all art/music/culture links (including music biz/file sharing news), fiction I'm reading and what I'm listening to and watching

planing lakes



For New York Times access use:
Username: aflakete Password: europhilia

For LA Times access use:
Username: ridgewood Password: callow



u = Progressive Review's Undernews

(r) = re-reading

amazon wish list wish list

alibris wishlist

The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return

The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return

Arrogant Capital

Arrogant Capital

Great American Political Repair Manual

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

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare

Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare

The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy

The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy

into the buzzsaw

Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of the Free Press

Amazon Light

Stop Policeware

Campaign for Audiovisual Freedom

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.

from Rule by Secrecy by Jim Marrs

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.

from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

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.

from Distraction by Bruce Sterling


snitch button

This page is powered by Blog Studio.
and s-integrator

Saturday, July 05, 2003

UK terrorist suspects at GITMO given choice of confessing and getting 20 years or execution if found guilty
Gareth Peirce, who acts for Moazzam Begg, said: "Anything that any human being says or admits under threat of brutality is regarded internationally and nationally as worthless. It makes the process an abuse. Moazzam Begg had a year in Bagram airbase and then six months in Guantanamo Bay. If this treatment happened for an hour in a British police station, no evidence gathered would be admissible," she said.


The news comes as Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, prepares to urge US Secretary of State Colin Powell to repatriate the two Britons. He will say that they should face a fair trial here under English law. Backed by Home Secretary David Blunkett, Straw will make it clear that the Government opposes the death penalty and wants to see both men tried "under normal judicial process".

10:44 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Profile of Israel's internal counterterrorism unit, Shin Bet

10:08 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

bushblairco accused of breaching Geneva Convention over POWs by the Red Cross [Agonist]

9:44 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Today was the International Day of Cooperatives

9:39 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

From a scathing recent report by Tom Blanton, head of the National Security Archive: pdf (41 page report, 83k) [FAS newsletter]
National security is not a value in itself, but rather a condition that allows a nation to maintain its values. In contrast, open government is both a condition and a value of democratic societies. Thus, putting the two concepts on the same spectrum, or speaking of them as in some kind of balance with each other, gives excessive weight to the former, and diminishes the necessary suspicion that should greet any attempt to reduce openness on national security grounds. We need a new paradigm beyond the balancing test, else security concerns of the day will continue to erode fundamental values.

6:33 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

At my other site

Anna Funder's new book on East Germany's cold war snitch culture.

Shopping malls' new incarnation.

12:42 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Friday, July 04, 2003

One way multinationals avoid paying taxes [u]
Tax policies are exacerbating poverty and deepening social exclusion and inequalities. Any caring government should aim to ensure that workers on the minimum wage are exempt from income tax and national insurance contributions. The tax foregone could be spread over higher income earners. Attacking the highly organised tax-avoidance industry would also dramatically increase tax yields, but the government has shown little interest in tackling its business friends.

Multinational companies avoid corporate taxes by deliberately overpricing imports and underpricing goods and services for export. The technique goes under the name of "transfer pricing" and the game is to allocate profits to various parts of a multinational group of companies.

6:34 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Let your grandchildren drink rocket fuel-laced water file:

Pentagon shines perchlorate testing under military bases

6:32 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

US healthcare slouches towards collapse [u]
We have a health care system in shambles: 40 million uninsured, too many drugs and procedures not covered by most health plans, medical staff overworked thanks to pressure from bean-counting bureaucrats, and rising cost all around. Are free market economics the solution or are they the problem?

The boosters of market mechanisms -- from the House ranks of the GOP, to their allies at think-tanks like Cato, Heritage and Olin -- claim that the discipline of the market create "efficiency," "innovation" and "choice."

On closer inspection, however, America's for-profit healthcare does not match up with market myths about efficiency and service. Instead it is marked by cruelty, lack of choice and massive corporate welfare.

6:16 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Back to the 14th century with the Bushes file:

Supreme Court allows state corrections departments to deny prisoners visiting privileges

6:12 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

shurbco's "motley posse" of "coalition" forces a joke -- basically PR mercenaries for fawning elites
Critics say many nations sending troops are more interested in currying favor with Washington than attending to Iraqis' needs.

"The countries involved are mostly small, poor, weak and struggling," said Richard K. Betts, director of the Institute for War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. "Any crumbs of attention and approval they can get from the sole superpower are useful to them, and worth symbolic participation in the American enterprise."


More international participation could help show Iraqis that the occupation isn't aimed at taking Iraq's oil. Iraqis bristle at U.S. forces, who are deemed too supportive of Israel, while Britain is spurned as a former colonial master, said Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

"I think psychologically, if the Iraqis see the international community is involved, not just the Americans, they may feel better about the occupation of their country," said Ahmed Fawzi, spokesman for the U.N. liaison in Iraq.

12:50 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Profiteering from chaos in Iraq rampant
By all accounts, Iraq is suffering. But you name the shortage, and there is someone making a profit from it.

Hotels that used to charge less than $10 for a room, mostly to Iraqi honeymooners who couldn't afford to go abroad, are making as much as $90 a room from the foreign journalists that have flocked to town.

Need to make an international phone call? Impossible through Iraq's phone company, but independent businesses will rent you a Thuraya satellite phone for about $1 a minute. With many former Iraqi exiles still living abroad, the service is popular.

Ayad Mohammed, a 25-year-old high school dropout who used to drive a taxi, says selling bootleg gasoline is an easier way to make money. Sitting under the shade of a palm tree on the side of a busy Baghdad street, Mohammed waits for motorists to drive up and buy his fuel from plastic containers.

He's charging three times what people are paying at the gas station around the corner, but then, his customers don't have to sit in half-mile queues under a baking sun to fill up.

12:45 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

AMA leaning on docs to stop testifying against other doctors in court
"They got to him," Friedman aid. "You expect them to attack your witnesses in the courtroom. Now they're trying to do it through their medical societies." Friedman's experience isn't an isolated one. With the support of the American Medical Association, physician groups in Florida and across the country are stepping up scrutiny and pressure on their colleagues who testify in malpractice cases, particularly those who work for plaintiffs. In some cases, medical associations are taking disciplinary action against expert witnesses.

12:21 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Radiation sickness symptoms showing up among Iraq War vets in Australia [u]

12:08 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Documents subpoenaed in legal disputes over the Campaign Reform Law show how little things will change, even if the law is declared constitutional by the Supreme Court in September

1:13 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

EU bill requiring labeling of GM food passes Parliament

So the moratorium will be lifted when the law goes into effect next year, but labeling the origin of GM products and separating them out from non-GM products, will make it very expensive to export American food to Europe. And 7 EU countries ban GM food period.

1:04 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

The eye in the pyramid won't be happy til it's all the way up your butt file:

Pentagon developing system to surveil every vehicle in a city

Though once again, pulling it off is another thing.

Still it's the idea that this is the way to a terror-free world that astonishes.

9:52 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Very creepy Jamaican behavior modification center for rich American teens [Rense]
Corporal punishment is not practised, but staff administer 'restraint'. Officially it is deployed as the name suggests, to subdue a student who is out of control. However, former students say it is issued more often as a punishment. One explains: 'It's a completely degrading, painful experience. You could get it for raising your voice or pointing your finger. You know you're going to get it when three Jamaicans walk in and say, "Take off your watch." They pin you down in a five-point formation and that's when they start twisting and pulling your limbs, grinding your ankles.'

Before sending their teen to Tranquility, parents are advised that it might be prudent to keep their plan a secret, and employ an approved escort service to break the news. The first most teenagers hear of Tranquility is therefore when they are woken from their beds at home at 4am by guards, who place them in a van, handcuffed if necessary, drive them to an airport and fly them to Jamaica. The child will not be allowed to speak to his or her parents for up to six months, or see them for up to a year.

6:03 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

"Please call the International Red Cross, these people need help. God forgive me for what I am part of, God forgive us all"

A quote from a sickened police officer involved in the torture and abuse of citizens of Aceh in Indonesia
Since the imposition of martial law in Aceh on May 1, the number of detainees without access to lawyers and charged with treason has increased exponentially.

Stories from various sources, all of whom must remain undisclosed, tell of torture, intimidation, sleep deprivation, overcrowding, and lack of food and water. The torture is systematic and takes place at all hours of the day and night.
The thuggish spirit of shrubco at its finest.

Spread the love.

5:47 PM - [Link] - Comments ()


Gangsters never reach the emotional age of 14

Clearly, Berlusconi shares the Beavis and Butthead sensibility -- that creepy, gleefully tasteless fantasyworld of omnipotence and crudity so many 11 year-olds usually pass through on their way to adulthood -- of shrub, Coulter, Perle, and the rest of the creeps and bullies that seem to have the world enspelled post-9/11

The odd thing is he doesn't look like he missed his meds...

5:37 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

FLorida government to spend $750,000 to dis low-cost Canadian prescription drugs [u]

11:40 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

shrub's fascist thugspeak [u]
The word "you" rarely appears in Bush's speeches. Instead, there are numerous statements referring to himself or his personal characteristics -- folksiness, confidence, righteous anger or determination -- as the answer to the problems of the country. Even when Bush uses "we," as he did many times in the State of the Union speech, he does it in a way that focuses attention on himself. For example, he stated: "Once again, we are called to defend the safety of our people, and the hopes of all mankind. And we accept this responsibility."


Poll after poll demonstrates that Bush's political agenda is out of step with most Americans' core beliefs. Yet the public, their electoral resistance broken down by empty language and persuaded by personalization, is susceptible to Bush's most frequently used linguistic technique: negative framework.

A negative framework is a pessimistic image of the world. Bush creates and maintains negative frameworks in his listeners' minds with a number of linguistic techniques borrowed from advertising and hypnosis to instill the image of a dark and evil world around us. Catastrophic words and phrases are repeatedly drilled into the listener's head until the opposition feels such a high level of anxiety that it appears pointless to do anything other than cower.

11:37 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Incestuous political complex continues to grow [u]
But Harry Reid is in a class by himself. One of his sons and his son-in-law lobby in Washington for companies, trade groups and municipalities seeking Reid's help in the Senate. A second son has lobbied in Nevada for some of those same interests, and a third has represented a couple of them as a litigator.

In the last four years alone, their firms have collected more than $2 million in lobbying fees from special interests that were represented by the kids and helped by the senator in Washington.

So pervasive are the ties among Reid, members of his family and Nevada's leading industries and institutions that it's difficult to find a significant field in which such a relationship does not exist.

11:35 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Advocate instant runoff voting!
Instant runoff voting is a winner-take-all, constitutionally protected, voting system that ensures a winning candidate will receive an absolute majority of votes rather than a simple plurality.  IRV eliminates the need for runoff elections by allowing voters to rank their candidates in order of preference.


San Francisco gears up to use instant runoff voting (IRV) in the November 2003 election for mayor. Interest in Vermont continues to grow, and twenty states have IRV legislation. Senator John McCain and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean support IRV. Many leading colleges are adopting IRV for student elections.

11:28 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Conservative MP in UK runs orgy company

11:17 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

I feel a draft...

Viceroy Bremer wants more troops

11:10 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Court rules it's OK for brokers to lie through their teeth

11:07 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Ruppert on Iraqgate and the New Fix
Unless people find the will to address scandals, lies, and betrayals of trust that, by their very existence, reveal that the system itself is corrupt and that the people controlling it - both in government, and in America's corporations and financial institutions -- are criminals, there is no chance to make anything better, only an absolute certainty that things will get worse.


Some on the Democratic side are already positioning themselves to co-opt and control what happened on 9/11 into a softer, less disturbing "Better this than nothing" strategy. This attitude, that the only thing that matters is finding an electable Democrat, is nothing more than a rearrangement of deck chairs on the Titanic.

8:46 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

3 items from refdesk headlines:

State laws going into effect today include mandatory insurance for mental as well as physical illness in Hawaii; Illinois and Montana create prescription drug programs for seniors; and in California, a new law requires all companies that are broken into by hackers to tell their customers that their security was breached.

"Nutrition consciousness" sweeps food multinationals.

shrubco bans military aid to almost 50 countries which won't support US exemption from International Crimes Court. NATO countries were excepted.

10:51 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

House members request Pentagon investigation of 50 bio-chem tests on military personnel in the 60s remain open

1:56 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, June 30, 2003

Gibson on info ubiquity and how the end of privacy means trouble for the hierarchical political structure [also not found...]
In the age of the leak and the blog, of evidence extraction and link discovery, truths will either out or be outed, later if not sooner. This is something I would bring to the attention of every diplomat, politician and corporate leader: the future, eventually, will find you out. The future, wielding unimaginable tools of transparency, will have its way with you. In the end, you will be seen to have done that which you did.

1:28 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Bioweaponry initiative overfunded ($6bil) and dangerous, may lead to just what it's trying to prevent [also not found...]
A network of high-security laboratories for storing and investigating some of the most lethal viruses known to mankind is being built across the US, leaving communities in uproar. They not only fear the risk of the viruses escaping, but also contend that the programme, part of the $6bn (£3.5bn) Project BioShield, is a stunning case of overkill. For none of the germs to be studied is related to bioweaponry.

1:20 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Geez, them Iraqis just ain't ready for demock-racy just yet [also not found in nature]
U.S. military commanders have ordered a halt to local elections and self-rule in provincial cities and towns across Iraq, choosing instead to install their own handpicked mayors and administrators, many of whom are former Iraqi military leaders.

The decision to deny Iraqis a direct role in selecting municipal governments is creating anger and resentment among aspiring leaders and ordinary citizens, who say the U.S.-led occupation forces are not making good on their promise to bring greater freedom and democracy to a country dominated for three decades by Saddam Hussein.

The go-slow approach to representative government in at least a dozen provincial cities is especially frustrating to younger, middle-class professionals who say they want to help their communities emerge from postwar chaos and to let, as one put it, "Iraqis make decisions for Iraq."

1:17 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Spanish govt distorted intelligence before Iraq war [News Insider]

10:04 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Was SARS bio-economic warfare on China?
China and Canada are now suffering from the SARS virus. Quebec almost received a possible deadly blow from ship-born anthrax spores. The Bush administration is now deciding how best to punish France, Germany, Russia, and other countries for their lack of support. Nothing, including the use of bio-economic warfare, should be put past the Bush administration. In the absence of an independent US Congress, the world should demand that UN inspectors be given access to all US bio-weapons laboratories. There is still no evidence that Saddam Hussein used bio-weapons but there is a lot of actual and circumstantial evidence that the US has and continues to do so with possibly disastrous consequences for the entire world.

10:02 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Snitch culture file:

TIPS reincarnated as Talon
[News Insider]
To track domestic terrorist threats against the military, the Pentagon is creating a new database that will contain "raw, non-validated" reports of "anomalous activities" within the United States.

According to a Department of Defense memorandum, the system, known as Talon, will provide a mechanism to collect and rapidly share reports "by concerned citizens and military members regarding suspicious incidents."

Talon was described in a May 2 memorandum to top Pentagon brass from Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. In the memo, Wolfowitz directed the heads of military departments and agencies to begin producing Talon reports immediately.

10:00 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

WaPo begins to hint that Iraqi resistance not just Saddam loyalists

9:56 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

BBC under fire

Israel shuts out BBC over program showing biological and nuclear weapons facilities, as Blairco attack over Iraq weapons dossier simmers
The prime minister's director of communications, Alastair Campbell, has angrily accused the BBC of lying in its claims over alleged "sexing up" of the case against Saddam.

The BBC has hit back, standing by its story and accusing Mr Campbell of running a personal vendetta against journalist Andrew Gilligan and of deploying intimidatory tactics.

When Mr Campbell gave his evidence to the committee last week, the immediate reaction amongst many in Westminster - both journalists and politicians - was that he had "done an Ali."

What they meant was that he had launched a calculated attempt to divert attention away from those deeply serious allegations by Ms Short and, more particularly, Mr Cook. [link]

9:47 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Ghost of Thurmond the Terrible lingers...

DoJ trying new tactics to circuumvent 1st Amendment
Mr Bursey's trial will take place in the new courthouse in Columbia, named after the now 100-year-old Strom Thurmond senior (who, as it happens, helped his son get his current job [as local US attorney]). If convicted, Mr Bursey, who is 54, faces six months in jail and a $5,000 fine. Yet a growing number of liberal sorts seem to think that the real issue is the intolerance of John Ashcroft's Justice Department -- and, in particular, its intention to start using the rare Secret Service law to get rid of protesters.

Last month, 11 members of Congress, including one Republican and several members of the House Judiciary and Homeland Security committees, sent a letter to Mr Ashcroft urging him to drop charges against Mr Bursey. They insisted that "no plausible argument can be made that Mr Bursey was threatening the president by holding a sign which the president found politically offensive."


Bill Nettles, Mr Bursey's lawyer, claims that the case is being driven not by the young Mr Thurmond but by higher-ups in Washington, who want a new way to stifle dissent. "This is the type of small-brained decision that could only have been made by bureaucrats inside the Beltway," says the lanky Mr Nettles. Mr Thurmond's office declines to discuss the case. A spokesman says the office is aware of the letter from the 11 congressmen, but "unless we get a directive from Attorney-General Ashcroft's office [telling us to drop or settle the case], we shall proceed."

Mr Bursey's supporters note that Mr Ashcroft's men have decided to test their anti-protester law in a conservative stronghold, where the armed forces tend to be viewed more generously than elderly hippies and where the case will be heard by a judge without a jury. It is easy to see how Mr Ashcroft might not warm to Mr Bursey, who heads a "progressive network" of liberal organisations, used to edit an alternative newspaper, and has organised protests against, among other things, American war policy, nuclear power, racism and the Confederate flag.

5:09 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Don't kill the dream

I don't think shrubco (or their "opponents" for that matter) has resorted to mutis to stay in power -- yet, anyway
When King Mswati III dissolved Swaziland's Parliament this month in anticipation of October elections, he sternly warned prospective candidates not to murder innocent people in order to harvest their body parts to make a "muti" to bring good fortune.

"During election times, we tend to lose our grandmothers, grandfathers and young children. They just disappear. But I want to warn you all that you should not resort to ritual murder," Mswati said.

Addressing more than 15 000 people at Ludzidzini Royal Village, 20km east of Mbabane, the king emphasised: "Don't do that, because you might get caught and then you will not achieve your dream of going to Parliament."

Why would the head of state risk ridicule for his country by dwelling on a grisly, superstitious practice as if it was normal in the course of Swazi electioneering? According to police records, the king has reason to.

Before the last parliamentary poll in 1998, the number of corpses with missing body parts discovered in rural or peri-urban areas increased from the usual three or four a year to more than a dozen.

No actual ritual is performed in "ritual murders". Usually marginal people in society, such as widows or orphans, are killed for pieces of flesh that are roasted, ground to powder, and combined with other ingredients for a potion its users believe will allow them to triumph over their rivals.

"It's a form of sympathetic magic. Users believe that by committing a God-like act -- taking the life of another human being -- they are proving their strength, which they call upon dark powers to confirm by using a potion made from body parts," said Justice Mngomezulu, a local doctor.
There is a kind of poetic resonance though.

The way things are going, I wouldn't put it past them.

Somehow all this idle speculation reminds me of Richard Dooling's flawed but funny White Man's Grave...

Ah, summertime...

4:57 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

You've no doubt heard, but for the record: all of a sudden North America is running out of natural gas
We must also bear in mind that, while the world as a whole is nowhere near peaking in NG production, the same is not true for North America. There may be massive known reserves of NG still untapped around the globe (especially in Russia), but that does us little good here. This is because NG is not easily transported overseas. First it must be chilled to liquid form in special processing plants, loaded onto specially built Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) tankers, shipped to specially designed offloading ports, and then reverted back to gaseous form.

All of this cuts into the net energy of LNG and adds to the price. And the amount of LNG that can be shipped in this manner is limited by the size and number of tankers and the length of time for one full trip (from the Middle East to the US and back, with loading and unloading, up to half a year per tanker according to some sources).


Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham has summoned energy industry leaders to an emergency June summit to discuss the NG situation.14 It is likely that this summit will result in a call to roll back environmental regulations on government-controlled lands and offshore areas. It is also likely that the summit will result in a bargain sale of NG drilling rights on public lands.

Beyond this handout, the Department of Energy (DOE) believes that market forces will resolve the NG dilemma. The agency believes that higher NG prices will result in increased profits for operators, who will in turn have more money to spend drilling NG wells.15 The DOE does not realize that the industry is currently running simply to stand still. US production history shows that new wells are being depleted more quickly all the time; the current decline rate is 28%. While this is partially due to growing demand, it is also due to the fact that the large plays of NG are all aging and are in terminal decline. Newer plays tend to be smaller and are produced (and depleted) quickly in the effort to maintain overall production levels.

Once again, economists fail to recognize that throwing more money into production will not solve the problem if a non-renewable resource base is depleted.

4:34 PM - [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

(link to list against Iraq War)


Philip K. Dick


PR Watch

The Link Section


The Global Beat
Progressive Review's Undernews
Guerrilla News Network
newshub top 25
Narco News
BBC World
L.A. Times
Christian Science Monitor
Unknown News
The UK Guardian
Int'l Herald Tribune
The Smirking Chimp
Spin of the Day
USGS Earthquake update
Nando NewsWatch
Unknown Country
Project Censored

questions, questions...
Serendipity WTC page
xymphora (also Mid East)
Mike Ruppert
Matt McVeagh's summary of theories
Propaganda Matrix


Namebase (Public Information Research)
FAS Intel Index
CIA Pubs
J Ransom Clark US Intel Bibliography
Carnicom Chemtrails
ARAP TWA 800 page
Gnostic Liberation Front
Freedom Portal
Philidelphia Experiment/Montauk Project
Freemason Watch
Military Intelligence by John Patrick Finnegan


Aron's Israel Peace Weblog
The Unbound Writer's Online Journal
Temple Furnace
The Mink Dimension
Hari Kunzru
The Asylum Eclectica
Witold Riedel


Schizm Matrix
boing boing
J. Orlin Grabbe Sassafrass
the null device
new world disorder
Invisible Jet
a dam site
This Modern World (the blog)
moon farmer
a bright cold day in april
bifurcated rivets
wood s lot
Ethel the Blog
rebecca's pocket
follow me here
robot wisdom
Orwell Today


Pod Designs


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)
stock market
The Center for Justice and Accountability


Earth Alchemy
Astrodienst (free charts)
Morgan's Tarot
Paranormal News
Institute of Noetic Sciences


The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Fully Informed Jury Association
Why War?
Commercial Alert
Privacy Rights Now
Peaceful Tomorrows
Contacting the Congress
Amer. Booksellers Found. Free Expression
Critical Resistance (prisons)
Working for Change
Contract with the Planet
Unmarried America
Physicians for a National Health Program


insound (music and mags) (books & music cheap)
Web Source Sales (ink carts cheap)

Invisible Web search


[Get Opera!]


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

*       *       *       *


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
What 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

© me