How do they do that!?
Welcome to a special place on the net. Here, we shall celebrate those who take their physical abilities to the highest levels. In acrobatics, total control over one's body throughout an extreme range of motion is required for one to master the necessary skills. Also, many sports and activities (such as gymnastics, martial arts, dance, and yoga) are structured such that an excessive limberness of the body can prove to be of extraordinary value. [read more]
thanks to Spitting Image
thanks to Spitting Image
America — The Big One
Letter to America
Concerned that a much-needed international perspective is missing from the debate in this country over the course of American foreign policy and US relations with the world, The Nation asked a number of distinguished foreign writers and thinkers to share their reflections with us. It is our hope that, as in the early 1980s, when a "letter" in these pages from the late E.P. Thompson expressing rising European concern about the Reagan Administration's nuclear weapons buildup was instrumental in building common bonds beween antinuclear movements across the Atlantic, this series will forge bonds between Americans concerned about how Washington is exercising power today and the rest of the world. We begin with a letter to an American friend written by the South African writer Breyten Breytenbach, whose opposition to apartheid resulted in his spending seven years in prison.
This is an extraordinarily difficult letter to write, and it may even be a perilous exercise. Dangerous because your present Administration and its specialized agencies by all accounts know no restraint in hitting out at any perceived enemy of America, and nobody or nothing can protect one from their vindictiveness. Not even American courts are any longer a bulwark against arbitrary exactions. Take the people being kept in that concentration camp in Guantánamo: They are literally extraterritorial, by force made anonymous and stateless so that no law, domestic or international, is habilitated to protect them. It may be an extreme example brought about by abnormal circumstances--but the criteria of human rights kick in, surely, precisely when the conditions are extreme and the situation is abnormal. The predominant yardstick of your government is not human rights but national interests. (Your President keeps repeating the mantra.) In what way is this order of priorities any different from those of the defunct Soviet Union or other totalitarian regimes? [read more]
Google Goes to China
China's netizens find ways around Google ban
INTERNET users in China are finding ways to gain access to the popular Google search engine after the site was blocked by the Chinese authorities last week. [read more]
thanks to searchengineblog.com
The Bully's Pulpit
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Colin Powell and Dick Cheney are in perfect agreement. And the Bush administration won't privatize Social Security.
Ari Fleischer's insistence that Mr. Powell and Mr. Cheney have no differences over Iraq seems to have pushed some journalists into facing up, at least briefly, to the obvious. ABC's weblog The Note described it as a "chocolate- is-vanilla" claim, admitting that "The Bush team has always had a credibility problem with some reporters because of their insistence on saying 'up is down' and 'black is white.' " [read more]
Lord of the Rings
The Hand Puppet Movie Theatre Presents:
Stupid low ceiling rafters...
thanks to reenhead.com
Like a lung cancer patient reaching for a pack of smokes, the Bush administration has greeted the latest run of gloomy economic news -- Tuesday's stock market plunge, a ballooning federal deficit, flagging consumer confidence, mounting unemployment, not to mention those pictures of Dennis Kozlowski literally wrapping himself in the flag in his yacht over Labor Day -- with a nerve-settling puff of its favorite brand of economic relief: tax cuts for the rich. And considering the imprudence of that idea, maybe they're smoking something a little stronger than Marlboros. [read more]
thanks to reenhead.com
In my mind's eye, I see the chief of staff, Moshe Ya'alon, with his interviewer Ari Shavit, standing before the crumbling walls of Khartoum. The year is 1898. Coming toward them is an army of raging natives - tens of thousands of bloodthirsty Arabs, waving their spears on high. Shavit, starring as the young Churchill, a fired-up war correspondent in a pith helmet, asks excitedly: "Do you have a definition of victory?" Ya'alon, playing General Kitchener, replies from under his bushy mustache: "It's an existential threat, my son. It must be seared into their minds that they will never defeat us with terror and violence."(...)
Why? Because if the chief of staff is correct in his analysis and conclusions, the next question is: What happens if they don't agree to be seared? What if we don't succeed in defeating the Palestinians despite all our prodigious searing efforts? When the British tried to sear us back in Mandatory times, it didn't work. Since then, many foreign regimes throughout the world have tried to sear other peoples - all without success. [read more]
Another case of settler attack is recounted by Yunis Ismael Najjar, Khaled’s cousin who also lived in Cherb el-Botoum. “At that time I was working as a construction labourer in Israel. We used to go by taxi to the construction site at Gush Yetzon, early in the morning. On April 24 of last year (2001) seven of us were driving on Road 60 near to Beni Naim when we saw a settler car coming in the opposite direction. They passed us and then did a U-turn behind us and started tailgating us. Suddenly the passenger opened fire with an Uzi. Everyone in the car was injured, including the driver, although fortunately no-one was killed. I myself was shot in the lower spine and the shoulder and lost consciouness immediately. Despite his injuries the driver was able to turn around and drive to the checkpoint near Yatta, but the soldiers told us to go away. They turned us away without even offering first aid to the injured. Because of the earth dam on the small road to Yatta we were unable to drive any further, but one of the other passengers called some cars on the cellphone and I was carried over the dam on a handcart and along the track to where they were waiting for us. So they took us to hospital in Yatta.” Like his cousin, Yunis spent many months in hospital and had four vertebrae removed from his spine. He is paralysed from the waist down. And in this case, as in all such cases, no action has been taken against the perpetrators, although they are members of a notorious settler gang who have been involved in many shooting incidents along Road 60. [read more]
Weird and wonderful, this amazing collection of images celebrates the unique art form of topsy-turvy faces. Inspired by the miniaturist magic of matchbox label art created by unknown artists all over the world, these cards can be viewed upside down or right side up (or is it the other way around?)--either way, a face appears. Noses become forehead creases, mustaches become sweet little curls on a girl's head. Every minute, day and night, in a thousand places, East, West, North, South, at the lighting of a million lanterns, oil lamps, and gas stoves, the subliminal glimpse of a matchbox label accompanies the elemental thrill of sparking fire! Spark someone's interest--send a card today! [read more]
thanks to MorfaBlog
Jesus and George
Bush's Boss is a Jewish Carpenter
Let's talk about the Man from Nazareth, whom George Bush II nominated as the philosopher who most influenced him during the 'presidential campaign' of 2000. I submit to you that this famous Nazarene has not caused so much trouble since the day he got brought up on charges in 32 A.D., and that includes the Crusades, which at least got people traveling again. If Jesus Christ were alive today, He would be appalled. His message--and the powerful men who claim to have been moved by it--has been perverted out of recognition in the name of wealth and power. If Bush admires anything about Christ, it is probably the excellent cover he provides to do Whatever You Damn Well Please in His Name. But mark my words: you won't find a guy who is more the inverse of Jesus than George W. Bush. [read more]
Global warming could actually lead to a big chill in some parts of the world. If the atmosphere continues to warm, it could soon trigger a dramatic and abrupt cooling throughout the North Atlantic region—where, not incidentally, some 60 percent of the world’s economy is based.
When I say “dramatic,” I mean: Average winter temperatures could drop by 5 degrees Fahrenheit over much of the United States, and by 10 degrees in the northeastern United States and in Europe. That’s enough to send mountain glaciers advancing down from the Alps. To freeze rivers and harbors and bind North Atlantic shipping lanes in ice. To disrupt the operation of ground and air transportation. To cause energy needs to soar exponentially. To force wholesale changes in agricultural practices and fisheries. To change the way we feed our populations. In short, the world, and the world economy, would be drastically different. [read more]
thanks to JOHO the blog
Better Living Through Ancient Invective
"THOU REEKY GUTS-GRIPING PUMPION!" [read more]
thanks to wood s lot
j p, the d'monquis guy, sent me the following with the challenge: show you mine if you show me yours!
Some British children cannot tell the difference between a violin and a guitar. Others think Shakespeare, Elvis and Michael Jackson are classical composers, according to a survey.
Before you scoff at such Philistinism, see if you can make the grade in BBC News Online's culture quiz. [read more]
j p got 6 out of 10. I have been humbled — only 5 out of 5. The shame! Hey! I know who played bass for the Grateful Dead!
Zoe sent this to me with the following comment:--making ralphing noises!!! Can you believe this?
Thousands of corpses of the footsoldiers who perished in Napoleon's disastrous 1812 retreat from Moscow have been discovered in a mass grave in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, offering a rich insight into the conditions and circumstances of history's most tragic military march. [read more]
Fred Lapides sent me the following e-mail in response to my posts on Israel/Palestine below.
You may not like what Israel is doing etc--that is your right--but Rumsfeld in using the term "so-called occupied territories" is correct. That land, taken in war from Egypt and Jordan is more correctly called "contested land" when diplomats at the UN refer to it....it is occupied when there is a state and a different state takes it over, as is the case say with Syria's occupation of Lebanon.
This isn't the only response I have received informing me that they are "contested" territories. Why is it then that the articles in my post, from Israeli sources, refer to "occupied" territories? Maybe Fred and his friends should let the Israeli's in on his Orwellian hair splitting. Or maybe they might actually read the articles. To repeat Ran HaCohen: If Rumsfeld’s conception is true and the occupied territories are not occupied, then Israel is one of the worst racist dictatorships in modern times, where millions of inhabitants are held without nationality and without any political rights for generations. ... Strange as it may sound, the concept of occupation is essential for Israel’s democratic image. This is why even settlers try to justify the occupation rather than reject the term.
Which is it? An occupation or one of the worst racist dictatorships in modern times?
ISRAEL'S APPROVED ETHNIC CLEANSING
Israel's treatment of the Palestinians has always presented a moral problem to the West, as that treatment has violated every law and moral standard on the books. Some 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes in 1948-1949, and since then scores of thousands more have been pushed out by force, their houses demolished or taken over by Israeli Jews (not Israeli Arabs). Under the supposed "peace process" following the signing of the Oslo Agreement in September 1993, a UN Special Report of November 13, 2000, says that "In the past seven years...Israel's confiscation of Palestinian land and construction of settlements and bypass roads for Jewish settlers has accelerated dramatically in breach of Security Council Resolution 242 and of provisions of the Oslo agreements requiring both parties to respect 'the territorial integrity and unity of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.' Since 1993 the settler population in the West Bank and Gaza has doubled to 200,000 and increased to 170,000 in East Jerusalem." The report also describes and condemns the demolitions of Palestinian houses, the diversion of water to Israeli cities and settlements, the policy of closures that has damaged Palestinian social and economic life, and the "widespread violation of their [Palestinian] economic, social and cultural rights" both within Israel and in the occupied territories. It also assails Israel's use of excessive force against Palestinians and hundreds of Intifada killings, "most of them unarmed demonstrators." (...)
Racist State, Brutal Occupation, and Large-Scale Ethnic Cleansing
The racist discrimination in pushing out Palestinians in favor of Jews is cruel, scandalous, and reminiscent of the behavior of the Nazis (a comparison made often in the Israeli press, but not in the U.S. mainstream media). It was Nazi practice in occupied territories to dispossess the locals from homes to provide "lebensraum" for the "ubermenschen," and Amnesty International (AI) notes in discussing Israel's policy on demolitions that "The Palestinians are targeted for no other reason than because they are Palestinians" in a system where "the family may only have 15 minutes to take out what belongings they have before the furniture is thrown into the street and their home bulldozed" (AI, Israel: Home Demolitions, Dec. 8, 1999). Israeli author Israel Shamir, writing in the Russian Israeli publication RI in December 2000, says that Israelis "are taught they belong to the Chosen People, who are Uber Alles. They have been indoctrinated in belief that the Gentiles are not fully human, and therefore can be killed and expropriated at will." And the U.S. Jewish observer Eduardo Cohen says that "traveling through Israel I encountered a deep, widespread and racist contempt for Arabs," based on the belief that Arabs "didn't share the same faculties of thought and reason that 'civilized human beings' possess" (OR, Oct. 18, 2000). [read more]
But it is fitting for the Jewish majority to make a personal accounting. Are its hands clean? Was it ever ready to accept the Arab minority as an equal among equals? To give some indication of the mood among Israeli Arabs, here are reports of some recent conversations with four of them.
M. is 25 years old. Three years ago he graduated from the College of Technology under the auspices of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and received a degree in electrical engineering. He is married, has two daughters and lives in Jaljulya. Like many other young men in his village, M. is unemployed. I asked him why. "I applied to dozens of companies," he replied, "filled out dozens of questionnaires, but every time they notice that I am an Arab, they say, `We'll phone you,' and that's all. They never call. I am willing to work as an entry level electrician with a low salary, but no one is willing to hire an Arab. Even the big companies like Bezeq and the Israel Electric Corp. don't hire Arabs. How do they want me to make a living?" [read more]
What's in a name?
Coale is the 20,981st most popular last name (surname) in the United States; frequency is 0.000%; percentile is 78.482 [read more]
thanks to consumptive.org
Yesterday's barracking of Colin Powell by delegates and activists at the Earth Summit was unprecedented.
In almost 30 years of covering international conferences I cannot remember any reception that came close – no matter how notorious the speaker.
Even Margaret Beckett, Britain's chief negotiator, said it showed how "angry" delegates were with America. She added: "I understand how delegates feel", before going on to condemn the "abuse".
But it was more than just anger. It was the release of fury and frustration that has been building up throughout the summit. Indeed it has been brewing ever since President George Bush set out to destroy the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, shortly after attaining power. [read more]
A parliamentary committee called for legalizing marijuana use among adults, increasing pressure on the government to shift drug laws away from the zero-tolerance policy of the United States.
The report by the Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs recommended that Canada adopt a system that regulates marijuana the same way as alcohol, and expunge criminal records for marijuana possession. [read more]
This should get some right wingers clutching their hearts. Blame Canada!
War Against Some Terrorists
This is a very interesting series in Slate. Three of nine articles are up.
The picture is this: If you look back over history, you will see enduringly disastrous phases—decades if not centuries of lethal contagious disease, of ruinous war, of societal collapse, of imperial decline. Sometimes these things "just happen," but sometimes they happen because of momentous technological and social changes whose import humankind fails to reckon with. The premise of this series is that right now we're undergoing such change, and so far we're failing to reckon with it. These are dramatic times, and tomorrow I'll start with my dramatic propositions. The first one will be: Al-Qaida and radical Islam are not the problem. [read more]
'America wants to wage war on all of us'
"Bin Laden may have lost a lot of his appeal," says Dia Rashwan, an expert on Islamist fundamentalism, "but that doesn't mean the US isn't hated. It is, more than ever, and more now from an Arab than an Islamic standpoint." [read more]
The real goal is the seizure of Saudi oil
What is most chilling is that the hawks in the Bush administration must know the risks involved. They must be aware of the anti-American feeling throughout the Middle East. They must be aware of the fear in Egypt and Saudi Arabia that a war against Iraq could unleash revolutions, disposing of pro-western governments, and replacing them with populist anti-American Islamist fundamentalist regimes. We should all remember the Islamist revolution in Iran. The Shah was backed by the Americans, but he couldn't stand against the will of the people. And it is because I am sure that they fully understand the consequences of their actions, that I am most afraid. I am drawn to the conclusion that they must want to create such mayhem. [read more]
It would seem to me that Bush might want to get a little bit better handle on Afghanistan before taking on the rest of the world. I wonder how long Karzi's American guards can keep the Afghans from assassinating him?
President Hamid Karzai survived an assassination attempt Thursday by an Afghan security guard who fired on his convoy, and a large explosion in the capital killed at least 10 people. Afghan officials blamed Osama bin Laden's al- Qaida network for both attacks. [read more]
I have Zoe's wonderful pictures of Monday night's TestingTesting up.
An excellent site on one of my favorite architects. Lots of pictures.
thanks to Spitting Image
"We define censorship as any interference with the free flow of information in American Society," stated Peter Phillips Director of the Project, "Corporate media in the United States is interested primarily in entertainment news to feed their bottom- line priorities. Very important news stories that should reach the American public often fall on the cutting room floor to be replaced by sex-scandals and celebrity updates." Project Censored has moved to a new cycle for the release of their annual censored stories. The Censored 2003 book will be released in September to bookstores nationwide. [read more]
thanks to wood zilla lot
The Renewed Israeli Occupation
This week the Chief-of-Staff of the Israeli army, General Moshe Ya'alon, gave an interview to Ha'aretz. Not two months have passed since he assumed office, but the country is full of his philosophical output. We have learned about his mental world, his intellectual capacity and his leadership pretensions. From these three viewpoints, his outpourings are rather frightening - especially since every word of them has been approved, at least post factum, by Ariel Sharon.
The mental world of Moshe Ya'alon is composed of a heap of hackneyed myths that are taught in Israeli elementary schools instead of history. He repeats them like a not-very-intellectual pupil. But his pretensions are those of a super-leader, who stands above the government, the Knesset and the people.
A military officer has an important profession. He learns to move forces, use weapon systems, command troops, plan battles. But nothing - nothing at all! - in his professional career prepares him for analyzing intricate political moves, understand international relations or delve into the depths of history. From these points of view, his "professional expertise" is as valid as that of a plumber, an engineer of an ear, nose and throat specialist. It certainly is less than that of a historian, an Arabist or a professor of international relations. [read more]
Confronting Pro-Occupation Arguments
I said almost - because meanwhile the American Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld has spoken of the "so-called occupied territories". The present American government seems determined to take us all to darkest barbarism, where Holy Wars, Crusades against the Heathen, Axes of Evil, and Spoils of War are legitimate political terms. If Rumsfeld’s conception is true and the occupied territories are not occupied, then Israel is one of the worst racist dictatorships in modern times, where millions of inhabitants are held without nationality and without any political rights for generations. If Gaza and the West Bank are for Israel what Texas is for the United States, just imagine all Texans having no American citizenship and no voting rights for more than 35 years, their lands systematically confiscated and given to American settlers from other states. Strange as it may sound, the concept of occupation is essential for Israel’s democratic image. This is why even settlers try to justify the occupation rather than reject the term. Let’s see how. [read more]
Some articles on what the occupation and lockdown means to the Palestinians.
The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry is usually referred to as "le roi des manuscrits enluminés" or "the king of the illuminated manuscripts", but it is also a pinnacle in the entire history of painting.
Commissioned by Jean, Duc de Berry in 1413, it was painted by the Limbourg brothers who left it unfinished at their (and the Duc's) death in 1416. The Duc Charles I de Savoie commissioned Jean Colombe to complete the painting of the manuscript between 1485-1489.
I don't think many people have really had the opportunity to hear real music — with real people playing. What most music people hear is studio music, some recorded live performances, and the even rarer live performance of their favorite recording artist. This isn't how people used to listen to music. The music people used to hear was performed by their family and friends in parlors, living rooms, and kitchens.
Recorded music changed that. This is not to decry recorded music or to rail about the evilness of those that produce it. Although there is much to decry and rail about there is certainly so much that is wonderful in the black vinyl, the skinny tape, the shiny plastic discs, and the bits and bytes that deliver so much. But something has been lost too. That something is real music.
Every other Monday evening a group of musicians gather in my living room and plays real music. The reason for the gathering is a webcast called TestingTesting. We started this little goof of a program over four years ago. We didn't know what we were doing or where we were going but it quickly became a show of real music. One of the people who helped start TestingTesting, and give it direction, was my friend Derek Parrott. He is a singer/songwriter originally from London. Derek records and is very precise and polished in the studio but has always seen TestingTesting as being a chance to play music that he calls authentic, or real. The other two long time members of the TestingTesting House Band are Steve Showell and Joanne Rouse. They play mandolin, guitar, fiddle, banjo, dobro, and just about anything that will make music. Recent additions to the TT House Band have been Tishia Malone with her conga drums and singer/songwriter Lisa Toomey. Yes, they all have day jobs. And they all play well together.
The format of the show is that the TT House Band will open and then that week's special guest will play with the TT House Band backing them up, or not as the case may be. (Derek likes to tell our special guests to imagine that they are playing in a living room with their friends.) The House Band members usually do a couple of songs during the show, depending on what is happening or what strikes their fancy. It's pretty free form. It's not about polished performances. This is live music with musicians playing and sharing. It's trying to take the ego out of the music. It's trying to put the fun back in music. It's not about being perfect; it's about being real.
Last Monday's show captured it so well. There wasn't a special guest — we featured the TT House Band. Everyone brought a couple of songs and everyone shared their music. It was a wonderful hour of friends playing and laughing. There were two little kids running around (my daughters were up from Tacoma) and one of them (Robyn) was invited by Joanne to sing, which she did — a TT moment. I am the announcer but I never know what is going to happen. I just go with the flow and try to nudge it here and there.
While I'm talking about TT, there are two other people who make TestingTesting. While it is mostly music, we have Barton Cole who does an always amazing spoken word piece he calls "Commentary from the Wires" — his thoughts about life in general and life on the island we live on. And Zoe Gillman, digital photographer, TT cruise director, and my LOML.
I would love it if everyone that reads this would click on in to TestingTesting on Monday nights or listen to our archives of real music. But it would be even better if everyone would just invite some musician friends over to their own living rooms and listen to what they have to sing and play. Invite your friends and family. If you play, play. If you don't, listen. After all, musicians need listeners. Participate in real music.
The sound archive for Monday's TestingTesting is up. It was a good Labor Day show — worker songs, socialist blackberries and Professor Boncha, the Super Hero. It featured the six members of the TestingTesting House Band and was one of our best shows. I wanted to write about the experience while it was stilll fresh in my mind but it has been a long day and my mind is only functioning at low levels. Maybe tomorrow. Do check it out.
Today is a busy day getting ready for tonight's TestingTesting (click on in at 7 pm (pacific)) so there won't be much posting until tomorrow. But here is a Labor Day link from last year. I don't think much has changed.
TO KNOW WHOSE labor is actually being honored on Labor Day, consider these facts, drawn from recent data from by the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy, the Economic Policy Institute, the American Sociological Review, and the new book ''Raise the Floor,'' published by the Ms. Foundation for Women:
If the minimum wage had risen at the same pace as American productivity since 1968, it would be $13.80 an hour.
If the minimum wage had risen at the same paces as domestic profits since 1968, it would be $13.02.
If the minimum wage had risen at the same pace as profits in the retail industry, it would be $20.46. Nearly half of the workers in the retail industry make less than $8 an hour. While 16.9 percent of America's work force is in the retail industry, 35 percent of America's workers who make less than $8 an hour are in the retail industry.
If the minimum wage had risen at the same level pace as executive pay since 1990, it would be $25.50 an hour, not $5.15.
If the average pay for production workers had risen at the same level as CEO pay since 1990, the annual salary would be $120,491, not $24,668.
You cannot tell that children are our most precious resource by how we pay child-care workers. The median wage of child-care workers is $6.91 an hour. The median wage of parking lot attendants is $6.89. Preschool teachers average $9.43. Animal trainers average $12.39. [read more]
thanks to wood zilla lot
Time for another concert from my living room. The notice I just sent out:
TestingTesting #136 is Monday evening , September 2 (Tuesday mid-day the 3rd in Australia and Japan) at http://www.electricedge.com/testingtesting/.
Monday 4:00pm (Hawaii-Aleutian), 6:00pm (Alaska), 7:00pm (Pacific), 8:00pm (Mountain), 9:00pm (Central), 10:00pm (Eastern), 11:00pm (Atlantic)
Our Labor Day show will feature the extended TestingTesting House Band with Derek Parrott, Steve Showell, Joanne Rouse, Lisa Toomey, and Tishia Malone. Barton Cole will be here with his "Commentary from the Wires".
Click on in for some fine living room music.
A good time will be had by all.
Buck Rogers lives!
Welcome to a celebration and study of toy ray guns! Whimsical and zany, these fanciful objects conjure fond childhood memories of Buck Rogers and Captain Video, of backyard spaceships that blasted off for high adventure in the endless reaches of space. The stuff of fancy, toy ray guns are powered by pure imagination, by our almost unlimited capacity to wonder. Yet they represent other things as well. They are weapons intended to protect us from our deepest fears of the dark unknown, and they remind us of our vulnerability in the face of an endless and mysterious cosmos. Ray guns are testimony to the fact that we often conceive of even the majesty of space as a backdrop for our conflicts and struggles, and that we finally set foot on the moon only as the result of a deadly, war-like, competitive "race" between two superpower nations. From the exuberant Art Deco disintegrator pistols of the 1930s, to the streamlined and futuristic tin litho sparkers of the 50s and the darkly post-apocalyptic nitro blasters of today, toy ray guns express and represent our dreams, fears and fantasies, and it is to the study and celebration of these remarkable objects that this website is dedicated. [read more]
thanks to DANGEROUSMETA!
The Renewed Israeli Occupation
An Israeli organization has published detailed plans for the "complete elimination of the Arab demographic threat to Israel" by forcibly expelling all Palestinians, including Palestinians in the occupied territories and Palestinian citizens of Israel from the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea within a 3-5 year period.
Gamla, a group founded by former Israeli military officers and settlers, published these recommendations on its website in a nine thousand word manifesto titled "The logistics of transfer," penned by Boris Shusteff last July 3. The mass ethnic cleansing of every Palestinian, the author argues, is "the only possible solution" to the Palestinian- Israeli conflict and is "substantiated by the Torah." Gamla receives tax deductible contributions from a New York-based charity that claims that its goal is greater Arab-Jewish tolerance. [read more]
Israeli media said the Israeli army confirmed it used flechettes in an operation near the Jewish settlement of Netzarim, south of Gaza City, on Thursday.
Robert Fisk: A conflict conveniently forgotten and a holocaust deliberately denied
For his first solo exhibition in New York, Los Angeles-based artist Wayne White will present a series of paintings and a diorama installation entitled "Roy Acuff’s Cave." Manipulating thrift-store lithographs of landscapes by adding painted architecturally- driven text, White creates work which vacillates between the serious and the ridiculous. Interested in exploring the easy, escapist nature of these "ready-made" pastoral scenes, White disrupts the idyllic settings by interjecting a personal blend of screwball surrealism and humor. His text, perspectivally rendered in monumental letters, runs the gamut from vivid pop cultural descriptions ("Nascar Tit Shirt") to post-modern observations on art ("Painting Which Came to Life Only to be Mocked-Forgotten") to colloquialisms from the American South ("Honey Where’s My Learnin Books"). [read more]
both thanks to Travellers Diagram
thanks to wood zilla lot
The man chosen to head the Bush administration's wildfire prevention program doubts the existence of ecosystems and says it would not be a crisis if the nation's threatened and endangered species became extinct.
Allan Fitzsimmons was named yesterday to be in charge of reducing fire danger on lands managed by the Interior Department. But Fitzsimmons' background as a free-market policy analyst and his writings for libertarian and conservative think tanks have alarmed environmental groups across the West. The groups say Fitzsimmons' appointment confirms their fears that the recently announced program the administration calls the Healthy Forests Initiative is a smokescreen for a return to unfettered logging. "How can a man who doesn't understand ecological systems and community values for wildlife run a program that's supposed to protect forests and communities?" asked John McCarthy, spokesman for the Idaho Conservation League. "People won't have confidence in this guy. He'll be divisive, it will all be based on junk science." [read more]
thanks to SmirkingChimp.com
White House Crooks
When George W. Bush took office, his Administration loudly touted its corporate credentials. In place of Clinton's policy wonks, the Bush economic team featured real businessmen, who knew how the world worked, and who appreciated, in a visceral and practical way, the value of free markets. Bush had more former C.E.O.s in his Cabinet than any previous President. His Vice-President was a former C.E.O., and Bush himself had run an oil company. "No president, administration, and Cabinet has been as marinated in capitalism," observed USA Today, which also praised the Administration's "deep management pool" and its "all-star boardroom."
Now, though, the consensus seems to be that Bush's boardroom is filled with benchwarmers, not all-stars. [read more]
The Sistine Chapel
Built between 1475 and 1483, in the time of Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere, the Sistine Chapel has originally served as Palatine Chapel. The chapel is rectangular in shape and measures 40.93 meters long by 13.41 meters wide, i.e. the exact dimensions of the Temple of Solomon, as given in the Old Testament. It is 20.70 meters high and is roofed by a flattened barrel vault, with little side vaults over the centered windows.
thanks to plep
Faith Based Government
'Faith-Based' Initiative to Get Push
With President Bush's "faith-based" legislation facing an uncertain fate, the White House is planning an aggressive effort to implement parts of the program this fall even if Congress does not approve, administration officials said yesterday. [read more]
thanks to BuzzFlash
The right arm
Likewise, it is the first part of the body to rise skyward from the grave, providing oxygen to the rest of the body. Cut an arm off, and it will begin to crawl and hunt down its attacker. Truly an amazing appendage. [read more]
War Against Some Terrorists
This Week: The Optimist's Guide to War with Iraq
Bush: This is gonna work out great!
Cheney: What could go wrong? [read more]
Europe isn't marching to U.S. drum
As America nears the anniversary of Sept. 11, it's worth recalling how Europe dealt with the problem of political terrorism - and won. [read more]
thanks to SmirkingChimp.com
Since the day Dubya was installed in the White House by court appointment, not a week has passed, it seems, that his administration has not said or done something at odds with reality as understood by most of the world. From Kyoto to Columbia, Saudi Arabia to North Korea, the Bush administration continually misreads or simply ignores facts and conditions "on the ground" and elbows forward with the neoconservative, belligerent, and imperialistic agenda of Pax-Americana, which is accompanied by the shrill insistence, as vocalized by the likes of Paul Wolfowitz and William Kristol, that we will get what we want, or else a few hundred thousand people will die.
Now comes word the State Department will hold a two- day conference designed to "explore the roots of anti-Americanism worldwide." According to Richard Boucher, scholars will "share their thoughts" with State Department types and, hopefully, some of the dunderheads will come to a better understanding of why people across the world find the US loathsome. Naturally, for a huge number of people outside of the State Department, and beyond America itself, the reasons are obvious. [read more]
This just beggars belief. It sure doesn't give one a warm and fuzzy feeling that these people have a fucking clue as to what is going on outside of their comfortable offices and country clubs. Why don't they just get on the web and read some of the newspapers from around the world? That would be a start and at virtually no cost. Hello!
The United States will launch its all-out attack to oust - and kill - Saddam Hussein by Nov. 30, according to a new report.
Israeli military sources, quoted by the respected Israeli newspaper Maariv, disclosed that a U.S. military delegation revealed the outline of the plans in briefings with Israeli and Jordanian military officers. [read more]
thanks to BookNotes
In a move that appears designed to anger the United States, the Russian government has let it be known that it is about to sign a huge oil deal with Iraq. The deal would become active once UN sanctions on Iraq are lifted. [read more]
I have to hand it to George W.
He's really got some folks suckered into this "war on terrorism" thing. The Hard Right has really done its homework and they definitely have all their lemmings all in a row. I can't help but watch in amazement as they assemble and sell off this potentially disastrous "policy" against Iraq and move the rest of us closer to a more isolated position in the eyes of the world. And some people are actually buying this snake oil. Here we are, getting ready for the media bombardment of 9/11 "anniversary specials," and Bush Inc. is working overtime proving to those of us who can think independently that they haven't learned a damn thing. [read more]
thanks to SmirkingChimp.com
Philosophies of Life
thanks to consumptive.org
You too can be an Ashcroft Camper
General Ashcroft's Detention Camps
Returning to General Ashcroft's plans for American enemy combatants, an August 8 New York Times editorial—written before those plans were revealed—said: "The Bush administration seems to believe, on no good legal authority, that if it calls citizens combatants in the war on terrorism, it can imprison them indefinitely and deprive them of lawyers. This defiance of the courts repudiates two centuries of constitutional law and undermines the very freedoms that President Bush says he is defending in the struggle against terrorism."
Meanwhile, as the camps are being prepared, the braying Terry McAuliffe and the pack of Democratic presidential aspirants are campaigning on corporate crime, with no reference to the constitutional crimes being committed by Bush and Ashcroft. As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis prophesied: "The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people." And an inert Democratic leadership. See you in a month, if I'm not an Ashcroft camper. [read more]