all art/music/culture links (including music biz/file sharing news), fiction I'm reading and what I'm listening to and watching
For New York Times access use:
Username: aflakete Password: europhilia
For LA Times access use:
Username: ridgewood Password: callow
NOW AVAILABLE AT ME-ZINE
ABBREVIATIONS FOR SITES I OFTEN STEAL NEWS ITEMS FROM:
u = Progressive Review's Undernews
PUBLIC AFFAIRS/HISTORY READING:
(r) = re-reading
amazon wish list
amazon.ca wish list
The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return
Sam Smith's Great American Political Repair Manual: How to Rebuild Our Country So the Politics Aren't Broken and Politicians Aren't Fixed
American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush
Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare
The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy
Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of the Free Press
Just consider what current events will sound like two thousand years from now -- the greatest nation on Earth bombing some of the smallest and weakest for no clear reasons, people starving in parts of the world while farmers are paid not to plant crops in others, technophiles sitting at home playing electronic golf rahter than the real thing, and police forces ordered to arrest people who simply desire to ingest a psychoactive weed. People of that era will also likely laugh it all off as fantastic myths...
It is time for those who desire true freedom to exert themselves -- to fight back against the forces who desire domination through fear and disunity.
This does not have to involve violence. It can be done in small, simple ways, like not financing that new Sport Utility Vehicle, cutting up all but one credit card, not opting for a second mortgage, turning off that TV sitcom for a good book, asking questions and speaking out in church or synagogue, attending school board and city council meetings, voting for the candidate who has the least money, learning about the Fully Informed Jury movement and using it when called -- in general, taking responsibility for one's own actions. Despite the omnipresent advertising for the Lotto -- legalized government gambling -- there is no free lunch. Giving up one's individual power for the hope of comfort and security has proven to lead only to tyranny.
You had to take those pieces of paper with you when you went shopping, though by the time I was nine or ten most people used plastic cards. . .It seems so primitive, totemistic even, like cowry shells. I must have used that kind of money myself, a little, before everything went on the Compubank.
I guess that's how they were able to do it, in the way they did, all at once, without anyone knowing beforehand. If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult.
It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.
Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control.
I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?
That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.
. . . Things continued on in that state of suspended animation for weeks, although some things did happen. Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons they said. The roadblocks began to appear, and Identipasses. Everyone approved of that, since it was obvious you couldn't be too careful. They said that new elections would be held, but that it would take some time to prepare for them. The thing to do, they said, was to continue on as usual.
By the time Oscar reached the outskirts of Washington, DC, The Louisiana air base had benn placed under siege.
The base's electrical power supply had long since been cut off for lack of payment. The aircraft had no fuel. The desperate federal troops were bartering stolen equipment for food and booze. Desertion was rampant. The air base commander had released a sobbing video confession and had shot himself.
Green Huey had lost patience with the long-festering scandal. He was moving in for the kill. Attacking and seizing an federal air base with his loyal state militia would have been entirely too blatant and straightforward. Instead the rogue Governor employed proxy guerrillas.
Huey had won the favor of nomad prole groups by providing them with safe havens. He allowed them to squat in Louisiana's many federally declared contamination zones. These forgotten landscapes were tainted with petrochemical effluent and hormone-warping pesticides, and were hence officially unfit for human settlement. The prole hordes had different opinions on that subject.
Proles cheerfully grouped in any locale where conventional authority had grown weak. Whenever the net-based proles were not constantly harassed by the authorities, they coalesced and grew ambitious. Though easily scattered by focused crackdowns, they regrouped as swiftly as a horde of gnats. With their reaping machines and bio-breweries, they could live off the land at the very base of the food chain. They had no stake in the established order, and they cherished a canny street-level knowledge of society's infrastructural weaknesses. They made expensive enemies. . .
Louisiana's ecologically blighted areas were ideal for proles. The disaster zones were also impromptu wildlife sanctuaries, since wild animals found chemical fouling much easier to survive than the presence of human beings. After decades of wild subtropical growth, Louisiana's toxic dumps were as impenetrable as Sherwood Forest.
Saturday, April 19, 2003
The whole Iraq thing is playing out so predictably I'm too bored by it to bother posting anything
Besides, sites like Daily Kos and Warblogs:cc and Back-to-Iraq are doing a great job.
I'm feeling kind of desultory abuot the political scene anyway, so I'm just going to post about stuff that catches my eye, that I don't see covered ad nauseum elsewhere.
Probably focus more on my other site which features cultural issues.
10:43 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Nando Media site to close within 45 days
10:16 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Ashcroft violates federal gag order in terrorist trial
Sorry about disappearance of posts yesterday.
10:14 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Friday, April 18, 2003
UK army & police implicated in murder of human rights lawyer in '89 and student in '87 by police probe [News Insider]Sir John, first assigned in 1989 to probe links between Protestant outlaws and British security personnel in Northern Ireland, withheld publication of the bulk of his approximately 3,000-page report Thursday.
A British legal official, demanding anonymity, said that publishing the full report could undermine potential criminal charges against up to 20 current and former members of the Northern Ireland police and British army named in it.
Catholics and human rights organizations accused authorities of a cover-up.
"This explanation beggars belief," said a joint statement from five human rights organizations, led by Amnesty International.
The rights groups suggested that those suppressing the full report want "to shield some of its contents from public scrutiny." They called for Britain to authorize an independent inquiry "with full powers to subpoena witnesses and compel the disclosure of documents."
Among those already identified as being involved in collusion is Gordon Kerr, now a brigadier but then director of a secretive British army intelligence arm called the Force Research Unit that sought to plant agents within the ranks of all Northern Ireland paramilitary groups.
Brig. Kerr, who until recently was Britain's military attaché to China, is currently is in Iraq.
4:56 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Aaron Magruder offers a novel way of supporting the troops
4:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Political prisoner Anwar Ibrahim loses appeal in trumped-up Malaysian sodomy case, begins 9 year sentence
I've posted about sadistic US "anti-terror" fave Mahathir before and this is the kind of sickening medieval bullshit I would've thought could only happen in a benighted sultanate far away.
The last few years have made me wonder.
Hopefully Mahathir will leave office in October like he promised.
3:46 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
3 White House cultural advisers quit over Iraq looting
12:56 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, April 17, 2003
Taste the boot little man
German journos en route to do a story on the abortive 2002 Venezuelan coup were interrogated, held for 24 hours in prison and sent back to London [near bottom of page]
US Marines break down doors and search journos' rooms in Baghdad.
9:39 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Bush dish schlepped [u]Ms. [Neil] Bush?s spokesman, Lou Colasuonno, a partner at the public-relations firm of Westhill Partners, confirmed that she wanted to write the book. "This will be the story of Sharon Bush?s life inside one of the most powerful families in America," Mr. Colasuonno said. "She witnessed the evolution of a dynasty. She believes, and is prepared to reveal in her book, that the Bushes are far more pragmatic and calculating than has ever been seen before. She will show that the family orchestrates its public image from top to bottom. She will reveal that the family is in essence a political operation."
But one publishing executive expressed skepticism about Ms. Bush?s ability to pull off the project. "I doubt that Sharon Bush would be able to deliver the goods to fill a whole book," the executive said. "She would be far more useful as a source to another future biographer than she would in her own right."
9:26 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
From Undernews's "Great Moments in Crime" file:The Easter Bunny is known as a hopper, not a fighter. But this seasonal, egg-bearing mammal sure can take a punch.Happy Easter/Passover/A Little Early for Beltane But What the Hell.
Three punches, to be exact.
Police responded to the Wausau Center mall after a 29-year-old Wausau [WI] man, working as the mall's Easter Bunny, reported Saturday that an unknown man got him in a headlock, punched him in the mouth three times and fled the scene.
"Because of the bunny suit, (the victim) didn't get hurt, but it was unusual to get hit this way," Wausau Officer Chang Lee wrote in his report. [link]
9:18 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
"The needs of the many..."
Ontario wigs out over SARS [drudge]In an extraordinary measure, Ontario health officials yesterday asked anyone who has even one symptom of SARS to stay home for a few days out of fear that anyone developing the respiratory disease might spread it during the Easter holiday weekend.
Canadian health officials said that all the cases in the Toronto area could be traced back to an outbreak at Scarborough Grace Hospital, and they said that SARS was under control, in part because of their isolation policy. The outbreak in Toronto is now in its fourth generation of cases, increasing the complexity of tracing cases. About 7,000 people in the Toronto area had already been asked to stay in isolation since the outbreak began in March, and about 650 remain in isolation.
For those who have broken isolation, health officials have taken stringent measures. They put a police guard on one patient at a hospital and have hired private security investigators to check on people in isolation. They have made telephone calls and visited homes to ensure compliance. They are also considering the use of electronic tracking bracelets to monitor people ordered into isolation.[my emphasis]
8:52 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Another great PR move for shrubco file:
Double Click exec hired to vouchsafe citizens' privacy by Homeland Security
3:58 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Surprise surprise file:
More corruption charges at the NYSEThe move comes after news that Fleet Specialist, whose chief executive, Christopher Quick, is also an NYSE director, suspended David Finnerty, a trader who specialises in dealing in General Electric shares, amid allegations that he was involved in frontrunning. Under the practice, a trader buys or sells shares on his own behalf, ahead of placing an order for a client which he believes will move the market significantly.
The scandal is particularly embarrassing for the NYSE because it undermines its integrity at the core of the trading process. Specialist traders play a central role in trading, acting as the middle man, bringing together buyers and sellers.
The news comes at an unfortunate time, with regulators fighting to restore faith in the financial markets after a slew of corporate scandals such as WorldCom and Enron
3:55 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Looting of Iraqi museums done by "organised gangs of international art traffickers" as well as civilians
1:58 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
Evidence of US helicopter aid in April '02 coup attempt in Venezuela
11:44 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Powell's has a list of books germane to Iraq's reconstruction that's probably worth checking out if you want to get down to the nitty-gritty
How the wishes of the Iraqi people figure into these theses, I don't know.
3:53 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Bull Durham episode backfires on Baseball Hall of Fame President Daniel Petroskey, former assistant press secretary for Ronald Reagan [u]There have been tour cancellations from youth groups such as Little League teams and Cub Scout troops who have termed the Hall's position unconstitutional. Nearly 100 cancellations for lodging during induction weekend in July have been reported.Though "[a] poll conducted by New York's WNBC was 68 percent in favor of the Hall's stand. Another poll by the Palm Beach Post reported 90 percent support of the decision."
Disconnect still rampant in L'America.
3:46 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Despite Enron, layoffs and the guttering economy, CEOs still making more money than before [u]Enron and the bear market may have knocked corporate chieftains off their pedestals, but they've barely put a dent in CEO earning power. In many cases, corporate boards are continuing to reward mediocrity -- or bald failure -- with riches, in the name of providing executives with incentives to do better.
"Some of the packages are egregious," said Warren Isabelle, president of the Boston investment firm Ironwood Capital Management. "There's some sort of a nonlinear scale, or disjoint."
Jamie Heard, chief of Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., a firm that analyzes and votes proxies for large investors, said he's concerned that many boards, instead of reining in abuses of the past, are sneaking in lavish perks and option packages again this year, in the brief window before new rules go into effect that step up corporate governance and permit shareholder votes on options packages.
3:36 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Daniel Forbes speculates on whether the Iraqwar.ru site was aimed at Iraqi forcesIt's quite a notion: Russian spooks blogging concrete advice to Iraq. It's a notion that Strafor's Matthew Baker termed "nonsense." He said, "A website is not the way to get information to the Iraqis; a phone or radio is better."Never would've even occurred to me.
Baker sees it, rather, as an expression of an internecine struggle among various Russian military and espionage interests wrestling over whether to align more closely with the U.S. or seek a counterweight axis with Germany and France. He said, "They're not putting it up for amusement or profit, but for reasons to do with Russian politics." He added, "It's an agit-prop campaign by those who argue that sticking close to the U.S. is wrong."
Denisov, who is also CEO of the site's server, Moscow-based JERA Systems, scoffed at the notion that his project is an attempt to aid the Iraqis. He said, "There are other means to transfer information with less attention, faster and more clandestine." He added, given the editing process, "It would be much quicker to send encrypted e-mail. So it's kind of unbelievable that it's a conspiracy theory - it's not realistic."
3:17 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Missiles made in UK in 2002 found in Baghdad [a]
10:22 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
"They made a big show...[b]ut at the time U.S. commandos came to rescue Lynch," Gizzy said, "there were no soldiers at our hospital, just the medical staff. There were just us doctors."
On the "dramatic rescue" of Pvt. Lynch
10:17 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Humboldt County CA Outpost of the Sane Arcata "outlaws" the PATRIOT Act [u]Town leaders know their new law outlawing the bigger law is probably illegal. And they don't know anyone local who's had troubles because of the Patriot Act.
But the very existence of the sweeping federal policy -- passed by Congress swiftly after Sept. 11, 2001, to expand powers to search, conduct surveillance and throw people in jail during terrorism probes -- so rubbed them the wrong way that they felt they had to make a stand.
So about a week ago, the Arcata City Council approved an ordinance telling its management workers they cannot "officially assist or voluntarily cooperate" with any investigators trying to carry out what the city considers provisions of the Patriot Act that violate the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
Which, city leaders said, is pretty much all of the act except the heading on the governmental letterhead.
3:06 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Gideon Levy on the ethical tailspin of the occupier [u]Those who trample human rights in Israel are having a field day: Look at the behavior of the Americans in Iraq, they say. Every time troops open fire at a checkpoint, every killing of a civilian, every picture of siege and plight, leads to merriment here. The United States, the cradle of democracy, the leader of the free world, is behaving like us.
If there is one lesson Israel can impart to the Americans, it is that every occupation is appalling, that it tramples the occupied and corrupts the occupier. If the Americans pause for a moment to see what is going on in the Tul Karm refugee camp and in the casbah of Nablus, they will see what they will soon become. And if Israelis look at what is happening in Iraq, perhaps they will understand that it is not the Palestinians but, above all, we who have created the present situation.
2:27 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Agonist on US troops trying to prevent media from reporting on Baghdad protest
I'm catching up on the day's news, but if you've only been exposed to the mental lint on TV, maybe you are too.
2:46 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
The commonly used anti-bacterial ingredient Triclosan may degrade into a nasty dioxin after sewage treatment
I'd avoid anti-bacterials anyway, since they just clear the way for hardier bacteria that are even more resistant.
1:43 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
From al Jazeera:
Protests against US in Nasiriya -- near where official talks on Iraq's future were taking place at a makeshift US air base -- and in Mosul, where 12 people were killed by the US military in what some say was an unprovoked attack. In Baghdad demonstrations demanding the return of utilities were less violent.
Republican Guard leader in Baghdad cut deal with US: escape for standing down troops.
1:25 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, April 14, 2003
Excellent Steve Gilliard post at Daily Kos on the culture of fear in AmericaAmericans have simply refused to come to grips with two things: one, the intense hatred for our policies around the world, only made more intense by the Iraq war, two, the paranoia which has swept across suburban America. The whole idea of plastic sheeting and duct tape was as logical as duck and cover and a future generation will laugh heartily at images of Tom Ridge telling us to buy things most people would have under their kitchen sink.
Dr. Phil was talking to some suburban woman frightened to death of terrorism and I had to laugh. I have friends who survived 9/11, there isn't a firehouse which didn't lose a member that day, I smelled the burning remains of human beings for days, living five miles away from WTC, my friend swept "ash" -- really human remains and paper -- from her apartment for days, since, at the time she lived in downtown Brooklyn. We are all getting on with our lives. No Al Qaeda team is coming to wreak havoc on her subdivision.
6:33 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Doctor who invented the Heimlich Maneuver wants to infect AIDS victims with malaria to cure them
Not convinced AIDS is HIV-caused, I can only see this as a bad thing. It certainly supports the "depopulate Africa" strategy some see behind the widespread immune deficency on the continent.
6:20 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
US refuses to clean up DU debris "because research shows DU has no long-term effects"Many veterans from the Gulf and Kosovo wars believe DU has made them seriously ill.
One UK Gulf veteran is Ray Bristow, a former marathon runner.
In 1999 he told the BBC: "I gradually noticed that every time I went out for a run my distance got shorter and shorter, my recovery time longer and longer.
"Now, on my good days, I get around quite adequately with a walking stick, so long as it's short distances. Any further, and I need to be pushed in a wheelchair."
Ray Bristow was tested in Canada for DU. He is open-minded about its role in his condition.
But he says: "I remained in Saudi Arabia throughout the war. I never once went into Iraq or Kuwait, where these munitions were used.
"But the tests showed, in layman's terms, that I have been exposed to over 100 times an individual's safe annual exposure to depleted uranium."
6:07 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Pro-Israel groups call for censorship of al Jazeera in Canada [a]"We certainly don't want this to appear as a political attempt to prevent another view from being aired," Landy said. "But by granting them a licence, the kind of stories that they carry could contravene the Criminal Code," as well as hate legislation, the federal government's terrorism act and broadcast regulations established by the CRTC and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
6:02 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Dyncorp contract to "re-establish police, justice and prison functions in postconflict Iraq. . .could come to $500 million before it's through" [a]And concerning DynCorp's contract, some in Congress are wondering why State would issue a sole-source bid to a company that has had some "recent" problems overseas in similiar roles. For example, last year alone was not only sued but paid large settlements to two former employees who blew the whistle on corporate managers and employees who engaged in sex trafficking in Bosnia?
Recall that former DynCorp employee Ben Johnston described one of his DynCorp colleagues as a 45-year old man who "owned a girl who couldn't have been more than 14 years old." Johnston also recalled the machinations he went through to enlighten his DynCorp superiors: "At first I just told the guys it was wrong, then I went to my supervisors, including John Hirtz, although at the time I didn't realize how deep into it he was."
Johnston finally took his complaints to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Division in Bosnia, which investigated his allegations and confiscated a videotape of Johnston's DynCorp supervisor having sex with two girls. Supervisor Hirtz was later fired by DynCorp and, despite his own admission that one of the girls on the tape had said "no" to his sexual advances, no rape charges were ever brought against him.
5:58 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Over 125,000 troops to be stationed in Iraq indefinitely "to deal with security, humanitarian relief and reconstruction challenges"
5:53 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
AOL/TW execs accused in insider trading suit
10:36 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Al Jazeera's English site is back up after it went missing for a few days; they have a piece on the US begging for debt relief for Iraq so they won't have to dump the bill on US taxpayers"It's a mountain of debt," says Alan Krueger, an economist at Princeton University. It would amount to $16,000 for every man, woman, and child in Iraq, many times per capita income. The United States has talked up forgiving Iraqi debts, while continuing itself to collect interest on colossal debts in sub-Saharan Africa, which suggests that debt-forgiving is a political issue rather than a charitable one.
"In exchange for debt relief, France, Germany, Russia and others are very likely to ask for contracts to rebuild the country and sell Iraqi oil, as well as a voice in economic policy," points out Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International and a former State Department official in the Carter Administration.
Middle East countries, Russia, Germany and France are all owed billions of dollars worth of money -- yet the House of Representatives approved an amendment that would prevent reconstruction contracts going to Syria, Russia, Germany or France last week.
Bush Administration officials frequently insist that reconstruction of Iraq would be paid for by the country's oil revenues before the war. But considering the debts, money owed on signed contracts and reparations from the previous two Gulf wars, Baghdad probably owes $200 billion or maybe more -- no accurate figure can be given as the IMF has not been active in Iraq for almost 20 years.
10:23 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, April 13, 2003
Du Pont accused of burying a study for 22 years showing birth defects in workers' babies from chemical used in Teflon manufacture
The study only became public because of a class action suit by 3000 West Virginians that live near the plant.
Having read Gerard Colby's book on Du Pont, I can't say I'm surprised.
9:45 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Why the US takeover of Iraq might not be so great for Israel [Aron's]
9:34 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Surprise surprise file:
The driver of the bulldozer that killed peace activist Rachel Corrie in the Gaza Strip won't even be charged
9:28 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sioux Nation sues federal government for physical/sexual abuse claims dating back to the 19th century [Refdesk]
The incidents named in the lawsuit refer to acts by nuns and priests in Catholic, government-run boarding schools.
7:30 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
I was thinking this when I saw the link on Agonist yesterday about Marines guarding oil wells while looters run wildWhat makes critics of the attack really angry is the extreme moral hypocricy of the warmongers, who have the audacity to claim that they are the true humanitarians, and that those who were against the attack are at fault for failing to support the 'liberation' of the Iraqi people. The current lawlessness in Iraq, and the fact that British and American leaders seem to find it to be more of a joke than a problem, makes clear that neither the British nor the Americans cares in the least about the wellbeing of the Iraqis. It is telling that one of the reasons that the Americans can't spare troops to stop the lawlessness or allow the distribution of aid is that too many of them are dedicated to securing the oil fields. [xymphora]
7:18 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
"What else have I got but that spell?"
From an Undernews reader:Quite so.
RICHARD L. FRANKLIN - Propaganda exploits a strong human tendency: the automatic and strong tendency to believe what we're told. Believing what
one's government tells one is relatively easy. It takes no effort at all. Disbelief, on the other hand, seems to run contrary to human nature. We are, it would seem, inherently lazy in such matters. It actually requires considerable intellectual and psychological effort to disbelieve what our leaders tell us. Added to that is the commonly applied social stigma that comes with disbelief. Disbelievers -- may God save them -- lack patriotism, a sin seen by most Americans as being on the order of patricide.
One of the good things about America post-9/11 is that the complete abdication of responsibility by the media and the generally hypnotized and delusional state of many Americans, has forced me to live closer to my truth, and accept the painful fact that most people don't want to know what's really going on.
I don't really like the fact that lies and fascism are the Order of the Day.
That corporation-think permeates our lives to such a toxic degree (literally and metaphorically).
That it could be so easy to set up a police state in the country where that should be least likely.
That a gang of psychotic 12 year-old boys (that's how they act) -- who think they're playing a game of "Risk" with the most powerful military in the world's history and are systematically bankrupting the country, aside from the moral issues -- can hijack this country without a peep from a Congress for whom the phrase "compliant toadies" is far too nice an appellation.
But if there was ever a time for the weird to turn pro, it's now.
It's exhausting to question everything.
But in a time when anything you see or hear can be altered and doctored in realtime, when propaganda that would embarrass Stalin and please Hitler passes for patriotism, what choice do I have?
Blogging for me is therapy as well as fun or I wouldn't waste time doing it.
And there are a few people who agree with me and check in here periodically. That helps.
I don't expect to be very popular -- and would have to wonder about myself if I were. This site is relentlessly dire, as are the times.
But I also see all this as a necessary purging of -- well many ideas and beliefs that never were true, and which more and more people are finally being forced to realize we just can't live with anymore. I won't try to list them here.
But if this all works out like I think it will, the world will be a far better place some years down the road.
Thanks for being part of it.
1:56 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Did I ever tell ya this here Hummer represents my individuality and my belief in personal freedom?
Hummer smells like victory [u]...some Hummer drivers, inundated like the rest of America by hours of war news viewing, feel especially patriotic behind the wheel now.With apologies to David Lynch.
"When I turn on the TV, I see wall-to-wall Humvees, and I'm proud," said Sam Bernstein, a 51-year-old antiquities dealer who lives in Marin County, Calif., and drives a Hummer H2, an SUV sibling of the military Humvee.
"They're not out there in Audi A4s," he said of the troops.
"If I could get an A1 Abrams, I would," he added with a smile, referring to the tank.
1:23 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Nice analysis of shrub's body language, boy-emperor affectations [u]If only the President left his Bible for a little while on the desk and read Spinoza and Rousseau instead; he might ultimately find out how he is being led down a dark crevice. He might also tread lightly on the face of this earth, salute the marine like Eisenhower (a real soldier) did, and encompass the broad spectrum of humanity within his vision. All three religions would tell the President that arrogance is vile in the eyes of the Lord. Besides, the most visible sign of Saddam?s vileness is his swagger, as he saunters from one place to another.
1:12 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
GM crops are like superfoods for pests [u]But the new research -- by scientists at Imperial College London and the Universidad Simon Rodrigues in Caracas, Venezuela -- adds an alarming new twist, suggesting that pests can actually use the poison as a food and that the crops, rather than automatically controlling them, can actually help them to thrive.
They fed resistant larvae of the diamondback moth -- an increasingly troublesome pest in the southern US and in the tropics -- on normal cabbage leaves and ones that had been treated with a Bt toxin. The larvae eating the treated leaves grew much faster and bigger -- with a 56 per cent higher growth rate.
They found that the larvae "are able to digest and utilise" the toxin and may be using it as a "supplementary food", adding that the presence of the poison "could have modified the nutritional balance in plants" for them.
And they conclude: "Bt transgenic crops could therefore have unanticipated nutritionally favourable effects, increasing the fitness of resistant populations."
12:53 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Building confidence in your local MD file:
MCAT test-preppers accused of sending agents to memorize test questions [u]
An internal Princeton Review document had 178 of 221 test questions listed.
12:47 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
How true file:
Ha'aretz rips FoxNews a new one [u]America's Fox News network has been demonstrating since the start of the war in Iraq an amazing lesson in media hypocrisy. The anchors, reporters and commentators unceasingly emphasize that the war's goal is to free the Iraqi people from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. The frequency, consistence and passion with which they use that lame excuse, and the fact that nearly no other reasons are mentioned shows that this is the network's editorial policy. The American flag lies in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, while the logo accompanying the programming is Operation Iraqi Freedom, the official name given by the Pentagon. Fox journalists display what appears to be genuine happiness, innocent and sincere, brainwashed in nature, in the expectation for the wonderful day when the American army leads the Iraqi people from slavery to freedom.
...Just as the Iraqi TV deceives its viewers about the situation on the battlefield, Fox misleads its American viewers about the reasons for the war. If only the issue of the human rights of the Iraqi people was at stake, there never would have been a war.
But Fox broadcasts to the entire world. Like CNN, it presents to the globe the face of America and its perception of reality, and it exports its dark side, the infuriating side that inspires so much hostility: the self-righteousness, the brutality, the pretension, hubris, and simplicity, the feverish faith in its moral superiority, the saccharine and infantile patriotism, and the deep self-persuasion that America is not only the most powerful of the nations, but also that the truth is always American. Fox looks like the media arm of the superpower mentality, indifferent to any perspective that is not American and alienating vast portions of the world. Its war coverage is as governmental as that of Iraqi TV. This is American TV.
12:29 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Great Moments in anti-terrorism file:
DoJ smacked down by federal judge in Denver case [u]A federal judge rebuffed the government's Joint Terrorism Task Force today and ordered the release of two Pakistanis living in Denver whom the FBI has described as potential terrorists eager to wage war against the United States.
After reviewing hours of FBI testimony, U.S. District Judge Lewis T. Babcock ruled that "the government has failed to establish" that either Irfan Kamran, 32, or Sajjad Naseer, 27, poses any danger. The judge also rejected the Justice Department's suggestion that the pair would flee to Pakistan if released from jail.
Babcock noted that much of the evidence that prosecutors cited in arguing that the defendants were involved with terrorism came from statements the two men made in voluntary interviews with the FBI. Babcock also displayed skepticism when the prosecution introduced information provided by "a confidential source." When the judge asked from the bench whether the source was reliable, an FBI witness replied that this, too, was classified information.
12:22 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Mick Hume on the hollow victory [u]The coalition's hollow victory in Baghdad marks a fittingly surreal climax to a war that was always empty of meaning. Saddam's regime has simply imploded like the wretched, ruined state that any objective observer of Iraqi affairs knew it to be. The US and UK authorities claim that a powerful regime has been brought down by their well-paced, patient prosecution of the war over the past three weeks. In reality, we can now see that the enfeebled Iraqi state all but collapsed the moment the coalition forces rolled across its borders.It seemed at times, following the Russian intel group as I did, that there was resistance that was unexpected. But it's so hard to get a sense of what's happening from thousands of miles away, when the hired bullshit reigns supreme, and passions run high.
Lacking any substance, the war has been all about image. On the eve of launching the invasion, coalition leaders fantasised about broadcasting instant television pictures of Basra residents welcoming British troops with open arms because they believed, in the words of a US marine commander, that 'the first image of this war will define the conflict'.
Since then, as Brendan O'Neill has catalogued on spiked, the battlefield has been littered with armed stunts and gestures designed to project an image and create what commanders call 'effects' - from the psycho-pyrotechnics of the 'shock and awe' bombings, to the made-for-TV rescue of Private Jessica Lynch, to the ostentatious demolition of statues of Saddam.
Those who would draw a line between the shallow politics of spin at home and this real battle of conviction politics in Iraq are missing the mark. In a sense, the war has shown that the politics of spin can come out of the barrel of a gun.
I think Americans fell for the show -- and it seems many have -- because they're still stunned and in reptile mode from 9/11: "We must have the sacrifice" is the subtext, conscious or not.
Ths is one time we should have stuck to videogames.
12:17 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sorry if the posts were down on Saturday; technical issues
12:02 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
from Sassafrass (9/23/02)
"Unconventional viewpoints at 'charging the canvas'
Opinions that will ruffle feathers, from someone who clearly knows their way around information and the blogosphere."
Blog of the Day
In the eyes of posterity it will inevitably seem that, in safeguarding our freedom, we destroyed it; that the vast clandestine apparatus we built up to probe our enemies' resources and intentions only served in the end to confuse our own purposes; that the practice of deceiving others for the good of the state led infallibly to our deceiving ourselves; and that the vast army of intelligence personnel built up to execute these purposes were soon caught up in the web of their own sick fantasies, with disastrous consequences to them and us.
-- Malcolm Muggeridge
Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
-- Mark Twain
NOT IN OUR NAME
(link to list against Iraq War)
Philip K. Dick
DEEPER NEWS LINK
The Global Beat
Progressive Review's Undernews
Guerrilla News Network
newshub top 25
Christian Science Monitor
The UK Guardian
Int'l Herald Tribune
The Smirking Chimp
Spin of the Day
USGS Earthquake update
Serendipity WTC page
xymphora (also Mid East)
Matt McVeagh's summary of theories
Namebase (Public Information Research)
FAS Intel Index
J Ransom Clark US Intel Bibliography
ARAP TWA 800 page
Gnostic Liberation Front
Philidelphia Experiment/Montauk Project
Military Intelligence by John Patrick Finnegan
BLOGS WITH A BULLET
Aron's Israel Peace Weblog
The Unbound Writer's Online Journal
The Mink Dimension
The Asylum Eclectica
VINTAGE BLOGS, DIVERSIONS
J. Orlin Grabbe Sassafrass
the null device
new world disorder
a dam site
This Modern World (the blog)
a bright cold day in april
wood s lot
Ethel the Blog
follow me here
Watch It! (site update notifier)
Ask Now (24/7 reference help)
The Virtual Acquisition Shelf & News Desk
Chilling Effects (online rights)
EIA Environment Consumer Education Initiative (Computer recycling)
The Center for Justice and Accountability
Astrodienst (free charts)
Institute of Noetic Sciences
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Fully Informed Jury Association
Privacy Rights Now
Contacting the Congress
Amer. Booksellers Found. Free Expression
Critical Resistance (prisons)
Working for Change
Contract with the Planet
Physicians for a National Health Program
insound (music and mags)
half.com (books & music cheap)
Web Source Sales (ink carts cheap)
Invisible Web search
They were past the motels now, condos on both sides. The nicer ones, on the left, had soothing pluraled nature-names carved on hanging wooden signs, The Coves, The Glades, The Meadowlands. The cheaper condos, on the right, were smaller and closer to the road, and had names like roaring powerboats, Seaspray, Barracuda's, and Beachcomber III.
Jackie sneezed, a snippy poodle kind of sneeze, God-blessed herself, and said, "I bet it's on the left, Raymond. You better slow down."
Raymond Rios, the driver and young science teacher to the bright and gifted, didn't nod or really hear. He was thinking of the motels they had passed and the problem with the signs, No Vacancy. This message bothered him, he couldn't decide why. Then Jackie sneezed and it came to him, the motels said no vacancy because they were closed for the season (or off-season or not-season) and were, therefore, totally vacant, as vacant as they ever got, and so the sign, No Vacancy, was maximum-inaccurate, yet he understood exactly what it meant. This thought or chain of thoughts made him feel vacant and relaxed, done with a problem, a pleasant empty feeling driving by the beaches in the wind.
from Big If by Mark Costello
Bailey was having trouble with his bagel. Warming to my subject, I kept on talking while cutting the bagel into smaller pieces, wiping a dob of cream from his collar, giving him a fresh napkin. "There's a pretense at democracy. Blather about consensus and empowering employees with opinion surveys and minority networks. But it's a sop. Bogus as costume jewelry. The decisions have already been made. Everything's hush-hush, on a need-to-know-only basis. Compartmentalized. Paper shredders, e-mail monitoring, taping phone conversations, dossiers. Misinformation, disinformation. Rewriting history. The apparatus of fascism. It's the kind of environment that can only foster extreme caution. Only breed base behavior. You know, if I had one word to describe corporate life, it would be 'craven.' Unhappy word."
Bailey's attention was elsewhere, on a terrier tied to a parking meter, a cheeky fellow with a grizzled coat. Dogs mesmerized Bailey. He sized them up the way they sized each other up. I plowed on. "Corporations are like fortressed city-states. Or occupied territories. Remember The Sorrow and the Pity? Nazi-occupied France, the Vichy government. Remember the way people rationalized their behavior, cheering Pétain at the beginning and then cheering de Gaulle at the end? In corporations, there are out-and-out collaborators. Opportunists. Born that way. But most of the employees are like the French in the forties. Fearful. Attentiste. Waiting to see what happens. Hunkering down. Turning a blind eye.
from Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings
HANKY PANKY NOHOW
When the sashaying of gentlemen
Gives you grievance now and then
What's needed are some memories of planing lakes
Those planing lakes will surely calm you down
Nothing frightens me more
Than religion at my door
I never answer panic knocking
Falling down the stairs upon the law
There's a law for everything
And for elephants that sing to feed
The cows that Agriculture won't allow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
-- John Cale