...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



many explosions in the middle distance:

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has told the Security Council that Israel will carry out its own investigation into the events that led to the deaths of four United Nations observers in southern Lebanon last week, but he would have preferred a joint UN-Israeli probe.

Tens of thousands of Lebanese civilians trapped by war stumbled out of their hiding places to seek medical care, food and escape on Monday as a suspension of Israel's aerial bombardment of southern Lebanon opened a brief window of calm after 20 days of conflict.
Israeli officials warned, however, that the fighting was far from over. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the brief pause in Israel's air assault didn't signal a coming cease-fire, and he remained unapologetic about civilians hurt in the three weeks of fighting. The Israeli Cabinet approved expanding ground attacks.
In southern Lebanon, reporters reaching the outskirts of Bint Jbail could hear the sounds of fighting, and Hezbollah fighters and Katyusha rocket launchers were visible in many villages.
"The fighting continues," Olmert said. "There is no cease-fire, and there will be no cease-fire."
Schofield-Allam/McClatchy 31.Jul.06
Rice hopeful of cease-fire 'this week'
"As I head back to Washington, I take with me an emerging consensus on what is necessary for both a cease-fire and a lasting settlement," Rice said. "I am convinced we can achieve both this week."
Olmert Rejects Calls for Cease-Fire in Lebanon
On way to the hospital an Israeli Apache helicopter hit his ambulance with a rocket, severely injuring him and the four people in the back of the vehicle, he said.
"So then another ambulance tried to reach us to rescue us, but it too was bombed by an Apache, killing everyone inside it," he said.
" was a third ambulance which finally managed to rescue us..."

Carbofuran is the most popular granular insecticide in worldwide
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it poses an unreasonable hazard to birds, and biologists have stated:
"There are no known circumstances under which carbofuran can be used without killing birds."
Nonetheless, on June 19, the Environmental Protection Agency lifted its ban on carbofuran, without consulting either the Fish and Wildlife Service or the public."
family farmer
Yountville, California, 1990. Carcasses of one acorn woodpecker, one bushtit, one white-breasted nuthatch, one western bluebird, one American robin, one cedar waxwing, four hermit thrushes, seven yellow-rumped warblers, one chipping sparrow, one white-crowned sparrow, eleven dark-eyed juncos, nine house sparrows, three house finches, and six lesser goldfinches were reported following drip irrigation of a vineyard with a 6 lb/acre usage rate of flowable carbofuran*.
In 1991, a Virginia state monitoring project documented wildlife mortalities in 10 of 11 farm sites where carbofuran was in use. Following this monitoring effort, the state of Virginia banned all granular formulation of carbofuran for sale or use in the Commonwealth. Canada has also banned the use of granular carbofuran in 1998.
Hundreds of bald eagle deaths have been linked to carbofuran. Eastern bluebirds, Northern pintails, American robins, owls, swallows, grackles, killdeer and kestrels: more than one hundred bird species have been documented as having died from carbofuran poisoning. The number of birds involved in any single incident ranges up to 2,450. Carbofuran has also killed mammals and fish. US Fish and Wildlife biologists have stated,
"there are no known circumstances under which carbofuran can be used without killing birds."
American Bird Conservancy
Infringement upon the right to use "Carbofuran" trademark by Shanghai Agricultural Production Means Co. has been handled by the department of industry and commerce in the municipality.
The survey conducted has proved that the company has illegally marketed "Carbofuran" insecticide in a big way.
The sales amount exceeds 2,000 tons with a revenue of more than 8.4 million yuan RMB.
On July 31 at 4 a.m., a cotton field was sprayed aerially with a solution containing as active ingredients 0.26% carbofuran (n-methyl carbamate), 0.05% abamectin (macrolytic lactone), and 0.05% mepiquat chloride (growth regulator).
Although carbofuran, when used on cotton, has a restricted entry interval (REI) of 48 hours and requires both posting of treated fields and oral notification of workers, neither warning was provided. At 6 a.m., the 34 workers (age range: 13-64 years; median: 31 years) entered the field to complete weeding begun the previous day.
After weeding for approximately 4 hours, the workers were transported to a second field 2-1/2 miles away that had been sprayed 2 days earlier with a solution containing cyfluthrin (synthetic pyrethroid), diclofol (organochlorine), and mepiquat chloride. The REI for these pesticides is 12 hours. Within approximately 1/2 hour of entering the second field, the workers began feeling ill and stopped working.
the wikipedia entry for carbofuran, while factually accurate, is excessively neutral, and gives the false impression that the damage is mostly in the past and under control, without ever, technically, having said that.
"Carbofuran is also known to be highly toxic to birds. In its granular form, a single grain will kill a bird. Birds often eat numerous grains of the pesticide, mistaking them for seeds, and then die shortly thereafter. Before it was banned, granular carbofuran was blamed for millions of bird deaths per year.
*The liquid version of the pesticide is less hazardous to birds since they are not as likely to ingest it directly, but it is still very hazardous.
Carbofuran usage has increased in recent years because it is one of the few insecticides effective on soybean aphids, which have expanded their range since 2002 to include most soybean-growing regions of the U.S."

The phrase "conspiracy theory" became part of the very limited and rudimentary common vocabulary in order to ensure the safety and continuity of conspirators and their conspiracies.
It didn't happen because people suddenly woke up to the fact that there were a bunch of nuts running around seeing plots where there was only normal human fallibility and run-of-the-mill evil. The lid was about to blow off the kettle of intrigue.
The public was inoculated - the phrase was injected into the public blood like a vaccine, to create an anti-body against the increasingly obvious presence of conspiracies all around us.
"Radical Islam" and "Radical Islamists" and other terms in that semantic field are being used in exactly the same way.
It should go without saying that if you are deeply concerned by Radical Islamists, you should first, before anything else stop radicalizing Islamists.
The truth is the people injecting those phrases into the public mind aren't concerned with Islam or Islamists except as obstacles, but they want the public to be, to be terrified of them in fact - so the public will blindly support their campaigns, which have nothing directly to do with responding to Islam or Islamists, and everything to do with radicalizing them.
Taking their land leads to killing the defenders of the land which leads to killing the next generation of defenders, and on and on. This was foreseeable, and it was prepared for.
They happen to be Muslims in the Middle East, in the American West they were indigenous "Indians", in Viet Nam they were the Vietnamese people themselves.
The process of radicalizing isn't about Islam at all, it's about land and people, and their outraged responses to theft, and to extermination.
They're radical because you're killing them - and you're getting us to pay for it, in every sense.



Bush, Blair push peace

"Their strategy is to commit an outrage that provokes a reaction and then, on the back of the reaction, to mobilize extreme elements and then try and create a situation which even moderate people feel drawn to their cause."
Harper/Star 29.Jul.06
linkage added

blind to the long-term:

This policy has misfired spectacularly. Hizbollah has taken casualties but remains entrenched, while in the rest of the country hundreds of civilians have died in bombing raids that make a mockery of the term "surgical strike". This has merely hardened Lebanese, and, indeed, world opinion, against Israel and must have gifted to Hizbollah the support of many Muslims and Arabs not previously on the side of militant Islam.
For Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to blame the media for presenting "a twisted image" where "the victim is presented as the aggressor", is testimony to his own distorted lens. UK Foreign Minister Kim Howells, clearly incensed by the scenes of wanton destruction in Beirut, moved on to Israel last night, in no mood to mince his words and with the apparent backing of Downing Street. In Haifa he said he hoped Americans understand what is happening to Lebanon. He is ideally placed to describe the situation to Doctor Rice. Ultimately, special relationships should be about owning up to the truth, however unpalatable, not nodding along, as Britain has appeared to do so far. In the short-term, the Israelis must hold their fire to allow UN aid convoys into southern Lebanon, or the mathematics of this aggression, in which the Lebanese death toll is tenfold that of Israel, will become even more asymmetrical.
editorial/Herald 24.Jul.06

to and from and:

Israel's government spokesman, Avi Pazner, said Israel has already opened safe corridors across Lebanon for shipments and claimed that Hizbollah guerrillas were blocking them in order to create a humanitarian aid crisis.

'There is no need for a temporary, 72-hour cease-fire because Israel has opened humanitarian corridors to and from and Lebanon,' he told reporters.

'The problem is completely different. It is Hizbollah who is deliberately preventing the transfer of medical aid and of food to the population of southern Lebanon in order to create a humanitarian crisis, which they want to blame Israel for.'

The top UN humanitarian coordinator in Lebanon, Mona Hammam, greeted this claim with incredulity saying convoys so far had encountered 'no problems' from Hizbollah.
Beaumont /Guardian 29.Jul.06
Israel raid closes key crossing
An Israeli air strike has closed the main border crossing from Lebanon into Syria, witnesses and officials say.
Missiles hit the road between the two states' immigration posts, but on the Lebanese side, the reports said.
A separate strike wounded two UN monitors in their observation post, the UN said, days after four were killed.
BBC 29.Jul.06



"Gross - I am sick of seeing a baby attached to a boob," wrote Lauren, a mother of a 4-month-old.

Refoulement - Non-refoulement

There you go

This was not written by Elton Beard:

A Washington-based Islamic advocacy group is furious with President Bush for not demanding a ceasefire in Israel's effort to stop the terrorists who are attacking the Jewish State in the hopes of eradicating it.


They're freaking out about this, of course, because they're deathly afraid that if Israel is seen to fail, and fail badly, against Hizbullah, everybody and their Palestinian uncle will get it into their heads that they can take a crack at the Zionist entity. (The tough guy realists see this as a disaster in its own right; the "cry and shoot" gang frets the IDF will have to pound the West Bank and Gaza even harder to re-establish the balance of terror. Either way, it's an unacceptable outcome.)
There's been a thread of shocked surprise in the big news venue stories about Lebanon.
That the Lebanese fighters were dug in, some of them in underground prisons where once members of Hezbullah were tortured by Israelis ironically enough, but that this has come as a surprise to Israel's military.
The lack of finesse generally, the false claims to have taken the village of Bint Jbeil, and that Lebanese ambulance with the two-foot wide whole in the exact center of the red cross on its roof - these don't match up.
During an Israeli offensive against Lebanon in 1996, artillery blasted a U.N. base at Qana in southern Lebanon, killing more than 100 civilians taking refuge with the peacekeepers
Someone's lying, well we knew that. But I mean under that or besides, in a larger context..
Israel having established the necessity of ridding the world of Hezbullah, and then having established their inability to rid the world of Hezbullah using conventional force - what's left? "Pounding them even harder" is almost naively optimistic under the circumstances.
The rumors of phosphor bombs and cluster bombs having been used already
UN monitors made ten phone calls to military commanders before the air strike that killed four of them
UN officials said that the monitors made ten phone calls to the Israeli army between 1.20pm on Tuesday - when an Israeli aircraft dropped a bomb 300 metres from the patrol base - and about 7.20pm, when the building was destroyed.
What it means isn't as clear as it might be.
Maybe Israel has crazy people flying their jets and dropping their bombs.
Right through the center of the cross on its roof.
Or maybe the crazy ones are in charge of the planes and their pilots, telling them what to do.
Or maybe something else is going on, or all three things - crazy, crazy, and something else.

when the snails got into trouble

Could or could not:

Sir Stephen Wall, a former senior adviser to Mr Blair, wrote: "The overriding reason for Britain's loss of moral authority is Blair's conviction he has to hitch the U.K. to the chariot of the U.S. president."

"Could the prime minister really not speak up for the simple proposition that the slaughter of innocent people in Lebanon, the destruction of their country and the ruin of half a million lives were wrong and should stop immediately?" Sir Stephen's analysis asked.

"Is it the conviction of our government that we should leave it to George W. Bush to set the bearings of our moral compass?"
Cowell/NYTimes 27.Jul.0
Hilary Clinton kisses Yasser Arafat's wife in 2000, generates shrieking avalanche of castigation from American Zionists, and in 2006 she's having private meetings with Rupert Murdoch and is publicly adamantly rampantly pro-Israel to the complete exclusion of anything else, including morality and/or international law.

Tony Blair, a liberal's liberal, valiant young warrior for the good guys, suddenly becomes a lapdog for somebody or other, blindly supporting war on Iraq, war on Lebanon, war on anybody, becomes that lapdog out of nowhere, and after that becoming never budges an inch from his compromised position of blind allegiance, in spite of the evidence and the - one would think - urgings of even a residual conscience.


Google News Top Stories 22:44 GMT (EST+5) Jul 26, 2006 Auto-generated 26 minutes ago:

Iraqi PM's Congress address stirs opposition
CNN - 9 hours ago
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Iraq's prime minister was set to address a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday, but some Democrats said Nuri al-Maliki should cancel his speech unless he apologizes for denouncing what he calls "Israeli aggression" in Lebanon...
UN observers begged Israelis to stop shelling their position
Times Online - 56 minutes ago
By Steve Farrell and Nicholas Blanford. PEACEKEEPERS spent six hours begging Israeli commanders to halt multiple air bombings near a United Nations observation post before a missile killed four unarmed observers there, it emerged last night...
Senate OKs abortion transport bill, but Democrats block progress
BP News - 1 hour ago
By Tom Strode. WASHINGTON (BP)--The Senate approved legislation July 25 to block the transportation of underage girls across state lines to obtain abortions in avoidance of parental involvement laws in the girls' home states. ...
Senate upholds parent's right to know with bill
In health freedom fight, Abraham Cherrix to refuse court-ordered... - Jul 25, 2006
(NewsTarget) Abraham Cherrix -- the Virginia teen who has been court-ordered to undergo chemotherapy for his Hodgkin's Disease after opting to treat his condition with an herbal diet -- says he will defy the court's order and refuse chemotherapy...
Washington state Supreme Court upholds gay marriage ban
Biloxi Sun Herald - 4 hours ago
By Lornet Turnbull and Jonathan Martin. SEATTLE - The Washington Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the state's 1998 ban on same-sex marriage - a ruling decried by gay activists but heralded by supporters of traditional marriage...
Lance Bass: I'm Gay
People Magazine - 10 hours ago
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes. Lance Bass, the former 'N Sync heartthrob, reveals that he is gay, in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE...
Chicago demands 'big boxes' pay higher wages
MarketWatch - 58 minutes ago
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) - The Chicago City Council voted Wednesday to require big-box retailers - including such national chain stores as Wal-Mart, Target and Home Depot - to pay their workers wages that substantially exceed the state's mandated minimum...
China urges resumption of WTO trade talks
07.26.2006, 12:45 AM
- BEIJING (XFN-ASIA) - China has pledged to work with its trading partners to restart stalled global trade liberalization talks, calling the indefinite suspension of the Doha Round negotiations a setback to all.
'We will start work with other sides and try to resume negotiations as soon as possible,' Ministry of Commerce spokesman Chong Quan said in a statement.
'The Doha Round of negotiations are key to the balanced and orderly development of the world economy.

'The suspension of the Doha Round is a setback to all.'
Yates not guilty by reason of insanity
CNN - 1 hour ago
Andrea Yates reacts Wednesday at hearing the verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. (CNN) -- A jury on Wednesday found Andrea...
Waxing of Shiloh - 22 minutes ago
SHILOH Nouvel Jolie-Pitt is officially the first child immortalised in wax by Madame Tussauds. The likeness of the two-month-old - already dubbed "the world's most famous baby" - was unveiled at the New York branch of the world famous museums today...
last three after the refresh


"First of all he is a fighter, first he will defend himself"

"...people like David Horowitz only want to tell us the truth..."

"...a ton of ephedrine..."

" to kill..."

"More and more obese people are unable to get full medical care because they are either too big to fit into scanners, or their fat is too dense for X-rays or sound waves to penetrate, radiologists reported on Tuesday.

With 64 percent of the U.S. population either overweight or obese, the problem is worsening, but it represents a business opportunity for equipment makers and hospitals..."

"I wasn't speaking to you, sir."

image taken from video made by Lebanese Red Cross workers Sunday, July 23, 2006 in Qana, south Lebanon, and made available to AP Television, shows the roof of a Lebanese Red Cross ambulance destroyed in what they say was an Israeli airstrike

Radio Netherlands headlines 25 July 2006 23:16 UTC:

  • Rice presents plan to end ME conflict
  • More US troops for Baghdad
  • Chavez arrives in Moscow
  • Georgia sends troops to Abkhazia
  • Dutch police return looted artifacts

This month Japan pulled all of its troops out of Iraq
An event somewhat under-reported in the larger American news venues

Democracy Now! Headlines for July 25, 2006:
- UN Launches Emergency Appeal For Lebanon
- Report: Israel Using Cluster Bombs in Lebanon
- Israeli PM Olmert Vows Attacks Will Continue
- Condoleeza Rice Dismisses Calls For Immediate Ceasefire
- Israeli Shells Kill Five Palestinians in Gaza
- Jose Bove On The Failure of WTO Trade Talks
- NATO Commander: Afghanistan is "Close to Anarchy"
- Report: U.S. Still Abusing Prisoners in Iraq
- Senate Prepares to Vote on John Bolton Nomination
- White House Slashes Number of IRS Lawyers Auditing the Super Rich
- 5 Ploughshares Anti-War Activists Acquitted in Ireland
New Experimental Tactical High Energy Laser Weapons in Iraq?


2500 crazy brave people - men and women, Arabs and Jews - demonstrate in Tel Aviv, for peace.
And something that needs to be said is that this could never have happened in the supposedly much freer and more tolerant US, if there were rockets falling within its borders, if its soldiers were fighting just next door, in Canada or Mexico.

we had 9 shawarma sandwiches
My study demonstrated that there is no significant disagreement within the scientific community that the Earth is warming and that human activities are the principal cause.
About 55 percent of all casualties at the Beirut Government University Hospital are children of 15 years of age or less, hospital records show.
The body, despite itself, becomes fluent in the language of violence.


On TV it looks like the situation is under control."
link fixed
Gunmen attacked Oaxaca's university radio station, authorities said Sunday, the latest incident in a wave of confrontations and protests that have driven many tourists out of this historic Mexican city.
Assailants fired rounds of ammunition into the station's windows while it was broadcasting late Saturday, the Oaxaca state government said. Nobody was hurt in the attack.
Witnesses said the attack was carried out by at least 10 assailants wearing ski masks.
The university radio station has supported a wave of protests aimed at ousting Oaxaca state governor Ulises Ruiz, who is accused of rigging the 2004 election to win office and of violently repressing dissent
12 per cent of all birds, 23 per cent of mammals, a quarter of conifers, a third of amphibians and more than half of all palm trees:
Correction: Because of a reporting error, a Page One story yesterday about developments in the Middle East said Nazareth was where Christ was born. Christ was born in Bethlehem.
CARLSON: Mark, Nazareth, of course, famous throughout the Christian world as the birthplace of Jesus, but it's also home to many Christian Arabs.
an Israeli judge decided today in administrative court to deport Maria Nikiforou, a 34 year old human rights worker, without a hearing. The security has informed Maria that they will put her on the next available flight, tomorrow morning to Olympia, Greece. Maria's case is indicative of a pattern by the Israeli government of preventing international human rights workers from aiding the Palestinian people, and denying international activists the right to due process in court.

...after all, I could have gotten on a plane and rushed over and started shuttling and it wouldn't have been clear what I was shuttling to do:

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I'm clearly not going to speculate on something that is just speculation.
The Israelis have said that they have no desire to widen this conflict and I take them at their word that they have no desire to widen this conflict.
There is a political framework and a political solution that could both stop the violence and leave Lebanon and the region in a much better place...
Special Briefing on Travel to the Middle East and Europe
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
ScoopNZ 21.Jul.06


loud and clear:

Sir: The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza - an incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press. The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner - and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the Israelis, of which there are approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails.

That this "kidnapping" was considered an outrage, whereas the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the systematic appropriation of its natural resources, most particularly that of water, by the Israeli defence forces is considered a regrettable but realistic fact of life, is typical of the double standards repeatedly employed by the West in face of what has befallen the Palestinians, on the land alloted to them by international agreements during the last 70 years.

Today outrage follows outrage; makeshift missiles cross sophisticated ones. The latter usually find their target situated where the disinherited and crowded poor live, waiting for what was once called justice. Both categories of missile rip bodies apart horribly - who but field commanders can forget this for a moment?

Each provocation and counter-provocation is contested and preached over. But the subsequent arguments, accusations and vows all serve as a distraction to divert world attention from a long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation.

This has to be said loud and clear for the practice, only half declared and often covert, is advancing fast these days, and, in our opinion, it must be unceasingly and eternally recognised for what it is and resisted.





letters/IndependentUk - 21.Jul.06

Hadji Girl


We are one government, Jonathan:

"Everybody wants to see a ceasefire, but when you talk about a ceasefire, our view is you don't want to leave the situation as it stands at that current point in place. What you want to see is a solution that is durable and lasting so you do not have an entire region and entire states subject to the whims of a terrorist group about whether or not they want to drag that region into an abyss of violence. Because that's what's happened right now..."
Sean McCormack/US State Dept. Daily Press Briefing July 19, 2006

Recently added Rock hard manhood, multiple explosions and several times more sem...

In Mideast Strife, Bush Sees a Step To Peace
Abramowitz/NYTimes 21.Jul.06
Rice: ceasefire a 'false promise'
Agencies/GuardianUK 21.Jul.06
US, Israel Accused of Appeasing 'Islamic Totalitarians'
Espach/CNSNews 21.Jul.06
U.S. to take more hands-on approach in Mideast
CTV 21.Jul.06
Israel won't talk to Hizbollah via 3rd parties
Arieff/Reuters 21.Jul.06

complete silence:

"...all of the Israeli arsenal is from the United States, and that that is in contravention to U.S. law - to the Arms Export Control Act, which says that U.S.-origin weapons are only to be used for self-defense and for internal security"
Frida Berrigan/DemocracyNow! 21.Jul.06

"a descent into moral ambiguity and realpolitick"
Tom Hayden steps forward


The answer, in part, is that the bloodsucking is a bi-partisan feast

Israel > China > Iran > Hezbollah arms cycle

Yesterday on our way over the border from Lebanon to Syria we were moved to see a convoy of ambulances heading the other way, presumably coming from Syria, whose relations with Lebanon we all know to be tense at best, to help deal with the mounting toll of death created by Israel's unending assault. Half an hour later we found out that Israel bombed those ambulances and the road other innocent people like us were fleeing on.
I do not support Hezbollah - they terrify me, always have and always will. But with Israel's actions and the US support for them, we are only building support for Hezbollah - because Nasrallah is one of the few people in the world, including the Arab world, willing to stand up to Israel's bullying behavior and say enough is enough.

-Leila Buck

Death Toll Rises in Mideast Fight:

The deadliest day yet in the deepening two-front Middle East crisis claimed more than 70 lives on Wednesday in Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and northern Israel, with no immediate cease-fire in sight.
"The country has been torn to shreds," a desperate Lebanese prime minister, Fouad Siniora, said at a meeting he had called of foreign diplomats, including the American ambassador.
"Is this the price we pay for aspiring to build our democratic institutions?" he asked in a bitter and emotional speech. "Can the international community stand by while such callous retribution by the state of Israel is inflicted on us?"
Here in the Lebanese capital, bombs and rockets fell throughout the day. Israeli military officials said a wave of aircraft had dropped 23 tons of explosives on a suspected Hezbollah bunker in the south. The attack appeared to be part of the ongoing effort to kill Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. Hezbollah said no members had been hurt in the attack.
In the first land combat in Lebanon during the conflict, two Israeli soldiers were killed and nine wounded when they were set upon by Hezbollah guerrillas near Naqura. A tank that came to rescue them met with fierce shelling.
Mouwad-Erlanger/NYTimes 19.Jul.06
The only people that died in those paragraphs in the Times are Israeli soldiers.
Those are the first five paragraphs of a story headlined "Death Toll Rises in Mideast Fight".
"Death toll" and "Mideast fight" are completely neutral terms.
Israel is bombing Lebanon, Lebanon is not bombing Israel.
Israel is invading Lebanon, Lebanon is not invading Israel.
"A tank that came to rescue them..."

About 300 Lebanese, most of them civilians, have been killed in the violence. Thirty Israelis, including 15 civilians, have also been killed.
That's the BBC.
Here's Jonathan Cook at electronic Lebanon on the BBC's coverage of the war crimes that have caused those deaths, relative to its coverage of the evacuation of foreign nationals:
If anyone doubted the racism of our Western media, here it was proudly on display. The BBC apparently considers their Beirut reporter's first duty to find out what meals HMS Gloucester's chef will be preparing for the evacuees. Lebanese and Palestinian civilians die unnoticed by the Western media (though not by the Arab channels) while we learn of onboard sleeping arrangements on the ship bound for Cyprus.

Did we really need to hear a lengthy live speech from the commander of HMS Gloucester telling us how "delighted" he was to be in Beirut? With the long minutes of rolling news to fill this might have been justified had the other minutes been stuffed with reports from the areas where civilians are dying by the dozen each day. But such reports are the mean filling in the thick sandwich of the main story of the evacuees.

In the 4pm GMT broadcast, I watched 45 mins of coverage, most of it dedicated to "live" footage of the British warship's arrival and the relieved faces of the Brits about to leave.

Even so, the BBC still managed to squeeze in other bits of reporting in the lulls in the drama of evacuation. At different points there was a interview from Tel Aviv with former Israeli cabinet minister Yossi Beilin and a live link-up between Ben Brown and Lyse Doucet in Haifa. She informed us of the "barrage" of 50 Katyushas that had landed on northern Israel that day, killing one man. Supportively, Ben Brown, added that there was "shock" at the death and destruction spread by Hizbullah's rockets and opined that what the Israeli army was "really after" was Hizbullah's long-range missiles.

So we had the BBC in Haifa and Beirut speaking with one voice - that of Israel.
Electronic Lebanon
Jeffrey Feltman is the US Ambassador to Lebanon

Jeffrey Feltman was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon on July 22, 2004 and took up his duties there on August 20, 2004.

Before becoming Ambassador to Lebanon, Mr. Feltman volunteered to serve at the Coalition Provisional Authority office in Irbil, Iraq, from January-April 2004. Prior to his work in Iraq, his most recent assignment was at the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, where he served first as Deputy (August 2001-November 2002) and then as Acting Principal Officer (November 2002-December 2003).
Mr. Feltman joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1986, serving his first tour as consular officer in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He has spent much of his career dealing with Eastern Europe and the Near East. He served in Embassy Tel Aviv as Ambassador Indyk's Special Assistant on Peace Process issues (2000-2001). Before that, from 1998-2000, Mr. Feltman served as Chief of the Political and Economic Section at the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia. He served in the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv from 1995 to 1998, covering economic issues in the Gaza Strip.



The Israelis hit Lebanese privately owned factories on Tuesday, including a dairy farm! These targets had absolutely nothing to do with Hizbullah, and were not military targets. These strikes are war crimes and part of a continuing Israeli campaign to ensure that Lebanon is economically poor and weak for decades to come:
Juan Cole19.Jul.06
Iraq was a much graver threat to Israel than Lebanon could ever have been. Now Iraq is "economically poor" and will be "weak for decades to come".

Leaving Beirut:

To get on board, Americans must sign a note pledging to reimburse the U.S. government. They will be charged the price of a single commercial flight from Beirut to Cyprus - usually $150-$200, although officials refused to specify.
If they have no money to fly onward, they also will be asked to guarantee reimbursement of the price of an airline ticket from Cyprus to the United States.
Snow said the government has to charge evacuees because of a 2003 law.
"I dare say that it's something that is causing heartburn for a number of people, but it's the law," he said.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi objected, saying it was not Congress' intent to prevent evacuations by making people sign a commitment to pay.
"A nation that can provide more than $300 billion for a war in Iraq can provide the money to get its people out of Lebanon," Pelosi told CNN.
Hendawi-Karam/AP/BenningtonBanner 19.Jul.06
That's true what she said. And it exposes the corrupt heart that plays this game out to the end.
Another way to contrast the paltry sum necessary to move American citizens out of harm's way in Lebanon, which they're being told they'll have to reimburse the government for the privilege of, is against the money that went to creating the weapons, and the delivery systems for those weapons, which are being used to kill Lebanese citizens (260 is the last figure I saw tonight, the great majority of them civilians, many of them children [now over 300]) - Israel's using them, but America paid for them.

Stephen Zunes at WRMEA:
Recently Americans have begun to read and hear that "Israel receives $3 billion in annual U.S. foreign aid." That's true. But it's still a lie. The problem is that in fiscal 1997 alone, Israel received from a variety of other U.S. federal budgets at least $525.8 million above and beyond its $3 billion from the foreign aid budget, and yet another $2 billion in federal loan guarantees. So the complete total of U.S. grants and loan guarantees to Israel for fiscal 1997 was $5,525,800,000.

One can truthfully blame the mainstream media for never digging out these figures for themselves, because none ever have. They were compiled by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. But the mainstream media certainly are not alone. Although Congress authorizes America's foreign aid total, the fact that more than a third of it goes to a country smaller in both area and population than Hong Kong probably never has been mentioned on the floor of the Senate or House. Yet it's been going on for more than a generation.

Probably the only members of Congress who even suspect the full total of U.S. funds received by Israel each year are the privileged few committee members who actually mark it up. And almost all members of the concerned committees are Jewish, have taken huge campaign donations orchestrated by Israel's Washington, DC lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), or both. These congressional committee members are paid to act, not talk. So they do and they don't.

The same applies to the president, the secretary of state, and the foreign aid administrator. They all submit a budget that includes aid for Israel, which Congress approves, or increases, but never cuts. But no one in the executive branch mentions that of the few remaining U.S. aid recipients worldwide, all of the others are developing nations which either make their military bases available to the U.S., are key members of international alliances in which the U.S. participates, or have suffered some crippling blow of nature to their abilities to feed their people such as earthquakes, floods or droughts.

Israel, whose troubles arise solely from its unwillingness to give back land it seized in the 1967 war in return for peace with its neighbors, does not fit those criteria. In fact, Israel's 1995 per capita gross domestic product was $15,800. That put it below Britain at $19,500 and Italy at $18,700 and just above Ireland at $15,400 and Spain at $14,300.

The Washington Report is published by the American Educational Trust (AET), a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC by retired U.S. foreign service officers to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states.

AET's Foreign Policy Committee has included former U.S. ambassadors, government officials, and members of Congress, including the late Democratic Senator J. William Fulbright, and Republican Senator Charles Percy, both former chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Members of AET's Board of Directors and advisory committees receive no fees for their services.

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs does not take partisan domestic political positions. As a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli dispute, it endorses U.N. Security Council Resolution 242´s land-for-peace formula, supported by seven successive U.S. presidents. In general, the Washington Report supports Middle East solutions which it judges to be consistent with the charter of the United Nations and traditional American support for human rights, self-determination, and fair play.


this is a first/second draft, it may get rewritten or it may disappear altogether

There is in most of us a fear, or an inability, to confront what it is we live our lives within and constantly surrounded by.
We've been helped to that inability by ignorance - the gradual accumulation of knowledge one measure of how ignorant we began - and further disabled by the intentional darkening of that surround, so that without anyone taking the authorial credit we're taught that all around us, physically as well as virtually is darkness, emptiness, nothing, with scattered out at unimaginable distances from each other small round worlds that are mostly void of anything living, though possibly, just possibly one among the uncountable trillions may harbor something like earthly life.
The trouble with recognizing that fundamentalist Christianity is essentially "Judaism for Dummies" is that it leads to the next step. That this has turned the power of the American economy over to a handful of psychotic men, that those men themselves are only nodes in what must be a cloud of cross-temporal consciousness, or mind. That that turning over was a key part of a long campaign toward power and dominance by something that's more like a spirit than a group of men. And that that must be a very powerful thing to have done this, in its attributes exactly like a god.
The trouble with not recognizing these aspects of the world as it is is it leads to a floundering rationality that has no solid moral architecture, except what it's inherited through its own congregations, and they in turn, in the West at least, through the agency of Judeo-Christian denominations. Without that inherited moral foundation there is only biology, the contest of genes, and we're all equal biologically, more equal there than under any political or ethical system.
Without morality what's happening in the Middle East can only be condemned by reason, with economic rationale or social cost/benefit analyses.
These mean nothing to the men who are doing this, and to the spiritual presence I believe animates them. That thing hates more than it loves, anything. It is exacting revenge for its wounds. And it is gravely wounded.
That this all may be a subversion of what is, rather than an outright lie - that what exists around us is a living thing, that there is a presence so unfathomably greater than our own in our lives that it's like air, or the earth itself, so common and everywhere it's taken for granted until some poet gets far enough away from everything he can name it - that it may be a misdirection, that the existence of psychotic absurdities and hypocrisies in the minds of those who call themselves believers does nothing to prove or disprove the existence of greater worlds, higher things, living beings that make our lives very small and temporary by comparison - that gets washed away in the raw force and power of the madness itself. It's easier, and more comforting, to believe in nothing at all than in a God who could smile benevolently on young girls decorating bombs that will kill other children.
Arguing with an enemy can only be done in a common language, with terms both parties understand. This is why so many of us are speechless now.

"We will not permit this to happen and we will take whatever steps are necessary."
"I thought her remarks were very good, especially in light of her history, and we can't forget her kiss to Suha," said Helen Freedman
Two of the most public people in the world had a chummy breakfast yesterday, but media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) tried to keep their political get-together as secret as possible.
There were no Fox News cameras to record the odd couple breaking bread together at Murdoch's News Corp. headquarters in midtown, where, after years of attacking her, the conservative Murdoch hosted a fund-raiser for Clinton's Democratic Senate campaign.
The campaign refused to even confirm the time or location of the controversial fund-raiser. No estimate of the take or number of people who attended was released.

Child Pornography


lifting a finger to save the world:

"The hospital is central and sees almost all cases of injuries and deaths as a result of Israeli against the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip. These Israeli bombings are entering the body and fragmenting, causing internal combustion leading to up to fourth degree internal burns, exposing the bone, and affecting the tissue and skin."

The doctor added,
"These tissues die, they do not survive, which obliges us to perform arm or leg amputations, and there are fragments which penetrate the body and do not show up on X-rays. When entering the body they spark like a combustion firearm, but not chemically. They seem radioactive."
He confirmed that there were dozens of wounded legs and arms. Many of them had been burned from the inside, and distorted to the point that they cannot return to life again.

Yesterday, Wednesday, was one of the most bloody of all in the recent attacks. Israeli forces killed 25 Palestinians. Dr. Al Sakka said, "It is escalating day after day. Yesterday alone Israeli forces killed 25 and injured dozens. Among them so many were children."

Dr. Al Sakka revealed that the Israelis completely destroyed by the lab which would help in diagnosing such cases. "We no longer have the ability to make these examinations on phenomena that we see is not normal."
Bisan Hisham/PNN 13.Jul.06

Walt? Mearsheimer?

"Check the cable news shows or the Internets and you will find them saturated with coverage of the missile strike on Haifa today and its gristly effects:
The train platform, slick with blood and littered with chunks of fallen roof... Twisted metal dangled from above and debris covered the site where train company employees had just arrived for the beginning of the Israeli workweek. Two trains were charred with their windows blown out.
The Israeli government, naturally enough, is vowing massive retribution - although against who and what and how isn't very clear.

But I've been having trouble finding much Western media coverage at all of this atrocity:
Israel steeply escalated its military campaign against Hizbollah in Lebanon yesterday with a series of air strikes that left more than 35 civilians dead, including a single strike on a convoy of families fleeing the fighting in a village near Tyre in the south of the country that killed more than 20 people, most of them children.
At times, this fairly overt bias has led to some rather odd results, as when one media account from a couple of days ago (sorry, can't find the link now) quoted an Israeli official sternly warning that further strikes on Israeli urban centers wouldn't be tolerated, and then went on to note, without any apparent sense of irony, that Israeli missiles had just flattened the Palestinian Economics Ministry in downtown Gaza City.
It may be that this is, at least in part, a result of the relative difficulties involved in covering the war from the two sides -- random missile strikes notwithstanding, northern Israel is still safer and easier to move around in than southern Lebanon, which has been virtually paralyzed. But still it's hard not to think of the line from Steven Spielberg's Munich, in which the Israeli hit man contemptuously proclaims: "The only blood I care about is Jewish blood."
Under the circumstances, it's understandable the Israelis would feel that way -- although, to their credit, many, maybe even most of them, don't. But for the Western (which means America-centric) media to take roughly the same position only shows what a warped and biased view of the rest of the world we get here in the United States."
billmon/whiskeybar 16.Jul.06


Oil at nearly $80 a barrel has lost its power to shock energy hungry consumers who have grown immune to its steady advance.
The Sawtooth fire's advance had been snuffed on the eastern front but still raged out of control to the west. Officials said the blaze was 40 percent contained.


A state that takes such steps is no longer distinguishable from a terror organization

"Will the blackout of Gaza bring down the Hamas government or cause the population to rally around it? And even if the Hamas government falls, as Washington wants, what will happen on the day after?
These are questions for which nobody has any real answers.
As usual here: Quiet, we're shooting. But this time we are not only shooting. We are bombing and shelling, darkening and destroying, imposing a siege and kidnapping like the worst of terrorists and nobody breaks the silence to ask, what the hell for, and according to what right?"

The legitimate basis for the IDF's operation was stripped away the moment it began. It's no accident that nobody mentions the day before the attack on the Kerem Shalom fort, when the IDF kidnapped two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from their home in Gaza. The difference between us and them? We kidnapped civilians and they captured a soldier, we are a state and they are a terror organization.
Gideon Levy/Haaretz (Israel)- 03.Jul.06
Missing entirely from the US media is that simple stark fact. The day before Shalit was captured a Palestinian doctor, and his son, were kidnapped from their home. The day before. So when the headlines and the ledes say "reacted" and "in response to" they're lying. Straight up lying.
Another Jewish voice of sanity in the midst of all this madness:
Richard Silverstein-Tikun Olam

a great many innocent lives:

The leaders of Israel are brutal, and could not care less about human rights, civilian casualties, international law, or the commission of war crimes. But they are not stupid.
That is why there is one man, and one man only, who can prevent what is otherwise rapidly going to escalate into at minimum, a messy and destructive regional war; at worst, World War III. That man is, unfortunately, George W. Bush, who in five years has never shown the slightest inclination for doing what he must now do at a time of great provocation and crisis: rein in Israel. He is the only world leader with the credibility and leverage to do it, and the political and national self-interest to compel it.
Geov Parrish/Working For Change/CommonDreams 15.Jul.06


Sea tranquilo mi corazon:

Mexico City _ To an untrained eye, the scenes captured on video certainly looked like Mexico's bad old days when votes were stolen instead of won. There was a man inside a polling station stuffing one vote after another into a ballot box. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the embattled leftist candidate for president, showed the video to a crowd of reporters on Monday morning and called it proof that poll workers had taken part in a conspiracy of fraud that robbed him of victory and handed it to his conservative rival, Felipe Calderon.
That night, the Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, and Mr Lopez Obrador's own representative at the polling station said Mr Lopez Obrador was misrepresenting the video.
The tape, they said, showed a poll worker putting misplaced ballots where they belonged, a common procedure that was perfectly legal.
By then, however, doubt had already been planted. Mr Lopez Obrador has bet his political future that it will not take much to make that doubt grow into a national call for a recount in a country where rigging elections was once a kind of national pastime.
His opponents in Mr Calderon's camp are betting that people will see things the way they do: that the only one playing dirty these days is Mr Lopez Obrador.
Sore loser trying to get voting results annulled
Thompson-McKinleyJr/NYTimes(BangkokPost) 15.Jul.06
This is like a pancake breakfast - free! At the local firehouse. With all the neighbors drinking coffee and decaf and tea and talking about the new sewer line. Kids running around yelling and laughing. Good weather ahead. But mostly the pancakes, I'm hungry, figuratively speaking.
People will be confused by the NYTimes' non-grovelling stance toward Bush-Cheney, it seems to confirm the rightwing absurdities about how liberal they are, but that's because the Bush Administration was used, not using. The idea now is blame all the bad things on them and put the next phase into operation. Bush becomes the scapegoat for the mounting crises and disasters. Everything's tied to him and he gets driven out of town.
Meanwhile we can't have anything unpredictable happening on our southern borders, especially with Morales and Chavez and those other "leftists" agitating their commie propaganda nonsense all over the place. Caramba!
"Ginger" Thompson and "James C" McKinley Jr are professional journalists in the employ of the NYTimes.
The word "leftist" should be libellous and actionable in the US given its derogatory import, but it's merely a smug descriptor. It means someone who wants you to live in a concrete apartment house with loud messy neighbors, someone who wants to take your car away and make you ride the bus. Someone who wants the non-English speaking landscape crew that does your lawn to make as much money a day as your son the medical professional.
As mentioned previously, there are no "leftists" in American politics or mainstream media. None. Being a "leftist" is like being an unarmed terrorist. It is unacceptable, unpatriotic, bad.
You see how the language has been manipulated. "Rightists" are patriots, "leftists" are subversive. Obrador's a "leftist" candidate. Thompson and McKinley do a little lip service to the "bad old days", the "only one playing dirty these days" they say, is Obrador.
They don't mention that those bad old days go right up to the elections of 2002. And that Obrador was an active, and bravely prominent, campaigner against those "bad old days". While Calderon and his masters did whatever they could to maintain the grip of corruption and plutocracy on the people of Mexico.
What this makes plain is the fear the pigs at the top of the American economy have for that populist uprising down there in Latin America.
But there's a note of desperation in the story - in the tone and language of it - that's pretty encouraging, all in all, something light behind it.
Like pancakes late on Sunday morning.

voto pro voto:

Yanez noted that the commission agreed to open a fragment of 1% of the ballot packets. In most cases, ballots that were totaled as blank were, in fact, votes for Obrador. Each box opened produced enough newfound votes for Obrador that opening all the boxes should statistically change the outcome of the election. But all the boxes won't be opened. The ruling party, the PAN, and the Electoral Commission refuse a full public recount, and the government says that it's over.
link Improprieties

1939: Germany invades Poland

The unprovoked attack follows yesterday's report on German radio that the border town of Gliwice had been raided by a group of Polish soldiers, who had all been shot dead.
German radio broadcast a list of "demands" never submitted to the Polish Government.
The Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, held a meeting with King George today in Downing Street.
Following a number of German-staged incidents (Operation Himmler), which gave German propaganda an excuse to claim that German forces were acting in self-defense, the first regular act of war took place on September 1, 1939, at 04:40 hours, when the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) attacked the Polish town of WieluĊ„, destroying 75% of the city and killing close to 1,200 people, most of them civilians. Five minutes later, at 04:45 hours, the old German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on the Polish military transit depot at Westerplatte, in the Free City of Danzig on the Baltic Sea.
Polish September Campaign


Alerte Belance, as horrendous as her wounds were:

Emmanuel "Toto" Constant led the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti, or FRAPH. Human rights groups estimate FRAPH killed thousands of supporters of Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Constant has since admitted he was on the payroll of the CIA and has lived in New York for the last decade.

In November 2000, Constant was convicted in absentia by a Haitian high court for his involvement in the 1994 Raboteau Massacre. Two years ago he was sued in federal court on behalf of three women who said his soldiers beat and gang-raped women in Haiti.

Despite a deportation order, Constant has been allowed to stay in the US since he threatened to reveal the extent of his ties with the CIA.
Ives/Laforest/DemocracyNow! - 13.Jul.06
Walking On Fire
Bay kou bliye
1. This is an action for compensatory and punitive damages for gross violations of plaintiff Alerte Belance's internationally protected human rights.
Defendant, the Front Pour L'Avancement et le Progres Haitien (Front for Advancement and Progress of Haiti) (hereinafter, FRAPH), kidnapped, tortured and attempted to murder plaintiff as part of its ongoing program to eliminate supporters of President Aristide, brutalize the pro-democracy movement in Haiti and intimidate the population.
Project DIANA : Alerte Belance v. Front Pour L'Avancement

"We found the head in the hallway of a neighbor's house"

"The principle offender is the prison system"

A sterling example of journalistic integrity, professional honesty, and unbiased humility, in service of the truth.
Ladies and Gentlemen - earthtimes!


a difference of two votes per polling place could have swung the election:

The perredista called on the crowd to participate in numerous future civic demonstrations in defense of the vote, yet exhorted it to respect the rights of the citizenry by not disrupting daily life with such actions as highway blockades. If Lopez Obrador repeatedly emphasized that the effort was to be a peaceful one, he was vehement in his assertions that the election had been tainted by wrongdoing. It is becoming increasingly clear that these allegations are not just hot air.
At the meeting, PRD campaign coordinator Jesus Ortega revealed tapes obtained by the party which purportedly pointed to officially sanctioned fraud. The recordings included conversations between the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) governor of Tamaulipas and dissident priista cum Calderon-backer, Elba Ester Gordillo, as well as discussions between the governor and the Secretary of Communications and Transport. While the tapes fell short of explicitly detailing fraud, they suggested that PRI leaders, aware of their party's freefall, were prepared to privately defect to the PAN, offering Calderon the services of their still-powerful (and frequently fraudulent) electoral machinery in exchange for later political considerations.
Council On Hemispheric Affairs/ScoopNZ - 11.Jul00.06


fixed "They just sat by, on the outskirts of the area"

There was no immediate way to confirm the authenticity:

Manuel Camacho Solis, one of Lopez Obrador's campaign advisers, claimed that charges for political crimes brought by a special prosecutor days before the elections against an ex-president were part of a plan to pressure the ex-leader's Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, to support Calderon.

Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his campaign staff claimed that a network of federal officials, prosecutors and possibly even judges collaborated in a broad conspiracy to steal last week's presidential elections.

They say they have evidence for the fraud, including videos like one Lopez Obrador showed reporters on Monday, in which a man in the state of Guanajuato is seen stuffing several ballots into a ballot box
Stevenson/AP/Chronicle 11.Jul.06
Not knowing who reads this means sometimes it seems necessary to spell things out in a simple and direct way, other times leaving the connections wider apart, open.
Today we're being simple and direct.
You see how the story describes Lopez Obrador as a "leftist". The first word in the story is "Leftist".
It consistently links that word with his name.
In America that's a derogatory term at the best and most peaceful of times - in a period of anxious confusion like this one, when enemies are jumping out of thin air, being a "leftist" is only one click away from being a terrorist.
It means someone who supports terror, who hates America, etc.
It means people should hate this man. Or at least despise him.
There are no "leftists" in national government in America.
There are no "leftists" in national media in America, only figures in the news like Chavez and Morales and Lopez Obrador, and of course Castro, the ultimate leftist bogeyman.
I was surprised when Echeverria was charged with genocide, it seemed remarkable, even after all these years.
Now it just seems squalid.


Given the uncertainty:

Japan, as Abe's comments indicate, is coming around to the view that the best way to eliminate the North Korean threat may be to destroy the bases. This view is not without support elsewhere.
Kirk/Asia Times 11.Jul.06

Past incidents of Mexico election fraud

se cayo el sistema:

In 1988, Lopez Obrador was a leading organizer in the presidential campaign of leftist candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas. Early on election night, Mexico's own electoral system showed Cardenas with a substantial lead over PRI candidate Carlos Salinas. Then there was a mysterious computer crash, and the country woke up the next morning to an announcement that Salinas was the victor. Lopez Obrador led a voter rights movement in protest, with marches, sit-ins, civil disobedience and road blockades in his home state of Tabasco. He persisted in his protests, and in 1991 led a voter rights protest march from Tabasco to Mexico City.
Election officials say Calderon beat Lopez Obrador by less than 244,000 votes out of 41 million ballots - or a margin of about 0.6 percent.
As many as 4 million voters, or about 1 in 20 of those registered, have been paid to vote for a candidate, Alianza Civica said in its report, which was released last week. Much of the coercion, it concluded, is applied by local and state officials who control health, welfare and farm aid programs. The group's director, Silvia Alonso, also faulted Fox's government for not taking a more aggressive stand against coercive practices.
"It's sad," she said. "We're still in the process of transitioning to democracy."
The authors of both studies acknowledged that Mexico had come a long way from the heyday of the PRI era, when soldiers and police often harassed voters and vote-counting fraud was common. As recently as 1988, independent observers have said, the PRI blatantly stole a presidential election by staging a fake computer crash.
"Certainly things are better now than in the past -- in the past, the president and the PRI controlled everything: the media, the electoral authority, the electoral process," Aguayo said. "But things are still not as they should be."
Half of the 4,400 voters interviewed by Alianza Civica said social programs in their areas were being used to benefit supporters of political parties. The study's findings indicate that vote-buying and coercion are likely to increase this week, in the final days before the election.
" respected it provides training for electoral officials in Iraq..."

which ruled Mexico from 1929 to 2000, often using:

The leftist former Mexico City mayor also said a previously arranged software program was used to skew initial vote-count reports - similar to the alleged computer crash that flipped Mexico's 1988 elections in favor of the ruling party at the time.
Legal challenges were built into Mexico's elections process in recent years to help ensure clean elections, so Calderon can't be declared president-elect until the electoral court weighs allegations of fraud or unfair campaign practices. The court has until Sept. 6 to declare a winner.
"We are going to ask that they clean up the elections. We are going to ask that they count all the votes, vote-by-vote, poll-by-poll," Lopez Obrador said. He claimed the election fraud was worse than under the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which ruled Mexico from 1929 to 2000, often using fraud to hold power.
Lopez Obrador provoked groans of disappointment from the crowd packed into the capital's central plaza on Saturday when he told them not to block highways.
"This has been and goes on being a peaceful movement," he said. "We are not going to fall for any provocations."
But Lopez Obrador has repeatedly evaded questions about whether he would accept court decisions that go against him, and said "a victory for the right is morally impossible."
Pacheco/AP/Independent 10.Jul.06
70 years of national corruption just up and stopped in the year 2000 - without force or criminal proceedings.
It just stopped - they quit doing all that because, because it's wrong you know, to do that. So they quit.
Now everything's clean and honest and above-board. Just like in El Norte.

hundreds of pages:

...Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador headed to court Sunday evening to present 800 pages of purported evidence of fraud that he hoped would overturn his conservative rival's razor-thin preliminary victory.
Lopez Obrador said his lawyers would give the Federal Electoral Court evidence of fraud, including computerized manipulation of the results, a day after he called for continued hope from supporters at a mammoth rally in Mexico City's historic center.
The legal appeal would seek not to annul the July 2 election, but to force authorities to conduct a manual recount of all 41 million ballots.
"This was a very irregular election and we are asking that they count vote by vote to legitimize the president elect," Gerardo Fernandez, a spokesman for Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party, said outside the tribunal Sunday night as he waited for lawyers to arrive.
"We won't recognize Calderon's triumph unless they legitimize the election," he said.
Pacheco/AP/interestalert 10.Jul.06

"Is it just a coincidence that every single progressive person in the world who isn't Jewish vehemently opposes the violent racism of the state of Israel?"

A slippery slope, a foot in the door:

A Republican candidate for the Massachusetts congressional seat currently held by Democrat Barney Frank is reigniting debate over whether changes to U.S. immigration laws Frank sponsored made it easier for the 9/11 hijackers to enter and remain in the United States. Frank continues to deny the charge, but GOP challenger Chuck Morse accuses Frank of opening the "turnstiles of terrorism"
Johnson/CNSNews 10.Jul.06


as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers
And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
Wash ye, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

A Sinful Nation
The Book of the Prophet Isaiah, Chapter 1
Ismail Haniya, the Palestine prime minister, has called for a ceasefire with Israel "on the basis of a halt to all military operations by both sides."
Israel has, however, rejected the call.
A neighbour said he ran to the girl's house after hearing the blast.
"People were sitting under a tree outside the house when the explosion occurred," said Sakr Hajaj.
He described the scene as a "bloodbath", with body parts strewn around, and children screaming.
The courtyard outside the house was stained with blood, and a pool of blood collected near the front door.
Aljazeera 09.Jul.06
"All the metrics I have for measuring these things find that my readers mostly aren't very interested in Arab-Israeli issues, certainly as compared to how interested they are in Iraq or in US party politics.

I think ignoring it is a big mistake. It is part of what got the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon bombed, and it came into the Fallujah crisis in Iraq in 2004. A lot of Iraqis think of US troops in their country as essentially Israelis and call them al-yahud, "the Jews." Like it or not, this conflict helps shape our lives and our image in the world."
Juan Cole 07.Jul.06
By bombing the plant, the Israelis cut power to 65 percent of the Gaza Strip, a region that is one of the most impoverished in the Middle East. By destroying the plant, the Israelis also decimated one of Palestine's most valuable companies, the Palestine Electric Company, whose shares are traded on the Palestine Stock Exchange. Further, the Israelis have destroyed any chance for industry in Gaza to grow.
Bryce/Counterpunch 03.Jul.06
Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:
thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.
Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies.
And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:
and I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.
Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.
And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen.
For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.
And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.


Not only did we not get royalties, even though our hit song "TIME HAS COME TODAY" has been used in over 30 films (COMNG HOME, PLATOON, CASUALTIES OF WAR, ETC.) and television shows (right now ABC is using it as their promo for next season's shows), but Columbia never paid into our pension fund with AFTRA. We joined AFTRA in 1965, when we were the house band on "SHINDIG" and as of 1994 had only 1 year vested into our pension. Of course, we didn't get any medical insurance, either.
letter to Courtney Love
Lester Chambers
1. No one has ever represented the rights and interests of recording artists AS A GROUP in negotiations with record companies
2. Recording artists don't have access to quality health care and pension plans like the ones made available to actors and athletes through their unions.
3. Recording artists are paid royalties that represent a tiny fraction of the money their work earns.
letter 2 Prince from Courtney Love at rupaul
Courtney Love does the math at Salon
Reparations for the Blues
Don Santina at Counterpunch

Mud Wrestling:

Steve Ballmer may be a go-getter but he won't let his kids go get iPods, and he's even branded users of the ubiquitous mini jukebox made by Apple Computer, "music thieves."
Forbes 08.Jul.06
More on this any minute now.

"The future is not inevitable"


As Yitzhak Frankenthal, whose son was killed by Hamas in 1994, said that the Palestinians had been pushed into the kidnapping by an inhuman occupation, one journalist jumped up and down shouting: "Should someone who murdered your son be freed?"

Frankenthal responded with dignity: "It would be the easiest thing in the world for me to say that they are terrorists and we must fight them.

"But in the eyes of the Palestinians, they are liberators. We need to understand that it is the obligation of the Palestinians, as it is the obligation of every other nation, to fight for their liberation. The time has come for reconciliation, and the only way to achieve that is to talk."
Arthur Neslen/Aljazeera 04.Jul.06

Katherine Harris has returned from Mexico, evidently.




Two Canadian soldiers edge along wall, on the alert for German snipers,
road to Falaise, France 1944

Acme Newspictures, Inc.
New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection
Oh Canada!

Can't be said too often:

"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security."
They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-1945
Milton Mayer
link Bageant


How to Avoid Oil Wars, Terrorism, and Economic Collapse
Richard Heinberg
Richard Heinberg
review by Stephanie Mills
Resurgence issue 228
Heinberg interview Global Public Media

Power, Corruption, and Deceit
at Xymphora


Giving voice to his nation's anguish, the father of a kidnapped Israeli soldier begged Tuesday for a sign his son is alive.
Amy Teibel/GuardianUK 27.Jun.06
"kidnapped" "abducted" "hostage"
Soldiers who are seized by an enemy are usually considered to have been captured; along with being killed, it's an occupational hazard for a soldier. But Britain's liberal media preferred to use words that misleadingly suggested Cpl. Shalit was a victim, an innocent whose status as a soldier was not relevant to his fate. The Palestinians, as kidnappers and hostage-takers, were clearly not behaving in a legitimate manner.
That this was a deviation from normal usage, at least when applied to Palestinians, is suggested by the following report from the BBC in 2003, when Israel seized Hamas political leader Sheikh Mohammed Taha: "Israeli troops have captured a founder member of the Islamic militant group Hamas during an incursion into the Gaza Strip." This brief "incursion" included the deaths of eight Palestinians, including a pregnant woman and a child, according to the same report.
Jonathan Cook/Media Lens 30.Jun.06

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