...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



These headlines are true:

Bush Signs Anti-Manatee Bill

Jeb Bush signs industry-backed manatee bill

These headlines are lies:

New law helps protect manatees

Gov. Bush signs bill for study of manatee habitat

Florida will study manatee habitat under bill signed by Bush

Florida Will Study Manatee Habitat

Bush backs research on manatees
That thing where the guy says "They came for the Poles and I did nothing..."? And on through a list of victims leading right up to his front door? That's where we are. Manatees are useless except in zoos and aquaria. It's not a moral issue. That's a trick, to frame it as a moral issue, and to then use a morality in which animals have no standing.
It is not a moral issue. It is an assertion of living, of being alive and here and connected. Or surrender.

The Jewish Divide on Israel

"You get this sense in the Jewish community that we're under siege and anyone who challenges the consensus is a traitor who has to be purged," Bromberg says. "The right has the capacity to instantly inflate any expression of civil discourse, doubt or questioning into an act of disloyalty." Historian Michael Staub, author of Torn at the Roots: The Crisis of Jewish Liberalism in Postwar America, says this split in the Jewish community between an institutional mainstream and a liberal/left alternative dates to the early 1970s, when young Jews, who disproportionately populated the New Left, challenged the major Jewish organizations over Vietnam, urban poverty and assimilation. The difference, says Staub, is that then, when dissidents picketed a synagogue or stormed a meeting of the Jewish Federation, the mainstream leadership scrambled to set up meetings. Now, with dissent centered around Israel, mainstream communal leaders attack anti-occupation protesters as self-hating Jews or take steps to shut them out of the debate entirely. "There is a silencing going on at the local level by American Jewish institutions that is very unhealthy," says Brit Tzedek's Freedman.

Esther Kaplan/The Nation Jun.24.04

The Ngatik Massacre, July 1837

Sapwuahfik men beckoned them ashore, indicating their intentions with a display of their own weapons. The people of Sapwuahfik had known from divination when the ship would return; they had been watching, and when they saw it appear on the horizon, they prepared for war, readying clubs and slings.

Far Outliers Jun.30.04

The kava-kava link isn't in the original post.
I've always thought one of the primary reasons the puritan charge against psychedelic drugs was so intense was that "divination" aspect. That it was possible to get to a foretelling position with chemicals and trances, and that the "god" of the puritans didn't like that. Because it's a contest, not a world of established power but a contest for power.
The next obvious question would be how a chemical could make it possible to "see the future".
The skeptic corner wants the evidence first, then the explanation. Which is understandable. I'm certainly no longer interested in pursuing any kind of laboratory research, and I'd imagine most of the other partisans have their hands full as well, but the "how" is interesting.
Start with the very real fact that your relationship with time itself is a complete mystery to you.
You occupy "this moment" as you've been trained to call it and, more importantly, to think of it. But that one moment is long gone, the one you were occupying when you read that. And you're passing through a different moment as you read this. And so it will be until you stop experiencing time all together.
Granting validity to all those "moments" - giving them each the same actuality you give the one you occupy, and erasing the artificially induced barrier between them - you have a continuum, a flow, a kind of liquid momentum. And the next posit is obviously that your own movement from one end of that to the other is an illusion as well.
Or something else. Something that's neither illusion nor real. But you've been trained to not accept things like that. So don't, I don't care.
But once you get that, that the flow of time is unbroken, it's not that hard to imagine a kind of "coming unstuck in time" to use Vonnegut's term, a kind of "not-inhabiting" of the particular moment, and a rejoining the time-flow afterward, with traces and remnants of that other experience of the continuum intact, or relatively intact. Visions. Prophecy.
It's a war. It always was a war.
And it has very little to do with morality, except as a means of organizing and deploying troops in the field.
This explains so much that seems puzzling to young and inexperienced minds. The hatred for indigenous cultures, the steady and violently urgent extermination of indigenous religions and cultural practices. And the inside-out moral stance of fundamentalist religions in the contemporary landscape.
Christians who kill, Jews who exterminate, Muslims who betray. Because it isn't about some central figure whose benevolent presence guides it all home. It's about conflict and struggle and victory and defeat. Look around. See how often duplicity and theft are rewarded, and compare it with how often decency and honesty are rewarded; not by human intent, by circumstance. Now see the people who are insisting violently that those same qualities will be rewarded in reverse at the end of time. But those people are themselves cunning and duplicitous and wielding power that comes from stolen resources.
It's all true and it's all a lie. Time is real. But what you experience of it is an illusion. A real illusion.

The conservatives' hypocracy

When she[Mona Charen] says Moore is not "alone in spewing vitriol into the national debate," just before she refers to a recent Krugman column as a "roadside bomb," it really does seem as if she is oblivious to the fact that her mental cubicle at is just one more bitter cauldron of partisan hatred, in which a pundit stews her own political vomit.

Ipecac Jun.30.04


Fahrenheit 9/11:
People will shout at each other and then, on November 2, the candidate with the better hair will win.

...when you talk about the Iraq war and how Bush jr "duped" people wouldn't it be worth more than one second to show how Democrats were only too happy to vote for the war? That one second I'm referring to is a clip that shows Tom Daschle and Richard Gephardt (the same Dick Gephardt who now supposedly is such a good running mate for Democratic hopeful John Kerry who, despite having been so happy about voting for the war, isn't even mentioned!) supporting basically anything their president wants to do. Wouldn't it be a good opportunity to show how Democrats bear responsibility, too? It simply doesn't work to blame it all on the media.
And wouldn't it be time to wonder whether there is a problem when, it seems, the only reason most Democrats think there's something wrong with the Iraq war it's just that too many US soldiers die? Is that it? As bad as dead soldiers are - the movie shows the suffering of one mother - the damage done by this invasion is much bigger than that. The standing of the US in the world and the US economy itself have suffered to an extent unimaginable only a few years back. Do the people, who after the movie hand out flyers for John Kerry, seriously believe you just have to replace Bush jr with that rich horse-faced Senator and all will be well again? Please!

Joerg Colberg/Conscientious

The possible motives for the US invading and occupying Iraq, the popular ones, all mean it was a failed enterprise. The country is unstable, the economy's ruined, the people are no more secure from anxiety than they were.
Thousands of Iraqis have died, hundreds of Americans have died, and more die every day. Saddam is gone, but many of his higher echelons are being placed in positions of power, and the political structure the vacating proxy government leaves in its wake is filled with corrupt actors.
There is one goal, though, that could be seen as successfully accomplished. The obvious one, that this is what was intended. A broken nation, a fragmented people, a captive economy.
The United States is in much worse condition than it was before the start of the invasion and occupation. Iraq is in far worse condition. There's only one country that has benefited, and it has benefited greatly, with little expense and virtually no sacrifice of its own resources.
Israel is creating an empire in the Middle East. This is every day more obvious.
Most Americans are still unaware that Paul Bremer is and was tightly connected to the state of Israel. It's as Admiral Anthony Zinni said it was, though what good it does to know that is getting harder to realize. It doesn't seem to matter what's real. The game is that by the time people do wake up it will be too late, America won't be in a position to do anything to stop what it was tricked blindly into helping make possible.
The linking of anti-Semitism with the historical persecutions of Jews as a people is understandable. The linking of anti-Semitic speech with the Holocaust is understandable. Linking the atrocities and inhuman degradations of Arab prisoners by the American military to the Holocaust should be understandable as well. That it isn't speaks directly to the sickness manifesting itself now, in the Middle East and in the world.

from: John McMurtry's "Unspeakable Propositions"

3. General Motors, Dupont, IT&T, Standard Oil and Ford Corporations all
produced military supplies for the Nazi armed forces during World War II
while the United States was at war with Germany.

6. The free market means that those without money to buy what they need
do not have the right to live.

14. There is no correlation between people's wealth and their merit.

20. The belief that God sanctions our social order or our state at war
is a superstition.

link :::wood s lot:::


South African mining giant De Beers has finalised a joint venture with Firestone Diamonds

The exploration centred around the Mopipi project, about 450 km north of Gaborone which lay adjacent to De Beers' Orapa and Letlhakane diamond mines.
"Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, De Beers will be responsible for financing and carrying out all exploration and evaluation work"
De Beers is to shortly commence an intensive exploration and evaluation programme.


� Thousands of Gana and Gwi �Bushmen�, and Bakgalagadi, have been forcibly
evicted from their ancestral lands in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve
(CKGR) in Botswana. This is a gross violation of their human rights and is
against international law. Unless they get their lands back, these Bushman tribes
are unlikely to survive as peoples.
� The government wrongly claims that these relocations are voluntary and gives
several quite different reasons for them: these can be shown to be false
� Diamonds have been found at a Bushman community called Gope
(pronounced hop-ey), where test drilling has taken place and a rig and basic
installation have been mounted. Diamonds have been found in test drilling near
other Bushman communities. There is, however, no mining at present[Feb.23.04] in the
� The number of diamond exploration licences given out by the government in
the CKGR has increased dramatically since the Bushmen were evicted.
De Beers and Debswana
� Diamond mining in Botswana is controlled by a company called Debswana
(ie. De Beers Botswana), which is owned on a 50/50 basis by the government
and by De Beers.
� Many of the directors of Debswana are senior political figures in Botswana.
For instance, the deputy chairman of Debswana, Dr. A.R. Tombale, is the
permanent secretary in the Botswana Ministry of Minerals, Energy & Water.
Another director, M.L. Selepeng, is permanent secretary to the president of
Botswana. Another director, TC Moremi, is permanent secretary at the Ministry
of Commerce and Industry.
Survival International

Headed by Professor Chen Qianwang, a team of scientists at China�s University of Science and Technology came up with a new method of creating synthetic diamonds, a method that could pave the way for future production of cheap gem quality diamonds.
Benjamin Robertson/Al Jazeera Nov.05.03

two Photo Saed Khan/AFP

Paul Bremer (R) flew out of the country after the ceremony


two Photo Saed Khan/AFP

Billions of dollars from Iraq's oil fund cannot be accounted for
by the US occupation authority

Reports by Christian Aid and the Liberal Democrats, Britain's third-largest political party, said there were glaring gaps in the handling of $20 billion generated by Iraq's oil.
The Christian Aid report on Sunday also said the majority of Iraq's reconstruction projects had been awarded to US companies, which charged up to 10 times more than their Iraqi equivalents.
The UN gave the US occupation authority responsibility for the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) after the fall of Saddam Hussein in May 2003.
But it stipulated that expenditure must be shown to be in the country's best interests and that all revenue should be paid into a simple fund.
However, Christian Aid and the Liberal Democrats said that no audit on the money had been carried out until April 2004.

Aljazeera.Net - Iraq's missing oil billions - Jun.28.04

Maybe somebody out there's trying to link the images of intentional punitive degradation at Abu Ghraib to Mel Gibson's Passion but if they are I haven't seen it.
There's a connection though. It's almost like it bisects the polarity. Like the axis of one splits both camps of the other.


The Marmot's (Final) Hole:
As some of you may already know, a wing of the South Korean government, the Ministry of Information and Culture (MIC), is currently clamping down on a variety of blogging service providers and other websites. The government is attempting to control access to video of the recent Kim Sun-il beheading, ostensibly because the video will have a destabilizing influence. (I haven't seen the video.)

I am writing this letter not primarily to criticize all Koreans (I'm ethnically half-Korean, and an American citizen), nor to express a generalized condemnation of Korean culture. As is true anywhere else, this culture has its merits and demerits, and overall, I'm enjoying my time here. No, my purpose is more specific: to cause the South Korean government as much embarrassment as possible, and perhaps to motivate Korean citizens to engage in some much-needed introspection.

To this end, I need the blogosphere's help, and this letter needs wide distribution (you may receive other letters from different bloggers, so be prepared!). I hope you'll see fit to publish this letter on your site, and/or to distribute it to concerned parties: censorship in a supposedly democratic society simply cannot stand. The best and quickest way to persuade the South Korean government to back down from its current position is to make it lose face in the eyes of the world. This can only happen through a determined (and civilized!) campaign to expose the government's hypocrisy and to cause Korean citizens to rethink their own narrow-mindedness.
repost at Far Outliers

"consumers of all ages":

in a critical light

The Information Highway, hinted at in existing cable, telephone, and computer networking services, is another of these huge infrastructural giants, promising us jobs and education, but carrying the threat of economic dislocation and the erosion of state sovereignty. The danger, claims Menzies, is that since communications technologies "structure our lives and our consciousness," an Information Highway built and controlled by commercial interests will see our existence dominated by the "commodity principle"

Heather Menzies' Hyping the Highway
link :::wood s lot :::

Limbaugh Has No Place on the Front Line
" full hour of "The Rush Limbaugh Show" is broadcast every weekday directly to our soldiers in Iraq and around the world � to nearly 1 million U.S. troops in more than 175 countries and U.S. territories. Moreover, it is the only hourlong partisan political talk show broadcast daily to the troops."
-Mike Farrell/Common Dreams


" '...what God would have created if he'd worked on Sunday...'

The idea is to create food that feeds more people and grows in more places and lives longer. I don't have a problem with that. Sure, people are planning to get rich from it, but people are getting rich selling me peaches and yogurt, too, and I can't bring myself to get irritated at them.

It's not as though we just started messing with nature; we've been doing it almost as long as we've been human."
Jon Carroll at SFGate

email letter in response:
I know this makes me a bad person

Kinda went in the ditch right there didn't it? Right off the top.
You were the Paul Simon of three-dot for quite a while.
What happened?
What is that fecal upchuck?
What is this nonsense?
It's not evil because it benefits someone?
Is that the point? Is that all that's necessary to redeem anything someone does, that it benefit someone?
Mayan grain-selection is the moral equivalent of gene-tinkering by sociopaths?
Yeah sure it is, and you know why?
Because there's no morality involved. At all. Just insectile pragmatism. And the mentality that's running the labs is not itself capable of non-artificial existence.
Wouldn't you think in at least some versions of hell the demons and devils could be said to benefit from their brimstone production and whip deployment?
Ever wonder how come human alteration of the gene pool by overt eugenic selection is anathema, but slowly altering the social filter and actually altering the genes themselves is okay?
The answer is clear but taboo.
It depends on who's doing the alteration, not how.
When are we going to start asking, and answering, "Who doesn't benefit?"
Who's getting left behind by this Promethean alchemy?
Daniel Boone's an anachronism. We don't need rough tough hombres. In fact they get in the way, except as sports/entertainment dolls.
In the future it's going to be Rupert Murdoch inside a retrofit carcass.
A Porsche Brad Pitt '98.
And that's not hell.
Because we're not on fire.


It's not wrong because they're getting rich. It's that their hunger for material reward is the primary motive. It's that the greed is clouding their, possibly non-existant, moral compass.
You know that and I know that and they know that. The only member of the discussion who doesn't know that is the viewing audience.
What makes it even more disgusting is the constant simpering mantra of "feeding the hungry" and "healing the sick". This from people who wouldn't cross the street to feed the hungry if there wasn't something in it for them. Trying to make it sound like the motive is altruistic makes it sound like the motive is inhuman. It is the noise the inhuman makes when it wants something.
The logic behind "It's not as though we just started messing with nature" can be applied to many other activities. For instance murder. It's not as though people just started dying. They've been dying for millenia.
The main thrust is honor, as a verb not as a noun. What do these men and women honor?
I think a little research would show they don't honor much of anything. Their loyalties are to themselves and nothing else. The Xenic half-stepping with which they refute moral logic is impossible to rebut without faith, and faith is not admissible evidence. This is a charade of cunning and deceit masquerading as benevolence. It's time to stop arguing about it. Resist or surrender.
I'm not calling for a return to "old ways". I'm calling for a continuation of the only human ways there are. These are inhuman practices, they aren't "modern" except that they've never been done before. In that sense probably the most modern event we can look forward to is the nuclear destruction of the human race. The same hands hold both tools, the same minds wield them, the same small hearts direct their use.
The fundamental premise is that there are no taboos when it comes to "progress" and undertakings can only be judged by their immediate benefits. But most of us scorn people that live their lives that way. Why should we live our collective lives that way?

Jordan Times: Sunday, June 27, 2004

Israeli border police on Saturday beat AFP photojournalist Ata Hussein as he lies injured on the ground during a demonstration by hundreds of Palestinians, left-wing Israelis and foreign activists against Israel's controversial separation barrier in the West Bank village of Al Ram (AFP photo by Menahem Kahana)

Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International :: Zero Tolerance for Torture �
is just around the corner

The Light In The Living Room

Most of these things are so obvious I don't see the need to talk about them. But some people can't see too well when it comes to something so familiar.
Nothing is static, nothing stays like it is. That's universal. Especially something like television, which dropped in on the family less than a hundred years ago, you can expect rapid and dramatic change with that, in it and around it. And because of it.
There's guys around who are older than me, who were teenagers before there was a TV in the house. That right there leaves most people vague. Kind of a "Huh?" followed by a "So what?"
But any thought at all would tell you what, it's got to be hugely different. You just won't be able to know how. Unless you're one of those rare kids brought up without one.
This isn't about TV though, it's about who's there, inside the TV. Whose personalities are being broadcast, whose template's being used to shape the next generation; and especially, once that starts, who's riding that huge wave of transformative energy.
Those guys that didn't have one, they went to school with the people who started their careers in the industry, people born in the late 1930's, early 1940's. They know those tones of voice, those faces. And there's those faces and voices beaming out unto the land. And writing and directing, and making corporate decisions about what to air.
Millions of people, hundreds of millions now, getting their lives shaped by that central station. And the guys I'm talking about were cooler than who showed up on the box. That's the main point. Most of them were real uncomfortable about letting their kids have unrestricted access to the TV. If at all.
It is a tool of leadership, and instead of human leaders we got shepherd's crooks and barking dogs, and mediocre in-betweens. And I don't mean to be denigrating all the decent folk who worked in broadcasting and did the best they could. But it wasn't the best of us doing their best, that's the point.
You had a tool that reached virtually everyone; and instead of it being used to lead, it was used to control. To herd, to trick and beguile.
The big question is - by who?
And it's the same with the psychic environment created by the real-time surveillance auditors today. You have this consciousness permeating the atmosphere around the entire human landscape - it's a rare place in the US now where you don't have that 60-cycle hum and its unblinking gaze. And the minds there, the watching minds, are mediocre, infirm, innocent in some ways, but whatever else they are they are not in any way leaders. They are not guides.
They are not paternal, in the fullest most human sense of paternity; and they are absolutely not maternal, in no way are they anything like maternal. Just as with the television and its minders. A maternal television would heal and teach, strengthen and shelter. A paternal television would teach and guide, and listen. What this current instance of the universal link does is trick and deceive, shock and cajole, browbeat and intimidate, and indoctrinate. It lives with the family, in the home, but it doesn't act like a member of the family.
The technologies of surveillance are an extension of the television's attachment. And employed to the same design.
What we have is a steady progress toward the paddock and corral. Toward the milling herd, waiting in its own dust.
What I'm saying is that these tools were not employed for the betterment of the human race, they were employed to control. Subtly and with a lot of incompetence, but the direction is pretty clear, if you look back far enough with an unprejudiced eye.
Too much of the common relationship with television goes entirely unremarked. There's so many layers of familiarity that have to be stripped away first it's impossible to even point the obvious out to most normal people. Like the rhesus orphan with its scratching-pole mother, we were isolated - then given a substitute, which we accepted because we've never known anything better.

Interview of the President by Radio and Television Ireland:
THE PRESIDENT: "...I can understand that. People don't like war. But what they should be angry about is the fact that there was a brutal dictator there that had destroyed lives and put them in mass graves and had torture rooms. Listen, I wish they could have seen the seven men that came to see me in the Oval Office -- they had their right hands cut off by Saddam Hussein because the currency had devalued when he was the leader. And guess what happened? An American saw the fact that they had had their hands cut off and crosses -- or Xs carved in their forehead. And he flew them to America. And they came to my office with a new hand, grateful for the generosity of America..."

Guardian Unlimited | Karma Nabulsi | The struggle for sovereignty: "The most important lesson of our common history is that those organised political engagements against injustice are what created the political culture that ensured the stability of the democratic institutions that emerged.

It is not only after one possesses democratic institutions that one practices democracy, nor is democracy merely a set of institutions or mechanisms such as elections. Democracy only holds if it emerges by customary practice in the public sphere, and in the case of Europe this custom developed through organised resistance to unrepresentative rule over generations.

So the popular struggle for liberty has been, in the case of established democracies in Europe, the necessary route to gain those liberties, and to hold them. All the rights enjoyed today across Europe were hard won by political mobilisation, imprisonment and armed resistance, by organisational structures working underground for a common purpose at great risk over generations. "


New World Border

After teen-agers in Maclovio Rojas finish secondary school at a neighboring colonia, at age 15 or 16, the only option for most of them is going to work in the maquiladoras.

    Maquiladora statistics:
  • Mexico�s place among world exporters: #11.
  • For every 100 dollars in Mexico, 54 have their origin in the maquiladora industry.
  • Percentage of raw materials used in the maquiladora industry from Mexico: 2%.
  • Cost of the Mexican components that are added to a television with a value of 243 dollars: $4.75
  • Multiple of minimum wage (about $3.50) for a family�s basic needs: 4 to 5 times the minimum wage.
  • Percentage of a family�s basic needs now covered by the current wages of maquiladora factory operatives: 25 percent.
  • Cost in dollars of a gallon of milk on the Mexican border: $3.27
  • Cost in dollars of a gallon of milk in New York City: $2.57
  • Increase in wages paid to all maquiladora workers [in last period] 5.7%
  • Increase in salaries paid to technicians since January 4.2%
  • Increase in wages paid to factory workers: 1.0%
  • Loss of real wages (purchasing power) of factory workers: -2.1 percent
  • Growth of Chinese exports to United States between 2002 and 2003: 27 billion dollars.
  • Growth of Mexican exports: less than four billion dollars.
  • Price paid to Mexican workers who sell their blood in the border cities of the United States: $15.

    Mexican Labor News & Analysis
    United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America


Maclovio Rojas: la comunidad y su lucha

Bienvenidos a Maclovio Rojas, Baja, Mexico
Maclovio Rojas An Exercise In Social Sculpture
Poster de una exposici�n organizada por Michael Schnorr y el Taller de Arte Fronterizo en Maclovio
sandwiched between maquiladoras who very much want their land
section of the border fence, a project of
Border Arts Workshop indicating the number of people who
died trying to cross the border since 1994

This is the largest toxic waste site in North America.
The warnings were created by activists to keep away
local children who played at the site.


Perhaps the presidential candidates will start campaigning next against the passage of time.
-G. Monbiot

link KWSnet

The influence of the logging industry on the politics and laws of host countries should not be underestimated, particularly with regard to obtaining licences to log and to forest policy more generally. There is often a mutually beneficial relationship between logging companies and political elites, involving the acquisition of large private wealth for both parties through bribery, corruption and transfer pricing, at the expense of public benefit through lost revenues and royalty payments and at the expense of social, environmental and indigenous communities' rights.

Transnational logging companies, including Malaysian-based ones, often operate abroad through numerous private, locally-registered companies or as subcontractors to national concession holders. In this way, not only are each company's financial details difficult to track, but the actual links between operations (both nationally and internationally) are also obscured. On paper, for example, the licence holders may appear to be separate entities. These practices have enabled companies to dominate the forestry sector of a country, for instance Papua New Guinea, or to circumvent maximum concession holding limits, such as those in Cameroon.

"Torture is intended to cause shame, degradation, humiliation, and guilt. With the new centre, [we are] ... better placed both to assist the rehabilitation of those on whom torture is perpetrated, and attack the silence and complicity on which it thrives," said the foundation's director, Malcolm Stuart.

"From the beginning it was important to understand that this building was going to be receiving people who were in varying degrees of distress," said Paul Hyett, a former president of the Royal Institute of British Architects who chairs RyderHKS. "Much architecture is brutal and angular - even aggressive. We therefore had to guard against using shapes, or materials, with unpleasant connotations."

"outrageous lie"

A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the 11 September attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa'ida's plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened.
She said the claim by the National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, that there was no such information was "an outrageous lie".
Sibel Edmonds said she spent more than three hours in a closed session with the commission's investigators providing information that was circulating within the FBI in the spring and summer of 2001 suggesting that an attack using aircraft was just months away and the terrorists were in place. The Bush administration, meanwhile, has sought to silence her and has obtained a gagging order from a court by citing the rarely used "state secrets privilege".

two photo: Ken Bondy

Save the Manatee! Stop Governor Jeb Bush from signing this bill into law.

Using both deceptive and malicious strong-arm tactics, the leaders of both the Florida Senate and the House forced numerous legislators to go against their conscience and support changes to the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act that will both make it more difficult to recover manatees from endangered status and will mean more manatees will be injured or killed.


Manatee images:


Manatee Watchers

Pine Island

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
University of Miami School of Medicine


Ken Bondy

Defenders of Wildlife


a pitch for the disenfranchised

Pat Buchanan: Then you would say it is not only Bush who is at fault, but Clinton and Bush and Reagan, all the way back?

Ralph Nader: The subservience of our congressional and White House puppets to Israeli military policy has been consistent. Until �91, any dictator who was anti-Communist was our ally.

PB: You used the term �congressional puppets.� Did John Kerry show himself to be a congressional puppet when he voted to give the president a blank check to go to war?

RN: They�re almost all puppets. There are two sets: Congressional puppets and White House puppets. When the chief puppeteer comes to Washington, the puppets prance.

PB: Why do both sets of puppets, support the Sharon/Likud policies in the Middle East rather than the peace movement candidates and leaders in Israel?

RN: That is a good question because the peace movement is broad indeed. They just put 120,000 people in a square in Tel Aviv. They are composed of former government ministers, existing and former members of the Knesset, former generals, former combat veterans, former heads of internal security, people from all backgrounds. It is not any fringe movement.
The answer to your question is that instead of focusing on how to bring a peaceful settlement, both parties concede their independent judgment to the pro-Israeli lobbies in this country because they perceive them as determining the margin in some state elections and as sources of funding. They don�t appear to agree with Tom Friedman, who wrote that memorable phrase, �Ariel Sharon has Arafat under house arrest in Ramallah and Bush under house arrest in the Oval Office.�

link way down here

In 1949(ellided)

In 1949, Victor Negus and Arthur Keith reconstructed the supralaryngeal airways of a Neanderthal fossil and concluded that its tongue was closer to that of a chimpanzee than a human and that it lacked a pharynx, or soft palate.

In 1949, Ivan Ivanovich Schmalhausen's Factors of Evolution: The Theory of Stabilizing Selection was translated into English by Dobzhansky and so associated with the 'modern synthesis.' He offered two versions of stabilizing selection. The first, which the modern synthesis adopted, built up "the mean or average form by selecting against the extremes at both ends of the distribution" (Gottlieb 1992:133). The second saw evolution as a process where, in the course of severe environmental pruning and breeding among the survivors, the traits which enabled survival, the 'adaptibilities,' might be assimilated genetically. This is similar to the Baldwin effect and Waddington's 'genetic assimilation.'

In 1949, Sven Furberg ,in his dissertation for Birbeck College, London,drew a model of DNA, setting sugar at right angles to base, with the correct three-dimensional configuration of the individual nucleotide.

In 1949, Freeman Dyson, in several papers, unified Feynman's and Schwinger's radiation theories, emphasizing the so-called 'scattering matrix,' which contained the different routes from the initial state to a given end-point.

In 1949, Francis Bacon invented a fuel cell employing only hydrogen and water.

In 1949, G�del, in "A Remark about the Relationship between Relativity Theory and Idealistic Philosophy," reported his discovery of solutions for the field equations of General Relativity that described worlds, which he calls 'rotating universes,' in which it is possible to travel into the past "exactly as it is possible in other worlds to travel to distant parts of space" (G�del 1949:560).

In 1949, Gilbert Ryle, in Concept of Mind, held that the mind is part of the body's activity, not a separate and theoretically equivalent counterpart to the body, not "a ghost in a machine" (Ryle 1949:15).


Taking the Plunge

In 1995 Christian de Muizon of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and his colleagues announced the discovery of sloth fossils in Peru dating back somewhere between three and seven million years. The rocks in which they found the bones had formed in the sea; the same rocks have yielded other ocean-going creatures including fish, sea lions, and weird dolphins with walrus-like tusks. The sloths, de Muizon concluded, were aquatic as well. Terrestrial sloths have much longer lower leg bones than upper ones, but the Peruvian sloths had reversed proportions. Manatees and otters also have reversed legs, which suggests that the sloths' limbs were adapted for powerful swimming strokes. The front of their skull was manatee-like as well: its jaws extended out well beyond its front teeth, with a rich supply of blood vessels. Like manatees, de Muizon argued, the sloths had powerful muscular snouts they used to root out sea grass.
In their initial report, the paleontologists dubbed the fossils Thalassocnus natans. But it was already clear that they might have more than one species on their hands. In the years since, they've dug into the Peruvian rocks and found hundreds of sloth fossils, which they have been carefully studying and comparing. The new papers are not the last word on Thalassocnus, but the sloths are already shaping up as a great illustration of a transition to the water.
Brilliant popularization of exciting front-line science. What this is for me is like sight, like gaining depth perception. Millions of years deep.

Abu Ghraib as anti-Semitic.
Doesn't fly does it? And yet, isn't that the whole point with all that raging vicious denunciation?
The Holocaust!
Whenever someone says something disparaging about Jews, the Holocaust!
Because we have to be vigilant. We have to stop it before it begins again.
We have to be alert, and if we err on the side of caution, if we wrongly accuse someone of anti-Semitism, so be it. We have to be vigilant, and they should understand how much suffering there was.
We have dogs attacking broken men, we have sex crimes against the children of prisoners, we have slow death by inhuman torture.
Why doesn't this invoke the Holocaust?
Because it isn't being done to Jews?
Is that what the Holocaust was?
Or was it the inhumanity, the bestial inhumanity. And isn't that what we see here, rising again?
The argument is that this is not as bad as the Holocaust. But then neither is racist slander.
Shouldn't we see this as just as dangerous?
Isn't this more appalling than hate speech?

Seymour Hersh at the University of Chicago, June 8th, 6pm

And this was one of the most stunning parts. He had just returned from Europe, and he said high officials, even foreign ministers, who used to only talk to him off the record or give him backchannel messages, were speaking on the record that the next time the U.S. comes to them with intelligence, they'll simply have no reason to believe it.... He lamented of his journalistic colleagues, "I don't know whey they don't just tell it like it is."...
He said the people most horrified by the way the war was planned were the military commanders responsible for protecting their troops.... He talked about the horror of the 1000 civilian deaths in Fallujah (but was careful to note the Marines were doing their job, placing the blame with their superiors)....
He talked about how hard it is to get the truth out in Republican Washington: "If you agree with the neocons you're a genius. If you disagree you're a traitor." Bush, he said, was closing ranks, purging anyone who wasn't 100% with him. Said Tenet has a child in bad health, has heart problems, and seemed to find him generally a decent guy under unimaginable pressure, and that people told him that Tenet feared a heart attack if he had to take one more grilling from Cheney. "When these guys memoirs come out, it will shock all of us."...
He said that after he broke Abu Ghraib people are coming out of the woodwork to tell him this stuff. He said he had seen all the Abu Ghraib pictures. He said, "You haven't begun to see evil..." then trailed off. He said, "horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run."

He looked frightened.

Rick Pearlstein
quoted at Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal Jun.10.04
via slouching toward urschleim

some therapeutic chat from its special relations in London

US Treasury reports last week also showed that in the second quarter, more than half of US Treasury bonds were held by foreigners, mostly Asian, and increasingly by China. But it is not just treasury bonds. Foreign central banks spent $125.2 billion on US assets in the last quarter, which helped finance the record $136.9 billion balance of trade deficit.
It is not Beijing's fault that foolish policies in Washington have created a consumer boom that is drawing in imports more than stimulating domestic production. Beijing did not create currency policies that allow Americans both as individuals and as a nation to live on debt.
So despite all that bluster from the commission, Congress is highly unlikely to act in the aggressive and assertive way the commission suggests, unless Beijing does something silly like disband the Hong Kong government or attack Taiwan, almost certainly not.
Simply put, there are too many companies in the US, from Wal-Mart onwards, making a lot of money by selling Chinese products. They are hardly likely to call for protective tariffs when they are designing, ordering and importing their products from China. Indeed, they will lobby and have lobbied strongly and successfully against any restrictions on outsourcing. And no one is going to stifle credit or increase taxes when there are closely contested and highly partisan elections in the offing.

Don't forget to vote!


One of the most profound emotional experiences I ever had was a vision of an imaginary storefront with an imaginary man and his wife opening a store and on a borrowed shoestring trying to make it work. It wasn't clear what they were selling or where it was or even when. Just that store, their hope, that move toward something. The fragility of it makes me want to scream. When I was younger it was much more intense.
I've been having that feeling a lot lately. That sense of the fragility of human things, the beauty of it, how sacred and small it is. How the slightest shift can change so much, how delicate life is.
Looking at images of rural Estonia 100 years ago, I can feel some of it, the meaning, the importance of something like an oilcloth on the table in bright colors, the interior landscape so uncluttered it would seem barren to most of us now. And in that landscape how important things would be that we would think trivial, how like that our lives are, all of us. Small and hopeful.

The CPA may be the least successful organisation ever created by the US government. It is certainly one of the strangest. "It is really like living in an open prison,' said one CPA official.
Much of the security is in the hands of private companies.

The difficulty getting into the Green Zone is less than that of CPA officials getting out. It is now truly dangerous for them to do so but most remained cocooned behind the walls even when it was less so.
One official remarked: "What shocks me is the number of people in the CPA who never even want to see the city where they live." Even the plastic cutlery in the dining hall was imported and almost ran out in April when insurgents destroyed the convoys bringing it in.
Presiding over the CPA until 30 June when power is supposedly handed over to an Iraqi government, is Paul Bremer. He has remained a remote figure to his own staff as well as Iraqis. When a rocket hit the Republican Palace, where the CPA has its headquarters earlier this month, officials wondered if he would make a reassuring visit, but were not entirely surprised by his absence.
It is still unclear why Mr Bremer and the CPA showed such poor judgement. The swift overthrow of Saddam Hussein showed few Iraqis supported him. But Mr Bremer disbanded the army and persecuted the Baath party pushing their members towards armed resistance.
By last summer he had alienated the Sunni Arabs (20 per cent of Iraqis) and by this spring he had infuriated the Shia (60 per cent). He turned the hitherto marginal Shia cleric Muqtada Sadr into a respected martyr and the hillbilly city of Fallujah into a patriotic symbol.
Many able and intelligent CPA officials are mystified by the extent of the failure, perhaps the greatest in American foreign policy. "Bremer stuffed his office full of neo-conservatives and political appointees who knew nothing of the country or the region," one said. "They actively avoided anybody who did."

Why is no one openly considering the possibility that this is not incompetence? Why is it so strange to consider that the resources and manipulative skills that put Bremer in Iraq might also have intended this result?
Is it because it's too frightening to take the next step?
I think so.
It's the same with Bush. As the sole cause of all our troubles. How nice the world will suddenly become when he's dis-elected. Because it's unthinkable that the same power that put him on the world stage might now be through with him, and ready for the entrance of its next puppet.

Things I Have Said Of Which There Is Now No Public Record But This

This was on a thread at Crooked Timber which has since disappeared:

At the same time, as individuals, we reject the collective nouns which define us negatively, we apply them, all over the place. "Right-wingers" aren't a collective, "Europeans" aren't, "Americans" aren't, "Jews" aren't, and "anti-Semites" aren't. No monolithic enterprises anywhere in there.
Lots of energy's being expended to create and maintain the illusion that George W. Bush is responsible for this presently tottering republic and an anxious world on the brink of the verge.
Would that it were so.
That that notion gives a free pass to a craven Congress and a bought-and-paid-for political landscape generally just muddies the waters. Add in a media that's obviously jumping to a called tune from somewhere, though no one seems to be able to pin it to anything more accurate than nebulous "corporate" interests...
Well, it does get somewhat resistant to clarity and purposeful description. Which is probably not co-incidence.
How about the "right-wingers", in England and the US anyway, don't like the idea of a European Union because they aren't in a position to take control of it; since they do control things in those two countries already, an atomized Europe is much less a threat than a united one.
Pretty much a parallel to the labor movement, whose history most youngsters know nothing about, believing as they do that the 40 hour work week and existing safety codes were a gift of the benign and enlightened "corporate" interests.
Rather than the hard won and paid for with blood sweat and tears victories they in fact were.

These were on a thread at Crooked Timber which has since disappeared:

Oedipal submission. The phallic aspects of cigarettes and hand-guns need no elaboration. The suffocating dominance of patriarchal monoliths like MS shouldn't be too hard to grasp.
Oedipal confusion. Want the gun, want the father, want the mother, want the whole world groveling at my sandaled feet.
The dynamic is all skewed toward individual power and yet at the same time individual freedom is seen as dangerous if it unites.
Some of this is a substitution of public argument for private conviction. Someone who feels they are personally safer with handguns will argue that everyone else is too, even if the facts are against it. Coercive argument isn't always truthful representation, n'est-ce pas?
It's insane to believe anything "may or may not be". That is, that's more a case of suspension of belief, of indecision, of not believing either way. Calling that "belief" is mildly crazy.
But sadly, weather records are relatively accessible, the graphs and staistics easily understood, the pattern clear.
Couple that with the Mini-Me whimperings of Big Tobacco, and their decades of blockading and duplicitous maneuvering, you should be able to see the template. Big Oil and Big Auto run America, they have for years and years, that has not changed except to grow in power and control. Tobacco was a midget in that landscape, and look what they accomplished.
Big Oil and Big Auto, and their executives over the years, are responsible for the thing we were calling "global warming" until recently.
It's only reasonable to expect them to resist facts which accuse them of destroying the world. The beauty of it, from a criminal justice standpoint, is they can only be accused, they can't be convicted until it's too late.
- - - -
My apologies, I should have labeled the absurdity more plainly for what it was, a goof. It's always a mistake to assume nonsense won't be taken seriously. And vice-versa of course, of course.
The primary logical fault that I can see in your response is something like -
I say -
"The epidermic hole and the hemorrhaging artery, the feathery pulse and lack of response, the lump of misshapen lead lodged against the vertebra, all point clearly and directly to serious gunshot trauma. The fact we all heard a loud bang right before the victim fell, and that that man in the three-piece suit with his face in the shadow is holding a gun whose barrel emits a whisp of smoke, appears to confirm this."
And you say -
"Without a full understanding of human anatomy and firearm ballistics we can't discuss this with anything more valid than conjecture. And you(me) are not a doctor so you(me) should shut up."
Dude, glaciers are melting world-wide. Fast.
I don't see them from my window, but I read reports of them from people whose voices I trust.
People like you are in the way, obstacles, and it's getting critical. You're hampering public dialog, and what may be even more important, the reshaping of public attitude.
Eventually it will be clear, not that climate change is commencing and that it's going to be disastrously great, that's already clear enough, but that its cause, and the blocking of its remediation, were the responsibility of people who benefitted in the short-term from the long-term destruction of life itself, and their apologists.
People like you ate the world.
Once the simpler public gets that figured out, I'd be a little more cautious with the anti-Luddism, if I were you.

This was on a thread at Crooked Timber which has since disappeared:

The mass media's expressions of grief at the death of the first Stepford President is sort of like an alternate world, as though McVeigh had run for Congress, or the Presidency, instead of being executed.
Reagan's body count was immensely greater than McVeigh's, and the suffering he caused, if suffering can be measured in degrees, greater still.
Moqtada al-Sadr's father was murdered by Saddam Hussein. I find it most curious this is never mentioned in the American press.

This was on a thread at Chun the Unavoidable, the whole site of which has since disappeared:

I was talking back at the radio one time? Because some nit was being egregious? And it talked back at me a little?
I hated that. I still hate that.
It makes the whole rest of the attempt obscene and compromising. But like those guys with the bags over their heads in the pictures, some day the bags will come off, and we will go home to some kind of a life.
We go on.
Clarke makes money therefore, in the land of single-motived televised reality - where the villain is always a villain and the hero can do no wrong - he only did it for the money.
The question in its particular form, no, no support that. But then I don't and didn't support anything done by most any of the actors involved in any of what's been masquerading as politics for decades now.
Like little slaves in our little rooms we make deals with what is; we are here. We are here. And we accomodate to that. Hoping it won't hurt so much this time. Hoping if we smile hard enough we won't have to go to bed hungry again.
The right hand/left hand scam, like the fundamentalist duality, if you're not one of us you're one of them. Only them runs both hands, now what?
Like sports teams, on the field. Cowboys, 49ers? Lakers, Detroit?
Who you for in the game?
The owners?

Through an intricate feedback loop, fossil fuel burned today is expressed in warming 30 to 50 years later. Today we are seeing temperatures related to fossil-fuel emissions from roughly 1960...

Lord Peter Levene, board chair of Lloyd's of London, says that terrorism is not the insurance industry�s biggest worry, despite the fact that his company was the largest single insurer of the World Trade Center. Levene says that Lloyd's, like other large international insurance companies, is bracing for an increase in weather disasters related to global warming. Likewise, following his assignment as chief weapons inspector in Iraq, Hans Blix said: "To me the question of the environment is more ominous than that of peace and war. We will have regional conflicts and use of force, but world conflicts I do not believe will happen any longer. But the environment, that is a creeping danger. I'm more worried about global warming than I am of any major military conflict." Sir John Houghton, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, agrees. "Global warming is already upon us," he said. "The impacts of global warming are such that that I have no hesitation in describing it as a weapon of mass destruction."


unless carbon dioxide emissions are dealt with he sees "very little hope for the world"

"No one can be comfortable at the prospect of continuing to pump out the amounts of carbon dioxide that we are at present," said the Shell boss.
"Sequestration [of carbon released by burning coal and petroleum] is difficult but... I don't see any other approach..."
Ron Oxburgh
Shell chairman
"People are going to go on allowing this atmospheric carbon dioxide to build up, with consequences that we really can't predict, but are probably not good."
BBC News Jun.17.04


Why are people "going to go on allowing this..."?
Does it have anything to do with being made to feel helpless without their cars?
Does it have anything to do with the constant bombarding message of television, to buy cars cars cars? Big ones! And trucks! And cars as big as trucks!
And the difference between that and drugs is...
Well drugs aren't as damaging. More kids die in traffic than in any other single context.
People aren't being scared with that because the thing that would scare them, the media, is owned/controlled by the people who are making money off cars and gasoline.
Getting the perspective to see how bizarre this is is no mean feat. How bizarre it is to see grossly overweight people with nothing more vital on their minds than getting something to entertain themselves for the evening hurtling down a straight and massively wide path (go stand by a freeway sometime, or better yet walk across one, you lose the sense of how wide they are when you're inside a car), hurtling down this essentially dead path, which no other creature can use, which kills any other creature that tries to use it or cross it, hurtling down this path at, at least in California, 80 and 90 miles an hour, and at the same time releasing clouds of poisonous gas and other, less poisonous, gases that have turned out to be, while not deadly in the immediate, capable of causing the extinction of the entire human race.
Perspective requires another context. Inhuman, non-human, other. But the non-human and the other are taboo, and inappropriate. Or were. Back when it wasn't as late as it is now. No one wanted to listen to aliens about such important topics.
Or they just switch right over to total alien radio. It's all part of the wonderful war between good and evil.
The part of that that fascinates me is how cars got exempted from the judgment that's laid on everything else. Whereas drugs are bad bad bad bad, because of the harm they cause to young innocent children, cars are good good good good, even though they cause way more harm to way more children than drugs do.
But my favorite part is where the guys who were in control of things while all this was happening start insisting that they be even more in control of things now that things are so bad because of them being in control of things in the first place.

There's a little space of time I can never remember the right name for, it's either the hypogogic or the hypnogogic, and I'm too lazy to find it right now, but I have a period of returning consciousness where I get these relatively accurate thoughts before the concerns of the day and the ongoing nightmares of my personal life take over.
One of those is around the idea of "Anybody but Bush". Which is great in its way, but isn't it like that moral vacuum you get when you punish wrong-doing so severely you get a bunch of people who are so concerned with not doing wrong they spend much less time on doing what's right? The difference in the moral diagram between the 50-50 layout, right thought/action over there, wrong thought/action over there; as opposed to the only-one-true-way, where everything that isn't right is wrong.
And then more specifically here and now, don't we need to establish pretty reasonably that Bush did all this by himself, or at least that whoever he did it in league with is completely dependent on him? So that replacing him replaces them too? Because I don't think we've done that, I don't think we're doing that, and the other thought I had around that was they're preparing for this shift, a huge blossoming out of reconstructive positive energy, all organizing and paradigm-shifting, and it'll be:
"Bush - bad, that's the old way..."
"New whoever, new whatever - good, this is the new way... ". Which as a plan seems pretty crafty but doable. And it deposits all the guilt and accusatories on the cathartically removed Bush. Leaving the same guys, who did it all to begin with, free and clear to continue with their schemes for world domination.
Which is what it was about right? It's not about America that's for sure. These guys have run America into the dirt.
The other thought I had was about fundamentalist insistence that being homosexual is a choice.
Because it is for them. You see? They have homosexual urgings, they choose to ignore or repress them, viola! Choice! That makes it imperative that it be a choice-related matter.
That the fundamentalist world-view has absolutely no place for intra-sexual or hermaphroditic people, who have no connection with homosexuals except that they both get thrown into the same boxcars when the death camps start running. That the fundamentalist world-view has no recognition of any kind of exceptional and non-normative reality, well, that's really what they're for isn't it? To do the dirty work? Just like Bush, they accomplish the truly nasty jobs, then get thrown out. So the pretense of innocence can be maintained. They're disposable tools.
Another thought I had was the attachment of self-reinforcing mechanisms to naturally-occurring phenomena, or, in simpler terms, making people think you're doing things that are happening, or are going to happen, anyway.
The Catholic Church was great at that, making kids feel guilty about sex, before they had any strong sexual feelings, so that when they did, they would feel there was something wrong with them, and then the church supplied the relief for that, channeling the energy and the energy of the conflict into its own dynamo.
If you can make somebody feel that the bad things happening to them are the result of your disfavor, then, in a world where relatively bad things are pretty much par for the course in most lives, you're going to seem more and more powerful as time goes on.


I have this thing where my mind doesn't work right? And I get these thoughts? Sometimes, especially lately, I look forward to that. Because it can explain things in a way that's a lot more comfortable than what my walk-around mind says is.
There's a commercial on TV for some outfit I don't know who it is, and it's all 90's cutting edge design values and it has kids which is always a good sell, and they're not all pimped-out they're all regular sort of kids, and it says on it, "No one every grew up wanting to be Moneyman." It says that.
I called this by the way. I saw it coming. I said it in the 70's about the fundamentalist Anschluss and I said it ten years ago about this, a legion of well-intentioned dolts, who've been trained to never wonder why they're in the driver's seat, why there isn't anybody more competent, more electrifying to teach the up-and-coming.
You know, like maybe they were removed or something?
Nah, couldn't be.
And that weird-ass Hendrix-against-the-accordion thing? You see that?
It's perfect in its way. They own the whole argument, terms and syllogism. So they win it. Hands down.
I could easily with a budget of less than ten grand, get somebody up there who would kick your ass doing "Cross-town Traffic" on a concertina, let alone the spine-tingling work of a full-dress accordion in the hands of a lover.
This is alien mentalism, seriously, like zombie-makeover propaganda. People pretending to be evil so well they actually become evil without ever noticing the shift.
Way to go guys. Way to go.
No kid ever grew up watching MTV or his high school prom and the parties after, who didn't see nothing but Moneyman Moneyman and gold-plated women and limousines as far as the eye could reach.

Something to get mad about.

...that may not be what's going on exactly...

Immigrants are filling nearly three out of every 10 new jobs in the rebounding U.S. economy, a development that may dilute the political dividend to President Bush from an election-year recovery, a study to be released today concludes.
The report by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center found that workers who are not U.S. citizens claimed 378,496 jobs out of a net increase of 1.3 million from the first three months of 2003 through the first three months of this year.
The share of jobs going to noncitizens -- 28.5 percent -- was particularly notable because workers who are not U.S. citizens account for less than 9 percent of all those holding jobs in the United States.


it depends a lot

"In this country it depends a lot on what happens in the next election," said geochemist Daniel Schrag of Harvard University. "I don't think we can expect to change the minds of this administration in the next couple of months."

Schrag said the current concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 380 parts per million -- higher than it has been for at least the past 430,000 years.

"In the next 100 years, unless immediate action is taken, carbon dioxide levels will rise to between 800 and 1,000 parts per million. The last time carbon dioxide was that high was during the Eocene, 55 to 36 million years ago," Schrag added.

At that time he said "palm trees lived in Wyoming, crocodiles lived in the Arctic, Antarctica was a pine forest and sea level was at least 300 feet higher than today."

link NewsTrolls
Kerry's position on Kyoto's kind of hard to track down.

They're dangerous to others and take up too much space

The Paris City Council voted on Tuesday to urge socialist Mayor Bertrand Delanoe to take an SUV ban under advisement. If the mayor decides to include the ban in an upcoming project to improve city traffic, the ban could become effective in Paris in as little as 18 months.
The resolution states that:
"These vehicles emit almost four times as much carbon dioxide as more environmentally friendly cars. Some consume up to 24 litres of fuel per 100km on an urban traffic cycle. At a time when dwindling oil resources are generating conflicts and price hikes, that is totally irresponsible."
London Mayor Ken Livingstone made simliar remarks in May, saying SUVs were "bad for London -- completely unnecessary" and SUV owners were "complete idiots."
An American reporter returning from Paris recently opined that Paris's success as a city was a result of their lowered car count.
sllort/kuro5hin Jun.10.04


...prisoners "are like dogs, and if you allow them to believe at any point that they are more than a dog then you've lost control of them"
two moreMajor-General Geoffrey Miller, who was in charge of the Guant�namo Bay camp and
two morenow oversees US prisons in Iraq

"I didn't know in September, I didn�t know in October, I didn't know ever" about any abuse, she[Janis Karpinski] said.
"Those pictures which I saw on the 23rd of January were more shocking to me than probably the rest of the world ... I was absolutely sickened by those images and I couldn't even fathom a guess as to what happened to these people to make them go in such an opposite direction of how they were trained."
But Brig-Gen Karpinski, who has been suspended from her command for alleged failings at Abu Ghraib but not charged with any crime, said military police would not have taken Iraqis out of cells to pose them for photographs without being told to do so.

Scotsman Jun.16.04


Lawrence of Cyberia demythologizes the shallow balancing act of the New Yorker's Jeff Goldberg

Huub Lauwers has died at 88

The real cause of declining fish catches is over fishing, not hungry whales

Ronald Reagan - a great friend of Israel's extremists
and the powerful Jewish-American neoconservative elite adored him

Only the ideologically twisted would deny Ronald Reagan his due. He was a wildly successful president, accomplishing a remarkable amount of his agenda.
He entered office in 1980 determined to block advancement for black Americans, to halt the sluggish march towards equality for American women, to make America walk tall again by beating up tiny poverty-stricken nations, to allow insatiable greed and ruthless personal ambition to reap lavish rewards, to fire up the economy through trillions of dollars in defence expenditures, to invite industry to desecrate the environment and to legitimate a morality in which any means justified his ends.
Notwithstanding his unparalleled laziness, ignorance and immersion in fantasy, in all these areas his administration triumphed, a splendid role model for conservatism in the modern world.
The new values were never in question. This was conviction politics. One of the very first acts of the Reagan administration was to cast the only vote against the World Health Organization's code of ethics on feeding third world babies with instant formula prepared with contaminated water.
Gerald Caplan/rabble news (CA) Jun.09.04.

water on Black Mesa

Today, few Navajo lead their sheep to water, the cattle troughs are no longer full, and the Hopi have abandoned many of the terraces as their springs, washes and groundwater have gone dry. Instead, they drive as far as 25 miles, often over untended roads, to water stations where they fill 55-gallon barrels roped into pickup trucks. The disappearance of their water is threatening a traditional lifestyle for the Navajo and Hopi, who so value tradition that they voted not to have gaming and the millions of dollars it has brought to other Native American tribes. They do not blame the drought that has plagued the West for so many years now. They blame Peabody Western Coal Co.'s Black Mesa mine, which they say has been siphoning their water for three decades, and their own tribal governments that have allowed that water use.


Taslima Nasrin is of course not an Arab, she is a Bangladeshi, a Pakistani, a poet, a woman:
Because of her repeated criticisms of religious and traditional values, her strong language and uncompromising attitude against male domination, she became a target for Muslim fundamentalist groups.
Since 1990, there has been a series of campaigns against her. These included staging street demonstrations, blocking her residence and government offices, breaking into newspaper offices from which she used to work, demanding her immediate execution by hanging, and offering rewards for her death.
Instead of protecting her and taking action against fundamentalist mobs, the government bowed to the latter's pressure, stopping her from writing, confiscating her passport, ordering her detention, and ultimately forcing her to go into exile.
Since 1994, Nasreen has been moving from one European country to another while continuing her pro-women campaign and writing novels. Among her 24 books, Lajja (Shame) is the most popular. Most of her works have been translated into 10 European languages in addition to Hindi, Malayalam, Urdu, Nepalese, Persian, and Arabic.
Moreover, she received, during the period 1994-2000, prestigious literary and non-literary awards from India, Sweden, Belgium, France, US, the European Union, and international human rights organisations.
Dr. Abdullah Al Madani/Gulf News Jan.25.04

Mr. Kilroy Silk owes his position to the immense economic and political power of his invisible masters and his servile obedience to their wishes. He has contributed greatly in his own small-hearted way to the climate of intolerance, fear, and irrational hatred that puts Taslima Nasrin's life in so much unnecessary danger.

The so-called ethical foreign policy of Mr. Blair

...anti-Islamic racism, for that is what it is, is the last "respectable" racism in the world...[readers] who wouldn't dream of uttering such comments about black people or Jewish people or Catholics, do so with equanimity when it comes to Muslims. For them every Muslim is a fundamentalist and every fundamentalist is a terrorist and this is an equation which we utterly reject, which is poisonous in the effect that it has on communal relations in the country and on the mindset of the British people when invited to support the going to war with Muslims abroad. We say that the war against Muslims abroad is one side of the coin and the other side of the coin is war against Muslims at home, and Cohen, who ought to know better as a Jewish man, should not be casually smearing a whole community in this way. We have the support of, I think, the vast majority of Muslim voters in this election, and virtually none of them are fundamentalists, and virtually none of those support terrorism. In fact, the fundamentalists hate us - Hizb Al Tahrir, Al Mouhajiroun - the separatist organizations actually hate us and try to wreck our meetings, try to persuade the Muslims not to vote at all, arguing that democracy itself is "haram". So far from being in alliance with the Muslim fundamentalists, we are just in alliance with the Muslims.

We don't care

Recently, 10 Palestinians were slaughtered by an Israeli tank that fired into a crowd of civilians, most of them children, during a non-violent protest against the Israeli Army. Um Tarik asked her son to translate the word "troubling" into Arabic. She heard George Bush's statement that the murder of those Palestinian children was "troubling" to him.

Palestine is a killing field for the Israelis. Close to 600 children have been killed by the Israelis since September 2000. During the month of May in Rafah, more than 43 Palestinians were murdered or assassinated by the "only democracy in the Middle East," and 1,500 more Palestinians have been made homeless yet again. It does not matter to Palestinians that Amnesty International has condemned the Israeli actions in Rafah as "war crimes," or that the United Nations has characterized them as "crimes against humanity." These are empty words and offer little comfort. The Rafah crimes are nothing new for Palestinians.


The immediate and vicious retaliation of very loud and very powerful people, that any condemnation of the actions of the Israeli government is "anti-Semitic" or "Jew-hating" needs to be repudiated, forcefully and repeatedly, until it's very clear.
It's the same as "American" and "anti-American" - the "Americans" are killing innocent people in Iraq, and the "Americans" are being killed in Iraq.
I'm an American, I'm neither killing nor being killed in Iraq. I'm against the "American" presence there, and I'm against the "Americans" who support that presence. But I am an American.
There are Jews and citizens of Israel who neither support nor excuse the bestial madness of the Israeli government and its covert supporters in the rest of the world. They are being attacked from behind by irrational blanket condemnations of "Jews" and "Israelis", just like we here in the US are being denied our right to be Americans, though we're protected from the hatred many of the voiceless in the world today have for America.
That's what's being taken away from us, our being, our identity, our American-ness.
The language is being manipulated, and as always it benefits the unnamed. Jews who oppose the butchery and cunning of Sharon and his dog-pack are crippled by the imprecision of the language.

60,000 more times
My black mourning clothes turned gray from wearing them so much. By the time I turned 12, I had five dog tags hanging from my neck. The guys' moms or wives or sisters gave them to me in appreciation for help I might have given in organizing the funeral -- collecting the sugar, washing the coffee cups, or walking long distances to get bread from a relative in a different neighborhood.

Protected Geographical Indication (I.G.P.) food status

Pasquale Potenza, who emigrated to Argentina as a youth, may have remembered whispered tales about the amorous side effects of the sweet onion of his native Calabria. After years of research, the biochemist at the University of Buenos Aires discovered that the Tropea onion contains nitric oxide, the active ingredient used in the little blue pill to regulate blood vessels and sustain erections.

"I'm not exactly sure what the implications may be," said the researcher, whose last name happens to mean "potency" in Italian. "It will take complex studies to see whether it could be used on a pharmaceutical level -- the connection is there though."
zoomata Apr.13.04


Any moral movement that encourages children to avoid drugs and at the same time allows the sadistic inhumanity of the juvenile penal system to metastisize, as it is, is collaborating with evil. Which is the same in the end as being evil. Of course children know the difference between pot and Zoloft. Because you make it very clear to them, don't you? Even though you don't have the slightest clear idea what the difference is.
I urinate on your stupidity. Right here right now I piss on your stupidity. I shame you right here. All those simple-minded commercials on TV. There will never be a time when anyone looks back and thanks you for what you've done, because what you make possible, by being in the way, is something much worse than kids smoking pot.
You insist that children remain inside a building that's on fire, because of the rules. Remember that? The Muslim fundamentalists who wouldn't let those girls leave the schoolroom because they weren't veiled? So they burned up. That's you. You wasted all that time, and that's all the time there was.
In the end it was your cowardice you gave them, you showed them, you taught them. All that power and all that money and all those free minutes on TV. And you did nothing with it. I did more than you ever will, alone, with nothing, from this cage in a madhouse.
I piss on you. I spit on you. If I wasn't screaming with bitterness and rage and clenched with unshed tears I'd mock you to your faces.

The true hero is Senator Romero, the Latina legislator, who has stood up to the prison guard union is time to shut down the California Youth Authority. The youth prisons do not work. We are spending $80,000 per kid in the youth authority. It costs -- you can send two kids to Yale for the cost sending one kid to jail, and yet there's a 91 percent recidivism rate. It is an $80,000 prep school for adult prisons where children are beaten and abused, and it's time to shut the California Youth Authority down and replace it with something more humane and effective.

AMY GOODMAN: Who is the most powerful lobby in the state for keeping the CYA prisons?

VAN JONES: The California prison guard's union, the CCPOA, is the most powerful lobbying interest in Sacramento. They are such a powerful force, and they have such a stranglehold on the Democratic Party in this state, that California spends more money on prisons than Texas. And, last year, when everybody was talking about the California budget crisis, the huge shortfall, the shortfall is bigger than the budget of most countries, while teachers were being given pink slips in the state, prison guards got a 7.5 percent pay raise. That's how powerful this union is, and they have a stake in maintaining these factories of abuse for these children. We say no.

At least one of the soldiers charged in Iraq - Corporal Charles Graner, Jr. - was a prison guard in Pennsylvania. The righteous and justified outrage at the images we have seen from Abu Ghraib must be directed not only at that facility, but also at the root of these failures - prisons here at home.

Van Jones/Alternet May.28.04
Books Not Bars

Face-to-face interviews between journalists and specific prisoners are now banned by the California Department of Corrections (CDC) unless, subject to prison approval, the reporters are on the prisoners� visitor list. If this wasn�t bad enough, reporters cannot bring to these visits the tools of their trade � cameras, tape recorders, pens or paper on which to write. Making access even harder, the CDC recently cut the number of inmate visiting days from 4 to 2.
Senator Gloria Romero at
original essay ACLU Open Forum 2004

With a recidivism rate of up to 90 percent, CYA has become nothing more than a finishing school for felons.

Taxpayers shell out $80,000 annually per CYA ward for programs aimed at turning them into productive citizens. But inside these youth prisons the violence has reached unprecedented levels, mental health services are severely flawed, and educational instruction is spotty at best. In fact rehabilitation is the exception and not the rule.

Senator Gloria Romero/California Bar Journal June 2004

Senator Gloria Romero homepage

Corporate 3 Strikes Act killed by California Senate

link Naomi Klein/nologo

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