Sunday, April 27, 2008

Federal War on Terror(Individual)ism Steams down the Miss.

Law enforcement agencies join together for 'anti-terrorism initiative'

By Cindy Wolff
Monday, April 14, 2008

Shelby County Sheriff's deputies arrested 71 people, including 31 fugitives, during a 24-hour street sweep that ended about a half hour after sunrise Sunday.

The sheriff's office and 50 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies pulled over cars, climbed on boats on the Mississippi River and served fugitive warrants as part of an "anti-terrorism initiative," called Operation Sudden Impact.
Special Agent Don Wolfe of the West Tennessee Judicial Violent Crime and Drug Task Force with his dog, Hydro, conducts a search of a tug boat with Petty Officer Second Class Rich Guthrie with the U.S. Coast Guard during Operation Sudden Impact.

It was the first time that many agencies joined forces for such a large sweep, said Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell, whose office coordinated the operation.

Even though Memphis hasn't suffered a terrorist attack, the city is using federal grants to fight crime, which might lead to the discovery of a terrorist suspect. Other cities are using federal money with similar programs.

"Our community is considered an international distribution center and is a possible target for terrorists," said Capt. Dale Lane, commander of the Sheriff's Office Homeland Security Bureau.

The 100 sheriff's deputies working Saturday night and Sunday morning also recovered 12.2 grams of heroin, 19 syringes and seized $1,795. They issued citations for 202 traffic violations.

Information gathered in the sweep will be reviewed by intelligence officers at the local Homeland Security center. The information will be forwarded to the state's Homeland Security center in Nashville.

Other agencies that participated in the sweep will release results from their departments today.

Do Tennessee Businesses Have Ties To Terrorism?

Posted: April 14, 2008 08:16 AM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Federal agencies raided several Memphis businesses in a coordinated effort to find information about possible terrorism ties.

The operation has been named known as "Sudden Impact."

The FBI along with hundreds of officers said they are looking for anything out of the ordinary. Agents take computers and paperwork from businesses. (emphasis added)

One store owner said he was told the agents were looking for stolen electronics. While some business owners feel they are being targeted, law-enforcement officers said they are just trying to track down possible terrorists before something big happens.

"What we have found traditionally is that terrorists are involved in a number of lesser known type crimes," said Mark Luttrell, Shelby County sheriff.

There has been no word on if any of the confiscated goods have led to any arrests.

I know personaly it doesnt concern me to give a single federal agency with little oversight and no real charter total control, both directorialy, and fiscally, over all levels, be it Federal, State, or Local, of law enforcement and domestic force. Doesnt worry me at all.

When die DHS came for the Smack users,
I remained silent;
I was not a smack user.

When they locked up the poor drivers,
I remained silent;
I was not a poor driver.

When they came for the electronics store owners,
I did not speak out;
I was not an electronics store owner.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out

-Inscription on the tomb of the Unknown Freedom

Those of you who will not speak up now, i hope you all practice the following phrase, for the future:

"Ja, Ich sah, was passierte."

So they will know the "Good Germans" when they meet them, and can thank them.

"Yes, I witnessed it happening"

Friday, April 25, 2008

From rtbohan:

Ron Paul was in friendly country yesterday when he traveled to Missoula, Montana to speak at the University of Montana.

Of course, Representative Paul is always in friendly country when he speaks on a college or university campus. His campaign is strongly supported by the young voters in this country. In Missoula, however, he was speaking in a county and city in which he had won the Republican Party caucus and in which even the daily paper supports his message.( . There was also coverage of the event in some of the other newspapers in the state. The Billings Gazette carried a short mention of the speech from the A.P. The Great Falls Tribune carried a good report by John S. Adams, the paper's capital correspondent (

Dr. Paul did not go to Montana to admire the Big Sky country or to talk about hunting and fishing. He went to deliver his urgent message to the voters of the state. He spoke about the government's attempt to frighten the people of American so they would roll over and obey any command from the government. "I would say it's time not to roll over but to stand up and resist", he said.

The message, however muffled by the press is getting through across the country. It can be seen in the efforts to send Ron Paul supporters as delegates to the Republican National Convention. It can be seen in the resistance of at least some Governors to the bullying tactics of the DHS over the Real I.D.

Representative Paul again told his supporters that he does not expect to win the Republican Party nomination this year, and that he will not run as a third party or independent candidate. But he did not regard that as important. "I think of myself as less important than my message". He is getting that message out.

In my opinion, Representative Paul made only one misstatement in his speech in Missoula. It was when he said, "I think the revolution is alive and well in Montana."

That was an understatement.

The revolution is alive and well throughout the United States.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Its a Question of Power.

"The discovery of the controlled fission of atomic nuclei and controlled release of atomic energy is the greatest discovery that has been made since the controlled use of fire was made by primitive man." -- Linus Pauling.

This it absolutely is, I hold - as far as technical/scientific discoveries are concerned.

In 2002 alone, 16,132,166,000,000 Kilowatt hours of electricity were generated, and used on this tiny little planet. Thats 16 trillion Kilowatt hours. This number increases, by orders of magnitude, every year.

This is why i hold it of such great concern, and suspicion, that so many so called "Green" groups are fundamentally opposed to it, and so many so called "conservative" groups show so little interest in it. While i can see some apprehension, as a part time student of Nuclear Radiation and Health Physics, i have to say that many fears cited by opposition are primarily unfounded and based historically on a continuation of the Atom Panic and Hysteria that confronted the country when a new and powerful concept appeared nearly out of nowhere and was introduced to the uneducated masses.

I think the major components of class division and control in the modern technological era is the control of four things. Force (ie military and police) Money (a subverted control of the means of production) Food, and Energy (a true component of the same).

Because of this last one, while i would gladly state that i am anti-nuke, i can only mean that i am opposed to a nuclear arsenal possessed by any state, as it can have no tactical use other than MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) or Scorched Earth style genocide, neither of which appeal to my romanticism.

The degree of economic control that is exerted to retard the freedoms that would be granted by expanding technology is enormous, and i for one am in strong support of reducing the crippling economic effects of energy control. Nuclear Energy, while carrying its own inherent risks, is both manageably safe and very "green" compared to the alternative systems of affordable energy production. While i agree tidal plants or other natural force generators could be ideal in their low impact non consumption generation, the technology, and the output will not, without extreme advances, allow the production of cheaper than current power generation. We do not want more expensive power, without extreme advantages, and the development of a world economy that can support it, which ours cant. Nuclear power plants are closing down at an alarming rate, and the majority of the power demand is supplemented with new coal and gas powered plants instead, far from a "green" solution, though "green" advocacy is the driving force campaigning against the opening of new nuclear plants. These traditional forms of power production, besides relying on mining operations and producing an extra-ordinarily large amount of pollution (including airborn radiation in the case of coal) are also much less efficient.

Coal fired power plants provide more than 50% of consumed electricity in the United States.

Linus Pauling wrote in 1954, in the lines immediately preceding the abovequoted

"The foregoing calculation illustrates the great significance of the fissionable elements as a source of radioactive material. Their significance as a source of energy has also been pointed out, by the statement that 1 pound of uranium or thorium is equivalent to 2.5 million pounds of coal. When we remember that uranium and thorium are not rare elements, but are among the more common elements - the amount of uranium and thorium in the earth's crust being about the same as that of the common element lead - we begin to understand the promise of nuclear energy for the world of the future, and the possibilities of its contribution to human welfare."

It's the enormous amounts of energy which you get from only small quantities of matter with this technology, the enormous energy density in it, that makes nuclear energy - already at that stage of it which has been developed today (in fact, already since over 50 years ago), of nuclear fission (not yet nuclear fusion, for energy production, whose potential is even much more enormous again) - so superior to all other known energy sources.

How much of the raw materials for it (nuclear fission) are there, and how easy or difficult are they to extract? These materials are in fact rather common elements on earth, as for instance Pauling also writes:

There are some 4 grams of uranium (U) and 12 grams of thorium (Th) in each ton
of (solid) material in the earth's crust - that thin skin of this planet which isn't yet "ours" that stretches between 15 and 50 km down, or corresponding to some 0.1 mm down from the surface of a sizable orange. And there are also some 3.3 milligrams of uranium in each ton of sea water. The ores of uranium being mined today are either "low-grade" with a content of 100 to 2500 grams uranium (oxide) per ton, or in a few cases, such as a 1940s small one in the Congo or some present-day large ones in the Athabasca Basin in Canada, "high-grade", with up to 700,000 grams per ton (70% of the "dirt" found being uranium oxide).

Nuclear fuel already today is very cheap, and it will last practically forever.

The price of raw uranium in April 2007 was $117/lb, or $251/kg. And from 1 kg of (natural, un-enriched) uranium you get, in those conventional or thermic nuclear power reactors which are in rather common use (most of which, in the world today, are using uranium enriched in the fissile isotope of it, 235U, from 0.7% to some 4%, and using as moderator, and also as heat
transmission fluid or cooling fluid, ordinary or "light" water), some 60,000 kWh of electricity.

That can be compared to what you get from 1 kg of oil, the second-most energy-dense substance in use today, and perhaps the most common, which is some 12 kWh of heat, or 4 kWh of electricity in an oil-fired power plant.

The uranium cost per kWh produced, in such reactors, thus is some $0.0024. Thus already with today's technology, the cost of nuclear fuel is no more than some 0.3 US cents per kWh. With the nuclear technology, the installation costs, for reactors, buildings, enrichment plants etc, are relatively large of course, but not all that much larger that those for oil-fired or natural-gas or coal-fired power plants, so that already today it's the nuclear power plants that produce electricity in the cheapest way, compared to everything else.

The authorities in certain countries, in the USA and the EU not least, have gradually set up a maze of regulations seeming to having no other real purpose than to make electricity artificially expensive, quite in particular such that comes from nuclear power plants, in an attempt to even the market, a regulatary tarif. But even so, the power industry also knows quite well that it's from such power plants that they're getting clearly the cheapest-produced electricity, still.

The cost of nuclear fuel already today is quite low, and will get even lower tomorrow.

Now that nuclear fuel price, of some 0.3 US cents per kWh, is also much higher than that which you'd get with so-called breeder reactors, a importantly more advanced type of reactors whose development was well under way in some of the relatively more highly-industrialized countries, above all in France and also in (West) Germany, already back in the 1970s, but which has also been particularly fanatically opposed by the USA and the EU, so that today, breeder development is almost entirely banned in every developed country in the world. Only continuing, now 30 years later, at a very slow pace, in some very few countries (India, Russia, Japan), and still with considerable presure to cease. But even according to some now rather old calculations made in France, from the year 1978, such reactors could produce some 2.2 million kWh per kg of natural uranium. That calculation was on the basis of some 20% of all the uranium nuclei undergoing fission - thus rather many of the 238U ones too, which make up some 99.3% of all the uranium - in their case, this occurs by means of their first being transformed, "bred", into fissile plutonium nuclei of the isotope 239Pu. No doubt it's possible today, with not too much difficulty, to make some 60% of all the uranium nuclei in one kg of the stuff, say, undergo fission, directly or indirectly, in a breeder, so that from that 1 kg you'd get, not 60,000 kWh, but some 6 Million kWh of electricity. And the nuclear fuel cost then would be of the order of some 0.003 cents per kWh.

This is practically nothing. In 1957, Enrico Fermi, then director of the US Nuclear Commission, famously declared that Nuclear power will result in electricity being too cheap to warrant metering, also predicting in the same statement that there would be over 1000 nuclear power plants in the US by the year 2000. Today, there are less than 100 in operation, with several slated to close in the next few years.

There still are those installation costs, for the reactors buildings etc, and for reprocessing plants, necessary for breeders -which are being called "breeders" because they, after each time they've been "loaded up" with nuclear fuel, as a result produce more such fuel, mainly in
the form of 239Pu, than was put into them.

Also of some concern to many is the generation of so called Greenhouse Gases, the majority of all of which (after those expelled by earth itself) is electrical generation. Nuclear generation does not directly produce sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury or other pollutants associated with the combustion of fossil fuels, and is again, the far superior choice. Those who argue that Wind and Solar are much cleaner, forget the cost of mining the materials needed, and the amount of energy (and petrolium) it takes to produce a turbine or solar panel.

There still of course are two additional concerns that have been raised about the use of nuclear energy, even if it is by far the most superior form of power production, today, is it sustainable for the future? Thanks go to Brad for asking me exactly how long nuclear fuel from the earth would last, and indirectly prompting this whole affair. I do believe that while it does use a finite resource, it is no less sustainable than wind or solar generation, and most likely more so, as there is such a much greater amount of material used for both turbine windings and solar panels, per kWH.

Just take a look at the above numbers about the amounts of fuel material required to sustain a reaction, include the information about the now outlawed breeder reactor systems, and you should begin to see that it would be quite difficult to "run out" of fuel for nuclear power, not like Oil or Coal.

And when calculating with breeder use, even mining common granite for its 4 grams of uranium and 12 grams of thorium per ton, would make for electricity production costs, with the use of such material, that would remain, more or less, in the "dirt cheap" region - though this will never become necessary. Much cheaper uranium and thorium production than this you can get, for
instance, by using the small amounts of them (3.3 mg of uranium) per ton of sea water, vast volumes of which can easily made to circulate through a production plant so as to compensate for those very small concentrations, a method which is as effective as today's mining, and with an even smaller impact.

John McCarthy, at - says:

"With the development of nuclear energy, it became possible to show that there are no apparent obstacles even to billion year sustainability."

The second, mostly environmental, concern, is with Nuclear Waste, its management, and its disposal. Al Gore once so famously phrased the problem as "Mobile Chernobyls" leaving every plant, and i think, once more showed his far reaching ignorance on the subject. Nice sound bite, not much else.

The substances in question - today called "wastes", among which some, those which have been in an operating nuclear power reactor itself or very close to one during a longer time, really are so intensively radioactive as to be dangerous to approach by humans without there being an effective shielding around them - are being produced in only *very small amounts* per kWh of
electricity produce by the reactor in question. To store them underground, quite safely, and for a very long time too if needed, is no big technical problem at all, and costs very little.

The Swedish solution for it, for instance, said by some to be a "Rolls-Royce solution", can be viewed in detail at the website of the company SKB at and the electricity consumers already today are paying some $0.0016, or 0.16 US cents, per kWh, for that complete storage program. This is, true enough, a certain addition to that part of the electricity price that covers the nuclear fuel cost, some 0.3 US cents per kWh

Nuclear Containment is a very simple science, and can easily manage the waste coming out of a plant, in a small amount of space, without any risk of exposure to the environment, and breeder reactors would recycle most of what is now called "waste" bringing the outflow of material to almost Nil.

But, if comparing the level of technology 200 years ago, in 1808, to the one today, don't you find it pretty unlikely, that, within the next 200 years from now, the nuclear fission "wastes" of today will not have been turned into useful energy sources? Or, by the way, that the - true enough, quite considerable - technical problems with the utilization of nuclear fusion for energy production, whose potential even dwarfs that of nuclear fission, will not then have been solved? Mono-poles aside, this new supercollider shows great promise for unlocking quite a few of the subatomic mysteries.

For instance, at the discussion website "The Oil Drum: Europe", at, one writer, Bill Hannahan, recently
pointed out:

"Mandating the widespread use of expensive energy systems has resulted in the highest electricity prices in the world, Denmark, 41 cents per kWh, Germany, 30 cents per kWh."

What that writer rightly called "expensive" energy systems, whose use is indeed mandated by the reactionary governments in the countries mentioned, both of them heavily influenced by that of the USA, is not least *"wind power"*, which cannot be anything than extremely expensive because the kinetic energy in moving air is so extremely small per cubic unit of it, so that those many windmills which today are being built in many countries, heavily subsidized by the state, at the expense of the working masses of people, for instance need for their construction no less than five times the amount of steel and ten times the amount of concrete, per produced kWh, which is needed for nuclear power reactors. Those windmills are nothing else than propaganda propellers, whose real aim is to try to convince people that "there are no efficient" energy sources, and that should simply sign onto very expensive and oppressive systems to meet our growing energy needs. That also goes for so so-called "bio energy", likewise extremely impractical and expensive, not to mention at a huge cost to land formerly used for food production, our new big, and most likely manufactured cause for worry.

Oil is a bio energy, albiet with a much longer production time, do we really think that somehow we can produce the same amount of energy stored, from vegetable matter in a growing season, as the earth took millions of years to do? It pretty much doesnt make sense.

There is a growing school of thought that states that "Green Warfare" the concept of corporate originated public advocacy against such things as CFC's, (inexpensive unpatented refrigerants) and Nuclear Power is being pushed on humanity to limit the integration of the third world and the division of classes. For example, many nations are not allowed nuclear power under any circumstance, many more can not afford to comply with over the top (and expensive) controls, and nations that can afford to seem reluctant to engage in large scale production. In the case of CFC's, as a seperate example, many african nations are unable to purchase patented and expensive non-CFC refrigerants from US companies, and as such have to go without any large scale refrigeration, either for food production, transport, or personal air conditioning. The economic effects of these sanctions are drastic, possibly setting their respective economies back a decade or more, not to mention the untold deaths in the summer months.

Think of the degree our lives, so called necessities, the cost of goods, the accessibility of manufacture and technological innovation are imposed upon by the increasingly large cost of energy, from regular electricity, to manufactured goods, to transportation of goods, and it becomes apparent that peoples and entire economies are being greatly retarded in their development and economic integration. Thousands of (or more) people have died in the last few years as a direct result of energy shortages, that i would say are almost entirely manufactured. That doesnt take into account the economic deaths as a result of starvation and poverty. The means to readily available efficient and relitively inexpensive energy production is available, its about time we utilized those means.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Watch this

Excellent find by Jay, who says:

Simply amazing, dust off your brains, remember what you learned years ago and apply it to your lives today.

I am not among those who fear the people.

I am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the
rich, are our dependence for continued freedom. And to preserve
their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual
debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or
profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we
must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and
our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and
our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must
come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of
fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily
expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we
must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to
think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to
obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the
necks of our fellow-sufferers.
Our landholders, too, like theirs,
retaining indeed the title and stewardship of estates called theirs,
but held really in trust for the treasury, must wander, like theirs,
in foreign countries, and be contented with penury, obscurity, exile,
and the glory of the nation. This example reads to us the salutary
lesson, that private fortunes are destroyed by public as well as by
private extravagance. And this is the tendency of all human
governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a
precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the
bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, and
to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering. Then
begins, indeed, the bellum omnium in omnia, which some philosophers
observing to be so general in this world, have mistaken it for the
natural, instead of the abusive state of man. And the fore horse of
this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in
its train wretchedness and oppression.

Letter from Thomas Jefferson
To Samuel Kercheval - Monticello, July 12, 1816

You can read the letter in its entirety, here:

Who wants war?

The freedom fighter and the soldier and the terrorist have the same job descriptions, just different sides. All wars eventually are shown to be merely battles for power paid for by the poor and fought to see which group of rich people will be in charge of whoever is left alive. Not really something for intelligent people to get behind.

Rule by Fear, or Rule by Law

An article co-written by former Congressman Dan Hamburg and carried by the San Francisco Chronicle has gained much attention recently as it shines light on a coordinated federal government program to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The issue gained national attention two years ago when it was announced that Kellogg, Brown and Root had been awarded a $385 million dollar contract by Homeland Security to construct detention and processing facilities in the event of a national emergency.
The language of the preamble to that agreement veils the program with talk of temporary migrant holding centers, but it is made clear that the camps will also be used "as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency." This has been worrysome to many activists, but hasnt received alot of public attention until now.

Respected author Peter Dale Scott speculated that the "detention centers could be used to detain American citizens if the Bush administration were to declare martial law."
Daniel Ellsberg, former Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense, called the plan, "preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters. Theyve already done this on a smaller scale, with the 'special registration' detentions of immigrant men from Muslim countries, and with Guantanamo."
Under the enemy combatant designation anyone at the behest of the US government, even if they are a US citizen, can be kidnapped and placed in an internment facility forever without trial. Jose Padilla, an American citizen, spent over four years in a Navy brig before being brought to trial.

In 2002, FEMA sought bids from major real estate and engineering firms to construct giant internment facilities in the case of a chemical, biological or nuclear attack or a natural disaster. And a much discussed and circulated report, the Pentagon's Civilian Inmate Labor Program, has recently been updated detailing a "template for developing agreements between the Army and corrections facilities for the use of civilian inmate labor on Army installations."

Where all this is going is hard to say, but it is probably important that it goes there publicly and in the open, and i am glad to reprint the Seiler/Hamburg article in full. Enjoy.

Rule by fear or rule by law?
Lewis Seiler,Dan Hamburg
Monday, February 4, 2008
San Francisco Chronicle

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."

- Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943

Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of "an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs."

Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.

According to diplomat and author Peter Dale Scott, the KBR contract is part of a Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of "all removable aliens" and "potential terrorists."

Fraud-busters such as Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, have complained about these contracts, saying that more taxpayer dollars should not go to taxpayer-gouging Halliburton. But the real question is: What kind of "new programs" require the construction and refurbishment of detention facilities in nearly every state of the union with the capacity to house perhaps millions of people?

Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies," gives the executive the power to invoke martial law. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to "a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order."

The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of "terrorist" organizations, or who speaks out against the government's policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and noncitizens alike.

Also in 2007, the White House quietly issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51), to ensure "continuity of government" in the event of what the document vaguely calls a "catastrophic emergency." Should the president determine that such an emergency has occurred, he and he alone is empowered to do whatever he deems necessary to ensure "continuity of government." This could include everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack. Congress has yet to hold a single hearing on NSPD-51.

U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Venice (Los Angeles County) has come up with a new way to expand the domestic "war on terror." Her Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (HR1955), which passed the House by the lopsided vote of 404-6, would set up a commission to "examine and report upon the facts and causes" of so-called violent radicalism and extremist ideology, then make legislative recommendations on combatting it.

According to commentary in the Baltimore Sun, Rep. Harman and her colleagues from both sides of the aisle believe the country faces a native brand of terrorism, and needs a commission with sweeping investigative power to combat it.

A clue as to where Harman's commission might be aiming is the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a law that labels those who "engage in sit-ins, civil disobedience, trespass, or any other crime in the name of animal rights" as terrorists. Other groups in the crosshairs could be anti-abortion protesters, anti-tax agitators, immigration activists, environmentalists, peace demonstrators, Second Amendment rights supporters ... the list goes on and on. According to author Naomi Wolf, the National Counterterrorism Center holds the names of roughly 775,000 "terror suspects" with the number increasing by 20,000 per month.

What could the government be contemplating that leads it to make contingency plans to detain without recourse millions of its own citizens?

The Constitution does not allow the executive to have unchecked power under any circumstances. The people must not allow the president to use the war on terrorism to rule by fear instead of by law.

Lewis Seiler is the president of Voice of the Environment, Inc. Dan Hamburg, a former congressman, is executive director.

Society of the Spectacle

"But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence... illusion only is sacred, truth profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness."

Feuerbach, Preface to the second edition of The Essence of Christianity

Society of the Spectacle

--Debord '67

In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that once was directly lived has moved away into a mere representation.

The images, detached from every aspect of life, fuse in a common stream in which the unity of this life can no longer be reestablished. Reality, when considered, partially unfolds, in its own general unity, as a pseudo-world apart, an object of mere contemplation. The specialization of the images of the world is completed in the world of the autonomous image, where the liar has lied to himself. The spectacle in general, as the concrete inversion of life, is the autonomous movement of the non-living.

The spectacle presents itself simultaneously as all of society, as part of society, and as an instrument of unification. As a part of society it is specifically the sector which concentrates all outward gazing and all consciousness. Due to the very fact that this sector is separate, it is the common ground of the deceived gaze and of false consciousness, and the unification it achieves is nothing but an official language of generalized separation.

The spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation among people, mediated by images.

The spectacle cannot be understood as an abuse of the world of vision, as a product of the techniques of mass dissemination of images. It is, rather, a Weltanschauung which has become actual, materially translated. It is a world vision which has become objectified.

The spectacle grasped in its totality is both the result and the project of the existing mode of production. It is not a supplement to the real world, an additional decoration. It is the heart of the unrealism of the real society. In all its specific forms, as information or propaganda, as advertisement or direct entertainment consumption, the spectacle is the present model of socially dominant life. It is the omnipresent affirmation of the choice already made in production and its corollary consumption. The spectacle’s form and content are identically the total justification of the existing system’s conditions and goals.

The spectacle is also the permanent presence of this justification, since it occupies the main part of the time lived outside of modern production.

Separation is itself part of the unity of the world, of the global social praxis split up into reality and image. The social practice which the autonomous spectacle confronts is also the real totality which contains the spectacle. But the split within this totality mutilates it to the point of making the spectacle appear as its goal. The language of the spectacle consists of signs of the ruling production, which at the same time are the ultimate goal of this production.

One cannot abstractly contrast the spectacle to actual social activity: such a division is itself divided. The spectacle which inverts the real is in fact produced. Lived reality is materially invaded by the contemplation of the spectacle while simultaneously absorbing the spectacular order, giving it positive cohesiveness. Objective reality is present on both sides. Every notion fixed this way has no other basis than its passage into the opposite: reality rises up within the spectacle, and the spectacle is real. This reciprocal alienation is the essence and the support of the existing society.

In a world which really is topsy-turvy, the true is a moment of the false.

The oncept of spectacle unifies and explains a great diversity of apparent phenomena. The diversity and the contrasts are appearances of a socially organized appearance, the general truth of which must itself be recognized. Considered in its own terms, the spectacle is affirmation of appearance and affirmation of all human life, namely social life, as mere appearance. But the critique which reaches the truth of the spectacle exposes it as the visible negation of life. As a negation of life which has become visible.

You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here, you're beginning to believe that the tube is reality and your own lives are unreal. You do. Why, whatever the tube tells you: you dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you even think like the tube. This is mass madness, you maniacs. In God's name, you people are the real thing, WE are the illusion.

--Howard Beale - Network.

What killed them, if not fear?

"And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you'd be cracking the skull of a cutthroat.

Or what about the Black Maria sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur? What if it had been driven off or its tires spiked? The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!"

--Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago, the story of the 60 million Russians who suffered, and the 20 million who died in Soviet slave labor camps.

Friday, April 18, 2008


From Daniel:

I like taxes.
Taxes are sweet.
They pay for free lunches,
they sweep the streets.

I like taxes.
Taxes are swell,
They pay for my sister's kids,
They pay to keep her husband in jail.

I like taxes,
Taxes are neat,
Carbon credits & global warming,
Turn up the hot air to keep down the heat.

"Get your money for nothing, get your chicks for free..." Were they talking about politicians? No, probably not... those lyrics would be more like:

"Get your money for nothing, get your underage congressional pages for free..."

Argentina:Ahora o Nunca

Repost From Jason:

Argentina:Ahora o Nunca

I have been reading the posts and blogs of a man in Argentina, he is explaining to others the reality of what happens as a government and society collapses. With out any gain for himself, only the will to help prepare others. His posts have been informative and thought provoking for me.

One such post lead me to a YouTube documentary
This video now belongs in my top 5 most influential moments in my life. Please watch all 12 parts. Here is a brief ideas as why. I am a grown man with a family and children, fairly successful in business, I am the “average” American. I like many others have problems with my government and its practices, yet speak out only to others I know personally, occasionally writing my representatives. The economic turn in Argentina is eerily similar to America’s current financial policies. On December 20, 2001 the people of Argentina rose up and said ENOUGH. In a peaceful protest they affected change of their government. That in and above itself is just another time in history that change has occurred through protest. What makes it amazing, and to be honest brought more than on tear to my eye, was the honor, and commitment that citizens showed without leadership. Independent and free thinking Argentineans came together without a plan, without resources and created a day of infamy. I am embarrassed to have not studied this more in the past.

On our currency it is printed “In God We Trust”. Since I do not subscribe to any organized religion I translate that in my mind to “In Mankind I Trust.” Seeing the actions of Argentina that day reinforced that belief. Thirty-five patriots died that day, not for religion, money, or power, but for what many take for granted daily. A chance for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. About 20 minutes into this movie I quit thinking “what would I do, how would I react” and had a change in thought process to “what AM I doing, how AM I reacting?” Sadly the answer to both is not enough.

In my first step to avoid the documentary America: Now or Never

I do not have a lot of people to "network" this video or post to. After watching it please pass on this inspirational video to as many as possible.

Thank You,

Head Of The Family?

"I have been repeating over and over again that he who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honor by non-violently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor.
He who can do neither of the two is a burden. He has no business to be the head of a family. He must either hide himself, or must rest content to live forever in helplessness and be prepared to crawl like a worm at the bidding of a bully."

- Mohandas Gandhi (Young India, 11-10-1928, p342)

Taxation, With Representation... Virtualy.

In an appearance before Parliament in January, 1766, British Prime Minister William Pitt stated:

"The idea of a virtual representation of America in this House is the most contemptible that ever entered into the head of a man. It does not deserve a serious refutation. The Commons of America, represented in their several assemblies, have never been in possession of the exercise of this their constitutional right, of giving and granting their own money. They would have been slaves if they had not enjoyed it."

Virtual Representation, hmmm, yeah, that sounds about right....

Some things never change.

Except taxes, those go up.

Anniversary Pt. 1

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;
Here once the embattled farmers stood;
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps,
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream that seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone,
That memory may their deeds redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

O Thou who made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free, --
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raised to them and Thee.

RW Emmerson

April 19th is an important day in american history, arguably the most American day of all of them. Commonly called Patriot's Day, all but now forgotten, and only an official holiday in Mass and Maine. Today I thought id give a reminder to you of those who have gone before you, in this great country, that you might remember them, and learn from them.

I think John Parker, leader and Captain of the Lexington Irregular Militia can do a better job than I of explaining what happened the morning and afternoon of that April 19, 1775, so ill let him speak first, before i try and explain what those happenings meant, and mean, to you.

"I, John Parker, of lawful Age, and Commander of the Militia in Lexington, do testify and declare, that on the 19th Instant in the Morning, about one of the Clock, being informed that there were a Number of Regular Officers, riding up and down the Road, stopping and insulting People as they passed the Road; and also was informed that a Number of Regular Troops were on their March from Boston in order to take the Province Stores at Concord, ordered our Militia to meet on the Common in said Lexington to consult what to do, and concluded not to be discovered, nor meddle or make with said Regular Troops (if they should approach) unless they should insult or molest us; and, upon their sudden Approach, I immediately ordered our Militia to disperse, and not to fire:—Immediately said Troops made their appearance and rushed furiously, fired upon, and killed eight of our Party without receiving any Provocation therefor from us."

So, there you have it, thats the gist of it.

But what were soldiers doing in Lexington, and why were they worried about irregular militiamen, plainclothes farmers who carried rifles once or twice a week, drilling in the town squares and in fallow fields?

Well, you see, by the mid-1700s the New England colonies had already begun a long legacy of self reliance and self government. Due to the great distance to the old country and its own government, they had been accustomed for generations to managing their own affairs, with little oversight from England.

Because England had incurred a great deal of debt from its frequent wars with France, the British Parliament decided in the 1760s and early 1770s, to try to raise some revenue by taxing the colonies directly, something it had not done before. These taxes were not terribly burdensome, but a great many people were disturbed by the principle: the colonies had always governed and taxed themselves, and they resisted the idea of having to contribute to what they saw as an "external" government. When ordered by the Royal Governor not to hold a town meeting, the Boston representatives held it anyway. A local crowd harassing a group of young British soldiers was fired upon in what came to be called the Boston Massacre. For several years these tensions built and built, until they came to a head in the first few months of 1775.

Parliament had ordered the Port of Boston closed, a heavy economic burden for a major trading cente, and had ordered the towns to cease holding local meetings. Massachusetts was effectively put under military rule, but since there was only one major garrison, in the city of Boston itself, most of the people in the countryside ignored the orders and continued to act as they always had. They did, however, begin to collect arms and ammunition, and to reactivate their militia system that had fallen into disuse since the end of the French and Indian War a decade earlier.

The collecting of muskets, gunpowder, cannon, and other arms for use of the town militia was a violation of the orders of the military governor, General Thomas Gage. Gage was aware that these stores were being collected, and his garrison had carried out several missions to confiscate them in the months prior to April 1775. On one occasion, troops had successfully marched from Boston and captured a large supply of colonial gunpowder that was being stored in the nearby town of Somerville. This maneuver enraged the local population, as much because they had been caught off guard as because they had lost their powder. Determined never to let that happen again, the towns refined their elaborate system of alarm riders who were responsible for spreading word of troop movements throughout the countryside. The system was mobilized in February when another military force was sent by ship to the coastal town of Salem to seize a store of powder and arms. Advance warning to the local population allowed them to raise an intervening drawbridge and move the munitions away, and the troops arrived late, and left empty handed.

As the spring came, General Gage received orders from Parliment instructing him to take decisive action to put down the rebellious town governments and to capture those inciting the rebellion. In response to these orders, Gage decided to make another move into the countryside to capture the largest colonial munitions supply, the one at Concord in Middlesex County, about eighteen miles west of Boston. The plan was to move quickly soon after dark with complete secrecy, be at Concord by dawn to seize the supplies, and then return to the garrison in Boston by midday before the colonists could even spread word of what had happened. But the colonists were watching too carefully, and in the small space of Boston secrecy turned out to be impossible.

With advance warning of the government raid, the systems put in place after the Somerville raid sprung into action, from flags to rowboats to gunfire signals through the woods, by the time soldiers reached lexington, no sign of the majority of the muskets, balls and powder they were sent to seize was found. The town's civilian militia, numbering 38, expecting the british before dawn had gathered on the square, in formation, in the middle of the night. When the government soldiers arrived, shortly after dawn they drew a battle line across the green from them and they ordered the militia members to lay down arms and disperse.

Some began to disperse at once, being outnumbered by nearly 130 men, but some hesitated, and none layed down their arms, simply walking off towards the town halls. The situation of course was very tense, and there was much yelling to disperse, lay down arms at once... etc, When, suddenly, without warning, and of unknown origin, a shot rang out. Whatever its origin, that first shot started the soldiers firing, without orders, into the dispersing militia. They were immediately ordered to seace fire, but it was too late. When the smoke cleared from those very few minutes of confusion, eight Lexington militiamen had been killed and nine wounded, some bleeding on the steps to their homes facing the green.

The soldiers, who werent quite sure what they were doing at this point, or what their main objective now was, having never been briefed before marching, grew increasingly nervous as they were now told they had to march another several miles to concord, reaching concord about 7am, even as millitia members and citizens gathered on the other side of the bridge having heard, no doubt, that something was afoot at lexington. Again the government soldiers found nothing of the majority of the muskets, balls and powder they were sent to seize. The larger and mostly immobile artillery pieces they were particulary eager to sieze at concord, and expected to find in the usual place, on or near the central green, had been whisked into predug holes in nearby fields and plowed over. As the numbers of those gathering near the bridge broke 100 armed men and women, the safety in numbers the military men had previously held began quickly to errode, as tensions built.

In the center of the town the government search parties set fire to some smaller gun stores they found, and the militiamen assembling near the North Bridge saw the plume of smoke and believed the troops were beginning to burn the town. They marched forward to the bridge positions held by the soldiers, and the troops again opened fire. The Militiamen returned fire, and several more were killed on both sides.

The government soldiers were driven back to the center of the town, and soon the entire force began to march back the way it had come, down the long road to Boston. Even as the regular army fled these citizen soldiers, word of the attack spread through the system of alarms and ready systems now in place. By the hour, more and more militia companies and citizens were arriving from the surrounding countryside, and the troop's retreat turned into a brutal route, a battle three hundred yards wide and eighteen miles long. At every turn of the road a militia company was waiting and fired into the soldier's ranks. The soldiers ordered out by General Gage were fired upon from many houses along the road, and in response their advance parties began burning nearly every building they came to. In the village of Menotomy, between Lexington and Cambridge, the fighting was especially fierce, and the exhausted and terrified British soldiers forced almost every house along the road and killed all the inhabitants.

About eight o'clock on the evening of the nineteenth, the column finally reached the safety of its own lines across the river from Boston.

They had been marching for almost twenty-four hours, through the night, the last six hours under heavy fire, They had suffered more than 272 casualties, including sixty-five killed. The fighting civilians had suffered ninety-four casualties, including fifty killed.
Twenty-three seperate towns had at least one member of their militia killed or wounded.

No one had called it, and even, perhaps, no one had known it at the time, but the American Revolution had begun. It began in these few new england towns, but soon, it would spread across what would soon be a new nation.

Within two days, 15,000 men from across New England had assembled and surrounded Boston, and the soldiers of the crown were never able to move more than a short distance off that small peninsula again. Three months later, at the request of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, a Virginian rode north to take command of that citizen army that had laid siege to the city. His name was George Washington, and the 15,000 New England militiamen became the American Army. Eleven months later, the garrison at Boston was evacuated by sea and was never seen in New England again.

In a day where news often took weeks to to travel even a few hundred miles, news of this battle spread at almost supernatural speed. By the evening of the nineteenth—the same day—the news of Lexington had reached New Hampshire to the north and Rhode Island to the south. Within four days it had reached New York City, two hundred miles away. By April 26th the news of Lexington had arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, and Alexandria, Virginia. New Bern, North Carolina, heard the Lexington alarm by May 3rd, carried via ship from Newport, Rhode Island. Wilmington, North Carolina, heard by May 8th, and Charleston, South Carolina, by May 9th, also from the sea. The Shenandoah Valley on what was then the western frontier received the news overland about the same time. And when it reached a far western hunting camp on another part of the frontier, the hunters decided to name their camp "Lexington." That camp today is the city of Lexington, Kentucky.

A forty-year-old Massachusetts lawyer named John Adams, who had been arguing for some time for a political separation from Britain, heard the news on his farm in Braintree that afternoon, and immediately went to see for himself what had happened. He rode that evening along the battle road for many miles, and saw burned out houses, groups of people burying the dead, and refugee families trying to escape farther into the countryside. Adams remembered that day's ride as a turning point in his life; it convinced him that "the Die was cast, the Rubicon crossed." Within a year he would be working with Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence, and would go on to become the second President of the United States. Thomas Paine in Philadelphia had previously thought of the argument between the colonies and the Home Country as "a kind of law-suit", but after news of the battle reached him, he "rejected the hardened, sullen-tempered Pharaoh of England forever." George Washington received the news at Mount Vernon and wrote to a friend, "…the once-happy and peaceful plains of America are either to be drenched in blood or inhabited by slaves.
Sad alternative! But can a virtuous man hesitate in his choice?"
One of the men in Concord on the nineteenth was the town's minister, the Reverend William Emerson. His house that day became a sanctuary for frightened women and children trying to escape the fighting. More than sixty years later his grandson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, would write one of the defining pieces of American literature for a ceremony commemorating the battle at the North Bridge, that poem with which began this history.

"The fight had been the hinge," said the novelist Henry James, many years later, "on which the large revolving future was to turn."

As JAMES M.NICHOLS wrote in his own remembrance of those who fought at Lexington and Concord, in his history of the revolutionary war, in 1886:

It was one of those great days, one of those elemental occasions in the world's affairs, when the people rise, and act for themselves. Some organization and preparation had been made; but, from the nature of the case, with scarce any effect on the events of that dav. It may be doubted whether there was an efficient order given the whole day, to any body of men as large as a regiment. It was the people, in their first capacity, as citizens and as freemen, starting from their beds at midnight, from their firesided, and from their fields, to take their own cause into their own hands.

Such a spectacle is the height of the moral sublime; when the want of everything is fully made up by the spirit of the cause, and the soul within stands in place of discipline, organization, resources. In the prodigious efforts of a veteran army, beneath the dazzling splendour of their array, there is something revolting to the reflective mind. The ranks are filled with the desperate, the mercenary, the depraved; an iron slavery, by the name of subordination, merges the free will of one hundred thousand men in the unqualified despotism of one; the humanity, mercy, and remorse, which scarce ever deserts the individual bosom, are sounds without a meaning to that fearful, ravenous, irrational monster of prey, a mercenary army. It is hard to say who are most to be commiserated, the wretched people on whom it is let loose, or the still more wretched people whose substance has been sucked out to nourish it into strength and fury.

But, in the efforts of the people -- of the people struggling for their rights, moving not in organIzed, disciplined masses, but in their spontaneous action, man for man, and heart for heart, though I like not war nor any of its works, there is something glorious. They can then move forward without orders, act together without combination, and brave the flaming lines of battle without intrenchments to cover, or walls to shield them.

No dissolute camp has worn off from the feelings of the youthful soldier the freshness of that home where his mother and his sisters sit waiting, with tearful eyes and aching hearts, to hear good news from the wars; no long service in the ranks of a conqueror has turned the veteran's heart into marble; their valour springs not from recklessness, from habit, from indifference to the preservation of a life knit by pledges to the life of others. But in the strength and spirit of the cause alone they act, they contend, they bleed. In this, they conquer.

The people always conquer. They must always conquer. Armies may be defeated; kings may be over thrown, and new dynasties imposed by foreign arms on an ignorant and slavish race, that care not in what language the covenant of their subjection runs, nor in whose name the deed of their barter and sale is made out. But the people never invade; and, when they rise against the invader, are never subdued.

If they are driven from the plains, they fly to the mountains. Steep rocks and everlasting hills are their castles; the tangled, pathless thicket, their palisado; and Nature-God, is their ally. Now he overwhelms the hosts of their enemies, beneath his drifting mountains of sand; now he buries them beneath a falling atmosphere of polar snows; he lets loose his tempests on their fleets; he puts a folly into theIr counsels, a madness into the hearts of their leaders; and never gave, and never will give, a full and final triumph over a virtuous, gallant people, resolved to be free.

So, remember, this patriots day, lest these actions, and the lessons they beget, be forgot.

Tempus Fugit.

Anniversary Pt. 2

By Mike Vanderboegh
28 February 2008

The holiest of all holidays
are those kept by ourselves
in silence and apart;
the secret anniversaries of the heart.

- - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"And this is America?"


Noun. Returning with the year, at a stated time; annual; yearly; as, an anniversary feast. . .

From the Latin Anniversarius; annus year + vertere, versum . . .

1. The annual return of the day on which any notable event took place, or is wont to be celebrated; as, the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

2. The day on which Mass is said yearly for the soul of a deceased person; the commemoration of some sacred event, as the dedication of a church or the consecration of a pope.

3. The celebration which takes place on an anniversary day.

Source: Websters Dictionary

So which of these is the anniversary of the Waco raid?
Celebration? Consecration? Commemoration?
Perhaps, you may come to understand as I do, that it is a little bit of all three.

Fifteen years ago today, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms decided to execute a "dynamic entry" on a religious community in Texas. I'm not going to bore you with the reasons that the ATF claimed made it necessary to attack Mt. Carmel. If you can find the pearl of truth in all the excrement of official lies told to the media and the Congress, you're a better man than I, Gungha Din.

But let's go back in time to that morning, 28 February 1993. There were three helicopters buzzing the rear of Mt. Carmel, trying to distract the Davidians from the two long horse trailers being pulled onto the property from the road in front. These were packed with ATF agents in raid gear. The dogs are barking. Koresh, who knew the ATF was coming opens the front door. Agents leap out. The dogs are executed (ATF agents always have been big pet killers) and with those shots a general exchange begins. Koresh is wounded. Agents run to the back with ladders to enter a second-story window.

This is how it sounded to the local sheriff's 911 dispatcher:
911 Operator: Hello?
Wayne Martin: Yeah, there's 75 men around our building and they're shootin' at us at Mt. Carmel.
Operator: Mt.
Martin: Yeah, tell 'em there're women and children in here and to call 'em off.
Operator: I hear gunfire.
Martin: It's Wayne!
Operator: Wayne . . . Tell me what's happening, Wayne.
Martin: We got women and children in danger!
Operator: Wayne?
Martin: I'm under fire . . . tell 'em to call it off.
Operator: What?
Martin: Tell 'em to pullback . . . I have the right to defend myself. They started firing first. . .
Martin: We're under fire!
Operator: OK, stand by while I make contact with the forces, OK?
Operator to dispatcher: We need to get . . . try the ah . . . ah, radio band one more time on our frequency.
Did you call DPS?
Operator: Hold on just a minute, Wayne.

Operator on other phone: Hello . . . no I have not . . . and, and ah . . . nobody's responding to the damn radio. They're wantin' everybody to back off and talk. I'm tryin' to get . . . uh . . . What radio frequency, they told me the radio van. We're not getting a response. (hangs up phone) I can't believe this.

As Dick Reavis, author of The Ashes of Waco, later mused, "They were being attacked by the government and their first instinct was to call 9-1-1."

I don't know how the American people can stand by and watch the things they planned. We have people out here; we have all these people: women, children, tiny babies. These men in came here and they started firing on us. The bullets came through the walls and people were killed, people were injured. And this is America? -- Davidian Lorraine Sylvia, killed 19 April 1993.

"Men from Mars"
Davidian Steve Schneider: (There's) a chopper with more of 'em, 9-1-1.

911 Operator: What?
Schneider: Another chopper with more people and more guns goin' off . . . Here they come! Operator: Alright, Wayne.

Schneider: (WE) aren't firing! That's not us, that's them!
Operator: OK . . . The . . . alright. . .

The first Davidians to die are killed by fire from the helicopters, who have moved in overhead. The Davidians fire back. Two of the helicopters are forced to break off the engagement and land after being hit numerous times. Later, after the Republicans take over the House of Representatives, hearings are held. The subject of aerial fire on a structure full of innocents is raised, and cavalierly dismissed by Jim Cavanaugh the Dallas ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) and one of the bright boys who planned this raid.

Charles E. Schumer, US Congress, New York (D): . . . is there any way that somebody could believe that justifiable homicide . . .could be used as a defense here?
James Cavanaugh, ATF Special Agent: No, Mr. Schumer . . . Assertions that we had helicopters, or men from Mars shooting at them is nonsense. Our agents were laying on the ground shooting at a tower three stories high.

Should we be surprised there are bullets on the roof?
Schumer: Of course, I agree with you, Mr. Cavanaugh.

Cavanaugh also testifies:
And when we drove up the Davidians opened fire, and I am sickened by any other assertion. I sat there and I watched it. And the gunfire came from those double white doors. I watched it. It's unbelievable, but that's what happened. And anybody else who says anything different; they shot first. And if I thought that an ATF agent would drive up in front of a structure and shoot, I'd throw my badge in the garbage. It didn't happen.

Cavanaugh insisted the Davidians fired first, that it was an "ambush." There were Davidians of military experience in Mt. Carmel that morning. They knew the ATF was coming. Had they been disposed to "ambush" the federal gun cops, they could have certainly done so with murderous efficiency. Had they known what was to be their fate, here is what they could have done.

Indeed, here is how I would have done it, had I the ability to see the future:

An L-shaped ambush is the easiest of maneuvers, one understood by the most inexperienced GI. In addition, the ATF presented the easiest of targets, all packed in as they were in those nice big horse trailers. The long leg of the L was, of course, the front of the building. The short leg was provided by out-buildings and vehicles parked near the building. Men inside the building could have been detailed to kill the drivers (immobilizing the vehicles) and to fire at the exits of the trailers - forming "murder holes" just as efficient as those in the landing craft at Omaha Beach facing German MG-42s on the bluff on 6 June 1944. Other men inside the building could have been detailed to riddle the soft-sided, canvas-topped trailers, killing all the other agents trapped inside. Men on the short L could have killed anyone who managed to leap from the trailers. Snipers on the second floor would then engage supporting forces to the rear, and return the fire of the helicopters that Cavanaugh testified were not engaged. None of this would have required automatic weapons. Aimed semiautomatic rifle fire would have accomplished it just as handily. Probable result: 75 plus dead ATF agents. Had it been a true ambush, that is how it would have worked.

One other point -- before we leave the Land of Might-Have-Been -- is that today, fifteen years later, it is not necessary to see the future to anticipate how such raids will be conducted. We now know what Waco Rules are: They can do anything you can't, or won't, stop them from doing -- including killing you, your family, your friends or your entire church congregation down to old men, women and children -- and they will do it without legal consequence to themselves.

One final point regarding Cavanaugh's "Men from Mars," the helicopters that he insisted under oath never fired at the Davidians: we have evidence that they did in fact fire at a building packed full of innocents, and that evidence comes from none other than Jim Cavanaugh.

On a tape of the phone negotiations after the shoot out, Cavanaugh tries to get David Koresh to trust him.

Cavanaugh: Well, I think we need to set the record straight, and that is that there was no guns on those helicopters. There was National Guard officers on those helicopters . . .
Koresh: Now Jim, you're a damn liar. Now let's get real.
Cavanaugh: David, I . . .
Koresh: No! You listen to me! You're sittin' there and tellin' me that there were no guns on that helicopter!?
Cavanaugh: I said they didn't shoot. There's no guns on . . .
Koresh: You are a damn liar!
Cavanaugh: Well, you're wrong, David.
Koresh: You are a liar!
Cavanaugh: OK. Well, just calm down . . .
Koresh: No! Let me tell you something. That night be what you want the media to believe, but there's other people that saw too! Now, tell me Jim again.
You're honestly going to say those helicopters didn't fire on any of us?
Cavanaugh: David?
Koresh: I'm here.
Cavanaugh: What I'm sayin' is . . .
now I listened to you, now you listen to me, OK?
Koresh: I'm listening.
Cavanaugh: What I'm sayin' is that those helicopters didn't have mounted guns. OK? I'm not disputing the fact that there might have been fire from the helicopters. If you say there was fire from the helicopters and you were there that's OK with me. What I'm tellin' you is there was no mounted guns, ya know, outside mounted guns on those helicopters.
Koresh: I agree with you on that.
Cavanaugh: Alright. Now, that's the only thing I'm sayin'. Now, the agents on the helicopters had guns.
Koresh: I agree with you on that!
Cavanaugh: You understand what I'm sayin'?
Koresh: I agree with you.
Cavanaugh: OK, OK. So see, we're not even in dispute and Steven's getting all worked up over it. Koresh: Well, no. What the dispute was over, I believe Jim, is that you said they didn't fire on us from the helicopters.
Cavanaugh: Well, what I mean is a mounted gun . . . like a, you know, like a mounted machine gun.
Koresh: Yeah. But like that's beside the point. What they did have was machine guns. Cavanaugh: OK. I don't know what they had. They were armed. The people inside had pistols or rifles . . .
Koresh: We agree.
Cavanaugh: OK, alright, that's good, that's good, we agree.
So how ya doin' otherwise?

I guess I don't have to tell you that even though the "Men from Mars" apparently did exist, Cavanaugh has yet to throw his badge in the garbage as he said he would. Neither has anyone charged him with perjury or contempt of Congress. It wouldn't occur to the Democrats to discipline a lying ATF agent and the Republicans are far too timid to try.

"Anniversary Response"

"The first 15, 20 minutes, it was get the job done, shoot the video. And then when you see people getting shot, and hear people screaming, and the bullets hitting . . . You could start hearing people being hit and screaming and yelling. You could see people getting hit . . . I have two daughters, I started thinking about my daughters.

I started wondering how the heck am I gonna get outa here?" -- Dan Maloney, KWTX-TV, Waco, interviewed in the documentary Waco: Rules of Engagement

At Mt. Carmel that morning, five Davidians are killed and four ATF agents. The ATF is driven out of the second floor window entry and back down to the ground level. They shelter behind their vehicles, maintaining fire but gradually running out of ammunition.

As Cavanaugh testified, with real angst in his voice:

Nobody was going to get us out. The McLennan County Sheriffs office, who always did a good job, in this case, could not get us out of this. We couldn't call 9 1 1; I mean we couldn't call anybody. . . . They were throwing everything at us. Their guns sounded like cannons. And our guns were pop guns. We had 9 millimeters; they were hitting us with 223s, AK-47's, 50 millimeters. It was more than you can imagine.

You know, experts in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have a term called "Anniversary Response." AR is defined as a sudden unexpected rush of memories, intense emotions and feelings of grief related to the anniversary of a traumatic event.

The National Center for PTSD further defines it as:

"An increase in distressing memories of the event in the days leading up to and/or on the anniversary of traumatic events. . . These memories may be triggered by reminders, but memories may also seem to come from out of the blue while at work, home, or doing recreational activities. . . .An increase in distress around the anniversary of a traumatic event is commonly known as an "anniversary reaction" and can range from feeling mildly upset for a day or two to a more extreme reaction in which an individual experiences significant psychiatric or medical symptoms."

For the surviving Davidians, especially those tiny few who made it out of the fire alive, this day must be one of those "secret anniversaries of the heart," topped only by 19 April. I imagine Cavanaugh must have his own "anniversary response." After all, he is human and he was one of the raid planners. It was at least in part on his authority that the ATF field agents attacked the Davidians using idiotic tactics with full knowledge that the raid was blown. Surely, he feels some annual twinge of regret for the blood on his hands.

Maybe "anniversary reaction" led to this story that appeared in today's Waco Tribune:

Federal agents stop by Davidian compound
By Ken Sury
Thursday, February 28, 2008, 10:15 AM

Today marks 15 years since the Branch Davidian standoff began at Mount Carmel when the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms attempted to execute a search warrant at the compound. Gunfire was exchanged, resulting in the deaths of four ATF agents and six Davidians.Staff photographer Rod Aydelotte, who was among the Trib staffers covering the siege and subsequent 51-day standoff in 1993, said four carloads of federal agents left the compound this morning after paying their respects to the ATF agents who died a decade and a half ago.From there, they joined an estimated 100 law officers at the police memorial at Indian Spring Park for a similar ceremony.

Do you suppose they also said a prayer for the Davidians who died that day?

Do you suppose they had any regrets?

Do you suppose that any of them wondered why?

Do you suppose that any of them chose to remember that a Texas jury later acquitted the surviving Davidians of murder charges, finding that they had acted in righteous self defense?

The experts say that anniversary reaction can involve days, weeks or even months prior to the anniversary date of anxiety, anger, nightmares, flashbacks, depression or fear. Common AR responses may also include regret, sadness, frustration, flashbacks, headaches, sleep disturbances, eating disorders, avoidance of reminders of the disasters and reflections on the way in which life has changed. We may hope that the ATF has reflected on the lessons of 28 February 1993. We may hope, but we shouldn't count on it.

"Don't shoot! Don't shoot!"

What I wonder most of all, is whether Cavanaugh and the federal agents who went back to the scene of their crime 15 years later remember what I remember as the defining image of 28 February 1993.

After about approximately 2 hours we heard that there was a truce. We heard ATF agents say "Don't shoot! Don't shoot!" -- Dan Maloney, KWTX-TV, in Waco: The Rules of Engagement.

Mike McNulty's documentaries on Waco, of which Rules of Engagement was the first, contain many images, most of them profoundly disturbing, disheartening and infuriating. But there is one bit of film shot by Dan Maloney and his cameraman that stands, I believe, as the Davidians' finest moment.

The ATF, you see, ran out of ammunition. Of all the stupidities of the raid, surely this represented the greatest danger to the attacking agents on the ground.

They were out.

The Davidians were not.

Had the Davidians wished to do so, they could have taken revenge for their dead 15 times over and the ATF would have been powerless to do anything about it. If ambush and murder had been their intentions as Cavanaugh and his fellow ATF "Good Ol' Boy Gang" members later claimed, the Davidians could have wiped them out at this moment, but they didn't.

What happened was that the ATF, out of ammunition, begged their erstwhile victims for a truce and the Davidians, satisfied that they had repelled the assault on their home, let them go.

It was a good thing that the ATF faced David Koresh that day and not Sam Fuller's squad from the 1st Infantry Division of World War II. Sam, who survived the war and went on to make movies like Steel Helmet, Fixed Bayonets (one of my personal favorites) and the autobiographical The Big Red One, once told an interviewer that his squad "never accepted the surrender of a Kraut with an empty rifle."

Fuller figured that if the German were truly sincere about surrendering, he would do so before exhausting his ammunition. If not, Fuller and his buddies would send the offending Kraut to Valhalla without further ceremony.

Not being hardened combat veterans but merely oddball Christians, the derided and despised "religious cult fanatics" let the ATF go. And go they did, backing away slowly with their hands in the air, captured for posterity by the lens of the KWTX-TV camera.

And this is what I thank the Davidians for. This is the image that I review every 28th day of February: the big, bad ATF, whipped by a bunch of untrained American armed citizens; begging for their lives and being allowed to leave in peace.

Cavanaugh and the ATF may have their own "secret anniversaries of the heart" on this date. But this image of their defeat and their shame, courtesy of the Branch Davidians, is my own anniversary of the heart.

Think what you will about Koresh and the Davidians. Deride their whacky beliefs and their gullibility in following the "sinful messiah," as Koresh was labeled by the Waco Tribune. Think them stupid, venal or worse.

But cherish this moment they gave us.

Cherish this anniversary of their brief little victory. A predatory federal agency was defeated, frustrated and shamed. It left with its hands in the air and its tail between its legs, whipped by its own stupid arrogance, the Law of Unintended Consequences and a few armed Davidians. No matter what the Davidians were or what happened to them after, no matter if you disagree with them theologically (as I do) -- in that moment they were one with the Englishmen of old defending their castle, the Minute Men at Concord, the Texians at the Alamo and the veterans who defeated the corrupt political machine in the Battle of Athens, Tennessee in 1946 - they were Americans showing the rest of us that the Imperial Feds could be rebuffed by the defensive use of arms.

It is good that the ATF remembers this day. Maybe in doing so they will remember the shame of their defeat and be made cautious thereby.

If not, let us -- the men and women of the American armed citizenry -- remember that moment when the ATF was humbled, with hands in the air, shouting "Don't shoot! Don't shoot!"

Let us always remember.

Mike Vanderboegh
PO Box 926
Pinson AL 35126