Wednesday, November 24, 2004

!b_a_Act: Digest Number 2286

here are some recent messages published in my yahoo group -
"bay_area_activist" - A progressive and leftist mailing list
especially for activists in the San Francisco Bay Area, but would be
of interest to anyone who is concerned about human rights, the
environment, etc.

List-Subscribe: List subscription is by invitation only -
Send an email to request an invitation.


There are 5 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

1. Zombies, Pirates, Politics, Johnny Cash, Industrial Music
2. You are a slave.
From: Scott Munson
From: Scott Munson
4. t r u t h o u t | 11.24 - Deeply Divided, Americans Doubt Bush Mandate
From: "t r u t h o u t"
5. Fwd: [shundahaialerts] Victory! Funds For New Nukes Cut From
Spending Bill


Message: 1
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 15:40:42 -0000
Subject: Zombies, Pirates, Politics, Johnny Cash, Industrial Music

Zombies, Pirates, Politics, Johnny Cash, Industrial Music

What do these things have in common?

Find out tonight on Church of the Left as we present ...... (Insert
What to get that special someone for the holidays.

Church of the Left
Listen Online at
Tuesday 8-10pm est
AIM: churchoftheleft

Thats right ladies and gents, the hosts of Church of the Left will
give you excellent gift ideas. Because supporting capitalism should
at least be fun!

Oh and don't worry there will be plenty of news and Bush bashing.
And of course Industrial music.

That's Tuesday night (tonight) on Church of the Left!

"Where we're dirty, poor, bearded, and pierced just like.... Jesus!"


Message: 2
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 12:12:23 -0800
From: Scott Munson
Subject: You are a slave.

2004 Â? Year of the Slave
You are a slave.
I know that's not what you want to hear as you hoist your New Year's
champagne, but it is the unpleasant truth that we all face going into
Movies and public school like to portray slaves as bound by chains and
beaten with whips, creating a polarized image of slavery that can be
pointed to with the comment, "You are not like that, therefore you are
not a slave." But history shows that slaves have been treated in all
manner of ways, some more cruel than others, yet even with the most kind
treatment, a slave remains a slave.
Setting aside the stereotyped image of a slave as a bleeding chain-bound
wretch, slaves throughout history are often hard to recognize. In some
cases, such as the Medieval Serfs, they were held slaves to the rulers
by religious belief, and did not see themselves as slaves even though
they were treated as such.The favored slaves of Asian potentates wore
jewels to make a movie star gasp, yet were still slaves for all their
finery and comfort.
So, what is a slave? How do we define a slave? What test do we use to
tell if someone is a slave. What makes them different from free people?
Free people can say "no". Free people can refuse demands for their
money, time, and children. Slaves cannot. There is no freedom without
the freedom to say "no". If someone demands that you do something and
you can say "no" and refuse to do it, then you are a free human being.
If you can be forced to do something or surrender something that you do
not wish to, then you are a slave. No other test need be applied.
When you are forced to surrender half your life's work to the government
in ever-increasing taxes, then you are a slave.Throughout history,
slaves were expected to perform the work needed for their own upkeep,
then perform additional work for the rulers. For Roman slaves, the ratio
of work-for-self versus work-for-rulers was about 50-50. The same ratio
applied to Medieval Serfs, and even to the slaves of the American south.
And, when you add up all the overt taxes, covert fees, tariffs, excises,
plus the increased price you pay for products to pay the taxes of the
companies that make those products, you will find that Americans are at
that same "half-for-self" versus "half-for-rulers" ratio! Can you say
"no" to the confiscation of half of your life? Can you even get the
masters to maybe reduce the burden by a significant amount? No?
Congratulations. You are a slave.
The masters have decided they want wars on anyone living over oil. The
idea is that it is better for American corporations to steal the oil
they need than to pay for it. Millions of Americans (and millions more
around the globe) did not want the war, but the masters started them
anyway, by lying to the people. Could you refuse the war? Can you refuse
being lied to? No? Congratulations. You are a slave.
The rulers want your children for their future wars. Legislation for a
draft is already in Congress. Can you refuse the confiscation of your
children? No? Congratulations. You are a slave.
The government has been caught lying over and over again to the people,
from who really did 9-11, to the legality of the tax system, to Cheney's
Energy Task Force papers, to Saddam's WMDs. Americans are the most
lied-to people on Earth. Can you refuse to be lied to? Can you punish
the liars? No? Congratulations. You are a slave.
Vote fraud is rampant in the nation, and the mandated imposition of
audit-less electronic voting systems means that elections will be
decided (as Stalin admitted) not by those who vote but by those who
count the vote. Can you refuse a dishonest voting process? No?
Congratulations. You are a slave.
Just because you cannot see the slave-chains doesn't mean they are not
there. Chains made of steel are obvious, but chains made of beliefs are
not always recognized for what they are. Hitler enslaved the German
people to war with a belief that Poland was about to invade. LBJ
enslaved the American people to war with the belief that Vietnam had
attacked the USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin. Poland wasn't invading.
There were no torpedoes in the Gulf of Tonkin, but the slaves, held by
invisible chains of beliefs, went to war. Millions died.
In 2003, however, the chains started to become visible. The
Constitutional right to freedom of expression was confined to
"free-speech" zones. A slave may have an opinion, so long as it is not
expressed where it might upset the other slaves. The Constitutional
right to an armed populace, the means by which the men who set up a
nation of free citizens hoped to keep them free, is under constant
attack from those who fear a nation of free citizens, and who will not
sleep soundly until we are a nation entirely of slaves. Armed citizens
can, after all, say "no" and make it stick. That was why there was a
Second Amendment, to allow the people to say "no" to those who would
return them to the slavery they had so recently escaped from. Other
Constitutional rights and protections have been set aside. The
government can now search through your private records without cause and
without warrant, even break into your home and not have to tell you.
Simply by declaring a citizen an enemy combatant, the government can now
lock up US citizens without a charge and without a lawyer. You can be
prevented from traveling simply for having the wrong name. If you
purchase too much gold or take home too much cash, or hoard food, the
government will take notice. Having a Farmer's Almanac is grounds for
suspicion. Talking about the Constitution is now deemed grounds to
suspect a terrorist link. Torture is now espoused as "necessary" to
"deal with the crisis". Were you able to refuse those changes to the
Constitution? No? Congratulations. You are a slave.
The government (at all levels) has borrowed trillions of dollars and
stuck your kids with the payments. Children not even born will be paying
off the bills. To declare the lives of children not yet born, let alone
old enough to vote, indentured to the state is slavery most obvious and
odious. Can you refuse responsibility for payments on debts the
government incurred without your permission? No? Congratulations. You
are a slave.
The government has borrowed so much money that it has long ago run out
of gold to pledge as collateral on the debts. Starting in Nixon's
administration, natural resources were used as collateral for the
mounting debts. Borrow more money, promise a chunk of public lands as
collateral. These land pledges were concealed behind "Environmentalism"
to disguise the real purpose. Numerous names such as "Wilderness
Reserve", "Wetland", "Heritage River", and so forth were used to conceal
the true scale of the confiscations. But the end result was the same.
Huge tracts of public land containing natural resources were walled away
from the public that owned them, mortgaged to the holders of the US
Government debt. We are well on our way from being citizens, to being
mere tenants. Were you able to refuse having your public lands placed at
risk by the US Government to cover loans you never authorized the
government to make? No? Congratulations. You are a slave.
Trust funds under government control are being looted, from the Social
Security trust fund to Native American trust accounts to Federal
Retirement Funds. Congress pays lip service to the looting of Social
Security, but considers only more taxes to cover the looted shortfall.
Meanwhile, court cases over other looted trust accounts drag on without
resolution. Are you able to refuse corrupt and dishonest government? No?
Congratulations. You are a slave.
You are a slave because the ruling class can do what they want, take
what they want, and you cannot refuse. You may have freedom to decide
what TV channel to watch tonight, or just which style car you will drive
to your work in, but little power over the rest of your life. Even that
home you have worked to pay for over the last decade can be taken from
you at a moment's notice via "eminent domain". Can you refuse? No?
Congratulations. You are a slave.
In October 2001 I wrote that more damage would be done to our nation by
those claiming to save us from the terrorists than by any actual
terrorist act. Even as Bush claimed that the terrorists hated the US
because of our freedoms, he took what few remaining freedoms we had away
until we are more watched, more spied on, more limited, more silenced,
more taxed, and more enslaved that at any other time in our nation's
history. Not only are we slaves, we are at last starting to see that we
have been slaves all along. We did not have rights, because a right
cannot be taken away. What we had were indulgences, granted by the
masters to the slaves, to be removed when the masters grow fearful of
the slaves' resentment and anger.
I know this is a very depressing article to read on the New Year, but I
have watched through 2003 as people I care about lost their homes and
businesses, as the labors of a lifetime evaporated in stock market
manipulations by corporate crooks.These Americans who had worked hard to
achieve the American dream lost it all through no fault of their own.
Our schools are broke, hospitals under-staffed, the roads and bridges
and rails of the nation are crumbling while billions of dollars are
given away to foreign nations, favored cronies, and the ravenous war
machine. The priorities of the government that feeds on taxes seems
focused everywhere but on those who pay those taxes. And we can't seem
to refuse that either.
I think the state of the nation can be summed up by a simple contrast.
Tommy Chong is in jail for selling a pipe, while Ken Lay walks around a
free man with the billions he stole from his employees and investors.
Any way you slice it, that's a pretty screwed up situation.
I promised a reader that I would make some predictions for 2004 in this
article. I wish I hadn't because I am hoping I am wrong on most of them.
1. There will be another fake terror attack. The Neocon war agenda
cannot move forward without it. Those who hoped Iraq would be the end of
the wars are in for a rude shock. The hawks want the entire planet,
either directly ruled by the US, or ruled by obedient puppet regimes.
Another "attack" is needed.
2. The US will eventually lose their war of conquest of the world. The
US does not have enough troops to garrison the planet, and as Hitler
learned much too late, merely having superior weapons isn't going to win
a war when you've pissed off absolutely everyone else in the world. On a
more practical level, sooner or later the US will wind up at war with
someone who really DOES have nuclear weapons of mass destruction. That
this is the government plan is witnessed by the numerous underground
facilities which have been built or upgraded in recent years. You paid
for them, but you won't be allowed in them. Such an attack on the US is
small price to pay for those who promote these wars, not for America,
but for another nation standing by while its victims are tricked into
fighting each other.
3. Minus a war, the US Government will eventually collapse as did the
Soviet Union, dragged down by debt and corruption. As the final collapse
looms closer, look for the looting of the nation to become even bolder
than it is now. The last official act of any government is to loot the
4. I am opposed to violence. I wish it could be avoided but I do believe
that this nation is headed towards a collision between the rulers and
the ruled. The government fears this as well or we wouldn't see so much
bullet-proof Lexan between us and our "public servants". I think that
the reason we have not seen it yet is that Americans have been
conditioned to expect a hero or savior to come and make things right. We
know things have gone wrong, but we are waiting for someone else to fix
it, Superman, the cavalry riding to the rescue, Spartacus, the Messiah,
Batman, What Really Happened, etc. This belief that one should wait
quietly for a hero is part of the slavery mechanism, to keep you in your
place, rendering unto Caesar, breeding more slaves, waiting for
salvation that never comes. However, as history has shown, even the
patience of an entire people can run out, and I predict that when the
final upheaval comes, it will arrive as suddenly as that which occurred
in Romania. In November 1989, Romania seemed stable under the rule of
Nicholai Ceausescu. One month later, a sporting event erupted into a
spontaneous political protest and on December 25th, Nicholai Ceausescu
was tried and sentenced to death. Ceausescu proved that tyrants should
not confuse silence with consent. The Romanian people finally realized
that nobody was coming to save them, and they had the courage to save
themselves. The collapse of the USSR was equally rapid and almost as
unexpected. So shall it be in the US.
Like I said above, I hope I am wrong in my forecasts. However it is
clear that the US Government is under the control of individuals intent
on personal enrichment, or loyalty to a foreign nation above our own,
and seeing no reason at all not to continue on their present course.
Confrontation seems inevitable.
The founding fathers set up a nation in which government was by the
consent of the people. We The People agreed to certain obligations, and
the government we allowed to care for our national sovereignty agreed to
abide by certain limits set forth in the Constitution. The present
government has broken the agreement, discarding the Constitutional
limits on their power and authority while at the same time piling more
and more obligations onto the people. Were you able to refuse them? No?
This more than any of the other reasons is why you have ceased to be a
free human being, and are now a slave.
You are a slave. When you live under a government that takes your wealth
and your children and lies to you to keep you docile and scares you to
keep you obedient, how can it be otherwise?
You are a slave. You can stay that way, or not. It's that simple. Nobody
is coming to save you. There are no heroes, no cavalry riding to the
rescue. Whether you and your children will live as slaves or as free
human beings is entirely up to you.
What Really Happened


Message: 3
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 13:41:18 -0800
From: Scott Munson


It has been reported today that more than twenty persons were shot
and wounded last weekend in Nigeria when soldiers opened fire on
youth trying to seize an oil flow station at Ojobo, Burutu local
government area of Delta State. Youth leaders from the troubled town
issued a statement alleging that over 20 of their kinsmen have been
gunned down by soldiers on the orders of Shell.

The youth had been at loggerheads with the Shell Petroleum
Development Company (SPDC) over the oil multi-national's community
relations policies and practices. The youths and others in the
community said the Anglo Dutch oil firm (Shell) and its agents were
not fair to the community considering the amount of oil drilled from
their land and rivers. Despite their communities accounting for the
bulk of Nigeria's daily output of some 2.5 million barrels, most of
the residents of the region live in crippling poverty.

Elders of the community were said to have been meeting with
representatives of Shell and a contracting firm, Parker Drilling
with a view to "resolving" the differences in a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU). However, many younger members of the area took
exception to the oil company's position in the negotiations.

Shell's corporate external relations manager, Don Boham, confirmed
the incident but explained that the shooting occurred on the rig
which the youths forcefully occupied. "They occupied the rig
belonging to Parker Drilling and demanded immediate commencement of
community development projects, a review of the Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) as well as direct dealing with service
contractors to review work contract for six of their members," said

There have been frequent clashes between youths agitating for more
welfare packages for their communities from oil companies and
members of the Joint Task Force which is made up of members of the
armed forces and which was set up by government to guarantee
security of operations by the firm.

The youths have time and again accused government of neglecting
their communities which suffer degradation and environmental damage
as a result of oil drilling while the people who live in the area
lack basic amenities and employment opportunities.

To drive their points home, the youths have resorted to taking
expatriates working at drilling sites as hostages and occupying rigs.

Earlier this month, Amnesty international (AI) released a
report "Nigeria: Are Human Rights in the Pipeline?" which said that
the Nigerian government had failed to protect human rights during
oil exploration and production is fuelling human rights abuses in
the Niger Delta. The 59-page report examines practices of several
transnational corporations (TNCs) including the Shell Petroleum
Development Corporation (SPDC) and the Nigerian Agip Oil Corporation
(NAOC). It presents three case studies illustrating how TNCs made
decisions for various projects without consulting members of the
community -- who then faced dire environmental consequences, the
seizure of their land without adequate compensation, or violence or
intimidation as a means of assuring their silence.

The report considers the rights to seek, receive and impart
information from and about TNC environmental assessments; the right
to an adequate standard of living; the right to live free of
contaminated water, toxic wastes and the adverse affects of oil
spills; and the right to an effective legal remedy and redress. In
Nigeria asserting these rights, or even simply living in the region,
can lead to ill-treatment by security forces, or even death.

AI's calculations, based on local and international media reports,
show that the number of people killed in the Delta, Rivers and
Bayelsa States in 2004, including incidents in late August, could be
as many as 670, and that as many as 1,000 were killed in the Niger
Delta in 2003. While some deaths were due to intra- or inter-
communal violence and the proliferation of illegal small arms, many
can be attributed to excessive force on the part of state security
forces Â? forces those TNCs utilize to protect company employees and

The report acknowledges that TNCs have not been a strictly negative
force in the region. As a result of the government's failure to
provide essential services, such as heath, education and access to
drinking water, oil companies have funded a wide variety of
corporate social responsibility projects. However, while voluntary
and often philanthropic, AI has concluded that these activities have
at times been designed more to ward off potential political risks to
TNC operations. Regardless of motive, such activities are often
carried out without consideration of environmental or social impact,
creating an environment ripe for community conflict and subsequent
human rights abuses, when only those closest to the companies

"Ensuring universal access to basic social amenities remains the
responsibility of the Nigerian State," explained Salil Tripathi,
Economic Relations Researcher for AI. "The responsibility of
transnational corporations lies in ensuring that the areas they have
voluntarily accepted to service are adequately provided for and are
provided without discrimination."

The United States is the largest export market for Nigerian oil.
Amnesty International believes that Nigeria, as Africa's leading oil
producer, has a responsibility to set standards that can be applied
throughout the region. Sources: News24 (South Africa), This Day
(Lagos), CBC, CorpWatch

To view the Oread Daily go to
Subscribe to the Oread Daily at
Contact the Oread Daily at


Message: 4
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 16:45:50 -0800
From: "t r u t h o u t"
Subject: t r u t h o u t | 11.24 - Deeply Divided, Americans Doubt Bush Mandate

William Rivers Pitt is on assignment. The TO Overview will return next week.


t r u t h o u t | 11.24

Deeply Divided, Americans Doubt Bush Mandate

Cameraman Tells Why He Filmed Marine Killing Prisoner

Ukrainians Throng Streets to Protest against Election 'Fix'

Thousands Protest U.S. Torture School

Lawsuit Challenges Detention of Protesters at GOP Convention

Intent of the Voter v. Rule of Law

California to Sue over Sierra Nevada Logging Expansion

A Long March for the Aboriginal Community

David Swanson | Media Blacks Out Bush Assault on Minimum Wage

Dr. James J. Zogby | Sheikh Zayed's Legacy

Uri Avnery | Who's Next?

Richard Leiby | The Day I Almost Led the Iraqi Army

Mass Offensive Launched South of Baghdad

CBS News' Dan Rather to Step Down in March

New York Times | Rolling Back Women's Rights

Reid Cuts a Deal with Bush

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Or go directly to our home page:


t r u t h o u t | 11.23

Hawks Push Deep Cuts in Iraq Forces

9/11 Victims' Families Assail Congress on Spy Bill

'Baghdad is Now a Battlefield, ...'

Ayatollah Sistani: 'Don't Postpone Iraqi Election'

Iran Says It Will Abandon A-Bomb Fuel, EU Seeks Verification

George Lakoff | Our Moral Values

Seattle Post-Intelligencer | A 'Moral' Warning on RU-486

Joelle Stolz | The Race against the Iranian Bomb

Iraq Faces the Hard Part of Its Drive to Cut Debt

Powell Wins Israeli Vow to Ensure Palestinian Vote

John J. Sweeney | How Can We Fight for Working Families?

Ukraine Slips into Election Crisis

U.S. Death Toll in Iraq for November Tops 100

15,000 Uncounted U.S. Casualties in Iraq

U.S. Troops Open Fire on Iraqi Bus, Killing 3

Los Angeles Times | It Doesn't End with Fallujah

William Rivers Pitt | Saving Your Right to Vote

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t r u t h o u t | 11.22

Marjorie Cohn | Litigating the Election

Pentagon Turns Heat Up on Iran

Iraq's Children Pay Heavy Cost

CIA Chief Goss Thins Out the Ranks

David Wise | Sycophant Spies

Los Angeles Times | Powell's Unfortunate Outburst on Iran

San Francisco Chronicle | Damming Dissent

Shooting Up under the Burqa

Pepe Escobar | The Sunni-Shi'ite Power Play

GOP Embarassed: Bill Gives Lawmakers Access to Tax Returns

God's Hand on the Lever

'Misfortune 100' Identifies Top Air Polluters in United States

Tom DeLay is Bleeding

Iraq Sets Election Date But Unrest Threatens Poll

Congress Slashes Domestic Spending, Abortion Services

Lawsuit Challenges Ohio Presidential Results

House Republicans Block Intelligence Reform Bill

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Or go directly to our home page:


t r u t h o u t | 11.21

More GIs for Iraq, War Crimes Charged

Violence Flares in Baghdad, Mosul

Iran's Nuclear Aims Stir New Fears, Old Doubts

Greenspan: Foreign Investors May Dump Dollars

MIT Scientist Backs Berkeley Voting Report

Marisa Katz | Why Gonzales Could Do More Damage than Ashcroft

Charles T. Maxwell | The Gathering Storm

Bernard-Henri Levy | Like a Huge April 21 ...

Protesters Greet Bush In Santiago

Michelle Goldberg | More Relief for Struggling Millionaires

'We Don't Endanger Public Health'

Is U.S. Backing New Anti-Chavez Unrest in Venezuela?

Nicholas D. Kristof | No More Sham Elections

Hearings on Ohio Voting Put 2004 Election in Doubt

Election Theft in San Diego?

Congress Begins Attack on Women's Right to Choose

Chaos in Iraq Imperils Voting

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t r u t h o u t | 11.20

Troops Round Up Corpses, Weapons in Fallujah

46 Groups Will Boycott Iraq Vote

Robert Fisk | So Who Killed Margaret Hassan?

On Capitol Hill, Military Warns of Being under Strain

Feinstein Warns Goss against CIA Reforms

Now Outspoken, Cronkite Rips Bush's Record

Katharine Mieszkowski | I Am What I Ate

Maurice Druon | The Blind Strategists

Paul Rogat Loeb | The Impossible Will Take a Little While

The Role of Boycotts in the Fight for Peace

Iran Rallies Support for Iraq

Rare Blood Infection Surfaces in Injured U.S. Soldiers

John Kerry: Fight Bush's Right-Wing Assault

Cobb and Badnarik: Ohio Recount Must Start Now

'Stinking Evidence' of Election Fraud in Florida

Is Bush Preparing Attack on Iran?


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