Saturday, August 31, 2002.
Refugees face starvation
In 1975, after the death of Franco, Spain withdrew from its Western Sahara colony. It was promptly annexed by Morocco against the wishes of (at least part of) the indigenous population, leading to a decades long guerilla war. During the course of this war, some 155,000 people fled to the borders with Algeria, which is where they're still living in refugee camps. These camps are wholly dependent on humanitarian aid provided via the UN world Food Programme, which is now struggling to get the funds needed to do so, according to a report from AllAfrica.
Since 1991 an UN sponsored ceasefire has been in effect between Morocco and Polisario Front and since then the UN has been trying to hld an referendum on the future of the Western Sahara. Read more about the history of the Western Sahara here.
Friday, August 30, 2002.
"Gentiles in Aaliyah have always persecuted Jewish people, I don't know if you're one of them or not, but...". Jackie Mason talks to CNN as to why he had a Palestinian comic fired.
Poll shows free speech support down
Support for the First Amendment has eroded significantly since Sept. 11 and nearly half of Americans now think the constitutional amendment on free speech goes too far in the rights it guarantees...
The survey was performed by the (supposedly) non-partisan First Amendment Foundation. A PDF of the report, State of the First Amendment 2002, is available here.
Booby Traps at Rio + 10
by Naomi Klein
On August 24, police even attacked a candlelight "freedom of expression march," held to protest these and other mass arrests. The spontaneously organized march was headed to a downtown prison, but before the crowd of 1,000 local and international activists had walked a block, riot police surrounded them and barricaded the road. Without warning, stun grenades were fired at the marchers, injuring three.
The World Summit on Sustainable Development isn't going to save the world; it merely offers an exaggerated mirror of it. In the gourmet restaurants of Sandton, delegates are literally dining out on their concern for the poor. Meanwhile, outside the gates, poor people are being hidden away, assaulted and imprisoned for what has become the iconic act of resistance in an unsustainable world: refusing to disappear. [read more]
The State machinery of intimidation and misinformation
JOHANNESBURG 27 August - With only four days to go before the showdown in Sandton, the lines between protesters and the State have become increasingly apparent. Not only in the form of police repression – which according to many international anti-globalisation protesters has bypassed the draconian standards of Seattle, Québec and Genoa – but more sinisterly within the mainstream media as well. The corporate media has been working hand-in-hand with the intelligence agencies and other government officials in circulating untruths and fabrications aimed at demobilising mass movements rejecting the neoliberal agenda of WSSD and at justifying excessive use of force, unjustified arrests, torture and a flawed legal system. [read more]
Greenpeace finds American wanted for Bhopal tragedy. (Guardian)
'The former head of Union Carbide, Warren Anderson, who faces homicide charges in India in connection with more than 14,000 deaths following leaks from the company's pesticides plant in Bhopal in 1984, has been tracked down to his luxury home in the Hamptons on Long Island, New York. '
'Mr Anderson was served with a copy of a warrant for his arrest by an environmental campaigner and moves are now under way to bring him to India to face trial.'
Palestinian: Stop Suicide Bombings
Yehiyeh, a retired general, was appointed interior minister in June in a Cabinet reshuffle, taking charge of Palestinian security forces. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had held the post until then.
In the interview, Yehiyeh said that ``suicide attacks are contrary to the Palestinian tradition, against international law and harm the Palestinian people.''
Bed art promotes 'safe sex'. (BBC) 'A young couple are to spend a week in bed in the window of a London art gallery to reinforce the importance of safe sexual practice in the fight against sexually transmitted disease. '
US presses Africa to take GM foods. (Guardian) 'The US was accused yesterday of putting intense pressure on United Nations organisations, the European Union and individual countries to support the export of GM food aid to six African countries facing severe hunger in the coming months. '
This page on water scarcity includes a 'world water shortage map' which graphically illustrates where these problems are occurring. The worst shortages are in the Middle East, parts of South Asia and China, and South Africa; this could prove to be an added complication in regions already affected by conflict.
Goya to Beijing. 'In the politically responsive spirit of Goya, internationally acclaimed contemporary artists have gathered together to remember the tragic events which took place in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China, June 4, 1989. '
'The purpose of this exhibition is to commemorate the anniversary of this political struggle for democracy.'
Thursday, August 29, 2002.
The Majority Loses as Revenge Tactics Breed More Death and Despair
Palestinians and Israelis 'prefer peaceful protests'
Meanwhile, four Palestinians were killed and four were wounded early yesterday when Israeli tank shells slammed into a Bedouin encampment in Gaza City, Palestinian witnesses said.
Johannesburg: According to a report (Report in PDF format) to the World Summit on Sustainable Development now being held in Johannesburg, about 1.2 billion people have no access to safe drinking water and 2.4 billion do not have adequate sanitation services. 6,000 children every day die because of lack of drinkable water, inadequate sanitation and bad hygiene.
Thanks to rapid population growth in the poorest countries, as well as laissez faire industrialisation, industrial as well as agricultural pollution threatens the drinkwater supply of millions of people. At the same time, water is rapidly becoming scarce in many places, partly due to growing use by industry and agriculture. As of now there's little check on wasteful use of water anywhere and in fact wasteful uses may even be subsidised (as I understand has been a problem in California).
Beyond this, the growing pressure on water resources (not just grondwater, but also rivers etc) by growing populations, industry and agriculture also threatens or harms entire ecosystems. Need I point out how the rich farming grounds of ancient Sumeria were ultimately destroyed by careless use of water?
Please read this report. Far more then oil, water is going to be the resource over which wars in the 21st century will be fought, if action isn't undertaken soon.
Gonzo times: As well as Walter Cronkite and Peter Carey talking about US journalism in the wake of 9-11 on Australian radio this morning, the great Hunter S Thompson: 'It’s sort of a herd mentality, a lemming-like mentality. If you don’t go with the flow you’re anti-American and therefore a suspect. And we’ve seen this before, these patriotic frenzies. It’s very convenient having an undeclared war that you can call a war and impose military tribunals and wartime security and we have these generals telling us that this war’s going to go on for a long, long time. Maybe not so much the generals now, the generals are a little afraid of Iraq, a little worried about it, but it’s the civilians in the White House, the gang of thieving, just lobbyists for the military industrial complex, who are running the White House, and to be against them is to be patriotic, then hell, call me a traitor.' [ABC]; [Realplayer - full interview].
Searching for a hero: why America has turned to Winston Churchill. (Guardian)
'It is hardly surprising that President George Bush and the hawks in his administration invoke the memory of Sir Winston Churchill with ever growing fervour as they plead the historic necessity of a pre-emptive attack on Iraq. '
'In Britain the wartime prime minister's long public career is associated with many achievements, some of them admired, some remembered with anger or embarrassment. But to Americans, especially conservative Republicans, he symbolises unflinching opposition to appeasement, first to Hitler, then during the cold war to Soviet communism. '
'Never mind that the great man's record is a good deal more complex, and certainly more interesting than the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, seems to think. He was a social reactionary as well as a champion of liberty, a Victorian aristocrat and imperialist rebranded as a democratic orator in the cauldron of war ... '
The historians' view. Ben Pimlott, warden of Goldsmiths College, London; biographer of the Queen and Harold Wilson :-
"Churchill is the only Englishman any of them has ever heard of, with the possible exception of Shakespeare if they were hard-working at school. President [Lyndon] Johnson once compared Harold Wilson with Churchill. In fact, there is no comparison between Hitler and Saddam Hussein, who is not an expansionist within the region. Americans admire Churchill's brilliance, his language and oratory, his feline style. But Bush is a neanderthal with no knowledge of the world. Churchill had a great deal of knowledge. The key is being friendly to the United States. When the US feels beleaguered and has a friend in the British prime minister, the prime minister gets noticed a bit more."
Philip Ziegler, biographer of Lord Mountbatten, Harold Wilson and Edward VIII :- " ... Churchill is one of the very few non-Americans whom educated or half-educated Americans have been taught to revere. They also associate him with his Iron Curtain speech [in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946] and see it as Churchill's wake-up call for the democracies to oppose the perils of communism."
Peter Hennessy, professor of contemporary history at Queen Mary and Westfield College, London; author of Muddling Through, a History of British Government since 1945 :- " ... As for what Bush and Rumsfeld are doing, when you want to do something and need instant justification with brand recognition, you invoke Munich. Eden also invoked Munich at Suez, he said Nasser was Mussolini. It's not good enough; it just doesn't work; it's not on. It's lazy thinking."
Court refuses to reduce murder charge against Bhopal chief. (Guardian) 'A court in Bhopal, central India, refused yesterday to reduce the murder charge against Warren Anderson, the former chief executive of Union Carbide, for the gas leak from the company's pesticides plant in the city in 1984 which has killed thousands and maimed hundreds of thousands. '
'The chief judicial magistrate, Rameshar Kotha, asked for extradition proceedings to be started to bring Mr Anderson to court from the United States, although his precise whereabouts are unknown. '
Put thirst of poor communities first, demands Mandela. (Guardian) 'Nelson Mandela took the earth summit by the scruff of its neck yesterday, urging politicians to make access to clean water a basic human right and to put water and sanitation much higher up the political, economic and social agendas. '
Wednesday, August 28, 2002.
According to BartCop, this happened recently in America because the woman was holding an anti-Bush sign.
I don't know about you folks, but those allegations make this American absolutely furious.
Gunmen kill two Zapatista leaders: "Ricardo Flores, a spokesman for Zapatista leadership in Ocosingo, said several men with guns burst into a meeting of rebel officials in a local school and opened fire late Sunday, killing Lorenso Martinez Espinosa and Jacinto Hernandez Gutiarrez."
Steve Bell cartoon archive in the Guardian. One of the most biting cartoonists in the British press; George Bush is a regular cartoonist. Readers of this blog may enjoy his work.
Texas spends more on its prison system that it does on its schools.
Tony Blair cracks down on arms sales to Israel to appease the members of his government who are still Labour.
The Saudis must try harder to fight the terrorists.
Tuesday, August 27, 2002.
A pair of dandies in today's Washington Post: first, a disreputable anti-American body issues a report full of lies. Next, pursuant to a retroactive application of that triumph of advanced statecraft known as the Bush Doctrine, we must now bomb the fucking piss out of Japan. And yes, I have been reading too many warblogs.
Right on! (as we used to say way back when). And while we're at it, here is a letter I wrote to Paul Gigot, Editorial Page editor of the estimable Wall Street Journal concerning a column by one Melik Kaylan:
Dear Paul Gigot:
Though a liberal Democrat, I’ve been something of a fan of yours for many years. I thought the News Hour Friday political discussion went entirely flat after you left Mark Shields high & dry. // I have certain problems, though, with the column you recently ran by Melik Kaylan. Not only does she get her lede completely wrong—Dr. Johnson remarked on a dog walking on “two legs,” not, as she has it, on its “front legs,” the good doctor indicating an image of a dog dressed as a human and walking on its hind legs, a much more plausible scene and funnier that the illiterate version offered by your columnist; in any case, the entire tenor of Ms. Kaylan's piece is, quite simply, depraved. // Does the Wall Street Journal really want to go on record as calling for the bombing of the New York Times? And it is not only this statement of Coulter’s, but a long record of irresponsible hate-mongering that should make her anathema to real conservatives. She has also said that John Walker Lindh should be executed in order to “frighten liberals”—presumably by threatening them with death. I’m a liberal, I take this personally. I have no problem with principled statements of conservatism, but I ask you again, is this the sort of rhetoric with which the WSJ whishes to be associated? // Oh, you say—or your editorialist says—she’s a satirist, she’s only kidding. Please perform the following thought experiment: Imagine that James Carville or Paul Krugman had remarked to a reporter for, let’s say, The Nation, that his only regret was that Tim McVeigh hadn’t left that U-Haul in front of the Heritage Foundation. Can you imagine the hue and cry? We would be subjected to days of outraged commentary on the various news outlets. // Really, Mr. Gigot, an honorable man and a journalist who cared about the political discourse of his nation would publicly dissociate himself from the ravings of Ann Coulter. // I look forward to your response. // Professor Joseph Duemer
You, too, can write Mr. Gigot & ask him to dissociate himself from right-wing terrorist threats. If Ann Coulter had her way, American liberals would live under the sort of routine criminal harassment imposed by the Sharon government on Palestinian civilians.If Ann Coulter had her way guys like me would be in detention without access to a lawyer & without any expectation of due process. Ms. Coulter wraps herself in the flag & Ms. Kaylan adjusts her hem, but both are enemies of the Constitution. If this is Patriotism, I'll pass.
Feds to indict anarchist webmaster: "On January 24th, 2002, Sherman became one of the first victims of the new USA Patriot Act when 25 heavily armed FBI agents and secret service surrounded and raided his home in Los Angeles because of his anarchist web site http://www.raisethefist.com. The entire server was shut down, all computer equipment along with political literature, even protest signs were seized and loaded into a big white truck."
Target Iraq - Global Security.org - One stop war / anti-war portal
Military options, pros and cons of attack, anti-war sites, government, diplomatic, NGO links, military policy, breaking news, military targets, Iraq weather.
Terrorists on Both Sides Destroy Their Own People
Son's story kills mother
The son of the first known Palestinian woman to be executed as an Israeli collaborator said yesterday that gunmen tortured him until he invented a story about his mother's involvement in a militant's death. Ikhlas Khouli, a 35-year-old mother of seven, was shot dead at the weekend after being seized from her home in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarm.
As George Bush channels George Orwell, some are wondering if a sitting president can be charged with plagiarism?
Useful :- BBC Online's religion and ethics news weblog. Views from many different perspectives, including naturally some on the Middle East.
Recently featured links include Chinese and Tibetans debate Dalai Lama's return, Does Islam promote violence? (a considered article on iviews.com), The bonds of friendship in a bitter war (Israeli and Palestinian teens in a Maine refuge), Through fire and water (Dresden's old synagogue, recently threatened by flooding), The ultimate sacrifice (the recent case of suttee in India).
Israel set on tragic path, says chief rabbi. (Guardian) 'Britain's chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, today delivers an unprecedentedly strong warning to Israel, arguing that the country is adopting a stance "incompatible" with the deepest ideals of Judaism, and that the current conflict with the Palestinians is "corrupting" Israeli culture. '
Aunt Sallies and red herrings: A spectre is haunting Europe. According to the Hudson Institute's John Fonte, 'transnational progressivism' is an attempt by what's left of the Left to impose collectivist international agreements like the Kyoto Agreement, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the International Criminal Court on the US. If it succeeds, US market dynamism will come screaming to a halt.
There's nothing new about international cooperation, states working together for their common good. There's nothing new about the powerless seeking redress for local grievances by citing international standards.
What's new is the emergence of a Republican leadership intent on using US superpower status to get its own way.
Fonte's argument is a mirror image of what's actually happening. 'Transnational pseudo-judicial institutions' run by shadowy elites do exit. They're known as the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.
File under fiction created by right-wing academics and journalists scrambling to produce an intellectual justification for the Bush administration's realpolitiking, its contempt for democracy, its belief that might gives it the right to reorder the world to suit its business ends. [Hudson Institute]; [UPI].
Monday, August 26, 2002.
This: One tiny cut in the skin of empire; may there be a million more.
US citizens: Repeal the USA/Patriot Act.
Aren't you a little OLD for testosterone poisoning?
Dick Cheney foams at the mouth today about why we need to go stomp those Iraqis into the ground RIGHT NOW.
The Rolling Stones: Cocksucker Blues by Rick "Ojo" McGrath. "...Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, commenting on Cocksucker Blues, called it 'definitely one of the best movies about rock and roll I've ever seen. It makes you think being a rock and roll star is one of the last things you'd ever want to do.' Amen to that. One has the feeling these guys are soldiers, waiting for the next battle, the next opportunity to feel alive."
The woman who gave the world the term "Paleo-stinian" is getting all worked up over honour killings in Pakistan. No doubt, honour killings are a problem and must be eradicated. The fact is though that there is nothing in Islamic law to condone such acts which are considered unlawful. These are cultural traditions. They are also not limited to Eastern societies, but honour killings happen in the West as well. Obviously, its not politically expedient to worry about violence against Western women.
Insult to Injury Department:
Israeli Army Admits Soldiers Ransacked Palestinian Towns, Stole Money, Jewelry
For the first time, the Israeli army admitted its occupation troops had ransacked Palestinian homes and businesses and stole money, electronic appliances and jewelry worth millions of dollars.
Text message: Ann Coulter's Slander may currently be number seven at Amazon US. But Amazon political bestsellers also include counterblasts to the current conservative credo: Michael Moore's Stupid White Men at number 32; Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation, 86; Noam Chomsky's 9-11, 234.
Michael Moore, on the lecture circuit, says the support of ordinary Americans gives him a 'kinda weird optimism in the people of this country':'I look out at the auditorium or gymnasium, and I don't see the tree huggers and the granola heads. . . I see Mr. and Mrs. Middle America who voted for George W. Bush, who just lost $60,000 because their 401(k) is gone. And they believed in the American Dream as it was designed by the Bushes and Wall Street, and then they woke up to realize it was just that, a dream.' [Village Voice].
The Renewed Israeli Occupation
2 million Palestinians under curfew for 66 days!
thanks to Gush Shalom
Letter to a Pilot
The Zionist Lobby and American Foreign Policy
A white flag of surrender is not enough
Nablus- final report from Taayush action; inside Nablus.
Settler Militia Violence Against Palestinian Farming Families
Just How Much Does The New York Times Tilt Towards Israel; and How Much Does It Matter?
Pro-Palestinian Activists and the Palestinians
Israelis Tighten Belts, Keep Stiff Upper Lips
My uterus demands retribution!
I, apparently, am a "steaming pile of excrement", a "stupid maroon", and a "he man woman hater". Which is quite hilarious, and I'll have to mention that whole "I just hope his mother does not see what sort of misogynistic piece of shit he has become" to my Mom. She'll get quite the kick out of that one.
Yes, dear and gentle readers, I've been completely misunderstood. I didn't realize my style of writing caused such confusion to the general public. If you go back to my original post dated Sept. 18, perhaps you'll see where I was misunderstood. I felt I was clear enough, but hey, I've been wrong before (once, a long long time ago, and I really don't want to talk about it now, ok?)
Basically, what I meant to infer was A) How deplorable (my exact word, and how could you read acceptance into that?) it was that in this day and age, a woman is being executed for having a child out of wedlock, while the men that sentence her are most likely guilty of the very same thing -- And B), now that there is an excuse, the US can go ahead and bomb the crap out of Nigeria in the name of Free Christian women everywhere, when in reality, the US (not me, mr. corsair) couldn't give a flying crap whether one woman or a hundred are stoned to death. (Unless of course they are republican voters) The US really only cares about it's oily interests.
So, Corsair the "Rational yet speed reading Pirate", please go back and reread my post, and if you have difficulty understanding what I am saying, perhaps you'd like to discuss it further. I'll be happy to expound on my theories regarding the subjugation of women, the corporate take over of american and the appalling lack of social conscience that seems to be in fashion these days.
Sunday, August 25, 2002.
Lenny Bruce audio. In these times, the old hipster is still tonic for what ails us.
Lefties Eric Alterman and Alexander Cockburn sling shit at each other:
Alterman: "Because it plays into anti-Jew stereotypes, this kind of heavy-handed financial intervention to pick the winner of a largely African American race is actually a boon to anti-Semites of the black and extremist left-wing varieties. (See under: 'Louis Farrakhan' and 'Alexander Cockburn.') What AIPAC et al appear to be saying is 'We will tolerate no dissent of any kind on Israel in American public life.' They do Israel and America’s Jews no favor."
Cockburn: "A final note to Alterman and the Nation's or MSNBC's lawyers: Careful how you go here. I'm placing you on notice that though I think Alterman and those like him have cheapened the term almost to meaninglessness, the slur of 'anti-Semitism' is still intended as a fatal charge; and so the motivation and rationales for its usage are susceptible of examination in a law court."
War of the worlds - the speculations last year concerning the origins of the name, al-Qaida have not only failed to go away, they have provided Giles Foden with the meat for an intriguing essay in yesterday's Guardian:
"This peculiar coincidence would be of little interest if not for abundant parallels between the plot of Asimov's book and the events unfolding now," wrote Dmitri Gusev, the scientist who posted the article. He was referring to apparent similarities between the plot of Foundation and the pursuit of the organisation we have come to know, perhaps erroneously, as al-Qaida.
The Arabic word qaida - ordinarily meaning "base" or "foundation" - is also used for "groundwork" and "basis". It is employed in the sense of a military or naval base, and for chemical formulae and geometry: the base of a pyramid, for example. Lane, the best Arab-English lexicon, gives these senses: foundation, basis of a house; the supporting columns or poles of a structure; the lower parts of clouds extending across a horizon; a universal or general rule or canon. With the coming of the computer age, it has gained the further meaning of "database": qaida ma'lumat (information base)...
I suppose I better give in and read the first Foundation trilogy, which I've managed to avoid up to now...I have to admit the idea doesn't thrill me. I always tended towards Ballard in my 70s scifi reading, such as it was.
It had struck me, as is pointed out in this article, that the same theory might apply equally to the Grundrisse, and it remains to be established whether OBL or his intellectual mentor, Abdullah Azzam, has read either one. Whatever ideological distaste - to put it very mildly - they may have for the motivations and outlooks of either Asimov or Marx is completely beside the point; I cannot believe that for all their steely-eyed puritanism, they lack a sense of irony. I mean, they're supposed to be "playas", right? How serious can you really be if you don't have a sense of irony? (via Matt Jones)
Contemporary Vietnamese political poster. [Translation: Each good person, each good act is a beautiful flower. We as a nation are a garden of beautiful flowers.]
It's frightening, really. The last two nights while trying to fall asleep I have been obsessively thinking about Ann Coulter. It's frightening, but not surprising, I suppose, since for the last several months I have been trying hard to ignore Ms. Coulter, who gives me the screaming creeps. But as any Freudian will tell you, repression will out. The proximate cause of my obsessive nocturnal visitations was a couple of remarks of the pundit reported this week pretty widely in the (left) alternative media. The first, to the effect that Timothy McVeigh should have bombed the New York Times building instead of a federal office building in Oklahoma, elicited general outrage & rightly so; but another remark really struck a nerve with me. It's a remark that has gone largely unremarked, if you will; but it is telling. Ann Coulter is apparently suffering from the delusion that she "speaks for the American people." She is quoted as making this claim in a piece in the right-wing rag the New York Observer. Here's a nasty little snippet, in which the Connecticut WASP is talking about NYC: ". . . 'we’re living in an insane asylum', Ms. Coulter said. She said she 'takes joy in liberal attacks. It’s like coffee. I mean, usually when I write up a column, I know what’s going to drive them crazy. I know when I’m baiting them, it’s so easy to bait them and they always bite. That is my signature style, to start with the wild, bald, McCarthyite overstatements—seemingly—and then back it up with methodical and laborious research. Taunting liberals is like having a pet that does tricks. Sit! Beg! Shake! Then they do it.' Ann Coulter is not a screeching reactionary? 'The American people don’t think so. I speak for them'."
I'd like to see the demographic data on who is buying Coulter's Slander. Somehow, I have the sense that it's not my neighbor Ed, who lives up the road & runs the General Store here in South Colton; & somehow I have the feeling that it's not the father of one of my students I met last night who, after dropping his kid off at my college, told me that he & his wife were going to "get the camper & go up to Blake Falls & do a little fishing." We had been talking about the Raquette River, on the banks of which both of us live. Does Ann Coulter, wearing a short black dress & sipping white wine in a snazzy NY bistro, speak for these guys? How long since she's been in a bass boat? Ed & my student's dad both may very well vote Republican, but Ed doesn't bat an eye when I walk into his store wearing my Ho Chi Minh t-shirt & dad didn't seem concerned to be dropping his kid off at a university, where, it's well-known, all the professors are card-carrying member of The Left. That's because Americans are at heart a tolerant people. Coulter's notion that she speaks for the American people is so ludicrous as to suggest a profound deficit in the realm of reality testing. That is to say, Ms. Coulter is a raving lunatic. Actually, Coulter gives most lunatics a bad name--most crazy people aren't vicious bitch-goddesses who call for the murder of people they don't like.
Fact is, Ann Coulter, child of privilege, born in Connecticut, who lives in New York City [to be read in the outraged voices of those cowboys in the salsa commercial], is a member of the Northeast media elite. She's just another one of the--I was going to say "clowns," but clowns are artists--one of the badly educated, solipsistic products of excessive affluence produced after the idealism of the sixties had died out. So, no, Ann, you don't speak for "real Americans." Ed & my students & their folks & my other neighbors on Mill Street, we're the real Americans. We have various & often conflicting political positions, but we get along with each other; we vote in our local elections, we go to work every day. We contribute our labor, physical & intellectual, to American society. Ann, what do you contribute? Despite your blonde good looks, it appears that you are a parasite within the body politic. You're a fucking alien, Ann. You make us real Americans sick with your lies. I had to worm a puppy the other day--man, he hated that medicine, but today he's romping around with a shiny coat & a good appetite. That puppy loves everybody, too. There were some worms in his gut that he shit out. They're dead.
Abu Nidal sows chaos from the grave. (Observer) 'As confessions go it was spectacular, but little remarked on outside of the specialist circles that monitor these things. Youssef Shaaban, aged 29, and a self-confessed member of Abu Nidal's Fatah Revolutionary Council, was on trial for his life in a Beirut court for murdering a Jordanian diplomat when he stood up and insisted that he be heard. '
'Shaaban had a statement to make. To the surprise of those gathered in court, he claimed that six years before - in 1988 - he had been personally responsible for the bombing of PanAm Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing 270 people. '
'His claim was immediately dismissed, both by the judge and by the few who bothered to comment on the confession. ' [ ... ]
'But now Nidal is dead in Baghdad - shot four times in the head, according to the Iraqis, who also say he committed suicide. And once again Nidal is in the frame for Lockerbie, although former Libyan agent Abdel Basset al-Megrahi is serving a life sentence for the attack. '
Divine Chocolate. Fair trade choccies; small-scale
cocoa growers in Ghana own a chocolate company in the
Pity the President:
We know that the unelected president's pea-sized brain is likely taxed to near failure by the innumerable demands of the office he holds. We already pitied the poor cranial Lilliput, though the following tale of woe sent us directly to the Kleenex:
"I try to go for longer runs, but it’s tough around here at the White House on the outdoor track. When I’m at my ranch in Crawford, I can do longer runs. It’s sad that I can’t run longer. It’s one of the saddest things about the Presidency." [more]
The poor guy. Elsewhere in the interview, he provides a possible reason behind his baffling bellicosity: "It’s interesting that my times have become faster right after the war began." Interesting indeed, though the unlucky shepherds of Afghanistan won't be enough to put 'ole forty-three up in Hicham El Guerrouj's ranks. Best add Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Guerrouj's native Morocco to the Axis of Evil.
The top ten conservative idiots. Updated weekly.
Saturday, August 24, 2002.
the most dangerous man in America...
happens to be G. W. Bush, if only that vast & ignorant
herd of citizens would wake up and pay attention.
Two items, culled from many, relating to another of the
great mistakes being made by the current administration;
from the N.Y. Times, both by Nicholas D. Kristof,
Bush vs. Women;
Shaming Young Mothers.
then please hie thyself to the U.N. Population Fund site,
where you can choose to join us in attempting to make up for the short-sightedness
of the present administration by supporting the efforts of these concerned citizens,
because it isn't just about birth control you know, it's about HIV/AIDS education &
prevention, family planning, it's just about being humane, teaching peace,
taking some responsibility for the welfare of one another....
Ted Rall says George W. Bush hates America.
Do Hamdi and Padilla need company? Anita Ramasatry discusses Ashcroft's plan to create internment camps for Americans.
Friday, August 23, 2002.
Travel to the Korean War. The website of
Kim Dong Gyu, a South Korean high school student, and
'Our team, Synergy, took great pains to select a
topic for this entry. At first, we were hesitant to
base our entire project on the Korean War due to its
bleak nature, but after careful deliberation, we
realized that we had a mission to fulfill. Our
mission was to dig up the Korean War from the ashes
and stop it from fading away as "the forgotten war." ... '
Archie Loves Betty, Veronica, and the FBI
My favorite blog, Common-Place Book, writes, “Since 1954, the Comics Magazine Association of America has issued a Comics Code Authority Seal to comics submitted by publishers which meet the standards of the Comics Code. In practice, the Code was used as a tool of censorship, since it was nearly impossible to sell unapproved comics to newstands and mass merchandisers. With the rise of specialty comic book stores in the mid-80's, most publishers have opted out of the Comics Code.” The code was updated in 1971 and again in 1989. The 1989 version adds:
In general, recognizable national, social, political, cultural, ethnic and racial groups, religious institutions, law enforcement authorities will be portrayed in a positive light. These include the government on the national, state, and municiple levels, including all of its numerous departments, agencies and services; law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, the Secret Service, the CIA, etc.; the military, both United States and foreign; known religious organizations; ethnic advancement agencies; foreign leaders and representatives of other governments and national groups; and social groups identifiable by lifestyle, such as homosexuals, the economically disadvantaged, the economically privileged, the homeless, senior citizens, minors, etc.CPB notes, “DC Comics and Archie are the publishers who still abide by the Code to portray the CIA, ethnic advancement agencies and the economically privileged in a positive light.”
Why be suprised that the FBI is acting like the FBI? Targeting minorities is part of their ignoble tradition.
Flashback :- Lockerbie was an impossible verdict.
'Lockerbie Trial Unfair'. Report on and evaluation of the Lockerbie trial by Dr. Hans Köchler, University Professor, international observer of the International Progress Organization nominated by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the basis of Security Council resolution 1192 (1998).
Aide says Nidal confessed to Lockerbie bombing. (Guardian Unlimited) 'The Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal admitted to a meeting of his most trusted colleagues that he was behind the 1988 Lockerbie plane bombing and the culprits were not Libyans, it is claimed today in a leading Arabic newspaper. '
'In an interview with the London daily, Al-Hayat, a former colleague, Atef Abu Bakr, says Nidal made the confession to the inner circle of his revolutionary council some time before his death earlier this week. '
[ ... ]
'Tam Dalyell, Labour MP for Linlithgow, has long maintained that Nidal was to blame, and not Libyans. Last night he said: "If true, this is a hugely important development. If he has said that no one else had anything to do with it, where does that leave Mr al-Megrahi? I believe the Libyans had nothing to do with it. This is one hell of a thing." '
'He said that the Foreign Office must now investigate Bakr's claims "as a matter of the utmost urgency". '
Symbol of a Profession: One Hundred Years of Nurses' Caps. 'The caps shown here are a selection from the 167 Mrs. Kay recently donated to the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The Gloria Kay Nurses' Caps Collection is now the most comprehensive of its kind, dating from 1895 to 1983 and representing every province.'
akaKurdistan. 'This site, a borderless space, provides the opportunity to build a collective memory with a people who have no national archive.'
Sneaking up on America. A long bike ride from Miami to Seattle.
'Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry,and narrow-mindedness.. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of people and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. - Mark Twain.'
After the victory of the US, the removal of the Taliban government, business is once again booming in Afghanistan.
Joseph Sobran wonders:
Why do so many conservatives — most of whom oppose abortion, the killing of human fetuses — so readily, even eagerly, favor war? Not just this or that war, but nearly every war?
Thursday, August 22, 2002.
Multimedia edition of Galileo's notes on motion. Courtesy of the
Museum of the History of Science, Florence.
This Land Is Ours. A land reform campaign for
'TLIO campaigns peacefully for access to the land, its
resources, and the decision-making processes affecting
them, for everyone, irrespective of race, gender or
age.' Of related interest :-
Hiroshima Peace Site.
Bush unveils plan to fight wildfires. Well, weren't we all just waiting for this one? A perfect excuse to log the living hell out of any old growth forest to "prevent forest fires" (say, how about that new redwood deck?), so his buddies can make a few more bucks before it all goes poof.
"The bush administration said changes are necessary to clear forests of a decades-long buildup of highly flammable materials.
" -- excuse me for saying that this is just about the stupidest statement I've heard come out of the White House today. (was it the real white house, or the Texas White House? Maybe it was a whole brand new white house no one knows about that was set up for security reasons...shhhhh, don't tell.).
Mostly anyone that has studied any kind of forestry (and some who didn't) know that forests often need to burn. "Without fires, dead material accumulates, locking up essential nutrients necessary for plant growth. Fires release these nutrients, and enhance the production of nitrogen- fixing plants that often revegetate recently burned areas"
They really do treat us like idiots. How much stupider is the american public going to appear (it's hard to imagine we could appear any stupider than we already do) when they allow these monsters to cut into the last remaining old growth forests to "prevent forest fires". No wonder why they're dumbing us down, turning our educational system into a quagmire of ineffeciency. It's so they can pull the wool over our eyes because we're too stupid to read, instead receiving our daily dose of "news" from the media owned by them.
War game was fixed to ensure American victory, claims general - on the face of it, a slightly alarming revelation, but who's to say for sure that Saddam won't be amenable to similar collusion when the real thing goes off, in return for safe passage to Sudan, or wherever? After all, he past record shows he's the kind of guy that Bush, Cheney and co. can do business with... (Guardian via Robot Wisdom)
Sharon Leong... Teen-Age Terror. From Works by Sharon Leong, The Queen of B-Paintings. "...If you're a fan of the old dramatic bad-girl pulp paperback covers, then Ms. Leong's art will quicken your pulse. Humorously sexy, lovingly cliche and dead on creatively genius, Ms. Leong's art will very soon be gracing museum walls." JT Leroy, Author (Sarah; The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things).
So you've been wondering how the EU equivalent of the DMCA, the EUCD, is taking shape? Wonder no more: Danny O'Brien has posted a summary at Stand, and the news isn't terriby good. But there's a handy step-by-step guide to what little we can do to resist the clampdown... (via Oblomovka)
ASIDE: apologies for mistakenly posting this here - it was intended for my own blog. Must... fix... bookmarklets...
Please put your hands together and welcome to this domain none other than proud blog voyeur Relton Dupiniot!
Wednesday, August 21, 2002.
The Renewed Israeli Occupation
2 million Palestinians under curfew for 61 days!
While Mr Barghouti waits for his trial to start, two other powerful voices have been raised to haunt the Israeli authorities. The first is that of Nelson Mandela, who says he will be closely following the trial proceedings. His involvement is a reminder of the similarities between the bantustans for South African black people under apartheid, and the occupied territories in the West Bank and Gaza. The other voice was that of Marek Edelman, who was deputy commander of the historic Warsaw ghetto uprising of the Jews against the Nazis in 1943.
Now in his 80s, Mr Edelman wrote a letter early this month to Palestinian leaders. Though the letter criticised the suicide bombers, its tone infuriated the Israeli government and its press. He wrote in a spirit of solidarity from a fellow resistance fighter, as a former leader of a Jewish uprising not dissimilar in desperation to the Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories. He addressed his letter to "commanders of the Palestinian military, paramilitary and partisan operations - to all the soldiers of the Palestinian fighting organisations". [read more]
by Amira Hass
The more the army leaves the cities, the more the Civil Administration authorities will encounter requests for passes. "But it's an administrative disaster," said one foreign diplomat following the process of reforms in the PA. Just to implement a reformation of the legal system requires freedom of movement for judges, prosecutors, attorneys, witnesses and accused between the various districts. To revive the Palestinian financial sector so salaries and pensions can be paid - and so the work of the security forces can be renewed, as the gradual cease-fire plan says - requires economic activity, which requires freedom of movement.
An election will require freedom of movement for candidates and their activists. "The Civil Administration will need 50,000 new clerks just to issue travel passes for two million people within a reasonable period of time and in a routine manner," said the diplomat. [read more]
by Uri Avnery
The topic of war crimes is now firmly fixed on the national and military agenda, and cannot be removed anymore..
This week there was a public outcry about the death of Nidal Abu-Muhsein in Tubas village on the West Bank. The 19 years old youngster was taken from his home by the soldiers who had come to the village in order to arrest (or kill) his neighbor, the Hamas activist Nasser Jerar. Nidal was compelled to approach Nasser's door and call on him to come out. Nasser, who must have been waiting for the soldiers, opened fire and killed him. Then a bulldozer was called in and to destroy the house, burying Nasser alive under its ruins.
The use of a local resident as a "human shield" is a war crime. That was confirmed, on live television, by a senior reserve officer, the former president of the highest military court. The Fourth Geneva Convention expressly forbids the use of "protected persons" (as the convention calls inhabitants of an occupied territory) for such purpose. This practice, like the practice of compelling Palestinian neighbors to tour buildings suspected of being booby-trapped, is similar to the killing of hostages in retaliation for resistance actions. [read more]
Some lives are cheaper than others
By Gideon Levy
Which is preferable - "pressure cooker" or "neighbor procedure"? Is it better to detonate a building with the occupants inside - a practice known in the Israel Defense Forces as "pressure cooker" - or to send one of the local neighbors to defend the soldiers bodily, the "neighbor procedure" in IDF argot.
In the moral deterioration of the IDF in the territories, which has been greatly accelerated in the past few weeks, the choices that are made by the army's commanding officers are often described as an alternative between two controversial actions, in which the non-use of one automatically validates the other, and both of them together are automatically justified within the framework of the war on terrorism in which just about everything now goes.
Thus it was that the IDF tried, at week's end, to justify the appalling use that soldiers made of an innocent neighbor, 19-year-old Nidal Abu Muhsein, who was equipped with a protective vest and sent to his death by soldiers who were engaged in a manhunt for a wanted individual, Nasser Jerar, in the village of Tubas, near Jenin. The other choice the soldiers had, according to the IDF, was to resort to the "pressure cooker" tactic. In fact, in this case the IDF did not balk at using that method as well: after the "neighbor procedure" failed, the army buried the disabled Jerar alive - he lost both legs and an arm a year ago - under the ruins of the building, which IDF bulldozers brought down without knowing whether there was anyone else inside. This act drew no response from anyone in Israel. [read more]
Is American Samizdat one of your favorite political blogs? Do you want to help stop Ann Coulter from co-opting the term 'samizdat' for her neocon allies? Then click here to vote for American Samizdat to be included among Eric Alterman's blog links. Thank you for your support!
we should take each & every opportunity...
to make our voices heard and our opinions count.
Received in our email this afternoon,
please sign the petition and tell your friends, co-workers,
family members, and make some difference,
"No War on Iraq"
Coca-Cola Accused of Using Death Squads to Target Union Leaders - Colombia Report
Ever hear of Frank Olsen? He was a CIA scientist who supposedly killed himself after being secretly dosed with LSD during a MK-ULTRA brainwash experiment in the 50's. For decades, the CIA denied involvement in his suicide (murder). His family eventually recieved 750,000 to settle their claims with the government.
New documents reveal that Cheney and Rumsfeld were both involved with the cover-up:
Cheney and Rumsfeld were given the task of covering up the details of Frank Olson’s death. At the time, Rumsfeld was White House Chief of Staff to President Gerald Ford. Dick Cheney was a senior White House assistant.
. . . Cheney acknowledges that “the Olson lawyers will seek to explore all the circumstances of Dr Olson’s employment, as well as those concerning his death. In any trial, it may become apparent that we are concealing evidence for national security reasons and any settlement or judgement reached thereafter could be perceived as money paid to cover up the activities of the CIA”.
Towards a Sustainable Internet? What are the Costs of Blogging?
The WWF has just recently released what amounts to a free book (in .pdf) investigating all the relevant data on how the development of a global ICT network -- what we're involved in here (i.e. blogosphere) -- is affecting the campaign for a planet free from oppression and the various pathologies resulting from unsustainable production / consumption cycles.
This book from the WWF hopes to present the hard facts as best they can in the hope that the debate around ICT (which is here to stay regardless) and the future of the planet (which may not be) can be moved beyond the polarized factions of love and hate to the level of an informed discussion amongst the civilian population and enlightened policy formation. Of course, for this to be possible in a world of transnational capitalism, it means pressure on the companies, organizations and states that are in charge of the industry. Thus, the WWF has also put together this list (.pdf) of the 50 key players who can influence the future in this regard.
Index page for IAEA Iraq inspection reports
Cordesman describes CBRN scenario
The issue of disease in Bagdad - Declassified DIA document
Commercial satellites track suspected WMD facilities
Annan pressures Iraq on 600 Kuwaitis missing in war
Phyllis Bennis interview - Bombing Bagdad would be comparable to bombing LA
Blix: Invasion Talk Won't Get Inspectors Into Iraq
Directed-Energy Weapons (high-power microwave (HPM) technology) : Possible U.S. Use Against Iraq Could Threaten International Regimes
RFE/RL Iraq Report
Winds of Change Iraq Roundup - Bonus: Millenium Challenge 2002 replay and a Report from Sudan
"Repeatedly, Rumsfeld made clear that US interests coincided with Iraq's in the war. He wrote in his own note to Shultz, "I said I thoght we had areas of common interest, particularly the security and stability in the Gulf, which had been jeopardized as a result of the Iranian revolution. I added that the US had no interest in an Iranian victory; to the contrary. We would not want Iran's influence expanded at the expense of Iraq. As with all sovereign nations, we respect Iraq's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity."
Rumseld has really managed to re-invent himself. Though the prize must go to John Ashcroft on that score.
Tuesday, August 20, 2002.
Turn Yourself In and Get It Over With
Our governmental vigilance against hidden sources of potential terrorism is, as you know, expanding rapidly. It quite naturally includes the deepest suspicion directed toward those of you so dangerously misguided as to foolishly disagree with any of our activities. The thought of the United States of America continuing to tolerate so-called normal citizens who insist on harboring hurtful negative attitudes toward those holding the reins of power is clearly unacceptable. Such disagreement is shockingly counterproductive to a beleaguered government trying to rid itself of a few dangerous enemies while simultaneously taking over as much of the world's resources as possible. Because if you think this is easy to pull off without too many people noticing, you can think again.
The anthrax killer - thoughts from a linguist who helped catch the Unabomber
"Controversially, Prof Foster says the killer is likely to be highly patriotic individual who wanted to demonstrate that the US was badly prepared for an act of biological terrorism."
Was Millenium Challenge 2002 Rigged?
What do we do about our ex-generals who come up with unconventional tactics that might actually win?
Yahoo fires janitor who tried to organize a union: "Janitors take pride in keeping Yahoo's offices clean. Unfortunately, their employer, Team Services, does not take the same pride in its business practices. Team pays janitors poverty wages, fails to provide affordable family health insurance, and harasses workers when they try to organize a union to improve their conditions. Now, Team management has gone one step further by firing one of their workers for being an activist! Team Services put an end to Ricardo Olguin's dream of winning better wages and affordable family health coverage by giving him the boot for visiting co-workers in co-workers homes as part of the Justice for Janitors campaign. Imagine if you were fired for talking with your friends! Well, federal law protects Ricardo's and his co-worker's right to organize free from harassment and intimidation. BY FIRING RICARDO, TEAM SERVICES IS BREAKING THE LAW!"
THE WAR IN CONTEXT:: Alternative perspectives on the "war on terrorism"
is an excellent source for news -- Relton (le blogeur)
Seven Days Would Be Too Long: Free Saad Eddin Ibrahim
I have a question for the Egyptian Government and especially for President Mubarak. Does Egypt really need to have a man like Saad Eddin Ibrahim behind bars?
Iraqi Opposition Group Occupies Berlin Embassy: "This is a message to Gerhard Schroeder as much as for Saddam. The Iraqis are disappointed with Germany's stance vis-a-vis an attack to remove Saddam."
Is Schroder going to invade America for funding terrorist groups?
America support terror? What? You must be a conspiracy theorist, or maybe even a terrorist yourself!
The moral cowardice of the Australian government:
The Australian government wants to attack Iraq preemptively because the Iraqis won’t allow the UN to inspect their weapons facilities. Meanwhile, the government opposes the UN protocol on torture because it doesn’t want the UN to inspect its prison facilities.
This was posted below by Jason of New World Order. And this I happened to read 10 minutes earlier.
Mind you, the fact that a woman is going to be put to death by stoning for having a child by a man not her husband is deplorable, especially considering the fact that probably 90% of the men in that courtroom shouting "Allahu Akbar" are guilty of either having relations outside of their marriages, rape, or severe cruelty to women.
But now, what I would like for you to do, is try and see a connection here. Remember when Laura Bush came out with her support for the poor oppressed women of Afghanistan? A month or so after we started slamming that country with bombs, she piped up about RAWA, and how sad it was that women were so badly treated...yadda yadda yadda. Well, here's the absolute perfect opportunity for the slimy, sneaky administration (oops, i mean ChevronTexaco) to get what they want in Nigeria now.
Let's say it's all about the women, it's all about oppression. It's all about us sticking up for this woman and the lives of all women everywhere, when in reality, it's not about that AT ALL. In reality, it's about oil, my friends. Once again, it's all about the oil. Chevron and oil. Bush and Bush, Cheney and all the other lying sneaky bastards who talk out of both sides of their mouths, telling you one thing, how good they are, how concerned they are, when they're lying, lying lying.
Monday, August 19, 2002.
Chevron getting pissed off at Nigerians who keep seizing oil platforms/demanding jobs and development assistance: "Chevron's reaction to this latest incident is a clear measure of their deep frustration. It says these protesters are not entitled to support as they are not from a recognised host community."
Amazon Indians lose appeal of Texaco (now ChevronTexaco Corp.) case ruling: "The plaintiffs alleged that a Texaco subsidiary dumped an estimated 30 billion gallons of toxic waste into their environment while extracting oil from the Ecuadorean Amazon between 1964 and 1992. They alleged that instead of pumping the substances back into emptied wells, the Texaco subsidiary dumped them in local rivers, directly into landfills or spread them on the local dirt roads. They also alleged that the Ecuadorean Pipeline, constructed by Texaco, leaked large amounts of petroleum into the environment. The Indians alleged that they and their families suffered various injuries, including poisoning and development of pre-cancerous growths."
Sunday, August 18, 2002.
(special preview to a new look for mister pants . . . will disappear soon, shhhh . . . )
Scott Ganz, warblogger, in the comments section at Warblogger Watch:
Why exactly do you people keep Menlo around? All he does is link external content. Whatever one might say about the rest of your writings, they at least required thought.No comment.
Skinhead Markings... 01 | 02. "...Tattoos depicting scenes from Norse mythology on a neo-nazi skinhead, early 90s." From South-Africa Political Photographs at Raath.org. "...Photographs taken between 1988 and 1993 at political gatherings in Pretoria, South Africa, reflecting the ultra-nationalist zeitgeist."
An Open Letter to Americans from a Canadian. Eww, that smarts!
Go get your ten- billionth burger, America. Fatten your already fat asses with bacteria-and- hormone-ridden meat and do nothing as you sit stupefied before your mind- numbing television sets awaiting the next episode of sad families being humiliated on "Cops."...You have become a nation of monsters, America. Hypocrites. Murderers. Fools.
Saturday, August 17, 2002.
The Nation presents: No Rush to War, a resource guide for those who don't believe that peace equals war.
a parade of empty suits...
men of mean & petty ambitions,
without concern for anything but personal gain,
gwb a perfect example of one of these,
and those staffing his administration
all fawning sycophants goosestepping their way to war...
from the NYT, The Waco Road to Baghdad
Friday, August 16, 2002.
Because Bush and friends would get indicted, that's why
Senator asks, why no Enron prosecutions
Bush is "intellectually backward", UK politician
Bush blasted by UK politician and can not count on any support from the Labour Party for an Iraq war. Way to go George, I never thought a U.S. President could be ignorant enough to piss off the Brits, but you've managed to do it. Give you another six months and the U.S. will have no credibility left.
Indonesia's former finance minister says IMF policies are "generic trash": "They pushed the Indonesian government to increase the oil price, which ended up in a major riot in Jakarta in which hundreds of people were killed and thousands of buildings were destroyed."
Nigerians Take Over Oil Platform: "The takeover was believed a continuation of pressure by local Nigerians for more jobs and oil-company financing for better living conditions."
Thursday, August 15, 2002.
Tom Tomorrow is working with Michael Moore on an animated movie.
Also, I picked up this interesting tidbit from the Well with, unfortunately, no source attached: " . . . the reason Moore will be able to publish a book on the 2004 election in 2003 is that he had a 'deep throat' contact in the Bush camp and already knows how they'll rig the next election -- no more clumsy wipe-outs of 50,000 black Florida voters from the voter roles as 'felons' (followed by a news blackout by all major American media -- though not all British, for instance), no more ugly judicial coup d'etat. No, they've got something much simpler & more fool proof in mind this time, and Moore has the scoop!"
I was unpleasantly surprised tonite to see Bartcop rail so vociferously against Moore. Perhaps Bartcop has not seen this: Poll Analysis: Nader not responsible for Gore's loss, via Eliot Gelwan, the Indispensable.
But who will Bartcop the Bartcop? . . .
Blaming of the Shrew, by Richard Cohen
May I say something about Ann Coulter? She is a half-wit, a termagant, a dimwit, a blowhard, a worthless silicone nothing, physically ugly and could be likened to Eva Braun. As it happens, these are all descriptions or characterizations Coulter uses for others in her book, "Slander." It ought to be called "Mirror." [more]
Free Culture - Lawrence Lessig
30-min. Flash slideshow - The current state of intellectual property and its ramifications on creativity and culture.
Artificial Vision Research - Wired
Technology that lets the blind see again.
Clandestine Radio - A World Guide
"Clandestine radio is a field encompassing journalism, diplomacy, and war. Created to disseminate propaganda, clandestine radio has played a major role in every conflict around the world. ClandestineRadio.com keeps the pulse on these fascinating radio stations and the groups who sponsor them."
Shortwave Radio Listening Resource Center
kimwalks.org - A Welfare Reform Blog
Dayton, Ohio blogger Kim Denmark has vowed to walk around the nation seeking support for those who have fallen victim to the nation's "failed" welfare system.
The UN from Qana to Jenin
Why the Secretary General's Report Cannot Be Trusted
by Ran HaCohen
So an evidence of an Israeli soldier clearly affirms allegations of human rights organisations and refute the claims of the Israeli Government. The report presented by Kofi Annan is unreasonably biased in favour of Israel, at least on this crucial point. Why? To understand that, we'll have to go six years back in time. It's an obvious link; strange that nobody seems to remember it. Amazing how quickly things are forgotten when they contradict our mental set.
The Massacre of Qana [read more]
Offensive, Murderous and Righteous
Sharon Must be the Right Man for the Job
Clearly, seen through Israeli eyes, Sharon is the right man for the job. He is the embodiment of everything Israel is about. He is offensive, murderous and righteous. Sharon has proved once again that he acts as a self-sufficient Iron Wall. The only real question remaining is whether we want to live in a world in which Israel, a criminally offensive state, is accepted amongst nations. [read more]
Terror trial may put Israel in the dock
Palestinian legislator, Fatah leader, friend of peaceniks, Marwan Barghouti stands indicted for 26 deaths
Handcuffed and in a brown prison uniform, but looking energetic and in high spirits, Israel's most famous Palestinian detainee, Marwan Barghouti, made his first public appearance yesterday since he was arrested near Ramallah in April.
Cameras, reporters, and security men scrummed around in the small courtroom before the judge entered as Mr Barghouti shouted that the uprising would be successful. [read more]
Wednesday, August 14, 2002.
War Against the Constitution
Tom Tomorrow is pissed — as we all should be.
Further proof that the Constitution of the United States of America is officially an anachronism
An American touted by Attorney General John Ashcroft as a significant terrorism figure with plans to detonate a radioactive bomb is probably a "small fish" with no ties to al-Qaida cell members in the United States, law enforcement officials said.
The FBI's investigation has produced no evidence that the man, Jose Padilla, 31, who used the name Abdullah al Muhajir after converting to Islam in 1992 or 1993, had begun preparations for an attack and little reason to believe that he had any support from al-Qaida to direct such a plot, one of the officials said on condition of anonymity.
Okay, I'm a little pissed off this morning.
Do you get it yet? Do you begin to understand the implications here, when an American citizen can be arbitrarily declared a terrorist, held indefinitely as enemy combatant--with no evidence to support the charges? [read more]
Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision
Attorney general shows himself as a menace to liberty.
Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft's announced desire for camps for U.S. citizens he deems to be "enemy combatants" has moved him from merely being a political embarrassment to being a constitutional menace.
Ashcroft's plan, disclosed last week but little publicized, would allow him to order the indefinite incarceration of U.S. citizens and summarily strip them of their constitutional rights and access to the courts by declaring them enemy combatants. [read more]
thanks to This Modern World
Looking for a Naomi Klein interview in Index, I noticed their entire archive of interviews is now online, including Howard Zinn and Brian Eno interviews that I liked quite a bit in print. Here's the Naomi Klein quote I was looking for:
"About 8 months after No Logo came out, Radiohead released Kid A. In their interviews, a few of the band members casually mentioned that they had read No Logo while they were producing the album, and that it had influenced the way they had released it. They sort of de-branded themselves, playing their British tour in a big blue unmarked tent without any sponsorship. It became a big story, particularly in Britain because the press there hangs on Thom Yorke's every word. So all of a sudden, a constituency was reading my book that probably never would have otherwise. And I started getting hundreds of letters from teenage Radiohead fans all over the world, asking how they could get involved in globalization activism. The experience made me realize how contagious optimism is. It also showed me the power of leadership through storytelling, as opposed to evangelizing."
Tuesday, August 13, 2002.
Kissinger may be a dirtbag, but he has some good points on why Bush should be cautious about invading Iraq:
The biggest danger, though, lay in allowing other countries to use America’s intervention to justify their own acts of pre-emptive hostility, he said. “It is not in the American national interest to establish pre-emption as a universal principle available to every nation.”
Potentially the most “fateful reaction”, he said, would be if India used the example of US military action in Iraq to attack Pakistan.
Bush's Conspiracy to Riot
After the Miami “Brooks Brothers Riot” – named after the protesters’ preppie clothing – no government action was taken beyond the police rescuing several Democrats who were surrounded and roughed up by the rioters. While no legal charges were filed against the Republicans, newly released documents show that at least a half dozen of the publicly identified rioters were paid by Bush’s recount committee. [more]
Bush and his handlers have organized an economic forum likely to attract the coveteous awe of dictators and tryants from all over the globe. Like a crowd of peasants bussed in from the countryside and paid to applaud on cue, the Bush administration has hand picked a list of forum attendees carefully designed to look like a cross-section of the American population. They will listen to speakers and spinmeisters from the administration and business and, well, applaud on cue. The purpose of the "forum" has very little to do with making or affecting policy and everything to do with creating the illusion of taking proactive control of an economy spinning hopelessly out of control. No one critical of Bush economic policy and not a single Democrat from either the Senate or the House have been invited to the forum.
Paul Krugman, in a New York Times opinion piece, illustrates just how out of touch the administration is with its selection of John T. Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems, as one of the speakers from the business community.
Clueless in Crawford by Paul Krugman
Today, in its Waco economic forum, the Bush administration will try to convince the country that everything is under control — that the economy is mending, that "shady" business practices are no longer a problem. To that end a carefully chosen audience will listen to speeches by administration officials and selected models of corporate probity. Among the speakers announced last week was John T. Chambers, C.E.O. of Cisco Systems.
As Krugman points out, Cisco was tagged in its heyday by Barron's as the "New Economy Creative Accounting Exemplar" and Chambers himself was recently listed by Fortune, as one of the 25 greediest CEOs in American business. Does that sound like the kind of guy to help lead us out of the current economic quagmire? It does to Bush. (Applaud on cue.)
The Fortune report -- The Greedy Bunch: You bought. They sold.
10 Years After the Coup in Russia
"They ordered tanks and troops into the capital. They isolated Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at his seaside villa and reportedly confiscated the key to the country's awe-inspiring nuclear arsenal. They laid the groundwork for ousting Gorbachev and reversing his liberal policies. What the 1991 coup plotters did not have was a clear plan of action, a set chain of command and the resolve to crush the spontaneous protests by tens of thousands of Muscovites." Lots of essays from The Moscow Times.
The Renewed Israeli Occupation
2 million Palestinians under curfew for 53 days!
A Phone Call from Hell
by Uri Avnery
On January 9 we convened a conference on war crimes in a big hall in Tel-Aviv. Several professors of international law and two senior (retired) army officers were on the panel. One of the speakers was a war hero, air force Colonel Yig'al Shohat, who had been shot down over Egypt and lost a leg. In a voice trembling with emotion, he called upon his comrades, the combat pilots, to refuse to obey illegal orders, such as bombarding civilian neighborhoods.
All the TV and radio stations and the two major newspapers ignored the conference, to which they were invited. It was clear that all of the enlisted media had decided to suppress the issue of war crimes.
That became quite clear when we submitted to Kol Israel, the state-run radio network, a paid ad, informing soldiers about their duty to refuse "manifestly illegal orders" - literally repeating the wording of the judgment of the military court following the Kafr Kassem massacre of 1956. Kol Israel refused to broadcast it. We asked the Supreme Court to order the Broadcasting Authority to air the ad, but the court decided that it was unable to do so.
So we decided to take direct action. We distributed among the soldiers a pocket manual, setting out the prohibitions of the Geneva Convention, which was signed by Israel. Among them: Executions without trial (called "liquidations"), shooting of unarmed civilians, torture, prevention of medical treatment, killing the wounded (called "verification of death"), starvation, deportation. [read more]
What is a war crime?