Friday, June 29, 2007

GOP damns Bush

The numbers behind the failure of the Democratic initiative to force an Iraq withdrawal timetable were comparable to those that went into the GOP's severe reprimand of Bush and his Democrat-backed immigration bill.

Political winds are shifting rapidly. The White House, still reeling from GOP Sen. Lugar's call for a troop pullout, got little sympathy in the Senate. Tennessee's freshman GOP Sen. Corker denounced Bush as incompetent and cited a litany of disastrous events, including botched prewar intelligence and the handling of the Katrina catastrophe.

Conservative pundit Dick Morris is urging Bush to save the GOP from a 2008 cataclysm and begin drawing down troop levels. A face-saving move would be for Bush to agree with Sen. Clinton that U.S. troops have done their job but that the Iraqi government has not done its job.

The Iraq war is so contentious it is stirring up local governments, as evidenced by a recent U.S. Conference of Mayors resolution urging a quick troop pullout. The 51-47 vote was close. But, no telling what the vote might be if held next week, as the GOP begins to swing away from Bush on all fronts.

Bush's isolation is complete as Blair steps down and the much less hawkish Brown takes the PM's reins.

All this may be shaping up into the ironic scenario of the Republicans angling to impeach and remove Bush and Cheney quickly before the party suffers any more damage while the Democrats maneuver to keep him in office as the bad guy everybody loves to hate, thus enhancing their 2008 chances.

The one issue that could throw all plans overboard is evidence of 9/11 skullduggery. The political situation is sufficiently fluid that such an expose isn't completely beyond the pale, though it may seem so at the moment.

I checked the Downing Street web site and Blair's final question time isn't transcribed, nor linked to Theyworkforyou, which permitted the public to comment on parliamentary discussions.

Not sure whether Downing Street is using the PM changeover as a reason to reorganise that option -- and the occasional comments of yours truly -- out of existence, or whether it's just a temporary change. I guess we'll find out when Brown appears at Question Time next week.

Murdoch's friends
Look who's soft-pedaling Murdoch's Dow Jones maneuver. Ben Bradlee, the former Washington Post editor, and Al Neuharth, former chief of USA Today. Neither seems offended by Murdoch's move and are downplaying presumed dire consequences. This contrasts with Gene Roberts, the Philadelphia Inquirer's former star editor, who drew the line and said he would under no circumstances work for Murdoch. (The opinions are to be found in Editor and Publisher online.)

Geeze. It doesn't even bother Bradlee and Neuharth that Murdoch has calculatedly interlocked News Corp. with the official Chinese Communist Party propaganda apparatus...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The gathering storm

. The White House is invoking "executive privilege" to block documents and testimony about the ouster of eight U.S. attorneys. But Democratic lawmakers appear prepared for a knock-down fight.
. Sen. Byrd is gathering information on Bush's use of "signing statements" as a means of imposing de facto line item vetoes.
. Rep. Kucinich wants the House to impeach Cheney. That initiative gained some credibility when Cheney asserted a claim of "president-of-the-senate privilege" with respect to answering Congressional questions.
. Rep. Conyers is pressing for testimony that might lead to indictments of GOP heavies for election fraud.
. Congress hasn't given up on the apparent misuses of national security powers imposed after 9/11, and a number of lines of inquiry are in process.

Other confrontations of this kind are also kicking around the corridors of power in Washington.

For a full catalogue of political powderkeg issues, visit Dennis Loo's pro-impeachment site (link on sidebar).

Of course, it appears that the Democrats are more interested in weakening Bush than in impeaching him. The Democrats will then have a big edge in the presidential race.
Still, despite the fierce ambitions of Democratic presidential aspirants, there's no telling what might happen. Even supposing the Democrats skillfully raise White House skirts only so high, one gust of political wind could mean all bets are off and impeachment is on.

Lest we forget, the American people are really ticked off about the continuation of this Iraq fiasco. So anything can happen.

Rupert Randolph Murdoch
Murdoch seems poised to grab Dow Jones at a wildly high price. In fact, it's so high that competing business media firms backed away from a bidding war. Their financial advisers evidently cautioned them that Dow Jones would not enhance their profitability sufficiently.

But Murdoch believes he can parlay Dow Jones into a lucrative cable business channel. Yet, some are skeptical. It's true that Fox TV has been a startling phenomenon. Yet, its down in the doldrums. Sure it's making money, but is it making enough to support such a gamble? And that's where the bulk of Murdoch's dough comes from. His other U.S. ventures are losers. In fact, he has never been able to make money with print ventures in America.

Some investment advisers are warning clients to sell News Corp. stock.

And they probably will if the 76-year-old takes up residence with his young Chinese wife in the emperor's palace he's building for them in Beijing.

That nugget was in the Times' second article on "the Murdochracy," which shed much light on how Murdoch had entangled News Corp. into the official communist propaganda apparatus.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Heard on the Street

So if Murdoch takes over the Wall Street Journal, does that mean Dow Jones can stop paying taxes?

The New York Times revealed yesterday that Murdoch's battery of financial fast-shuffle artists had managed to make sure Murdoch's News Corp. paid ZERO federal income tax in two of the last four years and not much more for the other two.

Yes, but the firm still faces a tax liability down the road, you say. Well, yes, if his squadrons of high-powered lobbyists and his largesse toward key lawmakers doesn't change things so that he no longer owes the dough.

Murdoch was a big hawk on Iraq. But YOU can pay for the war, thank you.

Murdoch's checkered tax-avoidance career is an international scandal, anyway. He was once in very hot water with the Israeli tax authorities, but he eventually wiggled his way out of serious charges in Israel.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Kalin cipher

For those of you interested in cryptology, I have published what I believe is a new and interesting cipher, which I have dubbed the Kalin cipher, on my Kryptograff blog (link on sidebar).

The post is directly under another one, The world of null-H, which is of little interest to most readers, though a few fans of logic, information theory and physics might be intrigued.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Power to the oligarchs

America is hopping mad at both Bush and the Democrats, if a number of recent polls are to be believed.

NOTE: For a perceptive discussion of these polls, take a look at the Trotskyist web site (see side bar for link). Now anyone knows the Trotskyists have a Marxist political agenda and are as capable of "spin" as Fox News. Even so, some of their news reporting is highly competent, though one must, as with all reporting, take care to watch for political bias.

Americans are disgusted. The Democrats seem unable to halt the war, though that's why they were given power in November. So why aren't the people heeded? As the Trotskyists point out, a tiny oligarchy determines policy, not Congress.

When public opinion changes against the faction in power, that faction does not respect the "will of the people." That faction simply thinks that an opposing power clique has won a battle over opinion. So the war faction thinks: we're not going to permit our opponents to win by controlling opinion, if we can help it. We will just continue on anyway. Such cliques tend to think in terms of being on a winning football team, rather than in terms of right, wrong and the people's inherent right to govern themselves.

But this war group -- partially composed of neocons and a certain brand of Israelophile -- may have bitten off more than it can chew. Take a look at George Will's latest column on one GOP senator's gloomy stance on Iraq. It's clear that the conservative Will is himself gloomy about the GOP's war policy. The troop surge has been ineffective, yet the troops are still there. I've noticed many times over that once the feds launch a major op, neither hell nor highwater will cause it to abort, even when the objective is clearly no longer obtainable.

Tim Russert recently said something to the effect that the natives are restless. The blinders are starting to come off as the people begin to see that their will means nothing to the system. The people are viewed with contempt by the mostly hidden oligarchs. More and more people might begin to identify with "outlaw" journalists such as myself.

Once the people wake up to the fact that the government is controlled by some behind-the-scenes force -- a "council" of oligarchs -- the awareness that 9/11 might very well have been an inside job will spread like wildfire. No telling what might happen then.

The Trotskyists again:Did you wonder why the "progressive" Nation magazine took aim at "paranoid" thinking about 9/11 conspiracy? Take a look at the Trotskyist analysis (link on sidebar) of the magazine's controlling clique. The Nation is an organ of some very powerful "liberal establishment" families, and these families find it convenient not to upset the system applecart (and their financial prospects) by letting "the masses" learn the truth.

That said, I'd like to point out that the Trotskyists themselves have found it convenient to, for the most part, tone down the 9/11 treason issue.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Grabbe corrects Znewz1

Znewz1 misquoted Crockett Grabbe, an Iowa physics professor who is convinced that three World Trade Center towers were felled by controlled demolition. His correction is found in a comment on the most recent post about Giuliani.
I have removed the offending paraphrase. My apologies to Dr. Grabbe.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fatal flaws

A recent Associated Press story told of some studies that show that the death penalty has a strong deterrent effect. Murder rates go down when the death penalty is relatively swift and sure, these statisticians say. Their findings are very disagreeable to death penalty opponents, some of whom quarrel about the statistical methods.

My off-the-cuff response is that capital punishment is quite likely to deter premeditated murder and even some "heat-of-the-moment" homicides. So it seems plausible that such a policy saves lives.

Yet, there is another issue. Is it OK to sacrifice the lives of some innocent persons in order to help spare the lives of others? Some may say that, though capital punishment errors may occur, such miscarriages of justice are relatively rare and that the risk of such error is a necessary societal evil.

Before giving some back-of-the-envelope numbers, a remark: The fact that an error rate is low means, in this case, that the chance that a randomly selected Death Row inmate is innocent is low; that fact does not mean that the chance of an innocent person being executed is low. That chance rises with the number of inmates.

So here goes:

Of 300 persons sentenced to die in Illinois between 1977 and 2000, 13 were exonerated as wrongfully convicted (that is, courts found that a reasonable doubt existed as to each one's guilt; in some cases, there was no doubt at all as to innocence). Of the 300, 12 were executed. [Source: The Death Penalty on Trial by Bill Kurtis, Perseus Books (PublicAffairs unit), 2004.]

In other words, the Illinois error rate was 13/300 = 4.3%. Fearing that there might be more innocent men on Death Row, then-Governor George Ryan pardoned some inmates and commuted the sentences of all the others to life terms. Hopefully the 12 persons who had died since 1977 had all been guilty, Ryan said.

We can get an idea about his concerns by using the Poisson formula, which is applicable to sufficiently large populations. A number near 300 (actually 287 once the 13 exonerated are excluded) can qualify for the Poisson method. What is the probability that none of the 287 is innocent? The probability is simply exp(minus error rate times sample) = exp(-0.043x287) = exp(-12.341) = 4.369 x 10-6. Turned around, that means that Ryan faced a probability of 99.99999563 percent that Illinois either had since 1977 or would execute someone then on Death Row wrongfully.

Still, the Poisson method can't be used for a small sample size, such as the 12 people executed in Illinois since 1977.

But there is one state that has carried out a sufficient number of executions to warrant use of the Poisson method: Texas executed 154 people between 1995 and 2000, with 39.4% of Death Row inmates put to death in that period. A 4.3% error rate would give an expected value of 6.622. With that number, the probability that no innocent person was executed during George Bush's governorship is less than 1%. Put another way, the likelihood of a wrongful execution is 99.867%. [Source of input data: Bureau of Justice Statistics as cited in The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment by Franklin E. Zimring, Oxford University Press, 2003.]

But suppose Texas doesn't have such a high error rate in capital cases. Somehow it is quite difficult to believe that the Texas justice system is far, far superior to the Illinois system. A lower limit of 1% in Texas seems reasonable. Even so, we have exp(-1.54) = 21.438% probability that no one was wrongly convicted, which is to say a 78.56% probability that Texas executed at least one innocent person during the 5-year interval.

No other state has a comparable number of executions during that period. However, the total number of executions nationwide was 2899 during that five years [Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics in Zimring.] An error rate of 4.3% yields exp(-124.657) = 7.28 x 10-55, which is a fantastically low number, meaning that the probability no one was wrongly executed is effectively zero. At a 1% error rate, the probability no one was wrongly executed is 2.569 x 10-13, which is also effectively zero.

That is, it is virtually certain that one or more innocent people were executed in the United States between 1995 and 2000.

You may recall that George Bush was the governor who pushed through the vast speedup in executions in Texas.

Which brings us to the matter of military tribunals for unlawful enemy combatants. What hope is there for a low error rate and no wrongful executions? Hard to say. However, bear in mind that the GOP has made the standards of evidence much lower than the American norm for such captives. When, for example, confessions extracted by dubious means out of the presence of counsel or international observers are admissible evidence one should anticipate that innocent people will be convicted and that some may be executed.

All the king's scientists...

A quickie: Saw something about Purdue researchers determining that the twin towers were brought down by a combination of the weight of the fuel and fire.

I haven't seen the Purdue study, so all I can assume is that perhaps the reporter misunderstood the researchers' conclusions. There simply wasn't enough mass (weight) from the plane and its contents to account for such rapid and complete collapses, fire or no fire.

But the news item does show that the NIST study of the collapse of the towers is hardly the final word. There have been a number of attempts to rationalize the government's claims -- thus indicating the scientific work had some holes in it.

A tactical change at Znewz1
Right now, I have more important things to do than play games with government-sponsored hackers, who have many times over demonstrated their contempt for freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom in general.

So, I have decided to curtail Znewz1 emailings and blog posts. Meanwhile, I hope to work on things that eventually will make a significant difference in the fight for American liberty.

Monday, June 11, 2007

'First of all, let's blindfold the Trib staff'

Now that Sam Zell is firmly in control of the Tribune Co., it appears that Tribune editors and reporters are no longer considered competent to determine whether to scan the Znewz1 email circular or not.

A blanket block on Znewz1 seems to have gone into effect at the Tribune.

You may say that the Trib staffers can always read this blog (unless of course the Tribune blocks this url), but the blog and the circular often differ.

Here we have what looks like an ominous turn for professionalism at the Trib. A journalist without the right to make up her or his own mind about what information and-or "propaganda" to scan has lost a sacred piece of journalistic soul. And an owner who enforces that kind of policy shows that he is a news business tyro. Not even Murdoch blocks his journalists from receiving the Znewz1 circular if they wish (hope that's not "famous last words").

Perhaps the Trib defense is that Znewz1 uses an opt-out, rather than an opt-in, system.
But, what else can I do? There is simply too much email interference for an opt-in system to work. Sure, maybe you say that that's just paranoia talking. And I suppose that neither Zell nor anyone on the Trib staff has a clue as to what I mean when I say that Conant is "that guy" caught in a "legal and media limbo." I mean, does Zell believe the version of reality presented in the newspapers? If so, he's not "with it." But if not, he's showing that he favors the system as is, with its tight, if unacknowledged, censorship.

Of course, there is another possibility. A hacker has imposed the block without the Tribune's permission, theorizing that his action would be covered by the ownership change. What hackers have a reason to curtail Conant's interaction with the media? Quite a few special interests would be delighted to jam Znewz1. But, who is the most likely alternate suspect? I would say some federal security agency, hiding of course behind cut-outs, as is the usual practice.

Will these blocked Trib journalists have their read privileges restored? Never happen. What could happen next is some trick or other to make it look like I'm mistaken, paranoid and generally flaky. And yet, these journalists will, without doubt, remain blocked because the control clique just can't tolerate undoing a dirty trick. What I mean is that even if Zell personally orders the blocked read privileges restored, some force that meddles in my internet activity will overrule him.

Welcome to America, 2007 version.

Murdoch Zionists at Dow Jones?

Some have charged that Murdoch is likely to see to it that the Wall Street Journal will pull punches when it comes to issues of concern to the Chinese communists.

But there is also another worry: Do you suppose that the ruthless neocons who comprise Murdoch's team aren't just aching to get their hands on the Dow Jones financial data system?

You may think that Murdoch will prevent them from misusing their positions to manipulate financial data for both personal and ideological gain. But, all I know is that if I were a business person not affiliated with the Murdoch-Rothschild clique of militant Zionists, I might be quite disturbed.

Even though Dow Jones has competition from Bloomberg and Reuters in providing such data, that competition might not be sufficient to deter a few crafty insiders working for Murdoch from playing all sorts of financial games in furtherance of militant Zionism and for personal reasons.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Who speaks up for Chelsea?

Chelsea is lucky to be alive, we learn from a new political biography of Hillary Clinton.

Chelsea often stopped for coffee in the shadow of the twin towers in lower Manhattan, but on 9/11 didn't proceed quite that far, according to Her Way by Jeff Gerth and Don van Natta. Still, the young woman was jostled by the crowd fleeing the disaster zone as she ran south toward danger in search of a pay phone to call her mother in Washington. (Dad was in Australia on business.)

It's also clear from the book that immediately after the attacks Hillary seemed to have no inkling that maybe not everything was on the up and up -- though many experts expressed skepticism that the towers could have fallen as claimed.

By now however, both she and Bill ought to be well aware that 9/11 was an inside job and that the killers cared nothing about Chelsea's fate. Chelsea doesn't seem to have been one of those in the know who were tipped to stay out of lower Manhattan that day.

So why doesn't Hillary express outrage? Maybe it's because she and Bill are part of the "politically correct" faction of the left wing that has agreed not to make an issue of the treason conspiracy.

Either that or the senator is in some kind of deep denial, with double-crossing aides keeping her so roped off from reality that she lacks the competence to be a senator, let alone a president.

And, where is Bill's voice here? His daughter could easily have been killed that day, but he mustn't say anything that might trouble the power elite and mess up Hillary's chances, I suppose.

He's almost surely not in denial about 9/11. Nobody ever claimed he was stupid. He just won't tackle these people.

Backwards goes the CIA

If there were no secret CIA prisons, where was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed held before being transferred to Gitmo?

So when the CIA rejects the Council of Europe report, what does that mean? It's just sound-bite gimmickry.

Note that the CIA did not specifically say that no CIA prisoners had been held in Poland or Romania. And Polish and Romanian officials, being rather embarrassed, seem to be splitting legalistic hairs in order to avoid the charge.

Yet, because of these fake denials, we now have "news" headlines that make it seem as though the secret CIA detention centers are mere ravings of "conspiracy wingnuts."
How fast the truth is redefined...

Friday, June 08, 2007


I found more funny biz with my emails today. Looks like a muddy-the-waters operation. Since this kind of thing happens all the time, I've decided to kill the previous post. Why should I play the game of my adversaries?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Giuliani's 9/11 record cuts two ways

While Giuliani hobnobbed with supporters at a posh spot in Brooklyn, protesting 9/11 families targeted his actions on that fateful day and beforehand, according to a local newspaper, the Park Slope (Brooklyn) Record.

Good luck trying to find either the paper or the story on Google.

Family members joined with those who challenge the government's theory of what happened on 9/11.

They were upset at Giuliani for, among other things, "running away" that day and for failing to make sure rescuers had proper equipment. Nothing in the Record story indicated that protesters thought Giuliani had advance knowledge (if he did, why would he have stayed so close by in City Hall?).

Still, the combination of family members angry about 9/11 failures and citizens convinced 9/11 was an act of treason may prove to be a bit of political dynamite that not only affects Giuliani's bid for the presidency but also the bid of national media to control the political dialogue.