Weblog Archives




  Friday   November 2   2001

One last blog. Yeah, that's it. Just one!

Higgy's page featured John Fahey (on Oct 24). One of my favorite guitarists and mentor to another of my favorite guitarists - Leo Kottke. He died earlier this year. Do read the Fahey links that Higgy provides.

Then go to (link thanks to Higgy's page) John Fahey's page of music at emusic.com. There are 11 of his Takoma albums that you can download for a modest fee. It's $14.99 a month (3 month minimum) or $9.99 a month (12 month minimum). For that you can download as much as you want (all MP3s). And the artists get paid. Well, maybe not John.

But wait, there's more! From John's page you can link to Leo Kottke's armadillo album (with Vaseline Machine Gun) or Robbie Basho or John Renborn. They have 16,000 albums. Not mainstream stuff but a lot of quality stuff. 26 John Coltrane albums and 65 Bill Evans Albums. I mean, it goes on and on. Rock/Pop, Country/Folk, Jazz, Blues, World/Reggae, Elecronic, etc., etc. Some really great stuff.

Emusic also has a page on MP3 tools and which converts MP3s to .wave or .aiff if you want to convert them to music CDs. Of course, it helps to have DSL and a CD burner.

 09:41 AM - link

Light blogging today. First of all, my babies are coming home today. They have been living in Germany courtesy of the US Army. My oldest baby is Jenny, who is 22. She just got a medical discharge (asthma) and is returning with her baby, Robyn. My other baby is Robby (18) who has been with Jenny taking care of Robyn. They were to be in last night but they missed a connecting flight in Atlanta and should be arriving this morning. Woo hoo!!

Secondly, I am putting on a concert tonight down at the Bayview Cash Store for Gideon Freudmann. He is the electric cellist that will be on TestingTesting Monday night. We wanted to set up a paying gig for him. So, if you are on the Island, come on down for an evening of CelloBop. The TestingTesting House Band opens. It's at 7:30. $7 all tickets.

Too much happening today.

How not to win a war

Huge earth-shaking explosions, horizons filled with flame and smoke, doomsday clamour and an indiscriminate devastation: these are the familiar, unnerving symptoms of a bankrupt policy, of plans lacking or gone awry, of exponential escalation and dread futility. Familiar because the world has seen the Americans go this way before, in Vietnam, in Cambodia and in Iraq, with no good result.

Unnerving because the impression strengthens that President George Bush has no clear idea how proportionately to attain his ends or even what those ends may ultimately be. Futile because carpet-bombing, whatever its immediate consequences, looks to all but an implacable American public like an act of desperation prompted by a failure of imagination. Every towering column of dust and ash obscures ever more completely the twin towers whose appalling downfall was the root of it all.
[read more]

thanks to SmirkingChimp.com

What the NORC Data Will Show

The controversy over the decision to withhold the data from the National Opinion Research Center's (NORC) Florida ballot survey has fueled a great deal of speculation regarding the conclusions that will be drawn from that data. While media drones like Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post continue to spin the fiction that nobody knows what the NORC data will show, the truth (and Kurtz must know it) is that the NORC data will merely confirm conclusions that can be drawn from the abundant information available from precinct-based returns, various other media recounts, and other sources.

The reporters and analysts from the media consortium have studied the other data sources in order to know what to look for when they get the NORC data. Some of these reporters and analysts have acknowledged privately that their newspapers have not done stories based on other ballot reviews because their editors and publishers want to wait until they have the NORC data.

In sum, the media consortium withheld election-based stories for the past nine months because they wanted to get the biggest bang from their NORC bucks. And as other reviews and investigative reports uncover the truth about what happened in the Florida election, they have realized another reason for withholding such stories. According to two independent journalists and other sources, the NORC data have been available since early July. Release of the data has been delayed by members of the media consortium that did not want to publish facts that would lead to the inevitable conclusion that the wrong person is in the White House — and that he got there through corrupt practices by Florida Republicans.
[read more - lots more]

thanks to SmirkingChimp.com

 08:29 AM - link

  Thursday   November 1   2001

Clean the Fucking Kitchen For Dummies
Learn how to clean the fucking kitchen so your flatmate doesn't kill you!

thanks to danelope

Get Your Angst On: Comic Art for the New Depression

You may be the type: You’re alternately glum and sad and anxious. You scoff at the flag-decorated cars (“America is my favorite brand of nation-state!”); you sneer at the e-mailed prayer-for-peace rally invites; you’ve become obsessed with WTC cough, the Pakistani education system and locating the most dissident, depressive opinion piece from The Guardian and forwarding it to all your online friends. You’ve been drinking more, you haven’t laughed with real abandon in weeks and nihilism is looking like an attractive personal philosophy. And then, sometime following the premiere of Operation: Enduring Freedom, a generous soul passed along the address for “Get Your War On,” the deeply dark-humored online comic strip. And for those few minutes you perused this piece of ash-black clip-art social commentary, you actually felt better.
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thanks to JerryKindall.com

 08:33 PM - link

Carpet bombing is losing us the propaganda war and may prove to be futile

Arthur Schlesinger: Are we trapped in another Vietnam?
'Our leaders gambled that the unpopularity of the regime would enable bombing to bring about the Taliban's rapid collapse'

Our best friend Pakistan

Pak masses troops along border

Pakistan has moved its strategic army reserves and armoured formations in a rapid buildup facing the Indian border in Akhnoor in Jammu and Kashmir and Ganganagar in Rajasthan, according to highly placed official sources here.

Pakistan arms Taliban by the night

Pakistan is clandestinely continuing to supply the Taliban regime with military supplies, US officials have affirmed, confirming the assessment of Indian intelligence agencies first reported in the Indian media.

 05:22 PM - link

Corporations at the trough

This Stimulus Plan Pushes the Wrong Buttons
Tax breaks aimed at business investment won't work because of existing overcapacity. What's needed is a way to buck up consumers

thanks to Ethel the Blog

America's Leaders Are Failing the Leadership Test in the Current Crisis

thanks to wood s lot


Backyard terrorism
The US has been training terrorists at a camp in Georgia for years - and it's still at it.

"If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocents," George Bush announced on the day he began bombing Afghanistan, "they have become outlaws and murderers themselves. And they will take that lonely path at their own peril." I'm glad he said "any government", as there's one which, though it has yet to be identified as a sponsor of terrorism, requires his urgent attention.

For the past 55 years it has been running a terrorist training camp, whose victims massively outnumber the people killed by the attack on New York, the embassy bombings and the other atrocities laid, rightly or wrongly, at al-Qaida's door. The camp is called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or Whisc. It is based in Fort Benning, Georgia, and it is funded by Mr Bush's government.

Until January this year, Whisc was called the "School of the Americas", or SOA. Since 1946, SOA has trained more than 60,000 Latin American soldiers and policemen. Among its graduates are many of the continent's most notorious torturers, mass murderers, dictators and state terrorists. As hundreds of pages of documentation compiled by the pressure group SOA Watch show, Latin America has been ripped apart by its alumni.
[read more]

thanks to also not found in nature

How's the war going?

Mistake to declare this a 'war'
Sir Michael Howard, the eminent historian, has delivered a brilliant analysis of the terrorist crisis - and an indictment of its handling - which is likely to prove highly influential in this country and abroad.

thanks to wood s lot

Allies study options for full-scale invasion
Attack possible in spring if bombing and subversion fail

US bombs knock out dam, "imperil thousands", in heaviest raids yet

thanks to Ethel the Blog


This Modern World

Last year, due to a quirk in their election laws, our interdimensional counterparts accidnetly elected a SMALL CUTE DOG as PRESIDENT!

Tom the Dancing Bug
Profiles in Courage

Today, we salute a uniquely patriotic group, as several Rich White Guys speak out about the sacrifices they are willing to make for the War on Terrorism.

Information that no educated person should be without

Where is your Birthday in PI?

This document will tell you where in PI your birthday first occurs.

E.G., If you were born Feb 20th 1969 search for: 22069

For those that don't remember, PI is the big number that begins with three

My birthday, August 24, 1944 (82444), starts at the 46,717 digit of Pi. Where is your's?

 11:36 AM - link

  Wednesday   October 31   2001

Trick or treat!

One of my favorite rides.

An unofficial tribute to Disney's Haunted Mansion

skull thanks to Scripting News

 05:51 PM - link

The Media Cover-up of the Gore Victory
By David Podvin

This is a series of articles on the media cover-up of the Gore victory in Florida. It is in 5 parts (linked to below) but the above page has many corroborating links. There is a lot of shit happening right now but what David writes about goes to the core of the Corporate coup d'etat that we are living through. Don't expect to see it on the 11 o'clock propoganda report.


According to a source whose previous information has proven to be accurate, the Consortium of news organizations that recounted the presidential votes in the 2000 Florida election was shocked to find that former Vice President Al Gore decisively won the state, and it is now concealing the news of Gore’s victory from the American people.
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The Consortium of media organizations that has delayed announcing the results of the Florida presidential election ballot study contends that it had absolutely no idea who was going to win that recount. The Consortium further contends that the ballots have not yet been tabulated, making it impossible for anyone to know the outcome. It also states that the results of the ballot study would have been released to the American people if not for the terrorist attack on September 11.

The Consortium is engaging in sophistry. It is deliberately seeking to deceive the public with incomplete and misleading information. This dishonesty is entirely consistent with the mainstream media’s pattern of lying that recurred throughout the presidential campaign.

Part two in this series deals with the Consortium’s lack of candor as it has sought to advance its own financial interests by concealing Al Gore’s clear victory in Florida and refusing to acknowledge that he was the rightful winner in the 2000 presidential election.
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In 2001, the natural gas industry enjoyed the spectacular benefits that resulted from both deregulation and the passive consent of a president who was an uncritical bystander as gas companies gouged the consumers of California for over twenty billion dollars in coerced lucre. It was the ultimate dream come true for every greedy business executive who had ever contributed to a presidential campaign. Kenneth Lay, chairman of the natural gas giant Enron and George W. Bush’s single biggest financial supporter, converted political donations of hundreds of thousands of dollars into unregulated windfall profits of billions of dollars. He did it by buying the allegiance of an elected official who was supposed to be looking out for the public good.

Lay was so convinced of his ownership rights in the Bush administration that he personally called the new chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who told The New York Times “that Mr. Lay, a close friend of President Bush's, offered him a deal: If he changed his views on electricity deregulation, Enron would continue to support him in his new job.” This appointee has since resigned. As calculated by the Center for Responsive Politics (opensecrets.org), the return on investment for energy companies for supporting Bush has been 52,200 percent ($36,352,000,000 in tax breaks and subsidies divided by $69,500,000 in campaign contributions).

Not a bad return at all.
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Shortly after George W. Bush declared his candidacy for president in June of 1999, General Electric Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jack Welch was contacted by Bush political advisor Karl Rove. Welch later informed associates that Rove told him a Bush administration would initiate comprehensive deregulation of the broadcast industry. Rove guaranteed that deregulation would be implemented in a way that would create phenomenal profits for conglomerates with significant media holdings, like GE. Rove forcefully argued that General Electric and the other media giants had a compelling financial interest to see Bush become president.

Welch told several people at GE that the conversation with Rove convinced him that a Bush presidency would ultimately result in billions of dollars of additional profits for General Electric. Welch believed that it was his responsibility to operate in the best interest of GE shareholders, and that now meant using the full power of the world’s biggest corporation to get Bush into the White House.

Toward that end, Welch said that he would finally deal with a longstanding grievance of his: the ludicrous idea that news organizations should be allowed to operate in conflict with the best interests of the corporations that own them.

Since the beginning of the country, it has been considered appropriate for the business community to exercise its right to aggressively support the candidate that best represented its interests. The new dimension that Welch introduced was the concept that the mainstream media should aggressively advance the political agenda of the corporations that own it. He did not see any difference between corporate journalism and corporate manufacturing or corporate service industries. Business was business, and the difference between winners and losers was profit, whether you were selling nuclear power or ads on the network news. From Welch’s perspective, it was insanity, not to mention bad business practice, for the corporate owners of the mainstream media to restrain themselves from using all of their assets to promote their financial well being.

In general, he saw corporate news organizations as untapped political resources that should be freed from the burden of objectivity.

Specifically, NBC News was an asset owned by the shareholders of General Electric. It existed to make profits and to serve the interests of those who owned GE stock. Period.

Anything else, Welch told associates, was “liberal bullshit”.
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The nature of the criticism indicates that some readers have missed the point of the series; it is the people with the “proper pedigrees” who have consistently deceived you. The mainstream media has blatantly and provably lied to you, as when NBC/GE propagandist Andrea Mitchell was caught lying about White House vandalism by the Government Accounting Office, and went unpunished by her employer. The mainstream media has deliberately and provably misled you, as with the media Consortium's ludicrous contention that they have absolutely no way of knowing the trend of the ballot study. The mainstream media has deliberately and provably concealed the truth from you under false pretenses, as when the Consortium chose to withhold the results of the ballot study by using the blatantly false excuse that all of their political reporters were covering the war on terrorism.

It has never been our desire to inflict distress on those who shield themselves from reality through ignorance and hostility. We are simply stating the truth, and we are confident that it will be confirmed by subsequent events. It is appropriate to be skeptical of what you read. It is relevant that not one skeptic has been able to successfully refute any of the facts we have presented. We know that, as events unfold, those of you who are strong enough to remain open minded will become increasingly convinced that what we have reported in this series is true.
[read more]

 10:40 AM - link

Life in the West Bank

Ha'aretz, an Israeli paper, has a couple of interesting articles on life in the West Bank. One of them is about a couple of settlers who are being fired on by Palestinians. While a number of the settlers are there for political reasons many are there because it was a less expensive apartment with a view. Now they are caught, literally, in the cross-fire.

The other is what the Palestinians experience when the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) comes visiting. This one was written by Amira Hass, an Israeli writer that has been living with the Palestinians.

The year of living dangerously in Gilo
Uzi and Liora Na'im thought they were simply buying a house with a view, but now their living room window in Gilo has become the bull's eye for shooters in Beit Jala.

America comes to Beit Rima
by Amira Hass

So...How's the war going?

Confusion over war's next phase as ground attack stalls

British and American troops are being prevented from conducting any meaningful operations on the ground against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden because of a lack of knowledge about conditions in Afghanistan, defence sources admitted yesterday.

With the government showing increasing signs of impatience at the failure to make a breakthrough after three weeks of air strikes in which more than 3,000 bombs have been dropped on the country, the sources said there was an "an intelligence vacuum".

Amid a growing realisation that the lightning attack by US airborne troops into Afghanistan captured on grainy video this month was little more than a public relations exercise, there is also increasing concern and frustration in Washington about the way the military campaign is going. "The Americans are very desperate about what to do next," another well-placed defence source told the Guardian.
[read more]

There's "an intelligence vacuum" but I think it's in the White House.

More of get your war on

 09:51 AM - link

  Sunday   October 28   2001

Mark, at wood s lot, is providing me with links to riff off of on this evening/morning. Two links are direct and one indirect in that I found it in Cursor which he had linked to. Cursor is great! But this evening/morning it's Joel Meyerowitz, Al-Jazeera, and Moby Dick.

Joel Meyerowitz

There hasn't been much in the news about what is happening at ground zero. The news media seems to have a pretty short attention span. But someone is doing something.


''We go to Pompeii two thousand years later and see the people who were caught in the lava,'' photographer Joel Meyerowitz was saying. ''The remains of their breakfasts, the terrazzo floors in their homes. We think about how remarkable their lives were. Well, this is our Pompeii.''

It was four weeks after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, and the lava, so to speak, was still smoldering. In the fading afternoon sunlight, on the southern perimeter of ground zero in Lower Manhattan, Meyerowitz unshouldered his bulky view camera and lowered its tripod legs

Meyerowitz, a tall, sparely built man with a great dome of a bald head, peered through the viewfinder of his 1942 Deardorff. The camera, his professional calling card, takes large (up to 8 by 10 inches), highly detailed negatives. Meyerowitz was supposed to have it with him in Tuscany this fall, snapping photos for a book that would take its place beside ''Cape Light,'' his well-known collection of Cape Cod landscapes.
[read more]

Joel Meyerowitz is, probably, my favorite photographer (so many to choose from!). He was black and white street photographer in New York for many years until he discovered color and the 8X10 view camera which takes negatives that produce the most beautiful and detailed prints. There is no grain. He broke onto the color photography scene with his exquisite book "Cape Light".

For years he had a studio in New York from which he took pictures which included the World Trade Center.

Now he is documenting ground zero with is view camera.

Terry Gross, of Fresh Air, interviewed Joel Meyerowitz. Listening to Joel describe what he has seen and is doing is amazing. Listen to it.

Joel's web site


Al-Jazeera is the Arab cable news network that the US tried to muzzle. Cursor has a page of links to articles about Al-Jazeera.

In defense of al-Jazeera
By Michael Moran

The first time most Americans heard the name al-Jazeera was Sunday, Oct. 7, the day U.S. and British forces began hitting the Taliban and its “guests” in Afghanistan. The timing was almost surely accidental — Western journalists had spent three weeks expecting an attack at any moment. But the impact on the White House was undeniable, and suddenly Washington reverted to the kind of bullying that had not been evident in the buildup to the attack.

Secretary of State Colin Powell denounced al-Jazeera for airing “vitriolic, irresponsible kinds of statements” when it broadcast a videotaped statement by suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden praising the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

The CIA leaked its concern that bin Laden might be sending secret messages through these taped statements. Condoleeza Rice, the national security adviser, called and visited with top American network and newspaper representatives, urging them to consider the dangers of airing bin Laden’s views. On the shallower media outlets around the U.S., al-Jazeera suddenly found itself being equated with the former Communist mouthpiece Pravda or Hitler’s National Zeitung.

The truth could hardly be more different.
[read more]

We are supposed to be fighting for freedom? Doesn't that include freedom of the press? Not according to some Americans who feel we should jam Al-Jazeera or, better yet, let the military shut it down. We can't have some Arab countering our government's propoganda with the actual news.

Until Al-Jazeera starts some English programming you can get a machine translation of their website. The syntax is akward but it is easier than reading anything Shrub has to say. Just click on the Al-Jazeera link under "Most visited sites" and click on translate.

Pictures from Al-Jazeera

Michael Moran's article (above) ends:

That brings us to the final lesson here: what passes for news in America. For the past 10 years, roughly since the idiotic O.J. Simpson trial, the language of marketing has entered American newsrooms like a badly targeted cruise missile. Talk of plot lines and demographics, sexiness and “water-cooler” appeal have polluted a mission that is protected by its own constitutional amendment. Celebrity journalists interview celebrity dimwits about their sex lives, while American foreign policy is left running on auto-pilot.

The hard truth is that the U.S. media left America as unprepared for these terrorist attacks as any Air Force general or CIA bureaucrat. As we dropped bombs on Iraq for 10 years running — justified or not — the U.S. media failed to report on it. Then suddenly, on Sept. 11, we think “We’re at war” when in fact there hasn’t been a day since the Gulf War ended when an American aircraft hasn’t locked onto a target with a missile or bomb. We were at war, it’s just that the media didn’t think it was interesting enough to tell you about it.

That’s our lesson to learn.

Moby Dick.

Melville Has Never Looked Better

One hundred fifty years ago this month Herman Melville's ''Moby-Dick'' was first published, to mixed reviews and, as they say in the trade, disappointing sales. In our own moment of horror and heroism, it is a book more salient than ever -- unflinchingly honest about the human capacity for hate and brutality, yet filled with an undiscourageable love of humanity. In its own day, it was received by many critics as a half-mad rant.

For modern readers, ''Moby-Dick'' forecast the future in which they found themselves living. Melville took as his subject the first international industry dominated by the United States, and thereby bore witness to the ''manifest destiny'' of a nation just beginning during his lifetime to grow from a continental into a world power. In recounting the love between an American boy (Ishmael) and a tattooed cannibal (Queequeg), he intimated, long before it was common to think so, that human sexuality ranges freely along a continuum of desire and cannot be contained within established norms. In his grisly account of the business of killing whales, he anticipated today's environmentalist indignation at people who have a purely instrumental relation to nature; but he also treated all pieties and pietists with proto-postmodern irony -- as when he asks, ''With what quill did the Secretary of the Society for the Suppression of Cruelty to Ganders formerly indite his circulars?'' And with eerie prescience, he foresaw in ''Moby-Dick'' the most gruesome phenomenon of modern times -- of which we have been so terribly reminded by recent events -- how a demagogue can fuse his personal need for vengeance with the popular will by promising his followers a huntable enemy in which evil was ''made practically assailable.''
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I'm afraid that I have never read "Moby-Dick". I saw the Gregory Peck movie when it came out in 1956. That probably doesn't count. I have a book that belonged to my Dad - The Romances of Herman Melville. Published in 1931. It has "Moby-Dick". It's time to read it.

Call me Ishmael...

But wait, there's more! We bring you back to our regularly scheduled war.

These comics have been linked to a lot but there are more being added and they are not to be missed.

 01:12 AM - link