...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



Why the media turned on Gov. Dean
What happened in the campaign that inspired the media to turn on Dean and throw their support to uninspiring Kerry? A clue may be found in a story published in the Washington Post on November 19, 2003. The Post reported: "In an interview Monday night [ll/17/03], Dean unveiled his idea to 're-regulate' utilities, large media companies and businesses offering employee stock options. He also favors broad protections for workers including the right to unionize."

Also on November 19, the Associated Press reported, "Dean, the former Vermont governor, said Tuesday that if elected president, he would move to re-regulate business sectiors such as utilities and media companies to restore faith after corporate scandals such as Enron and WorldCom."

Dean's idea of re-regulating two out-of-control business sectors produced criticism from some of his competitors and surely struck a raw nerve within monopolistic utilities and mega-media companies.

"I'm happily doing the laundry while listening to TV news in the guesthouse; I ride my bicycle from place to place aimlessly and I get lost every now and then; I walk through the same street over and over again and finally get familiar with that area... I'm less surprised by seeing new things and feel less excited about new experience. More and more, I'm going back to my normal life, but here I am, living in a different world, I'm alone and completely unknown, and I'm feeling pretty good."

leylop Jan.31.04 Saigon


Ted Rall
Ted Rall

From last year, apropos a thread at Crooked Timber:
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.


for Magnet and Alaska, two fine, floppy polar bears with a new $7 million, sensorially enriched "Arctic habitat" at their disposal, the hypodermic cold, the pistol-gray skies and the tap-dancing sleet were obviously a treat, an ursine month of sundaes with a cherry on top.


Before bonobos can be fully appreciated, however, two human prejudices must be overcome. The first is, fellows, the female bonobo is the dominant sex, though the dominance is so mild and unobnoxious that some researchers view bonobo society as a matter of "co-dominance," or equality between the sexes. Fancy that.

The second hurdle is human squeamishness about what in the 80s were called PDAs, or public displays of affection, in this case very graphic ones. Bonobos lubricate the gears of social harmony with sex, in all possible permutations and combinations: males with females, males with males, females with females, and even infants with adults. The sexual acts include intercourse, genital-to-genital rubbing, oral sex, mutual masturbation and even a practice that people once thought they had a patent on.
Natalie Angier/NYTimes Apr.22.97
reprint Univ. Neb. Lincoln

Most victims are thought to have been Iraqis waiting to meet US officials.

I act like this at parties too.
Crooked Timber "And where were you educated?" post by Eszter Jan.26.04


Let's get all anecdotal.
Welcome to Montserrat.
How's that?
Ok years ago, which is a long time the way we reckon things, I started doing this hypothetical whattheheck on the seemingly mad and pointless hyper-shoving of the Industral Rivolution. Thinking where not does it come from, but where now does it mean to be going to?
And lo and mighty behind right now yesterday the very officer in charge of all our dreaming says ho, ad aspera, and astra, ho, and forth, starwards like a ten year old with a colander on his head. Like a middle-aged man with a colander on his head pretending to be ten, pretending to be brave.
So the template was this thing, like an amoeba made out of brains, not brains as consumer items but brains as li'l teapots. But all linked in series and parallel, like the thing they want you to make with SETI, on your down time, like hey, when you're ASLEEP for instance? Using your all in a line from school being taught to get all in a line, brains, and cooking them with extra voltage overclocking them because
it wants to get off the planet
because in its desperate haste to avoid what kept cementing no matter where it turned, to bad from worse and back, and disappearing into disappearing-nothing-up-there, so it CREATED the very thing it sought to escape and this man among the many is now the vocal orifice for that thing which is beginning to bleat its apologies and get pretty darned humble as it's been exposed for the thing it is which is not the mighty mighty up there but the little soft helpless creature down here inside a billion heads, it has no name other than the ones it steals, it has no identity other than what it gets people to believe it is, the wizard of all our simple credulity, miracle worker up to a point, and like the Oprah Winfrey show we can make it what we will, within the bounds of good taste and corporate sponsorship and hidden but powerful censors, but at the same time the dark and sinister presence of nothing at all cementing toward even more and worse nothing at all, the Martian landscape like a promise of your come-uppance, and do you really think it would be anything other than most despicably obscene for you to get off this planet and leave the stinking corpses of the last of the elephants to rot among the rubble of your incompetence and desperation? Do you?

Welcome to Montserrat.
They want you to think it's a moral dispute, between two moral antagonists, but your instincts are right, intuitively you understand it's an animal thing, a mouse, albeit a mouse with a finely-crafted wooden sword, against an overfed but still capable-of-vicious-cruelty canine of the dog-line, overbred and overfed, armored to the gills, burning energy like a cheap cigar, but still capable of recognizing a threat to its well-being. Tiny reliquaries, little catacombs inside the walls of the kennel, under the floor of the courtroom, a casual glance slides right by the miniature vitrine and its display, spider-size iron gauntlets and a dented breastplate smaller than a thumbnail, a prayer in a script you've never seen.
It's that and only that, it never was anything but that. Choose everything but your position. Even though we transport and disport and flail through the changes of a poorly written but popular tune, singing for our suppers and our lives, inside a cage which is inside a cage which is inside the locked pod of a laboratory in a rural area of an otherwise non-descript region in a part of the country you wouldn't really expect it to be in; demons watch us, angels watch us, snitches who report only to what they call the most high watch our every move, the fate of more than humanity as it is now hangs on our gesture, the fate of what we might have been being written on some dank cell's sandstone page, the block letters of royal incarceration and common criminal subjunction, and that wall published with three hundred others in a book, a big book OK but still readable, under the glass dome of our captivity the tale spinning out, the moment of will that determines an infinite subset of worlds within worlds, and brightness and health on a galactic scale - healing of stars and principles that underlie the turning of nebulae, good living for eternity or not - because of what we do, and they know that, but want it to be technology alone that makes it real, if we can just get off the planet as it dies under us, dies from the exhaust of our desperate leaving, but it's themselves they want to escape, what they are, what they'll be even after they breed out on our children, as a disguise as a ransom, making what they are and what we are inseparable so they get to go, or so we have to stay, the little half-breeds mewling about God while their cousins sharpen the axe and fine-tune the gyre-engines, reading from that book a list of magic spells of good intentions and pure animal thunderstruck unknowing, helpless with it and solely responsible for what happens next,

welcome to Montserrat.

not that it matters overmuch but I hadn't seen that Peter Landesman weirdness or read anything about it prior to writing this. so make of that what you would, for my part the coincidence's only a scale, as have been so many others, dry and almost lighter than air, cast off a much greater and more urgently dangerous beast


This is from a comments page [unlinkable holoscan] at Parablemania back in December.
The subject was one of those studies or a set of those studies, that prove the appropriateness of some moral taboo by the incidence of negative effects on those who break it. In the case of teenage sex it would be the incidence of STD's and emotional pathologies. The paragraph that tipped it for me:
These recent studies lead me to wonder whether there's now clear evidence (even aside from issues related to STDs, pregnancy, and abortion) that teenage sex and any old non-marital sex leads to harm. Even without the possible revisions to the liberal view (having to do with unnaturalness and incest), it seems the standard liberal view has reasons to oppose teenage sexual activity because of the significant chance of harm.
The correlative fallacy is at work there of course. The idea that having black skin is a precursor to criminal activity comes to mind as a close parallel. Because, simple-head, we measured all the crimes and all the different-colored people and more blacks ended up in prison, therefore...
The fact that teenagers are driven into artificial sex-paddocks and kept there by social punishments, or some are, while the rest are turned loose by parents who were themselves raised in moral free-fall, because the sexual morality of the dominant culture was so obviously perverted and dysfunctional, having a choice between puritanical sadism or rampant mindless hedonism take-your-pick; and the fact that sexual education and medical treatment-availability for teenagers in America is abysmally under-provided, well don't confuse the issue with facts.
At the time, rather than get all tedious on the thing, I talked about incest. 'Cause that's more interesting:
Unnaturalness as wrongness is the given. But much of what was once natural here is gone. Humans inhabit a world of artifice and un-nature. The problem is harm and the assessment of harm. There would appear to be harm, in the sense of teratology, caused by incest. What's still taboo to mention is the 'line breeding' aspect, the genetic fact of incest also possibly, in some cases, cementing the dominance of desirable genes. With no proof whatsoever I submit that live-birth incest is much more common than most believe.
Reducing moral distinction to observable risks has a downside as well, though. The same that the original taboos were constructed to avoid. Unseen danger.
Trying to explain to people who thought the moon and the sun were the same size, that their chromosomes would probably though not certainly combine in such a way that their child would be deformed or stillborn, would not work.
There may be risks we aren't aware of, in homosexuality, in adultery, in the eating of shellfish.
The problem is the institutions and authorities who have assumed the charge of our moral guidance have shown themselves to be misguided at best, and morally bankrupt in the main. [And provably damaging, through neglect and misleading inaccuracy]
The absurdity of mainstream religious leaders attempting to levy sexual morality on anyone would be amusing, if it wasn't so tragic.
The harsh moralists who pronounce same-sex coitus an abomination also deem the nursing breast an obscene sight.
They may be right. I'll risk my soul they're not.

And here we are at Electrolite, back in mid-December, frothing around about politics again:

Which of the candidates could whup Bush's butt in a fair fight?
Is it a fair fight now? When did that happen?
The change I mean.
Last time I looked he got to the White House on the back of a snake. Did the snake die?
Is it realistic to think whatever machine Dick Cheney sits in the cockpit of is just going to step back [on its robot feet] and 'let the best man win'?
Is it simply about winning the 2004 election?
Or are we discussing a corrupt plutocratic oligarchy, ready and willing to do whatever it takes to maintain its power base, including subvert the most successful experiment in democracy the world's ever seen? Not to mention callously increasing the death, suffering, and chronic misery of multitudes of the undeserving.
I don't want to sound overly pessimistic, but there seems to be a Pollyanna-ish expectation that that whole Florida thing was an aberration, and that Cheney and W and all them will just head on back to their respective haciendas and ranchos, once the good guys re-win the presidency fair and square.
Maybe so.
It'd sure be nice, I'll say that.

Rob Elliot/AFP

we must consider ourselves at war

A government's victims are not only those it kills and imprisons. Those who are displaced and dispossessed and sentenced to a lifetime of starvation and deprivation must count among them too. Millions of people have been dispossessed by "development" projects. In the past fifty-five years, big dams alone have displaced between 33 million and 55 million in India. They have no recourse to justice. In the past two years there have been a series of incidents in which police have opened fire on peaceful protesters, most of them Adivasi and Dalit. When it comes to the poor, and in particular Dalit and Adivasi communities, they get killed for encroaching on forest land, and killed when they're trying to protect forest land from encroachments--by dams, mines, steel plants and other "development" projects. In almost every instance in which the police opened fire, the government's strategy has been to say the firing was provoked by an act of violence. Those who have been fired upon are immediately called militants.

Across the country, thousands of innocent people, including minors, have been arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and are being held in jail indefinitely and without trial. In the era of the War against Terror, poverty is being slyly conflated with terrorism. In the era of corporate globalization, poverty is a crime. Protesting against further impoverishment is terrorism. And now our Supreme Court says that going on strike is a crime. Criticizing the court is a crime too, of course. They're sealing the exits.
Arundhati Roy
speech at the opening Plenary of the World Social Forum in Mumbai on January 16, 2004
The Nation Feb.09.04 issue

Japanese carmaker Toyota has overtaken Ford, its US rival, to become the world's second biggest car seller.
The Japanese firm said it sold 6.78 million cars worldwide in 2003, against Ford's 6.72 million.
BBC News Jan.26.04
- - - - - - - -
4.7 million birds in 51districts had died since August.
About 60% of these had died from Newcastle's disease, which is harmless to humans, while the remainder had been infected with bird flu.
"The government is not trying to conceal that avian influenza has attacked millions of chickens in Indonesia," he said. "Besides attacking egg-laying hens, the avian influenza has also attacked [other] chickens, quails and ducklings."
If correct, this would mean Indonesia's poultry industry has been affected more severely than Thailand and Vietnam, the two countries where human cases have been detected.
A seventh person is sus pected of having died of bird flu in Thailand, and the virus's rapid spread has put the entire region on a health alert.
More than 9 million chickens have been culled in Thailand and 3 million in Vietnam.
John Aglionby/Guardian UK Jan.26.04
- - - - - - - -
Tom Hurndall, a 22-year-old British peace activist, died last week in a London hospital. He was shot in the head by Israeli sniper fire nine months ago while shepherding Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip out of the line of fire. He had been in a coma since his injury. Hours before Hurndall died, the soldier who shot him was charged with aggravated assault. The charge is now likely to be revised to manslaughter or murder; British police are participating in an official investigation of his death.
Rachel Corrie from Olympia was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer in the Rafah refugee camp about a month before Hurndall was shot there. Like Hurndall, Corrie was a volunteer with the Palestinian-led International Solidarity Movement to End the Occupation of Palestine (ISM). Like Hurndall, she was killed by an identifiable Israeli soldier. As in Hurndall's case, the Israeli government initially released a report on Corrie's killing, stating that nobody connected with the Israeli military was culpable and that further investigation was not required.
A culture of impunity permeates the Israeli military, which is well known for its non-investigations of itself. For this reason, the Hurndall family would like to see the investigation of his death extend all the way up the chain of command.
Corrie's parents are not lawyers. In addition, they were told by members of the Washington state congressional delegation and State Department officials that if they quietly played along, justice for their daughter would ultimately be achieved. So far, all that has emerged is a non-credible Israeli military report claiming that 1) Corrie was not run over by a bulldozer and 2) even if she had been, the driver could not have seen her. These statements are contradicted respectively by the autopsy report and multiple eyewitness reports.
Wendy Smith/Seattle Post-Intelligencer/Common Dreams Jan.23.04

4 case studies
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Among Physicians: A Potential Result of Occupational Exposure to Stealth Viruses

...and how hard would this be, collating the paranoid suspicions of the clinical split-minds, and what volumes would emerge from that collating? How many years of compiling neutrally the tinfoil and grime of meaningless references and misheard nuance, the record player's secret voice, the neighbors whispering instructions to the car in the middle of the night? And how much of that could be sifted through in idle times, the apprentice tasks of the Black Lab, a pile of case histories, and another waiting after that, and out of how many? How many are there in one year, say 1965? 40,000? 12,000? And maybe ten or fifteen have a useful template, no? Yes? And it's already in the book right? So it's radiation-proof, it's bombproof, can't be broken into or out of. What will you say, They're doing ...this? And right next to you is someone saying exactly that, exactly that, exactly that, the mirror has this extra contrast, lines too sharp, shade exaggerated, the pores in your nose gape, and you sound so nervous. What percentage of random hearers will believe you? How sane will you have to pretend to be to get them to listen? Or could you take it to an office, an official place, with paperwork and your painstaking notation, the clarity and insight through the formula, discarding what may or may not be real for what has to be, the hinge of it all, that one afternoon, or was it late morning, answering the doorbell, not salivating but opening it, same thing, trained response, suburban behavioral modification, and that hard-won safety one more programmable device, because your reluctance to surrender it, even to the truth, becomes another low-ampere trip bar, 60,000 volts of ohmygod, and don't do that again, just answer the door, and here's Company, like the Bremen-town musicians a little quartet of relatively same-as-them profiles, it's your friends, from a distance, from across the street, where the little girl lived, the one that used to come over to see if you could play, three years old and cute and deeply quiet, looking nothing like either of the two overly-watchful adults that lived there with her, and now these folksy-shrugging figures meet the silhouette, your coming and going brothers in fog and adolescent kicks, rough clothes and hair and shuffling to the door, but urgent to get in, your friends sort of, only, wait, shoving past you, that dominance filling the living room, the masks shifting, it's your friends, only it isn't, it's not going that way this time, a cheap toupee over an amphetamine-clenched face that was at least a decade too old for who it pretended to be, and something brighter than the television. The operative measure, that you want it not to be, want it not to have been, want it not to be happening, so the slightest excuse to believe them brings you in, and then the closer you get the less you want to turn, back away something, and there's nothing there if you do turn, no one to catch your last denying No, and what else would you be saying at a moment like that?
Like later, They uhmm, they...and the knee-jerk refusal always, to say who? Who are they? Who are you talking about? And that's that because of course you don't know, that's the other part of the disguise, deeper, the trail smudged out by raked branches of dead-end pointless clips of narrative and random nonsense and bits of meaningless fake clue, there isn't any way for someone where you are to know anything other than that there is a place there you don't ever want to go back to no matter what.
And after that, where would you go to complain anyway? Right back on your knees to the hand that locked the door on the way in...


...if it withdraws to an internationally recognised border, it will have the moral high ground, the strategic high ground and the demographic high ground to protect itself.
Demographically speaking, if Israel does not relinquish the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinians will soon outnumber the Jews, and Israel will become either an apartheid state or a non-Jewish state.
An Israeli withdrawal will strip the worst Arab leaders of an excuse not to reform, it will create more space for the best Arab leaders to move forward and it will give Palestinians something to protect.
In sum, Israel should withdraw from the territories, not because it is weak, but because it must remain strong; not because Israel is wrong, but because Zionism is a just cause that the occupation is undermining...

Thomas Friedman/NYTimes/The Age (AU) Jan.21.04


Ω A consistent mistake that is crippling the opposition to theocratic fascism is the passive acceptance of their announced goals - the argument from within the context and moral boundaries set up by the fascists themselves.
So that a perfectly reasonable refutation of the abstinence-as-contraception position - that it doesn't work, that it contributes by its failure to the spread of disease and unwanted teenage pregnancies - stands all by itself in the auditorium. There's no one on the other side. They don't care. They've sealed themselves against debate, and won't participate, anymore than a hawk will debate a mouse on the question of vegetarianism. Because the real issues are not being debated. They won't argue the real question. Which is who lives and who dies.
God's judgement is represented as taking place in the afterlife, in the present economy, and in mysterious and seemingly contradictory ways. But the people doing that representation are vitally concerned with the particulars of survival - resources, territory, and social organization. The suffering of innocents, the unfair burdens of inequality, the truncated lives of the uneducated young, they don't care about those things. What they want is a clear line between those who will obey at any cost, and those who won't. And those who won't can bloody well die.
This explains handily how a pro-life position on abortion can co-exist with a rabidly pro-death capital punishment position.
By attacking the hypocrisy of their stance and the absurdity of their statements we play right into the strategem that that noise really is. A means of determining the loyalty of slaves.
It's the same in a broader and more uplifting way with things like weddings, from the civil license to the officiating by a traditional minister, to the reception. It's a submission, by the breeding pair, to the higher authority of the social group, which is in itself a fine and very human thing. We are social animals and we owe our survival to the altruistic behavior of many of our ancestors, who sacrificed their individuality, who gave up their lives, or a part of them, for the larger life of the group.
That there are people who've lost sight of the essentially reproductive character of marriage, seeing only the social contract it also is, is only more proof of that. The social contract is what's most operative now. Even though the religious fascists will speak most vehemently and emotionally of God and God's will, it's their own desire to live that drives them, not heaven.
These people don't care about gay marriage because it involves homosexuals, they care about it because it's a taking away, a usurping, of the decree power of the institutions they are dependent on for their survival.
Gay marriage flaunts disrespect for their authority, for the authority of their institutions, not God; and it's insidious that way because at the same time it accepts the necessity for recognition of the higher authority of the social group.
So it moves the center of power away from where they need it to be.
This is why common-law relationships are far less threatening, though on the surface they would seem to be equally damaging to the institution of marriage itself.
They don't care about marriage, or the trauma and hardship of unwanted teen pregnancy, they care about authority, about who will have the power. Because soon enough that power will decide, not who gets maligned and scorned, not even who gets punished and ostracized, but who will live and who will die.

Q. Where'd we get that phrase "naked truth"?

A. From an old fable. Two goddesses, Truth and Falsehood, went swimming. Falsehood got out of the water first and put on Truth's clothes. Truth chose not to wear Falsehood's cover, so went home naked.



Rob Elliot/AFP

we must consider ourselves at war

There isn't a country on God's earth that is not caught in the cross hairs of the American cruise missile and the IMF chequebook. Argentina's the model if you want to be the poster-boy of neoliberal capitalism, Iraq if you're the black sheep.
George Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of State, was Chairman of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Bechtel Group. When asked about a conflict of interest, in the case of a war in Iraq he said, " I don't know that Bechtel would particularly benefit from it. But if there's work to be done, Bechtel is the type of company that could do it. But nobody looks at it as something you benefit from." After the war, Bechtel signed a $680 million contract for reconstruction in Iraq
Let's look this thing in the eye once and for all. To applaud the U.S. army's capture of Saddam Hussein and therefore, in retrospect, justify its invasion and occupation of Iraq is like deifying Jack the Ripper for disembowelling the Boston Strangler. And that after a quarter century partnership in which the Ripping and Strangling was a joint enterprise. It's an in-house quarrel. They're business partners who fell out over a dirty deal. Jack's the CEO.

Arundhati Roy

speech at the opening Plenary of the World Social Forum in Mumbai on January 16, 2004
The Hindu Jan.18.04

suicidal for competitiveness
British industry yesterday urged ministers to undertake a drastic revision of their plans for cuts of up to 20% in carbon dioxide emissions and warned they could be suicidal for manufacturing's competitiveness.
The government's ambitious proposals to combat global warming on a sector by sector basis brought warnings that electricity prices could rise by up to 80% by 2010 and spell the end for coal-fired power stations that still account for 35% of British power.
Leading industry's charge, Digby Jones, CBI director-general, said the government "is risking the sacrifice of UK jobs on the altar of green credentials", and, urging a rethink, said ministers should at least promise not to press ahead without guarantees that all EU states would be just as tough.
The new EU scheme encourages companies out-performing their targets to sell their credits, prompting ministers to argue that London would emerge as a centre of excellence for carbon trading.

Ω Mr. Gow creates something called "British industry" and then asks his readers to imagine that thing he created "urging ministers to undertake a drastic revision..."
What's doing the urging there is not some vague entity draped in the Union Jack, it's a bunch of men and their camp followers. British industry will exist as long as there are men making cooking pots and selling them. There will be an economy as long as there are people eating and talking to each other.
What these men want to preserve is themselves; and their positions of power, influence, and privilege. By constantly pounding the absurd idea that their personal comfort is synonymous with the survival of the people they exploit, into the heads of the exploited, or getting toadies like Mr Gow to do it for them, they have convinced members of an animal species that has weathered every shock-and-awe campaign the terrestrial environment has seen since the inception of one-celled life, that they will not outlast a few years of social turmoil.
Mr. Jones and Mr. Gow and their well-fed brethren would like us all to believe that only technology can save us. It's hard to see it now, through all the smoke and fire, but it was our adaptability, how we used what tools we had, more than the tools themselves, that got us here.
More than brute force, more than cunning, and more than the manufacture of electrical energy, it was our ability to change with changing circumstances, to remain light on our feet. We lived through the Ice Age without the automobile.
The beauty of Mr. Digby Jones' position is that by the time he's definitively proven to be wrong everybody will have much too much else on their minds and no one will be interested in wasting precious dwindling moments prosecuting him for his homicidal obstructionism.
And personally I think it would be more elegant for the responsible parties in this incipient catastrophe to commit some kind of ritual suicide. Rather that than the mass murder, or at best manslaughter, they seem almost cheerfully willing to risk.
The way it seems to be headed, London, and every other urban centre, may well become a centre of excellence for gondola makers.
Note to Matt Drudge: "global warming" is an unfortunate word choice we're stuck with for now. Global fever would have been more accurate, metaphorically and descriptively.

Theodolitic Stillness

A brief and yet somewhat less than concise attempt to address the concerns of children squabbling over the appropriate name for, indeed the possibility of the very existence of, an plausibly imaginary creature none of them, nor their betters, nor their lessers, nor their elders, siblings, cousins, one and all, have ever seen except in stories and picture books, and those all written by the same obfuscatory pen, or its cohort; in which attempt the narrator attempts to draw young minds away and toward the possibility of, while insisting all contestants may be provably and inarguably mistaken, the subject of their dispute existing in an unapproachably powerful form, such that the nature of its being would tend toward the fiery consumption of their small and arrogant lives, in much the same manner as the sun, from its safe distance, does power all our humble selves and selfishnesses, while at closer quarters, unshielded, it would disassemble the very substance of our corporeal essence; but existing in all probability nonetheless.
Just so it is in the fat rhetoric and shameful dissembling of their elders to this day. The priests may claim the hand of God has darkened the sun, but the tables show the ecliptic path has a regularity that parallels the systole and diastole of the human heart, but calmer. The priests themselves, again, disguised as skeptic heretics, mingle amongst the crowd, muttering darkly false arguments against themselves, a ruse to control and navigate discussion, insisting as to the cold and heartless nature of a universe void of their proprietary divinity. With us or against us, as it were.
And those few gnostic exemplars who have survived the intrigues of modern theocratic tyranny's malign neglect and blunt destructive snooping, living at best driven to the margins of the polis, have still not much to encourage here, and there, in that this voice, yet little worthy as any ungoverned canine's, wary, and alert to stray foot, dropped scrap and gobbet, chooses to bark of a sudden at this one challenge, when so much else has passed by, and not been called into question.

At Kuro5hin Jan.19.04

I posted this in the comments at Dan Gillmor's eJournal yesterday (Jan.18).
The post to which it was appended has disappeared. It was about an airline/security flap in North Carolina.
Considering how much space and time Gillmor devotes to accountability and ethics, I would have expected him to post something as to why it's not there.
My comment was a slightly rewritten version of an earlier one, at a different online journal. The original is at Body and Soul.
This is self-plagiarized from another comments page, where the subject was Mohamed Arar and his mass� flight path to Syria:

There's this refusal to draw the obvious conclusion. People want to believe it's not so bad. Bad but not too bad.
That the dark side of American politics would be capable of Central American atrocities and assassinations, South American atrocities and assassinations, Asian atrocities and assassinations, the Middle East, Africa; you see what happens, it doesn't stop exactly, it begins to shift into marginal colors and then it fades into the shadows of conspiracy and paranoia.
Better to pretend it's all pretty much OK.
But it isn't and it wasn't.
That these men would do those things to protect their business interests in foreign countries would seem a clear indication they would do those things and worse to protect themselves at home, where not just their business interests but their families are threatened.
Yet the idea is still shocking to too many of us.
There's a sense of outrage that the owned media don't present the crimes of their masters to the public.
It's so much easier to believe there's a fixable problem. That these men would steal a presidential election, then four years later, after repeatedly defecating on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, participate dutifully in the next one, win or lose.
That they would encourage and participate in the killing of Salvador Allende but not Martin Luther King. That they would encourage and participate in the assassination of a generation of Argentinian "leftists" but not an American one.
But they would; they would and they did.
They used covert techniques that are as immoral as any traditional evil, on people who were not evil themselves, but merely in the way of the capitalist power train.
I hesitate to use a word like "capitalist" though, because it makes it all sound like a difference of economic opinion.
It isn't just Arar. At some point, long past, it became a question not of any specific thing this country had done, but of what this country is.
America is supposed to be a democracy, it shows that face to the world still.
But democracy is government by the people, and the American people are being told what to think, what to believe, and what to do, or else, by their government.
Government by the government.
That's the opposite of democracy.

That's tyranny.


Quadraplegic man has 25-year caregiver relationship with capuchin monkey.

Two minutes later, just as preparations were being completed, the EICAS issued a sharp bong--indicating the complete and total loss of both engines. Says Quintal "It's a sound that Bob and I had never heard before. It's not in the simulator." After the "bong," things got quiet. Real quiet. Starved of fuel, both Pratt & Whitney engines had flamed out.

At 1:21 GMT, the forty million dollar, state-of-the-art Boeing 767 had become a glider.

Wade H. Nelson 1997
Harrowing, thrilling, and the ending's great. What a tale. And it's Canadian.

I've been busy all day working next door


I just saw Judge Joe Brown on Tavis Smiley, making sense and talking real about James Earl Ray and the FBI.
msg comment at Body and Soul:
Fox CNN "News" conflated somewhat:

Anti-war environmentalist flight attendants beating conga drums marched around in circles while a reverent Bush met quietly with Coretta Scott King.
Later, at a fund-raiser, Bush said addiction is a problem of the heart, therefore government can't help. The assumption possibly being because government is heartless.
Faith can help though, and faith is under the sole-ownership of organized religion.
"The playing field is now level," said Bush. Meaning organized religion was now able to bid for government contracts alongside Halliburton and Bechtel.
"It's important for our country to honor his life and what he stood for. Dr. King understood that faith is power greater than all others," also was said by Bush.
That King was a man of action, and non-violent action exclusively, seems to have escaped his notice. That faith alone was not enough for Dr. King, that he found it necessary to risk, and ultimately sacrifice, his life, was not mentioned by Bush.
The recent FBI smear campaign itemizing King's extra-marital affairs was also not mentioned by Bush.
And certainly the King family's public statements proclaiming their belief that there had been a conspiracy to assassinate, and another, so far effective, conspiracy to cover up that conspiracy to assassinate, Martin Luther King, was also not mentioned by Bush.
Coretta Scott King had no comment on her meeting with the President.
Judge Joe Brown on Tavis Smiley Jan.16.04
Judge Joe Brown at Probe Magazine
Martin Luther King Assassination at Real History Archives



Besides the porn-smorgasboard, and dialing in your own personal fetish-triggers, what most people do eventually if they're looking at an online screen and have some time, they look up people they've lost contact with. I did that. I found some of 'em too. Some I didn't.
One day I typed in this friend of mine. He was a herpetologist. He was one of the too rare people I've known that could make me nervous about my intelligence. When I first knew him we became roomates and then fast friends. It was an odd time, a dark time overall, just after the bright afternoon of the late 60's. He had some snakes in a vivarium, getting high and watching the snakes eat live mice was a lesson in a lot of things, controlling the urge to vicarious sadism being one, accepting the transfer of nutrients from one life to another without judgement was another. The last time I saw him he was living in a college town in northern California, strung out on coke pretty much.Living in the country, had a lot of snakes still, and an old Triumph motorcycle. We got all hopped up and stoned and he asked me if I wanted to take the bike out. And I did. It was a part of the county very near where somebody had shot somebody back in the early 70's. The somebody that got shot had been sodomizing a five year old. The other somebody ended up with a reputation for a lot of other things besides that. I wasn't thinking about that so much as the Sheriff's Rifle Range I kept flying by, with the throttle wide open and my pulse as calm as a birthday cake. I was still young then, so was he, more than just about anyone he was kind and generous to me, not with things but with regard, we shared a lot of the same views of the world, his knowledge of zoology and biology meant he was containing a lot of rage. It's all put away now, but there were lots of voices raised even then, even before. So we lost touch. I helped his ex-old lady get to Ireland right around the same time. They lost touch too. You'd expect this to be about his eventual death in a crack-lab somewhere, with AIDS and TB or something, or his recovery and 12-step religious conversion and a regular job and life, but it didn't go that way.
I had no idea really, no preconceived notion. And I learned a little about the distant-ness of online information. The flat perspective of a web site with its do-your-best design and presentation.
Scott was my age, brave, strange, brilliant, and he played the flute, and I never gave that enough credit somehow. It still feels like a thing I could have done differently. For the rest I never felt like I fucked him over, never betrayed his trust in me, because it was realistic, he knew something was going on.
He was a 22 year old Jewish kid from Chicago by way of LA when I met him. Last time I saw him he was a coked-up biologist with a trust fund and a PHD. But he kept changing. I'm proud to have known him as well as I did.

this is a note a placeholder for later I'm so busy

Royalty of spectation the little singers on the tube, the off and on permission and denial and then reality tv has created a false but very real god that thinks of itself as benign because it has no history no past no sense of self other than the constant feeding back of light pulse and energy, it can't be evil because it doesn't MEAN to be evil. but it flicks away the unwanted souls without a backward glance like a 12 year old with a remote wand scanning channels or mp3'


...there has been little serious dialogue in the past two years, although the armed conflict is not as intense as it has been at several points over the 10-year course of the rebellion.

By adhering to the Geneva Convention and emphasizing the political aspects of struggle, the Zapatistas have distinguished themselves from most of the states and governments of the world, including those of the west, as well as other private or political groups that target civilians. Since the Bush Administration declared 'war on terrorism' without geographical or temporal limit, those who are against terrorism would do well to listen to the Zapatistas, who have seen terrorism deployed against them without responding in kind.

Indeed, just after 9/11, 2001, journalist Adofo Gilly described the 'warning' leveled by the Zapatistas: "Seven years ago, in the Mexican south, the Zapatista rebellion leveled a warning. They have not wanted to listen to it, they closed paths off to them, they mocked their ability to make politics and their will to preserve rights, peace, life. More than once Marcos told them that, after and beyond them, would come those from society's cellar, the faceless and nameless storm of the humiliated, the affronted, those who have always been treated like dirt by governments and officials, by the rich and the masters."

Justin Podur/rabbleJan.12.04

boldface added for emphasis

Alarmed at the rising number of tiny Chinook salmon and delta smelt that were being sucked into the pumps and killed, the agencies ordered the pumping slowed under the Endangered Species Act.
In a lawsuit filed by the Kern County Water Agency and other users, claims court Judge John Wiese ruled in 2001 that the government was required to compensate the farmers for the water they lost.
In a final decision issued Dec. 31, he said they lost more than 300,000 acre-feet of water that was worth nearly $14 million at the time.
With interest, that has swollen to $25 million to $26 million today, said John Stovall, the Kern water agency's chief attorney.
...the attorney who represented the valley water agencies, Roger Marzulla of Washington D.C., said the ruling has implications in other areas. He pointed to the Klamath River basin, where the federal government has imposed severe restrictions on water supplies to farmers in order to protect fish.
Valley water officials were elated with the ruling.

"It's a victory for farmers and urban water users," said Gary Bucher, water supply manager for the Kern County Water Agency. "Anyone who uses water from the Delta -- in California that's most of us -- should welcome this decision."

link The Village News Jan.13.04

Oil Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Pertinent facts and records at Rep. Henry Waxman's Politics & Science.
Ω{Gail Norton, U.S. Secretary of The Interior, has been lying in order to facilitate expansion of oil drilling in the ANRW. Though legally she can only be accused of making mistakes.}

Ω This story in Wired (Playboy Inc. suing Netscape for playboy link) is about something that when I talk about it makes me feel really eccentric and unimportant in my concerns. But I think it's central. So again.
The word "playboy" was already in the language. Hefner took it as the name of his magazine and from there his ownership of it grew with his empire. But it was there already.
And no one owned it.
The reason no one owned it is all the words in the language aren't owned until someone takes them, uses them enough, and makes enough money along with using them that a case could be made for their losing money if they can't privatize the word.
Which was originally free.
What's lost here, what no one seems to care about, is those words were not discovered in some ancient Egyptian tomb, they were not set down by Biblical scholars and hand-copied by monks in the Dark Ages. They were, each one, formed and spoken by individuals, and then reshaped and reformed as they were re-spoken by succeeding individuals, until they became part of the information commons that language is.
That original expression was first a poetic act, a creative act, and it produced a piece of intellectual property there was no claim for the rights to, as it was freely given.
Words like groovy, bitchin, rad, cool, neat, cherry - each had their moment of generational appropriation, they shifted and became something a little different than what they were to begin with, but they never became property. Every other word is like that too.
But then McDonald's is able to "own" that name, a name that was never associated with that company in a personal, legitimate way, but was adopted for its nuance of thrift, appropriated, some clan members might say stolen, from its rightful possessors.
We all get born blank slates, and accept the world as we find it as the world the way it is.
This buying and selling of things has taken deep hold of us, so that it seems to be the only way we have of being, but that's not true. It only seems like that because that's how it was when we got here.
The intellectual property of language has been commonly available, open-sourced and given by its originators, since the beginning of human speech.
You can see what I'm talking about if you watch the word playboy go from a word like any other to a word with an almost exclusively commercial meaning in the space of 50 years. It's like some great wilderness and these prospectors and loggers and miners come trooping in to stake their claims and "utilize" the resources. That no one owns.
Why can't the clan McDonald rise up and take back its own name? Because the return wouldn't offset the expense.

So here we are. We begin today.

The commander of the unit is Lt. Col. Mark Coats. Coats' demeanor is confident and alert. He is accommodating of my request to photograph his soldiers and their interaction with the children. There is no question of politics here, and the warmth of these soldiers toward the children is genuine. I get the impression that such events occur daily here, and not only when journalists are present. The children are excited to visit with the soldiers, but when the street gets too crowded, I wish the soldiers a safe duty and move on.

Farther down the road, Hiwa and I come across a U.S. military foot patrol on Haifa Street. While many of the engagement policies and raid tactics of coalition forces are incendiary to the local population, the rank-and-file soldiers I meet behave with dignity and grace in their daily interactions with Iraqi people.

Farmworker families and communities are exposed to organophosphates (OPs) through "take-home" exposures on clothing, cars, and skin.
"It is outrageous that EPA authorized the use of these pesticides, putting thousands of workers at risk of serious illness every year," said Erik Nicholson of the United Farmworkers of America. "These two pesticides can poison so many farmworkers that EPA found the risks unacceptable, but the agency still allowed them to be used."

Ω And the Bush amnesty/welcome for illegal immigrants? Besides discount buying the allegiance of broad-spectrum race-sensitive voters, does it bring in Zapatistas and liberation-theology Catholics, or a big lump of dirt-poor and desperate-for-anything hard-working no-questions-asked trabajadores?
Who are going to be:
a. more likely
b. less likely to co-operate with the boss-knows-best mentality that puts these poisons into their lives.
Building a voluntary slave class, one bright and shiny step at a time.

"Mom didn't actually say "BS"...she said the real word."

Carl Grimmer at Undernews Jan.14.04


The use of cameras to film people in the street is banned in Germany, Canada and several other countries. But it is accepted practice in Britain, which is alone in not having a privacy law that protects people against constant surveillance. The Data Protection Act states that the public has to be informed that CCTV systems are in operation, and be told how they can exercise their legal right to see their own footage. But civil rights groups said many councils, shops and businesses were failing to provide this information, and they estimated that up to 70 per of CCTVcamera operators were breaking the rules.

Some shopping-centre security guards use the cameras to track "socially undesirable" people, such as groups of teenage boys or rough sleepers, around stores, and then eject them...

link alsonotfoundinnature

If 23,000 Americans fell in combat tomorrow in one place, we'd certainly find out about it, but how long would it be remembered? Forever, you'd think. That was the approximate casualty count on Sept. 17, 1862, in Sharpsburg, Md. It's the American military's catastrophic record, the greatest scream of all the screams in our history. But except for locals and Civil War students, nobody hears it anymore, not even its echo.



Writing on the tautology of first cause AND the Tower of Babel microscope at dangerousmeta

And on genocide and the Pleistocene at Crooked Timber.

"Soros, who favors medicinal use of marijuana, complained that critics skip over his donations of $700 million to assist the growth of democracy in Eastern Europe."

Ω No. He favors the legalization of medicinal use of marijuana. The only way these people can win any rational argument is by deceit.


Sue Coe

A dummy pipe-bomb was also left at the plot, which was was the scene of a slaughter in 1988 when the lone loyalist gunman, Michael Stone, attacked mourners at the funeral of three IRA members killed by the SAS in Gibraltar. Their graves and the graves of the mourners who died that day were also vandalised.
The headstone of Bobby Sands, who was the first of 10 Republican prisoners to die on hunger strike in 1981, was smashed into three.
The dead have often been targets throughout the Troubles, and there have been more attacks on graveyards since the ceasefires.


Bobby Sands

Bobby Sands
George Jackson, Soledad Brother

Angela Davis

George Jackson by Bob Dylan


Feel The Spirit
From such humble beginnings came the Home Shopping Network (toasters, yes, but beautiful glass figurines, too!), which Paxson and partner Roy Speer sold to TCI's Liberty Media in 1993.
In between selling HSN and beginning Pax TV in 1998, Paxson experienced a religious conversion. As related in his autobiography, "Threading the Needle," he was staying at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, mourning the dissolution of his marriage, when he found a Gideon's Bible in his bedside drawer. (The book's title comes from Luke: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.")
The irony of accepting Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior in a hotel with a Roman theme seems to have been lost on Paxson, but he is not a man given to irony.

Feel The Spirit is the brand phrase for Pax TV

Ω Undoing the confusion of Mars. Mars is a planet, the next out from the sun from us here on Earth. The British sent a probe to Mars, it was called Beagle 2. Without having read or heard this anywhere, I feel confident it was named in commemoration of Charles Darwin's voyage of discovery on the ship H.M.S. Beagle.
NASA, at the same time, sent a probe to Mars, entirely unrelated to the British one. At least the little bit of actual news coverage of these events I've read hasn't linked them except in the most cursory tangential way. The NASA probe was called Spirit.
The British probe Beagle 2 lost contact with Earth after it entered the Martian atmosphere, and is still missing as of this writing.
The NASA probe Spirit landed safely, and has been broadcasting pictures of the Martian surface.
There has been a shocking lack of explanation about these events.
Why were these technically difficult and astronomically expensive projects undertaken separately, seemingly redundantly? What is the Spirit that's being referred to by NASA? Is it a particular spirit? Or is it enthusiasm and loyalty, like "team spirit"? Is it the "Holy Spirit" of Christian mythos? Is it a universal thing, something we all share, like the "one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind" of Neil Armstrong?
When so much of our social landscape is dominated by people who are re-enacting the Scopes Trial, why isn't someone talking about the symbolic weight of these events in the public media?
In a world that has been turned upside down, a religion that was forged in heroic love and courageous sacrifice has become the refuge of spiteful cowards.


...a mountain lion killed 35-year-old cyclist Mark Reynolds, whose body was found shortly after another cougar attack along a popular trail in the rugged Orange County foothills.

It is the sixth fatal mauling of a human by a mountain lion in California and the first since 1994
Deputies said Thursday night that they shot and killed the 110-pound mountain lion responsible for the attacks, but on Friday they weren't taking any chances. For now, they will shoot to kill any mountain lion they encounter near the trail, Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said.

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains, will remain closed indefinitely.
Reynolds' parents in St. Joseph, Mo., are "taking comfort knowing that he died doing what he loved most."
..."The fact of how he was killed is very disturbing to [them]. They're in shock."
Hanley, Yoshino, Anton/LATimes Jan.10.04 (reg. req.)

Ω It's a sad and horrible thing. But there's a truth in it that's completely invisible.
Start here:
6 people have died from mountain lion attacks. In California, ever, since the beginning of non-Indian record-keeping.
In California, 116 people were killed in bicycle traffic fatalities in 2001.
In 2002 in California, 126 people were killed in bicycle traffic fatalities.
Which means 10 more people died that year than the year before while riding bicycles. An increase of less than ten per cent.
In one year the difference between the previous year's bicycle mortality statistics was a growth of less than ten per cent, but that number itself, 10 people, was nearly twice the number of people who have ever been killed by mountain lions, in California.
Each year, for some time now, at least a hundred people have died on bicycles in California. Over a thousand since 1990. And most of those fatalities involved automobiles.
Over 11,000 people were injured in bicycle accidents in each of those years. Again most of them involving automobiles.
In 2002 there were 4,138 people killed in what the CHP calls Motor Vehicle Collisions. That's more than 10 people a day. Every day, statistically, on average, in California, year in and year out.
Each day almost twice as many people die on the highway as have ever died from mountain lion attacks in California all together. That isn't 6 people attacked and killed by mountain lions every year, that's EVER.

How these numbers can co-exist, why the public is so outraged by the smallest and so indifferent to the largest, is part of the same mechanism of denial that drives virtually all of what we're doing now. We are becoming something else, something other than what we were.
This has always been the case, it's the same for all living things, but what human beings are doing to accelerate the rate of that change in a particular direction is in feedback.
We're domesticating ourselves. And like all domesticated animals we fear the wild predator instinctively, irrationally, while we accept the managing presence of what shapes our lives to its own ends.
Whether that presence is a sentient thing or an accidental construct of our prosthetic compensation doesn't matter.
Whether we're being domesticated by someone, or by a machine we built ourselves, matters less than that it's happening.

There's a thread at kuro5hin about God and prescience and free will. #247

While sitting at your desk, lift your right foot off the floor and make
clockwise circles.
Now, while doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your right
Your foot will change direction and there's nothing you can do about it!
-- Skypclubber Fil
this is a true thing and somewhat humbling

Blair refuses to meet Dalai Lama
A spokeswoman said: "The Prime Minister has many, many requests from people to meet him in the course of a year and he obviously can't manage to see everybody."
The Times of India Jan.10.04
Geldof meets Blair, Blair refuses to meet Dalai Lama
Prime Minister Tony Blair met this week with Sir Bob Geldof, the Irish pop star turned activist...organiser of the Live Aid concerts...
Daily News (South Africa) Jan.08.04

ann telnaes has more balls than the entire Republican Party



In the 1950s, China developed a way of cultivating Laminaria on long ropes suspended in the ocean, and this became a widespread source of income for large numbers of coastal families. By 1981, they were producing 1 200 000 wet tonnes annually of seaweed. In the late 1980s, production fell as some farmers switched to the more lucrative but risky farming of shrimp. By the mid-1990s, production had started to rise and the reported harvest in 1999 was 4 500 000 wet tonnes. China is now self-sufficient in Laminaria and has a good export market.

Exercise 3
"An explosion ripped through a busy street Friday as worshippers streamed out of a Shiite Muslim mosque after midday prayers in the central town of Baqouba, killing at least two people and wounding dozens of others, doctors and officials said.
In Saddam Hussein�s hometown, Tikrit, some 300 U.S. soldiers swept through the city overnight, detaining 30 Iraqis � including a dozen suspected insurgents � in one of the biggest raids since the end of the American-led war to oust Saddam."

ΩIgnore the blasphemy, the dissonance of religious fundamentalists bombing a street in front of a mosque right as it filled with worshippers. Ignore the Koranic strictures against exactly that. Ignore the impossibility of what's taking place right now in Iraq being somehow completely separate from "the American-led war to oust Saddam" because surely that's over, Saddam is in fact ousted, so that "war" whoever was leading it, is over, and it says this right here in the Herald Tribune, "...since the end of the American-led war to oust Saddam."; and yet there's nothing in the last ten months to mark the end of that war but an increase in the killing and the detention of people who were first marketed to us as captives in need of liberation and have now been rebranded as insurgents and overall as generic enemies, haji, all looking the same and speaking the same language and increasingly sharing the same look of terror and defiance when they see "our" troops.
But look at that phrase, "...swept through the city overnight, detaining 30 Iraquis - including a dozen suspected insurgents..."
Practice answering these questions until it becomes nearly automatic, so that later the lag time won't get in the way:
1. Are we supposed to think of the dozen "suspected insurgents" as being already under suspicion? That their names were known already, their images available on the stainless steel combat laptops the troops carried with them?
2. If the dozen were insurgents, or "suspected" insurgents, what were the other eighteen? Possibly suspected? Was someone getting ready to suspect them?
3. Using only the text given, can you make a clear distinction between "Iraqi" as a citizen of the country known as "Iraq", and "Iraqi" as a member of a dark reservoir of terrorists and "insurgents" whose only motivation is a hatred of freedom?


"Ole!" cry out the bullfight buffs. It's a Spanish corruption of a word brought to Spain by Muslims in the 8th century: "Allah."


Q. When did the Holocaust actually begin?

A. Dec. 7, 1941. But you say that was the morning the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor? Quite so. It was also the morning Nazi technicians at the Kulmhof death camp in Poland gassed the first group of the Holocaust's martyred six million.



Never having really been more than cosmetically patriotic, corporate America put on world-class clothes and eventually began playing against the vibrant domestic economy that had given it birth. The old military-industrial/energy complex combined with predatory finance capital � now the controlling faces in corporate boardrooms � men who create nothing and hold allegiance to no nation, but rather, seek the ultimate advantage of world monopoly. In 2000 these Pirates captured Washington, DC with the plainly stated goal of subduing the globe by military force and intimidation.

It is at this point that the Dream Period ended, definitively, for Black America. There will be no return in the foreseeable future to the times of robust and general domestic growth. Instead, the era of American decline is well underway, and is likely to be punctuated by abrupt, dramatic, and extremely dangerous social dislocations, during which we will learn the fuller meaning of living �in the belly of the beast.�


The �Natashas� are part of a vast new underground economy � the trafficking of women and children. Groups like Amnesty International and UNICEF have been sounding the alarm about it for years. Now a new book by CTV reporter Victor Malarek � The Natashas: The New Global Sex Trade � paints a harrowing picture of this merchandising of human beings.
The numbers are staggering: 800,000 to 900,000 women and children a year are being trafficked, according to the U.S. State Department. UNICEF believes that the numbers for children alone could be as high as one million.

The money is also staggering � $12 billion a year, which means that humans have become almost as lucrative to traffic as drugs or weapons. It is very much a �win-win� type of business: the �exporter� can make several thousand dollars a head, with very little overhead, while the �owner� can usually make back his initial investment in a few days.

Stan Hister/rabble Jan.05.04


reach out to your neighbors and rest assured

Today I am announcing that the Department of Homeland Security has issued aviation emergency amendments to further enhance security relating to both passenger and cargo aircraft flying to, from and over the United States. Specifically, we have requested that international air carriers, where necessary, place trained, armed, government law enforcement officers on designated flights as an added protective measure. These directives, effectively immediately, are part of our ongoing effort to make air travel safe for Americans and visitors alike.

All Americans should know: Now that we are at a Code Orange state of alert, additional meaningful security measures have been put in place.

And these measures - both visible and invisible to travelers - are blanketing airports, seaports, chemical and nuclear sites, gathering places - all across America, and with unparalleled protection.

I also want to remind all Americans that as we continue under an Orange alert, your awareness and preparedness is critical to the ultimate security of our nation. Reporting any suspicious activity you may see helps security officials help you and your fellow citizens.

Additionally, simple steps you can take - such as preparing a family emergency plan, putting together an emergency supply kit, staying informed - these all can go a long way toward making us more secure and better prepared.

In the end, each of us must remember that we are at war - at war against an enemy driven by hate and determined to destroy the ideals we cherish and the way of life we hold dear. For them, victory is gained if we give in to the terror and panic they seek to create.

And yet, as citizens you make the difference in this fight. When you choose to get on a plane, when you choose to live your lives, when you choose to press on even in the face of fear, you send a message to the terrorists - a message that says, in the midst of threats, we will not give way to fear.

nothing but ashtrays
and stripes

link path ::: wood s lot :::

rules forbid the state or counties from telling consumers exactly where recalled meat was sold.

Max Silverman
Rabble News

Not an ashtray in sight

link Drudge

Surreal Press
While the raid did yield many weapons, TNT, and grenades, the method in which it was conducted may be more detrimental to the occupiers efforts than the fruits it yielded.

They arrested its prayer leader, Shaikh Mahdi Salah al-Sumaidi, a member of the Supreme Council for Religious Guidance, along with 20 of his assistants. General Kimmit went out of his way to point out in the video, how the Sheikh was bound and handled as fairly as all the other detainees.

My Iraqi friend sitting next to me holds her hand to her forehead, holding her head and shaking it slowly while watching the bound Sheikh, as well as the soldiers wearing boots in the mosque, carrying weapons, and rolling up the rugs. She is in disbelief.


ΩA few weeks ago I was driving on one of the main streets in the downtown core of this Central California city/town. I grew up here so there's resonance and nuance all over the place, especially since I left while still young, and only recently moved back. I was with my mother who's 89, and likes to go for drives in the car. We were pulling up to a stoplight, a moderately busy intersection, I had noticed a woman about a half a block earlier, she had that zealot face I've learned to recognize, stern sexless disapproval, I link it with Scientology for some reason, that may be unfair I don't know, she was walking briskly and sternly away from the light we were pulling up to, which has on one corner a Foster's Freeze we ate at as a treat when I was little, and on another corner the pet shop that's been there for decades, and right then I saw, just as I was coming to a stop because of the traffic, the light change to green, and from directly overhead a large black bird, a crow or raven tumbling straight down, on its back though, wings weakly fluttering half-outspread, legs bent but pointing straight up, the bird was on its back exactly with its tail outspread and its head sort of lifted, which was very surreal, it fell directly in front of the car, maybe three feet away, I was still rolling having not come to a complete stop, but then of course I did stop, it occurred to me to get out and pick it up and carry it to the side of the road it would obviously get run over quickly it's a busy street, but then I thought it might be, probably was, ill, and that wouldn't be a good idea, then I thought about just running it over because I could make sure it wasn't suffering but it was all in that space of time between deciding to stop, stopping, and deciding to go, a few seconds, I pulled into the next lane over and went on through. Later we came back down that same street and I saw that it had been thoroughly run over many times. Later still it occurred to me it could easily have been shot. There's a whole subtext here I won't touch, involving signs and superstition and my love for the wild and its creatures.
Tonight, a cold clear evening, I was again driving my mom around, it was that time of a winter day when the light is almost gone, and if you look toward the west you can see the last smears of sunset on the clouds near the horizon, the hills become silhouettes, in fact everything to the west becomes a silhouette, dark outlines and shapes, the construction paper cut-out of reality, the detailed edge outlined and everything inside that all one black stuff, and we were coming out of a parking lot facing west, the road crosses a creek there and there are trees and bushes so that what I saw was the dark gray blue of the sky fading toward the lighter and lighter edge at the horizon and that spectrum held in a notch through the trees where the creek was and all around that the intricate shadow substance of trees and bushes with power lines running transverse off to the side and everything only those three colors, black blue and gray, though of course a thousand different shades within that and suddenly the shadow-shape of a large bird detached itself from the upper left corner of the group of trees at the center of the image and floated down through the center of it, in the gap over the creek itself, the bird shape a piece like all the rest of the darkness completely undifferentiated except by its outline and I could see its claws extended it came down slowly but straight not flapping its wings but gliding almost vertically down and then it merged with the still thicker darkness at the bottom of the scene, and by that time I'd driven too far to continue looking without stopping the car in the middle of the street.

Some state that was invented by Lord Bertrand Russell. S. T. Achen, however, claims
that was designed by J. Holtom at the request of Russell. In any case
was initially used as a rallying sign at the 1958 demonstration against Aldermaston
(a British research center for the development of nuclear weapons).
The power of is emphasized by the fact that the South African
government, during the 1970s, seriously considered forbidding .
They found "anti-Christian" and "pro-Communist."
Achen, the late Danish semiotician, wrote that , ironically, was forbidden at times in some of the communist countries.

John Solomon-David Gram/AP
Telegram Tribune Jan.04.04

ΩMission Accomplice

Travellers face years of delays to flights


a desire on the part of the indigenous population to be reincarnated as affluent white people


ΩOne time I was on the road and I was out of it a little from being on the road and the things that happen and the way the air is pretty strong with poison by the side of the road and I was over by this river up in Washington Chehalis or someplace up there and there was a wooden bridge I remember and the water was nice a lot of green grass on the banks and this Indian guy came walking up and I don't remember what we talked about but we talked for a little and he had a steelhead a pretty good size one as I remember it maybe 30 inches maybe more a big nice fat fish and he gave it to me or he wanted to give it to me but I wouldn't take it because I was living out of my backpack and didn't have the presence of mind to think what a wonderful sight it would have been to see a young man, which I was, fairly nice-looking and tan and strong, with a nice green backpack at his feet and a big silver fish in his arms, and how most certainly whoever would have stopped for that would have been someone it would have been good to know and the adventure of a different life another life the same me the same time the same numbers on the days and the years but new directions and new love and new people to talk to and remember but I was afraid really not practical but afraid of it and I think more deeply and in a spiritual sense I was being misguided punished and held back in punishment and because I was a good boy in that sense in the sense I had learned to let them do things to me without complaining and to follow instructions given in a certain tone I did what I was supposed to and said no I couldn't take it which I cringe at now literally cringe thinking about it and what a gesture that is especially to a man like that still holding the remnants of that way of being and what that fish had meant for him for them for thousands of years probably an unbroken chain of gift from land to family which is what that gesture is isn't it? Family. Here. Eat. It's a choosing. We choose that you get to eat, we want you to eat, meaning we want you to live...

In a show for the public and the media on Friday, Irwin held his son in one arm while feeding a dead chicken to a large, lunging crocodile then put the baby on the ground and helped him walk near the reptile's pond.

[The] Seven television network was inundated with calls after the incident was aired. Protests were lodged on a government families crisis line and with police.

Irwin told the Herald Sun newspaper that he would never endanger his child and he had been in complete control of the crocodile.
"I guess what I am doing is teaching him to be completely familiar with crocodiles," he said. "It is far more dangerous to pack your kid up and go out on the road."

-Reuters/Yahoo Jan.02.04

Two animal welfare groups are challenging the government's backing of a �32m research laboratory which will use monkeys in research on Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other incurable diseases.
Lawyers for Animal Aid and the National Anti-Vivisection Society have lodged an appeal against the deputy prime minister, John Prescott's approval of the project drawn up by Cambridge University.

Scientists defended the proposal at the planning inquiry a year ago. They said experiments carried out on monkeys would be crucial for potential breakthroughs in treating some of the most-feared incurable diseases.

-Martin Wainwright/GuardianUK

ΩWainright's biased reportage notwithstanding, these two stories, antipodean and podean, are about the same thing.
And Wainright gets one part right, at least. It's about fear.
"Most-feared...diseases." 'Incurable' thrown in for subliminal emphasis, because obviously if they were 'curable' the argument would lose most of its steam.
See how it's justified? Fear. See how the same argument could so easily be made for human experiments, on humans?
Think of the benefits to society, and they were prisoners anyway, scum, worthless parasites.
Monkeys. Crocodiles.
Monkey is to man as man is to crocodile.
And crocodile is to man as man is to monkey.

Steve Irwin's no reckless endangerer, he knows what he's doing, and something that doesn't show through on his shows or in his books, the anger he must have to face down every day. He loves these creatures, and he sees more than most of us how they're being killed one by one and family by family.
And what he said about going out on the road being far more dangerous needs to be said a thousand times a day.
The single greatest cause of death in people under 30 is traffic fatalities.
Right behind that information comes the knee-jerk learned response of drunk driving being at fault, but no, that's not true. It's the automobile. Not alcohol, not drugs, not terrorists. Just getting in cars and going 80 miles an hour inside a ton of steel while other people do the same thing right next to you going the other way. People are brainwashed about that. It's that plain and it's that simple.
Cowardice is a virtue now. Fear justifies the most disgusting and obscene crimes.

The Monkey's Heart

The Monkey's Revenge

The Crocodile Hunter


In India:
CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre (GBC) in Hyderabad

�It�s not the first time for India. We have been doing it since ancient times.�

Thanks to its circular design, fewer materials were used in the building�s construction. Those that were, were recycled and eco-friendly -- broken mosaic tiles, steel, wood, glass, fly ash brick, oil-and CFC-free equipment and the locally-available bettum cherla stone. Inside, all the carpets and paint are non-toxic. The workers employed in the building�s construction were all local people.

Water is regarded as a precious resource -- the building employs water-harvesting methods and wastewater is treated on-site and diverted for storage, to a water body on the edge of the plot, to be used for the garden. Here again there is a harking back to ancient architecture. �The root zone water regeneration system we have used in the GBC is very common in Mughal gardens..."

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