...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



Yehuda Bauer writes: "Three million Poles were murdered by the Nazis during the course of the war, by methods best defined as selective genocide. The Polish intelligentsia, the Catholic priesthood - especially in Western Poland - and a large peasant population fell victim to the Nazi desire to eliminate the proud Polish nation. In contrast to other European nations, practically no political figures in Poland cooperated politically with the Nazis."


more to come


Budapest. Military Cameramen, 1944
Georgi Zelma
Howard Schickler Fine Art


Stalingrad. The Barricade: Battle for the Factory, 1942-43
Georgi Zelma
Howard Schickler Fine Art


Record of Wireless Message to Bela Kun
V.I. Lenin Mar.23.1919

Apart from the 200,000 Hungarian soldiers who lost their lives in the fruitless struggle against the Soviet Union, the main casualties of the Second World War in Hungary were the Jews. The Final Solution in Hungary was carried out with a speed and brutality hardly matched elsewhere. About 435,000 Jews were deported from Hungary between May and November 1944, with only perhaps 120,000 surviving. This is one of greatest tragedies in Hungarian history; yet after 1945 the Hungarians failed to come to grips with the Holocaust, a fact reflected in the absence of any major memorials to it. Budapest was the residence of Adolf Eichmann, who oversaw the deportations. It was also the residence of Raoul Wallenberg, third secretary of the Swedish legation, who risked being shot as he worked to save over 20,000 Jews by issuing them with Swedish passports. Wallenberg later disappeared into the Soviet gulag...

Hungary's Battle For Memory

John W. Mason
History Today March, 2000
at the Look Smart/Find Articles search page

There are long preambles to Fermi's questions like this:

- The universe is vast, containing myriads of stars, many of them not unlike our Sun. Many of these stars are likely to have planets circling around them. A fair fraction of these planets will have liquid water on their surface and a gaseous atmosphere. The energy pouring down from a star will cause the synthesis of organic compounds, turning the ocean into a thin, warm soup. These chemicals will join each other to produce a self-reproducing system. The simplest living things will multiply, evolve by natural selection and become more complicated till eventually active, thinking creatures will emerge. Civilization, science, and technology will follow. Then, yearning for fresh worlds, they will travel to neighboring planets, and later to planets of nearby stars. Eventually they should spread out all over the Galaxy. These highly exceptional and talented people could hardly overlook such a beautiful place as our Earth. - "And so," - Fermi came to his overwhelming question, - "if all this has been happening, they should have arrived here by now, so where are they ?" - It was Leo Szilard, a man with an impish sense of humor, who supplied the perfect reply to Fermi's rethoric: - "They are among us,"- he said, - "but they call themselves Hungarians."

The Martians' Vision of The Future
George Marx
Department of Atomic Physics, Eotvos University, Budapest

Crusher of Dreams and Dreamers Alike

What these three books have in common is the attempt to come to grips with one of the essential and tragic elements of the last century. Stalin was a giant whose policies ended in the slaughter of millions amid the crushing of dreams and dreamers alike. He sacrificed communism on the altar of Russian nationalism, practicing a realpolitik more like Winston Churchill than the idealistic anti-colonialist Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He was a paranoid with reason to fear that his unsavory past as a gangster-revolutionary and czarist agent would catch up with him, and he had a lifelong hatred of Jews, including those who had long served the revolution he claimed to lead. His legacy was the icy hand of totalitarian fear. According to a perhaps apocryphal tale, after Nikita Khrushchev renounced Stalinism in his famous "secret speech" to the party central committee, a delegate in the back shouted out, "And where were you when all this was happening?"

"Who said that?" Khrushchev thundered. The large hall fell silent.

"That's where I was," Khrushchev said.
Book reviews of
Grand Delusion: Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia
The Secret File of Joseph Stalin: A Hidden Life
and Stalin's Secret Pogrom: The Postwar Inquisition of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee
David Twersky
Forward Sep.07.01


Q. What's the largest cell in the human body?

A. The female egg cell. Smallest, the male sperm cell.



found dead in a friend's apartment
In August, Mr. [Father,ex-] Geoghan was strangled and beaten in prison; another inmate was charged in the killing.
"I said when Geoghan died, at least he'll never molest another child again," Mr. Oberle said. "But he's still molesting them. He's still affecting these children."
The article mentions a group called Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. And of course it's absurd to think of starting a group called Survivors Network of Those Abused by Those Abused by Those Priests Who Were Themselves Abused By Survivors of Abuse.
Because it's more fun when it stops at one.
Then we can take out all our revenge fantasies on a deserving subject. And feel good about ourselves. It's hard to feel all spiritually clean about punishing someone who was abused though isn't it?
So let's not think about Geoghan's childhood, because it doesn't matter.
He did it. Or maybe the Church did it. Or the devil. Or God.
You see? Once you start being logical there's no place to stick the blame. It all just rolls on out from somewhere so dimly far back none of us can see it anymore.
And don't get me started on putting people in jail for drug crimes who are doing drugs because they were violated. Between AA and the Republicans and the Catholic Church, I've got more evidence than I need.
There's nothing here worth saving.
Updated 8:52
Alright there's lots worth saving. But I'm more bitter than I can stand right now.
Probably because I'm not numb, so that's why it hurts.
My father was molested by a Catholic priest. When he was 8 years old.
The grip necessary to not hate, starting with my father and working back and out to the entire human race, takes a lot of energy to maintain. Of course the victims of my own blind hurtling fall can pass their own anger and bitterness back through me.
Which for a while there seemed like what was up. I forgave everybody that came before me, and everybody who came after me on the chain blamed me.
That's the personal side of the sarcasm above.
And McSorley there, a kid who knew a lot more about the damage done than he was allowed to say. There was no healing for him. And more importantly, the healing his honest testimony might have done was itself taboo. He had to be maintained as an innocent victim, the damage somehow having been done to him, but not showing as anything more than depression and apathy. Any psychiatrist would say there were bound to have been other more complex reactions, more ambivalent, more shaming. In an attempt to keep the priest as scapegoat, the blame gets lifted off the boy, even for his suicide. But the boy became a man.
My father became a man. How sick he was is hard to measure now, he's been dead for 13 years. What he did to me, when I was too young to know what was right or wrong, is impossible to prove now. My memories are fragments and unreliable for a task that serious.
The bitterness is real.
AA, with it's insistence on personal responsibility, has abandoned a consistent percentage of the very people it was founded to save.
The Catholic Church, to preserve itself as an institution, again, has abandoned the very people it was founded to save.
The Republican Party is beneath discussion.

Important note to those of you who are going to email me: The last few days, I have received at least 3 emails saying, "I read your blog and don't agree with what you say but we have a famous saying in America- I don't agree with what you say but I'll die for your right to say it." Just a note- it's not your famous American saying, it is French and it is Voltaire's famous saying:"I do not agree with a word you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it."

Peres: Israel Has No Claim to West Bank

Peres, in a speech after meetings with Secretary of State Colin Powell and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, said "time is short'' - no more than four months - for Israel to come to terms with Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia.
"The opening is not for a long time,'' he said at a dinner sponsored by the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation, a dovish private group.
Israel must give up all of the land that it captured in the 1967 Middle East war, he said. "If you keep 10 percent of the land you keep 100 percent of the conflict,'' Peres said.
His prescription for a pullback includes gradual withdrawal from the West Bank after Israel gives up all of Gaza to the Palestinians. "It is not a political decision, it is a moral decision,'' Peres said.
He said Israel should provide the Palestinians with a state that is viable and contiguous.


zero tolerance section of the community continues sucking shamelessly on the public teat. These parasitic slackers don't care that their leech-like behaviour makes even welfare-seeking single mothers look mutually obliging. They just sit back on their florid derrieres, living the high life on government handouts and thumbing their noses at the hard-working taxpayers left to pick up the tab.
They are, of course, the elderly.
While today is the day John Howard will let Peter Costello out of his box to give a major statement on ageing, you can bet your panicked pre-election populism that whatever he comes up with won't come close to curtailing the rampaging bloodsucking of these atrophying freeloaders.
Fact: Many elderly job snobs are just plain lazy. They kick back in granny flats, nursing homes and emergency wards, even though they're still perfectly capable of engaging in menial labour in production lines, pet-food factories, faecal recycling facilities and so on.
Fact: Forcing grand folk into such work is fiscally and socially responsible: First, it will shorten their increasingly costly existence and, second, it will give them the satisfaction of knowing they're giving something back to the community they've sponged from so shamelessly for so many years.
Critics of forced aged labour are bound to bleat about physical incapacity, human dignity and the right to die at home among loved ones rather than on pensioner chain gangs. They'll point out that even hunter-gathers such as the Kalahari bushmen were able to support entire generations of non-working young, sick and old, despite their allegedly subsistence lifestyle.
But what Australia's bleeding hearts need to remember is that we are not root-eating, loincloth-wearing, elderly supporting savages. We live in an advanced, civilised society and must therefore pay through the nose to avoid a lonely death in a clothing bin.

Bludger : lazy person, layabout, somebody who always relies on other people to do things
Rort (verb or noun) : Cheating, fiddling, defrauding (expenses, the system etc.)
Whinge : complain

save sparrows

The government minister leading the campaign to boost the sparrow population has blamed their disappearance on "trendy gardens" and an explosion in the number of pet cats.
Ben Bradshaw, Minister for Nature Conservation, told the BBC: "The kind of trendy make-over of gardens has deprived sparrows of some of the food that they and their young need, particularly the young in their first year."
A government leaflet advises people on enticing the creatures back to gardens after a slump in numbers to about 13 million from a 1970s peak of 25 million.
Tips include leaving out food, avoiding mowing lawns intensively during the summer and leaving small, weedy patches.
Suggested treats for sparrows are bags of seeds and nuts, dry porridge oats, chopped bacon rind, uncooked pastry and dried cheese.
Mr Bradshaw added: "The cat population has exploded in Britain in recent years and still far too many owners of cats do not put bells around their cats' necks.
BBC Science Feb.20.04

Bun Day
The votes have been tallied and newscaster Svanhildur H�lm Valsd�ttir was for the second year running named Iceland�s sexiest woman.
To celebrate her second straight title, Svanhildur decided to forgo the three-day rental car provided by Avis. Instead, she�ll hang out at the local supermarket and collect free Bollur. That�s right, yesterday was Bolludagur (Bun Day), the day when Icelanders stuff themselves with cream-filled pastries.

Bun Day is always the Monday of the seventh week before Easter. (I know, easy for me to say.) The tradition is said to come from pre-Reformation times, when �it seems to have been common for people to begin the Lenten fast by eating no meat for the two days before Lent proper began,� according to the book �High Days and Holidays in Iceland.�
EW/Iceland Review Online Feb.24.04


Rhetorics of Surveillance
(images lapsed but text still working)


Stargell took you back to the front lines when he spoke of the day a Klansman greeted him at the gates of the ballpark in Plainview, Texas, by putting a shotgun to his head and daring him to play.

Stargell played, anyway, only to be all but undone when he mistook the backfire of an automobile for the shotgun blast he was promised if he took the field. "I went to my knees, my kidneys got weak," Stargell once told me during an interview.

"But I played an outstanding game," he continued. "I had made up my mind that if I was going to die, I was going to die doing what I really wanted to do. I didn't want to go back to the projects in California. I wanted to play baseball, in the worst way."

Eulogy for Willie "Pops" Stargell
Claire Smith
Philadelphia Inquirer 2001


The hurricane is still coming

"The Earth system follows laws which scientists strive to understand," said Dr. F. Sherwood Rowland a Nobel laureate in chemistry. "The public deserves rational decisionmaking based on the best scientific advice about what is likely to happen, not what political entities might wish to happen."

"We are not simply raising warning flags about an academic subject of interest only to scientists and doctors," said Dr. Neal Lane, a former director of the National Science Foundation and a former Presidential Science Advisor. "In case after case, scientific input to policymaking is being censored and distorted. This will have serious consequences for public health."

Scientific Integrity in Policymaking

An Investigation into the Bush Administration's Misuse of Science

Union of Concerned Scientists
link Butterflies and Wheels

Rinzai Roku at whiskey river

Mutants Make Clusters
Darwinian evolution consists of genetic diversity, providing all sorts of possible solutions to life's problems, coupled with natural selection, the destruction of all those solutions that do not work very well. Just as animals can not wish themselves longer necks to get food, a bacterium can not make itself adapt if it does not already possess the genetic solution.


Indian Border Security Force Soldiers patrol the picturesque Dal Lake in Srinagar, the summer capital of the Indian held state of Kashmir, February 19, 2002. Once a tourist hotspot, the only visitors to this magnificent landscape these days are Indian soldiers.


An Even Queerer Argument For Marriage

Marriage gets its sanctity, if it has any, not from God, who gives sanctity to all or withholds it from all, and not even from the children who are potentially the outcome of and the reason for, marriage in the first place; but from the ongoingness of what we are, we as a species, as "human", as "thing".
This gets perverted and reduced to the sanctity of presently existing children being the determinant, but that's a lie.
It's the extension, the unheld, the open-ended reach of what we are becoming eventually something we're not, or not yet, though we could accurately be said to have that with us, here, to be carrying it.
It's in an effort to determine, to mold, the nature and form of that potential thing that these asinine laws and rules were invented, not so much by the men at the time of their writing but by the full measure of all the men who will benefit, whose "genes" will benefit from those laws. It is, as always, a biological struggle masquerading as holy war.
But the holiness dies first, the innocent are the first casualties. And the idea that there's anything sacred about the gloating imbeciles who sneer at real human suffering and point to a cardboard image of a God they themselves manufactured to serve their own interests, is obscene, all by itself, without any sex being involved.
You can consistently reverse the claims of the duped by 180 degrees and see what they're really about. Anti-life, hate-filled, arrogant human-centered bigotry, flaunting itself as pro-life, loving, God-obeying humility. Nonsense.
Of course marriage is about children, first, and financial matters, second.
But it's a delusional fantasy to regard "children" being children as some constant state; they grow up, they have children of their own, some of them, and that is what makes marriage sacred, when it is, that continuation.
Not the actual child by child but the becoming, the possible, the beyond-the-self and still-living and unnameable reality of what we are becoming something more.
Too much of this time's attitude toward the sacrifices of the past is that we, now, are the reason for all that sacrifice. That's probably the single most disgusting attitude I've ever encountered.
The argument isn't about sacred or profane or homosexual or heterosexual, it's about a little cluster of rules invented by some desperate men that were clever enough in design that they worked, for those men and their descendents, and continue to work, for those men and their descendents, at the expense of anything and anyone that gets in their way.



The queer argument against marriage

Noble's point is also that, while important, gay marriage is by no means the end of the struggle. "My concerns are that there is a perception amongst gay activists, or at least the ones who make the news clips, that somehow 'we' are now liberated. It's just not true, and marriage is hardly the end of an oppressive sexual system which is violently policed," she says. "If anyone's going to be married, then everyone should. I fully support inclusion of same-sex spouses. That said, I am tremendously concerned that the gay-marriage issue has become a kind of flagship issue, one which is perceived to mark the liberation of all gay peoples from oppression.:

Unfortunately, it's unlikely that this emphasis will shift in the coming months as the debate over gay marriage is raised once again as an election issue in both Canada and the U.S. It may be that the only way to expand the debate at this point is to put grassroots pressure on groups like Egale to pursue not only equal civil rights, but to challenge an entire system that excludes both queer communities and heterosexuals like single mothers who do not fit into the idealized definition of "family."

Reflections From Africa

Large fields of millet are grown during the rainy season, and the ubiquitous baobab trees have dry millet stalks and other provender arranged neatly in the branches about 20 feet off the ground, to be used for feeding livestock and thatching roofs. The high vertical face of the adjacent cliff is lined with ancient caves from previous tribal inhabitants, and stone and adobe granaries are lined up under the overhanging stone, far above the cultivated valley plain.

The village was small, protected by an adobe wall. We walked in narrow corridors between walls because the families each enclose their own area with an open space in the center for cooking, for their goats and sheep (and sometimes donkeys)...and where the many children play.

Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter Blog update February 5-8: Mali

Among other things the Carters, through the Carter Center, have taken on the the eradication of Guinea worm disease, working with an international coalition including the Red Cross and the UN, and achieving a case reduction of 99 per cent since 1986. Guinea worm is the one where it sticks its head out and you grab it with some pliers and pull it slowly out over a period of days. But it's also seriously debilitating and unnecessary and when the campaign started there were 3.5 million people who had it. Now there's less than 35,000.


One day, she began crying because she didn't want to go to school. I recited the symptoms she needed to be able to stay home. She cried harder and harder until she began to dry heave.
"Look, Mom," she cried."I'm throwing up! Can I please stay home?"
That day, I started the search for another school.
Evelyn Hardesty /HipMama Jan.12.04

sign right here Mr. Faust

We shouldn't fail to note the transaction which is lurking here below the surface: if you want transformational leadership vote Democrat because you'll at least experience the transformation from one transactionalism to another. This, of couse, is the old lesser-of-two-evils argument with a hat on.

The two party system thrives on artifice and political blackmail.

ipecac Feb.16.04



the substance of the accusation

And are we supposed to feel sorry for Blair? He has made a very dangerous political mistake which endangers global stability and has sent thousands to their deaths. He tells us that he will be judged by his maker. Well, he certainly wasn't judged by Hutton, was he?

It was entirely in the public interest to question the construction of this intelligence report, even if done rather shakily at 6.07am. That is what public service broadcasting should be about, serving no proprietor, not controlled by the state, and addressing the concerns of those who pay for its existence.

It's still percolating, but I'm thinking this Iraq business is not so much like Viet Nam, in the way it's dividing people and being used to hide deeper more sinister intrigue, but it's like the Cuyahoga River.
Viet Nam was an action, whatever else it was, and people debated it as an action. A river bursting into flame is not a thing you approve or disapprove of, it's the outbreak of the symptoms of a disease. Iraq is on fire now.
There's a Kucinich plug in there somewhere too, but I'm just making notes at the moment.

a "D"

According to the conversation Burkett says he overheard, Bush's chief of staff, Joe Allbaugh, asked James to assemble Bush's military files, so his aides, including Dan Bartlett, could go over them, and to make sure there was nothing there that would embarrass the governor. Burkett says days later he also saw pages from Bush's military file in a garbage can.
This week Conn told the New York Times via e-mail, "I know LTC Bill Burkett and served with him several years ago in the Texas Army National Guard. I believe him to be honest and forthright. He calls things like he sees them.'" But in Friday's Boston Globe, Conn, now a civilian government employee working with the U.S. Army in Germany, denied Burkett ever told him about the conversation Burkett overheard concerning Bush's military file
Burkett dismisses Conn's new version of the story. "The truth hasn't changed," said Burkett. "The only thing that has changed is George Conn's statement."
Interview with Bill Burkett, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Texas National Guard who claims aides to Bush went through his military file in 1997 and removed any embarrassing information, and tossed documents in the trash.


winter soldier
Someone who is ducking responsibility for his own actions is hardly in a strong position to call someone else to account. The Kay report can even be seen as an opportunity for Kerry. Kerry made a terrible error when, credulously trusting the dubious intelligence proffered by an Administration even then obviously hellbent on war, he voted to authorize that war, but his responsibility is nowhere near as great as that of the President. He might even discover a political dividend. If he were to state that had he known in October 2002 what he knows now about Iraq's weapons program he would not have voted for the resolution, he would immediately win the enthusiasm of the antiwar Democrats, whose passion and resolve, thanks in great measure to Howard Dean, has brought a fighting spirit to the Democratic Party.

Under the wide and starry sky

Same day airborne wolf hunting, also known as "land and shoot," is the practice of spotting wolves from a plane and then landing and immediately shooting them from the ground. This practice was legal to anyone holding a $15 trapping license or a $25 hunting license. The practice was controversial -- even amongst hunters � because it is considered unsportsmanlike, unethical and nearly impossible to regulate. It also leads to many other violations of hunting regulations such as chasing, herding and harassing wolves.
In February 2004, Defenders of Wildlife submitted a petition to Secretary of Interior Gale Norton requesting that she issue regulations clarifying that the Federal Airborne Hunting Act does not allow the use of aircraft to kill wolves for the purpose of boosting game populations. The petition was generated in response to the recent issuance of permits by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to private hunters and trappers that would allow them to assist the Department in killing all of the wolves in a 1,700 square mile area of central interior Alaska by shooting them from airplanes in order to reduce predation on moose...

It will be forced into a context of freedom, but it's only about money, the political debate I mean. The Alaskan legislature is being coerced by the suppliers, the businesses that provide the planes and accomodations, the "service" industries.
The motives of the "hunters" are their own bitter reactions to a world that doesn't need them, that doesn't even like them very much. So they force it to its knees, and make it do what they want.
Sadism with disposable income. Lots of disposable income. And little surges of testosterone.


to the thigh bone

"Prescott Bush, George W's grandfather, and a band of Bonesmen, robbed the grave of Geronimo, took the skull and some personal relics of the Apache Chief and brought them back to the tomb," says Robbins. "There is still a glass case, Bonesmen tell me, within the tomb that displays a skull that they all refer to as Geronimo."

link from Progressive News


Janet Jackson is bearing too much of a much greater burden than she deserves to have to bear.
In that light, for your edification,
ladies and gentlemen,

Our Daily Breast:

wood s lot throws the dice toward Edward Galeano who wanders Chicago's paved swamps looking for the Haymarket memorial, which of course doesn't have corporeal substance in Chicago. May Day says Sr. Galeano, to which someone as idle as I am can only say May Day in return, May Day May Day May Day May Day May Day May Day.
Workers of The World, It's Break Time!
But for all that, and unarchly, not-ironically, backing the pretentiometer down to near-zero, let me say, that for all that I am willing to carry a ten-pound sledge back and forth and in parade along any urban boulevard or rural byway, arm-in-arm with a woman with a sickle or a scythe, I'm recalling another marking-out of that calendar moment, a deeper remembrance of the same spring rise and lift of blood sap and vinegar, and as it comes up, in a moment of celebration, of much more than mere utility, in which the very young and the very old have a given place as firm as the brightest rose of the human hour, when we once in our Old World dancing gave all to the day, and drew bright ribbons 'round a pole of no utility, whatsoever, other than the fecund grace of deepest reproduction.
And that both sides of the seeming conflict had this in common that they destroyed, each in their own manner, that very celebration, the peasants in both conflicted unions slapped up into rank and file, and the flowers left to Valentine's and Easter and dear Mother in the West and God knows who and what behind that Iron drapery. As though two hands had done the work of one, unseen, agency.


After State Department officials and historians assembled in Washington, D.C., last week to discuss the 1967 war in the Middle East, I am compelled to speak out about one of U.S. history's most shocking cover-ups.

On June 8, 1967, Israel attacked our proud naval ship -- the USS Liberty -- killing 34 American servicemen and wounding 172. Those men were then betrayed and left to die by our own government.

U.S. military rescue aircraft were recalled, not once, but twice, through direct intervention by the Johnson administration. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's cancellation of the Navy's attempt to rescue the Liberty, which I personally confirmed from the commanders of the aircraft carriers America and Saratoga, was the most disgraceful act I witnessed in my entire military career.

To add insult to injury, Congress, to this day, has failed to hold formal hearings on Israel's attack on this American ship. No official investigation of Israel's attack has ever permitted the testimony of the surviving crew members.

We, the undersigned, having undertaken an independent investigation of Israel's attack on the USS Liberty, including eyewitness testimony from surviving crewmembers, a review of naval and other officials records, an examination of official statements by the Israeli and American governments, a study of the conclusions of all previous official inquiries, and a consideration of important new evidence and recent statements from individuals having direct knowledge of the attack or the cover up, hereby find the following:

1. That on June 8, 1967, after eight hours of aerial surveillance, Israel launched a two-hour air and naval attack against the USS Liberty, the world's most sophisticated intelligence ship, inflicting 34 dead and 172 wounded American servicemen (a casualty rate of seventy percent, in a crew of 294);

7. That although the Liberty was saved from almost certain destruction through the heroic efforts of the ship's Captain, William L. McGonagle (MOH), and his brave crew, surviving crewmembers were later threatened with "court-martial, imprisonment or worse" if they exposed the truth; and were abandoned by their own government;

8. That due to the influence of Israel's powerful supporters in the United States, the White House deliberately covered up the facts of this attack from the American people;
One of the signers of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty, Ambassador James Akins, Ret., Former United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, is listed as "Director, Liberty Alliance". But a search for that alliance on google points toward something entirely different, also called "Liberty Alliance" or the "Liberty Alliance Project" an Internet identification security protocol.
"The US General Services Administration (GSA) and the US Department of Defense have become two of the latest members to join the Liberty Alliance Project (LAP) for implementing open standards for identity management on the web."
Atkins and his version of the Liberty Alliance seem to have vanished as far as google is concerned

link Danny Yee
through the beneficent auspices of The Memory Hole

[The Liberty Corporation's site logo looks vaguely familiar somehow]


Undersanding Evolution
A resource for teachers

Relevance of Evolution, Evidence, Misconceptions,
Overcoming Roadblocks, Potential Pitfalls, Readings and Resources, more

link Carl Zimmer's The Loom: life, past and future

Brilliant work

The Razor Wire Looking Glass

There are people here who began their incarceration at the age of four, at nineteen, at twenty-six, at thirty-four. The ordinary possibilities of childhood, youth, marriage, and parenthood have either been lost to them completely, or distorted beyond recognition. There is no stage in life when a loss like this can be borne without damage; you might as well try to remove a pound of flesh without spilling a drop of blood. Worse, immigration detention does not mean serving a fixed term, with days you can count off with mathematical certainty. The sentence is open-ended.

Everyone here has been told by the government that it's safe for them to return to their homelands. Of eight Afghanis I know who've gone back, unable to bear detention any longer, six found the situation so perilous that they had to flee again. People returning to other countries have been arrested at the airport and imprisoned without charge or trial. In at least three cases documented by church groups, rejected asylum seekers returning from Australia have been murdered.
Greg Egan Feb.06.04

Ruben Bolling's Lucky Ducky

What's the "closest and most enduring" human relationship? Mother and child? Husband and wife? Some psychologists say a huge body of data suggests it may be identical twins.
In the 1930s, after British surgeons gazed intently at red tissue and blood, they looked up to see green after-images on the white walls. Complementary colors, red and green. One doctor suggested that the walls be painted green to wash out the disconcerting images. It worked. That's what led to the 50-year notion that green was the wall color most restful to the eyes. Pink, however, has finally moved it out of first place on the restful roster.

LMBoyd Feb.06.04


Please note that if you are using CCC for an educational institution, you should NOT donate to Bombich Software. My heart is in Education and all software that I write shall always be free to Education.

Carbon Copy Cloner (Mac only)

link Textism


Believers have to burn books, or heretics. At all costs they must repress that threat to their belief. If you have experienced the sunrise in the morning you don't announce, "I believe the sun." You have seen it. You know. Knowing is a direct experiential understanding, vibrant with life, authentic and individual. How can there be any doubt? You have seen the sun rise. But belief and knowledge can never be quite so sure...

- Yatri
Unknown Man
at whiskey river

Meanwhile, the great moderate figures and forces of history�and there have been some of those�are routinely traduced and misrepresented when they aren�t just ignored. For example, after World War II, the Democratic Party and its leaders made the collective choice to support civil rights even though the decision cost them the South and set the stage for the Republican ascendancy of the last thirty years. That splendid act is scarcely remembered at all and certainly not by the conservatives, most of whom, we are also encouraged to forget, bitterly opposed the civil rights movement when it mattered. The more important instance of premeditated historical amnesia, however, is the libel perpetually perpetrated against European social democracy and its heirs.

One hundred years ago, the great socialist parties of Europe were no more revolutionary or authoritarian than they are today. Politically, they had opted for parliamentary democracy, a principled and often passionate support for individual liberties, and an irenic, internationalist foreign policy. Economically, they had largely given up the original Marxist notion of the public ownership of the means of production in favor of a revisionism difficult to distinguish from the American progressivism of the same era.


AP Photo/Kenneth Moll

Conflict in Iraq
A new kind of war
Photo Gallery (some graphic)

Casualty database 565 records Feb.03.04

blog from The Spokesman-Review Spokane

Financially ruined, Bull sold off his moveable property, and hired himself out as a consultant in weaponry. Soon Saddam Hussein's military programme in Iraq included Project Babylon, a super gun designed by Gerald Bull, capable of boosting a rocket into orbit. In return for Saddam's support, Bull worked on a cannon capable of bombarding his neighbors' cities from a safe distance.

In the guise of a "petrochemical project," the sections of the first large gun barrels were built in Sheffield and shipped from Middleborough Port on the North Sea, bound for Iraq. Bull was in Brussels, supervising the collection, shipping, and assembly of the components of the big guns. The Israelis, in all fairness, it is said, told him to lay off.

At the door of his hotel room, a Mossad agent shot him in the head five times with a .22 Long Rifle caliber, silenced pistol, just before the Gulf War began.

Joe Palmer
nthposition Oct.02.03

The real iniquities of Saddam Hussein should be recognized, in this context, as
the pretexts they are. His earlier atrocities went unmentioned as long
as he was an ally of former Republican administrations, which were
happy, in their time, to supply him with weapons. I think that someone
who was maneuvered into office against the will of the electorate, as
Mr. Bush was, should be allowed to make no governmental decisions
(including judicial appointments) that might outlast his questionable
term, and if the reasons for war were many times greater than they have
been said to be I would oppose any thing of the kind under such
"leadership". To arrange a war in order to be re-elected outdoes even
the means employed in the last presidential election. Mr. Bush and his
plans are a greater danger to the United States than Saddam Hussein.

-- W. S. Merwin


[Statement of] the prisoners (all women) brought in from Thomas County, Georgia, Fort Mitchell, 1836 Sept. 28 / [signed by] J.A. [?] Chambers

The prisoners (all women) brought in from Thomas County, Georgia- state as follows.

The party to which they belonged crossed the Chattahoochie just three months since, in all about 112, seventy of which were Warriors- They were headed by Chelokeor Chelocke Harjo, a nephew of Neah Micco's- crossed the river just below the mouth of the Hatchee [unclear: Chubbe], on rafts which I understood them to say they were about a week preparing- after crossing divided into two parties, one of which was overtaken, by the whites on the third day, and two of the men killed- some of the women taken- the rest of the party got off, and scattered. The other was attacked on the other side of the Flint river, and six men & seven women killed- the rest 5 in number, taken prisoners- all the men killed- all of the above people crossed the Chattahoochieon the Night of the day on which Yoholo harjo&c [et cetera] surrendered- They knew that Eneah Mathlahad been taken prisoner, and it was about a week after his capture that they crossed the river- They state that they understood that three other parties crossed the Chattahoochieat the Oswitchee Bendsoon after the first hostile party was sent to Arkansas- they know nothing of them after they crossed- They further stated that they knew that about twenty Ucheeshad recrossed to Ala: [Alabama]- To the question of what had become of them? they answered they did not know- supposed they were in the Cowaggee...

Document: CIM004


Answers to enquiries relating to the Cherokees, 1817 Aug., Cherokee Agency / Colonel Return J. Meigs

Qu [Question]: What is the state of the Cherokees with respect to religious knowledge?

An [Answer]: They have as a people no acquired knowledge of religion. Their Green corn dance, so called, is undoubtedly of religious origin, it is only an annual meeting & may be justly termed a Feast of the first fruits.

Qu [Question]: Do the Cherokees believe in the being of a God?

An [Answer]: Yes universally.

Qu [Question]: What conceptions have they of his attributes?

An [Answer]: That [added: his] power, & his goodness are infinite, that he approves or disapproves of our conduct here.

Qu [Question]: Do they believe in a future state of existence?

An [Answer]: Yes & that [added: it] will be terrestial enjoyment. For want of instruction they cannot elevate their minds above materiality they have no apprehensions of future unhappiness.

Qu [Question]: What are their most prominent traits of character?

An [Answer]: Hospitality and kindness (and without ostentation) to the whole human race except in instances where they concieve that they are grossly injured.

Document: PA0001

Orders, 1838 May 17, Cherokee Agency, Ten[nessee] / [by command of] Winfield Scott

The duties devolved on the army, through the orders of the Major General & those of the commanders of districts, under him, are of a highly important and critical nature.

The Cherokees, by the advances which they have made in christianity and civilization, are by far the most interesting tribes of Indians in the territorial limits of the United States. Of the 15,000 of those people who are now to be removed -- (and the time within which a voluntary emigration was stipulated, will expire on the 23rd instant -- ) it is understood that about four fifths are opposed, or have become averse to a distant emigration; and altho' [although] none are in actual hostilities with the United States, or threaten a resistance by arms, yet the troops will probably be obliged to cover the whole country they inhabit, in order to make prisoners and to march or to transport the prisoners, by families, either to this place, to Ross' Landing or Gunter's Landing, where they are to be finally delivered over to the Superintendent of Cherokee Emigration.

Considering the number and temper of the mass to be removed, together with the extent and [unclear: fastnesses] of the country occupied, it will readily occur, that simple indiscretions -- acts of harshness and cruelty, on the part of our troops, may lead, step by step, to delays, to impatience and exasperation, and in the end, to a general war and carnage -- a result, in the case to those particular Indians, utterly abhorrent to the generous sympathies of the whole Americanpeople. Every possible kindness, compatible with the necessity of removal, must, therefore, be shown by the troops, and, if, in the ranks, a despicable individual should be found, capable of inflicting a wanton injury or insult on any Cherokeeman, woman or child, it is hereby made the special duty of the nearest good officer or man, instantly to interpose, and to seize and consign the guilty wretch to the severest penalty of the laws. The Major General is fully persuaded that this injunction will not be neglected by the brave men under his command, who cannot be otherwise than jealous of their own honor and that of their country.

By early and persevering acts of kindness and humanity, it is impossible to doubt that the Indians may soon be induced to confide in the Army, and instead of fleeing to mountains and forests, flock to us for food and clothing. If, however, through false apprehensions, individuals, or a party, here and there, should seek to hide themselves, they must be pursued and invited to surrender, but not fired upon unless they should make a stand to resist. Even in such cases, mild remedies may sometimes better succeed than violence; and it cannot be doubted that if we get possession of the women and children first, or first capture the men, that, in either case, the outstanding members of the same families will readily come in on the assurance of forgiveness and kind treatment.

Every captured man, as well as all who surrender themselves, must be disarmed, with the assurance that their weapons will be carefully preserved and restored at, or beyond the Mississippi. In either case, the men will be guarded and escorted, except it may be, where their women and children are safely secured as hostages; but, in general, families, in our possession, will not be separated, unless it be to send men, as runners, to invite others to come in.

It may happen that Indians will be found too sick, in the opinion of the nearest Surgeon, to be removed to one of the depots indicated above. In every such case, one or more of the family, or the friends of the sick person, will be left in attendance, with ample subsistence and remedies, and the remainder of the family removed by the troops. Infants, superannuated persons, lunatics and women in a helpless condition, will all, in the removal, require peculiar attention, which the brave and humane will seek to adapt to the necessities of the several cases.

All strong men, women, boys & girls, will be made to march under proper escorts. For the feeble, Indian horses and ponies will furnish a ready resource, as well as for bedding and light cooking utensils -- all of which, as intimated in the Treaty, will be necessary to the emigrants both in going to, and after arrival at, their new homes. Such, and all other light articles of property, the Indians will be allowed to collect and to take, with them, as also their slaves, who will be treated in like manner with the Indians themselves.

White men and widows, citizens of the United States, who are, or have been intermarried with Indians, and thence commonly termed, Indian countrymen; also such Indians as have been made denizens of particular States, by special legislation, together with the families and property of all such persons, will not be molested or removed by the troops until a decision on the principles involved can be obtained from the War Department.

A like indulgence, but only for a limited time, and until further orders, is extended to the families and property of certain Chiefs and and head-men of the two great Indian parties, (on the subject of emigration) now understood to be absent in the direction of Washington on the business of their respective parties.

This order will be carefully read at the head of every company in the Army.

[Signed] Winfield Scott. By Command:
[Signed] [unclear: Lieut. Col.]
Chief of the Staff

Document: IVP001

[Census 1840?] Heads of [Cherokee] families, places of residence, deaths, and remarks

...6 of her children died during the emigration

His wife Lesa died during the emigration

died during the emigration

died during the emigration

one child included died during emigration

One of his children included in the census of 1835 died during the emigration

His wife & one child included in the census of 1835 died during the emigration

One child included in the Census of 1835 died

His father Ahtiwih, his mother Tulach& Sister Tukuh died during the emigration

When the census of 1835 was taken he lived with his aunt Nesa she died during the emigration.

One of his wives and two of his children included in his family, when the census was taken in 1835 died during the emigration

One of her children died during the emigration,

died during the emigration

When the census of 1835 was taken her mother [unclear: Su se]lived with her but died during the emigration

two of his daughters [illegible] and Choyu cuh who resided with him in 1835 died during the emigration

her mother died during the emigration

His wife Cu wistah and his daughter Anawakih were included in the census of 1835, and died during the emigration

died during the emigration

died during the emigration

died during the emigration.

Four of his children included in the census of 1835 died since, during the emigration

When the census of 1835 was taken she had an orphan residing with her who died during the emigration,

died during the emigration

his mother Conawela was included with his family in the census of 1835, died during the emigration...

Document: WTP002

Southeastern Native American Documents
Arts and Humanities
Galileo Digital Library of Georgia

Janet Jackson phones in a touchback in the Lingerie Super Bowl detail
The same chirpy non-partisan "news" story (Pelofsky/Reuters Feb.02) mentions Bono of Ireland's "f---ing brilliant" at the Golden Globes. Chirpy acceptance of public morality, chirpy reporting of upset parents, chirpy chirpy chirpy. Examining these obscene moments we find at their base...well we don't find much except everybody knows these are bad words and obscene body parts. How does everybody know this? Their parents told them. And their parents learned it from...yep, their parents. All proceeding from some obscure Biblical source evidently, though no one seems to be able to find it again.
How about we consider the pro-life aspect here? Fucking is how babies are made. Breasts are how babies are fed after they're made. Hysterical momentum will carry the argument right past that, shrieking that it's the very sanctity of babiness that's threatened here, but that's a lie. Nursing mothers get busted for the same exposure (plus infant) Ms. Jackson's committed. And most importantly, not only are murders and killings of all kinds and varieties shown to children on television and in movies constantly, the exhibition of degrading and violent mistakes and accidents, many of them leading to injury and death, is a thriving part of the entertainment industry.
It's not about sex, it's not about babies, it's not about anything but control. Sex is an inevitably huge part of everyone's reality. By making kids feel guilty about it before they begin puberty, and then offering it to them in watered-down nasty ways later, the control gets established before they know what's going on. It seems natural, part of the way the world is.

Of course breasts are obscene, everybody knows that. It's an outrage is what it is.
And moral champion Michael Powell of the FCC, a Chamberlain for our time, delivered himself of this Sophoclean thunderbolt:
"...a classless, crass and deplorable stunt," Powell said in a statement. "Our nation's children, parents and citizens deserve better."
Oh they do, Mike, they really really do. Much better. But we have to start somewhere.
Maybe it was a total accident, a partial accident, or a stunt. But it wasn't obscene, whatever it was. The word "fuck" is not obscene, the female breast is not obscene. What's obscene is people suffering needlessly. What's obscene is preying on children for economic gain. What's obscene is playing games with public morality, pretending sex is "naughty" if it's hinted at (cleavage) and "dirty" if it's openly displayed (exposure).
What's obscene is letting mentally ill people determine public morality, while the sanest position, that we're all damaged by this absurd nonsense, is scorned into silence.

"Sometimes the soldiers say to me, 'Why are you doing this?'
I say, 'Because I am Jewish and my grandparents were in the Holocaust.'"

Machsom is the Hebrew word for checkpoint; the organisation was set up in January 2001 in response to repeated reports about human rights abuses of Palestinians at the checkpoints which inhibit the movement of Palestinians not only into Israel but between Palestinian towns. The founders were three Israeli women who set out three goals: to monitor the behaviour of soldiers and police, to ensure that the human rights of the Palestinians were protected, and to record their observations and make them known to the widest possible audiences. Unlike international solidarity volunteers, the members are all women, and all Israeli, from a wide range of backgrounds and political opinions.
"The settlers call themselves Zionists but they are not Zionists as far as the founders of the state were concerned. I am a Zionist, and this is why the checkpoints are a terrible blow to us Israelis as well as the Palestinians. My daughters are very unhappy, they think I am quite right to go to the checkpoints but they want someone else's mother to go. But I say that only by doing this can we reclaim the humanistic revolution of Zionism. We are calling on the world to help us reclaim our humanistic values."

link Danny Yee


Islands of Shame
Luc Novovitch

Hay Foot, Straw Foot, Turning Away

Mass technology has become, in Langdon Winner's formulation, autonomous. It constitutes an implicit politics, but one so pervasive that we never think to debate it, any more than the fish debate water. Where was the mass movement demanding the blasphemous release of genetically modified organisms into the planetary ecosystem? When was the plebiscite that decided to shift the mode of discourse from the linguistic to the visual, at a dramatic cost in complexity of expression? Where are the mobs clamoring for the right to watch Star Television after a hard day in the sweatshop while their vernacular forms of subsistence are undermined and perish? My Luddite cohorts and I would argue that these radical changes of life and livelihood demonstrate the political bias of the technologies that induced them. Yet where does technology figure in politics as arrayed from left to right?

Jay Kinney
review of Turning Away From Technology by Stephanie Mills
Whole Earth Summer 2000


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