- Please send as far and wide as possible.
Editor, The Konformist
GOP's Blackwell crows about `delivering' Ohio to Bush
By Bev Conover
Online Journal Editor & Publisher
January 5, 2005 - Kudos to Raw Story for breaking the story that Ohio
Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican, "boasted of
helping `deliver' Ohio for" George W. Bush "and said he was `truly
pleased' to announce Bush had won Ohio even before all of the state's
votes had been counted in his own fundraising letter..."
Blackwell, who apparently is a graduate of the Katherine Harris
School of Election Fixing, now thinks the prize for his dirty deeds
should be the Buckeye State's governor's office. Why not? Florida's
Harris, who "delivered" the Sunshine State to Bush in 2000, has twice
snatched a seat in Congress.
Perhaps Bush did win last November, but how will we ever know, thanks
to computerized voting in the hands of private corporations, election
officials who embraced the expediency of black box voting and turned
a blind eye to how easily the votes could be rigged, GOP operatives
who did everything to keep Democrats (especially black Democrats)
from voting and people such as Blackwell, who, like Harris, wore two
hats: Ohio's top election official and state chairman of the Bush
Like so many criminals, the Bush criminals can't keep from publicly
bragging about their crimes. But instead of receiving justice for
their deeds, they receive rewards. Injustice is reserved for the
people that oppose them and whom they now seek to lock away forever
without charge or trial.
Yet, the US corporate media are blind to it all: a bogus "war on
terrorism," illegal wars, war crimes and stolen elections. It's all
figments of we "conspiracy theorists'" imaginations.
Thanks to the US corporate media that refuses to even entertain the
notion that this election was stolen, many people abroad - and even
our own who get all their news from television - believe a majority
of Americans cast their votes for Bush. And thanks to Ken Blackwell,
who could well wind up as Ohio's next governor if he still controls
the voting systems, and his equally nefarious counterparts in other
so-called battleground states, we will never know. Yet, the world
will now tar us all with the same brush.
Ten Things We Learned About 911 In 2004
1. The World Trade Center Black Boxes were recovered, though
officials perpetuate the lie that they weren't.
2. FEMA really did arrive early in New York City, for the "bioterror
drill" Tripod II, and Rudi Giuliani's testimony to that effect before
the 9/11 Commission is its only public testimony which remains
3. The Total Information Awareness program was ready to roll out
before Sept 11, and John Poindexter's office was established in the
Pentagon no later than Sept 12.
4. A recording of six air traffic controllers' same-day detailing of
their communication with two hijacked planes on September 11 was
purposefully destroyed by the FAA.
5. NORAD was conducting a live-fly simulation of multiple hijackings
on the morning of 9/11, which effectively hamstrung a fighter
response already compromised by exercises which took the bulk of
interceptors far from the eastern seaboard.
6. Dick Cheney was running a separate command and control
communications system on 9/11, which whistleblower Indira Singh
recognized as having "the exact same functionality I was looking to
utilize [for] Ptech," the high tech terrorist and intelligence cut-
out that "was set up in the basement of the FAA" for two years before
(Go to this page http://911busters.com/911-Commission.html to
download video testimony of Mike Ruppert and Indira Singh on this
7. George Bush was unwilling to reluctantly meet members of his
reluctantly struck 9/11 Commission unless Cheney accompanied him,
both were unsworn, their words were unrecorded and untranscribed, the
meeting was private and in the White House, and the members'
notebooks were confiscated afterwards.
8. That John Ashcroft made the case for Sibel Edmonds' State Secret
Privilege gag order by claiming that disclosure of her testimony
would "cause serious damage to the national security interests of the
United States" suggests he is at least an accessory after the fact
(Daniel Ellsberg believes Ashcroft deserving of jail time for his
role in obstructing justice), as Edmonds has been able to say that
her testimony involves "specific information implicating certain high
level government and elected officials in criminal activities
directly and indirectly related to terrorist money laundering,
narcotics, and illegal arms sales."
9. Donald Rumsfeld confirmed what we knew all along, that Flight 93
was shot down, and the corporate media flew into damage control for
the Pentagon, saying the Secretary "misspoke" and "stoked conspiracy
10. As Pakistan wound down the search for Osama bin Laden
and "prohibited" American forces based in Afghanistan from making
cross-border incursions into the Tribal Areas, Musharraf was rewarded
with the approving words that his continuing rule remains an internal
matter for Pakistanis. (Afghanistan was, arguably, more cooperative
in their attempt to bring bin Laden to justice, and Iraq was not a
rogue nuclear state.)
We're getting there. Of course, they are there already, and have been
But we're catching on.
Bush Math, or When Is 4 Percent Really 32 Percent?
Date: Jan 06, 2005
The Bush Administration is twisting numbers and misstating history to
sell Social Security privatization.
By Michael Coblenz
The Bush Administration is gearing up for their sale of "Social
Security Reform," and if the early leaked reports are any indication,
it will not be a model of honesty and clarity. The earliest reported
blurb is a brief and thoroughly muddled bit of numerical trickery.
According to published reports, the Administration is suggesting the
diversion of 4 percentage points of the 12.4 percent federal payroll
tax to private savings accounts.
That makes it sound like only a trivial amount of money would go into
the private accounts, and implies that the amount is so small that it
won't have much impact on payments to current retirees or the federal
deficit. But that's wrong; 4 percentage points of 12.4 percent is 32
percent. Therefore, 32 percent of the workers' total contribution
would be earmarked for private investment.
This would mean that current employees no longer will be adequately
funding current retirees and the social security trust fund, which
means that it is inevitable that money will have to come out of the
general fund, meaning further deficit spending. [See also Bush's
Latest Fraud: Social Security Reform.]
This money goes to the Social Security Administration, which uses it
to pay the Social Security benefits of current retirees, and puts the
excess into a "trust fund." This trust fund is a general fund
intended to keep social security solvent into the future, and is not
money set aside for individual employees.
One of the great inaccuracies in reporting on social security is the
seldom mentioned fact that the system was not set up as an individual
retirement system; it was set up as a system to keep retired workers
from becoming destitute. The name of the program is "Social Security"
not "Individual Retirement Security." It was intended as a program to
prevent those who could no longer work from falling into abject
poverty and destitution.
Politicians from the days of the ancient Romans understood that
poverty was socially disruptive. Roman Emperors routinely opened the
public granaries to prevent starvation. They did this not because
they were worried about the poor, but because they knew that starving
people are often desperate people, and large numbers of desperate
people often do socially disruptive things, like riot in the streets.
A few bowls of grain was a small price to pay for social stability.
The first modern social welfare program was created by Otto von
Bismark in Germany in the 1870's, largely to address the social
upheaval created by industrialization. The United States didn't adopt
a social welfare program until the economic disruption of the Great
Depression created large numbers of unemployed. Like Roman emperors
opening the granaries, FDR and his administration knew that social
stability could be secured by ensuring that people did not starve or
become desperately poor. Social Security took a small amount of money
from workers, and gave it to those who could no longer work. It has
been the most successful government program to come out of Franklin
Roosevelt's New Deal. Republicans hated it back then, and they hate
Now, under the guise of "reform," they are attempting to destroy the
program. They ignore the purpose of its creation by suggesting that
it is a retirement system, and say that it could make more money for
beneficiaries by investing in public equities in the stock market.
But again this ignores the very purpose of the system.
We shouldn't be surprised that Bush and his Republican allies are
willing to twist numbers and misstate history to get their way. We've
seen them do it in the past, most notably with weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq. Then dissenting voices were shouted down. Many
people couldn't believe their own government would be so blatant with
misstatements and half truths. Bush got away with it, but the results
have been terrible. We can't afford to let him get away with it again.
Michael Coblenz is a writer and attorney from Lexington, Kentucky. He
served in the United States Air Force from 1983 to 1990. To send
Michael your comments, send an email to:
UN Warns Tsunami Death Toll Could Double
Jan 5, 2005
By Dean Yates and Achmad Sukarsono
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (Reuters) - The United Nations warned on
Wednesday Asia's tsunami death toll could double to about 300,000
unless survivors received clean water and other basic services by the
end of the week to prevent disease.
Secretary of State Colin Powell, in Indonesia for an emergency
international aid summit on Thursday, flew over the worst scenes of
devastation and said it was more horrifying than wars he had
witnessed during decades as a soldier.
Australia and Germany pledged more than $1 billion in aid, raising
the U.N.'s global tally to nearly $3.7 billion, and a debt relief
initiative by rich nations gathered momentum. The World Health
Organization (WHO) said it had sent emergency treatment to the region
for diarrheal diseases such as cholera and dysentery but while the
aid was reaching many locations, access to safe drinking water
"If basic needs ... are not urgently restored to all populations by
the end of this week, WHO fears that outbreaks of infectious disease
could result in a similar number of fatalities as occurred due to the
direct impact of the tsunami," the U.N. agency said in a statement on
After getting a bird's-eye view of the battered northwest coastline
of Indonesia's Sumatra island, Powell promised Washington would send
more helicopters, food and clean water to isolated survivors of the
"I have been in war and I have been through a number of hurricanes,
tornadoes and other relief operations, but I have never seen anything
like this," said America's former top soldier.
Powell, 67, served two combat tours in Vietnam during a 35-year
military career that ended with his service as the country's military
"I cannot begin to imagine the horror that went through families and
all of the people who heard this noise coming and then had their
lives snuffed out by this wave," he said.
About two-thirds of the U.N. estimated 150,000 dead from the tsunami
were killed in Aceh province on Sumatra.
President Bush, criticized in some quarters for what was seen as a
slow and stingy initial U.S. response to the disaster, has
contributed $10,000 himself for aid efforts, the White House said.
U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland praised Washington for
doubling the number of helicopters it was contributing to relief
efforts to about 90, saying the craft were the best way of overcoming
washed away roads and bridges.
Egeland called on governments and rebel groups in the region not to
wreck aid efforts by resuming conflicts.
"We need that cease-fire, that peace, to hold because if new conflict
breaks out, we cannot help the people," he said.
Egeland said peace prevailed in Aceh, there was a cease-fire in Sri
Lankan areas where the Tamil Tigers had previously been active and
warlords were not fighting in "the better part of Somalia." The
African state was a distant tsunami victim.
After his helicopter tour, Powell left for Jakarta where U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other world leaders were arriving
for the international relief summit for tsunami-hit Indonesia,
Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Maldives and Malaysia.
Annan called on world leaders to honor their pledges of aid, saying
it should be "fresh and additional money, not robbing Peter to pay
Paul, pulling it from other crises."
A draft joint summit declaration, seen by Reuters, welcomed debt
relief for tsunami-hit countries and supported an early warning
The document, circulated among the 26 nations and groups attending
the summit, called on the United Nations to mobilize the
international community and called for stronger coordination and
cooperation of relief efforts.
In Europe, people from Riga to Rome observed three minutes of silence
to remember the dead, who included several thousand tourists, many of
Public buildings in Europe flew flags at half mast, stock exchanges
fell silent, crowded railway stations came to a standstill and
television and radio stations broadcast solemn music in memory of the
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said he believed the Group of
Seven industrialized nations would be able to agree on debt relief
for Sri Lanka and Indonesia, both of which suffered most from the
Dec. 26 disaster.
Japan joined other G7 members Britain, the United States, Canada and
France in supporting a debt payment moratorium, which will be
discussed in Jakarta and also at a meeting next Wednesday of the
Paris Club of creditor nations.
Germany raised its aid to tsunami-hit countries to 500 million euros
($680.2 million) from 20 million euros previously, while Australian
Prime Minister John Howard pledged A$1.0 billion (US$765 million)
over five years to Indonesia.
Indonesia said half a million people were homeless in Aceh, where the
hungry scavenged for food and water and injured people flooded
U.N. officials said they were worried orphaned or lost children might
fall prey to criminal gangs bent on selling them into slavery.
Children make up a third of the tsunami dead and tens of thousands
more have been orphaned.
At an orphanage in southern India, 15-year-old Sitha, her sister
Sitha Lakshmi, 10, and 8-year-old brother Amitha grappled with the
loss of their parents.
"I'm the head of the family now," Sitha said, holding back tears. "I
have to look after them. Mummy wanted them to get educated and I have
to make that happen now."
In one rare good luck tale, a cargo ship rescued an Aceh man who
spent eight days floating in the sea on an uprooted tree, living
largely off coconuts and rain. (For more news on emergency relief
from Reuters AlertNet visit http://www.alertnet.org email:
Papers indicate firm knew possible Prozac suicide risk
By Tom Watkins
Monday, January 3, 2005
An internal document purportedly from Eli Lilly and Co. made public
Monday appears to show that the drug maker had data more than 15
years ago showing that patients on its antidepressant Prozac were far
more likely to attempt suicide and show hostility than were patients
on other antidepressants and that the company attempted to minimize
public awareness of the side effects.
The document was provided to CNN by the office of Rep. Maurice
Hinchey, D-New York, who has called for tightening FDA regulations on
"The case demonstrates the need for Congress to mandate the complete
disclosure of all clinical studies for FDA-approved drugs so that
patients and their doctors, not the drug companies, decide whether
the benefits of taking a certain medicine outweigh the risks," he
The 1988 document indicated that 3.7 percent of patients attempted
suicide while on the blockbuster drug, a rate more than 12 times that
cited for any of four other commonly used antidepressants.
The document, which cited clinical trials of 14,198 patients on
fluoxetine -- the generic name for Prozac -- also stated that 2.3
percent of users suffered psychotic depression while on the drug,
more than double the next-highest rate of patients using another
In addition, the paper said that 1.6 percent of patients reported
incidents of hostility -- more than double the rate reported by
patients on any of four other commonly used antidepressants.
The trials reviewed in the document said that 0.8 percent of users of
Prozac reported causing an intentional injury -- eight times the rate
associated with any of the other antidepressants.
In the paper, titled "Activation and sedation in fluoxetine clinical
trials," the authors said that the drug may produce nervousness,
anxiety, agitation or insomnia in 19 percent of patients, and
sedation in 13 percent of patients.
The paper, apparently produced by the drug company's marketing
department, said "several suggestions may be helpful in presenting
this information to physicians," including emphasizing that more
patients on another class of antidepressants stopped taking their
drugs than did those on Prozac.
The existence of the document obtained by CNN and other documents was
reported last week by the British Medical Journal. Its editors said
the documents had been reported missing from a 10-year-old murder
case, and that they had sent them to the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration for review.
A spokesman for Lilly said his company was expecting the release of
the purported internal documents, but that he could not comment on
them until he had seen them.
The journal said the documents disappeared in 1994, during the case
of Joseph Wesbecker, a printing press operator who had killed eight
people at his Louisville, Kentucky, workplace five years before,
while taking fluoxetine. He then shot and killed himself.
Each of the four pages of the paper obtained by CNN is
stamped "Confidential" and "Fentress," the name of one of Wesbecker's
In a civil suit against Eli Lilly, victims' relatives contended the
company had long known about the side effects of fluoxetine,
including its alleged role in increasing a user's propensity to
Lilly initially won the case, but was later forced to admit that it
had made a secret settlement with the plaintiffs during the trial,
which meant that the verdict was invalid, the journal said.
The FDA has recently warned that antidepressants can cause side
effects such as agitation, panic attacks, insomnia and aggressiveness.
FDA spokeswoman Susan Cruzan said last week that the agency had no
comment on the documents.
In a statement posted on Lilly's Web site, the company said, "To our
knowledge, there has never been any allegation of missing documents
from the Wesbecker trial or any other trial involving Lilly. Further,
it has always been Lilly's objective to publicly disclose data about
both the safety and efficacy of fluoxetine.
"Lilly has made several requests to the BMJ to obtain copies of the
supposed 'missing' documents; we still await these documents. We are
surprised and concerned that a leading medical journal would not find
it important to share these documents with us so that we could
respond to the public in a meaningful way."
Based on its history of having provided regulatory authorities with
study results, the statement said, "Lilly believes that there is no
new scientific information to review on this topic."
Senators Steak House
(Conspiracy Nation, 1/6/05) -- In Chicago there was (or is) a high-
class steak restaurant called Senators Steak House. Their slogan was
(or is), "Yes sir, Senator!"
Why would the waiters be so enthusiastic about serving those great
steaks to the senators? Was it because the senators might pass on to
the waiters a hot stock market tip?
Up until recently it was not well known how savvy members of the U.S.
Senate are when it comes to picking stocks. The news was highlighted
recently by Sherrie Gossett at the Accuracy In Media web site. ("More
on 'Savvy Senators'", www.aim.org, Jan. 4, 2005) It seems that for at
least the last ten years, our senators have been beating the market
by 12 percentage points and outperforming corporate insiders by 7 to
Fortunately for the senators, Congress excludes investment income
from ethics limitations. This means the senators, in their spare
time, can read between-the-lines of newspaper and magazine business
articles and exercise their keen financial discernment so as to
improve their portfolios.
There is a plethora of dubious investment newsletters. Too bad the
U.S. Senate does not publish its own Hot Picks Newsletter. After all,
as noted by an editorial in USA Today, Members of the U.S. Senate
have a "unique ability" when it comes to predicting stock prices.
("And it's all legal..." by Jonathan Turley. Dec. 27, 2004)
Reportedly, the December Journal of Quantitative Finance has a
cynical article likening the senators' investment acumen to insider
trading. ("Senators' stock picks bring profit, scrutiny," by Joseph
N. DiStefano. Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 7, 2004) But like campaign
contributions, Conspiracy Nation suggests a free speech cloak. When
the senators purchase stock, they are free-speeching with their
dollars. (But don't do any free-speeching when it comes to marijuana
And what can you do? Pick up the phone, call the senators, and see
what stocks they recommend! Yes sir, Senator!