...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



pity the poor immigrant


The Afternoon
by Ken Smith

{unquotably unbreakable circle of light and love}


Q. How long did the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, pay blackmail to the husband of his mistress? How did the scandal come to light?

A. For about a year he paid, until the husband was jailed for another swindle. Five years later, Hamilton revealed it all in a pamphlet written to draw a distinction between public trust and private morals. His wife and the people generally bought his argument, evidently. He wound up with an honorable place in U.S. history.



The human cloning cult Clonaid says a human cloned baby has been born.
Clonaid says the birth by Caesarean went well but there is no independent scientific confirmation the baby is a clone.
Clonaid was founded in 1997 by the Raelian cult, which claims life on earth was created through genetic engineering by extraterrestrials.
French scientist and member of the Raelian sect, Brigitte Boisselier, told the AFP news agency the baby is a girl.
Ms Boisselier, president of the human cloning society Clonaid, says the birth "went very well".
The baby is the first born of five cloned babies the Raelians have said are due.
The Raelians, who claim 55,000 followers worldwide, believe life on earth was established by extraterrestrials who arrived in flying saucers 25,000 years ago, and that humans themselves were created by cloning.
The movement's founder, Rael - the former French journalist Claude Vorilhon - lives in Quebec.
He describes himself as a prophet and claims that cloning will enable humanity to attain eternal life.

{if there's any justice at all in the universe these claims of human immortality will prove true, and the strange new creatures that emerge from their laboratories will spend all their endless days, here, on this earth. immortal beings, yes, so far, but in a world that is itself dying, killed by the same blind selfishness that gave them their eternal lives.}

As more women from developed nations make their professional mark, their Third World sisters pick up the slack. This ongoing ''global heart transplant'' between poor and rich nations is rarely quantified by economists or recognized by most governments, according to ''Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy,'' a gripping new anthology edited by social critics Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russell Hochschild.

''The lifestyles of the First World are made possible by a global transfer of the services associated with a wife's traditional role - child care, homemaking, and sex - from poor countries to rich ones. While still relying on Third World countries for agricultural and industrial labor, the wealthy countries also seek to extract something harder to measure and quantify, something that can look very much like love,'' the pair write.

In one essay, ''Maid to Order,'' Ehrenreich picks up where she left off in her 2001 bestseller ''Nickel and Dimed,'' questioning the morality of corporate cleaning services that collect $25 per hour from a client, but pay out as little as $5 to the cleaner. Most often, this is a woman who is a recent immigrant with poor English skills, no health insurance, and no other job options.
Hochschild also draws out themes from her landmark work, ''The Second Shift,'' in her essay, ''Love and Gold,'' about Filipinas working abroad as nannies. Many readers will find themselves uncomfortable with the distasteful revelation offered by ''Global Woman'' - that many Western women have become the men they didn't want to be married to. We are too busy to help with the cooking, cleaning, or child care, and in turn have pushed the drudge work onto women too poor to refuse it.

Similarly, traditional excavations at the site over the past 100 years have failed to provide "a clear understanding of the nature, distribution and density of archaeological features such as pits, hearths, post holes and other structural remains," Britt said.
Despite the latest discoveries, the huge, 400-acre site remains "unique and enigmatic" -- much of the current understanding regarding its evolution and its inhabitants' subsistence, lifeways and social order "still speculative and largely based on data recovered from surface finds and limited test excavation."
Nevertheless, Poverty Point is a critical archaeological site in the United States and a textbook case for the evolution of a non-agricultural, socially complex culture.
Elsewhere during the same time period, American Indians lived "a much simpler lifestyle as hunter-gatherers," Britt said. "There are some exceptions, all in Louisiana, that predate Poverty Point by a couple thousand years. But they do not possess the level or scale of the Poverty Point site."
Recent archaeological studies in the area indicate that the earliest mounds in the Americas also are in northeast Louisiana. Those mounds are earlier than the Olmec mounds in Mexico, he said, and even the Egyptian pyramids at Giza.

Ramses III

The doctor described the medical case as "very rare," adding that only about 70 such cases have been reported worldwide.

Naseer said there were several theories explaining this phenomenon, but that the "most acceptable one is that the fetus was a twin of the baby. But as a result of an abnormality during the development process, the fetus was probably contained (absorbed) inside the belly of the other."

The condition, called fetus in fetu, often results in a calcified mass and can be mistaken at first for a tumor. But in some cases, the absorbed twin retains a discernable shape with head and developing limbs, hair or even facial features.


"Well, I guess I'm one of those NewAgers, but I'm an OldAger too, and the crank in me agrees completely.
The Net is a new world. You can do all kinds of stuff on it, and with it. ALL kinds. Exclude nothing, because it'll happen. Worlds are like that.
About making money. Ever asked yourself what the business model of rocks is? Of dirt? Of trees? Of rotted plants? Of reproductive urges? Last I looked the building, concrete, lumber, oil and porn businesses were doing pretty well. The difference with the Net is: its resources are infinite. They don't need to be renewed, because they're not scarce. You mine and harvest them by processes like duplication. Take all you want; just don't buy the illusion that you "own" any of it. You don't, any more than you own the air you breathe or the jillion-ton wedge of rock and lava between your yard and the core of the Earth. Deep down, it's a commie kinda place. Deal with it.
Think of the Net as a laboratory for human nature, because it's the first world entirely made by human beings. And as Craig Burton says, we've only begun to terraform it. It's like we created a parallel planet, occupying the same space and time as the one we already inhabit. We're there already and have to make the most of it. Including the fact that some of our founding dreams were wet".

Doc Searls

"There are varying estimates on how long it would take them to reprocess the spent fuel, but they probably have plans to do it a lot faster than outsiders imagine � and will do so if their equipment works," said an American official who has studied North Korea's nuclear programs for years.
"Here are a few of the ugly signposts we might whiz past: asking the inspectors to leave, starting up the reprocessing line, finalizing their withdrawal from the Nonproliferation Treaty and declaring themselves a nuclear power with a `Korean bomb' intended to protect the whole of the Korean people by keeping the Americans from starting a war."

Reflecting the sharp increase in distrust between the United States and South Korea amid a series of major demonstrations against the presence of 37,000 American troops in the country, the official added, "This will cause some secret shivers of pride amongst some in the South."

{it would sound as though the demonstrations were just more of that anti-military idealism that infected so many children in the 'sixties'. except that the demonstrations were sparked by the deaths of two 13 year-old girls, under an armored personnel carrier driven by two US soldiers who were then acquitted. acquitted of a crime they committed. this is a direct quote from an Associated Press article about those demonstrations:
Near the U.S. Embassy several blocks away, 50 female activists, dressed in white traditional Korean funeral clothes, sang anti-U.S. songs. A sorcerer danced and performed a ritual for the dead girls.
somehow I don't think the Korean word, for the person dancing and performing the funeral rites for those girls, is 'sorceror'. and see the way it's introduced right after the anti-US songs. propaganda for dummies. probably written by a follower of the erstwhile Rev. Moon. this is what happens when delusional people take over an already existing system they don't completely understand. they do really obvious blunders. but what it all really comes down to, sadly enough, is the willingness of these delusional people to sacrifice everyone rather than face the stark truth of their mistakes. their mistakenness. as though God will love them just as much if they blow up everything, as if they don't. because their little hearts are in the right place. and that's what matters. that's all that matters. to them.}

Happy Birthday!

from all of us

here at home

this need to dance,

this need to kneel:

-Denise Levertov
Of Being

O Tannenbaum


Luria's work suggested that the act of recovering one's own story was itself healing. He called the sort of writing he had done in The Mind of a Mnemonist and The Man With a Shattered World "romantic science." The two books had a profound impact on Sacks. They suggested a new form of writing that combined the clinical precision of 20th-century neurology with both the humane observations of the great Victorian physicians and the explorations of the psyche that Freud undertook in his own case histories.


Infant rats are being decapitated and their heads grafted onto the thighs of adults by researchers in Japan.

If kept cool while the blood flow is stopped, a transplanted brain can develop as normal for at least three weeks, and the mouth of the head will move, as if it is trying to drink milk, the team reports.

The grafted heads could be "excellent models" for investigating brain function in human babies after periods of no blood flow, known as ischemia, they claim.
Arguing against patenting the Harvard cancer mouse, federal lawyers warned that such a move could send Canada down a slippery slope toward patenting human beings.

"If you start treating a living organism as a mere composition of matter, there's nothing to stop us from treating all life forms in that way," said Graham Garton, representing the Commissioner of Patents.

"The danger is that we treat everyone and everything like a product."

{notice how these satanic horrors are always followed immediately by the wonderful healing possibilities they lead toward. and that's the end of the debate. "we're draining the blood out of third-world children, but it's ok, because that blood can potentially be used to save the lives of Americans", or no, everyone, the lives of everyone, the lives of everyone else. everyone but the rats in the cages, the dogs in the cages, the monkeys in the cages, the chimpanzees in the cages, the cats the rabbits, the prisoners, the small brown men and women and their children in the shrinking cage of the green world. and of course it's a mark of strength the way the young men can absorb this nightmare image without flinching, so brave, and just get past it and go on because of course we have to go on, we need to do this we have to do this there is no other way now. we need the images of infant rat heads speaking from the legs of their elders, making nursing movements before they die, before their hosts die, before their necks are snapped by 'research assistants', and it's only a first step, soon we'll be able to graft the brains and skulls of the decrepit rich to the bodies of the, to the serial bodies of the, to serial bodies of the cloned young. bodies no one owns but the laboratories because they were created in laboratories. they're not really people. so it's not wrong.}

{there's the debate all lined out except for one other proposition. I had this vision thing once, it was around the time of Mel Gibson's Braveheart. I never saw that but it was in the air, and my genes have a strong Scots/Gaelic component. it was a vignette. me and a bunch of highland lads were moving through the steep hills, at war or fighting, coming back from a skirmish of some kind, everything still very much in conflict, not over yet, trees and brush, and rocks and steep hills and we were headed back to where we lived which was like a village only not maybe quite that big and as we came over this ridge above where we lived it kind of opened out down below where the little huts of our families were and here comes the enemy fierce and strong and tied to their shields as they advance to meet us are the youngest of our children, screaming in fear.
so. fight that. move through that moment in a way that doesn't lessen you. doesn't make you small. come on do it. because that's what I'm talking about here. they stand there with quadraplegics lashed to their shields with all kinds of innocent suffering held out in front of them, and that's supposed to be the whole debate, whether it's ok to do these satanic experiments if it's going to have a therapeutic benefit for these innocent suffering people. and not a goddamned word about the rest of it. the prospect of human slime like the men who currently run the world attaining physical immortality through this same research? well hey, that's a mere by-product of our attempts to bring healing to the poor invalids. that's why the rest of the 'health care' profession is so filled with charitable works, and why 'health care' itself is truly a right, and that's why... well I'm working on not giving in to the bitter temptation of sarcasm anymore.}

Renegade spy David Shayler has left prison today after serving less than seven weeks for breaching the Official Secrets Act. Shayler, who is 37 on Christmas Eve, was released from Ford open prison, near Arundel, West Sussex, this morning.As he walked free, he vowed to fight on to clear his name.
"The brevity of the sentence reflects the fact that he isn't a traitor and that he did what he did for the right motives," said his girlfriend Annie Machon.
"Otherwise he would have been facing a 14-year maximum penalty for treason.
Trial judge Mr Justice Moses accused Shayler of "blinkered arrogance" and of breaking undertakings he had given before leaving MI5 and jailed him for six months.
But he also accepted Shayler was motivated by a desire to expose what he thought was wrong, and not by money.

{this is no longer possible in the US.}
Shayler spent three weeks at Belmarsh high security prison in south east London, where he was given the inmate number HP6007, a lampoon of James Bond's code number.

Language is not a static phenomenon; it is constantly changing. That is one of the reasons we cannot count the number of words in any language. It is also why we have dialects and why we are not always sure which is the right way to say something.

Although languages are passed on from generation to generation, they are passed on imperfectly and with every new generation they change in very small ways. Over periods of hundreds of years can we actually map these changes and see them clearly, but they are happening right now in every language on earth. Our difficulty in deciding whether to say "an historical" or "a historical" is evidence of that fact.


By their works

.....her tiny pride home
to children who looked
at her smile and saw
the salvation of a meal.
All that week
at work she ignored
customers who talked
of Rome and silk
and crucifixions,
though she couldn't stop
thinking of this man....
Bob Hicok @Verse Daily

Bill Frist, a close ally of President George W. Bush. Frist, who made his candidacy known Thursday evening, has so far received public backing from at least seven senators. Frist's brother, Thomas Frist, is a founder of HCA Healthcare (nyse: HCA - news - people ) -- and one of the richest men in America, with a net worth of $1.7 billion.


THE BEAST 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2002

Tri-Dale Farm is owned by August W. Knispel and has been for 40 years

Whatever his reasons, it appears that Hess had been planning his scheme for some time. Two previous attempts were scuttled at the last minute, and finally, on May 10th, 1941, he made his infamous flight to Scotland under cover of darkness.
If one believes a conversation allegedly overheard by one of Hess' ajutants, Hitler apparently knew of the plan - but whether he actually took it serious is another matter. One thing is for certain, when Hitler found out what Hess had done, he "flew into a rage and was quick to follow Hess' suggestion, in a letter written before he left, that if his mission failed he could be disowned as being insane.
Meantime, after a five hour, 900-mile flight Rudolf Hess arrived over Scotland. While the purpose of the flight is still a matter of great controversy, we do know that Hess bailed out of his aircraft, parachuted into a field near the Renfrewshire village of Eaglesham, surrendered to farmer David McLean, and was offered tea at McLean's cottage before he was taken into custody.
Rudolf Hess was either a very good navigator, or, as some say, he had assistance in his journey from various quarters. In any case, he parachuted down a scant 14 miles from his apparent target of the future Duke of Hamilton's home. Considering that he was traveling alone and at night over a distance of 900 miles, this is excellent navigation. Rudolf's only injury from the ordeal was a broken leg which he suffered from either the jump from the aircraft or the parachute landing.
Rudolf spent much of the next month in captivity. His wounds were tended at Buchanan Castle, in Scotland, which was serving as a hospital during the war. Over the next four years, he was transferred to the Tower of London, Mytchett Place near Aldershot and finally to South Wales. The fact that Hess appeared unstable to the pschiatrists who interviewed him and that Hitler had declared him a lunatic didn't help Hess' case. And he never did manage to reach the ear of the King: Sir Winston Churchill refused to have anything to do with him and treated him as a prisoner of state. It is even rumored that Rudolf Hess attempted to kill himself when he discovered in June 1941, that his 'peace' mission had failed.
In 1946, Hess was a defendant at the Nuremberg trials and was sentenced to life in prison for war crimes. For the rest of his long life, Hess was a prisoner at Berlin's Spandau prison, where he was the only inmate from 1966 onwards. He was found dead in his cell in 1987, the victim of an apparent suicide - although some believe he was murdered.
Theories abound about Rudolf Hess' true mission in Scotland, fuelled in part by Britain's refusal to release all the files surrounding his case. In the end, we may never know what Hess' real intentions were....

"This is a good first step for the Republican Party," Mfume said of Lott's departure. "Now they've got to reverse four decades of dependence on racist elements in their base. They can do this by embracing the generally accepted remedies for racial discrimination and by replacing the rhetoric of outreach with the reality."

The concerns were not limited to African Americans. "There are questions in the minds of minorities about the makeup and the soul of the Republican Party," said Hector Flores, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens. "Is this a party for everyone? We shouldn't be having this conversation today, in 2002."

{white trash, no. trailer trash, yes. it's that simple. single issue campaigns, even as they expand to include other single issue campaigns under one rainbow-colored umbrella, are Xeno's paradox in action. the answer to the riddle is in the acceptability of 'trailer trash' as an epithet. it's still all about people looking down on the undeserving. it's just not about race anymore. almost.
again: Trent Lott Jesse Helms Strom Thurmond, all them, they aren't assholes because they're racists, they're racists because they're assholes. if they only stop being racists they'll still be......
George Wallace had an epiphany and he stopped being a racist AND and asshole both all at the same time.}


Yes, Kesey proselytized for drug use, and doubtlessly was a proximate cause of suffering. It must be said that many have suffered and died because of drug abuse. Never mind that many lives were changed for the better in the 1960s, and that an expansive new worldview took center stage that doubtlessly saved millions. Never mind that LSD was legal back then, and that it was the CIA who introduced the drugs to Kesey, or that it was the government's own faulty drug policy that gave rise to unregulated use and the resulting cocaine wars in our inner cities. It must be admitted that Kesey was part of the mix that popularized drugs.

{Kesey's response to somebody in the crowd jeering when he offered to accept someone's baby rather than it being aborted, this was at a poetry thing at I think Lewis and Clark, somewhere anyway in Portland sometime in '75. he said to the effect that it wasn't about the numbers. the human race wasn't a pile of digits that got too big, that it was about HOW we lived, that there was enough food right then for everybody living, which there was, that it wasn't about running out of food it was about running out of good people, which by getting everybody all excited about the numbers being too high we would encourage the THEMs to reduce the numbers which of course they would start with the gadflies, which of all these words, that one is accurate, he said 'gadflies', which was us pretty much, and wouldn't that be a fine thing to make sure that all the THEMs got enough to eat because there wasn't anymore us around to have to share it all with. and of course he wasn't a naif, or naive about it, but it's there the truth of it, the actual practicality of it, the truth is if you live right and I live right and we all do, the numbers will proceed to take care of themselves, it's not a henhouse, at least it wasn't then. these days are a little different.
the other thing I wanted to put in here, is that the good that was done by people with psychedelically-awakened minds is immeasurable, nobody can prove it and because of that it goes entirely unremarked upon though one glance at the young people of this day will show a measure of health and fitness that was freakishly rare in the mid 60's, just like telling kids now that the sides of the road were covered literally covered with trash in some areas and filthy with litter everywhere produces incredulity and depending on their respect for the teller pure disbelief, ditto smoking INSIDE stores. no way. yes way. cigarette butts on the linoleum in the grocery store. we did that, or undid it rather. and never took credit for it, because there was still too much work to do. we cleaned up and redirected the whole country's attitude about food, about health, the whole world's really, and for a while it looked like it might get the upper hand, that healthy way of looking at life. it shows in the faces of lots of kids today. and drugs were a part of what that was. why do we have to get mealy-mouthed about collateral damage every time we say that? do the car companies have to talk about traffic fatalities being the number one killer of children? of people under 30? do they? no Debbie it's not drunk drivers, it's cars and going everywhere in cars. the numbers are astronomically weighted there. so the heck with it. Kesey took drugs, advocated the psychedelic experience, and he was one of the finest men I've ever known. he was a good man, a genuinely decent honest man, and he was powerfully brave with that goodness. I've known tough guys who were gentle when things were calm, and when things got rough they got rough right back. Kesey took his gentleness into uncharted territory and fought with the darkest forces this world knows, and kept that gentleness alive. he was a man of peace and a mother wit. whether America wants to admit it or not, he was an American champion, in the fullest sense of that word.}

Some callers to Boston's major homeless shelters became angry that their requests to help out this year on Thanksgiving and Christmas day were rejected because the shelters have too many volunteers on those days (yet too few on the other 363 days a year). A Boston Globe reporter found that volunteers even try to cajole officials to bump them up the waiting list (170 on one shelter's list, which started accumulating names in August), but express disappointment at suggestions that they help at less "popular" (and less prestigious) suburban shelters. [Boston Globe, 11-29-02] @News of The Weird Dec. 22

Wiley gets it

He measured the minimum extent of sea ice in each region - and that revealed the much higher rate of loss. The trend is continuing. This past summer, "we had the least amount of permanent ice cover ever observed," says Comiso.

"If the permanent ice cover disappears, the entire Arctic ocean climate and ecology would become very different," says Comiso, at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. It will give an extra kick to global warming and polar bears, which live by hunting on the sea ice, will have nowhere to go.

The 18 scientists hope to open up the bitterly polarised debate on global warming : while advocates of the Kyoto Protocol say climate stabilisation is vital and within reach of today 's technology, critics argue that it is unnecessary and exorbitantly expensive.

"We stake out a third position," says atmospheric scientist Ken Caldeira of the US government's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. "Climate stabilisation is important, but we can 't really do it with current technology, even if we wanted to."

The world 's energy needs are rising far faster that we can bring emission-free generation such as nuclear and wind power on stream. Global power consumption for electricity, transport, heat and industry is now about 12 trillion watts, 85 per cent of which comes from fossil fuels.

Mary rarely cries, and certainly not in public. When I asked her what was the matter, she tried to quell her tears and sobbed, "I�m�s...they touched my breasts...and..." That�s all I heard. I marched up to the woman who�d been examining her and shouted, "What did you do to her?" Later I found out that in addition to touching her swollen breasts � to protect the American citizenry � the employee had asked that she lift up her shirt. Not behind a screen, not off to the side � no, right there, directly in front of the hundred or so passengers standing in line. And for you women who�ve been pregnant and worn maternity pants, you know how ridiculous those things look. "I felt like a clown," my wife told me later. "On display for all these people, with the cotton panel on my pants and my stomach sticking out. When I sat down I just lost my composure and began to cry. That�s when you walked up."
Of course when I say she "told me later," it�s because she wasn�t able to tell me at the time, because as soon as I demanded to know what the federal employee had done to make her cry, I was swarmed by Portland police officers. Instantly. Three of them, cinching my arms, locking me in handcuffs, and telling me I was under arrest. Now my wife really began to cry. As they led me away and she ran alongside, I implored her to calm down, to think of the baby, promising her that everything would turn out all right. She faded into the distance and I was shoved into an elevator, a cop holding each arm. After making me face the corner, the head honcho told that I was under arrest and that I wouldn�t be flying that day � that I was in fact a "menace."
Eventually we heard back from a different person, the guy in charge of the TSA airport screeners. One of his employees had made the damning statement about me exploding over her scissor discovery, and the officer had deftly incorporated that statement into his report. We asked the guy if he could find out why she�d said this � couldn�t she possibly be mistaken? "Oh, can�t do that, my hands are tied. It�s kind of like leading a witness � I could get in trouble, heh heh." Then what about the videotape? Why not watch that? That would exonerate me. "Oh, we destroy all video after three days."

Sure you do.

A few days later we heard from him again. He just wanted to inform us that he�d received corroboration of the officer�s report from the officer�s superior, a name we didn�t recognize. "But...he wasn�t even there," my wife said.

"Yeah, well, uh, he�s corroborated it though."

That�s how it works.

"Oh, and we did look at the videotape. Inconclusive."
The week before we�d gone to the airport my wife had had her regular pre-natal checkup. The child had settled into the proper head down position for birth, continuing the remarkable pregnancy she�d been having. We returned to Portland on Sunday. On Mary�s Monday appointment she was suddenly told, "Looks like your baby�s gone breech." When she later spoke with her midwives in Los Angeles, they wanted to know if she�d experienced any type of trauma recently, as this often makes a child flip. "As a matter of fact..." she began, recounting the story, explaining how the child inside of her was going absolutely crazy when she was crying as the police were leading me away through the crowd.

My wife had been planning a natural childbirth.

{it's something you believe because you want to believe it. it sounds believable, it sounds real, it fits the picture that already exists. scummy little half-humans finally having a connection to some way through the coming cull. that's what it is you know. a cull. a selecting out. no more renegades, no rogues, no wildness. domestic animals defending their places at the trough. they don't need us. they need us not to be there. the illusion was that we're all sort of the same, all more or less necessary to the continuing of this, but we aren't. that's the scariest change you have to make. the absolute fragility of even being. there is no inevitability to our existence. whether it's chance or something closer to intentionality isn't as important as that one ugly truth. they don't need us. and the worse conditions get the more competition there is, the more we're a threat to what they will increasingly HAVE to have, not want. need. imagine the barnyard on strict rations, and the various barnyard creatures being aware of that, the looks they'll give the 'others'. go along with the program or go live 'outside' only outside is gone now, there isn't one. imagine a 25 year old pregnant woman in Cracow, a 'Jew', in 1939, dragged through the streets by the hair. does that make this image easier to take? there's worse things that are just as real. does that make it easier to explain away? bits and pieces of human lives scattered throughout the world. we flicker between the broadest perspective, the god-like wide-angle, and the trembling subjective, a human being staring at unimaginable horror. you can use the technology to dull the impact of it. but here is this. and it's truly obscene and it has all the earmarks of the real. it's histrionic, a little, and it comes from a somewhat frenzied site, but it sounds true, and in the absence of clear rebuttal, I believe him.}

At the restaurant, package guests are plied with meat, vegetables, rice, soup and draft beer. From there it's on to the hostess club, where customers are limited to two beers, but can imbibe on copious quantities of brandy, whisky or a potato-based vodka-like liquor called shochu. The client is also given free reign over the club's karaoke machine.

Customers aren't the only ones who enjoy the 'Eat, Drink and Be Eaten' package -- the girls involved in it seem satisfied, too.


In the US, British, Swedish and French hobo sign systems we find that (as well as and ) means here you will find food, work, and money, or here live generous people.

MARC:I remember being in Berlin the year the wall came down, and I was in some bar, and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was on the radio. At that moment I felt an energy I'd only felt before at clubs like Hurrahs, or when I was listening to garage bands.

MARY: Did that free you to try something radical?

MARC: I liked the idea of making some visual noise through clothing. I found a two-dollar flannel shirt on St. Mark's Place and I sent it off to Italy and had it made into a $300-a-yard plaid silk. It was like the Elsa Perretti crystal tumbler at Tiffany that was inspired by a paper Dixie Cup. I love to take things that are everyday and comforting and make them into the most luxurious things in the world.

MARY: And you made the fancy Birkenstocks.

MARC: Yes. We asked Birkenstock to make satin Birks. We asked Converse to make duchesse satin sneakers. If I were wearing a tuxedo I'd want to wear it with satin Converse sneakers.

An ideogram used in the British system of hobo signs meaning 'here people are afraid of tramps'. Compare with, 'cowards, they give only in order to get rid of you' used in the US system of hobo signs. It is structurally similar to33:4, cubic, and , improve register. This sign is also an international ideogram for the American dance called squaredance.

Some criticism is important in order to understand how people will view us, and some criticism should just be ignored. Sorting this out is quite a task, but necessary and important. We agreed that learning from your critics helps you fix sloppy thoughts as well as prevent mistakes in the future.

On the other hand, what's a pioneer without critics? One chairman of a large company I know said, "I don't trust ANYONE who doesn't have some enemies." I don't know who to credit this to, but "You can identify the pioneers because they are the ones with the arrows in their backs." Stan Ovshinsky says this often.

So, my conclusion? Give credit to those who influence you or are doing important work. Listen to the critics, be thick-skinned and keep on truckin'.
{first of all I admire all these people. I'm linking to Ms. Ito because I like her stuff. I never link to people whose stuff I don't like. and I never intend to have anyone's stuff mistaken for mine. I'm not creating a magazine out of uncredited material.
I am getting closer to understanding what it is that doesn't work for me about this idea of the sanctity of link recognition, the near plagiarism of unascribed linkage, whatever. part of it is the refusal to engage the moment, the idea that if we close our eyes and pretend really really hard, we can still have a chance to make millions in the field of information technology. the refusal to confront the impending trouble. which would seem to give an immediacy to intellectual work that should transcend things like copyright and name recognition. which is not to say 'fie' on credit where credit is due, more that we may need to focus more on providing ammo to the front lines than worrying about whether someone's name is spelled right.
part of it is the tech people, the first wave, the old guard, the pioneers, are all about the career enhancing aspect of being recognized for the link. it's not that stark but it is of that nature. and the almost there quality the not quite got it yet quality is coming from something around the idea that content itself isn't quite as important as the fact of its presentation and the identity of the presenter. the novelty hits, the meme thing, the bonding over intellectual small talk, but there's a control, a reluctance to surrender what's been created to the world without trademark and license, or credit. why is credit as important as what's presented? career. status. some form of reward. that trumps content. what I'm seeing or hearing or sensing is a possibility for pure neurological explosion, the information and the process and the images and the noise all imploding and exploding. we could make that. this could make that. or something bigger and more wonderful even. if it doesn't get bottlenecked by self-interest, enlightened or dark.}
{{yes yes the network created by the link and acknowledgement, but ultimately all of that is a focus more on technique technology architecture structure call it what you will. I feel the pain of unrecognized heroes slipping back into the crowd unheralded, believe me I do. but it's about what gets put there way over and above how or by whom.}}


With the election in October of leftist Lula da Silva as president of Brazil, Ch�vez is not the only South American leader who worries Bush. But there's little doubt that after Iraq, Venezuela is the oil-rich country where the White House would most welcome "regime change." For now, most of Ch�vez's opponents have been careful not to advocate more violence, demanding instead an immediate vote to decide whether he should step down. They portray Ch�vez as a corrupt authoritarian who represses his own people. His government is but a bubble, they believe; touch it again and it will pop.

If Ch�vez is ousted, however, it will not be because he is a brutal dictator. He may enjoy sparring with the United States -- after the election of Lula, he declared that Brazil would join Cuba and Venezuela in forming "an axis of good" -- but in the four years since he took office, his "revolution" has had more to do with de Tocqueville than Marx. Efforts to redistribute wealth have been few. Opposition political parties, as well as the press, operate freely in Venezuela, and the federal police -- once among the most feared forces in South America -- have not hindered even those advocating outright rebellion. And for the first time in Venezuelan history, ordinary citizens are being encouraged to create and elect local councils, to work with local officials to improve their neighborhoods, to get directly involved in their government. Acting together, these are the people who have become the single most powerful group in Venezuela. These are the people who, in many ways, have made themselves the real sovereigns of Venezuela's oil.

Fears that the economy would suffer a "jobless recovery" similar to that of the first Bush administration are no longer hypothetical: over the past year G.D.P. has grown, but employment has continued to shrink, and the risk that the U.S. will slide into a Japanese-style pattern of slow growth and deflation no longer seems remote.

Again, the response has been to do as little as possible. As Congress failed to agree on an extension of unemployment benefits � which means that 800,000 families will be cut off on Dec. 28 � the administration simply stood on the sidelines. Last weekend, too late to help those families, Mr. Bush finally spoke up in favor of an extension, but failed to say whether he favored the merely cosmetic House plan or the more serious Senate plan; those who follow the issue know that this makes all the difference.

Will things improve now that there's a new economic team? John Snow seems to be Paul O'Neill without the charm. Stephen Friedman will probably be more vigorous than his predecessor; The Washington Post reports that one of Mr. Bush's frequent complaints about Larry Lindsey was that he didn't get enough physical exercise. But Mr. Friedman will have plenty of time to work out; it has been made clear that his duties as economic adviser don't include actually giving any economic advice.

Meanwhile, if the trial balloons floated by the administration are any guide to the forthcoming "stimulus" package, it will consist of more items from the checklist: making the tax cut permanent, reducing taxes on dividends. Nice stuff if you make more than $300,000 a year and have a net worth in the millions, but pretty much irrelevant to the actual problems of the economy � except the long-run deficit, which will get even worse. It seems that Karl Rove and his merry band of Mayberry Machiavellis are still calling the shots.

It may be that the bad few weeks the administration has just had were the result of random events. But I think the public is finally waking up to the fact that the people in the White House know a lot about gaining power, but not much about what to do with it.


The tax deductions � a combination of longstanding provisions in the tax code and breaks instituted after the 2001 terror attacks to spur the economy � are available only to small-business owners and the self-employed.

Environmental groups, alerted to the tax breaks by a report this week in The Detroit News, want them ended. They note that despite concerns about the nation's growing dependence on imported oil, the deductions provide far greater incentive to buy gas guzzlers like Ford Excursions and General Motors Hummers than to buy the most fuel-efficient cars, like the Toyota Prius.

All together, an eligible buyer of a 2003 Hummer H2 could deduct $34,912 of the $48,800 base price in the vehicle's first year of service, according to tax rules. That would translate into a tax savings of nearly $13,500 for someone in the highest personal income tax bracket.

some pdf's from NEJM(newenglandjournalofmedicine) about smallpox and vaccinations for it.

On Tuesday, Oakland became the 20th municipality to pass a resolution barring its employees -- from police officer to librarian -- from collaborating with federal officials who may try to use their new power to investigate city residents.

It is vital in this to remember that the Bush administration thwarted this independent investigation for 18 months, until they got the two things they wanted. What they wanted was a requirement that any subpoenas would be issued only after six of the ten people on the commission voted for it. The commission is comprised of five Democrats and five Republicans. If a particular subpoena seems to cut too close to the political bone, the Republicans on the committee need only stand shoulder to shoulder to stop it.

The other requirement the Bush administration demanded was the right to pick the chairman of the commission. One need look no further than the first choice, Henry Kissinger, to see the reasons for this. Ostensibly, this investigation has been proposed so that nothing like 9/11 ever happens again. The Bush administration chose Kissinger to see this mission through, demonstrating that they are far more interested in keeping secrets than they are in getting to the bottom of this.

Now, we have Thomas Kean, a man with no training or background in any of the areas necessary to the investigation, a man who does not appear capable of taking on the intelligence community and the administration, much less the five other Republicans who will have veto power over the issuance of subpoenas. It is difficult to imagine Thomas Kean pushing hard for answers to questions like these:

  • Why did George W. Bush order the dismantling of the Bin Laden Task Force prior to 9/11?

  • Was the Bush administration involved in negotiations with the Taliban prior to 9/11 regarding a pipeline project to be undertaken in Afghanistan by Unocal Petroleum and a consortium of other corporations and nations, including Saudi Arabia?

  • Why were fighter interceptors not scrambled after it became clear that commercial aircraft had been hijacked?

  • Who made the decision to stop FBI Deputy Director John O'Neill from investigating al Qaeda financial accounts? What did Barbara Bodine, U.S. ambassador to Yemen, have to do with pulling O'Neill off the case?

  • Why were the Black Boxes and flight data recorders from the hijacked aircraft never recovered?

  • What was Saudi Arabia's involvement with the hijackers and the 9/11 plot?

  • Why were pointed warnings received from Israel, Egypt, Germany and Russia, which detailed a plot to hijack aircraft and use them to attack prominent American targets, virtually ignored? Again, why were fighter jets not scrambled since this warning was already in hand?

  • What corporations are currently profiting from the War on Terror? In particular, how much does the multinational corporation The Carlyle Group, an entity steeped in petroleum production and weapons sales, stand to make from the conflict?
    William Rivers Pitt
    t r u t h o u t | Perspective

  • The national dance (tshikona) is played, and people come together in the ruler's courtyard and public meeting-place (khoro). A doctor, who is a specialist in making sacred fires (maine wa mulilo), kindles the domba fire. This may never be done with matches or other artificial aids.When the fire is blazing nicely, the doctor prepares the hearth.

    {so no matter what, for a long long time, it's with you, because it's built right in to the rites of passage, you will remember how to make fire on your own, even though it's just because we always do it that way, another reason questioning old ways of doing things and demanding reasons for everything is viral, especially when it's done without reverence and love. try explaining to people who live that close to the ground that you have to do it this way so you won't become dependent on outside sources for basic needs, because then if something happens to the outside source you lose everything, or they can use your dependence to enslave you, listing all the reasons why opens up long, difficult-to-explain hard-to-understand things, but they're all bad, that's what's important, so we just don't do it that way, that's all.
    the real conservatives dance naked.}

    Although I am alone, Asivho vhasidzana! There are the girls!

    In the past there were schools for youths corresponding to the girls' vhusha and tshikanda initiation schools, but by 1956 these had been superseded by mission and state school education and by the imported circumcision school, murundu. Domba was still officially a school for youths and girls, but few youths danced at the schools I attended because they were working on white-owned farms and in cities, or studying at state schools.

    Leptiminus, a Roman site in Tunisia, and one of its former residents

    Our grandchildren will use phonographs everywhere; at every restaurant table, public transportation, steamship cabins, and hotel rooms; railroads will supply Pullman circulating libraries which will make travelers forget the distances they cover, while allowing them to look out the windows. Printing will be abandoned, except for a small possible use in trade and private communication.

    {I need little icons for the link from aspect here. most if not all are at the bottom of this, primariest being wood's lot dublog robotwisdom but all of them are there because I go to all of them. and as always, I'm still way too vain to get any satisfaction from someone else's work being mistaken for mine. plagiarism is one thing that never tempts me. the idea that some anal jerk may get in a tizzy because he THINKS I'm plagiarizing is a source of pleasure. the idea that some innocent soul might lose out on the joyful mind expansion of these 'linked froms' bothers me. but I'm too lazy to do all the html and other typing. so I think what I'll have to do is an abbreviation code. like w:l for woods lot. and then put that at the end of whatever... or something. for now, it's as I said. the sources I start from are almost all at the bottom of the page. they'd be at the top of the page but I played with the template code and now I can't get em back up there. really I want them over on the left. with an initial. really I want a piece of code like this 'blog this' code that says 'from here'. anyway this is from Bruce Sterling's daily wonderpoint. and I wanted to acknowledge it because I think it's especially special, today.}

    to help build a centralized system to enable broad monitoring of the Internet and, potentially, surveillance of its users.

    The proposal is part of a final version of a report, ``The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace,'' set for release early next year, according to several people who have been briefed on the report. It is a component of the effort to increase national security after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    The president's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board is preparing the report, and it is intended to create public and private cooperation to regulate and defend the national computer networks, not only from everyday hazards such as viruses but also from terrorist attack.

    Ultimately, the report is intended to provide an Internet strategy for the new Department of Homeland Security.



    ...God's intermediaries
    strip down to their souls
    while I press my forehead

    against the cool tombs of saints
    and murmur my endless requests.
    Among candles, incense,

    how many souls
    show up in heaven
    smelling of smoke?...

    Catherine Sasanov

    All the Blood Tethers

    Poetry Daily Dec. 19, 2002

    Kevin Kelly's put his money where his mouth is, and in addition to The Long Bet thing is embarking on this optimistic and somewhat daunting task

    blog explication

    This war, should it come, is intended to mark the official emergence of the United States as a full-fledged global empire, seizing sole responsibility and authority as planetary policeman. It would be the culmination of a plan 10 years or more in the making, carried out by those who believe the United States must seize the opportunity for global domination, even if it means becoming the "American imperialists" that our enemies always claimed we were.

    Once that is understood, other mysteries solve themselves. For example, why does the administration seem unconcerned about an exit strategy from Iraq once Saddam is toppled?

    Because we won't be leaving. Having conquered Iraq, the United States will create permanent military bases in that country from which to dominate the Middle East, including neighboring Iran.

    In an interview Friday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld brushed aside that suggestion, noting that the United States does not covet other nations' territory. That may be true, but 57 years after World War II ended, we still have major bases in Germany and Japan. We will do the same in Iraq.
    To preserve the Pax Americana, the report says U.S. forces will be required to perform "constabulary duties" -- the United States acting as policeman of the world -- and says that such actions "demand American political leadership rather than that of the United Nations."

    To meet those responsibilities, and to ensure that no country dares to challenge the United States, the report advocates a much larger military presence spread over more of the globe, in addition to the roughly 130 nations in which U.S. troops are already deployed.

    More specifically, they argue that we need permanent military bases in the Middle East, in Southeast Europe, in Latin America and in Southeast Asia, where no such bases now exist. That helps to explain another of the mysteries of our post-Sept. 11 reaction, in which the Bush administration rushed to install U.S. troops in Georgia and the Philippines, as well as our eagerness to send military advisers to assist in the civil war in Colombia.
    The potential implications of a Pax Americana are immense.

    One is the effect on our allies. Once we assert the unilateral right to act as the world's policeman, our allies will quickly recede into the background. Eventually, we will be forced to spend American wealth and American blood protecting the peace while other nations redirect their wealth to such things as health care for their citizenry.

    Donald Kagan, a professor of classical Greek history at Yale and an influential advocate of a more aggressive foreign policy -- he served as co-chairman of the 2000 New Century project -- acknowledges that likelihood.

    "If [our allies] want a free ride, and they probably will, we can't stop that," he says. But he also argues that the United States, given its unique position, has no choice but to act anyway.

    "You saw the movie 'High Noon'? he asks. "We're Gary Cooper."
    Rumsfeld and Kagan believe that a successful war against Iraq will produce other benefits, such as serving an object lesson for nations such as Iran and Syria. Rumsfeld, as befits his sensitive position, puts it rather gently. If a regime change were to take place in Iraq, other nations pursuing weapons of mass destruction "would get the message that having them . . . is attracting attention that is not favorable and is not helpful," he says.

    Kagan is more blunt.

    "People worry a lot about how the Arab street is going to react," he notes. "Well, I see that the Arab street has gotten very, very quiet since we started blowing things up."

    The cost of such a global commitment would be enormous. In 2000, we spent $281 billion on our military, which was more than the next 11 nations combined. By 2003, our expenditures will have risen to $378 billion. In other words, the increase in our defense budget from 1999-2003 will be more than the total amount spent annually by China, our next largest competitor.
    {the soft time is ending. it's like an anti-drug commercial gotten out of hand. the decay of the family the damage from the poison, only it doesn't stop, there's no therapy, no policeman stepping in, no intervention, just the mad violent rush of ever more frequent dosage, the fierce blindness and flat emotions, all semblance of parenthood disappearing into the day after day of constant high, and the house getting darker, the cupboards' dwindling contents, and the steadily rising fear from the youngest kids. the shock of seeing that so many have gotten now that the cameras can go everywhere, anywhere, glimpses into the squalor of lives you have no other contact with than the hidden wires bring. the crack pipes and the filth the violence the simple choices passed by in favor of another rock. and you can watch it from the relative safety of your place in the unsteady world. and your logical mind says of course anyone with any scrap of human decency and self-respect would stop now but they don't they just keep going on and on faster and faster more and more it's shrieking now it's eating everything around it, and there's a part of me that when I first read this piece about these dull men with their atomic bombs I wanted to believe it was all there was, that they could do this they could burn their way to a new throne and be like that, kings, emperors, fathers at last, sons no longer, dominating the world and there would be a kind of peace after that though the bones and blood of almost everything still living that I love here would be broken into the dust and ground beneath their wheels but even that was denied me, it won't be, it can't. the soft time is ending and it won't come again for any of us. they don't have what's needed. the strength. the wisdom. this is Columbine writ large. these are the outcasts come back on fire, long black dusters sweeping through the halls of the world with their guns and their bombs and their small dark hearts.}


    we were boys
    many of us had dogs we loved that loved us
    in return all the way
    a dog going round and round the world
    in a little can
    in the news on television
    in the classroom the big clock ticked
    while the teacher talked
    IBM and ICBM seemed so linked
    it was confusing at first
    Laika I'm sorry
    I rubbed your nose in your own shit
    and spanked you for going crazy
    left alone in the house
    did you whine the way a dog will
    complaining to its absent god
    I'm sorry
    my life is small again

    Infant rats are being decapitated and their heads grafted onto the thighs of adults by researchers in Japan.

    If kept cool while the blood flow is stopped, a transplanted brain can develop as normal for at least three weeks, and the mouth of the head will move, as if it is trying to drink milk, the team reports.

    The grafted heads could be "excellent models" for investigating brain function in human babies after periods of no blood flow, known as ischemia, they claim.
    Arguing against patenting the Harvard cancer mouse, federal lawyers warned that such a move could send Canada down a slippery slope toward patenting human beings.

    "If you start treating a living organism as a mere composition of matter, there's nothing to stop us from treating all life forms in that way," said Graham Garton, representing the Commissioner of Patents.

    "The danger is that we treat everyone and everything like a product."

    {notice how these satanic horrors are always followed immediately by the wonderful healing possibilities they lead toward. and that's the end of the debate. "we're draining the blood out of third-world children, but it's ok, because that blood can potentially be used to save the lives of Americans", or no, everyone, the lives of everyone, the lives of everyone else. everyone but the rats in the cages, the dogs in the cages, the monkeys in the cages, the chimpanzees in the cages, the cats the rabbits, the prisoners, the small brown men and women and their children in the shrinking cage of the green world. and of course it's a mark of strength the way the young men can absorb this nightmare image without flinching, so brave, and just get past it and go on because of course we have to go on, we need to do this we have to do this there is no other way now. we need the images of infant rat heads speaking from the legs of their elders, making nursing movements before they die, before their hosts die, before their necks are snapped by 'research assistants', and it's only a first step, soon we'll be able to graft the brains and skulls of the decrepit rich to the bodies of the, to the serial bodies of the, to serial bodies of the cloned young. bodies no one owns but the laboratories because they were created in laboratories. they're not really people. so it's not wrong.}

    The 15-nation European Union on Monday outlawed tobacco ads in newspapers and magazines, on the Internet and at international sporting events beginning in 2005.

    The new restrictions were approved by 13 EU nations, which was enough to push through the bill drawn up by the EU's executive Commission after a court struck down an earlier ban. Britain and Germany opposed them.

    The rules already were approved by the EU parliament.

    "This is another nail in the coffin of the tobacco industry," EU Health Commissioner David Byrne said.

    FRIST OFFENSE: Senator Bill Frist has a few problems of his own. Particularly his venal sponsorship of Senate Bill 2053, which limits the ability of parents with children who were harmed after being given vaccines containing Thimerosal, to hold the drugmaker, Eli Lilly, accountable.

    For some reason, it was made part of the Homeland Security bill. The Washington Post wondered "who" put the measure there. Given Frist's sponsorship of the seperate bill, and his defense of it on the Senate floor, I think we can trace the smoking gun back to the Senator from Tenessee.

    According to the Post,
    "Under the provision, a raft of Thimerosal lawsuits will be redirected from state courts to the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which caps damages and sharply limits who can file suits against vaccine makers. Proponents say the provision merely closes a loophole, which had been exploited by trial lawyers claiming that Thimerosal was a vaccine "contaminant" not subject to existing legal regulations."


    In November, as Congress finalized the legislation authorizing a new Department of Homeland Security, two paragraphs suddenly appeared in the bill giving drug maker Eli Lilly & Company something it desired: a shield from lawsuits by parents who claim the company's vaccines caused their children's autism.

    The provision diverts those suits from state courts to a federal 'vaccine court' where damages are capped at $250,000 - small compensation for a child's lifetime of medical care. And because any damages awarded by the vaccine court are paid by U.S. taxpayers, manufacturers are relieved of liability.

    It's a sweet deal for Eli Lilly, a very special interest that, like most mega-donors, gets what it wants in Washington. Since 2000, the company has given $1.6 million to national parties and federal campaigns, 79 percent of it to Republicans.

    Who inserted the provision? Reporters tried and failed to find out. Lilly's lobbyists (laughably) claim ignorance. No one on Capitol Hill is proud enough of his handiwork to claim it.

    Democracy requires accountability, so is offering a $10,000 reward to the first person who proves the identity of the Eli Lilly Bandit - the member of Congress responsible for inserting the company's special provision. Mail submissions to PO Box 53303, Washington, D.C. 20009. The complete terms and conditions of this offer are posted at

    Dr. Seuss's mother, also the daughter of German immigrants, was Henrietta Seuss, and when he appropriated the name for his books Dr. Seuss pronounced it in the German manner, "soice," until he realized that Americans naturally read the name as "soose," and that the American pronunciation of "Dr. Seuss" evoked a figure advantageous for an author of children's books to be associated with�Mother Goose. Henrietta Seuss was six feet tall and weighed nearly two hundred pounds. Dr. Seuss's authorized biographers, Judith and Neil Morgan, report that she was an accomplished high diver (not a sport one can easily picture a two-hundred-pound woman engaging in), and that she was admired for her beauty.

    from Uzbekistan:


    Here is my challenge; and it's a great one. I am blessed to be working in a country that has a US Ambassador that highly values freedom of the press. He has made it clear that if I come to him with a great idea on how to promote this value, he will do everything in his power to make it happen. I am supposed to meet with him the first week of January to discuss this. What shall I say????? I am going to be thinking about this all week and I am open to suggestions from anyone reading this journal.

    The US is starting to think that UZ's move toward democracy and freedom were just temporary. It appears to some that UZ is backsliding into old and faithful habits. Deaths-while-in-custody have increased. NGO harassment has increased. Not a good sign. Could it be that UZ thinks that the US needs their military bases so badly that they'll will turn a blind eye to what is happening? As regards freedom of information, the President has put in charge of this monopolistic internet gateway a man with a reputation for old style Soviet thinking. Another bad sign. So what do we do? That is another assignment of mine for this week. That, and memorizing 10 more Russian verbs.
    To make matters worse, the current UZ govt monopoly over the internet is de facto supported by the current US administration. (I won't go into messy details. It gets complicated.)

    Well, one of the Internews employees here is actively involved in trying to break that monopoly, which includes trying to stop UZ govt from monitoring and censuring internet content. To make a long story short, he was attacked by a gang of ruffians and is in danger of losing the sight in one of his eyes. The attack was unprovoked and out of the blue. It is the opinion of those close to the employee that the ruffians were sent to send a message.

    Tomorrow I am meeting with USAID and this Internews employee to see what can be done about the UZ internet situation. We also hope to get a meeting with the US Embassy....

    Marika Olsen's Uzbekistan Diary

    Clinton Boisvert's assignment for his Foundation Sculpture class, according to the police, was to situate art in a specific place, not to create alarm in the subway system.

    But Mr. Boisvert, a college student at the School of Visual Arts, succeeded in the latter, if not the former, last week when he taped 37 black cardboard boxes inscribed with the word "Fear" in the Union Square subway station, according to investigators.

    After seeing the disruption his project had caused, Mr. Boisvert contacted a lawyer. And yesterday morning, he surrendered to the Manhattan district attorney's office, which intends to prosecute him on a charge of reckless endangerment, a spokeswoman said.

    "The kid is clueless, basically," a police official said. "He did not seem to know the ramifications his art project would have."

    {the nerve! using fear to advance his own agenda. how dare he! why that's despicable, artificially creating a climate of fear just to make yourself important. he should be horsewhipped!
    or impeached.}

    At the centre of human rights theory lies the protection of the vital interests - in welfare, in freedom and in life - of some beings. Of which beings, exactly? Although the most common, and apparently tautological, answer is "of human beings", such a move is, as we have seen, precluded by the fact that discrimination based on species is analogous to the forms of discrimination that the very doctrine condemns in sexism and racism. Unlike drafters of political manifestos, philosophers confronting the question seem to be aware of this problem and, when called into play, reference to species is introduced in a hurried and oblique way. What, then, can play the role of explaining the why of human rights - of illuminating, that is, what it is that, in human beings, justifies the attribution of equal fundamental protection?

    Among the solutions advanced, the most defensible appears to be the one put forward by a line of argument appearing at the beginning of the 1960s, and culminating in the elaboration offered by the American philosopher Alan Gewirth. According to such a line, the criterion for the access to the protection that human rights provide lies only in being an agent - an intentional being who cares about her goals and wants to achieve them. All intentional beings are characterised by the capacity to enjoy freedom and welfare (and life which is a precondition for them) both directly, and as prerequisites for action; and, for all these beings, the intrinsic value of their enjoyment is the same. To choose as a criterion, instead of intentionality, any other characteristic - be it rationality or any other among the cognitive skills traditionally seen as "superior" - would be arbitrary, as it would exclude from consideration interests which are relevantly similar in that they are equally vital for their bearers.

    Once articulated, this answer - which has among other things the important effect of barring the way to discredited perfectionist worldviews - appears obvious. And yet, it involves a corollary which is not equally obvious: that, on the basis of the very doctrine that establishes them, human rights are not merely human. Not only does the implicit acceptance of the idea that species membership is not morally relevant eliminate from the theory any structural reference to the possession of a genotype Homo sapiens, but the charge to secure equal fundamental rights for all human beings, including the non-ra tional ones, implies that the criterion for the ascription of such rights must lie at a cognitive level accessible to a large number of nonhuman animals.


    the White Singer

    Oil is leaking from 14 cracks in the Prestige's bow and stern sections � a total of about 33,000 gallons per day, which has formed an oil slick 35 miles long and 11 miles wide above the area where the tanker sank. So-called "experts," who said that all that heavy fuel oil would solidify when it hit the cold temperature and high pressure two miles beneath the sea, were obviously wrong.

    Two oil slicks have already washed ashore in the Galician region of Spain, contaminating one of the most productive ocean fisheries and shellfish beds in Europe. The fishermen of Galicia � some 21,000 of them � run out a fleet of boats that is larger than all the rest of the fishing fleets in Europe put together. Most of these boats are family operations, with small crews. In addition, Galician shellfish gatherers supply Western Europe with a host of delicacies, from crabs, clams, cockles and mussels, to the exquisite goose barnacle which is found nowhere else in the world.

    All of this food is much appreciated by marine mammals, too, including dolphins, porpoises and several species of whales � minke, fin, pilot, sperm, Cuvier's beaked whales and Risso's whales � which draw tourist cruises from England, France and Spain. Galicia's rocky coast and sheltered, hard-to-reach coves provide some of the best wintering habitat for seabirds from all over the North Atlantic region and Europe, including gannets, razorbills, guillemots, cormorants, puffins, gulls and petrels.

    The effect of the oil has been devastating.
    The Prestige could go on leaking its remaining cargo of 20 million gallons � approximately twice what the Exxon Valdez spilled into Prince William Sound in Alaska � for years, possibly until the year 2006. Lessons learned from the Exxon Valdez oil spill show that it could take more than a decade for the shellfish population to revive, and most of the area's mammals may never fully recover. At least two threatened bird species will likely become extinct: the Balearic shearwater and Spain's dwindling population of guillemots. Ditto for Galician family fishermen.

    This is terrible news, but most people in the U.S. think it has no bearing on us. After all, we have a law in place � the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (enacted after the Exxon Valdez spill) � that will phase out aging, single-hull oil tankers like the Prestige by 2015. But Europe has the same type of law, enacted after the single-hull oil tanker Erica spilled oil off the coast of Brittany three years ago, and that didn't stop the current disaster from happening.

    Until the ban goes into effect in 2015, the international maritime inspection system is supposed to prevent unseaworthy vessels from carrying oil. In fact, the Prestige has been inspected several times recently, including by the U.S. Coast Guard, which cleared it to sail.
    The tanker sprang a leak when it hit a floating cargo container, in either Spanish or Portuguese waters. When the Prestige attempted to sail into a safe harbor to find shelter from stormy winds and high waves and to have the oil pumped off, it was turned away by both Portuguese and Spanish ships. It took a Spanish tug 14 hours to hook a line to the Prestige, which was allowed to drift within five miles of the Spanish coast, leaking oil all the way. The tug then pulled it out to sea and directly into high waves that eventually broke the ship in two.

    from Alternet Maria Tomchick is a co-editor and contributing writer for Eat the State!, a biweekly newspaper based in Seattle, Washington.

    It was illegal drugs, of course, being dealt or used. From this, one of the many peaks of that species of moral panic that has swept the populace periodically during the last hundred years, much pernicious legislation resulted, as well as promises of a massive clampdown that would make us all safe forever from our own desires.

    The intensification of the drug war that followed was, naturally, a flop. Systematic sequestration of the stuff (of which only a small percentage is ever seized, anyway) and mass imprisonment had the predictable null effect on the market, which is now conservatively estimated at 400 billion per year worldwide. Reports of drug-related events from hospitals -- our most reliable indicator of drug use -- rose in the last 10 years.
    One of the drug war's most acute observers during the Nineties was Tucson-based journalist/essayist Charles Bowden. His latest book, Down by the River: Drugs, Money, Murder, and Family (Simon & Schuster, $27), concerns the murder of one Bruno Jordan in El Paso in 1995. It traces the roots of that murder back across the river to Ju�rez, where Amado Carrillo Fuentes, perhaps Mexico's most successful narcotics tycoon (according to the DEA, in 1995 Carrillo Fuentes' operation was pulling in approximately $200 million a week) was located. Bruno was the youngest brother of Phil Jordan, who happened to be the head of the local DEA. Bruno's unlikely killer was a 9-year-old boy who appeared one winter day with an automatic weapon in his hand from out of the vast, anonymous colonias that spread on the hillsides of Ju�rez, and plugged Bruno for the truck he was driving. This boy was almost immediately captured -- without the truck or the weapon in his possession -- but he magically garnered high-priced lawyers to defend him in a U.S. court, until, on appeal, his conviction was overturned.

    from a review of Charles Bowden's Down By The River in The Austin Chronicle 11/29/02

    Canada is contributing an essential component of the International Space Station, the Mobile Servicing System. This robotic system will play a key role in space station assembly and maintenance: moving equipment and supplies around the station, supporting astronauts working in space, and servicing instruments and other payloads attached to the space station.


    Prominent American writers such as Richard Ford, Michael Chabon, and Billy Collins contributed to a State Department anthology on what it means to be an American writer. The collection is banned in the United States under the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which prohibits the domestic dissemination of American propaganda meant for foreign audiences.

    Harper's Weekly Review DECEMBER 10, 2002

    For some reason the New York Times is the only newspaper that�s chosen to report that the Bush administration has recruited prominent American writers to contribute to a State Department anthology and give readings around the globe in a campaign started after 9/11 to use culture to further American diplomatic interests."(link)Luckily, the Times article (written by Michael Wise at the National Arts Journalism Program) did a fine job. It explains how the 60-page literary anthology ("booklet") will soon be distributed to U.S. embassies, but that it will not appear in this country, thanks to "the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948," which "bars the domestic dissemination of official American information aimed at foreign audiences."

    All the more reason that newspapers nationwide should be writing about it, of course. As a government spokesman admits, Smith-Mundt is a bit dated, given how the internet has completely changed the dissemination of information. "The essays can�be read on a government Web site intended for foreigners (," Wise notes, then quotes George Clack, who edited the anthology. Clack explains that, "We do not provide that [Web] address to U.S. citizens." Unless, apparently, they write for the New York Times.

    It actually sounds like a pretty good read. Writers involved in the project include novelists like Michael Chabon; the American poet laureate, Billy Collins; and two Arab-American writers, Naomi Shihab Nye and Elmaz Abinader. All explain in the booklet "what it�s like to be an American writer." Many will now go on a sort of State Department-sponsored book tour, visiting various foreign nations to speak on the theme.

    Those quoted in the article reveals motivations for involvement that are patriotic, if not jingoistic: Richard Ford says, "he was eager to go to Islamic nations to help �humanize America� and present a more diverse picture of public opinion than is conveyed by the Bush administration."
    The participants include four Pulitzer Prize winners, Michael Chabon, Robert Olen Butler, David Herbert Donald and Richard Ford; the American poet laureate, Billy Collins; two Arab-Americans, Naomi Shihab Nye and Elmaz Abinader; and Robert Pinsky, Charles Johnson, Bharati Mukherjee and Sven Birkerts. They were all asked to write about what it means to be an American writer.

    Although the State Department plans to distribute the 60-page booklet of 15 essays free at American embassies worldwide in the next few weeks, one country has already banned the anthology: the United States. The Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, renewed when the United States Information Agency became part of the State Department three years ago, bars the domestic dissemination of official American information aimed at foreign audiences.
    from performink

    "Hong Kong's strength lies in its respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights and freedoms,'' Norman Lyle, chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, wrote in a recent letter to Ip. Anything that erodes freedom, he said, "will make Hong Kong a much less favorable location for international business to be based simply because it will remove its regional and national uniqueness.''

    Here's a less diplomatic way of putting Lyle's implicit threat: If Hong Kong's freedoms are going to be no greater than those on the mainland, why shouldn't companies doing business in China just move their operations to Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou or other mainland centers?

    Sep. 12, 2002: Ric Lee, Leo Lyons & Chick Churchill have announced their intentions to work under the name Ten Years After, without Alvin Lee. We are deeply saddened by their decision to use the TYA name, and believe that this may be misleading to many of Alvin Lee's fans. We don't want anyone to be disappointed. If you see a gig billed as Ten Years After, Alvin Lee will not be present - he is not playing with this band

    I have already gotten a great many communications praising the poem. A great many E-mail letters and phone calls not only praising the poem, and the poet for writing it, but also opposing the attempt to violate my first amendment rights by this oft repeated ADL skin game of calling critics of imperialism Anti Semites.
    I have already said, in answer to what Governor McGreevey is quoted as demanding that I apologize and that I resign as NJ Poet Laureate. And I have said repeatedly that I will do neither. It is unfortunate that Governor McGreevey has been stampeded by paid liars, and apologists for ethnic cleansing and white supremacy, bourgeois nationalists and the dangerously ignorant, to be panicked into joining in the ADL�s slander, belittling my intelligence, and insulting not only my person, my family, my fellow artists and activists who know all this is just the feces of a very small cow.


    Google takes a giant step forward

    Anatomical and genetic evidence points to Homo sapiens being about a quarter of a million years old. But we do not know when our ancestors acquired language, culture and the other trappings of modern humanity.

    Artworks are the key to answering this question, says Ben Smith, who studies rock art at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. "Art tells us about the makers' social systems, beliefs and rituals. It's like looking into their brain."

    The next-oldest marks generally accepted as art are French cave paintings, the oldest of which date back about 35,000 years.

    These paintings led some researchers to posit that art arose in Europe. The new findings suggest otherwise, says Smith. "Art, culture and religion originated in Africa, and arrived in Europe as a package," he says.

    Such attributes might even be older than modern humans, says Smith. Some million-year-old stone tools are far too big to be functional: "They might have a symbolic element," he says.

    {sending ultra-rational people out to get the lowdown on art seems kind of counter-productive. I remember when I first realized that the captions in nat'l geo's were just made up, written by someone, that they didn't necessarily KNOW anyhting, but were being paid to come up with some words that fit the pictures. but that's what it is. just people talking, trying to hold on to their jobs, reputations, you know. the problem is most obvious here, at the intersection of paleontology and human creativity. the idea that someone back there might have been trying to get hold of the hugeness of things, or the smallness of self, might have been holy-crazy and following the mad star. just making something without plan or forethought, or permission.}

    ted rall nails it, again

    To see how you'd do as an announcer, say this swiftly: "Sheep shouldn't sleep in a shack. Sheep should sleep in a shed."



    My People
    ...Dressed as a shepherdess until
    I could handle an ax, it was then
    I saw the golden arches and tasted of
    the processed cheese and left my field
    forever, disastrously it must be said
    although it has led me here, addressing you
    in this grand and ugly hall, paid
    a nominal fee and all the grapes
    I can eat. Well, I'm told they're grapes.
    But I leap ahead when leaping backward
    as well as vibrating in place
    is more what's called for,
    much like the role of the tongue
    in the bell. Hear that?...

    Dean Young @Verse Daily

    As Indian casinos popped up like new housing developments across Southern California, Martin moved a trailer onto the long-abandoned Augustine reservation in Coachella, a 500-acre desert tract then littered with garbage, discarded household appliances and junk cars, about 25 miles southeast of Palm Springs. There she lived with her three children and African-American husband William Ray Vance. In 1994, membership in the tiny tribe dwindled from three adults to one when Martin's two brothers were killed during separate street shootings in Banning, Calif. Police said both men were involved in drug deals and were members of a violent Los Angeles street gang.

    Subsequently, Martin negotiated a deal with Paragon Gaming, a Las Vegas company, to develop and manage a casino. Paragon is headed by Diana Bennett, a gaming executive and daughter of Vegas veteran and co-founder of the Circus Circus Casino William Bennett. Martin's Augustine Casino opened last July. With 349 slot machines and 10 gaming tables, it's the fifth and by far the most modest casino in the Palm Springs area. But it stands to make a lot of non-Indian investors�and one Indian adult�rich.

    And get this: Martin still qualifies for federal aid, in amounts far greater than what many needy Native Americans could even dream of getting. In 1999 and 2000 alone, government audit reports show, she pulled in more than $1 million from Washington�$476,000 for housing, $400,000 for tribal government and $146,000 for environmental programs.

    "OFAC has received information that the U.S.-Cuba Sister Cities Association (USCSCA) organized a trip (described by USCSCA as a "conference") to Cuba from February 17-24, 2002. Based upon the enclosed Internet article, it appears you were involved with the promotion and/or possible organization of this conference. OFAC did not issue a specific license to you to organize, arrange, promote, or otherwise facilitate the attendance of persons at the conference in Cuba...

    Still, this is the U.S. Senate, a somewhat quaint institution where power is still diffused, where a single senator can still gum up the works and where a committee chairman can still retain discretion for all manner of mis- or good deeds unless and until the White House harrumphs. Not all chairmen are created equal; in the 108th Congress convening Jan. 7, some will seek to moderate the demands of the cultural conservatives, the expatriate corporations and the administration war hawks while others will choose to outyell them.

    We offer, then, a guide to the new powers in the land -- the incoming chairs of the Senate committees.

    Harlan Ellison just called me. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It looks like I'm going to be on CNET Radio tonight. Tune in.

    {this story is too big to take in in one sitting. but it does confirm that sense of a huge quiet reservoir of decency and untapped heroism out there. it can be scary when it goes sour, or when it gets focused on inappropriate things, but man, what a use of the synaptic hardware. the auto-immune system responds, a good guy gets justice. so now it's a question of teaching it to recognize the real threats.}

    The enormous interest in Kennewick Man certainly has much to do with its appeal as a historical and scientific phenomenon. This doesn't account for the controversy, however. Kennewick Man ultimately is a symbol of who controls history and, more important, who controls the way history is composed by those with a stake in its composition.
    Steven Salaita

    {"...has much to do with 'its'... "? his. his appeal. he's a real guy. all dead and gone. but still busting up the dialectic for all time. something else is happening here. the old time one-two kneejerk 'them guys are all racist assholes therefore us guys are all cool indigenes' vs. 'them guys are all dumbass savages therefore us guys are all cool modern man'. it's obvious where I stand personally on the native/colonist issue, but the truth is bigger than a black and white contest. what Kennewick Man is truly a symbol of is the Roswell aspect of the past. the past as galaxy. the truth of the past as an as yet unknown. the insistence on both sides of the nativist controversies to see the other as monolithic. but there were nomadic tribes in europe who never made it into the limited books of written history, whose descendants entered the American continent alongside the oppressing thieves of european imperialism. and there were and are selfish ignorant natives of the 'New world'. not all one not all the other.
    Kennewick Man is a wake-up call for wannabes everywhere, ultimately.}

    {I had this hypo/hypno-gogic input the other morning. a voice, and it's a difficult to describe aspect of those kinds of voices but they have a charcater beyond things like timbre and tone, a color, a pictorial aspect almost, so this guy's voice was like those Mormon/dweeb/boy-scout guys that are still so prevalent here. righteous, clean-living, and irredeemably psychotic. and the voice says: "you will die in a coma". so I've been thinking about that for a while.

    something else I've been thinking about is the topsy-turvy-ness of things. the persecution of 'bad people' by a clot of men who are responsible or are themselves heirs to the benefits accrued by those responsible, for the death of the human race and most of the mammalian branch of the tree of life. a few things are most obvious about that:

  • the crime itself will never be provable, because once it's been done there won't be anybody there to argue about it.
  • until it does become an accomplished fact anybody worth their salt will be working to prevent it, which requires a refusal to admit its existence or inevitability.
  • the aforementioned clot will do everything in their power, which is a lot, to shift the blame and cloud the issue. e.g. 'we all did it, by driving our cars'.
  • the people at the forefront of the scientific disciplines most able to determine the accuracy of this unprovable-until-it's-too-late crime will be traumatized by it. the closer they are the more speechless most of them will be
  • once again we seem to have a circumstance in which the advantage is to evil. good people will be hampered by shock and the truncation of their connection to future generations, while the selfishness which has caused all this will be increased in intensity by the narrowing of its time frame down to the most immediate moment, as the future becomes less and less likely.}
  • The relevant questions are:

  • Are humans affecting the average surface temperature of the planet?
  • If yes, what will be the effects?
  • And if we don't like those effects, what can be done?

    While you consider these questions, you might like to keep in mind, that if you come to the conclusion humans must reduce the concentration of green house gases in the atmosphere, there is a significant fossil fuel industry and lobby which stands to lose greatly by that decision. A consideration of the scope of the effort to utilize alternative energy sources may be relevant.

    Skepticism is a good thing. Science thrives in an environment of challenge and question. A refusal to acknowledge some data and a narrow minded self serving interpretation of other data, however, does credit to no one.

    The Climate Change issue which many now regard as a fringe concern may be considered by future generations to have been pivotal.
    Consider well

    {this is a site right out of Magister Ludi. organized to the last jot and tittle, thought through from the reader's perspective, and monumentally complete. a scholar, direct counterpart to the Ob/Comp monks in the scriptorium, only this guy has digital access to the blooming knowledge bank of the world. staggering research records. the two I've looked at- climate change and the 'war on terror', are motherloads of documentation. a resource of immense value. go Harvey}

    {why are Canadians so over-represented at the quality end of the net Gaussian? bigger digital hamstrings? more free time? more hunger?}

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