Tonight's TestingTesting with Gideon Freudman is over. It was a great show. If you missed it, I will have the archive up Saturday night. More later. My computer is back home now and I'm connected with the world again. I feel much better now.
I will be moving my computer over to Robbie and Marni's for tonight's TestingTesting with Gideon Freudmann. I will be webcasting his house concert starting around 7:30pm (pacific). See this post for more information about this amazing electric cello player. Scott Marrs will be arriving from Minneapolis this afternoon. We will be webcasting him Monday night. Scott, and his wife Janet, will be joining us at Gideon's house concert. It's going to be a busy day. Click on in and enjoy the show. I'll see you tomorrow.
"Gideon is sharp, witty, prolific, talented...a cross between Woody Allen, Frank Zappa, and a touch of Peter Schickele."
Krugman is harsh — really harsh. He nails it. A must read.
George W. Queeg
Aboard the U.S.S. Caine, it was the business with the strawberries that finally convinced the doubters that something was amiss with the captain. Is foreign policy George W. Bush's quart of strawberries?
Over the past few weeks there has been an epidemic of epiphanies. There's a long list of pundits who previously supported Bush's policy on Iraq but have publicly changed their minds. None of them quarrel with the goal; who wouldn't want to see Saddam Hussein overthrown? But they are finally realizing that Mr. Bush is the wrong man to do the job. And more people than you would think — including a fair number of people in the Treasury Department, the State Department and, yes, the Pentagon — don't just question the competence of Mr. Bush and his inner circle; they believe that America's leadership has lost touch with reality.
If that sounds harsh, consider the debacle of recent diplomacy — a debacle brought on by awesome arrogance and a vastly inflated sense of self-importance.
Mr. Bush's inner circle seems amazed that the tactics that work so well on journalists and Democrats don't work on the rest of the world. They've made promises, oblivious to the fact that most countries don't trust their word. They've made threats. They've done the aura-of-inevitability thing — how many times now have administration officials claimed to have lined up the necessary votes in the Security Council? They've warned other countries that if they oppose America's will they are objectively pro-terrorist. Yet still the world balks.
Adminstration Considering Possibility of No U.N. Vote
The Bush administration, which had been pressing for a Security Council decision by Friday on a new resolution about Iraq, said today that the issue would not come to a formal vote until Monday, if at all.
The Pentagon has threatened to fire on the satellite uplink positions of independent journalists in Iraq, according to veteran BBC war correspondent, Kate Adie. In an interview with Irish radio, Ms. Adie said that questioned about the consequences of such potentially fatal actions, a senior Pentagon officer had said: "Who cares.. ..They've been warned."
thanks to follow me here...
The glorious Bush program: sign me up!
OK, sign me up for the Bush program. I'm aboard. Who else can we insult, offend, bribe, blackmail, threaten, intimidate, wiretap or otherwise infuriate?
thanks to Speckled paint
As expected, the Senate passed the ban of so-called Late-Term Abortions, sans an exception for the health of the mother, by a 64-33 vote.
Now if this quote from Bush doesn't scare everyone who cares about Choice, then nothing ever will:
"Partial-birth abortion is an abhorrent procedure that offends human dignity, and I commend the Senate for passing legislation to ban it," Bush said in a prepared statement. "Today's action is an important step toward building a culture of life in America."
Note Bush's choice of words: "an important step". All those who decry "slippery slope" arguments, that the ban on this rare procedure doesn't mean Bush and GOP will ban all abortions, need only read those words once again:
Today's action is an important step toward building a culture of life in America.
Welcome to DogsPlayingPoker.org, one of (if not the) biggest resource for all things with dogs playing poker. There are pictures of most of the paintings, information about the artist, cheap ripoffs of the works, and lots of other stuff.
thanks to Speckled paint
And wasn't that what Fred Rogers was trying to teach us: that emotionally unhealthy children become emotionally unhealthy adults? For more than 30 years, these were the messages of PBS's "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood": Respect your children, nurture their self-esteem, listen to their fears and concerns, play with them. "We all long to be lovable and capable of loving," Rogers told a CNN interviewer in 1999, and that applies to Mr. Jackson, too. Watching "Living With Michael Jackson," you didn't have to be a therapist to understand that Mr. Jackson's perceived eccentricities — his fetishization of childhood, his fascination with toys and theme parks, his magical single fatherhood — are self-medicating attempts to give himself the boyhood he never had.
With few exceptions, plants grow and change on a time scale that is too slow for us to observe in real time. Time-lapse photography is a simple technique that allows us to see the movements of plants and clearly demonstrates that plants are living and capable of some extraordinary things. This is done by capturing a series of images at intervals ranging from minutes to hours apart. The images can then be viewed in rapid succession, much like a flip book. The effect is to compress into a short period, the changes that occurred over a relatively long period of time.
thanks to Spitting Image
Climate change was largely to blame for the collapse of the Mayan civilisation in Central America more than 1,000 years ago, research suggests.
thanks to dublog
you mean that corporations don't pay their fair share? say it isn't so!
Tax havens: Are you with us or against us?
Galvanized by this growing army for peace, many of the leaders of the antiwar movement are now searching for ways to build on the renewed commitment to dissent and direct the newly mobilized energy toward protesting the president's equally misguided policies here at home.
And no issue is more emblematic of this administration's perverted domestic priorities than its scandalous refusal, in a time of soaring deficits, to stop corporations and wealthy individuals from cheating the public out of billions of dollars every year by either reincorporating offshore or simply hiding their profits in offshore subsidiaries. While our young men and women are ready to lay down their lives on the sands of Iraq, these companies are allowed to avoid paying their fair share by hightailing it to the sands of Bermuda.
Psychedelic Art In Vancouver, BC
thanks to gmtPlus9
On behalf of Canadians everywhere I'd like to offer an apology to the United States of America. We haven't been getting along very well recently and for that, I am truly sorry.
I'm sorry we called George Bush a moron. He is a moron but, it wasn't nice of us to point it out. If it's any consolation, the fact that he's a moron shouldn't reflect poorly on the people of America. After all it's not like you actually elected him.
I'm sorry about our softwood lumber. Just because we have more trees than you doesn't give us the right to sell you lumber that's cheaper and better than your own.
I'm sorry we beat you in Olympic hockey. In our defense I guess our excuse would be that our team was much, much, much, much better than yours.
I'm sorry we burnt down your white house during the war of 1812. I notice you've rebuilt it! It's Very Nice.
I'm sorry about your beer. I know we had nothing to do with your beer but, we Feel your Pain.
I'm sorry about our waffling on Iraq. I mean, when you're going up against a crazed dictator, you wanna have your friends by your side. I realize it took more than two years before you guys pitched in against Hitler, but that was different. Everyone knew he had weapons.
And finally on behalf of all Canadians, I'm sorry that we're constantly apologizing for things in a passive-aggressive way which is really a thinly veiled criticism. I sincerely hope that you're not upset over this.
We've seen what you do to countries you get upset with.
Reiko Watanabe (15 at the time) was doing fire prevention work under the Student Mobilization Order, at a place 500 meters from the hypocenter. Her lunch box was found by school authorities under a fallen mud wall. Its contents of boiled peas and rice, a rare feast at the time, were completely carbonized. Her body was not found.
thanks to maux
Turks Add A Hurdle To U.S. War Plans
Hardening their position, Turkey's leaders insist they need further assurances about postwar Iraq before they allow U.S. troops to deploy along the border for an attack. In a new complication, they also are refusing to let the Pentagon use Turkish airspace without approval from parliament. (...)
Turkey's reluctance to grant the United States permission to use its airspace is particularly problematic for the Pentagon, which had counted on using scores of warplanes based at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey and on aircraft carriers in the eastern Mediterranean to hit Iraqi targets. Without the use of Turkish airspace, Pentagon officials would have to consider using the more provocative route of flying over Israel and Jordan.
In addition, U.S. military planners had hoped to fly troops directly into northern Iraq as a back-up plan if Turkey refused to let the Army's 4th Infantry Division cross the Iraqi border. Dozens of U.S. ships carrying the division's tanks and heavy equipment have been waiting in Turkish waters for permission to begin unloading.
thanks to daily KOS
Bombs and Blood
They seemed like very nice people, the men and women, some with children, who dropped by to see the Liberty Bell, which is housed in a one-story shedlike pavilion with large windows in the roof.
My mind wandering, I imagined the visitors as casualties of war. I glanced up at the sunlight streaming through the roof and could visualize an incoming warhead, a missile that perhaps had strayed off course and was heading toward us. It wasn't hard to imagine the damage. The pavilion and everyone in it would be obliterated.
Fierce winds swept across desert camps near the Iraqi border Wednesday, enveloping soldiers in blinding clouds of sand and rattling tents like a drumroll.
And weatherwise, the worst is yet to come.
thanks to Drudge Report
For Army, Fears of Postwar Strife
The U.S. Army is bracing both for war in Iraq and a postwar occupation that could tie up two to three Army divisions in an open-ended mission that would strain the all-volunteer force and put soldiers in the midst of warring ethnic and religious factions, Army officers and other senior defense officials say.
While the officers believe a decade of peacekeeping operations in Haiti, Somalia, the Balkans and now Afghanistan makes the Army uniquely qualified for the job, they fear that bringing democracy and stability to Iraq may be an impossible task.
thanks to Tapped
Just the Beginning
For months Americans have been told that the United States is going to war against Iraq in order to disarm Saddam Hussein, remove him from power, eliminate Iraq's alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, and prevent Baghdad from blackmailing its neighbors or aiding terrorist groups. But the Bush administration's hawks, especially the neoconservatives who provide the driving force for war, see the conflict with Iraq as much more than that. It is a signal event, designed to create cataclysmic shock waves throughout the region and around the world, ushering in a new era of American imperial power. It is also likely to bring the United States into conflict with several states in the Middle East. Those who think that U.S. armed forces can complete a tidy war in Iraq, without the battle spreading beyond Iraq's borders, are likely to be mistaken.
Mike Golby is on a roll...
When the United States finally goes to war again in the Persian Gulf, it will not constitute a settling of old scores, or just an enforced disarmament of illegal weapons, or a distraction in the war on terror. Our next war in the Gulf will mark a historical tipping point-the moment when Washington takes real ownership of strategic security in the age of globalization.
Now that the latest scourge of all that is fine, decent, and upstanding has crawled out from under its rock to sell war to the masses, what is the American left going to do to rein in the sick and depraved bastards running the U.S. and the globe into a black hole the size of George W. Bush's hollow skull? Huh? Of all the low-down, cheap-jack, bottom-feeding scum suckers I've read touting wall-to-wall war for couch potatoes and the Bush administration, 'Professor' Thomas P.M. 'Pom-Pom' Barnett takes the cake.
As you gaze across these beautiful, rolling hills clothed in diaphanous greens, this monstrosity snakes across the landscape, a 500m wide wound which has slashed Palestine to the bone, standing stark and livid, bisecting the naturally unified landscape. It cuts off a family from its members, farmers from the land, neighbour from neighbour and village from village. So not only is 10% of the country’s fertile land lost, but much, much more cannot be reached by its rightful owners – condemning the farmers to a lifetime of poverty, with the land they have tilled for thousands of years within sight of their homes, and untouchable.
Our Governments are not only allowing this to happen – they are paying the astronomical cost of this madness. I knew the statistics of the wall, but to actually touch it and photograph it - that really is something else. A 300 mile-plus wall to keep out an occasional heroic act for freedom? No, this wall is designed to make life here, already intolerable, even more so, in the belief that the remaining Palestinians will be forced through hunger and poverty to leave. The insanity of it is mind-blowing.
I look on this insane manifestation of Israel’s hatred of Palestinians, their collective delusional paranoia that they ‘will all be killed’, and their insatiable greed for Palestinian land. As I stand in the shadow of this preposterous edifice, whose concrete base is taller than I am, a scream arises in the depths of my being; a scream so big that it consumes me completely, so that there is no room for breath and my heart is bursting - a scream that I want to be heard in London and Washington and New York. But it cannot escape for it is too big for my throat. And I weep bitter tears for the loss of the life of Palestine.
This site brought back some intense memories. I was 12 years old when my family moved to Japan in early 1957. My dad was an Air Force transport pilot stationed in a town on the outskirts of Tokyo — Tachikawa. We lived in a Japanese house for the first 18 months. Talk about sensory overload. There was a shopping street about four blocks from where we lived. It was wonderful walking up and down that street looking in the shop windows, or doors, at this wild profusion of really wonderful, strange stuff. One of the shops was a basket maker's shop. I loved the beautiful shapes and patterns made from bamboo. Such a simple material — such wonderful baskets.
Tachikawa was an easy bicycle ride from the countryside. My dad, and two of my younger brothers, would go on rides though villages with the old thatched roof houses. Of course we would stop for a lemon cider while my dad had a beer. (I think it was a lemon cider. The bottle had reusable tops consisting of a glass ball secured by a wire contraption. I remember it was so carbonated that a good shake would evacuate about half the contents of the bottle. That made for some good cider fights.) It was those old thatched roof houses that awakened my interest in Architecture and sent me to the College of Architecture at the U of W, in Seattle, for two years — until I wandered off to Urban Planning in a fit of youthful megalomania, but that's another story.
This site has pictures of bamboo baskets and the countryside.
thanks to plep
Rush, Newspeak and Fascism, Part 11
Recipes of the Damned
Fruit Cocktail-SPAM Buffet Party Loaf
thanks to Speckled paint
Saigon Poster Art is a growing collection of pictures of hand painted posters found displayed all over Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. My collection is very much in the early stages, I have been to Saigon only once, but with some luck, through subsequent trips it will grow.
thanks to Coudal Partners
Here are new additions for the blogroll: Altercation, CalPundit, daily KOS, Geisha asobi blog, gmtPlus9, Jeneane Sessum, Justin's Links, New World Disorder, Ramallah Online, and Speckled Paint.
07:59 AM - link
07:59 AM - link
help sean-paul get out of the house
I hate to do this. Moreover, I hate to beg. But, as many of you know, late last week I learned that my grant from the University for the Silk Road project had been cancelled. It has been a hard blow to take. I have pinched every extra penny I possibly could over the last several months. My fiancee even agreed to push our honeymoon back for this trip. Now 50% of my funding has been revoked because of 'Federal and State funding problems.' Two people here in town have agreed to give me some money but I am still short.
If only 100 people were to donate $25 each it would allow me to go on the trip, do the research and write the book. It won't make up for the loss of the grant. But it will allow me to write the book I have always dreamed of writing. Furthermore, I will be blogging the entire trip. I will set up a site at www.agonist.org/silkroad for those interested.
I just sent Sean-Paul $35.00. Check out his The Silk Road Journal, A Weblog Of Central Asian Adventure, for his itinerary. He will be traveling though a part of the world we know little about. The US is becoming increasingly active in Central Asia and I'm very interested in what he will see. And he really does need to get out more often, so send him some money. The above post has details on how you can do that through the miracle of PayPal.
March is being very good to TestingTesting. TestingTesting is the music show that I webcast from my living room every other Monday night. Most of the special guests that we feature on TestingTesting are musicians that live here on Whidbey Island (still floating in Puget Sound). On occasion we get touring performers when they are in the area. We have three of those shows coming up that will be exceptional. So get your calenders out and mark them up.
This show will not be a regular TestingTesting and will not be on a Monday night. Robbie and Marni are having a house concert with Gideon and we will be webcasting it from their new house. Gideon is a cellist/composer from Massachusetts. He plays an electric cello with a digital sampler that lets him build up layers of sound (all done live).
" Gideon is sharp, witty, prolific, talented...a cross between Woody Allen, Frank Zappa, and a touch of Peter Schickele."
Gideon was on TestingTesting last August (the above picture is from that show). You can listen to his show on the TestingTesting archives. Robbie said that he thought there would be two sets at the house concert. It will be longer than a regular TestingTesting and the TestingTesting House Band will not be playing. If any local people would like to see it at Robbie and Marni's, email me and I will put you in touch with them. They are limited to 30 people and it's filling up fast.
Scott Marrs is a singer / songwriter from Minneapolis. Scott last played on TestingTesting over two years ago. You can still listen to his show on the TestingTesting archives. He is returning with a lot of new songs. He will be then going down to Portland to open for Cheryl Wheeler. We've been waiting a long time for his return and it will be worth the wait. It also looks like he may be back in September for a house concert at Robbie and Marni's.
"One of the best albums I've heard in Years!" --Christine Lavin
We are excited about this duo from Chicago. We've not heard them live yet but we love their recordings. You can check their music out at Small Potatoes.
The Chicago based folk duo of Jacquie Manning and Rich Prezioso say it has taken them years of careful indecision to develop a repetoire they describe as "celtic to cowboy" Superb musicianship and showmanship, award-winning songwriting, and a strong sense of tradition has made them, as Dirty Linen Magazine said, "one of the most polished, inventive, and entertaining shows on the circuit."
Some great shows, so click on in for some live music. And don't forget to check out the archive of the first show we had this month: Uncle Bruce, who came up from Eugene with his finger-picking style guitar. There is nothing like live music.
Washington was forced to admit for the first time last night that it might have to start the war against Iraq without British forces because of the internal political problems heaping up for Tony Blair.
I Vant to Be Alone
Just when you thought it couldn't get more Strangelovian, it does. The Bush bullies, having driven off all the other kids in the international schoolyard, are now resorting to imaginary friends.
Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense, spoke to the Veterans of Foreign Wars here yesterday and reassured the group that America would have "a formidable coalition" to attack Iraq. "The number of countries involved will be in the substantial double digits," he boasted. Unfortunately, he could not actually name one of the supposed allies. "Some of them would prefer not to be named now," he said coyly, "but they will be known with pride in due time."
Perhaps the hawks' fixation on being the messiahs of the Middle East has unhinged them. I could just picture Wolfy sauntering down the road to Baghdad with our new ally Harvey, his very own pooka, a six-foot-tall invisible rabbit that the U.S. wants to put on the U.N. Security Council.
Ari Fleischer upped the ante, conjuring up an entire international forum filled with imaginary allies.
Diplomatic deadlock in the international community over the prospect of a US-led war in Iraq today continued despite British attempts to attract more support with a revised resolution.
Could Al Gore really have done a better job getter France on board? Germany? This is how the question is being framed today. At least by some people I read and talk to. My friend Mickey Kaus says he doubts any more diplomatic finessing could have gotten the French on board.
I don't necessarily disagree with this point. But, frankly, I think it's beside the point. Or perhaps just misses the point.
The issue here isn't that France opposes us. That doesn't bother me particularly. The real point is that everyone opposes us. Everyone.
Washington only now is discovering that its efforts to override or divide opposition to what it wants on Iraq have created a coherent international opposition that before was not there. It has diminished rather than affirmed its old international leadership.
The Iraq crisis is no longer about stopping Iraq. It is about stopping the United States.
thanks to thoughts on the eve of the apocalypse
On February 19th, Michiko Kakutani reviewed Anthony Swofford's debut in the New York Times. "By turns profane and lyrical, swaggering and ruminative," she announced, Jarhead "is not only the most powerful memoir to emerge thus far from the last gulf war, but also a searing contribution to the literature of combat, a book that combines the black humor of Catch-22 with the savagery of Full Metal Jacket and the visceral detail of The Things They Carried."
An adjunct professor of humanities, Anthony Swofford teaches first-year students at Lewis & Clark College. He also happens to have been a soldier during the Gulf War in 1990-1991.
we need to make sure wonderchicken has a good supply of coffee
But to people not dependent on their politics or their nationality to define themselves, to someone for whom identity is not built on ideas and groups outside of him or herself, the words of Official America are at so far a remove from the realities that anger and disappointment are the only responses that seem rational. Anger that wrong is being portrayed as right, to the apparent unquestioning satisfaction of many who would fight evil if they recognized it. Disappointment because America, the great power of our world, could do so much good, and instead has been locked into a path that will bear bitter fruit for everyone for as far as the mind can see into the cratered, smoke-shrouded wasteland of the future.
I love Americans, many of them. I hate America because through those who lead that powerful nation, it seems to be hellbent on making a world that is worse in every way that's important for most of the people in it. And I feel this way not because I am Canadian, or 'lefty', or religious, or anything else other than who I am. I hate America because I want so desperately to love it.
Who Will Win
thanks to Riley Dog
just where the fuck is this money supposed to come from?
The American government is on the verge of awarding construction contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild Iraq once Saddam Hussein is deposed.
"Why should Britain have to share the blood in a war but British companies not be allowed to share in the economic upturn afterwards," said Richard O'Brien, a spokesman for Amicus, Britain's largest manufacturing union.
An unseemly row over the spoils even before war has been fought is the last thing the Bush administration needs as it desperately seeks votes for a second resolution in the UN security council. But the US has only itself to blame for the clumsy way it has handled this particular aspect of reconstruction.
The war hasn't even started and they are fighting over the spoils. How tacky can you get? Just wait.
chinese advertising posters
At the turn of the 20th century in China, following the Opium Wars, foreign merchants and entrepreneurs set up economic bases in Shanghai. To promote their Western products, they began to print calendar posters to give to their customers. The Chinese had never before been exposed to the Western concept of advertising poster art, so the merchants modified the content of their posters to better suit the tastes and sensibilities of the local market. No matter what a poster was intended to sell, its most important feature was the watercolour reproduction of the lady who graced it. Although some were mere figments of imagination, most of these calendar girls were famous heroines, ladies from history, popular singers, models, and actresses of the day. These beautifully executed images carried the posters and the goods they were selling to the far corners of China and overseas.
thanks to gmtPlus9
So many lies have been spread by the Administration and their minions that it is hard to keep track. I suppose that’s part of their strategy. Overwhelm the opposition and the public with so much misinformation that the truth will never be clear. They can then press forward in an ambiguous cloud of fear and “what if?” scenarios. Thus, we should take pains to document the trail of deceit. As our part, we have created this list, sort of a handy tip-sheet to refute the arguments of the tin-pot, would-be murderers who insist on seizing Iraqi oil in exchange for the blood of our military men and women and the Iraqi citizenry..
thanks to thoughts on the eve of the apocalypse
thanks to Spitting Image
This is a site you that you can visit often to see what notable people have died recently or what notable deaths have occurred during the last week. Many of the names you'll know and others you won't, but all have made a mark in the world, either through what they contributed or how they passed.
thanks to consumptive.org
18th and 19th century shopping
This exhibition of the ephemera of trade in the British Isles from 1654 to the 1860s draws primarily on the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera in the Bodleian Library. Trade cards and bill headings, in spite their small format, contain a wealth of information both in their textual and iconographic content.
De la Rue’s Stationery Stand and Envelope Machine (1851)
This print by C.T. Dolby shows the envelope-folding machine, invented by Edwin Hill and Warren de la Rue. The machine operated at the rate of 2,700 envelopes an hour. Previously, envelopes were folded by hand with a bone ‘folding stick’and a good output was 3,000 per day. Before Rowland Hill’s postal reforms of 1839, envelopes were little used in England, although they were common in France. This machine was produced in direct response to the increase in the number of letters sent.
thanks to wood s lot
This X-ray was made using a Soredex Cranex panoramic x-ray machine at the office of Dr. Joseph K. Lever in Spartanburg, SC, USA. This machine places an x-ray source on one side of the head and film on the other. The source and film are rotated through 360° while the film is being exposed.
thanks to boingboing
Britain and U.S. put off Iraq vote
A Hazy Target
Wake America from Its Bloodless Trance
So, it's an inexcusable omission for the Bush Administration to sell the Iraq war to us and the international community without acknowledging its human toll, not only on our soldiers but on the Iraqis.
It's really an outrageous situation, which we have come to accept as normal fare in the war business. But it actually represents deceptive spin at its ugliest. Talking about war without addressing casualties is like discussing the benefits of nuclear power and ignoring nuclear waste. The two go hand-in-hand.
To break through the denial, my ad depicted dead and wounded people, both soldiers and civilians. And that's precisely why the networks should air it. More debate about the war's potential casualties would help our nation make an informed decision about Iraq.
But network TV executives don't think you should see our commercial.
Mike Golby strikes again. A must read (for those not familiar with Mike — he's from South Africa)...
Surely, to the average, educated American, this whole Iraqi exercise smacks of incapacitating somebody before beating the living shit out of them while proclaiming them extremely dangerous? A psychotic might need to believe his own propaganda but he can hardly blame others for seeing things differently. And, if he is able to extricate a can of mace from his pocket while you're giving him a drubbing, can you blame him for using it? Well yes, you can't, but you will, hey?
Now that some of my anger has worn off, I wonder what it must be like to live in a society capable of turning one's mind to mush. People cannot help but swallow liberal doses of garbage each day. In a way, I feel sorry for George W. Bush and his followers. They're about to commit murder on a massive scale [call it genocide], and the world knows it. No-one can live with that. They'll deny it and themselves for years to come.
Bush once said that people envy Americans their lifestyle and their freedoms. Do you believe that? The United States government has a 250,000-strong army in Kuwait supported by air conditioners, ice-cream machines, and digital hymn books [as well as five carriers and their battle groups]. Somehow, I don't feel envious at all. It's the stuff of farce. Dave wonders why the Europeans would rather see George W. Bush hounded, naked and screaming, into Pennsylvania Avenue than witness the greatest crime of modern times. I wonder at Dave having to wonder at all.
This Is War
The picture sits on top of my tv. A handsome young man, in a Marine Corps dress uniform, hat (cover, they call it in the military) tucked under his left arm, his right arm, right hand with white glove, encircling a stunning young woman. When the photo was taken at the Marine Corps Birthday Ball in 2002, my son Ben was enrolled at the University of Maryland while serving as a member of the Marine Corps Reserves. A little more than one year earlier, he had been at his reserve unit at Anacostia Barracks in Washington, D.C., on the morning of September 11, 2001, and saw the smoke rising across the Potomac in the West from the Pentagon crash site. After the tragedy of September 11th, he expected to be called up any day.
A breathtaking imagining of what these artist's would have done with photography.
The Artist and the Photograph
A few years ago, midway through 1994, I had the idea of organizing an exhibition that would show the incursions into the world of photography of Picasso, Miró, Dalí and Tàpies, to my mind the four most important Spanish artists of this century.
In the same way that automatic writing enabled unforeseen poetic associations to be revealed, so photography provided a way for the Surrealists to fix the unconscious of the gaze. Dalí was attracted very early on by the transformative capacity of the camera, and essays like ‘Photography, Pure Creation of the Mind’ (L’amic de les arts, 1927) bear witness to this fascination. During the thirties, pictorical interventions on different photos and various collages help us comprehend the powerful influence of the photographic vision on the Dalinian oeuvre as a while. On the other hand the mythomaniacal character and calculated eccentricity of the man favored the persistent hovering around of different photographers, among whom we might single out, for their magnificent portraits, Man Ray, Brassaï, Cecil Beaton and Philippe Halsman.
The Loplop bird returns, n.d
thanks to consumptive.org
A Fiscal Train Wreck
Wth war looming, it's time to be prepared. So last week I switched to a fixed-rate mortgage. It means higher monthly payments, but I'm terrified about what will happen to interest rates once financial markets wake up to the implications of skyrocketing budget deficits.
From a fiscal point of view the impending war is a lose-lose proposition. If it goes badly, the resulting mess will be a disaster for the budget. If it goes well, administration officials have made it clear that they will use any bump in the polls to ram through more big tax cuts, which will also be a disaster for the budget. Either way, the tide of red ink will keep on rising.
Call them bum wines, street wines, fortified wines, wino wines, or twist-cap wines. Whatever you call these beverages for economical drunkards, this page explores the top five, in alphabetical order. So curl up on a heating duct and enjoy...
As pictured to the left, look for the pigeon feces and you'll find this old bird. As soon as you taste this swill, it will be obvious that its makers cut every corner possible in its production to make it cheap. Self-proclaimed as "The American Classic," Thuderbird is Vinted and bottled by E&J Gallo Winery, in in Modesto, CA. Disguised like Night Train, the label says that it is made by "Thunderbird, Ltd." Anyways, if your taste buds are shot, and you need to get trashed with a quickness, then "T-bird" is the drink for you. Or, if you like to smell your hand after pumping gas, look no further than Thunderbird.
thanks to Coudal Partners
Another of Dave Neiwert's series on fascism.
I was driving around Billings, Montana, in the middle of a nasty blizzard in a cheap little rented car and trying to figure out what in the hell was going on when the Voice On Loan From God hit me.
THE MYSTERY OF INFLUENCE
Influence is a curious thing, as the Everyman's Library release of the first complete collection of Chandler's short stories (and its simultaneous release of two omnibus editions of his novels) underlines. There is, after all, no anniversary to celebrate, no ostensible reason why Chandler should be brought before the public eye again (none of his seven novels has ever been out of print). Yet he seems as central to us today as the Nobel Prize-winning poet born in the same year as he was, who likewise commuted between the English and the American ways of seeing things to suggest a modern fracture, T. S. Eliot. Dreiser, Lewis, and Upton Sinclair are all more warmly received into the canon, yet none of them gave us a voice, a presence--a moral stance, really--as easy to recognize and as hard to forget as Raymond Chandler did.
Even fewer American writers of the past century gave us a location (in Chandler's case, Los Angeles) that casts such a mythic spell. L.A., in Chandler's fiction, is not only a femme fatale but a shorthand for illusion; Hollywood comes to seem an allegorical zone in which nobody is what he seems (not even the straight-talking detective), morality itself is in turnaround, and the self is undergoing its ninth rewrite, being worked on by other hands. Even those who have never heard of Marlowe recognize, almost instinctively, the setting in which we most often find him: the rain-washed streets, broken neon flickering above the empty hotel, the darkened room. Chandler's favored locales have become as familiar as the souls who inhabit them, the dangerous blondes circling around a loner who hides his soft heart behind quick quips and a hopeful bravado.
thanks to wood s lot
From his tree-top studio, high above the Tongass Narrows in rainswept Ketchikan Alaska, Ray Troll draws & paints fishy images that migrate into museums, books and magazines and onto t-shirts sold 'round the globe. Basing his quirky, aquatic images on the latest scientific discoveries, Ray brings a street-smart sensibility to the worlds of ichthyology & paleontology.
thanks to MetaFilter
I hadn't seen any of Troll's work for awhile. Nice to see he's still around. Time to get some more of his tee shirts.
Courts v. Citizens
Liberals need to think of the Republican Party's spreading control over the federal courts in democratic and not just civil-libertarian terms. Our traditional anxiety is that conservative judges will fail to protect the rights of political minorities from attack by an overzealous majority. But the greater danger today is quite the opposite. The new conservative legal agenda is a zealous project by a political minority to thwart the majority's legislative priorities and to undermine the democratic rights of the people.
When the FCC came to town
Last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission came to town. For an event that by its very definition is mundane -- a public hearing on a proposed federal regulatory rulemaking -- it was an extraordinary event, for several reasons.
By day I'm a mild mannered scientific photographer, but when night falls, I change into.....a mild mannered black and white photographer.
thanks to consumptive.org
i remember when...
thanks to Talk Left
it's not nice out there
thanks to Speckled paint
The Gashlycrumb Tinies
thanks to boingboing
Who is in charge?
The Bush administration's relentless unilateral march towards war is profoundly disturbing for many reasons, but so far as American citizens are concerned the whole grotesque show is a tremendous failure in democracy. An immensely wealthy and powerful republic has been hijacked by a small cabal of individuals, all of them unelected and therefore unresponsive to public pressure, and simply turned on its head. It is no exaggeration to say that this war is the most unpopular in modern history. Before the war has begun there have been more people protesting it in this country alone than was the case at the height of the anti- Vietnam war demonstrations during the 60s and 70s. Note also that those rallies took place after the war had been going on for several years: this one has yet to begin, even though a large number of overtly aggressive and belligerent steps have already been taken by the US and its loyal puppy, the UK government of the increasingly ridiculous Tony Blair.
thanks to BookNotes
Just War — or a Just War?
Profound changes have been taking place in American foreign policy, reversing consistent bipartisan commitments that for more than two centuries have earned our nation greatness. These commitments have been predicated on basic religious principles, respect for international law, and alliances that resulted in wise decisions and mutual restraint. Our apparent determination to launch a war against Iraq, without international support, is a violation of these premises.
Mr Bush goes for the kill
Mr. Bush is right, Saddam Hussein is a nasty man and nobody I know has the least objection to Mr. Bush killing him. It's just the way he proposes doing it that worries me. Dropping 3000 bombs in 48 hours on Baghdad is going to kill a lot of other people who, as far as I am aware, are not nasty at all.
That's the bit of the 'moral' argument I don't follow. It's a bit like the police saying they know a murderer comes from the south of England so they are going to execute everybody in Epsom.
Then again why does Mr. Bush need to drop 3000 bombs on Saddam Hussein? I would have thought one would have been enough to take him out, if he knows where Saddam is. And if he doesn't know where he is, what on earth is the moral justification for dropping any bombs at all? Doesn't Mr. Bush realise they are dangerous things and tend to kill people when they land?
The Xanax Cowboy
You might sum up the president's call to war Thursday night as "Message: I scare."
thanks to Cursor
Combat's Bitter Revelations
The veterans of Bay Pines VA Medical Center, who check in by the tens of thousands for treatment of physical and mental wounds, understand the reality of war. Not the stirring mythology of soldiers marching off for right and country, but the difficult truth of combat and its aftermath, revelations hard earned and never forgotten.
In one way or another, they learned the same lesson as Chris Lane, 55, a counselor and patient at Bay Pines. He arrived at Khe Sanh as a young Marine 35 years ago last week and within an hour heard someone shout, "Gangway, incoming wounded!" and saw his first lifeless body.
thanks to Body and Soul
What excuse can there be for these ridiculous monstrosities in the cloister where the monks do their reading, extraordinary things at once beautiful and ugly? . . . a beast with a serpent for its tail, a fish with an animal’s head, and a creature that is horse in front and goat behind, and a second beast with horns and the rear of a horse. . . . One could easily spend the whole day gazing fascinated at these things, one by one, instead of meditating on the law of God.
thanks to Speckled paint
But that was the only light moment during this visit. I had come to ask Palestinian civic leaders about the dangers threatening the Palestinian population in case of an American attack on Iraq.
They had no illusions. The present Israeli political-military leadership includes groups that have been planning for a long time to exploit a war situation in order to do things which cannot be done in ordinary times. The moral brakes that still exist in parts of the Israeli public, as well as the expected international reaction, prevent the implementation of these plans for the time being.
All this can change in a war situation. The attention of the world will be riveted to the battle in Iraq. In the Arab countries, chaos may prevail, diverting attention from the Palestinian territories. The Israeli public, fearful of Saddam's capabilities, will be (even) less sensitive to the plight of the Palestinians.
What can happen?
The list is long, and every item is worse than the preceding one.
Threats of forced mass expulsion
The repugnant idea of the 'transfer' of the Palestinians - meaning their total expulsion - now appeals to many Israelis. The Israeli army and some settlers are already organising 'mini-transfers' in the West Bank, and any serious new threat to Israel (for example, missile attacks from Iraq at war) could precipitate the brutally enforced expulsion of millions.
thanks to Aron's Israel Peace Weblog
I like cheap old cameras. I especially like using cheap old box cameras. Most of the cameras in this collection (32) are in the $2-$10 range — in between the cost of a beer or a pizza. It's kind of surprising that I have so many cameras, because I really like beer and pizza.
thanks to Speckled paint
Bush Budget Has a Long Reach
Two months after the White House began rolling out its latest budget, the full dimensions of President Bush's new tax and spending plan are finally coming into view, and they are even more sweeping than originally thought.
By linking expenditures forced on the nation by the 2001 terrorist attacks with a blizzard of other measures, Bush has produced a proposal that, if enacted, would result in a governmental about-face as far-reaching as those of Ronald Reagan or Lyndon B. Johnson.
Coupled with his already-approved 2001 cuts, the president's new tax package would make Bush the biggest tax cutter in at least two decades and possibly half a century. He would top even Reagan.
His proposed defense buildup would be bigger in real terms than Johnson's Vietnam buildup, and that's not counting the cost of a war with Iraq and its aftermath.
His plan to revamp Medicaid and other programs Washington runs jointly with the states would be, in the words of a former Nixon administration budget official, "one of the biggest pullbacks in federal responsibility we've ever seen."
Massive deficits projected for Bush budget
President Bush's proposed new round of tax cuts and the rest of his budget would produce a string of federal deficits over the coming decade totaling $1.82 trillion, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected on Friday.
The U.S. economy last month suffered its worst jobs drop since the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, as worries about a war with Iraq led to widespread caution about hiring.
THOMAS SHOTTER BOYS - LONDON AS IT IS
thanks to Speckled paint
Another entry of Dave Neiwert's excellent series on fascism.
Continuing the discussion of different kinds of "transmitters":
As seemingly psychotic cranks go, Ann Coulter has carved out a nice little career for herself as an obsessive hater of all things liberal. Along the way Coulter, like many of her media compatriots on the right, first developed a significant role in transmitting memes from the extremist Clinton-hating right into the mainstream of conservatism, and since then has expanded into other fields. During that process, she's been important in bringing the two sectors even closer together.
side show art
thanks to dublog
Fundmentalism is something that I have had a real hard time understanding. It's not something I can relate to at all. Fellow traveller Joseph Duemer grew up with fundamentalism. His comments on this help me understand it — a little. It doesn't make me any less fearfull.
A working definition of fundamentalism:
Cries of Rage and Frustration
Fundamentalists of all faiths have convinced themselves that militant piety is the only way to save religion from annihilation in an increasingly secularised world. If we are to stand any chance of beating terrorists after the attacks on the United States, we must try to understand their motivation and fears.
This is not a centuries-old phenomenon. Fundamentalism actually began in the US early in the 20th century. Today, it is by no means confined to the Muslim world, but has erupted in every major faith as a reaction against rational, secular modernity. It did not become widespread in the Islamic world until a degree of modernisation had been achieved in the late 1960s, after secular solutions such as nationalism or socialism seemed to have failed.
Banksy has a new web site. Go through the entire stencil section. It's worth it.
thanks to Wooster Collective
sometimes we just need something to laugh at
Last week while travelling I stopped at a Zany Brainy store and saw that they had a blimp for sale. It's called Airship Earth, and it's a great big balloon with a map of the Earth on it, and two propellors hanging from the bottom. You blow up the balloon with helium put batteries in it, and you have a radio controll indoor blimp.
I'd seen these things for sale in Sharper Image catalogs for $60-$75. At Zany Brainy it was on clearance for $15. What a deal!
Last night my wife was playing tennis and it was just my daughter and I at home. I bought a small helium tank from a party store, and last night we put the blimp together.
thanks to Wampum
thanks to Gaspar Torriero gone verbose