American Samizdat

Tuesday, April 30, 2002. *
Our Country Victorious and Now a Happy Home - A Spanish-American War Drama in Six Parts (1899, Strohmeyer & Wyman). From Stereoscopic Visions of War and Empire. "...an interpretive archive of 3-D stereoscopic photographs of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars, the colonies acquired by the United States at the turn of the century, and other representations of imperialism and empires produced at the end of the nineteenth century and first decades of the twentieth."
posted by Andrew at 8:36 PM
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Come together, right now
A pressing moral imperative for the American Left
William Rivers Pitt

Stop any ten liberals on the street and ask them what they believe in, and 95% of the time there will be unanimity of opinion. Put some of these like-minded individuals together in a room, however, and the likely result will be rage-faced natural allies who have screamed themselves hoarse in disagreement. (...)

It comes down to this: Unless the American Left can lay aside its decades-old infighting and unite behind the commonly-held belief that the policies of George W. Bush are poison to the nation and the planet, he will win a second term and secure the ascendancy of a conservative ideology that has little to do with the well-being of the people. Democrats, Greens and all American liberals must come together in the fundamental understanding that virtually any candidate within the spectrum of the Left is preferable to Bush, even one so centrist as to be tickling the Right.
posted by Mark at 6:18 PM
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Remember, the best way to see if a politician is lying is to check and see if their lips are moving.
posted by Lisa D at 5:36 AM
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How dare they?

Do we give them enough time to attempt to clean up their murderous rampage? What if we allowed all criminals to do this? What if you committed an atrocity, wholly with the intention of causing mass fear and destruction, and then, upon being caught in the act, your accusers simply allowed you to clean up your mess, to "erase the evidence" so to speak?


Oh granted, I know the Palestinian People will not allow that, but still, you have to figure that since the bullies rule the playground, real evidence rarely is allowed the light of day. Any truths that do manage to make it out must therefore be so damnning that it becomes impossible to hide them. They are too big to be contained.
posted by Lisa D at 5:17 AM
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The Politics of Verticality
Eyal Weizman

episode 6: EXCAVATING SACREDNESS



In a quest for biblical archaeology, Israel has attempted to resurrect the subterreanean fragments of ancient civilization to testify for its present-day rights above ground.

When the Zionists first arrived in Palestine late in the nineteenth century, the land they found was strangely unfamiliar, different from the one they longed for. Reaching the map co-ordinates of the site of their yearnings was not enough. The search had to continue: above, in a metaphysical sense, below the crust of earth in archaeological excavations.

That the ground was further inhabited by the Arabs and marked with the traces of their lives, complicated things even further. So the existing terrain was transformed in the Zionists’ minds into a protective wrap, under which the historical longed-for landscape was hidden.(...)

If the land to be ‘inherited’ was indeed located under the surface, then the whole subterranean volume was a national monument. From this source, the ancient civilisation could be politically resurrected to testify for the right of the present-day Israel.
[more]

I try to avoid the parallels, but people who start invoking mystical mythological pasts to justify their current excesses scare me. Germany did the same thing in the 30s.
posted by Gordon at 1:54 AM
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Monday, April 29, 2002. *



t'was nearly two weeks ago
we attended this event at Herbst Theatre;
a transcript of highlights from that evening
w/Mssrs. Vidal, Lapham, Bernstein, Higgs & Moore
is now available on-line and linked here



posted by j at 8:30 PM
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The World of Thomas Nast. "...Thomas Nast (1840-1902), perhaps the most important American political cartoonist of all time, is best known for his invention and development of popular symbols like the Republican Elephant, Democratic Donkey, a fat, jolly Santa Claus and a lean, goatee-wearing Uncle Sam."
posted by Andrew at 9:36 AM
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ok, so Bodily Functions was a top top album by Herbert, now his latest is out and available online for free.He's an interesting man, and big ups to Dan Soda for turning me on to him. Here's an old post from the AJ list... talk about accountability for one's art. tho the 37 seconds of silence seems prolely trite (dat a verb?)

E
posted by Mr. Planet at 12:34 AM
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Sunday, April 28, 2002. *
Installment 5 of the excellent...

The Politics of Verticality
by Eyal Weizman

episode 5: FROM WATER TO SHIT



The aquifers deep below the West Bank are a battleground, just as much as the rivers of sewage split through its valleys by both Israeli and Palestinian settlements.
[more]

The Israelis claim they offered Arafat 95% of what he was asking for. Aside from the fact that all he was offered were isolated Bantustans, Israel kept control of the water underneath Palestine. Every other sovereign state has control of the water underneath it. What kind of soverign state doesn't control it's water? Not only have the settlements been stealing the Palestinians' land, all of Israel has been stealing the Palestinians' water.
posted by Gordon at 7:35 PM
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whilst reading the book review section over brekkie this AM...
came across the following mention of very interesting book, appears to be
an item on our ever-increasing "To Be Read & Soon" list.
This next link will provide a little additional info on Ms. Power,
and there you'll also find link to Atlantic Monthly article she penned.
We'll also include link to Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.
oh yahhhh, the U.S. Government has much experience in managing genocidal policies,
just ask any Indian, while there's still a few of them left...

and we'd like to repeat an earlier post, in order to facilitate the
progression of the meme:
thursday evening, watching c-span...
came across this broadcast of speaker William McDonough
at the National Press Club; happy day & lucky co-incidence,
the speech is available here, courtesy NPR. highly recommended listening,
& will leave you asking yourself many questions...
posted by j at 10:33 AM
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Saturday, April 27, 2002. *
Another installment of...

The Politics of Verticality
by Eyal Weizman

episode 4: WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS



Many different types of settlements perch atop the hills of the West Bank, providing islands of biblical identity that are also strategic vantage points.
[more]

The placement of the settlements has not been a random process. They are strategic military bastions turning the Palestinians into prisoners trapped in the worlds largest Panopticon. It's also obvious that the expense the Israelis have gone to means, as Sharon has bluntly put it, the Israelis never plan to leave. The occupation will continue. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves.
posted by Gordon at 11:22 PM
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U.S. Blueprint to Topple Hussein Envisions Big Invasion Next Year (NYTimes.com)
The Bush administration, in developing a potential approach for toppling President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, is concentrating its attention on a major air campaign and ground invasion, with initial estimates contemplating the use of 70,000 to 250,000 troops.
posted by Adam Rice at 8:53 PM
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August Walla... Fire House (1999, Pencil, colored pencil and ballpoint pen on white wove paper). From The Artists of Gugging at Galerie St. Etienne. "...'Gugging' is the abbreviated way of referring to the Haus der Künstler (House of Artists) at the Lower Austrian Psychiatric Hospital in the hamlet of Gugging, outside Vienna. The Haus der Künstler was established by the psychiatrist Leo Navratil, who began to notice that the art produced by certain of his patients far transcended the qualitative parameters of traditional art therapy. These artists, selected by Navratil with advice from local museum officials and artists (including the well-known painter Arnulf Rainer), began to publicly exhibit in the 1970s."
posted by Andrew at 6:55 PM
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The Outsiders looks at the supposed connection between the work of "insane" writers such as Henry Darger, Adolf Wolfli and PK Dick and temporal lobe epilepsy:

"In Wölfli’s first work or series, From the Cradle to the Grave, he can be seen heading a world expedition that takes him across Europe, to places known and unknown. Through a second series of Geographic and Algebraic Books, Wölfli is transformed into St Adolph, who travels to magical islands and kingdoms, encountering a myriad of mythical characters and creatures. As he once explained, the narrative was composed of lost memories from the period before his mother died. 'It was after a severe illness contracted at eight years old, that is to say, from that moment on, that I directly and radically forgot everything.'
Wölfli’s fantasy world is difficult to navigate. Few readers have accepted his invitation to 'stage with me a majestic voyage, as far as or to the very farthest heavenly bodies in the realm of The Divine Universe.'"

"Darger incorporated newspaper reportage of kidnappings and murders in his graphic narrative, The Story of the Vivian Girls in what is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandecco-Angellinean War Storm, caused by the Child Slave Rebellion."

"In his private journal, Exegesis – a two million-word tract that he wrote on a nightly basis – Dick tried repeatedly to disentangle the jumbled threads. In public lectures he summarised its key finding – the need to liberate ourselves from the projected universe and to construct our own psychic worlds – and went on to claim that some of his novels – Man in The High Castle and Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said – were residual memories of an alternative state."
posted by New World at 11:35 AM
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We hear about the Israeli settlements but there has not been any coherent reporting on just how the settlements fit into Israeli plans. This is a series of articles that shows how the Israelis have planned against the formation of a Palestinian state. They show clearly that the Israelis have never intended to end the occupation but only intend to continually strangle the Palestinians. These articles show, in graphic and pictorial detail, why Arafat was right to turn Barak down.

The Politics of Verticality
by Eyal Weizman

None of us have a coherent mental map of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Architect Eyal Weizman explains why. We’re missing verticality. In this series of articles and photo-essays (published daily over a week) he paints the extraordinary, three-dimensional battle over the West Bank: from settlements to sewage, archaeology to Apaches.

episode 1: INTRODUCTION



Weizman introduces the experience of territory in the West Bank, which explodes simple political boundaries and “crashes three-dimensional space into six dimensions – three Jewish and three Arab”.

Since the 1967 war, when Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza strip, a colossal project of strategic, territorial and architectural planning has lain at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The landscape and the built environment became the arena of conflict. Jewish settlements – state-sponsored islands of ‘territorial and personal democracy’, manifestations of the Zionist pioneering ethos – were placed on hilltops overlooking the dense and rapidly changing fabric of the Palestinian cities and villages. ‘First’ and ‘Third’ Worlds spread out in a fragmented patchwork: a territorial ecosystem of externally alienated, internally homogenised enclaves located next to, within, above or below each other.

New and intricate frontiers were invented, like the temporary borders later drawn up in the Oslo Interim Accord, under which the Palestinian Authority was given control over isolated territorial ‘islands’, but Israel retained control over the airspace above them and the sub-terrain beneath.

This process might be described as the ‘politics of verticality’. It began as a set of ideas, policies, projects and regulations proposed by Israeli state- technocrats, generals, archaeologists, planners and road engineers since the occupation of the West Bank, severing the territory into different, discontinuous layers.

A new understanding of territory had to be developed to govern the West Bank. The Occupied Territories were no longer seen as a two-dimensional surface, but as a large three-dimensional volume, layered with strategic, religious and political strata.

episode 2: MAPS



Two-dimensional maps, fundamental to the understanding of political borders, have been drawn again and again for the West Bank. Each time they have failed to capture its vertical divisions.

episode 3: HILLS AND VALLEYS OF THE WEST BANK



Mountains play a special part in Zionist holiness. The settlers’ surge into the folded terrain of the West Bank and up to its summits combines imperatives of politics and spirituality.

Six more articles to come.
posted by Gordon at 1:53 AM
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Friday, April 26, 2002. *
Gomer as Claudius
Emperor Bush’s empire building, American style
John Chuckman


Emperor Bush, certainly not ranking as one of the great menaces of history, but a man whose banality comes married to a decided taste for the stupid and brutal use of power. (...)

...in so many of Mr. Bush's words and actions one also senses that same conscience-numbed, sniggering tone he used during his campaign in speaking of the scores of prisoners executed in Texas. Whether it's thousands of innocents killed in Afghanistan, murdered and mistreated Afghan prisoners, or Mr. Sharon's running a Murder Incorporated, the tone is the same. Just as with the prisoners in Texas, his emphasis is always on, not the plight of those suffering before him, but on the crimes they are presumed to be answering for.

posted by Mark at 8:37 PM
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Cinemaniac: The Ghastly World of Andy Milligan. "...Milligan churned out 29 movies between 1965 and 1988: everything from sex melodramas to gory, heavily costumed period-piece horror films, with titles like The Filthy Five and Bloodthirsty Butchers. Cheap-looking, poorly acted, incredibly talky, Milligan's features are often tough to take. But his life represents an era that is forever lost - that of the grindhouse exploitation movie hack who thrived in the seedy pre-Giuliani Times Square."
posted by Andrew at 9:58 AM
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EPA Moves to Allow Mine Dumping in Waterways by Eric Pianin
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing rules that would let mining companies dump dirt and rock waste from mountaintop coal mining operations into rivers and streams.

The proposed rules, if approved by the White House, would provide a major boost to low-sulfur coal mining operations in West Virginia and Kentucky and stepped-up hardrock mining in western states. They also could undermine efforts by environmentalists and community groups to fight mountaintop mining operations that they say cause unacceptable damage to rivers and streams.

Modern mining techniques enable companies to shear off the tops of mountains to reach coal veins and then bulldoze the leftover rock and dirt into nearby valleys. It is a profitable, if ecologically controversial, venture that has been limited by federal rules and court challenges aimed at restricting how much waste from these operations can be dumped in waterways.

The new rules are essentially aimed at removing these impediments, in particular regulations adopted by the Army Corps of Engineers that prohibit mining companies from disposing of material considered waste, including rock and dirt, in the nearby waterways. [more]

Somedays you have to ask yourself if it's worth getting out of bed.

posted by Craig at 9:01 AM
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it's enough to make me weep sometimes...
Mark Morford (of SFGate.com) thinks that
Frat Boys Rule The Earth, and we're in agreement.
They may not all have pledged at university,
but they are all part of some huge, horrible & inhumane fraternity,
one I want no part of , nosirreeeee...
posted by j at 7:55 AM
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It's easy to get sucked in to the maelstrom of current events — down, down we go; round, round we go; deeper, deeper we go; darker, darker it gets.

But wait, there's more!

Big Bangs in the universe 'happen every trillion years'

The conventional wisdom says the universe was created from nothing by a unique "Big Bang" and has since expanded in size, eventually becoming an empty, cold vacuum.

Not according to two American scientists, however. Big Bang, they say, was not such a big deal after all. In fact, similar events occur roughly every trillion years. The universe's life is really made up of a cycle of "big bangs" and "big cycles", which suggest that it is timeless – it will never end.
[more]

I read about an astronomer who was lecturing the Dali Lama about the Big Bang. The Dali Lama corrected the astronomer, "No, its bang, bang, bang, bang, bang."

Maybe that Buddha dude was onto something after all.

----------

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn put on a cosmic show

A grand and spectacular line-up of the five planets visible to the naked eye will take place in the western night sky over the coming few weeks – providing a rare glimpse of all our neighbouring worlds at one go.

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will make various appearances on the same night-time stage which will climax with a tight clustering of all five planets in the second week of May.

Between now and the beginning of June, the five planets will form and reform new patterns in the western sky against a background of stars. Such a gathering of the five "naked eye" planets occurs less than once every 20 years.
[read more]

That's all the planets visible to the naked eye, all hanging out together. Is that cosmic or what? Probably what.

Let's all spend a little time in the next couple of weeks looking up into the majesty of the night sky instead down into the hell that is overtaking us.
posted by Gordon at 1:43 AM
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Thursday, April 25, 2002. *
thursday evening, watching c-span...
came across this broadcast of speaker William McDonough
at the National Press Club; happy day & lucky co-incidence,
the speech is available here, courtesy NPR. highly recommended listening,
will leave you asking yourself many questions...
posted by j at 9:29 PM
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Stealing Words From Bush's Mouth
Ehsan Ahrari


September 11th didn’t just give George W. Bush's administration a new focus. It gave the world the “Bush Doctrine” on fighting terror, a black-and-white litmus test to separate friends from foes in a new global era.
But ever since Bush announced he would judge nations on whether they were with the United States or “with the terrorists,” something unexpected has arisen in global politics. Bush’s rhetoric has been appropriated by key allies in two world hot spots, Pakistan and Israel, enabling these nations to pursue policies in their interest -- but not in America’s.

Indeed, the United States is now reaping what one could call the consequences of stolen words: the White House has been outsmarted by foreign leaders who have used Bush’s words to justify and deflect criticism of their policies and agendas. The cost to the United States has been a loss of corresponding credibility and influence abroad now and possibly in the long-run.
posted by Mark at 8:02 PM
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Robin Miller, a progressive freelance writer on issues of social justice
This site has an astounding collection of links and documents regarding all sorts of international issues from a progressive standpoint, including the exhaustive Research Guide to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
posted by A.Q. at 3:54 PM
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Jesse Ventura Again Talking Medical Marijuana
Gov. Jesse Ventura is again speaking out strongly in favor of legalizing marijuana, particularly for medical use
posted by A.Q. at 9:42 AM
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The World Famous Supreme Team (via ethel)

"Washington DC- A recent poll of 800 Americans (April 4-8, 2002, MoE +3.5%) found that the nation is vastly unaware of WHO -- or even HOW MANY -- Justices sit on the United States Supreme Court."

"Nearly two-thirds (64%) could not name a single member of the current Court, and just 32% knew that there are nine Justices. Only five people (two men, three women) in the entire survey could name all nine. In contrast, a whopping majority -- 75% -- knew there are three Rice Krispies characters and 66% proudly cited their names."

heres a page i found useful for quick reference -- aboutgovernment.org.
posted by drat at 9:32 AM
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Is Taking Psychedelics an Act of Sedition?



"But if you're not sure who the real enemy is, if you're inclined to ask more questions about the nature of the reality that's just swung out into a broad new arc, or if you're seeking solace and healing from trauma or debilitating stress, it could well be the time to venture out into new psychical frontiers by means of certain time-tested plants and chemicals. In fact, for some especially scarred, it might even be foolish not to, given that there might not be as much time to lose as we thought we had."



New psychical frontiers...Schweet.
posted by Lisa D at 6:50 AM
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Saudi to Warn Bush of Rupture Over Israel Policy

The Saudi message contained undeniable brinkmanship intended to put pressure on Mr. Bush to take a much larger political gamble by imposing a peace settlement on Israelis and Palestinians.

But the Saudi delegation also brought a strong sense of the alarm and crisis that have been heard in Arab capitals.

"It is a mistake to think that our people will not do what is necessary to survive," the person close to the crown prince said, "and if that means we move to the right of bin Laden, so be it; to the left of Qaddafi, so be it; or fly to Baghdad and embrace Saddam like a brother, so be it. It's damned lonely in our part of the world, and we can no longer defend our relationship to our people."
[more]

----------

Once upon a time in Jenin
What really happened when Israeli forces went into Jenin? Just as the world is giving up hope of learning the truth, Justin Huggler and Phil Reeves have unearthed compelling evidence of an atrocity

The thought was as unshakable as the stench wafting from the ruins. Was this really about counterterrorism? Was it revenge? Or was it an episode – the nastiest so far – in a long war by Ariel Sharon, the staunch opponent of the Oslo accords, to establish Israel's presence in the West Bank as permanent, and force the Palestinians into final submission?
[more]
posted by Gordon at 1:21 AM
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Wednesday, April 24, 2002. *
Diplomacy US Style, by George Monbiot
Tony Blair might believe he belongs to an international coalition, but George Bush has other ideas. Bush's international war against terrorism has not stopped him from waging a parallel war against cooperation.

Two weeks ago, the US ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna failed, for the first time, to attend a meeting of the comprehensive test ban treaty. This may suggest that America is no longer prepared to abide by the rules against the testing of nuclear warheads. A week ago, the Washington Post revealed that the Pentagon had told the Central Intelligence Agency to investigate Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector, in the hope of undermining his credibility. When the CIA failed to discover any evidence of wrongdoing, the deputy defence secretary is reported to have "hit the ceiling".

On Friday, the US government succeeded in dislodging Robert Watson, the chair of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Dr Watson had been pressing member nations to take the threat of global warming seriously, to the annoyance of the oil company ExxonMobil. Last year, it sent a memo to the White House requesting that he be shoved.

See also: Toxic Dipomacy: US unilateralism claims another victim, plus more related articles from the Guardian here.

Local Seattle activist Melissa Roberts had this to say about it: "We had five days, but we failed to prevent the ousting of Jose Bustani. We are on a runaway train. Bush is now an endangerment to US citizens and residents and must be asked to resign or be removed from office. It's gone over the edge. We are now facing the initiation of nuclear war."

Thanks to 'krokinol' for the topmost link, who titled his email: "usa planning to nuke iraq?" citing this passage:

.... It is also clear that at least three of these recent attempts to undermine international treaties are being pursued with an eye to the impending war with Iraq. As the American plans for destroying Saddam Hussein appear to involve new "bunker busting" nuclear weapons, the nuclear test ban treaty (which the US has never ratified) must be ignored. The US justification for war with Iraq is that Saddam Hussein may possess weapons of mass destruction. So the two foremost obstacles to war were Mr Blix and Mr Bustani, who have proposed non-violent methods of getting rid of these weapons. While the US government doubtless has genuine concerns about weapons of mass destruction, these are not the principal reasons for wishing to conquer Iraq.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 9:56 PM
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Bush's Bay of Piglets

Viva democracia! has to be more than a slogan on a bus. Perhaps a translation should be sent to the Latin American section of the US state department for them to stick above their desks: "It's the democracy, stupid!"

posted by Mark at 7:34 PM
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Since Andrew Abb had posted about one of my favorite artists Henry Darger, I was going to return the favor and post some stuff about another great "outsider artist" Adolf Wölfli. But I see today over at Andrew's weblog that he beat me to it. So for the good people that post and read Samizdat I'm stealing "Immagini" by Wolfli from gmtPlus9 and posting it here. For more information on Wölfli check out the chapter dedicated to him in the awesome book "The Discovery of the Art of the Insane" by John M. MacGregor.
posted by New World at 5:05 PM
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The objective of the war on terror in Afghanistan: "President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov is planning to discuss during a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin questions dealing with the construction of a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan and Pakistan."
posted by New World at 12:18 PM
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The five Caspain Sea littoral states are discussing in Ashkhabad how to divide up the sea's resources: "Common Sovereignty on Caspian, Best Choice of Legal Regime: Khatami."
"One More Attempt: In Ashkhabad, Caspian Sea to Be Shared."
"Caspian Littoral States Should Rebuff Outside Interference."
"U.S. Interference, Middle East Developments Overshadow Caspian Issue."
"Iran, Turkmenistan Hold Common Views on Caspian."
"Caspian Leaders Reach No Deal on Oil."
Read these and understand why Iran was included in the axis of evil (and notice how the Washington Post article states that Iran wants 50 percent while all the other stories state that Iran wants the sea to be divided equally and recieve 20 percent.)
posted by New World at 12:17 PM
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Operation Destroy the Data
Why doesn't the US Media cover Sharon's real aims? Luckily the Israeli media is far freer and more nuanced. What a strange idea that is...
posted by A.Q. at 11:04 AM
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This report from Ramallah was first circulated on the Internet: at the time of going to press, no foreign journalist has been allowed to report from the town.

On 8 April 2002 at 1 p.m., the curfew was lifted in Ramallah for the second time in 11 days, and for a period of four hours. It gave some a chance to hunt for bread and eggs, and others to survey the damage done to their institutions, since in the previous lifting of the curfew people could barely concentrate on hunting for but not finding bread. But once locked up again, we began to wonder what the Army did inside the buildings it broke into. As gradual reports of plunder and stealing came in, many began to fear something much worse: the destruction of the institutional and cultural infrastructure of Palestinian life.

Although we don't know for sure how much of this type of destruction there has been, eyewitness reports indicate that it is all-encompassing. No doubt it will take months to assess the extent of the damage, once we emerge from the current circumstances. Here is what we know so far....

(from the new edition of London Review of Books online)



posted by Jim at 10:49 AM
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Attack on Refugee Camp Shows How Israel Fights
Politics being made on the heads of people is what we have seen in Jenin, a refugee camp of 13,000 people in a space about 500 yards by 600 yards, churned into rubble by a thousand well-equipped Israeli soldiers in pursuit of about 200 Palestinian gunmen.

As the world debated and discussed whether Sharon was a predator or "man of peace," and just after Secretary of State Colin Powell had returned home empty-handed, Jenin's reality jumped into American faces from front pages around the world.

We must give up choosing sides and examine this destruction, as the American public examined its stand on the Vietnam War after seeing a young girl in an Associated Press photo stripped naked by napalm and running in terror over 30 years ago.

The whole world is watching, and appalled--and yet, at the very same time, our own politicians are meeting with the powerful Israeli lobbyists in DC and engaging in oral sex. NPR doesn't even mention the protest outside--involving many Jews. NPR reports this after reporting about Israel's refusal of the UN squad yesterday on ATC without also airing a single voice of dissent . . . then goes into some smarmy old-time Yiddish radio thing, which I have enjoyed previously but in the context of the previous two stories which were reported without a single note of questioning, I was two quivers short of shaking with anger. Where are the hammy Palestinian-culture series? Where are the protestors to the powerful Israeli lobbyist summit? Where are the people who are outraged--all across the world (including me)--that Israel has refused the UN from investigating Jenin? What is this, the fucking Daniel Schorr Show? Schorr recently on local NPR affiliate KUOW to a caller's question regarding the use of the word "settlers" responded: "Well, they're settlers. They settle." Bullshit on you, Murrow-boy! Oh, like it's the fucking Little House on the Prairie and the Israeli settlers are building log cabins and the little girls go down to the well with their buckets . . . TRY: ISRAELI ARMY EVICTS PALESTINIAN LANDOWNERS BY ORDER OF BULLET AND THEN MOVES IN! That's not fucking SETTLING! That's STEALING! That's fucking FUNDAMENTALIST ASSHOLISM! Supported by you, America! Have a Great Day!
posted by Dr. Menlo at 9:34 AM
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Is Taking Psychedelics an Act of Sedition?
To paraphrase Terence McKenna, the late shamanologist and outspoken champion of psychedelic consciousness, if you remove stress and threat, add a lot of alkaloids, and perturb the brain, it will transcend three-dimensional space and unfold into a four-dimensional matrix.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 9:03 AM
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Tuesday, April 23, 2002. *
Divided Jerusalem: The Struggle for the Holy City
Camp David: The Tragedy of Errors
America is suffering collateral damage...
Was Arafat the Problem? by Robert Wright

hi ho there fellow samizdats, dratfink has finally found his way to the promised land. now, where's that land i was promised? i want my 40 acres and a shul! uhh, nevermind, too crowded. i will wade into the fray with these four links. hopefully, they will provide you with plenty of fresh chaff for your millenarian pursuits.

posted by drat at 3:09 PM
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US accused of weapons deals with jihad forces
When is a terrorist not a terrorist? Can you be both with us and against us?
posted by A.Q. at 2:20 PM
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Israel's Hamas
The mantra that Arafat crack down on terror has always been a fraud. Who is to do this cracking down? Obviously, Palestinian police, security forces and courts. But they are the chief target of Sharon’s murderous onslaught. Sharon’s strategy today is the same as it was in Beirut in 1982. He wants to destroy and discredit the Palestinian Authority so as to ensure the Palestinians are left without a credible leadership...

A short and swift article in the NY Press that gives a capsule version of Israel's inability to compromise over the W. Bank and Gaza Strip.
posted by A.Q. at 12:17 PM
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The real war on terrorism
Robert Young Pelton, author of "The World's Most Dangerous Places," says the U.S. military has killed "thousands and thousands" of people in Afghanistan, al-Qaida is a myth and the WTC was brought down by a "Mickey Mouse" outfit.
posted by Gordon at 9:50 AM
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Peter Cook talks to the Sheffield & North Derbyshire Spectator shortly after the release of Derek and Clive (Live). "...we went to Electric Lady Studios, armed with several bottles of wine, just to see, what happened if we talked with no prior ideas into two microphones. We had no preconcieved attitudes or inensions. What emerged, on the whole was a shower of filth, with no socially redeeming or artistic value. We heard it back the next day and found it to be funny, but on the other hand we had no idea what to do with it. What we did was very practical, i.e. nothing. A few weeks later we decided to try out the same sort of rambling filth on a small audience. We did and they laughed. This time we did something; we sent a whole bunch of unedited tapes to a long time friend of mine, Christopher Blackwell, head of Island Records. He and his good lady also laughed and wondered what the hell to do with them." From The Establishment: The Peter Cook Appreciation Society.
posted by Andrew at 8:47 AM
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French Street Protests Against Le Pen Grow Bigger, More Violent
Some, overnight Monday, threw Molotov cocktails, firebombs made from bottles filled with petrol. Others broke windows and telephone cabins and damaged parked vehicles. Thirteen police were slightly injured and 14 youths were arrested.
posted by A.Q. at 8:47 AM
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home of the brave and the land of the free-
box; and if you're a little confused by that, well, that's ok,
just a small reference to the local lifestyle...
the Berkeley City Council takes up the issue of Divestiture
and we'd be amiss...
if we didn't point you in the direction of First Blush
for the surfeit of chewy linky goodness you'll find there...
posted by j at 7:58 AM
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posted by Dr. Menlo at 7:56 AM
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Monday, April 22, 2002. *
Should History Record the Unvarnished Bush? Don't read the official transcripts if you want to be entertained by his bloopers and buffoonery — you'll barely find them there. Washington Post
posted by emg at 10:14 PM
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UC Berkeley Lectures and Events Online Audio Recordings has MP3s of lectures by luminaries like Malcolm X, Chomsky, Eco, Foucault, and Ishmael Reed. I'm listening to Huxley's "The Ultimate Revolution" lecture about scientific dictatorships of the future right now and it's pretty cool.
posted by New World at 7:18 PM
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A Gray Davis corporate lackey wants to sell California groundwater to the highest bidder.
posted by brooke at 12:50 PM
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posted by A.Q. at 9:40 AM
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Robert Fisk: Fear and learning in America. "...for the first time in more than a decade of lecturing in the United States, I was shocked. Not by the passivity of Americans – the all-accepting, patriotic notion that the President knows best – nor by the dangerous self-absorption of the United States since 11 September and the constant, all-consuming fear of criticising Israel. What shocked me was the extraordinary new American refusal to go along with the official line, the growing, angry awareness among Americans that they were being lied to and deceived."
posted by Andrew at 9:40 AM
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Unravelling the myth of Barak's "generous offer". (via synthetic zero)
posted by cynthia korzekwa at 4:28 AM
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Sunday, April 21, 2002. *
Supporters Consider How to Increase Military Aid for Israel
The 2002 foreign aid program that Bush signed into law in January already provides Israel with $2.04 billion in military aid and $730 million in financial assistance, nearly one-fifth of total U.S. aid to the world. Some in the US congress are pressing to add greater amounts to this vast expenditure, incouding sending oil from pipelines built or protected by the United States.

If you have a fast connection and want to watch something that will really blow your mind, check out the video of this House committee meeting. This is exactly what George Washington was talking about in his final speech to the nation, when he spoke of a "passionate attachment."

In another interesting development, several Senators last week tried to tie Israeli aid into ANWAR drilling.
posted by A.Q. at 9:47 PM
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Bush Energy Policy Critic Ousted as Head of Climate Change Panel
The Bush administration was accused of pandering to the oil industry last night after an outspoken critic of America's energy policy was voted out of his job as chairman of the world's premier scientific body on climate change.

In a secret ballot held at a meeting in Geneva, the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change elected the India delegate, Rajendra Pachauri, as its chairman. He beat the current chairman, Robert Watson, the US delegate, by 76 votes to 49.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 6:33 PM
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What Israel Has Done, by Edward Said
Despite Israel's effort to restrict coverage of its destructive invasion of the West Bank's Palestinian towns and refugee camps, information and images have nevertheless seeped through. The Internet has provided hundreds of verbal as well as pictorial eyewitness reports, as have Arab and European TV coverage, most of it unavailable or blocked or spun out of existence from the mainstream US media. That evidence provides stunning proof of what Israel's campaign has actually--has always--been about: the irreversible conquest of Palestinian land and society. The official line (which Washington has basically supported, along with nearly every US media commentator) is that Israel has been defending itself by retaliating against the suicide bombings that have undermined its security and even threatened its existence. That claim has gained the status of an absolute truth, moderated neither by what Israel has done nor by what in fact has been done to it.

Phrases such as "plucking out the terrorist network," "destroying the terrorist infrastructure" and "attacking terrorist nests" (note the total dehumanization involved) are repeated so often and so unthinkingly that they have given Israel the right to destroy Palestinian civil life, with a shocking degree of sheer wanton destruction, killing, humiliation and vandalism.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 6:07 PM
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Alice's New Adventures in Medialand, by Normon Solomon
For instance, in contrast to the highly publicized case of John Walker Lindh, what about other Americans who also have been moved by religious fervor to go abroad and take up arms for a foreign government? Relocating from homes in such areas as Brooklyn, N.Y., quite a few Americans went to Israel and now serve that country's military.

This spring, no doubt, some of them have been part of the Israeli offensive in the West Bank. It is curious indeed that the same U.S. news outlets fascinated with the "American Taliban" are so uninterested in scrutinizing those Americans, who strengthen the ranks of the Israeli armed forces as they participate in the killing of Palestinian men and women and children.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 6:04 PM
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Organizers Claim Largest Showing of Solidarity with Palestinians in U.S. History
Upwards of 75,000 people marched and rallied Saturday in downtown Washington D.C. for a number of causes including opposition to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Other themes included voicing dissent against the “war at home and abroad,” a reference to the war in Afghanistan and in Colombia, as well as problems with racism and discrimination against people of color (especially those of Arabic origin), and also to corporate globalization.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 5:25 PM
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'Armed' Refugees Take Over Camp
Authorities in Australia say that hundreds of asylum seekers armed with home-made weapons have taken over part of the Curtin detention centre in a remote part of the country's north-west.

It follows a riot by 100 inmates at the camp on Friday, where property and equipment were damaged and a number of fires lit.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 5:14 PM
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USA leads the way...
re innovations in democracy,
as perceived by Terry Jones, from the Observer UK,
If you want a free vote, ask nicely
posted by j at 11:18 AM
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Saturday, April 20, 2002. *
I'm on my way out the door to catch some of the Seattle proceedings planned today in solidarity with the actions going on in D.C. and elsewhere . . . More soon. My best wishes and most heartfelt thanks to all the harbingers on the left who have helped make the Samizdat such a wonderful alternative outlet.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 1:53 PM
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It's 4/20!

The Inside Dope on '420' Buzz
When, where and why did innocuous numbers become a sly reference to "pot smoker"? Its history is hazy but the smoke may finally be clearing on the real story.
posted by Gordon at 10:38 AM
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Village Voice... The Outsiders - John MacGregor Unlocks Henry Darger's Unreal Realms. "...Virtually anonymous in his daily life, he has become, in the years since his death in 1973, an index of our fears and ambitions, an alchemist, a litmus test, an urban legend, a cautionary tale. Some records from the Lincoln Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children, where he passed most of his teenage years, give his name as 'Henry Dodger' - a fitting slip for this most elusive of culture heroes." (via Scrubbles)
posted by Andrew at 9:31 AM
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Friday, April 19, 2002. *
Israel: the generals’ grand design
Sharon’s present strategy of fighting the Palestinians to the last and imposing a new regional order follows the long-term vision of Israel’s political generals. For them, the failure of the Oslo peace process was not just inevitable, but a goal.

In conventional political discourse, Israel’s recent attacks on Palestinian civilians, villages, and governmental institutions are described as “retaliatory acts”. They are justified as a “response” to the latest wave of terror attacks on Israeli civilians. In fact, these “retaliatory measures” are part of a systematic assault on the Palestinian Authority that was carefully prepared long before the current “war on terrorism.” As far back as October 2000, at the outset of the Palestinian uprising and before the terror attacks had started, military circles in Israel had prepared detailed operative plans to topple Arafat and the Palestinian Authority.

In a statement published in Israel’s major newspaper, Ha’aretz, on 18 October 2001, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared, “Oslo [the peace accord] is not continuing; there won’t be Oslo; Oslo is over.” Oslo is now widely considered in Israel to be “an historical mistake.” Since March of 2001, the Israeli media has openly discussed plans to re-establish full military control of the territories.
[more]
posted by Gordon at 10:09 PM
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Exquisite Corpse #11: THE MANIFESTO ISSUE

Yours truly did not make the deadline for this one, but they graciously included a link to the Samizdat here. If you scroll down on this page you will find a letter I sent them over 2 years ago, wherein I excitedly carry on about . . . blogs.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 3:00 PM
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uh oh...
yah, I know it's friday, but it's still awfully quiet around here...
from the New York Review of Books,
The Road to Nowhere,
an appraisal of A. Sharon, the resident's idea of a Peacemaker...
what a load of crap that is...
posted by j at 2:13 PM
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glimmers of hope...
yourstruly sat in audience of concerned citizens yesterday evening,
a panel of interesting fellows presenting some strategies in re
"the war against terrorism", but mostly all of us there to hear
Gore Vidal. There will be a transcript of the evening's discussion
& repartee made available some time next week by the organization
hosting the event, we'll advise you of same when it appears, but for
now, out of the pages of the local fishwrap:
Some say Bush weak on world,
Even allies question his influence

posted by j at 7:50 AM
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Thursday, April 18, 2002. *
Otto Reich -- Goon for Reagan, Bush I and now Bush II
Latin America's Dilemma: Otto Reich's Propaganda is Reminiscent of the Third Reich by Tom Turnipseed

The Bush administration is engaging in damage control for their questionable involvement in the failed 2 day coup against the democratically elected government of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Alarmingly, the ominous Otto Reich is emerging as a key player in the administration's role in the failed coup attempt to replace Chavez with an oligarchy of business, military and wealthy elites. Scrambling to distance themselves from the botched overthrow of the democratically elected Chavez government, the Bush administration admitted that Mr. Reich called the coup leader, Mr. Carmona, and asked him not to dissolve the National Assembly because it would be a "stupid thing to do". The next day the administration revised their story and said Reich only asked our ambassador to relay that message to Carmona.

The New York Times noted that the disclosure raised questions as to whether Mr. Reich and other administration officials were stage-managing the takeover by Mr. Carmona. Although the Bush administration admits their desire to replace the Chavez government because of its opposition to U.S. policies and friendship with countries like Cuba and  Iran, they now insist that they were not involved in the armed coup. The administration also admits talking with various Venezuelan officials prior to the coup including General Lucas Romero Rincon, head of the Venezuelan military, who met with Pentagon official Rogelio Pardo-Maurer, a former close associate of the U. S. supported Contra forces in Nicaragua.

Mr. Reich's propensity to pernicious propaganda has once again emerged from events surrounding the coup.  According to the New York Times, Reich told congressional aides that the administration had received reports that "foreign paramilitary forces"-suspected to be Cuban-were involved in the bloody suppression of anti-Chavez demonstrators, in which at least 14 people were killed in Venezuela. Reich, a former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela and lobbyist with ties to Mobil Oil in Venezuela, further told the Congressional staffers that Mr. Chavez had meddled with the historically independent state oil company, provided haven to Colombian guerillas, and bailed out Cuba with preferential rates on oil.

Reich is a right-wing Cuban-American obsessed with overthrowing Fidel Castro's regime and is also a big political supporter of President Bush's brother and Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who needs strong support from Cubans in Florida in his re-election bid this year. Reich, along with fellow Reagan administration cohorts, Elliott Abrams and John Negroponte, were discredited for their covert activities and false assertions when the United States intervened in Central America in the 1980's and '90s, but have been re-instated in prominent positions in the second Bush administration. They abhor Latin-American governments that are elected by the poor and working class people, like the Chavez government in Venezuela and the deposed Sandinista government in Nicaragua. [read on]


A little more background on Otto Reich from the Center for International Policy

posted by Craig at 4:23 PM
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Relton from Le Bloguer has this to say: For all your tasteless daily weird-o-rama fun, visit everlasting blort
posted by A.Q. at 4:23 PM
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small steps, perhaps eventually inconsequential...
and after having watched some of the debates yesterday on C-Span,
we began to wonder who was going to stand up and be counted, well,
you know, on the side that I'd prefer to see take the upper hand...
Senate rejects oil drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge;
a small step, to be sure,
w/our continued concern & attention remaining essential.
posted by j at 11:55 AM
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After reading the excellent articles about marriage in the American Prospect, noted below by Evan Daze, check out Stephanie Coontz's The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap. She goes beyond the fantasy of marriage and looks at the facts and data of marriage in this country over the last 200 years. Suprisingly, the fantasy and the reality don't match. Duh!
posted by Gordon at 10:10 AM
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The American Prospect has a special issue on the politics of family, children and marriage with pieces by Stephanie Coontz, Robert Kuttner and others.
posted by Evan at 8:02 AM
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David Chess offers a thorough analysis of the Supreme Court's decision overturning CPPA (aka, the "virtual child pornography" ban). You can also read his email exchange with Nina Totenberg (yes, she wrote back) following an NPR piece that quoted several critics of the decision but not one free speech supporter. David also points to the full text of the Supreme Court decision online in PDF format.
posted by Evan at 8:01 AM
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Well well...wanna see who owns the words coming out of Dan Rather's or Tom Brokaw's mouth? Wanna know who owns the big media giants? Who decides what is shown to your kids, and what slant the news will have?



I quote from the site and italicize my own comments: "The past decade's wave of media mergers has produced a complex web of business relationships ~not unlike the sewers of NYC if you ask me~ that now defines America's media and popular culture ~and political opinions~. These relationships offer a massive opportunity for cross promotion and selling of talent and products ~oh, and don't forget political candidates. Why, without the TV, I simply wouldn't know who to vote for~ among different companies owned by the same powerful parent corporation. ~Who, as we all know, really own this great land of ours~



Have a cup of coffee and go here. Then read some alternate news for a change.
posted by Lisa D at 7:28 AM
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Wednesday, April 17, 2002. *
A privatisers' hit list
European commission demands to deregulate services spell disaster for the developing world

In the fevered imaginations of anti-globalisation protesters, the World Trade Organisation agreement known as Gats is a corporate boot sale of essential services, from water to electricity to the media. It is, they say, an attack on democracy that will lock the world into privatisation and deregulation of essential services ad infinitum.

Now, as revealed in this paper, we have got the leaked documents of the European commission's secret WTO negotiating positions to prove it. Let no one wonder any longer why WTO negotiators have to meet behind six-foot fences to avoid protesters.

The commission documents - leaked to Corporate Europe Observatory and posted on the Guardian's website - are breathtaking in scope. This is a corporate shopping list of requests to open up service sectors in everything from water supplies to banking in 29 countries, including China, India, Canada, Egypt, Mexico and the US. In a month, more countries will be included.

The requests are described by an Indian NGO, Equations, as "a frontal attack on the Indian constitution". The Council of the Canadians, a large and moderate consumer group, described them as "chilling". The EU demands are extraordinarily aggressive - whether they are to remove the ability to limit Wal- Mart's activities in India, or to take away the Mexican people's control of the land along their borders, or to destroy Malaysia's capacity to regulate its financial sector.
[more]
posted by Gordon at 11:39 PM
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speaking for myowndamnself...
been aware of the intellectual limitations of the resident for some while,
a child of privilege, who has never earned an honest dollar in his life.
If he & his administration have their way, there will be nothing but
obfuscation, mealy mouthed platitudes, & the outright extermination of truth.
Do we really get the government we deserve? A pity, if that's the case...
Should History Record the Unvarnished Bush?
posted by j at 10:38 PM
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The guy behind Warblogger Watch wants to put togther a book of the best anti-war blogging. I think it's in response to a book the warbloggers want to put togther of the best pro-war blogging. If you know of any exceptional anti-war blogging go the his anti-war book blog and send him the links.
posted by New World at 12:23 PM
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"Happy chickens make happy customers..." Matthew Moreau... Mr. Murdu. "...This comic contains graphic scenes of chicken stabbing, beheading, choking and chewing, which may be offensive to some viewers. In addition this comic presents certain moralistic viewpoints about the treatment of animals which may be offensive to members of the poultry and similar industries." From Big Old Future. Digital narratives, comics and animations by Matthew Moreau.
posted by Andrew at 9:09 AM
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Tuesday, April 16, 2002. *
Happy Earth Day From George W. Bush: Will He Gut The Clean Water Act?
The Clean Water Act is supposed to protect these watersheds. Its rules explicitly forbid filling waterways with "waste." But for years, mining companies have used their influence to stop the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA from enforcing the act. The devastation is ongoing.

Now President Bush -- egged on by his King Coal political patrons -- is about to change Clean Water Act rules in an effort to legalize mountaintop mining and valley filling. It’s like stopping bank robbers from breaking the law by making bank robbery legal.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:43 PM
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Dow Shall Be Liable,
by Darryl D'Monte and Nityanand Jayaraman
Over 500 survivors from Bhopal's 1984 gas disaster protested against Dow's refusal to assume liabilities for the disaster that killed thousands and continues to kill today.
. . . via CorpWatch sister site: CorpWatch India.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:25 PM
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News From Inside the Jenin Refugee Camp, by Kevin Skvorak
Total numbers of dead inside the camp range from 200 to 500.  No one really has any realistic idea yet and no one here knows how many where removed by the Israelis, but witnesses in the camp saw at least two large refrigerated semi trailers in the camp, and the UN aid people here maintain it is a relatively open secret that the Israelis maintain an “enemies” graveyard in the Jordan valley for events like this.
Same article with pics here.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:20 PM
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Ari & I: White House Press Briefing with Ari Fleischer : Tuesday, April 16, 2002 12:30 PM, by Russell Mokhiber
Russell Mokhiber: Ari, last week, you called the Palestinian suicide bombers "murderers." I'm wondering if you believe that the Israeli Defense Forces committed murder in the Jenin refugee camp last week.

Ari Fleischer: Israel undertook a military operation. And the United States has continued to say that Israel needs to withdraw from that area. The United States has also called for the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian observers to be permitted into Jenin to see what is happening. As Secretary Armitage said, there is now a growing almost mythology about events that took place on the ground in Jenin. And I think what the United States would look for are facts.

Mokhiber: Ari, if in fact the Israeli defense forces destroyed buildings on top of innocent civilians and there were no terrorists in those buildings, would you consider that homicide?

Ari Fleischer: Again, this is the purpose of the international committee on the Red Cross, and the other fact finders who are in the region, to ascertain facts. I can't deal with questions that begin with "if."

I'm surprised they still let Mokhiber into the briefings . . .
posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:11 PM
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The Enforcers: The Hague Convention and the Threat to Internet Freedoms and Consumer Protection, by Charlie Cray
Critics say that unless it explicitly exempts speech torts, the Hague Convention could expose writers, publishers and even people who post opinions on the Internet to defamation and libel suits in countries where free speech protections are weaker than those in countries such as the United States.

“There are a lot of countries that have laws that are far less protective of free speech than the United States,” Chris Chiu, an Internet policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union points out. “What has prevented a lot of foreign judgments from being enforced on U.S. soil is that courts in the United States have refused to enforce those decisions based on the First Amendment and other public policies. The concern is that the Hague Convention will shift the balance of power, and create some sort of bias towards enforcement of foreign judgments. It opens up the possibility that American publishers will face potential lawsuits from places like mainland China, Singapore and other countries where there are strong restrictions on what people can say about the government.”

posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:03 PM
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Inside Jenin, Rubble and Decomposing Bodies, by Brian Wood
As we walked we saw many bodies buried under rubble, just in the remains of their homes and were killed. Their bodies are decomposing, there's all kinds of maggots and lice and flies eating their bodies. I won't go into more detail than that, but I'll just say that it's the most gruesome thing I've ever seen in my life, with body parts lying all over.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 7:59 PM
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Three Days that Shook the Media: Online Journalism's Finest Hour, by Al Giordano
AP, Reuters, the New York Times, and CNN, the worst offenders in the English-language media among many others, have had to radically adjust their coverage of the events in Venezuela precisely because online journalists worked overtime in recent days to break the information blockade and get the true facts to the international public.

The same media professionals who cringe at the term "authentic journalism" are the ones who, for the sake their own future credibility, ought to pay close attention to what has just occurred. For there is going to be hell to pay over the professional misconduct by many of them in recent days.

Just as the Venezuelan majority - out-hollered, out-dollared, but not out-smarted - called the bluff of its nation's spoiled oligarchy and reclaimed its right to choose its own destiny, authentic journalism - in particular, the rapid response of independent online journalism - forced the mass media to eat its own dishonest words.

Let the banquet begin.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 6:55 PM
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Israelis blast church with invisible weapon. "The Israeli Army is broadcasting ear-splitting screeches and wails at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, traditional site of Jesus' birth, to force out 200 Palestinians besieged there. Troops brought in a crane to hoist loudspeakers over the ancient basilica, one of the holiest shrines in Christendom, as part of what one person inside called 'psycho terror'. One of the noises sounds like a car alarm."
posted by New World at 11:26 AM
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Palestinian Refugees - 1948....In the period from 1917 to 1949, Israel had occupied 78% of the land of Palestine and evicted or caused to flee more than 750,000 Palestinian refugees to Gaza Strip , West Bank and other Arab countries like Syria , Lebanon, Jordan and others.. It is the plight of the Palestinian refugees, who now number 1.5 millions, and the fate of the Palestinians, who now number 2.5 millions, as a people, which have remained the most pressing problems.
Why Bush dances to Sharon's tune
posted by cynthia korzekwa at 12:44 AM
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Monday, April 15, 2002. *
Palestine Chronicle - Help Needed in Seattle
The Palestine Chronicle is in urgent need of volunteer help at our Seattle based location.

Check out the rest of the site for lots of daily coverage. They are looking for helpers with web and/or PR experience.
posted by A.Q. at 11:11 PM
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On Tax Day thank the rich and support lifting the tax yoke off them



You know, if you can actually read all the way through without grinding your teeth into mush, or feeling your heart seize up, there are maybe one or two points worth thinking about.



HOWEVER, all I can think about is that sorry ass unproductive old grandmother of mine. How she contributes nothing to the gross national product. She doesn't buy anything, because she doesn't have any money, so she isn't contributing to the economic well-being of this great nation of ours. She doesn't drive an SUV, she can't see over the wheel. Therefore, she's not helping to keep the economic recovery rolling. She's nothing more than a drain on society.



To quote the author of this article, "On Tax Day support tax cuts by promoting the idea of a truly just society: where each man keeps what he earns and has no claim upon the life and property of others."



So read it and weep, old woman. The party's over, the meal train has left the station, the time for unproductive old age is gone. Get those ancient arthritic fingers moving and start crocheting toilet paper covers or refrigerator magnets. It's time to carry your weight, grandma. All 65 pounds of it.





posted by Lisa D at 3:33 PM
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Part of a complete meal:
The three year old sandwich official site.
Why It's Needed:

In many of today's tactical scenarios, soldiers must be quickly mobilized and prepositioned. A high quality, eat-on-the-move ration component is needed to support these highly mobile and forward-deployed troops, under any environmental condition, climate and location - including temperate, arctic, jungle, desert, mountain, and urban terrain.
posted by riley dog at 1:00 PM
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I was born human, but it was an accident of fate:
The Neural Connection is Kevin Warwick's site documenting his attempt to be a cyborg.
Frequently Asked Questions:


"Thought Communication"? Telepathy: Do you think "transparency" is a goal for humanity? Do you think it is better to be able to lie or to adapt what you think, for better communication?

I think what we are doing is shifting the boundary, not making things transparent. Instead of lying by speech, you will lie by thought.



Do you think telepathy will destroy the arts: poetry, literature, music and painting? Or even humanity itself?

No. It will dramatically change it, but not destroy it. Unless we think it is humanity itself that changes by becoming a Cyborg.
posted by riley dog at 12:56 PM
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How much do you make a year? uh huh. I see. And how much do you pay in "the T-word"? yes, yes. Very good.

Now go see how much your average CEO makes.

And you can bet your bottom dollar (you know, that last one you're looking at in the bottom of your dusty unused wallet) that most of these frick fracking money hungry corporate slugs aren't hurting as bad as you are on April 15 - St. Vaseline's Day!
posted by Lisa D at 9:37 AM
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Ramallah Diary
Here's a description of what happens during a 'lull' in the siege of Ramallah: Across the street from my company's showroom there is a supermarket with at least 10 cars parked outside. There is a truck unloading milk cartons. I step outside to get some drinks. As I am about to cross the street I see an Israeli tank approaching at about 20 miles per hour. To see a tank going that fast is a chilling sight. To see a tank going that fast on a busy street is nerve-racking. The tank is headed towards the supermarket. Silence. Everyone on the street is watching helplessly. There is no way the tank can fit between the cars parked outside. There are children in some of these cars waiting for their parents. Thank God for the huge milk truck. It took the first impact. The tank crushed half of the truck. The street turns white with wasted milk. The tank shifts gear, hits two trees and speeds away.
posted by A.Q. at 9:28 AM
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no doubt part of the dumbing down of america...
More than half of the adults in this country read no more than 10 books a year,
reports Philadelphia columnist Karen Heller -
and pap seems to be the most popular prose.
more
thanking Bear Flag Republic for the heads up.
posted by j at 7:58 AM
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"What do wars do to women? They often reinforce the traditional roles of women by framing domestic duties and unconditional support of their country's leadership as patriotic. They also create a climate in which violence against women (and children) is acceptable so long as it fulfills the goals of the war. Women commonly suffer unimaginably violent acts, such as gang rape by soldiers, and they make up the bulk of the world's refugees. This affects the lives of the women who are the targets, as well as the women whose brothers, sons, fathers and husbands come home to them after having committed these sanctioned acts of violence. "

Link to 9-11peace.org

May 24 is International Womens Day for Peace and Disarmament Don't you think it's sad that we have to have a day devoted to something that we should be doing anyway?
posted by Lisa D at 7:38 AM
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Memento Mori: Death and Photography in Nineteenth Century America by Dan Meinwald. "...The subject of this essay is an imagery of death characteristic of another time and place: nineteenth century America. Although the nineteenth century is much closer to our own era, these photographs and other images represent a concept of death that is in many ways as different from ours as that of the Europe of the Middle Ages."
posted by Andrew at 7:25 AM
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JamesLileksisapunk.com--take my url, please.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 2:07 AM
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buon giorno my friends
The sky is gray and I hope it rains. Today in Rome, as in Washington, I'm told, an Israel Day Manifestation. It begins at 6 pm at Campidoglio and ends at the Temple Israelitico Synagogue . It's been organized by Giuliano Ferrara, owner and editor of IL FOLIO. Ferrara, of course, is the Right of the Right (Berlusconi's wife Veronica is one of the investors in Il Foglio). Ferrara, the same guy that invited the audience at San Remo to throw eggs at Roberto Benigni. The same guy who threw eggs at his own TV while Benigni was on.
What is the significance of this manifestation?
I don't like Berlusconi but that doesn't mean I don't like Italians. I don't like Bush but that doesn't mean I don't like Texans. I don't like Sharon so why must that mean that I don't like Jews.
see: Israel/Palestine: A Requiem for the Damned (via Bornfamous)
see: REPORTERS UNDER ATTACK IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES: ISRAELI SOLDIERS RAID THE OFFICE OF NEWS ORGANIZATIONS
see: Aish Ha Torah's Window on The Wall, webcam in Jerusalem...It is a centuries-old tradition to place a note with a prayer or request in the Western Wall.Type in your prayer. It will be printed out in the Old City of Jerusalem where it will be placed in the Wall by a student of Aish HaTorah. service note "Window on the Wall" offers a special Internet service for people who are not in Jerusalem who wish to place a note in the Wall. Can't get into Jerusalem to pray? Place a Note in the Wall via email. I sent one and got a reply that my message had been recieved and would soon be printed and taken to the wall. I wonder who's going to take it.
posted by cynthia korzekwa at 1:19 AM
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Sunday, April 14, 2002. *
Stencil Graffiti by Tristan Manco (2002, Thames and Hudson). "...The book showcases over 400 examples of contemporary stencilled works from across the globe, their innovation and vitality achieved with new materials, methods and approaches." Yes! How much do I want this book?
posted by Andrew at 8:52 AM
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again, more evidence of shiftless laziness...
& my indebtedness to the wisdom & efforts of friends like
S.J. Green of the marvelous entity known as plep
who has kindly forwarded the following links to me, 'cause he gives a damn...
from the Guardian On-line, You Won't Break Them;
from Amnesty International, A Petition re Fear for Safety & Torture.
Gracias, Esteban!
posted by j at 8:34 AM
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Richard Neville : Beyond Good and Evil ...
... Bush's "new kind" of war in the name of freedom is actually an old kind of imperial excursion to extend America's grip on the wealth of the world. A wealth which belongs to everyone. But instead of a misnamed bombing spree, which incubates terror, what the world needs most is an ongoing, unconditional fairness revolution to eradicate the roots of rage. Such a sweeping global ethic is absent from the priorities of the millionaire mogul hawks who run Washington, but it was briefly glimpsed at street level in the rubble-strewn surrounds of the twin towers. ...

posted by Graham at 1:49 AM
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Saturday, April 13, 2002. *
sometimes myowndamnself too shiftless & lazy...
not terribly proud of it either, to be truthful, so am thankful
that there are plenty of other folk doing the hard work,
like many of those contributing here at American Samizdat.
I wanted to share something I came across only this Am,
whilst visiting many bloggos favoritos,
our pal el dee (who recently posted hereabouts) mentions a
learning experience she had recently re the School of the Americas
(see the 4.12 post specifically,
the permalinks on that page are, ahhhh, troublesome...)
posted by j at 10:52 AM
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Bill Aimed at Reversing Bush Order on Records

Aiming bipartisan fire at what it described as the Bush administration's alarming penchant for secrecy, a group of House Republicans and Democrats yesterday introduced legislation to cancel President Bush's executive order restricting the release of presidential records.

Rep. Stephen Horn (R-Calif.), the chief sponsor of the measure, said the order was a violation of "the letter and spirit" of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which declared for the first time that the records of a former president belong to the public.
[more]

Maybe we'll find out about Iran/Contra, and Reagan's vice-president, after all. Enquiring minds want to know.

posted by Gordon at 8:27 AM
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Renegade View on Child Sex Causes a Storm: "When the University of Minnesota Press agreed more than a year ago to publish a book called Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex, it was clear that it would be controversial." Written as an attack on the abstinence-only school of sex education, it has been roundly criticized as an apologia for pedophilia, which it does not in fact endorse. But, arriving in the midst of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, it has prompted attacks on its publisher which has responded by agreeing to an unprecedented review of the way it selects books for publication. Civil libertarians are alarmed at the implications for publishing. NY Times
posted by emg at 6:27 AM
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The Bush Doctrine, R.I.P.
'As a statement of principle set forth by an American chief executive, the now defunct Bush Doctrine may have had a shelf life even shorter than Kenny Boy's Enron code of ethics. As a statement of presidential intent, it may land in the history books alongside such magisterial moments as Lyndon Johnson's 1964 pledge not to send American boys to Vietnam and Richard Nixon's 1968 promise to "bring us together."



(...) But even as he fudges his good/evil categorizations when it comes to Mr. Arafat and other players he suddenly may need in the Middle East, it's not clear that Mr. Bush knows that he can no longer look at the world as if it were Major League Baseball, with every team clearly delineated in its particular division. "Look, my job isn't to try to nuance," he told a British interviewer a week after the Passover massacre in Netanya. "My job is to tell people what I think. . . . I think moral clarity is important."



Mr. Bush doesn't seem to realize that nuances are what his own administration is belatedly trying to master — and must — if Colin Powell is going to hasten a cease-fire in the Middle East. Mr. Bush doesn't seem to know that since the routing of the Taliban his moral clarity has atrophied into simplistic, often hypocritical sloganeering. He has let his infatuation with his own rectitude metastasize into hubris. ' NY Times

posted by emg at 6:26 AM
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The Hole in the Reactor: Incredible revelations from the former director of the Union of Concerned Scientists about how the Atomic Energy Commission did business in the face of known doubts about reactor safety:
It's appropriate now, I think, several years after his death, to identify the Deep Throat who helped acquaint Henry Kendall and me with the problems in American nuclear power plants. In 1974, at the Cosmos Club in Washington, Kendall and I were handed a briefcase full of papers by John F. O'Leary, the director of licensing of the A.E.C. He believed in nuclear energy, he said, but only if it were done right. And it wouldn't be unless more details of the problems got out and better regulation was demanded. We studied the papers and distributed them to journalists. Major reports ran in the national press.
Maintenance, quality control, equipment testing and inspection — these had been described as bywords of nuclear safety. But most nuclear plants, according to the commission's own internal audits, were failing badly on all counts. When we asked O'Leary how he could possibly sign off on more and more plant licenses, he offered his personal rationale: Things would leak before they broke. There would be some warning, and the surrounding area could be evacuated in time.
posted by emg at 6:25 AM
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Friday, April 12, 2002. *
Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) accuses the Bush government/Caryle group of 9/11 prior knowledge and war profiteering:

"In the radio conversation, McKinney delivered a stinging attack on the administration. In 2000, she charged, Bush forces 'stole from America our most precious right of all, the right to free and fair elections.' With the September attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania, McKinney said, 'an administration of questionable legitimacy has been given unprecedented power.'

She suggested that the administration was serving the interests of a Washington-based investment firm, the Carlyle Group, which employs a number of high-ranking former government officials from both parties. Former president George H.W. Bush -- the current president's father -- is an adviser to the firm. McKinney said the war on terrorism has enriched Carlyle Group investors by enhancing the value of a military contractor partly owned by the firm."

The words conspiracy theory, like terrorist, are just used now to discredit enemies, not to clarify and define issues and problems (if they ever were.)
posted by New World at 9:13 PM
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Homefront Confidential:
How the War on Terrorism Affects Access to Information and the Public's Right to Know
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press


______________________________________



Tom Ridge's Non-Testimonial Appearance Before Congress:
Another Nixon-style Move By The Bush Administration
By John W. Dean


"President Richard Nixon didn't like Congress asking him a lot of questions about how he was performing as the head of the Executive Branch. In fact, Congressional oversight annoyed the hell out of him. Accordingly, he was dead set against his aides testifying on Capitol Hill. Today, the world knows why. It's called abuse of power.

For that reason alone, it is remarkable that the Bush White House regularly employs Nixonian tactics - even, most recently, on an issue as important as homeland security. The Bush Administration sure looks to me like they found an old Nixon presidency playbook down in the basement of the White House, since they have borrowed more than one page. Why it's being done remains inexplicable."

posted by Mark at 5:55 PM
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posted by A.Q. at 4:07 PM
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Letter From Israel
Israel – A Suicide Bomber?
by Ran HaCohen

Palestinian suicide attacks have been singled out, overemphasised and isolated from their context in Israel's 35- year occupation of the Palestinian territories, the proper infrastructure of Palestinian terrorism. (...)

The Talmud reminds us that people often accuse others of their own faults. Is this the case with Israel as well? Can Israel be seen as a suicide bomber? Well, the latter part of the term obviously holds true: reports of Israeli bulldozers digging mass graves in Jenin have not been confirmed yet, but the enormous scale of Israeli bombing in occupied territories hardly needs this evidence. During the British Mandate in Palestine (1917-1948), the Royal Army considered bombing Jenin from the air, but dropped the idea for humanitarian reasons; the Israeli army has now used F-16 jets, helicopters and airborne missiles against this city, while destroying dozens of houses as well as the entire water, sewage and electricity infrastructure by tanks and bulldozers. (...)

Bombing Occupation Soldiers is LAWFUL

When acting against soldiers, the suicide bomber has international law on his side. Yes: international legislation acknowledges the right of occupied people to use force against their oppressors, both inside the occupied territories and outside them. Based upon the principles of the Hague International Convention of 1907 and confirmed in the Nuremberg Tribunal after World War II, this determination was essential to forestall Nazi claims that partisans, Ghetto fighters, and other underground resistance forces in the territories occupied by Germany had allegedly been "terrorists". In the Nuremberg Tribunal it was unequivocally set down that resistance fighters, including those who had struggled within Germany itself, acted in accordance with the regulations of international law.

A fact actually unheard of in the media.
[more]

The irony here is that those Ghetto fighters were Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.
posted by Gordon at 9:44 AM
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Tony Blair has his detractors...
oh yahhh, "Get a grip on yourself Tony"
posted by j at 9:15 AM
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Patti Smith, r.e.f.m. "progess is not future - it is keeping up w/ the present..." A flyer given away at a May 1978 concert, b/w Poem #2, by Patti Smith and Richard Hell.
posted by Andrew at 8:57 AM
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Make them ALL accountable!
Bush Is Said to Consider a New Security Department;
so, anyone willing to lay odds on this happening?
posted by j at 8:26 AM
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Hey, where are the rest of the fellow harbingers?
too quiet around here folks,
let's put your collective two cents in...
this fine item
IDs -- Not That Easy: Questions About Nationwide Identity Systems
brought to my attention via the fine mind behind Medley,
where you'll find some related linkage.
posted by j at 8:04 AM
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Thursday, April 11, 2002. *
color us unsurprised...
and please tell us something we didn't already know.
NYT links: White House Ties Oil Cutoff by Iraq to Drilling in Alaska;
and I would really like to know the definition of ultimatum as used
by el residente & his chief minion Tricky Dick the Second
Environmentalists Had 48 Hours to Comment to Energy Dept.;
yeah, plenty of other peoples blood being shed to insure Big Oil
profits & the maintenance of the status quo hereabouts.
What a sorry herd of ignorant fools the American public has become.
posted by j at 7:55 AM
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Wednesday, April 10, 2002. *
Red Hiefer birth getting more press. You can feel the apocalyptic excitement in the air!
posted by New World at 1:23 PM
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Uncensored: Graffiti Photography by Pete Maginnis. "...Graffiti is uncensored, anonymous and public. As a form of expression it sits outside usual constraints. The result is a huge variety of visual and verbal statements, spanning ugly to attractive, extreme to moderate, profound to meaningless, unique to repetitive, sacred to profane."
posted by Andrew at 9:20 AM
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Global Women Intact

"OUR OVERALL MISSION: End female circumcision through education, information, and alternative form of initiation ceremony."
Hear! Hear! GLOBALIZE NO MUTILATION . . .
posted by Dr. Menlo at 2:18 AM
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