...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



Yodef Levy and Dona Habif, April 1944.
Both died at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The Holocaust in Greece
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

creeping dead zones
Last summer every sea creature across an area twice the size of Wales was asphyxiated by severely depleted oxygen levels in the Gulf of Mexico. The same phenomenon, the marine equivalent of the ozone hole, happened off South America, China, Japan, south-east Australia, New Zealand, and up to 150 other places.
A United Nations agency warned yesterday that the number of these "dead zones", caused mainly by the run-off of nitrogen fertilisers from intensive farming and sewerage from large cities, had doubled in the past 15 years and was increasing all over the world.


"They were removed from military service, but we cannot find them. They are said to have been utilized. But where are the results of their utilization?"

the rockets posed no danger because they could not fly

[Ukrainian] Defense Minister Yevgeny Marchuk startled the international community last week by revealing that Ukraine was looking for "hundreds of rockets."
But he revised his comments Tuesday, saying the missing missiles were not a threat.
US-Ukraine ties were badly hurt last year by allegations that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma had personally approved the sale of an advanced radar system to Iraq in violation of UN sanctions.
Now, Ukraine is the fourth largest contributor of troops to the US-led stabilization effort in Iraq, with some 1,650 soldiers on the ground in southeastern Iraq.


That 14 year old kid the Israelis caught with a belt of explosives was 16 years old, and he was in the middle of a set-up. And he wasn't operating under the instructions of anyone but the Israelis themselves.
These moves will become more transparent the closer we get to the end-game.
Of course the proof of that is disposable, like all truth now.
The real suicide bombers have nuclear weapons.
The intellectually fascinating thing to me is that the people responsible for the annihilation of everybody will get away with it completely, because there won't be anyone left to accuse them.


There is plenty of blame to go around for the mistakes made by going to war in Iraq, especially now that it is common knowledge Saddam Hussein told the truth about having no weapons of mass destruction, and that Al Qaida and 9/11 were in no way related to the Iraqi government.
Our intelligence agencies failed for whatever reason this time, but their frequent failures should raise the question of whether or not secretly spending forty billion taxpayer dollars annually gathering bad information is a good investment. The administration certainly failed us by making the decision to sacrifice so much in life and limb, by plunging us into this Persian Gulf quagmire that surely will last for years to come.
But before Congress gets too carried away with condemning the administration or the intelligence gathering agencies, it ought to look to itself. A proper investigation and debate by this Congress-- as we�re now scrambling to accomplish-- clearly was warranted prior to any decision to go to war. An open and detailed debate on a proper declaration of war certainly would have revealed that U.S. national security was not threatened-- and the whole war could have been avoided. Because Congress did not do that, it deserves the greatest criticism for its dereliction of duty.

[from the] Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001

"The Joint Inquiry confirmed that, before September 11, the Intelligence Community produced at least twelve reports over a seven-year period suggesting that terrorists might use airplanes as weapons.

� In December 1994, Algerian Armed Islamic Group terrorists hijacked an Air France flight in Algiers and threatened to crash it into the Eiffel Tower.

� In January 1995, a Philippine National Police raid turned up material in a Manila apartment suggesting that Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Murad, and Khalid Shaykh Mohammad planned, among other things, to crash an airplane into CIA Headquarters.

� In January 1996, the Intelligence Community obtained information concerning a planned suicide attack by persons associated with Shaykh al-Rahman and a key al-Qa�ida operative to fly to the United States from Afghanistan and attack the White House.

� In October 1996, the Intelligence Community obtained information regarding an Iranian plot to hijack a Japanese plane over Israel and crash it into Tel Aviv.

� In 1997, an FBI Headquarters unit became concerned about the possibility that an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) would be used in terrorist attacks.

� In August 1998, the Intelligence Community obtained information that a group, since linked to al-Qa�ida, planned to fly an explosive-laden plane from a foreign country into the World Trade Center.

� In September 1998, the Intelligence Community obtained information that Bin Ladin�s next operation might involve flying an explosives-laden aircraft into a U.S. airport and detonating it. This information was provided to senior government officials in late 1998.

� In November 1998, the Intelligence Community obtained information that the Turkish Kaplancilar, an Islamic extremist group, had ...planned to crash an airplane packed with explosives into Ataturk�s tomb during a ceremony.

� In February 1999, the Intelligence Community obtained information that Iraq had formed a suicide pilot unit that it planned to use against British a U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf.

� In March 1999, the Intelligence Community obtained informationregarding plans by an al-Qa�ida member, who was a U.S. citizen, to fly a hang glider into the Egyptian Presidential Palace and detonate explosives.

� In April 2000, the Intelligence Community obtained information regarding an alleged Bin Ladin plot to hijack a Boeing 747.

� In August 2001, the Intelligence Community obtained information about a plot to bomb the U.S. embassy in Nairobi from an airplane or crash the airplane into it.

fuller text and much more info at MemoryBlog/Memory Hole Mar.29.04

...conscientious objector/a deserter...

There, intelligence officers ordered Mejia's squad to psychologically torture three suspected resistance fighters. The hooded and bound prisoners were placed in isolation, intimidated with mock executions and forced to stay awake for days at a time. "We had one guy lose his mind. He was locked in a little metal closet that we'd bang with a sledgehammer every five minutes to keep him up. He started crying and begging to lie down." When asked how the prisoners were fed and given water, Mejia stares off into space for a moment, and then says, "I don't remember how we fed them."
This is not about oil.

No one outside the government knows where the money is going...

I went to Angola to try to understand how a country so rich in the most coveted resource of our time--oil--can fall to the bottom of almost every scale of human development. Angola pumps almost a million barrels a day; the United States imports more oil from Angola than from Kuwait. But 70 percent of Angolans live in poverty. Eighty percent have no access to basic medical care. Average life expectancy is only forty years, and three in ten children will die before reaching their fifth birthday.

This is about oil.

acting against the coallition
...chaos and confusion�screaming, shouting, cursing, pushing and pulling followed. The family were all gathered into the living room and the four sons- one of them only 15- were dragged away with bags over their heads. The mother and daughter were questioned- who was the man in the picture hanging on the wall? He was M.'s father who had died 6 years ago of a stroke. You're lying, they were told- wasn't he a part of some secret underground resistance cell? M.'s mother was hysterical by then- he was her dead husband and why were they taking away her sons? What had they done? They were supporting the resistance, came the answer through the interpreter.
How were they supporting the resistance, their mother wanted to know? "You are contributing large sums of money to terrorists." The interpreter explained. The troops had received an anonymous tip that M.'s family were giving funds to support attacks on the troops.
It was useless trying to explain that the family didn't have any 'funds'- ever since two of her sons lost their jobs at a factory that had closed down after the war, the family had been living off of the little money they got from a 'kushuk' or little shop that sold cigarettes, biscuits and candy to people in the neighborhood. They barely made enough to cover the cost of food! Nothing mattered. The mother and daughter were also taken away, with bags over their heads.
...she could see the shapes of figures through the little holes in the bag. She was made to sit on her knees, in the interrogation room while her mother was kicked and beaten to the ground.

M.'s hands trembled as she held the cup of tea Umm Hassen had given her. Her face was very pale as she said, "I heard my mother begging them to please let me go and not hurt me� she told them she'd do anything- say anything- if they just let me go." After a couple hours of general abuse, the mother and daughter were divided, each one thrown into a seperate room for questioning. M. was questioned about everything concerning their family life- who came to visit them, who they were related to and when and under what circumstances her father had died. Hours later, the mother and daughter were taken to the infamous Abu Ghraib prison- home to thousands...
I was enraged- why don't they contact the press? Why don't they contact the Red Cross?! What were they waiting for?! She shook her head sadly and said that they *had* contacted the Red Cross but they were just one case in thousands upon thousands- it would take forever to get to them. As for the press- was I crazy? How could she contact the press and risk the wrath of the American authorities while her mother and brothers were still imprisoned?! There were prisoners who had already gotten up to 15 years of prison for 'acting against the coallition'... she couldn't risk that. They would just have to be patient and do a lot of praying.
Baghdad Burning Mar.29.04

Clinging to the idea that this is all about oil is no longer an innocent attempt to preserve a childish illusion, it's cowardice.
This is about the degradation of an enemy. Retaliation. Vengeance. Itself a form of moral cowardice.

The potential for bait-and-switch is enormous

So who are these companies the White House is entrusting with caring for the nation's seniors? One is Medco, a company which has faced lawsuits over market manipulation in the past for "failing to disclose the extent of their financial ties with manufacturers." AdvancePCS, a company in which President Bush himself was an original investor, was sued last year, accused of "not only 'illicitly diverting' seniors from its drug-discount plan, but of actually putting them at risk for potentially dangerous drug interactions." Both were listed in a federal lawsuit along with Caremark and Express Scripts for engaging in "anti-competitive practices" which harmed pharmacies, for entering into "secret deals with drug return for 'kickbacks' and other 'undisclosed incentives.'"

So where has the AARP been during all of this? Although the AARP is ostensibly a group dedicated to protecting the rights of seniors, the group shocked its members when it supported the drug legislation last November. Now it turns out there may have been a financial windfall in play: AARP is affiliated with - and receives "marketing royalties" from - United Healthcare, one of the major companies the Administration included in the drug card program.

The theory behind the discount cards is that companies "will have greater bargaining power with drug makers" the more they enroll Medicare beneficiaries. But why use a middle man? Bowing to pressure from the powerful pharmaceutical lobby, which feared for its bottom line, Congress specifically banned Medicare from using bulk purchasing power to negotiate lower prices. Instead, the Medicare population was splintered into these smaller groups run by private companies, thus giving them considerably less influence.

link KWSnet

den homosexuellen oder schwulen Opfern des Deutschen Nationalsozialismus,
den Rosa-Winkel-H�ftlingen, gewidmet.

Under Sharon

If Yassin's assassination triggers an earthquake of revenge, Sharon is willing to pay the price--indeed, it might even shore up his popularity among Israel's battered, frightened citizens. A wave of suicide attacks would bolster Sharon's efforts to frame the conflict as a war against Islamic terrorists rather than one between occupier and occupied--and to continue with the project most dear to him, the colonization of the West Bank (where he wants to transfer the Gaza settlers) and the creation of a 400-mile wall that carves up Palestinian land into an archipelago of prisonlike cantons, divided from one another and cut off from their natural resources.
There may be another casualty of the assassination: the remarkable flowering of nonviolent resistance to Israel's wall. Over the past six weeks Palestinians, led by older veterans from the first intifada, and Israeli activists have joined in protests in villages near the wall, facing ferocious assaults from the Israeli army--an attempt, it would seem, to transform nonviolent resistance into rioting and to discourage wider participation. From Sharon's vantage point, nothing could be more menacing than the emergence of a nonviolent movement of civil disobedience, particularly one in which Jews and Arabs work together.


Holocaust Victims

Raised by parents who had survived the Holocaust, I heard many stories about the atrocities of this World War II horror. I learned how one of my family's homes in Poland was burned to the ground by Nazis. I learned that my uncle was shot in the head by Nazi soldiers because his family was hiding a Jewish woman.
Painful as it was for them to speak about it, my parents [Frank and Ewa Pencak] felt it was important that I knew the stories of the Holocaust.
It was only after I moved to the Los Angeles area several years ago that I realized that many people were not aware that millions of victims of the Holocaust were NOT Jewish. Outside the Polish community, I heard very little mention about the five million non-Jewish victims -- usually referred to as "the others".
Whenever I would say that my parents were survivors of the Holocaust, people would look at me oddly and say, "Oh, I didn't know you were Jewish?"
I realized that most people were not aware of any other Holocaust victims except Jews.
I am Jewish. I converted in 1978 after studying at the University of Judaism one year before marrying a Jewish man. I belong to a temple where my daughter attends religious school. I love the Jewish religion and I admire the Jewish community...

Many of them ended up in prison because they were abused horrendously

...the rate of growth for women in prison is staggering. From 1977 to 2003, New York State's female prison population increased by approximately 500 percent--about twice the rate of males--overwhelmingly as a result of the "war on drugs."

"We don't have arguments anymore about not knowing where he is,
and best of all,
there are no excuses for not being home on time."

The technology is being pushed by federal mandates to give more precise location information for people making emergency 911 calls from cellphones. But this new location-sensing capability can also track everyday activities.

For example, last year Nextel Communications Inc. began selling systems that vehicle fleet managers -- including Massachusetts officials who supervise snow-plowing contractors -- can use to track locations of workers using the GPS-enabled Motorola phones. And a number of companies, including Microsoft Corp. are developing phone-tracking software with computerized maps that could quickly become affordable for parents committed to keeping tabs on their kids. More than 20 million GPS-enabled wireless phones are in service across the country, although many operate on networks that have yet to activate full location services.

The promise and pitfalls of GPS-assisted parental supervision are emerging as cellphone ownership is becoming almost as common a feature of adolescent life as backpacks and video games.
For families already fighting about how much a teen can use the phone, its potential use as a tracking device could well become a new source of parent-child conflict. Keeping tabs on minor children is legal, but how much privacy can be claimed by those youths who use a parent-funded phone is a subject for debate.

"Parents can do a whole bunch of things to keep tabs on their kids' use of technology, assuming they can outsmart them," said John Reinstein, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

"And kids don't have to take the phone with them," he added.
Well yeah. And then eventually an audio feed. And then of course you never know when it's on.
The hysterical thing is that "...don't have to take the phone with them." Right.
So the kids rich enough to get their own cell phones can scam the parents with a dummy placement.
But the other kids are never gonna know those first steps of freedom.
Like being somewhere entirely on your own for the first time, being somewhere and nobody knows where you are.
A small price to pay for security.

It's a serious thing I know. But it's true, and it's real, and it's only going to get more bizarre and unpleasant.
Jimmy Carter's on record as having said,
"I think the basic reason was made not in London but in Washington. I think that Bush Jnr was inclined to finish a war that his father had precipitated against Iraq. I think it was that commitment of Bush that prevailed over, I think, the better judgement of Tony Blair and Tony Blair became an enthusiastic supporter of the Bush policy."
Which will have at least some impact on both Bush and Blair as they run for re-election. But it doesn't work.
It's a stretch, but you can see someone as ignorant and unlearned as Bush going after Saddam because of some confused oedipal resolve; but Blair? Because Bush was asking him?
What? Are they lovers? Is Blair so obsessed he'll do anything Bush asks him to do, including risking British lives, increasing the likelihood of terrorist attacks on his own country, sacrificing British soldiers' lives, and the global reputation of England?
Blair, a man with enough political intelligence to become the prime minister of England, was willing to sacrifice his own reputation and that of his party, and more incredibly, his own place in the written history of his time, because Bush asked him to.
It's absurd.
He was pressured, and intensely. But by whom?
There's only one answer that fits, and it fits across the board, it answers every question about the invasion from the beginning to the present moment, including the still unexplained ransacking of the Museum of Antiquities.
And look who's waiting in the wings, playing Kerry to Blair's Bush.
But to know that you'd have to know something about British politics, and Americans don't.

Letters to the Editor
The Washington Post, March 13, 2003

For centuries, Jews have been stigmatized and branded as "outsiders" with no loyalties but to their own kind. This dangerous canard continues to captivate modern-day conspiracy theorists, and surfaced during the 1991 Gulf War, when Pat Buchanan blamed the Jewish "amen corner" for provoking the conflict. Rep. Moran's words have successfully reignited this pernicious myth.
Second, anti-Semites have long spoken of a Jewish conspiracy controlling the U.S. government. While most rational Americans reject such bigoted fantasies, the unsettling fact is that fully one-third of Americans still accept the notion that Jews have "dual loyalties." This was apparent in a May 2002 Survey of Anti-Semitism in America, which also found that 20 percent of the American public agrees that, "Jews have too much power in the U.S. today."
Chris Wolf/ David Friedman/ADL

We can say unequivocally, with vehemence and certainty, that the immense strategic benefit, to Israel, of a thoroughly broken Iraq, whether secular or theocratic, whether run by Saddam Hussein or by imams, is a coincidence of the utmost order, and nothing but a co-incidence. That the "proconsul" in Iraq, Paul Bremer is a Jew, that the commanding general who waged the invasion was a Jew, coincidence! That the people of Iraq grow more "anti-Semitic" by the hour is an unfortunate by-product of the irrational Arab temperament being in close contact with freedom-loving American soldiers. And nothing more. Nothing.
Anti-Semites will bring these issues up seeking only to burden the already suffering Jews of the world. A cruel and mindless sport whose cost in human lives is incalculable. That a democratic and prosperous Iraq would again be a threat to the nation of Israel has nothing - nothing! - to do with the inexplicable lack of democratic government in Iraq, months after the "war" has "ended".
And to intimate, as some have, that the Madrid bombings were an Israeli act of clever sabotage is scurrilous anti-Semitism, and nothing more.
There is no intrigue, except among Islamists and their ilk.
None whatsoever, anywhere; except as I said, amongst the followers of Mohamed. To imply otherwise is dangerous nonsense and must be treated as dangerous nonsense; it must be contained and silenced.
Anti-Semites have no place in a democracy. And it is now officially anti-Semitic to question the moral validity of the Israeli military, or the manipulation of American public opinion, through mass media, to further Jewish interests at the expense of the American people, by American Jews.

Not to pronounce, but to notate in the tones of pronouncement: we live in a world dominated by dominance. Seeing it as violence is like blaming the hand that slaps your face.
True Christian values were no more or less violent than any other mammalian way of being. It was the connection to something larger and more lasting than earthly triumphalism that was the core teaching. Until it was perverted into a program of domestication.
Again, the message went from love one another to do what you're told.
From a code of preservation of truly human connectedness with the ground and with God, to a code of terror and craven submission. And protection from terror, though seemingly the opposite of violence, is nothing more than a dominance strategy.
That perversion begins with Paul of Tarsus.
The Roman empire's fall wasn't inevitable anymore than its rise was. There are structural banks to the flow of temporal change, and seeming inevitabilities - the shape of the mountain, the composition of the soil - just like a river.
But even the deepest channel can shift; the surface of the earth itself floats, and the planet, too, is subject to the bumps and grinds of stellar unexpectedness.
Our morality's all centered on the temporal, con-sequent events, motives that bring things toward the actual from out of the possible.
But see it from an eternal perspective: one thing doesn't lead to another. They just sit there; only they don't. Because time is a subset of the eternal, not in a different room, a different part of the house from it.
The priesthood serves itself at the expense of the congregation.
The progression of wonder is met at the door to heaven, in the sense of the sky, up there, out there, by smug confidence men. Cosmological gibberish designed to confuse the rural hick - first time in the big urb, staring in wonder up at the infinite "buildings", and the astro-con pulls hims aside and runs the scam.
Limits to the universe, oh yeah.
And God only talks to the obedient through those who must be obeyed.
And your individual life is more important than anything you might be a part of, anything that might require the sacrifice of your entire being.
Christianity as it's now configured rewards the self, appeals to the self, uses the hungers of the self to amalgamate its corporate entities.
But the lesson at its source was sacrifice.
That was perverted into, "Well, He did, so we don't have to." He gave it all up so we can accumulate, we can enjoy the rewards, we can transcend the truncated terms of biological living through docility and obedience.
Every earthly thing I've seen that looked like it had celestial origin has been crippled with the weight of usurpation, co-opted, encrusted with the profane; the purer the substance the more profane.
Consistently the things and people that have looked the darkest - fierce, uncompromising - have proven to be the truest, and the light most often nothing more than the gleam of hoarded gold.
The seriousness of the conflict is more than any modern avenue of expression will support. It isn't your soul that's in the balance, it's all of us, and what's possible - the rise of the temporal toward the eternal.
They bargain it down to the meat you need to exist, the body and its blind demands.
The dynamic is precisely the same as what domestic animals all went through. At first the rebels were culled. And culled again with each generation. The docile were bred to the desirable. And again and again through generations. Until now they can't live without that fence and trough.
Neither can most of us. And that means dependence. And that means dominance. Without the slightest trace of violence. Unless you count the death of possibility as a violent act.

Look what they're doing

Many languish in prisons indefinitely, lost in a system that imposes English-language procedures on Arabic speakers with Arabic names not easily transcribed. I walked past a detainment center once where a dozen prisoners could be seen marching in a circle, surrounded by barbed wire. They were shouting "USA, USA!" over and over.

"They were talkin' when we told 'em not to, so we made 'em say somethin' we liked to hear," grinned one of the soldiers guarding them. Another gestured up with his hands, letting them know they had to raise their voices. A sergeant later quipped that the ones who are not guilty "will be guilty next time", after such treatment. Some prisoners are termed "security detainees" and held for six months pending a review to determine whether they are still a "security risk". Most are innocent. Many were arrested simply because a neighbor did not like them, or because they were male. A lieutenant colonel involved in this told me that there is no judicial process for the thousands of detainees. If the military were to try them, that would entail a court martial, which would imply that the United States is occupying Iraq
Hundreds of people were emerging from the smoke, running away, hundreds more were running to it and hundreds more were standing in shock, crying, screaming. A woman walked by carrying the inert body of her child. American humvees pulled up, as did Iraqi police cars. "There are many dead people," shouted one man running from out of the hotel's wreckage, asking people to help. Terrified and confused US soldiers tried to turn back the crowd of Iraqis who rushed to help; they swung in every direction with their rifles, looking for the enemy...
Journalists moved away to report on their phones in English, Turkish, Italian. Others stood still, filming the scene. At least we didn't have to go far; the resistance is considerate enough to strike close to the hotels and neighborhoods where the press reside.
That same night the "Iraqi street" was blaming it on a missile, meaning on the Americans, and as always everybody had a friend who swore he had seen the missile hit the car. Sunnis and Shi'ites are united in believing America and "the Jews" are responsible for the sectarian attacks, because of the absurd belief that America wants to remain in Iraq and will provoke a civil war to serve as a pretext.
Meanwhile over ten thousand Iraqi men are being held prisoner, and most of them are innocent. Iraqi security guards as well as American soldiers hate the explosive-sniffing dog in front of the Sheraton and Palestine hotels, because they, like the rest of us who live in the area, are subject to its olfactory whims as it imagines every day that it smells a bomb and they must close off the street for several hours. Two of my friends were arrested for not having a bomb last week, when the dog decided their bag smelled funny. They were jailed for four days though they were not carrying a bomb. Unlike the murderous accuracy of the Israeli security forces, who at least speak Arabic, the American security forces are a blunt instrument. They arrest hundreds at once, hoping somebody will know something.
I was with a US army unit when they went on a raid one morning. Tanks, armored personnel carriers and Humvees squeezed through the neighborhood walls as a CIA operator eyed the rooftops and windows of nearby houses angrily, a silencer on his assault weapon. Intelligence had intercepted a phone conversation in which a man called Ayoub spoke of advancing to the next level to obtain landmines and other weapons. Soldiers broke through Ayoub's door early in the morning, but when the sleepy man did not immediately respond to their orders he was shot with non-lethal ordnance, little pellets exploding like gun shot from the weapon's grenade launcher. The floor of the house was covered with his blood. He was dragged into a room and interrogated forcefully as his family was pushed back against their garden's fence.

Ayoub's frail mother, covered in a shawl, with traditional tribal tattoos marking her face, pleaded with the immense soldier to spare her son's life, protesting his innocence. She took the soldier's hand and kissed it repeatedly while on her knees. He pushed her to the grass along with Ayoub's four girls and two boys, all small, and his wife. They squatted barefoot, screaming, their eyes wide open in terror, clutching one another as soldiers emerged with bags full of documents, photo albums and two compact discs with Saddam Hussein and his cronies on the cover. These CDs, called The Crimes of Saddam, are common on every Iraqi street and, as their title suggests, they were not made by Saddam supporters. But the soldiers couldn't read Arabic and saw only the picture of Saddam, which was proof enough of guilt. Ayoub was brought out and pushed on to the truck. He gestured to his shrieking family to remain where they were. He was a gentle, avuncular man, small and round, balding and unshaven, with a hooked nose and slightly pockmarked face. It seemed unlikely that he was involved in any anti-American activity; but he did not protest and maintained his dignity, sitting frozen, staring numbly ahead. The soldiers ignored him, occasionally glancing down at their prisoner with sneering disdain. The medic looked at Ayoub's injured hand and chuckled to his friends, "It ain't my hand." The truck blasted country music on the way back to the base. Ayoub was thrown in the detainment center. After the operation there were smiles of relief among the soldiers, slaps on the back and thumbs up.

Several hours later a call was intercepted from another Ayoub. "Oh shit," said the unit's intelligence officer, "it was the wrong Ayoub." The innocent father of six who had the wrong name was not immediately let go so as not to risk revealing to the other Ayoub that the Americans were searching for him. The night after his arrest a relieved Ayoub could be seen escorted by soldiers to call his family and tell them he was fine, but would not be home for a few days. "It was not the wrong guy," said the units commander defensively, shifting blame elsewhere. "We raided the house we were supposed to and arrested the man we were told to."

I was booted off a thread at electrolite* last year for suggesting strongly that the US invaded Iraq at the direction of "the Israelis" though I didn't say it that way. What I said was Jewish hatred of Babylon, which is what Iraq is and was, runs deep, and the Jews are a vengeful unforgiving people. This year I've already caught a lot of heat for seeming to be that uniquely horrible kind of person, the anti-Semite. Which if I have to insist I'm not too much longer will start being a false statement. What I hate, the groups and kinds of people I find repugnant, are mostly behaviorally linked, not ethnically or spiritually. Certainly not in the broad sense of "Jew" or "Arab".
I've insinuated over and over without ever saying it outright, that Bush was a tool for behind-the-scenes power, the same power that put all those big-box kids in harm's way in the Rock. Something lots of people are ready to believe, only they think it's the "oil companies".
And then when the media dropped Bush, right at the same time they assassinated Dean, and gently picked up Kerry, you know what? It never occurred to me, I swear it.
I thought he was an Irish Catholic, but they were so fawningly upbeat about him I kept looking for some reason, some connection. Why would he be so appealing to the same toothless pack of canines that elected Bush in the minds of the hypnotized public?
Well it's there. You can find it easy enough. His grandmother, his wife, he's connected.
I'm not going to be a one-man band on this issue, there's other things I want to get said before it's time to go.
But I do want to say clearly I have no problem with his ethnicity, or his religion.
It's the lies, the maneuvering, and the heartlessness. The damage in the cause of selfishness.
What needs to be pointed out here is the extreme and pandemic anti-Semitism in Iraq. This will not be reported in the American media because it links directly to the cause of the invasion.
Why is there so much anti-Semitism in Iraq?
The correct response is - "Huh? wha?"
Does Kerry have a Jewish connection?
Why were Kerry's top thugs campaign advisers - Shrum, Elmendorf,and Grossman - smacking down James Moran in Northern Virginia?
The correct response is - "I have no idea what you're talking about."

The wasps that put their eggs inside the living bodies of some paralyzed host, I can't get away from that sense, that creepy analogous feeling. And then I thought well, what about some opportunist that comes along and eats that? Doesn't that somehow undo the creepiness? Bring it back into the realm of nature and regular ol' daily living? But why? It does for me anyway. The thought of some stung caterpillar or tarantula just lying there while the wasp squirts her eggs inside the living tissue...yech.
But then along comes a mouse, and gobbles up the caterpillar, eggs and all, and everything gets back on a more even keel. Hmmm...
Also the idea of unearned rewards as being inferior? You know, like music or art that's not sold as a commodity?
It isn't as important as "making a living at it". So that the making a living part is actually more important than the art itself. Where'd that come from?
The factory gate.
They give you a little book when you show up for your first day. It has all the rules in it.
One of the big rules is, an honest day's work = an honest day's pay.
The very real but hidden fact, that the top of that chain of rewards and promises is populated by men and women who get rewards in astonshing ratio to their labor, if they do any labor at all, well, it's in the rule book as well - good employees don't think about that.
And the other side of it, that labor done without an expectation of reward is trivial, inconsequential?
That's in the book, too - good employees don't think too hard about it.
The idea that a human being might do something out of love, without thinking of its immediate benefit, absurd!
Though that is the essential motivation of the ultimate sacrifice, the heart of the Christian presence in the world. But they cover that by saying, "He did it, you don't have to."
It's OK for you to act selfishly because Jesus acted unselfishly.
See, that's the mystery.
You're not supposed to think about it though.

Many hurdles remain

...the Higgs boson, the most elusive speck of matter in the universe. Often called the God particle, it's supposed to be the key to explaining why matter has mass. Physicists believe that Higgs particles generate a kind of soupy ether through which other particles move, picking up drag that translates into mass on the macroscopic scale. The Higgs is the cornerstone of 21st-century physics; it simply has to be there, otherwise the standard model of the universe collapses.

link KWSnet

Family members on Saturday carry the body of six-year-old Palestinian Khalil Walwil in front of an Israeli jeep after he was shot dead in the West Bank city of Nablus. The boy's family said Israeli soldiers shot him in the neck when they opened fire at the family home during a raid on Nablus' Balata refugee camp (REUTERS photo by Abed Omar Qusini)
Israeli soldiers killed a six-year-old Palestinian boy when they opened fire at Palestinian activists during a raid in a West Bank refugee camp on Saturday, the Israeli army said.
Jordan Times Mar.28.04 (one week link)

Yes it was a ricochet, not intentional. And certainly there are Israeli soldiers who grieve at things like this even as they continue to do their duty. But it gets justified. They were killing terrorists, and the kid caught a stray bullet. Regrettable, but these things happen.
But that rationalization has no more moral substance than the suicide bombers' or their handlers'. It's the same argument used by terrorists. There is no moral high ground available. Only madness and more killing.
The one inarguable fact is that the Palestinians are being driven from their homes, and have been, steadily, for almost 60 years. The Israelis are not.
What Sharon has commenced, like a suicidal zealot himself, is the detonation of a bomb that will destroy us all.

Kerry's The One

Three top advisers to Sen. John Kerry are helping to unseat Rep. James P. Moran in an unusual effort to topple the seven-term fellow Democrat from Northern Virginia, who is routinely re-elected by wide margins. The Kerry workers join numerous Democratic Party leaders in supporting Alexandria lawyer Andrew Rosenberg's effort to oust Mr. Moran in the June primary. Among Mr. Rosenberg's high-powered backers are Robert M. Shrum, Steven A. Elmendorf and Steven Grossman, all top advisers to Mr. Kerry. . . .

The most recent complaint about Mr. Moran among many Democrats concerns a remark he made last year blaming Jewish Americans for the war in Iraq. "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this," he said at a gathering of antiwar activists in Reston a year ago. "The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should."

link Undernews

Ahmed Ismael Yassin

...he had already effectively stopped running the movement's day-to-day affairs several years ago due to his deteriorating health and relatively old age. Nonetheless, he remained until his death the most effective and eloquent spokesman of Hamas and the entire Palestinian Islamist camp, despite his severe physical disability.

Ahmed Ismael Yassin was born in 1938 in the now non- existent hamlet of Al-Joura, near the present-day Israeli town of Ashkelon -- or Askalan in Arabic. In 1948 the young Yassin was forced to flee along with his family and thousands of other refugees southwards to the Gaza Strip after Zionist forces overran his village and threatened to kill its inhabitants. This nightmarish experience seems to have had a particularly strong impact in shaping the psychological build-up of a boy who would later on become one of Israel's most trenchant enemies.

"I would fight my own brother if he took over my home. I don't fight Jews because they are Jews. I fight them because they have stolen and arrogated my land, home and orchards and condemned my people to everlasting misery," Yassin told foreign journalists inquiring about his implacable attitude towards Israel. Needless to say, his bitterness and sense of indignation were further enhanced by the abject poverty and rampant misery prevalent in the refugee camps of Gaza where he and his family lived during his teenage years.
For Israel and its guardian-cum-ally the US, Yassin was an embodiment of terror and evil. For most Palestinians and the bulk of Arab and Muslim peoples, Yassin represented a symbol of resistance against a sinister military occupation.


Islam and Pentecostalism as songs of the dispossessed

Residents of slums constitute a staggering 78.2 per cent of the urban population of the least developed countries and fully a third of the global urban population. Extrapolating from the age structures of most Third World cities, at least half of the slum population is under the age of 20.

In 1950 there were 86 cities in the world with a population over one million; today there are 400, and by 2015, there will be at least 550. Cities, indeed, have absorbed nearly two-thirds of the global population explosion since 1950 and are currently growing by a million babies and migrants each week. The present urban population (3.2 billion) is larger than the total population of the world in 1960. The global countryside, meanwhile, has reached its maximum population (3.2 billion) and will begin to shrink after 2020. As a result, cities will account for all future world population growth, which is expected to peak at about 10 billion in 2050.
review of report published last October by the United Nations� Human Settlements Program (un-Habitat). The Challenge of the Slums
link KWSNet

testing less than 1%

The U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA) currently does not allow such private testing for mad cow disease. And it claims that a new government testing system it approved this month is perfectly adequate. More than 10 times the number of cattle will be tested for mad cow under the new system, but the government still will be testing less than 1% of the 37 million cattle slaughtered in the U.S. each year. That falls far short of the 100% testing Creekstone Farms is proposing and Japan provides.

Other beef producers complain that Creekstone Farms' 100% testing plans would set an expensive precedent. They worry that consumers might be misled into thinking an untested cut of beef isn't safe. But food producers ranging from organic growers to free-range farmers already market their products based on the idea that food produced in healthier ways or with added safeguards is worth paying for. Creekstone Farms' proposal taps into the same logic.

Other beef producers and the USDA say going beyond the new system is unnecessary. But hundreds of seemingly healthy cattle in Europe have tested positive for mad cow disease.

USAToday/Yahoo Mar.27.04


Less devout Catholics like me recognise

A devout Catholic - the three scariest words any Jew is ever likely to hear - Gibson has based his film on the accounts of Christ's demise supplied by the Gospels. In his mind, this apparently provides the film with a sort of historical pedigree. Less devout Catholics like me recognise that the four Gospels are documents of dubious accuracy whose message falls directly into the yawning chasm between myth and propaganda. We do not know who wrote them, we do not know when they were written, they are certainly not eyewitness accounts, but we can be fairly certain that they are the work of harried Christians who were less concerned about offending powerless Jews than powerful Romans.
Seemingly, Gibson wished to convey the sense that Christ's execution was no day at the beach, perhaps objecting to the demure depictions of his torment in the 14 Stations of the Cross that adorn virtually every Catholic church on the planet. It was, of course, the inhuman treatment of this one Jew that led to the even more inhuman treatment of six million Jews by a Christian people during the Holocaust. The Holocaust was no day at the beach either.

Devout Christians may object to the flippant tone I have adopted here, but anti-semitism as spectacular as Gibson's does not deserve to be treated with anything but contempt. Though a few Jews in the film seem to object to Christ's martyrdom, the high priests and most of the spectators lining the road to Calvary seem to thoroughly enjoy the spectacle, and a good time is had by all.

Well that's that for Gibson.
What are people really afraid of here?
Because it's a fundamental characteristic now, scorn is the weapon of choice when modern men and women are scared. They get vicious and scornful. The tones of noble outrage are nowhere evident. The idea of noble outrage, itself deeply threatening, is treated with scorn as well.
Well I don't know. But one thing Queenan said that seems parseable is that bit about "powerless Jews and powerful Romans".
That seems sort of on the money, though I'm not sure how powerless the Jews were at that time in Jerusalem; still it could be a workable idea, and the Romans were, at that time, infinitely superior to the Jewish aristocracy in terms of raw social power. So the somewhat less than brave authors of the gospels - the stenographers for the Word of God according to the faith Queenan purports to follow, though "less than devoutly" - shaded the truth for expediency's sake.
These guys are worried that making the Romans look bad will create a negative climate for their fellow disciples and the early "Christians" in the still-thriving Roman Empire. So they downplay Roman guilt and play up the Jewish angle.
OK. So who do you have to be afraid of today?
Who are the Romans of this historical moment? Who's got so much power that even the followers of Almighty God would have to fudge the truth to survive, today? Anybody?
Well yeah. You can't say, it's too dangerous.
Just like Queenan says about the Romans. Too damn powerful. Only a madman would piss them off.
"...dubious accuracy...myth and propaganda..."
The Gospels. From a man who takes the stage as a Catholic. In order to argue with strength and not be accused of Semitic bias. But without the Gospels what's there? The Old Testament? Revelations? Chronicles?
If Queenan thinks the Gospels are dubious propaganda he probably thinks Revelations is a bad drug trip or some tacked-on schizoid rant.
Without the New Testament the Bible is purely a Jewish document. Even with it.
And wasn't Mary a Jew? Weren't the apostles Jews?
When did they stop being Jews?
Or is that part of that magic trick where in one court you have to be religious to be a Jew, in the next you have to have a parent who's a Jew, and in the next it's both.
Wasn't Jesus himself a Jew? Did he become not a Jew somehow? How?
I don't have a problem with Jesus being a Jew. And I can't see how his mother ever stopped.
This semantic confusion is masking a much deeper and more urgent problem.
The Holocaust is probably not directly attributable to the Crucifixion; even to delusionally-cast blame for it, unfairly targeting Jews as a people.
In truth the real culprits are hiding behind the innocent. As usual.
The Jews are a human shield for the real villains here, whose name no one can say.
And Queenan's working for the bad guys. Straight up.


gas from the tank
We're like the busted addict now, in that limbo-time between arrest and sentencing. Regret, remorse, anger, and fear in its various forms. Anxious about what will happen we have these hungers still, the need for the addictive substance.
The news is clearer and clearer, the sky is falling, and it won't be good. And the reason it's falling is the fuel we burn.
So why are there ads on TV for powerful trucks? Why are we allowing these demons to run our lives?


If life seems jolly rotten,
There's something you've forgotten,
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps,
Don't be silly chumps.
Just purse your lips and whistle. That's the thing.

Always look on the bright side of life.
Always look on the right side of life,

Why is sex dirty?
Because it's sacred.

Global Warming Study

To the Editor:

Your March 18 news article "Study Disputes Idea on Global Warming" gives the impression that our research goes against the consensus scientific view that global warming is a serious concern. While our research does suggest that climate models are somewhat overestimating 21st-century warming, our work does not argue against the seriousness of the problem.

The predicted global warming over the 21st century is so large (up to 11 degrees Fahrenheit), and the potential effects so serious, that slight overestimates of this warming make little difference � just as reducing the size of a firing squad from 10 shooters to nine makes little difference to the person being executed. Our research should provide no comfort to those arguing against policies to combat global warming.



College Park, Md., March 20, 2004

The writers are, respectively, an associate research scientist, Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, and an associate professor of physics, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

link from B'patch - The Village News

fuel efficiency

The first hint of what might be in store came last month when Opec announced its decision to withdraw 1m barrels of crude oil a day from the market. Opec is worried about the weakening value of the dollar: it has lost one-third of its value in just under two years. Since Opec sells oil for dollars, the oil-producing countries are losing precious revenue as the value of the dollar continues to erode. And because oil-producing countries then turn around and purchase much of their goods and services from the EU and must pay in euros, their purchasing power continues to deteriorate. (The euro is currently valued at $1.23.)
How will the weaker dollar affect oil prices? Philip K Verleger, the dean of US oil market analysts and a visiting fellow at the Institute for International Economics, suggests that "oil-exporting countries may decide to adjust their price band to reflect the falling value of the dollar". If the dollar continues to slide, he warns, we could see oil prices rising from the current $38.18 a barrel to a record high of $40 by midsummer.
There are other dark clouds on the horizon. US crude oil inventories are at the lowest point since the mid 70s, and the retail gasoline market is operating with little reserve margin as we move into the summer months, where more travel will increase demand. The dwindling oil reserves are made worse by the White House decision to replenish the strategic petroleum reserve, further reducing the amount of gasoline available.
Verleger says gasoline could climb as high as $3.50 a gallon before leveling off at $2 by the autumn. How high prices eventually soar could depend on still other factors, including potential oil disruptions in Venezuela and the Middle East.

Iraq Under the U.S. Thumb
In London, they unfurled a protest sign on Big Ben; in Rome a million demonstrators filled the streets. Here in Iraq, there were no such spectacular markings of the one-year anniversary of the invasion -- a sign, the BBC speculated, that Iraqis are generally pleased with the progress of their liberation.

Yet, as I was driving around Baghdad on March 20, the eerie quiet felt like a sign of something else: that symbolic anniversaries are an unaffordable luxury when the war they are supposed to be marking is still being waged.

Naomi Klein/Common Dreams


In the past two weeks alone, Israel has killed some 70 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and more are bound to follow.

The assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin marks a new and unprecedented escalation. Needless to say, it will push any hopes of a resumption of negotiations well out of the picture and, in the meantime, the military wings of Hamas and all the other Palestinian factions will redouble their efforts at retaliation. A cycle of violence will ensue that may reach hitherto untouched levels.

This is in no one's interest except, perhaps, the Israeli prime minister's. In fact, it may be argued that Sharon is in a win-win position. By assassinating Yassin, he has shown the loony right in Israel that he is a "tough" leader ahead of any possible withdrawal from Gaza. By provoking the inevitable retaliation, he can retrospectively justify to a toothless West the need for even harsher military action, and postpone indefinitely, if he should choose, such a withdrawal. He has put himself in his favourite position: Of not having to make any tough choices to improve the situation.

Women for Peace

Over 250 women from across the world will participate in a bicycle �march� from Beirut to Amman next month to raise awareness on women's and children's rights in the Middle East.
The organisers, Women for Peace, said on Monday that participants from 25 countries, including Jordan, will set off on bicycles from Beirut on April 18, passing through Lebanese cities into Syria �where they will stop in Damascus � on their way to Amman [Jordan].
Rami Abdelrahman/Jordan Times Mar.23.04 (ephemeral link)


The success of the Mennonite community has prompted the Paraguayan government to expand the development of the Chaco, based on the availability of potable water. Some of the Mennonite community fear that their freedoms may be endangered.

The peanut, sesame, and sorgum fields surrounding Filadelfia attract wildlife, mainly birds and that brings the sportsmen from all over the world for Pigeon & Dove Shooting. Others come on South American Hunting Trips or photographic safaris to view endangered wildlife and jaguars, pumas and ocelots. Some come to study El Gran Chaco.

Others, like several Indian tribes, are drawn by economic reasons. Travelers to the Chaco buy their handicrafts, like those created by the Nivacl�.

Indians from the Nivacl�, Lengua and Ayoreo indigenous groups wait to be picked up for a day's work on one of the Mennonite farms.

The Ayoreo are a nomadic, hunter-gatherer people, who once inhabited a vast area of scrub forest. Their first sustained contact with white people came in the 1940s and 1950s, when Mennonite farmers established colonies on their land. Subsequently missionaries attempted to contact and settle them. Although the Ayoreo resisted contact and largely rejected the missionaries, they did begin to come out of the forest; there is now only a small group of nomadic Totobiegosode living uncontacted in the forest. Most Ayoreo land is now owned by private landowners, who hire work-teams to clear the forest of valuable timber and then introduce cattle. Some is still owned by the Mennonites and another religious group, the US-based New Tribes Mission (NTM).


Kim Jae-Hwang/AFP

Des membres de la police sud-cor�enne pratiquent l'escalade lors d'un entra�nement � S�oul.
South Korean police practice climbing/rappelling while training in Seoul

Canada You Stole

However, this is no time to gloat that Canada is idiotically sinking itself, since we are in the same boat. But if ever one needed a refutation of "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," this is it. And there is a second irony in your inviting to a strategic planning session peoples who obviously have had no success whatsoever in bargaining with the legal, political, and economic juggernaut that has been flattening them. Maybe it's meant to be "inclusive" or "sensitive" (which are themselves assimilationist maneuvers), but, frankly, what difference will it make to indigenous peoples who it is expropriating their property and forms of life? After all, when there's a boot on your throat, the brand name of the boot isn't your main concern. In gauging whether our actions will have any effect at all today, we would find a demonstrated understanding of and commitment to our issues to be more comforting. However, that fact that we have been ineffectual in getting heard by the vast majority of Canadians, even those, like yourselves, in principle sympathetic to our situations, presages your own difficulties in overcoming the indifference and inactivity cultivated in mainstream Canadians. There may be some value in pointing this out.

link :::wood s lot::: Mar.23.04


let's look at the heart of the matter

And with that, I will be glad to take your questions. Steve.

Q With Israel's killing of Sheik Yassin, do you see that as -- do you agree with Israel that this was an act of self-defense? And do you support Israel's policy of targeted assassinations?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, our policy on the last part of your question there remains the same. It is unchanged. In terms of the first part of your question, we always have said Israel has the right to defend herself. We also always have said that all parties need to keep in mind the consequences of their actions.
Q So did the President tell you or somebody in the White House over the weekend, he doesn't recall?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, I talked to him. He doesn't recall that conversation or meeting.

Q And that was -- he said it this morning, or this weekend? When did he say that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, this weekend and this morning, yes.

Q Okay. And secondly, Clarke now says that he has three eyewitnesses, and he repeated it again this morning, and he named them -- to the conversation.

MR. McCLELLAN: Let's just step backwards -- regardless, regardless, put that aside. There's no record of the President being in the Situation Room on that day that it was alleged to have happened, on the day of September the 12th. When the President is in the Situation Room, we keep track of that. But put all that aside, let's go to the heart of the matter. This was supposedly the day after the September 11th attacks. And, of course, you want to look at all possibilities of who might be responsible. It would be irresponsible not to consider all responsibilities.
The White House Mar.22.04

How is QRIO able to walk on an uneven surface, or one whose slope suddenly changes? It is equipped with technology that uses a wide range of sensors to detect changes in the walking surface and respond accordingly. QRIO determines the condition of the walking surface using four pressure sensors in the sole of each foot to gather data on the amount of force being received from the walking surface.

The Milk Bong

Born in what is now the Israeli city of Ashkelon, Yassin grew up in Palestinian refugee camps in the Gaza Strip after his family, like those of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, was uprooted in 1948 with the founding of Israel. Yassin, a teacher and spiritual leader, founded Hamas in December 1987 with the eruption of the first Palestinian uprising. When the organization was formally outlawed by Israeli military authorities in 1989, Yassin and nearly 200 other group members were arrested and Yassin was sentenced to life in prison. The Hamas spiritual leader was later released by Israel in 1997 as a goodwill gesture to Jordan's King Hussein after a failed Israeli attempt to assassinate another Hamas leader Khaled Mashal in Amman.

link KWSNet Mar.22.04

la persistance de fortes pluies pour les jours � venir

Already this morning a Palestinian boy protesting the killing of Sheikh Yassin at the At Tufah checkpoint was killed when shot in the chest with a round of live ammunition. Mossab Hassan Al Ralban was 13, years old from Khan Younis. Another 23 year old Palestinian man died outside his home in a shelling attack from the Neve Dkalim settlement. Also in Nablus Israeli forces killed 22 year old journalist, Mohammad Abu Halima. He was shot in the chest whilst covering a confrontation which ensued when Israeli forces invaded the Balata refugee camp.


Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress of the Uniting Church in Australia

Randall Tobias
the former chief executive of the giant US drug company Eli Lilly
the man appointed to head the president's Aids strategy

The United States, under pressure from its giant pharmaceutical companies, is trying to undermine the use in poor countries of cheap, copycat Aids drugs, made by "pirate", generic companies but validated by the World Health Organisation, campaigners claim.
US drug companies want the money promised for President George Bush's Aids plan to be spent on their products.
Because the patents on the component drugs are held by different multinationals, only the generic companies make a basic three-in-one pill. A very simple regime, taking one pill, twice a day, is considered to be most feasible in poor countries. Scientists working for the WHO have examined and approved certain generic three-in-one pills.
When President Bush pledged R96-billion for Aids in his state of the union address last year, and hailed the plunge in drug prices to R1 980 a year, it was assumed that the US would be willing to buy generics to make the money go further. However, Randall Tobias, the former chief executive of the giant US drug company Eli Lilly and the man appointed to head the president's Aids strategy, claims that generic drugs manufactured overseas may not be made to the consistency and quality of those manufactured in the US.
"It would be a disaster if we invested in drugs that were not consistent, don't have all the right components and we just don't know whether some of these do or do not," he told the House of Representatives' international relations committee earlier this month.
But WHO officials involved in approving the generic drugs defend their system, pointing out that the drug regulatory agencies of France, Switzerland, Canada and South Africa are among those involved in the process.

a real examination for the heart
In a West Bank village, Mas'ha, a modest house was turned into an improvised clinic, where doctors from our group provided medical care alongside their Israeli and Palestinian counterparts. A draconian system of "internal closure" (under which no one can leave a village or city without Israeli permission) and checkpoints has closed off all access to regular healthcare. Mobile clinics bring some minimal medical attention to the beleaguered population.
Eighty-two-year-old Pnina Failer, a former nurse, is a regular volunteer for the PHR/UPMRC Saturday clinics. She is the mother of Dror Failer, a 52-year-old saxophonist-composer married to the Swedish artist Gunilla Skold-Failer. The Failers's installation in Stockholm, Snow White and the Madness of Truth, made international headlines last January when Israel's ambassador to Sweden physically attacked the artwork, claiming that it glorified Palestinian suicide bombers.
There's layers in this story, too many for TV. Communists and Arabs and Jews and Fascists and Poles and doctors and nurses and artists and diplomats and kids...and "The extremists on one side give fuel to the other side."

Why has such a tremendous act of courage and defiance been ignored by much of the media in the United States?
Following Rachel's death, many of us expected the US government to investigate what happened and to work to bring those responsible to justice. After all, just a day after Daniel Pearl's kidnapping in Pakistan, FBI agents were dispatched to Karachi to help with that investigation. But the US government remains silent, as neither the FBI nor the State Department nor Congress has mandated an independent investigation. This despite the more recent deaths of three American security agents in another part of Gaza when their car ran over a roadside bomb, prompting the State Department to threaten to withhold money from the Palestinian Authority until those responsible are brought to justice.

a brief war

Diplomatic tensions erupted Saturday between Argentina and Britain for the presence of an Argentine icebreaker ship near the disputed Malvinas islands.
The Malvinas islands, called the Falkland islands by Britain, are located in the south Atlantic .
Xinhua Mar.21.04

(Not that China sees any parallels here or anything.)

Orang-utans and Tigers
Indonesia's rainforest is disappearing faster than any other rainforest in the world. An area the size of Belgium is destroyed every year and experts predict that by 2010 most of Indonesia's lowland rainforests will be gone from Sumatra and Borneo. The Indonesian rainforest is a haven for wildlife, with the longest list of endangered species in the world. This includes the orang-utan, which is only found in Sumatra and Borneo and whose numbers have halved in just 10 years and the Sumatran tiger, of which less than 500 remain.

�When I come back from Palestine,� she said, �I probably will have nightmares and constantly feel guilty for not being here, but I can channel that into more work if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people. Please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.�
Rachel Corrie

Justin Podur/rabble news

William McDonough interview

Consider this: all the ants on the planet, taken together, have a biomass greater than that of humans. Ants have been incredibly industrious for millions of years, yet their productiveness nourishes plants, animals and soil. Human industry has been in full swing for little more than a century, yet it has brought about a decline in almost every ecosystem on the planet. Nature doesn't have a design problem. People do.
We want to design buildings that, like trees, convert solar energy, putting more energy back into the grid than they consume. We want to create factories that produce effluents you can safely drink. We foresee products that, when their useful life is over, do not become useless waste. They can be tossed to the ground to decompose into food for plants and animals - nutrients for the soil - or alternatively can be returned to industrial cycles to supply high-quality raw materials for new products. I see a world of abundance, not limits. Design a product in an ecologically intelligent way and you can use as many of them as you want.

80 percent of the population is able to enjoy gambling as entertainment, as many 15 percent develop a "problem" bankruptcies, which are fairly rare compared with personal bankruptcies, are 35 percent lower in the gambling counties. But counter to what the gambling industry claims, personal bankruptcy rates are twice as high as the rate in comparable counties without legalized gambling...

link Undernews/Progressive Review

Jeffrey R. Ryan, loyal American

terrorism isn't actually the act of creating terror
I hadn't slept since Bush's ultimatum a couple of days before. It wasn't because I was scared but because I didn't want to be asleep when the bombs started falling. The tears started falling with the first few thuds. I'm not very prone to tears, but that moment, a year ago today, I felt such sorrow at the sound of those bombs. It was a familiar feeling because it wasn't, after all, the first time America was bombing us. It didn�t seem fair that it was such a familiar feeling.

I felt horrible that Baghdad was being reduced to rubble. With every explosion, I knew that some vital part of it was going up in flames. It was terrible and I don't think I'd wish it on my worst enemy. That was the beginning of the 'liberation'� a liberation from sovereignty, a certain sort of peace, a certain measure of dignity. We've been liberated from our jobs, and our streets and the sanctity of our homes� some of us have even been liberated from the members of our family and friends.

A year later and our electricity is intermittent, at best, there constantly seems to be a fuel shortage and the streets aren't safe. When we walk down those streets, on rare occasions, the faces are haggard and creased with concern� concern over family members under detention, homes raided by Americans, hungry mouths to feed, and family members to keep safe from abduction, rape and death.
Baghdad Burning Mar.20.04


voluntary emission reductions by U.S. industry and more scientific research

Carbon dioxide, the gas largely blamed for global warming, has reached record-high levels in the atmosphere after growing at an accelerated pace in the past year, say scientists monitoring the sky from this 2-mile-high station atop a Hawaiian volcano.
Carbon dioxide, mostly from burning of coal, gasoline and other fossil fuels, traps heat that otherwise would radiate into space. Global temperatures increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.6 degrees Celsius) during the 20th century, and international panels of scientists sponsored by world governments have concluded that most of the warming probably was due to greenhouse gases.
Asked to explain the stepped-up rate, climatologists were cautious, saying data needed to be further evaluated. But Asia immediately sprang to mind.
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol would oblige ratifying countries to reduce carbon dioxide emissions according to set schedules, to minimize potential global warming. The pact has not taken effect, however.
The United States, the world's biggest carbon dioxide emitter, signed the agreement but did not ratify it, and the Bush administration has since withdrawn U.S. support

Share the Technology

Mike Clarke/AFP

Hong Kong


Can't Bury Deceit

While many former Vietnam veterans support the candidacy of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, there is no sign of the man who appeared with Kerry on a nationally televised news program in 1971 to allege widespread atrocities by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam.
That man, Al Hubbard, remains out of the spotlight, perhaps because the war record he touted in directing a prominent anti-war group that included Kerry, was fabricated.


I have to confess to a sense of relief at the odor of partisan smear that comes off this story. Because if Kerry does get hit by these guys hard, and repeatedly, it means he's not a stooge. And that will mean we might have a chance at real reform.
One question that won't get asked is "How many members of the V.V.A.W. were government plants?"
Anybody who was active back then knows there were some groups at some moments made up of more undercover cops than genuine activists.
But like all true criminals, the scum responsible for all that misdirection will deny it to the end.
The FBI, COINTELPRO, all those chumpy nitwits with their bug-harvested hip lingo. Even Dan Rather, early days, doing a story on the vets, running around Santa Rosa in a combat jacket, scared to death someone might out him; not to mention any names or anything.

war of human against beast
In the little village of Ncweng, people had gathered their donkeys together for counting. Soldiers arrived and shot the lot. They then fanned out across the veld, searching river valleys and grazing areas, pumping bullets into every donkey they found. People who resisted were bullied. A few, realizing the danger, hid donkeys in their houses. The soldiers then moved to the next village, then the next.
"They didn't take aim," one person told a history researcher, Nancy Jacobs. "They shot animals anywhere, as often as it took to kill them. They were not put to death, they were savaged. Others were shot in the eye, or different parts of the body and the feet..."
Some speculated the slaughter was a move by the upper class of cattle-keepers to reduce pressure on grazing. The official decree simply announced that "surplus" donkeys were to be exterminated, but trigger-happy soldiers soon turned the cull into mass slaughter.
The estimate of 20,000 dead donkeys is probably conservative.

Don Pinnock/ENN Mar.19.04

Guidelines on Mercury

The joint Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency guidance also told women of child-bearing age to avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish because of the high levels of mercury.

The controversial recommendation regarding tuna was immediately attacked as inadequate by a member of the FDA advisory panel that addressed it. University of Arizona toxicologist Vas Aposhian today resigned from the panel, saying that the advisory did not reflect the experts' view that child-bearing women and children should not eat albacore tuna at all and should eat less light tuna than the advisory states.

"We wanted albacore on the list of fish not to eat," Aposhian said. "We knew that wouldn't happen because of the pressure from the industry...

Gent Shkullaku/AFP

Albanian students demonstrate for peace in Mother Theresa Square, Tirana, Albania

There's trouble in Kosovo, but it doesn't seem to be important to whoever it is that's controlling the American news media these days.

an obscenity for male-female relations

After granting a request for a review of the ruling, the five-member commission struck down its bureau?s decision. It said not only did Bono?s use of the word qualify as profane under the law but other uses of the word would as well.
In its order, the FCC warned broadcasters they are "on clear notice that, in the future, they will be subject to potential enforcement action for any broadcast of the [expletive] or a variation thereof in situations such as that here." Violators will be subject to fines and possibly revocation of their licenses, the FCC said.
Tom Strode/BPNews Mar.19.04

It's not about the word, it's not about the act, it's not about gay marriage, and it's not about abortion. It's about genuflecting before the power. Accepting the ruling tribunal as your personal savior. Being one of "us" or one of "them". The logic of this, that children need to be protected from a short easily-spoken word for the act that creates them, versus the barrage of degrading violence everywhere on television and in movies, the acceptance of the word "damn" and even "God-damn" by people who say they believe those words express real possibilities, is non-existent. Anyone who truly believed in the possibility of hell would not take its use as a mild epithet lightly.
It isn't logical. It's not about ideas. These people don't think sexual matters are obscene, they think disobedience is obscene.
The issues are an excuse to demand obedience.

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