COMMONPLACE BOOK, JULY: Current Readings and Quotations of Interest

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” – first letter of Paul to the Corinthians


As President Bush gets off the helicopter in front of the White House, he is carrying a baby pig under each arm.
The Marine guard snaps to attention, salutes, and says: "Nice pigs, sir."
The President replies: "These are not pigs, these are authentic Texan Razorback Hogs. I got one for Vice-President Cheney, and I got one for Defense Secretary Rumsfeld."
The Marine again snaps to attention, salutes, and says, "Nice trade, sir."

"With the release of Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ' the suffering of Jesus will finally be seen the way God intended, in air-conditioned comfort with nachos and a cherry coke." (internet signature, original author unknown)

“...lived on the corner of Cool Street and Goofy Bastard Avenue.”
( from the blog Comics Should be Good)

“Given the strong negative feelings that voters have about Congress — in a recent Times poll, just 23 percent of those surveyed approved of the job lawmakers were doing — it is startling how few races are expected to be competitive this fall. This is largely because of increasingly sophisticated partisan gerrymandering that uses high-powered computers to draw lines that in many cases make voters all but irrelevant.” –NY Times, 6/29/06

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours." -- Sir Charles Napier to Hindus practicing suttee, 1782-1853

“Don't forget, it took less than two weeks after the unveiling of Janet Jackson's right boob at the Super Bowl before the president's congressional cronies were holding hearings on the matter -- but it took 14 months before Bush caved to public pressure and allowed the 9/11 Commission to be formed.”
– Ariana Huffington


Addington, Cheney’s chief of staff and longtime principal legal adviser, advocates the "New Paradigm," a legal theory resting "on a reading of the Constitution that few legal scholars share — namely, that the President, as Commander-in-Chief, has the authority to disregard virtually all previously known legal boundaries, if national security demands it. Under this framework, statutes prohibiting torture, secret detention, and warrantless surveillance have been set aside."
....Even many conservatives are flabbergasted. Says Mayer:
Bruce Fein, a Republican legal activist, who voted for Bush in both Presidential elections, and who served as associate deputy attorney general in the Reagan Justice Department, said that Addington and other Presidential legal advisers had "staked out powers that are a universe beyond any other Administration. This President has made claims that are really quite alarming. He’s said that there are no restraints on his ability, as he sees it, to collect intelligence, to open mail, to commit torture, and to use electronic surveillance. If you used the President’s reasoning, you could shut down Congress for leaking too much. His war powers allow him to declare anyone an illegal combatant. All the world’s a battlefield — according to this view, he could kill someone in Lafayette Park if he wants! It’s got the sense of Louis XIV: ‘I am the State.’
-- from an article by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker
“President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.
Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ''whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.
Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ''to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ''execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.
-- Charlie Savage, Boston Globe Staff,April 30, 2006

*** I. Conspiracy to Defraud Congress & the American People:

Lying to Congress & the American people about the reasons for the Iraq war; exceeding Presidential authority in violation of Article II of the Constitution and the War Powers Act

A. Lying about the urgency of the threat from Iraq
B. Lying about the Iraq-al Qaeda connection
C. Lying about the status of Iraq's nuclear program
D. Lying about uranium from Niger
E. Lying about aluminum tubes
F. Lying about chemical & biological weapons
G. Lying about unmanned aerial vehicles
H. Lying about mobile weapons labs
I. Conspiracy

II. Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Negligence & Obstruction of Justice:

A. Ignoring warnings about 9/11
B. Obstructing investigations into 9/11
C. Conspiracy

III. Conspiracy to Violate the Rights of Citizens & Residents of the United States:

A. Detaining without charge
B. Denying the right to a fair, speedy, public trial
C. Denying the right to habeas corpus
D. Misusing the NSA to spy on citizens, violating the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution & the FISA
E. Conspiracy

IV. Conspiracy to Violate the Intelligence Identities Protection Act & the Espionage Act, and Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice:

A. Allowing the disclosure of the name of Valerie Plame Wilson
B. Lying to the American people about the President's role in the disclosure
C. Obstructing justice by lying about the President's personal, direct knowledge of the leak
D. Conspiracy

V. Conspiracy to Violate International Laws that Carry the Full Force of U.S. Law Under the United States Constitution:

A. International Law
B. Nuremberg Tribunal Charter
C. Geneva Conventions
D. Torture
E. Rendition
F. Illegal Invasion of Iraq
G. Conspiracy

VI. Conspiracy to Abuse Power, Violate the U.S. Constitution, & Commit Criminal Negligence:

A. Abuse of power - Separation of Powers - "Unitary Executive"
B. Criminal negligence - Katrina
C. Criminal negligence - Failure to protect U.S. military service members in combat zones
D. More here - treaties, environment, etc.
E. Corruption
F. Conspiracy
(The Chicago chapter of the National Lawyers Guild)

Give me the glass, and therein will I read.
No deeper wrinkles yet? hath sorrow struck
So many blows upon this face of mine,
And made no deeper wounds? O flattering glass,
Like to my followers in prosperity,
Thou dost beguile me! Was this face the face
That every day under his household roof
Did keep ten thousand men? was this the face
That, like the sun, did make beholders wink?
Was this the face that faced so many follies,
And was at last out-faced by Bolingbroke?
A brittle glory shineth in this face:
As brittle as the glory is the face;

Dashes the glass against the ground
For there it is, crack'd in a hundred shivers.
Mark, silent king, the moral of this sport,
How soon my sorrow hath destroy'd my face.


Capitalism is the most barbaric of all religions. - Mark Stewart

"I don’t think one’s novels should be too political," Greene said when I asked if his weren’t. "But, I mean, politics do come into them. Politics come into our lives. I think to exclude politics from a novel is excluding a whole aspect of life.... Virginia Woolf, I mean, certainly wouldn’t have introduced politics. I began to get a little tired of Virginia Woolf, you know. Mrs. Dalloway going shopping up Regent Street and the thoughts which went through her head. I reacted rather against her by being a storyteller. You see, my mother was a cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson, and I’d like to think that I’ve followed in his tradition. I’ve reacted against the Bloomsbury circle."
-- Graham Greene

"In the last decade or so, the tendency at Marvel has been intensely conservative; comics like the X-MEN have gone from freewheeling, overdriven pop to cautious, dodgy retro. What was dynamic becomes static - dead characters always return, nothing that happens really matters ultimately. The stage is never cleared for new creations to develop and grow. The comic has turned inwards and gone septic like a toenail. The only people reading are fanboys who don't count. The X-MEN, for all it was Marvel's bestseller, had become a watchword for undiluted geekery before the movie gave us another electroshock jolt. And in the last decade, sales fell from millions to hundreds of thousands."
-- Grant Morrison, who restored the “X” mythos to life– and literary importance-- again in a series called “New X-Men”, available in trade paperback; after three years, almost all of Morrison’s ideas have been forgotten, and the X-books are again unreadable by anyone outside of geekdom, with the exception of Joss Whedon’s “Uncanny”.

Buffy asserts the power of metaphor and the imagination to embody human reality. Her fans will grow up with a more lively and purposeful awareness than those brought up on the dull delinquencies of Grange Hill or Hollyoaks. For these American teens are right: the demons are real. I once spoke at an American school and, completely ignoring the content of my speech, one 12-year-old boy earnestly asked me if I believed in vampires. "No," I said quickly, glancing at his teachers. But then, glancing at my conscience, I added: "Not exactly ..." (Brian Appleyard, The Sunday Times)

With that in mind, here's the 27B Stroke 6 guide to detecting if your traffic is being funneled into the secret room on San Francisco's Folsom street.

If you're a Windows user, fire up an MS-DOS command prompt. Now type tracert followed by the domain name of the website, e-mail host, VoIP switch, or whatever destination you're interested in. Watch as the program spits out your route, line by line.

C:\> tracert

1 2 ms 2 ms 2 ms
7 11 ms 14 ms 10 ms []
8 13 12 19 ms []
9 18 ms 16 ms 16 ms
10 88 ms 92 ms 91 ms []
11 88 ms 90 ms 88 ms []
12 89 ms 97 ms 89 ms []
13 89 ms 88 ms 88 ms []
14 102 ms 93 ms 112 ms
15 94 ms 94 ms 93 ms
16 * * *
17 * * *
18 * *

In the above example, my traffic is jumping from Level 3 Communications to AT&T's network in San Francisco, presumably over the OC-48 circuit that AT&T tapped on February 20th, 2003, according to the Klein docs.

The magic string you're looking for is If it's present immediately above or below a entry, then -- by Klein's allegations -- your packets are being copied into room 641A, and from there, illegally, to the NSA.

Of course, if Marcus is correct and AT&T has installed these secret rooms all around the country, then any entry in your route is a bad sign.

Posted by Kevin Poulsen


"The things said most confidently by advanced persons to crowded audiences are generally those quite opposite to the fact." -- G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

"The person who cares the least controls the relationship." (Unknown)

Wisdom found on a mens’ room wall:
"No matter how good looking she is, someone, somewhere, is sick and tired of her shit."


Anonymous said...

One of my favorites:
"How wrong it is for a woman to expect a man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself." Anais Nin

Smile, Dee Ann

Ormondroyd's Encyclopedia Esoterica said...

"... if only the world I want to build didn't piss off everybody I know..."