...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




Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has arrived in the Japanese capital, Tokyo.
Radio Australia 10.31.03

Japanese stage obscene dance in Xi'an
China Daily 10.31.03

Feedback loop
A NASA satellite survey of the Arctic has revealed just how rapidly the region is warming. The overall trend of rising temperature over the past 20 years is eight times higher than that recorded by ground measurements over the past century.

The retreating summer sea ice has knock-on effects. The exposure of more open water, which absorbs more solar energy than ice, means further warming is likely. More open ocean also means winds can build up stronger waves that are eroding Arctic coasts.

"There are communities in Alaska that are having to move their villages" to escape erosion of low-lying coasts, says Michael Steele, an oceanographer at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Jeff Hecht/NewScientist 10.24.03
link from that KGO Computer Guy

Symbolical Head


Ω{Religion, science, and politics as an expression of biological reality.
The controlling position of the past, being 'on top of' the present, the way the child is father to the man.
In addition an ex-temporal, or supra-temporal reality that's been unexplored by most of us, untalked of, denied, hidden, taboo. And how that also sits in a controlling position to the present moment.
How the run of time must look to a truly 'eternal' being. Not linear. And what that must mean for the translation of communication.
The lie that spiritual morality is superior to biological morality, and how that gets elaborated into the commandments of an unseen and incommunicative deity whose actual directives are in the charge of biologically marginal individuals whose survival and more importantly, more accurately whose genetic material's survivability is enhanced by those puroportedly divine commandments, so that the real and immediate benefits of obedience are enjoyed by two identifiable subgroups, the hazily glimpsed and undefined controlling authorities, and the progressively less conscious and more domesticated 'people'. Everybody else is a threat to those two groups, more or less, and depending on the degree of threat and availability of resources, will be tolerated or liquidated accordingly.
My point would be mostly that there is nothing here but biology, that that word is limiting but there isn't another one that works as well, it's all this, all the categories, spiritual, physical, are like the divisions of time, accurate as can be, but ultimately false abstractions. There are no lines between moments of time. And there is no non-spiritual reality, equally no non-physical reality.
So that by educating the young away from a unified world, into one that has physically and spiritually separated components, making the spiritual 'elsewhere', an artificial hunger for spiritual things is created and can be fed by the same hand.
Most of the gods still prayed to today cannot exist without their faithful. This isn't saying there is no God, no higher plane no value in moral distinction, but that every positive human connection with the sublime has been hijacked and made to serve the selfish ends of unnamed and cunning opportunists.
I'm not speaking of individuals as causative agents, more the combined momentum of what is ultimately the only real sin, individual selfishness. These aggregates of selfishness create structures that are cybernetic. Much like the corporate architecture that modern man has bargained away the green world to, in order to have a comfortable place to hide from his own mortality. Which has naturally followed him in there. Those structures function on their own, with the willing complicity of the men who seem to be their masters, but those men are as replaceable as the throttle linkage of a truck.
Much that seemed inexplicable to me about modern moral thought clicked into place when I began to view it as biological chicanery. The repression and intimate attention to sexual detail, the emphasis on the sanctity of the unborn and the neglect and degradation, the outright denial of the sanctity of the elder, the expressed scorn for and unexpressed fear of the truly wild, it all fits with precision into a model of biologically-driven genetic conflict, a struggle of type against type, Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon, the other thousands of unrecorded paths and branches of human possibility.
The artificial separation of science and spirituality is a divide-and-conquer strategy, as are the ridiculous notions that make modern religions distinct from each other, because the machine keeps running, unrecognized and unopposed, while these 'disputes' waste all our time and energy.}

real camel jockeys

foreign fighters are the problem in Iraq
In other words, the problem in Iraq is both the �foreign fighters� who bomb innocent civilians and foreign occupiers, and the �foreign fighters� from the US, UK, Poland, Spain and other distant and alien lands who perpetuate the distortions and stresses that are inherent in the regime change phenomenon. The record is increasingly clear: three American-driven regime changes in Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq have given the world three twisted and violent lands. Foreign soldiers cannot bring peace to distant lands.
Rami G. Khouri/journal 10.29.03

8,000 workers, 75 percent of whom had persistent respiratory problems
Most ground zero workers still suffer from health problems two years after Sept. 11 and many do not have health insurance or job security, doctors told a congressional panel Tuesday.

David Rapp, a construction worker who spent five months at the World Trade Center site and now always carries an oxygen tank and uses three inhalers. "The fear of not being able to take my next breath is unbearable."

Rapp said he built docks and rebuilt cars before Sept. 11, 2001, but can no longer take out his garbage or change a flat tire.

John Graham, a carpenter and emergency services worker who spent three days a week at the site for several months, said he has asthma and is sometimes too sick to work.

"I'm a chronically ill man who's anxious about my ability to support my family," he said.
Amy Westfeldt/AP/Yahoo 10.29.03
Toxic Power Play
When Environmental Protection Agency investigators released a report in late August scolding the agency for misleading New Yorkers about the severity of air pollution in the days after the World Trade Center collapsed, the response was immediate and angry.

That report died when Martin's office was shut down in April of 2002, eliminated in a controversial reorganization plan initiated by former EPA boss Christine Todd Whitman.
"My findings would have come out substantially earlier, and yes, they were buried," Martin says.

Martin began looking into allegations that the agency misled New Yorkers within months of the attack. In early 2002, he held two hearings in lower Manhattan, investigating public claims that the agency had mishandled air monitoring and cleanup work and had falsely assured New Yorkers that the air was safe to breathe.
Justin Scheck/Mother Jones 10.27.03

"It was not the wrong guy," Captain Justin Brown says defensively, shifting blame elsewhere. "We raided the house we were supposed to and arrested the man we were told to."
Nil Rosen/Asia Times 10.30.03

Pascal Khoo Thwe: Escaping the land of the green ghosts
He was born amongst the Padaung people, a small tribe from Shan State in southeastern Burma. The Padaung are best known to the outside world for the neck rings worn by some of their women, that stretch their necks high above their tiny shoulders.

A strange correspondence began between the jungle fugitive and the ivory tower academic. While one hunted frogs and snakes for food and languished during ever-worsening malaria attacks, the other hatched a plan to get him out to safety.
Dheera Sujan/Radio Netherlands 10.12.03

Space Weather Now

The Perfect Fire
Fire, as a result, is politically ironic. Right now, as I watch San Diego's wealthiest new suburb, Scripps Ranch, in flames, I recall the Schwarzenegger fund-raising parties hosted there a few weeks ago. This was an epicenter of the recent recall and gilded voices roared to the skies against the oppression of an out-of-control public sector. Now Arnold's wealthy supporters are screaming for fire engines, and "big government" is the only thing standing between their $3 million homes and the ash pile.

Halloween fires, of course, burn shacks as well as mansions, but Republicans tend to disproportionately concentrate themselves in the wrong altitudes and ecologies. Indeed it is striking to what extent the current fire map (Rancho Cucamonga, north Fontana, La Verne, Simi Valley, Vista, Ramona, Eucalyptus Hills, Scripps Ranch, and so on) recapitulates geographic patterns of heaviest voter support for the recall.
Mike Davis/TomDispatch/Common Dreams 10.28.03


One more quote:

For the past thirty-five years American politics has been dominated not by a class of people but by a group of people who got their start with Richard Nixon. From that time to this, as has been proven not merely in books or public opinion but in actual courtrooms, these individuals have ceaselessly plotted against free government, committing break-ins, illegal wiretaps, show trials, extortion, perjury, war crimes in Central America and the Middle East, obstruction of justice, and theft of an election. The Nixonians are thugs who have never paid any real price for their actions and have drawn from their experience the apparently correct lesson that the more they get away with the more they will be able to get away with.

It is probably whistling past the graveyard to make the suggestion; but if we ever manage to bring down the Bush regime, there really must be a reckoning this time, not primarily to inflict pain on the guilty but to rectify the record and, above all, to drive the Nixonians out of public life once and for all. Justice is the point, not the self-indulgence of payback. The recent South African example shows that such an accounting is both feasible and deeply helpful.
Inanus et Vacua Thursday, June 05, 2003
Nymphs, associated with groves, mountains, caves, fountains, and other beguiling locations, figure numinous powers, neither immortal nor human, that arise from the accidents of land and water. The Greeks were exceedingly sensitive to such phenomena�Vincent Scully�s work on the relationship of Greek temples to their geographical settings is very revealing on this score�and so am I. I feel the lay of the land in my own body and in fact respond to certain places as to a beautiful woman, thus suffering or enjoying the peculiar inspiration the Greeks called nympholepsy. The supposedly disenchanted have their own piety.
Inanis et Vacua
Hence the assertion recently voiced by some Fundamentalists that Yahweh, God, and Allah aren�t the same entity at all. That seems to make God into an action figure in a fantasy game, but in the absence of some conceptual understanding of the Supreme Being, what�s the alternative?


A lot of the ideas in the Old Testament are disturbingly red�the New Testament is even worse�but it�s easy to forget that radical thinking stems from scripture. Much of the Book of Isaiah, for example, is quite a bit to the left of the New Democrats or me, for that matter. You might think that the political tendencies of the Bible, particularly the endlessly reiterated denunciations of the rich, would create a problem for rightist Fundamentalists. What must be understood is that people like Bush are actually pagans who, by a historical accident, have come to call their idol by the name of Jesus.
Flying Solo

In Roman times, a fool accompanied the victorious general in his golden chariot and whispered in his ear, "Remember, you are mortal." The recent photo opportunity on the aircraft carrier honored this tradition in an elegantly economical way.

Ω{Rather than continuing to cut and paste snippets of its wealth of sagacity and wit, let me say go there. This guy is Socrates and Sitting Bull, Thoreau and Hemingway, Jane Austen and Elaine Pagels.
The real deal.}


The Michael Fay Controversy
"There is clearly a recognition that society, to a large extent, and on the whole, does explain the behaviour of individuals. Individual behaviour is, to a large extent, malleable in the dominant paradigm. But this is coupled with a strong aversion to blaming society for individual deviancy from legal norms (recall S.R. Nathan's remark that "victimhood is not an excuse"), as well as a strong belief in the deterrent effects of harsh punishments. Perhaps the thought is that while individuals may not be entirely responsible for what they do, it is an unfortunate necessity that the law has to act as if they are. This is so because, try as we might to alter the social conditions which are seen as tending to produce crime (such as poverty and inequality?), we still have to use the weapon of deterrent sentences to dampen crime rates as a matter of prioritising the well-being of the law-abiding majority over the law-breaking minority. This would seem to be the most sympathetic reconstruction of the Government's position on crime in that it rescues a certain amount of theoretical consistency."
Leon Perera
Looking At Culture
Happening, Singapore

or, for an older, more established view

Dom Trudolyubiya
Russia's 'Priyut' system grew in the early 1900's, when economic hardship drove many young women from their homes in search of work and better lives. Many found only violence and prostitution, and turned to the refuges for help. After a long hiatus during Soviet times, the Priyut system re-emerged after the fall of communism, in tandem with alcoholism and grinding economic hardships that market reforms brought to many Russians. In such an atmosphere, children often become at best the victims of neglect, at worst the victims of violence and sexual predators.

Child exploitation and incest remain some of the least talked about topics in Russia. "It seems that men are getting crazy, said Dom Trudolyubiya's director, Galina Volkova. "The cases of incest and violence by stepfathers have been known before, but today the situation seems to be getting worse. I think that our society should seriously consider this problem," she said. "It is the Soviet mentality in many adults simply to say everything is all right," said Galina Volkova.
Malookhtinsky Dom Trudolyubiya

Departed Spirits of the Vi�t Realm

"...spirits believed to be both powerful and benevolent. This
mode of religious practice is based on the idea that only such spirits can provide protection
from the host of demons and malevolent spirits that plague human life. An assembly of
good sprits, such as is displayed in this text, was imagined to produce a supernatural shield
against disaster for the region..."

Responding-to-Heaven, Transforming and Sustaining Force,
Greatly Loyal, God of the Earth, Earth Deity Female Immortal

The emperor was in great fear. In his distress, the emperor suddenly saw a woman of around twenty years of age. Her appearance was like that of a peach blossom. Her brows were like willows, and her eyes like bright stars. Her smile was like a flower bud. On her body she wore a white robe and green trousers. She had fastened a belt over her light clothing. She came straight to the sovereign and explained, �I am the great earth spirit of the southern country. I have long been reborn to live in a place of water and clouds, watching and waiting for a time at which to appear. Due to this opportune meeting and with the good reason of having fortune to come upon the royal countenance, my entire life�s desire has truly been satisfied. Yet I still wish that Your Majesty on this trip proceeds promptly and skillfully, achieving complete victory. Although I am only sedge and willow and of light carriage, I hope to contribute my trifling strength, secretly giving support. On the day of your triumphant return, I will be waiting here to pay my respects.� She finished speaking and vanished.
The sovereign awoke with both fear and joy.

Brian E. Ostrowski and Brian A. Zottoli
SEAP Cornell

H.M.S. Hyacinth: A British Pirate Hunter in Malayan Waters, 1861
Subaltern Histories of Southeast Asia 1800�1900
SouthEast Asia Program Cornell


The Black Death
Ω{old, well written, University of Minnesota student site}

Ω{We're looking for clear and reasoned argument, and historical fact.}
the causes of the Russian pogroms
...the "Temporary Laws" were published on May 3, 1882. They were called the May Laws...

Although the pogroms were stopped, the threat of riots was kept alive by a virulently anti-Semitic press.K. Pobedonostsev, the head of the governing body of the Russian Orthodox Church, formulated the objectives of Alexander III's government when he expressed the hope that "one-third of the Jews will convert, one-third will die, and one- third will flee the country."
At least part of his "dream" came to fruition. Disillusioned students left the country. Large numbers of homeless Jews left the country. From 1881 to 1914 more than 2,000,000 Jews left Russia. One small group, the Bilu, went to Palestine. The vast majority fled to the United States.
Gates to Jewish Heritage

Gleanings from David Horowitz's fair and balanced Frontpage Magazine:
"...In reality, Baader's end was anything but glorious. This vile terrorist committed suicide in Stammheim Prison with a shot to the head from a smuggled pistol right after the passengers of a German airliner, hijacked in 1977 by Palestinian terrorists to force German authorities to free him, were rescued in Mogadishu..."

"...ZIONISM is a national liberation movement, identical in most ways to other liberation movements that leftists and progressives the world over -- and in virtually every case but this one -- fervently support. This exceptionalism is also visible at the reverse end of the political spectrum: In every other instance, right-wingers like Patrick Buchanan oppose national liberation movements that are under the spell of Marxist delusions and committed to violent means. But they make an exception for the one that Palestinians have aimed at the Jews. The unique opposition to a Jewish homeland at both ends of the political spectrum identifies the problem that Zionism was created to solve...."

"...Another returning theme on these websites is the belief in the existence of a Jewish world-conspiracy. In connection with this delusion lists of well-known Swedes with Jewish origin who are alleged to be part of this conspiracy to obstruct Islam, enslave the Palestinian alternatively the Arab nation or simply take over the world, are sometimes published.
It is hardly surprising that people who are living in such a world of ideas and are constantly fed with this kind of portrayal of Jews become anti-Semites...."

and in the interest of continuing fairness and balance
here's Wikipedia on the Baader-Meinhof/RAF posse:

"...In the course of the night, Baader was found dead with a gunshot wound in his head and Ensslin hanged in her cell; Raspe died in hospital the next day, and M�ller, though wounded, survived and was released from prison in 1994.

The official survey concluded that this had been collective suicide, but again conspiracy theories abounded. It is not clear, for example, how Baader could have managed to obtain the gun in that high-security prison wing specially constructed for the terrorists. M�ller had suffered four stab wounds, self-infliction of which seemed impossible...."

Dennis Kucinich:
It is time to bring the troops home!

One) The UN must handle the collection and distribution of all oil revenues for the Iraqi people, with no privatization.

Two) The UN must handle the awarding of all contracts - no more Halliburton sweetheart deals. No more war profiteering by Republican contributors and Bush Administration cronies.

Third) The UN must work to create conditions for Iraqi self governance.

Dennis Kucinich.US

Diebold wins, Diebold loses
San Francisco - Defending the right to link to controversial information about flaws in electronic voting systems, EFF announced today it will defend an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and a news website publisher against claims of indirect copyright infringement from the electronic voting machines' manufacturer.

On October 10, 2003, electronic voting company Diebold, Inc., sent a cease-and-desist letter to the nonprofit Online Policy Group (OPG) ISP demanding that OPG remove a page of links published on an Independent Media Center (IndyMedia) website located on a computer server hosted by OPG.
EFF 10.16.03

Diebold Met with 'Electronic Civil Disobedience'
Saying they are defending the right to a fair election, two student groups, Why War? and the Swarthmore Coalition for the Digital Commons, are rejecting Diebold Elections Systems' cease and desist orders and are initiating a campaign of electronic civil disobedience that will ensure permanent public access to the controversial leaked memos.
quixotic1 /Kuro5hin 10.23.03

Earlier this week...
The documents, from Diebold Elections Systems, a company in charge of the electronic voting machines in 37 states, prove that the company knowingly produced an electronic election system that contained absolutely no security against voter fraud. In fact, the lead engineer from Diebold wrote over two years ago that anyone could change votes without leaving a trail
randomWalks 10.25.03


Re-defining collateral damage
Giacaman told the Weekly that in focus group discussions they found the young have lost the ability to dream of a better future. "Interviewing a 15 or 16 year old at a checkpoint we asked him: do you dream? He looked at us in disbelief. We asked again: do you dream of a better future? He said: Khaliha 'ala Allah (God help us). "
Hala Sakr/Al-Ahram Weekly 10.23-29.03

the preferred retirement community for Latin America's regurgitated right wing

Uncritical Recitation of Official Sources
Let's take one example: the 1967 Israeli military attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 American crew members. Both the government of Israel and the government of the United States continue to claim that the Israeli bombardment of the U.S. ship was a "tragic mistake."
There was a press conference on Capitol Hill yesterday where former high-ranking U.S. government officials released a report that found that Israel "committed acts of murder against American servicemen and an act of war against the United States" when it deliberately attacked the USS Liberty.

Why would Israel want to deliberately sink a U.S. ship? One reason put forth by the Commission: Sink the ship, and blame Egypt -- with the hope of drawing the United States into the 1967 war.

In addition, the chief attorney to the original 1967 Navy Court of Inquiry said in a sworn affidavit that then-President Johnson and then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered the Court of Inquiry to cover up the attack by presenting it as a mistake.
Admiral Thomas Moorer, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, headed the independent commission of inquiry that released the report yesterday.
"The men of the USS Liberty were representing the U.S. They were attacked for over two hours by Israeli Air Force and Navy units with 70 percent American casualties and the eventual loss of our best intelligence ship," Moorer said. "These sailors and marines were entitled to our best defense. We gave them no defense. The findings of this commission are irrefutable. Every other attack on a ship in our history has been investigated by our Congress except this one."
Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman/Common Dreams 10.24.03

Confusing Occupation With Liberation
What Bush called liberation, Twain decried as a bloody campaign against the Philippine struggle for independence, a campaign that would usher in five decades of occupation by the United States.

In the years leading up to the Philippine war, Twain, the outspoken vice president of the Anti-Imperialist League, believed that once Spanish rule ended, the Philippines would achieve their independence: "It was not to be a government according to our ideas, but a government that represented the feeling of the majority of the Filipinos, a government according to Filipino ideas."

Instead, the U.S. annexed the Philippines in 1899 and waged a brutal war to enforce its rule across the archipelago. Nearly 5,000 American soldiers died, and historians estimate that 250,000 Filipinos perished � 20,000 were killed in combat and the vast majority died from disease and starvation. The U.S. Army burned villages and fields, massacred civilians and herded the residents of entire provinces into concentration camps.
Amy Kaplan/Common Dreams 10.24.03

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney
It is appalling that our nation�s largest employer is driving the corporate race to the bottom in wages and benefits. Just 46 percent of Wal-Mart�s workers have any kind of health insurance according to a recent AFL-CIO study, and Wal-Mart proudly points out that many of its workers use public healthcare programs that are taxpayer funded. When companies like Wal-Mart force wages down and shirk any responsibility for benefits, entire communities suffer. Wal-Mart also demands the lowest wages of the workers who manufacture the products it sells, often overseas, fueling sweatshops worldwide.

Rather than punishing undocumented immigrants � who are working hard, paying taxes and contributing to society � we should hold employers like Wal-Mart accountable for not honoring workers' rights and paying a living wage.
Common Dreams 10.24.03

Where Is Riverbend?


"What it actually represents, I guess, is the deepest part of the tree of life."

BBC Science 10.24.03

"Jolly" meant brave, once. It meant that in "jolly good fellow." It meant that in "Jolly Roger."

Geese don't dive.

The Council of ancient Athens sat in judgment. And found citizens guilty of all sorts of crimes. Including "extravagance" and "insolence."

The bigger the dinosaur, the more slowly it moved.

LMBoyd 10.24.03

Where is riverbend?


Guerilla dragged through the street of Cuscatlancingo. (EL SALVADOR 1982)

Susan Meiselas / Magnum

A Handy Guide

Body and Soul 10.22.03
Body and California Roll

...the few Palestinians and Israelis who want - or need - to cross the line for work, family visits or medical care, face exhaustive security checks by the Israeli troops who man the roadblock. The half-hour journey may stretch into hours or even days and, for some, it proves impossible.

In January, a small group of Israelis and Palestinians will set off on a much longer journey in an attempt to show their countrymen and the world that determination, cooperation and courage can overcome the yawning gulf of enmity and distrust that separates them. To prove their point they will travel all the way to Antarctica on a unique mission of peace that they call Breaking the Ice.
Michael Greenspan/Guardian UK 10.23.03

robust China demand
Japan's trade surplus in September widened 4.8 percent from a year earlier to 1.1 trillion yen (10 billion dollars), supported by robust demand for hi-tech products in Asia.
The September surplus marked the third consecutive month of expansion as exports grew 9.2 percent to 4.86 trillion yen and imports were up 10.5 percent to 3.76 trillion yen, the finance ministry said in a statement Thursday.
AFP Business/Yahoo 10.23.03

Ω{It's a small thing, really, in the context of all that's happening now, but the distinction is important to me and many others who came up during the "60's". It's all individual stories, but overall the best and brightest of that generation were turned away from the American opportunities that were so plentiful then. Rather than a field of possibility, many of us were presented with what looked like a choice between craven surrender and collaboration, or withdrawal. The men and women who would have been designing American cars and running American business alongside their less-gifted, and less valiant, brothers and sisters, are missing.
I'm sincere when I say it's a small thing now, the lives that were altered aren't, and the sad confused dreamless America that resulted isn't, but the greater context makes it so.}

Food First

Death Threats in Berkeley
You crush 23-year-old Rachel Corrie "unintentionally," twice, and you don't apologize. You shoot 21-year-old Tom Hurndahl in the back of the head, and you don't apologize. You shoot 26-year-old Brian Avery in the face "by accident," and you don't apologize. You kill Palestinian grandmothers, nine-year-olds, infants, and you don't apologize.
Approximately 85 percent of the people you kill in Palestine are "collateral damage," and you don't apologize.
Have you no manners?
In this country you kill some more. You killed Alex Odeh and Iris Kones, and at least five other Americans.

There are too many of us. You've called "anti-Semitism" once too often. You've pressured one too many newspapers, one too many universities, one too many mayors. You've made one too many anonymous phone calls, emailed one too many crude messages. Threatened one too many organizations.
It is over. You will continue to win your battles, for awhile. But the war has turned.
Alison Weir
link from Sam Smith's Undernews

to America
"The fight for freedom in this country has been long, painful, and ongoing. It is time to take back our country. Take it back from political agendas, corporate greed and overall manipulation. It is time to take action here in our land, in our own schools, neighborhoods, farms, and businesses. We have been lied to and terrorized by our own government, and it is time to take action. Now is the time to come together."

John and Elaine Mellencamp
Common Dreams


...the possibility of joy

Q. Can a homing pigeon over Nevada hear the Pacific?

A. Evidently. Ocean rollers send infrasonic mumblings across much mileage, even as elephants and earthquakes. Lot of birds and beasts sense the rumblings. Seagulls over Salt Lake City hear the water to the west, it's believed. Whales may be panicked by the groaning earth beneath the shaky shorelines.
LMBoyd 10.20.03

ΩComments on Master and Servant � A Certain Relationship
Servants serve. The waitress serves. The soldier serves his country. Lives are owned for hours, days, weeks, or entire.
We sell our lives in pieces for the same reason anyone sells anything, to get money.
I give up 9 hours out of my day, receive payment for 7 and a half of them.
There is a responsibility the employer has, the customer has, the served have to the server, but living shows us soon enough not all responsibilities are fulfilled.
The roots of these formal relationships are twined around the buried cause in its primal state, the inequities of biology. I have food, you don't, but perhaps you have something I do want.
It isn't slavery, exactly. How can it be when the inferior, in the case of the servant or the waitress, is free to go? What happens after that leavetaking may be as immutable as iron - unemployability, disgrace, poverty and its degradations, but that initial freedom is real.
The domestication of human beings is a taboo subject, most of us are uncomfortable even wondering about it. But isn't that what takes place?
The first horses were kidnapped, captured, forced to stay. Eventually the wildest rebels were bred out. The same with cattle and sheep.
Sooner or later it's an equation of risk against safety, food and chains against hunger and freedom.
Cats inhabit the margin of that, neither domesticated nor wild. Watch how upset people become when a dog reverts, assumes an attitude incompatible with its 'position'.
Servants can serve or not, but the larger context, the society in which they move, will treat them accordingly.
No one forces anyone in the US or the EU to work in a fast-food restaurant, people choose to do that because the alternatives seem worse. And we are highly adaptable creatures, making peace with the unavoidable.
That said, there's an old fairy tale of a prince who, to rescue a fair damsel, must complete a great quest. As he goes along his journey he gathers around him individuals of freakish talent: one that can see for miles, one that can uproot trees, one that with a single step can travel 7 leagues, etc. Together they rescue the princess.
Co-operation can result in relationships that are outwardly indistinguishable from the master/servant, that may even be that in a formal sense.
Our hearts make the difference, the past and its darknesses also contribute. We work with what we have.
There's a pandemic derision of the early European explorers these days, some of that derision coming from people whose histories are as blood-drenched as Spain's or England's.
It's a kind of waking up to these unpleasant truths, but only a partial one. We need to wake up all the way.
Stopping time at a single frame and making judgements on what's there is not enlightened progress but convenient, cheap catharsis.

yr humble Servant...

Ω{Flotsam 10.20.03, edited}

"The checks are worse on the females than they are on the males because we have to watch our handbags rummaged through and sometimes personal items pulled out and examined while dozens of people stand by, watching.

Today, one of the women who work at the ministry, Amal, objected when the troops brought forward a dog to sniff her bag. She was carrying a Quran inside of it and to even handle a Quran, a Muslim has to be 'clean' or under 'widhu'. 'Widhu' is the process of cleansing oneself for prayer or to read from the Quran. We simply wash the face, neck, arms up to the elbows and feet with clean water and say a few brief 'prayers'. Muslims carry around small Qurans for protection and we've been doing it more often since the war- it gives many people a sense of security. It doesn't not mean the person is a 'fundamentalist' or 'extremist'.

As soon as Amal protested about letting the dog sniff her bag because of the Quran inside, the soldier grabbed the Quran, threw it out of the bag and proceeded to check it. The lady was horrified and the dozens of employees who were waiting to be checked moved forward in a rage at having the Quran thrown to the ground. Amal was put in hand-cuffs and taken away and the raging mob was greeted with the butts of rifles."
Baghdad Burning 10.21.03


divided nature
" of his students, who's been locked out of his job at Ralphs. He makes minimum wages. They started talking about how important it was that the union not allow their health care benefits to be cut. They gave up salary increases in the past in order to keep those benefits, and they just can't lose them now.

My husband said it would be nice if no one had to worry about health care, like in Europe. His student paused for a second, then said, "Yeah, but their income taxes are really high."

He makes minimum wage. He doesn't make enough money to pay income taxes. Why does he care how high income taxes are?"
Body and Soul 10.21.03

Nuclear Mideast
If President Bush and Secretary of State Powell fail to get 50,000 foreign troops into Iraq before year's end, then the Pentagon will be forced to call up 100,000 more reservists and National Guardsmen for duty in Iraq, to rotate out the existing forces. The military hospitals are overflowing with casualties from the Iraq war. Some eyewitnesses describe it as a situation unseen in the United States since the Civil War. This is the hidden scandal of the ongoing Iraq war, a scandal that is too big to hide.

And Cheney's partner-in-crime, LaRouche concluded, the real "Beast-meister," is George Shultz. He is not only the Godfather of the neo-con team that seized control of the Bush Administration before it even came into office. Shultz is also the man behind the Arnold Schwarzenegger recall election atrocity in California.
EIR/LaRouche 10.14.03

link from Disinfopedia on a search for David Wurmser

Ω{It would be nice if everything was calm and reasonable, and we could slowly open our minds and hearts to people less fortunate, people whose own minds and hearts have been brutalized into madness and irrational fear, and vicious retaliation.
Things aren't calm and reasonable though, and merely quoting LaRouche invalidates everything else I say or post here, in the minds of many who think of themselves as rational.
There's nothing in the quote above I find bizarre or bigoted, the main accusations I've heard leveled at LaRouche. I don't care about his politics in general or his media image. It's about what's happening in the 'Cradle of Civilization' and the 'Holy Land'.}

Cheney's new adviser

David Wurmser has been quietly appointed as a Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.

The move is significant, not only because Cheney is seen increasingly as the dominant foreign policy influence on President George W Bush, but also because it adds to the notion that neo-conservatives remain a formidable force under Bush, despite the sharp plunge in public confidence in Bush's handling of post-war Iraq resulting from the faulty assumptions propagated by the neo-cons before the war.

Wurmser's status as a favored protege of arch-hawk and former Defense Policy Board chairman Richard Perle at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) also speaks loudly to Middle East specialists, who note Perle's long-time close association with Cheney, Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld and Rumsfeld's chief deputy Paul Wolfowitz.

Perle, who last week was in Israel to receive a special award from the Jerusalem Summit, an international group of right wing Jews and Christian Zionists who describe themselves as defenders of "civilization" against "Islamic fundamentalism", has made no secret of his own desire to confront Damascus

Wurmser, whose Israeli-born spouse Meyrav Wurmser heads Middle East studies at the neo-conservative Hudson Institute, was the main author of a 1996 report by a task force convened by the IASPS and headed by Perle, called the Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000.

Wurmser praised those who most influenced his work, a veritable "who's who" of those neo-cons most closely tied to Israel's far right, including Perle himself, another AEI(American Enterprise Institute) scholar, Michael Ledeen and undersecretary of defense for policy and the man in charge of post-Iraq war planning, Douglas Feith.

Wurmser also gave thanks to Irving Moskowitz, a major casino operator and long-time funder of Israel's settlement movement, whom he described as a "gentle man whose generous support of AEI allows me to be here".

Jim Lobe/Asia Times 10.21.03



Woolly Mammoth

My old-fashioned conviction -- notwithstanding TV talkers and the other big megaphones for blasting out propaganda messages -- is that democracy begins simply enough in human conversation. People talking with one another about their condition, asking themselves what might be done to change things. Does that seem too simple and corny to be true? I believe it anyway.
William Greider 10.20.03

Katzenjammer Wunderkammer

link The Great Team

science backs beef ban
A European Union spokeswoman says it can prove that growth promoting hormones used by cattle farmers in some countries can cause cancer and should therefore be banned.
She said the evidence is being shared with the US.
Washington made a complaint to the World Trade Organisation about the EU's hormone ban in 1996.
Andrew Walker/BBC 10.15.03

Ω{How about the childishly simplistic hypothesis that all those unregulated 'growth-promoting hormones' being used by the US are in fact PROMOTING GROWTH? I've come across more than one reference online to 'land whales'� a seriously offensive phrase. Every time I take my aged mother for a drive about the town I have to stop her from constantly commenting how fat the people are.
How about aside from the collateral damage of diabetes and cancer, how about that these untried chemicals continue to 'promote growth' on up the food chain? And that's at least partially why Americans are so obese now?}

Ω{The phrase is "champing at the bit" blurred and obscured because it does involve the horse's mouth, and because our memories are indistinct now, most of us don't ride, only a dwindling minority of retentives holding each one their own bindle of phrase and locution, caught apt work of folk poetry and mother tongue.
I'm trying to gather the bits of irritation and terror into some cohesive page of at least temporary sense, and today there's this.
To speak of the 'War in Iraq' as primarily a 'Jewish' enterprise is, in America anway, to call down the leukocytes of anti-bigotry, you'll get dismissed out of hand. And yet it occurs to me the 'other side' sees exactly that. The stature of Mahathir Mohammad in his world gives a lot of weight to his position, whatever it is.
It is taboo, in the west, to speak of these things publicly. And I think one of the main reasons is semantic. 'The Jews' is a meaningless term in this context. There are Jews who are risking their lives opposing the racist policies and actions of Ariel Sharon's government; where are 'The Jews' in that?
But Sharon is a Jew and he gets his identity wholly and completely from that, without it he's nothing.
It's that inability, or refusal to further distinguish that gives these cowards a place to hide, and arms them.
Thuggish racism justified by the suffering and death of other, more innocent people, who share a name, a genetic history. It is vital to these men that no one be able to describe them as anything other than 'Jews', because they'll lose their excuses by that more accurate description.
Two things have gone unmentioned during these politically bizarre maneuvers in Iraq.
One is that the diaspora of the Jews, their 'homelessness', was directly caused by the sacking of Jerusalem in 586 b.c., by the Babylonians (Iraqis).
Clearly this could explain the destruction of antiquities, the looting of the museums that so horrified many sensitive souls in the west, and it could explain the strange 'look the other way' attitude of the occupying forces as it occurred. Seeing the 'War in Iraq' as a revenge fantasy of 'World Jewry' may be preposterous and mentally unsound, but preposterous things are easily dealt with by reason and logic.
The second is that most of the occupying authorities in Iraq have been Jews with 'non-Jewish' names. Bremer, Garner, Franks, Greenstock. That seems odd to me.
The problem is that even addressing this, whether or not it's true, whether or not it's significant, is automatically anti-semitic. So that at times it's as though 'we' are at war with the Arab world simply because they're 'anti-semitic'.
How about 'Jews' as a whole people aren't doing anything as a whole people, that there's so much fear, so much irrational reaction, that the root causes of it have disappeared, and now for a Jew to stand against the seeming 'will of God', as many have, is almost suicidally brave.
As in America, a loud, bigoted, and vicious minority speak for the divided whole as though they were its voice.
There's also a sense that these things are too trivial and bizarre to be dignified by response, but that's the point of this essay. It's what the 'other side' thinks; that isn't trivial, that's the mind of the 'enemy'.
Answer them. Show them how wrong they are. If they are.}


Developing fetuses and infants are particularly threatened by exposure to dioxins
The Environmental Protection Agency today announced it will not regulate dioxins in land-applied sewage sludge, regardless of the fact that it is the largest source for dioxin exposure in the nation after backyard trash burning. Dioxins are among the most toxic substances on Earth, according to NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), and today's decision violates the Clean Water Act, which requires the agency to limit toxic pollutants that harm human health or the environment.

"Dioxins cause cancer and diabetes, as well as nervous system and hormonal problems," said Nancy Stoner, director of NRDC's Clean Water Project. "And the EPA is required by law to protect the public from toxic pollutants like dioxins. This decision shows the agency under this administration has forgotten its mission."
NRDC/Common Dreams 10.17.03

The Controversial General

Ω{Boykin's about as front and center as you can get in this pre-apocalyptic world, famous now for saying what a lot of people are currently thinking; and at a second, more elusive level, he's solidifying a little piece of the chaos. What's ironic is the 'Christian' membership of Americans United For A Separation of Church and State saying essentially it's all well and good to believe in Biblical scenarios and prophecies, but you can't let it influence your political life. Because politics is serious. Politics is real.
It's always seemed strange to me that people will accept these 'beliefs' in others, and then be all surprised when they live them, act on them, make decisions in the light of them that affect the rest of us.
These are people who believe that God gave them the earth to use and discard, that when they die they will live forever in a better place, that God chose the Jews to be his special children, that Satan is a real and active malevolent presence in the world.
How can you expect them not to act on that? That's serious stuff. That it's part of something much more complex and strange than it appears is readily obvious, but the implications are so unsettling most of us don't like to think about it.
So much is happening, so much more about to happen, it's hard to focus on the big picture.
A lot of us were raised to believe it was enough to point out how insane someone was, how illogical and nonsensical their positions were, and that that alone would stop them, the way it stopped us in the classroom.
But it doesn't work like that in the real world. Madness works there as well as sense, sometimes better. Not in architecture, not in engineering, but on the battlefield, in both the short and long run.
It's not about common sense or fairness or honesty, it's about winning, and as trite as it sounds, life is a battlefield.
Boykin was laughable, or people with his world-view were laughable, in most parts of the United States a few decades ago. Not to me maybe, but to most 'thinking' people. Now it's not so funny.
People are dying because of this nonsense, and lately it's not looking like nonsense so much as guile.

This is a war of public relations. A war of images. Because the real power here is made of dreams and wishes; it's the power of concentrated human aspirations, regulated and channeled.
Pop stars ride that power to the doors of mansions. They create it around themselves, and it creates them. The pope is made of that, the president now, and Boykin himself in a smaller, more ridiculous version.
The focused strength of attention, of belief, creates what it believes in. When there isn't much belief, there isn't much created, but when a billion people believe 'in' something, whether it's Allah's will, the People's Republic, or the Great Jehovah, something is created that has an awesome presence, even in the lives of unbelievers.
None of this is about right and wrong, about truth or lies. The truth is biological, and there is no right and wrong in biology, there just is what is. But believing a lie that helps you live is true, biologically; it's only the in-betweens that that doesn't work for, the ones who want a deeper more lasting truth than superstition and fantasy, but still a truth that includes them, their lives and what they desire.
That's the kicker. And that's what the scams have always done, offered that illusion of inclusion while they took the profound, still unmeasured power of the individual and hooked it up to the invisible grid.
The shorter version of this fundamentalist claptrap is "If you don't believe we're right, you're evil."
It's a mechanism that strengthens itself on resistance, becoming more solid with opposition, that feeds on rejection.
Look to what they fear most. It's explanation. And love. Itemize it. The most encouraging work being done today is the line by line rebuttal of the garbage rhetoric we're fed daily.
Understanding will undo them, and a wider view of things, a deeper history of love, because what we are goes way back, and you can love that, it transcends nonsense, you can love all of it, all of this living, and you can fight for what you love.}

"Sustainable use"
...White House plans to allow the importation of hides, hunting trophies, and live specimens of endangered animals...

The USFWS{US Fish and Wildlife Service} proposal allows imports of animal parts or live specimens of endangered animals into the United States, so long as the importer says that some portion of the purchase price went into conservation efforts in the country of origin. In theory, this would give an economic incentive to protection of these species, but the proposal contains no provisions that would allow the FWS to verify these claims.

...the proposal would invite fraud and even liquidation of endangered animals by developing nations desperate for hard currency.

"Sustainable use" programs like the one proposed by the Bush Administration have proven largely unsuccessful at achieving real conservation, and frequently have the opposite effect. Resumption of a legal ivory trade in southern Africa, for example, appears to have led to increased elephant poaching not only in the exporting states, but elsewhere in Africa and Asia. In Kenya, this resurgence was accompanied by increased slayings of Maasai peoples in encounters with heavily armed poachers.
Defenders of Wildlife/Common Dreams 10.07.03

Foxy Ellis-Bextor

Green Hunting
On the 9th of May, 2002 a huge elephant with tusks weighing over 100lbs a side was shot by a Texan hunter, in South Africa. Such large bulls are revered by female elephants, and are very rare in Africa today, as they have been selectively killed for their tusks. This one had strayed from the protection of the Kruger National Park into the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve on its western boundary. However this was a hunt with a difference. It was non-lethal.

Timbavati, with the support of STE, has pioneered the concept of Green Hunting elephants. The idea is that hunters should be permitted to hunt an elephant when elephants are darted for research, and the funds generated are fed back into the conservation budget. This concept involves the use of immobilizing darts rather than bullets during the hunt.
STE/Save The Elephants

Christ Mocked detail
Fra Angelico


Ω{first notes on Kroker's Image Matrix

that the world is mediated by perception off the top. so imagery is not other but held bits of the present, what was there, already, just formalized. maybe all art was all along is a slowing down of what we were already doing.
what we see each time we look is new even if the pieces all stay pretty much the same, the rocks and trees and shapely legs and the close fit of light and shadow, the symmetry and spark of rearrangement, and while we're at it what exactly is the shape of the frame through which we look? I can't seem to get a clear take on the edges of my own sight.

Kroker- "signified by the triumph of virtuality, by the disappearance of the spectacle of the graven image into code. It is as if those torrents of words spilled in the decade leading up to the end of the 20th century, those anti-words that stormed the icons of representationality, that spoke of the hyperreality of a coming structuralist reality, finally found their moment of historical truth, not in the echoes of written language but in the language of the disappearance of the image. Hypering the image. Coding the spectacle. A hygienic of (ocular) memory. A necropolis for the photographic memory."
see. I'm having more and more trouble the more time I spend looking at stuff like the archives of the Louvre and institutional collections of photography and print, trouble separating the pixels from the dpsi's, from the brushstrokes, separating the bits of information conveyed from the information itself. the 'words in torrent' not much different from the bits in torrent.
it's the information Gates is burying not the images.
form is incidental to information.
he does the work of a militant deity, and strategic information is lots different from aesthetic information, though in the long run the aesthetic, I do firmly believe, will prove to have had the bigger bombs, the more deadly weapons.
there's a realm here, or maybe a field, a battleground most of us haven't even heard about, which makes it hard to talk about. but so many inexplicable things, so many obviously wrong moves, begin to make sense, to coalesce, when that template's applied.
people will want to say Gates does this... and then list his motives, but his motives are nothing.
his whole life has been a series of directed steps toward an end his billionairehood is a byproduct of, only wages, a token of appreciation.
he's not in charge of anything but the wine list at Redmond, figuratively speaking.
the 'image' is disappearing into the stream of perceptual information�wireless prostheses, the windshield, the TV screen, the monitor, cybernetic Windows, even the lenses of myopic correction, among all that the unmediated 'real sense' stream is like one of those margin-dwelling remnants of local fauna, flushed by development, cut out of the retreat and unable to withdraw, panting, trotting down the suburban gantlet.
meanwhile rats are pavloved into remote-driving robot vehicles, and the Frankenstein collective celebrates the third arm's rise, the monkey's paw politely tapping at the front door.
image doesn't disappear, it transmogrifies, becomes light, virtual light*.}


raw data continues to emerge
for good or ill, the flow continues, unstoppable
naive pleading notwithstanding
what God hath wrought is hidden still
wise men listen, discerning little
the unwary innocents are shocked, non-plussed
while Bohemian eccentrics take all in stride
some there are who have no use
for what others consider the barest minimum of the essential
the work is ceaseless, the hour is nigh
memory our armor, armament, and flag

indigenous peoples own their own land � dispossessing them is 'racial discrimination'
On 14 October 2003, in one of the most historic court judgments ever made in favour of indigenous peoples, the Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled that an indigenous people had both communal land ownership and mineral rights over their territory. Laws which tried to dispossess them were 'racial discrimination'.

The case concerned the 3,000 Richtersveld people who live in Northern Cape Province. They are from the Nama subgroup of Khoikhoi peoples, and have always lived in the area called Richtersveld until they were evicted in the 1950s to make way for a diamond mine, now owned by the South African government. Five years ago, the people took both the government and the mining company to court, claiming ownership rights over both 85,000 hectares of land and the minerals it contains. They lost the case but then appealed, and the appeal court ruled in their favour. But then the mining company itself appealed against the decision. The 14 October judgment, from the Constitutional Court, is final.

The decision is that indigenous people who own land under their own, unwritten, law have the right to have this upheld in spite of other legal systems which are subsequently imposed by the state.

It has very important implications for countries like Botswana, which also operate under the same 'Roman-Dutch' legal system, and where indigenous 'Bushmen' tribes � long discriminated against by the dominant Tswana tribes � are now being forcibly evicted from their reserve in the central Kalahari. Many Bushmen believe this is to make way for diamond mining in the future.
Survival International 10.15.03

Ω{Natural law, indeed}

Pope cautions couples on using NFP
...he cautioned that couples should use this method, too, in a way that is "truthful to their love." The use of natural family planning can also be subject to abuse, he said, if couples avoid having children simply in order to make their own lives easier or more affluent.

The Holy Father recommended that pastors should show "understanding" toward the many couples who have difficulty fulfilling the natural plan of marriage. But he emphasized that such "understanding" should not mean ignoring the laws of nature and the teachings of the Church...
~Catholic World News

Sub-cultural foibles
Most people have, in the back of their mind, the belief that what they say to their friends, they would be happy to say in public, in the same words. It isn't true, and if you don't believe me, tape-record yourself talking to your friends one day, and then upload it to your website for the world to hear.

This is the trap that makes fly-on-the-wall documentaries and reality TV so entertaining. It's why politicians are so weirdly mannered, and why everyone gets a bit freaked out when the videocamera looms at the wedding. It's what makes a particular kind of gossip - the "I can't believe he said that!" - so virulent. No matter how constant a person you are, no matter how unwavering your beliefs, something you say in the private register will sound horrific, dismissive, egotistical or trite when blazoned on the front page of the Daily Mirror. This is the context that we are quoted out of.

But in the real world, private conversations stay private.
-Danny O'Brien's Oblomovka 10.13.03

Ω{Well that's the crux of something there.
We don't all live with the same level of privacy, or the same level of presumption of privacy.
Angela Davis is a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz. The chances are her "expectations" of privacy are, even at this late date, somewhat different than Mr. O'Brien's. I'm imagining years ago she popped through the bell jar of government surveillance, into that terra incognita of reality-improv so many of the other-class were transported to back then.
Knowing that some asocial jerk was 'auditing' your daily life for clues to the puzzles of subversion and anti-authoritarian malignancy didn't change the need for real contact, real interaction, real touch.
Some of that only being possible through language; we are semantic beings, after all. And yet the reality of those moments of contact was bled away through the portals of surveillance. It took an effort of will to attempt to be genuine under that unblinking gaze.
It's like your first shit your first time in jail. You have to, though it violates so much of your trained being, your child-self.
You have to get the contact you have to have to stay whole and sane.
But then reality's less real. You see?
They learn what's hip, or at least what you know of what's hip, without ever paying any dues for it. And they "share" your life, which is a kind of death right there.
These are the conflicts of the imprisoned, the enslaved, the captive of all stripes.
Fortunate souls those who managed to steal a few hours or days hidden from the Panopticon, to confirm the presence and its burdens, to forge and execute ways of being that subverted the process. Speech-within-speech, codes and gestures, whispers against the backdrop of level-10 rock and roll.
For a lot of us there was only the madness and rage of breakdown and the neurotic self-dividing of denial and withdrawal.
'It isn't really happening, it can't be.
But then why am I so phony all the time?'
This is not about right and wrong.
I don't care anymore about the morality of these things, I don't see them as moral or immoral anymore, only as biological strategy. The 'morality' is a gloss, a subterfuge, a con-man's patter, a diversion for the credulous. There's enough history readily available to show the broad uses 'moral' authority can be put to. And most of it at heart comes down to the same motives the piranhas of the Internet would throw up if they were pressed. Freedom, or necessity, the uncovering of lies and danger. We'll have cameras and microphones everywhere so we can protect our children from the darkness. And keystroke memory.
The obvious response, how we'll protect them from all this light, goes unasked and unanswered.
Safety really. The justification's always safety.
But it's all and only and always survival. There is no other struggle, no other battle, no other cause.
But hey, don't get me started on the 60's.
All I really wanted to say was, I haven't known the privacy Danny O'Brien's worried about losing since I was in my teens.
I thought that might be interesting, that I haven't written a word on a computer, except for a few hours on September 11, 2001, that wasn't 'monitored', that didn't feel public even as I wrote it.
That is not acceptance.
It's real, I know it. In order to live I've had to accomodate, but I haven't surrendered to it.
And the little bit of progress I've made with it is this: that it doesn't matter at all anymore about the moral parameters. You have to take what you want from the world.
There are qualities I think of as human and necessary, but there are people who think of themselves as human who don't share those qualities. It seems to work equally both ways. The couching of every dilemma in moral terms means those conflicts with corrupt 'authority' that inevitably arise leave the rebels with no traditional base, no 'moral' foundation.
Numinous recension. Take your morality from your own being, from your own heart.
Compromise up to a point, stubborn refusal past that.
The question is, given the bloom of surveillance technologies and the steadily increasing prosthetizing of contemporary life, how do we return to privacy, once it's been lost? How can we re-privatize private conversation?}

The Quality of Mercy
My feeling passed and the story disappeared from the news (at least for now). But I was led to reconsider my reactions to Limbaugh's troubles by a surprisingly compassionate editorial in the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ is a leading purveyor of brittle condescension and scorn, the first apostle of hard-ass conservatism. But the Journal asked its readers to feel human sympathy.
What an odd suggestion from that source. American culture has been severely coarsened during the last generation, not so much by the rightwing talkers, but by the brutish practices of modern capitalism and by institutions like the Journal who lead cheers for the ideology of take no prisoners, throw the losers over the side. Winners and losers are the natural order in life, winners should merely push them aside and get on with it.
The anger and shame that now permeate this society were planted in large part by the callousness of Wall Street finance and major corporations. They routinely pursue self-interest by trampling others and call it "efficiency." The victims are often their own employees or shareholders (not to mention welfare mothers and people too weak and poor even to afford shelter). The right embraces this new definition of manliness (even the so-called Christian right). Liberals who hold back are ridiculed as bleeding-heart sissies.
William Greider 10.08.03

The revolt of the PTA ladies
"There are children with severe learning disabilities who are never going to be "proficient" unless you define proficient in the narrowest terms imaginable, in which case you have the problem of schools focusing all their attention on the children they need to get to that level, while letting the children who are already there rot.

Take it from a mother who watched when her kid's school district set "high" standards for spelling, at which point her son's weekly third grade spelling list went from having words like "scientific" (from a teacher who gave individualized spelling lists made up of words kids consistently had trouble with), to words like "this" and "fun."

I don't want every child to reach the same standard. I want every child to get the chance to do the best he or she is capable of doing."
Body and Soul 10.13.03
link UFOBreakfastRecipientsComments 10.15.03

Interoperable and Assured Communication
...applications to all harsh environments: Military, Civil Defense, Global Search and Rescue, Humanitarian Missions, Border Patrol, BIO-Hazard, Homeland Security and Emergency Management from natural disasters to terrorism threats. Supplying a 99.99999% available/reliable, triple redundant system takes experience in understanding the use and needs of assured communications.

" any harsh environment where the user has to be on the move or has to use both hands, such as in a Search and Rescue operation, in fire zones or any emergency situation. The user can make or receive a call using radio, cellular or satellite frequencies, light the area and transmit video images, access incident forms from their on-board PC -- even e-mail documents from their forearm -- without having to stop or open their CommanderPack."
The CommanderPack is the first lightweight, self-contained communications system designed for deployment anywhere on earth at a moment's notice.
Network Anatomy
Ω{second clip from quasi-sado-legal cellular-news 10.15.03}
link path thru gizmodo


the roots of savage imprecation are deep and by their nature do not come readily to even the most discerning eye

Billie Holiday's orchard

you see what you want to see, miss what you don't

out of doors


Maria Reiche

Bomb at Turkish Embassy in Baghdad Kills Bystander
A car bomb exploded outside the Turkish Embassy here on Tuesday, killing the bomber and one bystander, witnesses said, wounding several people and sending another message to those who would assist the United States-led occupation.
A plan by the Turkish government to contribute 10,000 troops to the coalition has stirred widespread anger among Iraqis, who harbor deep suspicions that the Turks will capitalize on the opportunity to take control of the Kurdish regions of northern Iraq. An official with the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that Turkey presumed the bombing came in retaliation for the plan to contribute troops but that the attack would not change the plan.

In Karbala, a Shiite holy city south of Baghdad, a battle raged over Monday night between rival Shiite Muslim militias, one loyal to a young cleric who is increasingly defiant of the United States and critical of the occupation. At least one person was killed.

The skirmish between the Shiite groups in Karbala was the latest in a series of "troubling events involving Moktada al-Sadr", 30, a radical, anti-American Shiite cleric. Last week, fighters loyal to Mr. Sadr killed two American soldiers in Baghdad. Mr. Sadr subsequently proclaimed the establishment of his own government as a rival to the Iraqi Governing Council appointed by American officials.
On Monday night, his "quest for greater influence" put him into direct conflict with other Shiites. Fighting broke out after his followers tried to take over two mosques, provoking gun battles with the "Iraqi police and paramilitary guards" who patrol the shrines, spokesmen for the American military and "residents in Karbala" said.
NYTimes(GoogleNews) 10.15.03

ahead of George Bush's visit to Manila
...police officers and residents in Pigcauayan said there was no sign of a firefight, fuelling rumours that Al-Ghozi had already been captured and then killed at the best time to boost Manila's anti-terrorism image.

"Al-Ghozi's killing reads like an awfully crafted script," said Teodoro Casino, of the left-leaning Bayan activist group. "The timing is just too perfect. We suspect Al-Ghozi was captured much, much earlier to be killed just at the right moment, which was yesterday."
Richard Paddock, Al Jacinto.and Tom Allard/LATimes, Reuters, AFP 10.14.03

A Shi'ite warning to America

"All this in spite of Saddam's toughness, his use of all kinds of weapons, chemical weapons: he could not control this area. In the end he tried to evaporate the water of the rivers and marshes. Shi'ites are peaceful people, but if it is necessary, no one can stop them. Because they believe in God."
�Ammar Abdul Aziz
All Iraqis know that if Turkey sends troops to Iraq, this will mean the dreaded opening of a Pandora's box. Shi'ites may have been very patient so far, but not a single one of them has forgotten that the Turks are descendants of the hated Ottoman colonial power.
Pepe Escobar /Asia Times 10.11.03

Iraq Coalition Casualties

vital terrain
In the seagrasses that hug many of the world's coastlines, dugongs and manatees, green turtles and seahorses find refuge and rich pickings.

But a survey of seagrasses has revealed that 15 per cent of this unique marine ecosystem has been lost in the past decade. Conservationists hope the findings will act as an alarm call to governments and policy makers to prevent further losses.

Seagrass beds are being destroyed by nutrient enrichment from human sewage, intensive fishing and even by yachting and jet-skiing, the editors of the World Atlas of Seagrasses say.
Michael McCarthy/Independent UK 10.14.03

World's seagrasses in peril
Ed Green, one of the co-editors of the atlas, said: "There are few places where seagrass meadows are protected. We now know that vast numbers of fish use seagrass for a short but critical part of their lifecycle.

"We are also becoming aware of the role that seagrass plays in the climatic and oceanic carbon cycles and in coastal protection. The true economic value is difficult to measure, but this work suggests it is immense."
Alex Kirby/BBC News 10.14.03


Remembering The War Dead in Iraq

They are victims of George Bush's serial lying. It is his duty, and one that he shirks, to get up and read these names to a country distracted by a game for boys.
Herewith the names, not including the three most recent, whose names are not yet available. We apologize that the manner of death seems repetitious but these wars happen to come out like this:

...Killed Sept. 18 in an ambush of small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades

...Killed in ambush by small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades Ar Ramadi, Iraq when an explosive device hit his vehicle

...Killed in a mortar attack in Abu Gareeh Quesi, Iraq from a non-combat weapons discharge

...when a 5-ton truck struck the side of his vehicle

...when his vehicle went off the road and into a canal on Sept. 29

...on Sept. 29 when he tried to rescue __. ____ ____ in canal

...when an improvised explosive device detonated as his vehicle passed by

...Sept. 29 in Baghdad from a non-hostile gunshot wound El Khadra, Iraq on Sept. 29 when an Iraqi citizen approached and shot him while he was on patrol

...of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device exploded while he was on patrol

...struck by a forklift

...when an improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenades struck his convoy in Samarra

...when her convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenades

...Drowned in Baghdad on Oct. 3

...improvised explosive device

...improvised explosive device

...improvised explosive device

...small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades

...same unit, same incident.

Jimmy Breslin/Newsday 10.13.03

Ann Telnaes 10.12.03

raw data


ecce Baldovinetti

all the world's a stage

Silver Dart

early sun


Le Retable de Saint Denis
Henri Bellechose

"to serve my country."
My son-in-law is a member of the Missouri National Guard, currently stationed in Baghdad. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently visited Iraq. A few days before Rumsfeld's visit, my son-in-law's unit had received the news it had been awaiting eagerly: Its departure date from Iraq would be Dec. 3. This was the first time the men had been given an actual date after many months of wondering and questioning.

My son-in-law was among a small group of men who had lunch with Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld was queried about the Dec. 3 departure date, and he assured the men that it was correct.

Three days later the media reported that the Defense Department was extending the tours of reservists and national guardsmen well past the one-year deployment. (Some of the men actually received this news from their families over the phone.) My son-in-law's unit now has a departure date of April 22.
Veterans for Common Sense 10.06.03

There was no room for Christ there. If he had been there, we would have killed him.
We did not kill civilians, but we burned down their homes and destroyed much of the personal possessions of people who had nothing to begin with. I stood silently by on the perimeter of the village and wondered at the injustice of it all. I said nothing. I SAID NOTHING. I am through being silent.

Then I was shot and eventually was flown to Oaknoll Naval Hospital in Oakland, California. I was on an open ward with about 40 other Marines who had even worse wounds than I did. Most were amputees and many had lost multiple limbs. I especially remember one Marine who was blind, had 3 limbs blown off, and had shrapnel throughout the trunk of his body. He was 19 and was going to survive. His wife came to visit him and she was 8 months pregnant. Another young man had been terribly disfigured by a land mine. He had lost his lower extremities and had shrapnel throughout his body. His face was grotesque and he had seizures most days.
Timothy J. McKinney, Jr.
3rd Batallion, 4th Marines 1966-68

Eleventh Hour Stories

�I wanted to disappear,� he said. �So the Golden Gate was the spot. I�d heard that the water just sweeps you under.�

On the bridge, Baldwin counted to ten and stayed frozen. He counted to ten again, then vaulted over. �I still see my hands coming off the railing,� he said. As he crossed the chord in flight, Baldwin recalls, �I instantly realized that everything in my life that I�d thought was unfixable was totally fixable�except for having just jumped.�

Dr. Seiden�s study, �Where Are They Now?,� published in 1978, followed up on five hundred and fifteen people who were prevented from attempting suicide at the bridge between 1937 and 1971. After, on average, more than twenty-six years, ninety-four per cent of the would-be suicides were either still alive or had died of natural causes.

Motto had a patient who committed suicide from the Golden Gate in 1963, but the jump that affected him most occurred in the seventies. �I went to this guy�s apartment afterward with the assistant medical examiner,� he told me. �The guy was in his thirties, lived alone, pretty bare apartment. He�d written a note and left it on his bureau. It said, �I�m going to walk to the bridge. If one person smiles at me on the way, I will not jump.��
Tad Friend/New Yorker 10.12.03

Ω{Machiavelli's skulking around the Florentine chambers, the systole and diastole of money and blood which was the all and only of late 15th century biology. Always these guys leave out biology, always, which is why it's overemphasized here. It was sperm as much as name, gold as much as place, will as much as law, then as well as now. The papacy and the G7 of southern Europe just before the Columbian infusion. Florence as New York, as London. Money and the ability to hold on to it. Medici(Lorenzo)'s kid brother Guglielmo, gets finished in church, blood everywhere, but Lorenzo's alright. The most accurate reptilian response, the big cat's timed leap, all those millenia of cull and prosper, mutant invention tried and true. It works and works again. Taxes as whip and stock, exile as exile. The grief of the women packing, the stripped dignity of mercantile alphas reduced to selling things in a foreign city just to live. Palazio windows looking right down on the square in the heart of town. Machiavelli's in there somewhere, a kid, passed over but on full imprint. There was a bowl-game frenzy, the aftermath of quickly calculated revenge, desperate but thought-out, and the doers, the Pazzi's and their allies who couldn't fade back into obsequies, gifts, tribute, got done. And someone's heart was cut out and spontaneously, ceremonially, bitten into, and that act recorded deep enough it comes to us, in pop-scholarship, and historically accurate contemporary poetry.}

Not For The Faint of Heart

"...the grown-ups around me unable to move from shock - it happened too fast, and the sound his head made when it hit the pavement was too unbearably wet, the blows from the men around him not stopping, not seeing, they had smashed his head, out of rage. Not just hit, not just a concussion..."

Margaret Cho 10.11.03

Ω{A name for what this is, image-click-image, the narrative sentence in visual type. I don't have one, but it's new language, or at the least a new semantic, something only possible in this format, these fora, here.}

Spitting image does it.

network to save birds
Naturalists are to set up a global "air traffic control" network to protect the nesting and feeding sites of tens of millions of endangered migratory birds.
Ornithologists are alarmed by fresh evidence that dozens of geese, wader and duck species now setting off on their annual migration south are facing extinction or, at best, a steep decline in numbers.
Some migratory birds face imminent extinction, such as the sociable lapwing, which flies from the Russian steppe to the Middle East. Others, like the red knot, which migrates the full length of the Americas from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, are facing extreme and sudden decline.
Severin Carrell/Independent(UK) 10.12.03

" much my hands were worth."
US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops.
The stumps of palm trees, some 70 years old, protrude from the brown earth scoured by the bulldozers beside the road at Dhuluaya, a small town 50 miles north of Baghdad. Local women were yesterday busily bundling together the branches of the uprooted orange and lemon trees and carrying then back to their homes for firewood.
Nusayef Jassim, one of 32 farmers who saw their fruit trees destroyed, said: "They told us that the resistance fighters hide in our farms, but this is not true. They didn't capture anything. They didn't find any weapons."
Other farmers said that US troops had told them, over a loudspeaker in Arabic, that the fruit groves were being bulldozed to punish the farmers for not informing on the resistance which is very active in this Sunni Muslim district.

"They made a sort of joke against us by playing jazz music while they were cutting down the trees," said one man.
Patrick Cockburn/Independent(UK) 10.12.03

Urban Indians Call for Autonomy
"We have been Zapatistas in Milpa Alta for some time," said Agustin Martinez, sitting below a photograph of the legendary peasant leader Emiliano Zapata. "It's not just Chiapas, not just little outbreaks in different places. We are everywhere."

Twelve indigenous communities in Mexico City are demanding that the government recognize them as autonomous municipalities, which can elect their own representatives and use their lands and other resources according to custom.

"We have been arguing with the city government that they must recognize us as owners of communal land," said Silverio Arroyos, who represents the community of San Pedro Actopan in Milpa Alta. "We're the ones in charge here."
Pablo Garibian/Reuters 10.05.03

link IMproPRieTies thru bellonatimes


Candidate Amount Of Talk Time During the Debate

Dean � 14 min 07 seconds
Kucinich� 5 min 09 seconds

At the debate, Congressman Kucinich stood out, expressing some of the clearest and sharpest distinctions between himself and other candidates, and receiving applause for his comments. It is safe to assume that his impact would have been even greater had he been given more than 36 percent of the time given to Gov. Dean.
Kucinich pointed out that he is the only candidate who voted against the War on Iraq one year ago today.

Kucinich challenged the other candidates to oppose spending another $87 billion on the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and no one accepted the challenge.
Progressive Newswire 10.10.03

Napoleon Bonaparte Visiting the Plague Stricken at Jaffa (March 11, 1799)
Antoine-Jean Gros
"...this picture celebrates General Bonaparte's courage and humanity, visiting the sick without fear of contagion, during the Syrian campaign."

The Louvre

Tablet of Sargon's 8th campaign
In the form of a letter to the god Assur, this tablet relates the eighth military campaign led by Sargon II against, among others, the kingdom of Urartu, which englobed Armenia and Kurdistan. The text, of 430 lines, tells how the king led the operations and captured the holy town of Musasir.

Mesopotamia and Anatolia
Department of Oriental Antiquities
The Louvre

Tensions rise after GI's fight Shiites
In Thursday night�s clash � a rare event in Iraq�s Shiite Muslim areas � the Americans said their troops were lured into an ambush, while the Shiites said a firefight broke out when U.S. forces closed in on a radical cleric�s headquarters.

The exchange also left at least seven Iraqis and two American soldiers wounded, military and hospital officials said.

The bloodshed came just 12 hours after a mysterious car bombing killed 10 people at a nearby police station in Sadr City, where the cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has taken a stand against the U.S. military occupation and deployed his own armed force.

Security was tight during Friday prayers, with residents loyal to al-Sadr blocking streets leading to the main mosque and security guards armed with rifles and pistols stationed on rooftops and around the 10,000 faithful who attended the sermon and prayers.
International Herald Tribune 10.11.03

Ω previous post on al-Sadr

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