...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



Police believe they are growing closer to finding teenager Stacey Champ and the 46-year-old man she went missing with.___
Police said on Sunday the pair had bought a red Volkswagen Golf on Fiday, for �300 from a private dealer on the outskirts of the Lancashire resort.
The discovery was made after the person who sold them the car - with the number plate J804 LLD - contacted police.
Inspector Richard Watson, leading the investigation for Kent Police, said that with every new piece of information "the net was closing in" on the pair.___
They said the pair seemed like "an ordinary couple" and did not attract any attention.
A cleaner, who gave her name only as Lena, said: "I could not believe it when they said she was 14. She looked a lot older than that to me.
"I served them breakfast on the Friday and they seemed absolutely fine. She did not look like she was being held against her will or anything like that."
Another woman who saw Stacey and Mr Milner in Blackpool said she believed them when they introduced themselves as a married couple aged 22 and 37.
"She struck me as being quite immature for 22. She was holding his hand and giggling and she seemed quite lovestruck actually. ___
Inspector Watson said the couple had told the man from whom they bought the car that they had come for a holiday from Bristol, having arrived in a taxi.
He said: "We're very keen to trace this vehicle... I would urge everybody to just look out of the window - is that car sitting in your road?"
A white van belonging to Mr Milner's employer - Beach Communications - and thought to have initially been used by the pair, was found at a Temple Meads railway station in Bristol.
Inspector Watson said police presumed they had headed for Blackpool from there, by train.
British Transport Police were carrying out forensic analysis of the vehicle. ___
Inspector Watson said they did not believe Stacey was in danger, but wanted to reunite her with her mother.

BBCNews 31 August, 2003
{Watson! For the sake of all that's holy! What in blazes were you thinking?
See there's a surplus of funding in England, now that all the really endangered kids are all taken care of and everything. Now that the front-line organizations have more than they need to get their jobs done, see they have this extra so they can spend what? 100,000 pounds? more? Probably more when you factor in man-hours and all the 'volunteer' energy. But you know, a mother's heart, have to honor that. They figure the kid's safe and doing what she wants to do but Mom needs to know for sure and the real clincher is she's too young to know what she's doing. But do they have a test for that in England? Why is it OK to take advantage of someone who doesn't know what they're doing if they're over 16, or is it 18? 17? in Alabama it's 16. But really it should be, what, 21? 40? Maybe you should have to get a sign from 'God' in order to get married. Like a real demonstration of its moral rightness, one of those sudden clearings in the sky, a sunbeam on the path ahead, the rain stops, birds sing, a distant choir that everyone hears but no one can explain. Or maybe just maybe the people who are enforcing this nonsense are delusional and sexually ill. Maybe.}

Ingrid Betancourt videotape
It is the first indication in more than a year that Ms Betancourt is still alive.
She was last seen in a previous video released in July 2002.
The guerrillas, from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), want a number of rebel prisoners released in exchange for Ms Betancourt.
There is no clue as to when the tape was made, although in it Ms Betancourt refers to an incident on 5 May 2003.

BBCNews 31 August, 2003


On Saturday, U.S. government agents and police in northwestern Pennsylvania were trying to solve the bizarre case of 46-year-old Brian Douglas Wells, who left to deliver a pizza to a mysterious address in a remote area about an hour before he turned up at the bank with a bomb strapped to his body.
The tape shows Wells telling authorities someone had started a timer on his bomb under his T-shirt, and that there was little time left.
"It's going to go off," Wells said. "I'm not lying."
Erie Chief Deputy Coroner Korac Timon said Saturday the bomb appeared to have hung from Wells' neck, and that he had been told it was of a "very sophisticated construction."
FBI Special Agent Bob Rudge called the case unusual, noting that while bank robbers sometimes claim to have a bomb, few actually do.
While no one has been arrested or identified as a suspect, Rudge said the investigation was "going extremely well." Wells' death was being investigated as a homicide and investigators were looking into Wells' background.

Yahoo News/AP Aug 30, 2003
link The Agonist

{neither of the above cited sources say anything about whether or not the money was still on him.
This seems to me to be of paramount interest.
Also I would have liked to have heard Special Agent Rudge address the possibility of Douglas being in fact an innocent victim. The story as it's written makes Special Agent Rudge sound pretty unconcerned about that.}

The looting and killing of today has changed from the looting and killing in April. In April, it was quite random. Criminals were working alone. Now they�re more organized than the CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority) and the troops combined. No one works alone anymore- they�ve created gangs and armed militias. They pull up to houses in minivans and SUVs, armed with machineguns and sometimes grenades. They barge into the house and demand money and gold. If they don�t find enough, they abduct a child or female and ask for ransom. Sometimes the whole family is killed- sometimes only the male members of the family are killed.
For a while, the men in certain areas began arranging �lookouts�. They would gather, every 6 or 7 guys, in a street, armed with Klashnikovs, and watch out for the whole area. They would stop strange cars and ask them what family they were there to visit. Hundreds of looters were caught that way- we actually felt safe for a brief period. Then the American armored cars started patrolling the safer residential areas, ordering the men off the streets- telling them that if they were seen carrying a weapon, they would be treated as criminals.

Riverbend at Baghdad Burning


4. Who was the richest man in America at the time of the Revolution?
(hint: teeth)

A "Working Class History Test" comes from Maine labor activist and scholar, Pete Kellman. Kellman who compiled this labor quiz while researching "Building Unions: Past, Present and Future"

Illinois Federation of Teachers Labor Day 2003
link Monkey Media Report

Carol Lay 8 26 03

informant 8 24 03

One of my cousins works in a prominent engineering company in Baghdad- we�ll call the company H. This company is well-known for designing and building bridges all over Iraq. My cousin, a structural engineer, is a bridge freak. He spends hours talking about pillars and trusses and steel structures to anyone who�ll listen.
As May was drawing to a close, his manager told him that someone from the CPA wanted the company to estimate the building costs of replacing the New Diyala Bridge on the South East end of Baghdad. He got his team together, they went out and assessed the damage, decided it wasn�t too extensive, but it would be costly. They did the necessary tests and analyses (mumblings about soil composition and water depth, expansion joints and girders) and came up with a number they tentatively put forward- $300,000. This included new plans and designs, raw materials (quite cheap in Iraq), labor, contractors, travel expenses, etc.
Let�s pretend my cousin is a dolt. Let�s pretend he hasn�t been working with bridges for over 17 years. Let�s pretend he didn�t work on replacing at least 20 of the 133 bridges damaged during the first Gulf War. Let�s pretend he�s wrong and the cost of rebuilding this bridge is four times the number they estimated- let�s pretend it will actually cost $1,200,000. Let�s just use our imagination.
A week later, the New Diyala Bridge contract was given to an American company. This particular company estimated the cost of rebuilding the bridge would be around- brace yourselves- $50,000,000 !!
Something you should know about Iraq: we have over 130,000 engineers. More than half of these engineers are structural engineers and architects. Thousands of them were trained outside of Iraq in Germany, Japan, America, Britain and other countries. Thousands of others worked with some of the foreign companies that built various bridges, buildings and highways in Iraq.

Baghdad Burning August 28, 2003
link Tom Tomorrow

Ann Telnaes August 28

So I was milling around backstage after my talk, and the Lindsay woman asked me if I would help her out by holding the damn turkey vulture! The thing was enormous, but surprisingly light. Less than 5 pounds. They gave me a leather glove for it to perch on, which I appreciated because she later explained that turkey vultures defecate on their own feet, and the dried guano forms a protective layer against whatever nasty things might lurk in the blood and guts where the vulture stands during meals.

Elizabeth Churchill in Jon Carroll SF Chronicle August 27, 2003
Look at the causes identified with liberals over the years. Freeing the slaves -- that was a cause taken up by the ancestors of the same brainy New England radicals who are demonized today as "bleeding hearts." Liberals also supported Reconstruction, and watched as that fine idea was destroyed by politicians and racists.
Liberals supported child labor laws, anti-monopoly laws, voting rights for women, voting rights for blacks, collective bargaining and (the long continuing battle) the separation of church and state.
It was liberals who supported the "socialist" New Deal programs that gave Americans at least a little dignity and a little cash. It was liberals who pressed for intervention against Hitler and who fought for "preparedness." It was liberals who designed and supported the postwar Marshall Plan (and gosh, wouldn't it have been nice if we had one of those in place now). It was liberals who lent their voices and their bodies to the civil rights movement; it was liberals who opposed the war in Vietnam.
That's a pretty good record of being right. What is it we're supposed to be ashamed of, again? Bill Clinton having oral sex? Yeah, that was too bad, but compared to workplace safety legislation, clean air and water laws, nursing home inspections, seat belt laws and all those other intrusive government regulations so much deplored -- I'll take being a liberal and accept the burden of Bill Clinton, who looks like Abe Lincoln next to the incumbent. That's another in the plus column for liberals -- you can't blame George Bush on us.
Jon Carroll in ibid. August 29, 2003


After the events of Sept. 11 and subsequent harassment of Arabs I decided to move to France, where I lived and worked � also as a woman � before moving back to Saudi Arabia. I came back here as a man since on my passport and official papers I am still male. I didn�t tell my family what I had done, and my mother died without knowing the truth. Then one day I sat my eldest sister down and told her of my being a woman. She fainted from shock and woke up screaming abuse at me, accusing me of bringing shame on the family.
The next day I told my brother and sisters my secret, and they too hurled abuse at me � their parting words were: �You are not our brother and we don�t know you. We will never set foot in your house again.� They also threatened to take legal action to deprive me of half my inheritance, and they did.

story byAdnan Al-Katib Arab News 29, August,2003
{It's real difficult for a lot of 'regular' folks. This isn't homosexuality here, at least as it's represented. A lot of gender confusion is getting represented as hermaphroditic being. They aren't the same. This isn't preverts, it's not anything but what it is. Something outside the strict limits of traditional superstition and codified ignorance. But just as real as anything else. Intersex people have to emphasize the distinction, they aren't transvestites or transexuals, not confused about who they are, other people are confused about what they are. It's as though the language had lost its word for it. He, she, and that. But when it's time to purify the race it doesn't matter much. All the freaks go. Natural unnatural physical psychological all.
Trying to combat that viciousness and still make distinctions is difficult.
'Can't help it.' That's a big one with kids. 'He can't help it.' Can't help it when it's the body, but the mind...the mind is hard to pin down. And whatever tests are given are so arcane, so mumbo-jumbo, it's all about faith, who you believe, what you want to believe.
Could help it but he's just too weak. But then he can't help being weak can he? Or can he? Where's the line?
Get right in there and push. Right there. Be as strong as you can possibly be. Cause it's all we have now.}

Next time you're stuck in traffic, spare a thought for this guy:

King Abdullah II of JordanKing Abdullah II of Jordan.

After an $11 billion accounting scandal sunk the infamous telecommunications conglomerate into bankruptcy, the U.S. General Services Administration banned federal agencies from doing business with WorldCom. So how is a proscribed "company that has demonstrated a flagrant lack of ethics"--the words belong to Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), chairperson of the Senate's Governmental Affairs Committee--poised to land a $900 million Pentagon contract to build a cell phone system for occupied Iraq?
"I was curious about it, because the last time I looked, MCI {division of WorldCom} has never built out a wireless network," comments Len Lauer of Sprint.

Demonstrating the brand of lightning-quick entrepreneurship traditionally treasured by free-market-loving Americans, Batelco raced into Iraq after the U.S. invasion and installed cell towers throughout Baghdad. With half of land lines out of service and Saddam's 1990 plan to build cell towers stymied by U.N. trade sanctions, Baghdadis welcomed the new service. But the CPA shut down Batelco and threatened to confiscate its $5 million of equipment. Now the CPA(Coalition Provisional Authority) is now prohibiting companies more than 10 percent owned by foreign governments from bidding on civilian cell business in U.S.-occupied Iraq. That eliminates Batelco and most other Middle East-based telecommunications companies and, according to analyst Lars Godell of Forrester Research in Amsterdam, leaves MCI with "a head start."

Ted Rall Yahoo News Aug 20


This is the era ushered in by Sept. 11, war and repression unleashed not by a single empire, but a global franchise of them. In Indonesia, Israel, Spain, Colombia, the Philippines and China, governments have latched onto to Mr. Bush's deadly WoTtm and are using it to erase their opponents and tighten their grip on power.
Last week, another war was in the news. In Argentina, the senate voted to repeal two laws that granted immunity to the sadistic criminals of the 1976-1983 dictatorship. At the time, the generals called their campaign of extermination a "war on terror," using a series of kidnappings and violent attacks by leftist groups as an excuse to seize power.
The vast majority of the 30,000 people who were disappeared during the dictatorship weren't terrorists; they were union leaders, artists, teachers, psychiatrists. As with all wars on terrorism, terrorism wasn't the target -- it was the excuse to wage the real war on people who dared to dissent.
Naomi Klein Globe and Mail(CA) August 27, 2003/CommonDreams August 28

links robotwisdom

{Is it dissent they're afraid of? Maybe. Though I think it's more accurately what that dissent, some of it, points toward. Right living. Moral action. Sacrifice for an open-ended healthy future, for something larger than our own narrow genetic strain.
This is not politics, it's biology. It's biologically driven and its goals are biological results.
Politics is one of the forms the conflict takes. So is war. So is the terrorism of oppression. But so is religious coercion, social manipulation, Pavlovian economics, any of a dozen strategies already in place. Dissent is the wetlands of ideas. The fetid marshes of thought and expression. The same inept villains that have tried so hard to rid the world of swamps are behind the attempts to kill dissent. That is not a co-incidence. Same guys, same goals.}

{Hoover and King. Sexual hypocrisy. The givens explode and there's nothing. Without the moral foundation none of it's wrong. But the foundation's wrong. We all work with what we have. When you really get that there's no judgement possible. Hoover was a slave. King was a pawn of power and his own desire. There is no starting point, it's all here. It's all now. Your personal upbringing brings you here, and you say yes or you say no. Hoover was or was not a rigidly closeted homosexual. King was or was not a Biblical opportunist. The Ten Commandments don't cover the buying and selling of human beings. 'Commmunism' in the 60's was as invisible as a waiter in a fine hotel, as a half-inch wide bug in a light fixture. What was the goal? Where was it all going? Not here. Not this. We can say that with certainty. None of them did what they did to bring it to this. Through here maybe, but then toward what? What was Hoover's future really like? Maybe he was harnessed, bound in the yoke of some greater driving hand. Maybe he didn't think about it like that. King did. It's not just music and rhythmic speech. Tears and the ache of doubt and enough self-honesty to terrify. And the biology pushing everything else out of the way. They teach you that sex is outside of what you are, but that's a lie. So they make you lie about sex, because they do. And then they call you on it. It happened to both of them. It's not that they're equal, or equals, but they're both in the same frame, a still from the same movie. That time.
'68. I remember that year. Some of it, not all of it.}

A recent AP story talks about the increasing number of children dying after being left in sealed cars by mistake. As a society we have 99% of the infrastructure necessary to prevent this. Most newer cars have an alarm system and automatic climate control. The alarm system implies a vibration sensor, a microphone (for glass breakage), and a little computer that is up and running all the time. The automatic climate control implies an interior thermometer.
With a bit of programming the car can recognize that (a) someone is inside the car making noise and moving around a bit, and (b) that the temperature is climbing to an unsafe level (or getting too cold in the winter). Now what?

Philip Greenspun 8/27/03

Precisely this is the aim of Israeli propaganda: to portray the Hizbollah as a terrorist group that violates the rules of the game. The facts, however, are that the Hizbollah pretty much follows the rules of good neighbourliness; it is Israel that breaches them. Since Israel's withdrawal from South Lebanon, Hizbollah has been concentrating on two kinds of actions: anti-aircraft fire, and a limited fighting against Israel confined to the Shaba Farms. Let's see what it's all about....

Ran HaCohen August 13, 2003


The laws and customs of nineteenth-century Italy were so strict that an unwed mother was seen, first and foremost, as imperiling the honor of her family and herself. Second, she had committed a sin which could be expiated only by bearing and birthing the child in secret and immediately giving it to a good Catholic institution, the foundling home. The secrecy of unwed mothers was maintained in several ways, the best known being "the wheel," a turntable in the wall of the foundling home on which someone outside the wall could place an infant and which could be turned, moving the infant to the interior while maintaining the anonymity of the person who placed it there. Gioacchino Toma's 1877 painting La ruota dell'Annunziata di Napoli (The Wheel of the Annunziata in Naples) (fig. 4) shows the wheel with its two points of light from the inside. The guardians on duty have fallen asleep, ignoring a tiny infant crying on the bed.

In Praise of Motherhood: The Promise and Failure of Painting for Social Reform in Late-Nineteenth-Century
Judith Meighan

Hatfields & McCoys

Both clans were part of the first wave of pioneers to settle the Tug Valley. William Anderson ("Devil Anse") Hatfield, the patriarch of his extended family throughout the years of the feud, was born in 1839. Photographs reveal him to have been a huge, raw-boned, shaggy-haired troglodyte - "six feet of devil and one hundred eighty pounds of hell," as one of his contemporaries described him. Randolph ("Ran'l") McCoy, the leader of the McCoy clan, was born in 1825 and had many of the same physical characteristics as Anse: a full beard, sullen gray eyes, and broad shoulders.
Anse and Ran'l were both prosperous yeoman farmers, although their crude cabins and lifestyle gave little evidence of their wealth. Anse, for example, owned several thousand acres of prime timberland. Both families were heavily involved in the manufacture and sale of illegal whiskey.

The Spring elections for Pike County, Kentucky, in 1880 provided the next occasion for the eruption of hostilities. This was McCoy country, but Anse hatfield and his two oldest sons, Johnse and Cap, suddenly appeared.
Johnse is said to have been the most likable of the Hatfields; he was also a stylish dresser, popular with the girls. That day he encountered Rose Anna McCoy, Ran'l's daughter. Photographs show her to have been a tall, slender woman with long, wavy black hair. Johnse, immediately captivated, offered Rose Anna a handful of gingerbread and began to chat with her as if there was no animosity between their families. In the relaxed carnival atmosphere of that election day Johnse and Rose Anna fell in love. That night she went to live with him in his cabin.
Ran'l was furious when he learned what had happened. He was perhaps even more outrages when the couple split up several months later and his daughter came home a "ruined" woman. An uneasy truce prevailed between the clans, but not for long.
Peace was shattered in August 1882. Once again the occasion was a Pike County election. The corn whiskey flowed plentifully. Soon Ellison Hatfield stirred from a drunken slumber, first to insult Tolbert McCoy, then to attack him. Tolbert and one of his brothers drew knives and stabbed Ellison; a third brother shot him.
The Hatfields and the McCoys
James C. Simmons

One of the sad elements of this story is that the Hatfields & the McCoys came to depict the definition of what was known as the "hillbilly". This is where the gun-toting overall wearing hillbilly perception came from. More focus was placed on that than the true tragedy of this story.

Libby Preston
After a battle that lasted an hour the building caught fire. Young Alifair McCoy stepped outside to douse the flames, confident that the Hatfields would not harm a woman. She was wrong: They shot her in the stomach. As she lay screaming on the ground, her mother, Sarah, tried to get to her. "For the love of the Lord," she screamed, "let me go to my girl." A Hatfield pistol-whipped her until she lost consciousness.
The Hatfields and the McCoys
James C. Simmons
The three brothers sought refuge in the woods, only to be captured and detained for transfer to the Pike County prison. On the morning of August 8, Devil Anse arrived with a posse to lay claim to the boys. Clearly outnumbered, the McCoys relinquished the three. Randolph, fearful for the lives of his boys, hastily made his way to Pikeville to enlist legal and judicial help.
The Hatfields delivered their detainees to the security of an abandoned schoolhouse to await their fate. Sarah McCoy and Tolbert's wife, Mary made their way through a driving rain to plead for the lives of their loved ones. Following a lengthy final visit with their men folk, they were finally sent away with the assurance that fate of the McCoy boys would be contingent on the outcome of Ellison's fight for life. Devil Anse gave his word that the three would not be slain on West Virginian soil.
On Wednesday, August 9, Ellison lost his fight for life. The Hatfields stoically led the McCoys to the mouth of Mate Creek and crossed over to the Kentucky side. There, the three were bound to paw-paw bushes where they met a fus[ilade] of more than fifty bullets as punishment for their crime.
On August 10, funerals were held on both sides of the Tug. Ellison Hatfield was laid to rest by family while friends and neighbors buried the three McCoys in a common grave. The families had now crossed the point of no return. Blood was drawn and family honor demanded justice.
The Hatfields-McCoys: A History of The Great Vendetta
Ron McCoy
"Father, I'll make a dash. It's our only chance. If I reach the corn crib alive, I'll be able to protect you with my rifle.'
"The two shook hands and kissed, never to meet again on earth. Calvin ran out of the door, and doubling up, raced like a deer with his rifle in his hand. A stream of bullets followed him. He had gone thirty yards when a bullet crashed through his head and he leaped into the air and fell upon his face a corpse.
"Soon the old man appeared at the door bare-tooted, bareheaded and in his nightclothes. He discharged both barrels of his shotgun into the crowd, killing Ellison Mounts and wounding Jim Vance, French Ellis and two others. As the mutilated gang scattered the old man escaped into the woods. He crawled up on a ledge of rocks, and from the shadow peered down at his burning cabin, half frozen in the bitter winter wind and writhing with a fear that his little ones would be put to death before his eyes. He could see the logs that he had piled together falling apart and the light of the flames sparkling in the creek beyond.
"Then came a sight that made his heart stand still almost. The girls crawled out of the cabin and placed the corpse of gentle Alifair upon a bed, folding her hands upon her breast and closing her eyes. Then they helped old Mrs. McCoy to crawl to the bed and lie down beside her slain daughter. The old man saw the girls then search for their brother. He did not know the boy was dead till he heard their heart transfixing cries when they came upon him. They made a bed for him, too, and the children lay down under the clothes beside him all night.
"When the neighbors came in the morning they found this appalling scene. Adelaide was kneeling beside her brother, with his head in her arms, calling upon him to speak, as she had called all night. The girl had gone stark mad.
"Old McCoy, meanwhile, was almost dead from cold. He wandered up the mountain till he found a place where some hogs had warmed the mire. He stuck his feet deep into the mud and remained there till daybreak, when he staggered into the cabin of John Scott, haggard and hollow eyed." ....
Oh, Justice! Hast thou no eye for scenes like these? Are thy feet gone out of the wilderness forever?
A Hatfield has married a McCoy and the Hatfield and McCoy war is ended. A kiss and make up is an old saying; but marry and make up is a great improvement.
Old Murder Stories Extracted from Lawrence County, Ohio Newspapers
Martha J. Kounse and Sharon Kouns
Floyd Hatfield, cousin of "Devil Anse," who was accused by Randolph McCoy of stealing a hog. Although a jury found in favor of Floyd Hatfield, his acquittal has been viewed by some as one of the precipitating factors of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud.
Crockett Hatfield, with bear and unidentified friend
"Devil Anse" on horseback
Roseanna McCoy
Hatfield-McCoy Feud Photo Gallery

original impetus from
Great Feuds in History: Ten of the Liveliest Disputes Ever
by Colin Evans


William Thesiger has died.

BBC photo

obituaries in The Telegraph UK
and the BBC

some excerpts from Thesiger's books
Page on the Marsh Arabs at the Environmental Literacy Council
AMAR Marsh Arab and refugee assistance

No one disputes that the bull differs in disposition from the cow, the wild-boar from the sow, the stallion from the mare, and, as is well known to the keepers of menageries, the males of the larger apes from the females. Woman seems to differ from man in mental disposition, chiefly in her greater tenderness and less selfishness; and this holds good even with savages, as shewn by a well-known passage in Mungo Park's Travels, and by statements made by many other travellers. Woman, owing to her maternal instincts, displays these qualities towards her infants in an eminent degree; therefore it is likely that she would often extend them towards her fellow-creatures. Man is the rival of other men; he delights in competition, and this leads to ambition which passes too easily into selfishness. These latter qualities seem to be his natural and unfortunate birthright. It is generally admitted that with woman the powers of intuition, of rapid perception, and perhaps of imitation, are more strongly marked than in man; but some, at least, of these faculties are characteristic of the lower races, and therefore of a past and lower state of civilisation.

Chapter 19
The Descent of Man
Charles Darwin
Online Literature Library

The tragic slayings of spouses at Fort Bragg, N.C., got me thinking about the Army�s new program to help redeploying soldiers adjust to home life. I am currently deployed to Iraq with the 1st Armored Division. Those of us who will be PCSing from here are given only 30 days before our scheduled return to the States to go back to Germany to empty houses (because our spouses have hopefully shipped all of our household goods by then).
In this time, our vehicles must be cleaned and shipped; we must clean and clear government housing; we must clean and turn in TA-50s that have been through countless numbers of sandstorms. That�s a lot of cleaning and clearing.
So at what point will I receive my series of physical and mental tests and attend question-and-answer sessions on family reunions and suicide prevention, among other topics? During this time, soldiers are to report for duty for half-days. This process goes on for several weeks and is designed to integrate them gradually into home life. All in all, that is a pretty busy 30 days.
I feel confident that my family and I will be able to adjust, as this is my third deployment with 1st AD, but for younger soldiers who have never deployed before this seems like an awful lot of things to get accomplished in 30 days.

Staff Sgt. William Watschinger
Pacific edition letters August 17 to August 23, 2003
Stars and Stripes




{It's possible, but I think pretty unlikely that Bush's current freefall in the popularity index will continue, that the war will drag on and drag him down with it, and that he'll then fade into well-deserved shame and obscurity. He's working for and with fanatics. Relatively sophisticated men whose ability to manipulate the public consciousness surpasses their wisdom. They've already demonstrated beyond question their willingness to abandon any formal rules, whatever jurisdiction they happen to be in. They won't stop because the rules say they have to. They won't stop until their self-interest tells them to. These are dangerous men, hiding behind the cartoon boyishness of Bush's fraternity smile. They need to be made to feel that relinquishing power, restoring power to the American people, is the only way through. And the American people need to wake up, quick.}

One of the most fundamental aims of Indian culture has been the thrust towards spirituality. From our music, to art, to sculpture, all has been the push towards the Immanent beyond, the Nirvana of Buddha, the Brahman of the Vedantist. And it was not a naive doctrine that said that everyone must reach this goal and set out for it immediately. The system of the triple quartain was put in place recognizing that man has to move in steps to the ultimate goal of life; the one goal that can give lasting bliss, peace and freedom, in contrast to the transience of our mortal coil. And so Indian culture accepted every aspect of life, even the sexual act for that matter, and slowly lead man towards the divine culmination gradually, in steps.
Many temples depict an element of erotica, but you will notice that it is either on the outside, or at the base of the temple. Once one enters the temple, the sex-act gives way to apsaras and gods and finally to the supreme deity within. Sometimes, this same pattern is followed from bottom to top. This is symbolic of the gradual progress of man from fulfilling his basest needs to attaining the ultimate goal of the Divine Union. This speaks for the audacity of Indian Spirituality.

Ved5 (scroll to bottom)
Immorality Play
Dilip D'Souza

{There's this propaganda device that's getting so blatant the blatancy itself is a form of bullying propaganda, an arrogance of flagrancy. The latest example I've seen, the one that caused this post here, was in this morning's paper. A picture of Lt. Gov. Bustamente being interviewed by Latina talk-show host (keep in mind I don't get deep with this stuff. TV only as I pass between my little chamber here and the kitchen, meaning I go through the living room where my mom has the TV on and maybe 5 per cent of the time it's a news program. The paper I glance at when I bring it in, or when I'm cooking I'll skim the headlines for a minute or so. There's two stops on my delivery route where the newspaper vending machines are right by the driver's side as I get out and I'll look at the headlines then. sometimes.)Cristina Saralegui. It's a legit story about Davis and Bustamente both competing for the same donation list. But if you look carefully you see this laughably unsubtle placement scam. And go back through the archives, it's there. Negative words seemingly innocently part of the informative headlines, linked to the image by a context of proximity, as opposed to grammar. It's right out of 1984. This particular one says below the picture, "Democrats chase same dollars". Democrats same, and the photo has both the Lt. Gov and his interviewer looking away from the camera, shifty-eyed sort of, but more importantly, if you look straight down from Bustamente's image it says same dollars, Bustamente same dollars. It's been like this since I re-entered the modern world last October. It's really obvious once you start looking for it. Negative words with a minimally justifiable context linked to the image of the victim.
The Schwarzennegger headlines are exactly the same, only with positive spin placement. It's the arrogance of the invisible power behind all this. Whoever they are, the accuracy of their estimation of the intelligence and courage of the common people of America is warped by contempt.}

Much later, another friend (Laci, an ethnic Hungarian from Transylvania) explained to me that many Hungarians have a bad conscience about Jews. "Look, they didn't lift a finger to stop mass deportations in 1944. Hungarian police were eagerly helping the Nazis. Members of the Arrow-Cross movement executed scores of Jews � men, women and children � shot them and threw their bodies into the Danube. Of course they have a bad conscience."
Recently, a Hungarian received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Imre Kert�sz is famous for his razor-sharp description of Auschwitz, seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old boy. He knows what he is talking about; he was there, he was that boy. Up until Kert�sz' award, a few Hungarian scientists had received a Nobel prize, a matter of pride for many Hungarians.
But after Kert�sz, a Jew, got the prize, the nation remained curiously silent. Friends reported there was a feeling among Hungarians that "they are out to get us". A comment heard several times was: "We hadn't realised it was our turn for the Nobel Literature Prize. Had we known, we could have suggested a few Hungarian authors."
Laci told me of his conversation with a colleague at work. "This woman had been to Auschwitz as a tourist. Things weren't nearly as bad as she had thought: the toilets, for instance, they were indoors.

James Kliphuis Radio Netherlands 22 August 2003

Three people were killed in an assassination attempt on Grand Ayatollah Seyed Mohammed Said al-Hakim in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf, a leading Iraqi Shiite Muslim political group told AFP here.
The Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SAIRI) said the top Shiite cleric was slightly wounded in a blast near his office. Two of his bodyguards and a driver were killed.
Another nine people were wounded in the attack, it said.

AFP 24/08/2003 {ephemeral link}
In a moving and personal tribute, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Saturday vowed to complete the work of Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN envoy to Iraq killed in Tuesday's bomb blast.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called the Brazilian diplomat a national hero.
Annan and Lula were among the mourners who attended the wake for the global human rights champion in his native city of Rio de Janeiro.

The envoy, who was also UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, was held in high regard and had been mentioned as a possible successor to Annan, who called him a �a dear friend.�
Jordan Times August 24, 2003
{Vieira de Mello was possibly next in line for UN Secretary General. He got killed in Iraq, on the US watch. There is a profound lack of coverage. There is an equally profound lack of expressed regret. Possibly because his death is not as much of a problem as his living presence was.}

photo: AFP/Dimitar Dilkoff

A Bulgarian man pushes his bicycle across the Danube river near the town of Vidin, some 240 km north-west from capital Sofia. The water level of the Danube in Bulgaria is at its lowest for 100 years and has caused huge losses to Bulgarian ship owners who have been unable to move their boats along the river.

Agence France Presse Aug 24 2003

Brazilians suffered a double sadness this week. Within hours of the body of slain UN diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello being returned to his homeland from Baghdad, an explosion at Brazil�s Alcantara rocket base killed 21 expert space technicians and scientists and destroyed a rocket that was due to launch two satellites into space next week. This was the third failure of the Brazilian Space Agency to launch a rocket.

To a very large degree, Brazil�s space program has been using homegrown resources. Therefore the investment has been made in Brazil. As NASA in the US has not tired of telling everyone, its own space exploration produces substantial commercial technological spin-offs that are of use here on earth. This must hold true of Brazil�s program too.
On top of this, the programs of Brazil, India, China, Japan, the Ukraine and even the Europeans represent a challenge to the two established space powers. They are a marker for the future when the exploration and exploitation of space will need to become a truly global effort, in which the US and Russia can no longer be the dominant powers. The best cooperation comes when all parties have something to bring to the table. The technological exchange that will be essential for the hard challenges of space will need to be evenhanded. Hence the drive by countries such as Brazil and India to acquire the experience and knowledge and be a part of a greater, global effort in years to come.

Arab News 24 August 2003


JEAN SEBERG: Politics: "Jean Seberg was one of a group of several prominent celebrities, among them John Lennon, Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave, who, in exercising their democratic birthright to free speech found themselves incurring the wrath of the United States authorities. Seberg, vocal in her support of the Black Panther Party, who fought racial prejudice in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King, was singled out for particular attention from notorious FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who considered her to be a threat..."

Jean Seberg - Wikipedia: "During the latter part of the 1960s, Miss Seberg used her high-profile image to voice support for the NAACP as well as left wing political groups in the United States such as the Black Panther Party. Then FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover, since proven to have illegally kept large files on private citizens, considered her a threat and in 1970, when she was seven months pregnant, created a story to leak to the media that the child she was carrying was not fathered by her second husband, Romain Gary, but by a black civil rights activist. Before Hoover's plan to disgrace her could be implemented, the story was reported by the Los Angeles Times newspaper. In a later interview, Miss Seberg stated that the trauma of this event brought on premature labor and her child was stillborn. According to Miss Seberg's husband, after the loss of their child she suffered from a deep depression and became suicidal.

She made several attempts to take her own life, including throwing herself under a train on the Paris M�tro. Miraculously, she survived the incident, but less than a year later, in August 1979, she went missing and was found dead eleven days later in the back seat of her car in a Paris suburb. The police report stated that she had taken a massive overdose of barbiturates."

"KWSnet/floating wreckage:jettisoned cargo, a solo operation, has run continuously since 08 Nov 01. The time for closure has arrived. For your convenience, I am leaving the weblog and annotated resource pages archived online for the next several weeks. I cannot say whether this site will be re-activated. It took an extraordinary amount of personal time to develop -- too much time, perhaps. I hope you enjoyed its brief run, and that you may still find some uses for it as it gradually fades away. My sincere thanks to everyone who contributed in so many ways, through suggestions and comments, and particularly to the hard working activists, journalists, writers, and countless developers of other sites in all their various endeavors whose work was so relied upon here."

Kirk W. Smith

The deadly bus bombing in Jerusalem on August 19 was foreshadowed by a pair of suicide attacks a week earlier which killed two Israeli civilians. While U.S. media tended to portray these attacks as a return to violence after a relatively peaceful period, there were numerous killings in the weeks leading up to the suicide bombings that underscore the lack of evenhanded attention given to loss of life in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
When the two Palestinian suicide bombers each killed an Israeli civilian along with themselves on August 12, U.S. news outlets immediately depicted the attacks as an apparent resurgence in Mideast violence. "Summer truce shattered in Israel," announced CBS (8/12/03), while NBC (8/12/03) reported that "the attacks broke more than a month of relative silence." The Los Angeles Times (8/13/03) wrote that the bombings "broke a six-week stretch during which the people of this war-weary land had enjoyed relative quiet."
During this six-week period of "relative quiet," however, some 17 Palestinians were killed and at least 59 injured by Israeli occupation soldiers and settlers, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society. The dead included Mahmoud Kabaha, a four-year-old boy, who was sitting in the back seat of a jeep with his family at a checkpoint when an Israeli soldier shot him dead-- in a spray of bullets that the army simply called an "accidental burst of gunfire" (Associated Press, 7/25/03). Virtually none of the major U.S. news reports on the August 12 bombings alluded to the Palestinian death toll in this period, leaving out a key piece of the story: For Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, the violence had never ceased; while the Israeli attacks had decreased, there had never been anything like an Israeli cease-fire.

Common Dreams Progressive Newswire August 22, 2003


The study, published today, says the number of websites showing child porn - often featuring images of what is believed to be actual abuse - rose by 64% last year.

The report cites intelligence supplied to police by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), that over half of all illegal websites known to the IWF are hosted in the US, although the number in Russia has more than doubled (from 286 to 706).
"This creates significant difficulties for law enforcement, not least in identifying and tracing the victims who feature in images of child abuse. Often there are no leads for research into the victims' identity or the location of the abuse," says the report.

George Wright Guardian UK August 21, 2003
{Money. Money drives it. Money drove the Russian economy into the dirt. Money puts those kids on the Net. Money hides the clots of evil.
It takes a soul who can withstand the fire. Instead it's all animal-rights activists. Trembling ideologues with no fire scars. Projectionists and dweebs.
"White kids need fresh white kids let's see...Russia! White kids with no money! Parents with no money!" Overflowing underfunded orphanages in the ex-Eastern Bloc. Fucking pig capitalists tore it down and just fucking walked away. Now they have no money and even more kids. Free white kids anyone? Drugs and pain-training and videos to go. The shadow-Republicans of the ex-Soviet prison heirarchy running most of it and the pigs on this side are too bought-off and wimped out to touch it.}

Angel Baby

Gibson has been widely accused of stirring up anti-Semitism - mostly, it must be said, by people who have seen only a version of the screenplay, not the film itself. One religious scholar, Sister Mary Boys of the Union Theological Seminary, has offered the dire prediction that we are about to see "one of the great crises in Christian-Jewish relations". Another, Paula Fredriksen of Boston University, has warned Gibson he can expect blood on his hands.
This is not an easy controversy to judge, since the film has no distributor and is not expected to arrive in cinemas until next year's Lenten season at the earliest. Of the chosen few who have been accorded advance screenings, however, conservatives and Gibson's fellow super-traditionalists have - perhaps predictably - tended to love it, while the Anti-Defamation League, a conservative Jewish group which kicked up a huge fuss until it too was allowed a look, felt - also predictably - that the film confirmed all its worst anti-Semitic fears.
Certainly, Gibson hasn't helped himself by trumpeting his film as an enduring work of art that corrects all the mistakes of previous versions of the Gospels. "This film will show the passion of Jesus Christ just the way it happened," he told a television interviewer earlier this year, before the controversy erupted. "It's like travelling back in time and watching the events unfold exactly as they occurred." And how, pray tell, can Gibson be so sure that he is right, especially when the Gospels themselves are contradictory and vague on many of the details? "The Holy Ghost was working through me on this film," he said. "I was just directing traffic."

Andrew Gumbel Independent UK 6 August 2003
relatively in-depth short profile of Gibson, and his father.

The national weather service says it doesn't expect any major rainfall in the coming weeks which might bring an end to two months of drought.
Metereologists had predicted early September would see mild rain, but have now revised that forecast.

Radio Netherlands Aug 22 2003

the largest Palestinian demonstration since the beginning of the second Intifadah, almost three years ago. Many demonstrators swore revenge against Israel. Symbolic coffins bearing the words "ceasefire" and "roadmap" were carried by the crowd, referring to the international peace plan for the Middle East.
Shortly after the assassination of the Hamas leader, Hamas and Islamic Jihad announced they were abandoning their unilateral cease-fire.
The Israeli army attack was in retaliation for the Palestinian suicide attack in Jerusalem, which killed 20 bus passengers on Tuesday.
{In retaliation for the retaliation to the reprisal for the comeback of the retaliation to the reprisal for the comeback in response to the comeback for the attack of vengeance for the response of the attack of reprisal to the original response to the attack of retaliation for the response to the attack of the response to the attack for the attack of the attack in response to the attack in retaliation for the attack to the attack of the response for the response to the attack of reprisal in retaliation in response to the retaliation in response to the reprisal. attack. thing.}

The Pentagon line of "remnants of Saddam's regime", now composed with "international terrorists", is supposed to explain the actions of all those anti-American "evil doers" on the loose in Iraq. It's much more complex than that. During the Saddam era all sort of crypto-Wahhabi groups were more or less tolerated - as long as they did not meddle in politics. Obviously, these groups were all of them anti-Saddam. Post-Saddam Iraq finally offered them the perfect cause: resistance against foreign occupation. This has absolutely nothing to do with al-Qaeda or Ansar al-Islam. Al-Qaeda - which was never tolerated inside Iraq - or the enclaved Ansar al-Islam could never have organized such a disciplined resistance in two or three months.

As the Iraqi resistance is so multi-faceted, there's every possibility that the UN bombing was perpetrated by elements of this Wahhabi network, already in existence in the Saddam era. And as unfortunate as it may seem, the UN for them is a pretty legitimate target. Human rights groups have extensively documented how UN Resolutions 661 and 687 may have been responsible for the deaths of at least 500,000 Iraqi children in the 1990s, due to entirely preventable diseases. For many strands of the Iraqi resistance, the UN is just a tool of the occupying power.

Pepe Escobar Asia Times Aug 23, 2003

"The only way to account for these findings is if the Pacific plate was almost stationary for a time while the magma plume was moving south," says Rory Cottrell, research scientist and coauthor of the paper. "At some point about 45 million years ago, it seems that the plume stopped moving and the plate began."
At the mysterious bend in the chain the magnetite latitude readings level off to 19 degrees, suggesting that for some reason the magma plume stopped dead in its tracks.
"Why the hot spot stopped moving south, and whether this is related to the Pacific plate suddenly moving, is something we'd all like to discover," says Tarduno. "There's been a quiet controversy about hot-spot motion for 30 years because some people thought the accepted theory wasn't adding up. This study answers a lot of questions.

Univ. Rochester (NY) August 18, 2003
link robotwisdom


There are three events of interest here. An "Event" is a specific location in space-time, but the coordinates for the event will be different for different observers.
Event 1: Bob and Alice meet. Bob sets his clock to Alice's time.
Event 2: Bob and Chuck meet. Chuck sets his clock to Bob's time.
Event 3: Chuch and Alice meet. The two of them compare clocks.


So, 5y after Bob passed Alice, Bob meets Chuck. 5 y after Chuck passes Bob, Chuck meets Alice. From the point of view of Chuck and Bob, it's been 10 years. However, Between Alice meeting Bob and Alice meeting Chuck, 20y have passed for her.
This is functionally equivalent to the Twin paradox, but doesn't involve any acceleration. How does it work?

BlaisePascal Jun 20th, 2003

What happened 83 years ago that caused numerous sensitive ladies to take their baths while fully clothed? Before your time? Mine, too. Still, for several years just before the turn of the century, a lot of women with tender sensibilities refused to take all their clothes off even behind closed doors. It was the discovery in 1895 by William Roentgen of the X-ray. Widespread for a while was the belief that the science boys had come up with a device that permitted them to see unspeakable details through walls.

Q. Ask your Love and War man how many women over age 50 are on their second marriage.
A. Three out of four, says he. And five out of six men in that age bracket likewise.



Civilisation is, I would suggest, a concept that eludes definition. After all, a definition risks being pretentious or subjective or incomplete, or a combination of these failings. I am even more sceptical of attempting a definition of �world civilisation�, which for me has rather alarming connotations of pan-uniformity. The best I can do is, first, to suggest that we should eschew homogeneity and embrace difference; and, secondly, to suggest that focusing on common perceptions of human dignity may be more fruitful than the pursuit of one world civilisation.
Furthermore, the difficulty of obtaining a satisfactory definition should not be used, or should not be allowed, to obfuscate the picture. For what I can tell you is that I know what is uncivilised: I have seen it. We all know. In my work with the United Nations, most of which I have spent in what we in peaceful and prosperous countries refer to euphemistically as �the field�, I have seen not only the best but also the worst of what we have to offer each other.
As a UN worker I have had to pause and wonder how different societies can develop such ruthless disregard for human life. Common perceptions of �civilisation� have largely positive connotations. They suggest both a moral milieu as well as the attainment of some sort of cultural summit: they evoke images of arts and culture, of enlightenment, of sophistication. They suggest evolution in a non-biological sense or progress in social development.
But I would suggest that the term civilisation risks, but by no means implicitly carries, worryingly negative notions. These are notions of cultural superiority, of elitism, of imperialism and � largely speaking � of western idealism. If one considers oneself civilised after all, then those who are different are not civilised: they are uncivilised.
Indeed, it was only a few years ago that it was suggested that western concepts were so dominant, so incontrovertibly accepted, that what we were witnessing was an �end of history� in the sense that there was no longer the fuel for a clash of civilisations. Who would really dare propound such hubristic notions now?
We must also acknowledge that the word �civilisation� has been used throughout the course of history to justify brutality, expansionist thinking and behaviour, colonialism, even slavery and genocide � as in my continent, the Americas. In carrying out these acts, these civilisations argued that they were, in fact, on �civilising� missions. Our discussion of world civilisation must bear these facts in mind.

Sergio Vieira de Mello 11 November 2002
reprint and links openDemocracy 21 - 8 - 2003

Once the summer capital of Madhya Pradesh, this hilly town lying within the Pachmarhi Tiger Reserve, is now in the eye of a storm over the illegal constructions that have taken place over the past decade. And while the onus lies on the administration, the government has adopted an interesting strategy to deflect criticism.
The state government has chosen to act against only four violators, of the over 100 properties listed by the Forest Department as illegal, after a writ was filed in this connection at Jabalpur High Court in October 2002. The four properties belong to well-known people such as filmmaker Pradip Krishan, writer Arundhati Roy�s husband, IFS officer Nishikant Jadhav and Aradhana Seth, sister of author Vikram Seth. As action against them is being touted as the government�s strong resolve, what is being ignored is the violations that the administration has failed to take note of.

Hartosh Singh Bal Indian Express August 20, 2003

The term "criminal tribes" was concocted by the British rulers, and entered the public vocabulary for the first time when a piece of legislation called the Criminal Tribes Act was passed in 1871. With the repeal of this Act (which was condemned by Pandit Nehru as a blot on the legal books of free India, and a shame to all civilised societies) these communities were officially "denotified" in 1952.
Intensive research on the issue shows that about 150 years ago, a large number of tribal communities were still nomadic, and were considered useful, honourable people by members of the settled societies with whom they came into regular contact. A number of them were small itinerant traders who used to carry their wares on the backs of their cattle, and bartered their goods in the villages through which they passed. They would bring interesting items to which people of a particular village and a little further away - spices, honey, grain of different varieties, medicinal herbs, different kinds of fruit or vegetables which the region did not grow, and so on.

Dr. Meena Radhakrishna THE HINDU (India) folio Sunday Magazine JULY 16, 2000

Budhan is named after Budhan Savar, who died in police custody in February 1998. The Denotified and Nomadic Tribes Rights Action Group was formed in March 1998 to lead a nation-wide campaign for advocacy of the human rights of DNTs. The newsletter publicizes our activities and makes available, for the first time, a systematic archive of legislation and scholarly inquiry concerning DNTs.

In the early 1990s, the Australian writer Robyn Davidson lived for a year with the Rabari, camel-raising nomads of northern India, whose centuries-old way of life � thanks to the impact of drought, inter-Indian politics, regional military activity, population explosion and plain old economic irrelevance � will likely be snuffed out by the millennium's end. But as Davidson points out with the kind of searing self-reflection undergirding this unsentimental, beautifully written travelogue: "there are new kinds of nomads, not people who are at home everywhere, but who are at home nowhere. I was one of them."
Megan Harlan Salon

The glorious victory of WWII again called for an occasion to celebrate, but jazz was not to be there this time. As the Cold War began, the big chill settled upon jazz; it was now labeled 'the song of the enemy.' Many prominent jazz musicians like Eddie Rosner, Leonid Piatigorskii and Alexander Tsfasman were arrested, sentenced to prison camps or stripped of the right to perform. Even saxophones became suspect in this time of trouble. One day in 1949, jazz musicians in Moscow were ordered to bring their saxophones to the State Variety Music Agency. Upon arrival there, those 'despicable instruments' were confiscated by state officials (Starr 1983, 216). A similar wave of confiscation soon followed throughout the Soviet Union. In this way, jazz disappeared from official discourses except when it was called up for criticism. Indeed, its rehabilitation did not come until the end of the Stalin era.

Hyung-min Joo University of Chicago
(google html of original pdf)

Hunter S. Thompson espn: I had a truly horrible dream last night about how I blundered into a fight between Mike Tyson and Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. I was sitting next to Arnold (current betting favorite to be the next Governor of California) in the back seat of a black stretch-limozine. We were on our way to a TV studio for a debate about his long-time working friendship with the powerful Bush family from Texas and how it might affect the next Bush presidency when The Terminator seizes power in Sacramento and tries to hand over the state's 54 electoral votes by election day in 2004. That is the basic plan behind Schwarzenegger running. He doesn't want to be Governor, he just wants the electoral votes to go to Bush this time.

It was a solemn subject and I didn't quite understand why Schwarzenegger had agreed to debate it in public, with me or anyone else except maybe Karl Rove. He was raving and snarling into his cell-phone about something that had to do with Arriana Huffington, so we tried to ignore him as the limo crept along in a grid-lock traffic jam. Tempers were rising and there were no ice cubes...

mike griffin is absent from the photo

"I can't believe what I'm reading - every page grabs my attention. Every article is relevant. You've done a tremendous job in making accessible some of the most censored stories in the British media. I want to congratulate you from the bottom of my heart on the content, style, design and relevancy." Anita Roddick

The Ecologist (UK) online
Kirkpatrick Sale in The Ecologist:
But I would add this: if there is any hope here, if we can convince enough people of the true nature of our economic system and the reality of the threats it poses to the world it will be because of our asking all the relevant questions. Not just the obvious ones: `Where does it hurt? Who did it? How long has this been going on?' But the harder questions, too: `Why is this happening? What will it take to stop it? And how can we fashion the elements of an ecological society - one that is modest, attentive to nature's laws and embraces the values of the living earth - as if that society were the only one available, and prevent a return to previous wrongs?'

{Many things are happening at once. On the one hand, hedonism and greed-affect autism, the super-predators of global finance, and on the other, religious delusionals, whose dreams and fantasies have no resolution this side of the mortal divide.
And down the middle, dancing in a thin ragged line, people who want it to be alright, who want the ugliest bug in Madagascar, the handsomest aboriginal in Patagonia, the penguin, the Inuit, the Giant Tortoise and the suburban ten year-old, to all live, to be healthy and part of something bigger that's not only viable, but vital.
So those two voices that seem so separate maybe are the same forked tongue. The greedy and the Godly. And both came from the same place. A little creature talking to God, to nature, to what is, outside the self, above the little course of existence. And the dialog was something like,
'Ok you have to go now.'
'No! I won't!'
'But you have to, that's the way this works, look around.'
'Well it's not really that you have to go so much as you have to change beyond what you are, what you seem to be, to what you really are, what you were all along.'
'No! I'm going to stay just like this!'
'Ok, but you can only defer it, it won't go away. And the change will just get bigger and harder the longer you wait.'
'I don't care.'
And there we started this long progressive chain of compensations for each step away from the natural order. Each advantage creating its shadow of necessity.
Two fundamental assumptions became more and more necessary for this to continue. For the greed/hedonists, it was that there's nothing higher, nothing but the flux of inanimate matter, a cold sea of things. So you can mess with it anyway you want, it's only about who gets away with whatever they do.
For the God-says crew it was that there is something higher, but not here, this earth doesn't matter, only somewhere else does. See how both views end up at the same place?
It doesn't matter what you do to things here.
That's the goal, to get permission for that. That was the source of the original conflict.
My personal belief is that all this is alive. Everything, in ways our minds can't fathom. That the harmonic rules are there to be discovered, listened to, opened up to. That there is no conflict with spiritual truth, not really. That selfishness was the problem all along, that organized religion is infested with the same grasping selfishness as the economy, that every social institution is primarily a hierarchy of greed.
One of the traps along the way is that selflessness as an antidote to selfishness can leave you without a self. The old bogus argument of 'Well if you think cars are so bad, don't drive one!'
Right. After the whole place has been taken over by motorheads.
I was born on the shoulder of the road. It's part of who I am.
We are human beings. We have to be.
That means occupying a place in the world the size of our selves. Selfishness. And then submitting that self to something higher. Selflessness. Which is why the 'family values' sloganeering is so effective. Most of us can see the truth in that. Sacrifice for the greater good. But that's been going on long enough they got in front of it. You sacrifice for the family, they take the family. Your selfless acts augment their greed. Somewhere in that deceptive bargaining there's an intentional blindness.
It starts in the heart.}

The Ayoreo-Totobiegosode Indians of western Paraguay are the last uncontacted Indians south of the Amazon basin. They now face a real crisis, and Survival considers this one of the most urgent cases in the whole of South America.
The land being claimed on the Indians� behalf by their supporters in Paraguay was until recently mostly undisturbed scrub forest and grassland, in the hands of large landowning companies. Recently two landowners have sold their properties to Brazilian companies, which are intent on exploiting the valuable hardwoods in the forest, and clearing the scrub for cattle-ranching. Several of the injunctions preventing any work on the land have recently been lifted by a local court: the Indians� supporters are appealing against the decision.
However, overflights of the area show huge tracks bulldozed into the forest, even in areas still protected by injunctions.
The land surrounding the claim is being illegally and rapidly logged, and there is real concern that unless the government fulfils its constitutional obligations to title the land to the Indians quickly, their land will be invaded and logged, and there will be a violent and disastrous encounter with the loggers.

August 19 2003



The Wolverine Foundation


Wolverine Internet Public Library

Sergio de Mello's death is catastrophic. We are all a little bit dazed. He was, during these last few months, the best thing that seems to have happened to Iraq. In spite of the fact that the UN was futile in stopping the war, seeing someone like de Mello gave people some sort of weak hope. It gave you the feeling that, no, the Americans couldn't run amuck in Baghdad without the watchful of eye of the international community.

Baghdad Burning Girl Blog from Iraq August 20 2003
link path thru robotwisdom and Where is Raed

Its central claim - that our human characteristics are moulded by the influence of the Sun, Moon and planets at the time of our birth - appears to have been debunked once and for all and beyond doubt by the most thorough scientific study ever made into it.
For several decades, researchers tracked more than 2,000 people - most of them born within minutes of each other. According to astrology, the subject should have had very similar traits.
The babies were originally recruited as part of a medical study begun in London in 1958 into how the circumstances of birth can affect future health. More than 2,000 babies born in early March that year were registered and their development monitored at regular intervals.
Researchers looked at more than 100 different characteristics, including occupation, anxiety levels, marital status, aggressiveness, sociability, IQ levels and ability in art, sport, mathematics and reading - all of which astrologers claim can be gauged from birth charts.

Telegraph UK 17/08/2003
{Science takes on the heavies. Debunking nonsense right at its source there. Meanwhile Mel 'the Road Warrior' Gibson's taking significant heat for his portrayal of...
a certain Someone who:
1. walked on water
2. turned water into wine
3. brough a dead man back to life
4. was executed and then Himself came back to life, and then rose up through the sky and went somewhere else, without a spaceship.
But you know, they have to start somewhere. The fact that a lot of traditional Muslims have a strong astrological component, that Jews and Christians don't, that there are Biblical injunctions against astrology? Purest co-incidence!
I myself am not astrologically inclined. Though I was once told I have all seven planets in retrograde. Which I liked because it distinguished me some. But the tone of this pooh-pooh irks me no end.
So how about the speedometer on your car? The odometer? Two signifiers that convey information to you, the driver, as to how fast you're going, and how far you've come. Though of course that information is only tangential. The speedometer is connected to the drive train and should under normal circumstances reflect your mph's. And the odometer sort of ditto. Though jacking the car up and engaging the transmission in most cars will subvert that relationship, at least it would in the days I was crawling around under there.
So why not the same universe holding the stars and planets and the human being? And some strange tangential connection to the Big Drive Train providing a readable template for personality and fortune? Our experience of time is such that we need to believe the future is yet unformed, but of course to an observer outside of the temporal flow it won't look like that at all.
It's far-fetched sure.
So are these indisputable truths:
1. to an observer on earth, the moon in a solar eclipse perfectly shields the orb of the sun, though neither body has a direct relationship to the other.
2. the relative sizes of atom to human and human to star are astonishingly similar.

I'm not so sure all astrological philosophy insists the stars and planets form the personality. More that the attributes of personality and the junctures of fate can be read there, that there's a correspondence.
The denial of joyful confluence, the suppression of exciting serendipity, these are delusional mistakes far more damaging than thinking your husband is crabby because his birthday is in August.
I don't 'believe' in astrology. But it doesn't bother me.}


Horse dispersal routes in US from early 1700s
Paleopathology Project Background Information
Dry Bones: Dakota Territory Reflected
John B. Gregg and Pauline S. Gregg
South Dakota Paleopathology

...sources report that the Fox suit has inspired Paul Newman, the actor, to file a similar suit in federal court against the Department of Housing and Urban Development, commonly called HUD. Mr. Newman claims piracy of personality and copycat infringement.
In the 1963 film "HUD," for which Mr. Newman was nominated for an Academy Award, the ad campaign was based on the slogan, "Paul Newman is HUD." Mr. Newman claims that the Department of Housing and Urban Development, called HUD, is a fair and balanced institution and that some of its decency and respectability has unfairly rubbed off on his movie character, diluting the rotten, self-important, free-trade, corrupt conservative image that Mr. Newman worked so hard to project in the film...

NYTimes OP/ED August 19, 2003


California Arts Council is on the budget block
Paul Chin, executive director of La Pe�a Cultural Center in Berkeley, which received more than $55,000 last fiscal year, said he understands the huge financial crisis legislators are facing.
But he noted that the Arts Council budget represents a relative pinprick in the overall state budget, and that the council's grants and the matching grants they attract help employ artists and others.
"Clearly it's important to have health care, care for the elderly, care for children," he said. "But I've always argued that people need to be fed spiritually."
Aware of the council's possible fate and the loss of more than 10 percent of his group's budget, Chin is preparing to cut his programs and staff, which now numbers six.
Berlin also is preparing, even though she and her staff have already accepted two pay cuts and now are all working part-time. "We have our medium contingency budget. We have a worst-case budget," she said. "We close the doors beyond that."

Herbert A. Sample Sacramento Bee July 21, 2003

When I grew up, my country was divided by a huge fence with landmines and watchtowers and by a Wall. The fence and the wall protected the eastern part of the country from the western one - at least according to the leaders in the east (and now we know there was a certain truth to that). The Israeli Wall is not called a wall or a fence. The Newspeak term is "separation barrier". It's about as ugly and it serves almost the same purpose. Instead of fencing in their own population - like the East Germans - Israel fences in the Palestinians in their own country, "protecting" Israel from terrorism - where terrorism is defined as all violent action committed by Palestinians against Israel but not vice versa, of course.

Spitting Image August 18 2003


Weird Elevator Stories:
Way Down

Five hundred years ago, the explorer John Cabot returned from the waters around what is now Newfoundland and reported that codfish ran so thick you could catch them by hanging wicker baskets over a ship's side.
Cabot had discovered a resource that would change England forever, the basis of a maritime trade that would give that tiny island kingdom the wealth, skills and shipbuilding capacity which would transform it into a global empire. He had discovered the most fantastic fishing grounds the world had ever seen, waters so teeming with life that a vast swath of the New World was colonized just to harvest its seemingly limitless bounty.

...cod shoals "so thick by the shore that we hardly have been able to row a boat through them." There were six- and seven-foot-long codfish weighing as much as 200 pounds. There were great banks of oysters as large as shoes. At low tide, children were sent to the shore to collect 10-, 15-, even 20-pound lobsters with hand rakes for use as bait or pig feed. Eight- to 12-foot sturgeon choked New England rivers, and salmon packed streams from the Hudson River to Hudson's Bay. Herring, squid and capelin (a small open-water fish seven inches long) spawning runs were so gigantic they astonished observers for more than four centuries. Today, Newfoundland's fish are gone and the seas, streams and rivers lie quiet and empty.

Colin Woodard March-April 2001
link UNDERNEWS: The daily news service of the Progressive Review

Calls are increasing in the US for a thorough investigation into how far the Bush administration used deception to justify the war against Iraq.
But those calls are not amounting to much, given the Republican hold on legislative clout in Washington.
For many in this part of the world, any serious and objective investigation into the conduct of the Bush administration and the Blair government would only confirm what they have known for some time: That Bush was determined to go to war against Iraq no matter what, and Blair willingly jumped on the war wagon and never looked back.
The exercise of investigations, whether in London or in Washington, is of more relevance to the British and American public than anyone else. Indeed, it is important to the rest of the international community, if only to affirm that leaders of big powers on this planet � including the sole superpower � used blatant deception to justify a war against a country and topple its regime.
At this juncture, no one is actually shedding any tears over the ouster of Saddam Hussein from power. We in this part of the world always knew about the mass graves, chemical weapons, horror chambers at Abu Ghreib, and oppressive regime, but many of us looked the other way.
A close scrutiny of the situation would immediately tell us the startling truth that we were insensitive to the plight and suffering of the people. To an extent, it was as if many in the Arab world wanted Saddam to continue in power regardless of the fact that his continued reign was at the expense of the rights of the people of Iraq. Never mind their suffering, what mattered to the Arabs on the street was that Saddam should continue to challenge the US and Israel.
Many of us are guilty of having given less thought to the suffering of the Iraqi people and focused more on what the Arabs saw and appreciated as Saddam's courage and boldness in standing up to American designs and support for Israel against Arab and Palestinian interests.

Musa Keilani Jordan Times August 17, 2003

The US military acknowledged today its troops in Iraq had 'engaged' a Reuters cameraman, saying they had thought his camera was a rocket propelled grenade launcher.
'Army soldiers engaged an individual they thought was aiming an RPG at them. It turned out to be a Reuters cameraman,' Navy Captain Frank Thorp, a spokesman for the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, told Reuters in Washington.
Cameraman Mazen Dana, 43, was shot and killed today while filming near a US-run prison on the outskirts of Baghdad.
Witnesses said he was shot by soldiers on an American tank.

Sydney Morning Herald/ReutersAugust 18 2003

{There are truths that are literally unspeakable, though the word currently means things that can't be spoken of without diminishing the power of their awfulness. It's not so much that they can't be named but that naming them belittles the grief and the horror. But that's not what I mean. I mean literally unspeakable. Unable to be named. And therefore invisible. It's the task of poets ultimately, the work of poetry to name things, especially the unspeakable. Not in the trite way of maps and signs, but to leave them inescapably named, held to account, accused. Some of the work is to name the things that are damaged, that's what makes evil what it is, what it hurts, what it destroys. And some of the work is to draw the circle, to fix each point in the circumference, inside which evil rests.
There's a lot that isn't said about the Holocaust. In America presently there's a tacit assumption that all that was figured out and judged and moved on from, but there's nothing in the historical record to prove it. Spiegelman's Maus, Gunther Grasse, KurtVonnegut, Martin Amis, Thomas Keneally, Anne Frank in a way, all point toward it, but nothing in popular culture explains it, nothing provides the resolution that makes it possible to move on. Witnesses and their testimony, it's mostly the circumference, vessels of grief and remembrance. But what was that, at it's core what was it? That's the assumption, as though we all know what it was, but we don't.
To say that there is or was something in the German character that caused it is to say that there was something in the Jewish character that caused it. If there's truth in either of those statements there is also a great lie. And to say that there's something in the human character that caused it is merely to say it happened. Why?
I don't have the academic ground of historical studies to begin to describe the events and conditions that led up to the rise of European fascism, but the little I know is scarily similar to the world we're moving into. Scarce resources, plummeting economy, corruption so flagrant it's a taunting insult, and hedonistic vice celebrated in the twilit murk of a seemingly pointless future.
The impulse toward health, cleanliness, virtue, the human spirit, the human will goes rigid and fierce and starts a chain reaction of purification. The Holocaust. They removed Down's Syndrome kids, all kinds of handicapped, the insane, homosexuals, communists, drug addicts, all the 'bad' people. The gypsies may have suffered greater losses proportionately than the Jews did.
Selfishly, my heart is most taken by the uncategorized, the true freaks, individuals who didn't have a persecuted group to call their own.
What I want to emphasize here is that there's a sense now, an underground, untalked of sense of 'getting it right'. Instead of the nonsense of racial bigotry, now we'll concentrate the unfit, the socially maladjusted, the congenitally criminal, the 'bad' people, all in one easily identifiable category, and regretfully, but firmly, remove them. Because there just isn't enough to go around anymore.
Social Darwinism is the parlor-chat version of the Holocaust.}

Zum Tee bei Magda und Joseph Goebbels

Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler besucht das Konzentrationslager Buchenwald

Hermann G�ring w�hrend einer NSDAP-Veranstaltung

Kind im Warschauer Ghetto

Luftaufnahme des KZ Dachau
Ofenraum im Neuen Krematorium des KZ Dachau
Einfahrt zum Konzentrationslager Auschwitz - Birkenau
Jedem das seine
Giftgas! / Zyklon
Erschie�ung sowjetischer Zivilisten
Frauen im KZ Ravensbr�ck
Lichtbild aus der H�ftlingskartei des KZ Auschwitz
Lichtbild aus der H�ftlingskartei des KZ Auschwitz
Lichtbild aus der H�ftlingskartei des KZ Auschwitz
Lichtbild aus der H�ftlingskartei des KZ Auschwitz

Kinder in Auschwitz

Geiselhinrichtung in Pancevo
Verbrennung von Leichen in Dresden nach der Bombardierung
Bergung von Leichen in Dresden

Dachau, 30. April 1945

West-Berlin, 1948

Der Zweite Weltkrieg (Second World War)
LeMO: Lebendiges virtuelles Museum Online (Living History Museum)
Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum)


Ann Telnaes 8/14/03

Angel Baby



Power Outage Traced To Dim Bulb In White House
Greg Palast CommonDreams August 15 2003

Is the Philippine Government Bombing its Own People for Dollars?
What does it take to become a major news story in the summer of Arnie and Kobe, Ben and Jen? A lot, as a group of young Philippine soldiers discovered recently. On July 27, 300 soldiers rigged a giant Manila shopping mall with C-4 explosives, accused one of Washington's closest allies of blowing up its own buildings to attract US military dollars - and still barely managed to make the international news.
That's our loss, because in the wake of the Marriott bombing in Jakarta and newly leaked intelligence reports claiming that the September 11 attacks were hatched in Manila, it looks like south-east Asia is about to become the next major front in Washington's war on terror.

Naomi Klein CommonDreams/GuardianUK August 15, 2003

Another attempt to get the ol' metaphysic down in 'print'.
At Crooked Timber

In the last five years of the twentieth century, John emerged � seemingly overnight - from relative obscurity to stardom in North America and beyond.

The ninth child of twelve, John emigrated from Scotland to Canada with his family in 1965. His striking, pure voice was nurtured at St. Michael�s Choir School in Toronto, and his affinity for both the Celtic tradition and North American standards is a direct product of his family�s transatlantic voyage. Music was an essential part of everyday life in the McDermott household, and John cites his father, Peter, as his chief mentor and teacher. A clarion tenor in his own right, Peter McDermott inspired John to become a self-taught authority on both traditional and contemporary music.
________ tribute to his parents who gave life to his career, and this year, he established the Hope McDermott Fund as the central charitable organization for all of his efforts on behalf of homeless veterans. The Hope McDermott Fund supports McDermott House, a transitional veterans cooperative named in John�s honor in Washington, D.C., and also recently helped establish The Hope McDermott Center in Boston, a walk-in multiple service facility for chronically homeless veterans.
source: John Mcdermott Online

Fair and Balanced. I said this a long time ago. Fair and Balanced. That there are among us men who would copyright the language itself if they could. Fair and Balanced. And now they have. Fair and Balanced. And it will force us deeper into the corner. Fair and Balanced. From whence we will have to fight our way back, not just to the last spot, here, but all the way back, to freedom and real justice. Fair and Balanced. The parasitical attachment must be made illegal. Fair and Balanced. And to do that we have to outlaw what is, now. Fair and Balanced. No way through without suffering. Fair and Balanced. But we're suffering already. Fair and Balanced. Because of this. Fair and Balanced. It's the Wizard of Oz without Baum's leavening hand. Fair and Balanced. Al Franken is so cool it's not funny. Fair and Balanced.


1771:Luigi Galvani conducts the earliest recorded experiment
on animal electricity. Afraid of condemnation, Galvani chooses not to publish
most of his experiments, and they remain unknown for nearly another fifty years.

1879: To promote his Direct Current system by proving the dangers
of Alternating Current, Thomas Edison electrocutes an elephant
before the public at Coney Island.

gail wight

link Speckled Paint

nervous information from Viktor Kharazia

sitio de Santiago Ram�n y Cajal ('Sus hallazgos son la piedra angular de las ciencias neurol�gicas.') en ingl�s tambi�n

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