Saturday, February 18, 2006

Gratuitous Googling Gets: "IRAN is also the only Muslim country where citizens responded to 9/11 with a spontaneous candlelight vigil..." (NY Times)

Iranian women hold candles during a night vigil held in Tehran last week in memory of the victims of the terror attacks on the United States.


Inside Iran, a nation conflicted

Why is Tehran sending contradictory messages to the West?

By Jim Maceda

"TEHRAN, Iran, Oct. 3 — Iran is caught between opposing forces — both inside and outside its territory."


"But there is some hope. After news of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks spread to Tehran, hundreds of Iranians, students, merchants and housewives joined in a candlelight vigil in a downtown square. Many were crying. Three weeks later, I am still approached by ordinary Iranians, in restaurants, Internet cafes and on the street, telling me how sorry they are, and how worried they are about the “American war” that is about to begin, just next door."



The New York Times

Those Friendly Iranians

Published: May 5, 2004


Finally, I've found a pro-American country."


"Partly because being pro-American is a way to take a swipe at the Iranian regime, anything American, from blue jeans to "Baywatch," is revered. At the bookshops, Hillary Clinton gazes out from three different pirated editions of her autobiography.

`It's a best seller, though it's not selling as well as Harry Potter," said Heidar Danesh, a bookseller in Tehran. "The other best-selling authors are John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steel."

Young Iranians keep popping the question, "So how can I get to the U.S.?" I ask why they want to go to a nation denounced for its "disgustingly sick promiscuous behavior," but that turns out to be a main attraction. And many people don't believe a word of the Iranian propaganda.

We've learned to interpret just the opposite of things on TV because it's all lies," said Odan Seyyid Ashrafi, a 20-year-old university student. "So if it says America is awful, maybe that means it's a great place to live."

Indeed, many Iranians seem convinced that the U.S. military ventures in Afghanistan and Iraq are going great, and they say this with more conviction than your average White House spokesman.

One opinion poll showed that 74 percent of Iranians want a dialogue with the U.S. — and the finding so irritated the authorities that they arrested the pollster.
Iran is also the only Muslim country I know where citizens responded to the 9/11 attacks with a spontaneous candlelight vigil as a show of sympathy.



Chicago Tribune

Iranian presidential hopefuls talk of embracing U.S.

June 12, 2005

The Islamic Republic has sought quietly for several years to soften its image, buffing away the impression left by episodes such as the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
Ordinary Iranians have long had a softer stance toward the West than their leaders; after the Sept. 11 attacks, Iranians held a spontaneous candlelight vigil in Tehran.

The difference today is that some aspiring leaders are changing their rhetoric as well.

With nearly two-thirds of the country's population born after the 1979 revolution, there is growing pressure for change. For many young Iranians, their financial and practical longing to join the world trumps their ideological conviction to stay isolated from it.



The New Yorker Magazine

Who's winning the fight for Iran's future?

Issue of 2002-02-18 and 25
Posted 2002-02-11

On the evening of September 11, 2001, about two hundred young people gathered in Madar Square, on the north side of Tehran, in a spontaneous candlelight vigil to express sympathy and support for the United States. A second vigil, the next night, was attacked by the basij, a volunteer force of religious vigilantes, and then dispersed by the police. The vigils may have been the only pro-American demonstrations in the Islamic world after the terrorist attacks on the United States.
"It was what we all were feeling," said Arash, a young teacher I met; he had stayed home with his wife, Ava—these are not their real names—nervously watching the unimaginable television images from America. "But I was also worried: Would the Americans blame Iran for this? How would our government respond? Would we express sympathy and condemn the attacks, or would it be a Marg bar Amrika"—"Death to America"—"reaction? Finally, at ten o'clock, Khatami came on and expressed sympathy. What a relief!"




Bright Lights of Kindness

In London, thousands of people--including many Americans--lined the streets waving American flags for a special changing of the guard ceremony at which a military band played the U.S. National anthem. In Austria, church bells tolled together,
and in Tehran, Iran, several dozen Iranians held candlelight vigil in the main square, ignoring police orders to disperse.


The Iranian

The unthinkable ally

If the US were to extend an arm of friendship to the growing student movement in Iran

By Baha Hariri
April 9, 2003

Present day Iran looks and feels very different from twenty years ago. The streets are frequently flooded with student protesters demanding democracy. After September 11th, thousands of Iranians turned out at a candlelight vigil in Tehran -- making Iran the only Muslim nation to hold such an event.
The economy is growing fast and is attracting large investments from Europe and Asia. The country also sits atop one of the world’s largest natural gas reserves, the fuel of the future.

Despite all this, Iran continues to be cold-shouldered by the Bush Administration. At the same time we remain close allies with Saudi Arabia, one of the most corrupt and oppressive monarchies in the region.



From CNN: Former hostages allege Iran's new president was captor.

The White House said Thursday it is taking seriously the allegations by former hostages that Iran's hardline president-elect, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was one of their captors at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran a quarter century ago.


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, and a hostage taker are seen in these 1979 photos.


Former hostages allege Iran's new president was captor

Takeover leader: Ahmadinejad 'absolutely' not involved

Thursday, June 30, 2005; Posted: 6:20 p.m. EDT (22:20 GMT)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The White House said Thursday it is taking seriously the allegations by former hostages that Iran's hardline president-elect, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was one of their captors at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran a quarter century ago.

President Bush told foreign reporters he has "no information, but obviously his involvement raises many questions."

"As soon as I saw the face, it rang a lot of bells to me," Don Sharer, who served as the embassy's naval attache at the time, told CNN.

"...Take 20 years off of him. He was there. He was there in the background, more like an adviser."

Abbas Abdi, the man well-known to be the leader of the 1979 hostage-takers, told CNN that Ahmadinejad, the Tehran mayor, "absolutely was not" part of the event that involved the captivity of 52 people.

Abdi later became a supporter of reformist President Mohammed Khatami and was recently released from jail for advocating closer ties with the United States.

Iranian officials also deny Ahmadinejad was involved.

The November 4, 1979, embassy takeover followed protests demanding that the United States return the Shah of Iran to Tehran for trial. He had been overthrown by the Islamic revolution 11 months prior and was receiving cancer treatment in New York at the time.

The embassy seizure lasted 444 days and resulted in a botched rescue mission that left eight U.S. soldiers dead and the severance of U.S.-Iranian ties ever since.


[Ed note: two out of three photos available for this story were "disappeared" or "Orwellized" from the CNN/CIA site, possibly to a secret prison on our secretive Prison Planet. I can't "copy and paste" the remaining text below the missing photos either, but suffice it to say that former hostages Charles "Chuck" Scott and William J. Daugherty are sorely missed...]


Peace by peace...



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BONUS: The truth shall set oil of us free...

The Next War - Crossing the Rubicon

by John Pilger
Friday 10 February 2006

"Next month, Iran is scheduled to shift its petrodollars into a euro-based bourse. The effect on the value of the dollar will be significant, if not, in the long term, disastrous. At present the dollar is, on paper, a worthless currency bearing the burden of a national debt exceeding $8trn and a trade deficit of more than $600bn. The cost of the Iraq adventure alone, according to the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, could be $2trn. America's military empire, with its wars and 700-plus bases and limitless intrigues, is funded by creditors in Asia, principally China.

That oil is traded in dollars is critical in maintaining the dollar as the world's reserve currency. What the Bush regime fears is not Iran's nuclear ambitions but the effect of the world's fourth-biggest oil producer and trader breaking the dollar monopoly. Will the world's central banks then begin to shift their reserve holdings and, in effect, dump the dollar? Saddam Hussein was threatening to do the same when he was attacked.

While the Pentagon has no plans to occupy all of Iran, it has in its sights a strip of land that runs along the border with Iraq. This is Khuzestan, home to 90 per cent of Iran's oil. "The first step taken by an invading force," reported Beirut's Daily Star, "would be to occupy Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan Province, securing the sensitive Straits of Hormuz and cutting off the Iranian military's oil supply." On 28 January the Iranian government said that it had evidence of British undercover attacks in Khuzestan, including bombings, over the past year.
Will the newly emboldened Labor MPs pursue this? Will they ask what the British army based in nearby Basra - notably the SAS - will do if or when Bush begins bombing Iran? With control of the oil of Khuzestan and Iraq and, by proxy, Saudi Arabia, the US will have what Richard Nixon called "the greatest prize of all."



Friday, February 17, 2006

Pro-pa-gag-me! "Comics on Par with Picasso", "Batman kicks Al-Qaeda's a--", and the "N.Y.H.E.R.E. Fund" for 9/11 families ain't really h.e.r.e....

Beware, Osama bin Laden. The Caped Crusader is coming after you. (AP Photo )

I was just checking out the "Batman kicks Al-Qaeda's ass" story, where the legendary Frank Miller of "The Dark Knight Returns" and "Sin City" fame is 120 pages into creating a 200 page graphic novel called "Holy Terror, Batman!" (no seriously - for now). In the ABC News article with the photo above and the text below, here's something he said:

ABC News

Batman Takes Aim at Osama

The Caped Crusader Targets Al Qaeda in a Forthcoming Graphic Novel, But Patriotism in Comics Is Nothing New

A Propaganda Throwback

Miller called "Holy Terror, Batman!" a "piece of propaganda" where "Batman kicks al Qaeda's a—." He said his graphic novel channeled an era in the comic-book industry when writers and artists used heroes to spread a clear message and generate patriotism.

"Superman punched out Hitler. So did [Marvel Comics'] Captain America," he said. "That's one of the things they're there for. … These are our folk heroes. It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you've got al Qaeda out there."


While the conservatives are going crazy right now, I sure hope Mr. Miller has something up his sleeve. Fighting Al-Qaeda is one thing, but being allegorical enough to reveal the truth about them would also be nice.

Anyway, then there's this article about how cool comics are, and among the coolest is a first-time publisher's called "Civilian Justice" which won a new "Golden Panel" award, recently created to legitimize comics.

Congratulations, it's always nice to hit one out of the park at your first at-bat.

His book is about...

"Graig Weich's Civilian Justice focuses on a civilian so shaken by the Sept. 11 attacks and the death of his girlfriend in the World Trade Center, that he goes on a mission to destroy terrorists who have not only devastated the nation but have framed a peaceful religion and people.

Weich originally planned to launch another book before Civilian Justice. However, he believed Sept. 11 made his character, who wears an American flag bandana as a mask, necessary."

Which is fine, however, he also said...

"A percentage of the proceeds from the first issue of Civilian Justice is going to N.Y.H.E.R.E Fund, which helps victims and families of non-union workers who lost their lives in the Twin Towers attack."

And... I couldn't find the "N.Y.H.E.R.E. Fund".

Not even Googling.

Not even Googling the options Google gave me.

Not even Googling the options I began guessing at.

Except for in the original article I had read it in.


ABC News

Comics on Par with Picasso

(Page 4 of 4)

Some characters are even fighting terrorism. Graig Weich's Civilian Justice focuses on a civilian so shaken by the Sept. 11 attacks and the death of his girlfriend in the World Trade Center, that he goes on a mission to destroy terrorists who have not only devastated the nation but have framed a peaceful religion and people.

Weich originally planned to launch another book before Civilian Justice. However, he believed Sept. 11 made his character, who wears an American flag bandana as a mask, necessary.

"I sometimes lecture and give art classes and I was struck when some of the kids I encountered said there was no hero that they could latch on to, that felt real to them," said Weich.

"I wanted a hero to come from this. I believe our job is to make a reason for things. There was no reason for September 11 at all. But I believe our job is to try to make something good come out of it. The character represents a symbol to people, some reason to hope, a sense of empowerment," Weich continued. "That's what Civilian Justice is all about."

A percentage of the proceeds from the first issue of Civilian Justice is going to N.Y.H.E.R.E Fund, which helps victims and families of non-union workers who lost their lives in the Twin Towers attack.

A Work in Progress

Like most pieces of artwork in their infancy, the New York City Comic Book Museum is a work in progress. Currently, officials are looking for a home for the museum. Most of the museum's comic books and other exhibits are kept in a Manhattan mini-storage facility.

Right now, NYCCBM officials are focusing on continuing to educate the public about the importance of comic books.

True believers, as Stan Lee likes to call comic book fans, have no doubt that their heroes are on par with the Picassos and the van Goghs. They're just waiting for the rest of the world to realize that.

"As far as I'm concerned, it is recognized as an art form," said Weich. "It's just that some people have been left out. It's just that there are some people who have to catch up with us."



Google Web Search: N.Y.H.E.R.E. Fund

Web Results 1 - 1 of 1 for N.Y.H.E.R.E. Fund. (0.08 seconds)

Did you mean: N.Y.W.A.R.E. Fund

ABC News: Comics on Par with Picasso
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Archived News (October - December 1997
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by Greg Enright; Stentor forks out $600 million FOR IT programs - New Media Fund ... Soft Bicycle's Consensus @nyWARE - Product Announcement - Brief Article ... - 24k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages

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"Grenada" - CIA Comic Book for All Seasons

This just in from intrepid comic book insider + uploader Ethan Persoff, who gave us access to the amazing atomic revolution comic book.

1984 CIA "GRENADA" Comic Book - took us years to find and arrange for a copy, this is an actual comic air-dropped onto the island of Grenada after the US invasion of 1983. Read the story the US wanted told at the time. US Government scripted. Pulls no punches.

More information and links to the comics at the intro page.

and from the website :



It's November and that means it's Election Season here in the US. What better way to celebrate the occasion than with an actual comic book produced and written by the CIA. How about a comic that was air-dropped during a US Invasion? "GRENADA" is just that thing. And we promise you it's the number one Real Deal. Acquired through amicable agreement with an actual recipient of the comic and former citizen of the island. This comic pulls no punches. Just look at the picture above of islanders getting their heads banged in by murderers designed to resemble Cubans. And that's just the front cover. Rape, Murder, Lies, Beatings. All tied up in a beautifully dishonest Pro-Reagan Anti-Castro message. George Bush Sr even takes time out his busy post-hurricane Humanitarian schedule to make an appearance. This comic was never meant to be read by anyone in the United States, or anyone outside the Carribean for that matter. Here it is for you,




"Your C.I.A., you see I ain’t kiddin’,
Both King and X, they got ridda’ both,
A story untold, true, but unknown..."

- Chuck D, Public Enemy, "Louder Than A Bomb"

Peace, (NOW!!!)



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"In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way."

- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1858 - 1919)
- 32nd President of the United States

Cheney's got a gun... "SCIENTIFIC PROOF CHENEY'S SHOOTING STORY A LIE " (Video - 10 mins) ...Cheney shot him from "30 yards away" my ass...

[Ed note: the fact that Cheney shot Whittington from "30 yards" away is being "Orwellized", disappearing from new stories about the incident while old ones get "scrubbed". They know it's a lie, there are enough journalists who've worked on ballistics reports to figure out something is up, and so they don't mention the distance again. The number had it's echo-effect in the first few days, and the important thing is we all know it was an accidental shot from "far away" anyway. Really, as "The White House" all they need is the front page of every major newspaper and top story on every major news show to put out the first "official" story, and then later if it needs to be corrected it'll either be ignored or buried by less than half who first reported it - and they'll be smeared by GOP attack dogs. The only memory we have going forward is the one we are first assaulted with, so any questions about "30 yards" are left hanging with no more daily mainstream media verification: "Was it 30 yards? Could it be? I forgot. How could gun-crazy America be fooled?" Once it's settled it's hard to dispute, even if it's impossible. The debate is crucial in confirming the official story is a lie, and unfortunately, this is why it won't be seen in the mainstream media.]


Cheney talks, and 2.1 million watch

Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:01 PM ET172
By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Vice President Dick Cheney's exclusive interview about his weekend hunting accident boosted Fox News' ratings Wednesday night.

The channel's Washington managing editor, Brit Hume, scored the exclusive interview with Cheney. The vice president had been roundly criticized because 24 hours elapsed before reporters learned that Cheney had accidentally shot a fellow hunter Saturday afternoon at a Texas ranch.

"Special Report With Brit Hume" averaged 2.1 million viewers from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, when the interview with Cheney aired, according to data released Thursday by Nielsen Media Research. That included 513,000 viewers in the adults 25-54 demographic.



New York Newsday

Poll: No need for more investigation of Cheney shooting

February 17, 2006, 11:04 AM EST

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) _ Two-thirds of voters nationwide say there is no need for a further investigation into Vice President Dick Cheney's shooting of a hunting partner during a visit to a Texas ranch last weekend, a poll reported Friday.

The poll, from Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion and sponsored by WNBC-TV in New York City, also found that 66 percent of voters said they were bothered by the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina. That was of more concern to voters than the administration's use of warrantless domestic surveillance (50 percent), the indictment of Cheney aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby (50 percent) and the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal (40 percent).

When it came to Cheney's Saturday shooting of Harry Whittington, 34 percent of voters said they wanted a further investigation while 65 percent said that wasn't needed. Democrats were about evenly split while more than nine in 10 Republican voters said they were opposed to further investigation.

The telephone poll of 931 registered voters was conducted on Monday and Wednesday of this week and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

SOURCE -,0,1496046.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork

[Ed note: they mention the bloggers are going crazy, but stick with the unverifiable questions as their point in a 2-page article: both the time Cheney waited to reveal the story and the alchohol level in his blood. This is classic stuff, with the mass media training society to think that "bloggers" and other web-surfers only waste their time arguing over the same points the rest of society does - or lesser ones. They've also trained us to think the brave men and women who risk their lives protesting the WTO don't know what they're talking about, or at least no more than the average viewer who watches 5 hours of bad TV a day. Nobody, and I mean nobody takes the time to do this stuff without having a point, it's usually one worth discussing, and even if eventually dismissed we learn from the process and often discover something new. The mainstream media has been afraid of the alternative media for a long time now, and have succeeded in maintaining their supremacy over the mediascape by dishonest sins of ommission, among others. This can change as long as one has the balls to use their faith in their common sense to overcome another's faith in the common knowledge we all know to be full of subtle lies.]

CBS News

Bloggers Battle Over Cheney Misfire
(Page 1 of 2)

NEW YORK, Feb. 17, 2006 (CBS/AP)

Quote: "It’s inconceivable that you don’t go to the hospital unless there’s a reason you don’t go to the hospital." - Al Franken, liberal comedian

(CBS) This story was written by's Melissa McNamara

Vice President Dick Cheney's weekend misfire brought verbal combat to a boil between left- and right-leaning bloggers.

The Kenedy County Sheriff's Department has closed its investigation into Cheney's accidental shooting of hunting pal Harry Whittington and issued a report that largely supports the vice president's account of the weekend's events.

But that hasn't stopped the shooting in cyberspace, where liberal bloggers were particularly riled up over the role alcohol might have played in the mishap.



VIDEO - 10 min



Harry Whittington Shooting Ballistics Tested, Cheney shot at Whittington from 15 feet not 90 as claimed

Infowars | February 16, 2006
By Alex Jones

by Alex Jones

Below is a ten minute "see-for-yourself" report that conclusively shows that Vice President Dick Cheney's claims to Kennedy County Sheriff's Deputies in south Texas is a total fabrication.

A massive cover-up has been conducted concerning the shooting. We know that most of the facts that have been told to the public are manufactured frauds.

Cheney claims that he shot Whittington at 90 feet, ballistic tests from the spread of the shotgun pellets to their penetration depth is 100% conclusive.

Download in External Player

Quicktime Version

Backup Video Links: WinMedia | Quicktime

Harry Whittington was shot at close range, between 15 and 18 feet, not the 90 claimed by Dick Cheney and the Secret Service. It is now clear why they refused to let Sheriff's Deputies interview Cheney for over 13 hours and why they claimed that Whittington's injuries were superficial when in truth they were grievous.

The mainstream media is ignoring this literal smoking gun evidence. Anytime they wish, the local police can conduct their own ballistics tests and they will have the exact same findings. The media can conduct their own tests. The ballistics of shotguns and birdshot is well known to tens of millions of Americans who hunt fowl.

We have now scientifically proved with an engineer and a police officer on-site conducting the test that the American people are being lied to and a cover-up is in progress.

Observations of the Ballistics Test

Infowars | February 15, 2006
By Kevin Smith

Gelatin Testing: #8 Birdshot Statistics

* Range: 3 yards
* Shotgun: 18 inch barreled Remington 870 Marine Magnumn
* Round: 12 gauge 2¾ Remington Heavy Dove 1-1/8 oz #8 Birdshot
* Gelatin: 9'x9'x19' 10% ordinance gelatin block
* Measured Average Permenant Cavity Penetration: 4.5 inches (11.4 cm)
* Temporary Stretch Cavity: 1.0 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 cm)
* Calibration BB Velocity: 623 fps
* Calibration BB Penetration: 12.5 cm

"So we have established the distance of the shot. Now we wanted to see if we could match the wound penetration. As I already stated the shots at the dummy torso from 90 feet had little to no effect. Alex then decided to shoot the game hen and the watermelon from 90 feet. The results of these shots were penetrations of 1 to 2 millimeters, this means they were just under the outer layer of skin. There was also evidence of impacts that bounced off, leaving black smudges on both targets. At shots taken from 30 feet slightly deeper penetrations, but nothing that went passed the most outer layers of the actual meat. The last shot was taken at the game hen from 15 feet and that shot yielded the kind of results that Mr. Whittington experienced, a tight cluster of pellet hits penetrating into the internal cavities of the body."



[Ed note: the critics are citing crappy critiques...]

February 16, 2006


The Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight
by Anthony Wade

"The second issue is accountability. When I say this is the gang that can’t shoot straight, it is by design that they lie, it is policy. Under the Bush administration, the truth is assaulted and violated. Putting aside the lies about alcohol, because that story has changed at least three times already, they could not even honestly tell us what happened.
The initial story was that the victim was 90 yards away and that he was “peppered” pretty good. Unfortunately, gun and hunting experts started debunking this notion immediately, pointing out that the victim could not have had the injuries that were reported at a distance of 90 yards. Now, putting aside the fact that “peppering” is something we should be doing to steaks, the story has since been modified to say 30 yards.
On the issue of the injuries, we were first told that the victim was merely grazed in the facial area. By Sunday, the story had morphed into including his shoulder area and by Monday apparently, Mr. Whittington was actually shot in the heart as well and had suffered a heart attack."

1) The facts were not revealed for one full day.

2) The investigation did not occur for one full day.

3) The Vice President did not bother speaking with Bush until Monday.

4) The corroborating witness was actually 100 yards away and initially thought Cheney had suffered a heart attack.

5) The ranch owner says they only had Dr. Pepper, but Cheney himself admits to having a beer with lunch.

6) The injuries started with the victim’s face, spread to his shoulder and within three days had gone to his heart.

7) The fact that the victim was 90 yards away was proven to be actually 30 yards.


Cheney Shoots Whittington -- Unanswered Questions


Peace, (NOW!!!)



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Thursday, February 16, 2006

(Oscar nominated...) Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room & The Milgram Experiment

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)


(FRESH = 60% or Greater) Reviews counted: 113
Fresh: 110 Rotten: 3
Average Rating: 8.1/10


The Milgram Experiment

In the early 1960s, Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted experiments wherein a subject assured of no personal repercussions was urged to electrically shock an unseen victim to varying degrees—including death. “Fifty percent of the people shocked their subjects to death,” Gibney says.
“The Milgram experiment shows that—and this is juxtaposed with Enron traders taking down the grid in California—given the right circumstances, the right culture, people can do horrible things. And so long as we believe that the market is a force of nature that will result in the best possible outcome, then we’re going to have problems like this.”


The Milgram Experiment

Controversy surrounded Stanley Milgram for much of his professional life as a result of a series of experiments on obedience to authority which he conducted at Yale University in 1961-1962.
He found, surprisingly, that 65% of his subjects, ordinary residents of New Haven, were willing to give apparently harmful electric shocks-up to 450 volts-to a pitifully protesting victim, simply because a scientific authority commanded them to, and in spite of the fact that the victim did not do anything to deserve such punishment.
The victim was, in reality, a good actor who did not actually receive shocks, and this fact was revealed to the subjects at the end of the experiment. But, during the experiment itself, the experience was a powerfully real and gripping one for most participants.

Milgram's career also produced other creative, though less controversial, research; such as, the small-world method (the source of "Six Degrees of Separation"), the lost-letter technique, mental maps of cities, cyranoids, the familiar stranger, and an experiment testing the effects of televised antisocial behavior which, though conducted 30 years ago, remains unique to the present day.



Office of Communications
22 Chambers St.
Princeton, New Jersey 08542
Telephone 609-258-3601; Fax 609-258-1301

Embargoed for release: 2 p.m., Nov. 25, 2004
Media contact: Steven Schultz, (609) 258-5729,

Could Abu Ghraib happen again?

Psychologists call for greater attention to role of peers and superiors in prison scandal

PRINCETON, N.J. -- When news broke about the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, many people questioned: Who could do such a thing? According to Princeton psychologists who reviewed decades worth of studies, the answer is: Anyone.

Writing in the Nov. 26 issue of Science, professor Susan Fiske and graduate students Lasana Harris and Amy Cuddy contend that many forms of behavior, including acts of great evil, are influenced as much by authority figures, peer pressure and other social interactions as by the psychology of the individual.

"Could any average 18-year-old have tortured these prisoners?" said Fiske. "I would have to answer, 'Yes, just about anyone could have -- unfortunately.'"

Fiske and colleagues drew their conclusions from 25,000 studies involving 8 million participants, which explain how factors, ranging from the stress of war to the expectations of superiors, can combine to cause ordinary people to commit seemingly inexplicable acts.

"Ordinary people can engage in incredibly destructive behavior if so ordered by legitimate authority," the researchers wrote, referring particularly to landmark studies conducted by Stanley Milgram in the early 1970s. Milgram showed that normal volunteers would deliver what they understood to be lethal electric shocks to other people when they were told that it was a necessary part of carrying out an experiment. "Subordinates not only do what they are ordered to do, but what they think their superiors would order them to do, given their understanding of the authority's overall goals," the researchers wrote.

When discussing the Milgram experiment in classes, Fiske said, students swear they would never behave the way the study subjects did. "But when they are put in similar experiments, they do," said Fiske.



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Halle Berry, The Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year, performs during the annual Harvard Univeristy's Hasty Pudding event in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)


Haiti Speech... and other amusings, anomalies and apocrypha that make you go "Hmmm"?

Ah Haiti, the black pearl of the Caribbean.

The land of U.N. experiments in policing the poor, the land of the poorest of the poor, and the land that time forgot.

One of them.

Either way they have elected a new Prime Minister, Rene Preval, amidst allegations of corruption made chiefly by the corrupt, and a mass popular uprising demanding that their election-day voices be respected.

Classic stuff.

An interesting thing struck me recently, and that's how fluidly and easily our opinion is influenced, both by pictures and print. An old thesis, but please, indulge me, it's beyond misleading and is misleading us towards fascism.

I saw some pictures from Crisis Pictures today, just randomly flipping through sites I'd saved, and was blown away by actually SEEING some of what's happening in Iraq, both brutal and benign.

It made the "war" real, like it's a real event with real people.

They've also got pictures (both brutal and benign) from around the world:

* Afghanistan
* Bolivia
* Burundi
* China
* Colombia
* Congo
* Ethiopia
* Guatemala
* Iran
* Iraq
* Israel
* Liberia
* Mauritania
* Niger
* North Korea
* Pakistan
* Somalia
* Sri Lanka
* Sudan
* Uganda
* United States

We don't seem 'em much these days, and we don't care about 'em much these days.

I've heard that 1/3rd of the CIA's budget is for propaganda, and they're only one of 18 or so intelligence agencies we don't know about. I also posted an AP article a couple of days ago that said the Bush Administration has spent $1.6 billion on PR over the last 30 months - to be used against Americans.


Wonder what $1.6 billion will buy you?

Overtly or covertly?

And I wonder... is this a lie too?

Things are inevitably worse than we find out...

Either way, whether it's buying us or spying on us, we've got to think that resistance is not futile or we'll just end up depressed. It's a dark sore-spot that grows, and I've seen evidence of it crop up in brutal cynicism about happiness in general. Not brutal as the brutalizing of Fallujah, but the cumulative effect is an accelerated acceptance of evil which could lead to a domestic "Fallujah".

Or, "Katrina".


I read this review of Green Day's "Bullet in a Bible" DVD recently on, a well-respected and generally fair music site. As a companion piece to the "American Idiot" album, a crucial piece of honest angst in a treacherous media-scape, I was shocked to find these polemical statements in an overall denigration of the idea that Green Day should even be "political".

Green Day
Bullet in a Bible
[Reprise; 2005]
Rating: 3.0 / 10

"...their superstardom is a mascara-clouded mess of sloganeering, middle age, and punk rock lip service, and the firebrand moments in 2004's American Idiot diminish with every millionth unit shifted."

"In theory Green Day's still singing to those suburban mudslingers, the '90s kids who grew up to find only apathy, fear, and nothingness beyond the fast food wrappers and blaring televisions. But American Idiot's rage seems more like artifice now, especially when it's performed from a stage of Stonesian proportions."

"...which leads into "Brain Stew" and "Basket Case" for the only stretch when Bullet sounds really alive. At least those songs are from an era when Green Day sounded like a band that didn't give a shit. With American Idiot they have a real problem, because, as Bullet in a Bible's very existence proves, their big Message Record is also a Monstrous Hit. They might have meant to beat against the Head Redneck's agenda, might have wanted to bury a punk rock pipe bomb at the intersection between populist politics and the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. But here's Bullet in a Bible just in time for the holidays, the commercialistic addendum to Idiot's supposed apathetic anthems. Now everybody do the propaganda."


The same reviewer, Johnny Loftus, gave "American Idiot" a 7.2 in his earlier review, and was in full-praise of the album suggesting their political stance had given them new life.


Seems like cynicism really got to him, as all the qualities he'd appreciated before were now seen as trite or cliche, and their very success a reason to write them off.

Getting "political" is dangerous in these times, or at least we've made it so. We've legitimized criticism that diminishes criticism of those trying to limit or listen to our free speech, and that's bad. We're protecting power from the people by preventing protestors from protecting us.


Back to Haiti.

I was watching Steven Gaghan, the writer and director of "Syriana" (and writer of "Traffic") on "The Charlie Rose Show" the other day.

Among the crazy things he said was that he would never fly in a small plane again, they're too easy to blow-up and make it look like an accident; and rich oil executives place bets on the next country to be toppled by a U.S.-backed coup for it's oil resources. As the men sat around guessing the next government to fall, the biggest and baddest among them said: "Nope. It's Nigeria, it's happening right now, and it'll probably cost at the most $50 million."


That's it?

Man... you could do 20 countries for $1 billion dollars.

And... 32 countries for $1.6 billion dollars.

And... the United States of America for...?


This struck me as I checked out this mainstream news story about Haiti. They suggested that former Prime Minister Jean-Bertrand Aristide was "twice ousted by rebellious mobs"; and then later say he was a "a liberation theologist hugely popular among the poor".

Wait a minute... the rich don't "mob"!!!

Show me rich "rebellious mobs" and I'll show you Dick Cheney's hip hop collection.


In fact, Mr. Aristide was ousted in a U.S.-backed coup, probably for a lot less than $50 million, and was kidnaped from his country by U.S. marines. I've heard him speak about it on, and his cause is well-known throughout the world.

After a frustrating Google News search for "aristide coup" I found a small American newspaper, The San Jose Mercury News, picking up a newswire story alluding to the weight of evidence being presented by several parties to a formally recognized court of law. Then I found the biggest and most respected paper in Europe, The Guardian Unlimited, casually referring to what the rest of the world knows as an afterthought in their "World in a Week" section.

Feel free to compare and contrast, it's no fun being the butt of a joke played on you by your own independent and democratic free press...

The San Jose Mercury News

Posted on Thu, Feb. 02, 2006

Groups seek probe of U.S. involvement in Aristide's exit

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - The human rights arm of the Organization of American States was asked Thursday to investigate whether the U.S. government helped orchestrate the ouster of former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide by withholding vital aid and blocking a reinforcement of his bodyguard detail.

The 47-page petition was filed with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights by three groups that have supported Aristide - the TransAfrica Forum, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and the Haiti-based Bureau des Avocats Internationaux - and the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School.

Largely repeating allegations made by Aristide supporters in the past, the petition also alleges U.S. Marines spirited Aristide out of the country after blocking his communications in the final hours of his government and obtained a dubious letter of resignation.

It asks the commission to investigate the role of the United States, the Dominican Republic and the Haitian government in the armed rebellion in 2004 that forced Aristide to fly abroad. He now lives in exile in South Africa. U.S. officials have repeatedly denied the allegations, saying that Aristide voluntarily resigned and asked for U.S. assistance to leave the country, fearing for his life if he stayed.

"The U.S. imposed an illegal and immoral development assistance embargo on the elected government, while generously supporting the political opposition," said Brian Concannon Jr., head of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. "In the Dominican Republic, former soldiers and paramilitaries trained openly, and from time to time crossed the border to attack civilian targets and twice launched coup d'etat attempts."

The petition, presented just days before Haitians go to the polls to elect a new president, was filed on behalf of five Haitian citizens whose names have been withheld for security reasons.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights can recommend reparations payments to victims of human rights violations or refer cases to the Costa Rica-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights, whose rulings are binding.



The World in a Week

Peaceful vote gives Haiti hope

Tracy McVeigh, foreign editor
Sunday February 12, 2006
The Observer

Haiti went to the polls on Tuesday without the widely predicted scenes of violence. Four died in gang fights, but the strong turnout has almost certainly secured victory for René Preval,
an ally of ex-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, deposed in the 2004 US-backed coup
. Haitians, who have endured years of grim poverty and fighting, are pinning all their hopes on this vote. Observers were proclaiming the election a democratic success for a nation described by the UN as in a 'catastrophic' state.

SOURCE -,,1707884,00.html

In this file photo taken on Feb. 14, 2006, Haitian President-elect Rene Preval smiles during a news conference in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Preval, a former president who is hugely popular among the poor, was declared the winner about 1:30 a.m. Thursday Feb. 16, 2006 by the interim government and electoral council, staving off a potential crisis over the disputed vote. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, file)

Yahoo! News

Preval Faces Familiar Challenges in Haiti

By STEVENSON JACOBS, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 7 minutes ago

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Haiti's new president Rene Preval faces the mammoth task of moving his country out of chaos, crime and crushing poverty, but at least all the challenges are familiar.

The shy, soft-spoken agronomist led Haiti from 1996 to 2001,
a period of relative calm between the two presidential terms of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was twice ousted by rebellious mobs
. Preval is the only democratically elected Haitian president to finish the five-year term.

"We will not be able to do everything right away," Preval told The Associated Press in his northern village of Marmelade on the eve of the Feb. 7 election. "But we are determined to do our best and raise the standard of living for the people of Haiti."

The 63-year-old Preval was declared the winner Thursday, staving off a potential crisis after days of protests by his supporters who alleged fraud and manipulation when initial vote tallies showed a runoff might be needed.

Preval studied in Belgium as a young man, then returned to Haiti in the 1970s and became active in the movement to oust the Duvalier dictatorship. After the fall of Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier in 1986,
he became a close ally of Aristide, a liberation theologist hugely popular among the poor

Preval was named prime minister after Aristide was elected president in 1990. Aristide referred to the president-elect as his "twin."

Aristide spokeswoman Maryse Narcisse said in New York the former leader would make a statement "pretty soon."

Preval followed Aristide into exile when the army overthrew him in a September 1991 coup and returned after a U.S. invasion restored Aristide to power three years later.

Preval's election in 1996 marked the first peaceful transition from one democratically elected president to another since Haiti won independence in 1804. Many felt he served as a placeholder president from 1996 to 2001 for his more dynamic mentor.

When he took office in 1996, Preval vowed to turn Haiti into "a vast construction site" and "re-establish the authority of the state." He now acknowledges that he largely failed.

But he said he struggled against corruption and had some modest accomplishments, such as successfully privatizing the state-run flour mill and cement factory.

"We didn't steal and we didn't violate human rights," he told the AP before the vote.

Preval's key achievement was leaving on time and of his own free will, said Robert Fatton, a Haiti specialist at the University of Virginia.

"In terms of accomplishments, Preval's first presidency was probably a failure," Fatton said. "But the fact he finished his term and left his office peacefully — the only such occurrence in Haitian history — makes it a political success."

The Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste, a Roman Catholic priest and prominent figure in Aristide's Lavalas party, said Preval had managed to improve education, create parks and make some judicial reforms during his presidency.

"The first term, he didn't receive support from the international community," said Jean-Juste, who was recently released from a Haitian jail to seek medical treatment in Florida. "I hope this time all the nations will join hands with President Preval and learn from their mistakes."

After his first presidency, Preval, who has two daughters, went to live in his grandmother's house in the north-central town of Marmelade, where he devoted himself to local development projects before Aristide was ousted again in 2004.

Preval insists he has emerged from the shadow of the ousted president. This time, he notably did not run on the ticket of Aristide's Lavalas Family party.

His party is called "Lespwa," Haitian Creole for "hope."


Associated Press reporters Alfred de Montesquiou in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Laura Wides-Munoz in Florida contributed to this report.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006 reveals... "325,000 Names on Terrorism List" (The Washington Post)

325,000 Names on Terrorism List

Walter Pincus and Dan Eggen / Washington Post | February 15 2006

The National Counterterrorism Center maintains a central repository of 325,000 names of international terrorism suspects or people who allegedly aid them, a number that has more than quadrupled since the fall of 2003, according to counterterrorism officials.

The list kept by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) -- created in 2004 to be the primary U.S. terrorism intelligence agency -- contains a far greater number of international terrorism suspects and associated names in a single government database than has previously been disclosed. Because the same person may appear under different spellings or aliases, the true number of people is estimated to be more than 200,000, according to NCTC officials.



Chertoff Jokes About Regulating Weather

Associated Press | February 15, 2006

Looking for a strategy to prevent disasters like Hurricane Katrina? Try regulating the weather, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff joked Monday.

Speaking at a gathering of state emergency management directors, Chertoff noted the weekend snowstorm that hit the area, joking that it had been especially arranged "to give a little additional urgency to these proceedings."

"It seems the problem we have in this country is, we either have too much moisture or too little moisture, depending on whether you're on the coast or in the interior," Chertoff said. "If we could average it out, we could prevent some of the disasters we've been faced with."

The next hurricane season begins June. 1.


Chicago Mayor Wants Security Cameras at Bars

Judy Keen, USA TODAY | February 15 2006

CHICAGO — Surveillance cameras — aimed at government buildings, train platforms and intersections here — might soon be required at corner taverns and swanky nightclubs.

Mayor Richard Daley wants to require bars open until 4 a.m. to install security cameras that can identify people entering and leaving the building. Other businesses open longer than 12 hours a day, including convenience stores, eventually would have to do the same.



China denies Internet controls lead to arrests

Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:26 PM ET16

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese people can freely access the Internet and the government has never arrested anyone for expressing an opinion on the Web, an official state newspaper said on Wednesday. Chinese regulations were also in line with international practices and no different from rules in other countries like the United States which seek to block sites with harmful content, the China Daily said, quoting a senior Internet watchdog official.

"No one in China has been arrested simply because he or she said something on the Internet," Liu Zhengrong, vice head of the Internet Affairs Bureau of the State Council Information Office, was quoted as saying.



Britain has new weapon against loitering youths -- Sonic Teenager Deterrent

Feb 15 8:38 AM US/Eastern
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Shopkeepers in central England have been trying out a new device that emits an uncomfortable high-pitched noise designed to disperse young loiterers outside their stores without bothering adults.

Police carrying out the pilot project in Staffordshire say some of those who have tested the "Sonic Teenager Deterrent," nicknamed the mosquito, have talked of buying one of their own.

The device which costs 622 pounds (908 euros, 1,081 dollars) "doesn't cause any pain to the hearer," according to Inspector Amanda Davies, quoted by Britain's domestic Press Association news agency.

"The noise can normally only be heard by those between 12 and 22 and it makes the listener feel uncomfortable," she added.

Once in their early 20s, people lose their capacity to hear sounds at such a high pitch.

"It is controlled by the shopkeepers. If they can see through their window that there is a problem, they turn the device on for a few minutes until the group has dispersed," Davies said.

"Shop owners have reported fabulous results and we've been approached by some who are considering buying their own equipment," she said.


Liberty Beat

The War on Privacy

Rumsfeld warns that the enemy can succeed in changing our way of life. It already has.

by Nat Hentoff
The Village Voice
February 12th, 2006 12:53 PM

"There was, of course, no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. . . . But at any rate they would plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."

- George Orwell

> One morning, in his Supreme Court chambers, Justice William Brennan was giving me a lesson on the American Revolution. "A main precipitating cause of our revolution," he said, "was the general search warrant that British customs officers wrote—without going to any court—to break into the American colonists' homes and offices, looking for contraband." Everything, including the colonists, was turned upside down.

He added that news of these recurrent assaults on privacy were spread through the colonies by the Committees of Correspondence that Sam Adams and others organized, inflaming the outraged Americans.

Now, the Congressional Democratic leadership has finally found an issue to focus on—the vanishing of Americans' privacy, as happened before the American Revolution, but currently on a scale undreamed of by Sam Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and the other patriots in the Committees of Correspondence.


SOURCE -,hentoff,72136,6.html

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