American Samizdat

Thursday, February 28, 2002. *
Strange Victory:
A critical appraisal of Operation Enduring Freedom and the Afghanistan war
Project on Defense Alternatives Research Monograph #6

"It is routine for war retrospectives to ask how victory was achieved. But Operation Enduring Freedom poses an additional, more fundamental question: Where has victory delivered us? In two short months Operation Enduring Freedom transformed the strategic landscape of not only Afghanistan, but also Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. It did so in ways that were largely unforseen and unplanned at the outset of the war and that remain unsettled today. Indeed, seldom has the gap been so great between the clarity of battlefield victory and the uncertainty of what it has wrought. Even the net effect of the victory on the new terrorism is uncertain."

via pessimism of mind
posted by Mark at 7:11 PM
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New Front on Ecoterror?
Some Want to Target High-Profile Activists in Battle on Ecoterror

Some congressmen and industry advocates want the federal government to take a hard look at some well-known animal rights and environmental groups, and maybe shut them down as supporters of terrorism.
[read more]

via Red Rock Eater Digest

Anti-abortionists bomb abortion clinics and kill doctors who perform abortions. Those are terrorist activities. So—those groups who are anti-abortion should be shut down as supporters of terrorism. Right? Am I missing something?
posted by Gordon at 4:43 PM
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Michael Moore steps into the ring against Bill O'Reilly. And the winner is...partial transcript
posted by Fred at 2:35 PM
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yeeeeeessshhh...
these guys already give me the heebie-jeebies,
and now they get uptight 'bout someone's scarf
posted by j at 12:44 PM
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Damn! I wish I could go to the opening of Kanji, Kritters, & Kute Girls: Paintings by Yumiko Kayukawa at Roq la Rue Gallery in Seattle tomorrow night.
posted by Andrew at 10:08 AM
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Holocausts of the 20th Century
"A dozen deaths is a tragedy; a million deaths, a statistic." -- Joseph Stalin
posted by A.Q. at 9:58 AM
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"Toys are intriguing, and I want to see what I can do with them. On a deeper level, they represent one way that society socializes its young..." David Levinthal... Blackface (1995/1998, Polaroid Ektacolor ER prints, 24 x 20 inches each). A slideshow presentation that is part of a selection of Works by David Levinthal at Conner Contemporary Art.
posted by Andrew at 3:58 AM
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Now a favorite source for information about what is going on in the Middle East, The DEBKA File comes under scrutiny for its reliability here: DEBKA File
posted by Fred at 3:46 AM
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An atrocity more often than not overlooked(see:book not published in Japan) and one the Japanese scarcely admit to, (see: refuting charges, unsuccessfully) The Rape of Nanking was not only a horror story of great magnitude, but it is also an early example of the uses of chemical and biological agents for experiments in killing,
The Other Holocaust This "hidden" atrocity can be further studied in the documents cited at further readings and for history: Rape of Nanking
posted by Fred at 3:39 AM
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Wednesday, February 27, 2002. *

What's this? Palestinians and Israelis living peaceably together?

Such an oasis of peace as you describe . . .

posted by Dr. Menlo at 10:22 PM
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two things to share...
War Riddles: Ten Questions the Media Can't Answer
noticed at caught In between
and thanks to Tony P. for this little celebration

posted by j at 7:38 PM
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With apologies to William Carlos Williams,
To Dubya

The pure products of America
go crazy--

The stifling heat of September
somehow
seems to destroy us

No one
to witness
and adjust, no one to drive the car

posted by Wylie at 6:42 PM
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posted by Fred at 5:35 PM
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On trial in America:
A alleged child-eating molester and killer, a man who allegedly abducted and murdered his swinging neighbors' young daughter, a couple involved in bestiality whose white-supremacist trained dog murdered a young lesbian, a woman who heard voices and drowned her 5 children, a disturbed ex-cop who killed his wife and her lover, and many more. Just how dark is America's Dark side?
posted by A.Q. at 10:37 AM
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American Gulag: Petty criminals doing hard time
The United States has achieved the dubious honor of boasting the largest prison and jail population on Earth. It reached this zenith by surpassing cash-strapped Russia -- long its only rival as a society of mass imprisonment -- after Russia released thousands of inmates so as to save money.
A few years earlier, as America rushed to lock up ever more of its population for ever-pettier offenses, the absolute size of its incarcerated population surpassed that of China -- despite China's population being more than four times that of America. According to research by the British Home Office, America now incarcerates over one fifth of the world's prisoners.

posted by Mark at 9:54 AM
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Tuesday, February 26, 2002. *
AMERICANS OUTRAGED THAT CORPORATIONS CHEAT JUST LIKE THEY DO
"Companies Should Be More Honest," Says Nation That Walks Away Quickly If Inadvertently Given Too Much Change by Cashier

From Enron to Global Crossing, Andersen to AIG, allegations that U.S. corporations have been cheating, lying, and even breaking the law have caused a firestorm of indignation across America, where most inhabitants regularly exceed posted speed limits, have "permanently borrowed" something from the office, and will say pretty much anything to get out of jury duty.
[read more]
posted by Gordon at 10:46 PM
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This is from Mike's Book Tour Diary:

Speaking of foreigners, something bizarre happened today -- "Stupid White Men" shot to #1 in Great Britain on the Amazon.com.UK bestseller list. It not only hasn't been published in the UK, I don't even have a UK publisher yet! In other words, this book can be found nowhere in Britain -- except in cyberspace. And yet it is selling more books on their version of Amazon than any other book. How can this be?
[read more]
posted by Gordon at 10:33 PM
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Arab software company makes new game where players kill Israelis with rocks; claim it's a non-violent game because Israelis are servants of Satan, and not really human.Under Ash free download! Have fun killing Israelis. via Fark.com
posted by Fred at 10:10 AM
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posted by j at 9:36 AM
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Not exciting reading. Not a call to arms. But a well-wrought debate on globalization and world poverty that is central to issues confronting us. Are global poverty and inequality getting worse?
posted by Fred at 3:19 AM
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The worms in the applesRotten to the Core
posted by Fred at 3:08 AM
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Monday, February 25, 2002. *
Endgame Research Services
a project of the Public Information Network
posted by Dr. Menlo at 3:46 PM
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The oil floats to the top of the cesspool, and here is Jeff writing to George
posted by Fred at 3:38 PM
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In reference to an earlier post by Tiffany Tomkinson about another black man in Seattle killed by cops, I give you Surrounded, by Geov Parrish. Within this story you will find more details about how one black man with no gun was surrounded by 10-12 police officers and shot to death.

I'm sorry, you're telling me 10-12 cops can't take down one man without murdering him? Geov is not the only one to be reminded of the incident concerning a "mentally ill man after he shoplifted at a Safeway" who was also shot to death after being surrounded by police. Did you know the officer who shot and killed that man won the "Officer of the Month" award?

In Washington, D.C. last year a man shooting into the White House was stopped by arguably the best-trained police force in the world: the Secret Service. They stopped him by shooting him in the leg.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 12:07 PM
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Fun Photo Op in the West Bank
Perhaps best viewed after having read Israeli hero Asaf Oron's statement about his refusual to serve in the Occupied Territories. An excerpt:
You get used to it in a hurry, and many even learn to like it. Where else
can you go out on patrol - that is, walk the streets like a king, harass
and humiliate pedestrians to your heart's content, and get into mischief with
your buddies - and at the same time feel like a big hero defending your
country?....Already on the bus ride to the
Gaza strip, the soldiers were competing with each other: whose "heroic" tales
of murderous beatings during the Intifada were better (in case you missed
this point: the beatings were literally murderous: beating to death). Going
on patrol duty with these guys once was all that I could take.
posted by A.Q. at 10:24 AM
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As the six-month anniversary of the September 11th attacks approaches, and as Bush's War on Terror continues unabated, we would do well to consider carefully the definition of victory. In the days after the Towers fell, we were promised the heads of Osama bin Laden and his followers. We were told our enemies attacked us because they despised our freedoms. We were promised the nation would become a safer, more secure place. redefining the threat
posted by Fred at 3:40 AM
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He may or may not be your cup of tea, but here he is speaking about himself: Noam Chomsky on Anarchism, Marxism & Hope for the Future
posted by Fred at 3:18 AM
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Sunday, February 24, 2002. *
From the Accidental Annals of post 9.11 Department:
Baseball: it's such a brutal sport, some players age a year or two or three overnight.
posted by Jim at 4:25 PM
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Whoa

Subj: trademark infringement

Date: 1/10/2002 8:17:23 AM Pacific Standard Time

From: Ovens.Jan@t...

To: forcescan2@A...

Pat, this is further to our telephone conversation of January 9, 2002
regarding products identified on the Forces Canada Internet site that were
infringing on a registered trademark held by the Government of Canada.
The flag symbol is a global identifier of the Government of Canada It is
used to identify federal institutions and is protected under the Trademarks Act (Section 9 (1)(n)(iii) of the Act).
The flag symbol was approved and entered as an official mark of the Government of Canada on the Trademarks Register held by the Canadian Trademarks Office, which is part of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office at Industry Canada, on 30 September 1987.

As discussed, there is evidence that Forces Canada Internet site is advertising on the World Wide Web bearing the flag symbol of the Government of Canada. You are advised that your organization must take immediate corrective action with respect to infringement of this trademark. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Jan Ovens

Federal Identity Program

Does this happen anywhere else?...an identity program?

slashdot

Menlo...without a browser...this is truly sad..no leader..i am feeling exposed
posted by riley dog at 10:21 AM
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Note: If you go to Menlo site (menlo ) you will see plaintive cry for a browser. If anyone posting or reading here can cut a CD and stick a Mac browser on it, write Menlo at drmenlo at well.com and ask for his address so you can mail it to him. He can post only prose (no pics) at cafe or library or wherever he hangs out.
posted by Fred at 8:18 AM
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Two U.S. aircraft landed Feb. 21 in Georgia, likely setting the stage for a new U.S.-led counterterrorism operation against al Qaeda and Chechen militants in the Pankisi Gorge. A U.S. military presence in Georgia -- in addition to the deployment in Afghanistan -- will dramatically weaken Russia's strategic positions along its southern borders and push Russian forces out of former Soviet states in the Caucasus and Central Asia. [more] via Stratfor.com
see too:Russia angry
posted by Fred at 3:45 AM
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Along streets ornamented with shrines to blue-skinned Hindu gods, cows, sacred in Hinduism, forage unfettered. Five times a day, the muezzins' calls to prayer sound from the minarets of the 135-year-old Darul Uloom seminary that is famed throughout the Islamic world and teaches the form of Islam known as Deobandism.

But while the Deobandis of India, and India's 130 million Muslims in general, have embraced India's secular Constitution and religious diversity, the Deobandis of Afghanistan and Pakistan sought to impose their fundamentalist brand of Islam by force.
[ more] NY Times, reg req'd. see too: Deobandis & terrorism
posted by Fred at 3:40 AM
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Saturday, February 23, 2002. *
Kirsten, please note I didn't refer to you personally when I said 'have a problem? . . . get science, etc.'--this was to any wayward readers who wandered over here from Ken Layne or something. Kirsten Anderson is--to all you in the world who weren't aware--one of the coolest underground art figures in Seattle, and deals routinely with the likes of Dan Clowes, Chris Ware (heard last nite on "This American Life"--very funny) and Mark Ryden, among many more. I am also very honored that she has agreed to move her blog over to my domain: viva Thumbmonkey!

Kirsten, you rock, and please accept my deepest apologies if you thought my acid was directed at you--it wasn't.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 4:23 PM
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The Emergence Of The Fascist American Theocratic State
John Stanton And Wayne Madsen

Historians will record that between November 2000 and February 2002, democracy-as envisioned by the creators of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution-effectively came to an end. As democracy died, the Fascist American Theocratic State ["The State"] was born. This new fascist era was designed and implemented primarily by Republican organizations and individuals who funded, supported and ultimately inserted George Bush II in office. Equally complicit in this atrocity was the Democratic Party, itself having become corrupt and beholden to its own interests. But the greatest tragedy in this horrific turn of events was that the public and media embraced fascism's coming. It should be noted that the Green Party's valiant efforts were too little, too late.

posted by Mark at 3:28 PM
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WOW!
Dr Menlo ripped me a new one! I'd never heard of Bjorn before- and I never said I agreed with him, I was just facinated by what he was saying and thought it was very interesting thought fodder. Anyway to all outraged Samizdaters, I humbly stand down. I shall go "get myself some science" now....
Gravely,
Miss Anderson
posted by Kirsten at 12:35 PM
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Afghan refugees sold into prostitution; indentured servitude flourishes; scenes from a slave auction Pakistan’s slave trade
posted by Fred at 10:50 AM
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Howard Clifford... Family in camp "apartment". From the Camp Harmony Exhibit at the University of Washington. "...In the spring of 1942, just months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, more than 100,000 residents of Japanese ancestry were forcefully evicted by the army from their homes in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona and Alaska, and sent to nearby temporary assembly centers. From there they were sent by trains to American-style concentration camps at remote inland sites where many people spent the remainder of the war. This exhibit tells the story of Seattle's Japanese American community in the spring and summer of 1942 and their four month sojourn at the Puyallup Assembly Center known as 'Camp Harmony.'"
posted by Andrew at 8:48 AM
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Look out, Internet sextrepreneurs: John Aschroft wants you to serve hard time.

In explicit terms, the attorney general told Congress this week that hardcore sex sites would no longer be selling peeks at balloon-breasted babes.

"I am concerned about obscenity and I'm concerned about obscenity as it relates to our children," Ashcroft said in his first appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.

Is 36 C acceptable? or, say: this lass?
posted by Fred at 4:04 AM
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WASHINGTON — American tobacco companies have violated sanctions against Iraq for years by sending billions of cigarettes into the country, often with the aid of a terrorist organization, the European Union has alleged.

The allegations, made in recent filings in U.S. District Court in New York, were the latest salvos in a civil racketeering lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris by the European Community and 10 member nations. The suit accused tobacco companies of running a global and decades-long cigarette smuggling operation that robbed national treasuries of billions of dollars in tax revenue and became a money-laundering vehicle for criminal organizations.
[ more]
posted by Fred at 4:00 AM
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Michael Moore's Stupid White Men hits number one at Amazon.

"I'm up early doing a satellite tour of 20 or so radio stations around the country. The best thing about hitting #1 is that it has turned around all my interviewers perceptions about Bush's popularity. One after the other, I hear them say through my headphones, "Gee, I thought Bush's approval was 80%, but here you have a book that shreds him to pieces -- and that book is the biggest selling book on Amazon.com!" What a refreshing thing to listen to after months of a compliant press bowing down to the Oval Office Occupier."

Michael Moore's last book tour ended up as a movie. This book tour is being chronicled at Mike's Book Tour Diary. You can get to the latest entry from the Mike's Book Tour Diary button at Mike's home page.

posted by Gordon at 12:33 AM
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Friday, February 22, 2002. *
While Kirsten Anderson's credentials in the world of outsider art are superlative, I'm afraid she was done in a bit on the cuckolded side by falling for a side of baloney like that espoused by an economist writing about science--i.e., Bjorn Lomborg.

For a quality debunking, I defer to Grist Magazine, who offers up real and actual scientists to talk about the matters Lomborg 'discusses.'

The only thing 'brave' about Bjorn Lomborg is his ability to take his retardation public.

You got a problem with that? Email me your arguments and our distinguished panel of science fans and citizens of earth will respond. And for Buddha's sake, get yourself some science, why don't you?

AMERICAN SAMIZDAT

WEAPON OF MASS INSTRUCTION

posted by Dr. Menlo at 7:43 PM
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SaudiPhobes Target Neil Bush
Wide-ranging and link-heavy essay by AntiWar.com's Justin Raimondo. Lots of interesting Oilbiz/Saudi backgrounder.
posted by A.Q. at 4:41 PM
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Chris Weinkopf -- Danielle van Dam — Victim of "Alternative Lifestyles?"
Right-winger wonders if San Diego family's 'swinger' lifestyle contributed to the kidnapping of their child. Manages to throw in a Clinton reference at the end, natch.

Meanwhile, next-door-neighbor and reportedly failed swinger David Westerfield has been arrested after the missing little girl's blood was found on his clothing and vehicle.
posted by A.Q. at 4:17 PM
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"THE PROFITS OF DOOM"
"Matt Ridley celebrates Bjorn Lomborg, the environmentalist brave enough to tell the truth — that the end is not nigh..." Interesting article on how maybe we're not as fucked as we think.
posted by Kirsten at 1:02 PM
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"Do not believe falsehoods about American cruelty. See for yourselves! Select representatives to come forward and observe the treatment they will receive. Then these representatives can return and guide you to safety. You will receive food, water, clothing, and medical treatment..." Leaflet 509 from Psychological Warfare in World War II. "...selected propaganda leaflets used during World War II to influence Japanese soldiers serving in Japan and the Philippines, as well as Japanese civilians."
posted by Andrew at 7:40 AM
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The starving children of Iraq The Left is not Alway Right
posted by Fred at 3:02 AM
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Please circulate far and wide.
>
> Vigil for Shawn Maxwell
> Sunday Feb. 24th at 2:00pm
> at the shooting location
> (51st and 7th Ave N.E.)
>
> This will be followed at 2:30 by a community meeting
> at the Peace Cafe regarding police violence and
> accountability. Points of discussion will include
> starting a cop watch program in the neighborhood and
> strengthening community bonds in the aftermath of
> this shooting.

"So, I'm assuming by now that people have heard about the death of Shawn Maxwell a few days ago. He was a black man, shot by the Seattle Police Department in front of my house........"

- Matt Leonard
posted by Tiffany at 2:54 AM
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Thursday, February 21, 2002. *
Asaf Oron's Statement, Refusing to Serve in the Occupied Territories

[Asaf Oron, a Sergeant Major in the Giv'ati Brigade, is one of the original 53 Israeli soldiers who signed the "Fighters' Letter" ( Courage to Refuse - Combatant Letter 2002 ) declaring that from now on they will refuse to serve in the Occupied territories. He is signer #8 and one of the first in the list to include a statement explaining his action. My sense is that his statement comes as close as possible to being the refuseniks' manifesto, given the loose structure of the group and their insistence on independent, individual responsibility. Below is my translation of Oron's statement. Read it, and you will no longer be surprised by the amazing response to the soldiers' initiative (251 signers as of February 17, 2002).--Ami Kronfeld]

"We are the Chinese young man standing in front of the tank. And you? If you are nowhere to be seen, you are probably inside the tank, advising the driver."
posted by Mark at 6:32 PM
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The Death of Empires
a very good question put to each of us
by Jon Carroll in his column today
Unsafe, Unsightly and just plain Idiotic...
tonight on PBS FRONTLINE:
Rollover: Hidden History of the SUV
and this brief examination of the program from the SF Chronicle
friends don't let friends buy SUVs
posted by j at 9:53 AM
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Issandr El Amrani
Cairo, Egypt
Feb. 14, 2002


Photo: Issandr El Amrani
More than eight months after he was sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of illegally accepting foreign funds, sullying Egypt's image abroad, and embezzlement, Egyptian human-rights activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim walked free—pending a retrial—on Feb. 7. Ibrahim's seven-month trial, which began in November 2000, and his subsequent imprisonment, led international human-rights organizations and Western governments to express concern that the country was backtracking on political reforms. Local activists, who had long warned that the government was strangling civil society with tacit Western approval, were silenced by his arrest.
[more] America has made military tribunals acceptable.
posted by Fred at 9:45 AM
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It is always useful to know who the enemy is and how we know we have won the war against terrorism Otherwise, we are likely to label just about anything and anyone we dislike as terrorists or terrorism to justify our actions.
thanks Al: I blog therefore I am.
posted by Fred at 3:38 AM
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In the spirit of the post below from the hardest workin man in the blog business:

Palestine Chronicle - An Open Letter To My Palestinian Brothers and Sisters
As the deathtoll mounts in the Middle East, here is an article written purely from the Palestinian point-of-view-- you'll understand how much once you read the complex, intelligent piece of strategy and consolation by Palestinian-American businessman Jaffer Ali. From PalestineChronicle.com.

From the Israeli perspective comes this piece by Micah D. Halpern about Arafat and what he should (and won't) do. The latter is from the incredibly well-designed Israel Insider website.
posted by A.Q. at 12:49 AM
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Wednesday, February 20, 2002. *
About bitterlemons.org

Bitterlemons.org is a website that presents Israeli and Palestinian viewpoints on prominent issues of concern. It focuses on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and peace process, but other, related regional issues are also discussed. It is produced, edited and partially written by Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian, and Yossi Alpher, an Israeli. Its goal is to contribute to mutual understanding through the open exchange of ideas. It aspires to impact the way Palestinians, Israelis and others worldwide think about regional issues.

Bitterlemons.org is directed toward the interested public and policymakers in the region and elsewhere. Each weekly edition of bitterlemons.org is posted on our website. Readers can obtain a free subscription by entering their email address in the space provided on the home page or by writing to subscribe@bitterlemons.org.

bitterlemons.org As an example of this on-line discussion, The French have recently offered a proposal for resolving the Palestinain/Israeli deadlock in the region, for which see an evaluation and discussion of French peace proposal I find this site useful in that it offers views from both sides rather than simply feeding into pre-conceived notions.
posted by Fred at 10:59 PM
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posted by Mr. Planet at 4:57 PM
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Gays Caused Enron Collapse, sez Christian newspaper editor
The push for same-sex domestic partnerships in Fortune 500 companies has put those companies in a position where they are "promoting" homesexual behavior while doing business in regions where homosexual behaviour is illegal. This guys says it created a slippery slope where accounting firms began to selectively obey laws.
posted by brooke at 11:33 AM
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How To Tell Japs From The Chinese (LIFE Magazine, December 1941). "...In the first discharge of emotions touched off by the Japanese assaults on their nation, U.S. citizens have been demonstrating a distressing ignorance on the delicate question of how to tell a Chinese from a Jap. Innocent victims in cities all over the country are many of the 75,000 U.S. Chinese, whose homeland is our stanch ally. So serious were the consequences threatened, that the Chinese consulates last week prepared to tag their nationals with identification buttons. To dispel some of this confusion, LIFE here adduces a rule-of-thumb from the anthropometric conformations that distinguish friendly Chinese from enemy alien Japs." From Posters from World War Two - curriculum for the course Japanese American Internment at the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at San Francisco State University.
posted by Andrew at 8:08 AM
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Stonewall hero and longtime activist Sylvia Rivera died on Tuesday. As a 17-year-old drag queen, she led the spontaneous resistance to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn on June 27, 1969. Some links:
-- New York Times obituary of Sylvia Rivera
-- 1998 Workers World interview with Sylvia Rivera in which she described life on the streets of New York as a drag queen, the uprising in Greenwich Village, and the era that followed
-- 1999 New York Times short memoir by Rivera of her life since Stonewall
posted by Evan at 7:10 AM
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Anyone expressing surprise at the supernova-like explosion of Enron and its accounting firm Arthur Andersen must have been roommates in a cave with Osama bin Laden. Eight or nine years ago, Newt Gingrich and the Contract With America laid the very groundwork by which Enron and Arthur Andersen could perpetrate their gigantic fraud on the public.

The benign-sounding Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 would enable corporations and their accountants to dodge investor lawsuits.
[link]
posted by Fred at 2:52 AM
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Tuesday, February 19, 2002. *
in reference to an earlier post


requires nurturing & support
yourstruly made mention of this on post of 2.18;
I've addresses of some of the contributors to American Samizdat &
you'll find copies heading your way care of the U.S. Postal Service.
More info re War Times as I can come up with it...

posted by j at 6:13 PM
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Millennium persecution Images
Somewhat extravagant title for one of the best online collections of images from Palestinian uprising of 2000-present. This site has links to other galleries, illuminating the importance that photography has always had in this and other low-inensity conflicts. Each sides attempts to use images as part of their war for security/independence. Even with all propaganda value stripped away, these galleries contain some striking and moving images.
posted by A.Q. at 11:05 AM
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The response to this New Scientist story, on the newstands since the beginning of the month, has been a collective shrug. 'Anthrax, schmanthrax, that's so three months ago...'

Investigators are virtually certain of one thing, though: it was an inside job. The anthrax attacker is an American scientist -- and worse, one from within the US's own biodefence establishment. And only now, four months on from the posting of the first letters, are the frightening implications of that beginning to sink in.

America's experience of bioterrorism was, above all, one of institutional failure and a breakdown in the trust on which those institutions are based. The US had its own bioweapons research turned against it-by one of its own. To add to the embarrassment, advances in the massive investigation so far owe more to the serendipity of a few researchers than to any organised response to bioterrorism.

::Debora MacKenzie, New Scientist: The Insider
posted by Mr. GluSniffer at 11:03 AM
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Bush Seeks a New Generation Of Nuclear Weapons, Delivery Systems
Some groups are criticizing the Bush administration's plans. "Not since the resurgence of the Cold War in Ronald Reagan's first term has there been such an emphasis on nuclear weapons in U.S. defense strategy," said the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group that specializes in analyzing U.S. nuclear weapons programs.

At the time the Nuclear Posture Review was released, officials focused attention on its proposals for large-scale reductions in the number of nuclear warheads. Bush announced in November that the United States will reduce the number of deployed warheads from its current level of 6,000 to between 1,700 and 2,200 within 10 years. But instead of destroying most of the warheads, the administration plans to put them in storage where they could be reactivated.

posted by A.Q. at 11:02 AM
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Terry Jones on the potential Bombing of Iraq in the Observer newspaper:
"To prevent terrorism by dropping bombs on Iraq is such an obvious idea that I can't think why no one has thought of it before. It's so simple. If only the UK had done something similar in Northern Ireland, we wouldn't be in the mess we are in today..."
Read the rest of the article at http://www.observer.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,651594,00.html
posted by stack at 10:30 AM
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An advocate for the control of biological weapons who has been gathering information about last autumn's anthrax attacks said yesterday the Federal Bureau of Investigation has a strong hunch about who mailed the deadly letters.

But the FBI might be "dragging its feet" in pressing charges because the suspect is a former government scientist familiar with "secret activities that the government would not like to see disclosed," said Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, director of the Federation of American Scientists' Chemical and Biological Weapons Program.
posted by Evan at 10:23 AM
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The Abraham Lincoln Wing - A Specialized Collection of United States Essays & Proofs. Part of the Peter Schwartz collection at the Museum of United States Essays & Proofs. "...dedicated to the study and appreciation of early U.S. postage and revenue stamp design, as seen through the actual handiwork of the designers and engravers essays and proofs."
posted by Andrew at 5:10 AM
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Operation Enduring Freedom
WAR, PROPAGANDA, AND TOPPS TRADING CARDS
[ link]
posted by Fred at 2:11 AM
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Tariq Ramadan: The Muslim Martin Luther?
The author of "To Be a European Muslim" discusses terrorism, the problem of Saudi Arabia and whether Islam can peacefully coexist with the West.
[link]
posted by Fred at 2:08 AM
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Monday, February 18, 2002. *
Permit THIS!
"The City of Seattle's refusal to grant a permit to organizers for November 30, 2001 �Ethe second anniversary of the 1999 WTO Ministerial conference in Seattle, led to our creation and first victory. We sought and were granted a federal injunction requiring the City of Seattle to issue a Special Event Permit so people could peacefully gather and rally in Westlake Park on N30, 2001!

"The legal battle has just begun."


posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:11 PM
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"Tuvalu is sinking, man!"

--Ryan Parker, whom we most fervently hope will be joining us soon.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:07 PM
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Complete Collapse of North Atlantic Fishing Predicted
"The entire North Atlantic is being so severely overfished that it may completely collapse by 2010, reveals the first comprehensive survey of the entire ocean's fishery.

"'We'll all be eating jellyfish sandwiches,' says Reg Watson, a fisheries scientist at the University of British Columbia."

Stop the Hog Farm: Go Veg.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:03 PM
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W-o-T® Me Worry? According to a report in a Lebanese daily as related by Ha'aretz, CIA director George Tenet reportedly asked President Mubarak not to oppose a US attack on Iraq, reportedly stating during his visit to Egypt Saturday that the US has already decided to take this next step. The scenario reportedly involves the US demanding that Iraq allow the return of arms inspectors, fully expecting Iraq to defy the ultimatum and open itself to a massive attack The Guardian 'But former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter writes that Iraq has already called Bush's bluff, by showing a willingness to discuss the issue of inspectors, and raising the question as to whether a U.S. call for them "has been merely rhetorical".' CommonDreams [via Cursor, as are many of these links] The New York Times yesterday had Colin Powell rejecting Iraqi assurances on arms inspectors as, well, rhetoric.



"...let's find Osama bin Laden, together. If alive, he is certainly not in Baghdad," Michael Naumann, former German Minister of Culture and editor of Die Zeit, writes in a NY Times op-ed piece. Why Europe Is Wary of War in Iraq:

"...While American patriotism proudly celebrates its armed forces' power and victories, Europe's diverse loyalties and identities are formed by a war-weary pessimism thoroughly grounded in our history: Wars can be just, certainly those fought in self- defense can; but they can be bloody useless, too. This pessimism may shade, potentially, into appeasement, yet its roots are real. They explain European reluctance to intervene quickly in Bosnia — a deplorable reluctance, in hindsight — and the present refusal to join arms with the United States against Iraq.



This time, however, the powder keg is not the Balkans but the highly armed, explosive Mideast. Too many guns are drawn, too many fingers are on the triggers, and some of them could be on nuclear bombs. This should be the hour of forceful diplomacy, not to be mistaken for appeasement.



The distance between Europe's leaders and the Bush administration continues to grow. The existence of a new threat — global terrorism — is undisputed. But Washington's unilateralism, from here, looks like simply a form of America's longstanding isolationism, which is to say that the distance is created by America, not by Europe. Perhaps North Atlantic Treaty Organization members should not whine so much about being left out of Pentagon planning sessions. But the United States might benefit from recalling the late Senator J. William Fulbright's diatribes against "arrogance of power." Europe's liberal and conservative pundits already are."

However, what this argument does not explain is why the US after Vietnam should not be as war-weary and -wary as Europe. A European FmH reader wrote to suggest that this is because wars have been fought on European but not US soil; could that really be the difference, when most of the living European adult population is as remote in time from the last pan-European ground war in 1945 as the US is in space. I'm convinced one has to turn instead to temperamental differences. The cowboy strain in American psychology -- both rugged individualism and cocky adventurism -- born of having had a frontier to push against for most of our history, has been an important difference, especially when the yahoos off the ranch are the same people managing the interests of Big Oil.

Indeed, European warnings about the rift in the Atlantic alliance that would be caused by an attack on Iraq don't seem to give Dubya pause. Neither does criticism of an Afghan-style intervention by even a key Iraqi resistance leader, reports the Christian Science Monitor. In fact, 'President Bush and his top aides now seem to welcome, even to egg on, the sharp differences prompted by Mr. Bush's determination to expand his battle against what he calls "evil" regimes', suggested yesterday's New York Times. Bush relishes his dark, struggle-against-evil worldview, says this Washington Post foreign policy analyst who found that Bush had picked the brains of grim foreign correspondent Robert Kaplan months before 9-11.

'Many Republicans criticized the Clinton administration for entering peacekeeping operations without having an exit strategy. It's ironic, perhaps, that this administration seems to be waging war without any exit strategy other than moving to the next battlefield. The war could become, as in the Orwell novel 1984, a permanent state of being. "War is Peace," the Ministry of Truth slogan read in the novel.


Or, as Kaplan has argued, war becomes a condition no longer distinctly separate from peace. Bush has embraced that view, at least for now. As he declared in his State of Union address, "I will not wait on events, while dangers gather." He has seen a grim landscape, to paraphrase Kaplan, and seems determined to confront it.'

The administration jackasses are so enamored of their grandiose anti-axis-of-evil mission that a set of new campaign ads will suggest, in essence, that supporting Democrats aids the terrorists. ABC via MetaFilter

Meanwhile, David Corn asks in The Nation, US mis-strikes: mistakes or war crimes?

That's a provocative question, the sort of query that few, if any, reporters at the Pentagon briefing room are going to toss at Rummy. Nevertheless, it's a question that may bear consideration as new details emerge about the latest US mis-strikes.



Over the past week, two US military operations originally touted as successes have turned into PR nightmares for the Defense Department and the CIA First, the Pentagon had to acknowledge (sort of) that a January 24 commando raid that attacked two small compounds in Hazar Qadam--resulting in the deaths of 21 or so Afghans and the capture of 27 others--had been a mistake. Those people killed or grabbed were not, as the Pentagon first announced, Taliban or Al Qaeda fighters, but troops and local officials loyal to the current government. Then The Washington Post reported on Monday that the three men killed on February 4 in the remote village of Zhawar by a Hellfire missile fired from a Predator drone were not Al Qaeda leaders, as the Pentagon had suggested. They were Afghan peasants foraging for scrap metal, and the group did not include Osama bin Laden. Media reports following the attack raised the possibility the Al Qaeda chief had been one of the dead.


Corn and others in the progressive/alternative press have, of course, been raising such questions all along. But now the mainstream press, as well, is revisiting 'collateral damage' as war coverage takes a negative turn, reports the Washington Post
posted by emg at 1:38 PM
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Time to stop being America's lap-dog
Observer editorial

Tony Blair is faced with a stark choice - either to ally himself to the increasingly conservative and intolerant US or be a fully engaged European

The most important political story of our time is the rise of the American Right and the near collapse of American liberalism. This has transformed the political and cultural geography of the United States and now it is set to transform the political and cultural geography of the West. Britain's reflex reactions to an ally with whom we apparently share so much and which has served us well are going to be tested as never before. (...)

The emergence of the largely reactionary south and west of the US as its new economic and political centres of gravity; the weakness of its rules on campaign finance which allow rich, usually conservative, candidates to buy elections; the inability of American liberals to fight back; the embrace of Straussian ideas, laced with traditional anti-tax, free-market nostrums - these ingredients make a deadly cocktail.
posted by Mark at 9:58 AM
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consider this a heads up...
late yesterday evening, watching the local news (KTVU),
caught a story about local folks making their voice heard;
spent a good hour this morning trying to track down a copy
with no luck at all, maybe tomorrow when I'm in the city...
wha' you talkin' bout Willis?
new publication premiered this week, War Times
distribution appears to be quite limited at this time,
I'll update with further info when available.
posted by j at 9:53 AM
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Sunday, February 17, 2002. *
This article is going to remind you of the classic three-card monty, wondering where the money gets shifted to. But here is the scam operator and how he moves with his organization--and note how Enron enters too, along with many government offices.(s)the money pit
posted by Fred at 6:09 PM
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Selected quotations from a Monitor Breakfast with Arthur Levitt Jr., former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission on the Enron debacle [link]
posted by Fred at 5:14 PM
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The Spirit of Terrorism
by Jean Baudrillard


Terrorism is immoral. The event of the World Trade Center, this symbolic
challenge is immoral, and it answers a globalization that is immoral. Then
let us be immoral ourselves and, if we want to understand something, let
us go somewhat beyond Good and Evil. As we have, for once, an event that
challenges not only morals, but every interpretation, let us try to have
the intelligence of Evil. The crucial point is precisely there: in this
total counter-meaning to Good and Evil in Western philosophy, the
philosophy of Enlightenment. We naively believe that the progress of the
Good, its rise in all domains (sciences, techniques, democracy, human
rights) correspond to a defeat of Evil. Nobody seems to understand that
Good and Evil rise simultaneously, and in the same movement. The triumph
of the One does not produce the erasure of the Other.

Therefore, here, death is the key (to the game) not only the brutal
irruption of death in direct, in real time, but also the irruption of a
more-than-real death: symbolic and sacrificial death - the absolute, no
appeal event.


This is the spirit of terrorism.

Never is it to attack the system through power relations. This belongs to
the revolutionary imaginary imposed by the system itself, which survives
by ceaselessly bringing those who oppose it to fight in the domain of the
real, which is always its own. But (it) moves the fight into the symbolic
domain, where the rule is the rule of challenge, of reversal, of
escalation. Thus, death can be answered only though an equal or superior
death. (Terrorism) challenges the system by a gift that the latter can
reciprocate only through its own death and its own collapse.

found thru open brackets
posted by riley dog at 10:59 AM
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Designs for Democracy: 200 Years of Drawings from the National Archives. "...an exhibition of nearly 125 design drawings selected from the vast holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration and its Presidential Libraries."
posted by Andrew at 7:02 AM
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North Africans (Moors) demand apology from Spain! This should make your day. Who invaded whom? via Ken.Layne blog.
posted by Fred at 6:33 AM
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posted by Mr. Planet at 2:12 AM
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Saturday, February 16, 2002. *
uh oh...

Dear George,...
Love, Ken

also from the Smoking Gun
Birthday Wishes to Kenny, from Georgy
that link cadged from
Kate Cohen
( oh yah, Fred mentioned 'em too... )
something interesting from May '01 here
y una cosa mas:
yah, babee
posted by j at 4:13 PM
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re democrats.com on NYT scrubbed story:
this Me Fi thread on this story brought to my
attention via fine blogging colleague S.J. Green (plep) from across the pond;
and, as usual, some sturm & drang being cast about there (& why's
it so difficult for some to avoid getting a bit nasty in their discourse).
We fucked up boyz & gurlz, going way back we fucked up, and seem
to be continuing that course of action, all wrapped up in God & Country,
(you'll pardon me, but we did use that excuse to exterminate the native
population of this country didn't we?) and a whole bunch of people seem
to have nicely avoided doing the j-o-b that they were hired and paid to
perform, not that we could have entirely avoided one kind of nasty surprise
or another, but man, that disaster was years in the making, & we fucked up,
plainly and simply. Now the essential question is, what will we do about it.
(I mean, besides guns, bombs, a police state and more war-propaganda than
you can shake any number of sticks at...)
posted by j at 11:37 AM
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Can the US be defeated?
"Those who have argued that America's war on terror would fail to defeat terrorism have, it turns out, been barking up the wrong tree. Ever since President Bush announced his $45bn increase in military spending and gave notice to Iraq, Iran and North Korea that they had "better get their house in order" or face what he called the "justice of this nation", it has become ever clearer that the US is not now primarily engaged in a war against terrorism at all.



Instead, this is a war against regimes the US dislikes: a war for heightened US global hegemony and the "full spectrum dominance" the Pentagon has been working to entrench since the end of the cold war. While US forces have apparently still failed to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, there is barely even a pretence that any of these three states was in some way connected with the attacks on the World Trade Centre. What they do have in common, of course, is that they have all long opposed American power in their regions (for 10, 23 and 52 years respectively) and might one day acquire the kind of weapons the US prefers to reserve for its friends and clients." Guardian UK [thanks, David]

posted by emg at 10:20 AM
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Powell comes under heavy fire for condom comments
America's Sec. of State faces one of the greatest challenges presented to his office, and the conservative wing of the Republican party is angry... because Powell says sexually active people should use condoms.
posted by A.Q. at 3:44 AM
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Documents provided by The Smoking Gun prove that Ken Lay (Enron president) and G.W. Bush have had a long-standing relationship, despite the Bush claims to the contrary. G.W. Bush & Ken Lay
posted by Fred at 3:24 AM
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Drug Reform Coordination CommitteeNoam Chomsky on the American War on Drugs
posted by Fred at 3:13 AM
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Friday, February 15, 2002. *
Fascinating, depressing first-person account of the Miss Cleo telephone psychic scam
posted by Evan at 8:54 AM
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Several good articles at the New York Review of Books:
-- Ronald Dworkin, The Threat to Patriotism
-- Areyh Neier, The Military Tribunals on Trial
-- Felix Rohatyn, The Betrayal of Capitalism
posted by Evan at 8:21 AM
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Remembering the Family Farm: 150 Years of American Prints. "...examines the material culture of the American farm as documented by prints of farm implements, barns, silos, and other outbuildings."
posted by Andrew at 8:18 AM
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I sat on this one for a while now. It is so friggin far out--a god-like attempt to extend how we will fight in the future. Though this plan is not yet in place or operable, the writer, nonetheless, prepared this report at a reputable place and, if it was not a possibility, he would have been tossed out. Who'll stop the rain? We will if it suits our needs
posted by Fred at 3:59 AM
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On 9-9-01 - just two days before Osama Bin Laden's attack on the US - the NY Times published a lengthy and chilling article about Osama Bin Laden by reporter John Burns. Some time after 9-11, the Times SCRUBBED this article, replacing it with a completely different article that Burns wrote on 9-12. Both articles discuss a 2-hour videotape by Bin Laden that intelligence agencies first saw in June 2001, but ignored until September. Why was the 9-9 article scrubbed? Read it yourself - we've UNSCRUBBED it. We believe it demonstrates the GROSS NEGLIGENCE of the CIA, NSA, Justice Department, and the White House in the events leading to 9-11. These agencies had MANY warnings, but the people at the top IGNORED them, at a cost of over 3,000 lives and billions of dollars. ALL OF THESE SCREWUPS REMAIN IN THEIR JOBS!!! We demand a Blue Ribbon Commission on 9-11 and a thorough housecleaning - not a Congressional Coverup!
[more]
posted by Fred at 3:49 AM
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Thursday, February 14, 2002. *
Over 1 Million Died in R'wandan Genocide
Bearing out reports at the time that large numbers of machetes were imported into the country from China in early 1994, the report says that one-third of the victims were hacked to death with the agricultural implement. Others were beaten to death, thrown into pit latrines, drowned, raped, burned or starved. A tiny minority of victims were shot, usually by soldiers whom they paid to kill them and members of their families quickly.
posted by A.Q. at 1:43 PM
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posted by j at 10:08 AM
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Hemp? Not if you want to get high, anyway. But if hemp isn't a drug, why is the DEA treating it like heroin This Bud's Not For You
posted by Fred at 4:54 AM
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The Betrayal of Capitalism via The New York Review of Books
posted by Fred at 4:14 AM
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Wednesday, February 13, 2002. *
this kind of thing could be interesting...
"Why We're Suing John Ashcroft"
link cadged off of first blush
next, from the fishwrap today:

The grown-ups were stymied, so 16-year-old Berkeley High School junior Nick Rizzo got out his calculator and carefully crafted a plan to solve the city's protracted tug-of-war over where to draw the boundaries for City Council districts.

"I said, 'Wow!' " recalled council member Kriss Worthington. "That's a pretty gargantuan task. Many people have tried and failed."

Nick, whose favorite reading ranges from the congressional newspaper Roll Call to the Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol, wrote in his proposal:

"The Ancient Greeks believed a person's primary duty was civic participation," he wrote, "and I couldn't agree with them more. . . . I would be privileged to believe that even though I can't vote, because of me, the thousands of Berkeley citizens who can will have a fair representation."

[More of the story]
posted by j at 6:44 PM
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posted by Fred at 4:00 PM
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'Aggressive pacifists' put their faith on the firing line
Funded by individual and church donations, CPT maintains projects in Hebron, the Chiapas region of Mexico, and northern Colombia, as well as with several native American groups in Canada and the US. A handful of CPT staffers support the work of 20 Corps members, such as Kern, Shantz, and Ms. Montgomery, and about 100 volunteers, who spend up to several months a year working with CPT.

CPT has been in Hebron since 1995 at the invitation of Hebron's Palestinian mayor, although it lacks any official status with the Israelis. Generally a half-dozen people constitute the team, but it can be a few more or less.
posted by A.Q. at 2:03 PM
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shameless self-promotion alert:
I'm on KPFK tonight at 5:45pm PST talking about child slavery in the chocolate industry. You can listen live online. Just in time to wreck your Valentine's Day.
posted by brooke at 1:50 PM
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The Great Game
The idea of American-Israeli cooperation against Iran is not new for Sharon. On the contrary, in 1981, when he was just appointed Minister of Defense, he offered the Pentagon a daring plan: in the event of Khomeini's demise, the Israeli army would immediately occupy Iran, in order to forestall the Soviet Union. The IDF would turn the country over to the slow-moving Americans, once they arrived. For this purpose, the Pentagon would stockpile in advance the most sophisticated arms in Israel, under American control, to be used in this operation.
posted by A.Q. at 1:22 PM
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We hate it when people have more than us.
Study shows that people will risk thier own security to "punish" those who are percieved to have more than us- especially if they have an "unfair" gain. Subjects could "take away" others wealth but only if they would give up some of their own money..and most did.
posted by Kirsten at 12:51 PM
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Enron Flew Under the Radar
Robert Scheer

Since the election of Ronald Reagan, the apostles of an unregulated market, lavishly financed by business lobbyists, have demolished barriers to corporate greed and corruption that for most of a century had served this country well.

The Enron debacle is just the most damning in a long list of evidence that the zealots of deregulation did this country, and its free-enterprise system, a terrible disservice. The financial markets are now roiled and may be permanently damaged by profound suspicion of corporate practices on the part of investors, who now realize they have good reason to fear the worst.

The deregulation ideology of modern conservatism, endorsed mightily by our current President, who cited Enron as a model, holds that big business can best police itself and that government regulation is a costly intrusion.
The Nation has collected several pieces about the scandal here: The Bush Administration and Enron
posted by Mark at 12:17 PM
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Posted by Miss Anderson for the venerable Dr. Menlo:

"Hello Harbingers! Quickly now: You are all my heroes. I have been completely bowed over by the response to the Samizdat so far but the list on the left, I hope, is far from complete--please take it upon yourselves to recommend others you think would like to participate, or you are welcome to recommend yourself (drmenlo@well.com). As my browser seems to be broke (but email working fine, and ftp, too), I may be limited to the background for a short stretch, but I am sure you will all be beautiful while I'm gone. In response to Al Jensen's post a while back: an email list for the harbingers is in the works--shall we talk openly here? I dunno . . . maybe . . . harbingers? (Also, all are welcome to come up with alternate templates.) To JP: I definitely have some ideas about the subject you brought up, but some of them I will only elaborate on via email . . . Here's a question I would be interested in seeing the harbingers answer: If, as Unknown News and others have pointed out, the CIA plays an influential role in the doings of the Corporate Media--what if the CIA has caught on to blogs? What blogs, in your estimation, are most likely to be run by spooks? Also, I would love to do a Samizdat episode of "Women We Love"--my list is long! So, I know I'm forgetting something (oh yea--at least 2 people I invited didn't receive their original invite so there is a list of these people, too, and I don't know if they didn't get it or just didn't accept it) but the email list is coming soon (Mr. Planet!)--until then, thank you all again for participating and also a benificent nod to all you wonderful viewers out there as well for coming around--this blog, and this domain, will only continue to get better and launch your savvy rocket-jets in ways you can't even imagine . . . Until then--your obdurant servant, Dr. M.

(p.s. if anyone can email me a public ftp addy for a Mac explorer 5.0 [or anything better browser-wise for an old Mac and old OS] I would be forever grateful--drmenlo@well.com)"

posted by Kirsten at 10:38 AM
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Big Brother is watching you read
Increasingly, the government is demanding that bookstores reveal what books their customers have purchased. Bookstore owners and privacy advocates say that's scarier than a Stephen King novel
[more]
posted by Fred at 4:18 AM
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Tuesday, February 12, 2002. *
Sassy 12 year old girl has been holding bake sales and car washes to buy bullet proof vests for police dogs. Though recently told she can't raise funds for law enforcement agencies- she is appealing and trying to change the law so people can donate money as long as they have no financial gain in the transaction...a vested interest so to say (d'oh!)....she says: "People are going to have a hard time saying no to kids and dogs." Right on, chica.
posted by Kirsten at 5:15 PM
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Gang Life in East LA. Photographs and text by Joseph Rodriguez. "...I see Los Angeles as a post-modern Wild West where everyone has a gun and they use it. It is an uncontrolled and slightly scary place, a land of dreams and beauty, playing by its own rules. My aim in photographing gang life in Los Angeles has been to get to the core of violence in America, not just the physical violence against one another, but the quiet violence of letting families fall apart, the violence of segregation and isolation."
posted by Andrew at 7:52 AM
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Afghans are still dying as air strikes go on. But no one is counting

"Somehow in the middle of America's hi-tech, $1bn a month bombing blizzard, the simple matter of keeping a tally of civilian casualties has been overlooked. ...
There is little doubt the war in Afghanistan has been a triumph of American might. But out of sight and out of mind, day after day, in dribs and drabs, a lot of ordinary people are dying in a war that sees the most advanced fighting machine ever assembled doing its killing in one of the most backward societies on earth.
The results: just two Americans killed by hostile fire to set against thousands of dead Afghan non-combatants. Is this civilian death toll warranted?"
posted by Mark at 6:15 AM
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Feb. 8, 2002 | PARIS -- In a new book, "Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth," two French intelligence analysts allege the Clinton and Bush administrations put diplomacy before law enforcement in dealing with the al-Qaida threat before Sept. 11, in order to maintain smooth relations with Saudi Arabia and to avoid disrupting the oil market. The book, which has become a bestseller in France but has received little press attention here, also alleges that the Bush administration was bargaining with the Taliban, over a Central Asian oil pipeline and Osama bin Laden, just five weeks before the September attacks. The authors, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, see a link between the negotiations and Vice President Dick Cheney's energy policy task force, with its conclusions that Central Asian oil was going to become critical to the U.S. economy. Brisard and Dasquie also claim former FBI deputy director John O'Neill (who died in the attack on the World Trade Center, where he was the chief of security) resigned in July to protest the policy of giving U.S. oil interests a higher priority than bringing al-Qaida leaders to justice. Brisard claims O'Neill told him that "the main obstacles to investigating Islamic terrorism were U.S. oil corporate interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia." The book's authors interviewed
posted by Fred at 2:29 AM
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Monday, February 11, 2002. *
somebody help us, please...
first, this inquiry from Slate:
"Did Bush help Iran's Hard-Lliners?"
definitely maybe,
from the NYT:
Millions of Iranians March in Protest
posted by j at 4:31 PM
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To understand Enron better, we should know more about American history. Then we will see that Enron Is Merely the Latest Chapter In the History of American Scams
posted by Fred at 3:47 AM
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Sunday, February 10, 2002. *
American Democracy: R.I.P
The Emergence of the Fascist American Theocratic State
By John Stanton and Wayne Madsen


Historians will record that between November 2000 and February 2002, democracy—as envisioned by the creators of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution—effectively came to an end. As democracy died, the Fascist American Theocratic State ["The State"] was born. This new fascist era was designed and implemented primarily by Republican organizations and individuals who funded, supported and ultimately inserted George Bush II in office. Equally complicit in this atrocity was the Democratic Party, itself having become corrupt and beholden to its own interests. But the greatest tragedy in this horrific turn of events was that the public and media embraced fascism’s coming. It should be noted that the Green Party’s valiant efforts were too little, too late.
posted by Mark at 7:41 PM
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posted by Tiffany at 6:26 PM
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They Still Draw Pictures: Drawings made by Spanish children during the Spanish Civil War, circa 1938. "...over 600 drawings made during the Spanish Civil War by Spanish school children, both in Spain and in refugee centers in France, rendered in pencil, crayon, ink, and watercolor."
posted by Andrew at 9:43 AM
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posted by Fred at 3:57 AM
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BEIRUT, LEBANON - A heated diplomatic campaign waged by the United States and Israel against Iran and its Lebanese protégé, Hizbullah, could have an unintended and potentially destabilizing backlash, as is noted in the huge arms buildup
posted by Fred at 3:42 AM
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Saturday, February 09, 2002. *
A behind the scenes look into the making of a recent epic of American journalism:

After the phone call with Rove, Woodward went to Downie's office to brief the editor on his progress. "Len, I'd like to do this story in fewer than forty-seven parts," Woodward said, putting his hands on Downie's desk and leaning toward him, "but it just wouldn't be right. History deserves better."

"OK. But what have you got?" Downie asked.

Woodward remembered Bradlee asking that question. He drew himself up and said: "I can't reveal my source, Len, you know that. But I have a senior White House aide who says that Bush was"--he paused to look at his meticulously crafted notes--"'brave, decisive, and never-wavering' in the days after September 11. 'The president set the course for the war on terrorism and everyone else fell in behind him.' My source says that Bush's performance was reminiscent of Roosevelt--both of them." The hair on the back of Downie's neck stood up.

In the Newsroom, Nerves of Steel
posted by Mr. GluSniffer at 11:11 PM
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worth watching
awfully late notice, I know...
Caleb Carr, author of
The Lessons of Terror: A History of Warfare Against Civilians
on Book TV, C-Span, Sunday;
here a brief NYT item, dated 12.21.01
posted by j at 10:17 PM
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Gone With the War? hopes for a return to the honesty and realism of classical 19th-century Western liberalism:
"Over the last few months we have heard a litany of politically correct lamentations: The orcs were too predictably dark in Lord of the Rings, fiction which employed a "good" North and West against an "evil" East and South. The Somalians of Black Hawk Down were all black, their American opponents nearly all white. The photo of the three white firemen at Ground Zero should be transmogrified, through sculpture, into representations of people of color. A new word - "Islamophobia" - is needed to capture a spreading hatred toward those of Middle Eastern descent. And on and on.



Footage of the burning Twin Towers became increasingly rare on our television screens - lest it inflame Americans. And perhaps it was also deemed unwise in that regard to show too often the pictures of the 19 terrorists, lest someone derive that they were all male Middle Easterners, or surmise that their comrades in Cuba were not really POWs. Yet after September 11, such cosmetic efforts at political correctness have been both recognized and jeered at by the general public. Conventional wisdom suggests that the present conflict will not affect much the underlying and entrenched ideas beneath this daily Orwellian assault. But I am not so sure."
posted by riley dog at 4:52 PM
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bitter lemons is a website that presents Israeli and Palestinian viewpoints on prominent issues of concern. This week's edition is on Israeli proposals for unilateral separation. A Palestinian view: Another form of occupation and an Israeli view: It's time for a serious public debate.
posted by riley dog at 4:47 PM
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There is much I dislike about Edward Said (not referring to his literary scholarship), and I have found him frustrating over the recent past because he expresses full contempt for Arafat, seems to believe he knows what is best but offers not much other than a return to 1967 borders (the Right of Return? Jereusalem?), but he is an important voice in the discussion of the mess that is the Middle East, and for that reason, I post this piece by Edward Said on Arafat & the state of the State of Israel
posted by Fred at 12:06 PM
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be afraid... be very afraid...
wgirls
tippin' our ol'red fez to the everlasting blort
(note to Eliot G. --& los harbingers--.:
s'okay E- keep piling it on!
some of us may be quite familiar, but there's a great
hulking mass of ignorance out there, trouble is, HOW do we
get this info more easily and readily into the mainstream AND
somehow convince them it is in their best interest to increase
their awareness.
on another note: is there not some way many of us included
in the list of contributors could come together someplace--
cyberville speaking-- oh maybe once or twice a week, for
some active dialog, sharing of info, communing, so to speak?
Ideas & suggestions welcome)

posted by j at 11:35 AM
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Philippine Arrest Offers Clues to Web Of Asian Terrorists. As attention in the America-Strikes-Back® Show shifts to the role of Islamic insurgencies in Southeast Asia, I wonder whether the US notion about a global conspiracy of terrorists, reflected in stories like this from the Washington Post, is largely a self-serving fantasy-land misreading of local movements. In an earlier iteration of the same pathology of American thought, it is clear in retrospect that there really was never a global conspiracy of Communism to dominate the world; rather Marxist ideology and alignment with foes of the West was a convenient and inspiring peg on which local self-determination movements hung their hat. Makes me wonder whether shaping bin Laden and al Qaeda's image into that of global masterminds of terrorism is actually going to drive local insurgents to forge new links to their heroic figurehead, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. I haven't seen much to indicate the contrary, that other 'terrorist' groups are running scared, chastened by the ferocity of US resolve.

A related point by Michael Kinsley: 'The more things you call terrorism, the fewer you are likely to wipe out.' Slate And The Progressive's editor Matthew Rothschild comments:

'There was something almost pathetic about George W. Bush's attempt to make his fight against terrorism akin to the fight against the Nazis.



In his State of the Union address, he evoked the comparison when he said that North Korea, Iran, Iraq, "and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil." '



And, from Toronto Star
columnist Thomas Walkom [via wood s lot]:

The war against terrorism is a brilliant construct. It may not have been started by George W. Bush, but it certainly works to his advantage.

It has provided oomph to the sagging U.S. economy and a new raison d'être for the alliance of politicos, defence contractors and security specialists who make up what former U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower christened the military-industrial complex.



What makes this war so superior, in political terms, is its vagueness. Since the terrorist, by definition, can be anyone — the man in the next apartment, the person lurking on the subway platform — we can never be sure who the enemy is.



Also noticed by wood s lot, from Stephanie Salter in the SF Chronicle [via CommonDreams]:

Bush: All War All the Time --
"...(W)hen it comes to marketing a mediocre product, my hat is off to the GOP.

Nobody does it better.

In George W. Bush, Republicans have transcended the Emperor's New Clothes Hall of Fame. And, now, thanks to the murderous, Sept. 11 deeds of a newly christened "evil axis," Republicans hardly need to work to ensure long-lasting, widespread brand loyalty for their boy.

In fact, as Bush so enthusiastically demonstrated in his State of the Union message last week, the only thing his administration must do is keep America afraid and "at war."
[All right, enough already, Eliot, they get the picture...]
posted by emg at 10:24 AM
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Action Alert: Ann Coulter could be dismissed as a contemptible idiot if her message wasn't so insidious. The writer's letter (he, and I, suggest you do something similar) makes it clear what's at stake. Dear Members of the American Conservative Union Foundation:

I am highly concerned about an escalation among people to advance their political causes through violence. What has been remote for most of my lifetime--groups with particular interests expressing their positions with car-bombs and automatic weapons--is no longer just something I see on the news. I've seen terrorism out my window. It is out of this concern that I appeal to you to issue a public statement denouncing the call to violence implicit in the comments of Ann Coulter at the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 2, 2002.


Ann Coulter said, "When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too. Otherwise they will turn out to be outright traitors."


It promotes neither unity nor security to stand behind a statement that people who share a particular ideology within our society ought to be murdered. It does not serve national unity to assert that John Walker is a liberal when he is not. It does it serve national security to assert that liberals have any particular likelihood to evolve into traitors.


The purpose of the CPAC, to "advance important everyday issues such as taxes, crime, culture and foreign policy and to provide basic conservative viewpoints and solutions" is ill-served when the overwhelming message the CPAC brings to the greater community is a call to exterminate fellow citizens. I think that the community at large wants to know that conservatives don't truly intend to work toward a future where opposing viewpoints are punishable by death.



I am concerned about the impact of Ann Coulter's statement on the people of our nation, wherever they stand on the political spectrum, as they read about the recent conference in the press. As the developer of the nations premiere conservative conference, the CPAC, it is up to you to whether you want to send a message to America that a new mission of conservatism is to promote the murder of "college liberals" by letting Ms. Coulter's statement represent the tone of the CPAC, or to send a message to America that the American Conservative Union does not advocate the physical intimidation of law-abiding citizens because of their political beliefs. As much of the public is concerned, I appeal to you to make a public statement denouncing Ms. Coulter's inflammatory remarks.



Thank You...

posted by emg at 10:23 AM
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How To Marry a High-Quality Woman -- I hope this is a send-up to lampoon the Aryan ethic, but unfortunately I think it's a for-real Neonazi guide to propagating the master race by finding true love, romance and domination over your Nazi dream goddess. For example:
'State Openly that You Want to Be a Patriarch. Say things like, "I want to have at least four kids, and I want my wife to stay home while they're young," or "I'm looking for a High-Grade Woman to have my kids, none of this messing around stuff; I don't play the dating game." Say it simply and definitely, in a way that closes the door to questions. If a feminazi starts yelling, who cares. Extremely good-looking men actually have a disadvantage dating high-quality women because they're assumed to be promiscuous or carrying a disease. She's seen the Jew values on TeeVee and the phony "sexual double standard" myth is burned into her head, so it's only reasonable of her to be suspicious of you.' [via the null device]
Full of a pitiful and horrifying blend of xenophobia, grandiosity and whining inferiority complex.
posted by emg at 10:22 AM
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Timothy Feresten... Industrial Interior and the Michigan Central Railroad Station in Detroit, MI. Modern ruins photographed by Timothy Feresten.
posted by Andrew at 8:09 AM
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Patten lays into Bush's America

Fury at president's 'axis of evil' speech

Jonathan Freedland in Brussels
Saturday February 9, 2002
The Guardian

Chris Patten, the EU commissioner in charge of Europe's international relations, has launched a scathing attack on American foreign policy - accusing the Bush administration of a dangerously "absolutist and simplistic" stance towards the rest of the world.
As EU officials warned of a rift opening up between Europe and the US wider than at any time for half a century, Mr Patten tells the Guardian it is time European governments spoke up and stopped Washington before it goes into "unilateralist overdrive".
[more]
posted by Fred at 4:32 AM
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Ronald Dworkin in the New York Review of Books asks and answers:
"What has al-Qaeda done to our Constitution, and to our national standards of fairness and decency? Since September 11, the government has enacted legislation, adopted policies, and threatened procedures that are not consistent with our established laws and values and would have been unthinkable before.

On October 25, Congress passed the "USA Patriot Act" with only one dissenting vote in the Senate and sixty-six in the House....
[more]
posted by Fred at 4:13 AM
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The Criminal Bee by Hakim Bey demonstrates our relative stature while outlining our deviant statutes.


Our founding myths here in America, which take the form of such texts as a declaration of independence or a bill of rights etc. prove so infinitely flexible as to become, like all myths, their opposites.

posted by Tony at 4:05 AM
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Friday, February 08, 2002. *
Ann Coulter alert

The American Conservative Union Foundation developed the Conservative Political Action Conference and is its primary sponsor. At the conference on February 2, 2002, Ann Coulter said, "When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too. Otherwise they will turn out to be outright traitors."
posted by Mark at 9:19 PM
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Aldous Huxley once wrote George Orwell that he felt we are moving
inexorably from 1984 to "Brave New World". Apparently Orwell
agreed. The Irish Eye Inquiring asks: Was
Orwell Right?


One has no way of verifying the facts, one is not even fully certain
that they have happened, and one is always presented with totally
different interpretations from different sources.

posted by Tony at 8:30 PM
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Newly released documents show assorted wierd British plots for foiling Hitler. I was very excited about this one:
"The now declassified documents also show that British agents developed a one-man midget submarine to target enemy shipping."
Until I thought about it. I guess the submarine was to be midget, not the pilot. Rats.
posted by Kirsten at 1:55 PM
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Iran Arresting Taliban Fighters
Despite being part of the Axis of Evil, and despite claims from Israeli intelligence (who see Iran as their only competent foe in the region) that they were hiding Al-Qaeda terrorists, Iran has been arresting Taliban fighters who cross the border. More on the issue from Ethel the Blog is here.
posted by A.Q. at 10:06 AM
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President George W. Bush's State of the Union address on January 29, 2002 was the first in many years to focus primarily on foreign policy. Despite widespread accolades in the media and strong bipartisan support in Congress, a careful examination of the language and assumptions in the address raise disturbing questions about the direction of U.S. foreign policy under the current administration. Deconstructing George W. Bush:
A Critical Analysis of the 2002 State of the Union Address
posted by Fred at 1:10 AM
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Thursday, February 07, 2002. *
LA Weekly has several good pieces this week:
-- Steven Mikulan on the World Economic Forum protests
-- Marc Cooper on the World Social Forum in Brazil
-- Judith Lewis on the drugs = terrorism Super Bowl ads
-- Charles Rappleye on a legal challenge on behalf of the Guantánamo prisoners filed in LA
posted by Evan at 5:43 PM
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Bush uses simplicity to obfuscate
A former Clinton speechwriter explains how the simple terms in Bush's State of the Union were carefully crafted to create false impressions of his policies. (Some presidents have paraphrased Churchill; Bush paraphrases Goldilocks. Over and over and over again.)
posted by brooke at 5:25 PM
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"From Fox TV's repeated camera shots of U.S. troops watching the game from Kandahar (at 4 a.m. local time?), to Budweiser ads with the Clydesdale horses bowing to the Statue of Liberty, patriotism and warfare and corporate branding were very much considered interchangeable, all part of a spectacle suffused with smarmy jingoistic bullshit."

Bush's Sickening Super Bowl Propaganda, by Geov Parrish

posted by Dr. Menlo at 5:23 PM
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posted by Kirsten at 2:58 PM
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At least a dozen individuals, not to mention the Todd M. Beamer Foundation, are seeking a trademark for "Let's roll" and variations such as "America Let's Roll" and "Are you ready? Let's roll!"

Jack L. Williams, 59, a contractor from Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., applied for a trademark on Sept. 24, two days before the Beamer foundation. He said he ignored a warning letter from the foundation's lawyers.

"I don't care what your name is, it's first in, first swim," said Williams, whose application lists T-shirts and sweatshirts as potential uses. "It's all about good old American capitalism."

`Let's Roll' Trademark Battle Is On
posted by Mr. GluSniffer at 11:38 AM
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From the Digital Journalist... Requiem. By The Photographers Who Died In Vietnam and Indochina.
posted by Andrew at 7:28 AM
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Most experts agree that the Caspian Basin and Central Asia are the keys to energy in the 21st century. Said energy expert James Dorian (Oil & Gas Journal, 9/10/01), "Those who control the oil routes out of Central Asia will impact all future direction and quantities of flow and the distribution of revenues from new production."

America wants the region under total US domination.
[more]
posted by Fred at 2:49 AM
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Wednesday, February 06, 2002. *
Nukes In Space
"The proposed 2003 budget for NASA was announced on Monday and would direct $125 million to a new program in nuclear powered space exploration, while cutting funds for human spaceflight and axing missions to Pluto and Jupiter's moon Europa."

. . . like Hanford made isotopes?

posted by Dr. Menlo at 11:31 PM
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