Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chris Hedges and Cornel West Speak on Bradley Manning

Join Cornel West and Chris Hedges in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, August 4th, from 3 to 5:30pm, for a panel discussion on the Bradley Manning verdict and what it means for freedom of speech -- or lack thereof -- in this country. The event will be at the Friends Meeting House, 2111 Florida Avenue, Washington, DC. Free and open to everyone.

Manning Guilty in Kangaroo Court Proceedings

As you know by now, Bradley Manning was found guilty on 19 counts. He was found not guilty on the (insane) charge of aiding the enemy. But he'll still probably spend most of his life, if not all of it, in jail. Now the sentencing phase begins. It's expected to go through August, with the prosecution and the defense calling about 20 witnesses each.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bradley Manning Verdict to Come Today

Military Judge Denise Lind is expected to hand down her verdict in the case of whistleblower Bradley Manning today in Fort Meade, Maryland.

Given that she's bent over backwards to please the prosecution -- and even allowed new charges to be filed late in the game, after the trial had already been in progress for weeks -- I can't believe we'll have good news.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Political Language Explained

Thanks to Jack Balkwill of LUV News for this great graphic and the link to the Pro Publica article called "Who Are We At War With? That's Classifed." Jack writes: "A Pentagon spokesman told Pro Publica that revealing the names of who we are at war with could cause 'serious damage to national security.' That's right, it's classified. Shut up and pay your taxes, and be sure to vote for Democrat or Republican. As Orwell wrote, 'We have always been at war with Eastasia'."

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hypocrisy on Parade (again)

From the world of Twitter:
LOL: "there is more support for the government’s data-collection program among Democrats (57% approve) than among Republicans (44%)"
Gee wiz. Quelle surprise. As I like to say, what was bad under Bush is now good under Obama! Go USA!

We Live in a Police State

We live in a police state. Anybody who doesn't recognize that fact -- or who cries "hyperbole!" "exaggeration!" -- has his head up his ass. There's not only One Kind Of Police State And One Kind Only. And a police state doesn't have to spring fully formed like Athena from the head of Zeus. It can -- and usually does -- develop step by incremental step, as one by one, people's rights start to diminish and finally disappear. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

Uncle Sam Wants Your Passwords - Deal With It

In a revelation that only somebody living under a rock could possibly find surprising, the federal government wants not only your passwords, but the encryption on your passwords. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Limits: Like Cancer, the NSA Has None

No surprise, no surprise at all. The Amash amendment failed. The White House won.

The worthless wankers in Congress -- in the House anyway -- sided withe the president: they voted to allow the NSA to keep collecting whatever data it wants, whenever it wants, however it wants, as much as it wants, for as long as it wants.

John Pistole gets his knickers in a twist — again

TSA Administrator John Pistole seems to have a thing for underpants.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tell Your Rep - Vote FOR Amash amendment, against Nugent in HR-2397

From Defending Dissent (in links at right-hand side of blog) -- vote on HR-2397 is tomorrow. Please email and call your rep, as I did this morning, and ask him/her to vote Yes on the Amash amendment and No on the White House's sneaky Nugent amendment, to limit NSA snooping. Easy call, short and sweet. All info here.

Help Detroit - Buy A Watch

Wanna help Detroit? Cause the U.S. government clearly doesn't. We're too busy spending billions on war and "security." We can't possibly help people in our own back yard. I mean, come on -- create a WPA-type program? Crazy talk!

If you're in the market for a watch, you might want to take a look at Shinola. It's as "Buy Local" as you can get. Every beautiful, impeccably crafted watch is designed and handmade in Detroit. Tons of styles, tons of colors, for men and women.

Why give your money to the multi-nationals? Movado, Tag Heuer, Bulova, blah blah blah. Big names with bling reputations and outrageous prices (and some of them using components made in sweatshops around the world).

Reporter looking for people whose cars have been searched at airport

Last week I posted a story called TSA now searching parked cars at the airport. The incident in question happened at Rochester International Airport. Now a reporter at Mother Jones magazine is looking for other people to whom this has happened, anywhere in the country, for a story she’s working on. If it’s happened to you, or if you know of anyone, please get in touch with Dana Liebelson at Thank you.

UPDATE July 26, 2013: Read Dana Liebelson's report here.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

LUV News Sunday 21 July 2013

As I wrote here, I do LUV News on the weekends. Here was today's (Sunday's) newsletter (minus the story on Brandon Toy, which I had already done as a separate post here):

Saturday, July 20, 2013

"I Hereby Resign in Protest Effective Immediately"

An Army vet and former worker in the war industry has "thrown down his rifle," as it were, and in a very public way. Brandon Toy submitted his resignation to General Dynamics and published the reason why in a manifesto that has gone viral. He said he was inspired by Edward Snowden. And that he knows a lot of people in the war industry share his feelings. 

Toy follows in the tradition of other recent American heroes -- not only Edward Snowden, but Bradley Manning, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou, Barrett Brown, Jesselyn Radack, and so many others.

As activist Kevin Zeese likes to say, courage is contagious

Bravo, Brandon Toy!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pause for Beauty: John Unger and Schoep

We all need time out from the horrors of the world. That's why beauty, in all its guises, is so important. Here's an example. John Unger and his beloved dog Schoep, floating in the water to ease Schoep's arthritis. This picture was taken last year by Unger's friend Hannah Stonehouse Hudson.

Schoep died on Wednesday. He lived a long life for a dog: 20 years.

R.I.P., Schoep. Our lives are all made richer by our beautiful companions.

TSA, Outdoing Its Own Stupidity At Every Turn

Hate to break it to ya, blue-shirted wonders, but these aren't real guns. They're Chanel -- or Chanel knock-off -- shoes.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Meh, 4th Amendment Schmourth Amendment

Oh, well, what the hell:

TSA now searching parked cars at the airport

And why not? They're already searching your crotch; why not your car?

Then again, Americans do get testy about their cars. "Abuse me, rob me, molest my children, it's all okay -- just don't touch my car!"

Hedges, Ellsberg, et. al. Lose Battle in NDAA Lawsuit

Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, and others have been trying to get key provisions of the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) killed. And in the latest development, they've failed.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Federal Judge Parades Her Ignorance, Approves Torture of Guantanamo Prisoners

A U.S. District Judge not only doesn't know what torture is, she doesn't know her own history.

Former Republican Senator Defends Snowden, Gives Obamabots Apoplexy

In case you haven't figured it out, I identify as Left, in the conventional way the political spectrum is usually defined. But I'm not an ideologue, nor an idiot. I hold opinions that are all over the map, including ones that are considered rightwing by those who aren't very good at nuance or who reliably respond to political dog whistles. For example, I can't abide political correctness. Political correctness is Stalinism by another name. So dog-whistle Democrats would take that to mean that, therefore, I'm rightwing.

Beauty Is In the Iowa Beholder

This is surely one of the weirdest stories I've read in a while. It sounds like a Seinfeld episode. Come to think of it, it was a Seinfeld episode.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Guantanamo Prisoners' Groins Protected; Too Bad Yours Aren't



In an excellent ruling that provides rare good news for the prisoners illegally detained at Guantanamo, a U.S. judge reveals that he actually has a sense of justice. The good news for the prisoners, however, doesn't extend to the rest of us.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Ted Rall

Ted Rall is a brilliant, biting political cartoonist. I had the privilege of meeting him during the Occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., in October 2011 (the thing that got me blacklisted by a major national news network that will go unnamed). If you don't know Rall's cartoons, you should. Here's one (click to enlarge):

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dita Von Teese

Is this not the most beautiful goddamn thing you've ever seen?

Sorry, this image is way too small. But that's probably because I'm not supposed to be using it. Maybe it's a built-in copyright protection or something. In any case, you can get the full glory at its original location, here. It's the website of the fabulous-beyond-words neo-burlesque performer Dita Von Teese. I also have her site listed in my Links section on the right-hand side of the blog.

LUV News Sunday 7 July 2013

Every Saturday and Sunday I do the LUV Newsletters. LUV stands for Liberty Underground Virginia, and it's the brainchild of Jack Balkwill, a longtime progressive activist who lives in Virginia. He started LUV News years ago, sending out a daily compendium of news stories and opinion pieces that the mainstream media often ignores.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Free Speech My Ass

This is at least the third case I've read about where a kid posts something stupid on Facebook and is arrested for it. Not only arrested, thrown in jail.

I know the Bill of Rights is already shredded, but it's getting worse every day. And what's the perennial excuse?

You're a Criminal; That's Why We Need to Spy on You

Best news I've heard in months: Venezuela will grant asylum to Edward Snowden. And President Nicolás Maduro gets in a good zinger, too: “I announce to the friendly governments of the world that we have decided to use international humanitarian rights to protect Snowden from the persecution that the world’s most powerful empire has unleashed against a young person who has told the truth.”

Get ready for the chattering classes to start vilifying Maduro as the Next Scary Thing. Let's see . . . how long before the U.S. comes up with a reason to invade Venezuela . . . ?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Extradite Union Carbide's Warren Anderson

While the U.S. is busy wetting its pants over Edward Snowden and trying to get him extradited by bullying every other country, an actual criminal who actually harmed people -- unlike Snowden -- goes free. In -- where else? -- the Land of the Free. And one luxury home isn't enough. No, he has three.

NSA is Coming to Your Campus -- Whoopee!

This audio is from an NSA recruiting session at the University of Wisconsin. Listen to these students grill the security goons. One girl in particular holds their feet to the fire as they continually try to squirm away. She challenges them left and right and basically calls them liars. Which they are.

"The globe is our playground." These are the actual words of one of the NSA recruiters. You'd think they'd at least try to veil their contemptuous and contemptible sentiments behind some noble-sounding bullshit.

Thanks to Kevin Zeese for alerting me to this link.

July 6th UPDATE: By the way, because that link keeps breaking -- I've embedded it three times now -- here's the URL in full:

UPDATE #2: Well, the link is broken again. I've just embedded it a 4th time and for the 4th time it doesn't lead anywhere. I'm not making any claims. Just reporting facts.

You'll have to copy & paste the URL into your browser. Or try the link at Popular Resistance.

U.S. Arrogance, Writ Large

Can you imagine what would happen if another country forced down Air Force 1??

Uh, the word "war" comes to mind.

Glenn Greenwald called the actions of the U.S. in forcing down the plane carrying Bolivian president Evo Morales the actions of a rogue state. John Pilger (also of the Guardian) does likewise. They're both right:

Rallies for Lynne Stewart

Lynne Stewart, another victim of our country's paranoia and abuse (the prisons are full of them), has been denied compassionate release. She's dying of cancer. Rallies are being held for her next week: on Tuesday, July 9th, in New York City, and on Friday, July 12th, in Washington, D.C.

Foley Square, Lower Manhattan Courts, 4-7 pm, with march to 500 Pearl Street.

Columbia Heights Civic Plaza, 14th Street & Park Road, NW, 5:30-8 pm.

More info at the International Action Center.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Free Lynne Stewart

Originally published at Reader Supported  News.

Free Lynne Stewart

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

Author's Note: If you search "Lynne Stewart" on RSN, you'll find 22 articles including, most recently, "The Persecution of Lynne Stewart" by Chris Hedges, April 22, 2013.

n the American justice system, even when a prisoner is not sentenced to be executed, the bureaucrats of the U.S. Justice Department's Federal Bureau of Prisons still have extra-judicial ways of making sure a politically targeted prisoner will die in jail.

Independence Day

ABombazine was born on July 4, 2013. ( was already taken, so ABombazine was the next best thing.) Definition and explanation in right-hand margin.

I'll be writing about anything that strikes my fancy, from fashion and beauty, to language, to neuroscience, to design, art, and architecture, to politics and civil liberties. 

I'm not accepting comments because I don't have time to wade through spammers, trolls, and plants. Read as you like (or not), pass on to others what you like (or not), check out the other writers listed at my blogroll (or not).

Our civil liberties are going down the toilet, people who are stuck in the rigid left-right/Dem-Repub dichotomy are clueless, and the country, in general, is on a downward spiral; but that doesn't mean we can't have some fun while it's happening!