...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



Alas, indeed, as well as gosh and my oh my:

Alas for the conspiracy nuts, a joint investigation by Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff and Nation editor David Corn revealed this past weekend that the person who initially leaked CIA employee Valerie Plame's name to columnist Bob Novak was, as many insiders suspected, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and not, as the conspiracy theorists believed deep in their hearts, White House adviser Karl Rove.
Union Leader 30.Aug.06
Corn further
Isikoff further
The phrase "case closed" or one of its variants is getting used throughout the official stories on this. They don't say precisely which "case" that is, though.
It's a semantic trick, and essentially another form of deception, the pattern holding true from the get.
Win one tiny bit of an argument and pretend you won the whole thing.
Is it who told Novak? Done. Not Rove. Or better - not-Rove - Armitage the not-Rove.
Is it whether or not the vicious thugs running the US government followed through on their general behind-the-scenes bluff and swagger and hit the wife of someone who dared refute their lies?
That case is still open.
The moral profile of the Bush Administration purports to be about like that of a high school student body.
I don't think so.
The Israel Lobby is in panic mode, as are their Ultra-Masonic buddies in the public sector - frantically trying to stay ahead of an awakening America.

religion and news

disaster apartheid


The Johnstown Calamity - Johnstown, Pa. Flood, 1889 detail

The problem of our age is the proper administration of wealth, so that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmonious relationship. The conditions of human life have not only been changed, but revolutionized, within the past few hundred years.
In former days there was little difference between the dwelling, dress, food, and environment of the chief and those of his retainers.
The Indians are to-day where civilized man then was.
When visiting the Sioux, I was led to the wigwam of the chief. It was just like the others in external appearance, and even within the difference was trifling between it and the poorest of his braves.
The contrast between the palace of the millionaire and the cottage of the laborer with us to-day measures the change which has come with civilization.
This change, however, is not to be deplored, but welcomed as highly beneficial.

Andrew Carnegie
Cornell Univ. Library - Making of America
High in the mountains, near the small town of South Fork, the South Fork Dam was originally built between 1838 and 1853 by the State of Pennsylvania as part of the canal system to be used as a reservoir for the canal basin in Johnstown.
It was abandoned by the state, sold to the Pennsylvania Railroad, and sold again to private interests.
Speculators had purchased the abandoned reservoir, modified it, and converted it into a private resort lake for the wealthy of Pittsburgh. The changes included lowering the dam to make its top wide enough to hold a road, putting a fish screen in the spillway (that also trapped debris), and raising the lake level. These alterations are thought to have increased the vulnerability of the dam. They built cottages and a clubhouse to create the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, an exclusive and secretive mountain retreat. Members included over 50 wealthy Pittsburgh steel, coal, and railroad industrialists, among them Andrew Carnegie, Andrew Mellon, Henry Clay Frick, Philander Knox, and Robert Pitcairn.
After the flood, Andrew Carnegie, one of the club's better known members, built the town a new library.

Johnstown Flood - Wikipedia

New Orleans Judge Slated to Release Prisoners Citing Breakdown in Criminal Justice System
New Orleans bears loss with dignity as Bush vows renewal

Listen! Can you hear that? Off in the distance...

Spiralfrog was also "in talks" with EMI, Song BMG and Warner Music to sign up more labels.

The revenue for providing free music to customers will be gained by placing advertising on the site, although questions still remain over how the artists featured on Spiralfrog will be paid.
Independent UK 29.Aug.06


what there is about mediocre reasoning that makes it so tendentious:


Today, on this day in which the New York Times reports in a cover story that, although productivity has risen, wages have not, such that "wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation's gross domestic product since the government began recording the data in 1947, while corporate profits have climbed to their highest share since the 1960's," I am relieved to know that Tom Cruise has, indeed, secured funding for his film company...

Andrea Batista Schlesinger

followed by:

Related News Stories

Related Blog Posts

but Huffington herself has a post on 27.08 about the drugging of children at summer camp - or more accurately the continuation of the medication of children while they're at camp - wherein she quotes stats from the NYTimes, USAToday, and the Guardian:
"We now have over a million kids on Prozac and its equivalents and more than seven million on Ritalin."
It's creepy aliens-from-outer-space-enslave-the-humans stuff.
Cruise was ridiculed for yelling about the widespread medicating of kids while jumping on a couch on national TV.
Among other things yes, but that primarily.
He should have jumped more, and maybe socked somebody while he was at it.
Compare and contrast those drug statistics with the headlines generated by Greg Landis and try to reconcile the attitudes behind them.
Landis can use the latest technology on his bike, in his clothes and shoes, use the latest scientific formulae in his meals, pay thousands of dollars to people who will present him with the latest research on all that - but no "performance enhancements" allowed.
And it's tacit that the same cultural norms are represented in both issues.
Yes. No.
We're trained to put everything in binaries, so Scientolology's bizarre affection for fascistic defense mechanisms and insect mind-control means they can't be given a voice in the debate about doping kids.
I don't see why not. Yeah they're nuts, but so's everybody else. And it's not getting any better.
Cruise got that one message out there far more effectively than Huffington and her collective can or will.
The danger is Scientology's loopy unhuman stuff hitchikes in on the inarguable obscenity of an issue they're right on on.
But these are risky times all around.

our closest relative is a friendly, sex-obsessed hippie

Middle East Children's Alliance
link from Gaza with love

When the baby turtles hatch, they will have to crawl through an oil slick to get to the water.

UNEP Tunza International Children's Conference
for the Environment in Malaysia

Senator Hillary Stratton Clinton

an atmosphere of reconciliation

they could mirror:

A leftist candidate won the governor's race in Mexico's volatile southernmost state of Chiapas, edging out a hopeful backed by President Vicente Fox's party by about 6,300 votes, electoral officials said Sunday.
Juan Sabines, of the Democratic Revolution Party, won 553,270 votes, compared to 546,988 for Jose Antonio Aguilar, who was running with the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which controlled Mexico's presidency from 1929 until 2000, Chiapas' electoral council announced.
Institutional Revolutionary officials said they would challenge the results of Aug. 20 election before the Federal Electoral Tribunal, the country's highest electoral court.
'We are confident that the courts will annul this election given all the challenges and documentation of irregularities,' said Roberto Dominquez.
de la Cruz/AP/CaChron 28.Aug.06

Questions of fact that are threatening to wealth and power become questions of power


School children gave more to the Katrina relief efforts than companies such as AT&T, Verizon, GE and Coca-Cola.

Kerry Ryan has died at the age of 35:

She was the daughter of a Vietnam War veteran who had been exposed to Agent Orange, the dioxin that the U.S. military widely used in Vietnam and Cambodia. Kerry was born with multiple birth defects. She had a hole in her heart, two cervixes, no anus, a deformed right arm and spina bifida.
DemocracyNow! 25.Aug.06

A staunch leftist, Morales was elected in December 2005:

Bolivian President Evo Morales stepped up his nationalization campaign on Saturday by announcing the withdrawal of energy and forestry concessions inside some 20 national parks.
reuters 26.Aug.06
Having leftists around would seem to imply there would be the opposite around, too. And the way it's used would seem to imply that the opposites would be preferable, more decent somehow, more normal. Although geometrically it would be "rightists" and "centrists". It's just that those terms never get used.
So it's "leftists" versus the forces of decency in the world.

Witnesses said the missile struck the Reuters armoured car despite the fact that it was clearly labelled as a media vehicle, with signs on all sides, including the roof.


as we address the challenges:

A key House committee issued a stinging critique of U.S. intelligence on Iran yesterday, charging that the CIA and other agencies lack "the ability to acquire essential information necessary to make judgments" on Tehran's nuclear program, its intentions or even its ties to terrorism.
Jamal Ware, spokesman for the House intelligence committee, said three staff members wrote the report, but he did not dispute that the principal author was Frederick Fleitz, a former CIA officer who had been a special assistant to John R. Bolton, the administration's former point man on Iran at the State Department. Bolton had been highly influential in the crafting of a tough policy that rejected talks with Tehran.
Dafna Linzer/WaPo 24.Aug.06
a relay team of hawkish officials providentially placed:
In April 2005, the New York Times reported on several antagonistic e-mails sent during 2002 by Fleitz to Christian Westermann, "the State Department's top expert on biological weapons," who also worked under Thielman.
Apparently, John Bolton could not tolerate the "wimpy" language that the INR recommended he use in a speech about Cuba. The always bellicose Bolton sought to accuse Cuba of developing biological weapons - a prospect even more fanciful than Iraq's alleged ambitions in the field. In any case, the war of attrition had its effect on Westermann, who on Sept. 23, 2002, wrote a high-ranking INR official, Thomas Fingar, stating that the incessant attacks from Bolton/Fleitz were "affecting my work, my health, and [my] dedication to public service."
Christopher Deliso/ 24.11.05
Fleitz and Joseph have been working:
The officials who have been leading the State Department reorganization plan are Frederick Fleitz and Robert Joseph. Fleitz now works for Joseph. Both men were appointed to their positions by President Bush. They have claimed publicly that the State Department reshuffle has nothing to do with retribution, rather it is aimed at helping that branch of the federal government to better deal with 21st century threats.
Both men were directly involved in the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson, and have been targeted by Fitzgerald's probe as possible sources that unmasked Plame Wilson's identity to reporters, according to several people knowledgeable about the Fitzgerald probe and the roles Fleitz and Joseph played in the Plame Wilson leak.
At the time of the leak, Fleitz was a senior CIA Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation and Arms Control official as well as the chief of staff to John Bolton, the former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, a position that Joseph was appointed to when Bolton was selected to be Ambassador to the United Nations by President Bush.
Jason Leopold/truthout 24.03.06
Because he was his buddy and he likes to blog:
Ms. O'Connell: Bruce, it's patently absurd that the person who sends the e-mail is not going to speak about it, but the recipient is.

Mr. Brown: I think what you want to know is what Freedman's role --

Ms. O'Connell: No, I want to know what Mr. Fleitz thought he was doing when he sent the e-mail. Why did he send it? Because he was his buddy and he likes to blog?

Mr. Brown: Mr. Fleitz --

Ms. O'Connell: I assume Mr. Fleitz is a busy man, and he sends e-mails for a purpose. Maybe I'm mistaken.

Mr. Fleitz: I think we're done. ..

Ms. O'Connell: So the record shows Mr. Fleitz is refusing to answer? ..

Mr. Brown: -- well, Mr. Fleitz thought about it, and we thought about it, and I think maybe perhaps these are questions that are probably best -- are best posed to Mr. Freedman.

Ms. O'Connell: That's laughable, Bruce.

Mr. McKeon: Can you at least give us a justification why Mr. Fleitz is not allowed to explain his own e-mails, or willing to? ...

[Whereupon, at 12:00 p.m, the hearing was adjourned.]
War and Piece 11.05.05


The price of failure in this case:

The United States also remains deeply concerned by the ongoing crisis between Israel and the Palestinians, instigated by the June 25 attack by Hamas inside Israel in which two Israeli soldiers were killed, and Corporal Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. The United States is keenly aware of the humanitarian impact of the current crisis, which has been caused by the refusal of the Hamas-led PA government to govern responsibly.

The United States remains deeply concerned with the attitude of Syria and Iran in this crisis -- states whose leaders have both respectively called for the destruction of Israel in recent days. We recognize, as President Bush stated last week, that: "The conflict in Lebanon is part of a broader struggle between freedom and terror that is unfolding across the region."
Middle East Situation - An Update
John R. Bolton


thousands of extra troops on the streets to wage this battle:

A joint operation to improve security in Baghdad is bringing results, American and Iraqi officials say.
"We need the help of the government," the general said, "to convince the militias to disarm."
Politicians should act and not allow themselves to become part of the sectarian violence."
He maintained that the Iraqi army had the capacity to protect Baghdad but couldn't do so alone for now.
And he accepted that the army had a job to do in building public trust in the police - widely seen as influenced by sectarianism.
Overall it's an assessment shared by the Americans...
Wooldridge/BBC 23.Aug.06

There is no Iraqi army:

There is no Iraqi army
Michael Schwartz /AsiaTimes 24.Aug.06

Bill and Melinda Gates came off the political fence yesterday and backed key causes of Aids campaigners, criticising the abstinence policies advocated by the US government and calling for more rights for women and help for sex workers


Ned Lamont is safely pro-Israel. The statement on his website leaves no room for doubt. "At this critical time in the Middle East," Lamont says. "I believe that when Israel's security is threatened, the United States must unambiguously stand with our ally...
So as Israel, our ally, fights Hezbollah, our enemy...
As Kerry exclaimed to a Georgetown University crowd in January 2003, "Israel is our ally, the only true democracy in a troubled region...
"I have confidence in the administration's judgment, as expressed by Dr. Rice, who is personally leading the effort for a lasting, peaceful solution," Cochran said in a telephone interview.
He said the United States clearly remains Israel's strongest ally - stronger than any of the European nations...
...early this spring, according to a former senior intelligence official, high-level planners from the U.S. Air Force-under pressure from the White House to develop a war plan for a decisive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities-began consulting with their counterparts in the Israeli Air Force.
"The big question for our Air Force was how to hit a series of hard targets in Iran successfully," the former senior intelligence official said. "Who is the closest ally of the U.S. Air Force in its planning? It's not Congo-it's Israel...
She told an excited crowd that she supported Israel with "whatever steps are necessary" to "defend" herself and that "we will stand with Israel because Israel is standing for American values as well as Israeli ones" (she voiced a similar sentiment in May 2005 in a speech at an AIPAC conference when she lauded Israel not only as an ally, but also "a beacon of what democracy can and should mean").

US Casualties By Calendar Year
YearUS DeathsUS Wounded
Other Coalition Countries:
Australia 2
Bulgaria 13
Denmark 4
El Salvador 4
Estonia 2
Hungary 1
Italy 32
Kazakhstan 1
Latvia 1
Netherlands 2
Poland 17
Romania 2
Slovakia 3
Spain 11
Thailand 2
Ukraine 18
Non Military Deaths:
Journalists Killed in Iraq
An Incomplete List of Contractors Killed in Iraq
Iraqi Body Count
(External Link)

graph >
Israelis killed in Iraq
Israelis killed in Iraq


a criminal group of terrorists:

Count Folke Bernadotte assassinated in Jerusalem, 17 September 1948
Folke Bernadotte at JVL

fruit juice and pears:

Frankly, few if anyone involved in contacts with Iran over the past few years think that sanctions will be effective. Iran has lived with American sanctions for 27 years and these have made no difference.

Any sanctions will have to be diplomatic or economic in nature. This is because resolution 1696 states that they would be authorised under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter. This says that measures cannot be ones "involving the use of armed force".

The US and its allies (including the UK, and on this occasion probably France and Germany as well) fear that Iran will one day use the enrichment technology not just for nuclear fuel but for a nuclear bomb, though Iran says that is not its intention.

The US will press for travel restrictions to be imposed on Iranians involved in the nuclear programme, and for a ban on the sale of goods that could be used in the nuclear field and on dual-use items.

If these do not get through the council, a so-called "coalition of the willing"! might be formed by those countries? wanting to go further. They might also consider a ban on investing in Iran's oil and gas industry, a restriction the US has itself imposed since 1979.
Paul Reynolds /BBC 21.Aug.06


The most popular delivery device, the American-made M26 rocket, scatters 644 bomblets over 20,000 square metres. Under test conditions up to 23% of bomblets from the M26 failed to explode on impact. The United States keeps 370,000 such rockets in stock.

The bombs are ejected from artillery shells in mid-flight, showering a wide area with explosions that can kill within 10 metres (33ft). But up to a quarter fail to explode, creating minefields that kill civilians once the war is over. A decades-old campaign to ban them has failed.
Israel turned to cluster bombs in the last week of the war, apparently frustrated at the failure of conventional weapons to rout Hizbullah fighters from their foxholes. Mine-clearance teams are finding evidence pointing to their provenance:
the US, the world's largest cluster bomb manufacturer, which gave Israel $2.2bn in military aid last year.
Walsh/Guardian 21.Aug.06
Cluster Munitions - Relevant International Humanitarian Law
HRW- Existing International Humanitarian Law
Geneva Forum - Reducing the Humanitarian Impact of Cluster Bombs: What can be done?

Gaskin's hippie offshoots aid Katrina victims

Vote-Buying Scheme Is Busted in Chiapas:

Mexican police said they had broken up a vote-buying scheme in Chiapas on the eve of today's state elections, which will be closely watched amid national turmoil over the results of last month's presidential election.
LATimes 20.Aug.06
Which, you'd think at first glance, would be good news.
Proof. See?
But it's the PRD that's being accused. In Chiapas.
More War is Peace headlines:
Israeli Incursion Strains Truce With Hezbollah


good intentions and full speed ahead:

"The West African black rhino is now feared extinct," the Switzerland-based environmental group said, and Africa's northern white rhino could soon follow.
Extensive surveys in northern Cameroon (map of Cameroon), the animals' last known refuge, found no trace of the rhino subspecies.


A healthy insurance market is absolutely key
to a rejuvenated economy down there:

From our perspective, it lifts a very large cloud of uncertainty that has been hanging over the insurance market of the Gulf Coast
Nationwide and other insurers say their homeowners policies cover damage from a hurricane's wind, but not in cases where it resulted from a combination of wind and water.

"This reading of the policy would mean that an insured whose dwelling lost its roof in high winds and at the same time suffered an incursion of even an inch of water could recover nothing under his Nationwide policy," he wrote.
link brokenKunzelman/WashingtonPost 15.Aug.06
The story as was in the Post has disappeared down the memory hole. Links from their search engine go to a story by Kathleen Day which is much less obviously composed of venal wet dream insurance co. imaginings, and reads more like sound and sensible grown-up discourse.
Kunzelman's bias would seem to be more toward truth, justice, and the American Way. His original AP story is here.
In other words you can't get insurance against hurricane damage, that would be the point. Too vague.
In other words the hurricane itself can't be insured against.
The next step would be maybe gravity. Like you'll have to get special insurance for things damaged by things falling on them, and/or then specifically whether it was a result of wind, or earthquake, or another equally specific and spcicifically-insurable-against phenomenon.
Or like a fire, where the firemen in order to control and stop it have saturated and destroyed your first folio edition of Vico's De Italorum Sapientia worth at least 300K.
Sorry, fire insurance you know.
That's water damage.


Do the crime, do the time:

An influential federal panel of medical advisers has recommended that the government loosen regulations that severely limit the testing of pharmaceuticals on prison inmates, a practice that was all but stopped three decades ago after revelations of abuse.
Several government agencies and private companies tested pharmaceuticals on inmates at Holmesburg prison in Philadelphia from 1951 to 1974. (Urban Archives/Temple University, via Associated Press)
The proposed change includes provisions intended to prevent problems that plagued earlier programs. Nevertheless, it has dredged up a painful history of medical mistreatment and incited debate among prison rights advocates and researchers about whether prisoners can truly make uncoerced decisions, given the environment they live in.
Urbina/NYTimes/CommonDreams 13.Aug.06
Men who would do this to these would will have done the same to human beings.

Things! Come! Go! Alive! Better!:

A US official has warned India that bans imposed on soft drinks like Coca Cola and Pepsi could blight its hopes of attracting American investment.
Frank Lavin, under secretary for international trade, said the row was a setback for the Indian economy.
Local arms of cola giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo were asked by India's Supreme Court on Friday to respond to a petition seeking to force them to list all chemicals present in their drinks on bottles. The move comes two days after a local environmental group, the Centre for Science and Environment, said it had found pesticide residues in the companies' drinks in excess of international guidelines.
Six Indian states have announced partial or complete bans on the soft drinks after claims that the drinks contain harmful pesticides.
Both soft drinks manufacturers have said their products are safe.
Five Indian states have announced partial bans on the drinks in schools, colleges and hospitals. Southern Kerala state is the first to completely ban their production and sale
MUMBAI: At 50, Chennai born Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi has shattered the ultimate glass ceiling, by moving into the corner room at PepsiCo Inc headquarters in the US.

But everyone knew that the freshly anointed chief executive officer of Pepsi was always different.


four shirts and some pants:

We had to drive around several bomb craters, since there is a war going on here, but all in all it was a nice journey, except for the lack of air conditioning
Berman/ABCNews 13.Aug.06 ( Borrowing Clothes in Beirut)

Litani River Debka
Litani River Wikipedia
Litani River ICE
Litani River Beirut Spring
Litani River LATimes
Litani River Xymphora

A last-minute blitzkrieg by Israeli troops and warplanes:

Faced with mounting civilian casualties and increasing celebration in the Arab world every time a Hezbollah rocket struck Israel, Bush and Blair went on holiday leaving Rice in charge of finding a face-saving diplomatic exit.

Although military experts agreed that Hezbollah has been seriously weakened - and Iran's influence in Lebanon at least temporarily reduced - Washington has paid a heavy price for abandoning its traditional role as the so-called "honest broker" of the Middle East.

Rice's reputation for cool competence has been severely tarnished by her handling of the crisis. When Lebanese civilians were being bombed in Beirut, Rice was photographed playing the piano at a minor summit in Asia.

Allen-Mills - Mahnaimi/Times 13.Aug.06

water under the bridge:

Israel also signaled

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced
Annan called for

Israel's military said
Israel confirmed
Hezbollah said
Hezbollah claimed
Israel said
Hezbollah issued a statement saying

prompted Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, to declare
Nasrallah added in his trademark measured tones
Nasrallah said

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said
The Cabinet harshly condemned Israel's military push Saturday, saying

A senior Israeli official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss sensitive issues publicly, said

Defense Minister Amir Peretz said
he said
Israel's army chief, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, said
Lebanese security officials said
The officials said the troops were near the village of Aalmane, which sits on high ground on the south side of the river.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters, said

The Lebanese army said
Lebanese officials said
Lebanese media reported.
Israel has said
The White House issued a statement
Bush said.
French President Jacques Chirac said
Israeli police said
Lebanese security officials said.

Israeli warplanes also knocked out a highway in northern Lebanon leading to the Arida border crossing with Syria, the last official border post open for aid convoys and civilians fleeing the country.
The only routes left were rugged footpaths and back roads through deserts or over mountains.
Aid convoys were stuck in ports or at warehouses because Israel refused to guarantee their safety on the roads. Thousands of people trapped in southern villages were believed to have run out of food and medicine and were drinking unsafe water.
Lauren Frayer/ABCNews - 13.Aug.06


one bite away:

GRAND JUNCTION - Five more Mesa County residents have been diagnosed with West Nile virus, bringing the county's total to six this year, the most in the state, health officials said.

Weld County has four cases.

Statewide, 23 people have contracted the virus this season, the state health department said Friday. This week Bent County reported two cases and El Paso County reported its first of the season.
About 80 percent of those infected with West Nile show no symptoms, but others develop more severe illnesses such as meningitis or encephalitis.
AP/SummittDailyNewsjournal - 11.Aug.06

Fatal Car Crashes in Mesa County, Colorado 1995 - 2000

Year# Fatalities

Severe, or Red:

As always, we ask the American public to remain aware and vigilant, and report any activity that they think is suspicious to local authorities or other appropriate law enforcement agencies.
And we want to be very, very careful, as we try to inform and educate the American public, about saying too much that might, in any way, jeopardize that investigation or subsequent prosecution. And so we ask for your patience in asking and receiving information. We'll try to be as forthcoming as we can, as quickly as we can. But again, we don't want to do anything that may, in any way, jeopardize or adversely affect an investigation or prosecution in the United Kingdom, or perhaps even in this country.

Now, since 9/11, the threat reporting has consistently shown that there is a vicious and determined enemy that is intent on harming American lives. And every day is September 12th for those of us tasked with protecting America. And we know that our counterparts abroad feel the same way.
The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the entire intelligence community will continue to aggressively pursue every lead and shred of intelligence that arises from this or any other terrorism case. This has been our practice since 9/11. And today is no different from any other day, in that sense.

The American people should know that everything that can be done to protect them is being done by law enforcement and intelligence professionals around the country and abroad. We ask that people continue on with their normal lives, but with some extra patience as the professionals do their jobs...
Today's actions are a stark reminder that the threat is real and that we have a deadly enemy who still wakes every morning thinking of new ways to kill innocent men, women and children
Remarks by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, FBI Director Robert Mueller and Assistant Secretary for TSA Kip Hawley
Press Release: US Department of Homeland Security
ScoopNZ 10.Aug.06


along with other arms:

If the shipment is approved, Israel may be told that it must be especially careful about firing the rockets into populated areas [graphic image], the senior official said.

Israel has asked the Bush administration to speed delivery of short-range antipersonnel rockets armed with cluster munitions, which it could use to strike Hezbollah missile sites in Lebanon, two American officials said Thursday.
State Department officials "are discussing whether or not there needs to be a block on this sale because of the past history and because of the current circumstances," said the senior official, adding that it was likely that Israel will get the rockets, but will be told to be "be careful."
Cloud/NYTimes 11.Aug.06
Cluster Munitions - Relevant International Humanitarian Law
HRW- Existing International Humanitarian Law
Geneva Forum - Reducing the Humanitarian Impact of Cluster Bombs: What can be done?

Let's be clear, here:

When Goldberg says "like an albino rhino or the last of the Mohicans", he reveals some of the integral prejudices of his cultural and ethnic demographic.
An "albino rhino" is a sport, a freak of nature. For a rhino, albinism isn't much of a practical factor in the herbivore business; its tangential ramifications - basal temperature and vision problems etc. - might be more problematic. But the main thing is, it's a peripheral expression of the rhino genome, and in that sense it's trivial.
"The last of the Mohicans" aside from being a stirring book and a thrilling film - a film that did more to answer and expiate America's blood-guilt toward the continent's earlier-than-white-people inhabitants than anything else I've seen in a long time - but aside from that where was I yes, in Goldberg's mouth this phrase, and the people it contains, and the atrocity and proximate genocide it expresses - are trivialized to the categorical level of an "albino rhino", a near-cartoon, an inessential and inconsequential expression of God's creative side.
This isn't just one professional journalist's covert racism smirking and lurking behind the shield of historical oppresssion and a solid day-job - it's something deeper and more insidious, with a wider impact on all of us.
Both of those figures are out of the natural world.
Both of them can be placed in immanent opposition to the exhaust gases and concrete desperation of Goldberg's natural habitat. There's a line there, between the two worlds.


tugged that feather loose:

But let's be clear: Lieberman fascinates political junkies because he's an outlier, like an albino rhino or the last of the Mohicans. And his loss doesn't usher in a new reality so much as confirm the familiar one.
link fixedGoldberg/LATimes 10.Aug.06
link busy3
Some of us were saying, way back in '03, that the invasion of Iraq had something more to do with the geographical boundaries of an Israeli comfort-zone than merely oil and American Empire, while admitting that those were plausible strong motives for the pigs men who actually made the decisions and held public accountability for them.
Public in a context where 50% of the American citizenry think Saddam Hussein had WMD's and was harboring Al Qaeda and was somehow responsible for 9/11. And a context, as well, where a growing number believe the events in the Middle East are heading the world straight toward Armageddon and the Rapture.
This idea was dismissed as anti-Semitic paranoia.
Ned Lamont's on record as approving the bombing of Lebanon, without reservations of any kind.
Then, later, some of us were saying that eventually Bush would be wrapped up in a shroud of responsibility for the Iraq debacle and carted off-stage, so that a new non-Bush - clear, fresh, clean, an heroic opposing force - could be ushered in.
Meet the new boss.
That this describes any oppositional player is only confusing to people who are used to the sports-analog of virtual politics; where you pick your team - only one of two - and wear your colors, make your bets and cheer until the final score, then go home or change the channel.
The idea being to get someone to do the nasty job, then get rid of them - or even better, allow the hoodwinked to get rid of them, so they feel empowered - so that not only does the nasty job get done, but the next player up gets to look like a savior.
The actual amount of intrigue necessary to pull that off is pretty minimal compared to Franklin-Feith et al.
Intrigue which is well-documented, and ongoing.

sharper than what the public saw:

...just 37 years after Apollo 11, it is feared the magnetic tapes that recorded the first moon walk - beamed to the world via three tracking stations, including Parkes's famous "Dish" - have gone missing at NASA's Goddard Space Centre in Maryland.
A desperate search has begun amid concerns the tapes will disintegrate to dust before they can be found.The only known equipment on which the original analogue tapes can be decoded is at a Goddard centre set to close in October, raising fears that even if they are found before they deteriorate, copying them may be impossible.
Macey/MorningHerald(AU) 05.Aug.06
link /.
The Bush administration drafted amendments to a war crimes law to eliminate the risk of prosecution for political appointees, CIA officers and former military personnel for humiliating or degrading war prisoners, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. 09.Aug.06

reliable and useful:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the administration was still drafting its plan, but that it would propose trying enemy combatants based on military court martial procedures - although with a number of key changes.

Those include admitting hearsay evidence, limiting rights against self-incrimination before a trial, and limiting defendants' access to classified information.

Gonzales also told the Senate Armed Services Committee the administration's current thinking was to allow testimony obtained by coercion if it was reliable and useful.
In a testy exchange, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, who was tortured as a war prisoner in Vietnam, asked whether testimony obtained by illegal or inhumane means could be used.

After a long pause, Gonzales said that would depend on how inhumane was defined.

Vicki Allen/Reuters-WaPo 02.Aug.06
It also depends, greatly, on who it's being defined at. Not by, at.
Talking to aliens about the need to preserve humane virtues is a particularly human thing to do. Scorn and ridicule attending.
Which is not to say those virtues don't need defending, and championing, and yes, even defining.
But not to ersatz-humans like Gonzales.


We took our eye off the ball:

The anti-Iraq War challenger in Connecticut's upcoming Democratic primary has issued strong statements backing Israel's military operations in Lebanon, but his campaign boosters are being painted as anti-Israel by supporters of Senator Joseph Lieberman.
Greenwich, Conn., businessman Ned Lamont, who holds a slight lead in the polls over Lieberman, told the Forward that he supports Israel's current operations in Gaza and Lebanon, and that he disagreed with the European Union's declaration that criticized Israel's actions as a "disproportionate" response.
"When we're dealing with Hezbollah and Hamas, who are both dedicated to the elimination of Israel, it's a little presumptuous of us to say what's proportionate and what's not from over here on this side of the Atlantic," Lamont said. "I don't think it's for the United States to dictate how Israel tactically defends itself."
The "Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq and...the failure to be more engaged in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict...that's part of the reason that Israel is under attack today"


a sensation around the world:

Let's see here. Jim.

Q Mr. President, in the last couple of weeks, every time the question was asked why not get an immediate cessation and then build a sustainable -- terms for a sustainable cease-fire after you get the hostilities stopped, it was categorically rejected. Yet, a few weeks later, here we are. Can you explain why this wasn't done a couple weeks ago?

THE PRESIDENT: Sure. Because, first of all, the international community hadn't come together on a concept of how to address the root cause of the problem, Jim.
Part of the problem in the past in the Middle East is people would paper over the root cause of the problem, and therefore the situation would seemingly be quiet, and then lo and behold, there'd be another crisis.
And innocent people would suffer.
And so our strategy all along has been, of course we want to have a cessation of hostilities, but what we want to do in the same time is to make sure that there is a way forward for the Lebanese government to secure its own country so that there's peace in the region.

Q Mr. President, you've spoken with Prime Minister Blair and Chancellor Merkel about this. Have you spoken directly with Prime Ministers Olmert and Siniora? And if not, why not?

THE PRESIDENT: Because Condi is handling those conversations, and she's doing a fine job of doing so.

President Bush and Secretary Rice Discuss the Middle East Crisis
Prairie Chapel Ranch
Crawford, Texas
ScoopNZ 07.Aug.06


...what they say is a limitless, low-risk repository for carbon dioxide: seafloor sediments at depths and temperatures that would guarantee it would stay denser than the water above, and thus be permanently locked away...
Rivkin/NYTimes 07.Aug.06
So, the rationalist-positivist mind-set that gave us global warming in the first place - as an unforeseen/unforeseeable by-product of inevitable technological progress, carried forward by the internal-combustion hydrocarbon-fuelled personal engine and its near-universal application, globally - will now give us carbon-sequestration-through-technological-manipulation.
And screw the dark emptiness under the sea.
If I had the time and the free space I'd write a short story with an SF mise-en-scene where some kind of like Scout-leader fellow completely fucks up and jeopardizes the survival of his little group of Scouts or whatever, and then, in the midst of the chaos and turmoil he's created by his own incompetence, desperately tries to maintain control of the situation and his little fragmenting group.
The nice-people version of this is "Yikes! We have to do something! Quick!"
But it was foreseeable, and it was foreseen. The warnings were ignored, and the warning voices ridiculed.
Some of us would rather see it all fall away rather than leave you in charge, I think would be the not-so-nice position on that.

exactly half the battle

that close to where we are and beyond:

As they prepare for the final battle, Jesus will return on a white horse and cast both villains - and presumably any nonbelievers - into a "lake of fire burning with brimstone," thus marking the beginning of his millennial reign.
Hagee doesn't fear a nuclear conflagration, but rather God's wrath for standing by as Iran executes its supposed plot to destroy Israel. A nuclear confrontation between America and Iran, which he says is foretold in the Book of Jeremiah, will not lead to the end of the world, but rather to God's renewal of the Garden of Eden.
Sarah Posner/Alternet 03.Aug.06

Along the way, we met an old woman who was crying by the side of the road because no-one wanted to take her, so we took her with us.

"I'd like to boil my cat's tormentors."


in every Army division that operated in Vietnam

Joe says:

Mr. Lieberman also addressed criticism head-on, more than he has in the past, that he has been President Bush's "best friend and enabler" on the war and other issues, and that he has discouraged Democrats from dissenting over the war.
"I not only respect your right to disagree or question the president - I value it," Mr. Lieberman said.
Lieberman Explains Iraq War Stance in Speech
Healy-Medina/NYTimes 06.Aug.06

Joe said:
"It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be the commander in chief for three more critical years and that in matters of war we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril."
Lieberman's Iraq Stance Brings Widening Split With His Party
Hernandez-Yardley/NYTimes 09.Dec.05



Once the police state vanishes, that habit of criminality will, unfortunately, not disappear. It will explode.
AnnLeslie/DailyMail(UK) 05.Aug.06
Ann Leslie - another graduate of the Christopher Hitchens school of the poisonous mind. Or heart. Maybe liver.
What this is, what she's saying, is advance p.r. for what's planned and intended for Cuba.
A resumption of Meyer Lansky's criminal enterprises under Batista, the near-total corruption of the island before Che and Fidel took over.
Las Vegas with brown-skinned servants.
Back to the old days.
To talk about either Che or Fidel without placing them in the context of that corruption and their righteous and heroic, and ultimately victorious, stand against it, is an absolute lie - cunning, Satanically mischievous, evil in intent and practice.

Some notes on anti-Semitism:

I could speak to this subject. I mean I'm fairly articulate and everything, sometimes. And it's a concern, it has a lot to do with what happens next, and what's happening now.
It needs to get done, and as far as I can tell no one else is doing it.
I don't want to waste a whole afternoon chasing after this nonsense, but here I am.
Start with your terms.
The semantic fog around the words themselves.
Anti-Semitic means bigotry toward Jews. The reason it's called "Semitic" is...
What's a Jew?
Racially I suppose there's some anthropological metric; the Jews themselves - inasmuch as there is a "Jews themselves" which there isn't - but there is a kind of an official, in the sense of it being recorded as religious law, though evidently much in dispute even so, description of a Jew, as being someone whose mother was/is Jewish. The Israeli government makes further distinctions in the process of granting citizenship to potential immigrants. But "Jew" also means a member of or believer in Judaism, a religion. These are neither synonymous nor are they inextricably congruent.
There are many non-believing Jews in the world, and not so many but more than a few non-racially descendant practicing Jews in the world also.
More fog.
No one can say with any definitive confidence what a "Jew" is, to determine if something or someone is being anti-Semitic, or, technically, anti-Jew. Just as no one can say with any definitive confidence where the high tide line is, at the beach. It changes every day. Twice.
Yet there's the Holocaust, the pogroms, the cruel and bizarre suddenness of the Spanish Expulsion in 1492, the fact that Harvard University felt the need to impose a quota on Jewish students in the early 20th c.
Nothing like persecution to create a sense of commonality, at least from a distance.
There's something there, but it won't hold still - and it's nebulous, cloudy, it shifts and changes form.
Yet there are Jews obviously - you can see that - you can say "This man is a Jew."
For instance, Anderson Cooper.
Notice that in this story, pulled randomly from a google search for Cooper, there's a quote from "CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein".
Is Klein Jewish? Is it anti-Semitic to ask that? Is it even important?
When Habib Battah says, concerning the invasion of Lebanon by Israel:
"It's very interesting that there is a very big difference in the reporting styles of CNN International and CNN United States. Reporters on the American network will - recently a reporter with the IDF said that Hezbollah is like no terror organization Israel has ever seen, whereas the international reporters won't describe Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. They'll call it a militia. And then, so you kind of wonder, why would they adjust the message based on the audience, when the goal is journalism?"
What can we do with that? Klein, Cooper, Israel. Truth, lies, and knee-jerk reactions to atrocity, and that other thing there.
A key feature of cliched anti-Semitism is the accusation that "Jews control the (US) media". A list of executives in and owners of the major media corporations would appear to bear this out.
One of the things that happens right there is though, that that will push you outside the pale. It creates a kind of legitimate paranoia. Because if that isn't anti-Semitic, if it is in fact a plain and simple truth - a fact, the American media is controlled by Jews - then what else is also true? What other fantasatic ideas are part of this? How deep does it go?
What follows then can too easily become a descent into the murk - spelunking into the caverns of the arcane, the occult, and the gibbering mad.
Or wandering into a landscape without distinct features, where nothing can be known or certified as true. Something is real, but whatever it is is vague and shadowy.
Another simple earmark of stock cliched anti-Semitism is "Jews control the money". Bush appointing Paul Wolfowitz, who happens to be one of the primary architects of the invasion of Iraq, to head the World Bank, didn't do a lot to rebut that. That the heads of institutions like the IMF and the Federal Reserve have been traditionally Jews means something as well, but what?
More fog.
We could say, I guess we are saying, that one of the first lines of defense of a Jewish conspiracy to "control the world" would be accusations of irrational bigotry against the proponents of that "conspiracy theory".
Some country people used to break a yard dog of chasing and killing domestic poultry by tying a chicken that it had killed around its neck, and leaving it there until it rotted off. The cumulative repugnance would be a Pavlovian conditioning agent.
Most people, most sane middle-class white American people anyway, when the term anti-Semitism comes up, think of two things - the Holocaust and whatever imagery of it they've encountered, and their friends and/or relatives who are Jews.
There's no more effective shield in this context, in fact, than the genuine compassion of emotionally healthy people. Defending the defenseless, a heartfelt rejection of unnecessary cruelty.
This is why there's so much radicalizing confusion among that same demographic now.
Lebanon. The obvious victims are not Jews, but victims of Jews.
I've probably got more images working from the Holocaust than most non-Jews - and even many Jews - do. Awful photographs and graphic descriptions; and I have a strong literary imagination. I can get in there. As much as anyone can who hasn't experienced it first-hand.
An argument gets made that only those who have experienced it can know.
But that's my point.
We can say to counter this almost impregnable shield, that very few of the most strident voices making accusations of anti-Semitism were victims of the Holocaust themselves.
Relatives, yes, and possessed of the immediate proxy suffering of identification with those who were.
But I have that, as well.
In fact I have that maybe a little more than your average Jew does.
Because the Nazis took "my" people first, before they came for the Jews.
The freaks, the fags, the commies.
Before the Jews.
We can say that more politely.
Before the Third Reich's Final Solution began to hit the Jews in force, it had already been applied to the deformed and the infirm, the insane, the sexually deviant, and the communists.
But just as with the European Romany, the decimation, the genocide, the documented incontrovertible suffering of these more marginal populations gets marginalized, in the common history of those events, in turn. Smaller numbers equalling smaller significance. So that the Nazi extermination of some lone individual for being "unfit" to enter the borning utopia of the eugenically-engineered social paradise means something, but not much, compared to the millions who perished.
My point would be, insistently, that the numbers are a distraction, that the moral center of that atrocious moment isn't weighted by mass, but intensity, and the intensity is coming from the arrogance and selfishness that drives the hatred and disdain, not the hatred itself.
A few parallels there worth considering, now.
From a distance it blurs and gets vague. More fog.
The Holocaust is about the Jews - to the Jews of course it is - to some of the rest of us though, it's about much more than that. So using it as a shield for conspiracy and intrigue is not as effective on us, as it might be on the more naive and ahistorical - to the more innocent.
Without the Holocaust in its nexus anti-Semitism lacks that ghastly blind imperative - it becomes more just another human failing.
With it, with the weight and urgency of all that suffering behind it, it becomes the ultimate bigotry - and the ultimate justification - except for those whose immediate connection to suffering is as great or greater than that generalized, and collectively borne, injury.

It was a beautiful country:

The government is increasingly unable to assert itself. I mean, if you knock out all of the major roads and bridges, then how can the government get government bureaucrats and military out, and aid workers and so forth out to where they're needed? Basically, Lebanon is being crippled, and so it really doesn't matter whether the government falls or not, because the government is not able to function under these conditions. Lebanon is being paralyzed as a civilized society. It's being reduced to rubble.
JuanCole/DemocracyNow! 04.Aug.06



a dab hand with the tuna:

In the Shadow of the Moons:
My Life in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Family

by Nansook Hong
I came to Earth with the mission from God to be the Messiah. In the Bible I could not reveal all of the conflicts between the religious believers and non-believers in those days. In fact, there are many providential matters that the Bible does not reveal. With the flow of each providential age, God could not avoid changing His immediate plan.
Madsen Report August 10, 2005: Moon Unification Church official and Washington Times deputy managing editor Josette Sheeran Shiner has been nominated by President Bush to be U.S. Alternate Governor of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the African Development Fund. Shiner has also been nominated to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Shiner, who has been Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, became a member of Moon's cult in 1975 when she was recruited in college. Moon's phenomenal wealth has been linked to Asian organized criminal gangs; gambling businesses in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao; and Asian prostitution rings...
In 1997 Washingtonian magazine named Ms. Shiner as one of Washington's 100 Most Powerful Women
In a social climate where a politician has to actively and publicly renounce all drugs all the time if it's even rumored that he smoked marijuana in college, a woman who was - and may still be - a member of one of the creepiest and spookiest cults that ever existed, a woman who married and had children under the direct guidance of Sun Myung Moon's mind control apparatus, who established and furthered her career in Washington under his direct auspices, passes without a ripple of censure into the upper echelon of the Bush Administration.
Role of Women in the 21st Century
Unification Sermons and Talks
Josette Shiner
Gorenfeld on/all over Moon
Spy planes roam the Amazon:
In the 1970s - with sinister dictator Alfredo Stroessner in full power - the Central Intelligence Agency set up in the US Embassy in Asuncion[Paraguay] the most powerful electronic spying station in South America. According to researcher Anibal Miranda, it's still operational.
Pepe Escobar /AsiaTimes 04.Aug.06

People I never knew existed until Molly Ivins told me

A dismal thought experiment:
Maher, and a very large number of other apologists for Israel-no-matter-what, would say, although it would be hard to get them to say it clearly and openly, that the deaths of hundreds of innocent Lebanese women and children who have been killed in the "targeted" bombing of Lebanon are regrettable, but excusable, "collateral damage".
That the killing of women and children is a horrible thing, yes - and that outside the contextual boundaries of war it's one of the worst offenses in almost every legal and ethical system we have - but within the context of war it's merely regrettable, necessary, and forgivable against the necessities of defense.
But those same apologists for Israel-no-matter-what will insist that anti-Semitism is never forgivable, never necessary, never excusable, that it never takes place and never could take place in a context that makes the immoral moral, or excusable.
It is in that sense a worse crime than the killing of innocent women and children.

forced to:

According to Prime Minister Siniora, one-third of the casualties are children under the age of twelve. The number of refugees has also reached one million people.
DNow! 03.Aug.06
As I watch so much of the world ask Israel for restraint in a way no other country would (Can you imagine what Bush would do if a terrorist organization took over Canada and was lobbing missiles into Montana, Maine and Illinois?) - and, by the way, does anyone ever ask Hezbollah for restraint - you know, like, please stop firing your rockets aimed PURPOSEFULLY at civilians? - it strikes me that the world IS Mel Gibson. Most of the time, the anti-semitism is under control, but that demon lives inside and when the moon is full, or there's been enough alcohol consumed,
or Israel is forced to kill people in its own defense, then it comes out...

Bill Maher/Huffington


The Man of the Future is hard to see:

U.S. lawmakers, fearful of any warplane-technology leakage to China, are demanding more safeguards for a potential $5 billion sale to Pakistan of F-16 fighter jets and weapons systems, a key congressman said on Thursday.
Wolf/Reuters 13.Jul.06
China's missile-related imports and assistance from Israel have been a subject of particular concern in the United States because of worries that Israel may be providing China with "back door" access to controlled, sensitive US technology. For example, in the early 1990s, reports surfaced that Israel had secretly transferred information on the US Patriot missile system to China, in violation of Israel's promise to the United States not to transfer the Patriot technology to any third country. Although both China and Israel denied the allegations, US government sources concluded that it was almost certain that a transfer of technology (though not physical equipment) had taken place.
NTI 28.Mar.03

He said that, while "a strong dollar is in our nation's interests..."

"It wasn't very explicit, but I think there was a suggestion in his comments that he expects some currencies to rise against the dollar..."
Weisman/NYTimes 01.Aug.06

Cuba (lots of broken links)
Jeb Bush
Otto Juan Reich
Orlando Bosch

and here
and here
Luis Posada
Raoul Cantero
Miguel Recarey, Jr
Camilo Padreda
Hector Pesquera
+ Batista

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