Note the date — I didn't mention the date in an earlier post. Bob Morris, at Politics in the Zeros, has a page with links to information on this national anti-war demonstration.
On Sunday, October 6, there will be nationwide anti-war demonstrations, organized by Not In Our Name (NION). Locations include New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, and Atlanta and more. All will have music, spoken word, poetry, as well as speakers and, in the case of L.A., a march. [read more]
The Seattle march will be from Volunteer Park (near the amphitheater) on Capitol Hill to Westlake Park.
This is a must read. It's a .pdf file.
"The biggest challenge is going to be how to best utilize taxpayer's dollars to the benefit of industry..."
thanks to Tapped
Tom the Dancing Bug
A declaration of war against the world
Late last week, copies began oozing out of Washington of a remarkable document the Bush Administration plans to submit shortly to Congress. The document, entitled "The National Security Strategy of the United States," is an overview of policies, most of them apparent or previously announced, that the White House sees as relevant to the nation's security. It should be required reading for any person who still believes the United States represents an unambiguous force for good in world affairs.
Bush's "strategy" is nothing less than a declaration of war against the world. For those of us who want to believe that our government reflects the ideals of our country and the good-heartedness of the American people, it is truly a repellant masterpiece. And while some aspects of the Bush strategy have been strains in American foreign policy for decades, give Bush points for honesty: as never before, he lays it all out, in one place, in 28 pages of arrogance that answer better than Osama himself ever could the question of Why They Hate Us. [read more]
To understand why an invasion of Iraq may not be the cakewalk that the White House expects, pay $20 (round trip) and board an Iraqi Airways flight that soars from Baghdad straight through the American-enforced "no-flight zone" to Basra on the southern tip of Iraq. [read more]
Then what happened after failing to get any formal authorization from the Security Council, the U.S. Ambassador Negroponte-- who has the blood of about 35, 000 people in Nicaragua on his hands when he was U.S. Ambassador down in Honduras-- sent a letter to the Security Council asserting Article 51 of the U.N. Charter to justify the war against Afghanistan. And basically saying that we reserve the right to use force in self-defense against any state we say is somehow involved in the events of September 11. Well, the San Francisco Chronicle interviewed me on that and asked what is the precedent for this? I said that the precedent again goes back to the Nuremberg Judgment of 1946 when the lawyers for the Nazi defendants argued that we, the Nazi government had a right to go to war in self-defense as we saw it, and no one could tell us any differently. Of course that preposterous argument was rejected by Nuremberg. It is very distressing to see some of the highest level of officials of our country making legal arguments that were rejected by the Nuremberg Tribunal. [read more]
thanks to American Samizdat
Ours Not To Reason Why
The official U.S. government message on how citizens should decide about going to war is, "Don't worry your pretty little heads about it." Last week the White House issued a sort of Official Souvenir Guide to the Bush administration's national security policy, and it is full of rhetoric about democracy. Yet that policy itself, including at least one likely war, has been imposed on the country entirely without benefit of democracy. George W.'s war on Iraq will be the reductio ad absurdum of America's long, slow abandonment of any pretense that the people have any say in the question of whether their government will send some of them far away to kill and die. [read more]
Drawing on studies of group decision-making, Janis argued that the pressures of like-minded people deciding as a group lead to a deterioration of mental reasoning, reality testing, and moral judgment. In short, groupthink leads to a breakdown of critical thinking.
In his 1972 book Janis also examined the flawed decision making that went into the Korean War, Pearl Harbor, and Vietnam and presented in contrast the decision making process that occurred during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the post-World War II Marshall Plan.
So far the Bush administration's foreign policy team has manifested all the symptoms of groupthink that Janis identified: [read more]
thanks to bertramonline
In Broad Daylight
"You are one of only a handful of major players selling wholesale electricity. Surely the thought has to occur to you: what would happen to prices if one of my plants just happened to go off line? And when companies act on that thought . . . well, you get the picture."
I wrote that in March 2001, when the California electricity crisis was at its height. Even then the experts I talked to — economists who followed the situation closely, and kept an open mind — believed that energy companies were deliberately creating shortages. But only in the last few weeks, with a series of damning reports and judgments, has conventional wisdom grudgingly accepted the obvious.
And that's the real mystery of the California crisis: how could a $30 billion robbery take place in broad daylight? [read more]
Cave-men and women
On the armored bus that made its way from Jerusalem to Hebron sat soldiers and Jewish settlers from the territories. The soldiers were from Paratroop Battalion 101, who guard the Jewish settlement in the city. Along the way the bus went past Palestinian villages. One of the soldiers, his face pressed up against the armored window, threw out to the officer sitting next to him: "Does what we're doing to them look okay to you?"(...)
"Why can't they be kept under curfew all the time?" one of the trippers asked the guide.
"Ask the government," she replied.
In a large courtyard, the guide, Tehila Ben Yosef from Hebron, pointed out signs and indications that Jews had been in the casbah in years past: She identified scars on a wall where a mezuzah had been ripped off. The curfew is so absolute that no signs of life are heard from the houses.
"Where are the Arabs?" asked one of the trippers.
"Don't worry," interjected another tripper. "After the holidays they will let them out again." [read more]
If an IDF computer, as the myth goes, rather than a military copywriter, gave the Muqata operation the code name "Matter of Time," dumb it's not. If you look at the situation overall and analyze it coldly, there are seven issues that are a matter of time:
1. This is the first time since the occupation that Palestinians have violated a curfew in several cities as a spontaneous protest against the IDF's hazing of Arafat. They galloped through the streets in noisy protest, totally ignoring our forces. The IDF, using its brains this time, did not respond.
A hasty decision would have ended in a bloodbath. But it's only a matter of time before not hundreds, but thousands and tens of thousands, take to the streets during a total curfew. And then, either some stupid officer will give the order to open fire, or the army will accept the fact that an entire people cannot be kept under lock and key. Not because it looks bad on television, but because it will end badly. [read more]
But now Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister, has become involved in the whole affair, discussing with army officers the fate of the water project. One Israeli minister scoffed at the use of the army. "Are we going to go to war for four kibbutzes?" he asked. The answer, of course, is that wars have been started in the Middle East over smaller things that the Wazzani. Which is why the waters of this wandering little river could grow a lot hotter in the coming weeks. [read more]
Pictures from Beijing. Looking through a little knot hole into the daily life of another world. Wonderful.
Wall Street Crooks
Judging from George W. Bush's "Wacko" economic forum, the fragile economy needs more tax cuts for the rich, more unfettered markets, more personal virtue -- and then everything will be all right. Give the Bush-Harken-Enron-Cheney-Halliburton team an A+ for consistency, but failing marks on all other counts. There are many lessons to be learned from the collapse of the bubble economy and the scandals of corporate financial skullduggery, but the White House hasn't learned any of them. Here are 10 for starters. [read more]
Beach banking babylon
The economy is a mess. We are now in the second dip of a double-dip recession. ("Looks like a W," say the economists, another reason why economists are not famous for their humor.) Six and a quarter trillion dollars has disappeared from the stock markets. We have so far to go in cleaning up corporate corruption, it makes the Augean stables look like spilt milk. [read more]
Jammed for All Time
Radio and television insist the songs don't fit their formats. Record companies cringe at the sales figures. Music magazines dis- miss the bands as go-nowhere noodlers and the fans as drugged-up dreadies. But as it turns out, so-called jambands, a gaggle of related giggers not typically labeled as such, and the loyal audience that lumps them together collectively form the most pervasive underground movement in music today. On October 2, approximately 3000 jam fans and 50 musicians (most of whom wear on their figurative chests that scarlet J) will gather at Roseland Ballroom for the third annual Jammys—an awards show that, according to the event's executive producer Peter Shapiro, celebrates "excellence in improvisational music." Or, as he proffers even more vaguely with a knowing chuckle, "It's an awards show for a genre you can't define." [read more]
thanks to The Seventh Circle
The War Against Some Drugs
Federal drug policy now lies in the hands of those who might best be described as the John Birchers of the drug war. Like the Southern racists who blocked civil rights reforms in the 1950s and 1960s, today's drug war politicians are out of step with the public, but they don't care. They're on their own crusade, one in which marijuana is as sinful as miscegenation was to the Southern racists or homosexuality is to today's religious fundamentalists. [read more]
Here is some more stuff before I have to really get to work.
Politics in the Zeros has information on nationwide anti-war demonstrations being organized by Not In Our Name. Check it out for pertinent links.
bertramonline came up with a great link to a graphic about how Bush lies about what he did on Sept 11.
Most people will easily remember where they were and what they were doing at September 11th last year. Not President Bush. At two Town Hall Meetings he was asked about his day, and both times he ended up telling untrue stories about how he learned of the WTC-attacks
Now to leave you with a lighter hearted link from enthusiasm — The connection between the space shuttle and a horse's arse.
I've got some work to finish off so it will be a little light today. That, and I've been reading too much depressing material lately and it's starting to rot my brain. Things like how our corporations (beloved of so many Republicans and turncoat Democrats) get away with murder (thanks to abuddhas memes) and what fine shape our economy is in. Not to mention Israel/Palestine (more Israel/Palestine) or the efforts of our amateur empire makers. Maybe I'm depressed because I have to keep working because nobody nominated me. I will leave you with a little picture thanks to Cursor (from Tom Paine).
This web site highlights the National Museum of American History's varied collection of papier-mâché anatomical models and provides additional in-depth information not included in the original three-dimensional exhibition. The exhibit showcases two major themes. It explores the history and use of papier-mâché anatomical models, and, then focuses on their construction, conservation, and preservation.
thanks to Travellers Diagram
The ultimate goal of Sharon in everything he does is still the same: the total end of the peace process, the expulsion of the Palestinians from their remaining areas, and the establishment of an ever-growing Greater Israel.
His immediate tactics are aimed not only at Arafat but are intended to result in the complete destruction of the Palestinian Authority and its leadership and their ability to address themselves to the world community. [read more]
The murder in Hebron, like the murders in Tel Aviv last week, presents the events at the Muqata in a light that is surrealistic, in the full sense of the word. Alongside the continuing terror killings, the military show of hand opposite the shreds of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's headquarters is becoming non-real, detached from life. The more sophisticated the demolition gets and as the control becomes ostensibly absolute, the more they recede from the facts that are relevant to the conflict. [read more]
A group of elderly men was seen suddenly running for their lives along the road through the market that links Manara Square with Jerusalem Street. They were running from the square in an easterly direction. It happened yesterday afternoon at a time when Ramallah was officially under total curfew. It very soon became clear what the curfew-breakers were fleeing from. In seconds, two armored personnel carriers came charging down at about 30 kilometers per hour. Their guns were moving but the hatches remained shut and no soldier could be seen peeking out. Behind the APCs was a troupe of eight- to sixteen-year-olds, chasing them and hurling stones at them with all their might. [read more]
Either the political and security hierarchy of the Palestinian Authority has conspired with senior American and European diplomats to weave a web of lies, or for more than three months the political and security hierarchy in Israel has been deceiving everyone - and in particular themselves. Here are some selected Rashomons: [read more]
Sharon under attack for Arafat strategy
It's been awhile since I've mentioned Microsoft. I wonder how the anti-trust suit is going? [Disclosure: I'm running Windows 2000 Professional.]
WINDOWS USERS are steaming over the terms in Microsoft's new Service Pack 3 for Windows 2000, which was released on Aug. 1, and Service Pack 1 for XP, which is in beta but will probably ship next month.
The licenses of these updates say, "You acknowledge and agree that Microsoft may automatically check the version of the OS Product and/or its components that you are utilizing and may provide upgrades or fixes to the OS Product that will be automatically downloaded to your computer." [read more]
A lot of people know the Gibson guitars with the name Les Paul on them. Many, many more know the music that has come from these guitars — from musicians such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. I suspect most don't know about the man behind the name. Not only was he instrumental (pun intended) in developing the solid body electric guitar, but he developed many of the recording techniques used by all rock musicians — and he is a *killer* guitar player.
Les Paul jokes that a lot of people don't know he plays the guitar. "They think I am one," he says with delight. As father of the solid body electric guitar, thousands of musicians around the globe covet Gibson's famed Les Paul guitars. But few realize the other contributions Paul has made through the years to the art of sound recording.
As an inventor, Les Paul is credited with creating sound-on-sound, over-dubbing, the electronic reverb effect and multitrack tape recording. He made the first eight track recorder in the late 1940s by stacking eight Ampex tape machines and synchronizing them. Old friend W.C. Fields dubbed the contraption "the Octopus." (...)
Beacham: How did you conceive the idea for multitrack recording?
Paul: That idea came about in the 1920s...long before tape recorders...with my mother's piano roll. You have to align a piano roll so it will play the right notes. I saw that the piano keys go down when there is a hole in the paper. I thought if I punch a hole somewhere else in that paper a key's gonna go down...and it did. There's a space on the roll with nothing on it. Now when the real roll came on...say it was Fats Waller playing something on the piano...there were a lot of places for me to play along with him. So I'd punch in extra holes and out would come extra notes. So I could make him play fifths, I could make him play thirds and I was having a field day with this thing. And so the first multiple ever made was with a piano roll. [read more]
Les Paul and His Gibson Guitar
One of my most prized pieces of black vinyl is one I picked up in 1976 — Chester & Lester. Chet Atkins and Les Paul playing together for the first time. Two masters having fun together. I didn't realize there was a follow-up. It's on my wish list now (hint, hint).
Editorial Reviews — Amazon.com
Remember the economy?
The weak economy, profit warnings from many big companies, falling stock markets abroad and the prospect of war with Iraq helped send the Nasdaq composite index to a six-year low yesterday.
The two other big stock gauges fell to their lowest levels since the overall market hit a five-year low in July. [read more]
The Day After
As soon as American troops are rolling through Saddam Hussein's palaces, the odds are that this holy Shiite city 100 miles south of Baghdad will erupt in a fury of killing, torture, rape and chaos.
The Shiite Muslims who make up 60 percent of Iraq — but who have never held power — will rampage through the narrow streets here. Remembering the whispers from the bazaar about how Saddam's minions burned the beard off the face of a great Shiite leader named Muhammad Bakr al-Sadr, then raped and killed his sister in front of him, and finally executed him by driving nails through his head, the rebels will tear apart anyone associated with the ruling Baath Party.
In one Shiite city after another, expect battles between rebels and army units, periodic calls for an Iranian-style theocracy, and perhaps a drift toward civil war. For the last few days, I've been traveling in these Shiite cities — Karbala, Najaf and Basra — and the tension in the bazaars is thicker than the dust behind the donkey carts.
So before we rush into Iraq, we need to think through what we will do the morning after Saddam is toppled. Do we send in troops to try to seize the mortars and machine guns from the warring factions? Or do we run from civil war, and risk letting Iran cultivate its own puppet regime? In the north, do we suppress the Kurds if they take advantage of the chaos to seek independence? Do we fight off the Turkish Army if it intervenes in Kurdistan? [read more]
White Man's Burden
Of course the new Bush doctrine, in which the United States will seek "regime change" in nations that we judge might be future threats, is driven by high moral purpose. But McKinley-era imperialists also thought they were morally justified. The war with Spain — which ruled its colonies with great brutality, but posed no threat to us — was justified by an apparent act of terror, the sinking of the battleship Maine, even though no evidence ever linked that attack to Spain. And the purpose of our conquest of the Philippines was, McKinley declared, "to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them."
Moral clarity aside, the parallel between America's pursuit of manifest destiny a century ago and its new global sense of mission has a lot to teach us. [read more]
Forget the evidence
But commentators' focus on The Evidence does indicate a worrying trend - namely, how everyone now accepts the right of America and Europe to interfere in Iraq's affairs. When people say that they're 'waiting for the evidence' or 'waiting for better evidence' or even that they're 'unconvinced by the evidence', what they're really saying is: we accept the West's right to intervene in Iraq and to effect regime change and to oust Saddam. You just need to convince us that it is necessary right now. This is anti-war opposition based on the pedantic rather than the principled.
Forget the 'facts against Saddam'. Forget asking Bush and Blair 'Where is the evidence?'. A far better question would be: 'What right do you have to gather evidence on foreign states, and to tell others how to run their affairs?' [read more]
Mentioning the war
In a speech this week, a senior western politician controversially compared the effects of George Bush's foreign policy to the conditions which created the rise of Adolf Hitler. But the politician in question was not the unfortunate former German justice minister Herta Däubler-Gmelin, who was sacked by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder on Monday for saying much the same thing at the height of the German election. The man who drew the comparison this time was none other than former US vice-president Al Gore.
In his remarkable speech in San Francisco on Monday night - remarkable not least because Gore spoke there with a freedom and frankness that he disastrously abandoned during his presidential election campaign two years ago - Gore ripped into Bush's ideological opposition to "nation-building" as a catastrophically dangerous policy. "The absence of enlightened nation-building after world war one led directly to the conditions which made Germany vulnerable to fascism and the rise of Adolf Hitler, and made all of Europe vulnerable to his evil designs," Gore argued. [read more]
War is peace?
No. This is not acceptable. This is not the country we want to be. This is not the world we want to make.
The United States of America is still run by its citizens. The government works for us. Rank imperialism and warmongering are not American traditions or values. We do not need to dominate the world. We want and need to work with other nations. We want to find solutions other than killing people. Not in our name, not with our money, not with our children's blood. [read more]
And they said Rock 'n' Roll was bad for you because it caused deafness.
Orchestras have become much, much louder since the 18th century. And the process has gathered pace dramatically since the Second World War. We have reached the point where brass instruments exceed permitted industrial noise levels. Orchestral players are advised, or instructed, to wear earplugs, and with good reason. Musicians are being deafened by music.
It is an absurd situation. The oboist of one world-class orchestra confesses that he can no longer hear the leader's violin solos in Scheherazade. A fiddler in the Chicago Symphony, an ensemble that possesses a famously aggressive brass section, admits to wearing a hearing aid specially designed for classical musicians. Others are reluctant to break cover, fearing the obvious supposition: that if they can't hear properly, they can't play properly. Working in a professional orchestra has impaired the physical attribute that took them there in the first place. [read more]
thanks to follow me here...
wood s lot
Say it isn't so, Mark!
I've been in denial about the demise of wood s lot. And for good reason — he's back, sort of.
I think our esteemed d'monquis said it best...
a w w w s h i t . . .
The Obvious? has a paypal account set up fill in Marks computer gap.
I vote to keep the apostrophe implied.
When the weird get going — they go to Burning Man
thanks to Travellers Diagram
thanks to BookNotes
The audacious courage of Mr Blair
I would like to pay a tribute to the courage of Tony Blair. During these dark days in the build-up to war against Iraq it is reassuring to find ourselves with a leader who demonstrates such fearlessness in the face of tremendous odds.
Despite bitter opposition,Tony Blair has demonstrated that he will push ahead stalwartly with whatever the US intends to do. Even though the majority of his fellow countrymen are against the war (despite last week's propaganda campaign in the media), Mr Blair has shown not the slightest sign of wavering from his determination to do whatever Mr Bush wants. It is true that he has regrettably had to cave in over the question of debating the issue in Parliament, but he has fearlessly shown his contempt for the process by not allowing a vote. Mr Blair realises that he needs all the nerve he can command to resist demands for democratic discussion, if Mr Bush is to have any opportunity of dropping bombs on Iraq before the mid-term elections. [read more]
thanks to Politics in the Zeros
Bush to Arab world: Drop dead
In the old days scientists used to look for the "missing link," the fossils that bridged the gap between stupid monkeys and clever men. There is a similar missing link between the U.S. government and a coherent foreign policy. The Bush administration has totally sidelined the Middle East conflict, the one between Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab world. For a variety of reasons -- the ascendancy of neoconservative hawks in the White House and the State Department; President Bush's own embrace of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's hard-line positions; Bush's simple, black-and-white view of the world, in which the "war on terrorism" trumps everything else; the complete absence of any pressure from Congress; and domestic political considerations -- the Bush administration has apparently decided that it doesn't need to reach out to the Arab world by pushing for Mideast peace before a possible invasion of Iraq. [read more]
Ohio’s nuke with the hole in its head may soon help bury an aging Peaceful Atom. The question is no longer just “Will Davis-Besse reopen?” It’s also “Will what it reveals about deteriorating reactors end atomic power altogether?” [read more]
Dr. Edward O. Wilson, Pellegrino university research professor and honorary curator in entomology of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, winner of two Pulitzer prizes and scientific honors too numerous to recount, is on his hands and knees, pawing in the leaf litter near Walden Pond.
He eases into a half-sitting, half-reclining position and holds out a handful of humus and dirt. "This," he says, "is wilderness." [read more]
In late August, British artist Andy Goldsworthy (born 1956) completed Stone River, a 320-foot sculpture on the campus of Stanford University. Constructed of sandstone from university buildings destroyed in the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes, Stone River is the largest work of outdoor art at the university. In addition to Goldsworthy, a team of eight professional dry-stone wallers from England and Scotland worked 11 hours a day, six days a week, for three and a half weeks (1848 hours) to complete the sculpture on schedule. [read more]
thanks to plep
Here are some links to sites with pictures of Goldsworthy sculpture. Most of his work is ephemeral sculpture and only exists for short periods of time. Wonderful stuff.
There is more at risk than just the water now on the negotiating table. Unless there is a deal by the end of the year, the cities stand to lose much more, through an abrupt federal cutoff of 15 percent of Southern California's water supply.
The situation has elevated the farmers to a position of great power, and they are capitalizing on the moment, demanding more and more from the cities — beginning with payments of $2 billion over 75 years — for water the farmers now get for next to nothing. [read more]
thanks to Politics in the Zeros
The farmers are charging the cities for water provided to the farmers at tax payers expense. What is wrong with this picture?
Call of the wild
thanks to follow me here...
War Against Some Drugs
While President Bush contemplates a preemptive strike on Iraq, and Americans' 401Ks evaporate, the nation can sleep easier knowing that a bong maker is heading for prison for breaking paraphernalia laws. Chris Hill, 30, was sentenced on August 16th to a 14- month stint at the minimum security prison camp at Elin Air Force Base in Florida. He pled guilty to paraphernalia and conspiracy charges in federal court. [read more]
thanks to Cursor
Two U.S. air marshals got up from their seats in first class and moved back to coach to confront Mr. Feuer, who was described by witnesses as a slight man who seemed disoriented. What ensued was terrifying. When Mr. Feuer refused to remain in his seat, the marshals reacted as if they were trying out for the lead roles in Hollywood's latest action extravaganza.
They handcuffed Mr. Feuer, hustled him into first class and restrained him in a seat next to Dr. Rajcoomar. The 180 or so passengers were now quite jittery. Dr. Rajcoomar asked to have his seat changed and a flight attendant obliged, finding him another seat in first class. The incident, already scary, could — and should — have ended there. But the marshals were not ready to let things quiet down.
One of the marshals pulled a gun and brandished it at the passengers. The marshals loudly demanded that all passengers remain in their seats, and remain still. They barked a series of orders. No one should stand for any reason. Arms and legs should not extend into the aisles. No one should try to visit the restroom. The message could not have been clearer: anyone who disobeyed the marshals was in danger of being shot. [read more]
thanks to This Modern World
Suddenly, at about 11 P.M. on Saturday night, people started calling one another to ask with disbelief if it was true there was demonstrating in the streets. "Is it true what Al Jazeera is reporting - that dozens of young people are demonstrating in support of the besieged Yasser Arafat? Could the tear gas suddenly filling the room and burning the eyes with suffocating tears, and the gunshots drawing closer, all be aimed at dispersing such demonstrations?" [read more]
The explanation that the government is giving for the decision to demolish the Muqata - the Palestinian Authority official compound in Ramallah - and to isolate Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat in the wake of the murderous terror attacks last week is unconvincing, and it involves the government in contradictions.
The government is contending that by tightening the siege on the Palestinian leader, it aims to reinforce his labeling as someone who is irrelevant to dialogue until he comes to the conclusion that it is best for him to quit the territories and leave it to other people to lead the PA. Another of the government's justifications is its demand to hand over the wanted men who have taken shelter in Arafat's office. This explanation is not believable because the government is not providing evidence that proves a connection between the latest terrorist actions and the involvement of Arafat and the aides who are with him. The organization that took responsibility for last week's terror attacks is the Hamas. [read more]
Environment Minister Tzachi Hanegbi of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Likud party said Monday that the IDF's Operation Matter of Time had not been stopped, and that ultimately, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat would be deported, perhaps this month or next. [read more]
Living under a twenty-four hour a day, military-imposed curfew often puts me into a reflective, somewhat philosophical, if not self-indulgent frame of mind. Perhaps its the confinement. Perhaps its the continuous shooting, shelling, and horrendous roar of the tanks and jeeps driving around. Or maybe the depressing reality that an entire population--the Palestinians--has been condemned to a life of oppression and dispossession, sanctioned by a world that will not stand up to the might of Israel and the United States.
I suppose that today the source of my meditations stems from the fact that it is my birthday. A birthday spent under military curfew, listening to gunfire, and rationing food and water. A birthday in Palestine. [read more]
Worthy and Unworthy Victims
Free internet education
Learn for free online
work, work, work, work, work
I was in love with the True Desktop Collection that Mathew had going on and since it's been gone for months, I decided to pick up the ball and run with it. Feel free to contribute your own workspace pic by submitting a pic at 400 x 300 pixels as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, your location and optionally your URL.
I love to see how others have arranged their workspaces. That's mine above.
In ancient Rome, the statesman Cato the Elder was renowned for declaiming, at the end of every speech, that "Carthage must be destroyed", referring to Rome's long-standing enemy. It is perhaps appropriate, therefore, that one of the rightwing thinktanks in the US should be called the Cato Institute - except that the ultra-right of American politics sees enemies everywhere. [read more]
Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., said President Bush’s plans to invade Iraq are a conscious effort to distract public attention from growing problems at home. [read more]
thanks to BuzzFlash
Don't feel bad if you have the uneasy feeling that you're being steamrolled. You are not alone.
As my girlfriend Dana said: "Bush is like the guy who reserves a hotel room and then asks you to the prom." [read more]
WITH all the speculation about American intentions for Iraq, there has been one place where, to the chagrin of the administration, people can find a few hard facts. Since August, any Web surfer has been able to view detailed satellite photographs of construction and expansion at an American air base in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.
Published by Globalsecurity.org, a military watchdog group, and taken over the last six months, the photographs show that the base, al-Udeid, has new aircraft shelters, storage tanks and parking ramps. [read more]
While we hoped that popular revolt or coup would topple Saddam, neither the U.S. nor the countries of the region wished to see the breakup of the Iraqi state. We were concerned about the long-term balance of power at the head of the Gulf. Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in "mission creep," and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-cold war world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome. [read more]
Previous American empire building...
As the credits roll by at the end of the new experimental documentary by Camilla Benolirao Griggers and Sari Lluch Dalena, Memories of a Forgotten War, Camilla asks random passers-by on the streets of New York what they know about the Filipino-American War. Person after person responds with slightly embarrassed, stuttering confusion, "The Filipino-American what?" One person, in all sincerity, offers up the theory that the war was about rice -- that the Filipinos traditionally ate brown rice and we made them switch to white rice. [read more]
Larry Lessig is our only chance to break the copyright monoply. This is a must read. Go Larry!
The Cultural Anarchist vs. the Hollywood Police State
The entertainment industry, Lessig feels, is locking up old movies, books and songs that long ago should have transcended private ownership and become the property of the people, just as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and the other framers of the Constitution intended. At stake, he says, is not only our common cultural heritage, but also the freedom that writers and musicians and filmmakers must have to interpret, reinterpret, adapt, borrow, sample, mock, imitate, parody, criticize--the very lifeblood of the creative process. [read more]
There are a ton of poster archives on the web that you can find using Google. Northwestern University has a really good and fully searchable one, located at: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/govpub/collections/wwii-posters/
The Old Eagle poster archive has some good international posters: http://www.oldeagle.nu/post/
A Google search for "propaganda war posters" should have several more as well.
Go forth and multiply.
Shame on Bush
Sure, it's funny, even the toadies of the TV news were chuckling over it. But let's not laugh so long and hard that we don't notice what that moment really tells us. That gaffe did NOT reveal that Bush is simply stupid. In fact, it tells us something much more worrisome.
What was it that the president just could not bring himself to say? "Shame on me." The president could not say "Shame on me," not if his life depended on it -- an inability that's perfectly in character. Search all throughout the mammoth archive of his off-the-cuff remarks (and his scripted statements, too), and you won't find a single moment of self-criticism, self-doubt, ambivalence, or even open-mindedness or simple curiosity. You'll find a lot of pseudo-Christian boilerplate, but not a hint of genuine contrition. Hence, Bush's tongue went AWOL at the prospect of admitting error, weakness, or shame -- and so he had to quote The Who instead. [read more]
thanks to reading & writing
I've captured from The Daily Show the clip of W struggling to say "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Notice the look of abject fear as he realizes that he's going to muff it and it's going to end up on the news, and on damn fool weblogs.
And so it has. [read more]
David has video links in several formats.
Good news as reported by MOBYlives...
Rowling so happy she could pop, but will first give birth to Harry — by Christmas? . . .
I've listened to a lot of music, but I haven't heard it all. Warren Zevon is one of those that I hadn't really listened to — until now. Zoe recently mentioned him and then Joseph Duemer linked to an article about him in American Samizdat (article link below.) I went to Rhapsody and they had six Warren Zevon albums. I'm just finishing listening to the last one. I'm just blown away. The albums in Rhapsody don't include his latest, which I will have to buy. No problem.
Of course there is Werewolves of London, a few others that I recognize, and a whole lot of stuf that is new to me. My favorite is one that I had long forgotten about but, on hearing it, I remembered listening to it many years ago. It stopped me in my tracks then and it still does — Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.
The artist snapshot in Rhapsody:
"Wa-oooo! Werewolves of London." What da heck was that about? Doesn't matter, it's just one of the many weird, wonderful songs Warren Zevon has written. Snide, sarcastic, and catchy as all get out, he's basically a harder rocking (and harder living) Randy Newman.
This is the article that Joseph Deumer linked to.
The dying cancer patient with a dark, dry wit met one of his doctors for breakfast last week and handed over his two most recent CDs, one titled "Life'll Kill Ya" and the other "My Ride's Here." In his familiar baritone, Warren Zevon explained the gifts to the physician: "These are my last two albums. Maybe now you'll understand that eerie acceptance of death you keep asking me about."
Zevon chuckled at the account and then paused to catch his breath. Last month, doctors told the 55- year-old musician that he has inoperable cancer in both lungs. The prognosis is bleak, with his time measured in weeks or perhaps months. Zevon is the rocker who defined the volatile edge of the famed singer-songwriter scene of 1970s Los Angeles with his wild, vodka-fueled living and songs of morbid humor, and now he finds himself facing the very unfunny fact of his own mortality.
And, of course, he finds irresistible humor in that. [read more]