...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



It is clear that US Special Forces trained in Israel to prepare for the kind of 'Arab urban warfare' that Israel has extensive experience waging
Mark LeVine links Israel to the invasion of Iraq, and to the "techniques" and practices employed at Abu Ghraib and other detention centers in Iraq; then addresses the question of whether or not Israel is
an omnipotent force pulling the strings of the United States to ensure that Iraq, previously one of Israel's most dangerous enemies, can never regain its former military and economic power.
and whether or not
a coterie of neo-conservatives at the heart of the US administration planned the invasion in consultation with the Israeli government
He sums up the various facts and hypotheses with
Dubbed the "Likudization" of US foreign policy by several commentators, this line of argument claims that the power of the White House has, in essence, been hijacked by the Israeli government to further its parochial ends in the region.
Calling that line of argument

-AsiaTimes 01.Mar.06

Changing a few terms in the argument won't lead so readily to such an easy dismissal.
Instead of "the Israeli government" substitute whatever it is Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith and David Wurmser pledge their allegiance to, and Jack Abramoff, and Scooter Libby. And a trainload of others.
Zionism is the word that gets used a lot, but it means different things to different people. Neocon is another.
The lack of distinct nameable boundaries means there isn't an accurate term for what is there, so that even after we get through the obstacle course of accusations of anti-Semitism and terrorist sympathy we can't talk about it without paragraphs of preamble and explication.
LaVine does a great service to the truth just mentioning the things he does, and being able to substantiate assertions with facts that, had they been available and public at the time, would have done a lot to keep the patriotic hysteria of the last couple of years from becoming an embarrassment to a lot of good-hearted Americans.
Flags are disappearing, some of the flags I photographed over and over aren't there anymore.
There's still more than there were before the cycle of events that began with the fall of the World Trade Center, but not nearly as many now as there were a year ago.

the choice is chaos or unity
a legacy of patience, tolerance, dialogue and coexistence

John Bolton, US ambassador to the UN:

p.1: CUT: "respect for nature"
Bad Management, Sex, and Corruption
DOBSON: He's [Bolton's] pro-life, pro-family, pro-morality and sees things the way we do regarding condom distribution and abstinence and other things.
a protege of Richard Perle, who has been known for decades in Washington as "The Prince of Darkness."
"I don't do carrots," he once said.
criticism of Bolton ranges from a dislike of his physical appearance to his position on the war on terror
awkwardly placed to defend basic human rights
"When you spend other people's money, it's a misallocation of resources"
controversial and ineffective - nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize
holding out for something more serious
even greater salience
History, unfortunately, does not provide confidence in this area.
Perhaps Armageddon is around the corner.

1300 dead

The bombing and bloodshed that pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war have propelled anti-American firebrand Muqtada al-Sadr to the forefront of Iraqi politics. The young Shiite cleric who twice defied America in 2004 now has emerged as a major threat to U.S. plans for Iraq.
But the outbreak of Shiite-Sunni violence presented al-Sadr with an opportunity that he was quick to exploit.

Robert Reid/AP 26.Feb.06
Al-Sadr, in the eyes of a lot of Americans who might read Reid's version, would be some one who doesn't like them, who wants to hurt them, is anti- them.baghdad And he's a firebrand, which to most people reading Reid's version means he's on fire or something, dangerous, a troublemaker. It's important that innocent Americans never be allowed to see people like Al-Sadr as being formed by the events they're in the midst of - he's a bad person, and that's all you need to know. Trust us.
Reid would appear to be the closest thing in Iraq to an official US government journalist, a mouthpiece for the creators of all this bloody evil, a dependable amplifier of the party line.
A cursory search of the 'net archives has his name all over every story of significance in on or about Iraq for at least the last 4 years.
Always echoing and elaborating the official story.
Confirming the lies.
"The bombing and bloodshed that pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war".
The body count's still got the US out in front, and when it comes to bombs it's hands-down USA all the way.
Robert H. Reid is not Giuliana Sgrena. Nor is he Florence Aubenas.


Archduke Ferdinand sighted in Jordan - headed for the border

In a paper for an Israeli think tank, the same think tank for which Wurmser, Richard Perle and Douglas Feith prepared the famous "Clean Break" paper in 1996, Wurmser wrote in 1997 : "The residual unity of the nation is an illusion projected by the extreme repression of the state." After Saddam, Iraq would "be ripped apart by the politics of warlords, tribes, clans, sects, and key families," he wrote. "Underneath facades of unity enforced by state repression, [Iraq’s] politics is defined primarily by tribalism, sectarianism, and gang/clan-like competition." Yet Wurmser explicitly urged the United States and Israel to "expedite" such a collapse. "The issue here is whether the West and Israel can construct a strategy for limiting and expediting the chaotic collapse that will ensue in order to move on to the task of creating a better circumstance."
It is all ugly and likely to get much uglier. So far, hundreds of Iraqis on all sides have died since Tuesday, scores and perhaps hundreds of mosques attacked, execution-style slayings proliferated, and ordinary Iraqis driven into hiding or into exile. A weekend curfew has Iraq on the knife's edge.
Like the Sarajevo assassination that precipitated World War I, the attack on the mosque may trigger a war, but it won't be the cause. The cause is far more deep-rooted, embedded in the chaos and bitterness that followed the U.S. invasion of Iraq and America's deliberate efforts to stress sectarian differences in creating the Iraqi Governing Council and subsequent government institutions. If the current crisis doesn't spark a civil war, be patient. The next one will.

Robert Dreyfuss/TomPaine 24.Feb.06
link path robotwisdom > James Wolcott
I have a little trouble with Dreyfuss' sarcastic/ironic close. There's an element of back-handed complicity to it. "Oh well, nothing we can do now."
As always the yeoman task is to get in front of them, not just bite them in the back of the ankles or bark furiously while you run to keep up, though that is a help.
But get in front of them. Pretend this is what they wanted, that it's not an accident, or the result of incompetence.
They're proven liars, cynical manipulators, heartless amoral predators and delusional cultists. And those are just the ones we can see.
Pretend they wanted an Iraq on fire. So that they could what- step in further? Justify the lack of anything like a viable economy or political infrastructure?
Justify some new, more apocalyptic, more devastating attack?
Is it so they could goad the already furious Muslim world into some technical foul of aggression, some act that violates established international law?
Not that international law is anything more than a convenience now. Not that they haven't already violated every letter and spirit of international law themselves.
But that's the binary - either it's out of control or it isn't.
If it's out of control, if Iraq is on fire and nobody wanted it to be - then we need to focus our outrage and dismay on fools who should be shoved out of the way.
If it's intentional, if Iraq is on fire and the next moves are already lined out and prepared for - then we need to focus our outrage and dismay on villains who should be taken down before they take us all down with them.

She was 30 years old.

Deep-seated distrust for Russia was evident in several statements made by Iranian officials and commentators in February 2006.
Mark N. Katz/WashingtonTimes 24.Feb.06
Russia, a top ally of Iran, has been pressing Tehran to have all its uranium enrichment take place on Russian soil - and had made the deal contingent on Iran formally calling off its domestic enrichment programme, based in the central city of Natanz.
Aljazeera.Net 27.Feb.06


From this:

tophoto Aizar Raldes/AFP

Aymara native women run through a tear gas cloud after facing anti-riot police during a demonstration of the MTS (Landless Movement) in demand of the release of one of their leaders in La Paz, Bolivia.
To this:

tophoto Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

Bolivian President Evo Morales watches dancers perform during a parade at the Oruro Carnival south of La Paz

Recommended Establishments Outside of Mexico


Bill Moyers: Thirty years ago the average annual compensation of the top 100 chief executives in the country was 30 times the pay of the average worker. Today it is 1000 times the pay of the average worker.

In the last 3 weeks in Bethlehem alone, Israel has arrested 63 Palestinians, including 21 children
thoughts of the end
Nivelo, a "devout Christian," reportedly still believes the carp was the Devil
When asked if a blood alcohol test had been performed on Whittington, the doctors who treated him at Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial in Corpus Christi or the hospital in Kingsville refused to answer.
exhausted by conspiracies, half-baked economic policies and endless political intrigue. Not to mention widespread disappointment.
Two cars have exploded at the gates of Saudi Arabia's huge Abqaiq oil facility after security forces fired on suicide bombers trying to storm the world's biggest oil processing plant the world's most important oil facility

The cartoons, the new Abu Ghraib photos, then the mosque bombing.
There's a rhythm to it, like it's coming out of a drum machine.

the Botswana government has said that a diamond mine on the land of the Central Kalahari Bushmen would affect 5,027 square kilometres of land - well over a hundred times more than previously announced.

"We woke up this morning to news that men wearing Iraqi security uniforms walked in and detonated explosives, damaging the mosque almost beyond repair.
All morning we’ve been hearing/watching both Shia and Sunni religious figures speak out against the explosions and emphasise that this is what is wanted by the enemies of Iraq - this is what they would like to achieve - divide and conquer."
riverbend 23.Feb.06


TWIT - Leo Laporte no longer blogs
Pete Sessions (R-Texas), and John Ensign (R-Nevada) service ATT for $$ and conspire against muni-wifi.
Firefox doesn't leak
FOX in myopic self-interest endangers its customer base
Whores oppose rape and murder of whores, as well as depictions of the rape and murder of whores as entertainment for sexually maladjusted adolescents whose misogyny is encouraged and exploited by anti-female patriarchal capitalists.
The paramount urgency of security
The explosion at the Golden Mosque
Following the decision by Myanmar to supply gas to China, India is now making swift maneuvers to ensure that the US$1 billion Myanmar-Bangladesh-India (MBI) gas pipeline materializes.
Karen Hughes on Abu Ghraib: Those pictures are disgusting and, frankly, I'm embarrassed, as an American, to think that people around the world associate those pictures with our country.
Bush Backs Arab Takeover of US Ports
do you think that sentencing David Irving to three years in prison for denying the Holocaust makes political sense?
[After an enormous amount of energy applied over decades the events of the Wounded Knee Massacre are almost registered in the American historical record.
I think if we're going to criminalize the fatuous denial of grotesque slaughter for bizarre political ends we should include within the statutes the fatuous trivialization of grotesque slaughter for complacent political or cultural ends.]
China is becoming adept at stealing much more technologically advanced products - like passenger jets and magnetic railway systems.
Hopes of finding the 65 Mexican workers trapped underground in a coal mine are almost gone
Will the discovery of dead swans on a German Baltic Sea island lead to the World Cup getting cancelled?
Officials in India's Maharashtra state have begun sealing off an entire town where bird flu has been discovered.
No-one will be allowed in or out of Navapur, which has a population of nearly 30,000, or 19 nearby villages.
The rapid decline of Africa's lakes
...even as the AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) are quick to claim that they are solidly behind President Macapagal-Arroyo, a retired military officer said, in an exclusive interview with Bulatlat, that 70 percent of AFP troops are against the president and are ready to move anytime...
Haiti's President-elect Rene Preval has said the constitution permits the return of ex-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, now in exile
Compare and contrast Orion and Crooked Timber on myth
the inescapable realization of political destitution


"When I arrived we had six to eight months of rain, we now have four. Each year we have to dig our wells a little deeper"
Dorothy Stang
The confessed killer of a 73-year-old American nun who defended the poor in Brazil's Amazon rain forest told a court on Friday he shot her in self-defense, not in a contract killing.
Raifran das Neves Sales told the court in the Amazon city of Belem that he killed the rain forest activist after mistaking her Bible for a gun, not in a contract killing as he had previously stated.
The ranch hand shot Dorothy Stang six times with a revolver on a jungle track in February. He and his employers had clashed with the activist as she set up a government reserve for peasants on land they claimed was theirs.
Stang worked for 30 years fighting for land rights for poor settlers in the Amazon.

-Andrew Hay/Reuters 09.Dec.05
The Student
The Nun
& The Amazon

Post-Katrina volunteer medics on bicycles
a paucity of Blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention
two confessional trips to Malaysia in January 2002
But where are our neighbors, the people we rode out of the city with?

"Children have not returned to New Orleans. Most public schools remain closed or have been converted into charter schools. Before the storm there were 117 public schools with 60,000 students. In January 2006, there were 19 open, including 8 new charter schools, serving about 13,000 students."

more Detroit Red:

"psychopathic personality inadequacies, sexual perversion, and is classified 4F"

Detroit Red:

"Ex-smoker, Ex-drinker, Ex-Christian, Ex-slave"

Rigorous Markovian Parallax Denigrate

"...delusional disorder, hallucinatory phenomena, and mood disturbance that render her mentally incompetent to the extent that she does not understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against her and is unable to assist properly in her defense at this time."

Those computers were never delivered.
10 dummy companies in Latin America
trying to gauge the depth of the faculty's anger
women's health matters

"may God punish them"

At least 22 people have been killed and 30 injured in a car bombing at a market in southern Baghdad, Iraqi police say.
Correspondents say the blast in the al-Doura area, apparently aimed at a police patrol, is the deadliest car bombing in the capital in weeks.

BBC 21.Feb.06
Imagine how solemnly this news would have been delivered had it happened in Tel Aviv.


Secret democracy Underground campaign:

Even though more Palestinians voted against Hamas than for its candidates in the Jan. 25 election, the militant Islamist group used the skills it had honed in organizing attacks on Israel to outwit the ruling Fatah party in capturing a comfortable majority of seats in the new parliament that was set to open Saturday.
Matthew Kalman/SFGate 19.Feb.06
Kalman's prose.
People vote against something by... he doesn't say, but we know what he means. Until we think about it. Then we don't.
Militant skills honed organizing attacks outwit capturing.
In other words the terrorists won the election by being terrorists.
Because they're terrorists. That's why they won.
Secret democracy.
Underground campaign.
Kalman's affinity is to the truth, only to the truth, nothing else.


"he went to bed unaware that the New Orleans levees..."
Chertoff's deeper explanations have a veracity and logic that's credible as far as it goes.
And if you extend him the same open-minded consideration you'd like to get in return, there's not that dark tinge of malevolent intent that's so knee-jerk an assumption now in so many of us.
But there is something, out at the edge of things, unravelling, coming apart.
And in that too, if you want to get big about it, you want all these guys to wake up - not run out of the building screaming that their pants are on fire.
You want them to hold the line.
It's just that we can't be sure what line they'll hold.

"It was a coordinated raid"
"I stared down at a newspaper at my feet and tried to read the upside-down headlines"

"absolutely right move at this point in time."

"disregard for human rights and global security is a defiance that should not be tolerated"
"it's also problematic because it doesn't seem to work"
"good health, and his plan to help America pay for it, for an hour"

"they expect the 25 homes to be demolished very soon"
"to conform with the repressive requirements of the government"
"The dominoes are beginning to fall."


"For Lord Monboddo, the lower boundary of humanity may be crossed by a well-trained orangutan"

"God smiles at those he sees denouncing evils of which they are the cause"

The superiority of Western culture is sustained only by the desire of the rest of the world to join it. When there is the least sign of refusal, the slightest ebbing of that desire, the West loses its seductive appeal in its own eyes.
Jean Baudrillard
New Left Review 37, January-February 2006
link ::: wood s lot :::

Elfriede Jelinek: Provocation as the Breath of Life

Sport is, for her, equivalent to contempt for artistic and intellectual achievement, a kind of war, and a mass phenomenon which sanctions violence and despises the weak. Fitness and the body culture are also a metaphor for all the exaggerated exertions which we humans in the rich part of the world devote ourselves to in order to keep ourselves strong and beautiful:
Legs break, sinews are torn, veins burst, ligaments are stretched too far, but manage somehow to survive. Human bodies engaged in sport are like pizza boxes or disposable mugs, at first they are beautiful and then they are second-hand: yes all used up! But at any rate they are washable and easy to take care of thanks to the modern fibres which the Creator has used to make them...
Sture Packalen
link ::: wood s lot :::


Regina Jose Galindo:

In a group show on the theme of what it means to be a Guatemalan, she repeatedly injected herself with valium. In another performance, she put herself inside a garbage bag and was deposited at the municipal dump; crawled into the ring to fight with a professional wrestler; made a five-day journey from Guatemala to Lima, Peru, and back–blindfolded.
Francisco Goldman/Bomb
"and went for a walk through the city"
Si fuera Jose y mas poemas
"I think the crowd here is not too familiar with the provocative nature of some contemporary trends."
"A single, queasy glance was enough to get the point."
Suela Qoshja:
"of herself just after her neighbour was trafficked to Germany"
link path Morgan Meis/3QuarksDaily

"Yew kids stay 'way from that damned dead snake, ya hear me?"


gleaned from the update below:

Filming of Water, which brought together Indian actors Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das and Akshay Kumar, and a talented crew of international technicians, was first stopped in February last year. The production was initially scheduled to begin in the city of Varanasi, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on January 30, 2000. Hindu chauvinist organisations, which had attempted to stop screenings of Fire and Earth when these films were released in 1996 and 1999, denounced the film and, without having read the script, declared it "anti-Hindu" and "anti-India".
WSWS 10.Apr.01

"I stood on a hill and laughed out loud."
The Greater Common Good
Arundhati Roy
Friends of River Narmada
link dropping knowledge
"questions can change the world"

Erykah Badu
taking out the demons in my range
Geri Halliwell

South Asian democracy files:

"Pregnant woman burnt to death"
"Times of India 19.Aug.05
" a million little Indian girls"
Dilip D.Sousa/Rediff 09.Aug.04
"this terrible and murderous vulnerability"
Martha Nussbaum/BostonReview/CounterCurrents 29.Jul.04
link path A Time To Reflect > Known Turf
(though really it went something like - Kiran Desai at 3QuarksDaily > search > 15 tabs of various hits from that dovetailing with a link from bloggy to Art Asia Pacific Magazine setting a South Asian tone from which a search for Tyeb Mehta led to M.F. Hussain and that led to A Time To Reflect but also to Gagagamini which led to Shabana Azmi which led eventually to Shabana Azmi at dropping knowledge and if Tom hadn't called that broken link to my attention I wouldn't have had the chance to honor the inspiration Shabana Azmi's beauty and integrity became, again, when I encountered them, again.


"Congressional investigators have now learned that an eyewitness account of the flooding [Hurricane Katrina] from a federal emergency official reached the Homeland Security Department's headquarters starting at 9:27 p.m. the day before, and the White House itself at midnight."


"For war billions more"
"...he pledged to bring government control over all levels of oil and gas exploitation.
And if that doesn't provide enough leverage, Morales said he'll send Bolivians into the streets to defend his government's plans..."
Japanese whale-in-a-bun
"a glut of the controversial dish"

Chikungunya spreads
Grippe Aviaire au Nigeria
a deep anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism in Europe
Mother Nature helps fire crews
Fire chief responds:

"The Tragedy Springs burn on Cleveland National Forest helped save the community of Pine Valley from the Cedar fire, but because we had to leave a portion unburned, for the toad. There would have been better results if that had not been a barrier."
more numinous recension


Either the Arctic (or more technically the northern polar ice cap, since the Arctic is a region and will still be there no matter what happens) is melting, or it isn't. Either last year was the warmest in recorded history or it wasn't.
These aren't things I personally am able to verify. It's very hot today where I am, and the hills in the Cleveland National Forest outside Los Angeles a little to the south are on fire, and the smoke from that is in the air here.
Still that's anecdotal - this is central California, where people complain when the temperature gets below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. So even though current conditions make it easier to accept, I don't know these things. They exist as assertions made by what seems to be a consensus of professionals.
I can't verify the credentials of the scientists making the assertions, or even if they themselves exist as real people with real lives.
So somewhere in there I take it all on faith, a relatively blind faith.
We can reduce that to a set of geometric shapes if we want - me a little dot here, the Arctic a toroidal thing over there, the climatologists and their public representatives other little dots scattered across a grid of latitude and longitude.
Getting something to represent the temperature increase forces us to append graphs and other visual displays.
But what we have at the end is trust, not facts. The interconnections of integrity and human willingness to believe; out of necessity, yes, but there's an optimism in that as well. An innocence too.
By itself that complex of assertion and trust would be a stressful thing, considering the subject and its implications, but adding in the immense campaign of disinformation and political obstruction, and recognizing the responsibilities of cause and the need for the culpable to keep that causative linkage obscure and diffuse - to keep the fact of the change in doubt, and then as it becomes unavoidable to shift the causative blame onto the victims and away from the responsible, which is pretty much where we are at this moment - that places the faith and trust of the individual - on the graph, me; in the world, me and you, us - in a context of near-combat, a kind of war of trust and faith, with the body count measuring those fallen to doubt and cynicism.
So I sent a link to that "cell phone egg-cooker" story, from a link I got somewhere, to a friend who's got a certain amount of faith in me as a source of credible information.
And then yesterday I sent her a link to an interview with the original perpetrator of the hoax that story actually is. Being a responsible friend.
OK. So, against a background of stability, and the expectation that barring unforeseen circumstances tomorrow will be much like today - in other words the world as it was, but not as it is - that kind of hoaxing can be a healthy reminder that your biases will convince you of things for which the evidence alone is not sufficient. Knee-jerk reactions. Prejudice.
This is not a background of stability.
This is a world where soft lambs are carried into the tender gaze of children, Frankenstein creatures grown in open-air laboratories linked directly and complicitly to the hell-cages of primate research.
Prejudice as recognition.
I could go on. I will a little. The genetic vandalism that has defaced human agriculture forever, the still unremarked-on fact that automobile crashes kill more children in the US than anything else does, the complete devaluing of the aged in a culture that purports to revere life - you get the idea.
Not trusting technology in that environment is at worst a forgivable reaction, and steadily gains purpose as healthy mistrust.
Believing that the processes of invention and delivery of new technologies no longer have goals in common with, or any interest in the well-being of those who receive them - that's not Luddite hysteria, that's coming out of the data.
Crafting that cell-phone hoax in the year 2000 is one thing; disseminating it now - with fire and great anxiety present and growing all around - isn't the neutral fun thing sophisticated rational skeptics wish it were.
It's this contextual shift that's so hard to get, that refutes the hard and fast letter of the law, though it does honor the spirit.
Tricking people who don't know what to believe or who to trust and making them even more anxious - that's aggression, intellectual assault.
It's why "fire in a crowded theater" is so accessible and popular as a term of discourse.
It's why those Danish cartoons that everyone wants to place in some universal and eternal box of either right or wrong won't fit there.
Laughing at someone's obvious and irritating superstitious absurdities - when they aren't being beaten to their knees in front of you - that's one thing.
Laughing at them when they're weeping and digging in the rubble of their homes for their relatives is another.
People can understand that. It means freedom has responsibilities, it means what you do isn't happening in a vacuum. Even now.


Le torchon brûle

"...if I do business with you, no-one else has the right to interfere."
Chinese ambassador to Israel Chen Yonglong has condemned the efforts by the US to choke off trade in arms between Israel and China. He said the two countries had joined together in a strategic partnership that would break into a more glorious dawn. This is one of the most enthusiastic statements about Israel ever made by China.
October 2001:
At first sight, it is difficult to imagine two nations more different to each other than China and Israel. China is four hundred times Israel's size and two hundred times its population. One is the heart of Asia; the other a bridge between West and East. However, China and Israel have many characteristics in common. Here follow seven similarities.
The principal trait is their long history. Both nations span at least four millennia, being the nations on earth who claim such continuous national identity.
Secondly, these long national identities were recently redefined, almost simultaneously: modern Israel in 1948, modern China in 1949. In both countries national minorities constitute roughly 10% of the population.
Thirdly, their national religions (Confucianism and Judaism) are more based upon deed than dogma, much more evolved around behaviour than belief. The maxim "Don't do to others what you don't want them to do to you" is essential to both civilizations, Jewish and Chinese, as well as the principle that human nature is basically good. In neither civilization does theology play a major role. One century ago, Wu Ting Fang, a Chinese stateman, stated: "There is a resemblance between Confucius and Moses –in their doctrines and in their way of teaching and of moulding the character of their two respective peoples. The most striking agreement is the importance of honoring one's parents." Moreover both religions are strictly non-missionary and tolerant towards the outside world. They do not have as a practical aim to convert the world to Confucianism or Judaism.
In the fourth place, in a world that favors Western languages, both China and Israel are proudly loyal to their respective ancient tongues and their unique alphabets. The renovation of biblical Hebrew in modern times has a parallel in China's simplification of ancient Mandarin.
The fifth similarity: both Jews and Chinese have a long history of suffering and persecution. Their losses during the Second World War brought their tragedy to a nadir, and both the Holocaust and the Rape of Nanjing remain as a blemish in mankind's consciousness. During the war, Liu Shih-Shun, a Chinese academician and Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated: "Like the Jews, the Chinese have a cultural heritage of thousands of years. Like the children of Israel, my countrymen are scattered over the four corners of earth. Like your people, my people know the meaning of hardship and, for this reason, they are able to carry on a prolonged war of resistance without the material things that are considered essential in other parts of the world." It should be noted that China is frequently mentioned as the only country in the world where there was never any expression of Judeophobia, that was so characteristic of European history. In March 2001 there was a ceremony at Yad Vashem, to honor Feng Shan Ho, the Chinese Consul in Vienna between 1938 and 1940, who distributed hundreds of Chinese visas to save Jews from the Nazi regime.
In the sixth place, they both had a major influence in human civilization, in its culture, literature, and sciences. World history is inimaginable without either the Chinese or the Jews.
There is a further common trait that is more modern. Both China and Israel started a process of modernization of their economy. The models upon which Mao Zedong and Ben-Gurion conceived the economy was state-oriented, while the more recent leaders of both countries launched a campaign to open their economies to the free market. Having all these in mind, one can conclude that bridges between China and Israel are natural and desirable, and should be built for their mutual benefit. While they do not share a regional group, they belong to the tiny group of Ancient Civilizations recently revived, of hard-working creative peoples who have made major contributions to mankind.
As Wu Ting Fang put it: "The Chinese and the Jews have always been friends and not enemies. Both have been persecuted and despised… The Jews and Chinese are despised not on account of their vices… but on account of their virtues, on account of their industry, economy, perseverance, thrift".

Bridges Between China and Israel
Gustavo Perednik/Hagshama
January 2006:
King Abdullah has begun the first ever state visit to China by a Saudi leader, expected to focus on boosting co-operation to fuel China's soaring energy needs.
The visit marks the first part of an Asian tour that will take him on to India, Malaysia and Pakistan.
During his three-day stay in China, Abdullah is scheduled to meet President Hu Jintao on Monday and Wu Bangguo, the No 2 Communist Party leader, and Wen Jiabao, the prime minister, on Tuesday.
Kong Quan, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, said on Thursday that the two sides were expected to discuss energy co-operation, anti-terrorism, politics, economics, culture, health and telecommunications.
He gave no information about possible energy deals to be signed.
Some observers believe that the Chinese need for new oil supplies could lead to a stand-off with the United States over access to Middle Eastern oil.

Al Jazeera/Liberty Post 22.Jan.06
December 2004:
Israel's Channel Two television reported on 15 December that Feith had demanded the resignation of retired Maj. Gen. Amos Yaron, the widely respected and longtime director-general of Israel's MoD. According to the reports, Feith was 'outraged' that he was not informed the UAV sale to China few years ago, and demanded the resignation of retired Maj. Gen. Amos Yaron, the widely respected and long-time director-general of Israel's MoD.
This is also the first time that the existence of such a deal between China and Israel is confirmed. China reportedly acquired some unknown number of the Israeli Aerospace Industry (IAI)'s Harpy Attack UAV in 1994. In summer 2004 some of these UAVs were sent back to Israel to be upgraded for better performance. The Pentagon has already demanded that Israel not to deliver these UAVs to China, even though they are properties of the PRC.
Harpy is the armed UAV developed by IAI in the 1990s. It is a unique weapon system with features of both UAV and cruise missile. Launched from a ground vehicle or surface warship far away from the battle zone, the Harpy UAV can detect, attack and destroy radar emitters in all-weather conditions, day/night over a distance of 500kg. Once an enemy radar is detected and verified, the UAV transitions into a near vertical dive and destroy the target with its high explosive warhead.

Chinese Defence Today 25.Dec.04
May 2002:
The real danger comes in Israel's habit of reverse engineering U.S. technology and selling to nations hostile to U.S. interests. Israel's client list includes Cambodia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the South Lebanon Army, India, China, Burma and Zambia. The U.S. has most recently warmed up to India and is now in fact competing with Israel for arms sales there, but the other Israeli customers remain dubious at best.
Perhaps the most troubling of all is the Israeli/Chinese arms relationship. Israel is China's second largest supplier of arms. Coincidentally, the newest addition to the Chinese air force, the F-10 multi-role fighter, is an almost identical version of the Lavi (Lion). The Lavi was a joint Israeli-American design based upon the F-16 for manufacture in Israel, but financed mostly with American aid. Plagued by cost overruns, it was canceled in 1987, but not before the U.S. spent $1.5 billion on the project.
Last April, when the Navy EP-3E surveillance plane was forced to land in China after a Chinese F-8 fighter flew into its propeller, photos show Israeli built Python 3 missiles under the fighter's wings.
If Israeli weapons sales to China induce misgivings, including the most recent U.S. blocked sale of Israel's Phalcon airborne radar, the beneficiaries of Chinese arms transfers of Israeli-American technology are even more disturbing. In 1996, as disclosed in the UN Register of Conventional Arms, China sold over 100 missiles and launchers to Iran, along with a handful of combat aircraft and warships. Even worse, in 1997 the New York Daily News reported that Iraq had deployed Israeli-developed, Chinese PL-8 missiles in the no-fly zones, endangering American pilots.
Americans deserve to know where their money is being spent, and how money allocated for friends and technology shared with friends can all too easily end up in the wrong hands, threatening all parties involved.

Jonathan Reingold/CommonDreams 09.May.02
April 2005:
China hopes to double its trade with Israel over the next three years, from nearly $2.5 billion registered in 2004 to $5 billion or more by 2008, according to Beijing's top diplomat here, who declined to discuss specifics of the two countries' defense trade.
In an April 7 lecture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Ambassador Chen Yonglong noted that Sino-Israeli trade is growing at an annual rate of some 40 percent.
When asked specifically about bilateral defense trade ties, however — and about U.S. claims that Israel is Beijing's second largest supplier of arms and military technology after Russia — Chen demurred from providing additional data. He insisted, however, that China does not constitute a military threat to the United States, and that pressure from Washington to trample Sino-Israeli defense trade is unjustified.
"In principle, if I do business with you, I don't think others should interfere," Chen said.
Intense U.S. government pressure — coupled with veiled threats to curtail the more than $2 billion that Israel receives each year in U.S. military aid — forced Israel to cancel in May 2000 a signed and legally binding contract with China for the sale of aerial early warning aircraft. Israel suffered heavy monetary and political penalties as a result of the contract violation.

Barbara Opall-Rome/Defense News 08.Apr.05


Wragg is dead.


a tasty recipe for American business:

The President's domestic agenda was dominated by an "American Competitiveness Initiative" that's strongly supported by the vast majority of the business community, from large corporations to Main Street shops.
While only a few items on Bush's wish list were new to a State of the Union audience, it was significant that he focused on economic issues pushed hard by business, rather than on the social agenda of religious conservatives.
Facing tough economic competition from India and China, the President called for "a better path" on economic policy, "an agenda for a nation that competes with confidence.... Americans should not fear our economic future, because we intend to shape it."

- Richard Dunham/Business Week 01.Feb.06
We intend to shape it. Just as soon as we get through shaping the future of Iraq, I guess.
The language is important here. You need to see that he's saying "Americans" - that's us, you, me. And he's saying "we" - that's not us, not you, not me.
It is kind of, but it isn't really, not even in the context of the speech and its intentions.
In the real world the gulf of difference between what's meant by "Americans" when it's used by men like Bush - the people, the common people of the country - and what's really being carried in that third person plural "we" - the natural elect, the privileged by birthright - is wide enough it could be describing two separate species.

Pocketa-pocketa my oh my:

Industry experts say that if President George W. Bush wants to make a push to reduce oil consumption in the United States, there are some solutions at hand. But with names like carbon composites and new metal alloys, they may seem banal and do not create much buzz.
Perhaps the most significant step the country could take in reducing oil dependence is to change the way cars are produced, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute, an energy research organization that has consulted for the Department of Defense. Automobiles, for instance, use about 9 million barrels of the 20 million barrels or so of oil that the United States consumes each day. Trucks, heavy machinery and some power plants consume the rest.
Improving the efficiency of hybrid engines, and using advanced metal alloys and carbon composites instead of heavier steel to make cars could double or triple the fuel efficiency in these automobiles.
Bush's push to reduce what he calls America's "addiction" to oil comes at a time when China and India are scrambling to secure oil resources to fuel the needs of their roaring economies.
"We could reduce our consumption by 4 to 5 million barrels a day by going down this pathway," said Odd-Even Bustnes, a principal at the Rocky Mountain Institute. Referring Tuesday to the president's State of the Union address, Bustnes added, "What the president said yesterday is a step in the right direction, but I'm not sure it's a step of the right magnitude."

- Simon Romero/NYTimes-IHT 02.Feb.06
...the US consumes enough oil to cover a football field with a column of oil 2500 feet tall. That's 121 million cubic feet. 55-60% of US consumption is imported at a cost of $50 billion+ per year, amounting to the largest single element of our trade deficit. In summer 2004, thanks to higher prices, increased demand, and lower production, record trade deficits of more than $50 billion per month were recorded, with approximately 30% of that attributable to imported energy costs. In September 2004, the US reported its lowest montly oil production in 55 years, at an average of 4.85 million barrels per day.

- Dick Gibson/Popular Geology
"roaring economies" is a good phrase.
Lots of things roar - fires, big waterfalls, hurricane winds, storm waves, large carnivores, angry drunken louts. Not many roaring things are what you'd want to have around the house.
Odd-Even Bustnes is good. Not touching that.
Something not good is the absolutely sacred taboo/prohibition against mentioning the possibility of reducing the demand for what it is the oil does - the actual drug "experience", to stick with the addiction metaphor.
The only talk is about reduction of consumption by the machines themselves - better mileage, better materials, etc. Robot demand, that's what's wrong.
This is exactly why junkies use needles - it's a more efficient way of using the drug.
It's exactly why crack cocaine is smoked in glass pipes.

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