...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



'If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere, insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? ' - Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago.

quote from plep
{me. I am. I will. I have before, and if the moment comes again, I will again. there are evil people. irregardless of why or how they became evil. the relativistic fog that covers all distinction is a refuge for cowardice. too much peace is death. too much war is death. neither one works always.
all these human-centered religious impulses start fresh and clear, healing so much corruption when they're new. but they become refined, they become mechanisms, tools for survival, and eventually they become what it was they started out being an antidote to.
in a world where all large carnivores have been beaten to their knees, locked in the prisons of entertainment or driven to extinction, the idea of peace as some higher attainment is a mask for the privileged weak to wear, as they enjoy the peaceful aftermath of the most violent activity the mammalian world has ever known. it is precisely from that blood-filled calm these philosophies arise, and become bloody in their time.
the tiger's mouth is evil, the great bear's paw with its claws extended, the snake hidden, suddenly too close, the list is easy to make, death in the natural world can seem evil.
the heartlessness of one human being's disregard for the life of another, that seems evil to the privileged majority, raised in this safe place. but there are many who will say by too successfully removing our predators we've only deferred a limited threat, transforming it into an inevitable one. most of the killing has been done for us, and it's then we can afford the luxury of tolerance, condemning the man who kills the lion, the snake, the bear, because we live so far from them, and from their teeth.
this 'war' in Iraq is wrong because of who it kills, and who that killing benefits.

It is not the first attempt on his life -indeed, five years ago he appeared to be at the mercy of a rebellion and saved the day only by seizing a Bren gun from a sentry and shooting his way to freedom. The conspiracy collapsed, and two of his brothers were subsequently executed in public.

Whatever accusations may be made against the Imam, nobody has questioned his courage. But with courage goes extreme ruthlessness. It is said that when the Imam was Crown Price and Governor-General of southern Yemen, his father, the Imam Yahya (himself not noted for clemency) used to send telegrams rebuking him for his severity.

The Imam Ahmad's physical presence inspires fire as well as respect. So does his absence, for when two years ago he went to Rome for a medical cure local authorities are reported to have been able to check incipient revolts by waving a piece of paper in the air and proclaiming that it was a telegram announcing his imminent return.

The fear which he inspires has spiritual as well as temporal origins, for he is a direct descendant of the Prophet, and leader of the Zeidi sect of Shias. His dynasty has controlled the Yemen highlands since the ninth century.

article in The Times of London April 1,1961 reprinted online April 01, 2003

In the quest for higher and higher capacity flash chips, manufacturers are now begining to face a wall that can limit just how small a flash cell can be made. Motorola may have just found way around this problem.

The nanocrystal layer is far thinner than the silicon dioxide, Chang said. In fact, it's not even solid, and more like frost on a window. Although silicon is traditionally an electrical conductor, at these levels the quantum nature of the material takes over, and it becomes an insulator, trapping electrons and thereby retaining data.

AnandTech Mar 31st

...2.0 kyr continuous industrial worksite Bigo, Uganda H.s.
2.0 kyr grammar text Greece H.s.
3.0 kyr census Israel H.s.
3.0 kyr iron mine Hungary H.s.
4.0 kyr oldest song Ur, Iraq H.s.
4.5 kyr Maya farming Belize H.s.
4.8 kyr fixed calendrical date Egypt H.s.
5.0 kyr extrabibilcal person's name Egypt H.s.
6.0 kyr iron object Egypt H.s.
6.0 kyr existant ship England H.s....


A group of women using computers at an Internet cafe in Cairo displayed some of their e-mails containing pictures of funerals, wailing women, mourning men and the bodies of children in cradle-sized coffins.

"This is a media war, and America will realize sooner or later that we Arabs have a million alternatives now," Rana Khoury, 20, a political science student at the American University of Beirut. "What really hurts is when I turned to American stations, they were talking about the humanitarian aid that the allies are providing for the Iraqi people. They didn't even mention those who were massacred."

Emily Wax Washington Post Foreign Service March 30, 2003

Islamic Jihad says it has sent suicide bombers to Iraq to fight U-S and British forces.In a fax to The Associated Press in Beirut, the militant Palestinian group said the first group had already arrived in Baghdad, ready to kill invading American and British troops.

The statement says the suicide bombers are being sent for the "sacred duty" of defending the land of Arabs and Muslims. It goes on to say that "God willing" more martyrdom-seekers are coming.

Yesterday an Iraqi army officer driving a taxi detonated explosives at a checkpoint in Najaf, Iraq, killing four American soldiers and himself.

AP March 30

the Doctor who first identified SARS has died of it

His eyes darted back and forth impishly as he cracked faces at others around him. He pumped a fist and self-consciously muttered, "feel good," which was interestingly sanitised into the more mature and assertive, "I'm feeling good" by the same Washington Post.

He was goofing around, and there's only one way to interpret that kind of behaviour just seconds before announcing war on Iraq: the man is an idiot.
Most Europeans and many others around the world have assumed this for some time. To have it actually confirmed � beyond a reasonable doubt � on live television, is perhaps a little too harsh to reconcile with our wish to believe we live in a fair, democratic world of which benevolent forces are mostly in charge. I felt sick.

Kevin Lowe

One more thing. An interesting number of Iraqi dogs have not yet barked. While there has been fighting at the river crossings, Saddam has not actually blown any of the bridges, nor the dams. Bruce Rolston notes that Iraq's new T-72 tanks are suspiciously absent from reports from the front, which feature only the 40-year-old T-55s. And then there's the question of the Iraqi air force -- which was flying outside the no-fly zones before the war, and doesn't seem to have done much since.

And, well, maybe American and British special forces and air power have taken care of all those threats. I hope so; because if not, then he's holding that all in reserve, for something that no one commenting to the American press seems to expect...

ThroughTheLookingGlass Friday, March 28, 2003


{my elitist sensibilities make me reluctant to reply to such obviously inane chaff, but once, and once only, here.
the response of the swine community to the withdrawal of Halliburton from the erstwhile post-Iraq 'Reconstruction' carpetbagging process is "See? No conspiracy here."
like a burglar caught in the act, with one foot inside the window. he takes his foot out of the window and stands there grinning. "See? See? No thief! No thief!"

well yeah. we shone the point-cloud of our attention on the matter and the matter vaporized.
assholes. we won. that one. and let's be clear about this. most of us are working with a world view that involves an already irreparably damaged environment. a world view that brings with it crippling grief and despair, and the constant temptations of apathy, delusion, and denial.
chalk that one up to the good guys. score one for us. Halliburton's out of Iraq. for now.}


Recently there as been some questions about the heritage of French�s� Mustard. To answer these questions:

Born in New York by the R. T. French company, French�s Cream Salad Mustard made its debut in 1904 at the St. Louis World�s Fair along with its sidekick, the hot dog. Both were an instant success! By 1915 the French�s pennant became the brand�s official logo, symbolizing French�s affiliation with baseball and American celebration.

Bender Hammerling (public relations) Group

In early editions of March 28, an article on Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, who was killed in combat in Iraq, was mistakenly accompanied by photos of Marine Cpl. Jorge Gonzalez, another casualty in the war who was not mentioned in the report.

Washington Post March 29, 2003

The field is suddenly awash with billions of dollars to combat bioterrorism and much more is promised under President Bush (news - web sites)'s Project BioShield plan. The money will fund a building boom of at least three new airtight laboratories where scientists in space suits handle the world's deadliest diseases.

At least six universities and the New York State Department of Health are competing for contracts to build one or two labs, where scientists can infect research monkeys and other animals with such lethal agents as the Ebola (news - web sites), Marburg and Lassa viruses. Those African hemorrhagic diseases are often fatal and always painful, marked by severe bleeding.

They'll also likely create new classes of toxins � including genetically engineered ones � as part of the process of constructing weapons they want to defeat. Developing antidotes or vaccines for those toxins might take years.

Paul Elias AP Fri Mar 28


Faces of Iraq

Tina Manley

Police arrested two Nobel Peace prize winners along with more than 60 other people protesting on Wednesday near the White House against the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

Sue Pleming Reuters March 26, 2003

Global Crossing presumably hired Perle, former assistant secretary of defense under Ronald Reagan, as a lobbyist because he wields an enormous amount of power around the Pentagon. Perle is one of the biggest hawks in the nest: key adviser to buddy and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and a leading architect and proponent of the Bush administration�s bellicose policies toward Iraq.

The Pentagon and the Federal Bureau of Investigation objected to Global Crossing�s sale to Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa, which was accused last year by Perle's fellow hawks of being a front for China's People's Liberation Army. The FBI was concerned because the US government uses Global Crossing�s fiber-optics networks and a sale would put the networks under control of the Chinese government. Global Crossing said it would pay Perle $125,000 plus an additional $600,000 if the deal went through.

Jason Leopold Asia Times Mar 29, 2003


someone gave my mom, who is a Catholic and is in a 'transitional care' facility due to hip-replacement surgery, a book of Psalms. it's small and the print is small, it's like the old missals from when I was young. books like that bring back a lot, not just memories but whole visitations of the sacred as I knew it then. I went to the altar in a Spanish mission that was built in 1772, and I prayed with all my heart to the God I was told would hear me best in that place. so a lot comes with the book. she handed it to me not so much to encourage me to read it as to remove it from her bedside table. I took it and opened it to this:

9. Happy he who shall seize and dash your little ones against the rock!
which got my attention you bet. so I looked at the verse just above and saw this:
8. O daughter of Babylon, destructive one, happy he who repays you the evils you have brough upon us!
so then of course I looked below the original 'random' passage and found this:
Prayers of Thanksgiving
Psalm 137
I will give thee thanks,O Lord. with my whole heart, for thou hast heard the words of my mouth:
In the presence of the angels I will sing
2.praises to thee, I will prostrate myself toward thy holy temple,
And I will praise thy name because of thy kindness and faithfulness...
it goes on in that vein for some time.
I would add only that this is not a 'Christian' document, it is a 'Jewish' document, 'inherited' by Christians.


A central sector, including Baghdad, will be administered by Barbara Bodine, a former U.S. ambassador to Yemen, the sources said. She served in that post in October 2000, when the destroyer USS Cole was bombed in Aden harbor.

American Samizdat Bodine profile here

The base of clouds that form over the north-eastern states of the US have been getting ever higher over the past 30 years. It is a change that could severely disrupt forests in the Appalachian Mountains.

Rising cloud ceilings have been spotted before in other parts of the world. In 1999, scientists found that clouds in the Monteverde cloud forests of Costa Rica were not forming as far down the mountains as they once did.

This effect was initially attributed to rising sea temperatures in the Caribbean, caused by global warming, but in 2001 Robert Lawton of the University of Alabama in Huntsville reported that the main driving force behind the change was warmer, drier air moving up from the lowlands, which had been cleared of trees. The rising cloud ceiling has seriously damaged the cloud forest ecology, causing an alarming decline in populations of toads and frogs

New Scientist 26 March 03

He says he believes as many as 27 people have been killed in the attack.
Haneed Dulaimi, head of the Iraqi defence unit for the district, said: "There are at least 13 killed and some 30 injured. Two missiles hit the street."
He says there are no military facilities in the area.
The United States and Britain have pounded targets in and around Baghdad with repeated air raids since the war to oust President Saddam Hussein began on Thursday.
They say they are using precision-guided bombs and missiles which can destroy military and government targets while keeping civilian casualties to a minimum.
Iraqi and Arab television stations broadcast footage of the aftermath of the attack, showing bloodied corpses and angry crowds - images likely to stir outrage in the Arab world and among opponents of the war.

ABC news March 27, 2003
{but of course it will have no effect on anyone else. no change of heart, no changing mind for the resolute patriots responsible for these deaths in the name of comfort and profit.
in the "Arab world and among opponents of the war":

  • there are no neutral parties who would be affected
  • the 'opponents of the war' are practically synonymous with the Arab world.}

  • 24.3.03

    Before the war began, they stated that they intended to use these warheads, which are manufactured from the waste of the nuclear industry � to pierce armor � and which are believed by thousands of Gulf War Syndrome sufferers, along with Iraqi doctors, to be responsible for a plague of cancers. Yesterday, the BBC told us that the US Marines had called up A-10 strike aircraft to deal with �pockets of resistance � � a bit more military-speak from the BBC � but failed to mention that the A-10 uses DU rounds. So for the first time since 1991, we � the West � are today spraying these uranium aerosols in battlefield explosions in southern Iraq; and we�re not being told. Why not?

    And where, for God�s sake, does that wretched, utterly dishonest phrase �coalition forces� come from? There is no �coalition� in this Iraq war. There are the Americans and the British and a few Australians. That�s it.

    The �coalition� of the 1991 Gulf War does not exist. The �coalition� of nations willing to �help� with this illegitimate conflict includes, by a vast stretch of the imagination, even Costa Rica and Micronesia and, I suppose, poor old neutral Ireland with its transit rights for US military aircraft at Shannon. But they are not �coalition forces�. Why does the BBC use this phrase? I repeat, why?

    Robert Fisk BAGHDAD, 24 March 2003 Arab News

    Where's Raed? is active again


    C-SPAN, the cable television network popular with political junkies and insomniacs, is outraged that the City Club of Cleveland has banned broadcast media from covering today's speech by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

    Especially galling, says C-SPAN, is that Scalia is coming to the club to collect its Citadel of Free Speech Award.

    Stephen Koff and James F. McCarty Cleveland Plain Dealer 03/19/03

    deep little blue fairy



    People ask, what is Lalon's caste?

    Lalon says, my eyes fail to detect

    The signs of caste. Don't you see that

    Some wear garlands, some rosaries

    Around the neck? But does it make any

    Difference brother? O, tell me,

    What mark does one carry when

    One is born, or when one dies?

    A muslim is marked by the sign

    Of circumcision; but how should

    You mark a woman? If a Brahmin male

    Is known by the thread he wears,

    How is a woman known? People of the world,

    O brother, talk of marks and signs,

    But Lalon says: I have only dissolved

    The raft of signs, the marks of caste

    In the deluge of the One!


    Translated by Azfar Hussain

    link from the undeniable plep

    Sterling's up on the Monarch


    {Salam Pax, the Where is Raed? guy, stopped blogging from Baghdad. Letter from Gotham has this posting which has the ring of truth to it. this one journal entry may be the definitive realization of what all this held in potential, not because of her writing and thought, but the processes that led to her writing. I would like to be emphatically clear, though, that it is only realized as force, as weapon of truth, as tool, in the context of an obscene tyrannical invasion (not a war. this is not and will never be a war. it is ludicrous and cowardly to call it a war.) an invasion witnessed from the target, from the heart of the zone, and completely unmediated. unmediated. it's us. that, in this context, is what this is, this a-geography, this blogdom, as news vesicle, and as conduit and interface. but, I am trying to emphasize, there is so much more still held in potential here, so much unrealized, unimagined un-dreamed of, yet to be.
    still, first things first.
    Salam Pax may be more than a pseudonym, in the fictive sense. paranoia is certainly more necessary now than ever, but he seems genuine, real, and this email seems real. no great entity's reputation rides on the factuality of either one. just trust, the tender still forming trust of all of us for all of us. pray for him if you pray, among so many, among us all.}

    link Daypop to Medianetwork to L.F.G.

    3. As Bill Maher said last week, how bad do you have to suck to lose a popularity contest with Saddam Hussein? The whole world is against you, Mr. Bush. Count your fellow Americans among them.

    Mr. Mike Moore is mad at Governor Bush for being dumb and ignorant

    This conflict is weakening us and ruining our economy. It seems clear that no recovery program will succeed without solving the political mess we're mired in. Israel badly needs a post-war strategy and now is the time to start working on it.

    After Iraq, Bush will be in a great hurry to do some housekeeping in the Middle East. Sharon can brag from today until tomorrow about how well the two of them get along, but he's making a big mistake if he thinks the president will let him take his time. Bush's road map has very clear dates and objectives. After winning a war at who knows what cost in human life, Bush won't be nice - and you can bet your bottom dollar he won't be patient.

    Yoel Marcus Ha'aretz March 23, 2003/Adar2 19, 5763

    floating wreckage falters not one wit
    Through The Looking Glass remains steadfast


    This is because mobile phones are not allowed in Saddam's Iraq. Ahmed was in the building when it was hit by a missile. His was an accidental death. Like many civilians before, Ahmed was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    The other drivers were sad and angry. Like everybody I've met in Jordan they don't want this war. They hate Saddam Hussein but would rather that somebody other than George Bush were acting as his nemesis. But while I've heard much angry denunciation of the war, not one person has abused me for being Western. Perhaps the most striking impression is of angry impotence. The protests in the Middle East have been small because people are afraid of their governments or because they feel demonstrating will change nothing. The young men of Jordan and countries across the region look on the might of the West and feel humiliated. It is a very dangerous sentiment.

    For the drivers, the war has now been reduced to a question of personal loss. They think of their dead friend's family and of the life he might have lived. He was in his twenties and unmarried. I suspect also that his death has made them fearful. The Baghdad road has suddenly become a place of death.

    Fergal Keane Independent (UK) 22 March 2003

    But George Bush and Tony Blair and Dick Cheney and Jack Straw and all the other little warriors who are bamboozling us into war will not have to think of these vile images. For them it's about surgical strikes, collateral damage and all the other examples of war's linguistic mendacity. We are going to have a just war; we are going to liberate the people of Iraq �some of whom we will obviously kill� and we are going to give them democracy and protect their oil wealth and stage war crimes trials and we are going to be ever so moral, and we are going to watch our defence "experts" on TV with their bloodless sandpits and their awesome knowledge of weapons which rip off heads.

    Come to think of it, I recall the head of an Albanian refugee, chopped neatly off when the Americans, ever so accidentally, bombed a refugee convoy in Kosovo in 1999 which they thought was a Serb military unit. His head lay in the long grass, bearded, eyes open, severed as if by a Tudor executioner. Months later, I learned his name and talked to the girl who was hit by the severed head during the US air strike and who laid the head reverently in the grass where I found it. Nato, of course, did not apologise to the family. Nor to the girl. No one says sorry after war. No one acknowledges the truth of it. No one shows you what we see. Which is how our leaders and our betters persuade us�still � to go to war.

    Robert Fisk 26 January 2003 Independent (UK)

    Four people have died during anti-war protests in the capital of Yemen. Eighteen others were injured. The four casualties, three demonstrators and a police officer, died when protestors marched on the US embassy in Sanaa, and began throwing stones. The police responded by opening fire on the crowd.

    Radio Netherlands Friday 21 March 2003

    After the Battle of Crecy, the French swore they'd defeat the English longbowmen and cut off their two string fingers. After the Battle of Agincourt, the English bowmen held up their two string fingers to show they still had them. The British say this was the origin of the "V for Victory" sign.



    Mexican President Vicente Fox on Thursday rejected the United States-led military attack on Iraq and announced that citizens of the Latin American country will collaborate with the international community in undertaking humanitarian relief tasks.

    In the first public statement issued by Fox since the start of the US-led military operation on Wednesday night, Fox reiterated that his country's position is "definitely not war," and that Mexico always supports seeking a peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis.

    Xinhuanet 2003-03-21

    Corrie's parents were not able to fly from Washington DC to attend the funeral due to travel restrictions imposed by the United States on US citizens wishing to go to Israel in the context of an imminent war in Iraq.
    They had asked that the body be cremated in Tel Aviv and her ashes flown back to the US. However, they declined to allow their daughter's remains to be transferred by the Israeli army or the US embassy, ISM activists said.

    The activists said they had struck a deal with the army for three of them to accompany the body to Tel Aviv by ambulance. But Palestinian security sources said it was turned back by the soldiers manning the Sufa checkpoint between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

    IOL March 18 2003
    Israeli forces fired teargas and stun grenades yesterday in an attempt to break up a memorial service for Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist killed by an army bulldozer in Gaza on Sunday.

    Witnesses including several dozen foreigners and Palestinian supporters say Israeli armoured vehicles tried to disperse the gathering at the spot in Rafah refugee camp where Ms Corrie was crushed to death.

    Joe Smith, a young activist from Kansas City, said about 100 people were gathered to lay carnations and erect a small memorial when the first armoured personnel carrier appeared.

    "They started firing teargas and blowing smoke, then they fired sound grenades. After a while it got hectic so we sat down. Then the tank came over and shot in the air," he said. "It scared a lot of Palestinians, especially the shooting made a lot of them run and the teargas freaked people out. But most of us stayed."

    Another witness said the army failed to break up the service.

    "People were laying carnations at the spot where Rachel was killed when a tank came and fired teargas right on them.
    GuardianUK March 19, 2003

    Where is Raed?
    blog from Baghdad

    A GIRL � unmarried, I believe � belonging to Whitmoor Bottom (a hamlet that sleeps remote from the world, in one of the great sun-flooded or snow-filled wrinkles of Hindhead), has been arrested in Farnham, on charge of murdering her two-year-old child . . . The journals, exhibiting their satisfaction at sensational copy by the publication of a vile �portrait� of the unhappy woman, offended me to the extent that I read none of that page: it seemed as though to read would be to partake in the crime of making her �notorious�, and cutting her off, in her greatest need, from sympathy . . .

    George Surt, March 21, 1898
    The Times, Daily Life, March 21, 2003

    The top National Security Council official in the war on terror resigned this week for what a NSC spokesman said were personal reasons, but intelligence sources say the move reflects concern that the looming war with Iraq is hurting the fight against terrorism.

    Rand Beers would not comment for this article, but he and several sources close to him are emphatic that the resignation was not a protest against an invasion of Iraq. But the same sources, and other current and former intelligence officials, described a broad consensus in the anti-terrorism and intelligence community that an invasion of Iraq would divert critical resources from the war on terror.

    Beers has served as the NSC's senior director for counter-terrorism only since August. The White House said Wednesday that he officially remains on the job and has yet to set a departure date.

    "Hardly a surprise," said one former intelligence official. "We have sacrificed a war on terror for a war with Iraq. I don't blame Randy at all. This just reflects the widespread thought that the war on terror is being set aside for the war with Iraq at the expense of our military and intel resources and the relationships with our allies."

    P. Mitchell Prothero UPI March 19


    I am a poor wayfaring stranger
    Traveling thru this world of woe
    But there's no sickness, no toil or danger
    In that bright world to which I go

    I'm going there to see my father
    I'm going there no more to roam
    I'm only going over Jorden
    I'm only going over home

    She was a Women's Transport Service (FANY) Special Operation Executive. The daughter of an English father and a French mother, Violette Bushell was born and brought up in Brixton, London. In August 1940 she married a French soldier, Etienne Szabo, and in June, 1942 gave birth to their daughter. She was widowed a few months later when her husband was killed in action.

    In 1943, Violette Szabo volunteered to join the Special Operations Executive and was recruited in its F Section and enrolled into the Women's Transport Service First Aid Nursing Yeomanry.

    After specialist training as a secret agent, she was sent on her first mission into occupied French on 5th April 1944. She acted as a courier for a network leader in the Rouen area until recalled to England three weeks later. On 7th June 1944 she was parachuted back into France but was soon captured following a shoot out with German troops.

    She managed to resist brutal interrogation and did not reveal any secrets to her captors. After a period of imprisonment in France she was sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp where she was executed early in 1945.

    She was 23 years of age.

    Violette Szabo was awarded a posthumous George Cross on 17th December 1946.

    The Churchill Society

    Nigeria has sent troop reinforcements to the city of Warri in the north of the oil-rich Niger delta. At least ten people have been killed in the last few days in clashes between the army and militant youths from the Ijaw tribe. Warri airport has closed because of the violence.

    The Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell has decided to close down two pumping stations and evacuate their personnel. One of the company's helicopters was shot at during the evacuation.

    President Olusegun Obasanjo has called an emergency meeting of political and military leaders. This is the latest in a series of violent incidents that have rocked Nigeria in the period leading up to the general elections, which are scheduled to be held in one month.

    Radio Netherlands 19 March 2003
    more here
    and here

    If you put a teaspoonful of vinegar into every quart of your dog's drinking water, that pup will get neither fleas nor ticks. Clients insist it really works. And the dogs don't mind the taste.

    Q. I've read that near-sighted people test out smarter than people with 20-20 vision. How much smarter?

    A. Seven points, average, on the IQ tests.

    LMBoyd March 19, 2003

    Ubiquitous Computing

    Sterling: Let's move right into that. Topic No. 3: Ubicomp. You're beginning to see some of this popping up. When you start having these little gizmos, you know you're moving in the right direction from where it goes from hand waving to where it really hurts people. Ubiciomp bites man.

    I think that the first area is traffic monitoring and traffic rings. The mayor of London OK'd the installation of traffic monitoring cameras that take snapshots of your license plate. You get a ticket. That's OK. We don�t want to run people down. But what worries me is ubicomp mission creep. Now you�ve got a database of everybody and her sister's license plate and what they're doing downtown. I don�t know if any of you Austinites have noticed the bloom of video cameras. What is our city doing with this video? How do you leave town without them knowing? How do you really know when you're driving across town to have a little rendezvous with your boyfriend that your husband wont call up and ask where did my wife's license plate go? It's a ubicomp problem. Its an Orwellian ubicomp problem.

    It's sexy. The upcoming war between palm tops and cell phone gadgets will be interesting. It's weird. I'ts one of the most exciting places of concurrent technological development: Handhelds trying to become phones and phones trying to become palm tops.

    Media Diet March 14, 2003

    Iraq has asked the United Nations to do "everything possible" to stop a US-led invasion of Baghdad, describing it as "illegal, immoral and unjustifiable".
    In an emotional speech outside the Security Council chamber on Tuesday, Iraq's ambassador to the UN, Mohammed Aldouri, said: "This is the first time in history that a president of one state has ordered the president of another state to leave his own country.
    "It is unacceptable, unless we accept the law of the jungle, and reject all principles of the United Nations. We reject this madness. It is tantamount to genocide."
    Mr Aldouri said Iraq had "co-operated fully" with the weapons inspectors, and "has, in fact, disarmed".

    Dr Blix voiced disappointment and sadness at the failure to complete the peaceful disarmament of Iraq, and said he was confident the Iraqi leadership would not dare to use chemical and biological weapons against US-led forces even if the country faced certain military defeat.
    There are "some people who care about their reputation even after death", he said.
    Dr Blix conceded that Iraq had the ability to develop chemical and biological weapons capable of striking at US targets, but said he doubted that the regime would risk rallying international support behind the US.
    Russia, which opposes any US-led war, tried on Tuesday to initiate a UN debate on the issue, but it seemed doomed. Chambers are now virtually empty, as the debate moves to Washington and London.
    Russian lawmakers angry over a possible American-led attack on Iraq put off a vote Tuesday to ratify a US-Russian nuclear arms treaty as President Vladimir Putin warned war would be a mistake that could pose a grave risk to international security.

    Sydney Morning Herald March 20 2003

    Korean troubles in their most recent form go back to the reunification of Germany, following which the North Korean elite began to suffer the disquieting experience of hearing other people talk about them as if they were dead. As the country lost its Chinese and Russian subsidies, the coming collapse of North Korea and the reunification of the peninsula on the South�s terms were subjects on everybody�s lips. Critics of the �agreed framework� of 1994 between the United States and North Korea were told that, long before the United States had to deliver, North Korea would have disappeared. That was the deal under which the pursuit of nuclear weapons would be halted in exchange for aid and trade, normalization of relations, and an American pledge not to use nuclear weapons against North Korea.

    Often forgotten in accounts of North Korean duplicity is that the Americans have not kept most of these promises.

    From the March 2003 issue of World Press Review

    Mr Watson is said to have told the police that he is packing explosives and that explains why he is now surrounded by 100 officers, some with sniper scopes aimed in his direction.
    Security forces have surrounded the tractor for hours
    The result of the standoff is total chaos, with cars and pedestrians forbidden to enter the normally busy area.

    BBC News 19 March, 2003


    Country stations across the United States have pulled the {Dixie} Chicks from playlists following reports that lead singer Natalie Maines said in a concert in London earlier this week that she was "ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."

    Station managers said their decisions were prompted by calls from irate listeners who thought criticism of the president was unpatriotic.

    The group, which got its start in Texas, was one of the darlings of this year's Grammy Awards. The three-woman band that blends blue grass and pop hooks has spawned legions of fans who embrace the ideals of strong women celebrated in some of the trio's songs.

    One station in Kansas City, Missouri held a Dixie "chicken toss" party Friday morning, where Chick critics were encouraged to dump the group's tapes, CDs and concert tickets into trash cans.

    Yahoo News *Fri. Mar 14
    Maines apologizes *ibid. Mar. 17
    backlash continues *ibid. Mar. 17

    Erasmus was told to silence Lucey, so he started a campaign of intimidation and harassment. He went to the venues where Lucey was to perform and cowed the owners of the clubs into canceling thes gigs. He intercepted mail and phone calls that would have invited Lucey to perform abroad. He even tipped tear gas into the air conditioning ducts of a club where Lucey was singing so the crowd inside emptied. And it worked. In a matter of months, Lucey found that no venue was prepared to host him, and no record company would record him. He knew he'd hit rock bottom when the only job he could find was as a barman in a club where, just months before, he'd been the main attraction.

    Enemies on common ground
    strange, bitter, human, apartheid story
    from Radio Netherlands
    Roger Lucey at South African 3rd Ear Music

    from Late Night Thoughts, post quoted entire:

    Keep The Children Away From This One

    Let me put it as bluntly as I can: the next moron who tells me that I must stop opposing this war now and support our troops is going to get his nuts fed to him sauteed in butter and parsley. Is that clear?

    I have always supported the troops. Currently I have a foster brother out there somewhere, a kid I've known since he was five in basic training, and two more waiting for word to report to the Marines. Unless you've got the same kind of hostages to fortune, shut the fuck up and get out of my face. But if you do, then I really hate you, because you assume that because I am not a Bush-worshipper I must somehow be less caring or patriotic than you are. And believe me, all the hate you can summon is as the morning breeze compared to what I can manage when I put my mind to it.

    I love this country, not as you do, blindly, mouthing idiot platitudes that pass for patriotism, but with my mind and my heart and the full understanding that this experiment in democracy is probably the last best hope for the human race. I hate what is happening to it. I hate the irrational hatreds, the mindless bigotry, the fanaticism, the bullying that has become part of the discourse. I hate to see freedoms that are the wonder of the world diminished in fear and anger and political opportunism. I hate to see this Republic devolve into a mere Empire. I hate to see us adopt as our motto Might Makes Right. Most of all, I hate the stifling of dissent that so often mascarades as concern for our troops.

    For those of you who think that by enforcing silence you strengthen this nation, let me leave you with the words of John Stuart Mill: A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.
    {and that's why I read Late Night Thoughts


    George Augustus Robinson

    In mid-19th century Australia, Robinson was 'Chief Protector For Aborigines' an official, if indistinctly charged, position. The unofficial attitudes of white Australians at the time can be inferred from images like this:
    {The taboo against racial distinguishing of our present moment makes it an act of rebellion to acknowledge the 'simian' features of the aboriginal people. But an honest child would see what's there, and they do. And then must reconcile the dishonesty of their elders, just as the young of the 19th century had to reconcile that dishonesty. The flaw in the present taboo is that it accepts the implied inferiority of 'simian'. This same arrogance and hollow pride infects most of the attitudes of 'modern' men, and their women and children. The old are sexually undesirable and economically useless, therefore inferior. Only their future utility saves children from the same discarding. It is a boyish thing, written large against a background of violent physical domination. A savage violence that is only superior in its intensity, nothing more. So that the inferiority of the 'primate', the 'simian', the 'monkey', which taints the aboriginal by its closeness, is in fact less 'animal', less 'savage', than the 'civilized' creatures that judge them both, primates and primitives, with such disdain.}

    John Woodcock Graves the younger [with] Truganinni
    Short biography of Truganinni with a fictionalized, and respectful, journal entry by the 4/5 class of Margate Primary School, Tasmania
    A harsher more graphic biography of the woman also known as Lallah Rooke, from the Victoria (AU) Dept. Of Ed.
    Museum Victoria, Encounters
    William Thomas, Guardian of Aborigines, on Aboriginal Beliefs
    Craig Cormick, Sorry Business, historical short fiction concerning George A. Robinson
    State Library of Tasmania, Images
    Rowville-Lysterfield Community News, images

    Our concerns about the potential human and material costs of a military conflict in Iraq are well substantiated. In the event of a war, the UN warns that 1.26 million children under the age of 5 in Iraq will be at risk of death. Within the initial weeks of conflict, the World Health Organization estimates 500,000 Iraqis would need immediate medical attention. Ten million Iraqis would need immediate humanitarian assistance and over 2 million Iraqis would be made homeless.
    The scale of the crisis would be so large that the international community would be unable to prevent widespread suffering. For these reasons and more, it remains in our nation's best interest to avoid another war. The risk of excessive civilian casualties like those predicted by the UN pose a grave risk to our national security, making the U.S. more of a target of retaliatory attacks by terrorists.
    Mr. President, as our Commander-in-Chief, we recognize the immense responsibility you have to protect our homeland and keep our nation secure. As veterans who honorably served our nation in its wars, we believe that our perspectives, knowledge and expertise can aid you at this crucial time, as you continue to deliberate on whether or not to commit our nation to war.
    We therefore request a meeting at your earliest possible convenience. We look forward to any opportunity to come together with you to discuss the matters we have raised.

    Letter to 'The President' from 'Veterans for Common Sense', signed by what looks to be a couple hundred retired American military, from Vice Admiral Ralph Weymouth, USN, Retired, to Airman First Class Woody Powell, USAF.

    LONDON (AP) ---- Vigilantes vandalized the home of a prominent children's doctor in Wales, apparently after confusing her title of pediatrician with "pedophile," police said Wednesday.

    Dr. Yvette Cloete, a specialist in pediatric medicine at the Royal Gwent Hospital, fled her home after her windows and front door were spray-painted with the word "paedo" -- an abbreviation for the British spelling "paedophile," said Karl Close, chief inspector with the Gwent Police.

    North County Times (San Diego) 8/31/00

    Belgium has threatened to block its airspace and the vital port of Antwerp to US forces if Washington attacks Iraq without a UN mandate. Belgium says such a move would be unlawful. US military planners have been using the port of Antwerp to ship equipment from neighbouring Germany to the Gulf region.

    Deutsche Welle 16.03.2003


    "This is not fun and games anymore," said Maj. Stacee Bako. "We're living in post 9-11. We don't know what's going to happen with the war effort in Iraq."

    Military police will use their judgment, experience and training to determine if lethal force is necessary, she said.
    "It's impossible for us to determine what their intent is," she said. "Are they protesters? Are there terrorists in that group and (do) they plan on killing everyone on base?"

    The policy will not deter protesters, said Peter Lumsdaine of the Vandenberg Action Coalition, one of the organizers of the planned trespassing.
    "I think it does underline that people in the nonviolent resistance movement are willing to take some risks," Lumsdaine said.

    TBO-online/AP News Mar 15, 2003


    An American woman has been killed after she was run over by a bulldozer during a protest in Gaza against Israeli operations.
    Witnesses said Rachel Corrie, 23, from Olympia, Washington, was trying to stop the bulldozer from tearing down a building in the Rafah refugee camp.
    She was taken to Najar hospital in Rafah, where she died, said Dr Ali Moussa, a hospital administrator.

    Greg Schnabel, 28, from Chicago, said the protesters were in the house of Dr Samir Masri.
    He said: "Rachel was alone in front of the house as we were trying to get them to stop.

    "She waved for the bulldozer to stop. She fell down and the bulldozer kept going. We yelled 'stop, stop', but the bulldozer didn't stop at all. Then it reversed and ran back over her."

    The Israeli military and the US State Department have so far refused to comment.
    Ananova 16th March 2003

    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) In a matter of months, Rachel Corrie went from the orderly peace movement of this small liberal city to a deadly world of gunfire, violent political conflict and the bulldozer that crushed her to death.

    Corrie, 23, a student at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, died Sunday in Gaza while trying to stop the bulldozer from tearing down a Palestinian physician's home. She fell in front of the machine, which ran over her and then backed up, witnesses said.

    In an e-mail earlier this month, Corrie had described a Feb. 14 confrontation with another Israeli bulldozer in which she referred to herself and other activists as ''internationals.''

    ''The internationals stood in the path of the bulldozer and were physically pushed with the shovel backwards, taking shelter in a house,'' Corrie wrote in the e-mail, distributed in a March 3 news release by the International Solidarity Movement.

    ''The bulldozer then proceeded on its course, demolishing one side of the house with the internationals inside,'' she wrote.
    Paul Queary, Associated Press, 3/16/2003

    Lady Shrewsbury was somewhat �theatrical� herself, very much a performer, and maybe should have persisted in pursuing an operatic career. Many felt that she was acting the role of wife of the premier earl, and she certainly had an eye for publicity, taking care to be seen scrubbing the floor in preparation for the first night of the opera season, or selling garden produce from the estate in a van outside the gates. Her manner was often flamboyant. Much was made at the first divorce hearing of her calling Lowther �darling�, but she called more or less everyone darling, including the butler, whose surname it happened to be.

    Times Online March 17, 2003
    also Harry Matthews 1922-2003


    The drum's cowhide skins, decorated with lacquerwork dragons, were meant to be beaten with sticks. This drum, however, was never sounded. Instead, it was made, as suggested by a rooster atop the drum, as a symbol of peace.

    An ancient story tells of a drum placed near a village gate for the purpose of sounding an alarm during an attack. As the years passed, the drum was never used. Hens and roosters began to live in the drum's hollow shell, and such an image became an emblem of contentment and peace.


    "The Neanderthal was a highly successful species,"' said Klein, but the reasons they became extinct are still unknown. Some theories have suggested they were wiped out by diseases introduced by modern humans. Another theory is that modern humans had better minds and an organized culture that enabled them to outsmart the Neanderthals for limited resources of game and other food.

    "There is little to suggest that Neanderthals could behave in a modern ... way," Klein writes in Science. "This inability may explain why they disappeared so quickly and completely."

    NYTimes March 06, 2003

    {they never suggest what to many of us is the most obvious answer, genocide, murder, Cain and Abel, "the only good Indian is a dead Indian", that, those guys. that's what happened.}

    Bird populations around the world are plummeting faster than ever before, and human factors�from population growth to habitat destruction and climate change�are at the center of this demise, reports a new study from the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based research organization. Human-related factors are threatening 99 percent of the most imperiled bird species and contributing to what has become the greatest wave of extinctions since dinosaurs disappeared 65 million years ago, according to Howard Youth in Winged Messengers: The Decline of Birds.

    �Declining bird populations mark not only the loss of unique species," says Youth, "but also the unraveling of delicate natural balances. Birds are valuable environmental indicators because they warn us of impending problems through their waning or flourishing populations.�

    Worldwatch Institute Worldwatch Paper 165:The Decline of Birds
    {it was like this all along. then somehow we all got born into a neutral place, where you didn't have to choose and everyone pretended things were fine. then we started waking up and waking each other up, but still lots of people could pretend, and did, and got mad when they weren't left alone. now that part's over. now you have to choose. no more bumbling along.}


    WASHINGTON (CNN) March 12, 2003 -- The cafeteria menus in the three House office buildings changed the name of "french fries" to "freedom fries," in a culinary rebuke of France stemming from anger over the country's refusal to support the U.S. position on Iraq.
    NYTimes March 8, 2003--One of the officials told me that they had agreed to meet the writer, Michael Drosnin, author of a Nostradamus-style best seller, without understanding that he was promoting Biblical prophecy. Still, rather than shoo him away, they listened politely as he consumed several man-hours of valuable intelligence-crunching time. Apparently he has given similar briefings to top officials of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency.

    Maybe we're all a little too desperate these days for a simple formula to explain how our safe world came unhinged. That, as much as anything, may explain one of the more enduring conspiracy theories of the moment, the notion that we are about to send a quarter of a million American soldiers to war for the sake of Israel.

    {well. I mean gee. what do normal people do in spots like this? just ignore it, it'll go away? it won't.
    what I'd really like is to feel there was continuity here, I mean here in this thing I'm writing in, where these words are. but it always feels like the first time, mostly. no background, all the basics have to be covered each time and layer after layer piling on from the outside.
    I keep seeing the little guys, my side, us, the good guys, nice people, sane people - choose a description that works - responding to nonsense like the above 'Biblical' prophecy, and 'de-frenchifying', as though because it's obviously horseshit, it somehow should go away once it's been called horseshit. but just like real horseshit, it doesn't matter what you call it, until somebody comes along with a shovel, it stays right where the horse left it.
    my advice to those who are confused by the madness and the nonsense is don't get hung up on the 'logic'. it's biology that's taking place there, and the lessons of the natural world must be applied before things begin to make sense again. 'things' are fighting for their lives. some of those things are human beings, some of them aren't. that shouldn't be anymore scary than sleeping in the woods, which many of us have done, but it is, because most of us have been raised in this human-dominated landscape where the only dangerous life-forms besides ourselves are in zoos or under microscopes, or far away someplace 'else'.
    that is a set-up.
    the idea that evolution was frozen, or could be frozen, is a feint, a move by the thing that struggles out of the womb of human presence. I've been harping on this for years but nobody listens. imagine the thing we were that separated from the pre-chimpanzee line, there was a moment when it was joined and then a moment when it was 'alien'. those moments are cusps, and they exist all along the timeline, branches of possibility appearing and disappearing as circumstances shift and change. it's so complex, it bogs down the adrenal response to the very real and present danger, these madmen rising to their final moments. but it must be understood, if not intellectually, then emotionally, or deeper, in the meat and bones of our animal selves.
    we are fighting a creature that lives both within and outside of our experience of time.
    these prophecies, some of them are real, in the sense that descriptions of events are real, bystanders talking to a cop, children playing telephone, the 'media' reporting. but the mistake that gets made, understandably, is, because someone has described something you didn't even know existed, and described it accurately, then everything they say after that gets imbued with the gloss of truth.
    see the ancient priests pointing to the sky and threatening to darken the sun. and people laugh. and the priests say, 'alright, Sunday, ten o'clock. you watch.' and people laugh, and Sunday the sun goes dark at ten.
    yikes. do whatever they tell you.
    well no.
    it's just that there's more here than meets the eye. and every grasping little son-of-a-bitch either side of the line of metaphysical tangibility is taking credit for whatever he can. in order to survive.
    that's it. I'm sorry if they told you there was a way out of all that, the only one I've seen is non-existence. which is under these circumstances maybe a little cowardly mm? we're here. we're in a death-lock with something that exists in relation to us like a ten year-old boy with a stick to a line of ants. in the same way, there's much more going on than just that one boy, but as far as the line of ants is concerned, he's what's happening.
    I keep hearing people point to the obvious hypocrisy of fundamentalist positions. as though that's all it takes. maybe at the dinner table at your house when you were a kid. in the real world, sorry, it's not about the truth, it's not about fair play, it's not about anything other than what works. violence works. co-operation works. lies work. honesty works. you see? it isn't just circumstantial. but the idea that there's something here that will get rid of all that evil ugly garbage while you just stand there and point your finger, well think about it. isn't that just more of that same infantilizing trap? didn't we already cover that? aren't cattle in a similar state of dependence? dogs? sheep?
    that's what's up.
    the old names have all been perverted. so that talking about 'God' now means that thing that did all this. as though 'God' prefers fat selfish people driving SUV's to Inuit honed in the long Arctic day.
    the true light, the real grace, are hidden from most of us.
    but we all want the same thing, to live. everybody wants that.
    even the worm wants to live.}


    Lee Thorn writes:

    Hi Friends-

    This note has nothing to do with IT directly. If that is your only interest in Jhai Foundation, you might as well quit reading now.

    I am writing you to tell you about how our work at Jhai is related to peace-making and how just the thought of bombing - anywhere - effects people like Bounthanh and me ... and particularly about a veterans march on Washington on March 23 and 24. I ask you, as always, to please pass the word.

    I was involved in the bombing in Laos. Bounthanh and her whole village -those villagers that survived - were forced out of their ancestral homes by American bombing. All the villages in her home province, Xengquang, sometimes called the Plain of Jars, were destroyed by American bombing. The villages we are bringing IT connectivity to were ALL founded by internal refugees made homeless by American bombing 25 years ago. In some ways, villagers' suffering continues --28 years after the end of that war.

    Now, the American and British governments are preparing for another war. This one in Iraq. This one, the American government says, will start with the most intensive bombing � 3000 sorties in one day � the world has ever known.

    Bounthanh knows about intensive bombing. She went to school under her house at night, in a hole, by candlelight, to avoid the bombing. All the farmers in her village did their work with leaves on their backs and ducked into the paddy whenever they heard the sound of planes. Their objectives were to stay alive and to maintain their way of life. For them it was not about politics whatsoever -at least, not at that time. Her village spent six years in refugee camps before they settled in Phon Kham. They built Phon Kham out of the jungle. They hand-dug all the canals in the rice fields. They hand-built all their houses, foraged for food, and survived. Most of them. As Bounthanh's mother told me one day as she, Vorasone and I gazed over her perfect garden, her family survived all the bombing intact. But they all did not survive the first year in Phon Kham. Two of Bounthanh's sisters died that year -one from Malaria and one from Cholera.

    I also know about intensive bombing. For years I had nightmares about one particular night in June 1966 when, under an order from the White House, all available planes from Guam to Japan to Thailand to South Vietnam to the Gulf of Tonkin were used to bomb the city of Haiphong. That bombing started fire storms. The air caught fire. I showed the movies of this three times to the pilots of VA-55 and VAW-11. I loaded bombs for this run. I am sure thousands of people, perhaps tens of thousands, were killed that night. The vast, vast majority were civilians. The scene was horrific, vast waves of fire sweeping across that city. It sticks in my memory like a cancer.

    The vast, vast majority of war dead - if there is a war in Iraq - will be civilians: civilians that our military people will kill. Many of our soldiers and sailors and marines - and certainly many Iraqi people - will never forget this slaughter, will be haunted by these murders for decades - as am I. In war everyone loses.

    Just writing these words shakes me emotionally. I know almost the whole world, certainly the vast majority of the developing world and poor people everywhere, know what I am talking about. Fortunately most Americans do not. Almost all the civilian planners of this war do not. If they did, they might take their decisions with more gravity. They want to trade civilian lives for ... something ... oil, glory, ego, a new world order ... I don't know. I can't get inside their heads. But I'm home in my body and I've been traumatized by war and we need to do something else, I know ... and changing America's mind is worth serious effort.

    We are doing the opposite of war at Jhai Foundation and you are part of that. We come to Phon Kham and other villages as whole people which means as wounded people and flawed people, and we meet other whole people there. We get to know one another, little by little. We do this, partly, by working side-by-side. We tell our stories. We get past our denial about our past, one small step at a time. We mourn as we can. We continue to work on our friendship. And in that process we are installing things like computers and wi-fi and phone connectivity together. And this friendship building is working. We�ll be back to Phon Kham fairly soon to complete the IT job ... because the villagers and all of us try to act honorably with one another.

    But as a whole human being I am also a veteran of war. As such I join with other veterans supporting a veterans march on Washington, what we call "Operation: Dire Distress". I am not sure I can get there with them - Jhai is a bit broke, this rescheduled launch is costing us something like $15,000 extra - but I am not going to stop working for peace. If you are press, I hope you cover this event. If you are not press, I hope you do what you can to stop this war before it starts. And I thank all of you for your time and for the support you have given Jhai Foundation and continue to give.

    Please see the press release below.

    Yours, in Peace,

    Lee Thorn

    USS Ranger (CVA-61), Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam, 1966

    Chair, Jhai Foundation (for identification)


    MARCH 23 - 24

    Veteran's Against Iraq War, a coalition of veterans organizations and individuals opposed to the impending war in Iraq will conduct a march and lobbying effort in the Nation's Capitol on March 23rd and 24th. The event is being designated "Operation: Dire Distress".

    Declaring their support for current United States military forces deployed to the Middle-East the coalition comprised of Veteran's For Common Sense, Veteran's For Peace, Vietnam Veteran's Against The War, Military Families and others agreed that the voices of America's veterans must be heard on this major issue confronting our nation.

    "We join this debate from the perspective of men and women who have answered our nation's call during past times of war and crisis", stated David Cline, coalition member and National President of the Veterans For Peace. "We consider the placing of United States Armed Forces in harm's way as one of the gravest responsibilities of our nation and our elected officials, one which we believe must not be taken without broad debate as towards its implications", he added.

    The coalition of veterans organizations will assemble at the Memorial Gardens near the Viertnam Veterans Memorial at 12noon on Sunday March 23rd. A solemn procession to visit the Vietnam Veterans, Korean and World War II memorials will be conducted. The veterans then will gather at the Ellipse Area where a press conference and a statement of opposition to the war in Iraq will be presented and speakers will address the issue. A delegation of veterans representatives will deliver a petition against the war in Iraq to the White House.

    On Monday March 24th, the veteran's coalition representatives will conduct a series of meetings with bi-partician representatives of Congress, who both oppose and favor the war.

    According to Charles Sheehan-Miles of Veterans For Common Sense, "We support our men and women in uniform and we support all diplomatic and political efforts to solve the current situatuion without going to war. This would be a disaster for all of us".


    For further info on the Veteran's Against Iraq War Coalition please contact:
    Jaime Vazquez (cell) 201-832-1395 201-659-7664
    David Cline (cell) 201-294-4598 201-876-0430
    Diane Evans (406) 431-8445

    Lee Thorn

    Jhai Foundation

    921 France Ave., San Francisco, CA 94112

    1 415 334 2100 (fax/voice)

    JHAI Foundation {great coffee!}

    THE first President Bush has told his son that hopes of peace in the Middle East would be ruined if a war with Iraq were not backed by international unity.

    Drawing on his own experiences before and after the 1991 Gulf War, Mr Bush Sr said that the brief flowering of hope for Arab-Israeli relations a decade ago would never have happened if America had ignored the will of the United Nations.

    He also urged the President to resist his tendency to bear grudges, advising his son to bridge the rift between the United States, France and Germany.

    �You�ve got to reach out to the other person. You�ve got to convince them that long-term friendship should trump short-term adversity,� he said.

    The former President�s comments reflect unease among the Bush family and its entourage at the way that George W. Bush is ignoring international opinion and overriding the institutions that his father sought to uphold. Mr Bush Sr is a former US Ambassador to the UN and comes from a family steeped in multi-lateralist traditions.

    Although not addressed to his son in person, the message, in a speech at Tufts University in Massachusetts, was unmistakeable. Mr Bush Sr even came close to conceding that opponents of his son�s case against President Saddam Hussein, who he himself is on record as loathing, have legitimate cause for concern.

    He said that the key question of how many weapons of mass destruction Iraq held �could be debated�. The case against Saddam was �less clear� than in 1991, when Mr Bush Sr led an international coalition to expel invading Iraqi troops from Kuwait. Objectives were �a little fuzzier today�, he added.

    Times Online March 10, 2003


    {there's concise words to describe the multiple events that are collapsed into the one horrific moment, but I don't know them. it only happens once, and what it is that's happening that one time is a lot of things. but for most people in America, especially younger ones, what these images will bring is not the horror of war so much as the horror of death itself. it's important to remember that pictures of carnage, of, for instance, the Galveston flood where, as plep reminds us, 8,000 people died, were and are equally horrific, when they exist. the intentionality of war, if there can be said to be such a thing once the fighting begins, is what makes these images more searing, that they are the results of an act of human will, rather than an 'act of God'.
    pictures of screaming children are nightmarish for anyone with any human emotional receptivity, but children scream and are terrified at more than just the damage and danger of war. it's important to remember that.
    and images of events like the great plagues that swept europe of so many, all those centuries ago, those must be imagined, none remain. now we have the technological means to record so much, and so much of that will seem new, because it is new to most of those who see it. but it isn't really, it isn't happening for the first time. and if any good can come from viewing pictures like these it's that clearly seeing what's there, even at second and third hand, confronting what's there directly and with an honest heart takes away the power of the moment, that shock at first recognition. too many people respond to pictures like these by rejecting the death they show so undeniably. and we live in a culture, in a state of infantilized helplessness within that culture, where death is denied. once that power has been overcome, once the shock is no longer paralyzing, the question of war can be answered. otherwise it's an argument against death itself, an argument only children make.
    obviously for the fantasy-bound, for those whose idea of war is like a television program, these pictures show their armchair viciousness for what it is, the reaction of a movie audience to a film-maker's tricks.
    as 'art', as testament, the images themselves convey the body's fragility, and life's. and in some, those of the maimed and still living, the ability of the self to continue through horror, to be, to exist on the other side of horror, to go on.}

    This Is War
    Memory Hole via plep

    {we're smarter than they are, we're better-looking (some of us anyway), we're braver, we're more fun at parties, kids like us way better, and we write better books and make better music than they do and don't even start about art, plus there's more of us if you widen the definitions of both sides. so how come we're losing?
    well, it's like this. the most essential qualities of good guys are the things they CAN'T do.
    now, it's true there's stuff that good guys feel they ought to do, and bad guys don't feel that, particularly. but the sad truth is, bad guys CAN give money to the orphange rebuilding fund, they can help old people cross the street, they can do everything and anything we can do, if they want to, just not as well, in the aesthetic/quality aspect, plus THEY CAN DO ALL THE BAD GUY STUFF TOO. and we can't. so they have a larger palette to work with, so to speak. and in the short run, cheating works. brutality works.
    but, why are there good guys at all? there's no short-term rationale for it.
    that's it. right there. long-term. that's what we are. that's the difference. that's how come we're losing right now, and that's why we're going to win.}

    the above inspired by the perfect needle of Perry Hoberman's Because You Can, put forth by Dan Gillmor

    Czech can-do hippies spotted by the back-again B. Sterling


    Patagonia at the same time

    Twenty three women, including nationally recognized award-winning authors Alice Walker and Maxine Hong Kingston, Pacifica Radio's Amy Goodman, were arrested in front of the White House on International Women's Day, protesting against the Bush Administration's proposed war on Iraq. They had marched from Malcolm X Park in Washington, DC, leading more than 5,000 peace activists associated with Code Pink, Women for Peace, to the White House.
    The women arrested were from all over the United States, {including} Publisher Nina Utne, Authors Terry Tempest Williams and Susan Griffin, CodePink Co-founder Medea Benjamin, Reverend Patricia Ackerman, and Musician Rachel Bagby, among others.

    Pacifica News Service via the resolute and steadfast floating wreckage: jettisoned cargo


    The Thumb Loop Hand Drill can be taken anywhere with you on backpacking or hiking trips. It's light weight and handy. The Thumb Loop Hand Drill is also great for demonstrating the fire-by-friction process to boy scout or girl scout troops, campers, for nature programs, or to anyone who is interested in Stone Age skills. Making fire has a strong positive psychological impact upon an individual in a survival situation.

    Instructions and sample wood materials are included in the kit to get you started. There is information on trouble shooting your fire kit. The most frequently asked questions concerning the fire-by-friction procedure are discussed. A list of wood recommendations is also provided in the kit. Increase your success rate with the Thumb Loop Hand Drill.

    I sometimes went on holidays; a little context had changed while I was away, but I could readjust. I could keep up with whatever distant horizon it was that I was chasing. I have filters.

    oblomovka is especially readable today

    At the request of Peru, Interpol has issued an international warrant for the arrest of former President Alberto Fujimori on charges of murder and kidnapping. Until now, Mr Fujimori, who is currently living in Japan, has been able to evade extradition because he also has Japanese nationality.

    However, Peru's foreign minister, Fausto Alvarado, says Japan cannot go on blocking his extradition solely on the grounds that the two countries have not signed an extradition agreement. He added that the charges amounted to crimes against humanity, making the arrest warrant enforceable anywhere in the world.

    Radio Netherlands 09 March 2003


    {so then I get home from a quick trip to the bank and buying a Lotto ticket (and lately every time I buy a Lotto ticket within about twenty minutes I'll see a car with a license plate that has 666 for its numerical digits, which I personally think is a little outside the expected statistical norm) so I get back and now my mom's watching Bill Press and that bastion of Christian virtue Mr. Pat Buchanan. and amongst all the many and various wonderisms that Mr. B extolled this chestnut got my goat for the last time. the Hollywood blacklists were justified because Joseph Stalin was the biggest mass murderer (so far) in human history. the logic, if we can use that term at its most all-inclusive, is that Stalin was a commie, the Hollywood 10+* were commies, therefore the H'wood10+* were mass murderers, or less libelously, accomplices to the greatest mass murder (so far) in human history. what egregious nonsense this is. but what more can be expected from self-proclaimed magical thinkers? the point of my last, now intentionally missing, post was precisely this: that craziness is far from being a negative survival trait. that the reason craziness has so many little nodes in the human genotype is that it works. it allows its hosts to continue living when a rational and accurate assessment of circumstance would lead almost surely to disabling apathy and/or paralyzing fear. same-same with sociopathy which still hasn't been explored to the depth it calls for. Sam Smith said it first that I heard, that the scumsuck CEO's are almost to a man a special breed of autistic/sociopath, highly functional and absolutely devoid of emotional states the rest of us regard as essential human qualities. like certain kinds of psychopaths, they learn to imitate human emotions when they have to pass. point being it works. so it gets selected into the gene pool. so Buchanan's nuts, only he makes sense when he talks and he can kick your ass or have it done. so what's the definition of nuts? ask Dr. Phil, he started it. he said, paraphrasing, you have to find an explanation, some kind of *meaning*, for suffering because it'll drive you crazy otherwise. back to Buchanan, the heir to seven millenia of crazy-from-meaningless-suffering. Dr. P's intentions are level and compassionate, no question. but lying to people because it makes them feel better just defers the inevitable, maybe not for the individual deludee, but as we see all round at the present, these things are cumulative. they build up. America is being run by insane delusionals, who have no choice but to rush headlong toward the goal posts of Armegeddon. they have no choice most of them because they've pushed too far into that madness, and can no longer survive without it.
    ok. the meaningless part is a little more complex than an empty bowl where reasons why should be. meaningless as in, the bad others took our grain and our cattle and raped our women and killed most of our young men. suffering. and the only meaning is biology. that's what they mean when they say 'meaningless' they don't mean void of meaning, they mean no edge to work, no way to make it pay, THAT'S where the breakdown is. the meaning is the bad others did it because they could and because they wanted to. but here's the kicker. the very ones who most deny the validity of that biological meaning, who condemn it and teach their children that it's wrong, OWE EVERYTHING THEY HAVE TO THAT AND ONLY THAT. see the foreskins, see the redskins, see the divine right of kings.
    madness works.
    get crazy kids, we're going in.

    a little mop-up here. there were these odd folk a hundred plus years back in the US called 'Millenarians' they were End-Timers to the nines. and like most of that ilk they wanted it. a key attribute, the *desire* for it to be. so they were hyping each other up. and groups here and there ended up full-committing, lock stock and take the kids up to the mountain to await the Lord. well either it happened and this is some other world entirely, or it didn't happen. my bet's on the latter. so imagine some of those people coming back from that failure of vision. predictable responses, right? we got the dates wrong, we weren't pure enough. it happened, you missed it, we stayed behind to help. and the saddest for me, the ones who woke up just far enough to catch the light's edge as it faded. just sight enough to know they couldn't see. and where do you go from that? back to what? more crazy-from-meaninglessness-ness.
    well these guys today don't have that option because, because now there's a massive surplus of human meat. those were still vestigial pioneer times. there was room on the frontier. there were places to go yet. that's over. individual human lives cheapen daily, right in line with the law of supply and demand. a lot of these neo-millenarians are primed to blow this whole place to Kingdom Come because of that surplus.
    a lot of things are happening at once, some with all the trappings of genuine spiritual experience.

    but then, if you accept the spiritual nature of existence, everything is a spiritual experience.


    image at Damian Thompson, from The End of Time at


    "We're still living, during the transition, with those consequences, which are profound. The fear in Chile runs very deep. Death and the Maiden was an attempt to deal with that. My novel Konfidenz is also about this fear. It's about that sense of the private not existing. Everything is public; somebody's watching you all the time. It's about the sexuality of that paranoia: There's always somebody who knows more about you than you do.
    I think this is what's happening in my country. It's having a difficult and troubling moral transition. We have had some degree of success in eradicating some of the residue of Pinochet. But his body is probably going to rot long before his ideas do."

    ariel dorfman was interviewed by Danny Postel, transcript in The Progressive

    There is the house guardian, the god of fire, the god of windows, the god of the hearth, the god of entrances, the god of yards, the mountain god, the sea god, the lake god, the river god, the nursing god, the hunting god, animal gods of bears and owls, and the gods of pots, mortars and boats. Thus, numerous gods usually guard man and provide food, while at times disciplining him harshly. These gods, however, are not absolute beings. Man is able to argue with them when they commit errors regarding man. Gods are of help to man and therefore are appreciated by him, while man is also expected to serve gods. Gods and man exist in a relationship of mutual assistance.

    Hieromonk Gideon

    When strong emotion makes
    them sleepless, they swallow, they say, one of these worms dried, without the head
    but with the intestinal tube; and then they fall into a kind of ecstatic sleep, which often
    lasts more than a day, and similar to that experienced by the Orientals when they take
    opium in excess. They tell, on awakening, of marvellous dreams; they saw splendid
    forests, they ate delicious fruits, they killed without difficulty the most choice game;
    but these Malalis add that they take care to indulge only rarely in this debilitating
    kind of pleasure.

    bamboo worm medicine promulgated at the ever-shimmering erowid
    link via the insouciant mimi spartypants


    girlhacker has/did a great Mr. Rogers in memorium

    It was on just such a mission, on June 17, 1941, that he was shot down by anti-aircraft fire over Dunkirk while escorting bombers returning from an operation over Lille. With considerable height in hand, he was able to bale out safely and guide his parachute to land in a wood near a railway. Having a map, he established that he was about 12 miles northwest of Fauquembergues but he had lost one of his boots in ejecting from his Hurricane. Limping along, he was overtaken by two German soldiers on a motorcycle combination sent out to find him.

    His capture appeared certain but the abrupt appearance of a low-flying Luftwaffe aircraft distracted the soldier driving the motorcycle, enabling Higginson to wrench over the handlebars, crash the machine into a ditch and make off in the confusion. He hid in the wood until after dark and then made his way to a hut on the edge, where he sought assistance from the owner. Some civilian clothes were eventually provided and he walked into Fauquembergues at 10am the next day.

    Confident of his limited French, he ordered a glass of beer, paid for it with money provided by the French farmer and hitched a lift with a lorry driver who took him to a local garage whose owner had contacts with an escape line for British airmen. After a series of adventures, Higginson crossed into Vichy- controlled France and made contact with the MI9 escape line run by the Belgian doctor Albert-Marie Guerisse, alias "Pat O'Leary".

    While attempting to cross into Spain with an Australian escaped prisoner of war, he was stopped and arrested by Vichy French frontier guards and interned in Fort de la Revere near Nice. Thanks to the efforts of Guerisse, he escaped from there and was eventually taken off the French Mediterranean coast by a Polish-manned trawler operating out of Gibraltar under the auspices of the Special Operations Executive. He was landed at Greenock on October 5, 1942, and rejoined No 56 Squadron shortly afterwards.

    Times obit. for 'Taffy' Higginson
    February 17, 1913-February 12, 2003
    RAF Escaping Society

    Supposing I underwent the rigours, boredom, disgust, danger of Barracks or Camp, or saw Action on the Field, I might have better claim to a Subsidy from my Rich Uncle, which Common Sense, Common Decency, Common Charity are not quite common enough to realize. I say, it is a matter of Common Sense.

    Consider; I ask not for a Defence from Life-Troubles or an Excuse for not labouring, but I ask for a Weapon. I will fight through Life; (have I not fought?) but no headway is to be made without an Arm, whether the Sword that is called Science, or the Munition, Capital. To struggle vulgarly with fist and brick-end, I do refuse. I had rather fall back among the Camp Followers of Life and mend potsherds. My present life, as Father points out, is not leading to anywhere in particular; but situated where I was in 1911, I don't think I could have done wiselier than take the steps I did. . .

    Wilfred Owen March, 1915
    I saw his Round Mouth's Crimson

    I saw his round mouth's crimson deepen as it fell,
    Like a Sun, in his last deep hour;
    Watched the magnificent recession of farewell,
    Clouding, half gleam, half glower,
    And a last splendour burn the heavens of his cheek.
    And in his eyes
    The cold stars lighting, very old and bleak,
    In different skies.
    Wilfred Owen's War Poems online


    It is impossible to overstate both how crucial the one-child policy is to China's stability and how rigidly it is enforced. Everyone agrees that if the population, already at 1.2 billion, is allowed to grow, the result will be economic collapse, environmental ruin, famine.

    But while most Chinese citizens can accept the mathematics of the problem, the population continues to rise. Every year, some 21 million children are born. In March, President Jiang Zemin was forced to set new, tougher population-control policies and tougher punishments for those who ignore them.

    According to author Steven W. Mosher, coerced abortions, sometimes just days before the baby is due, are now commonplace, as are reports of enforced sterilization and of hospitals fatally injecting second babies shortly after their birth. This means, Mosher says, that "however overcrowded China's orphanages are now with baby girls, the problem is going to get worse. Very much worse."

    'A Holocaust of Little Girls' orig. article in South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) reprinted in World Press Review, September 1995, posted online as course material at Brooklyn CUNY by Paul Halsall 1999 and found and posted by the astonishingly referential plep
    her bound foot

    San Francisco is suffering an 'epidemic' of child prostitution with up to 3,000 girls and boys working the streets on any given night, said city officials.
    Some of these children are as young as 10 years old, they said.

    Profile of the kids:

  • As young as 10 years old;
  • Runaways and 'throwaways';
  • Drug addicts;
  • Mentally ill; or
  • Abducted from within the United States and abroad.

  • City Supervisor Tom Ammiano said that despite San Francisco's budget problems, the city must fund services to help lure the estimated 3,000 teenagers away from working as prostitutes.

    'This is a crisis situation,' he said. 'This is a 'code orange' so to speak.'
    Singapore Straits Times 03/01/03
    {what was that thing a while back? Irish Travelers? videotape of some woman hitting her kid in a parking lot. and suddenly every busybody middleaged woman in the country knew all about Irish Travelers. and the 'president' with his sanctimonious 'sanctity of life'. but sex is evil right? so if these kids are having sex, they're evil right? and they're doing it for money. I mean it's not like they're being molested, they're doing it on purpose right? so they're evil. so it doesn't matter what happens to them. right? and they don't qualify for any of that 'Amber' and 'Polly Klaas' money. so nobody can make a 'career' out of 'saving' them.}
    Storm would help if somebody asked her to

    Internal Pentagon documents also show that the US is developing a range of calmative gases, also banned for battlefield use. Senior US defence sources predict these could be used in Iraq by elite special forces units to take out command and control bunkers deep underground.

    Mr Rumsfeld became the first senior figure on either side of the impending conflict to announce his wish to use chemical agents in a little-noticed comment to the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee on 5 February � the same day as Colin Powell's presentation of intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to the UN.

    Independent Uk 3 March 03


    But the perils of the deep were a part of the programme; and though I am very glad to be done with them for a while . . . I feel sure I shall want to get to sea again ere long . . . I have got health to a wonderful extent . . . I never knew the world was so amusing.

    Robert Louis Stevenson , February 19, 1889, in The Times of London, February 19, 2003.
    additional Stevenson:

    "I got into television because I hated it so," Rogers once said. "And I thought there's some way of using this fabulous instrument to nurture those who would watch and listen."

    Rogers taught about empowerment, the power of love and self-acceptance, long before Oprah. Unlike Oprah, he did it on behalf of the defenseless and the innocent.

    Perhaps no story speaks more about the depths of Mister Rogers' appeal, about his pervasive grace, than one he recounted in an Esquire magazine profile a few years ago. It seems that Fred Rogers wanted to meet Koko, the gorilla who was taught to communicate using American Sign Language. Koko had watched Mister Rogers on television. When they first encountered each other, the 280-pound gorilla instantly enfolded Fred Rogers, all 143 pounds of him, in a massive embrace.

    And then? And then Koko took off Mister Rogers's shoes.

    Paul Farhi February 28, 2003
    Fred McFeely Rogers biography
    at his organization's web site, Family Communications Inc.

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