Notes on the Margin-Dec 1

Setting the Record Straight on Satire v. Fiction, A Few Notes on my Opt-Out Support Session at DCA & A Few Words on  Ron Paul Supporters-Activists

My last ‘Boiling Frogs Beltway Buzz’ seems to have caused some unexpected reaction. First, it started several e-mails from the media asking whether they could contact my sources on Jefferson-Franklin being placed on the DHS-TSA Watch List, or, whether I’d recorded my interview with John Pistole. I mean serious inquiries people! Next, I was bombarded with hundreds of e-mails from readers asking whether this was a satirical piece or factual, or, expressing outrage over our Founding Fathers being placed on the Terror Watch List. I was truly taken aback. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to sit down and sob!! I even e-mailed a few BFP partners and asked whether I should add an update spelling out the nature of my ‘Boiling Frogs Beltway Buzz’ series; a mixture of hard facts and satirical comments too close to the ugly truths involving the sorry state of our nation’s governance. Finally this: A Personal Appeal from Wikipedia editors and authors:

Sometimes checking sources when reviewing a contribution isn't enough. This one fooled the contributing editor and me:

http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2010/11/22/boiling-frogs-beltway-buzz-dhs-tsa-terror-watch-list-includes-dead-long-dead-us-citizens/ --96.20.108.210 (talk) 22:06, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

It's not a legitimate article, that is the bottom line. Are these articles published by any legitimate publication, or just by her, on her website (hint: that means it's a blog).

This article is unacceptable the same way The Onion shouldn't be used to source news. Now, either you don't see that and really think this is legitimate, or you have a conflict of interest, in which case you should not be editing articles that would be affected by that interest in a manner such as this.

I won't get into the debate over whether her blog is in general an appropriate source for Wikipedia, but that particular post is clearly tongue-in-cheek and should not be used as a source. --GenericBob (talk

I emailed the author, this was her response:

In a message dated 11/27/2010 4:48:44 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, jp_boucher@hotmail.com writes: Is the article on Jefferson and Franklin being on the US terror watch list a satire?

Greetings,

The part on Franklin & Jefferson, and the interview: satire. The rest, including the part with names of US dead people not being removed (updated) from watch lists: is real. --96.20.108.210 (talk) 01:06, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Best, Sibel —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.20.108.210 (talk) 01:04, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

As embarrassing and diminishing the above is, I thought I should share this anyway, my apologies to those I’ve doubted in this matter. Rest assured however that no vandalism was intended. --96.20.108.210 (talk) 01:12, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for that. Sorry if I came across as overly harsh, I just found it hard to believe that anyone could see that 'interview' as anything but satire. E. Fokker (talk) 02:46, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

I am glad all that was straightened out, but still, one minute I’m smiling-even chuckling about it, and the next minute I shake my head in sadness and wonder about all the implications.

The introduction and the part about dead US persons’ names remaining on the list(s) as a result of lack of an updating mechanism and oversight is absolutely factual. I just took it one step further using the fitting national security state rationale: today, many if not all US Founding Fathers would be considered threats to the government and what it pretends to be ‘national security.’ Today those men would be facing FBI National Security Letters, and subjected to all sorts of harassments, including placement on various terror watch lists.  The saddest part: this is our (rightfully so) level of distrust in our current police state rulers, yet, we are still sitting and taking it. Today, if the Franklin-Jefferson points were to be a proven truth, outside some frustrated moaning and remarks we’d be doing nothing; absolutely nothing in terms of any action. And, that’s the part that makes me want to sit and sob.

……………………………………………………………………….

A Brief Field Report from Reagan National Airport on Nov 24 Opt-Out Day

Even though I was not flying, on Wednesday Nov 24 I showed up at Reagan National Airport to help hand out flyers and support those who were there to opt out. I’d contacted Steve Bierfeldt, one of the Opt-Out organizers, and was told to meet at 2:30 to receive flyers and obtain an airport permit. I got there on time, and spent two hours or so walking in circles in my ‘designated’ area between Terminals B & C while handing out 500 or so flyers. Guess who were the people who showed up taking up this task for this DC airport event during my shift? Not the ACLU groups. Not the members of various known NGOs we’ve been hearing from. No. Every single person I saw who participated in this particular Opt Out support & awareness activity was a member of Ron Paul activist groups. Yes. So let me say a few words about this impressive and dedicated group before I provide you with a very brief summary of my firsthand experience:

This was not my first encounter or experience with Ron Paul activists in my region. I had attended a few of their meetings in 2007-2008. In this recent encounter I was again so very impressed by these dedicated, passionate and articulate people; they help revive my sense of long-dimming optimism. They met every single ‘P’ factor in the effective and positive activism recipe book. What do I mean by ‘P’ factors? Here is a list of a few:

Planning: Despite the short time frame the group organized meeting(s) and communication lines for the event.

Prompt: The organizer showed up when he said he was going to show up, so did the group members.

Prepared: They had the material organized and printed out (in sufficient quantities). They had reviewed airport rules, and prepared accordingly.

Professional & Polite: Whether during communication with airport officials or media representatives or the passengers (flyer recipients 😉 every one adhered to a professional and polite protocol; at all times.

I can keep going and add other equally applicable ‘P’ factors such as ‘passionate’ and ‘persistent,’ but I am sure you get the picture; at least my impression(s) of Ron Paul Revolution activists. Those of you who know me well know that I am highly critical with fairly high expectations when it comes to people, groups, organizations, NGOs, etc. Those of you who are semi-familiar with me, by now you must have a pretty good idea as to my nonpartisan stand and my refusal to subscribe to any particular brand. So I hope you realize that I am not writing my genuine impression of this group as either a recruiter, or, an advertiser, or, a favor, or… I am just sharing my experience and observations. In addition, remember the piece I wrote a few months ago on ‘Pretty Words & Same-O-Same-O’?? Okay, I am going to take back a little bit of what I wrote there:

The problem is, at least to me, that almost the entire membership of our current irate minority has assumed one title, and one title only: educators. Activism has been narrowed and reduced to one line of activity – producing words: writing-blogs, alternative means of communication, and, talking. Words, words, many words; pretty words, good words, big words, intellectually enriched words, academically induced words, mumbo words, jumbo words…words words everywhere.

Okay, back to me being tired; make it exhausted. I am surrounded with good friends and acquaintances who have been talking and writing, and of course, reading and listening to other comrade talkers and writers. Most of them are great people, and I like them. A few of them are less likable due to their own doings – disposition-intellectual snubs – but nonetheless, they mostly make sense in their writing-talking presentations. So I’ve been reading their work, one after another, and, I’ve been listening to them. I find many of their analyses, whether on civil liberties or foreign policy or whatever, to be sound, right on target, or at least interesting and worth considering. But every time I am exposed to their audience-readers, I keep seeing the same people: the already-knowledgeable vigilant small group of sods – which includes colleagues who also write-speak similar words. And, that circle of audience ain’t growing. Neither is the dynamic moving towards, getting translated to any action, or anything even resembling any action. And, we are where we are; in a place worse than it was a year ago, and far worse than where it was three years before that.

I am taking a little bit of those statements back, because these people, at least the Ron Paul activists I have observed, are doing more than talk-talk-talk or write-write-write or blog-blog-blog. They’ve been working hard and have been consistent and persistent. I applaud them, more importantly, I do support many of their novel causes and related activities when it comes to civil liberties and to a certain degree foreign policy objectives.

Now, the short bit about my experience at DCA, starting with the depressing aspect:

Give or take a few I provided 500 flyers to 500 or so people. Many quickly discarded the flyers while guiltily looking around for all those uniformed TSA bystanders who interestingly congregated around those who were handing out flyers. I’d say at least 15 people openly accused me of either being a terrorist myself, or, supporting the terrorists. To quote a few:
 

‘You people are terrorists!’

‘Shame on you…shame on you for supporting and helping terrorists’

‘Do you realize you are helping those terrorists out there by doing this?!’

‘Shame on you!’

Only two individuals stopped by to provide positive feedback; to say ‘Right on! Thank you for doing this,’ and ‘please keep it up.’

Now you have to understand this is Washington DC we are talking about. Just remember the millions who are either working for the Federal government or as their contractors; okay? Easier said than done, ey?! I was a bit depressed (to put it mildly), but then, then came the positive part(s). Based on what I read afterwards the number of air travelers for TG Day showed a fairly substantial decline. I had noticed the lack of chaos and incredibly light traffic at DCA, but had no way of establishing any conclusion based on my few hours’ worth of observation. I guess this was a way for some Americans to join our Opt Out; they chose not to fly- a very good choice, indeed.

# # # #

Note- Many of you have been asking me about the recent Wikileaks points, especially those on Turkey. I’ve been reading; reading a lot and going over as many documents as I can. So far I have not seen anything worth analyzing or talking about. I think it is too soon. They haven’t released most of these communications…so let’s wait and see what transpires.  Sibel

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Comments

  1. Lack of critical thinking. Not that I am perfect. I recently read a post by Ishmael too quickly and missed an important point. Still it is scary that brainwashing is happening all too quickly. I hope those feeding Wikileaks are being evaluated. It is interesting to me that the second largest file is Turkey, and very little is being said about that.

  2. That’s funny about the Wikipedia people. I know we all have to dig through the bs to get to the truth nowadays. It is a sad state of affairs.

    Here in Arizona there were just a handful of protesters on opt out day. The MSM interviewed the most radical and crazy looking, keeping their regular spin on who actually opposes this type of treatment.

    Ron Paul supporters are definitely well organized. I do support the bulk of what he stands for. I sure prefer him over his son.

    I think the fastest growing protest movement right now is the 9-11 truth movement. There are some very influential people in it and it is beginning to get MSM coverage. Of course, along with that are the lunatic fringe. They are the ones that are derailing the truth, and the ones the media wants to dote on. I guess every group has them. Plus the infiltrators. You really have to be careful who you associate with or what information you provide in some circles.

    As far as Wikileaks, I tend to agree with Gordon Duff in that they are an Israeli backed source. I mean really. Do you think in this day and age we can’t find Julian Assange? Right. And with all the attrocities that Israel has committed, none are among all these classified leaks. They have not put out anything that could not be found in other sources already. I think they are meant to derail.

    Exciting days indeed!

  3. Testing… I tried commenting earlier and had composed quite a long one. When I hit submit it went into cyberspace. So let me see if this posts.

  4. Hi Sibel,

    I had the same reaction at one protest I went to. Why it’s increasing, I don’t know.

    As for Wikileaks, notice how the number of MSM publications is increasing their support for them. At first, they’re pissed off that Assange and Wikileaks are getting free global publicity for doing their job. Now, they’re joining forces with them. Which makes an nice tradeoff. They tap into the hype and sell more copies. Assange gets more coverage (and possibly more donations).

    One question that’s not being asked. If Assange is arrested and extradited, who’s going to pay his legal bills? If millions in the States do it, this opens up lots of issues:

    By donating to his legal defense fund, are donors supporting a “terrorist” organization?
    Will they then be subject to arrest?
    If someone’s employer finds out that they donated, will they get fired? Many states have the “the employer can fire you at any time for any reason” law.
    Can you name one time the U.K. stood up to the States recently (the Iraq war, Mckinnon’s extradition and more)?

    In one sense, it seems ironic that millions seem to be saying, Wikileaks, please take care of these evil people at the top. I have to go home now and cook dinner. While that’s true, isn’t this outsourcing protest? Millions bitch about jobs going overseas. But when it comes to taking responsibility for your own country’s govt., let some Aussie guy do it for you?

    I don’t get it.

  5. Here’s a thought about the 9/11 movement.

    Why do so many progressives say it’s a “conspiracy theory”? While it may appear they’re trying to be polite, objective and more, what are they really saying?

    Read between the lines. What they’re really saying is, we don’t want to be labelled as a 9/11 nutcase or “The 9/11 Network”.

    Example: Amy Goodman. She and others at Pacifica know that there’s evidence from more than one reputable source that the official story doesn’t work. Yet, they continue to avoid it. Why? Because she’s running a network. Which means the last thing they need is to be labelled “The 9/11 Ntwork”. If that happens, their credibility and possibly funding is gone.

    Even Noam Chomsky (who I greatly respect) says it’s impossible to maintain a plot and coverup of that size. How the does he explain the govt. not releasing the JFK files until 2046? How does he explain the large number of witnesses who died under “mysterious circumstances”? To a point, understandably he has a global image to maintain. That’s what he’s doing.

    Instead of actually getting answers to JFK’s murder, now it’s make all the money you can make off it. Vincent Bugliosi writes a book (Oswald alone did it) and Tom Hanks options it for a film. Thom Hartmann and a buddy write another book (it was a plot), and Leo Di Caprio options it for a film. Hartmann then treats it as a “news story” on his RT program (when it’s actually an infomercial and just lousy jourmalism IMO). Now, which “expert” is right?

    Bakc to 9/11. Ifyou say that there’s no story there when you know there are legitimate questions, isn’t that kind of insulting to the families and others who lost people in that? It did happen, but I can’t be bothered to deal with it. So just go away? I wonder how Amy Goodman and these others sleep at night with an attitude like that?

  6. theepitbull says:

    Sibel

    Re:

    ‘You people are terrorists!’

    ‘Shame on you…shame on you for supporting and helping terrorists’

    ‘Do you realize you are helping those terrorists out there by doing this?!’

    ‘Shame on you!’

    The good news is ‘WE’ know who are the real terrorist!

    The bad news is ‘WE’ know who are the real terrorist!

    Never feel sad about ‘other’s stupidity!

    Stay good and kind to yourself!

    (((3)) 😉

  7. theepitbull says:

    BTY

    Example of ‘who’ are the real terrorist:

    Cable reveals US behind airstrike that killed 21 children in Yemen

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/cable-reveals-airstrike-killed-21-children-yemen/

    A diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks shows that the US military covered up the killing of dozens of civilians during a cruise missile strike in south Yemen in December 2009.

    The secret cable from January 2010 corroborated images released earlier this year by Amnesty International, implicating the US in the use of cluster bombs. The cable was sent by Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh to US General David Petraeus, saying his government would “continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours.”

    Read it Raw: WikiLeaks.org domain taken down, DNS host cites ‘mass attacks’

    According to the cable, this prompted Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister Rashad al-Alimi “to joke that he had just ‘lied’ by telling Parliament that the bombs in Arhab, Abyan, and Shebwa were American-made but deployed by the ROYG [Republic of Yemen Government].”

    “The cable appears to confirm Amnesty International’s finding that the Abyan strike was carried out by the US military, not Yemeni government forces,” Philip Luther, a Deputy Director for Amnesty International, said.

    (((3)) 🙂

  8. theepitbull says:

    To the perps that hide behind “National Security” theater and kill women and children:

    ‘You people are terrorists!’

    ‘Shame on you…shame on you for supporting and helping terrorists’

    ‘Do you realize you are helping those terrorists out there by doing this?!’

    ‘Shame on you!’

    (((3)) 😉

  9. yoshi,

    I agree with you regarding the 9-11 deniers. I think I recently saw Noam Chomsky admit that there are issues with the official story, though. Many of these people would be committing political suicide by siding with the “truthers”. That has been proven time and again. The media’s message is well censored. I think it will take forcing the issue from the public. That, if we can get them off their duffs to do something about it. Many, as you say, tend to just want to profit from it. Morals are adrift and that is easy to justify today. Few are willing to defend things to the death. If we don’t band together, they just pick us off one by one.

    Right now I have less than zero financial resources. My only strength is spiritual, so I fight evil as I confront it. Unfortunately, much evil comes from those claiming to be doers of good and promoters of the gospel. The battle is intense when the enemy looks like the ally. I pray more will wake from their slumber.

  10. I wanted to post this link to Julian Assange’s essays on the nature of Conspiracies in and out of government here:

    http://cryptome.org/0002/ja-conspiracies.pdf

    For me, I’m reminded of this old Mose Allison tune, so deftly covered by Diana Krall. Stop This World:

  11. You have the governments conspiracy of 19 hijackers then you have the conspiracy of it being an inside job. Who has proof, solid proof of their story? Google: Newton vs NIST Then pass it around to the conspiracy nuts, your choice.

    Latr

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  12. cinderman says:

    Sibel… as myself being a journalist of 40 years, I think anyone should preface their work as satire or make it absolutely obvious from the get-go. I was gullible enough to be fooled, and so were many others. David Swanson pulled the same stunt on op/ed news a couple years ago – and that was the last time I read ANY of his work. Now I put you in the same category. You lost major points in my book. As a result I may not return to boiling frogs, knowing that I have to spend time deciphering real journalism from fakery. I was even foolish enough to send your article to other writers – and was immediately embarrassed by wiser folks than I. My problem is that I’m just too damn trusting when I admire someone. Once that trust is broken down, there’s no going back. Sorry.

  13. Hello Sibel
    As far as the satire, it might have been a good idea to post as satire, but after reading it, I went on the assumption that it was satire, and got a chuckle, and it was truly educational, because if the 2 gentlemen were indeed still around, they would be on that list. No doubt in my mind.
    And thanks for the kind words for Ron Paul supporters. I was one of those during the 2008 cycle, who were doing his best to enlighten the people on his views. Difficult task indeed. Glad to see, at least on the economic front, he was spot on.
    I’m sure we have our disagreements on the economic issues, but he in fact, would have foster that debate on how best to care for those in need by closing down the empire, bringing the troops home, and changing the foreign policy. The money saved would have foster that debate, and reasonable people will disagree, but imagine for the first time in my lifetime, the debate would have taken place. That would have been a joyous occasion. Guess we will have to wait, but in time, it will come. Bankruptcy will bring us to that. I would have preferred not to go down that path, but the neocons are insuring that it will happen.

  14. I don’t think it’s appropriate to mix satire with biting political critique without noting this.

    Nothing wrong with satire! But when your reputation is not a satirists some people will be confused. Not a smart move. Do better next time.

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