Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Identified as a trouble maker by the authorities since childhood, and resolved to live up to the description, Charles Carreon soon discovered that mischief is most effectively fomented through speech. Having mastered the art of flinging verbal pipe-bombs and molotov cocktails at an early age, he refined his skills by writing legal briefs and journalistic exposes, while developing a poetic style that meandered from the lyrical to the political. Journey with him into the dark caves of the human experience, illuminated by the torch of an outraged sense of injustice.

Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:47 pm

DID WARLOCK AID KATRINA?, by Charles Carreon

September 21, 2005

How do you stop a bomb from going off if it will be triggered by a single call from a portable cellphone? Don’t let the bomb pick up the phone. That’s the principle behind Warlock Blue and Warlock Green, technically known as IED jammers, for the Islamic Explosive Devices they’re directed at thwarting. They work well, too, and a cell phone jammer is credited with thwarting an assassination attempt on the life of Pervez Musharraf, the Friend of America and Pakistan’s Ruler for Life in 2003. Warlock Blue is an upgrade from Warlock Green, that allows defensive jamming across a broader range of frequencies, to thwart sneaky channels who switch frequencies and thus get through to their friend Mr. Bomb despite our best jamming efforts. The Warlocks are small, portable units, but larger ones are available, for other uses, including “communication control during riots.” As this ad for the TRJ-89 SERIES TACTICAL RESPONSE JAMMER shows (see below), this unit will tow behind your vehicle and block cell calls in or out up to a radius of five miles. That’s helpful when law enforcement are required to deploy “a blanket of radio frequency silence.”


The TRJ-89 model was designed specifically for TACTICAL RESPONSE units required to deploy a blanket of RF silence during the following situations:

a. Explosive device location(s) (bombs)
b. Hostage situations (campus environments)
c. Communication control during Riots
d. Military intervention

The TRJ-89 can be easily towed behind most vehicles, is electrically self sufficient, and has a maximum jamming radius of up to five miles.

According to Wayne Madsen, ham radio operators said communications of specific frequencies were intentionally jammed during the flooding of New Orleans from an “intermittent frequency jammer operating south-southwest of New Orleans aboard a U.S. Navy ship. A former Department of Defense source says the U.S. Army uses a portable jammer known as Warlock in Iraq, and the jammer may be similar to the one that is jamming the emergency frequencies.” Whether Madsen is right about the cause of all the cell phone dysfunction in the New Orleans area is difficult to know, unless more disclosures occur. What we do know is that on August 29, 2005, Howard Melamed, CEO of CellAntenna Corp. of Coral Springs, Florida, urged Congress to change the law and let not only the federal government, but also state, county and city law enforcement, buy CellAntenna’s cell phone jammers. In Europe and elsewhere, in fact, small jammers are becoming ubiquitous. They’re in the Greek subways, Mexican churches, Indian temples, and Tokyo theaters and commuter trains. Could one have been deployed by FEMA and the military in New Orleans? Well, duh. But why would they? Given what we know they did – standing around watching people die while sitting on a mountain of supplies – you’d just have to answer, “Why not?"
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:51 pm

by Charles Carreon
September 22, 2005


Until Katrina crashed ashore in the early morning hours of August 28th, the name New Orleans brought to mind the scent of magnolias at dusk, Spanish moss swaying in musky breezes, cypress swamps, riverboat gambling, Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, zydeco, jazz, Bourbon Street, an endless jambalaya that the city’s website celebrated with cocky pride. Today, it is a ruined necropolis where once a half a million residents worked day and night satisfying the appetites of an endless tourist throng, a toxic wasteland that will certainly be reclaimed for the benefit of industry, but may never be truly fit for human habitation, if it ever was. A giant question mark hangs over the people of New Orleans, who remain at the mercy of weather that continues to threaten tropical storms, government aid providers who move with serpentine slowness, and a news media that seems bent on painting them in the worst possible light.

“The Storm We’ve Always Feared”

That was the first line of the first-ever Internet-only edition of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. They printed no paper copies, because the presses were underwater. For something they’d always been fearing, they had a mighty easygoing way of preparing for it. As the long-feared storm whirled through the gulf, it appeared as a spiral of dense clouds on satellite maps. On the ground, it hit New Orleans like hell’s own sandblaster, hurling salt water and debris at a hundred and forty miles an hour, ripping off roofs, blowing out windows, upending vehicles, and killing unprotected people and animals. All this had been long foreseen.

A flood is a special type of catastrophe that makes water, normally our best friend, into a terrible, desolating enemy. In “Life On The Mississippi,” Mark Twain recounted his observations from a relief boat dispatched by The New Orleans Times-Democrat to aid victims of the 1882 flood:

“One does not appreciate the sight of earth until he has traveled through a flood. At sea one does not expect or look for it, but here, with fluttering leaves, shadowy forest aisles, house-tops barely visible, it is expected. In fact a grave-yard, if the mounds were above water, would be appreciated.”

Scientists had long predicted a catastrophic flood in New Orleans. In October 2001, Scientific American published an article entitled “Drowning New Orleans.” Computer simulations prepared by University of Louisiana scientists predicted that when a storm caused the levees to fail, it would flood 20 feet deep in downtown New Orleans, kill as many as 100,000 people, and evict half a million from their homes and businesses. The SciAm article reviewed the failed efforts to fund the necessary ecological remediation of the region, but expressed hope that Federal funding would come through to protect the city. From June 23-27, 2002, the Times-Picayune published its five part series, “Washing Away,” subtitled “It’s Only A Matter of Time Before South Louisiana Takes A Direct Hit From A Major Hurricane.” In October 2004, National Geographic published “Gone With The Water,” another article on the impending reclamation of New Orleans by an unforgiving sea.

The real problem wasn’t mother nature, as SciAm, Times-Picayune, and National Geographic made clear. The problem was father industry. Offshore barrier islands had nearly disappeared, allowing the Gulf Coast waves to vacuum away the mainland shores. Construction projects de-silted waterways for oil rig maintenance and fishing boats, opening fresh-water wetlands to salt water, killing soil-retaining fresh-water plants and increasing erosion. Short term solutions like building levees and pumping out occupied areas chiseled away soil in a vicious cycle that erased Louisiana shoreline at the rate of six square miles per year. Commerce brought riches and disaster to the city’s door.

Strumming As The Waters Rose

Gov. Blanco declared a state of emergency on August 26th, requesting assistance from FEMA with all appropriate legalities. On August 28th, Mayor Nagin ordered mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. On August 28th, Max Mayfield, Director of the National Hurricane Center, insisted on giving President Bush a video briefing on Katrina, because otherwise he wouldn’t be able to sleep that night. Mayfield also briefed Michael Chertoff, the Director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), informing both the President and Chertoff that Katrina would strike the coast within 48 hours with catastrophic force. The President then declared a state of emergency for the entire region, placing DHS in control of rescue and recovery.

The President was officially on vacation, but went back on the clock on August 30th to give a speech to military dignitaries in San Diego on Victory in Japan Day, remarking chummily toward the end of the speech that both he and the Japanese Prime Minister were sons of WWII fighter pilots. That’s real military camaraderie: “Your dad bombed my people, my dad bombed your people, so now we’re good!” After giving his speech, the president continued vacationing as the storm struck, the city flooded, and the rescue stalled. The President was photographed playing guitar at a barbecue, but the nation was watching Katrina.

On August 29th, Katrina made landfall at Buras, Louisiana a little after six in the morning, her winds clocking in at 145 m.p.h., but big trouble had already begun in the city three hours before, where evidence indicates the 17th Street floodwall collapsed at 3:00 a.m. By mid-morning, two other floodwalls had suffered breaches at five separate points, and water began pouring into the city from the drainage canals built to protect it. As evacuees filled the Superdome, the storm ripped two holes in the roof, which fortunately did not collapse, and merely allowed filthy rain and howling winds to enter through the gaping tears. The President in Air Force One called Chertoff on the ground, but he just wanted to talk about illegal immigration. Katrina was left in the hands of Mike Brown’s publicity machine. If only the hurricane could have been spun as easily as the media, all would have been well.

“Let Them Eat Sound Bites”

The “National Response Plan” is 426 pages long, the bible for disaster professionals, but it is a safe bet that Mike Brown never read it. Mike resigned under pressure as the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He was also fired from his previous job as the head of a horse-breeding association, but spruced up his resume with lies that weren’t discovered by the resume-readers at DHS. Then again, maybe they were looking for a loser. Mike may have been hired because he was willing to take the job of compliantly allowing FEMA to be defunded without raising a fuss. Certainly that’s what happened. FEMA’s budget was cut and cut, although that didn’t impede its performance when Hurricane Ivan hit Florida in September 2004. But Ivan didn’t hit as hard as Katrina, the money was available to fix Jeb Bush’s state in time for elections, and the publicity machine worked so well that some credited FEMA’s good performance with giving the president’s reelection campaign in Florida an extra bump.

As Brown swung into action on Katrina, he dusted off his Ivan file and shot off this press release, trumpeting the happy news that FEMA had once again saved the day: “As the Category 4 storm surged ashore just east of New Orleans on Monday, FEMA had medical teams, rescue squads and groups prepared to supply food and water poised in a semicircle around the city.”

The Cavalry Isn’t Coming

The supplies began accumulating in a semicircle around the city as FEMA waited for the evacuees to emerge from the flooded pit. But by August 30th, it was obvious to Chertoff and Brown, and maybe even to the President, that the damn flood story was just going to go on and on until they did something about it. So on August 30th, Chertoff declared Katrina an “incident of national significance.” He wrote a letter declaring that the president was creating a task force, and officially gave responsibility to Mike Brown, the man with the phony resume working for the nation’s largest security agency. Three days later, Brown wrote Chertoff a letter asking him to lend FEMA a thousand DHS employees who had sunscreen and walking shorts, to volunteer to rescue the drowned southland and put a good public face on the operation. Four days later, after 700 employees from the Customs arm of DHS volunteered to help with disaster relief, Customs sent a memo to all of its employees, telling them to stop volunteering, withdraw past offers to volunteer, and just settle down to patrolling the nation’s southern border.

During the opening days of the tragedy, President Broussard of Jefferson Parish wept openly on television that he had been promised endlessly that “the cavalry are coming,” but the cavalry never came. FEMA issued press releases trumpeting the delivery of millions of packets of food, millions of gallons of water, hundreds of vehicles and thousands of soldiers to help Katrina victims. However, in New Orleans, FEMA workers are still about as scarce as a dry place to stand, and when Brown claimed that FEMA had delivered “at least one, if not two, meals every single day” to the people in the Convention Center, the Times-Picayune didn’t mince words in its response: “Lies don’t get more baldfaced than that.”

As the rescue finally found first gear, Gen. Honore explained that the huge military trucks we saw plowing through filthy waters on Monday, September 2nd had been unable to penetrate the city until then. The Times-Picayune had this to say about that: “There were journalists … going in and out of the city by the Crescent City connection. On Thursday morning, that crew saw a caravan of thirteen Wal-Mart tractor-trailers headed into town to bring food, water and supplies to a dying city. The people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach.”

For This I Went To Harvard?

The first DHS Director was Tom Ridge, who resigned in February 2005. The president thought to replace Ridge with Bernard Kerik, the former top cop at NYPD, but his resume was a little flaky. Kerik turned out to be: (a) connected to the Gambino crime family, (b) a philanderer who trysted with employees in a taxpayer-financed love nest overlooking the WTO crater, and (c) a millionaire only because of a stash of inflated Taser stock he paid for by urging police agencies to buy the often-lethal stun-guns. Kerik would have made a great political cretin, and might even have handled New Orleans better, but there’s no point crying over spilled milk.

Chertoff clearly wanted to direct DHS, which was created to centralize our nation’s response to terrorist events and national disasters, because he walked away from lifetime tenure as a federal judge, generally known as the ultimate plum for lawyers, who thereby get to while away their declining years getting, as they surmise, wiser and wiser. Chertoff is a Harvard Law graduate, Supreme Court Clerk to the liberal William Brennan, and a former Assistant Attorney General who convicted whole crime families. During mid-2003, the President appointed Chertoff to a lifetime job as a Third Circuit federal appellate judge. Perhaps Chertoff would have been wise to remain on the bench. He’ll never get back there now, that’s for sure. Internal memos indicate Chertoff committed the unforgivable lawyer-sin. He was caught off-guard, apparently not realizing that disaster relief was actually his job, and when he caught the ball, he didn’t know what to do with it.

Don’t Believe Everything You See On TV

Chertoff sounded out-of-the-loop when he told the press on Tuesday August 30th that he stopped worrying about New Orleans when he read in that morning’s paper that “New Orleans dodged a bullet.” Actually, this wasn’t printed in any newspaper, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune had a one-word headline that day – CATASTROPHIC! Chertoff’s statement didn’t sound that unreasonable at first, though, because during the first days of September, many news agencies, including MSNBC, kept saying that the flooding had been prevented by the levee system. We can only presume that this story came from Karl Rove, who was finally let off his leash after a suitable time in the doghouse for outing CIA-agent Valerie Plame. It had to be Rove, because only he would try to contradict the local officials desperately broadcasting from ham radios that the water was rising, that the floodwalls were failing, that the floodwalls had failed, and finally, that the drainage canals were emptying into the City. This had been the great feared event that would doom all inhabitants unable to reach higher ground, but even as the catastrophe struck, only a handful of news outlets got the story about the floodwall breaches fairly straight — The Wall Street Journal, CBS, The Times-Picayune, and National Public Radio. And aside from David Muir’s interview of salty local Joe Edwards on ABC World News Tonight, none of the major outlets leaked the news that many New Orleans inhabitants heard loud explosions and believed the floodwalls had been blown. Before you disregard this as absurd, remember that using explosives to alter the course of a flood is as common in the south as “backfiring” to prevent the spread of wildfire here in the northwest. For his part, Joe Edwards had no doubts: “I knows it happened. They blew it.”

The vast majority of news outlets engaged in a government-approved blackout on news of the swift, alarming flooding of central New Orleans, thus underplaying the story at the beginning, and providing Chertoff, Brown and FEMA with a convenient smoke screen behind which to hide – they were as ignorant as the rest of the nation! But if news was bad, Chertoff wouldn’t hear it. When NPR anchor Robert Siegel confronted him, saying that thousands of people were starving in New Orleans, Chertoff rebuffed the suggestion, cautioning Siegel that it was “dangerous to extrapolate” from “someone’s anecdotal version of something.” And when Chertoff says it’s dangerous to say something, maybe you want to shut up, unless you want a free trip to Guantanamo and lifetime room and board.

Nearer My God To Thee

The evacuation of the city could not have been less successful. The City of New Orleans seemed to have given up any effort to implement an active evacuation plan. The only real plan was to issue timely evacuation orders, but when the time came, wishbone replaced backbone, officials waited too long hoping the storm would blow itself out, and the evacuation orders were belatedly given. The people trapped in the city, surrounded by and sometimes drowning in corpse-filled waters, reacted in panic, attempting to save themselves by all means. As one would expect, these were mostly poor people who don’t own cars, and depend on public transport, and public transport was missing in action. Buses weren’t deployed to ferry evacuees, and instead were destroyed in the flood. An Amtrak train that could have carried hundreds left empty when city officials declined the aid, apparently too busy to mobilize an evacuation.

The Superdome and the Convention Center, that had no supplies at all to accommodate anyone for even one night, became destinations for capacity crowds for two weeks, who had to provide their own supplies. Convoys of aid were parked outside the city’s perimeter, waiting to give aid to people once they got out of the city, but no buses were going in to bring out the stranded people. When Governor Blanco directed buses from other counties to drive into New Orleans to ferry out evacuees from the two stadiums, they sometimes refused on grounds of safety. More than three weeks after the storm hit, people are still trying to get away from the two stadiums, which have turned to miserable pits of privation, filth, and violence.

Once the FEMA disaster orders went into effect, local authorities were empowered to seize any property needed, but ironically, they most often used that power to prevent the entry of food and water to the drowning city, ostensibly in order to “discourage people from staying.” This is perhaps a new form of “tough love” being dispensed by compassionate conservatives, because heretofore, it has not been government policy to induce compliance with evacuation orders by threat of starvation.

A flotilla of private rescue boats five miles long was turned back by Louisiana law enforcement, leaving hundreds stranded who could have been saved by volunteers. The message seemed to be, “Go home, these folks are supposed to die.” And die they did. While platoons of physicians and vast stocks of medicine were blockaded outside the city, for the many sick and aged in the city’s nursing homes and hospitals, death came in hundreds of gruesome ways as life support equipment failed, food ran out, medicines couldn’t be administered, and all hope faded away. Doctors became the comforters of the doomed. No one had thought to attempt to provide an avenue of escape for these helpless people.

We Have Met The Enemy, And He Is Us

Perhaps the military character of the rescue operation handicapped the mission. The transfer of disaster management authority to the Department of Homeland Security seems to have given the whole FEMA effort a draconian, military character. The good parts of the military were left out of the project. FEMA rejected an offer from the Captain of the USS Bataan, an aircraft carrier anchored offshore from the drowned city and equipped with physicians and surgeons, six operating rooms, 600 hospital beds, food and water supplies, and the ability to produce 100,000 gallons of clean, fresh water per day. By refusing to deliver aid to people trapped in New Orleans, FEMA effectively put the city under siege, a cruel and bizarre tactic that would only be used against an enemy. However, when we realize that the Iraq-trained National Guardsmen have been applying these very tactics against cities like Mosul and Fallujah, ostensibly to aid the residents, perhaps this is just the face of government aid to come.

Still, I haven’t heard that the US forces in Iraq present Iraqis who are forced from their homes with blockades that simultaneously prevent them from leaving. That would be needlessly cruel. Yet many stories were told by African-Americans who tried to pass over into neighboring areas to get away from the flood, and were driven back by armed, white lawmen who sometimes held, searched and terrorized them before releasing them to fend for themselves in the doomed city.

What Insurrection Did You Have In Mind?

Of course, it’s always possible that the crucial ingredient in the delay of relief was Gov. Blanco’s skittish reaction to what looked like a Washington power grab. As the waters rose in New Orleans killing more by the hour, the administration repeatedly invited Gov. Blanco to ask the President to suppress an insurrection under the Insurrection Act, 10 U.S.C, Section 331. If Gov. Blanco had believed herself to be dealing with a revolt, she presumably would not have resisted the invitation, because the act allows the President “to call into Federal service such of the militia of the other States” to “suppress the insurrection.” But unless the attack of the wind and waves was some type of weather-war attack by terrorists, it is hard to understand what forces were in rebellion against the State of Louisiana. Still, the governor seemed pleased when FEMA sent in battle-hardened National Guard just returned from Iraq to quell civil unrest, and got rid of the notion that Democrats are soft on crime with her comment that the soldiers "have M-16s … locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot to kill ... and I expect they will." Notably, for those watching the race issue, Mayor Nagin, an African-American and a Democrat, also demanded that soldiers shoot looters. Clearly, big city politicians, used to shouting about being tough on crime, overmatched by Katrina, an omnipotent, non-human enemy, turned their aggressive power on the only adversaries they could defeat – other people.

A Free Reality Show

Perhaps it was inevitable that in a media age where “Survivor” was a big hit, that the people of New Orleans would be drafted into starring, non-paying roles in a feast of TV coverage that hovered over the agony but delivered no relief, like the news and military helicopters that mocked the residents who pled for salvation, for food, for water, for humanity, and received only pointed guns and the staring eyes of video cameras in response to their cries. Certainly it was real, all too real, for the participants, who were told to be patient, and they would get prizes – free debit cards, lotteries to own real estate. And so in modern America in 2005, where before the eyes of the world, thousands of Americans suffered needlessly, and uncounted hundreds died wretched, horrible deaths, while the mightiest nation in the world stood with its hands at its side. But then again, disasters have always been a spectator sport.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

It is well known that people see different things looking at the same scene. When large numbers of people with dark skin suddenly dominate the TV for days, this is of course not some movie with a cast of thousands, because there is no such thing as a cast of a thousand black people. It’s clearly some sort of racial event, as if someone scheduled a nightmare, and invited mostly African-Americans.

Barbara Bush, audiotaped in a candid moment at the Astrodome filled with evacuees, said that, since most of “these people” were “underprivileged already, it was all working out rather well for them.” She sounded like a financial executive remarking that a rival had scored an exceptionally good deal, as she followed her quip with an avuncular chuckle. On television, African-Americans who scavenged for goods in stores were called looters, while Caucasians doing the same thing were said to be hunting for supplies. Yes, different people see things differently. Where some saw hardworking people flooded from their homes, the former First Lady saw lucky freeloaders.

Some think that FEMA’s poor response in Louisiana, compared with its response in Florida in September 2004 when the President’s brother’s state was hit by Hurricane Ivan, shows partisanship in the administration of benefits. When Florida was hurting, the declaration of emergency came immediately from the White House, and 2,000 National Guard and plenty of money poured into Florida. By the time the election rolled around a mere three months later, things were better in Florida than before the disaster, one often heard. Louisiana has also fared less well than Mississippi, which has not received the standoffish treatment like those suffering in New Orleans.

Finally, analyzed purely in terms of procedure, the evacuation of New Orleans applied the following priority, when evacuation was attempted: (1) sick people, (2) hotel occupants, who had access to some stored supplies, and (3) Superdome evacuees, who were receiving a tiny trickle of food and water, starving and dying of thirst. When we count the numbers, groups one and two were of mixed racial composition, while group three was preponderantly composed of African-Americans. How is this significant?

An Unequal Allocation of Benefits

The terror of drowning lies deep in the human soul, and each victim had to face it. Many committed suicide before the last moment came. For each of them, a national debt has been assumed, and a national resolve should be undertaken. It is sad to perform the counting of white bodies and black bodies to figure out the percentages, but people will do it, each for their own purposes. An Internet posting from a white supremacist attempted to sort through the complex muddle of his bigoted feelings by expressing sorrow for the trapped white people, but finding satisfaction in the disaster nonetheless, because the hated blacks were suffering in such larger proportion. Thinking through that tangled web of cruel motivation, we see the madness of trying to judge things based on race. On the other side, African-American leaders must emphasize the imbalance in the body count and the numbers of homeless evacuees. It is impossible to deny a racially imbalanced outcome here, although the significance can be debated, as the white supremacist viewpoint makes clear. But the law also takes an interest in the numbers, when lawsuits are filed. The Supreme Court has said in race discrimination lawsuits that, where there are consistently unequal outcomes in the allocation of benefits, and those unequal outcomes fall along racial lines, the burden shifts to the party defending against accusations of prejudice to show that the unequal result was not in fact the result of racial bias. Imagine if Chertoff were on the witness stand, defending his inaction in the face of Katrina’s destruction. What would he say if asked to compare his non-response to Katrina’s devastation with the job done by Tom Ridge, who oversaw the September 2004 FEMA response to Hurricane Ivan in Florida? What explanation besides politics or race would he provide for the difference in treatment of Louisiana and Florida? Perhaps he would plead, as he has, that he was just reading the papers to find out what his job was. Perhaps, like President Bush, he'd admit he was at fault. But what explanation could he possibly provide for withholding food, water, medical care and transportation from hurricane victims, an unprecedented disaster remedy that killed hundreds and saved no one? It would be interesting to hear his answers, but he is not offering any because he isn’t on the witness stand.

The Boondoggle That Is Yet To Come

It seems that the time for speeches has come again, and after initially not rising to the occasion, the President has apologized for the fumbles, which are once again now all in the past, and promised an all new plan for the future that will require vast expenditures of federal funds. The spigot is open, and the financial press is abuzz with estimates of how much money there is to be made in the rebuilding effort. Municipal funds gurus are declaring this the largest funding opportunity in history. Saudi Arabia and other oil nations have been quickest to write the checks our national government has requested to pump the money engine that will have to be stoked up to power out of this mess. A thousand Mexican soldiers are apparently coming to help out, the first time that many Mexicans have been allowed across the border at one time for over a hundred years. Although Cuba, a little over a hundred miles away, offered to send 1,100 doctors and medicine to aid Katrina’s victims, the administration has rebuffed the offer, while officially stating that it was under consideration.

There are some clouds on the horizon. Delta Airlines, a major southern employer with its hub in Atlanta, and Northwest Airlines, already on the ropes financially before the storm, pulled the ripcord together and filed for bankruptcy in New York during the first week of September. On the other hand, Wall Street knows bankruptcy can free a company from union contracts and pension fund obligations, and thus will look forward to buying airline debt and equity at fire-sale prices, and cashing in on another wave of government bailout money. In further good news for employers on the labor front, the President suspended operation of the Davis-Bacon federal prevailing wage law that would otherwise have required federal contractors to pay employees the prevailing wage in the region for their type of work, thus eliminating an obvious hindrance to reconstruction. In other words, in Washington and by implication, everywhere else in the nation, it is business as usual and full speed ahead.

My Superfund Site Is Missing, Sir

In the rush to pour money into the next round of industrial subsidies, the officials are hiding one crucial fact – New Orleans is a gigantic Superfund site – a toxic waste dump so severe that it has been designated to receive federal cleanup funds. There were four Superfund sites in New Orleans, and they all were flooded and blown together into one toxic stew by the hurricane. A total of 153,000 barrels of oil are confirmed to have spilled into New Orleans. At 50 gallons per barrel, that’s approximately 7,650,000 gallons of oil adrift on the waters. The Exxon-Valdez spilled 11,000,000 gallons, so we are clearly dealing with one of the largest oil spills in history, and it is going unreported. Also unreported are the final resting places of countless barges and railcars filled with toxic reagents and used as “temporary” storage locations for toxic waste. These gigantic containers were bounced around like Dixie cups by the storm, and have been leaking for weeks, creating a brew that is biotoxic in the extreme. The owners of toxin-filled railcars and barges thus disposed of by providence would certainly have cause to observe that it is an ill wind indeed that blows no good for anyone.

Ignoring a Chemical Chernobyl?

Innumerable toxic materials are now loose in the city, being spread everywhere by the flood. The floodwaters in some parts of the city cause toxic burns. The sludge that will remain after pumping is completed will be loaded with matter that should not be touched, inhaled, or ingested. The floodwaters being pumped out of the city are not being processed, and are going raw into Lake Ponchartrain, that was already polluted, and now will simply become the nation’s largest petroleum byproducts leachpit, a dead lake impounding billions of gallons of industrial refuse. Not something you’d want to live downwind from.

Quite possibly, civic leaders will ignore these unpleasant facts just as studiously as they ignored both the risk of catastrophic flooding and the need to evacuate people who didn’t have cars or were marooned in hospitals and nursing homes. Perhaps the human cost of repopulating the site of a chemical Chernobyl will merely be measured as an uptick in the already high levels of cancer that distinguish Louisiana in the national health statistics. Perhaps the affected people will never learn about the dangers, and will once again trust the assurances of their leaders that it is safe to work and live in New Orleans after the flood. Perhaps the disparity in life expectancies in our country will become more extreme, as some Americans live in safe, healthy places, and some can’t get out of unsafe, unhealthy places. That is certainly how it was in New Orleans before and during the flood, and so far there is no reason to think that it will be different in the future.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:57 pm


8:13pm, September 25, 2005

The ACLU is putting the latest version of Creationism, aka "Intelligent Design," on trial starting Monday September 26, 2005 in a Pennsylvania courthouse. Opening statements start tomorrow.

The ACLU is suing because the school district in Harrisburg adopted a rule that Dover High School had to "teach intelligent design" as an alternative to Natural Selection.

This is somewhat similar to requiring teachers in Driver's Ed to teach students that, although most people think it's wise to drive safely, while sober and calm, that some people find driving recklessly, while taking meth, or in a constant state of road rage, is perfectly effective. Truck drivers, Air Force pilots and New York cabbies would have to be brought in as evidence that you can even hold down a job with this behavior.

We don't do that, because it would be irresponsible, and would plant stupid ideas in their head about how we drive. Similarly, teaching Creationism under any name will plant stupid ideas in a kid's mind about how we do science.

We don't do science by reasoning backward from our chosen conclusion, then selectively identify "evidence," pull it out of context, and project a fantasy of a theory that might somehow be supportable, if all of the other evidence weren't against it. That's not science, because science is a method that leads to further discoveries. Science outdates its old theories. The best way to identify good science is when it nullifies or forces radical modifications to its own prior conclusions. This will never happen with Creationism, because its purpose is to bulwark faith with pseudo-logic for those ashamed to stand naked in their absurd faith.

This is too bad, because the main benefit of believing something outlandish is that you develop character from defying the obvious truth. This can lead to the discovery of truth, on occasion, when popular beliefs turn out to be flat wrong, as in the case of Galileo's assertion that the earth is spherical. While it is unlikely that Christians will turn out to be correct about the age of the earth, the origin of life, and the way it all ends, if they want to keep their faith burnished, they will avoid bulwarking it with intellectual sophistry. It all becomes too absurd. The intelligent Christian keeps his mouth shut about how God performed his miracles. If God could engineer a virgin birth, he could do anything. One miracle per religion is enough. Believe and be saved. Disbelieve and go to the eternal pit.

As Science, Intelligent Design is a joke. And as religion, it fails the KISS test: Keep It Simple, Stupid.


This Post Was Updated to Reflect the Decision by Judge Jones' December 20, 2005 Opinion excoriating the Stealth-Creationists for lying about their motives. A PDF of that opinion is attached directly below.

The Original Post wrote:

The ACLU is putting the latest version of Creationism, aka "Intelligent Design," on trial starting Monday September 26, 2005 in a Pennsylvania courthouse. Opening statements start tomorrow.

The ACLU is suing because the school district in Harrisburg adopted a rule that Dover High School had to "teach intelligent design" as an alternative to Natural Selection.

This is somewhat similar to requiring teachers in Driver's Ed to teach students that, although most people think it's wise to drive safely, while sober and calm, that some people find driving recklessly, while taking meth, or in a constant state of road rage, is perfectly effective. Truck drivers, Air Force pilots and New York cabbies would have to be brought in as evidence that you can even hold down a job with this behavior.

We don't do that, because it would be irresponsible, and would plant stupid ideas in their head about how we drive. Similarly, teaching Creationism under any name will plant stupid ideas in a kid's mind about how we do science.

We don't do science by reasoning backward from our chosen conclusion, then selectively identify "evidence," pull it out of context, and project a fantasy of a theory that might somehow be supportable, if all of the other evidence weren't against it. That's not science, because science is a method that leads to further discoveries. Science outdates its old theories. The best way to identify good science is when it nullifies or forces radical modifications to its own prior conclusions. This will never happen with Creationism, because its purpose is to bulwark faith with pseudo-logic for those ashamed to stand naked in their absurd faith.

This is too bad, because the main benefit of believing something outlandish is that you develop character from defying the obvious truth. This can lead to the discovery of truth, on occasion, when popular beliefs turn out to be flat wrong, as in the case of Galileo's assertion that the earth is spherical. While it is unlikely that Christians will turn out to be correct about the age of the earth, the origin of life, and the way it all ends, if they want to keep their faith burnished, they will avoid bulwarking it with intellectual sophistry. It all becomes too absurd. The intelligent Christian keeps his mouth shut about how God performed his miracles. If God could engineer a virgin birth, he could do anything. One miracle per religion is enough. Believe and be saved. Disbelieve and go to the eternal pit.

As Science, Intelligent Design is a joke. And as religion, it fails the KISS test: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Click here to download USDC.ID.pdf.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:01 am

SAY IT AIN'T SO, KARL!, by Charles Carreon

11:33pm, October 9, 2005

Say It Ain't So, Karl! 11:33pm, October 9, 2005

The Chief Executive is truly beside himself. Karl is still trying to reassure him, but deep inside his heart the Chief knows the time has come. Karl is in trouble. Real trouble. He just wants to say one thing: "Say it ain't so, Karl!" But Karl has testified to the Fitzgerald grand jury four times now, and that's a lot. The WSJ is hot on the issue with Monday's article:

WSJ wrote:

Lately Mr. Rove has helped lead the effort to recover from initial struggles over Hurricane Katrina by rebuilding the Gulf Coast — and Mr. Bush's image. Mr. Rove solicited policy proposals from conservative think tanks to shape the president's prime-time speech from the New Orleans French Quarter. That effort has yielded few public-opinion dividends.

Mr. Rove's attempts to build support during the past week for Supreme Court nominee Miers have been similarly unavailing. He backed her selection in White House deliberations, believing she could satisfy conservatives while avoiding a battle with Senate Democrats.

Mr. Rove has agreed to testify a fourth time before a grand jury in Mr. Fitzgerald's CIA-leak investigation, which could wrap up by the end of the month. Mr. Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, said last week that his client hasn't received a target letter, which would be an indication that he likely would be charged. Mr. Rove's legal problems have led to speculation about how the White House might cope without him.


He'll Know What To Do and Say
11:54pm, October 11, 2005

Frank Luntz, Republican pollster/true believer wrote:

``Rove has always been a survivor. He's brilliant at understanding the right thing to do at the right moment. He specializes in the ability to handle a crisis. What he has done for the president, I actually expect him now to do for himself,'' Luntz said. ``He'll know what to do and what to say.''

You know there are problems when the faithful start praying. It's clear Rove's pulled in his horns, and already the predatory liberal medial is circling for the kill. Oh, as Shakespeare said of the people, "You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!" Yes, the sorrow runs a thousand miles deep when a man of this stature staggers under the burden of the duties of state, and when a mighty man like Delay totters, his clay feet shifting perilously under the weight of ill-gotten gains. Pitiful, woeful State. May Ford have mercy on us.


Why They Won't Be Around in 2006
2:10am, October 12, 2005

Howard Dean, Interviewed on MSNBC wrote:

MATTHEWS: If Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor, says that the vice president's office was involved in leaking the name of that CIA agent, do you believe — what do you think his status would be, the vice president, if his office was named to be involved in this?

DEAN: Well, I think that depends on what kind of evidence there is, if that's true. Obviously, the person, I think, who's indicted would have to step down immediately. And then we'd have to ask the question, was the vice president himself personally involved in this? And that of course extends ...

MATTHEWS: Do you believe it's credible that the vice president's chief of staff, his office, his operation, were involved in such a scheme to hurt somebody like Joe Wilson, that he wasn't personally involved in his own office's activities? Do you think it's credible?

DEAN: Sure — well, I don't think it's very credible that he didn't know anything about it, because the M.O. of the Bush administration is to discredit your opponents and attack them personally rather than attack them for their position, which this is an example of.

These guys are bad for democracy. They're not interested in ideas; they're interested in power. And frankly they're not very much interested in the best interests of the American people. They're interested in the power for the right wing of the Republican Party, and that's why they'll be gone after 2006.


When Trent Lott Says Go, You Should Go, Y'Know?
12:05am, November 2, 2005

Trent Lott knows when to apologize, you've got to hand him that. Remember when he had to back his ass out of a buzzsaw three years ago after he violated the rules of political hypocrisy by admitting his true love for Strom Thurmond, the old bigot who proclaimed during his Dixiecrat campaign against Harry Truman in 1948: "All the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, our schools, our churches." What Lott said to get into trouble was just this:

CNN wrote:

"I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either," Lott said at last week's party. Lott, R-Mississippi, made the comment Thursday on Capitol Hill during a 100th birthday celebration for Thurmond, who is retiring next month after nearly 48 years in the Senate. The comment was broadcast live on C-SPAN.

Lott knew there is only one way to retreat from such a compromised position — swiftly. His mea culpa was sincere. He laid his nose on the ground and begged forgiveness, which he obtained, just as swiftly.

Trent Lott wrote:

"A poor choice of words conveyed to some the impression that I embraced the discarded policies of the past," Lott said. "Nothing could be further from the truth, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by my statement."

Of course, the necrotic tissue at the center of Bush's brain that has developed there from years of privileged disuse is incapable of conceiving anything as plebeian as delivering an apology. He probably wants to give Karl Rove, Libby and Cheney their Medals of Honor right now, and in front of an audience of uniformed males. He's called up Gonzales to write some Executive Pardons just to show the guys, so they'll know they're covered and it's time to just hunker down and ride this one out. Apologizing is just the one thing they don't pay him for, and he never even considers doing it.

Of course Karl wouldn't do anything unless Bushie wanted him to. And Bushie won't want him to leave the White House. It would be so cold and lonely there with just Laura. And now Harriet Miers has got her panties in a bunch about not getting on the Supreme Court. Everyone says that the Confirmation battle over Judge Alito will be a lot of fun, but not without Karl in there pitching it won't be. It's looking bleak, bleak, bleak out there in the Rose Garden. The Oval Office is a lonely place. Nobody loves you when you're down and out. Even Dad hasn't got any good ideas.

Reuters wrote:

Some conservatives question Rove's future

Tue Nov 1, 2005 9:14 PM ET By Adam Entous

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Breaking with the White House and fellow conservatives, Republican Sen. Trent Lott and the head of the Cato Institute questioned on Tuesday whether top White House adviser Karl Rove, who remains in legal jeopardy in a CIA-leak probe, should keep his policy-making job.

Rove was not indicted on Friday along with Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby. But lawyers involved in the case said Rove, President George W. Bush's top political adviser and deputy chief of staff, remains under investigation and may still be charged by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

The identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame was leaked to the media in July 2003 after her diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson, accused the Bush administration of twisting intelligence to justify the war in Iraq. Despite initial White House denials, Fitzgerald's investigation shows that both Rove and Libby spoke to reporters about Wilson's wife.

Lott of Mississippi and William Niskanen of the libertarian Cato Institute both echoed Democratic calls for a White House shake-up.

"He (Rove) has been very successful, very effective in the political arena. The question is, should he be the deputy chief of staff for policy under the current circumstances?" Lott told MSNBC's "Hardball."

"Most presidents in recent years have a political adviser in the White House. The question is, should they be, you know, making policy decisions. That's the question you've got to evaluate," the former Senate Republican leader added.

Lott went further than he did on Sunday, when he urged Bush to be on the lookout for "new blood, new energy, qualified staff."

Niskanen, who served as a top economic adviser to former President Ronald Reagan, said, "Bush is going to have to sacrifice people who have worked with him to regain some initiative."

Niskanen said any White House shake-up should "start" with Rove because of his association with the leak case.

"He's provided good political judgment on campaigns, but not good political judgment on getting legislation through," Niskanen told Reuters.

So far, the White House has rebuffed calls for an overhaul in response to Libby's indictment. "Karl Rove continues to do his duties," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

When asked if Bush retained confidence in Rove, McClellan said on Monday: "People who work here at the White House have the confidence of the president."

A Republican strategist with ties to the White House said any personnel changes would be gradual to avoid the appearance that the White House was panicking.

Libby is expected to plead innocent to charges of obstructing justice, perjury and lying when he is arraigned on Thursday.

Fitzgerald was expected to decide within weeks whether to bring charges against Rove. Lawyers involved in the case said Rove provided new information last week to Fitzgerald that prompted him to reconsider charging Bush's top political adviser with making false statements.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:04 am


October 17, 2005


The Swiss Way: When Neutrality Works This Well, War Is Obsolete

Half A Billion Gallons of H2O Per Year Up For Grabs

The Nestle Waters North America website hasn’t apparently been updated since 2003. That is probably why it says nothing about the subject of this article – Nestle’s bald-faced attempt to circumvent the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by ramming through a secret contract to buy 1600 acre-feet of water per year from a tiny community resource agency in Northern California – the McCloud Community Service District (MCSD). How much is an acre-foot? That’s one acre, one foot deep, which is a lot of water – 325,851.427 gallons. Multiply that by 1,600 and you get 521,361,600. That’s over a half-billion gallons of water each year. I bet even in McCloud a bottle of Calistoga will still cost two dollars. So, aside from the costs of pumping, bottling and transportation, Nestle, a Swiss corporation, will pull out a vast amount of nature’s finest product, drawn from the watersheds and snowmelt of countless square miles, so they can sell it back to Americans. And you thought we were smart here in the USA.

The World’s Largest Food Producer Is Thirsty

Nestle’s website says it’s the world's largest bottled water company, serving H20 under seventy-seven brands in a hundred and thirty countries world-wide. They’re so proud of selling all this water, you’d think they’d invented the stuff. Or maybe it’s just the money that makes them so comfy. Quoting from the company website:

“From 1998 to 2003, Nestlé Waters North America has seen its revenue increase from $1.2 billion to $2.6 billion, sustaining a volume share (all channels) of nearly 26.0 %. Nestlé Waters is, in turn, a division of Nestlé S.A., the largest food company in the world. Sales of total Nestlé S.A. increased one percent over the previous year to CHF 88 billion. Nestlé headquarters is located in Vevey, Switzerland.”

The Swiss: Masters At Working All Sides Against The Middle

In summer 2002 I was in Vevey, one of the loveliest stops along our boat-trip around Lake Geneva, with a very splendid view of Mont Blanc. The Swiss have scenery to kill for. We also stopped at a dungeon on the lake that had been designed with Swiss efficiency – the icy winds off Lake Geneva served to torment with cold, and the uneven stone floors gave prisoners nowhere to rest or seek shelter. Upstairs from the dungeon, a court fit for dancing parties was devoted to displays of arms. Starting as the first European mercenaries, the Swiss were loyal so long as they were paid and not asked to fight other Swiss. They still bodyguard the Pope. They invented bank secrecy, laundered Nazi gold and immense amounts of money stolen by oligarchs from the coffers of the poorest nations. The Swiss have the largest standing army per capita in the world, and produce as hard goods some of the priciest – chemicals and drugs. The Swiss are a libertarian nation if you will, where it is explicitly not their business whether you are evading taxes in another country as long as you are paying them in Switzerland. And they don’t make farmers bend over to please the tourists. One morning, we were wakened in our lovely little second floor hotel room with the lakefront view by an extremely aggressive bug-eyed crop-dusting helicopter buzzing the beachside vineyards hour after hour, spraying bio-cide. We repaired to Vevey for the day.

McCloud – Terra Incognita

Although I looked at Switzerland firsthand, I have never been to McCloud, and have driven past the McCloud exit on I-5 more times than I can count. My friend Rogelio, with whom I practiced Chinese martial arts in the late seventies, told me it had been nasty and brutish living as a short, Hispanic logger in McCloud. So I viewed McCloud, without ever seeing it, as a snowy sinkhole of poverty ensconced in useless mountain beauty. A place where pickup trucks rust next to unpainted buildings, and they probably still don’t sell a lot of natural food in the stores. Perfect for Nestle to swallow whole without any hint of indigestion.

A Little Lawsuit In Shasta County

I had occasion to revisit my view of McCloud recently when I saw a young lady at the Bloomsbury coffee shop reading a big stack of typewritten papers that she was underlining in red. She said it was the record of a public meeting about a lawsuit down in McCloud where the people had to sue to get their water back from Nestle. The court order she showed me had been signed by Judge Roger Kosel of Siskiyou County Superior Court, and it did indeed invalidate a contract for the sale of water from the people of tiny McCloud to Nestle, the multibillion-Swiss-franc colossus. The text that got my attention was this:

“The agreement commits the McCloud Community Services District to an option contract with Nestle for the purchase of up to 1600 acre feet per year of District spring water for a period of 50 years with a guaranteed right to extend the term for an additional 50 years. This option is irrevocable for a period of 5 years on the District's part The potential environmental impacts to the water supply are foreseeable and obvious... The approval of the agreement amounts to the creation of an entitlement for Nestle and commits the District to a definite course of action.”

The Superior Court concluded that because “the agreement creates an option for the purchase of … drinking water … potentially … out to 100 years … it is an abuse of discretion not to proceed with CEQA compliance prior to approval of the agreement.” What is CEQA compliance? Just a matter of public involvement. As Judge Kosel ruled, “the purpose of CEQA is to … inform governmental decision-makers and the public about the potential, significant environmental effects of proposed activities.” Therefore, it would seem obvious to all but Nestle and the MCSD, that “compliance should occur prior to the approval of the agreement.” There was no environmental study, no public hearing until Nestle and the MCSD brought the matter up at a single public meeting, and of all the questions raised by the surprised public participants, none received adequate answers. Instead, the MCSD approved the contract despite having no access to legal counsel, scientific advice, or apparently anything but the pushy Nestle lawyers to advise them.

A Mighty Sweet Deal

Why was there such a hurry to rush this contract through? Well, for the same reason rape and pillage are always done in a hurry – once caught in the act, it is more difficult to complete it. According to the McCloud Watershed Council, that formed to overturn the sweetheart deal, and apparently convinced Judge Kosel of the truth of their contentions, the contract provides for:

• A 50-year term, renewable for another 50 years
• The right to take 1,250 gallons per minute of spring water
• The right to take qualified water on an interim basis from district's springs for bulk delivery to other bottling facilities located in Northern California
• The right to construct pipelines and a loading facility
• Use of an unknown quantity of well water for production purposes
• Exclusive rights to one of the Springs
• One hundred years of exclusivity, during which time no other beverage business of any type may exist in McCloud
• Use of an undisclosed, perhaps unlimited amount of ground water
• The right to take 1600 of acre feet of spring water annually
• The right, from time to time, to request purchase water in excess of the maximum take
• The right to transport bulk water from spring sources, other than the Springs, for bottling at the bottling facility (see contract details)
• The right to choose exclusive use of either Upper or Lower Elk Springs as an exclusive source for Spring Water
• The right to require the MCSD to dispose of process waste water
• The right to require the MCSD to design, construct and install one or more ground water production wells on the Bottling Facility site for Nestle’s use as a supply for non-spring water purposes.

The benefits to Nestle in this agreement are outrageously imbalanced against the detriments to the community of McCloud. But we may also properly ask why McCloud should have control over so much water that they don’t have any use for? If the MCSD can sell over half a billion gallons a year and not miss it, why not give McCloud other vast resource tracts to sell to the Swiss, or to the Saudis for that matter? Why not sell Lake Shasta to the Sultan of Brunei. He’s really thirsty. He can ship the lake to his country in oil tankers and on the return trip, make payments in oil. The way the Swiss are pricing water, it’s already twice as expensive as gas, so we should make bank!

Of course, the anti-American lawyers who get payment in Swiss francs (stronger than the dollar for three years running now) aren’t going to give up. With the natives now rejecting the pittance in beads they were offered in exchange for this vast, unused natural resource, they will have to go the appellate courts to drag things out, cause more expense, and possible even reap a victory. CEQA is no doubt an endless problem for business interests, foreign and domestic. Perhaps the appellate judges will approve of circumventing its provisions. Perhaps an initiative can be floated to repeal it. Perhaps the endless flood of billions will bear Nestle along to success, and we will be free to buy back the resources we sell the Swiss at whatever price our poor, thirsty little mouths will compel us to pay.

Or maybe you have had enough. Maybe you thought Bolivia was the only country multinationals would roll over with their contracts and their big fat wallets. Maybe you want to help out the people of McCloud, and help pay for their one lawyer, Donald Mooney of Davis, California, to keep up the good fight. Maybe you want to vote with your pocketbook, by taking these Nestle water brands off your list forever:

Deer Park
Great Bear
Ice Mountain
Poland Spring
Zephyr Hills

Maybe you don’t want to keep quiet about it, and you’d like to send an email to the CEO at Nestle’ Waters North America Inc. I thought you might, so here’s his contact information.

Kim E. Jeffrey – President and CEO
777 W. Putnam Ave.
Greenwich, CT 06830-5091
Phone: 203-531-4100
Fax: 203-863-0297
Or email:
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:06 am


October 17, 2005

The theme of the Second Annual Free Speech in the Park Day was “What the Bleep Is Happening To Ashland?” Both the crowd and community leaders had their say on the topic, and everyone was heard who wanted to speak. Even the guy who stands silently with the Jesus sign wherever people rally in Ashland garnered a round of applause from the crowd when invited to do so by the MC – Thomas Paine. Paine made an appearance due to a time warp that he said whisked him out of his prison cell in the Bastille, allowing him to visit the country he helped found two hundred and thirty years ago. Paine expressed pleasure that some of his books, “Common Sense,” “The Rights of Man,” and “The Crisis” are still in print to this day, but also said he was very troubled by the transformation of the U.S. flag from an emblem of freedom to a symbol of tyranny. He urged the audience to exert themselves to re-establish the meaning that the founders of the nation intended it to proclaim – the freedom and dignity of all individuals. Paine then put himself at the service of the crowd, ferrying a wireless microphone to anyone who wanted to speak, and speak they did.

Among the community leaders who appeared to speak were State Rep. Peter Buckley, Police Chief Mike Bianca, KSKQ Radio representative Suzia Aufderheide, Walk In Peace founder Steve Traisman, and JPR radio host Jeff Golden. Buckley lead off, telling giving his constituents a report on the maneuverings going on at the statehouse up in Salem, and expressing his appreciation for being able to represent Ashland there. Admitting that he couldn’t afford to buy his house again at current Ashland prices, he touched on an issue that many people returned to – affordable housing and city services that make the town a place where regular folks can live.

Citizens tossed out many alternative ideas on how to organize the life of the town. Michael Washington, bicyclist, spoke about living without an automobile. Montana, of Ashland Homeless Alliance, and others addressed the issues of livability for people who have no roof to sleep under. Walker recited a poem from memory about the town called “The Purse Shaped Party” that was heard and absorbed in absolute silence. It was a warm and beautiful day, and wound down with a flute and drum performance and a closing invocation by Chief Bianca. The Warstars took the stage to rock the dispersing crowd, and as things quieted down and darkened up, firedancers heated up the night until the promised closing time of 8 p.m. Thomas Paine, watching a lithe young woman twirling blazing brands, remarked that he had never seen anything like it, even in Paris.





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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:08 am


October 17, 2005

It takes hardware to rock, and more than just sound equipment. You need a bar with good, cheap drinks, a cool bouncer named Max, and some bands that’ll shake the fillings in your teeth. Oh, and a tiny little dancefloor where no one is more than twelve feet away from anybody else or the band itself. Gee, that perfectly describes the Vinyl Club on the last Sunday in September, where Romance Forgery played the second of two gigs in one night. I’d caught them earlier over at the A Street Marketplace, where Elena, the vocalist-songwriter who fronts the band, no doubt surprised some listeners who attended Craig Wright’s Katrina Benefit by singing in Spanish, very intensely, and with more emotion than many Ashland citizens are likely to feel in a week. That was fun to see, so after catching a few bluegrass tunes by Craig Wright & Friends, I migrated over to the Vinyl Club to hear Romance Forgery’s amplified set.

The show was opened by The Glossines, a San Diego power trio of regular chicks dressed in light blue waitress smocks splattered with red and aprons bearing the logo “Hell’s Diner,” who did real good in the three-chord monte department, getting the small crowd on its feet. With titles and refrains like “I Don’t Wanna Talk About You” and “I Don’t Think I Like You Anymore” tacked onto familiar girl-punk riffs and rhythms, these girls twirl the dial back to the days of fake IDs. They are welcome back to this town anytime.

Then for a shift in attitude and intensity, on came RF, and we moved from the garage to the stage, from fun to earnest, from packaged to unpackageable. Aaron Hoppe, lead guitarist, imposes his will on his instrument with samurai intensity. Elena loves to keep a strident rhythm with a clean tone wanging out of her sherbet-green electric. With Sean Rogers on upright bass, Andrew Barnes on the trap set, Romance Forgery fires up like an aircraft engine, lifting Elena’s vocal delivery outside ordinary ranges into an intense, hypnotic realm. Sometimes I was in the clouds, watching lightning flashing, other times I found myself walking under jolting powerlines dropping arcing cascades of sparks. I found myself confronted, provoked, pushed, pulled, compelled to witness frenesis, and then they let loose another type of magic. Dropping the tempo to a strolling pace, Elena swung into a slow Spanish number with the refrain “voy a perder” – “I will lose.” On this song, Elena’s voice is vulnerable, admitting in a foreign language what every latin lover knows – we will lose. To lose gracefully, lose everything.

In a little pre-show interview, I learned a few things about RF, an art-rock band with serious skillz. They will be doing some recording in Tucson, Arizona this fall with Soiled Gold, a media collective, and Loveland, Nathan Sabattino’s independent studio. They’ll also be playing at the renowned Rialto in Tucson on November 6th, the day after the Day of the Dead, a Mexican festival that is celebrated with particular fervor in Tucson. Since Romance Forgery hasn’t put out a CD yet, the Tucson hegira should help them cross that milestone. I think they’re ready to make the trip. — Carlos Ramone

Romance Forgery on myspace
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:09 am

PB&J WITH THE JUDGE, by Charles Carreon

October 17, 2005

Most people know Allen Drescher from his role on the bench as the Ashland Municipal Court Judge. I have known him since 1978, when he gave me my first paying job in town, peeling linoleum off the floor of a basement room in his office building in downtown Ashland. Another lawyer, Jim Osher, had given me a place to stay in exchange for cleaning his house, and had recommended me to Allen for an afternoon’s work. Allen paid a fair wage for my somewhat unsuccessful efforts at linoleum removal, and I formed a good opinion of him based on that, and on Jim Osher’s positive remarks about his fellow liberal lawyer. Osher, as I recall, also had been to a fine back east law school, sported a beard, sometimes cackled with zesty glee, and ran his office out of a tiny room in a house that he’d built out extensively to house young people up to the rafters. Allen, I understood, wore wide ties, but was more mainstream than Osher.

I got settled with my family and lived in and around Ashland for six years, picking up an English degree at the college, and only once appearing before Judge Drescher for executing not quite stopping as I rolled downhill on Granite onto the main drag. He gave me a break, as I remember it, cutting the fine to a bearable level in response to a genuine plea of poverty. In 1983, I moved to LA for law school and a stint in the fast lane, and in 1993 returned to Ashland. After becoming an Oregon attorney and opening a practice in Ashland, I only once crossed swords with Allen in litigation, and he referred the matter to a local litigator, with whom I resolved the case with a quick settlement that made no one any richer except on paper, as I recall.

I’ve represented a handful of clients in Ashland Municipal Court over the years, and found it easy to work with Judge Drescher. He is cordial to a fault, considerate of my clients’ concerns, and respectful of my arguments. One cannot, however, make an omelette without cracking a few eggs, and dispensing justice is similarly destructive in the service of a positive goal. Over the years, I had heard my share of stories about Judge Drescher’s sentences, some of which seemed creative. As a Deputy District Attorney, I occasionally heard of Ashland jail sentences being summarily commuted by the jail staff to a one-night stay, because the gravity of the convicted person’s crimes often paled in comparison with those of other “lodged individuals.” Put simply, Ashland criminals weren’t bad enough to keep in jail for more than a night.

So it was that the years had rolled by, and I had never really had a chat with Allen about anything besides the legal matters before us. Last month I requested an appointment to interview him, and after we discussed my expected topics, he agreed. We picked a date, and I offered to take him to lunch. In reply, he offered this quotable clue to his character: “Since I became a lawyer, I have made it a habit to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my office for lunch.” I perfectly understood. I had eaten a sandwich in my office plenty of times, so I said I’d bring my own PB&J, and we both marked our calendars. Then I wondered if he really only ate peanut butter and jelly, or if he sometimes ate other sandwiches.

When we got together and settled at the oval conference table in his quiet, comfortable office, Allen extracted his PB&J from a paper bag, and I had no further doubts on the matter. No cheese sandwiches or hoagies for this man. He seeks to embody Yankee simplicity, I decided, even if he was born in the Midwest. Sitting next to Allen, I realized he was genuinely enjoying this most recent in a long sequence of identical, yet unique sandwiches, roughly equal in their number to the number of days he had been practicing law. I understood the poetry of it, and felt the mad indiscipline of my own ways. I bit into a scone from Dave’s coffeehouse and began taking notes.

Allen was born and raised in Michigan. He went to Columbia during years of serious student unrest, graduating in 1968. He went on to graduate from Columbia Law School, then and now one of the top schools, in 1972. He spent 1970 in Eugene, taking a break from law school, and after he graduated, he moved to Portland, where he worked in Legal Aid for a year in 1972 practicing civil rights law under Laird Kirkpatrick, now on the faculty at U of O Law School, and the author of the fundamental treatise on Oregon Evidence. In 1973 Allen accepted a job to establish a Legal Aid office for Coos and Curry Counties. He’d fallen in love with the Oregon coast during the summer, so it was inevitable that the day he moved into his new home, it would start raining, and not stop for thirty days. After setting up the office as he’d agreed, he opted to move to drier places inland, and settled in Ashland in 1975. In 1976 he was elected to a City Council position, the same year Jim Sims, another progressive lawyer, ran for mayor.

In 1978, Allen was elected to the Municipal Judge position. Since then, he’s run successfully for re-election every four years. Being a lawyer, but never a judge, I’ve of course contemplated how pleasant it might be to have the last word in every argument, to always be the person who, by definition, is right. While judges are sometimes reversed on appeal, it is undoubtedly an extremely rare occurrence for Judge Drescher. His judgments go largely unquestioned and are effectively unquestionable. It is total power in small matters.

I asked Allen to describe his philosophy of judicial independence, and he responded that having to stand for election every four years, and being re-elected each time, had given him a sense of confidence that his judgments in court met with community approval. Roughly half of his judicial races have been contested ones. The elective process has put a fine point on his efforts to do the job well. As he stated, “The people who you are judging are going to come around and judge you next election.” I found this interesting, since it is usually thought that judicial independence is best secured by granting judges lifetime tenure, as is done with all federal judges appointed by the president. There is no doubt that lifetime-tenure system has produced some very independent-minded judges, and also some monsters. It was interesting to hear that the voice of public opinion, coming from the ballot box, can provide a different kind of independence. The risk of losing the next election didn’t deter him from convicting the guilty or imposing fines, he explained, but it caused him to exert himself in performing the job of judging.

“The hardest thing,” the judge noted noted, is to “really apply the presumption of innocence” in a criminal prosecution. He reminisced about a DUI defendant who had been using an alcoholic mouthwash to treat the hole he’d pierced in his tongue for his new ring, noting that while he couldn’t recall how he’d resolved the issue, “People do dumb stuff, but dumb stuff is not always against the law.” When, I asked him, do attorneys ask for a jury trial? Very rarely, he responded, about once a year. And why do they ask for a jury instead of trial before a judge? Because, he admitted wryly, they stood a better chance of acquittal if tried by a jury. In a jury trial, he said, “My role is to be stonefaced and not give them a clue what I think.”

Volunteering an answer to a question I hadn’t asked, Allen explained that he hadn’t sought to climb the judicial ladder, and had enjoyed the caseload of misdemeanors and traffic infractions. “I like dealing with the people. Most often, in municipal court, there are no attorneys. I like not getting the orchestrated, filtered version. They just say it from their heart and mind.” Further, he observed although the cases concern small matters, “to the people involved, it’s important.”

Turning to the subject of political activity and citizen participation in government, he said that he believed democracy does work in Ashland, and we can “save our schools and playgrounds.” As I pressed further, though, I asked him to remark on the difference between the seventies, when we both arrived in Ashland, and the mood these days. He agreed that inspiration is lacking, and explained why it was different then: “I was inspired by JFK. He really appealed to my generation in a powerful way. The Vietnam war affected us directly. We were being killed. The cultural revolution of the sixties – long hair, strange clothes, the Beatles message of love and peace, that really had an effect on a whole generation. You can’t overlook the effect that cultural movements have on how people relate to society. So a whole generation felt it could make a change, and we did. The kids I see in municipal court are not getting a message from the top – national leaders are so cynical. People believe the government does bad stuff. It’s powerful and you don’t want to go there. It’s 180 degrees from the 1960s and 70s. The music’s not inspiring. Once I heard Martin Luther King speak to a mixed-race audience, and it was so inspiring. We’ve achieved racial equality and some people are doing great, but some people got left behind. We have an underclass and we’re not helping them.”

With the larger problems of the world looming over our discussion, we turned again to the place we call home, and the town that calls Allen its judge. He returned again to the theme of listening to people and their problems. He expressed satisfaction with many young people who have successfully completed drug and alcohol education programs, and praised Jan Janssen’s work helping young people to meet the challenges of growing up in Ashland today. Allen spoke contemplatively, “Maybe I can help individuals. I can get them when they are still young and still amenable to change.”

The interview actually turned from one lunch into two, and the second time I didn’t even bring a scone, just coffee. Allen had his PB&J, though. Some things don’t change, and maybe that’s how we like them.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:10 am


10:57pm, October 27, 2005

My thanks to Hal Meyer for calling my attention to this article in the LA Times. Gary called a little while ago to tell me the news. This has got to be Cohen's worst nightmare. Locked in a cell with Judge Ware holding the key, and a record of defying the courts by flinging his unwelcome briefs into the courts from his fugitive perch in Tijuana, worldwide center of culture, drug money and mayhem against women.

How long can the judge hold him in? Well, if Gary has his say, until he has disgorged every last piece of silver from his ample gullet. A little abdominal massage with a baseball bat might assist in the disgorgement. Who knows if Gary will get his wish? Certainly Judge Ware would have little reason to trust Cohen, who has been a fugitive for nearly five years, to appear at future court proceedings. No doubt both the INS and Gary Kremen will demand his appearance at such future proceedings. Thus, I would think that things do not look good in the short term for Cohen. Will he pull a Houdini?

The arrest coincided with some seizures of Cohen's remaining Stateside property. Gary says he seized a "little money, a couple hundred thousand dollars," from accounts held by Cohen's Mexican lawyer Gustavo Cortez. Well, it may not be much to Gary, but for Cohen it might be the difference between the best representation money can buy and the Federal Public Defender.

By Richard Marosi and Joseph Menn for LA Times wrote:

Fugitive Online Porn Mogul Is Handed Over to U.S. Agents

7:18 PM PDT, October 27, 2005

SAN DIEGO — Four years after dodging a $65 million court judgment by fleeing the country, former online-porn mogul Stephen Michael Cohen was arrested by Mexican authorities in Tijuana on an immigration violation and handed over Thursday to U.S. agents.

Cohen, a multiple felon and longtime con man, had been on the run since before 2001, when a judge ordered him to pay a San Francisco entrepreneur for hijacking the Internet address In 1995, Cohen forged a letter to Internet authorities to gain control of the address, which he transformed into a highly profitable site for pornography ads.

Cohen, who had been living in a Tijuana mansion, was being held without bail at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown San Diego. His apprehension was the latest twist in one of the most bizarre and longest-running feuds of the dot-com explosion.

The contest pitted Cohen against Gary Kremen, a San Francisco engineer and investor who had the foresight to register the Web address in 1994, when names were doled out for free to the first person who asked.

While Kremen was busy with other things, including the company that grew into the online dating site, he did nothing with But Cohen, fresh off a federal prison term for fraud and forgery, saw the domain's potential.

In 1995, Cohen presented a forged letter to Network Solutions, ostensibly from Kremen's company, that said Kremen had been fired and that Cohen should get control of Network Solutions handed over the site.

When Kremen discovered what had happened, he was told by Network Solutions that they couldn't help him. They suggested he sue Cohen.. But Cohen was raking in what grew to be tens of millions of dollars by selling ads on, and he and his lawyers put up a fight — so ferociously that the federal judge on the case ordered Cohen arrested for contempt of court.

But Cohen was unavailable. During the years of litigation, he moved his millions overseas and left the country, occasionally calling Kremen to taunt him. Kremen got back in late 2000 and the next year was awarded $65 million — an amount that has since grown to $82 million, with interest. Kremen has collected some property from Cohen, but has yet to break even on his legal fees.

"I'm excited, and I'm happy to prepare for the next stage of justice," Kremen said Thursday.

An attorney for Cohen did not respond to a message seeking comment. Cohan was turned over to agents of the U.S. Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Marshals Service, according to Deputy Marshal Tania Tyler.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:12 am

by Charles Carreon
October 28, 2005

The NYT, whitewashing the outing of Valerie Plame as if blowing a CIA agent's cover were nothing more than a faux pas, just reported that: "The Wilson affair is not Watergate, and Mr. Libby's alleged misdeed may seem small potatoes compared with the work of the Nixon-era White House 'plumbers.'" Really!

To what foolish person would outing secret agents be "small potatoes?" Didn’t the author of this line ever read The Hardy Boys, or Nancy Drew, or 007 stories? Get a clue! Secret agents have friends all over the world whose covers are compromised unto the point of exposure and death. Maybe nobody gets killed over secrets at the NYT, but it’s not uncommon to wake up dead in a world full of "nuclear proliferators" like General Musharraff, Kim Jong Il, the Iranian Ayatollahs, the Israeli nuke-wielders, and various and sundry Rumanians, Albanians, Bulgarians, and other freebooters with loose protons. It happens all the time, and concealing this fact is just as dirty as outing Valerie Plame. For shame, shame, shame, the NYT is lying again.

Let’s put it in simple terms. “Scooter” Libby is traitor. When I was a kid, everybody learned that the worst thing you could be was a Benedict Arnold. We had a special day in history class just to dig into his loathesome memory. The man who would have sold out the American Revolution. A traitor. Scum. The whole schoolroom would fill up with righteous loathing when we contemplated his crime.

Then of course there’s Judas Iscariot. Not a sympathetic figure, selling out the Savior for thirty silver coins. Of course, the heat was on then, everybody was out looking for Jesus. If Judas hadn’t sold him out, one of the other thirteen would have. That’s what Judas said to himself, no doubt, but he couldn’t hack the guilt. Rumor says he hanged himself, but maybe the Romans did that to him as an easy way to recover the bribe money.

Oh surely I’m going too far. Surely this is just a little teensy weensy disclosure that didn’t mean anything. CIA agents walk all over Washington DC and nobody cares. Don’t blow it out of proportion.

Well you can’t have it both ways, guys. Either security is real, and secrets must be kept, and the Dept of Homeland Security and the CIA have a real mission, or it’s all a pile of horseshit, and secrets are just what you use to conceal your shenanigans. And the rule is, you have to decide before the shit hits the fan. The Bushies and Scooter decided to make all serious with the secrecy rules, so now they have to live by serious secrecy rules. They want to make big gestures in Washington DC, line themselves up next to our national heroes, and rule from the big, high place. Well, guess what, it’s a long way down when you fall.

But the New York Times, busy dumbing down our morality to its own Bloombergian level of greasy pragmatism, can’t see Benedict Arnold. They see a bureaucratic slipup, a Beltway fumble that won’t play in Peoria. Just call it a technical violation, and the people won’t notice. Don’t bet on it. While the NYT is trying to soak their own roasted ass in a bucket of ice water by glorifying a slezoid like Judith Miller who says she "can't remember" who told her Valerie Plame was a CIA agent, the people in Peoria are about ready to hurl. Miller and the New York Times are also traitors.

Remember that Judith Miller was the irresponsible NYT journalist who laundered all of the neocon lies that launched the nation into the firepit of Iraq without reason or reflection. She has betrayed every soldier, at last count over two-thousand, who has died there “fighting terrorism,” a threat that was entirely in the minds of the oil-addled Bushies. She supported all of the pre-invasion attacks on Iraq, bolstered the lie that Hussein had some involvement in the WTC attack, and in the absence of any real weapons of mass destruction, concocted the “mushroom cloud” vision in the public mind that short-circuited political decision making and handed the Chief the Hammer of Thor, the Lightning Bolt of Odin, the Tomahawk missile to bury up to the hilt in the soft body of a weak Iraq.

Miller rubbed elbows with the Iraqi expatriates in London, the Challabis, both father and son, cut from the same corrupt mold, and made them credible informants. She made the mad fantasies of Paul Wolfowitz and his Project for the New American Century seem like a noble vision. She spun the lies about the danger posed by Saddam Hussein together with the neocon nostalgia for war and imagined that the happy faces of our our sons, jutting from the tops of their tanks and Humvees, would be draped in lotus blossoms by the grateful daughters of laughing Iraqi merchants. Traditional facial veils would be thrown aside, democracy would blossom as quickly as the Berlin wall fell. Walt Disney would return from the dead to film the whole grand spectacle.

Traitors all! When someone leads you into a trap and your men are killed, you hang them from the highest tree you can find! When your children are killed for the lies of greedy people who enticed them to their deaths, you say death is too good for them! Small potatoes. I’d like to take just one sack of small potatoes and shove them up the New York Times’ nonexistent, unfeeling, inhuman asshole. Maybe that would stop up the flow of repugnant bullshit.
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