...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



"And as a species, are we not waddling toward the cliff? Why has no great leader stood upon a rock with sufficient persuasion to halt the march and save the day? Are the forces now too great against mere words? Are the zombie masses, holding the hands of their children, on a Jonestown-like death march we cannot fathom or halt? Is it evolution itself we are watching, with our species automatically pre- wired for extinction when, say, there are, by God's count, more Washington lobbyists than tree frogs-and with stickier fingers?"
Doris "Granny D" Haddock/CommonDreams 31.May.06

Take that, Infidel!

Tuesday 30 May 2006:
A defence witness in Saddam Hussein's trial over the killing of Iraqi Shia villagers has said that many of those allegedly executed are still alive and that the prosecution case has been built on bribes.
Wednesday 31 May 2006:
Four defence witnesses in the trial of Saddam Hussein were arrested on Wednesday after the court ordered them held on suspicion of making false allegations against the prosecution, the ousted leader's attorney said.
Khalil al-Dulaimi, who heads the defence team, said the witnesses were arrested after "their testimony destroyed the credibility of the court."

"The ruling is a victory for every crooked politician in the United States."


"Hank shares my philosophy that the economy prospers when we trust the American people..."
"The whole world is dependent upon the U.S. economy as a major engine of its growth. And our economy's strength is rooted in the entrepreneurial spirit and the competitive zeal of the American people, and in our free and open market. It is truly a marvel, but we cannot take it for granted.
We must take steps to maintain our competitive edge in the world."
- Paulson, speaking at nomination ceremony
An edge in competition gets held against the other competitiors. This is the nature of competition. It's kind of a winner/loser thing.
The world depends on us "maintaining our competitive edge" against - the world.


a point by point analysis of the map of Bethlehem

Children in the news:

The notorious US detention camp in Guantanamo Bay has been hit by fresh allegations of human rights abuses, with claims that dozens of children were sent there - some as young as 14 years old.
Lawyers in London estimate that more than 60 detainees held at the terrorists' prison camp were boys under 18 when they were captured.
They include at least 10 detainees still held at the US base in Cuba who were 14 or 15 when they were seized
British officials last night told the IoS that the UK had been assured that any juveniles would be held in a special facility for child detainees at Guantanamo called Camp Iguana. But the US admits only three inmates were ever treated as children - three young Afghans, one aged 13, who were released in 2004 after a furore over their detention.
A senior Pentagon spokesman, Lt Commander Jeffrey Gordon, insisted that no one now being held at Guantanamo was a juvenile and said the DoD also rejected arguments that normal criminal law was relevant to the Guantanamo detainees.
"There is no international standard concerning the age of an individual who engages in combat operations... Age is not a determining factor in detention. [of those] engaged in armed conflict against our forces or in support to those fighting against us."
Severin Carrell/Independent UK 28.May.06


"Our people were used and abused
as a tool of their mania for destruction and domination"

killed by his countrymen:
After passing beneath the iron arch emblazoned with the lie "work brings freedom", the man who was unwillingly enrolled into the Hitler Youth and the Nazi army said he bowed before the victims as "a son of the German people".
"In a place like this, words fail. There is only a stupefied silence and a cry to God."
Daniel McLaughlin in Auschwitz/Guardian UK 29.May.06
Instances might be multiplied, but these are sufficient to show that the early Church regarded the Pope as the infallible voice of God on earth in matters of religion.
The Pope, like the rest of us, is human.
Papal Infallibility
Things Catholics Are Asked About
"I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful"
to confirm a doctrine "preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents," which "pertains to the Church's divine consitution itself"
Letter of October 28, 1995
Regarding the [Pope John Paul II's] SCDF Responsum on Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

by His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Prefect, Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
God: Very clear on the ordination of women into the priesthood.
Vague as can be on the Holocaust.


"The Book of Revelation [says] God will destroy those who destroy his creation," Gore said, noting that some evangelical Christian leaders have expressed concern about climate change. "Whatever works," Gore added, prompting applause and laughter.
Gore departed the event, sponsored by Wired Magazine, with his wife Tipper in a chauffeur-driven black Lincoln Town Car provided by a New York City limousine service.
Gore noted that the Bible promotes good stewardship of the Earth. "Noah was commanded to preserve biodiversity," he said.
Marc Morano/CNS 26.May.06
The Book of Revelation clearly has nothing to say about going around in "a chauffeur-driven black Lincoln Town Car provided by a New York City limousine service".
The only people trying to paint that in moral terms are those whacked-out environmentalists. And apologists for the Grand Satanic Scheme of Self-Inflicted Human Extinction With No Causative Ulterior Moral Intent, of which group Mr. Morano appears to be one very active member.
People who would rather see Al Gore ridiculed for his personal material quandaries than paid attention to for his rational grasp of the dire complexities of the current and immediate future.
It says that in there, though not in so many words.
Also the Bible says that, though, again, not in so many words.
Cars are absolutely morally neutral however, the Bible is very clear on this.
Because it doesn't mention them at all, not even between the lines, unless various fiery chariots are to be so construed.
While the Bible is very precise and specific about fire and torment etc. cars are nowhere mentioned as such in the eschatological scenario.
Making them morally disambiguous while at the same time keeping them outside the judgment of sin and righteousness to which most other human activities and aspirations are subject.
Neither good nor evil.
Like air. Air is neither good nor evil. Water also.
Trees maybe just a little smidgeon toward the good.
Bears are pretty much evil.
Wolves, too. Coyotes by extension, though of course they're not mentioned in the Book.
Sheep and cows are good.
Goats are evil, or potentially mostly so.
Crustaceans very bad.
Whales pretty much kind of bad, sharks definitely.
Yet cars are morally beige.
This helps, once you understand what it means - to know this helps a lot.


Children in the news:

A Washington Post story, "Children Pay Cost of Iraq's Chaos," read, "After the rate of acute malnutrition among children younger than 5 steadily declined to 4 percent two years ago, it shot up to 7.7 percent this year, according to a study conducted by Iraq's Health Ministry in cooperation with Norway's Institute for Applied International Studies and the U.N. Development Program. The new figure translates to roughly 400,000 Iraqi children suffering from "wasting," a condition characterized by chronic diarrhea and dangerous deficiencies of protein."

Not only is the US occupation starving Iraq's children, but occupation forces regularly detain them as well. It is common knowledge in Iraq that there have been child prisoners in the most odious prisons, such as Abu Ghraib, since early on in the occupation. While most, if not all, corporate media outlets in the US have been loath to visit the subject, the Sunday Herald in Scotland reported back in August 2004 that "coalition forces are holding more than 100 children in jails such as Abu Ghraib. Witnesses claim that the detainees - some as young as 10 - are also being subjected to rape and torture."
Dahr Jamail/truthout 22.May.06
link wood s lot


Tens of thousands?
Tens of thousands.

But I must say that while Bush was in Delhi, at the same time on the streets were -- I mean apart from the protests, there were 60 widows that had come from Kerala, which is the south of India, which is where I come from, and they had come to Delhi because they were 60 out of the tens of thousands of widows of farmers who have committed suicide, because they have been encircled by debt.
And this is a fact that is simply not reported, partly because there are no official figures, partly because the Indian government quibbles about what constitutes suicide and what is a farmer.
If a man commits suicide, but the land is in his old father's name, he doesn't count. If it's a woman, she doesn't count, because women can't be farmers.
Arundhati Roy/DemocracyNow! 23.May.06

Market Slide:

Indian police are watching out for brokers and investors attempting suicide after a market slide wiped out billions of dollars in share values.
Policemen were keeping a watch near lakes and canals on Monday - possible places where people in distress could head to kill themselves. They said rescue teams were on alert.
Al 22.May.06
An estimated 5,000 orangutans are killed each year in Malaysia and Indonesia by the burning of vast tracts of virgin forest to supply the world's growing demand for palm oil. Building roads to the plantations has made the situation worse, by opening up the jungle for poachers, who kill orangutan mothers and sell their babies as pets to Asian families.
WWF, formerly the World Wildlife Fund, estimates that 80 per cent of orangutan habitat has been lost in the past 20 years. Experts warn that at current rates of deforestation, the orangutan will be extinct in the wild in just 12 years.
Hickman/IndepndentUK/CommonDreams 23.May.06

Coals to Newcastle:

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much. Thank you. It is a pleasure to be here to swear in Dr. Gregg Rickman as our Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism.
President Bush has said that defending freedom also means disrupting the evil of anti-Semitism. Today ethnic and religious differences are still viewed by some as a license to kill. And we are reminded of the sad history of humankind when prejudice and hatred turn violent against those who are simply different.
More than six decades after the Holocaust, anti-Semitism is not just an historical fact, however. It is a current event. Anti-Semitic hate crimes are on the rise still at home and abroad. And governments must take decisive action against the perpetrators of those crimes and new generations have to be inoculated against the dangerous bigotry that is instilled often through education in intolerance. That education in intolerance must be replaced by education in tolerance.
President Bush has pledged that America will always stand for the non-negotiable demands of human dignity. Defending human dignity means defeating anti-Semitism. Gregg, you have no stronger supporters of this mission than President Bush and me.
Remarks at the Swearing-in of Gregg Rickman as the Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism
Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice/ScoopNZ
Eliot Cohen in the Washington Post on Walt&Mearsheimer:
Inept, even kooky academic work, then, but is it anti-Semitic? If by anti-Semitism one means obsessive and irrationally hostile beliefs about Jews; if one accuses them of disloyalty, subversion or treachery, of having occult powers and of participating in secret combinations that manipulate institutions and governments; if one systematically selects everything unfair, ugly or wrong about Jews as individuals or a group and equally systematically suppresses any exculpatory information -- why, yes, this paper is anti-Semitic.
Stephen Plaut in the FrontPageMagazine/Campuswatch on Juan Cole:
Cole, who led the lobby to clear Saddam of any ties with terrorism, believes that a group of Jewish "neo-conservatives" largely runs U.S. policy toward the Middle East. His recurrent theory is that a nebulous
'pro-Likud' cabal controls the U.S. government from a small number of key positions in the Executive Branch. Jonathan Calt Harris has declared: "He (Cole) is blindly anti-Israel to the point of being an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, an apologist for radical Islam, and someone who despises American public opinion."
from Juan Cole's petition in defense of Walt&Mearsheimer:
We fear that the real motive in the brandishing of the serious charge of "anti-Semitism" so readily at any discussion of the US relationship with Israel is an attempt to chill public debate and to discourage the critical evaluation of American Middle East policy and of Israeli policy in the region. Such a misuse of the word "anti-Semitic" is profoundly anti-democratic. Democracy requires free public debate of all issues affecting the public weal.
We deeply fear that this practice is becoming a form of "crying wolf," and that the force of the term "anti-Semite" is being rapidly eroded as a matter of moral sensibility. True anti-Semitism does exist and is an evil. Let us vigilantly combat it rather than mischaracterizing academic papers.
We also fear that an impression is being created that elements in the American Jewish community are hostile to academic freedom of speech and inquiry, and are hostile even to the first amendment of the US constitution. As admirers of the historic role the American Jewish community has played in furthering civil liberties in the United States, we are concerned and saddened at this development


When, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Congress voted to declare war against Japan, Jeannette Rankin once again voted "no" to war. She also, once again, violated long tradition and spoke before her roll call vote, this time saying
"As a woman I can't go to war, and I refuse to send anyone else"
as she voted alone against the war resolution.
She was denounced by the press and her colleagues, and barely escaped an angry mob.
She believed that Roosevelt had deliberately provoked the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Jeannette Rankin Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for, and awarding grants to, low-income women, ages 35 and older. Each grant recipient has a vision of how a college education will benefit herself, her family, and her community. Most recipients are in truly meager financial circumstances and may have other hardships or disabilities.
Rankin's most famous quote:
"You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake."
link path Quote of The Day on the Google personalized home page


Xymphora's rational point-by-point on Darfurist hypocrisies

A minor sermon:

Magic Christians clearly have hidden the meaning of this command up their sleeves. Today they justify violence against enemies explaining that we are dealing with good verses evil and never in history has there been such a battle as the one which rages today . They explain we have "evil" people who behead others, and suicide bombers who kill innocent people. They quake in fear saying our culture is debased and sinful unlike any in the history of human kind.

This is blatantly false! Be-headings are as old as time.
Jesus Isn't Magic
Karen Horst Cobb/CommonDreams
An important part of the formula that produced the outrage toward the beheadings Cobb cites, the shock and violent reactions to them, is hidden in the placental boundaries of the culture that saw those images as the assault of evil against its own proprietary and benevolent good.
These are people who were raised in the womb and never left it. Who went from the swaddled fluff of infancy to the swaddling fluff of television and consumerist shopping in seamless transition. And to whom these reminders of the presence of mortal danger in the world have become a goad, wielded intentionally like any other goad, to move the domesticated into and out of paddock and pasture.
Every other predator above the microscopic, except people themselves, and one sacred invisible harvester of human beings - has been removed from the human landscape.
That sacred harvester being the automobile, killer of the greatest number of children in America. Beheader of the innocent. The random sword.
There's a tacit understanding that the automobile and its damage are morally neutral. Accidental.
This comes from the received sense of morality as rising entirely from intent - no intent, no evil. The actual event mattering less than the act of will that did or didn't cause it.
The question we need to ask is whether or not there are actions and events whose natures are inherently evil, whether or not they've been caused directly by willed intent, or by accident, or by something in between.
It would be hard to find someone in the past who specifically willed the destructive assault of exhaust gases on the natural world. Yet here we are. Basically decent people in a tither because some dubious character got his head cut off on television, while 40,000 plus lose their lives every single year to the car and its worship. Where is the evil in that? How can it not be evil? How can it not be evil that the North Pole is being turned into clouds and rain?

A shortage of mercy in Gaza


Mr. Schwarzenegger has since warned of the need to move slowly so as not to "scare the business community."

Immigrants Hear God's Word, in Chinese, via Conference Call
headline, entire, NYTimes 21.May.06
Probably one of the reasons Hollywood hasn't yet made a movie from the perspective of a kid whose parents have been taken over by a mind-control cult is that it would come too close to biting the hand that feeds it.


A new law reportedly passed by the Iranian Parliament is drawing comparisons to the Holocaust because it requires Jews, Christians and other religious minorities to wear colored badges to identify them as non-Muslim.
But Iran's only Jewish Member of Parliament said the report is "a lie."
Iran's "only Jewish Member of Parliament" is Maurice Motammed.
The google hits for Iranian Badge are somewhat more extensive.
Motamed at Wikipedia.
A new law that may or may not exist is talked about as though it does.
Probably at least two or three other readers were startled to realize that there is a Jew in the Iranian Parliament. Elected and everything. That there has been a Jew in the Iranian Parliament, representing the needs and interests of the Iranian Jewish community, for some time - since 1906, to be exact.
Then googling, as one does, to see if there are commensurate representatives in the US...
"Arabs in US Senate"
"Arabs in US Congress"
"Iranians in US Senate"
"Iranians in US Congress"

inexplicable(so far) B.C. Mine tragedy

I get in these moods, they aren't fun, or particularly healthy, and I need reminders that the p.o.v. may be kicked toward unnecessary cynicism or despair etc.
Reminders that are getting hard to find.

William M. Arkin, in the Washington Post, on Michael Hayden
"this active duty general, this high ranking government official, this career intelligence officer, this nominee to be CIA director":
"You'd think they were pretty bad people because that's what I was looking for and that's what I built up. That'd be very wrong, OK? That would be inaccurate. That would be misleading."
How much influence Feith's shop ended up having is still an open question, but the process of demonization had a profound impact. Prey to a kind of celebrity gossip stream of intelligence and blind to any balanced picture that might suggest a different course of action, the administration convinced itself that containment was not sufficient with Iraq.
Far more importantly, post 9/11, the same mentality has been applied to al Qaeda. The Bush insiders have lapped up every piece of intelligence affirming a conclusion that terrorists threaten the American way of life, that they are only a hair away from obtaining WMD.
A more balanced assessment might be to conclude that there are only a few thousand terrorists out there, angry, motivated, evil, but not an army worthy of overstatement. We could create a self-perpetuating intelligence stream that reinforces the notion that we are in a fight to the finish against an implacable America-destroying enemy. But a more balanced view is that these extremists can be contained and ultimately undermined through a more low key effort, through less rhetoric and more strategy, through less war and more clandestine work, through a quieter, slower, less bombastic effort that doesn't itself serve as the stimuli for recruitment and expansion of the enemy.
Arkin seems to be acknowledging the long-held consensus amongst some of us that Feith et al drove the US into Iraq, though this has never been editorially clarified by the editors that sold the war like a brand-new car, not in a way the public could get to it; and even less clear, though far more crucial, is that it was all done by the media, especially including the Post, the NY and LA Times etc.
Bush was elected by the media, legally or not as far as the actual voting went, his presidency was handed to him by the media like a crown. CNN and FOX elected Bush.
Arkin's points are sensible and cogent, and it could almost be heartening to read a major columnist separating out from the heretofore dominant view, but the missing pieces are condemning.
The spin is Bush did it himself, and that's nonsense. Or the more sophisticated version, that Feith did it.
Whatever the token's name, the larger cloud of intrigue stays unexamined.
Who is Feith? What does he represent?
What some of us predicted - that Bush would eventually function as a cut-out, a disposable figurehead; that once the actual goal was accomplished - destruction of Iraq as a military presence in the Middle East, erection of a permanent architecture of social control in the US - the highly flexible cabal behind it would replace its puppetry with other, seemingly diametric opposites.
So now we should be seeing and hearing an almost universal scorn for the visible Bush administration figureheads from the very people whose praise and support put them there, and a slow careful placement of the next batch of puppets into the mediated public eye.
While the edifice of unlimited, and ungoverned, power built on the fear of terror remains, and grows.
Time for the anti-Bush.


Every target is documented

Uh-huh, yeah, right, sure, okay:
Wisconsin Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is proposing that ISPs be required to record information about Americans' online activities so that police can more easily "conduct criminal investigations." Executives at companies that fail to comply would be fined and imprisoned for up to one year.
Hayden Defends Legality of NSA Surveillance:
"We always balance privacy and security and we do it within the law," he added. "I can certainly understand why someone would be concerned.
... The privacy of American citizens is a concern constantly, it's a concern in this program, and it's a concern in everything we've done."
from Hayden's opening statement at his confirmation hearing, 05.May.06:
"Let me be more specific about the broad vision I have for CIA, if I am confirmed. First, I will begin with the collection of human intelligence. If confirmed as Director, I would reaffirm CIA's proud culture of risk-taking and excellence, particularly through the increased use of non-traditional operational platforms, a greater focus on the development of language skills, and the inculcation of what I would call an expeditionary mentality. I strongly believe that the men and women of CIA already want to take risks to collect the intelligence we need to keep America safe.
I view it as the Director's job to ensure that these operators have the right incentives, rewards, support, and leadership to take those risks. My job is to set the conditions for success."
In my view both of these initiatives - working with foreign partners and information sharing within the U.S. - require that we change the paradigm from one that operates on a "transactional" basis of exchange (they ask, we provide) in favor of a premise of "common knowledge, commonly shared" or "information access."
This would entail opening up more data and databases to other IC agencies as well as trusted foreign partners, restricting the use of the overused "originator controlled" caveat, and, fundamentally, embracing more of a risk management approach to the sharing of information.
Finally, everything I have said today matters little without the people - the great men and women of the CIA whom, if confirmed, I would lead - but also the people of this great Nation.
Respectfully, Senators, I believe that the intelligence business has too much become the football in American political discourse.

Uh-huh, yeah, right, sure:

Vicious drug war in Mexican city is spilling across the border, threatening commerce; even police are afraid
The quick fix may involve sending in the National Guard. But to really patch up the broken border, President George W. Bush is preparing to turn to a familiar administration partner: giant military contractors.
Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, three of the largest, are among the companies that said they would submit bids within two weeks for a multibillion-dollar contract to build what the administration calls a "virtual fence" along the U.S. borders.
Using some of the same high-priced, high-tech tools these companies have already put to work in Iraq and Afghanistan
America can look to Israel as a valuable test case as it contemplates construction of a fence along the Mexican border.

The underlying facts are what they are

goyim rein

...body of an aged man under the rubble of the attacked house Wednesday afternoon, who apparently died after suffering a heart attack while the soldiers were surrounding his house and firing at it

There was no bus. There was no shrapnel. There was only bullet holes inside the house



Proudly, she showed me articles of the constitution written on the backs of soap-powder packets. "We can never go back," she said.

In La Vega barrio, I listened to a nurse, Mariella Machado, a big round black woman of 45 with a wonderfully wicked laugh, stand and speak at an urban land council on subjects ranging from homelessness to the Iraq war.
That day, they were launching Mision Madres de Barrio, a programme aimed specifically at poverty among single mothers. Under the constitution, women have the right to be paid as carers, and can borrow from a special women's bank. From next month, the poorest housewives will get about 120[pounds - 228 dollars] a month.
It is not surprising that Chavez has now won eight elections and referendums in eight years, each time increasing his majority, a world record. He is the most popular head of state in the western hemisphere, probably in the world. That is why he survived, amazingly, a Washington-backed coup in 2002.


Evangelina Carrozo protestiert leichtbekleidet gegen eine Papierfabrik

It seems almost silly to point out that if the government of King George's England in 1776 had had the powers and technologies available to the Bush Administration - the Patriot Act, the NSA, FBI, CIA, God-knows-who-and/or-what and it's important to keep in mind that those powers and technologies are going to be available to everyone who comes after the benighted George W. - there would never have been an American Revolution, and there never would have been an America. As we know it, as it is.
Is that a good thing, or is that a bad thing?
Depends on who you talk to, these days.


Passive eugenics is eugenics all the same:

U.S. Scores Poorly on Infant Mortality
Among 33 industrialized nations, the United States is tied with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia with a death rate of nearly 5 per 1,000 babies, according to a new report. Latvia's rate is 6 per 1,000.
And this, related, but somewhat more complex issue

Palabras del:

Hace anos aqui, en la Plaza de las Tres Culturas hubo una matanza y entonces el gobierno dijo que el ejercito habia sido agredido. Y paso mucho tiempo a que alguien preguntara que estaba haciendo el ejercito en un mitin estudiantil. Y ahora esos medios de comunicacion, incluso de la radio, no se les ocurre preguntar que estaba haciendo la fuerza publica en San Salvador Atenco. Y estaba haciendo esta alianza que se dio entre el PRD y el PRI para desalojar a unos vendedores de flores porque el presidente municipal de Texcoco piensa que afean la ciudad; porque quiere meter un centro comercial, un Wal-Mart ahi en Texcoco y le molestan los pequenos comerciantes y que tambien el PRD aliado ahi con el PRI a nivel estatal, ahora aliado con el PAN a nivel federal, y ahora va a tener que dar cuenta de esta muerte.
Years ago here, in the Plaza of the Three Cultures, there was a massacre and the government at the time said the army had been attacked. And a long time passed before someone asked what the army was doing at a student rally. And now it doesn't even occur to those communication media, including the radio, to ask what the armed forces - the police - were doing in San Salvador Atenco. And this alliance was happening between the PRD and PRI to get rid of some flower vendors because the mayor of Texcoco thinks they make the city ugly, because he wants to put in a commercial center, a Wal-Mart there in Texcoco, and the small businessmen bother him. Now the PRD, allied with the PRI at the state level and now also allied with the PAN at the federal level, is going to have to notice all this death.

000000 Subcomandante Marcos


Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA, has nominated the Unionist hardliner Ian Paisley as the head of the Northern Ireland Executive
U.K. Attorney General Peter Goldsmith called on the U.S. to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp for terror suspects, saying it is "unacceptable."
"There are certain principles on which there can be no compromise," Goldsmith said during a speech in London today.
000000and Smith/Guardian
At the same time...Ahmadinejad taps into what Samuel Huntington has termed "elements of commonality" between civilizations by pointing out Bush's similar eschatological values: "I have been told that Your Excellency follows the teachings of Jesus, and believes in the divine promise of the rule of the righteous on Earth."
After his long review of world events, Ahmadinejad concludes that "liberalism and Western-style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity" and "have failed."
Instead, he says, the world's peoples are turning to the teachings of religion.

"My question for you is: Do you not want to join them?" he concludes.


" be resumed when possible?"

Cardinal George Pell, the archbishop of Sydney, told an audience of Catholic business leaders in Florida he believed it was vital to read the Koran, "because the challenge of Islam will be with us for the remainder of our lives."

He said 9/11 had been his wake-up call to understand Islam better.

"In my own reading of the Koran, I began to note down invocations to violence," he said. "There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages."
"Considered strictly on its own terms, Islam is not a tolerant religion, and its capacity for far-reaching renovation is severely limited," Pell said. He added, however, that the human factor could also play a mitigating or exacerbating role, and he compared the situations in Indonesia and Pakistan.
It was legitimate to ask "our Islamic partners in dialogue" for their views on these matters.
"Do they believe that the peaceful suras of the Koran are abrogated by the verses of the sword?" he asked.
"Is the program of [Islamic] military expansion ... to be resumed when possible?"
"Do they believe that democratic majorities of Muslims in Europe would impose shari'a law? Can we discuss Islamic history and even the hermeneutical problems around the origins of the Koran without threats of violence?"
Patrick Goodenough/CNS 08.May.06
And after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took Metheg-am'mah out of the hand of the Philistines.
And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts.
David smote also Hadade'zer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphra'tes.
And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for a hundred chariots.
And when the Syrians of Damascus came to succor Hadade'zer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men.
Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.
David Extends His Kingdom
The Second Book of Samuel Otherwise Called, The Second Book of the Kings
And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed:
if he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.
And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.
If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
The Treatment of Servants
The Second Book of Moses, Called Exodus,

And Jo'ab said to Ama'sa, Art thou in health, my brother? And Jo'ab took Ama'sa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him.
But Ama'sa took no heed of the sword that was in Jo'ab's hand: so he smote him therewith in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died.
So Jo'ab and Ab'ishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri.
And one of Jo'ab's men stood by him, and said, He that favoreth Jo'ab, and he that is for David, let him go after Jo'ab.
And Ama'sa wallowed in blood in the midst of the highway.
The Revolt of Sheba
The Second Book of Samuel Otherwise Called, The Second Book of the Kings
But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her.
And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.
And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.
And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.
So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.
The Fall of Jericho
The Book of Joshua
Bible, KJV

a disgusting stink:

Shortly after being named Pope, Benedict XVI met with a group of exorcists. Was that a signal?

No, it was just a routine meeting of Italian exorcists. The teachings of the Catholic church on evil have not changed in centuries.
What are those teachings?
They're based primarily on the Bible, according to which God created all beings: mankind as well as the pure spirits, in other words the angels and demons.
God made demons?
He made everything. According to the Christian tradition, demons and the devil are fallen angels. They are angels that have revolted against God since the beginning of creation.
How could God permit evil in the first place?
For our freedom! Evil is linked implicitly to the gift of freedom. God made man free. In choosing whether to ban evil or give the gift of freedom, God opted for freedom. Without the possibility to choose between good or evil, there would be no freedom. That means that God values freedom more than all our sins. Animals are not evil - but they are also never free. With freedom, God elevated us above animals.
Paul Badde-Pedro Barrajon/signandsight

After that it did not seem strange when next day the pigs who were supervising the work of the farm all carried whips in their trotters. It did not seem strange to learn that the pigs had bought themselves a wireless set, were arranging to install a telephone, and had taken out subscriptions...

The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy arose when the New York Times revealed on December 16, 2005 that the agency had been eavesdropping on U.S. citizens and other people within the U.S. without seeking warrants from a special court, as ostensibly required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Hayden received personal criticism for his role in the controversy when he spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on January 23, 2006 to defend the practice of warrantless surveillance. During the question and answer period following his speech, Hayden appeared to deny that a "probable cause" standard is contained in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - which limits the government's ability to conduct searches and, by extension, surveillance.

Knight Ridder reporter Jonathan Landay prefaced a question by noting that
"the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to be able to do a search that does not violate an American's right against unlawful searches and seizures."

Hayden responded:

"No, actually - the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure... That's what it says."

When Landay continued,
"But does it not say probable-"
Hayden said:
"No. The amendment says...unreasonable search and seizure."
In fact, the amendment refers to both "unreasonable searches and seizures" and "probable cause":
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Later, responding to Landay's question, Hayden stated:
Just to be very clear - and believe me, if there's any amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it's the Fourth. And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. And so what you've raised to me - and I'm not a lawyer, and don't want to become one--what you've raised to me is, in terms of quoting the Fourth Amendment, is an issue of the Constitution. The constitutional standard is "reasonable." And we believe--I am convinced that we are lawful because what it is we're doing is reasonable.
Writing up the exchange, the online magazine Editor & Publisher (January 23, 2006) wrote that Hayden "appeared to be unfamiliar with the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when pressed by a reporter with Knight Ridder's Washington office - despite his claims that he was actually something of an expert on it."
entry on Michael V. Hayden
google: Gen. Hayden Expected to Be CIA Nominee
After a little thought, the pigs sent for buckets and milked the cows fairly successfully, their trotters being well adapted to this task


Five airline passengers speaking in foreign languages and carrying 'aircraft flight materials' were briefly detained Saturday until authorities determined they were simply returning to their home countries after attending a U.S. helicopter training school.
Opus Dei is a controversial conservative Church group whose members are mostly non-clerics and are urged to seek holiness in their everyday professional jobs and lives. It has rejected criticisms that it is secretive and elitist.
The plateau, says the academy, has a staggering 46,298 glaciers, covering almost 60,000 square miles. At an average height of 13,000 feet above sea level, they make up the largest area of ice outside the polar regions, nearly a sixth of the world's total.

Fun with primates:

...Previous research had suggested that binding to CD28 could cause a cascade of events that would ultimately tame an out-of-control immune system. That's certainly what seemed to happen to mice and monkeys. Since arthritis is caused by out-of-control immune systems, TGN1412 looked like a promising drug. The doctors took care to give the human subjects 1/500 the dose given to the monkeys. Neverthless, it apparently sent their immune systems into a rage, producing massive amounts of inflammation and other sorts of damaging responses.
a cautionary lesson about drug tests. Testing a drug on a mouse or a monkey may tell you something about how the drug will work in humans--but only if it acts on biology that we share with those animals.
Loom 02.May.06
A panel of Nigerian medical experts has concluded that the world's largest pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, violated international law by testing an unapproved drug on children with brain infections at a field hospital.
The test came to public attention in December 2000, when The Post published the results of a year-long investigation into overseas pharmaceutical testing. Pfizer contended that its researchers travelled to Kano with a purely philanthropic motive, to help fight the epidemic, which ultimately killed more than 15,000 Africans.
The committee rejected that explanation, pointing out that Pfizer physicians completed their trial and left while "the epidemic was still raging".
The panel said an oral form of Trovan, the Pfizer drug used in the test, had apparently never been given to children with meningitis.
There are no records indicating that Pfizer told the children or their parents that they were part of an experiment.
An approval letter from a Nigerian ethics committee, which Pfizer used to justify its actions, was a falsified document that had been concocted and backdated by the company's lead researcher in Kano, the report said.
Age(AU) 08.May.06


deep trouble


JUDY GREENE: "Well, C.C.A. is the largest private prison corporation in the world and in the United States. They have some 60,000 prison beds that they manage. They house prisoners from the federal prison system, from state prison systems, and they have an increasing share of contracts to house immigrants in their detention centers. The company actually started -- the very first private prison in the world was an immigrant detention center in Houston, Texas: the Houston Immigrant Processing Center, which C.C.A. still operates. And Texas continues to be the ground zero of the immigrant detention industry."
DemocracyNow! 04.May.06

Killing the messenger, the medium, and the message:

The United States, after all, has free speech and little Internet censorship, explained Wiesenthal Center senior researcher Rick Eaton, who was involved in preparing the report.
'If you want to circumvent your own country's laws, you post it on an American server,' Easton said.
An international Jewish human rights organization, the Wiesenthal Center routinely complains to Internet companies when it discovers violent, hateful speech on their networks and has succeeded in getting thousands of such pages removed, said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the center's Museum of Tolerance.
Recently, the center also has been intercepting an increased number of online tutorials and how-to manuals aimed not at the general public, but at sympathizers who might actually be recruited to carry out attacks.
Some of that material includes children's games urging kids to get involved in violent struggle against Israel and the west, including a puzzle showing a child throwing a rock at a tank.
The center passes most of that material on to law enforcement officials.
'We've now reached a point where the Internet is the cornerstone of terrorist groups,' Cooper said.
David B Caruso/AP/AmericanChronicle
A politician from the US Democrat party has lodged a lawsuit against search engine leader Google, alleging that the company profits from child pornography.
The Long Island based politician, Jeffrey Toback, claims that ads promoting child porn come up as a result some searches on the Google search site. He claims that Google
"continues to put its economic gains ahead of the interests and well-being of America's children"
in the suit.
Stan Beer/ITWire
Masha Allen, a Russian-born 13-year-old girl, revealed to Congress the horrific pain behind those numbers in written testimony describing her experiences as a victim of online child pornography. The details were chilling.
Masha thought she was heading for a better life in America when she was adopted in 1998 by American Matthew Mancuso, who brought her to his home in Pittsburgh. Instead, she became a victim of child pornography.
While Masha is now safe and Mancuso is in prison, she told Congress's Energy and Commerce Committee at its fourth such hearing this year that her horror isn't over. "Because Matthew put my pictures on the Internet, the abuse is still going on," she told legislators in her testimony.
"You have to do something about the Internet,"
she wrote.

81 years ago today John Thomas Scopes was arrested in Tennessee for teaching the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin.
Scopes Trial at LoC



What do these things have in common?

Colbert's D'Artagnan performance, the California prison guards' union's yearly p.r. budget, McDonald's remote digital order-takers, Al-Jazeera global TV in English, the Israel Lobby, United 93, the US Embassy in Baghdad, the Book of Revelations of John the Divine, the Russian economy, the Arkansas River, the $100 "gas tax holiday"/ANWR drilling proposal, the Sago mine disaster, the Gran Boicot of May 1, polar bears "threatened with extinction", Bush's approval rating headed toward the 20's, Khartoum, Tehran, Kabul...
The short answer is they're all happening now, they're all here, with us. Part of the world we live in right this moment.
The longer answer is that any future we might have will come right out of these things, these places and conditions and actions and words.


A long-running effort by the Bush administration to send home many of the terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been stymied in part because of concern among United States officials that the prisoners may not be treated humanely by their own governments, officials said.
Tim Golden/IHT 30.Apr.06
Amnesty International uses the term "rendition" to describe the transfer of individuals from one country to another, by means that bypass all judicial and administrative due process. In the "war on terror" context, the practice is mainly - although not exclusively - initiated by the USA, and carried out with the collaboration, complicity or acquiescence of other governments. The most widely known manifestation of rendition is the secret transfer of terror suspects into the custody of other states - including Egypt, Jordan and Syria - where physical and psychological brutality feature prominently in interrogations. The rendition network's aim is to use whatever means necessary to gather intelligence, and to keep detainees away from any judicial oversight.
AI 05.Apr.06

The aim:

Today was yet another sad day with sad news from Iraq. Professor Ghada, my teacher in the University of Baghdad, emailed me an updated list of the assassinated Iraqi educators. A long bloody list full of University professors and school teachers names, all of them were assasinated after the fall of Baghdad three years ago.

Omar Salem Khattab, a urology surgeon, was taken by the US-trained Iraqi police and National Guard when he was trying to help people in a bomb blast. He was taken away for detention. I went to ask about him. The doctor had been abused and hit. He was released. He left Iraq...

"One young Iraqi man told us that he was trained by the Americans as a policeman in Baghdad and he spent 70 per cent of his time learning to drive and 30 per cent in weapons training. They said to him: 'Come back in a week.' When he went back, they gave him a mobile phone and told him to drive into a crowded area near a mosque and phone them. He waited in the car but couldn't get the right mobile signal. So he got out of the car to where he received a better signal. Then his car blew up."


Coffee up in 2007

Telnaes on ANWR


The Looting:


President Evo Morales of Bolivia ordered the military to occupy energy fields around the country on Monday as he placed Bolivia's oil and gas reserves under state control.
Surrounded by soldiers at an oil field operated by the Brazilian energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, Mr. Morales ordered foreign producers to relinquish control of all fields and channel future sales of hydrocarbons through the state-owned energy company.
Paulo Prada/NYTimes/commondreams 02.May.06

Today, Marcos answered the top functionary of the administration of President Vicente Fox, saying:
'What we are proposing is to defeat the evil governments.'morales
Referring to Abascal's apparent confusion over what that means, he said:
'I repeat: we will topple the municipal mayors, the state governments and the government of the republic, put them all in jail, kick the bankers, the big mall owners and capitalists out of the country and defeat the capitalist system!'"
Al Giordano/NarcoNews/ScoopNZ 27.Apr.06
Ningun humano es ilegal:
Este dia lo invisible aparecio, tanto en los centros de las grandes ciudades como en las plazas de los pueblos. Cientos de miles - posiblemente millones - de inmigrantes no acudieron a sus trabajos en fabricas, granjas, restaurantes, hoteles y otros comercios desde Los Angeles a Nueva York, de Nueva Orleans a Seattle, entre mas de 50 ciudades donde se celebro Un dia sin inmigrantes, para demostrar la presencia y contribucion de los migrantes a este pais.morales
A diferencia de la metafora cinematografica, los migrantes no se fueron sin decir adios, sino mas bien se hicieron presentes como nunca en la historia.
David Brooks y Arturo Cano/LaJornada 02/May/06
the wild bravo Guerrero

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