...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



proverbs that never were
Adam and Eve asked of God: give us food, a bed, and make us laugh. God gave them a duck.
bhikku 09.09.03


$50,000 per bed

L. Paul Bremer, the American overseer of Iraq, was having a hard time explaining to Congress why he needs so much money. In an attempt to explain a $400 million request for two 4,000-bed prisons, which comes to $50,000 per bed, Bremer explained that there is a "shortage of cement" in Iraq. Mongolian troops returned to Baghdad for the first time since 1258, when Hulegu, a grandson of Genghis Khan, destroyed the city and killed 800,000 people. Donald Rumsfeld claimed that the president's $87 billion request for the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan constituted an "exit strategy." It was reported that U.S. casket companies have started building extra-large coffins. "The economic opportunity exists until the country changes," said one coffin maker. "We're just reacting to the supersizing of America."

Iraq's governing council announced that it was opening the entire Iraqi economy, including essential services such as electricity, telecommunications, and health, to foreign investors. Taxes and trade tariffs will be cut, though oil and other natural resources will be exempt from the new policy.

Harper's Weekly Review 09.30.03

Ω{Bremer's a Jew with one of those gentile names. Garner too. These are not suppositions, they're in the public record. And you can bet your gas pump the Arab world knows this right down to the most illiterate haji in the most backwater desert. But the American people don't.
I think, and that's suppositional, it's because the American people are bankrolling this whole fiasco, and they might hesitate, or might have, cause it's pretty well too late now, had they known the full import of the cast of this Henry IV tragedy.}


He lived his life like a work of fine art

He lived his life like a work of fine art. George Plimpton was a winner. He was comfortable with everything, from reading Plato in the original Greek, to sparring with Muhammad Ali and courting Jackie Kennedy. He was an athlete and a scholar. He played touch football with Bobby Kennedy on the lawn of Hickory Hill and built some of the most dangerous and colossal firebombs ever seen in the American Century. He was absolutely fearless.

Hunter S. Thompson

Kheshbon Nefesh

The eve of the Jewish New Year is an excellent occasion for what Jewish tradition calls Kheshbon Nefesh, or soul-searching on so-called "anti-semitism", which has now become the single most important element of Jewish identity. Jews may believe in God or not, eat pork or not, live in Israel or not, but they are all united by their unlimited belief in anti-semitism.

When a Palestinian kills innocent Israeli civilians, it's anti-semitism. When Palestinians attack soldiers of Israel's occupation army in their own village, it's anti-semitism. When the UN General Assembly votes 133 to 4 condemning Israel's decision to murder the elected Palestinian leader, it means that except for the US, Micronesia and Marshal Islands, all other countries on the globe are anti-semitic. Even when a pregnant Palestinian woman is stopped at an Israeli check-point and gives birth in open field, the only lesson to be learnt is that Ha'aretz journalist Gideon Levy � who reported two such cases in the past two weeks, one in which the baby died � is an anti-semite.

Ran HaCohen 09.29.03


Worried in Baghdad...
What is particularly disturbing is that the UN is pulling out some of its staff for security reasons� they pulled out a third tonight and others will be leaving in the next few days. Things are getting more and more frightening. My heart sinks every time the UN pulls out because that was how we used to gauge the political situation in the past: the UN is pulling out- we�re getting bombed.
Baghdad Burning 09.27.03

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Of Mice and Men

The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990�1999
American Library Association

Ω{So Dennett has it that the conscious mind is like one of those Tesla moments held in the brain's armored pan, micro-managed by itself, like this, these machines here. OK so bigger mind same thing. The cloud of conscious being in loose array, immortal groups, banding together, we, e pluribus infinitum. Because as long as there's a membership, that thing is. Ok so we're looking for not so much why as how, the paternalistic the patriarchal the gynophobic androphilic, the 'boys only' sign halfway up the tree with its Masonic backspin on the 'n'. Not why, how. Think back to the brain, clusters, knots, cohesive subgroupings, monasteries, prisons. Those two places most especially. Think years of isolated meditation. No girls allowed. The powers of the mind developed and tuned to...what exactly? The ongoingness of the self. All the branches join at the trunk but the roots are another thing altogether, maybe. Posit that satanic things creep out from between the pages of the same books as angels of kind guidance. Monks pray like batteries in series. Prisoners, some of them, pray like batteries in series. Weekly sessions on your knees prostrate, the constant affirmation of testerone reflected. God is a man because the men who made him were men, or more accurately, 'God' has masculine attributes because the mind stuff from which 'he' springs is male, primarily. A lot gets explained with that. The emphasis on biological strategies when the dogma is all about non-earthly living. Why that 'God' loves little babies with such desperate passion and could give a shit about the old.
And the secondary inferior positions allowed to women, because a truly genderful deity wouldn't bring these particular men to dominance. So they fight with their all and any to make it real and keep it that way. Baum's curtain nailed to the proscenium with big blood-rusty spikes.
A patient physician would see there's an acceptance of the existence of something here, which I am making as clear as I can. Hierarchies of power. And limits to that power, each step of the way. Need, necessity, form and formation, becoming, being, isness, and pure horse-caca carried to the well of eternity and dumped in.
My vote is the power that has so much influence here, that seems to own the place, is mad, incomplete, protective of its sickness, and hungry to get out.
Machination spreads its willing cheeks to the bump and grind of howling greed, spirits of hedonistic satisfaction living out their last incarnations in those glorified cardboard shacks of flatline stucco and OSB. It looks like the dull fantasies of (Imperial) Roman businessmen to me, a little place by the sea at the end of time.
And China too. Everywhere, every time they got out from under that fine-toothed comb of making-do through the ongoing boot camp of seasonal life, close to the ground. The turning of the world the rock and roll of the planet trims away the fat, sooner or later.
You can't do that adipose longevity thing without slaves, you just can't do it. Not for more than a generation or two. We're taught to load the barrier between our own strife and hope and the above, the grander, the truer sweep of greater destiny, but it keeps coming back around, the witchcraft of the names of the days of the week, the names of your friends, the cold chill of the sea transposed to the time ahead, when this body lays itself down and is no more. It doesn't break, there's no partition, it merges seamless to the ones who see, who know, whatever.
But we are still us, small, weak, and without much time to change our own lives let alone the course of human predestination. Jesus would never insist anyone believe he rose from the dead, without corroborative real-time further exposition�a miracle to back it up�you could put your hand on the wound, watch his feet disappear in the fog above your head. Or not. Maybe all you could do was just listen, to the buddha-truth of what is, compassion and fire from the bottom up, and they killed him for that maybe, and turned his teaching into paddock, fenceline, chute. Building schools and burning books.
Because some road apple says you have to believe won't ever get it, and it doesn't; but then, maybe that's the beauty of it, selecting for progressively more docile less thought-capable workers. That right there starts my schismatic dynamos humming.}

Ω{Fellini picked me up hitchiking one time. In a powder blue big-end Mercedes. It would have been '66 I guess. He either couldn't, or didn't want to, speak English. Big man. Los Gatos? Santa Cruz? On his way to Carmel down 1. Reading backward too much too many times has changed the episode I'm sure. I don't remember a lot about it. I was slow even then.}


Israeli pilots' refusal to carry out air strikes
Pilots are held in the highest regard in Israel and their views carry considerable weight, since their skill and audacity are seen as key to Israel's survival.

In their petition, the pilots said air strikes on crowded Palestinian areas are "illegal and immoral." They also condemn Israel's continued occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, saying it corrupts Israeli society.
Jordan Times 09.26-27.03

Pernicious Influence
"God, what happens when Microsoft sees this? Isn't business bad enough already?"
�Dan Gillmor says link this 09.26.03
Dan Gillmor says 09.26.03


soldier, soldier

Freedom and Social Control

What is the phrase Robert Michels uses to designate the principle that the larger and more bureaucratic an organization becomes, the more power is concentrated in the hands of a small number of people in high positions? How are bureaucracy and democracy in conflict? What is the direction of power and control in a bureaucracy? What is the ideal direction of power and decision in a democracy?

Ritzer seems quite pessimistic about rationalization and technology. What does Herbert Marcuse say about the uses of technology?

Who was Frederick Taylor? What is scientific management? What is �fordism�? How is leisure possible? How is leisure rationalized? How was work organized before modernity? What is the importance of clock time?

This is the probable essay question: Ritzer states that there are four principles of rationalization/McDonaldization. First, list the principles. Second, define each completely. Finally, provide a brief example/illustration of each drawing from Michael Foucault�s �discipline and punish� thesis.

What is the point of Franz Kafka�s �The Penal Colony�?

University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

The Principles of Scientific Management
The search for better, for more competent men, from the presidents of our great companies down to our household servants, was never more vigorous than it is now. And more than ever before is the demand for competent men in excess of the supply.
What we are all looking for, however, is the ready-made, competent man; the man whom some one else has trained. It is only when we fully realize that our duty, as well as our opportunity, lies in systematically cooperating to train and to make this competent man, instead of in hunting for a man whom some one else has trained, that we shall be on the road to national efficiency.
In the past the prevailing idea has been well expressed in the saying that "Captains of industry are born, not made" and the theory has been that if one could get the right man, methods could be safely left to him. In the future it will be appreciated that our leaders must be trained right as well as born right, and that no great man can (with the old system of personal management) hope to compete with a number of ordinary men who have been properly organized so as efficiently to cooperate.
In the past the man has been first; in the future the system must be first. This in no sense, however, implies that great men are not needed. On the contrary, the first object of any good system must be that of developing first-class men; and under systematic management the best man rises to the top more certainly and more rapidly than ever before.
Frederick Winslow Taylor 1911

Archive for the History of Economic Thought
Economics Dept. University of Melbourne AU

Edward Said
More than any other Palestinian writer, he qualified his anti-colonial critique of Israel, explaining its complex entanglements and the problematic character of its origins in the persecution of European Jews, and the overwhelming impact of the Zionist idea on the European conscience.
Said recognised that Israel's exemption from the normal criteria by which nations are measured owed everything to the Holocaust. But while recognising its unique significance, he did not see why its legacy of trauma and horror should be exploited to deprive the Palestinians, a people who were "absolutely dissociable from what has been an entirely European complicity", of their rights.
"The question to be asked," he wrote in the Politics Of Dispossession (1994), "is how long can the history of anti-semitism and the Holocaust be used as a fence to exempt Israel from arguments and sanctions against it for its behaviour towards the Palestinians, arguments and sanctions that were used against other repressive governments, such as South Africa? How long are we going to deny that the cries of the people of Gaza... are directly connected to the policies of the Israeli government and not to the cries of the victims of Nazism?"

�obituary Malise Ruthven/Guardian 09.26.03

obituary at The Nation

Life is looking pretty good
Matthew Scott, 19, said that he was "very grateful to be back in England" but voiced his concern for the other hostages still trapped in the jungle."
"I would like to say thank you to the indigenous people and the Colombian army. I am very concerned for the other hostages. They are not just names and faces to me," he said.
Mr Scott was marched along a mountainous jungle track with seven other frightened hostages before making his escape the day after being captured.
He leapt from a high ravine and plunged into a swollen river before stumbling across some indigenous people after 12 days alone in the jungle.
Guardian 09.26.03

ICE Operation Predator
Operation Predator is a comprehensive initiative designed to protect young people from child pornographers, alien smugglers, human traffickers, and other predatory criminals.
This Operation brings to bear the broadest range of law enforcement authorities in the federal government to target those who exploit young people. Children are one of the most important and vulnerable assets to America's homeland. ICE will do everything in its power to protect them.
Operation Predator draws on the full spectrum of cyber, intelligence, investigative, and detention and removal functions of ICE to target those who exploit children. In a way unachievable before the creation of Homeland Security, ICE is coordinating once - fragmented resources into a united campaign again child predators.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Ω'Drugs Seized: 770,515 lbs.' {"Drink Responsibly" Yo. The pathetic hypocrisies get exposed, undealt with, codified and institutionalized. And at the same time really bad people get stopped. Good things and bad things, done by the same guys. In a world of televised morality, where show matters more than heart and soul, it's getting harder to muster loyalty for anything or anyone outside the immediate experiential environment.
When you start from a zero base of 'no more, no matter what' you can get all kinds of authority and permission.
A world void of human life will have no child predators in it. No greed-driven land rapists, no murderers no pimps no drug dealers no lying politicians no two-faced priests no bad people of any kind.
So we got that covered right? All gone.
No. It's the positive that's harmed, that's diminished, damaged, that we're trying to defend. And preserve. Burning the house down to get rid of the fleas won't be ok.
And that point right there is where we all start heading out in separate directions. A world that throws up John Ashcroft and Donald Rumsfeld as exemplary, that puts Ariel Sharon above Anna Lindh, isn't worth pissing on. Unless it's only a momentary illness, a temporary thing.
So we go back into the fire, compromised and unhappy; but there's still a lot to do.
Homeland? Did they make you say that? Homeland? Would that be the dead fields of Iowa you mean? The dead beaches of California? Does my homeland stop at the Canadian border? Baja feels as much like home to me as San Diego does. Are you going to tell me what my homeland is, or should I listen to my heart?
My heart says temporarily giving up freedom to put down pedophiles works, but permanently giving up freedom so Dick Cheney can feel like a man doesn't.
Busting the molester priests while letting the Catholic Church spiritually infect the minds of children isn't getting the whole job done.
Children are being sexualized everywhere you look in the pimped-out media culture. Predation for economic gain is acceptable, for sexual gratification isn't.
And there you guys are on the knife edge. Working through the yes and no. Yo. "Drink Responsibly."}

The Stench at EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency has struck a deal with monster animal farms that lets them leak stinking animal crap and other pollutants all over, to their heart's content. In exchange for promising not to sue -- ever -- EPA demands a mere $500 fine (yes, just five hundred dollars) and also a contribution of $2,500 toward a fund to, yes, study the problem of rivers of stinking animal crap.

Perhaps they could save money by combining the animal crap "study" with the Administration's latest global warming "study".
Matt Bivens/The Daily Outrage 09.24.03

...the largest grassroots Jewish peace group in the U.S. announced today that it is targeting Illinois-based Caterpillar Corporation for its role in diminishing the chances for Middle East peace. Caterpillar has knowingly allowed its bulldozers to be used by the Israeli military for the demolition of thousands of Palestinian homes, settlement construction, and the building of Israel's Wall.
Jewish Voice for Peace and its partner organizations -- the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, SUSTAIN (Stop U.S. Tax Aid to Israel Now), and the Center for Economic and Social Rights -- launched a variety of efforts to pressure the company, including Internet activism, shareholder resolutions, and protests. They announced that today they were asking over 30,000 sympathetic Americans to send a letter to Caterpillar demanding that it halt sales to the Israeli military.
Common Dreams 09.25.03

acidifying oceans
If carbon dioxide emissions keep rising, surface waters could become more acidic than they have been for 300 million years - except perhaps during global catastrophes. And this warning follows a report that the biological productivity of the oceans has fallen by six per cent since the 1980s.

"We are changing the chemistry of the ocean and we don't know what it's going to do," says Ken Caldeira, a climate specialist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
Jeff Hecht/New Scientist 09.25 .03


Monsignor Otto Garcia
" As antifreeze usually isn't taken on purpose, there is a suggestion of suicide here, prompted by the fierce endless pain that began at the start of his life, in St. Michael's grammar school in Flushing, when at age 12 he had been abused by a priest. The accused is the Father John Collins. The shock lasted all the years."
Breslin/Newsday 09.25.03

Tom Tomorrow 09.22.03
cartoon at salon

Camp Five
The new �Camp Five� will take three times longer to build than the four existing camps, which are made from wire mesh and metal atop concrete slabs, with chain-link fences and wood towers.
�It is a hard-sided concrete building,� Miller said. �Unfortunately, we have to ship everything into Guant�namo Bay by sea, and it takes time to get the materials down here.�
The contractor is Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Vice President Dick Cheney�s former company, Texas-based Halliburton. The watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense says the subsidiary received $1.3 billion in government business last year � much of it, like this, without having to enter a bid.

Yale Law School professor Harold Koh, who represented Cuban and Haitian migrants at the Guant�namo base in 1994-95, said by phone that the construction means �we are just getting further and further in� to an alternative justice system outside the rule of law and unauthorized by Congress.
�If everyone thought about where this is leading us, they might have doubts about whether this is where we want to go,� Koh said. �We have set up an offshore prison camp in an extrajudicial zone where people have no rights, and we assume no one is going to follow our lead....�
For example, he noted, Indonesia is now building an island detention camp for alleged rebels.
Miami Herald 08.24.03

link Social Design Notes 09.15.03


Venus possibly habitable for billions of years
This also suggests that another global transformation on Venus about 700 million years ago, in which the whole planet's surface appears to have melted and reformed, may actually have been a continuation of the same greenhouse warming that dried out the planet.
Once the water was lost, Grinspoon says, plate tectonics would have stopped completely, and with it the most efficient way for the planet to shed its internal heat. This could have led to a buildup that eventually caused the whole crust to melt and then reform.
More generally, if this analysis is right, it means that the "habitable zone" for planets around other stars may be much wider than has been assumed, since Venus had been thought to be far outside it.
New Scientist 09.08.03

"I am the only candidate who will take this country away from fear and war and tax giveaways, and use America's peace dividend for guaranteed health care for all, ending health care for profit. I am the only candidate who will stop the privatization of social security and bring the retirement age back to 65. As President, I will cancel NAFTA and the WTO, restore our manufacturing jobs, save our family farms, create full employment programs. I will repeal the Patriot Act to regain for all Americans the sacred right of privacy in our homes, our libraries, our schools. "

Willie Nelson for Kucinich

"Forensic Video Decisions" Whitepaper
"Forensic Video Decisions", a white paper from Avid Technology, Inc., provides a detailed examination of the migration from analog-based closed-circuit television (CCTV) to digital-based CCTV surveillance systems. The law enforcement video analyst is being confronted by unique problems and opportunities as digital CCTV security systems replace tape-based video record machines. As new video surveillance technology takes over the marketplace, law enforcement agencies search for more advanced and more powerful forensic video analysis tools in an effort to prepare for the deluge of digital video evidence.
Avid Technology, Inc 08.Ω.03

Ω{Just because I'm irritable from too much sleep for once:
Ashcroft's hysterical huffing and puffing about the library records. Profiles. These all read this book when they were 17. Then read this book. Then joined this. These all voted for this political opposition member and read this book as soon as it came out, then voted against this proposition. These all read this book twice and signed these petitions. Then gave money to this group.

Know your enemy.}


The Small Drunk Hood
...the large teeth of accomplice wolf who in two times, three movements will throw himself on it to devour it, include/understand by there, to violate it.

Now, obviously, I all the contempt includes/understands better that American has for us other poor collaborator monkeys cheese eaters: the large red, it is so unhealthy...
There are enormously very interesting and intelligent people in the USA: how do they manage so that the cretins succeed in making noise so much?

Muselivre/Google 09.23.03

comments at beatniksalad 09.22.03

"...there are thousands of incidents of violence that never get reported; attacks on Americans that cost civilian lives are not even recorded by the occupation authority press officers unless they involve loss of life among "coalition forces". Go to the mortuaries of Iraq's cities and it's clear that a slaughter occurs each night.
Occupation powers insist that journalists obtain clearance to visit hospitals -it can take a week to get the right papers, if at all, so goodbye to statistics - but the figures coming from senior doctors tell their own story. In Baghdad, up to 70 corpses - of Iraqis killed by gunfire - are brought to the mortuaries each day. In Najaf, for example, the cemetery authorities record the arrival of the bodies of up to 20 victims of violence a day. Some of the dead were killed in family feuds, in looting, or revenge killings. Others have been gunned down by US troops at checkpoints or in the increasingly vicious "raids" carried out by American forces in the suburbs of Baghdad and the Sunni cities to the north.
Only last week, reporters covering the killing of the Fallujah policemen were astonished to see badly wounded children suddenly arriving at the hospital, all shot - according to their families - by an American tank which had opened up at a palm grove outside the town. As usual, the occupation authorities had "no information" on the incident.
But if you count the Najaf dead as typical of just two or three other major cities, and if you add on the daily Baghdad death toll and multiply by seven, almost 1,000 Iraqi civilians are being killed every week -and that may well be a conservative figure. Somewhere in the cavernous marble halls of proconsul Paul Bremer's palace on the Tigris, someone must be calculating these awful statistics.
But of course, the Americans are not telling us."
Robert Fisk/Independent (UK) 09.14.03
reprint at CASI

An Absolute Slaughter Every Night

Robert Fisk:

We had the very famous occasion, infamous occasion when American aircraft bombed an Albanian refugee convoy in Kosovo, claimed later or NATO claimed later it was probably Serb aircraft. It was only when we got there and found the NATO markings on the bomb, that NATO fessed up admitted that they had done it themselves and had been confused.
When I went to the scene months later and tracked down the survivors, it turned out that although they were confused, NATO aircraft had gone on bombing that convoy for 35 minutes even though there were civilians there, because mixed in among them, most cruelly, this was an act of Milosevic's regime, were military vehicles as well.
We shouldn't be romantic about the Serb military or the Serb security police they were killers and murderers. But NATO, in its war against the Serbs, committed a number of acts which I think are very close to war crimes, and General Clark was the commander. So this is a man who wants to be the president, democratic president of the United States of America. Well I don't interest myself in what he thinks about the last war in Iraq. I watched it first hand and had my own opinions. But I sure as hell know what it was like to be under the bombs of his war in Serbia.

Our problem is not with Wesley Clark's campaign, it's with the media's portrayal of him.
One point I'd like to say, your listeners should go look at the daily column that Clark wrote for the Times of London, right around the time of the fall of Baghdad. He wrote there, for instance, the day after the fall of Baghdad he wrote "Liberation is at hand. Liberation, the powerful bomb that justifies painful sacrifices, erases lingering doubts and reinforces bold actions." He also wrote that George W. Bush and prime minister Tony Blair "should be proud of their resolve in the face of so much doubt".
This is the day after, this is on April 10, the day after the so called fall of Baghdad. He was cheering this event, and it's very hard for us to see reporters casting him as antiwar candidate.

Democracy Now! 09.18.03

link path thru beatnik salad

Ω{Wesley Clark is a spoiler. Chaff. Diversion.}

signs of life
Physicists have created blobs of gaseous plasma that can grow, replicate and communicate - fulfilling most of the traditional requirements for biological cells. Without inherited material they cannot be described as alive, but the researchers believe these curious spheres may offer a radical new explanation for how life began.

Most biologists think living cells arose out of a complex and lengthy evolution of chemicals that took millions of years, beginning with simple molecules through amino acids, primitive proteins and finally forming an organised structure. But if Mircea Sanduloviciu and his colleagues at Cuza University in Romania are right, the theory may have to be completely revised. They say cell-like self-organisation can occur in a few microseconds.
Sciotecha 09.17.03 Ω{good science blog}
New Scientist article 09.17.03

They Lied and Many Soldiers Died
George Bush won't mention the names below in today's speech, nor will your gullible news and television people - the Pekinese of the Press.
Therefore we print promptly and thus prominently the names of American soldiers killed in Iraq and reported from Sept. 9 to Sept. 19:
Breslin/Newsday 09. 23.03

Ω{It's the same with health, with hope, with any kind of future, it doesn't matter to them. We're talking about surplus domestic animals.
As satanic as it might sound these men are capable of actually feeding surplus protein back into the herd just like they do tallow, rendered parts, bones and offal, from the meat factories. Will you wait until then?
The kids in the big box stores are soldiers like that, only without the dress-up, without the weapons and conditioning. Markers, pawns, expendable numbers on a wide graph.
Your lives don't matter to them, and they've taken down not just every leader who might have shown you a way out of hell, but anyone who showed sign of becoming one.
Somebody told me once, if you got a busful of kids to rocking back and forth together in just the right rhythm, especially in the old high-center buses, and if they got real into it, and threw their weight hard, but kept the rhythm, and if the bus took a turn...}


A Change of Viewpoint

As a newly-promoted Army Sergeant I had no idea there had been an assassination and coup in South Korea in1979, nor that unrest was widespread due to anger at the illegal military dictatorship. I served in the 520th Maintenance Company, 194th Maintenance Battalion, at Camp Humphreys Air Base, Pyongt'aek, 40 miles south of Seoul.

In May of that year, I have later learned, the college students of Gwangju, 130 miles south of Pyongt'aek,
led an at-first-nonviolent uprising against the dictatorship. The beating to death of some of the
rebels led them to arm themselves and drew the whole city and other cities nearby into the struggle. The
people were eventually brutally suppressed by Korean Special Forces and other Korean troops.

Ellen Barfield

Eleventh Hour Stories

Flavio and Alfredo Colombaioni
The experience with FELLINI was fantastic.

Age 65 was established as being "elderly" by Otto von Bismark in 1890. Bismark arrived at the decision in order to get rid of some officers in the army.
Mr. Smarty Pants Language Facts

"The laugh of big clowns"
From the harlequin to the artistic comedian
Special exhibition from the 25th of April to the 12th of October 2003
International museum of artists in Germany

Weren't any armadillos in the Lone Star state when the Battle of the Alamo was fought in 1836. Rare is the Texan who knows that. The armadillos were on their way, though. They got as far north as the Rio Grande Valley in the 1840s. And kept on coming.
LMBoyd 09.22.03



In a special focus on the Bushmen's plight, the September edition of The Ecologist reveals that since 1997, the government of Botswana has been uprooting the Bushmen from their ancestral lands, and moving them to resettlement camps. Reasons given have included the Bushmen's 'development', and conservation of the area.
In fact, the exact opposite is taking place.
An exploration boom aimed at securing lucrative profits from the exploitation of future diamond mines on the reserve is well under way, and there has been a huge increase in diamond concessions in the reserve since the Bushmen evictions.
De Beers, the world's largest diamond company is one of the major players.
Botswana produced 29% of the world's diamonds by value in 2001, far more than any other country. In that year, diamond sales from Botswana amounted to $2.3 billion. This accounts for 70% of Botswana's foreign exchange earnings and 50% of government revenue.
One company, Debswana (ie De Beers Botswana), which is jointly owned by the Botswana government and De Beers, controls Botwana's diamond mining industry.
There is no doubt that Botswana matters to De Beers, who at present control over 50% of the world's gem diamond production.

survival international

the Gana and Gwi 'Bushmen' do not wear jewelry

An illusion of progress
Kirkpatrick Sale
The Ecologist

Lee Kyung Hae


the hard-faced bitch with the peroxide hair. The last woman to be hanged in Britain.
...she took a shotgun and pumped four bullets into her lover, the racing driver David Blakely, outside the Magdala pub in Hampstead on Easter Sunday, 1955.

Ruth Ellis was born on 9 October 1926, the fourth child of a failed musician, Arthur Neilson, and his Belgian wife Elisaberta. Frustrated in his career, Neilson drank heavily and abused his wife and children. Both Ruth Ellis and her sister Muriel were raped by their father.

She became pregnant by Blakely twice; the first time, she had an abortion, and on the second occasion, Blakely, who followed in her father and husband's footsteps with his violence, punched her in the stomach, causing her to miscarry.
Ellis shot him just a few days after the miscarriage, and following several days of arguments, tears and remonstrations. The last bullet was fired into him from just three inches away.

A few miles from Holloway, a headmaster later recalled, a pupil with a watch in his hand told friends: "Only four more minutes and she is going to swing. One, two, three, four, she has had it, boys."

Catherine Pepinster/Independent (UK) 09.19.03

China to help Europe develop GPS rival
The US has claimed that Galileo could interfere with the US ability to downgrade the GPS service during military conflicts. European officials say this is unfounded and counter that US opposition is due to the commercial challenge Galileo would present to GPS. Galileo will be precise to within a metre, while the civilian GPS service is accurate to around 10 metres. 09.19.03

mother, woman, human being
In a short time the world has lost Lindh and the late UN representative in Baghdad, Sergio Vieira de Mello, two voices representing the conscience of humanity, and who called with determination for salvaging the UN�s role in Iraq and for implementing its resolutions in Palestine.

With the assassination of Anna Lindh, the Palestinian cause and the Arabs in general have lost one of the most important voices supporting their legitimate and just demands. A few years ago she was even imprisoned for two days during a visit to the Occupied Territories upon orders from then-Defense Minister Ariel Sharon.
Bouthaina Shaaban/Daily Star (Lebanon)

link robotwisom

Ω{General cowboy rules are if somebody brags openly and publicly about doing a particular not-so-decent thing, the chances are strong they'll be doing other even less decent things, but not talking about it.}

Peace Now starts 'street campaign' with 6,000-strong rally
Some 6,000 peace protestors gathered Saturday night at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv for what organizers said marked the opening of a 'street campaign' that will be conducted over the next few months by Peace Now.
Haaretz 09.21.03

Ω{It's easy to forget, from here, how hard it must be, there. It isn't just the Aryan Nation that uses the epithet 'race traitor'. And it says something good about Israel even now, that they are on the street saying what they are.
Peace. Shalom. Let's do it.}

Buddhist marathon monk completes seven-year run
A few have done it twice; many more have not lived to finish. Traditionally, the monks, known as gyoja, who can't continue to the end must take their own lives either by hanging or disembowelment.
A rigorous regimen dictates that in each of the journey's first three years, the pilgrim must rise at midnight for 100 consecutive days to pray, run along a 30-kilometre trail around Mount Hiei - stopping 250 times to pray along the way. He can carry only candles, a prayer book and a sack of vegetarian food.
In the next two years, he has to extend his runs to 200 days.
In the winter, the pilgrim runner takes a break and spends the days doing temple chores.
Sydney Morning Herald AU 09.20.03


Jonathan Schell links to "the indispensable", but .orgs it. They're both pretty darn worthwhile.

Ashcroft derides Patriot Act critics

"The fact is, with just 11,000 FBI agents and over a billion visitors to America's libraries each year, the Department of Justice has neither the staffing, the time, nor the inclination to monitor the reading habits of Americans," Ashcroft said. "No offense to the American Library Association, but we just don't care. . . .

"The charges of the hysterics," he added, "are revealed for what they are: castles in the air built on misrepresentation, supported by unfounded fear, held aloft by hysteria."

"What we've always been focused on is the scope of the law itself, and that hasn't changed at all," said ACLU lawyer Ann Beeson. "They could use it tomorrow, and we would never know. And that makes it extremely dangerous."
Dan Eggen/BostonGlobe 09.19.03

Ω{"...held aloft by hysteria..."
"...protected by scoundrels... ...interrogated by morons..."}

what happens
Union of Concerned Scientists retrofit an SUV, for cheap, from 21 mpg to 27.8 mpg, etc.
Ω{Keep in mind this is a small band of very-busy-with-other-things-also people.
Imagine the battalions of Big Auto/Big Oil engineers on the case.}
daily outrage/Nation 09.18.03


Calculating Google
Google calculates.

Forest makes up 70% of Russia's territory and spans 12 time zones.
A plan by the Kremlin which would allow Moscow to sell off the 843m hectares of Russia's forests to private logging companies has raised fears of an ecological disaster.
Ω{843million hectares=2,083 million acres
or, roughly, well over 2 billion acres of forest}

Andrei Ptichnikov, forest coordinator of the World Wildlife Fund, Russia, said: "Russia has 22% of the forest on earth - a very important part of climate stability and global biodiversity because of all the rare species that live there. According to some estimates, Russian forests absorb 15% of the world's carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide. It provides a huge amount of oxygen for not just Europe, but the world."

The new law however gives any private company the chance to buy the forest land outright, or to have use of it for up to 99 years and then buy it. The government hopes it will be approved by parliament by November 1.
A spokesman for Alexander Belyakov, head of the parliamentary committee on natural resources, which has to approve and refine the new law, insisted that if the forest is used properly, it should grow back to 80% its previous size.

The far eastern leopard, of which there are only 30 left, the Siberian tiger, of which 400 remain, would all suffer from widespread logging.

In Russia, logged wood sells for $1 (65p) a cubic metre, whereas it sells for $30 in Finland and $15 in Estonia. "Prices are cheaper, but there is also less money to keep the forest going," he said. "It is difficult to see how that can change. Forest companies do not want their prices to go up."
Nick Paton Walsh/Guardian UK 09.19.03

129 dead or missing and 4.6 trillion won ($3.94 billion) in damage
"We need to wait and see but, based on the forecasts so far, the new typhoon is heading towards Japan," said an official at the Korea Meteorological Administration's typhoon forecasting unit.
The medium-sized typhoon was currently some 160 km (100 miles) south of the Japanese island of Okinawa and moving in a northerly direction at 24 km per hour (15 mph), said an agency statement. The wind speed near the eye of the typhoon had reached 93.6 kph (58 mph).
Typhoon Maemi, the strongest ever to hit South Korea, battered the country last Friday{09.12.03} and left 129 dead or missing and 4.6 trillion won ($3.94 billion) in damage.
Reuters 09.19.03

fair play
Monkeys can spot a raw deal when they see one, and if they are not treated fairly they throw a tantrum.
The finding confirms the idea that cooperative behaviour, which relies on the participants' having a sense of fair play, appeared early in our evolutionary history.
Sarah Brosnan and Frans de Waal at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, US, are the first to show that animals are capable of recognising unfairness. They trained capuchin monkeys, which are native to the forests of South America, to exchange a token for food. Once the monkeys were used to handling the tokens, Brosnan set them up in pairs and rewarded each in turn.
New Scientist 09.17.03

Ω{Probably the most rigidly codified moral systems in the human world are in prisons. They're fragmented, and they aren't about the long-term in a generational sense, but they're fiercely adhered to, and implacably enforced.
'Fair play' behind the walls of the primate research community is a pathetically strange and morally disconnected idea.}

Reserve pilots to refuse 'liquidations'
A group of reserve pilots in the Israel Air Force is planning to publicly announce their refusal to
participate in attempts to assassinate senior wanted men in the Palestinian Authority.
The group has been discussing the initiative for more than three months...
Lily Galili/Haaretz Elul 22, 5763

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


"Elvis� as the GIs call him�has not left the building
Indeed, some students envisage a future very different from Chalabi's and Washington's dreams: "Iraq is the pole of convergence, political and military, of the Arab world. If the US mission fails here, then the way will be finally open for a Great Arab nation, united and free from all these corrupted governments."

The convergence of views between Baghdad students and the Jordanian intelligence official is remarkable - and is widely shared by the popular voice of the bazaars. The perception is that "the Americans" engineered both the UN bombing that killed special envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello, and the Najaf bombing that killed Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Baqr al-Hakim (the Jordanian insists the Israeli Mossad was responsible for the Hakim bombing, which benefits the Americans by splitting the Shi'ites and pitting Sunnis against Shi'ites). All agree on what the US agenda is: to maintain a perpetual state of chaos, enforce the control of the fabulous Iraqi sources of energy, and use this new, sprawling military base in the heart of the Middle East to harass Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, few in Baghdad appear able to understand how US high-tech marvel is not capable of finding Elvis-Saddam. All kinds of theories float on why the Americans killed his sons Uday and Qusay in a firefight instead of arresting them and bringing them to justice. All are convinced that Nawaf Alzaidan, the owner of the house in Mosul in which the brothers were killed, was the one who tipped the Americans and bagged the $30 million reward (not yet: the State Department has not paid him in full, citing "security problems"). The family of Salah Alzaidan, Nawaf's brother, was killed by Iraqis in revenge. But Nawaf and his family escaped and are now in the United States.
Pepe Escobar/Asia Times 09.19.03


more wordiness at Cassandra Pages Comments

"Up in the air, Junior Bird-Men!" 09.17.03

To assert that there is "a Jewish people" is to endorse the Zionist (and antisemitic) claim that the interest of all Jews, wherever they are, is one, and that Jews have more in common with each other than with other members of the societies in which they live.
I totally reject this assertion. This is a perfectly reasonable position;you may disagrree with it, but it is neither outlandish nor antisemitic, and one accepted by many prominent Jews.
"Roland Rance"/JustPeaceUK Yahoo Groups Jun 18, 2001

Memorandum on institutionalized racial discrimination by and in the State of Israel
Elias Davidsson April 1991 (Revision July 1993)

A Basic History of Zionism and its Relation to Judaism
Since biblical times Jewish communities lived in Arab lands, in Persia, India, East and North Africa and indeed in Palestine. With the destruction of the Temple and the final fall of their state in 70 AD many Jews were taken out of Judea and hence to Rome and the Diaspora. Many poorer Judeans, however (such as subsistence farmers), were able to stay in Palestine. (Some of them had converted to Christianity and were one of the earliest Christian groups.) Modern research suggests that when Islam arrived in the area in 633 AD many of these Jews converted and that they form a considerable part of today's Palestinians. These various communities were on the whole well integrated into their respective societies and did not experience the persecutions that later became so prevalent in Europe. In Palestine, for instance, Muslims repeatedly protected their Jewish neighbours from marauding crusaders; in one instance at least, Jews fought alongside Muslims to try and prevent crusaders from landing at Haifa's port, and Salah al-Dinl-din, after re-conquering Jerusalem from the crusaders, invited the Jews back into the city.

Immigration ("Aliyah"--ascent in Zionist parlance) took off in seriously large numbers with the rise of Hitler, who initially declared himself quite sympathetic to Zionism, as had other right-wing anti-Semites before him. New Jewish settlements mushroomed, leading to a bitter and prolonged Palestinian uprising from 1936 till 1939, when it was crushed by the British mandatory powers. But it was not until the end of the 2nd World War and the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948 that Zionism started to win the hearts and minds of the majority of Jewish society. Since that time we have witnessed an increasing and deliberate confluence of Judaism and Zionism, to the extent that today it is widely regarded as treason and self-hate for a Jew to criticise the state, let alone Zionism.

In my view, this development was almost inevitable given the preconception of an exclusive Jewish state. Could we realistically conceive of a France purely for the French? England only for the English? (Unless, of course we belong to the National Front or similar groups.) In a post-colonial world the notion is completely unacceptable and ridiculous. How then, can Israel and the majority of its citizens justify their claim and yet remain convinced that theirs is a modern, democratic society? The last resort, when all logical justifications fail, is that God has promised the land to his people, namely us. (This rather begs the question of where this leaves a non-believing Jew.)

The religious establishment has gone along with the general flow and has, indeed, profited from it. Since the late 50's there has also been a notable and frightening change in the Orthodox community, which led to the establishment in 1974 of the "Gush Emunim" (the block of the faithful), initiated by Rabbi Tsvi Yehuda Kook the younger. This is the fundamentalist movement which believes in accepting the state of Israel and striving to make it entirely and exclusively Jewish. Prior to this time Orthodox Jewry played no important role in politics except in pressuring successive governments to introduce more Jewish religious regulations into state law. The ultra-orthodox group "Neturei Karta" (the landless) has never recognised the state of Israel, and its members are exempt from army service.

Although Gush Emunim is small in numbers, it wields disproportionate influence since successive Israeli governments covertly (and sometimes almost overtly) have endorsed its aspirations. Gush Emunim's followers have been allocated to special army units so as to enable them to observe Jewish religious laws and rituals in every detail (although even in the regular army only Kosher food is served and the Sabbath is observed as far as possible). These units have a reputation as dedicated, crack troops. What is less well known but silently condoned is their refusal to give medical aid or even drive wounded persons to the hospital on the Sabbath unless they are Jews.
Hanna Braun/SF Indymedia September 2001/August 27, 2003

The Twin Towers and the Tower of Babel
Part 1: Sleeping with the enemy

The latest developments have proved once again that American conservatives' pocket futurology is dead and buried. There has been no "end of history". There has been no "death of ideology". Instead of these pre-Galilean platitudes to which all would have been forced to submit, now it's Medievalism all over again - with clashing sectarian apocalyptic visions (born-again Christian fundamentalists against radical Islamists), Inquisition tribunals (Guantanamo) and the horrors of war (Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine).
It's Medievalism - but mixed with the epitome of modernity. As John Gray, a professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics argues in his latest book (Al-Qaeda and what it means to be modern, London, Faber & Faber), al-Qaeda is a by-product of globalization: "Its most distinctive feature - projecting a privatized form of organized violence worldwide - was impossible in the past." Gray goes to great lengths to stress that on September 11, al-Qaeda "destroyed the West's ruling myth". And he sharply demonstrates how "like communism and Nazism, radical Islam is modern. Though it claims to be anti-Western, it is shaped as much by Western ideology as by Islamic traditions. Like Marxists and neo-liberals, radical Islamists see history as a prelude to a new world. All are convinced they can remake the human condition. If there is a uniquely modern myth, this is it."

Just as the US re-invented and financed jihad in the early 1980s to combat the "evil" Soviet empire in Afghanistan - and so contributed to the emergence of this modern myth - by invading Iraq the US has opened up a new Pandora's box, facilitating the alliance of Wahhabi, Afghan-Arab jihadis with secular, Ba'athist operatives: "the deadliest of combinations" according to European intelligence experts. The White House and the Pentagon won't admit that Iraq is not tribal Afghanistan - and that the rule of anarchy everywhere around Kabul cannot prevail in a country that George W Bush wants to portray as the window of his democracy export program to the Middle East. If the Iraqi adventure fails, it's the end of the American pretense of fashioning the new world order, and it's the death knell for the unilateralist neo-conservatives who have held the world hostage since September 11.
Pepe Escobar/Asia Times 09.10.03

Part 2 : The roadmap of human folly

Central Asia: Early travelers
Part 2: Sven Hedin, a lifetime of exploring

His mapping skills - which he developed, basically, I think, without a huge amount of formal training - really became quite extraordinary."
In one expedition, Hedin traveled across Russian Central Asia, crossing the Pamirs, exploring and attempting to climb the peaks, and then crossing part of the Taklamakan desert, where he nearly lost his life for lack of water. Hedin was taken by local guides to a ruined city in the desert northeast of Khotan where he found not only the remains of buildings, orchards and avenues preserved in the sand, but also Buddhist stucco figures and wall paintings. Hedin was no archaeologist, but he realized that he had been brought to one of the old cities of the Silk Road.

Professor Uli Schamiloglu, a professor and historian at the University of Wisconsin, commented to RFE/RL on the life of Sven Hedin, "Sven Hedin, who was born in 1865 and died in 1952, is considered to be one of the leading explorers and geographers of Central Asia, not just thinking of the five republics of Central Asia today, but in his contributions to the study of the sources of the Brahma-Putra-Indus rivers, his explorations in Tibet, in the Gobi Desert, and other places that are really well-known.

In Sinkiang, Hedin had been overwhelmed by the "liberal doses of fiery spirits and the 46 courses" through which he had been obliged to sit. In his book Through Asia, Hedin described a few dishes typical of such feasts, "The skin, fins and cartilage of different varieties of fish found in the seas and rivers of the Chinese empire, fungi, salted mutton fat cut into oblong strips, lizards, ham with a great variety of different adjuncts, besides a multitude of strange preparations, the real constituents and names of which remained mysteries to me."
Charles Carlson /Asia Times 09.06.03

Central Asia: Early travelers
Part 1: Missions to the Mongols

"Each man has as many wives as he can keep, one a hundred, another 50, another 10 - one more, another less," continued Carpini. "It is a general custom for them to marry any of their relations, with the exception of their mother, daughter and sister by the same mother. "

"John Plano Carpini traveled through Central Eurasia during the period 1245-47, basically to assess the threat of the Mongols," {Professor Uli} Schamiloglu told RFE/RL (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty). "And his was not a very sympathetic mission, and I think he was going to see what Europe could do to save itself from the Mongols, which is one of the reasons why he focused so much on Mongol military tactics. And to be honest, he didn't have a very sympathetic representation of the Mongols, whom I think he was portraying as a very serious threat to Europe."

In contrast to the mission of Carpini, the mission of Friar William of Rubruck was purely religious in character. William of Rubruck, a Franciscan monk on a mission for the French king, traveled by the old highway to Central Asia through Constantinople and the Crimea. After reaching the Tartar outposts, Rubruck's account corresponds very closely with that of Carpini eight years before.

The food consists of everything that can be eaten, for they eat dogs, wolves, foxes and horses, and when driven to necessity, "they feed on human flesh". They have neither bread nor herbs nor vegetables - nothing but meat.
Charles Carlson /Asia Times 08.28.03

My Secret Life Exposed

Ω{She says:
"I have yet to receive a single party invitation."

So I wrote this:

Ther ius a party, you can go. It wil have fun ther. Lots of people are going from here. You can go to. We coud go in my car. I wil pick you up. It's tomorow night. At the beech. Ther was shark ther but its not ther now. And you don't haver to go in the water anyway. It wil be a all nihter. The eraly morning is pretty at the beech. When the sun comes up over the montains. All you hav to bring is some chips and stuf.
Do you read a lot of books? Once when I was still at home I did, it was 'After Babel' by George Steiner. My Dad made me cuas he was real mad at me, so it was part of being grounded, bu I liked it pretty much, except the end was kind of let down.
Wel that;s it for now. Nice web site except I don;t like purple stuff so much.
OK see you! Maybe tomorow huh? bye

but there was no response so I wrote this:
I invited you. You could have. You thought I was joking maybe but I was joking but not about that. Maybe your sense of humour is not mitochondrially related to mine. Maybe the Bible's right about Armegeddon and all that. Maybe maybe maybe. But I did invite you to a party, so you should change that part anyway. It's OK if you don't want to be my friend. I mean I'll be alright and everything. I will. Honest.

p.s. You could read what I wrote today at Cassandra pages if you want. Maybe then you would want to be my friend, but maybe not.
Or maybe I won't want to by then, you never know. Though probably I will.

Question: Are the people who are processing the staggering amounts of information gathered up by the metastisizing surveillance architecture of the modern American police state capable of reading and comprehending the work of George Saunders, or not.
Just asking.}

weighing in on words at
Cassandra pages 09. .03

Maybe a better word...
Ω{Great social work, as in social, and work. Great tribute and continuity of endeavor. Great adamance. Great clarity and cogency. Great honesty and explication. Great post, dude.}
at Monkey Media Report 09.17.03

National Hurricane Center
Tropical Prediction Center

link randomWalks


Hurricane Isabel Approaches APOD 09.16.03

Heart of darkness
Two police officers in khaki told us the situation was dangerous, and that we should leave; they seemed resigned or indifferent to the horror around them, an emotion I had encountered before during what would turn out to be more than three years of reporting on India for the Guardian. Later that afternoon, in the suburb of Naroda Patiya, we watched as a Hindu crowd armed with machetes and iron bars attacked their Muslim neighbours on the other side of the street. All of the shops on the Muslim side of the road were ablaze; smoke blotted out the sky; gas cylinders exploded and boomed; we were, it seemed, in some part of hell. "We are being killed. Please get us out," one Muslim resident, Dishu Banashek, told me. "They are firing at us. Several of our women have been raped. You must help."

When we asked a senior policeman to intervene he merely smirked. "Don't worry, madam. Everything will be done," he told a colleague from the Times mendaciously. We left. It was too dangerous to stay.
Luke Harding/Guardian UK 09.15.03

link under the fire star

15 girls from Zayoona
Something you probably don't know about Iraq: We have 18 public universities and over 10 private universities, plus 28 technical schools and workshops. The difference between private and public colleges is that the public colleges and universities (like Baghdad University) are free, without tuition. The private colleges ask for a yearly tuition which is a pittance compared to colleges abroad. Public colleges are preferred because they are considered more educationally sound.

She {Yanar Mohammed} said that the theory of females contributing to post-war Iraq politically or socially was a joke. How are females supposed to be out there helping to build society or even make a decent contribution when they suddenly seem to be a #1 target? She talked about a "Women's Conference" arranged by the CPA where she wasn't allowed to enter because the 'women representatives of Iraqi females' were all selected by the feminist extraordinaire L. Paul Bremer.
Baghdad Burning 09.16.03

It'll kill you -- wait, no it won't
... Donald J. McNeil, writing in the New York Times, "the study was ridiculed at the time by other scientists working on the drug, who said the primates (used in the study) must have been injected with massive overdoses. Two of the 10 primates died of heatstroke, they pointed out, and another two were in such distress that they were not given all the doses. If a typical ecstasy dose killed 20 percent of those who used it, critics said, no one would use it recreationally."

Meantime, lapdogs like this Ricaurte dude get gazillions of dollars to injure monkeys in various ways to prove that the people who think they are having a good time aren't. This is medieval science, intellectually bankrupt and breathtakingly stupid.
Why do we allow it? Because it's never the top priority. There is poverty and hunger and disease and pollution and the death of the oceans, and a malign administration in Washington wishing to ignore all those problems, and there are so many hours in the day...

Jon Carroll/SFGate 09.15.03
see also:
Does your child measure up? 09.16.03

Q. How can I tell whether a mirror is really a mirror or a two-way window that looks like a mirror?

A. Hold a pointed object against it. If the point and its reflection touch, instead of staying the glass width apart, it's two-way. Silvering is on the back of a plain mirror, on the front of a two-way.

LMBoyd 09.16.03

Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE)

First human clone embryo ready for implantation
New Scientist 09.15.03

The Test-Tube Family Reunion
Wendy Goldman Rohm/Wired October 2003

The Rediscovery of Man
Cordwainer Smith NESFA Press

Cordwainer Smith, Science Fiction Writer

link impetus�Harper's Weekly Review 09.16.03

Breslin Surfs


Why don't we have the answers to these questions?
3. Who made a small fortune "shorting" airline and insurance stocks before Sept. 11?
...On Sept. 10, 2001, the trading ratio on United Airlines was 25 times greater than normal at the Pacific Exchange, where traders could buy "puts," high-risk bets that the price of a company's stock will fall sharply. The next day, two hijacked United jetliners crashed, causing the company's shares to plummet and ultimately leading the airline into bankruptcy...

13. Why did the Bush administration lie about dangerously high levels of toxins and hazardous particles after the WTC collapse?
Because apparently some White House officials felt that the health of the American economy and Wall Street was more important than the health of New York City residents who lived nearby...
{this person, for instance}

A new must-read book by investigative reporter Posner - "Why America Slept" - takes the conspiracy to the highest of levels of the Saudi government. He says a top bin Laden lieutenant, Abu Zubaydah, who was captured in March 2002, stunned investigators when - allegedly given the "truth serum" sodium pentothal - fingered three top Saudis. They were Prince Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, the Westernized owner of 2002 Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem; Prince Turki al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz, the kingdom's longtime intelligence chief, and Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Saud al-Kabir.
The most incredible part of the story is what happened next. In an eight-day period in late July 2002, Prince Ahmed died at age 43 from a heart attack, Prince Turki died in a car crash and Prince Fahd "died of thirst."
William Bunch/ 09.15.03

link null device

Soured on the sweet science
The U.S. Congress should immediately pass a special Criminal Fraud law to permanently Banish professional boxing spectacles like Saturday night's Shane Mosley-Oscar de la Hoya fight from all public airwaves in America. There is some crap we won't eat.
That is strong language in some circles, but when you start talking about the ugly, evil nature of boxing today, no language is strong enough.

Our dangerously goofy child President from Texas is a squalid example of trouble coming home to roost. He is like a half-bright football coach who goes into a big game without a Game Plan. BOOM! Shame and failure will follow you for all the days of your life. Selah.
The Bush family reeks of fraud and bad karma. But even worse than our wretched, gibbling president are the cowardly whores in Hollywood who are currently smearing film stars and music people like Johnny Depp by calling them unpatriotic Americans who righteously question the wisdom of invading a whole nation of Islam -- 1.8 billion worshipers -- which is a dangerously stupid idea. Disagreeing with Donald Rumsfeld about bombing anybody who gets in our way is not a crime in this country. It is a wise and honorable idea that George Washington and Benjamin Franklin risked their lives for. These thieves in the White House are so crazy with greed and power, and they are causing so much drastic damage to the world we live in, that they are the ones who should be put on trial for treason.
Hunter S. Thompson ESPN

The Autumn of Little Caesar
Meanwhile, Top Gun is beginning to look more like a scared rabbit. My original hunch was that the Bush White House always intended to get out of Iraq quickly, at least start withdrawing well before the campaign season (that may still be Karl Rove's plan). But reality has greatly besmirched Little Caesar's triumph. So his TV address drew a new line in the quicksand. Iraq is proclaimed the "central front" in the war of terrorism -- are you with the commander or against him? Pushing the new Patriot Act so Field Marshal Ashcroft can issue his own secret warrants is part of the same political strategy. Dems who vote "no" will be depicted as Osama's fellow travelers.
Next year is going to be very ugly -- a polarizing campaign that digs at America's wounds and fears, that points an accusing finger at whoever runs against Bush. Republicans are expert at this kind of politics -- the Red Scare, the Willie Horton thing -- and they might succeed if the facts don't overwhelm their lies. That is why I am cheering on the debaters.
William Greider 9/13/2003

Daily Reports from Cancun
This is a clear message to rich nations that their bullying tactics will not intimidate developing countries.

Food First Co-director Peter Rosset reports back from Canc�n on the Zapatistas' call to "derail the death train of the WTO in Canc�n and around the world."

"Brothers and sisters:
Throughout the world, two projects of globalization are in dispute: The one from above that globalizes conformity, cynicism, stupidity, war, destruction, death, and amnesia. And the one from below, that globalizes rebellion, hope, creativity, intelligence, imagination, life, memory, building a world where many worlds fit. A world of Democracy! Liberty! Justice!"

�Insurgente Sub-Commandante Marcos, Zapatista Army of National Liberation, September 2003
Food First 09.15.03

Greeks 'borrowed Egyptian numbers'
New research suggests the Greeks borrowed their system known as alphabetic numerals from the Egyptians, and did not develop it themselves as was long believed.
BBC Science 09.15.03

Women hold posters showing black crosses in front of the Mexican embassy in Madrid during a protest against the passivity of Ciudad Juarez authorities after some 350 women were killed in unclear circumstances since 1993.
�photo AFP/Pierre-Philippe Marcou 09.15.03

...not for himself, but for the nation...
Before Lee Kyung Hae left for Mexico on his final mission to defend South Korean farmers, he climbed a hill behind his old apple orchard here, and raked and trimmed the grass around his wife's tomb.
On Wednesday in Canc�n, Lee, a 55-year-old farm union leader, climbed a barricade outside a meeting of World Trade Organization and fatally plunged his old Swiss Army knife into his heart.

In 1992, wielding the same Swiss Army knife, Lee stabbed himself in the stomach at the World Trade Organization's headquarters in Geneva. Last February, he returned to Geneva, began living in a tent outside the building and conducting a one-month hunger strike.
"He staged hunger strikes 30 times," said his older sister, Lee Kyang Ja, who followed his protests even though she lived in Chile through most of the 1990's. "For him, the most important things were farmers, his parents, and his three daughters."
IHT/NYT 09.15.03

From the Files of Mike Mailway
The fax machine is older than the computer, the telephone, the typewriter. It's almost as old as the telegraph. A Scottish electrician named Alexander Bain invented the first fax in 1842. Wasn't until 1924, however, that a wirephoto was actually sent between two cities.
LMBoyd 09.15.03

Gunmen assassinate Iraqi police chief

Fire kills scores in Saudi prison

A bitter aftertaste
the world makes too much coffee and the poor are paying the price...
The Observer 09.14.03

Dirty Tricks in the War on Terror
...serious allegations made by the insurgent troops, among them the startling charge that the Philippine government and army had themselves engineered terrorist bombings, which they then blamed on Islamic terrorist groups in an elaborate plot to justify increased military aid from the United States.
The mutineers insisted they were not interested in taking power but only wanted to expose a top-level conspiracy. When Philippine President Gloria Arroyo promised to launch a full investigation into the allegations, the mutiny ended peacefully.
Peter Rothberg/ActNow!l The Nation 09.10.03

Saudis Were Cleared to Fly Out of US on 9/11
Former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke tells Vanity Fair that the Bush administration decided to allow a group of Saudis to fly out of the U.S. just after September 11�at a time when access to U.S. airspace was still restricted and required special government approval. According to other sources, at least four flights with about 140 Saudis, including roughly two dozen members of the bin Laden family, flew to Saudi Arabia that week�without even being interviewed or interrogated by the F.B.I.
Guerrilla News Network 09.02.03 (Vanity Fair press release)
link Daily Outrage

$8.10 a day that's been around for 22 years. Would you believe that we bill wounded soldiers for their hospital food? We charge $8.10 a day. It's a decades-old practice, and as The St. Petersburg Times reports, if the bill isn't paid within days we throw that soldier to the collection agency wolves. C.W. Bill Young, the House Republican from Florida, has introduced a bill in Congress to end this loathsome practice.
Meanwhile, medical care for veterans, at least, is still free -- even if the Bush Republicans don't want veterans to know that, and have tried to cut the budget for veteran health care (by an amount less than what's set aside for Halliburton), and also want to cut combat danger pay, and to gut family separation leave, and reduce re-enlistment bonuses, and to strip away education funding for children of military families ... Oh, and they oppose increasing the $6,000 payment to families of soldiers killed in action; and have pretty much stolen money (again, for Halliburton) that American courts say belongs to American POWs who were tortured by the Saddam Hussein regime during the 1991 Gulf War; and they're skimping on everything else imaginable, from basic pay raises to military housing to sensible military-targeted tax relief.
Matt Bivens/The Nation The Daily Outrage 09.12.03

In the Stars
It's like an imaginary tale. Children are trained to be lethal massacre weapons. Sometimes they flee back home to seek what was taken from them, but they discover they cannot stay because their minds think of blood and killing only. They tell of the urine they drank from the unbearable thirst. The young girls, our former schoolmates, have been sex slaves and loathe male company.
Monica Arac de Nyeko posted August 28, 2003/ The Nation September 15, 2003

Blow to world economy as trade talks collapse talks in Cancun collapsed after a walkout by African countries protesting the west's failure to open its markets to the poor...
Guardian UK 09.15.03


Free Trade Is War
After September 11, right-wing pundits couldn't bury the globalization movement fast enough. We were gleefully informed that in times of war, no one would care about frivolous issues like water privatization. Much of the US antiwar movement fell into a related trap: Now was not the time to focus on divisive economic debates, it was time to come together to call for peace.
All this nonsense ends in Canc�n this week, when thousands of activists converge to declare that the brutal economic model advanced by the World Trade Organization is itself a form of war.
War because privatization and deregulation kill--by pushing up prices on necessities like water and medicines and pushing down prices on raw commodities like coffee, making small farms unsustainable. War because those who resist and "refuse to disappear," as the Zapatistas say, are routinely arrested, beaten and even killed. War because when this kind of low-intensity repression fails to clear the path to corporate liberation, the real wars begin.
The global antiwar protests that surprised the world on February 15 grew out of the networks built by years of globalization activism, from Indymedia to the World Social Forum. And despite attempts to keep the movements separate, their only future lies in the convergence represented by Canc�n. Past movements have tried to fight wars without confronting the economic interests behind them, or to win economic justice without confronting military power. Today's activists, already experts at following the money, aren't making the same mistake.
Take Rachel Corrie. Although she is engraved in our minds as the 23-year-old in an orange jacket with the courage to face down Israeli bulldozers, Corrie had already glimpsed a larger threat looming behind the military hardware. "I think it is counterproductive to only draw attention to crisis points--the demolition of houses, shootings, overt violence," she wrote in one of her last e-mails. "So much of what happens in Rafah is related to this slow elimination of people's ability to survive.... Water, in particular, seems critical and invisible." The 1999 Battle of Seattle was Corrie's first big protest. When she arrived in Gaza, she had already trained herself not only to see the repression on the surface but to dig deeper, to search for the economic interests served by the Israeli attacks. This digging--interrupted by her murder--led Corrie to the wells in nearby settlements, which she suspected of diverting precious water from Gaza to Israeli agricultural land.

Occupied Iraq is being turned into a twisted laboratory for freebase free-market economics, much as Chile was for Milton Friedman's "Chicago boys" after the 1973 coup. Friedman called it "shock treatment," though, as in Iraq, it was actually armed robbery of the shellshocked.
Naomi Klein
The Nation/truthout 09.13.03

Five hundred miles and a world away
Rice and maize are the staple diet of the Honduran poor, and just over 10 years ago, thanks to the toil of Maria and hundreds of small farmers, Honduras produced 100 per cent of its domestic rice needs.

Honduras, dubbed the "grain basket" of Central America, even had surpluses to export to neighbouring countries. Life was never easy, but the farmers could afford to send their children to school. Things changed in 1991, when the Honduran government - under pressure from the IMF - abolished import controls and threw the rice market wide open.

Liberalisation put the Honduran farmers at the mercy of big American rice producers who enjoy subsidies worth, we were told, 65 per cent of the production costs of rice in Honduras. Against such unfair competition Honduran rice production collapsed to just 1 per cent of domestic needs, with the gap filled by American imports.
Patricia Hewitt Independent UK 09.14.03

"a sea of microwaves"
Professor Leif Salford, Sweden's Lund University, says "the voluntary exposure of the brain to microwaves from hand-held mobile phones" is "the largest human biological experiment ever". And he is concerned that, as new wireless technology spreads, people may "drown in a sea of microwaves".
The study - financed by the Swedish Council for Work Life Research, and published by the US government's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences - breaks new ground by looking at how low levels of microwaves cause proteins to leak across the blood-brain barrier.
Independent UK 09.14.03


Ω{I'm not following the so-called recall. But it bites me now and again. Walking by the TV on my way to here from the kitchen, bits of California in the news bookmarks, the odd headline or two as I pass by the racks. Last night on CBS there's this egregiously Satanic piece of truth perversion re: McClintock so-called and Schwarzenegger so-called. And it's all about the mighty Sen. flannel-mouthing Arnold to a dukedown. Has to be before the Rep. covenation, which is I think tonight, hmm? Arnold was cool and diplomatic and obviously a little stung by the low blow. But more horribly, more terrifyingly... But but but but.
It starts with a close-up of McClintock in some radio studio, and holds there. Just sits on his bland face. While he talks mantalk all impatient with the politely waffling Austrian. For large minutes it just holds there. And like I said before about the newspaper image placement/word placement thing, though they did seem to back away from that a little, this was about Mack-daddy Our Boy. Let Arnold huff it up a little and then O. B. will take him down, thus earning all Arnold's points into the bargain. McClintock, the Manchurian Wolverine.
This is, like so much other right-wing disinformation, truly evil once you get past the intention, the personal intention. Because I have no doubt that virtually all the individuals involved in this zombie ritual are champions of the good intention.
Still this is CBS�, which I haven't seen in months really. Because I won't stay in the room if it's anything but Roseanne reruns or Raymond, or that newsy thing from LA PBS. I thought I suppose there was a vestige of Cronkite's stolid integrity, somewhere in there. This was beyond redemption, beneath criticism, this was an act of war. Which I guess has been waging along without my knowing for some time. I mean I knew it was bad...
So my insight from all that is we're getting close to the cull. Check the difference besides the uniforms on the big box clerks and the Baghdad 'joes'. OK besides the fitness level. Same guys and gals. Same socio-economic stations. Same dead-end prospects, same drives, same timidity and dis-education. And they are being treated with precisely the same callous disregard of their health and humanity in both theaters.}

The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy offers people -- especially young people whose minds aren't wholly owned by establishment thinking -- a basis for genuine optimism. A new way to think about reshaping American life. A casebook for transforming the economic order in fundamental ways -- big ideas and actions neither Dems nor Republicans would presently touch. Yet plain-wrapper citizens are already working on them in various ways. Winning victories toward the day when a new social reality emerges to generate new politics.
Are we truly free when most Americans work in a "master-servant relationship" inherited from feudalism? If we are so wealthy as a nation (and we are), why are so many people confined and trampled in their lives, feeling desperate amid the abundance? And does our prosperity really require business and finance to wantonly destroy nature, not to mention families, communities, our deepest human values?
The book confronts such questions, not as theory, but in concrete reality. It explains the sources of the destruction and injury, the gross inequalities that emanate from a steepening pyramid of power. It describes the goals and strategies of Americans working to create a different, more humane reality.
William Greider
at Tom Tomorrow 09.12.03

Fascism In The Name Of Security
An immigrant is like a parked car. He doesn't have to move to be in violation. A car can sit there and get tickets for a tag placed wrong, a faulty rear light, a front light, a mirror, anything. An immigrant can fill out papers, answer questions for long hours, work hard for years, show tax receipts, display papers of the three citizens in his family, and there are still a hundred reasons in print for them to throw you out of the country. And if you get a Catholic from Ireland and an Ashcroft singing a psalm, the guy gets thrown out.
They took Bernadette Devlin out of a line in Chicago, where she was changing planes to get to New York for a public speaking appearance, and sent her home. They said at 5-1 and in her 50s, she was a threat to America.
Then the other day, a band from Donegal was at the Dublin airport for a flight to New York to play a benefit in the Bronx for an old neighbor, Mickey Duffy, fighting cancer. Suddenly, American immigration officers appeared and told them they were barred from entering the United States. The reason was a cheap technicality that only an Ashcroft agency could raise against Irish Catholics. The band went home. The patient's bills over here still mount.
And in the middle of July, at 5:30 a.m., McNicholl left his house as he always did for his union job as a sprinkler fitter.
He gets outside his house and he is jumped by four men in plain clothes who came out of a car. He begins to holler. Inside this house, his oldest son, Sean, 18, wakes up to the shouts...
Breslin Newsday 09.13.03


Johnny Cash

US killing of eight Iraqi police fuels anger in troubled town
As well as the eight who died, four other policemen were injured. Their patrol cars had their sirens on and their warning lights flashing as they chased the suspects through the centre of town early yesterday. As the vehicles passed in front of a US military base American tanks opened fire without warning.
The suspect car, a dark BMW believed to be carrying several gunmen, disappeared untouched by the shooting.
Rory McCarthy Guardian UK 09.13.03

The slaves of money - and our rebellion
As if at war, the high command of the multinational army that wants to conquer the world in the only way possible, that is to say, to destroy it, meets behind a system of security that is as large as their fear.
Before, the powerful met behind the backs of the world to scheme their future wars and displacements. Today they have to do it in front of thousands in Cancun and millions around the world.
That is what this is all about. It is war. A war against humanity. The globalisation of those who are above us is nothing more than a global machine that feeds on blood and defecates in dollars.
In the complex equation that turns death into money, there is a group of humans who command a very low price in the global slaughterhouse. We are the indigenous, the young, the women, the children, the elderly, the homosexuals, the migrants, all those who are different. That is to say, the immense majority of humanity.
This is a world war of the powerful who want to turn the planet into a private club that reserves the right to refuse admission. The exclusive luxury zone where they meet is a microcosm of their project for the planet, a complex of hotels, restaurants, and recreation zones protected by armies and police forces.
All of us are given the option of being inside this zone, but only as servants. Or we can remain outside of the world, outside life. But we have no reason to obey and accept this choice between living as servants or dying. We can build a new path, one where living means life with dignity and freedom. To build this alternative is possible and necessary. It is necessary because on it depends the future of humanity.
Subcomandante Marcos The Guardian UK 09.11.03
link Sam Smith's Undernews 09.12.03

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