Why Not Simply Abolish NATO? by Rodrigue Tremblay

Dandelion Salad

by Rodrigue Tremblay
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

[NATO’s goal is] “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”  Lord Ismay, first NATO Secretary-General

“We should immediately call a meeting of the North Atlantic Council to assess Georgia’s security and review measures NATO can take to contribute to stabilizing this very dangerous situation.” Sen. John McCain, (August 8, 2008)

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Olbermann Special Comment: McCain, Grow Up! 08.18.08

Dandelion Salad

August 18, 2008


Special Comment

August 18, 2008 MSNBC


America has become an Embryonic Police State (Bushed)


John McCain & Pastor Warren Complete Liars on Cone of Silence!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2W-0Dgmd3I

The Mainstream Media is John McCain’s Base! (Cafferty Files) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jSnLCJVIhQ

RNN: Margolis: Russians checkmate US in Georgia

Row escalates over US media bias + New Cold War is an option

Saakashvili’s War + Russian troops begin withdrawal from Georgia

Medvedev signs six-point truce with Georgia + Russia will pull out troops on Monday

Why are we pretending we would fight for Georgia?

Dandelion Salad

By Geoffrey Wheatcroft
08/17/08 “The Independent

Messrs Miliband and Cameron want Georgia to join Nato. Such thinking is muddled, dangerous and defies the lessons of history

Hard on the heels of Nicolas Sarkozy and Condoleezza Rice, and keen to share their limelight, David Cameron arrived in Tbilisi yesterday. His visit is a reward to the Leader of the Opposition for having expressed even more bellicose views on the Georgian crisis than the Americans, which should sound loud alarm bells for those of us who may quite soon be living under a Tory government.

In the official view of Washington, the expansion of Nato up to the borders of Russia was a benevolent spreading of democracy. “It is the right of the Georgian people and Georgian government to determine their own security orientation,” says Kurt Volker, principal deputy assistant secretary of state, and Matthew Bryza, the American special envoy, adds that Russia would not have attacked Georgia if she had already belonged to Nato.

While Gordon Brown and David Miliband merely mouthed empty platitudes about the crisis (although Miliband has been sympathetic to Georgia’s Nato aspirations in the past), Cameron went startlingly further when he said that its membership of Nato should be accelerated. His words so excited the Georgians that they asked him to meet their ambassador in London on Wednesday, and then fly out for his Caucasian photo-op.

Why are we pretending we would fight for Georgia? : Information Clearing House – ICH.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Row escalates over US media bias + New Cold War is an option

Saakashvili’s War + Russian troops begin withdrawal from Georgia

Medvedev signs six-point truce with Georgia + Russia will pull out troops on Monday

Commonsense and the Russo-Georgian War By Timothy V. Gatto

Margolis: It’s like August, 1914 – US missile deal enrages Russia

Putin’s Winning Hand By Mike Whitney + video

This is a tale of US expansion not Russian aggression

Russia-Georgia conflict is over control of oil

Fox News cuts American child for thanking Russian troops + PR campaign + evidence of Georgian ‘genocide’

All the Propaganda That’s Fit to Print: The New York Times, Again, Tells It Like It Ain’t


Double Standards in the Global War on Terror By Tom Engelhardt

Dandelion Salad

By Tom Engelhardt
Anthrax Department
August 18, 2008

Oh, the spectacle of it all — and don’t think I’m referring to those opening ceremonies in Beijing, where North Korean-style synchronization seemed to fuse with smiley-faced Walt Disney, or Michael Phelp’s thrilling hunt for eight gold medals and Speedo’s one million dollar “bonus,” a modernized tribute to the ancient Greek tradition of amateurism in action. No, I’m thinking of the blitz of media coverage after Dr. Bruce Ivins, who worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, committed suicide by Tylenol on July 29th and the FBI promptly accused him of the anthrax attacks of September and October 2001.

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Air Force Pulls the Plug on Cyber Command by Tom Burghardt

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, August 18, 2008
Antifascist Calling…

In July, Antifascist Calling reported on the imminent launch of U.S. Air Force Cyber Command (AFCYBER).

With a unified organizational structure and a $2 billion budget for its first year of operations, and a projected $30 billion cost for the first five years of operations, AFCYBER promised an offensive capability that would deliver withering attacks on adversaries.

As I wrote, “Eventually, if Air Force securocrats have their way, it ‘will grow into one of the service’s largest commands.’ With a mission to ‘deceive, deny, disrupt, degrade, and destroy’ an enemy’s information infrastructure, the potential for mischief on the part of American ‘warfighters’ and ‘public diplomacy’ black propaganda specialists shouldn’t be underestimated.”

Now however, numerous reports reveal that the Air Force has suspended plans for the controversial unit. NextGov broke the story Wednesday. According to investigative journalist Bob Brewin,

The Air Force on Monday suspended all efforts related to development of a program to become the dominant service in cyberspace, according to knowledgeable sources. Top Air Force officials put a halt to all activities related to the establishment of the Cyber Command, a provisional unit that is currently part of the 8th Air Force at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, sources told NextGov.

An internal Air Force e-mail obtained by NextGov said, “Transfers of manpower and resources, including activation and reassignment of units, shall be halted.” Establishment of the Cyber Command will be delayed until new senior Air Force leaders, including Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz, sworn in today, have time to make a final decision on the scope and mission of the command. (“Air Force Suspends Cyber Command Program,” NextGov, August 13, 2008)

Air Force spokesman Ed Gulick told Federal Times, the “freeze” was necessary “because we have new leaders and they want to make sure they’re on the right course.” But he said the Air Force “remains committed to cyberspace.”

With an October 1 launch date, it appears that aggressive efforts by Major General William Lord, the unit’s commander, to hype its capabilities may have been its undoing. Brewin reports the “hard sell” by Lord and other AF securocrats “seemed to be a grab by the Air Force to take the lead role” in U.S. cyberdefense efforts.

Bureaucratic in-fighting may play a significant role in pulling AFCYBER’s plug. Philip Coyle, a senior adviser with the Center for Defense Information (CDI), a liberal defense think tank, told NextGov that he believes “the Navy’s Network Warfare Command and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center have led the way in cyberspace. The Army engages in cyberspace operations daily in Afghanistan and Iraq, said Coyle, who served as assistant secretary of Defense and director of its operational test and evaluation office from 1994 to 2001.”

Accordingly, Coyle believes the decision may have come from Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who wants to see a more “robust role” for the Navy in cyberspace. Lord’s high public profile and hard-sell may have shot-down AF plans to “dominate cyberspace” and the AF “is now suffering from its own hubris.”

It appears that AFCYBER’s aggressive public posture and its assertion that cyberspace is a “warfighting domain,” may have angered Department of Defense bureaucrats who favor a “softer” approach when it comes to plans for imperialist domination.

In this light, recent Air Force scandals, including the unauthorized transfer of nuclear weapons in 2007 and the dismantling of the service’s top command by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates as a result, the Air Force’s lax organizational structure may have been a deciding factor.

In June, Gates fired Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Mosley and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne for their incompetence over the service’s handling of nuclear weapons.

Many readers will recall that on August 30, 2007 a B-52 Stratofortress bomber flew nearly 1,500 miles from Minot Air Force base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles fixed to its wings. For nearly six hours the Air Force was unable to account for the weapons. When Military Times broke the story, it elicited a yawn from major media outlets that amounted to self-censorship.

While brief media reports emphasized that the public was “never in danger,” as physicist Pavel Podvig reported,

The point is that the nuclear warheads were allowed to leave Minot and that it was surprised airmen at Barksdale who discovered them, not an accounting system that’s supposed to track the warheads’ every movement (maybe even in real time). We simply don’t know how long it would’ve taken to discover the warheads had they actually left the air force’s custody and been diverted into the proverbial “wrong hands.” Of course, it could be argued that the probability of this kind of diversion is very low, but anyone who knows anything about how the United States handles its nuclear weapons has said that the probability of what happened at Minot was also essentially zero. (“U.S. loose nukes,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 12 September 2007)

In the wake of the scandal, Mosley and Wynne were forced to fall on their swords. Similar forces may be at play regarding AFCYBER. According to CDI researcher Chelsea Dilley,

It is unclear what AFCYBER’s exact mission is, what capabilities are being developed, what circumstances warrant a cyber attack, what actions will be taken in response to an attack, who can authorize an attack, what steps will be taken to prevent crisis escalation, what the budgets are and exactly where the money is coming from. AFCYBER’s relation to the Department of Homeland Security and to the Air Force Space Command is also hazy, which could prove problematic, as all have claimed some responsibility for maintaining control of cyberspace.

Alarmingly, there are many similarities in the ways used to promote AFCYBER and those used in the Air Force’s increasingly belligerent counterspace mission. The diction used in the 2004 Air Force Counterspace Operations Doctrine and the 2008 Air Force Cyber Command Strategic Vision is in many places exactly the same, and it is uncertain if the task that was given to the Air Force Space Command to maintain cyberspace has actually been transferred to or just appropriated by the new Cyber Command. (“Air Force Cyber Command: Defending Cyberspace, or Controlling It?,” Center for Defense Information, August 7, 2008)

Whether or not a bureaucratic tussle amongst competing branches of the military and the Department of Homeland Security may have played a role in AFCYBER’s apparent demise, the Air Force is continuing to develop new and more hideous weapons to insure that the American Empire’s dream of global domination remains a viable option for our capitalist masters.

New Scientist reported August 12 on an airborne laser weapon, dubbed the “long-range blowtorch.” According to defense analyst David Hambling,

The Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) is to be mounted on a Hercules military transport plane. Boeing announced the first test firing of the laser, from a plane on the ground, earlier this summer.

Cynthia Kaiser, chief engineer of the US Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate, used the phrase “plausible deniability” to describe the weapon’s benefits in a briefing on laser weapons to the New Mexico Optics Industry Association in June. (“U.S. Boasts of Laser Weapon’s ‘Plausible Deniability’,” New Scientist, August 12, 2008)

As readers are aware, “plausible deniability” is a term used to describe aggressive covert operations where those responsible for an event, say the assassination of a political opponent or the terrorist bombing of a civilian target, could plausibly claim to have neither knowledge nor involvement in the atrocity since command responsibility by design is highly compartmentalized.

According to Hambling, “a laser is silent and invisible. An ATL can deliver the heat of a blowtorch with a range of 20 kilometres, depending on conditions. That range is great enough that the aircraft carrying it might not be seen, especially at night.”

Whatever the eventual fate of AFCYBER rest assured, as Aviation Week reported back in December, “U.S. Air Force leaders working on the nascent cyber command believe there will be a ‘huge’ need for contracted services to support the embryonic effort as it faces personnel, technology and funding headwinds.”

Army, Navy, Air Force? Who cares! Enterprising corporate grifters will certainly be there, pushing for “full-spectrum dominance” as they lunge after multiyear, high-end contracts that just might hit the corporatist “sweet spot”!

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press.

© Copyright Tom Burghardt, Antifascist Calling…, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9862


Air Force Cyber Command: Building the Infrastructure for High-Tech War Crimes

Attention Geeks & Hackers: Uncle Sam’s Cyber Force Wants You!

Blockades: Acts of War by Stephen Lendman

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, August 18, 2008

From July 21 – 31, Joint Task Force (mostly US, but also UK, France, Brazil and Italy) “Operation Brimstone” large scale war games were conducted off the US East coast in the North Atlantic. Its purpose may have been to prepare for a naval blockade of Iran. From what’s known a naval deployment may be planned, and a blockade may ensue. The situation remains tense and worrisome.

Under international and US law, blockades are acts of war and variously defined as:

— surrounding a nation or objective with hostile forces;

— measures to isolate an enemy;

— encirclement and besieging;

— preventing the passage in or out of supplies, military forces or aid in time of or as an act of war; and

— an act of naval warfare to block access to an enemy’s coastline and deny entry to all vessels and aircraft.

In 2009, it’s believed that the International Criminal Court in the Hague will include blockades against coasts and ports as acts of war.

International law expert Professor Francis Boyle is very outspoken on this topic as well as on others of equal importance. He defines blockades under international and US law as:

— “belligerent measures taken by a nation (to) prevent passage of vessels or aircraft to and from another country. Customary international law recognizes blockades as an act of war because of the belligerent use of force even against third party nations in enforcing the blockade. Blockades as acts of war have been recognized as such in the Declaration of Paris of 1856 and the Declaration of London of 1909 that delineate the international rules of warfare.”

America approved these Declarations, so they’re binding US law as well “as part of general international law and customary international law.” Past US presidents, including Dwight Eisenhower and Jack Kennedy, called blockades acts of war. So has the US Supreme Court.

In Bas v. Tingy (1800), the High Court addressed the constitutionality of fighting an undeclared war. Boyle explained that it ruled that “the seizure of a French vessel (is) an act of hostility or reprisal requiring Congressional approval….The Court held that Congress pursuant to Constitutional war powers had authorized hostilities on the high seas under certain circumstances.” The Court cited Talbot v. Seaman (1801) in ruling that “specific legislative authority was required in the seizure….”

In Little v. Barreme (1804), the Court held that “even an order from the President could not justify or excuse an act that violated the laws and customs of warfare. Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that a captain of a United States warship could be held personally liable in trespass for wrongfully seizing a neutral Danish ship, even though” presidential authority ordered it. Only Congress has that power. “The Court’s position seems consistent with a typical trespass case, where defendants are liable even when they have a reasonable, good faith (but mistaken) belief in authority to enter on the plaintiff’s land.”

Boyle cites “The Prize Cases” (1863) as the most definitive Supreme Court ruling on blockades requiring congressional authorization. The case involved President Lincoln’s ordering “a blockade of coastal states that had joined the Confederacy at the outset of the Civil War. The Court….explicitly (ruled) that a blockade is an act of war and is legal only if properly authorized under the Constitution.” It stated:

“The power of declaring war is the highest sovereign power, and is limited to the representative of the full sovereignty of the nation. It is limited in the United States to its Congress exclusively; and the authority of the President to be the Commander-in-Chief….to take that the law be faithfully executed, is to be taken in connection with the exclusive power given to Congress to declare war, and does not enable the President to (do it) or to introduce, without Act of Congress, War or any of its legal disabilities or liabilities, on any citizen of the United States.”

Article I of the Constitution pertains to powers “vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Section 8 relates to powers “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and welfare of the United States….” Two Section 8 clauses relate to this article.

— clause 14: to “make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;” and most importantly

— clause 11: “to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning capture on land and water.”

The framers believed that no single official, including the President, should ever have sole authority over this most crucial of all constitutional powers because of how easily it can be abused as post-WW II history shows. In 1793, James Madison wrote that the “fundamental doctrine of the Constitution….to declare war is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature.” During the 1787 Constitutional Convention, George Mason said that the President “is not safely to be trusted with” the power to declare war. Nonetheless, Congress only observed its responsibility five times in the nation’s history, lastly on December 8, 1941 following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor the previous day.

All treaties to which America is a signatory, including the UN Charter, are binding US law. Its Chapter VII authorizes only the Security Council to “determine the existence of any threat to the peace, or act of aggression (and, if necessary, take military or other actions to) restore international peace and stability.” It permits a nation to use force (including blockades) only under two conditions: when authorized by the Security Council or under Article 51 allowing the “right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member….until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security.”

Iran poses no threat to the US, its neighbors, or any other nations, including Israel. Imposing a blockade against it violates the UN Charter and other international and US law. It will constitute an illegal act of aggression that under the Nuremberg Charter is the “supreme international crime” above all others. It will make the Bush administration, every supportive congressional member, and governments of other participating nations criminally liable.

Two more events further up the stakes. On April 3, in spite of strong public opposition, the Czech Republic agreed to the installation of US “advanced tracking missile defense radar” by 2012. On July 9, a Russian Foreign Ministry statement responded: “We will be forced to react not with diplomatic, but with military-technical methods.”

Then on August 14, Poland defied its own people and most Europeans by agreeing to allow offensive “interceptor missiles” on its soil. Legislatures of both countries must approve it, but that will likely follow. Deployment is reckless and indefensible and will head the world closer to serious confrontation.

For two countries wracked by prior wars, these actions are irresponsible and foolhardy. They further heighten tensions and assure a new Cold War arms race or much worse. Russia’s deputy military chief of staff, General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, stated: Poland is “exposing itself to a strike, 100%.” Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said: “The deployment (aims at) the Russian Federation.” Even Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk showed fear by his comment that “We have crossed the Rubicon.” Yet he did it anyway. Where this is heading remains to be seen, but the signs are deeply worrisome.

So is the possibility that Washington will blockade or attack Iran before year end. Things won’t likely crystallize before Congress reconvenes in September after both parties hold their nominating conventions.

Hopefully a wider Middle East war will be avoided because of what might follow. What Barbara Tuchman recounted in her 1962 book, “The Guns of August,” on how WW I war began and its early weeks. Once started, things spun out of control with cataclysmic consequences. Before it ended, over 20 million died, at least that many more were wounded, and a generation of young men was erased.

Igniting another world conflict should give everyone pause. Especially given the destructive power of today’s weapons and the Bush administration’s design for “full spectrum dominance” and stated unilateral right to achieve it with first-strike nuclear weapons. Avoiding that possibility is the top priority of every world leader. It’s unclear if any are up to the challenge.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM – 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. All programs are archived for easy listening.


© Copyright Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9866


U.S. Armada En Route to the Persian Gulf: “Naval Blockade” or All Out War Against Iran?

Iran War: Armada of US and allied naval battle groups head for the Persian Gulf

Massive US Naval Armada Heads For Iran

Operation Brimstone


America on the Couch By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
08/17/08 “ICH”

America is a country badly in need of therapy. We don’t know who we are anymore; everything is topsy-turvy. It’s like we’re suffering a national identity crisis and need a turn on the couch. There’s just been too much change too fast and no one really knows what’s going on. Even stanch conservatives are in a daze from the daily overload of bad news. Former basketball superstar Charles Barkley summed it up best when he was asked what political party he belonged to. He answered, “Well, I used to be a Republican, until they lost their minds.” That’s America in a nutshell; we’ve lost our minds.

The torture thing was the last straw. That’s where good old American values really took a shellacking. Of course, it never mattered to Bohemian Grove dandies like Bush and Cheney. Why would they care? They just saw it as a way to increase their power and stick it to their enemies at the same time. It was a game, really. They’d just gouge out a few eyes and rip off a few fingernails no one would be the wiser. Besides, they thought, let the media soften up public attitudes; that’s why they get paid for, right? Wrong. Attitudes really haven’t changed that much about torture. Most people still think its wrong and think it should be illegal. More importantly, knowing that your country deliberately inflicts pain on people really matters; it’s a game-changer. It’s not possible to respect a country that uses torture. What people feel is disgust not respect. And, it’s disturbing, too. It proves that something is rotten in America. We’ve become a nation of creeps.

Who ever dreamed that we’d see the day when pundits and politicians would be debating whether torture really “works” or not. How low can we go? That kind of hairsplitting just proves that the country is already in the toilet. Its a pretty straightforward proposition if you think about it; countries that torture people are the enemies of human rights, democratic values and conventional standards of acceptable behavior. That’s the long-winded way of saying that they’re sickos. Just take a look at the photos from Abu Ghraib again; men dressed up in women’s panties or stacked up naked in human pyramids. Some fun, eh? It’s sick! The pyramid picture tells you everything you need to know about modern-day America. It’s like taking a look in the mirror and seeing Dick Cheney’s wizened face staring back. That’s what the world sees now, and that’s why they’re scared, real scared. America is on a rampage and our moral compass is on the Fritz. That’s a frightening prospect for everyone.

Our national symbols have also taken a pasting since Bush took office; the American flag in particular. Old Glory used to embody our collective aspirations whether that meant “traditional values” or “liberty and justice”. But no more. Now the flag has become proprietary; the property of a small gaggle of neo-fascists and right-wing loonies who display their shiny brass lapel-pin on their chest to identify themselves to other like-minded wackos. They might as well put lightening rods on their collars for all the difference it makes.

The American flag flies over every school, government office and major business across the country. It has been carried into every battle in every war the US has ever fought. Now it is draped lifelessly over the new century’s most dreaded gulags; Abu Ghraib, Bagram Airforce Base, and the uber-symbol of American barbarism, Guantanamo Bay. Am I the only one who’s pissed off about it? What does the rest of the world think when they see the Stars and Stripes unfurled over an icon to human cruelty like Gitmo? Do they see a symbol of “freedom and the opportunity” or do they see the Butcher’s Apron spreading war and fear across the planet?

America needs to spend a little time on the couch reassembling its shattered psyche and reconnecting with its inner-self. That means, sorting through the rubble of the Bush years and getting back to basics; a strong commitment to justice, human rights and personal liberty.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Ashley Sanders: The Dem Party is the Party of Perpetual Plan B

Dandelion Salad


Ashley Sanders speaks out about 2008 Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader. Filmed in Salt Lake City, UT on July 31, 2008 by Bryan Young.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Nader for President 2008


The Termi-Nader

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos

Pelosi Gets “Booked” & Confronts Her Own Past

Dandelion Salad

by Linda Milazzo
Smirking Chimp
August 18, 2008

Last Monday evening, in the plush environs of Los Angeles’ American Jewish University, a dedicated group of pro-peace, Pro-Constitution patriots “booked” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. No, I don’t mean “booked” as in charged her with a crime and jailed her. In this scenario, “booked” is more akin to “punked” – in which case we surprised Madam Pelosi by revising her new book, and then forced her to read our revisions. Duh-Dah!!

It happened like this:

Madam Speaker of the House Pelosi, second in line to the Presidency, appeared at a book signing for her ironically titled new tome, “Know Your Power.” Since Madam Pelosi has not used her power as Speaker to hold impeachment hearings against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, as prescribed by Article 1 Section 2 of the Constitution, we pro-Constitution patriots held her to task. We took her new book and scrawled our personalized imperatives and questions within it. I wrote “Honor Your Oath” on side-by side blank pages in the book and “Debate Cindy Sheehan” on the blank side of the book jacket.


Note: Here’s the video of Peter Thottam and Jodie Evans addressing Nancy Pelosi at American Jewish University on Monday night – courtesy of Jason Leopold and Alan Breslauer: http://pubrecord.org/nationworld/1-nationworld/255-pelosi-clashes-with-protesters-over-impeachment.html


Pelosi Gets “Booked” & Confronts Her Own Past | The Smirking Chimp.

h/t: kellbell913



Impeachable Offense? by Bruce Gagnon

The Last Episode of it’s the End of the World…Well until the DNC! Heh!

Dandelion Salad


…Well until the DNC! Heh!

This week:

1. Exxon Fellatio
2. Four Year scare tactic
3. Endorsement contradictions
4. Setting the stage
5. Against Me!
6. Anarchists on the MSM
7. Protest tips from a medic

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RNN: Margolis: Russians checkmate US in Georgia

Dandelion Salad


Eric Margolis: Tensions increase Georgia to Iran

As contributing editor for The American Conservative and Sun Media, and Founding Committee member of The Real News Network Eric Margolis says: “The reason I was drawn to [The Real News] was the fact it seemed to me to be the voice that I and many others had been looking for.”

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Are CFL’s Designed to Make Us Pay More on Our Power Bills?

By Steve Windisch (jibbguy)
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

There is much talk about Compact Fluorescent Lamps recently. These are the small glass fluorescent tubes often shaped into a coil, designed to directly replace regular incandescent light bulbs. These new CFL’s have been touted to save energy, and they do certainly save significant amounts of electricity. But there are some interesting and largely unknown facts about these devices. It would appear that those sold within the United States and other countries may be specifically designed to allow the utility corporations to bill us nearly double what we should be paying for their use.

The problem lies in the combination of two factors: First, that the CFL’s sold in the U.S. are generally built without the addition of a low-cost capacitor to provide something called Power Factor Correction; and second, the way in which our power companies calculate our monthly bill using “AC Apparent Power” instead of “AC Real Power”. Together these factors insure we are not able to see all the possible savings on our electric bills that these new lamps should offer…. And in fact, when “AC Power Factor” in consumer devices is examined closer in general, it would seem that CFL’s are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to home and small business Customers paying more than they should for power, to a truly staggering extent… All for the want of a low-cost capacitor.

One would suspect the electric utility corporations do not want you to know this, but it is nonetheless fact anyway: The power companies charge their non-industrial customers using something called “AC Apparent Power”. This is not the same as “AC Real Power”; which takes into effect “AC Reactive Power” caused by electrical Inductance. The difference between Real and Apparent Power is called the AC Power Factor, and is generally determined in these cases by the phase angle difference between the AC Voltage and the AC Current across a device. This phase shift is commonly seen with induction devices such as Compact Fluorescent Lamps, and more importantly, AC motors like those used in common Consumer home products such as refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, and air conditioners (by far the greatest users of power in the home). In large industrial applications, this Power Factor is routinely “Corrected” by adding electrical Capacitance to the circuit, to “balance” and remove the phase angle difference, bringing it to a state approaching “Resonance”, and thus insuring greatest efficiency. However, Power Factor Correction is mainly unknown in American consumer products; so the “unbalanced” motors and other devices such as CFL’s are reported on the Customer’s billing meter to be using more power than they would be consuming if properly built, or if the power companies actually charged us by Watts as they now wrongly claim. And thus many of us are being charged more on our power bills by a significant amount every month than we should be.

When using the Compact Fluorescent Lamps (which are Inductive in nature; meaning they use inductive coils in the circuitry to step-up the voltage of internally-generated pulses to power the fluorescent tubes), there usually is a Power Factor difference of “.55” with the non-PF Corrected ones sold here in the U.S.; which means that the “Real Power” figure in Watts is almost half what the Apparent Power figure is. So although these bulbs are indeed saving energy; the electric company is charging us almost double what the actual Watt rating would denote. Simply adding a few low-cost components (mainly a capacitor) to Correct and “balance” the Power Factor would eliminate this: And CFL’s sold in the European Union appear to always have these low-cost items added into the internal circuitry of the CFL already. When considering the Power Factor of an appliance’s AC inductive motor, the Consumer can pay up to 25% more in the cost of electricity for operating that device if there is a phase imbalance (which there will most likely be unless a capacitor is added for PF Correction). And literally hundreds of millions of AC motors in U.S. Consumer appliances today are not Power Factor Corrected.

Regular “old fashioned” incandescent light bulbs (which are “Resistive” in nature and exhibit very little AC inductance or capacitance and therefore no phase shift), have an AC Power Factor very close to “1.0”; therefore Real and Apparent Power are virtually the same. So if rated at 75 Watts, then the Consumer is charged by the electric company for 75 Volt-Amperes. It is interesting to note that Apparent Power figures should never use the “Watts” metric, and should always be stated in “Volt-Amperes” (V/A), although this is not the case with our power companies who erroneously bill us by the “Kilo-Watt Hour”: When in fact the residential and small business meters only read Apparent Power and not Real Power. We can easily check this for ourselves: Go outside to where your billing meter is, and look at the dial: It reads in “Volt-Amperes”.

Compact Fluorescents designed to replace 75 Watt incandescent bulbs are usually rated by the manufacturer for an impressively low “18 Watts” (an AC Real Power figure). The universally-repeated misinformation is that these bulbs use “only about 25%” of the power the old-style bulbs do: This is not precisely the truth. In actuality because CFL’s sold here in the U.S. have significant inductive Reactance and thus an AC phase difference between Voltage and Current, the Power Factor of the CFL is around “.55” … And since we are being charged by the utility in Apparent Power, the draw on our billing meter is actually about 33 Volt-Amperes of power…. Nearly double the figure in Watts. And thus is revealed a chronic and institutionalized over-paying by Consumers of our electric utility bills: Only because a small low-cost part was left out when our CFL’s and appliances were manufactured. Deliberately left out? That is a question which deserved further investigation.

There are Compact Fluorescent Lamps that have a “resonance tuning” capacitor circuitry added internally to solve the phase angle difference and provide a Power Factor near “1”: These appear to be sold mainly in Europe; and this was rumored to be done at the insistence of the European testing agency TUV who have some ability to stop imports which do not meet their design criteria. These Power Factor Corrected lamps  are not generally seen for sale here in the U.S. (apparently the “U.L. Approval” stamp we are familiar with here does not represent quite so picky a testing regimen). The cost of adding the capacitor to CFL’s in mass production would be only a few pennies…. And there is no chance at all that any electrical engineer with General Electric or its competitors would not fully understand AC Power Factor: It has been known, taught, and extensively written about for over 100 years.  It is just that since the end of World War Two, PF Correction technology has all but disappeared from American Consumer products… As well as the Consumer awareness for this important money saving technology. This is certainly not the case in industrial settings or with large buildings… Power Factor Correction is very important in these cases and banks of AC capacitors up to the size of oil drums can often be seen in power rooms for this express purpose. This is because in industrial and large commercial billing, the power companies will usually charge in Real Power, but also charge a penalty if the Power Factor is not within a certain limit. In these cases, since the power company is the one “holding the bag” not the Consumer, they are very helpful, and even insistent, when it comes to Power Factor Correction: Providing much information and even consulting help to solve the issues. Is it not odd that they never mention this issue to us, the Consumer? Considering we are the ones who pay for the Apparent Power difference when it comes to homes and small business, not them: It then becomes understandable (if “not exactly” ethical).

CFL’s offer a great savings in energy, and are very worthy of use in themselves (Power Factor considered or not). However the power companies are benefiting from their use because of a design flaw. Although we can still save 50% by their use over incandescent bulbs, we should be saving 75% … But again, the differences here pale in comparison to what we could be saving on our bills when it comes to Power Factor-Corrected AC induction motors. A few home appliances and some business equipment devices do offer this technology installed by the manufacturer, but most do not in the U.S. If they all did, then we could be saving many billions of Dollars collectively on our power bills each month. This is not so much a “green” energy savings issue, but more a question of billing between the Consumer and our electric utilities… Or perhaps an issue of our appliance and CFL manufacturers not adding the Power Correction technology that they should have, and that is already enjoyed by our European friends. This is mainly because of the European Union’s mandated standard #IEC61000-3-2 regarding Consumer appliances of over 75 Watts requiring harmonics distortion protection and Power Factor Correction; which was also closely followed by Japan, China, and many other countries… But largely ignored in the United States (please note that European appliances built before the law came into effect in January, 2001 may not have PFC technology installed… But those sold afterwards in Europe, including those built and exported by American manufacturers, do have Power Factor Correction… Just not the ones sold within the U.S. ).

The above technical information can be verified by use of a “Kill-A-Watt” or similar power meter, or by use of an oscilloscope measuring the phase angle between Voltage and Current, and then doing the calculations manually. Any text books for the last 100 years on AC electricity can fully explain the meanings and relationships between the terms Phase Angle, Apparent Power, Real Power, Power Correction Factor, Capacitance, Inductance, and Resonance. There are easily-done techniques for checking the Power Factor of your home appliances (simply reading voltage across the motor, and using a shunt to read it’s current draw and comparing them); and a good electrician should be able to do so and provide the added capacitors to “balance” the AC motors of our homes’ major appliances to the point of 0.95 Power Factor (the highest recommended PF figure for motors). If we had unbalanced (out of phase, non-Power Corrected) AC motors in a refrigerator, air conditioner, and washing machine… And our monthly bill was $200; it is very possible we could to see a savings of $35 or more on that bill; realized simply by adding the necessary capacitors to bring each appliances’ motor to a Power Factor of close to “0.95”. Such capacitors are of low cost, consume very little energy themselves (when installed in parallel across the motor’s power terminals so they only operate when the motor runs), and the modifications are relatively easy to perform. It is interesting to note that although many “green” advances in motors and electronics have come to pass with consumer devices in recent years, making them significantly more energy efficient; Power Factor Correction technology is still not in widespread use by the U.S. consumer appliance industry… Questions sent to the customer / technical support services of over 8 different U.S. major manufacturers have verified this: None of them apparently do use PFC technology in their appliances. A very good question for us to ask these corporations like General Electric would be: “Why is this”?

When reading about CFL’s around the ‘Web, there is much consumer information about them available; and they are certainly a “Hot Item”. Walmart sold roughly 100,000,000 of them last year alone. Yet, in over 12 mainstream articles regarding CFL’s ; only one brief mention was seen regarding Power Factor (on G.E.’s CFL pages), which stated that although they were not “Corrected” (with no further explanation of the term given); they were still an important energy saving device. The term “corrected” by itself is meaningless: One wonders why they did not wish to use the proper “Power Factor Corrected”, which is the only acceptable term. Not surprisingly, the “Popular Mechanics” article on CFL Consumer awareness from May 2007 also did not mention the Power Factor issue; although an “expert” equipped with “pro meters” measured the wattage of the various models tested. Nor was the issue mentioned on the “Energy Star” pages about CFL’s. Several of the CFL models that have the Energy Star “blessing” are not Power Factor Corrected, so it would seem this is not a criteria to gain this “prestigious” award. In fact, at least one of the G.E. refrigerators which won an award for “Best” last year from Energy Star has no Power Correction technology in it either.

Energy Star is a unique sort of creature: Born of an alliance between the U.S. Dept. of Energy and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency; but actually supported and “steered” by the electronics and appliance manufacturing industries along with the power utility corporations “in partnership”. Knowing this, it is then perhaps no wonder that Energy Star has also all but ignored an important technology like PF. Oddly enough, Power Factor Correction is required for computer power supplies to gain the Energy Star rating (which often have some leading-current Capacitive, not lagging-current Inductive phase shift)… Yet major appliances that have AC inductive motors with many more times the power usage and possible savings are not required to have Power Factor Correction technology installed in order to meet Energy Star requirements? This question also begs further investigation. Especially since homes with computer power supplies with current-leading Capacitive phase shift could actually help balance out and improve the total Power Factor when summed with the AC motor’s Inductive current-lagging phase shift causing poor Power Factor… In other words, if they had left the issue alone all together, then the difference we pay on our bills because of Apparent Power could actually be lower…

The costs to the manufacturers of adding Power Factor Correction would be minimal, but the savings to the Consumer could be dramatic. If the figures on General Electric’s CFL information web page can be used; over 30 Billion Dollars are “saved” annually by U.S. Consumers using CFL’s (this figure assumes the billing is done in Real Power Watts, which it clearly is not in most cases). So knowing what we now do about CFL’s and Power Factor Correction, and that we are actually billed by Apparent Power… Then this would mean that the American consumer is paying over $14 Billion a year more on their power bills than they should be…. Just for non-PF Corrected CFL’s alone. The amount of money for non-Power Factor Corrected AC motors in homes and small businesses would be difficult to estimate with accuracy (there are several hundred million such motors in operation within the U.S.; with only a small but unknown percentage of the Consumer models being Power Factor Corrected); but this amazing figure could easily be well over $150 Billion annually…. All because of missing low-cost components?!

There are many things we can do to save energy; and this is unquestionably a worthy endeavor. But as we have seen, there are also things we can do to simply save money as well… Perhaps it is time to call the electric utilities on their deceptive practice of charging by Apparent Power; and insist that we be billed by Real Power; as their charging by the “Kilo-Watt Hour” wrongly suggests (they should be naming it “Volt-Amperes Hours” to correctly denote Apparent Power). There is some debate on whether the electric utilities are actually being loaded down at their generators with the Apparent Power figure or the Real Power figure… They must always supply Power Factor Correction in their transmission lines and sub-stations anyway, and even at the residential neighborhood transformers. So on one hand they must provide enough power to supply the higher Apparent Power amount; yet the question is which power figure is actually being drawn from the system at the generator end: Real or Apparent? There are differing opinions; but it is much evidence that the entire additional amount of Apparent Power is not seen at the generators (and that the amount is somewhere in between the Real and Apparent figures)… Meaning Consumers are being over-billed, and have been for many decades. We can contact our State’s Public Utility Board, and insist action be taken to stop the “time honored tradition” of the power companies billing us by the “Kilo-Watt Hour” instead of accurately using the “Volt-Amps Hour” figures that reminds us that we are really paying for Apparent Power, not Real Power…. An age-old “trick” on their part that can be described as deliberate deception; which has helped to successfully suppress the entire question of Power Factor with Consumer billing for over a century. Perhaps more importantly, we need to start insisting that our home and office appliances with AC inductive motors, as well as the CFL’s sold in the U.S., all have AC Power Correction technology installed by the manufacturer. It would cost the appliance manufacturers much less to add the capacitor than for what they pay for the unit’s cardboard shipping box.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps are a wonder of technology. And despite a small danger from Mercury inside the tubes, they are a Godsend to many undeveloped areas of the world where they now provide light when before was only darkness or polluting chemically-fueled lanterns after sundown. But CFL’s can certainly be even better and more useful, as proved recently by members of the Free Energy and Open Source Energy community who have greatly improved the lamps efficiency through experimentation; making them several times more efficient through significant modifications to the circuitry. By harnessing the usually-ignored energy contained within the collapsing field of the inductive coils in the circuit, the modified CFL’s can actually charge batteries while supplying light; “reusing” the inductive voltage pulses and creating a system that is nearly self-sustaining. In fact, a small solar panel run only one hour a day may be all that is needed to make this CFL / Battery charging system operate indefinably in a closed-loop, with “Charge” and “Source” batteries for power, and the solar panel to help keep the regularly-swapped batteries at full charge. This experimentation and improvement of CFL’s, done by many intrepid researchers and inventors of the Open Source Energy movement (especially one known on the Internet as “The Inventor **~Imhotep~** ”, who first developed the improved circuit design), have helped bring this very interesting and “illuminating” Power Factor Correction issue out into the open. For more information on this amazing “nearly-Free Energy” CFL modification, see the Energetic Forums thread link below which details the great work done by **~Imhotep~** and others; which may prove to be a wonderful boon for many poor people around the world who do not enjoy reliable grid power: Providing bright light to stave off the darkness without pollution, significant cost, or generator/grid power; simply using 2 small or medium-sized 12V batteries, a low-cost solar charger, and modified CFL’s (several lamps can be used together per battery set). http://www.energeticforum.com/renewable-energy/2255-imhoteps-radiant-oscillator-video.html.

CFL’s can cost American Consumers even less on our power bills than they now do… If we would only demanded the same 100-year old Power Correction technology be installed that our wiser friends in Europe now enjoy. But as stated before, this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the non-Power Factor Corrected AC motors… There are few viable reasons for our appliance manufacturers to continue to ignore this important money-saving technology… Perhaps it is time to ask the power utilities and the U.S. appliance manufacturers if they have ever discussed this issue between themselves; and what was the outcome of those discussions?… When over 160 Billion Dollars per year in Consumer “over-charging” is in question; year after year… Isn’t this question worth looking into? But these “happy days” for the utility corporations will be ending soon: When put under the hard scrutiny of Consumer awareness; they will have no choice but to change their deceptive practices.

Action Summary:

1. CFL’s are excellent energy savers, but ones sold in the U.S. need Power Factor Correction technology built in, as they have now in Europe. This would save U.S. Consumers at least $14 Billion per year, and cost pennies to the manufacturer to add. Contact the manufacturers such as G.E., and demand that we be offered PF-Corrected CFL’s.  And ask them WHY we haven’t in the past, knowing that the models sold in Europe have them as a requirement.

2. AC inductive motors also need Power Factor Correction installed, and U.S. Consumer appliance manufacturers should all be doing this, but currently do not. Older units can be modified to have a low-cost AC capacitor added to them, in order to save Consumers a total of over $150 Billion per year nationally (estimated); just from AC motors that are not Power Factor Corrected. When buying your next appliance, demand Power Factor Correction. Contact your power company and ask them why they never told you about all this; when they do already work closely with their industrial Customers to insure high and efficient levels of PF.

3. Power utility corporations should stop the deceptive practice of charging Consumers and small business by the “Kilo-Watt Hour” (which denotes Real Power), and instead use the accurate metric of “Volt-Amperes Hours” for Apparent Power. Or, even better, they should charge Consumers by Real Power instead of Apparent Power; and then we would see the need for Power Factor Correction for Consumers suddenly championed by the industry, forcing action (because it would then be in their interest to do so): Instead of this important technology being suppressed and ignored for decades, while we continue to pay significantly more for power than we should be. State Public Utility Commissions and Consumer Watch agencies can be contacted with the above easily verified information: Don’t let up, keep up the complaints until you are contacted back with meaningful answers. The more of us that do so, the faster we will see real results.

4. Corporations such as General Electric and others who build consumer devices such as CFL’s and major appliances need to explain to the American people why they have been deliberately allowing us to be over-billed for our power to such a staggering extent, and for so many years… If there was collusion between them and the power utilities, this needs to be investigated and uncovered. “Energy Star”, technically part of the DOE and EPA but in reality a “partnership” between the government, the electric utility corporations, and the electronics and appliance manufacturers; also has some serious explaining to do in this regard. When the IEC standards were introduced in Europe, Japan, China, and elsewhere in 2001… Why did the U.S. not follow suit (since to export to these countries, manufacturers must comply anyway)? And one would think if this was truly a “free and open market” industry , that one or another of our manufacturers eventually would embrace and proudly advertise this great money-saving technology to gain an edge over competitors: But we have not seen this. Why is this?… Contact the appliance manufacturers such as General Electric and demand to know why they do not offer Power Factor Correction technology for all their inductive Consumer appliances and CFL’s.

Nothing we have seen in the mainstream energy arena in recent years has created a bigger improvement in efficiency than Compact Fluorescent Lamps. They should be used in every American home and office; to save energy and money both. But this does not mean that the power companies should be allowed to “keep” half of those impressive savings for themselves… If indeed there was some monstrous secret deal made between them and the manufacturers to suppress and ignore Power Factor Correction in Consumer devices, it was made without our approval… And as the Customer, we do have a voice: One that rings with another kind of “Real Power”. So let us use it… And generate some “corrections” of our own.


Free Energy and the Open Source Energy Movement Part One

Free Energy and the Open Source Energy Movement (Part 2)

Free Energy and the Open Source Energy Movement (Part 3)

FBI files “formal complaint” with Sunday Times by Luke Ryland

by Luke Ryland
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Luke’s blog post
Let Sibel Edmonds Speak
Aug 18, 2008

Last week, Scott Horton interviewed (audio) investigative journalist Joe Lauria. Lauria was one of the co-authors of the three-part (1, 2, 3) series on the case of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds for the UK’s Sunday Times.

In the interview Lauria discusses the Sibel Edmonds case, the state of the US media, and the Military Industrial Complex in the context of his new book with presidential candidate Mike Gravel: “A Political Odyssey: The Rise of American Militarism and One Mans Fight to Stop It“. Continue reading