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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 02:59 PM
Number of posts: 49,194

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Columbus Day

Bush and Public Health Emergency Preparedness. Interesting read.

Bush and Public Health Emergency Preparedness. Interesting read.

But most of the money they threw at us was bioterrorism
money. And I do mean they threw it at us. We had so much bioterrorism
money (BT) that most large health departments (which are largely local
animals -- city-run or county-run) formed whole sections in their
departments, fully staffed and rolling in money such that the staff
couldn't even spend fast enough.

And this for a problem that didn't exist, of course.
There was no bioterrorism.

But we did use the money wisely, on emergency
planning and resourcing. Every public health worker was trained in
emergency management. Our public health lab was expanded and highly
improved. And of course as you know, California has earthquakes, so we
broadened the emergency management training protocols to include natural
disasters, which are infinitely more likely than a massive bioterrorism
attack, I'm sure every sane person would agree.

That massive public health response to the Bird Flu
in 2009? That was due to the expansive program of emergency management
across the US almost entirely funded by bioterrorism money. So
ultimately the money didn't go to waste.


Slave photo from Robert E. Lee's home discovered on eBay

National Park Service curator Kim Robinson holds the photo of Selina Gray, right, who was in charge to care for Arlington House where Gen. Robert E. Lee had lived in for 30 years. (AP)

An “extremely rare” Civil War-era photograph of the enslaved woman who helped save Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Virginia home has been obtained by the National Park Service after a volunteer spotted the image on eBay.

The previously unknown photograph depicts Selina Gray, the head housekeeper to Lee and his family, along with two girls thought to be her daughters. The photograph was unveiled Thursday at the Arlington House plantation overlooking the nation's capital that was home to Lee and dozens of slaves before the Civil War.

An inscription on the back of the image reads "Gen Lees Slaves Arlington Va."

Park officials said this is only the second known photograph taken of slaves at Arlington.



“When cop killed Michael Brown & Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, they were killing Barack Obama"

SUNDAY, OCT 12, 2014 09:30 AM PDT
“When that cop killed Michael Brown, and when George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, they were killing Barack Obama”

Greil Marcus explains why the sick new American racism is only getting worse, and explores his brilliant new book


............But with Barack Obama, racism has become ordinary discourse since his election in a way that it wasn’t before, and the contempt and the ridicule with which Republicans treat him. Not even Bill Clinton, who they felt they could disparage because they thought he was a dumb white cracker, not even Bill Clinton has been treated the way Barack Obama has been treated. He’s been treated as if he’s an impostor, an interloper and as scum.

I mean, the things that have been said about Michelle Obama, the way she’s talked about on Fox News, you know, forget about Twitter or comments on news stories or anything like that where all the morons live, but the way she’s been talked about, can you imagine Laura Bush ever being talked about that way? Laura Bush actually killed somebody. But that was never mentioned, that was never talked about, because it was impolite to bring it up.

Anyway, don’t let me go on like this. But, yeah, yeah. And when you look at the things … when you look at the murder of Trayvon Martin, when you look at the murder of Michael Brown, when you look at those situations, it’s not unrelated to Obama being president, but it’s more the way in which the country has reframed itself or rewritten itself since his election, with all kinds of people saying to themselves, maybe never putting it into words, just feeling it, “There’s a fucking n—er in the White House? Well fuck you, n—er, whoever you are.” And an inchoate loathing and hatred that seeks out its targets.

I’m not a psychiatrist, I haven’t sat down and interviewed George Zimmerman or the cop who shot Michael Brown, I don’t know what their motives are, I don’t know what kind of people they are, what kind of childhood traumas they have experienced. But I don’t think it’s nuts that in a certain way, when that cop killed Michael Brown, and when George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, they were killing Barack Obama.



Snowden: Supreme Court will strike down NSA programs

Snowden: Supreme Court will strike down NSA programs

Edward Snowden on Saturday said he is “confident” mass surveillance programs employed by U.S. federal agencies will be found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Last year, review panels questioned the lack of oversight and effectiveness of the operations and a federal court said the National Security Agency's daily collection of phone records likely violated the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans from illegal searches.

“It will go to the Supreme Court, and I’m confident that the Supreme Court will agree that these programs went too far,” he said during a web chat with the New Yorker.


good luck with that Mr. Snowden:


Welcome to Walmart, How may I help you?

New Poem:
Shopping at Walmart
Fri, 10/10/2014 - 22:23
by: Gary Lindorff

Welcome to Walmart,
How may I help you?

You can start by reading my shirt.
On the front it says: Leave while you can.
On the back: Follow my ass.

Outside the day-sky is black.
There is a static energy crackling from
Every plant and rooftop.
Everything is charged.
There is an acidic tang to the air,
A volatile fried plastic smell.

I am homeless.
I will do anything for food.
Wash your car, clean your garage.
I am a middle-aged starving, fat American.
I see myself crucified on a solar panel.

I do not trust my governor,
My senator, or my president.
And least of all myself.
I tread lightly.
I’ve been trying to grow wings.

Where can I find reading glasses and socks?
I wander the aisles of Walmart
Trying to focus on my inner life.

Every-day-low-prices suckle my brain.

I have a real barcode on my butt.


When I get my glasses and my socks
I will stand in the parking lot.
I will squint at the sun
Which will be smiling
And pointing its bright middle finger
At my car
Which is on fire.

That is the future.
There are no cars in the future,
No bees, no Walmarts.
It isn’t anything like this.
That I promise.

But people will have wings.

--Gary Lindorff

cartoon: "Stop Isis"

Stop ISIS#154763

The U.S. Soldier Who Killed Herself After Refusing to Take Part in Torture

Here's what the Flagstaff public radio station, KNAU, where Elston worked, reported: "Peterson objected to the interrogation techniques used on prisoners. She refused to participate after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage. Army spokespersons for her unit have refused to describe the interrogation techniques Alyssa objected to. They say all records of those techniques have now been destroyed."

The official probe of her death would later note that earlier she had been "reprimanded" for showing "empathy" for the prisoners. One of the most moving parts of the report, in fact, is this: "She said that she did not know how to be two people; she...could not be one person in the cage and another outside the wire."

She was then assigned to the base gate, where she monitored Iraqi guards, and sent to suicide prevention training. "But on the night of September 15th, 2003, Army investigators concluded she shot and killed herself with her service rifle," the documents disclose.

The official report revealed that a notebook she had written in was found next to her body, but blacked out its contents.

the rest (the whole thing is worth a read, especially the note from her brother):

a profound pic...

somber too...
A picture of the USS Cole sailing by the new World Trade Center

Better Make More Cuts To Food Stamps --- Because the money is needed elsewhere.

Better Make More Cuts To Food Stamps
Because the money is needed elsewhere.

Much of the money was probably used by the Iraqi government in some way, he concluded. But for years Mr. Bowen could not account for billions more until his investigators finally had a breakthrough, discovering that $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion had been stolen and moved to a bunker in rural Lebanon for safe keeping. “I don’t know how the money got to Lebanon,” Mr. Bowen said. “If I knew that, we would have made more progress on the case.”

Mr. Bowen kept the discovery and his investigation of the cash-filled bunker in Lebanon, which his office code-named Brick Tracker, secret. He has never publicly discussed it until now, and his frustration that neither he nor his investigators can fully account for the missing money was evident in a series of interviews. “Billions of dollars have been taken out of Iraq over the last 10 years illegally,” he said. “In this investigation, we thought we were on the track for some of that lost money. It’s disappointing to me personally that we were unable to close this case, for reasons beyond our control.”

More of this mystery here:
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