American Samizdat

Sunday, June 30, 2002. *
Aleksandr Deineka... Parad Krasnoi Armii (The Parade of the Red Army) (Moskva: Molodaia Gvardiia, 1931). From Soviet Children's Picture Books from the Twenties and Thirties. "...The great variety of styles is immediately apparent when leafing through the collection: from sweet traditional drawings to avant-garde and socialist realism."
posted by Andrew at 10:36 AM
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Saturday, June 29, 2002. *
Nukes in Space (revisited)

The physician/activist Helen Caldicott is on CSpan's Book Events this weekend and she gives a powerful one hour presentation on the current arms situation. Her website is here. I urge you to set your TIVOs...

She insists that there is no question that the Pentagon currently runs the White House and that nukes in space is numero uno on the general military agenda for the future, with the goal of being able to vaporize enemies from beyond the stratosphere. The following recent articles provide context to this assertion:
6/27/02
US spurns Russia, China's bid to ban arms in space -- Reuters
Russia, China Seek To Ban Space Arms -- Guardian

And on 6/26/02:
US to have single command for nuclear force, missile defence - Hindustan Times
The Pentagon is to create a single military command for US nuclear and missile defenses, as well as a network of early warning satellites and radars, US ...
Also:   Bush approves plan to merge Strategic, Space Commands - Nando Times
Rumsfeld Announces New US Military Command - Reuters
Bush Oks Plan To Merge Commands - Guardian, UK
Pentagon creating a new military command - China Daily
posted by Richard at 6:27 PM
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Si Lewen... The Parade - A story in 55 drawings (1957, H. Bittner And Company, New York). Also... A Journey - 72 Drawings by Si Lewen (1980, Philadelphia: The Art Alliance Press, London and Toronto: Associated University Presses). "...Si Lewen's work reflects a world of step-by-step progression of often tragic events and images. For him everything is but a step, a transition to the next stage. All of his work is a part of a procession, a migration, an Odyssey. In A Journey the 'visitor' travels through the nightmare of the concentration camp, where the camp serves as the ultimate expression of the nation state." From The Art of Si Lewen.
posted by Andrew at 9:57 AM
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Friday, June 28, 2002. *
People Power On Tour
The event is entitled "Democracy Rising," a stop on the "People Have the Power Tour." Consumer activist-cum-presidential candidate Ralph Nader organized it. He'll headline the concert/rally, part of his latest stab at finding ways to mobilize huge crowds of disaffected young people who are more likely to attend rock concerts than to canvass voters or picket nukes.

Patti Smith will perform. So will Janeane Garofalo, Jello Biafra and DL Hughley. Nader will speak, as will Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Curry and Hartford Councilwoman Elizabeth Horton Sheff of the Green Party. Similar lineups of national and local stars have joined Nader on 10 other "super-rally" stages since the tour began last year. [more]

posted by Dr. Menlo at 9:59 PM
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our lack of affection and respect...
for the current resident of la casa blanca is pretty obvious
to anybody who's visited the dumbmonkey over the last year
or so, but in this instance, we do have a minor bit of sympathy
for el residente, & Please the Goddess, don't let Cheney get any ideas...
For the uninitiated, the minor procedure described.
posted by j at 1:41 PM
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Tennis Bonds Jewish-Muslim Friendship
The Wimbledon men's doubles pair of Amir Hadad and Aisam Ul-Haq Qureshi are doing their part to show the unifying spirit of sport - Hadad is an Israeli and Qureshi a Muslim from Pakistan.
posted by A.Q. at 12:21 PM
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Israel wants UN observers

Israel demands that UN personnel start reporting all military activity in the Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza to the UN. "Israel has begun a campaign in the United States and the United Nations to urge a reconsideration of the way the UN Relief and Works Agency [UNRWA], which runs the Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza, operates," Ha'aretz reports.

International observers could prevent or defuse violent escalations in the conflict by monitoring who is provoking who and how, who is starting violence, who is reacting, etcetera. By publishing those observations, it will be much more difficult for all parties to get away with unjustifiable actions and to manipulate public opinion with false information. However, despite strong international pressure, Israel has in the last few years refused to allow international observers in the Occupied Territories. Now it seems that Israel does want observers, but, observers who only monitor the Palestinian camps, and not the actions of the Israeli army and the settlers.

Problem is that UNRWA does not "run" the camps. And saying that "UNRWA is complicit in terrorism because it turns a blind eye to militant activity in 'its' camps," is nonsense. UNRWA about this myth:

UNRWA does not run refugee camps. It is a UN agency with a clearly defined mandate, in accordance with which, it provides health, education and other humanitarian services to refugees, only one third of whom live in refugee camps. The Agency has never been given any mandate to administer, supervise or police the refugee camps or to have any jurisdiction or legislative power over the refugees or the areas where they lived. The Agency has no police force, no intelligence service and no mandate to report on political and military activities. This responsibility has always remained with the host countries and Israel, who maintained law and order, including within refugee camps.
[More myths and facts about UNRWA]


UNRWA has problems enough fullfilling their actual mandate, especially with the violence and the severe economical crisis in the Occupied Territories caused by the closure imposed by Israel. The Agency barely has enough money to provide the Palestinian refugees with basic education and very basic health care. Moreover, UNRWA is responsible for the refugees' housing and for the infrastructure in the camps: the organization has to rebuild the houses, clinics, roads and sewer systems that have been destroyed by the Israeli army.

If Israel wants observers, it should ask for trained observers with a proper mandate, a mandate that includes monitoring the actions of the Israeli army and the settlers.
posted by Igor at 7:01 AM
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posted by Dr. Menlo at 2:29 AM
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Israel/Palestine

A Jewish demographic state
Having lodged itself close to the top of the national agenda, the issue of demography is forcing both the right and the left to grapple with the difficult dilemma at the heart of the state's character. Can Israel be a Jewish and democratic state? Is there any such animal?

About three months ago Prof. Arnon Sofer sent an urgent letter to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The subject was the need for separation from the Palestinians. "Most of the inhabitants of Israel realize that there is only one solution in the face of our insane and suicidal neighbor - separation," wrote Sofer. "You should have known this months before they did, as the grave demographic data were put on your desk many months ago. In the absence of separation, the meaning of such a majority (of Arabs - L.G.) - is the end of the Jewish state of Israel. You should remember that on the same day as the Israel Defense Forces is investing efforts and succeeding in eliminating one terrorist or another, on that very same day, as on every day of the year, within the territories of western Israel, about 400 children are being born, some of whom will become new suicide terrorists! Do you realize this?"
(...)


At Bar-Ilan University there has been an examination, in a series of surveys, of attitudes toward basic values like peace, democracy and a Jewish state. At various points in time, the Jewish state has been perceived as the value of supreme importance. Peace and democracy alternate among themselves in secondary places after this value, in accordance with events in the background of the particular survey. This is no doubt the reason so many people avoid discussing the issue, as they are aware of the fact that behind "the demographic issue" there are masses of people whose very existence is defined as a problem.
(...)


"It's frightening when Jews talk about demography," says Dr. Amnon Raz- Krakotzkin of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "There were those who believed that the ethnic cleansing of 1948 solved the problem. Now they are discovering to their dismay a reality in which the Jews will always be a minority in the Middle East." By "they," Raz-Krakotzkin means the Israeli left. As he sees it, the left's view of the world is based on a demographic principle, just like the worldview of transfer. [more]

Can anyone tell me how this discussion of a Jewish state, which talks about the removal of a "problem" population — the Arabs, is any different than the discussions, in a European country almost 70 years ago, of an Ayran state, which talked about the removal of a "problem" population — the Jews? Enquiring minds want to know.
posted by Gordon at 12:34 AM
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It's almost funny watching the politicians fall all over themselves lining up behind the Pledge of Allegiance and against that 9th US Circuit Court of Appeal's ruling that the words "under God" makes the Pledge unconstitutional.
I'm sorry, but the Pledge of Allegiance was just fine WITHOUT those two words.
Those two words were added during the McCarthy/ Cold War era of the 50's, in order to "distinguish" ourselves from the Communists. You know--like, See, we're different, we're better--our government believes in God.
There's no place for God in government. Our government is for the people, by the people, not by God. Our lives are by God. Government is not the end all and be all; if you believe in God, than you know that God's laws are higher than those of government. Separating God from government ensures that we don't live in a God-ordained kingdom, with a God-ordained king, or a God-ordained despot.

Bush: "We need commonsense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God." via DAILY VEXATION

'When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one. ' - Benjamin Franklin.
'The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason. ' - Benjamin Franklin.
'I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies.' - Benjamin Franklin.
'Many a long dispute among divines may be thus abridged: It is so; It is not so. It is so; it is not so.' - Benjamin Franklin.
'Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.' - Benjamin Franklin. via PLEP
posted by cynthia korzekwa at 12:13 AM
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Thursday, June 27, 2002. *
Books: Defying Corporations, Defining Democracy
A good many socially minded Americans have invested some energy working in opposition to one corporation or another. Perhaps it is to curb a potential abuse or bring about some remedy for past harms: to clean up a toxic waste site, to stop a harmful mining operation, or to prevent road building or logging in an old growth forest. If the campaign succeeds there’s good cause for happy, hopeful celebration. Yet, after the immediate elation passes, so many other issues seem to say nothing has really changed. The essential powers granted to corporations that allow them to ravage public lands, to pollute the air, land and water, to privatize and plunder publicly held resources, remain solidly entrenched beyond the control of the people. We spin our wheels, dissipating our common pool of energy battling a host of staggering abuses one by one.

With each new generation, we seem to move further away from the memory that human society created corporations to serve human needs. They were granted specific rights and privileges, for a limited time, corresponding to the purposes for which they were created. In other words, the people defined the existence of corporations, not the other way around. Members of the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy (POCLAD) have authored a collection of essays, manifestos and letters entitled Defying Corporations, Defining Democracy, to revive the lost awareness of the fundamental constitutional authority of “natural persons” over corporate economic enterprises. [more]

posted by Dr. Menlo at 9:57 PM
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Euphemism for Israeli Settlements Confuse Coverage
The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported last month (5/31/02) that at the behest of a Likud party minister, the Israel Broadcasting Authority has banned its editorial departments from using the terms "settlers" or "settlements" on radio and TV.
Somewhere, there sits the men and women who think up the language of what the government of the United States of Hypocrisy and Israel are really doing. Then they basically hand it to the corporate media who repeat it with high-priced sets, mugs and hair. Statisticians, linguists, and evil-writer-types all confer and come up with things like "Tell the public they are attacking us because they are resentful of our freedom. Repeat 'we are a freedom-loving people' every chance you get." If they are the Heritage Foundation, they deliver daily notes to the House and Senate, member by member (and also call up NPR when they are ready to spin; npr, in turn, slobbers all over them like a dog feeding on bacon). They consult Hollywood: Fiction Dept., to solicit advice and also to inject with the party line: CONTROL (and the messages thereof).

The rebel alliance counterspins, and continues to grow. They have the (media) markets; we have the truth. They cannot win, if we keep our brains. What happens next, depends on everything: you.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:52 PM
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For Some Religious Groups, Drug Laws Do More Harm Than Drugs Themselves
...a devout Christian, started looking into the research on marijuana and what she found surprised her. She found no evidence to back up the horrible things she had heard about the drug, and when she searched the Bible for any reference to it she found nothing at all. So she began to wonder why some religious leaders seemed to favor stiff penalties for marijuana users. Linkage via Anodyne.
posted by Mike at 7:58 PM
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Channel Surfing the Apocalypse! Check the vid wicked action @ inna EBN stylee. wget that if you're a dialup like I.
posted by Mr. Planet at 2:24 PM
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Raymond Pettibon... No title (Acid got me) (1986, ink on paper). "...Acid got me fired at Disney." From selected Works by Raymond Pettibon at David Zwirner. Also... Raymond Pettibon (January 12 through February 12, 2000). Works from Pettibon's third exhibition at David Zwirner. "...One of the most important artists to emerge from Southern California, Raymond Pettibon's work embraces the full spectrum of American culture from the deviations of marginal youth-culture to art, literature, sports, religion, politics, and sexuality. His early works appeared on album covers for his brother Greg Ginn's band, Black Flag, and in fanzines and photocopied books that he distributed himself."
posted by Andrew at 10:09 AM
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Supreme Court OKs random drug tests in schools. "The Supreme Court approved random drug tests for many public high school students Thursday, ruling that schools' interest in ridding their campuses of drugs outweighs an individual's right to privacy. The 5-4 decision would allow the broadest drug testing the court has yet permitted for young people whom authorities have no particular reason to suspect of wrongdoing. It applies to students who join competitive after-school activities or teams, a category that includes many if not most middle-school and high-school students."
posted by New World at 8:56 AM
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Wednesday, June 26, 2002. *
I blurred at once the chart of trite routine
by splashing paint with one swift motion.
I showed upon a plate of brawny glutin
the slanting cheekbones of the ocean.
Upon the scales of tinny fishes
new lips summoned, though yet mute.
But could you
             play
                    right to the finish
a nocturne on a drainpipe flute?

A vy mogli by? (But Could You?) A visual poem by V. V. Mayakovsky illustrated by the great El Lizzitsky. From Mayakovsky and His Circle.


posted by Andrew at 10:08 AM
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George W's Bloody Folly
It bore so little relation to reality that diplomats around the world spent yesterday shaking their heads in disbelief, before sinking into gloom and despair. Our own Foreign Office tried gamely to spot the odd nugget of sense in the Bush text - but, they admitted, it was an uphill struggle. Israelis committed to a political resolution of the conflict were heartbroken. Even Shimon Peres, foreign minister in Ariel Sharon's coalition, reportedly called the speech "a fatal mistake", warning: "A bloodbath can be expected."


S o the president's speech shows a man unconnected to Middle Eastern reality. But it is worse than unhinged; it is dangerous. First, Bush has given a green light to Sharon to continue his policy of military force coupled with a refusal to freeze settlement building on the West Bank. Monday's wording implied that Sharon is only obliged to pull back from Palestinian cities or freeze settlements once the Palestinians have worked their way through the US wishlist. So long as violence goes on, or Arafat remains in place, the Israeli PM can do what he likes.
posted by A.Q. at 9:11 AM
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Bush continues to drive America into debt for the benefit of his millionaire chums and defence contractors leaving YOU and your CHILDREN to pay off the tab. "The Treasury Department put off a planned debt auction on Tuesday and President Bush urged Congress to increase the government's ability to borrow, saying action was essential 'as we fight for freedom' against terrorism. Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, issued a statement saying that over 40 percent of the nation's 'fiscal mess' is the result of Bush's tax cuts, and that an increase in the debt limit would increase interest rates."
posted by New World at 8:30 AM
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war or peace?
seems like such an obvious choice, ya know?
anyway, that bunch of dunderheads in WashDC s'got some plans;
the LA TImes wonders if they're very well thought out
( N O T ! ! ! )
and M. Morford, well, he's got an opinion of his own,
likely shared by a few folks like ourowndamnself...
posted by j at 6:44 AM
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Africa: Western Nations Condemned For Selling Weapons of War
Industrialized nations are fueling conflicts in Africa, the Middle East and Asia by their relentless selling of weapons of war, said Amnesty International, one of the largest human rights advocates worldwide.

As the industrialized nations prepare to consider paths to development for Africa, and other world trade and security issues, the London-based human rights organisation pointed out that their weapons selling is undermining their own aspirations to bring peace to Africa, Middle East and Asia by the exportation of massive arms of destruction worth several billion dollars to the regions.

"G-8's proliferating trade in arms and military aid undermines fundamental human rights and sustainable development," Kate Allen of Amnesty UK said.

See also: . . . via Blowback, The Mighty
posted by Dr. Menlo at 1:08 AM
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Grassroots Patriots
In Northampton, Massachusetts--a nineteenth century center of abolition and the longtime home of Sojourner Truth--some 400 citizens attended a town meeting on February 4 to organize a way to protect the residents of the town from the provisions of the USA Patriot Act. Thus was born the Northampton Bill of Rights Defense Committee.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 12:26 AM
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WorldCom Finds $3.8 Billion Error, Fires CFO
WorldCom Inc., the No. 2 U.S. long-distance carrier, on Tuesday said it had fired its chief financial officer after uncovering improper accounting of almost $4 billion in expenses, in the latest financial scandal to rock Corporate America.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 12:16 AM
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Tuesday, June 25, 2002. *

Oil Giant Sues Greenpeace

The oil giant Exxon Mobil is suing Greenpeace for misusing its corporate logo after the environmental pressure group replaced the two "S" letters in Esso with dollar signs.

Exxon, the oil giant that owns the Esso brand, is claiming Greenpeace's "Stop E$$o" campaign is illegal and harmful to the company's reputation.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 11:55 PM
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posted by Dr. Menlo at 11:44 PM
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Solar Cells From Bucky Balls?
One of the more remarkable discoveries of the late 20th century was that nature builds nanostructures in the form of geodesic domes. The prototype molecule of such materials, consisting of 60 carbon atoms arranged in a pattern resembling a soccer ball, was aptly named buckminsterfullerene.  However, it soon became apparent that "buckyballs" were only the first of a huge family of so-called fullerenes having a rich variety of shapes and sizes.
. . . via SynEarth: News for a Synergic Earth, via Sassafrass
posted by Dr. Menlo at 11:25 PM
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how many ways can the Chronicle screw up a headline?
yah, perhaps our beloved fishwrap is up to the usual tricks,
(& then again, we are dumbmonkey) see this item:
Researchers calculate the planet is ecologically overburdened by 20 percent ;
and all we ask is "okay, izzit 20 percent or 120 percent, or do I need to go back
to school and re-educamacate myowndamnself?"
Haven't yet located the actual study at the PNAS site,
but we happy to discover the news that an
ol' baboon can be good for something besides writing a web log
posted by j at 1:05 PM
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Israel/Palestine

Bush's "offer" of a Palestinian state disappoints but doesn't surprise. It disappoints because there was an opportunity to do something to stop the violence in Israel and Palestine. It doesn't surprise because Bush only took the position of his master — Sharon. The Israeli right wing is trumpeting this as a victory. How can anyone see this as a victory when it only guarantees more of the same violence on both sides?

Bush: Off With Arafat's Head

Last night's long--awaited speech by President Bush was to set the pace for the Palestinians and Israelis to step back from the vicious and bloody cycle of violence that has gripped them for nearly two years. Instead, President Bush and his administration have publicly adopted the Israeli agenda of battering the Palestinians into submission. President Bush's illusion that the Palestinian--Israeli conflict may be 'talked away' in a series of speeches is not only a poor example of leadership but seriously places U.S. interests in the region at high risk.

President Bush's administration has utterly failed to comprehend the Palestinian--Israeli conflict and in particular the Palestinian predicament today which is an Israeli re--occupation of the small parcels of land that were transferred to the Palestinian Authority under the Oslo Peace Accords. To add insult to injury, President Bush continues to mismanage U.S. policy with unprecedented unaccountability to the U.S. Congress or the world community. Bush's chronological attempts to address the crisis are as follows: ignore the conflict ---- failed, send Powell to the region -- failed, the Mitchell Report -- failed, the Tenet Plan -- failed, Bush's UN speech -- failed, Secretary of State Powell's policy speech in Kentucky -- failed, send General Zinni on multiple missions -- failed, and the most recent call for an international conference (completely ignored in Bush's latest speech) -- failed. If the creativity applied to avoiding real U.S. action were used to put an implementation mechanism in place to end the Israeli occupation the region would be well out of the conflict by now. [more]

Bush Speech Ignores Bloody Reality
Palestinian officials see president's map to peace as unrealistic

One-sided offer that will change nothing

Analysis / Yasser won't go

Analysis / Sharon's victory

Tell a Vision
When is a state not a state? When it's Palestinian.

So sad.
posted by Gordon at 11:16 AM
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I'm actually quite surprised no one posted this link. Basically, what we have here, is an in-depth article that chronicles the tentacles of the current administration in the destruction of Texas. Oh, and even though I hate "spoilers", I'd like to post for you here the last paragraph of the article, which I hope will encourage you to read the rest.

"On 11 September, while Al-Qaeda's planes slammed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the Carlyle Group hosted a conference at a Washington hotel. Among the guests of honour was a valued investor: Shafig bin Laden, brother to Osama."


posted by Lisa D at 6:54 AM
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Monday, June 24, 2002. *
FBI Begins Visiting Libraries. "The FBI effort, authorized by the antiterrorism law enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks, is the first broad government check of library records since the 1970s when prosecutors reined in the practice for fear of abuses."
posted by New World at 3:40 PM
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Israel/Palestine

Robert Fisk: Fatal vision: how Bush has given up on peace
A vacillating President and lack of a credible plan is fuelling hatred in the Middle East

Now, however, after six visits to the United States by Ariel Sharon – and after Bush was totally ignored by the Israelis when he demanded an immediate end to the West Bank invasion and an end to the siege of Palestinian towns – the President has had yet another vision, a rather scaled-down version of the earlier one. Now he dreams of an interim Palestinian state.
(...)


But what does interim portend? Talal Salman, the editor of the Beirut daily As Safir, wrote in his newspaper last week that interim envisages "a provisional state on territory segmented like beehives'', with every town, village and refugee camp cut off by "a wall of tanks and permanent and moving checkpoints; with everything under helicopter surveillance ... with death squads monitoring intentions and dreams, targeting anyone they discover, determine, speculate or suspect may have explosive materials in their blood".

A provisional state is an innovation no one has ever heard of before. It's a state unrelated to its land or to its people. All other states are permanent. But the Palestinian state will be a stop-gap, according to President Bush, and thus its role or existence can be ended in a day or a year if its usefulness comes to an end. It does not need to find territory – after all, it is only interim – and permanent institutions such as an army (perish the thought), the luxury of independence, or sovereignty, or an economy, or foreign relations will be denied. This will be Israel's luxury. [more]

----------

PM: IDF preparing 'massive operation' against Hamas in Gaza

Sharon, speaking at a Likud faction meeting in the Knesset, said that Israel was "preparing to launch a massive operation in the Gaza Strip against the Hamas organization, the beginning of which we witnessed today," a reference to Monday morning's apparent assassination in the Strip, in which missile-firing IAF helicopter gunships killed two senior Hamas military commanders and four other people.

Sharon said that due to the recent increase in terror attacks and warnings of attacks, "a number of measures in the territories, beginning with a massive incursion into cities and remaining there indefinitely," will be carried out. [more]

----------

Israel to deport the families of suicide bombers

Israel will deport families of suicide bombers from the West Bank to Gaza after demolishing their homes, it emerged yesterday, amid signs that the government was feeling increasingly impotent as the spate of suicide attacks continues. [more]
posted by Gordon at 10:37 AM
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Sunday, June 23, 2002. *
Dave Barry explains all about the crucial mohair subsidies

What? You didn't know your tax dollars were going towards supporting the ever more important mohair industry?? Without domestic mohair, the terrorists could win. Confused? Let Dave explain.
posted by Bob at 11:14 PM
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Brazil: Bush's next target?

Unhappy with the rising popularity of the "Workers Party" presidential candidate in Brazil, who aims to improve public works on roads and sewers, and who has reservations about NAFTA and other free trade measures, the US downgraded Brazil's investment rating. The result: millions of dollars wiped off local investments and decreased economic stability in South America. This is regarded as a bad move by some financial analysts, including the Financial Times. Is it "economic terrorism"?

posted by Grant at 10:49 PM
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Globalization as a Network of Fortresses, by Naomi Klein
Before the end of the month, there will be two major summits: the first, the EU summit in Seville, the other a G8 summit in Kananaskis. A major focus inside and outside each gathering will be renewed attempts by to criminalize human migration from poor countries to richer ones.
They Start with the Physical Hand, Clamping . . . and then it's On to the Brains (already going) . . . while down in every basement it's MemeMaster Mike! (et Mikaela) Brewing their truth virus stew . . .
posted by Dr. Menlo at 9:01 PM
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Saturday, June 22, 2002. *
To follow-up up on the previous story, the Fugs are back, are recording their final album, and have a website TheFugs.com. And they haven't mellowed a bit. The Fugs were, uh, a major formative influence on my tender young psyche, and I thank them for it.

Kill kill kill for peace
If we don't kill them
then the Chinese will
and you don't want America
to play second bill
so, kill kill kill for peace
(From, obviously, Kill for Peace, by the Fugs)

posted by Bob at 12:15 PM
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We Hate War
We Love Sex
Twos or threes
Four or Fives
LSD A dimethylatr
(from We're The Fugs)

The Fugs. "...Named after a Norman Mailer-coined sexual euphemism, The Fugs were easily the most lyrically outrageous band of their era with songs explicitly documenting sex, drugs, and radical politics and were formed in New York in late-1964 as a vehicle for the satirical talents of two beat poets, Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg." From Fuzz Acid & Flowers by Vernon Joynson. A guide to U.S. psych and garage music, 1964-1972.
posted by Andrew at 10:05 AM
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the bastards...
an NYT editorial,
Sacrifice Is for Losers;
oh yah, we almos' forgot,
it is the American Way, isn't it...

inspired by the tireless effort of our alter ego...
whilst visiting the marvels at the Daily Bleed
we chanced upon this old, yet timely, interview w.L Pauling,
which happens to be part of a marvelous & large collection of same,
which you can peruse at your leisure by visiting
Conversations with History,
from the Institute of International Studies, U.C. Berkeley
posted by j at 8:44 AM
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Israel/Palestine

Cabinet in Israel Endorses Seizure of the West Bank

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's security cabinet followed through on a plan for all-out seizure of the West Bank today, scrapping a tactic of intermittent raids in favor of a permanent armed presence as tense Israeli soldiers in armored columns poured into Palestinian cities, towns and refugee camps, military officials said. [more]

But this has been the Israeli Generals' goal for some time. This link is worth repeating as their plan unfolds.

Israel: the generals’ grand design

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. [more]
posted by Gordon at 1:39 AM
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Gulf War vets have "damaged" brains, London Times

Brain scans on Gulf War veterans in the United States who are suffering from debilitating diseases may have resolved why 130,000 US and British servicemen and women complain of mystery illnesses. Research discovered that disabled veterans of the 1991 war suffered chemical changes in their brains, similar to the onset of Parkinson's and Huntington's disease.

The damage to the brain was likely to have been caused by the use of organophosphate pesticides to kill desert flies and lice at the American and British tented camps in Saudi Arabia; the anti-nerve gas tablets and vaccines given to frontline troops and inhalation of chemicals after the Americans bombed an Iraqi chemical weapons store.

To view full story, go to London Times, then search for 'Gulf war'
posted by Bob at 1:06 AM
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Friday, June 21, 2002. *
Drug war strategy fatally flawed

America's drug war is such a spectacular failure that a visitor from another planet might conclude that it's intentionally that way.

Suppose that we asked President Bush if, for $8 billion or so each year (plus another $12 billion in state and local enforcement), he would be willing to finance a system that would ensure a violent black market network extending from virtually every U.S. urban neighborhood all the way to Mexico, Colombia and other parts of the world? Meanwhile, an additional goal would be, at least in the United States, to crowd our courts and prisons with people having health problems and those who prey on them.
posted by Grant at 6:38 PM
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Israel/Palestine

Jordan's King: Arafat losing control of extremists

Jordan's King Abdullah said in an interview published on Friday that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat had substantially lost control of militant groups and warned that even worse violence lay ahead in the Middle East.

"What I can say is that over the years I always thought Arafat was capable of controlling Palestinian public sentiment and extremism," the king was quoted as saying in an interview with the Belgian weekly Le Vif/L'Express. "I think that is no longer the case today." [more]

----------

Hope's Burial Ground
The Slide Show That Moved Cherie Booth Blair

But understanding of the depths of desperation which can lead to the decimation of humanity by suicide bombers came with the two youngest cases. When Maysoon, aged twenty one, went into labor during the night, her husband set off to drive her to the hospital. At a checkpoint, he was shot dead, Maysoon was shot twice in the back, stripped naked and left in the road for two hours, until an ambulance finally arrived, her screams having been heard by locals. Her baby was born in the hospital elevator. Her survivor guilt and trauma are so severe that her family fear she will commit suicide or become a suicide bomber.

Ahmed is twelve: "calm, together and determined to kill Israelis." His best friend was shot dead in front of him by an Israeli soldier. Fifty three percent of Palestinian children suffer from trauma symptoms. MAP aims to build a network of councilors and reach the affected within twenty four hours. In Gaza, almost certainly the next place to be massively targeted, they aim to establish one hundred first aid posts so the injured no longer bleed to death where they lie. [more]

----------

Impunity and Its Discontents

The Israeli army jeep with several soldiers pulls up to the corner where we all stand, and Teenage Soldier 1 (I'll call him TS1) gets out of the passenger side and playfully tosses a soda can at the family. Then, still having fun, he tosses a concussion grenade in the same direction, prompting the father to grab his children and run. The Voice reporters, unused to dodging explosives, stare dumbly at the smoking orange cylinder a few feet away, and then it blows up. Concussion grenades can break bones. Everyone gets off easy this time, slightly disoriented and temporarily deaf.

But TS1 is not done. He hops back into the jeep, and the soldiers tear off for 100 feet to the concrete blocks that mark the checkpoint proper, where a Palestinian van waits for permission to pass. TS2, sporting the same peroxide-blond coif as his partner, asks the driver a question, and then the two soldiers charge over to the passenger side, pull out a Palestinian teenager, and while TS1 steadies the lethal end of his M16 an inch from the boy's nose, TS2 kicks the shit out of him with his boot. I look at Jehad, whose usual thirst for bang-bang has fled; his camera stays in his bag, and he whispers, "They're going to shoot him." But they don't shoot him, instead hauling him off, shackled, blindfolded, and surely bruised, to the waiting jeep. [more]

----------

Sharon & the Senators
by Robert Novak

"We need many more Jews to come to Israel, a million more Jews," Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee behind closed doors last week. Here was something entirely new even for well-informed senators, and their facial expressions conveyed surprise. Massive immigration to a country of 6 million signified no interest by Sharon in negotiating a settlement with the Palestinians.

Indeed, speaking off the record to mostly uncritical American politicians, the old soldier-statesman was even more blunt than he is in public. Sharon pointed to no Israeli-Palestinian deal for at least 10 years and talked of a hundred years struggle with Arabs. Warning of Egyptian and Saudi duplicity, he informed the senators that removal of Saddam Hussein from Iraq would be the best way to deal with Palestinians.[more]
posted by Gordon at 3:53 PM
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Canadian journalists classified as security risks. "Three Canadian journalists are baffled by an RCMP decision to classify them as security risks and deny them access to the G-8 Summit. The journalists say the RCMP won't tell them why they've been denied media credentials."
posted by New World at 8:34 AM
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The Spies Who Came In From The Art Sale

The most grotesque use of International Art Machine I have ever seen.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 1:31 AM
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UK E n v i r o n m e n t
Environmentalism for real people
posted by Dr. Menlo at 1:17 AM
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Thursday, June 20, 2002. *
No hard evidence pointing to impending Hezbollah attack

Increase in deliveries of missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon? More Iranian Revolutionary Guards training Hezbollah? The American and Israeli media are full of warnings. Again.

Nick Blanford in the Beirut Daily Star:

Some of the claims may be true, particularly allegations of long-range rockets. Yet not one piece of hard evidence has ever been made public to support them. South Lebanon and the Bekaa are relatively small areas and completely open to aerial surveillance, either by Israeli warplanes, drones or via satellites. But no photographs or video footage of training camps or rocket positions have been shown to the public.

Certainly, Hizbullah poses a potential threat to Israel. The party has developed a military infrastructure along the border, and its fighters are well armed highly motivated. Hizbullah has deliberately sought to keep the Israeli Army on edge - overtly, through its periodic attacks in the Shebaa Farms and its cross-border anti-aircraft firings; and covertly, by attempting to supply the Palestinians with weapons and allegedly organizing the March 12 ambush near Shelomi in northern Israel, in which six Israelis were killed by two gunmen who apparently crossed the border fence from Lebanon.

But Hizbullah’s actions along the border are carefully calibrated according to the regional situation. The party is not expected to take any action that could jeopardize its position in Lebanon, such as an unprovoked and overt assault on towns in northern Israel.

Results of the rhetorical claims: Strengthening of stereotypes and political myths, an increasingly obscured view of reality, demonization of countries and people... (More comments on Shou?)
posted by Igor at 11:56 AM
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Wednesday, June 19, 2002. *
a Greenpeace weblog...
Banners and Us;
the heads up provided to yourstruly by
G. Turnbull & his gorjuss mailing list;
and now for something completely different...
we'd made mention of the head-butting we'd had w/self-described BarCodeKing
months ago, & recalled his words (his comment's first in that section)
upon reading the article linked below,
Rebuilding Afghanistan: Promises, promises, promises, by S. Salter, S.F. Chronicle.
and minor aside here re the sour grapes espoused by F.Lapides,
a careful reading of the event chronicled in the American Samizdat archives
would hardly indicate his being drummed out, seems that F.L. simply cannot
handle some criticism & disagreement about his opinons, as misguided as they may be...



posted by j at 11:00 AM
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Some water links:
EPA says toxic sludge is good for fish. "The Army Corps of Engineers' dumping of toxic sludge into the Potomac River protects fish by forcing them to flee the polluted area and escape fishermen, according to an internal Environmental Protection Agency document."
Thousands of mysterious objects land on shore. "The soft, spongy balls, the size of golf or tennis balls, appeared with the incoming tide along a 300-yard stretch of sandy beach beginning at Northside Beach, just north of Plaice Cove, Friday or Saturday."
Human Feces may be killing Carribbean coral. "This is the first time, to our knowledge, that a bacterial species associated with the human gut has been shown to be a marine invertebrate pathogen."
UFO Washes Up on S.C. Shore. "Authorities marked off an area around the orb with crime-scene tape and tried to identify it. They turned to members of the Air Force bomb squad, the Coast Guard and state officials for help, but no one could identify the strange object."
posted by New World at 8:20 AM
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Tuesday, June 18, 2002. *
How Jews Can Support Israel
Support the People, not the Government
by Ran HaCohen

Now you may think that the Israelis inside the Green Line support dismantling settlements, but those in the settlements oppose it. This sounds logical, but it is not true. Remember that by far not all settlers are ideologically motivated. Some moved to the occupied territories for promises of better life: fresh air, beautiful view, rural serenity. Many others, probably most of the settlers, were transferred to the occupied territories by the dull coercion of economy: while flats within Israel are extremely expensive, houses in the settlements are generously subsidised. Having to choose between an unaffordable small flat in Jerusalem and an almost-free spacious house in a nearby settlement, with a generous state mortgage, a generous state bonus, a generous reduction on income-tax as well as generously improved public services (education, health, infrastructure), many lower middle-class families opted for the latter. One can hardly blame them for that.
(...)


In view of the Intifada, non-ideological settlers – probably a majority in most settlements, especially in the bigger ones – now find themselves both cheated and doubly betrayed.
[more]
posted by Gordon at 11:50 PM
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War on terror little to do with terror
By Thomas Walkom


"...given that Iraq appears to have had nothing to do with either Al Qaeda or the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S., the Bush regime's fixation with Saddam seems, at the very least, odd.

Bush's explanation is that Iraq is stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. Scott Ritter, a former member of the United Nations inspection team charged with looking at these matters, insists this isn't true.

But even if it were, one might be tempted to ask why Iraq is being singled out. The U.S. itself has weapons of mass destruction. So do Russia, China, France, Britain, India, Pakistan and Israel.

Yet so far, the only nation that has allowed such weaponry to fall into the hands of terrorists seems to be the United States. "
posted by Mark at 8:11 PM
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whilst perusing bloggos & sitios favoritos...
we found this: A Buddhist between The Israelis and The Palestinians,
at the wee marvel we'd also like to share with you, Ralph
posted by j at 1:28 PM
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I shall not work to build my death, nor have decisions made by fools on my behalf. From a selection of ten Handouts from Crass Shows.
posted by Andrew at 10:21 AM
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Schablonengraffiti. Stencil graffiti photographed in Hamburg, Germany. 29 shots. Very nice. From Thomas Muller. Paintings, drawings, and photographs. (de)
posted by Andrew at 5:58 AM
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Monday, June 17, 2002. *
BushSpeak. "Freedom of speech, just watch what you say"

In an event that Big Brother would have been proud of, dissenters at their own commencement were told that even silently protesting Bush by turning their backs could get them arrested. Then, possible silent protesters were forced out by police before Bush spoke. Then, in a bizarre coincidence, the (remaining) crowd cheered wildly for Bush. 

Bush was invited to speak at the Ohio State commencement by representatives of the graduating class. But immediately before class members filed into the giant football stadium, an announcer instructed the crowd that all the university's speakers deserve to be treated with respect and that anyone demonstrating or heckling would be subject to expulsion and arrest. The announcer urged that Bush be greeted with a "thunderous" ovation.

One student reported on the would-be protestors being forced to leave their own commencement.
posted by Bob at 10:54 PM
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Stop ExxonMobil : "ExxonMobil is the world's #1 global warming, human rights, and environmental villain."
posted by Dr. Menlo at 7:59 PM
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Laws can be copywrited?!? (boring link)

Lawrence Lessig interview: The "Dinosaurs" Are Taking Over

Eldred V. Ashcroft - [better summary] - Hot stuff, intellectual property laws really being challenged.
posted by Brad Larcen at 2:23 PM
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posted by Brad Larcen at 2:18 PM
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Israel/Palestine

Mideast Plan a Tough Sell
Policy: An expected Bush proposal for an interim Palestinian state could be risky, experts say. It also raises a host of difficult issues.

Palestinian Elections Now
by Edward Said

A dispatch from Shatila
American journalist gets a ground-floor view of Palestinian refugee life.

A Tale of Two Middle East Villages

Israelis turn to Berlin for refuge from conflict
posted by Gordon at 10:19 AM
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more administration shenanigans...
When Conservatives Sue Conservatives;
Harley Sorensen, from the S.F. Chronicle/SF Gate
posted by j at 7:59 AM
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Global Warming

Alaska, No Longer So Frigid, Starts to Crack, Burn and Sag

In Alaska, rising temperatures, whether caused by greenhouse gas emissions or nature in a prolonged mood swing, are not a topic of debate or an abstraction. Mean temperatures have risen by 5 degrees in summer and 10 degrees in winter since the 1970's, federal officials say.

While President Bush was dismissive of a report the government recently released on how global warming will affect the nation, the leading Republican in this state, Senator Ted Stevens, says that no place is experiencing more startling change from rising temperatures than Alaska.

Among the consequences, Senator Stevens says, are sagging roads, crumbling villages, dead forests, catastrophic fires and possible disruption of marine wildlife. [more]
posted by Gordon at 1:22 AM
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Sunday, June 16, 2002. *
Al Jensen noted the great new weblog Asiafirst last weekend. If you didn't check it out, you might want to at least take note of the blurb at the top which reads,

  • By 2007, more web pages will be in Chinese than in any other language.
  • Last year India produced more than 800 films, far more than the current output of the USA.
  • The USA population is 4% of the world.
  • posted by David at 2:27 AM
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    Saturday, June 15, 2002. *
    If John Ashcroft can arrest somebody for planning something--and by planning meaning allegedly not having gotten past the looking-it-up-on-the-internet-stage (no physical materials attained, etc.)--and file them away into military jail whilst simultaneously stripping away their constitutional rights as American Citizens (at first it was just the 'them'--the non-American citizens, and civil liberties groups warned . . . ), and stage and orchestrate the release of this information just so to really get the American public going--that is, AFRAID . . . who's to say it can't happen to you? I mean: in a totally trumped-up way--is what we think.

    . . . further FEAR.

    Remember, this is the Frog Boil here, as propagated by Bush & Co., and if we look at the direction of things, who's to say that the remaining dissenting voices in America (larger than advertised?) won't get clipped? Filed away?

    CHEER FOR BUSH OR FACE ARREST, OSU STUDENT SEZ

    To further my potentially future legal (political) case, I plan to append my email with this:

    ATTN: ECHELON, CARNIVORE, AND OTHER CURIOUS SOURCES: I, DR. MENLO, DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR TO CURRENTLY BELIEVE--AND DO ESPOUSE BY LIVING--IN THE VALUE OF PEACE. MEANING PHYSICAL . . . PEACE/NO WAR. NO VIOLENCE. NO BLOWING THINGS UP. NO LETTING PEOPLE GO HUNGRY. NO LETTING THE TOP ONE PERCENT OF THE POPULATION OWN NINETY-NINE PERCENT OF EVERYTHING, AND I PLAN TO PROPAGATE THESE MEMES: THRU ART, THRU VERSE, THRU BEAUTY, AND YOUR PROGIT-LESSNESS. NO VIOLENCE. NO WAR. PRO-HUMAN. PRO-BRAIN. PRO-BODY. PRO-TRUTH. ANTI-HELPLESSNESS. GET YOURS NOW-->DRMENLO.COM

    posted by Dr. Menlo at 10:43 PM
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    EPA Plans Rollback of Clean Air Act
    "The White House has fulfilled its promise to industry, abandoning critical provisions of the Clean Air Act in favor of sweeping regulatory changes that will let some of the nation's worst polluters increase their emissions at the expense of air quality and human health," said John Walke, a lawyer at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
    Hey, what's CLEAN AIR when you can INCREASE CORPORATE PROFIT?! CHOKE, PROLE, CHOKE!!!
    posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:07 PM
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    Murder, Incorporated
    While retailing some of his experiences during the much ballyhooed "Operation Anaconda," [Army Private Matt] Guckenheimer artlessly spilled what was surely meant to be a secret order from his superiors.

    "We were told there were no friendly forces," Guckenheimer said. "If there was anybody there, they were the enemy. We were told specifically that if there were women and children to kill them."

    Let that sink in for a moment: American soldiers were told to kill women and children. "Specifically." To kill a child. To put a bullet in the brain of, let's say, a two-year old girl. To hold the barrel of a rifle to her tiny temple and pull the trigger. To watch as the tender plate of her skull, the delicate bones of her face, her large bright inquisitive eyes were all obliterated in a burst of red mist. "We were told specifically to kill them." "Women and children." "To kill them."

    So that's the kind of warfare being waged by those notorious two cowards, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. When their own generation was on the firing line, in Vietnam, both men ardently supported the war--but disdained to fight in it. For his part, Cheney was too busy with his long bootlicking rise to power: "I had other priorities," he has loftily proclaimed.

    Meanwhile, Bush's daddy got his drink-addled little boy a cushy stateside berth in the Texas National Guard--but even then, Junior couldn't stick it. He bugged out for an entire year of his duty--desertion in wartime, a capital offense, if you're not rich and well-connected. Fortunately, his service records for that period were "scrubbed" by General Daniel James, former head of the Texas National Guard, who is now head of the entire nation's Air National Guard -- courtesy of his appointment by a grateful George W. Bush.

    Now these two armchair warriors, Bush and Cheney, ensconced safely behind the greatest phalanx of personal protection ever seen in history, are sending out a new generation of young people to kill and die. Like their predecessors in the Vietnam War, they are twisting the faith and idealism of patriotic young soldiers and turning them into instruments of murder.

    And the Warbloggers cheer them on! "Go Georgie! Go Dickie! You can do it! Kill Babies! Go Georgie! Go Dickie . . . "
    posted by Dr. Menlo at 7:32 PM
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    Harboring Terrorists: Our Own List Is Long
    Colonel Oliver North gleefully hired Luis Posada Carriles, Bosch's cohort in the airplane bombing and subsequently the organizer of the bombings of Cuba's tourist spots in the 1990s. High US officials like Eliot Abrams who holds the Latin America portfolio at the National Security Council, had regular and friendly dealings with people who mined Nicaragua's harbors and plotted bombings and assassinations.
    posted by Dr. Menlo at 7:22 PM
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    Americans Tortured by Israel
    The Foreign Service Journal’s June issue is publishing an article that condemns Israel’s use of torture against American citizens of Palestinian descent and criticizes the State Department’s 30-year “special relationship” with Israel.

    The article describes a number of cases of torture against American citizens. It notes that Israeli and international human rights organizations have long documented Israeli interrogation that “routinely includes torture,” and adds that the Department of State Human Rights report has detailed these abuses for years.

    posted by Dr. Menlo at 7:18 PM
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    Broadband to the People!
    After some tinkering and tests, Meehan discovered his home-brewed antenna was far from ordinary: indeed, it's possible Meehan's humble ravioli can, combined with the know-how of a few hundred community-minded geeks, could dramatically reduce the cost of high-speed Internet access for everyone in San Francisco. In some cases, access might even become free.
    posted by Dr. Menlo at 7:06 PM
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    United States Public Interest In World News Unchanged By September 11

    Widespread predictions that the U.S. public would become more engaged in international affairs after last September's terrorist attacks appear to have been wrong.

    A new survey, based on a poll of more than 3,000 adults taken in late April and early May by the Pew Research Centre for the People and the Press, has found that the news habits of average citizens have remained largely unchanged since the attacks.

    What additional interest was registered in the poll was limited to terrorism and the Middle East, and almost all of this came from the same narrow, highly-educated segment of the public that has always dominated the audience for international coverage, according to an analysis of the poll by Andrew Kohut, the centre's director.

    Two-thirds of respondents blamed a lack of background provided about international news for their own lack of interest in the subject, according to the analysis, while half said they do not monitor international news because ''nothing ever changes.''

    The poll found that adults younger than 35, who before Sep. 11 registered the lowest level levels of news interest than two previous generations at a comparable age, remain virtually as detached as ever.

    ''There is little indication that younger Baby Boomers have developed stronger news appetites,'' said Kohut, ''despite the extraordinary events of the past year.''

    posted by David at 3:36 PM
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    Book length Manuscript on September 11, Terror War, and the New Barbarism available free on-line
    I've just finished a book-length Manuscript available from my home page on:

    September 11, Terror War, and the New Barbarism

    By Douglas Kellner
    Table of Contents

    Preface
    1. Theorizing September 11
    1.1. Social Theory, Falsification, and the Events of History
    1.2 The Bush Administrations, the CIA, and Blowback
    1.3 September 11 and Terror War: Has Everything Changed?

    2. September 11, the Media and War Fever
    2.1 The Terror Spectacle
    2.2 Conceptualizing the Event: September 11 and Political Discourse
    2.3 War-Mongering, Patriotism, and the Failure of the Media

    3. Operation Enduring Freedom and the Proliferation of Terror War
    3.1 Osama bin Laden’s Media War
    3.2 Operation Infinite War
    3.3 All Anthrax, All the Time

    4. Month One: Special Operations, Bombing, and Propaganda War
    4.1 Hearts and Minds
    4.2 Back to Politics

    5. Month Two: The Retreat of the Taliban and Afghan Chaos
    5.1 The Fall of Mazir-I-Sharif and Kabul
    5.2 Tragedy and Fear, Welcome to the Terror Age
    5.3 Ironies of the Cold War and the Bush-Bin Laden Connections

    6. Collapse of the Taliban
    6.1 The Battle for Kunduz and Prison Uprising
    6.2 The American Taliban
    6.3 A Few Honorable People
    6.4 The Fall of Kandahar

    7. The Hunt for bin Laden
    7.1 At Home with bin Laden
    7.2 Omar Under the Gun, Afghans Bombed, and a New President

    8. The New Barbarism: World in Turmoil
    8.1 Regression, Reaction, and Barbarians Amok
    8.2 Prisoners, New U.S. Military Bases, and Proxy War

    9. The War at Home: Political Battles and the Enron Scandal
    9.1 Family Friends: Bush Administrations and Enron
    9.2 Enron, the S&L Scandal, and the Bush Family
    9.3 Pretzels, the Enron Collapse, and Bush’s Insider Trading
    9.4 Enron in the Public Eye

    10. The Afghan Quagmire, the "Axis of Evil," and Dangers of Bush Administration Unilateralism
    10.1 "Detainees," "Unlawful Combatants," and the Guantanamo Bay Fiasco
    10.2 Afghan and Other Military Interventions
    10.3 The "Axis of Evil," Unilateralism Amok, and Bush’s Cock-eyed Imperialism

    11. The New Militarism, Lies and Propaganda, and more Afghan Adventures
    11.1 The Rise (and Fall?) of the Pentagon Ministry of Truth and the Lies of Bushspeak
    11.2 The Battle of Anaconda and Other Afghan Skirmishes
    11.3 Waiting for the War on Iraq and Growing Criticism of Bush and Cheney

    Conclusion, For Democracy and Against Terrorism and Militarism

    References
    posted by Douglas at 11:03 AM
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    And in a land of drought and fire, stupidity rears its ugly head
    HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. -- Residents voluntarily doing their part to save water because of the drought are being warned by homeowner associations that brown lawns violate neighborhood rules.

    Mind you, this is in Colorado, which is experiencing its worst drought in decades, not to mention being whacked by several monster fires. But we must keep our lawns green and pretty, eh?

    posted by Bob at 1:02 AM
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    Friday, June 14, 2002. *
    Thursday, June 13, 2002. *
    "...the tendency of closed systems to shift stress from point to point without ever resolving the source of the stress."

    "No problem can be solved. When a situation becomes a problem it becomes insoluble. Problems are by definition insoluble. No problems can be solved, and all solutions lead to more problems." - William S. Burroughs

    Words of wisdom. Maybe we should send Shrub a copy of "Naked Lunch" as well?
    posted by Mike at 4:34 PM
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    Americans for a Third Way in the Middle East
    As public discourse grows increasingly polarized, this site seeks out thoughtful, alternative voices searching for a middle ground.
    posted by A.Q. at 11:33 AM
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    Lester Sterling... Reggae In The Wind. From the album Sterling Silver by Lester Sterling O.D., an original member of the legendary Skatalites. A brilliant alto sax workout. The answer my friend, is Reggae in the Wind.... .mp3 audio (940K) from The Skatalites.
    posted by Andrew at 2:48 AM
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    The Bush plan to create a super agency that will be responsible for preventing terrorist attacks has been particularly troubling and amusing.....A few years ago, I read “The Tao of Physics.” One idea that has stayed with me over the years is the tendency of closed systems to shift stress from point to point without ever resolving the source of the stress. By responding to and addressing symptoms, the cause of the stressor is not resolved and the stress is shifted to another point in the system. Maybe I should send W a copy. Well, maybe not. It has a lot of words in it and he isn’t that good with them. from ZENDUDE
    posted by cynthia korzekwa at 12:53 AM
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    Wednesday, June 12, 2002. *
    Israelis Puzzling Over Anxieties Of American Jews
    A rash of doomsday articles in the American and American Jewish press, warning of the approach of a "Second Holocaust," is prompting a rash of, well, bewilderment in Israel.
    posted by A.Q. at 12:37 PM
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    The Dream Change Coalition

    Working closely with indigenous people from the Amazon, Andes, Siberia, Guatemala, Himalayas, Southern Africa and other cultures where shapeshifting dreams into reality is an age-old part of life, DCC has helped many people transform themselves and has cleaned up pollution, preserved endangered forests, plants, and animals, and inspired institutions to commit themselves to helping future generations rather than focussing on selfish, short-term objectives. We are people from every continent and every profession.
    posted by Dr. Menlo at 2:15 AM
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    Tuesday, June 11, 2002. *
    posted by Dr. Menlo at 11:01 PM
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    "I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down . . . I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime . . . I wear it for the sick and lonely old . . . I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,/'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black."--Johnny Cash

    For about 5 years now, I only wear one other color besides black: blue. All of my outer clothes (excepting socks, boxers and t-shirts) are also recycled: via vintage shops and thrifts. What do you wear, and why?

    What did Johnny Cash say about his closet?: "It's dark in there."

    posted by Dr. Menlo at 10:22 PM
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    Religion and war crimes

    Israeli Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein warned today that the new International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague (which begins work in July), may indict Israelis moving into settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for war crimes.

    But for some, the conflict is religious: international law doesn't seem to bother them. In the last few days, Israeli newspapers have been reporting that the World Zionist Organization is assisting Jews to move to settlements in the West Bank, as part of a program to encourage immigration to Israel. The Jewish Agency (the arm of the WZO in charge of immigration) denied that it has a specific program to bring Jews to the West Bank, but several regional councils offer "assistance packages" that make the Occupied Territories attractive, according to the Agency's chairman, Sallai Meridor.
    posted by Igor at 2:04 PM
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    Wow, we arrested another super terrorist
    Yessiree, the Bushies are all a-twitter, boasting they've arrested a really big deal terrorist this time, one who was making 'dirty bombs'. In fact, this feller is so bad and evil that they tossed him in in a military prison, classified as an "enemy combatant".

    Well, pardon my cynicism, but the last time the Bushies got this excited was a few weeks back when they released several terrorist threats in a matter of days - terrorists were on the verge, they said, of blowing up apartments or sneaking in via scuba gear or poisoning water supplies. Remember what happened just prior to these hysterical announcements? That's right, the Bushies were getting hammered in the press for 'not connecting the dots' on the terrorism threats. So, to deflect criticism, they launched this PR campaign of announcing (alleged) terrorist threats - a disinformation campaign they, a few days later, admitted they were doing.

    So, we have this dirty bomb guy. Read the stories about the arrest. No concrete evidence, not even any circumstantial evidence, just "overseas sources" whispering in Ashcroft's ear. Tough to get a conviction on that. But it surely does look good in the press, especially as Bush's poll numbers are slipping.

    Finally, Mr. Dirty Bomb is a U.S. citizen, so doesn't he qualify to be tried in criminal court like any other citizen, rather than being tossed incommunicado into a military cell?
    posted by Bob at 9:57 AM
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    Monday, June 10, 2002. *
    Israel/Palestine

    I regularly read Joe Duemer's reading & writing. He recently had a blogservation with Mike Sanders at Keep Trying. It prompted me to reply. Here is a page of the e-mail I sent them where I put in much of what I have found.

    Blogservation with Joe and Mike
    posted by Gordon at 9:37 AM
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    Do SUV's annoy you?

    Then get a "I'm changing the climate, Ask me how" bumper sticker and stick one on an Escalade. Do it today! From Changing The Climate.
    posted by Bob at 12:06 AM
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    Sunday, June 09, 2002. *
    Le Blogeur suggests Asiafirst: A Weblog about the Art and Culture of India and China a smashing new weblog
    posted by A.Q. at 9:47 PM
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    Visit Palestine. The land of the Bible. From The Palestine Poster Project at Liberation Graphics. "...Liberation Graphics began actively collecting Palestinian posters in 1974 and now houses what many experts believe to be the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of Palestinian-published and Palestinian solidarity poster art."
    posted by Andrew at 7:36 AM
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    Saturday, June 08, 2002. *
    Friday, June 07, 2002. *
    Mark Takamichi Miller... 24 Exposures. "...These paintings are derived from a random 1-hour photo packet left for development. I don't know the people in the pictures and they don't know that they are the subjects of the paintings. The photos had been left in the bin over a month. I bought them and took out one of the two sets of prints before returning the second prints and the negatives to the bin."
    posted by Andrew at 10:38 AM
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    Israel/Palestine

    U.S. says unclear on Israeli objectives for Ramallah raid

    Foreign Minister Shimon Peres revealed Thursday that the U.S. is shaping a new diplomatic initiative in which the Palestinians will have to waive the right of return in exchange for Israel's evacuation of all the settlements.

    "There is something new emerging in the U.S., which says that the Palestinians will give up on the right of return in exchange for Israel giving up on all the settlements."

    Peres reiterated his view that even if it will take time to reach an agreement with the Palestinians, Israel should not wait to reengage the Palestinians in negotiations. A renewal of the political process, Peres added, would help to solve many of the problems besetting the Israeli economy.[more]

    ----------

    Bush to announce new strategy after Sharon, Mubarak meetings

    That said, Bush is in no hurry to adopt his State Department's plan, which was drawn up by a member of the National Security Council. According to this proposal, Israel would agree to evacuate the settlements, while the Palestinians would waive their demand for the right of return for refugees.

    The plan proposes a three-year process, at the end of which the sides ould reach a permanent agreement accompanied by "serious reforms" within the Palestinian Authority. Sharon has expressed his reservations about the plan, and Bush is not keen to go up against the prime minister.

    A senior official, during a White House press briefing, made light of reports of a future U.S. plan. "I'm not sure where those reports came from," he said, "but I'd be happy to find out."

    Bush is also busy helping his brother Jeb Bush win his election in Florida. With so many Jewish votes in that state, Bush is not likely to do anything that would alienate Jewish voters, who are showing increasing support for the Republicans, by going head-to-head with Ariel Sharon.[more]

    The State Department seems to have a grasp on the situation but the future of peace in the mideast will more likely be sacrificed by Bush to get his brother reelected. Can this get more depressing? Unfortunately, I'm sure it can.
    posted by Gordon at 10:13 AM
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    From Sweatshop to Hip-Hop
    Jason Morteo understands all of this. He is a 17-year-old Chicano lyricist, beat junkie, and grafitti writer in San Antonio. On Wednesday nights, he can be found at Bruno’s, a local restaurant, battling other mcees in the freestyle competition. ("I would have won first place, except the other dude starting beat-boxing on me.") He has a front row seat for what Levi’s and other clothing companies are trying to do with hip-hop and garment workers.

    "For me, I find it so ironic that Levi’s, of all companies, is going to try to make a profit off of hip-hop culture, on top of that Latin hip-hop culture, when there’s so many people here they exploit so much," he says. "And the companies do their best to keep that out of the media."

    posted by Dr. Menlo at 2:11 AM
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    Some Thoughts on the idea of 'Hacker Culture'
    . . . This being said, the points of convergence between the activities of hackers and those of (political) activists are many, and they increase by the day. It is becoming more and more evident that both groups face the same threats, and the same adversaries.
    posted by Dr. Menlo at 2:07 AM
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    Thursday, June 06, 2002. *
    Perot Systems get caught with hand in cookie jar

    As with many political scandals, the Enron trail leads to some unusual places. This time to Perot Systems, who simultaneously designed the California power system, then sold software to trading companies teaching them how to game the system! That "giant sucking sound"? Why boy howdy, that was just Texas energy companies vacuuming money from California by whatever barely legal or outright illegal ways they could devise. And lest we forget, Perot Systems is headed by the very same Ross Perot who, when he ran for President, lectured us all about the virtues of being upright and moral. What a bunch of weasels..


    posted by Bob at 3:41 PM
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    Sometimes I read something that convinces me that I really am a hopeless pinko...

    * The complaint: Consolidation has made radio even more cookie-cutter bland, with narrow, unimaginative playlists. Demographic targeting and audience testing eliminate variety, stifle regionalism and foist the least objectionable music on the public.

    Failing to recognize that an individual's tastes are broader than a narrow format, stations avoid adventurous artists and diversity. Music's presence is being eroded by gabby DJs and juvenile morning shows.

    ..."More and more, radio is programmed literally by machine, hurting the limitless potential that makes radio special," Light says. "All the great things about radio, including identity and community, are being devalued. In places that kind of station still exits, people hold onto it with religious fervor."

    * The defense: As quirky outposts merged into titanic corporations, radio became a big business beholden to Wall Street's profit standards.

    "The stakes are higher," Light says. "One genre is now bigger than the whole industry used to be. It's absurd to think that corporations are going to value artistic merit and innovation. That's not what the game is."

    I suppose only a rigid ideologue such as myself can't distinguish between the indictment and the defense...

    ::USA Today: Hey, Mr. DJ, open the request line via Mediageek
    posted by Mr. GluSniffer at 12:36 PM
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    Wednesday, June 05, 2002. *
    Who wants Palestinian reforms, and why?

    "There must be Palestinian reforms. That is the great new prescription for Middle East peace-making," veteran Middle East correspondent David Hirst argues in a commentary for the Beirut Daily Star. But: "[Sharon] has always abhorred any legitimate representative institution that embodies Palestinian national identity and eventual statehood on territory he and the Israeli right deem to be an inalienable, exclusive part of 'Greater Israel'."

    "The ironic truth is that, in the vast disparity of what all these parties actually mean by reforms, it is the Palestinians ­ their public, political organizations, and some, at least, within the Palestinian Authority which would be the target of them ­ who most sincerely seek them, in any true, progressive, universally recognized sense of the word while, for the Israelis and in varying degrees Americans and Arab regimes, they are just a means and a cover for altogether less exalted ends." ...

    "[Sharon's] notion of a peace plan, so far as it is known, repudiates all the progress made via the 1991 Madrid Conference, Oslo, and subsequent accords and negotiations; it would consecrate all existing "Zionist facts on the ground" under yet another "interim" agreement of indefinite duration during which Israel would be free to create ever more new ones. His notion of a Palestinian leadership is one that acquiesces in these conditions" ...

    "But whatever does eventually come of Palestinian reforms, they won't, on their own, advance the peace process. For that there would have to be far-reaching Israeli reforms too, not about democracy, but about the means of achieving what, since Israel came into being, has, or should have been, its overriding national purpose: winning the acceptance of the Palestinians whose conquest or displacement are the root cause of all its woes."
    posted by Igor at 1:10 PM
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    Narrative bias

    From The Rhetorica Network (link found on Rebecca's Pocket), one of the "inherent biases of journalism as a professional practice":

    "Narrative bias: The news media covers the news in terms of "stories" that must have a beginning, middle, and end--in other words, a plot. Much of what happens in our world, however, is ambiguous. The news media applies a narrative structure to ambiguous events suggesting that these events are easily understood and have clear cause-and-effect relationships. Good storytelling requires drama, and so this bias often leads journalists to add, or seek out, drama for the sake of drama. Lastly, this bias leads many journalists to create, and then hang on to, master narratives--set story lines with set characters who act in set ways. Once a master narrative has been set, it is very difficult to get journalists to see that their narrative is simply one way, and not necessarily the correct or best way, of viewing people and events."
    posted by Igor at 11:25 AM
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    William Gropper... The Little Tailor (1955, Dodd Mead & Company, New York). "...Many years ago, in a sleepy little town called Nochi, which was hidden far away in the darkest end of Europe, there lived a little tailor who made the most beautiful clothes in the world."
    posted by Andrew at 10:14 AM
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    Tuesday, June 04, 2002. *
    A U.S. Air Force colonel who called President Bush "a joke" and accused him of allowing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to happen because "his presidency was going nowhere," has been suspended and could face a court-martial.

    At first glance you might think this is something new, turns out theres a history of this sort of thing.
    posted by Mike at 6:13 PM
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    Warblogger Watch is bigger, bolder, and better than ever.
    posted by A.Q. at 10:21 AM
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    How Sustainable is the Talk of Sustainability?

    As world government gets geared up for Earth Summit II in Johannesburg this August and the requisite ton of money gets spent (and resources used) in the name of producing this Lollapalooza of global political spectacle, the buzzword of the day appears to be "sustainability." I use it. Monsanto uses it. Heck, now that the Bush administration has finally admitted that global warming is a serious, human industry-created problem that will greatly affect our future, even G.W. himself appears to want to get in on the act. But are we all speaking the same language here? How can someone interested in animal rights, or non-toxic community gardens, or local, organic produce possibly intend the same thing by speaking about "sustainable living practices" as a giant transnational corporate venture which is bent on outmoding exactly those very things? [Read more]
    posted by Richard at 9:10 AM
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    Oh my. More fuel for the fire, so to speak.

    Conspiracy theories abound. This one is nice. It has nice pictures and it's easy to understand. Why don't you go drag your republican/narrowminded/militaristic/gung-ho/where'sthebeef? friend to the computer and let them play, "Find the Boeing". (nonono, not THAT Boeing..the one that crashed into the Pentagon, you piglet)
    posted by Lisa D at 6:22 AM
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    Monday, June 03, 2002. *
    John Heartfield... Die drei Weisen aus dem Sorgenland (The three magi from the Land of Sorrow. Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung, January 3, 1935, p. 16., rotogravure print, rephotographed montage with typography). From Photomontage by John Heartfield. 23 images from the George Eastman House Still Photograph Archive.
    posted by Andrew at 8:36 AM
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    Sometimes, I say to myself, "Self, what do you feel like doing today?" And oftentimes, myself will reply, "well, now, am I feeling selfish, and singular? Do I feel like treating someone badly, or driving around aimlessly just to waste gas? Do I want to go to Wal-Mart and buy some items that were made in China by small children who work for two cents a year and eat once a week? Self, what say we hightail it over that new golf course and watch them needlessly water fourthousand acres of lawn when other parts of the world are drying out..."

    Then, I think to myself, "self, what the fuck is wrong with you? What are you, some kind of freaking closet republican or something?" Then I shudder and feel the cold feet of doom walking over my grave.

    Then I click here, find someone who needs me, and go out and do something useful to make my soul feel better. Try it. Really. Surely there's something in your neck of the woods that needs to be attended to. Volunteer a little bit of your time.

    Hey, here's a crazy idea...what if each individual american, unless unable to due to physical constraints, was required by law to do a certain amount of community service a year?
    posted by Lisa D at 8:14 AM
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    CODE TURTLE-BLUE: TERRORISTS MAY APPEAR IN YOUR TOILET. BEFORE GOING, CHECK BOWL FOR DARK, NASTY FACES WHO ARE CRAZY-RELIGIOUS TYPES. ADDITIONAL WARNING FOR TWO-FOR-TERRORIST-WARNING-TUESDAY: CODE BANANA; IN COEXISTING CONDITION WITH AFOREMENTIONED WARNING SOME UNLIKELY FEW WILL ALSO FIND MASALA SMEARED ACROSS THEIR TOOTHBRUSH--THROW AWAY IMMEDIATELY AND GO TO NEAREST FAST FOOD ESTABLISHMENT FOR REAL AMERICAN FOOD, SIMULTANEOUSLY SAVING AMERICA'S ECONOMY!

    Coming up next: Grown Men Who Play With Balls--also known as Sports! And the Weather!

    . . . All here, on your Favorite Corporate News Network!

    posted by Dr. Menlo at 4:47 AM
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    Quantum Wormholes Could Carry People

    I received this in my email last week from Giovanni (titled "100 Holes"):

    For your viewing pleasure
    http://www.unutterable.org/holes.html

    "Locke implied that a causal theory of perception is incompatible with the perception of holes; since holes are not material they cannot be the source of any causal flow. That we do have the impression of perceiving holes should then be considered a sort of systematic illusion. (Unless one rejects causal accounts of perception.)"
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/holes/


    Thanks, Giovanni!

    See also: The Invisible Worm . . . it's always nice to see new progressives come up!

    posted by Dr. Menlo at 3:27 AM
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    posted by Dr. Menlo at 12:53 AM
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    Sunday, June 02, 2002. *
    The North American Gnome Liberation Front Press Office (GLF-PO) website has been shut down.
    The GLF movement has gone underground as a result of the newly-enacted PATRIOT act under the fascist Bush regime. Resistance is strong, but we no longer have the resources to operate a full-time Press Office. The Diary of Actions is still available below.

    It is possible that in the future, we shall return.

    - Subcommander Dante, GLF

    www.kazm.net/gnomes
    posted by cris at 9:16 AM
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    The Soviet Message. "...when Stalin's purges claim the reputations and the lives of the once-loyal, Klustis reworks his material, as he does with this photomontage, beginning by hacking two army marshals from Stalin's side. Marshal Yegorov, who remains in the poster, is tortured to death in 1939. Klustis also suffers under Stalin's regime; he is arrested in 1938 and is eventually killed." From The Commissar Vanishes. The Falsification of Photographs in Stalin's Russia.
    posted by Andrew at 8:47 AM
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    Green Party governor candidates getting noticed

    Massachusetts
    "In what could be a major blow to (Mass.) Democrats' hopes of regaining the governor's office, Green Party gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein is on the verge of qualifying to receive up to $3.4 million in taxpayer-funded Clean Election campaign funds".  

    Predictably, Democrats are whining about Greens stealing votes from them. 'It is an outrage,' said Philip W. Johnston, the Democrats' state party chairman. 'This will significantly damage our chances in November. A vote for Stein is a vote for (Republican candidate Mitt) Romney.'  

    The only outrage here is that Democrats think Green votes somehow belong to them. They don't. And if Democrats wish to stop their exodus of liberals, perhaps they could start acting like Democrats again. More

    California
    "Will this be the year when the California Green Party finally makes a significant showing in a statewide election? The Greens are banking on their gubernatorial nominee, millionaire and socially-responsible-investing guru Peter Camejo, drawing substantial support. And given widespread liberal dissatisfaction with Democratic Governor Gray Davis -- a dissatisfaction so deep that leaders of nine prominent organizations of people of color are considering bailing on Davis and supporting Camejo -- it might just happen". reports the L.A. Weekly.

    In an unsolicited letter to Camejo, the leaders declare that "neither major party is effectively addressing issues" of concern to their communities and that "a strong showing by a third party" could advance their agendas. Saying that "20 to 30 percent of the minority vote" could be secured by the Green campaign, they suggest a dialogue with Camejo, which is now under way.

    This is big news - several business-oriented groups of people of color are bailing on Gray Davis. In Camejo's words, what they did was "a declaration of war." Stay tuned. More
    posted by Bob at 12:02 AM
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