder. It would be suicide for a president not to give up Iraq or Iran or both. "Leave the suckers to themselves" would be the American motto du jour.
So, to keep the US military in the mess it is right now, we need a reason, a plausible reason why the US military has to stay in that mess. To achieve this, the people in charge would need a "device" with which they could put pressure on who ever becomes president NOT to pull out. What better device than an Iran that has to be curbed? So, if the US president should think about pulling out, he could be pressured to stay the course or be called a traitor who endangers the US security.

When they have learned one thing from the end of the cold war, it is that not having an enemy, not having something you need protection from, can be a very dangerous thing if you are in the business of selling arms. I guess the war on terror is loosing steam, there is only so far you can go with a phantom terror organization and a phantom terror-leader. So what better than to have Mini-Soviet threat? It worked for over forty years with the Russkies, why not give it a try with the Mullahs now? And if it doesn't work out, there is allways Russia or China to fall back as the enemy du jour. Better prepare them as enemy now.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last Wednesday the United States had to prepare for the possibility of combating major armies and that it also needed significant Special Forces because he did not know what might happen in Russia, North Korea, Iran and China in the future.
"In principle, as defense minister, I can understand this statement. All sorts of tricks are used to approve the budget," RIA Novosti quoted [Russian defense minister] Ivanov.

As I said before, I could be wrong, but I think what the people currently in charge want is not another war, they want to make sure this war keeps going the way it has been going since the beginning. In my opinion, Iraq has not become another Vietnam for the US because their leaders have made mistakes. Their intention from the first moment was to turn Iraq into another Vietnam.

This got me thinking...

Shape charge? Road side bombs? Armored vehicles? Somehow, this rings a bell...

(And no, I don't think that Shiites or Sunnites killed Herrhausen, but I think whoever killed Herrhausen was trained by the same people that have shown the Iraqi insurgents how to bomb. And as Herrhausen was criticizing the World Bank and demanding Third World debt cancellation, he might have become an annoyance to some within the US. Just thinking...)

Monday, February 12, 2007

A little Gem for Stef

I think Stef would like this:

C’est ne pas une Orwellian Nazi-Uniform.

Found this advert in the first German edition of Vanity Fair. I like the little party badge, even if it isn't golden.

ORWELL - Search no more for your Nazi-Orwell Styles ™

(see more on orwell.de, but they don't have any more "Uniforms")

Oil for us all

To stay at the topic of found gems: While at a friend to play a board game, I found this nice one, sponsored by BP. Teach your childeren how to control the world and quench your thirst for oil.

And no, we didn't play it, I didn't even look at anything other than the cover.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Not Really European...

eXile #151 - Feature Story - 18 Ways to Hate Your Neighbour

(via fefe as well)

The song remains the same

Saturday's New York Times features an article, posted at the top of its Web site late Friday, that suggests very strongly that Iran is supplying the "deadliest weapon aimed at American troops" in Iraq. The author notes, "Any assertion of an Iranian contribution to attacks on Americans in Iraq is both politically and diplomatically volatile."

What is the source of this volatile information? Nothing less than "civilian and military officials from a broad range of government agencies."

Sound pretty convincing? It may be worth noting that the author is Michael R. Gordon, the same Times reporter who, on his own, or with Judith Miller, wrote some of the key, and badly misleading or downright inaccurate, articles about Iraqi WMDs in the run-up to the 2003 invasion.

'NYT' Reporter Who Got Iraqi WMDs Wrong Now Highlights Iran Claims

(via fefe in German)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Russia to support NATO in Afghanistan - Ivanov says "No troops from us, thank you very much"

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, who joined the talks Friday, said Russia would provide economic support for Afghanistan including a review of the country's US$10 billion (€7.7 billion) debt to Russia, and would step up logistical support for the NATO force, including transport through Russia.

However, he ruled out sending any troops to the country, where the Soviet Union lost around 15,000 troops in the 1980s.

Britain, U.S. play down NATO differences over Afghanistan - Herald Tribune

I think the Russians are going to wait a couple of decades (like the British) before they send troops to Afghanistan again.

IAEA halts aid on nuclear technology - NOW?

The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency on Friday suspended nearly half of the technical aid it now provides Iran, in line with sanctions imposed on the country for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment.

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency already suspended aid to Iran in five instances last month in line with Security Council sanctions calling for an end to assistance for programs that could be misused to make atomic weapons. Diplomats emphasized that the freeze was temporary and subject to review and approval by the 35-nation board of the IAEA next month.

IAEA halts aid on projects with Tehran - AP

We are talking about the same Iran that the West since months accuses of building a nuclear bomb and wanting to "wipe Iran off the map"?

(via fefe in German)

Desperate people, doing anything to get a job

Carrie Fisher Star Wars Audition

And the same horror from Cindy Williams:

If I hadn't seen the movie, I wouldn't watch it now. I guess.

More fun:

Public Service Announcement

So now you are relaxed and had some fun, on to something depressing:
Don't order brides by mail from Russia.

What happened next: all charges were dropped.

gareth_rees: Those terrorist plots in retrospect

Via Stef.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Airport Security

George Carlin
- Airport Security

Thanks Stef for pointing to George Carlin!

Just as a reminder

Current dispersal of U.S. troops around the world. Darker colours signify U.S. usage of military facilities, or nations with fewer than 10,000 troops present. The lightest nations represent U.S. presence of 10,000 or more.

Military history of the United States - Wikipedia

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Field Guide to Iraq

Daryl Cagle's Weblog

(via fefe, in German)

And while searching for it: The Slate Field Guide to Iraq Pundits

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers."

The real secrets of the 9/11 attack have nothing at all to do with planes with no Arab hijackers aboard being flown by remote control, or missiles, rather than a Boeing airliner, hitting the Pentagon, or pods under the wings of the planes, or explosives in the World Trade Center, or the attack of the Crab People.

Clever disinformation is designed to throw out a lot of white noise... and throw up a smokescreen.

Author Thomas Pynchon said it best: "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers."


By the way, the last post was my 1.111th post on this blog!

Just in case ...

... you were wondering if it is worthwhile to get a copy of Windows Vista:

Anthony Cumia's Vista Installation

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Of lizards and freedom

I think that David Icke is just crazy, but he really has a point to make. Having been pressured to deny him radio time by unknown groups with unknown arguments, unable to even defend himself to the radio manager, sure smells like conspiracy to me, alas not by lizards but by some stupid humans. And by now, I like crazy humans more than stupid humans.

"Hi!" David smiled, extending his hand. "David Icke. I'm due to be on a programme at 10.15."

"Okay," said the station manager. He coughed. "I've reviewed the material that was submitted to us, and I've also reviewed the radio regulations of 1986 . . ."

"I don't believe this," murmured David.

"And I don't feel comfortable having you on."


"I just don't feel comfortable. That's it. Thanks for coming in." The station manager clapped his hands together. "Thanks very much."

"You invited me to your radio station," said David patiently. "I turned up on time, and now you stand here and say without any substance or explanation that you're not having me on?"

"Thanks for coming in," said the station manager.

"You know what?" said David, leaning across the reception desk. Their faces were now inches apart. "It's pathetic. You say you believe in freedom? You couldn't spell it."

He turned to me. "This," he said, pointing at the station manager, "is one of the architects, unknowingly, of the destruction of our freedom."

"You did say you were sick of doing radio interviews," I offered.

"That's not the point," said David. "The information is being suppressed by unknowing, frightened little men like him."

"Oh, thanks," said the station manager.

"This is unbelievable," said David. He was now addressing my notepad. "Oh no, there's no conspiracy, no cover-up, no suppression, ladies and gentlemen of the world."

"Please leave," said the station manager.

Beset by lizards - guardian.co.uk

The game stays the same

I once read the book "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson. What surprised me was the fact that a great deal of "scientists" in the past were self-serving, arrogant, cocky, self-important, conceited, overweening, priggish pricks. A property by the way they share with today's politicians, religious believers and the rest of the human race.

Sometime ago I thought that life today is different, that people today are somehow "better". Today I am more disillusioned and it does not surprise me anymore that politics interfered with science and that there were, are (and always will be) "scientists" who are willing supporters of this kind of endeavour.

I would like to call myself an misanthrope, as I hate those kinds of people, but there are people in world who are not pricks. So does hating just stupid pricks make me a misanthrope?

(via fefe, in German)

[Update] I found this nice nugget via wikipedia:

Bryson also exaggerates the portrayals of some scientists: Ernest Rutherford is said to be an overpowering force, Fred Hoyle a complete weirdo, Fritz Zwicky an utterly abrasive astronomer, and Newton a total paranoiac. Surely the descriptions of these and other scientists are distorted.

A Short History of Nearly Everything - Prepared by the staff of Jupiter Scientific

Which sounds to me like: "I'm just too lazy to look up any facts, but surely these descriptions are distorted. Impossible that scientists are anything other than scientists, same as it is impossible that a politician is anything other than a politician or an astronaut is anything other than an astronaut."

Sure, Bryson could be wrong. But his works looks pretty solid to me.


Ok, no group is immune from crime, but this Astronaut-Crime strikes me as a bit "odd".

Lisa Marie Nowak, Astronaut, drove all night from Houston to Orlando, wearing diapers do she would not have to stop, to kidnap her rival for the affections of another Astronaut.

Jilted, diapered astronaut planned to kidnap rival - boingboing

Diapers so she would not have to stop? Life is stranger than fiction.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Nice and unclean fun

The Cleverest.com


Unlike any other ever seen

This speech by Bush is very revealing.
"On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. [...]

This group and its leader -- a person named Osama bin Laden -- are linked to many other organizations in different countries, including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. There are thousands of these terrorists in more than 60 countries. [...]

Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated. [...]

Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other. [...]

With every atrocity, they hope that America grows fearful [...]

We will direct every resource at our command [...]

[This] war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with the decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. [...]

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes.

Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen. [...]

Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."
Iran's Goldstein and the Proliferation of Lies - YouTube
“As usual, the face of Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of the People, had flashed on to the screen. There were hisses here and there among the audience. [...]

The social atmosphere is that of a besieged city [...]

[The] consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival. [...]

It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist.”
Eric Arthur Blair at his best. If anybody thinks that this war will end, once the Demorats are in power, they are wrong. This war will continue, like a smoldering fire, incinerate everybodies freedoms, everybodies economy and with it countless lives. It will leave behind a fascist US nation with a military economy.

BTW: I like how Rumsfled defends himself by calling out on the actions of Hussein against Iran.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Google Video Search finds YouTube too

Since when is this the case?

Sibel Edmonds - Google Video

Clandestine Networks

At any given point in time, there are dozens if not thousands of competitive political and economic groups engaging in secret planning and activities, and most are doing so in an effort to gain some advantage over their rivals among the others. Such behind-the-scene operations are present on every level, from the mundane efforts of small-scale retailers to gain competitive advantage by being the first to develop new product lines to the crucially important attempts by rival secret services to penetrate and manipulate each other. Sometimes the patterns of these covert rivalries and struggles are relatively stable over time, whereas at other times they appear fluid and kaleidoscopic, as different groups secretly shift alliances and change tactics in accordance with their perceived interests. Even internally, within particular groups operating clandestinely, there are typically bitter disagreements between various factions over the specific courses of action to be adopted.
'Conspiracy Theories' and Clandestine Politics

The American Twilight

SE: It's like the Twilight Zone in there – you have to keep the Pakistani translators on one side of the room and the Indians on the other, or they will come to blows. You have to keep the Hebrew translators separated from the Arabic ones, and so on. It's so unprofessional it's ridiculous. Most of the time people spend trying to dig up dirt on one another. Really.

CD: Sibel, I know you made a lot of complaints about several other examples of corruption and incompetence beyond the ones we have time to discuss. Can you just explain a little about how your superiors received your complaints?

SE: Sure. They used what we call the "hooking" procedure. When I first reported some of these translations failures and stalling tactics in December 2001 to my superiors, my mid-level manager said to me, "Now, Sibel, I understand you've been taking on a lot of coursework at your university. Why not take advantage of our workplace opportunities?"

When I asked him what he meant, this boss suggested that I could "bring my school bag" to work on Saturdays and Sundays, and just study. No work. I wouldn't even have to turn on my computer. He told me that I should then put myself down as having worked all those hours on the time sheet, so that, you know, I would be making something like $700 in a weekend – specifically for not working!

CD: Incredible.

SE: And this is what they say when you file a complaint.

CD: So is that the extent of how they tried to appease you and forestall complaints, or do you have other examples?

SE: That's funny, there is another really amazing example. They would come to me and say, "Sibel, we understand you've been going back to Turkey a couple of times a year to visit family. Before you go the next time, just let us know. We'll make it a TDY" [paid travel]. And all I'd have to do is stop off in some liaison office in Ankara a couple times, make my little appearance, and suddenly all my flights, hotels and expenses would be paid for by the FBI. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

CD: An offer you couldn't refuse, huh? I imagine most people in your position would take it.

SE: Oh, so many people will go for it … but if you do, then they [the FBI] can use it against you. Maybe discover irregularities in your expenses at some later date, "forged" documents, or else just hold it over your head. They love to do things like that to hold you in their power.

An Interview with Sibel Edmonds - by Christopher Deliso

Read the interview, it gets much more political.

I had to think of the quote: Crooked cops. Do they come in any other way?

Oil, Gas, Drugs and Cars - The pillars of our economy

Narcotics are estimated to be worth between $500 billion and $1 trillion a year, an amount, according to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in remarks to a United Nations General Assembly session in June 2003, that is greater than the global oil and gas industry, and twice as large as the overall automobile industry.
The Global Drug Meta-Group: Drugs, Managed Violence, and the Russian 9/11 (via)

I think a close runner-up is the military.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

“The French lost in Viet Nam? What else would you expect from the French? Never happen to us.”

Some military philosophers favor actually removing from military libraries books on what happened to the French in Viet Nam, the Americans in Viet Nam, the Russians in Afghanistan, the Americans in Afghanistan (a work in progress), the French in Algeria, the Americans in Iraq (also in progress), the Israelis in Lebanon the first time, the Israelis in Lebanon the last time, the Americans in Lebanon 1983, the Americans in Somalia the first time, and so on. However, the best thinkers hold that it doesn’t matter what books are in military libraries, as only those on stirring victories will be checked out.
Insist that the US military never loses wars. Instead, it is betrayed, stabbed in the back, and brought low by treason. For example, argue furiously that the US didn’t lose in Viet Nam, but won gloriously; the withdrawal was due to the treachery of Democrats, Jews, hippies, the press, most of the military, and a majority of the general population, all of whom were traitors. This avoids the unpleasantness of learning anything from defeat. Further, it facilitates a focus on controlling the press, who are the real enemy, along with the Democrats and the general population.
Fred On Everything - A True Son of Tzu

(via fefe - in German)