informant38
.

-
...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


-

28.2.03

On Tuesday 4 March, Radio Netherlands is teaming up with human rights organisation Amnesty International to record a special edition of its Amsterdam Forum discussion programme to mark International Women's Day.

You can have your say. To find out how, see below.
Amnesty International has been highlighting human rights abuses in Russia.

Women carry a particular burden when it comes to these abuses - suffering not only at the hands of the authorities but also from a wave of domestic violence.

Official figures show that more than 14,000 Russian women die each year at the hands of their husbands or relatives.

At the same time numerous attempts at passing laws to tackle domestic violence have made no progress in parliament.

So why is the situation for so many women in Russia so bad?

27.2.03

"This is perhaps the most fundamental lesson of our study: ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process." Milgram went on to conclude that many people are unable to act on their values, that even when it is patently clear that they are inflicting harm, relatively few people have the resources to resist authority.

{the rigid and unyielding conviction that human nature is a constant unvarying 'thing' has led us to this dark precipice. Milgram is somebody I want to despise but really it's not him, it's his data. his failure to see what the data pointed toward is what makes him unheroic, but the real villainy is behind the scenes, as it has been all along. human nature is only and merely the sum of all presently existing human qualities averaged out. or, more simply, human nature is whoever's around. the idea that people have been being bred down for docility and passive acceptance of authority is still anathema to most. but it would be easy to verify. run the tests again 40 years on. a blink in the breeding timeline but still, my guess is the co-operative numbers increase. they keep weeding out the rebels. and the children of the rebels. well? see the Great Dane 5 generations before the breed's established. it really is like that. and the conclusion that Milgram's study seems to point to is a feint, there are PRESENTLY many humans who co-operate with 'authority', blindly and against their consciences. things keep on like they are and it'll be everyone. Morlocks and Eloi. there was a time when people like that were an unmeasurable minority of the human population.}
more Milgramesque partiality

Milgram text and quote from an article in the estimable and neglected RALPH, The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities.
any rag that has Mencken on Aimee Semple McPherson....
{Update! this just in:

Next week, in Glasgow, The Milgram Obedience Experiment will be carried out again, but this time in the name of art. The event has been engineered by Rod Dickinson, a conceptual artist who has already gained some notoriety though his re-enactment, using actors and collaborators, of sermons originally given by Jim Jones, the notorious leader of the People's Temple religious cult. Dickinson is currently looking for a park in which to re-enact the Jonestown massacre, the mass suicide of cult members that took place in their communal retreat in Guyana in 1978.
Guardian UK Observer Sunday February 10, 2002
and so to see what Mr. Dickinson has made of his attempt at Milgramization Re-enactment

Babylon (1700-600 B.C.) is rich in historical glamor. Built on the banks of the Euphrates, it was the capital to Hammurabi, Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great. Monumental remains like the Ishtar Gate have been uncovered, and locations for the Tower of Babel and the Hanging Gardens tentatively identified. As home to the captive Israelites, the city is a recurrent and potent symbol in the Judeo-Christian narrative. The site of Nippur, an important religious center of ancient Babylonia dedicated to the god Enlil, is also in this part of southern Iraq, about 100 miles south of Babylon. The spectacular site has yielded an extensive sequence of pre-Islamic pottery.

Knowledge-based Tracking of Content Change in Growing Collections of Text Documents
Mr. Eric Steffensen
Palo Alto Research Center
Palo Alto CA

_______________

Confronting Surprise: Robust Adaptive Planning for Effective Total Information Awareness
Dr. Steven W. Popper
Evolving Logic
Topanga CA

_______________

NEMESIS: NEtwork Modeling Environment for Structural Intervention Strategies
Christopher E. Brouady
Aptima, Inc.
Woburn MA

{Sam Smith's Progressive is where I first saw the concept written out. the idea that there's a form of autism, or sociopathic personality, that ISN'T dysfunctional. that the CEO's and politicians who have done so much harm are incapable of real human response, never mind that they're rapidly changing the core definition of what 'real human' is. serving those Type 'A' androids are a legion of soulless drones. with bright little plans.} Memory Hole catalogs the (successful) demon proposals

The 2003 and 2004 Bush budgets proposes to freeze the Congregate Nutrition Program, which assists local soup kitchens and meals on wheels programs. With inflation, this proposal would mean at least 36,000 seniors would be cut from meals on wheels and congregate meals programs. Currently, 139,000 seniors are already on waiting lists for home-meal programs. His 2004 budget continues the freeze.

concise coherent comprehensive Caught On Film chronicles credibility catastrophe

26.2.03

The Nicaraguan government was trying to decide whether to force a pregnant nine-year-old girl to carry her baby to term; "I don't want to share my toys with other children," said the girl, who was raped and has requested an abortion. "I take care of my toys."
___________
Two French tourists were run over by a police SUV as they sunbathed on Miami Beach; the officer drove over the tourists, who were sisters, then backed up and ran over them again. One of the women died.

Harper's Weekly Review 02/25/03

More than a fourth of the 28 million children who eat free or discounted school lunches might be ineligible, and the Bush administration is considering rules to reserve the meal programs for children of families who prove their low incomes.

The number of children enrolled in the program nationwide exceeds the number in low-income families who would be eligible for it, based on a comparison of the school lunch enrollment figures with an annual survey by the Census Bureau, said Jean Daniel, an Agriculture Department spokeswoman.

Officials have calculated that as many as 27 percent of children now getting free or reduced-price meals are ineligible, she said.

Wash.Post.02.26
{it's hard in these dark times to think about much else besides the fragility of the body and the delicate ties of earthly living. at least for me. so I can relate to this. cheaters eating free lunches. my gods what next. but then try to imagine the actual real kids who are getting those free lunches. imagine you're a kid whose parents are so grasping and crafty they sign you up for a free lunch program when you don't 'deserve' it. what's the chances your home nutrition isn't quite up to current USDA standards? you know, like the dopehead family that takes their welfare money meant for little Anron's brown-bag and spends it on bongs and beer. so little Anron doesn't get his brown bag. so he gets a free school lunch. so he does better at school than if he was hungry and all. well, that means letting cheaters prosper. and little Anron's going to grow up and reproduce, passing that cheater gene packet on down the line. can't have that. no. that's messing with the sanctity of life.}

25.2.03

Jesus in the desert
with a turban on his head
only a fool would go bareheaded into that bright day

North Korea says a US spy plane has violated its air space in preparation for a possible attack. The reconnaisance flights reportedly took place over the Sea of Japan during the past three days.

The announcement follows North Korea's missile launch on Monday. The United States and Japan seem unconcerned about the incident. US Secretary of State Colin Powell has dismissed the missile test as "fairly innocuous".

Japan says the launch involved a short range anti-ship missile, which crashed into the Sea of Japan. This type of missile is not covered by the Japanese-North Korean treaty, which bans the testing of ballistic missiles.

Radio Netherlands 02/25/03

the real Informant4

24.2.03




Erykah Badu at the Grammies


"...Without strict discipline nothing can be accomplished, but this discipline must not be achieved by force. It requires a strong man who captures the hearts of the people and awakens their enthusiasm. In order that he may develop his abilities he needs the complete confidence of his ruler, who must entrust him with full responsibility as long as the war lasts. But war is always a dangerous thing and brings with it destruction and devastation. Therefore it shouldn't be resorted to rashly but, like a poisonous drug, should be used as a last recourse."
from Hexagram 7 of the Book of Changes(I Ching), Richard Wilhelm translation

Irish activist and former Member of Parliament, Bernadette Devlin McAliskey was detained by immigration officials in Chicago, February 21, and denied entry into the United States allegedly on "national security" grounds.
________
According to daughter Deirdre (27) the McAliskeys cleared US immigration in Ireland prior to boarding, and received routine permission to travel, but upon their arrival they were stopped at baggage claim. Detained by two INS officers, they were told that the order to bar Bernadette McAliskey came from US officials in Dublin.
During the dispute that followed, Deirdre says one INS officer used "very thinly veiled threats" against her mother, including, "if you interrupt me one more time I'm going to slam the cuffs on you and haul your ass to jail."
One officer, says Deirdre, "pulled his chair right up to mommy and I heard him say 'Don't make my boss angry. I saw him fire a shot at a guy last week and he has the authority to shoot.'"
________
A tireless advocate for the Irish nationalist cause, at the age of 21, McAliskey was the youngest person ever to be elected to the British parliament. A witness to the deaths of 13 civilians shot dead by British paratroopers during a civil rights march in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1972, McAliskey narrowly avoided death a second time when she and her husband were shot in their home by a loyalist death-squad in 1981. Deirdre, who was present, was five years old at the time.
_______
Famously articulate, McAliskey has been frequent visitor to the US for the past thirty years, although this was her first visit in over eighteen months. She has been awarded the symbolic "keys" to several US cities, including New York and San Francisco. On her first trip, in 1971, the young McAliskey made civil rights history when she refused to be met by Chicago's Mayor Richard J. Daly on account of his treatment of opponents of the Vietnam War.

{free, brave, not welcome here} Bernadette Devlin McAliskey Barred Entry to the United States. Laura Flanders at Counterpunch 2/22/03



I did, at this point (about 1:30), however, think of God. I felt a sudden desire to go to Westminster Cathedral. (Instinctively, I felt that a Protestant church would be useless: they aren�t really sacred buildings at all.) But when we got to the Cathedral, God definitely wasn�t at home, as far as I was concerned. So we walked along the street to the Abbey, for want of any better place to go. Don hadn�t been there before. The Abbey was very funny � a charmingly absurd little antique shop, full of ridiculous statues. (Sir Cloudesley Shovel was specially pleasing.) Its little old black rock-ribbed carcass seemed shrunken; I felt I was inside a dead and dried-up animal. Maybe a whale. No God there. No life at all . . . Having been told by John Goodwin and others that I must be sure to get close to nature, I could think of no place to go except a flower shop . . . I immediately seemed to see a great difference between the cut flowers and the ones growing in pots. �This one,� I told Don, �is just as alive as a snake.� And looking at a pot of azaleas, I could see the petals moving all the time, the stamens making constant tiny phototropic adjustments towards the light coming through the shop window. But did I really see this?

Christopher Isherwood, on LSD, diary entry February 25, 1956 quoted in The Times, February 25, 2003

'Cowardice', according to Colin Powell, is the refusal to injure thousands of innocent civilians living in Baghdad in order to promote US oil interests in the Middle East. The corollary is that 'bravery' must be the ability to order the deaths of 100,000 Iraqis without wincing or bringing up your Caesar salad.

I suppose Tony Blair is 'brave' because he is willing to expose the people who voted for him to the threat of terrorist reprisals in return for getting a red carpet whenever he visits the White House, while Chirac is a 'coward' for standing up to the bigoted bullying of the extremist right-wing Republican warmongers who currently run the United States.

In the same vein, well-fed young men sitting in millions of dollars' worth of military hardware and dropping bombs from 30,000ft on impoverished people who have already had all their arms taken away are exemplars of 'bravery'. 'Cowardliness', according to George W. Bush, is hijacking an aircraft and deliberately piloting it into a large building. There are plenty of things you could call that, but not 'cowardly'.

Terry Jones in the Observer/UK via CommonDreams

Rove hatched and ran the presidential campaign, deploying the Bush family Rolodex and the might of the oil industry and unleashing the most vigorous direct-mailing blizzard of all time. 'If the devil is in the details,' writes Dubose, 'he had found Rove waiting to greet him when he got there.'
By the time George W. became President, Rove was the hub of a Texan wheel connecting the family, the party, the Christian Right and the energy industry. A single episode serves as metaphor: during the Enron scandal last year, a shadow was cast over Rove when it was revealed that he had sold $100,000 of Enron stock just before the firm went bankrupt.
More intriguing, however, was the fact that Rove had personally arranged for the former leader of the Christian Coalition, Ralph Reed, to take up a consultancy at Enron - Bush's biggest single financial backer - worth between $10,000 and $20,000 a month.
This was the machine of perpetual motion that Rove built. His accomplishment was the 'Texanisation' of the national Republican Party under the leadership of the Bush family and to take that party back to presidential office after eight years. Rove is unquestionably the most powerful policy adviser in the White House.
________________

Wolfowitz's group formalised itself into a group called Project for the New American Century, which included Cheney and another old friend, former Pentagon Under-Secretary for Policy under Reagan, Richard Perle.

In a document two years ago, the Project pondered that what was needed to assure US global power was 'some catastrophic and catalysing event, like a new Pearl Harbor'. The document had noted that 'while the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides immediate justification' for intervention, 'the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein'.

At a graduation speech to the Military Academy at West Point, Bush last June affirmed the Wolfowitz doctrine as official policy. 'America has, and intends to keep,' he said, 'military strengths beyond challenge.'

Ed Vulliamy in The Observer , February 23, 2003
{it may be this simple. spanking children, traumatizing young children for disciplinary purpose, and the lifetime weight it gives intention, so that why something was done outweighs the thing that got done. learned that young, it's a moral view of things that's 'known', a fundamental aspect of things. below the conscious light of reason that 'knowing' sits, and it has to be carried to the world outside the self. because that world doesn't acknowledge intention. biology scorns intention. biology rewards successful adaptation, however it's achieved, intentionally or accidentally. this explains so much. the hatred and fear of the natural world, the domination and cruel subjection of the non-human, the mythic patriarchal figure of punishment and reward, the moral primacy of will and intent. and the psychotic insistence on an essentially moral architecture in the universe, though there is no evidence for it anywhere. people make their children crazy, but it's a practical kind of craziness. but then it builds up, and then it's not practical anymore.}



From now until 2004 we must look hard at everything this administration says, especially its un-American insinuations that anyone who dissents or has no faith in our fine fellows is no patriot, perhaps even a traitor. But a traitor is one who does grave harm to his country, and by far the most harm done to our nation in recent times has been accomplished by the fundamentalist ideological agenda of the "Enron A-team" in the White House. From environmental pillage and the pointed curtailing of civil rights, to huge subsidies of the obsolete fossil fuel industry at the expense of the clean energy the world cries for, and grotesque tax cuts for the wealthiest among us, coupled with the most mean-spirited cutbacks of even modest assistance to the poor, the administration agenda has so far contained something for everyone to deplore.

Contrary to its public relations image, this is neither a strong administration nor a moral one. Indeed in its arrogance, its lack of wisdom, and its self-serving ethics, it seems to me the weakest in my lifetime. Before 9/11, less than a year into his presidency, the president was slipping sadly in the polls; since 9/11, swathed in smoke and fire and the American flag, his opportunist administration has buttressed itself by terrorist scare talk and patriotic bullying in a clever and loathsome exploitation of a national tragedy.

Peter Matthiessen in Orion online

Coffee is the second most valuable commodity in the world after crude oil, yet tens of millions of farmers who produce coffee are forced to live in abject poverty.

The UN World Food Programme says that in coffee-producing Nicaragua one in eight children is starving. Prices for coffee have nosedived - dropping by more than 70 percent in the last five years.

At the same time the world's biggest coffee processing corporations, Nestle, Kraft, Sarah Lee, and Procter and Gamble, control nearly 50 percent of the world coffee market and make huge profits.

Amsterdam Forum, at Radio Netherlands

{Gibson mentioned the Samsung photo phone and his opinion that it signalled change. so I was thinking about that and I had an image of some weird police action but images flying off it and into the net, a way of illuminating the surreptitious. and I thought that was a real good thing. networks of people linked and really linked really really linked with pictures of right now flying all around. and then today Sterling links to these. which means now they can shoot you for drawing your cell phone, for pointing your cell phone at them, for having your cell phone in your hand when the shit goes down. dang.}

22.2.03

{I did this.
exactly that. when I worked on the docks. not every day. but more than twice. with those tongs in my hands, but not the cap. only in an ice house that had a ceiling maybe 5' 8" high.

so, crouched over and pretty cold while the blocks exactly that size came flying down a ramp from the ice truck, they were heavy and they came fast, you had to catch them and guide them without stopping them, sort of divert them into place or back to the other guy. we had to stack them in tight rows to fit the whole truckload in there, and move quickly, it was a whole semi-truck worth. it was a very old ice house.

the bakery I work at now was once an ice house, and my grandfather worked in it when my mother was a young girl, back in the days when many people still used commercial ice at home to keep food edible.}

{I'm not getting enough sleep lately. not for a long while now, so I'm a little fuzzy thought-wise. but as near as I can tell the current situation is a fairly simple one. the earth's weather has entered a period of chaotic re-adjustment, mostly because of a pretty dramatic change in the make-up of atmospheric gases, most of that change being due to the burning of petroleum. at the same time the exponential rate of population growth has brought with it an eponential increase in the burning of petroleum. the US accounts for about 25% of world petroleum consumption.

also traffic mortality statistics for the United States are pretty consistently around 50K per year, children making up a significant subtotal of that figure. and as far as childhood mortality statistics go, car 'accidents' are the leading cause of death for children in the US, and for people under the age of 30.

so, using the Drug War's template of cause and accusation, we can say the use of gasoline is the leading cause of death for children in America. just as we can say heroin kills x-many people per year, rather than overdosing-on, or adulteration-of etc.

the use of gasoline is the leading cause of death for American children, the use of gasoline has so radically altered the climate of the planet that many people are worried that mammalian life may no longer be sustainable here, and the government of the US is going to wage a war that may well lead to nuclear conflict and the subsequent fragmentation of global civilization, in order to preserve our supplies of gasoline.

seems like overkill to me, but like I said, I need more sleep than I'm getting.}


The North American tree swallow is among the bird species beginning springtime activities earlier than historically recorded. Field biologists, who kept track of some 21,000 tree swallow nests in the United States and Canada over the last 40 years, concluded that the average egg laying date for female swallows has advanced by nine days - a phenomenon that mirrors other North American studies confirming higher temperatures and the earlier arrival of spring.

Long term observations of flowering plants in Wisconsin show that wild geraniums, columbine and other species are blooming earlier than before.

Studies in Colorado found that marmots are ending their hibernations about three weeks sooner than they were in the late 1970s.

Measurements taken in Alaska revealed that growth in white spruce trees has been stunted in recent years - another expected consequence of a rapidly warming climate, Root said.

"Climate change models predict that the poles will warm more quickly than the equator, so it's not surprising that we're getting the strongest signals of biological change from Alaska and other northern regions," Root said.

environmental news service January 2, 2003

Lannan Foundation announced that it has awarded its 2002 Prize for Cultural Freedom to the writer Arundhati Roy of Delhi, India.

The Prize for Cultural Freedom was established to recognize people whose extraordinary and courageous work celebrates the human right to freedom of imagination, inquiry, and expression. As defined by the foundation, cultural freedom is the right of individuals and communities to define and protect valued and diverse ways of life currently threatened by globalization.

Roy will receive $350,000 in prize money, and she has announced that the money will be shared by 50 people's movements, publications, educational institutions, theater groups, and individuals in India.

Caterina.net has a war poems page. plus she knows a lot about good tea.

...President George W Bush summed up the American approach to international affairs when he said, in relation to the War on Terrorism, "you're either with us, or you're against us." The fact that this overly simplistic "good guys vs the bad guys" approach has been taken up by large sections of the American media probably explains why the US public is so poorly informed about the real issues. A recent survey revealed that many Americans believe Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden are the same person...

Andy Sennitt at Radio Netherlands 21 February 2003

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)says it wants the government to end all its military operations in the south-east of the country in return for the release of the three US citizens it took hostage over a week ago. This is the first time the FARC has claimed responsibility for a kidnapping.

The rebels took the three Americans hostage after the plane they were travelling in crashed in a remote jungle area. Two other passengers, an American and a Colombian, were shot dead on site. The rebels claim the Americans are agents of the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA.

A huge search operation by thousands of Colombian troops backed by helicopters is currently underway.

The FARC are also still holding a former Colombian presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt who was abducted exactly one year ago. A service in her honour is due to be held tomorrow in the capital, Bogot�. Demonstrations calling for her release will also be held in Paris, Madrid and Amsterdam.

Radio Netherlands News Update Sunday 23 February 2003
more Ingrid Betancourt: here and ici

�Revolted by the butchery of the 1914 World War, we in Zurich devoted ourselves to the arts. While the guns rumbled in the distance, we sang, painted, made collages and wrote poems with all our might. We were seeking an art based on fundamentals, to cure the madness of the age, and a new order of things that would restore the balance between heaven and hell. We had a dim premonition that power-mad gangsters would one day use art itself as a way of deadening men�s minds.

Hans Arp quoted at :::wood s lot::: in a bank shot of dada and Hugo Ball with a mass� off Ubuweb

one of those 'ixoye' fish, in gold, with wings, and two feet, that says "keep going"

The night before, in contrast, playing with my friend Alan's new Samsung photo phone. If even one of Cayce's friends had had one of those, PR would have been way more postgeographical. Actually, this little gizmo induced serious techno-vertigo. This'll change things, I suspect. Until you see one, it sounds like just another bell or whistle, but it's one click for image-capture, another to email the jpeg to preselected addresses. People tend already (and has this ever changed, since the last time I toured in the US) to have phones in their hands most of the time. If each of those phones were an email-ready digital camera...

Gibson 2.22.03 realtime

21.2.03

The other night on "60 Minutes," Andy Rooney, who fought in France and certainly has a right to be critical, chided the French for forgetting all that sacrifice (100,000 Frenchmen died trying to stop Hitler in 1940, and 150,000 Allied troops died to liberate that nation in 1944.) But I think he got it backward: The French remember too well.

I was in Paris on Sept. 11, 2001. The reaction was so immediate, so generous, so overwhelming. Not just the government, but the people kept bringing flowers to the American embassy. They covered the American Cathedral, the American Church, anything they could find that was American. They didn't just leave flowers, they wrote notes with them. I read over 100 of them. Not only did they refer, again and again, to Normandy, to never forgetting, there were even some in ancient, spidery handwriting referring to WWI: "Lafayette is still with you."

Look, the French are not a touchy-feely people. They're more, like, logical. For them to approach total strangers in the streets who look American and hug them is seriously extraordinary. I got patted so much I felt like a Labrador retriever. I wish Andy Rooney had been there.

Molly Ivins the great Molly Ivins February 20, 2003

a few hours of this:

Little Darwin


the really sophisticated guys are all about 'social Darwinism' now. that
means survival of the economically fittest. that means you snooze you
lose you lose you die. that means we fucked up keeping people alive who
can't feed theirselfs.
those guys have all the guns already. they already took away the
vitamins from the third-world babies and ground their parents into dog
food for their security patrols. they don't give a fuck about people
starving and now they have a philosophy to make that OK. social
darwinism. the mice get quicker or they get eaten. also the cat does too.
it's too complicated for most of the bunny people but what's fucked up
around that is the social system that provides the soc. darw. machos with
their brandy and cigars is based on non-Darwinian principles.
Christianity is anti-Darwinian, not because Darwin said there's no
God. he didn't for one thing, he was himself a Christian man and very
troubled by the implications of what he discovered, but he was an honest
man and didn't run from the truth when it made him uncomfortable.
Christianity is anti-Darwinian because evolutionary theory seemed to be
saying that it was ok that people died from not being good enough at what
they did. whether it was running through the jungle or buying stocks and
bonds. true Christianity is about helping people regardless of what they
believe or do, survival of the fittest is all about advancing your own
position.
so at the same time that you have all these whiners pretending to be
Christians but not practicing Christian virtues of love and acceptance,
you have these hidden vampires running massively laid-out slave camps.
where people actually CHOOSE to be slaves because the alternatives are
increasingly more scary. to not be able to feed yourself in the present
set-up is way spooky yes?
so people volunteer, reluctantly but hey, you gotta make a livin right?
free-range niggers.
self-maintaining slaves.
and over time the rebels get weeded out. driven deeper to the bottom of
the pile. which is why white trash kids were so attractive in the
fifties. that was where the remnants of the last of the holdouts ended up.
so it's more and more rare to hear about, much less see someone who's
living independently of the system. which is what's puky about drug
dealing hippies who partner up with the evilest side of all that and then
platinum their trip with the bank they pull off the jacked prices
courtesy of Feds Inc.
so Eisenhower was right but so what? go feed every stray cat in town.
how many years of that til things get a little funky? how many months of
that til there's no more birds? ok then do dogs like that too. oh you say
but we'll neuter them.
doi.
uh-oh.
I mean....
well.
you can't do that to people right? so then the smart ones cut back on
their birth rates and the dumb ones... like I said the slave camps are
filled with VOLUNTEERS. bred-down workers. people who choose to live
like that because they have no alternative, no comfortable alternative
that is. and the Masters want that to continue because the research
droids are one step away from being able to provide them with physical
immortality. it's right there. chemical understanding and organ
manipulation and 'bingo', no death.
for who? the bunny people? the kitties and the puppies? what do you think?
BUT.
at the same time the huge cycle of weather and biotic change has become
infected with foreign elements and kicked into a feedback loop of
adjustment and cause that threatens to pull the entire landscape out from
under the Slave Masters' feet.
so then it's about cynical surrender to the moment and party down with
the Social Darwinists at the end of the fucking world because nothing
matters but I'm not giving up my iPod for some brown-skinned monkeyboy.
because nothing matters.
AND.
at the same time the little high school reject pussies and rich kid
rock'n'roll wannabes that got left out of every inner circle known to
their hormone affinity group have wormed their ways through the slimy
halls of American business and political power.
and are running things.
and are brainwashed with strange religious delusions some of them,
others just have that section of the brain that never got connected
right. socially functional alpha-autistics. CEO's with no emotional ties
to anything human.
so when push comes down they're gonna shove the whole thing over the
cliff, because the alternative is to go back and work in the gas stations
their daddies built, like immigrants behind the late-night bulletproof
windows. they'll never do that. besides Jesus said it's OK.

so.
the short form is, it's not enough to want things to be nice. you have to
make them nice. and if you're going to assume a godlike position in the
world you have to assume the responsibilities of a god. as in if you're
going to become a god to your little doggie friend you have to do the
godly things. like cut his nuts off, get his shots, keep him out of the
neighbor's chicken pen. in addition to feeding him on a regular basis.

so really what I'm saying is it looks to me like this whole thing is
stuck in half-god mode. everybody wants the happy part, nobody wants the
hard part.
can't have it both ways.

what's it gonna be?


love
peace
hope

the odious and servile Drudge has a photo of Saddam Hussein and Jacques Chirac at a French nuclear facility in 1975. which he found of course in his frantic pursuit of truth. which he was desperately pursuing in order to prevent the unintentional incineration of the human race by incompetent boobs.

20.2.03


Hot Chinese economy ploughs on

While the giant economies of Europe and the US flounder, and Japan seems stuck in recession, China is flourishing. A growth of seven or even eight percent a year is not unusual in the world's most populous nation, though along with the growth has come a host of social problems.

The Chinese economy has been steaming ahead, faring much better in terms of growth than the once-booming US economy. Of course, this doesn't mean China measures up to the US when it comes to GDP � it is still ten times smaller � and it will take another 20 to 30 years before it can match the number one economy in the world. But China, with its 1.3 billion inhabitants, has huge potential, low labour costs, and its market is now easy to enter for foreign investors.
Wendy Braacker at Radio Netherlands 02/20/03

19.2.03

CAROL'S OPINION:� I bought a "Harry Kellerman" VHS on eBay.�� The best part, in my opinion, was Shel on stage... which lasted all of might have been a minute or two.�� The rest of the movie wasn't nearly as bad as� "Ned Kelly" (one of the other movies that Shel wrote music for), but I'll certainly never be tempted to endure it a second time.�� Did anyone else get the same spooky feeling I got at the end of the film when Kellerman's plane was heading for those NY buildings?�� Eerie, to say the least.��

early 70's Dustin Hoffman movie with music and lyrics by Shel Silverstein sung by Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show

On Thursday I nearly went to the office. The suburb had another indefinite power cut and I didn't know what was happening. My phone rang. The voice said that riots had broken out in Kaduna and Muslims were killing Christians. People were trying to find me and I shouldn't leave the house. That night on national television the Sultan of Sokoto appealed for calm and peace. On the flip side, the minister for Abuja, Nigeria's glossy capital, broke down in front of the camera, weeping that I had blasphemed the prophet.
Then on Friday, riots began in Abuja. We bought every newspaper. I listened to a radio announcement claiming that all those involved with the article would be brought to book. I turned off the radio. The need for normality was what I clung to. I chatted to my brother and sister as if nothing had happened.

fatwa in Nigeria. Isioma Daniel tells her story. Guardian UK 02/17/03
just makes an 'American' feel that much more secure, knowing that kind of thing will never happen here.
{Raiders v. Buccaneers. two opposing, fighting, lined-up-against-each-other teams. fundamentalist Muslims. fundamentalist Christians/Jews. football. religion. fundamentalism is a thing. it has rules the teams play by. the game wins no matter which team comes out on top. like gambling, it's house odds every time.}

{Most timely. The Crisis Papers leads with an epigram from Thomas Paine, of all people. it seems almost silly at this dire juncture to point out what most 'Americans' have become completely blind to, that the 'American' Revolution, was exactly that, and it was fought by brave men who were branded as 'terrorists' by those they fought. Thomas Paine being one of those revolutionary terrorists whose inspired work has remained so threatening to greed and the swinish powers-that-be that it is seldom seen in 'American' schools.
Thomas Paine, the invisible patriot.}

A German court has convicted a Moroccan man of aiding the September 11 suicide hijackers in the first criminal trial associated with those attacks. Mounir El Motassadeq, 28, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for being an accessory to the murder of more than 3000 people in New York and Washington. He was also found guilty of membership of a terrorist organisation.

story at Radio Netherlands
{how much attention will this get in 'America'? the first, as far as I'm aware, prosecution and conviction of anyone connected with 9/11. and it happens in a German court.
but then we're not concerned with 9/11 anymore. we're concerned with Saddam Hussein. 9/11 was more than a year ago, after all.

that was then, this is, uhm....gulp...now.}
{updating that, we have this chirpy bit of current eventuality}:

America is to punish Germany for leading international opposition to a war against Iraq. The US will withdraw all its troops and bases from there and end military and industrial co-operation between the two countries - moves that could cost the Germans billions of euros.

The plan - discussed by Pentagon officials and military chiefs last week on the orders of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - is designed 'to harm' the German economy to make an example of the country for what US hawks see as Chancellor Gerhard Schr�der's 'treachery'.
The hawks believe that making an example of Germany will force other countries heavily dependent on US trade to think twice about standing up to America in future.
from The Guardian UK Unlimited 02/16/03

{the spin started four hours too late for even a shred of credibility. "they let him off". as though anyone convicted of anything related to 9/11 should be killed, in fact they should all be killed before they're convicted. in fact they should be killed before we find about them, in fact let's just kill everybody, then we'll know for sure the bad guys are dead. I'm up for that.
the guy who was convicted in Germany was not convicted of planning and executing anything as far as I know. but what freaks Busharon is it comes right on top of their condemnation of all things German. then the filthy Teutons go and spoil everything by being the first legal system to actually prosecute and convict anyone, that's a-n-y-o-n-e, of anything to do with 9/11. well. we can't have that.
it would seem 'America' is being 'governed' by little barking dogs.}

17.2.03

Captain Philip Gardner, VC � �Pip� Gardner � won the Victoria Cross in what many would regard as the classic way: saving the life of a comrade under enemy fire, so placing his own life in dire risk. He had already been awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in the battle of Halfaya Pass, and was captured at the fall of Tobruk. During one period of privation as prisoners of war, he and his comrades decided that their conditions were still marginally better than the poor of London during the blitz and organised a collection to ease their distress.

one of the 16 living holders of the Victoria Cross has died. his obituary in The Times should be required reading for all Americans, especially those politicians clamoring for war, none of whom possess even a measure of his nobility of spirit.
{lest anyone get the wrong impression, there are many of us who are not opposed to war or fighting or killing or whatever you wish to call it, on philosophical grounds.
the idea of going to war to preserve the lifestyle of greedy swine is morally untenable for most of us however.
the same dull-witted arguments get made over and over, as though anyone who despises fundamentalist christian dogma must therefore be opposed to the teachings of Jesus, as though someone nauseated by the inept and bewildered thuggishness of current American policies must somehow be opposed to American ideals of liberty and equality.
I personally am in complete disagreement with the men who now run America. and would, if I was forced to choose, rather be killed by them, than be killed for them.
I am not opposed to war. I am opposed to this war.}

His demonstration that the Latin word rumor, almost universally translated as �rumour�, could also mean �report� enabled him to point out that the �revolution inaugurated by Bletchley�s crypt- analysts in 1940 was a revolution in degree rather than in kind�. There was personal experience too in his view that historians had underestimated the significance of intelligence-gathering in the past because �sensible intelligence services seek to keep quiet about their activities�.

another obit in The Times, this for John Prestwich, of Bletchley.

September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows was launched on February 14, 2002, and today includes more than 50 family members directly affected by September 11, as well as 2,000 supporters. Its mission is to seek effective nonviolent solutions to terrorism, and to acknowledge the shared experience of September 11 families with all people similarly affected by violence throughout the world. By conscientiously exploring peaceful options in their search for justice, the group�s members work to break the endless cycle of violence and retaliation engendered by war. In doing so, they hope to create a safer world for themselves and for their children.

S11FPT site via this peaceful gathering of global resistance thnx to UK Guardian Unlimited itself found through Infinite Matrix and Bruce Sterling, who is consistently proving to be the Ben Franklin of now.

The United States has carried out a first military transport through the Netherlands. A train with military equipment and personnel travelled from Venlo to Rotterdam. The transport was guarded by US troops. The Dutch army also assisted.
Five more transports will take place today, and a total of about 25 trains will travel through the Netherlands in the next few days, carrying US tanks, equipment and personnel.
Early this morning, the outgoing defence minister, Conservative Henk Kamp, gave the United States written authorization to carry out transports through Dutch territory, on the way to Turkey and the Gulf region. The weapons and troops transports could endanger the formation of a coalition between the Christian Democrats and Labour. This weekend, the parliamentary Labour party was against agreeing unquestioningly to the American request.

Radio Netherlands 02/17/03

15.2.03

Dream 02/16: sitting in a dark cafe at a big table I was normal-size which is maybe why the table seemed big it wasn't like a banquet table or anything and on one side of me was Patti Smith and on the other side was Chrissie Hynde. it was a good dream

"Jhai Foundation is about reconciliation and this is a reconciliation project of the Jhai Foundation. What is most important to us are our human relationships. We will remain true to our values and true to our friends here in Laos and elsewhere. As my fellow veteran, Kurt Vonnegut, once said, 'The thing is to be honorable.' We will continue to be honorable and we will continue to seek reconciliation of whole - and flawed - people with one another. The opposite of this is war and we will not go down that road. We will do this thing together. It will simply take more time."

Lee Thorn, chairman of Jhai Foundation, quoted in Oblomovka


If so, what is the war about?

In one word: oil.

There is a strong smell of oil in the air. Without smelling it, one cannot understand what is going on. But once one grasps what it is all about, the actions of Bush & Co., while cynical and hypocritical, are utterly logical.

These, then, are the American war aims:

# To take over the immense oil reserves of Iraq, among the world's biggest.

#To ensure American control of the nearby huge Caspian Sea oil reserves

# To reinforce indirect American control of the oil in all the Gulf states, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran.

Control of most of the worlds oil reserves will free the Americans, at long last, from the whims of the oil market. Their hand, and theirs alone, will be on the tab. They, and they alone, will fix the prices of oil all over the world. If they will want prices to rise, they will rise. If they will want them to go down, they will go down. With one single movement of the hand, they will be able to deal a crushing blow to the economies of Germany, France and Japan. No country in the world will be able to stand up to them in any matter. No wonder that Germany and France oppose the war. It is directed against them.

It follows that the Americans do not intend to enter Iraq, establish democracy and leave. The very idea is ridiculous.

The US enters Iraq in order to stay there, for years and decades. Its physical presence in the Arab and Muslim world will create a new geo-political reality.

Uri Avnery's News Pages


{the leading cause of death for American children is the use of the automobile. again, not drunk driving, the use of the car. this 'war' is about preserving the flow of oil into America. the preservation, not the elimination but the PRESERVING of the leading cause of death of American children is the reason this 'war' is about to happen. is that a satanic equation? is there a more satanic equation anywhere? has there ever been a more satanic equation than that?}

14.2.03

We appreciate your assistance and thank you for your cooperation in this matter. In your future correspondence with us, please refer to Case ID 118231.

Your prompt response is requested.

Respectfully,

[Private],
Director of Enforcement
MediaForce, Inc.

[Private]

------------------------------
Infringment Detail:
Infringing Work: Spider-Man
Filename: Spiderman-NEW-2of2.avi.avi



"I suppose at the root of all this is the feeling that possibly the only way that humans can remain cooperative is by those of us who are artists or who are interested in the arts realizing that we have some kind of a job to do. It's no good any more as far as I'm concerned for artists to just take the Bohemian attitude of, oh, it just comes out of me, and I don't know what I'm doing, etc. I just can't stand that, I don't want this romantic attitude that says artists shouldn't be part of this planet. This is a real job, and it has to do something
______________________

Color theories, and dimension theories, golden means, all those sort of ideas, assume that some objects are intrinsically more beautiful and meaningful than others. New cultural thinking isn't like that. It says that we confer value on things. We create the value in things. It's the act of conferring that makes things valuable. Now this is very important, because so many, in fact all fundamentalist ideas rest on the assumption that some things have intrinsic value and resonance and meaning. All pragmatists work from another assumption: no, it's us. It's us who make those meanings."
Brian Eno, at the Edge


{the golden mean as culturally arbitrary value-added meme? the golden meme?
it's easier for me to imagine a fundamentally unambiguous nature. to everything, in everything. that it's that we respond to most. that the golden mean is a capturing of that. though I admit it's not hard to see the biology in color harmony, the mammalian urge in landscape grandeur, still it's plain that there's something going on here we can't articulate, can't even grasp the possibility of except as extrapolative potential, something deep and eternal and as real as dental plaque, or sex, or galaxies.}


Iara was poisoned by juice offered to her father -who was opposed to log sales, by a logger. She died before arriving at the city�s hospital. Unrestricted logging continues to be problematic for the Negarot�, though they seem not to be aware of the extent of the problem.

Denise Zmekhol, Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley


Chico Mendes

13.2.03

BBC Four: What possessed you to embark on such a potentially dangerous trip?

Ben Anderson: The idea evolved after the second Axis of Evil speech when they added Syria, Libya and Cuba to the list. There's no evidence so far to link the six countries and not one of them is linked to 11 September. When you say axis it suggests some kind of link and the only thing we found was that you could travel to all six countries on a tourist visa. So that's what we decided to do. We were looking for links.

BBC Four: Having been to all these countries, what is your take on the Axis of Evil?

BA: It's an absolute joke.

BBCFour online�The Bush regime claims that North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya and Cuba are part of an "axis of evil". In a remarkable two-part travelogue, reporter Ben Anderson, armed with a hidden camera and a tourist map, visits all six rogue states and tries to find the reality

Digging in against open source commoditization won't work - it would be like digging in against the Internet, which Microsoft tried for a while before getting wise. Any move towards cutting off alternatives by limiting interoperability or integration options would be fraught with danger, since it would enrage customers, accelerate the divergence of the open source platform, and have other undesirable results. Despite this, Microsoft is at risk of following this path, due to the corporate delusion that goes by many names: "better together," "unified platform," and "integrated software." There is false hope in Redmond that these outmoded approaches to software integration will attract and keep international markets, governments, academics, and most importantly, innovators, safely within the Microsoft sphere of influence. But they won't .

Exciting new networked applications are being written. Time is not standing still. Microsoft must survive and prosper by learning from the open source software movement and by borrowing from and improving its techniques. Open source software is as large and powerful a wave as the Internet was, and is rapidly accreting into a legitimate alternative to Windows. It can and should be harnessed. To avoid dire consequences, Microsoft should favor an approach that tolerates and embraces the diversity of the open source approach, especially when network-based integration is involved. There are many clever and motivated people out there, who have many different reasons to avoid buying directly into a Microsoft proprietary stack. Microsoft must employ diplomacy to woo these accounts; stubborn insistence will be both counterproductive and ineffective. Microsoft cannot prosper during the open source wave as an island, with a defenses built out of litigation and proprietary protocols

Dave Stutz disembarks from Microsoft

"Stop looking over your shoulder and invent something!"



I realize that it is increasingly difficult to put our faith in institutions like the UN, and we�re bruised and reduced by the knowledge that petitions and protests fall on deaf ears. What, honestly, can we do if the government has made up its mind? If the answer is: nothing, this to me is far more frightening than a wobbly old dictator in the desert.

the eminently confirming, apt, and erudite Gail Armstrong at Open Brackets

12.2.03

Dutch treat on the bus

The eagerly awaited results from the orbiting Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe resolve several long-standing disagreements in cosmology rooted in less precise data. Specifically, present analyses of above WMAP all-sky image indicate that the universe is 13.7 billion years old (accurate to 1 percent), composed of 73 percent dark energy, 23 percent cold dark matter, and only 4 percent atoms, is currently expanding at the rate of 71 km/sec/Mpc (accurate to 5 percent), underwent episodes of rapid expansion called inflation, and will expand forever.

from APOD 2003 February 12, a service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
{leaving aside the arrogance, the myopia, the likelihood of at least some flawed interpretation, this is an irrepeatable attainment.
one of many yes. only a step yes. no practical immediate application yes. but it is firm corroborative evidence of the nature of our place in the universe.
the impossible sadness of most of our minds and hearts being now focused on Washington and its reptilian hissing, as this news comes quietly in, is nearly unbearable. we are here in the midst of this infinite wondrous mystery, learning, seeking to know, at the same time ignorant grasping fools are preparing to send us all back to the cave.
well maybe it was like that then also, those first ones looking up as the sound of brutal conflict nearing filled the air, wondering at the clear stars, the passage of the moon, the otherness of the night sky.
congratulations to all, and thank you.}

President Bush sent a $2.2 trillion budget to Congress that includes a large increase in defense spending, large tax cuts, and record deficits -- $304 billion for the current fiscal year and $307 billion for next year. The total deficit over the next five years was projected to be more than $1 trillion. Two years ago, reporters were quick to recall, the president forecast a $5.6 trillion surplus over the next 10 years and justified his first round of tax cuts for the wealthy on that basis. The budget does not include funds for the invasion of Iraq but does propose to make it more difficult for poor families to obtain government handouts.

Harper's Weekly Review Februrary 11, 2003

11.2.03



As a policy, this new strategy depends on the acquiescence of a public kept fearful and ignorant, subject to manipulation by the executive power, and on the compliance of an intimidated and office-dependent legislature. To the extent that a government is secret, it cannot be democratic or its people free. By this new doctrine, the president alone may start a war against any nation at any time, and with no more forewarning than preceded the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Would be participating citizens of a democratic nation, unwilling to have their consent coerced or taken for granted, therefore have no choice but to remove themselves from the illegitimate constraints of this "we" in as immediate and public a way as possible.
__________________________

There is, first of all, the contradiction of peace and war, or of war as the means of achieving and preserving peace This document affirms peace; it also affirms peace as the justification of war and war as the means of peace and thus perpetuates a hallowed absurdity. But implicit in its assertion of this (and, by implication, any other) nation's right to act alone in its own interest is an acceptance of war as a permanent condition. Either way, it is cynical to invoke the ideas of cooperation, community, peace, freedom, justice, dignity, and the rule of law (as this document repeatedly does), and then proceed to assert one's intention to act alone in making war. One cannot reduce terror by holding over the world the threat of what it most fears.

Wendell Berry, responding to the NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY, in the pages of steadfast Orion Magazine

open up


You've heard oldsters say, "That's the ticket!" It started out as a bit loftier line of approval: "That's the etiquette."

Couple of centuries ago in England, strong-arm street thieves threw snuff in the faces of likely victims, and robbed them while they sneezed. The label for such robbers didn't stick in the language. It was "sneeze-lurkers."

L.M.Boyd

10.2.03

We are missing the proper driver to get the new M-systems solid state 576 megabyte flash disk working under Linux, and we have to find a way around this somehow. This size disc is needed for development and is on the direct path of installing the localized Linux with graphic interface. This installation is necessary for the display of Lao fonts. We have put out an appeal to the open source community for their assistance.
At the relay site on the hill, we are building the platform to mount the solar panels in the tree and we are reinforcing the platform that will hold the Jhai PC and the antennas. The batteries box has been enclosed in a welded steel stand for protection.

At the termination site in the town of Phon Hong, both the electrical and telephone lines have been attached to the water tower where the Jhai PC and its antenna will be mounted .

Jhai Foundation Jhai PC update Saturday, 8 February 2003

9.2.03

I get upset at seeing shaven-headed little kids been thumped in Sainsbury's and even angrier at casual middle-class child cruelty. I shout 'child abuser' at smug parents on bicycles who show off their green credentials by towing little Archie through traffic at exhaust-pipe height in those baby trailers.
______________
To me, Michael is level-headed. While other celebrities are gullible, for instance, when it comes to such cults as Scientology and Kabbalah, he has seen them off, despite high pressure, celeb-on-celeb salesmanship from both.

He is that strong in his convictions. Love her as he does, for example, he disagrees profoundly with his friend Elizabeth Taylor, the children's godmother, who believes the odd smack is all right.

Michael has his own views on what is weird. He regards it as disgusting that his friend Princess Diana's children were encouraged by their father to witness the gory aftermath of a fox hunt.
____________
I would say Michael Jackson has given more thought to parenthood than most of us parents who don't suffer from the sobriquet, Wacko.

Jonathan Margolis rises to the defense of the King of Pop, in the Observer 02/09/03(or 09.02.03 depending).
{interesting that part about the exhaust. as though endangering your child outside the car is wrong, but inside....maybe someone could take the time to explain to Mr. Margolis, in a way that he can understand, that the use of automobiles is the leading cause of death for children. no no. not bicycle/car 'accidents', not engine exhaust poisonings, not even that deserving scapegoat/diversion drunk driving. the simple fact of the use of the automobile kills more children than any single other thing.

and the fox thing's a dead giveaway. as though the sight of the violent aftermath is what's bad for the kids. so much of the violence of these times is so deeply hidden it might as well be invisible. it's institutional cowardice, or industrial cowardice, or something.

I keep seeing this image over and over, dust in the air thick and brown and at the edge of some rubbled clearing a turmoil of pigs and dogs all of them skinny and diseased with chronic hunger fighting each other for the corpse of a child. it's ugly but then so's what's coming. so the perspective from which I'm looking at this drummed up 'controversy' is maybe a little different than someone's who's trying desperately to pretend everything will be all right if we can just get a few more cameras at a few more intersections and not let the kids watch bad TV.
Michael Jackson.
you want me to talk about that? let's see....how about there isn't a human being alive today who isn't filthy with warped upbringing nor is there anyone among us who hasn't been abused past the point of simple correction.
so then what? catharsis eh? punish the worst offenders and gloat. attain health by comparative pathology. because it's too late for true healing right? so don't look for causes, look for excuses. to hurt, to reject. look for the ones who deserve your cruelty because that's what you want most. someone to take it out on.
well, there he is, go get him.}

8.2.03

still here. fraught with machine pain. 3 boxes 2 monitors no interface. soon. thanx 4 asking.

5.2.03



The main focus of her scholarship was Sufism, on which she composed what remains (for its size) the most comprehensive historical and doctrinal study on the subject: Mystical Dimensions of Islam (1975, and often reprinted).
She was the leading expert on the supreme Persian Sufi poet, Rumi (d.1273), who was, she said, �an unfailing source of inspiration and consolation� to her. She wrote several important studies of him, including The Triumphal Sun: A Study of the Works of Jalaloddin Rumi (1978), I am Wind, You are Fire: Life and Works of Rumi (1992) and a German translation of his Discourses. In basing her knowledge on intuitive heart-savour (dhawq), Schimmel shared the approach of her beloved Persian Sufi poets. Her intellectual learning was steeped in an ocean of warm and intense feminine sensitivity and feeling.

She had also learnt the old Sufi trick of dictating passages from the secret book of the heart (�And I weave ever new silken garments of words / only to hide you . . . � as she says in one of her poems), so that audiences fell at her feet as she discoursed without notes in English, German and Turkish (and with notes in Arabic, French and Persian). When she lectured, she would close her eyes tightly, clutching her handbag lightly, and reel off the chronicles of kings, the verses of poets and seers, the tales of lovers, and the accounts of mystical theology and doctrine of Islamic mystics and philosophers with eloquent fluency, sometimes for hours on end.

Professor Annemarie Schimmel, Islamic scholar, was born in Erfurt, Germany, on April 2, 1922. She died in Bonn on January 26, 2003, aged 80.
Obituary in the Times of London


.....on the Rucka Rucka Ranch, a dust-pit of a one-horse ranch in the Nicasio Valley of West Marin which Bobby inhabited along with a variable cast of real characters.

These included Cassidy's mother Eileen, a good woman who was then and is still the patron saint of the Deadheads, the wolf-like Rex Jackson, a Pendleton cowboy turned Grateful Dead roadie in whose memory the Grateful Dead's Rex Foundation is named, Frankie Weir, Bobby's ol' lady and the subject of the song Sugar Magnolia, Sonny Heard, a Pendleton bad ol' boy who was also a GD roadie, and several others I can't recall.

There was also a hammer-headed Appaloosa stud, a vile goat, and miscellaneous barnyard fowl which included a peacock so psychotic and aggressive that they had to keep a 2 x 4 next to the front door to ward off his attacks on folks leaving the house. In a rural sort of way, it was a pretty tough neighborhood.....

{that's cyber-statesman JPBarlow on the incarnation of the GDead tune "Cassidy".

among the many little-known facts of my biography are a transformative psychedelic meeting up with Neal Cassady at the Pranksters' barn in Scotts Valley in '66, and a short term residency just over the hills a little (toward SPTaylor) from said Rucka Rucka Ranch in the late 70's.
there's a moment in episode 2 of 'Intrepid Traveler and Friends Look For A Kool Place', the Prankster bus movie, where there's a shot of one of the stunning distaff members' gams (boy those girls were good-lookin) in a swimsuit with her inner thigh exhibiting a little white scar and then the edit cuts to Cassady's permanent monologue and he jump-stutters the first syllable of the word 'children'.
ch-children.
so go read 'The First Third'. it's there, never laid out in stark terms, but it's there. that guy was eminently lovable, supremely lovable. and a dispenser of that full-system compassion that's impossible to imitate.}

Not much is known about the R.S.S. in the West. After Sept. 11, the Hindu nationalists have presented themselves as reliable allies in the fight against Muslim fundamentalists. But in India their resemblance to the European Fascist movements of the 1930's has never been less than clear. In his manifesto ''We, or Our Nationhood Defined'' (1939), Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, supreme director of the R.S.S. from 1940 to 1973, said that Hindus could ''profit'' from the example of the Nazis, who had manifested ''race pride at its highest'' by purging Germany of the Jews. According to him, India was Hindustan, a land of Hindus where Jews and Parsis were ''guests'' and Muslims and Christians ''invaders.''

Pankaj Mishra NYTimes 02/02/03



6.



I've told you, let's try to sleep in this funny camp

All night pitiless pilotless things go shrieking

above us to somewhere


Don't let your faces turn to stone

Don't stop asking me why

Let's pay attention to our cat she needs us


Maybe tomorrow the bakers can fix their ovens

7.


"We sang them to naps told stories made

shadow-animals with our hands


washed human debris off boots and coats

sat learning by heart the names

some were too young to write

some had forgotten how"


-- Adrienne Rich


{and then a statement from W.S. Merwin, at Sam Hamill's Poets Against The War}

Top investigators of the Columbia space shuttle disaster are analyzing a startling photograph -- snapped by an amateur astronomer from a San Francisco hillside -- that appears to show a purplish electrical bolt striking the craft as it streaked across the California sky.

SF Gate

A century ago, musicians, comics, cartoonists, and writers applied blackface to express simple-minded sentimentality, an inexhaustible craving for leisure, and malapropisms galore. (For a few happy decades, as Harper's Monthly gag pages and Edison ethnic recordings attest, artists and wits also had the option of going Irish.) The jazzbos at my college affected a weird kind of dignified petulance that I guess was the rich kid version of Miles Davis. Nowadays the in-demand roles are sullen thugs and motor-mouthed scam artists. I'm inclined to see these as transformations in the cultural marketplace rather than in The Souls of Black Folk.

Bellona Times 02/05/03

The latest public servant to privatize himself is Nick Calio. For the last two years, as head of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, Calio has been responsible for promoting the president's agenda in Congress. He also acted as the administration's version of Monty Hall, doling out presidential perks to members of Congress -- including flights on Air Force One and invites to state dinners (especially coveted in this administration, since the buttoned-down Bushies have given exactly two).

Earlier this month Calio left the White House to become chief lobbyist for Citigroup. The hire couldn't have come at a better time for the embattled banking behemoth, which has been under fire from state and federal regulators -- and has just agreed to pay $300 million in fines to settle claims that its stock analysts intentionally misled investors.

Citigroup needed someone to call off the watchdogs and school them in a little obedience to their natural masters -- and who better than the president's personal lobbyist?

Arianna Huffington 01/22/03

4.2.03

Fragments of the shuttle were offered for sale on eBay within a few hours. President George W. Bush gave a State of the Union address that focused largely on the state of his plans to go to war with Iraq. Bush also unveiled a $15 billion program to fight AIDS around the world, particularly in Africa, and he announced the creation of a Terrorist Threat Integration Center, which will merge different units of the CIA and the FBI. The president said that Secretary of State Colin Powell will soon present new evidence of Iraq's evildoing, including its alleged ties to Al Qaeda, to the United Nations Security Council. CIA analysts continued to maintain that there is no evidence of Iraqi aid to terrorists, and officials at the FBI also said they were baffled by the president's claims: "We've been looking into this hard for more than a year," said one anonymous source, "and you know what, we just don't think it's there." Hans Blix, the head of the United Nations chemical and biological inspections team, rebutted many of the president's reasons for attacking Iraq; Blix said that there was no evidence that Iraq was hiding illegal weapons or weapons scientists in neighboring countries, that there was no credible evidence of Iraqi intelligence agents posing as scientists, and that there was no evidence of Iraqi ties to Al Qaeda. "There are other states where there appear to be stronger links," he said. Blix also said that there has been "no trace" of chemical or biological agents in the many samples his inspectors have taken all across Iraq.

Roger D. Hodge Harper's Weekly Review FEBRUARY 4, 2003



Gordon Parks Department Store
Birmingham, Alabama, 1956

{to have risen from this madness so recently and to then insist so violently that nothing is wrong, that nothing could be wrong, because we stopped, we don't do that anymore.}


...We cut to a different angle and see a teenage girl sitting on a toilet and crying.

Then the ad suggests that the girl became pregnant because she smoked pot, which no doubt loosened her inhibitions and caused her to go all the way with Jason.

The rest of the Super Bowl brought numerous beer ads featuring young dudes partying with hot babes. The babes gyrated and sucked their lower lips. The guys grinned and slapped each other on the back. There were sexy twins in bikinis. There was revelry. And the message was: Buy our beer. You'll have fun with our beer. You'll get really hammered and meet twins who will leer at you seductively.

Oh yes, gals really like guys who are puking on the sidewalk.

Do women get pregnant because their inhibitions have been lowered by too much alcohol? Oh, never. Beer is good and fun and legal. Pot is bad and dangerous, which is why it's illegal. Smoke pot: lots of consequences. Drink beer: no consequences...

Jon Carroll, SFGate, 01/30/03


Faith-Based Zippy
Bill Griffith moves to the front

Ashley Capps, I Used to See Her in the Field Beside My House
at Verse Daily



. . . now
she's swept all that behind her for a moment and takes
a step outside of history, and
bathes it away. The panel is a length
of oak; and at her gathered hemline
� at the awning that he's set above her sex �
he's left a tiny, roughly tawny
slice of wood grain...



from Albert Goldbarth, A Woman Bathing in a Stream, 1654
at Poetry Today 02/04/03

3.2.03

Passing Through the Shadows Of Great Buildings
The beggar in plaid blankets wanted to kiss my hand
when it lowered the shiny franc. His eyes sleepy, pleading.

How long might I stand there considering . . . the metal
warming, the light waning. That hand of mine dangling . . . .


poem entire from Nance Van Winckel
in Verse Daily


"One's life is a process" is never the same as "one's life is an artwork." Cash value of an idea: on the six-million dollar pragmatist question, philosophies divide here into two camps. There are those geared toward actually becoming better-stronger-faster, and those geared toward affecting the posture that one has already so become.

Turbulent Velvet at UFO Breakfast Recipients



Is there anything you regret?

That goes to the question of would you do it again. If you can't say you'd do it again, it means that time was wasted -- useless. The regrets I have are so minor. You know, would I leave my Keith Richards hat, with the silver skull on it, on the stool at the coffee shop at LaGuardia? I wouldn't do that again. But overall, no, I don't have any regrets.
stepping razor Hunter S. Thompson in Salon

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it."

John Perry Barlow quotes Th. Jefferson in The Economy of Ideas in Wired 2.03, way back in '94
{here more than anywhere I wish for a larger audience. it's something I've thought hard about for a long time. the early silicon gold rush, when it became clear that it was mainly about getting something new and necessary, or valuable or wanted, and locking it down. putting a meter on it, charging royalties for it, building a necessity for it into something everyone would have to have, visionless grasping building on the naive dreams of the true inventors.
eight years ago my girlfriend's kid was learning about things and one of those things was poetry, and it occurred to me to show him the invisible hands of the early poets. in his language. in our language, dude. every single last word of the language was made by a poet. it is exactly an act of poetic expression, to say what has not been yet said, to say in a new brief way what needs to be spoken, to give the people words for things they know but don't know how to say. tree. baby. mama. drink. shit. butterfly. there was a moment in our history when those words did not exist, and there was a moment in which they became, and after that they existed. that moment of becoming began in the heart and in the throat of a poet.
the creation of language, because it is so complex, or because it's continuous and becomes so complex, and because it evolves so 'organically' over such large amounts of time, is invisible to us. you have to figure it out, or have it explained to you, it had to come from somewhere. language is a gift without which we would be hiding in the trees. and it is 'intellectual property', nothing more or less than that.
what seems so obvious to me may still need to be spoken: these words were given freely to us, we all inherit them. they are so common that they've become unnoticable, and that, in this upside down society means they're valueless, but the truth is exactly the opposite. they are necessary, essential, absolutely vital. and they're free.
it's time to recognize the damage, and the danger, inherent in the positions of ownership and the postures of outrage adopted by those who would cripple human progress, who would intentionally diminish the growth of what we are, all of us, together, to benefit themselves.}

Thousands of people have downloaded my music since then -- and they're not trying to steal. They're just looking for music they can no longer find on the tight playlists of their local radio stations.

That's how many artists gain new listeners these days -- through the Internet.

After I first posted downloadable music, my merchandise sales went up 300%. They're still double what they were before the MP3s went online.

I'm not going to make a fortune selling these extra recordings, but it does add up to a few thousand dollars a year. That's a welcome bit of additional income for me and for the vast majority of artists who don't sell as many records as Nelly and Ja Rule.

the supremely principled and delightfully feisty Janis Ian, in the LA Times

2.2.03



....Broken up and vanished. In the sky over Nacogdoches County. And I�m sad all the way back to the little boy with his stiff black book and his Bonestell rockets.


But Willy was right, and nobody ever said it would be risk-free.


If it were, it wouldn�t be glorious.


And it�s only with these losses that we best know that it really is...


Gibson 02/01/03 (read the entire piece)


_____________

Yet I fear this accident (as it almost surely was) will instead be a justification for paralysis -- a halt to U.S. space exploration when the proper response is to redouble humanity's push into the frontier. It has never been more critical, given the terrestrial threats, to get the species off the planet and to find new resources for those who remain.
The space station and shuttle program were under fire for other, good reasons. They do little for true exploration of space. A reexamination of the entire space program -- and maybe turning it into a truly global affair -- would be smart at this point.
But we would dishonor the memory of the astronauts, and take away from our own future, if we let this tragedy turn us away from the heavens.
Space is humanity's destiny, if it has one. We are an exploring, expansionist race. We must go on.
Dan Gillmor 02/01/03


_____________

"The same creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today," he said. He told the nation that while the astronauts had not safely returned to earth, "we can pray they are safely home."
George W. Bush 02/01/03
{there was a TV show in 1957 called 'Have Gun Will Travel'. I liked it a lot. I was 8. my mom and I used to go to the library every week or so, I remember being frustrated at the Dr Dolittle books, and some pig named Freddy. somewhere in the stacks I ran across a book called 'Have Spacesuit Will Travel'. it had that little orange and yellow atomic rocket sticker on it, which meant little to me at the time. I checked it out. I remember going outside a few nights later, looking up at the relatively clear central California sky, and feeling the depth of space. the world after world, the membranes of complexity tearing open, the infinite reach not abstractly filled with numbers and theoretical spheres, but populated.
as I remember the book it grew in orders of magnitude, from terrestrial to solar to galactic to some other 'place' that was still a 'here'. I don't want to go back and reread it for fear the stepping stones I found, that I remember finding, might not really be in the pages themselves.
there began those dreams for me. worlds as real as this one. forever. we could go there. it was possible. later on there would be a vivid picture of a world of fresh water seas, a kind of Sierra Club planet, mammalian utopia, and of course the parallel dreamings of so many others. one of my deepest resentments is the theft of those dreams by men with no discernible imagination. by the time of the first moon landing I was myself an alien. it seemed as though the first of us through the great starry portal would be Spiro Agnew and Dick Nixon, or their chosen designates. the dream began to fragment. it's a bitter thing. maturity insists that many of the people on the ground and in the capsules, in the ships and at the station, were closer to Carl Sagan than Ronald Reagan when it came to dreams of spaceflight. and I've learned to honor that, I honor it now. I feel the grief, or recognize it behind the armor the shock throws up so quickly these days. it's there, so much sadness.}

The Kiowa were first located along the Columbia River in Canada in 1700. They lived where the springs flowed westward. The traders of Canada's British Columbia gave the first written account of the Kiowa about 1700.

They migrated from Arrow River in 1700 to the Upper Yellowstone (Missouri River), then on into the Black hills about 1780. It was here that the Lewis and Clark Expedition came across large Kiowa encampments. They continued downward through Nebraska and Kansas to Oklahoma and Texas.

Kiowa, the name designated for the Kiowa People at the time of European contact, has no meaning in the Kiowa language. Ancient names of the tribe are Kwu-da and Tep-da, meaning "pulling out" and "coming out" respectively. It is possible that these names are related to the tribe's mythical origins. The Kiowa in later years, have also refered to themselves by the name Kom-pa-bianta or people of the "large tipi flaps". This name was known among the tribe long before their affiliation with the Southern Plains tribes or, later, with the white man. Today, they call themselves Kaui-gu which identifies them as a group.

{that they weren't from anywhere. except "here", in a boundariless and very big sense. it's hard to get ahold of, that idea, their center, their 'roots', within, held in the memories of the people themselves, not architecture, not place, but the almost liquid movement through time and land.} much more at 'Kiowa Nation'

you know if general motors makes
a lemon of a car its your problem but if an artist makes a lousy
artwork its his problem or her problem so it turns out that artists are the last
people in this world who have to do the best they
can because their life is at stake
you say you know a plumber who does the best he can i say hes an
artist you know lots of artists who dont do the best they
can? its very simple theyre not artists anyhow thats
how i answer the question because up to now thats the best i can do for an
answer

David Antin from Fence
in Poetry Today 02/02/03

Iraq is threatening the United States with suicide attacks in the event of a military campaign against the country. In an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel, Iraqi Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan says his country will use thousands of people to carry out suicide missions on American targets. He described them as Iraq's "new weapons".

The warning follows Friday's announcement by US President George W. Bush that measures against Iraq will follow in a matter of weeks, not months.

Radio Netherlands 02/02/03

1.2.03

http://www.archipelago.org/vol6-3/fisk.htm

That's why Jesus talked a great deal about punishment, and the moral obligation to oppose evil with a strong and swift hand. Human evil must be confronted, he said, not merely contained. Depending on the threat, a kind of "pre-emptive strike" or judgment against evil might even be required: "Be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). Allow the darkness to roam unchecked, Jesus said, and it will devour individuals and entire regimes. That helps explain why in the New Testament we see the Son of God rebuking hateful mobs, casting demons into the abyss, chasing religious charlatans out of a temple with a whip. "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth," he said. "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword" (Matthew 10:34).

the very Gadarene Mr. Joseph Loconte 01/28/03, in The New York Times, of all places
{this probably isn't the best time to mention it, but it's important that we not forget that Jesus Christ was an outlaw. that he was arrested, and tried, and convicted, that he was abused by his jailers who were the sworn officers of the law of that time, and that he was executed by the state, crucifixion being the lethal injection of those days. no amount of mealy-mouthed revisionism will change that. if there was in fact an historical Jesus that is the most essential part of his story. what exactly that has to do with the oil-demon and Israeli-chauvinist 'war' on Iraq, I'm not at all sure. but it is certainly an illuminating gauge of the depths to which we have descended now, that this scurrilous horseshit was printed in the Times.}

In 2002, the company took in $2.3 billion doing what you probably thought was Pentagon work. DynCorp planes and pilots fly the defoliation missions that are the centerpiece of Plan Colombia. Armed DynCorp employees constitute the core of the police force in Bosnia. DynCorp troops protect Afghan president Hamid Karzai. DynCorp manages the border posts between the US and Mexico, many of the Pentagon's weapons-testing ranges, and the entire Air Force One fleet of presidential planes and helicopters. During the Persian Gulf War, it was DynCorp employees, not soldiers, who serviced and rearmed American combat choppers, and it's DynCorp's people, not military personnel, who late last year began "forward deploying" equipment and ammunition to the Middle East in preparation for war with Iraq. DynCorp inventories everything seized by the Justice Department's Asset Forfeiture Program, runs the Naval Air Warfare Center at Patuxent River, Maryland, and is producing the smallpox and anthrax vaccines the government may use to inoculate everyone in the United States.

That security work earns DynCorp about half its bread and butter. The other half comes from serving as the information technology department of just about every three-letter national security, law enforcement, and defense-related agency of government, as well as the more peaceable kingdoms of the Departments of State and Justice, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Centers for Disease Control. Among its lucrative contracts, DynCorp is networking all the American embassies abroad, taking the government's emergency phone system wireless, and building a 29,000-terminal computer network for the FBI called Trilogy. As many as three dozen companies do contract work for the Pentagon, and many more sell IT services to the Feds. But DynCorp is special, because it manages both bits and bombs for Uncle Sam.

Dan Baum Wired Issue 11.02

The Zapatista rebels in Chiapas defiantly broke nearly two years of self-imposed silence by taking over the streets of San Crist�bal de las Casas as the New Year began. More than 20,000 of Mexico's indigenous people, some traveling on foot for fifteen hours, poured into the plaza of the ancient colonial city. It was the equivalent of 100,000 of New York City's poorest people marching to Gracie Mansion from the farthest boroughs. The town's comfortable classes shuddered behind their shutters while thousands of machetes rang "like bells" and torches and bonfires lit the New Year's sky. Comandantes with colorful names ranging from "Esther" and "Mister" to "Bruce Lee" declared their determination to "globalize rebelliousness and dignity" against those who "are globalizing death."

Tom Hayden in The Nation 01/28/03

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