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KN4M 01-22-04

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  • robalini@aol.com
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com Paul Krassner Zen Bastard
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 22, 2004
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      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Thanks,
      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist
      http://www.konformist.com

      Paul Krassner
      Zen Bastard
      http://www.nypress.com
      Volume 17, Issue 2

      Hack Attack
      The GOP journalist gunning for Bush in New Hampshire.

      Although the facts of the Bush family/Nazi Germany connection have
      been whirling around in cyberspace for years, veteran journalist John
      Buchanan was among the first to confirm the story in print. Now he's
      running against George W. in the New Hampshire Republican primary.

      In January 2003, Buchanan got involved in the antiwar movement and
      began researching war profiteering in the Bush administration by way
      of such companies as the Carlyle Group, Engineered Support Systems,
      BioPort, Halliburton, Bechtel and Wackenhut. His investigation
      ultimately led to a screenplay called Project Clear-Vision, taken
      from the name of an actual CIA anthrax-biowarfare project that may
      have violated the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.

      "The plot of the script," he told me, "is that the German principals
      of Bayer AG, which came out of I.G. Farben after WW II, blackmailed
      Daddy Bush with the `Nazi past' of the family into allowing the
      anthrax letters to happen so Cipro sales could save Bayer US from
      bankruptcy. I got a really hotshot young turk agent in Hollywood who
      told me on September 2 that he could [sell] the script if I
      could `prove' the Nazi past and publish the documentation. So,
      technically speaking, motivated more by sheer greed than patriotism,
      I set out to sell a movie script for millions of dollars by landing a
      huge scoop."

      He spent a few days at the National Archives and the Library of
      Congress, where he found "smoking gun" information in the personal
      papers of former New York governor Averell Harriman, only to learn
      that the New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC News, CNN - even
      his hometown paper, the Miami Herald - all refused to acknowledge the
      documentation of his discovery. He ended up in the fortnightly New
      Hampshire Gazette, which claims to be the oldest paper in America,
      founded in 1756. After his first article appeared in the Gazette on
      Friday, October 10, more than 60 web sites around the globe picked up
      the story. (Analysis of the Bush/Nazi connection is also found in
      Kevin Phillips' new American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the
      Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush, Viking, 2004.)

      The Internet postings generated hundreds of e-mails and phone calls,
      including one from the Associated Press. AP Washington reporter
      Jonathan Salant went to the archives under Buchanan's direction and
      studied the documents, but then, in Buchanan's words, "misreported
      them in a watered down, inexplicably erroneous story that ran all
      over the world the weekend of October 17-19" - in the Moscow Times,
      the (London) Guardian, Hindustan Times, Sydney Morning Herald, the
      Jerusalem Post and, in the US, Newsday, the Washington Times, the
      Chicago Sun-Times, the Kansas City Star, the Fort Worth Star-
      Telegram, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the San Francisco
      Chronicle and the New Orleans Times-Picayune, among others.

      "Meanwhile," says Buchanan, "the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC
      and CNN, not to mention the Miami Herald (whose official response to
      the AP story was to send the police to my apartment as a `suspected
      terrorist sympathizer') stonewalled and refused to look at the
      documents. After that, Joe Conason - to everyone's shock - wrote a
      column in the New York Observer in which he dismissed my story as
      a `smear' against George W. Bush. That set off a backlash that
      culminated in a Sunday Doonesbury `Bush-Nazi?' cartoon that turned
      the scoop into pop culture. Finally, presidential historian and Daddy
      Bush official biographer Herbert Parmet came to my rescue in November
      2003 with a major essay at the History News Network at George Mason
      University."

      I asked Buchanan how his decision to run for president came about.

      "It wasn't my decision. My own friends and peers would have laughed -
      as they did. Nevertheless, I was literally drafted by a living
      legend - John McConnell, the 86-year-old cofounder of Earth Day,
      whose friends included 33 Nobel laureates and former UN Secretary
      General U. Thant. McConnell called me on October 13 after he read my
      first Gazette article online, and told me he thought I was `the kind
      of person who can change the world.' I didn't even know who he was in
      that first call, which lasted over an hour. Then, after I found out
      who he was, we talked some more and agreed to form a new political
      party based on a policy of peace, justice and care of the planet.

      "A week later, as I was writing a platform, a group that included a
      Republican, a Democrat, an independent and a Muslim author agreed
      that I should run - but as a Republican, head-on against Bush, as the
      truth candidate. I agreed, on the condition that I would not be a
      politician, but a working journalist whose ideas and claims have
      grown out of a long career of writing about government, politics,
      business, the arts - you name it. So, I have a unique perspective, in
      that I have nothing to lose and only have one responsibility, which
      is to tell the truth in response to every question I get."

      His platform is quixotically idealistic: (1) end the corporate reign
      in this country by getting corporations out of politics and
      government entirely; (2) end war profiteering by former government
      officials and Washington insiders, which leads to billions of dollars
      in secret profits that are banked offshore, without scrutiny; (3)
      reform the media. His campaign manager is David Kubiak, a Democrat
      who ran in the New Hampshire primary for vice president in 2000.

      "Even though you'll be running as a Republican," I said, "and it's a
      given that you won't win, do you expect, ironically enough, to help
      the Democrats defeat Bush by exposing his lies?"

      "I submit that, based on the unreported facts, he is guilty of
      treason because of the sinister and longstanding relationship he and
      his family have with the Saudis and the bin Laden family, both via
      the Carlyle Group and prior to that via Bush's Texas oil ventures in
      the 70s. I am running for president as a grand experiment to see
      whether the truth matters anymore in this country - and whether we
      can deal with it if it can be gotten out for open debate in a
      presidential election cycle.

      "I am going to focus on 9/11 and how Bush & Co. have exploited it
      purely for financial gain - and name the businesses and what they've
      made to date.

      "We are talking in the billions of dollars being skimmed off by
      insiders like Halliburton. I will show that. I will raise the serious
      issue of unanswered questions about 9/11 and the ongoing cover-up. I
      am now supported by Ellen Mariani, the 9/11 widow who is suing Bush
      under the RICO statute.

      "My question now is, can a common citizen, armed with the truth and
      good ideas, get any attention at all in a presidential primary
      without the traditional political advantages of money and
      organization? To put it mildly, it is a journey into unknown
      territory. I intend to fight like a son-of-a-bitch to win. That means
      getting 10 percent of the vote in New Hampshire, which earns me one
      delegate. Then I'll go to the Republican Convention and try to shut
      it down, aided by some surprising and well-organized institutional
      supporters.

      "The real reason I'm running is to raise the question, `Who owns the
      government, them (the corporate elite) or us (we the people)?' If it
      is us, then we face a big challenge in terms of demonstrating that
      peacefully and legally under the Constitution. If it's `them,' then
      we should face up to that and accept the consequences. The real
      question, of course, is do people even really care at this point,
      having been lulled into silence (and a failure to even vote) by their
      material comforts?"

      Buchanan is getting on ballots in other states, including
      Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Texas. At the College Convention in New
      Hampshire on January 7, he received a major ovation and is now
      considered the front-runner of the fringe candidates.

      Paul Krassner can be reached at paulkrassner.com.

      *****

      137 FL Electronic Votes Disappear In Close Race
      By Anthony Man and Kathy Bushouse
      Staff Writers
      South Florida Sun-Sentinel
      1-15-4

      "Voting without a paper trail to me is a recipe for a potential
      disaster in the presidential election, which is going to be close."

      Bogdanoff Certified As 12-Vote Winner

      A heated recount for a state House seat finally ended Monday night,
      but the six-day wait for a winner has reignited demands for
      assurances that electronic voting machines are accurate.

      Ellyn Bogdanoff's 12-vote victory margin over Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
      Mayor Oliver Parker ultimately held up in the House District 91 race,
      but controversy swirled after 137 voters in parts of Boca Raton and
      coastal Broward County went to the polls but didn't cast a vote for
      any candidate.

      State Rep. Joe Negron doesn't think that many people would go to the
      polls without voting.

      The result raises suspicions about the accuracy of the electronic
      equipment. But the absence of a paper trail means there's nothing
      that can be done to verify the results shown by the electronic
      devices.

      Negron, a member of the state House Subcommittee on Ethics and
      Elections and chairman of the Palm Beach County Legislative
      Delegation, said he would favor a printed record for the voting
      machines. He said he would raise the issue to the subcommittee next
      week.

      "It's a bad situation. I think it needs to be corrected," Negron, R-
      Stuart, said Monday. "You can't have an election floating in
      cyberspace."

      Just three of the so-called "undervotes" were in Palm Beach County.
      The remainder were in Broward County, which has most of District 91's
      voters and uses different voting equipment.

      "If I lost the election by 12 votes and I found out 134 people [in
      Broward County] came to vote and somehow didn't vote, I'd be
      apoplectic," Negron said. "I'm not buying for one minute that 134
      people went in to vote and showed their ID and got into the booth,
      and did everything they needed to do, and then didn't [vote]."

      Negron said he has always been uneasy about electronic voting with no
      paper backup. "Voting without a paper trail to me is a recipe for a
      potential disaster in the presidential election, which is going to be
      close," he added.

      Negron's sentiment was echoed by state Rep. Anne Gannon, D-Delray
      Beach, Palm Beach County's other member of the House elections
      subcommittee.

      Gannon said she is about to introduce legislation that would require
      a paper record of votes cast on the electronic machines.

      Her proposal would require outfitting each machine with a printer
      that produces a paper record of the voter's intentions that could be
      used if equipment failed or a close race required a recount. She said
      the printers might also be configured to allow voters to take a
      second copy with them when they leave the polls.

      County Elections Supervisor Theresa LePore said the machines already
      are equipped to provide printed records of ballots cast in case of a
      manual recount.

      The records show a candidate's ballot position and what candidate's
      number was selected by each voter who used each machine, she said.
      But there's no way to determine the intent of those who don't choose
      a candidate in one or more races, LePore added.

      The Sequoia voting machines issue three warnings to those who haven't
      voted in all races on a ballot, in case the voter may have
      accidentally skipped a race on the list, LePore said. Voters aren't
      required to make a decision on every race.

      Printers available from Sequoia Voting Systems, the manufacturer of
      Palm Beach County's voting machines, cost about $500 each, said Alfie
      Charles, vice president of business development for Sequoia. That
      means it would cost the county at least $2.5 million to outfit all
      5,000 voting machines.

      County Commissioner Burt Aaronson hopes the federal government would
      come up with some money for printers but said it's a good investment
      even if local taxpayers have to foot the bill. "The only way that
      it's not a worthwhile expenditure is if you don't care whether you
      get an honest count," he said.

      State Senate Minority Leader Ron Klein -- who supports legislation to
      require a paper trail -- said he doesn't think the District 91 race
      will persuade legislators to impose it. "I don't think the
      Legislature wants to do anything about it," said Klein, D-Boca Raton.

      Because of the slim margin, state law required a recount in both
      counties.

      Bogdanoff's closest competitor, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Mayor Oliver
      Parker, had said the voting machines in South Florida are illegal
      because voters' actual ballots can't be counted by hand. Broward
      County Attorney Ed Dion dismissed that claim.

      - Staff Writer Jeremy Milarsky contributed to this report.

      - Anthony Man can be reached at aman@... or 561-832-2905.

      *****

      The Awful Truth
      By Paul Krugman
      The New York Times
      Tuesday 13 January 2004

      People are saying terrible things about George Bush. They say
      that his officials weren't sincere about pledges to balance the
      budget. They say that the planning for an invasion of Iraq began
      seven months before 9/11, that there was never any good evidence that
      Iraq was a threat and that the war actually undermined the fight
      against terrorism.

      But these irrational Bush haters are body-piercing, Hollywood-
      loving, left-wing freaks who should go back where they came from: the
      executive offices of Alcoa, and the halls of the Army War College.

      I was one of the few commentators who didn't celebrate Paul
      O'Neill's appointment as Treasury secretary. And I couldn't
      understand why, if Mr. O'Neill was the principled man his friends
      described, he didn't resign early from an administration that was
      clearly anything but honest.

      But now he's showing the courage I missed back then, by giving
      us an invaluable, scathing insider's picture of the Bush
      administration.

      Ron Suskind's new book "The Price of Loyalty" is based largely
      on interviews with and materials supplied by Mr. O'Neill. It portrays
      an administration in which political considerations - satisfying "the
      base" - trump policy analysis on every issue, from tax cuts to
      international trade policy and global warming. The money quote may be
      Dick Cheney's blithe declaration that "Reagan proved deficits don't
      matter." But there are many other revelations.

      One is that Mr. O'Neill and Alan Greenspan knew that it was a
      mistake to lock in huge tax cuts based on questionable projections of
      future surpluses. In May 2001 Mr. Greenspan gloomily told Mr. O'Neill
      that because the first Bush tax cut didn't include triggers - it went
      forward regardless of how the budget turned out - it
      was "irresponsible fiscal policy." This was a time when critics of
      the tax cut were ridiculed for saying exactly the same thing.

      Another is that Mr. Bush, who declared in the 2000 campaign
      that "the vast majority of my tax cuts go to the bottom end of the
      spectrum," knew that this wasn't true. He worried that eliminating
      taxes on dividends would benefit only "top-rate people," asking his
      advisers, "Didn't we already give them a break at the top?"

      Most startling of all, Donald Rumsfeld pushed the idea of regime
      change in Iraq as a way to transform the Middle East at a National
      Security Council meeting in February 2001.

      There's much more in Mr. Suskind's book. All of it will dismay
      those who still want to believe that our leaders are wise and good.

      The question is whether this book will open the eyes of those
      who think that anyone who criticizes the tax cuts is a wild-eyed
      leftist, and that anyone who says the administration hyped the threat
      from Iraq is a conspiracy theorist.

      The point is that the credentials of the critics just keep
      getting better. How can Howard Dean's assertion that the capture of
      Saddam hasn't made us safer be dismissed as bizarre, when a report
      published by the Army War College says that the war in Iraq was
      a "detour" that undermined the fight against terror? How can charges
      by Wesley Clark and others that the administration was looking for an
      excuse to invade Iraq be dismissed as paranoid in the light of Mr.
      O'Neill's revelations?

      So far administration officials have attacked Mr. O'Neill's
      character but haven't refuted any of his facts. They have, however,
      already opened an investigation into how a picture of a possibly
      classified document appeared during Mr. O'Neill's TV interview. This
      alacrity stands in sharp contrast with their evident lack of concern
      when a senior administration official, still unknown, blew the cover
      of a C.I.A. operative because her husband had revealed some
      politically inconvenient facts.

      Some will say that none of this matters because Saddam is in
      custody, and the economy is growing. Even in the short run, however,
      these successes may not be all they're cracked up to be. More
      Americans were killed and wounded in the four weeks after Saddam's
      capture than in the four weeks before. The drop in the unemployment
      rate since its peak last summer doesn't reflect a greater
      availability of jobs, but rather a decline in the share of the
      population that is even looking for work.

      More important, having a few months of good news doesn't excuse
      a consistent pattern of dishonest, irresponsible leadership. And that
      pattern keeps getting harder to deny.

      *****

      Johnny Rotten to appear in reality show
      'I'm gobsmacked,' says one commentator
      Tuesday, January 20, 2004

      LONDON, England (AP) -- As Johnny Rotten once snarled, "Ever get the
      feeling you've been cheated?"

      To the dismay of aging punk fans, a British television company
      announced Monday that the former Sex Pistols singer and angry punk
      icon -- now known by his real name, John Lydon -- has agreed to
      appear in the reality show "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!"

      "I'm gobsmacked," said Tony Wilson, a British journalist and music
      entrepreneur who knows Lydon. "I'm shocked, but I have faith ... I'm
      sure he's doing it for the right reasons."

      Other punk fans were appalled.

      "The announcement made me feel instantly old. ... If it has come to
      this for the prince of punk, then mediocrity really does get us all
      in the end," wrote Lee Randall in The Scotsman newspaper.

      In The Guardian, rock critic Charles Shaar Murray said "minds
      boggled" when rumors of Lydon's participation surfaced. "Whatever
      happened to punk rock, maaaaan?"

      Britain's near-insatiable appetite for celebrity gossip -- no matter
      how minuscule the celebrity -- and love of reality TV has spawned a
      clutch of celeb-reality hybrids, including "Celebrity Big Brother"
      and "Drop the Celebrity," in which the moderately famous face
      ejection (with parachute) from a plane.

      "I'm a Celebrity," which begins its third latest run January 26 on
      the commercial ITV network, strands C-list celebs in the Australian
      jungle, subjects them to a series of icky trials involving spiders
      and snakes and allows the public to vote them off the show one by
      one.

      The show has proved a hit in Britain, drawing up to 14 million
      viewers -- nearly a quarter of the population. A U.S. version on ABC
      last year fared less well.

      There's no prize money for the winner, but previous British victors --
      a DJ and a cricketer -- experienced big boosts to flagging careers.

      Alongside Lydon, the lineup includes a topless model named Jordan,
      former Olympic 400-meter runner Diane Modahl, '80s pop pinup Peter
      Andre, and Lord Brocket, an aristocrat jailed in 1996 for insurance
      fraud.

      They're joined by a member of a girl group, a former soccer player, a
      former soccer player's wife, a former BBC royal correspondent and a
      former radio DJ.

      The show's executive producer, Natalka Znak, said the lineup was "the
      most unpredictable cast yet."

      "Unpredictable" certainly sums up Lydon. As lead singer of The Sex
      Pistols, Lydon, now 47, helped revolutionize music with raucous
      antiestablishment tracks such as "Anarchy in the U.K." and the
      bitterly sarcastic "God Save the Queen."

      The group's outlandish dress sense and incendiary lyrics -- "God save
      the queen, the fascist regime" -- shook up British society, but the
      Pistols' career was short-lived. The band broke up during a tour of
      the United States in 1978. At their final show, Lydon goaded the
      audience with the words, "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

      Lydon went on to form the '80s band Public Image Limited and now
      lives in Los Angeles. The Sex Pistols reunited in 1996 -- with
      original bassist Glen Matlock replacing the late Sid Vicious -- for
      the Filthy Lucre Tour: "We have found a common cause, and it's your
      money," remarked Lydon. They reformed again in 2002 to coincide with
      Queen Elizabeth II's golden jubilee.
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