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Kid Berwyn

Kid Berwyn's Journal
Kid Berwyn's Journal
July 1, 2021

Godspeed, Mary Wallace "Wally" Funk!

From Encyclopedia Astronautica:

Mercury 13 Astronaut Training Group selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Allison, Cagle, Myrtle, Cobb, Dietrich, Dietrich, Marion, Funk, Gorelick, Hart, Jane, Hixson, Leverton, Steadman, Stumough, Truhill.

Qualifications: Qualified jet pilot with minimum 1,500 flight-hours/10 years experience, bachelor's degree or equivalent, under 40 years old, under 180 cm height, excellent physical condition.. Randolph Lovelace was director of the clinic where the Mercury astronauts had undergone their physical examinations. He and Jacqueline Cochran, the first American woman to break the sound barrier, wanted to prove that women were equally qualified to be astronauts. In early 1961 they arranged for 20 highly qualified female pilots to take the same physical tests undergone by the Mercury astronauts. Thirteen passed the tests, but NASA maintained its position that astronauts had to be qualified test pilots (all of whom were white males). One of the thirteen was the wife of a US Senator, and some congressional hearings were arranged. Despite the publicity NASA was still unwilling to place them in the official NASA training program.

Oddly enough, the selection of these women may have resulted in the first woman going into space after all. In May 1962 a Soviet delegation, including cosmonaut Gherman Titov and cosmonaut commander Nikolai Kamanin, visited Washington. Kamanin had been pushing for the flight of a Soviet woman into space since October 1961, and five Soviet female cosmonauts had just reported for training a month earlier. However the flight of a woman in space had little support from Chief Designer Korolev or Kamanin's military commanders. On May 3 Kamanin and Titov were invited to a barbecue at the home of astronaut John Glenn. Glenn, already politically-connected, was an enthusiastic supporter of the 'Lovelace 13'. Kamanin understood from Glenn that the first American woman would make a three-orbit Mercury flight by the end of 1962. Armed with the threat that 'the Americans will beat us', Kamanin was able to obtain a decision to go ahead with the first flight of a Soviet woman within weeks of his return. The Russians were obsessed with being first in space -- and even though NASA's female cosmonauts never materialised, Valentina Tereshkova of the Soviet Union became the first woman in space on June 16, 1963.


Truly great news!
June 30, 2021

Billionaire GOP donor is funding South Dakota National Guard border deployment

Willis Johnson doesn’t live in the state but says he backs Gov. Kristi Noem, a potential presidential candidate who has called migration a “national security crisis.”

by Daniel Lippmann
Politico, June 29, 2021

A wealthy Republican donor says he is funding up to 50 South Dakota National Guard troops whom Gov. Kristi Noem is sending to the U.S.-Mexico border.

“I’m trying to help out the governor and help America,” said Willis Johnson, the billionaire founder and chairman of a global company called Copart Inc., which auctions used, wholesale and wrecked cars.

Johnson, a Vietnam veteran who doesn’t live in South Dakota but rather in Tennessee, told POLITICO in a brief interview that he met the governor at a political fundraiser “a while back.”


According to FEC records, he has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republicans in recent years, including Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Noem’s spokesperson Ian Fury said the Willis and Reba Johnson’s Foundation was providing the financial support for the troops, but declined to give a dollar amount for security reasons.



Nothing like hate of others to get people’s minds off Trickle Down economics. And everything else, like treason.
June 30, 2021

Thanks for the 'toons, Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin!

Can’t put my appreciation in words, so I turn to the late, great B. Kliban…

June 29, 2021

Amazing Light

Astronomers have captured the movement of the expanding remains of an exploded star. Chandra data taken over 14 years show a blast wave and debris moving away from the site of the explosion. The graphics present the entire hand-shaped nebula observed by Chandra, which was produced by the pulsar left behind after the explosion. The close-ups highlight movement in the explosion’s blast wave in a region located near one of the “fingertips”. The fixed squares enclose clumps of magnesium and neon that likely formed in the star before it exploded and shot into space once the star blew up. Astronomers estimate that it has slowed down from the initial explosion after striking a neighboring gas cloud, but is still moving at nearly 9 million miles per hour. Credit: Credit: NASA/SAO/NCSU/Borkowski et al.

Thanks for a great OP, SheltieLover!

Sci Tech Daily — https://scitechdaily.com/astronomers-capture-cosmic-hand-hitting-a-wall-watch-blast-wave-moving-at-9-million-mph/amp/
June 26, 2021

History from Alfred McCoy and Christopher Simpson

Surveillance Blowback: The Making of the U.S. Surveillance State, 1898-2020

For well over a century, what might be called ‘surveillance blowback’ from America’s wars has ensured the creation of an ever more massive and omnipresent internal security and surveillance apparatus. Its future (though not ours) looks bright indeed.

By Alfred W. McCoy
July 15, 2013 by TomDispatch.com

The American surveillance state is now an omnipresent reality, but its deep history is little known and its future little grasped. Edward Snowden’s leaked documents reveal that, in a post-9/11 state of war, the National Security Agency (NSA) was able to create a surveillance system that could secretly monitor the private communications of almost every American in the name of fighting foreign terrorists. The technology used is state of the art; the impulse, it turns out, is nothing new. For well over a century, what might be called “surveillance blowback” from America’s wars has ensured the creation of an ever more massive and omnipresent internal security and surveillance apparatus. Its future (though not ours) looks bright indeed.

In 1898, Washington occupied the Philippines and in the years that followed pacified its rebellious people, in part by fashioning the world’s first full-scale ‘surveillance state’ in a colonial land. The illiberal lessons learned there then migrated homeward, providing the basis for constructing America’s earliest internal security and surveillance apparatus during World War I. A half-century later, as protests mounted during the Vietnam War, the FBI, building on the foundations of that old security structure, launched large-scale illegal counterintelligence operations to harass antiwar activists, while President Richard Nixon’s White House created its own surveillance apparatus to target its domestic enemies.

In the aftermath of those wars, however, reformers pushed back against secret surveillance. Republican privacy advocates abolished much of President Woodrow Wilson’s security apparatus during the 1920s, and Democratic liberals in Congress created the FISA courts in the 1970s in an attempt to prevent any recurrence of President Nixon’s illegal domestic wiretapping.

Today, as Washington withdraws troops from the Greater Middle East, a sophisticated intelligence apparatus built for the pacification of Afghanistan and Iraq has come home to help create a twenty-first century surveillance state of unprecedented scope. But the past pattern that once checked the rise of a US surveillance state seems to be breaking down.

Despite talk about ending the war on terror one day, President Obama has left the historic pattern of partisan reforms far behind. In what has become a permanent state of ‘wartime’ at home, the Obama administration is building upon the surveillance systems created in the Bush years to maintain US global dominion in peace or war through a strategic, ever-widening edge in information control. The White House shows no sign - nor does Congress - of cutting back on construction of a powerful, global Panopticon that can surveil domestic dissidents, track terrorists, manipulate allied nations, monitor rival powers, counter hostile cyber strikes, launch preemptive cyberattacks, and protect domestic communications.

Writing for TomDispatch four years ago during Obama’s first months in office, I suggested that the War on Terror has “proven remarkably effective in building a technological template that could be just a few tweaks away from creating a domestic surveillance state - with omnipresent cameras, deep data-mining, nano-second biometric identification, and drone aircraft patrolling ‘the homeland.’"

That prediction has become our present reality - and with stunning speed. Americans now live under the Argus-eyed gaze of a digital surveillance state, while increasing numbers of surveillance drones fill American skies. In addition, the NSA’s net now reaches far beyond our borders, sweeping up the personal messages of many millions of people worldwide and penetrating the confidential official communications of at least 30 allied nations. The past has indeed proven prologue. The future is now.



Doesn’t matter if Reagan was a high functioning vegetable, Poppy Bush helped speed the process.

George Bush Takes Charge: The Uses of ‘Counter-Terrorism’

By Christopher Simpson
Covert Action Quarterly 58

A paper trail of declassified documents from the Reagan‑Bush era yields valuable information on how counter‑terrorism provided a powerful mechanism for solidifying Bush's power base and launching a broad range of national security initiatives.

During the Reagan years, George Bush used "crisis management" and "counter‑terrorism" as vehicles for running key parts of the clandestine side of the US government.

Bush proved especially adept at plausible denial. Some measure of his skill in avoiding responsibility can be taken from the fact that even after the Iran‑Contra affair blew the Reagan administration apart, Bush went on to become the "foreign policy president," while CIA Director William Casey, by then conveniently dead, took most of the blame for a number of covert foreign policy debacles that Bush had set in motion.

The trail of National Security Decision Directives (NSDDS) left by the Reagan administration begins to tell the story. True, much remains classified, and still more was never committed to paper in the first place. Even so, the main picture is clear: [font size="5"][font color="green"]As vice president, George Bush was at the center of secret wars, political murders, and America's convoluted oil politics in the Middle East.[/font color][/font size]


Reagan and the NSC also used NSDDs to settle conflicts among security agencies over bureaucratic turf and lines of command. It is through that prism that we see the first glimmers of Vice President Bush's role in clandestine operations during the 1980s.



The Reagan administration's commitment to significantly expand covert operations had been clear since before the 1980 election. How such operations were actually to be managed from day to day, however, was considerably less certain. The management problem became particularly knotty owing to legal requirements to notify congressional intelligence oversight committees of covert operations, on the one hand, and the tacitly accepted presidential mandate to deceive those same committees concerning sensitive operations such as the Contra war in Nicaragua, on the other.

The solution attempted in NSDD 159 was to establish a small coordinating committee headed by Vice President George Bush through which all information concerning US covert operations was to be funneled. The order also established a category of top secret information known as Veil, to be used exclusively for managing records pertaining to covert operations.

The system was designed to keep circulation of written records to an absolute minimum while at the same time ensuring that the vice president retained the ability to coordinate US covert operations with the administration's overt diplomacy and propaganda.

Only eight copies of NSDD 159 were created. The existence of the vice president's committee was itself highly classified. The directive became public as a result of the criminal prosecutions of Oliver North, John Poindexter, and others involved in the Iran‑Contra affair, hence the designation "Exhibit A" running up the left side of the document.


CovertAction Quarterly no 58 Fall 1996 pp31-40.

Piratized intel services for privatized profiteering.
June 26, 2021

Erik Prince linked to undercover scheme to infiltrate Democratic party organizations

Seems some rich people will do anything to keep from paying their fair share of taxes.

Erik Prince linked to long-running undercover scheme to infiltrate Democratic party organizations

The group, funded by a Gore-Tex heiress, also targeted moderate Republican officials like Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon

Salon.com, JUNE 25, 2021

A former British spy and Republican mega-donor Erik Prince, a founder of the private military contractor Blackwater (now rebranded as "Academi) and brother to former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, recruited a motley crew of home-grown American operatives from the conservative group Project Veritas and elsewhere to lead an initiative to infiltrate state-level Democratic party organizations and campaigns, according to a new report.

Prince, alongside the ex-MI6 officer he recruited to head the project, Richard Seddon, also targeted moderate Republican officials and those deemed as insufficiently dedicated to the hardline right-wing agenda favored by former President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported Friday.

The duo were bankrolled by the longtime conservative donor and heiress to the Gore-Tex fortune, Susan Gore, and trained their operatives on a remote Wyoming ranch in areas like the "basics of espionage" and "political sabotage," according to the newspaper.

It remains unclear what level of success they were able to accomplish, though the Times notes Seddon and Prince placed two spies — Beau Maier, the nephew of conservative commentator Glenn Beck, and Sofia LaRocca, deep into Democratic political organizations in Wyoming, Arizona, and Colorado.


Maier and LaRocca were also able to install themselves within the Wyoming-based progressive organization, Better Wyoming, which only discovered the plot months later, after they had been well integrated into Better Wyoming operations. Nate Martin, the group's head, told the Times he suspected the idea was to "dig up this information and you sit on it until you really can destroy somebody."



Privatized wetwork spells treason.

June 17, 2021

Never let the truth stand in the way of white supremacy.

In WW2, Texas treated NAZI POWs better than its own Black residents.


June 15, 2021

Billionaires hate paying taxes. Ask Putin, Moscow Mitch.

McConnell and the Russians: Setting the record straight

Forward KY
October 21, 2020 by Marshall Ward


Russian money and McConnell actions

Russian oligarchs have been putting money into Republicans, and specifically McConnell, for years.

In the 2016 election cycle and beyond, Oleg Deripaska had his companies contribute over $6.3 million to U.S. campaigns, with $2.5 million of that going to McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund.

In 2017, Len Blavatnik, a Ukrainian businessman and a partner of Deripaska, donated another $1 million to the McConnell fund.

Interestingly, in April 2018, the Trump administration announced sanctions on multiple Russian oligarchs and their companies, including Deripaska and his aluminum company Rusal, the second largest aluminum company in the world. The sanctions were in response to Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Deripaska is known to be closely allied with the Kremlin, and his name has come up in emails turned over to the Mueller investigation.

Then, in December 2018, the administration agreed to lift the sanctions on Deripaska’s companies in exchange for him giving up majority ownership.

Democrats in Congress mounted an effort to keep the sanctions in place, saying the sanctions were justified due to the 2016 election meddling.

But about a month later, in January 2019, McConnell led Senate Republicans to block the Democratic effort. The sanctions on Deripaska’s companies were removed, and those companies could then do business in the United States.

And once the sanctions were lifted, Deripaska’s company, Rusal, promised an investment of $200 million in a start-up aluminum plant. Where? In McConnell’s home state of Kentucky.

The Mueller Report and the Senate Intelligence report showed the normal chain of command was Putin to Deripaska to Kilimnik (a Russian operative under indictment) to the Trump campaign minions, many of whom are now in jail.



THIS is why Drumpf spied on “leakers.” Crooks hate it when the truth comes out.
June 13, 2021

The long version (the details)...

Bill Barr: "Racist. Bully. Fascist."

From someone who’s known the AG since high school...

Victim of Bill Barr’s bullying slams ‘sociopathic’ attorney general as ‘lifelong racist and fascist’

by Brad Reed
Raw Story, June 15, 2020


After Barr was nominated by George H.W. Bush to be attorney general in 1991, Lohman said he felt a jolt of post-traumatic stress.

“Could it be,” he wondered, “that the sociopath from my childhood is really about to become the highest legal official in the land?”

Lohman compiled his evidence of Barr’s violent harassment, which he said escalated at Columbia, for a column published for the tiny Florida Flambeau — and that decades-old piece goes viral periodically whenever he flashes “fascist” tendencies as President Donald Trump’s attorney general.

“The amazing thing about the 1991 column – and the reason it has garnered so much attention and interest – is that long before Barr’s current era of dastardliness,” Lohman wrote, “I totally nailed him for what he is today, although he’s taken it to extremes far beyond my wildest imagination: a racist, a bully, and a fascist.”


“Barr has emerged as one of the truly evil figures of our day,” Lohman wrote. “I have hesitated even to air my childhood grievances with him because they are so trivial and petty compared to the destruction he has wreaked on the vital institutions that sustain our democratic way of life. It started Day One on the job when he squelched the evidence that would bring down a criminal and lawless president. And it peaked last week when he saw fit to sic the might of the American military on a peaceful citizenry whose only offense was to demand an end to racism.”



He has no clue Barr works for a higher power.

Bill Barr: The “Cover-Up General”

“At the center of the criticism is the chief artic­ulator of Bush’s imperial presidency,” we reported in 1992, “the man who wrote the legal rationale for the Gulf War, the Panama invasion, and the officially sanctioned kidnapping of foreign nationals abroad.”



It was 21 years ago, in 1971, that I first encountered William Barr. Both of us were working for the CIA at the time, he as a novice China analyst, I as a member of the agency’s Vietnam task force. Jovial and un­assuming, he took his cues easily from an overly politicized office chief. It was a to­ken of things to come.

Three years before, we had brushed shoulders unknowingly on Columbia Uni­versity’s roiling campus. Both of us were on the other side of the barricades as antiwar demonstrations there blasted our genera­tion into a decade of rage. Barr, a conserva­tive student spokesman, preached tough­ness to the university administration, of which his father, then dean of the engineer­ing faculty, was a leading light. Years later, this same damn-the-torpedoes zeal would commend Barr to his ultimate father figure, George Bush. When Cuban refugees penned up at an Alabama prison rioted and took hostages in the summer of 1991, depu­ty attorney general Barr ordered the place stormed. Soon afterward, Bush tapped him for the attorney general slot itself.

Barr first met Bush in the CIA. In 1976, having shifted to the agency’s legislative office, he helped write the pap sheets that director Bush used to fend off the Pike and Church committees, the first real embodiments of Congressional oversight of the CIA. Intimates say the experience was for­mative for Barr, turning him into an impla­cable enemy of congressional intrusions on executive prerogative.

“The most radical period I had probably was when I was sort of a moderate Republi­can,” he later acknowledged. Sure enough, Barr stayed safe within conservative clutch­es even after leaving the agency in 1977. Armed with a night-school law diploma, he asked for — and got — Bush’s backing for a clerkship appointment to Malcolm Wilkey of the Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. Years later, as attorney general, Barr would name Wilkey to investigate the House Banking scandal. Wilkey repayed the favor with a wrenchingly partisan in­quiry. Feeding the press overheated charges of wrongdoing, he scored points off the Democratic Congress just as the adminis­tration itself was being pilloried for its failed economics.



So, who’s zooming who, Putin?

Stark Contrasts Between the Mueller Report and Attorney General Barr’s Summary

The actual text of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report tells a very different story than what was in summaries produced by Attorney General William Barr in letters to Congress and in a press conference prior to the report’s release. A comparison of the report and Barr’s statements shows that Barr downplayed Mueller’s findings about Russian contacts with Trump campaign associates as well as the damning evidence of the president’s obstruction of justice that Mueller assembled. Following are examples of this gap.


2. How to Interpret the Evidence of President Trump’s Obstruction of Justice

Special Counsel Report: The report presents facts regarding eleven episodes of potentially obstructive conduct and analyzes whether, in each case, the facts established the three legal elements of an obstruction charge: (1) an obstructive act; (2) nexus to a pending or contemplated official proceeding; and (3) corrupt intent. (Special Counsel Report, Vol. 2, p. 15) In many instances, the report details substantial evidence that each of these elements were established. (Id., Vol. 2, §§ II.B, II.D, II.E, II.F, II.H, II.I, II.J, II.K.) In addition, the report emphasizes that “it is important to view the President’s pattern of conduct as a whole” including “multiple acts by the President that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the Russian-interference and obstruction investigations.” (Id. p. 157)

Barr Statements: Barr’s summary gave the impression that Mueller equivocated on obstruction by laying out the evidence on “both sides of the question.” Barr then went on to present his view that “the report identifies no actions that . . . constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department's principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense.” (Barr Letter, p. 3)

Source: https://www.acslaw.org/projects/the-presidential-investigation-education-project/other-resources/stark-contrasts-between-the-mueller-report-and-attorney-general-barrs-summary/

First tied to Jeffrey Epstein through father.

Donald Barr: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

1. Epstein Had Taken Classes But Ultimately Dropped Out of Two Prestigious New York Universities. Donald Barr Hired Him to Teach at the Famous Prep School

Don't forget: Barr's father hired Epstein at the Dalton School despite the fact that he had no teaching experience, where he made the connections that made him a rich man. Must not have been lost on Epstein that the Barrs had shaped his whole life. https://t.co/TEFSUZlKJN

— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) August 10, 2019

There’s more. Of course.

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Member since: Mon May 6, 2019, 08:01 PM
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About Kid Berwyn

I am the DUer who once posted as Octafish. Ask me about the BFEE.
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