From a friend in Oregon:

Late last Friday evening (12/ 23/05) I ordered two books from Your own Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney’s New World Order, and Justin A. Franks’ Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President.

The following Monday morning (12/26/05) I received an e-mail from asking me if I would like to purchase evidence of my intention to commit a federal crime. The e-mail said, “Dear Customer, We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased Gardener’s Latin: A Lexicon by Bill Neal also purchased books by S. T. Oner. For this reason, you might like to know that S. T. Oner’s [i.e., Stoner’s, isn’t that cute?] Marijuana Outdoor Grower’s Guide will be released in paperback soon. You can pre-order your copy at a savings of 32% by following the link below.”

I find it a real stretch that the marketing geniuses at believe that people who want to know the meaning of the Latin terms found on nursery tags and in gardening catalogs will likely want to manufacture a controlled substance classified as a Schedule I drug! lists one other book authored by S. T. Oner, and that is The Marijuana Chef’s Cookbook. That’s the only book by S. T. Oner that customer’s who bought Gardener’s Latin could have purchased. But, on Amazon’s page for Gardener’s Latin, where it says “Customers who bought this book also bought…” there is a list of books on plant identification and terminology, but none on cooking with pot.

So what is the connection that’s marketing department perceives between botanical taxonomy and pot brownies, or the manufacture of a controlled substance? There is none that I can think of. (Unless they’re thinking that it must be pot-heads who are buying Bill Neal’s book just to find out what the heck Cannabis sativa means.)

My guess is that that’s thoughtful offer is much more related to my interest in knowing about our President’s mental illnesses and his plans for world domination, than to my interest in knowing the meaning of the botanical names of the garden plants I buy.

Since we know that the intelligence agencies are snooping to see who is reading what, this bizarre offer from makes me wonder if the intelligence agencies are also getting booksellers to offer self-incriminating evidence to people who read “forbidden” books. The purchase of a book on how to commit a federal crime can be used in court as evidence of intent to commit that crime. It also tips off the authorities to possible illegal behavior, and in the Age of Bushlaw, it might even be sufficient evidence for the issuance of a search warrant — if anyone still thinks those are necessary.

I curious to know if other people who buy your books get similar off-the-wall offers.

R. Fischer
Bandon, Oregon

No Comments to “Is Amazon colluding with Bush/Cheney?”

  • Haha…yeah, this topic has come up here before. A bro-in law of mine ordered “Fooled Again” from them as a Christmas gift for me, and they jerked his order around and the book arrived late/separate from other items he ordered. And yes, the book was ordered from Amazon, and not a third party seller via Amazon.

    I’ve encountered strange review incidents with them before. In fact, a recent one submitted for the latest cd/dvd of the staunchly anti-Bush heavy metal band, The Hidden Hand, flat out disappeared shortly after it had posted!

    I’m guessing because I included that I had to order it from “Stoner Rock,” as it was a limited run item – so it can work either way; repugs love to be able to smear a “lefty” who isn’t secretive over seeing pot as a benign plant, given to us by god/mother earth, however you care to label it [“See, that’s why liberals think that way…they’re all on DRUGS!!!”], haha – yet at the same time, more prominant, lefty types [translation = “moderate” = kissing the Right’s butt] absolutely cringe over and loath progressives like myself for what they see as damaging their precious image. Again, see “moderate;” Rightist-ass-kissers. That’s why so many of em gloat over Clinton–because the policies of his time/admin were hardly liberal or progressive.

    Cause let’s face it, if you want to compare numbers of people abused/killed/imprisoned due to the fascist, hypocritical “war on drug” vs the equally flimsy and suspect “war on terror,” …ya follow me? If you can’t see that it’s all part of the same broad, New World Order/National Security State strategy, then you’re not awake, and need your peepers checked.

    Anyhow, I constantly get these creepy “Be My Amazon Friend” invite emails from them, wanting me to click linkies and such. At one point I contacted their customer service dept. about it, but they just jerk you around and won’t answer anything of course. One email even claimed to be tied in to our bank…Amazon offered no credible explanation.

    Hence, Amazon has become my little cyber spook experiment. I rarely ever order through them after finding out they *do* contribute to the repug party, and that’s why I continue to submit reviews there for items that expose their party’s doings. Realizing how many conservative email groups deluge “liberal” reviews with there negative ratings, I like to really lay it when I review something. Not only is it fun to fly that flag in the face of mass stupidity during such times, I actually see it as crucial for as many to do as is possible.


    NSA just one of many federal agencies spying on Americans

    Capitol Hill Blue/DOUG THOMPSON | December 28 2005

    Spying on Americans by the super-secret National Security Agency is not only more widespread than President George W. Bush admits but is part of a concentrated, government-wide effort to gather and catalog information on U.S. citizens, sources close to the administration say.

    Besides the NSA, the Pentagon, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security and dozens of private contractors are spying on millions of Americans 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

    “It’s a total effort to build dossiers on as many Americans as possible,” says a former NSA agent who quit in disgust over use of the agency to spy on Americans. “We’re no longer in the business of tracking our enemies. We’re spying on everyday Americans.”

    “It’s really obvious to me that it’s a look-at-everything type program,” says cryptology expert Bruce Schneier.

    Schneier says he suspects that the NSA is turning its massive spy satellites inward on the United States and intentionally gathering vast streams of raw data from many more people than disclosed to date — potentially including all e-mails and phone calls within the United States.
    But the NSA spying is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Although supposedly killed by Congress more than 18 months ago, the Defense Advance Project Research Agency’s Terrorist Information Awareness (TIA) system, formerly called the “Total Information Awareness” program, is alive and well and collecting data in real time on Americans at a computer center located at 3801 Fairfax Drive in Arlington, Virginia.

    The system, set up by retired admiral John Poindexter, once convicted of lying to Congress in the Iran-Contra scandal, compiles financial, travel and other data on the day-to-day activities of Americans and then runs that data through a computer model to look for patterns that the agency deems “terrorist-related behavior.”

    Poindexter admits the program was quietly moved into the Pentagon’s “black bag” program where it does escapes Congressional oversight.

    “TIA builds a profile of every American who travels, has a bank account, uses credit cards and has a credit record,” says security expert Allen Banks. “The profile establishes norms based on the person’s spending and travel habits. Then the system looks for patterns that break from the norms, such of purchases of materials that are considered likely for terrorist activity, travel to specific areas or a change in spending habits.”

    Patterns that fit pre-defined criteria result in an investigative alert and the individual becomes a “person of interest” who is referred to the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security, Banks says.

    Intelligence pros call the process “data mining” and that is something the NSA excels at as well says former NSA signals intelligence analyst Russell Tice.

    “The technology exists,” says Tice, who left the NSA earlier this year.

    “Say Aunt Molly in Oklahoma calls her niece at an Army base in Germany and says, ‘Isn’t it horrible about those terrorists and September 11th,'” Tice told the Atlanta Constitution recently. “That conversation would not only be captured by NSA satellites listening in on Germany — which is legal — but flagged and listened to by NSA analysts and possibly transcribed for further investigation. All you would have to do is move the vacuum cleaner a little to the left and begin sucking up the other end of that conversation. You move it a little more and you could be picking up everything people are saying from California to New York.”

    The Pentagon has built a massive database of Americans it considers threats, including members of antiwar groups, peace activists and writers opposed to the war in Iraq. Pentagon officials now claim they are “reviewing the files” to see if the information is necessary to the “war on terrorism.”

    “Given the military’s legacy of privacy abuses, such vague assurances are cold comfort,” says Gene Healy, senior editor of the CATO Institute in Washington.

    “During World War I, concerns about German saboteurs led to unrestrained domestic spying by U.S. Army intelligence operatives,” says Healy. “Army spies were given free reign to gather information on potential subversives, and were often empowered to make arrests as special police officers. Occasionally, they carried false identification as employees of public utilities to allow them, as the chief intelligence officer for the Western Department put it, ‘to enter offices or residences of suspects gracefully, and thereby obtain data.’”

    “There’s a long and troubling history of military surveillance in this country,” Healy adds. “That history suggests that we should loathe allowing the Pentagon access to our personal information.”

    In her book Army Surveillance in America, historian Joan M. Jensen noted, “What began as a system to protect the government from enemy agents became a vast surveillance system to watch civilians who violated no law but who objected t
    o wartime policies or to the war itself.”

    “It’s a fucking nightmare,” says a Congressional aide who recently obtained information on the program for his boss but asked not to be ide
    ntified because he fears retaliation from the Bush administration. “We’re collecting more information on Americans than on real enemies of our country.”

    Sen. John Rockefeller says he raised concerns more than two years ago about increased spying on Americans but – as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee – could not share that concern with colleagues.

    “For the last few days, I have witnessed the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney-General repeatedly misrepresent the facts,” Rockefeller said last week. When he was first briefed about the activity in 2003, we sent a handwritten note to Vice President Dick Cheney outlining his concerns.

    “I am retaining a copy of this letter in a sealed envelope in the secure spaces of the Senate intelligence committee to ensure that I have a record of this communication,” Rockefeller told Cheney. However, Rockefeller says now, “my concerns were never addressed, and I was prohibited from sharing my views with my colleagues.”

    Missouri Congressman William Clay worries that the Bush Adminstration is skirting the law by letting private contractors handle the data mining.

    “The agencies involved in data mining are trying to skirt the Privacy Act by claiming that they hold no data,” said Clay. Instead, they use private companies to maintain and sift through the data, he said.

    “Technically, that gets them out from under the Privacy Act,” he said. “Ethically, it does not.”


  • I ordered Fooled Again for my spouse for Christmas–it not only arrived on time, the shipping was free! So far, no oddball recommendations from Amazon.

Post comment

Forbidden Bookshelf

Forbidden Bookshelf

“While We Were Sleeping”

While We Were Sleeping is an urgent call to save Greenwich Village from New York University's uncontrolled expansion.

Click here to donate to NYUFASP and receive a copy of "While We Were Sleeping: NYU and the Destruction of New York" (minimum donation to receive a book is $10 plus $8 shipping).

Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD

About News From Underground

News From Underground is a daily e-news service run by Mark Crispin Miller, a Professor of Culture and Communication at NYU. It is based on his belief that academics, like reporters, have a civic obligation to help keep the people well-informed, so that American democracy might finally work.

If you'd like to receive updates delivered to your inbox daily, sign up for News From Underground Alerts:

Help News From Underground!

Message from Mark: "I am a one-man operation, although assisted greatly by some volunteers, and, now and then, by people paid by others for one-time projects. There is no shortage of skilled, dedicated folks out there who want to help me. There is, however, nothing I can pay them with, unless you decide you can contribute something."

Please donate via the PayPal button above or via PayPal by email to:

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Popular Posts


Need a bigger font size?

Sponsored Links

  • Your link could be here too, contact us for pricing details.