Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mystery Box

"In the intelligence community, a disinformation operation is a calculated attempt to convince an audience that falsehoods about an adversary are true, either to discredit him or, in an extreme case, to justify military action. When such a campaign is properly conducted, information is leaked to numerous outlets over a period of time, creating the impression of a media consensus that the story is true, as each new report validates earlier ones.
The [news] pieces [on the target of the Israeli air attack in Syria] have a common thread: they rely entirely on information provided by Israeli sources without independent corroboration. And the ongoing play they are getting in the international media, without much critical commentary and without direct attribution to Israel, mark them as classic disinformation."

This was a quote from a piece by former CIA Officer, Phillip Giraldi in the American Conservative. He believes that the Syrian Nuclear Reactor Story had all the hallmarks of a classic disinformation campaign.
The alleged Syrian reactor was noted for the last 4 years, it had been looked at by the intelligence community and it was old news. What was released as far as justification for the bombing was the original conjecture that it its shape resembles the North Korean Yongbyon reactor building, which was a larger box with smaller boxes stacked on it. The mysterious Syrian building had a faint square on the top where it was thought another structure was going to be built, but after 4 years, the faint square remained just that.
Global Security's John Pike refers the site as being in the middle of nowhere and the photos provided to the press reveal what looks to be a barren location, but you only have to look at Google Earth to see it is smack dab in the middle of Syrias most dense farm region.
This is stranger still, as photos show absolutely no defense or security perimeter around the building. The Syrians would have to be pretty layed back and lax about security to leave their "Nuclear Research Complex" in such an open and casual condition.
What do we know about the box at this point? We know in 2003 it appeared, visible from space. It disappeared last month. It's not there and we know the site was bombed by the Israelis and was probably cleaned after the bombing and the building was destroyed.
Do we have evidence that Syria was building a reactor? No. Were any reporters pursuing the story before the bombing? No.
The only evidence came from journalists schmoozing with John Bolton and his buddies.
The IAEA Director, Mohamed ElBaradei is angry about the bomb first, ask questions later approach of the Israelis because it only fosters suspicion and undermines the role of the IAEA inspectors and their role in investigating and verifying nuclear activity. He also stated that Bolton had been making comments for years about Syrias Nuclear Activity, but the IAEA had never had any evidence to back it up.
Perhaps then, the real target of the Israeli strike wasn't a clandestine nuclear program in Syria, it was the IAEA inspection process itself. A very troubling road block in the neo con march to Tehran!


This is a guest post by The Engineer of Knowlege!

One of the things I have been given some thought to of late is
Blackwater. At the turn of the 19th century the coal mines hired
private protection corporations to squelch miners taking efforts into
their own hands to break the "Owe Your Soul to the Company Store" type
of slavery through economic means.

One instance was a mine in southernWest Virginia. The miners walked out and made a tent city at the gatesof the mines. They were not on company property but when others came toanswer the ads for work they turned around because they saw what was
really going on and chose not to apply.

Well the company hired aprivate protection like the Pinkerton Guards, but a different companythat I cannot remember the name right now. Early in the morning before
everyone woke up, a box car came in with the company coal railroad
train. When the box car was in line with the tent city, the door opened
up and a 50 caliber tri-pod machine gun opened up on the ex-miners tents
that contained the women, children, and the miners. As luck would have
it, the cold weather was coming on and the miners had dug down into the
ground for the protection and warmth of the ground from the wind and
cold. The 50 caliber bullets tore through the tents but the sleeping
people were in the trenches that protected them. That is when the other
union coal miners in West Virginia picked up their guns, marched to the
aid of the miners on strike and their families. Well an all out war
broke out and Woodrow Wilson had to send in Federal Troops to get
between the coal companies with their hired protection and the miners
with the unionized miners that were shooting at each other.

So, in summation, Blackwater is a private company that will be losing a
major customer in Iraq. This corporation will have to replace this
customer loss with new customers to survive. I wonder how long it will
be before Blackwater, with state of the art weapons, will be turning
these guns, mortars, claymore mines, etc, on U.S. citizens by a company
hiring them to enforce their will on the population. Blackwater is even
building its own armored troop carriers based on the South African
design. This performs the same function like the Bradley fighting
vehicle.. but better.

I have given just one example where it has happen before and it will
happen again.

This Guest Post was submitted by The Engineer Of Knowlege
October 29, 2007
Thank you sir!

Monday, October 29, 2007


We now return to the continuing story of Nikolas Sarkozy, the tragically misunderstood mini president who just wanted to be uuuuuuh UNDISPUTED EMPEROR OF FRANCE AND THE COOLEST GUY IN THE WORLD!
But, he's been having a lot of bad days lately and today was one of them. I'm suure most of American has seen the aborted 60 Minutes interview with Diane Sawyer. He was busy, he didn't know the mike was on, OKAY? Why was she asking him stupid questions about his wife 2 weeks before he could use the info in an attempt to defuse the first big strikes of his presidency? He probably didn't realize how popular 60 Minutes was in America.

So, all America is laughing at the tiny hyper prez, making French lily livered surrender monkey jokes, it's sad. Don't worry, all of France is, too.
Meanwhile, his Minister of Justice today, defending her decision to eliminate regional courts all across France in a cost cutting measure that is predicted to only increase the cost of Justice and inconvenience Judges and Lawyers and people involved in the system had to endure a full fledged riot of lawyers and judges protesting this move. There was great TV footage of screaming judges and lawyers being forcefully manhandled by cops. Talk about great reality TV!

The real tragedy today, though, is the story of the Zoe's Arche Group being held in Chad. This is a complex tale of political intriguing and misguided charity and charlatans.
The Zoe's Arche Group is an organization led by a charimatic leader who has been involved in relief attempts in the Tsunami, and some earthquakes in the last few years. He has been able to raisse a lot of money and get volunteers through various religious affiliations. Because of the vagueness of what he has actually done with the money, he has had to move the group out of France to Australia.
This time, they raised a lot of money to save children from Darfur. The plan was to bring orphans in need of medical attention to France to be cared for sponsor families. They were able to find families and raise quite a bit of money.

Flags went up earlier this year and there were warnings about the reliability of this group and the wisdom of their paln to take Muslim children to France to be raised as Christians. They were able to go ahead, rent the planes and get clearance and assistance from the French governemnt in spite of everything.

Meanwhile, Sarkozy was elected and appointed Bernard Kuchner as Foreign Minister. Kuchner was the founder of Medicines sans Frontieres and was involved in a lot of great humanitarian relief work personally. He made the problem in Darfur his personal mission. France has worked hard to get the UN Peacekeepers into Darfur. Both Sudan and Chad have resisted the UN. Kuchner, though was on the verge of his personal project which was to negotiate a "Relief Corridor" into the region.
The last thing the Chadians wanted though, was a bunch of foreign relief workers seeing the child soldiers they use in violation of every human rights agreement to fight their war.

The backdrop for this debacle also includes the highjacking of the release of the Bulgarian Nurses, The Tripoli 7, by the Sarkozy government after he was elected. Sarkozy and his PR Machine was able to steal the credit for the release in a very calculated stunt. It gave the impression to the world that France had acted alone to pay the ransom. In reality, the EU had raised the money and had negotiated for years for the goal. Sarko was able to ride the coat tails to make some pretty sweet deals for the French Nuclear and Autoroute Industry.

So, last week, the Zoes Arche plane lands in Chad and they start to collect the children to be taken out of the country. Very strangely, most of the children are not orphans and are in pretty good health. the speculation being that the organization wanted to score a PR coup back in France with a plane load full of happy healthy good looking babies to help the organizers realize their grandiose dreams of more flights and more money..

Parents in villages start complaining and BINGO! The Chadian government scores big time. It is pretty easy for them to start to claim that the organization is really a front for a child trafficking ring...sex slaves! It is easy for them to make a stink about children being stolen from parents to be forcibly converted to christianity!
The entire group is arrested. The Chadian government, who is guilty of real child exploitation charges, can take the high grouund and portray themselves as the protectors of the little innocents. They are, of course, going to extort as much money out of France as they can in ending this debacle.

Now it gets messier in France. First, the government denies any knowlege of the group and only hours later, the entire history of it's involvement comes out.The group is able to hire a high powered lawyer and there are 2 Associated Press Reporters in the group of arrestees, who came along to cover the story.

Yes, it's a tragedy for the French Government and Kuchner, who were really trying to negotiate a way to get needed aid into Darfur. It's a tragedy for the tiny hyper prez, who after a week of unrelenting bad press was about to score a real PR coup.
The aids workers and donors who really thought they were involved in a legitimate humanitarian effort.....
But the biggest tragedy is for the people of Darfur, who had a door begin to open for them and now tragically slam shut!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy Floral Scented User Friendly For You

The folks at DangerRoom are having a contest to help
Blackwater with its image problem.
Vote on your favorite or submit a new design!
I personally like the Hello Blacky design as there is a big market
out there already for Hello Blacky combat gear!
We'll check back and see which design wins!

Friday, October 26, 2007


Not that I expect anything to come out of this, but hey you can't fault a guy for trying! Today, Donald Rumsfeld arrived in Paris for a discussion sponsored by the magazine, Foreign Policy. It was a low key visit. He was tracked down by a coalition of human rights groups who informed him that they had filed a lawsuit against him for human rights violations in the French Court. There are French victims of Guantanamo and the lawsuit was filed on their behalf by The US based Center for Constitutional Rights, The International Federation of Human Rights, The French League for Human Rights and The German European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.
The Rights groups have strong evidence for their case based on three memorandums signed by Rumsfeld between October 2002 and April 2003 "legitimizing the use of torture", "hooding" of detainees, sleep deprivation and the use of dogs.
Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights said that this was the culmination of a years attempts to confront Rumsfeld after his resignation. He said thqt France had a legal responsibility under international law, based on previous cases and precedent to prosecute Rumsfeld.
"If a torturer comes into your country", he said, "there's an obligation to either prosecute him or return him to a place where he will be prosecuted."
Ratner said that Europe is getting "very hot" for Rumsfeld and suggested that a French
Court could at least issue its version of a subpoena.
Donald, for his part, when confronted by a group of 20 protesters on a Paris Street today screaming, "Murderer!" ducked into the safe haven of the US Embassy.

L'ecole des Facteurs

A few posts back, I raved about the Jacques Tati film Jour De Fete made in St. Severe, France in 1949 by the great Jacques Tati. I mentioned an earlier short film called L'ecole des Facteurs made in 1947 which contained all the bike gags in the longer film.

I found L'ecole des Facteurs (Postmans School) in 2 parts on YouTube. This is a gem!
The dance sequence is incredible and shows the level of sublime physical comedy that Tati was capable of. He takes the clumsiness of the ordinary and makes it into a hilarious ballet of ridiculous grace!

I hope you enjoy this stuff as much as I do and check out moreof Tatis art!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


This is the year of 13 Moons.
That's why your tomatoes never ripened.
That's why the only good luck was had by scoundrels.
In case you were wondering, that's what the old folks say.
Tonight is the 11th full moon and there's two to go.
This year ain't over yet.


Who told them to do this? Is media allowed to be this idiotic and still be allowed to call themselves a News Station? This is more like the National Enquirer or Ripley Believe It Or Else. For the past two days, Fox News has been whipping up frenzy and fear by claiming that Al Qaeda started the California Wild Fires.
Based on a 4 year old item on the Drudge Report, FOX News has been insinuating that the California Fires are an Al Qaeda Terrorist act. This is not some half baked spewer of conservative bile like O'Reilly, but actual news commentary interspersed with their lame attempts at actual news reporting.
On the surface it's almost hilariously pathetic, but deeper, it's not, it's part of the pattern we have lived with since the attempt to control America through it's fear of terrorism started after 9/11.
This is how Americans get their mis information. Bush insinuates that Saddam Hussein is connected to Al Qaeda, the Vice President makes a few statements that aren't backed up by evidence and it becomes part of the litany of terror.
This is how America will be led to war with Iran...by rumor, unsubstantiated statement and innuendo.
FOX is the misinformation wing of the Administration. If they are sending this message in their news reporting, it isn't by accident. Part of the destruction of your rights and the manipulation of your fear is is done by deliberate propaganda techniques. This is irresponsible reportage in the extreme, but in reality, this is not the NEWS! This is your mind being taken hostage by FOX!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Only Man Standing!

End the war, Defend the Constitution and instead of apologizing for your beliefs, Fight like hell when opponents attack you or the country.

These are the words of Connecticut Democrat Senator Chris Dodd, the presidential candidate is holding the hard line in opposing the administrations attempt to modify the federal foreign surveillance laws. He said that the Presidents willingness to trample your Constitutional Rights again are handing the terrorists another victory.

He promised to filibuster any law that would give telephone or internet providers immunity. He said that it wouldn't be easy to sustain a blockade and he seems to be the only lawmaker in congress ready to stand in the way of any intimidation by the White House used to pass this bill.

Senator Dodd has been but a blip in the polls but in the last 36 hours, he ahs raised over $100,000 and is the buzz among progressive bloggers who want to stop this bill.

In August, Congress passed an emergency temporary bill that was criticized for not providing enough over sight of the methods used by the administration. This bill will expire in February and the House and Senate are considering long term legislation to modify and extenbd the act. Last week, the senate Intelligence Committee voted 13-2 in favor of a FISA update that would provide immunity for telecommunicattion providers in wire tapping cases. To shed some light on the incentives the companies have for tapping, it was revealed that Verizon charges over $1000 to execute a tap.

Yesterday, the Administration refused to share documents outlining the legal justifications for the immunity. Patrick Leahy and Arlen Specter called it unnacceptable in a letter to the White House.

The Judiciary Committee may introduce its own version of the bill, but if it fails, The Rockefeller act could proceed as it is, unchanged. Senator Dodd said that he was hopeful that a modified bill would excise the immunity clause, but for now, Republicans have blocked that possibility.

Let Senator Dodd know that he has your support! Perhaps with more voices, other members of the Senate will realize that this opposses the will of the American people. We do not want to give up more of our freedom pandering to the fear of terrorism. That is the real victory of the terrorist, a nation losing its liberty, living in its imagined fear!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I just found this on YouTube. A few months ago I posted a piece by Fred Smiths Sonic Rendezvous, the legendary band that recorded little and played basically in the Detroit area in the 80's. Fred Smith was one of the guitarists of the MC5 and married Patti Smith. The lead singer of the Rendezvous was one Scotty Morgan. Scott was original lead singer of the legendary, almost forgotten band from the Ann Arbor area named The Rationals.

In my mind they were the greatest white punk soul band of all time. Their first regional #1 hit in the midwest was their cover of Otis Reddings Respect, long before the Detroit Diva, Aretha Franklin made it into her feminist soul anthem. They took a while to record their first and only album. It was simply called The Rationals and it was an unqualified hands down masterpiece. By 1967, the band had matured musically and Scotty's voice had grown in depth and was one of the great white punk soul voices. He turned down a request to become the lead singer for Blood, Sweat and Tears in the pre David Clayton-Thomas version with Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield.

Their version of Temptations'Bout To Get Me is right up there with the original. Rod Stewart first heard the song he made famous, Handbags and Gladrags on the Rationals album. For my money, the Rats put him to shame! Why was this great American Soul Band allowed to be forgotten when so much trash lives on?

The Rationals deserve to be rereleased and re experienced and appreciated for the great artists they were!
The song on the You Tube piece is I Needed You. It was released after the album and became a #1 regional hit for the guys and briefly made Scotty the Soul Star Idol he deserved to be!

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Letter

During his campaign, the aspiring tiny hyper president, Nicolas Sarkozy used a letter written by a young man to his parents during World War 2 to evoke patriotism and sentiments of the Left.
Guy Moquet was a young Communist who was selected by the authorities to be executed by the Germans in a reprisal for German soldiers killed by the resistance.
The incident was so famous that the subway stop in Paris, where he was executed is named after him
Sarkozy read the letter and and all those on stage with him shed convincing theatrical tears.
In the letter, Guy bids farewell to his parents and country and affirms his love of France.
Sarkozy chose to state that the letter was one of the most moving things he had ever read in his life. He stated that he thought that efvery school child in France should be made to read. He actually issued a directive making today the day it would be read.
Teachers all over France began to protest saying that the little hyper president had no right to dictate the curiculum. Then they began to to analyse the letter and what the message should really be.
The letter is really a testament to standing up to unlawful authority and resisting! As Sarkozy sinks in the polls with his stance on DNA testing for immigrant families, making those who come to private assistance agencies show residence papers before they can recieve charity and the general feeling of disatisfaction, suddenly, instead of being the patriotic inspiring photo op for UMP deputies and officials that was planned,
the day turned into a disaster for the administration.
The school where Sarkozy had chosen to go for his glorious photo, actually banned him. The Minister of Education, who is the mayor of Perigueux, was scolded by an old Communist on the news as he went for his glorious patriotic photo op.
The only person who came out looking good, was Marie-George Buffet, the head of the French Communist Party who was able to riightfully scold the hyper pres and claim Guy Moquet as one of their own. Of course all the students who took Guy as a model and their teachers who showed them that resistance is great French tradition and it is their right...they looked pretty good , too!


For years, I have enjoyed the wit of Tom Tomorrow and his The Modern World strip.
I have been reading about the Republican Debates, the Conservative comments about the Democratic Candidate line up and wondered what drives America in its quest for a leader. I came to the conclusion that Americans want a symbolic chief bully. Not neccesarily intelligent, just a big old watchdog that can growl and bark reassuringly.
Then Tom Tomorrow went one better and published this strip and showed me what kind of a leader America really wants! (click on the strip to enlarge it!)

Sunday, October 21, 2007


This is a slightly rambling post...I rarely complain about myself and in general, I think I am a pretty hearty 58 year old experiencing a prolonged difficult adolescence.

That said, I have experienced problems with asthma since I was a child and have gone years without any incidents. This year, though, I began to have attacks and tried to manage them myself. I have some dental problems that I have been trying to take care of and postponed appointments because of the changing dates and time span of this years grape harvest. I have my next appointment tomorrow afternoon.

Yesterday, I had a serious asthma attack that seemed to not want to go away. It was a Saturday afternoon, I live many miles from any hospital and my doctor was not available. When we called the doctors office though, we were immediately put through to a service which efficiently, in effect, brought personalized emergency room service to my house in less than 20 minutes. A very pretty young doctor gavce me a very thorough examination, a shot which relieved me immediately and wrote a prescription which we were able to have filled in a pharmacy in a neighboring village. The pharmacies all rotate being open on an emergency basis on Sundays and late hours. My prescription was for immediate treatment dealing with the lung infection and asthma attacks and then a few products for long term management. I estimated that the prescriptions alone would have cost over 200 US Dollars. My cost?
The bill was 67 Euros, but under the French plan, I only payed 2 Euros.
The cost of the emergency home doctors visit? 44 Euros, but I only payed 20 because the cost of a normal doctors consultation is only 24 which is covered. The home service was an extra 20. So I payed 22 Euros out of pocket.
I am not a French citizen, I am a resident, but I get almost the same treatment as any French citizen.

I am telling this story because I still get flack everytime I post about the French Medical System regarding the lack of quality under socialized medicine. No matter what self binded, self righteous, propaganda infused conservatives and libertarians say, I am convinced along with the rest of the world, that the French Medical System is the best in the world! Who you gonna believe? George Bush or my lyin' eyes? (apology to Richard Pryor)

That said, hey what happened here this week? If you were here, the reportage was festive it was almost a national holiday! On Thursday, the nation pretty much shut down. Hundreds of thousands of people in the streets demonstrating because the Sarkozy government wants to cut retirement rights for an entire sector of the working force. Medical Students were out because of a Sarkozyist bright idea to force interns to move where ever the government wanted them to work upon graduation.
Judges and lawyers were out demonstrating because the Justice Minister is blindly goiing forward with an ill concieved cost cutting plan which is going to eliminate local regional courts all across France.

People with consciences across the entire political spectrum were demonstrating over the DNA testing law to keep immigrant families from staying together in France.
And then, the drama, the heartbreak, the hillarious debacle of the Sarkozy's marriage disintegrating on the same day. I wrote during the elections of the reports of Nicolas' violence and Cecilias infidelity. He tried to present a People Magazine portrait of his family to foster a Nouveau Camelot image. People in France aren't upset that the couple is divorcing and care less about their pecadillos. The anger is more that he used a false image of his marriage for political reasons and the inordinate amount of time spent by the mainstream press reporting rumors and then the actual done deed as the information was doled out in controlled doses by the Elysee.

Today I saw a video of the protests on Canal+. There were many people with signs that read : France to Sarkozy: We want a Divorce!

Enjoy the video about the power and glory of the SNCF! Our national railroad who struck for 2 days. Their union also runs the subways and buses.
Oh, yea, Le Quinze (The Rugby team) lost the World Cup big time. Sarkozy was counting on them to change the mood of the nation into sports euphoria inspired nationalism. He even named the coach as the new Minister of Sports, only to have him become imbroiled in a major tax evasion scandal.

The price of everything is going up? Can it get worse for the little Hyper President?
Sure,stay tuned because the honey moon is over! France Wants A Divorce!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Jour de Fete

I just had a 4 day mini vacation that was like a dream. It seemed to last longer than 4 days ever could. I had a great Bistro experience in Dijon, a city that fulfilled my fantasies of what a truly French Urban Experience should be.
I will write a little about some of the highlites in the next few days.

On the last day we began to drive back from the Berry Region in Central France where we had visited the Home and the country side of George Sand. I took a very scenic route that brought us through many small towns that were location in her novels.
Suddenly I was coming upon the town of St. Severe and I realized that I had found the location of one of my all time favorite movies, Jour de Fete by the great comedian Jacques Tati.

If you are not familiar with Tati and his work, by all means go out and look for it.
He was comedian who used very little words. He kept "character" all the time. He portrayed the common simple French man who found the modern world too alien and could never change to become part of it. He was brilliant physical comic who portrayed this alien awkwardness with absolute grace. The biggest film he had success with was Mon Oncle which was a hit in the USA in the late 50's. His last film was the almost impossible Playtime. A film which can be only really appreciated after multiple viewings, his gags and sets are so obscure and complex. Again, it is nearly a silent film except for the music and the noise of the city and people. He constructed an entire modern urban environment for his gags. The sets were left up and called Tativille for a few years. The film was so complex that it flopped commercially, but iI have to admit, I've seen it 5 times now and it becomes richer and funnier each time.

Jour de Fete was made in 1947 and the main prop is a bicycle. It is the best bicycle film ever made! Most of the gags revolve around the hapless Marcel the postman who goes through a day of trying to deliver the mail during the village festival.
It is the celebration of a passing age. The modern world is threatening around the corner but hasn't actually made its way to little St. Severe.

The film is sarcastically narrated by an very old bent woman who is accompanied by her goat on a leash. It is a black and white film and in the restored version, there are hints of color. An artist paints a watercolor and you see the drawing become colored. The flags and pennants are in color. A glass of cognac is gleaming yellow, these little dashes of color transform our perception of these ordinary sights into touches of magic.

A plot? The town of St. Severe is waking up, a tractor is hauling a load of parts for the booths and the merry go round to set up in the town square. A little boy sees the merry go round horses and runs after the truck.
Marcel the postman sets out to deliver the mail. During the course of the day he gets quite drunk. People have fun at the fete. There are lots of bicycle stunts. Marcel runs into an annoying fly. He has a flat tire and sees a movie in a tent about the efficient US Postal service. He ends up passing out in a railroad car.
The next day, he tries to deliver the mail "American" style and ends up in the river.
The Merry go Round is packed up and the same little boy at the beginning runs after the merry go round horses on the trailer into the distance.

The film is over 1 and a half hours and has maybe 20 lines of dialogue.
It is one of those films I could watch every year for the rest of my life!
I was so happy to drive and walk around the village and discover the sites of the scenes of the movie and found much that hadn't changed in 60 years.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Back for a little while....

Howdy, I got back last night from my little trip to Dijon and drive through the Berry to visit the land of the writer George Sand. I have a lot of material and I don't know where to begin. In a few hours, I will start sorting through things and I think I know what my first post will be.
I just want to thank all the people who keep coming here and pushing my blog counter up each day! Keep coming back, you won't be disappointed! I did have the best meal in a restaurant since 1986 on Saturday night in Dijon!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Yesterday I ran a picture of the FOX News logo and spoke of how Fox got the exclusive Bin Laden Tape Terror exclusive direct from the White House. FOX is the propaganda voice of the administration. They claim in their motto to be "Fair and Balanced". In fact they are the podium for some of the biggest propagandists and biased liars on the air today. FOX News casting, when it isn't embedded custom padded reportage is a joke.
They are the bottom feeders of the News Services, often recycling old footage and more often just plain getting it wrong. Bottom Line? Trash, propaganda and shoddy misinformation!
Listen, do yourself a favor and watch a real fair and balanced network for your news.
A Station that outclasses BBC World, makes CNN look like a high school audio visual project and gives you news you won't see any where else.
I'm talking about Aljazeera English!
They seem to have picked up the cream of the personell who left BBC after it was declawed by Tony Blair including Sir David Frost. There are Americans on the payroll as well. The graphics are great, the style is hip and urban. The programming is varied and entertaining for a news channel and they truly are fair and unbiased!
The debates and interviews are as scathing and as "devils advocate" as Hard Talk on BBC. Nothing is dumbed down. I have become a real fan since it became available free here in Europe on the Astra 1K satellite.
It is available free in America as well now. If you want to check it out, the coordinates are:
Satellite: 1AS, 97 degrees west orbital, transponder 15, frequency 11999 MHz horizontal, FEC 2/3, Symbol Rate 2000.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Tuesday night...I've been back from Vieux Chevrol for 2 days now. It's been a very long vendenge with a break of 3 days because it was so cold that the grapes stopped ripening! It rained and was miserable at times, but I have to say that I am looking forward to next year already....as soon as my feet stop aching!
After such a long break, the hardest thing about blogging is to start again. I was cut off from all media except for my little radio which picked up BBC World and French FM stations. I tried to listen to the news, but I would usually fall asleep waiting for it to start.
Now I'm catching up and letting the dust settle.
I will have pictures and write a post about this years vendenge very soon. It looks to me that for the Lalande Pomerol, it will be a very good year. Once the grapes ripened, they had nice hard skins and good sugar content. The quantity approached 2004 and the quality was superb, very little rot or mold.
Needless to say, the quantity of fat juice gorged grapes made my job as a porter, tougher. We all worked together as a team and the spirits were high which made the hard work enjoyable!
Catching up with the news is formidable. The demonstrations in Burma and the inability of the world to do anything to help iis mind boggling. I came back to find a petition from moveon.com in my email to the President of China asking for his assistance. From what I gathered the Western Media for the most part stopped talkiing about it as soon as the images and information stopped flowing. From what I have gathered from French TV and Al Jazeera, there was a massacre that has been barely reported in the news.
I also read about the leaked Bin Laden tape by the White House. Aparrantly, the tape was intercepted by an organization secretly tracing communications from Al Qaeda. They covertly got the tape a few days before it was to be released. They sent the information to the White House letting them know. The White House released the tape within hours of recieving it exclusively to FOX News which immediately aired it . The Agency monitoring the Al Qaeda communications said that their link went black almost immediately, effectively blowing 3 years of covert work. I hope that FOX's ratings at least went up a few points over the terror exclusive! PRIORITIES!