...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



Canada steps up:

The country's emissions are now 30 percent above 1990 levels.
AP/commondreams 30.Apr.07

stewart nascar
Baghdad rocked with loud explosions
U.S. forces fired an artillery barrage in southern Baghdad Sunday morning,
rocking the capital with loud explosions


it will be difficult for people to get into their special area
the Bank is going down
If I'm qualified to defend the country...

a slut on the air. And that's not all, as a porn star. And that's not all, as an accomplice to the murder of Jewish children.


ceux qui n'ont pas connu l'Ancien Régime
ne pourront jamais savoir
ce qu'était la douceur de vivre:

The flow of immigrants north from Mexico since Nafta is inextricably linked to the flow of American corn in the opposite direction, a flood of subsidized grain that the Mexican government estimates has thrown two million Mexican farmers and other agricultural workers off the land since the mid-90s.
More recently, the ethanol boom has led to a spike in corn prices that has left that country reeling from soaring tortilla prices; linking its corn economy to ours has been an unalloyed disaster for Mexico's eaters as well as its farmers.
Michael Pollan/NYTimes 22.Apr.07
Almost immediately Fidel Castro weighed in from his sickbed writing an article for the Communist Party newspaper 'Gramma', that food stocks for millions of people would be threatened, " will see how many people among the hungry masses will no longer consume corn". Forever in lockstep with his mentor, Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, the purveyor of OPEC rigged prices of oil, fleecing both the rich and poor throughout the world, echoed Castro's outrage...
Learsy/Huffington 23.Apr.07
Almost immediately after Bush's visit to Brasilia, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban leader Fidel Castro decried the evils of a global ethanol market, claiming it would drive up the price of food around the world. The world's poor would inevitably suffer, they said.
This argument, however, was absent from the regional energy conference held on 16 April in Venezuela, just two weeks after Lula visited Bush at Camp David. Rather than use the forum where 12 South American heads of state were present to attack Lula, Chavez offered his support for ethanol as a regional energy effort.
Logan/ISN Security Watch 24.Apr.07
But it's more than just a political football. Many in the U.S. share great hope in ethanol's potential. President Bush, during his State of the Union address in January, pushed for more production by 2017 to 35 billion gallons, up from 5 billion gallons last year.
But there is no doubt, says Pat Westhoff, an associate professor of agriculture at the University of Missouri–Columbia, that ethanol production has contributed to higher food prices. In August the average price paid to U.S. farmers for a bushel of corn was $2.09 — rising to $2.20 in September, $2.54 in October, $2.87 in November, and past $3 in December.
By January, angry Mexicans took to the streets to protest the rising cost of tortillas, the central part of most Mexicans' diet. While many factors contributed to the ballooning Mexican corn industry, U.S. prices are reflected on the international market, Mr. Westhoff says.
Llana/CSM/CBS 22.Apr.07
People for whom Mexican food is a fast-food treat will see riots for tortillas as a kind of Mel Brooksian joke. Like rioting for donuts or something.
A more accurate parallel might be something like this.

tremendous, terrific, one of those:

Right now, my biggest challenge is absorbing the growth we've had inside the agency and putting these new resources to work in an efficient and effective way. And it's - sure, it has something to do with the money, but it really has to do with people. Let me give you a sense of scale here, Brian. And I have to talk around it a little bit, because the numbers are classified. But let me give you a sense. One-seventh of the Central Intelligence Agency has been hired in the last 12 months. One-fifth of our analysts have been hired in the last 12 months. Fifty percent of the agency has been hired since 9/11. I mean, that's tremendous growth.
Michael Hayden, Director of Central Intelligence[CIA]
Interview by C-SPAN's Brian Lamb
Cryptome < xymphora


rolling my eyes:

In the spring of 2004, only a quarter of Americans in a Gallup Poll said they were worried "a great deal" by climate change; today, the number is over 40 percent. If you'd told me two years ago that in 2007 all my household's nice old incandescent lightbulbs would be replaced by weird little curlicue fluorescents - ten tons of CO2 emissions eliminated; check - I'd have rolled my eyes and snorted.
So We're Green. Now What?
Kurt Andersen/NewYorkMagazine

The unspoken being generally a pursuit of this space, we're drawn toward the conspicuous absence of any recognition whatsoever of the near knee-jerk reaction of sensible men and women everywhere when confronted with phenomena of this nature, where a problem is occurring because of the mass of by-product(B) being generated by the mass of activity(A) of the mass of population(M). Every sensible working man or woman out there today has done that computation:
Too much pollution? Too much gas getting burned?
[(M)-(x) = (A)-(x) = (B-x²)]
Well there's two ways you can head into it. Cut back on usage, sure that's one option(1). Cut back on users, that's two(2).
Constantly affirming the need for (1), and never once even beginning to mention (2), means the taboo gets outlined vividly, even if it's never filled in.
Still, scaling back the global population to the degree necessary to do anything substantial about anthropogenic climate forcing - i.e. "global warming", without creating destabilizing social chaos while you did it, would be an astounding task. This may be in part why it doesn't come up as a potential solution. There's also the specter of the Nazi Holocaust, in that trimming the population would mean some kind of evaluation, or metric, would need to be put into play - in the case of the Nazis it was the "Aryan" race and its imagined ideal prototypes, though there's a sort of consensus we may have got past all that, that it was parochial and incomplete, and pretty obviously not suitable for a diverse global culture such as we've become since the mid-20th century. On the other hand there are some ethnic populations around who still see themselves as more worthy than others, and who would gladly occupy that central position for purposes of population trimming.
Still the tension mounts, intensifying hourly. And lots of people out there, especially guys who are used to making these kinds of decisions on a local and more personal basis, are thinking along the same lines.
Too many cars on the road burning too much gas?
How about instead of cutting back on fuel consumption, we cut back on drivers? This would have positive effects as well on real estate, water consumption, and many other aspects of modern living, besides just cars and their damaging exhaust gases.
There are precedents.
What's needed for the process to begin, and be carried to completion successfully, is a solid and convincing model of the center of the human species, from which to measure outward toward appropriate population numbers, a fixing of what we are in significant miniature - the heart of humanity, representative man and woman, and their children.
The Nazis chose themselves, figures out of their own immediate past, and held that up to the future as template and guide.
We can't do that, at last not regionally, or ethnically, not anymore. Though working in its favor is the sense most of us have of being central, in a broad and vague way, to the human condition, all of us "everyman". Most of us would admit though, that the living center of the human, the heart of what we are as living thing, is somewhere adjacent but not exactly in us, personally. Since that would be the cull metric, the zero on the graph from which the determining scale would be measured out, it seems important to get to it, if we can.
Where would it be?
The emotional turmoil generated by the shootings at Virginia Tech, the violent deaths of a few dozen people unknown to almost everyone who's been horrified by them, would seem to point toward a youth axis, something in the young central to what we are.
Certainly if the shooter had rampaged through a so-called "convalescent home" or death warehouse, where the non-affluent elderly are bled dry of their last economic viability in return for minimum-wage "care" and generic mood stabilizing drugs, most of the shock and horror would have been much reduced in those outside the social and geographic reality of the event.
This makes sense biologically, and in its broadest parameters it's what the Nazis were working toward - the children, doing it for the children. Just as the horror of the Nazi Holocaust would have been greatly diminished if they had left the Jews alone, and to a lesser extent the Romany, and only concerned themselves with removing the physically deformed, the mentally aberrant and deficient, the homosexual and the criminal, and - for at least some observers - the communists. This would have been more in line with rudimentary concepts of Darwinian evolution, aided by human intention.
But before we try to narrow that metric down too precisely, let's pull back and look at a similar circumstance, whose outer surface makes it seem completely unrelated but whose real workings were parallel to a substantial degree. The steady attrition of indigenous people during the westward expansion across North America by European immigrants in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, while superficially being about geography and abstract things like religion and destiny, was all and only about resources, and who would get to use them, and who was in the way of that.
The superior white man's ways displaced the inferior red man's ways, as was appropriate according to the white man's conscience, which was shaped by his religion. The red man's conscience, shaped by his religion, was left to speak from the margins, in tones far nobler but not emphasized enough by superior weaponry, the ultimate sign of divine sanction.
How is this related? There's a sense that the elect, the chosen, those who have successfully maneuvered through the Ulyssean obstacles of the modern economy, should bear the rewards as well, in this case the clear conscience and bright prospects of right living, technologically speaking.
So that the center, the default center of humanity, in the sense of who should go on from here if there is to be a reduction in population numbers, should be those who've attained that center already, and their children.
The problem with that, morally, is that they should bear the responsibility for it, as well. That by gaining the rewards, they've helped create the circumstance. We should probably work that out pretty quickly, as it's likely to be pertinent, if not crucial, to our dilemma, in the near future.
On the other hand, if this is not the center of humanity, the successful and economically agile of the present moment, if in fact it lies elsewhere, if our loyalties should be cast further than toward the enterprising and successful of the way things are right now, where would that be?
The Kalahari, the Australian outback, the Arctic, the Amazon.
Anywhere people still live in ways that are molded to and by the real world, the one that shaped us from the beginning, the one we're damaging, the one we dominated until we began to break its harmony and balance.
Not to the exclusion of everyone else, but the center, the deepest part of what we are, who we are, the unbroken chain of our being that goes back through to the beginning.
Science in its wide abstract field of vision gives us no moral focus for this, seeing no difference between any of the players, only outcomes. Religion as it's devolved has become the excuse for selfishness that's needed to resolve the question. The Great Pig that wants to rule the world will take its refuge in any church or temple or mosque or synagogue it has to, and issue its demands from there, masked as fate and moral exigency.
And soon enough the call will come for the harsh necessity of population reduction.
Just you watch.
Maybe not from any official institution, not from any politician, but it will come. And it will make sense. Because there are too many of us - not numerically per se, but for how we live. And many people, after generations of grooming and breeding toward selfishness as a birthright, would rather see others die than change the way they live - if they're comfortable.
And many of us are comfortable living this way, even as the news comes in that it's terminal, selfish on a scale that's Blakean, Satanic, and completely unsustainable without massive, essential change.
The nature of that change is what the game's about.


Colony Collapse Disorder :

frantic efforts of scientists to uncover the secret to the disappearing bees...
Pesticides, particularly Bayer's imidacloprid, a nicotine-based product marketed under the names Admire, Provado, Merit, Marathon and Gaucho, have been concretely implicated in the destruction of bee populations before...
hot off the press is a study on cellphone radiation and its effects on the bees' ability to navigate...
The committee noted that, while systematic, thorough monitoring programs in Europe have revealed dramatic declines in native pollinator abundance and diversity, there are no comparable North American programs...
Celsias 13.Apr.07
link Spirits Dancing
Holocaust survivors have left Israel to live out the rest of their days in Germany due to the better conditions they receive there, according to a documentary program broadcast Tuesday night by Israel's Channel 2 television...
This Holocaust survivor had left Israel to return to Germany to receive the free medication and monthly allowance provided by the German government for survivors.
Contrary to Israel, the German government has stipulated that Holocaust survivors in need of housing and medicine are entitled to them free of charge. When asked what she thought of the Israeli government's attitude towards Holocaust survivors, she said: "I would not want what I think to appear in print."
Ynet 16.Apr.07
link Norman G. Finkelstein


first step in a long journey:
a Vatican report released Friday that says there were "serious" grounds to hope that children who die without being baptized can go to heaven.
Road traffic crashes are the leading cause of death among young people between 10 and 24 years, according to a new report published by WHO.
The report, Youth and Road Safety, says that nearly 400,000 young people under the age of 25 are killed in road traffic crashes every year.
Millions more are injured or disabled.


In the wrong place at the wrong time

Jane Smiley on guns:
"I gave my gun away, because when I had it, every time something happened that made me mad, my mind would start circling around that gun, and I would be thinking about using it. So I got rid of it and I'm glad I did."
Right up front I will say that I am opposed to casual gun ownership, but I also realize that Americans will always have guns. Period. It's a national fetish. But the mental state my interlocutor was describing years ago is the price we have to pay, along with, of course, the accidental deaths of children and other unprepared and careless people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and in proximity to the wrong gun.
Huffington Post 16.Apr.07
Jane Smiley lives in California, a hundred miles or so north of a place called "Los Osos", or "The Bears".
The origin of that place-name, in the early 18th century, seems to be the near starvation of the men at the presidio at Monterey, near where Smiley lives in Carmel Valley, and the response of the Spanish commandant in San Luis Obispo, who sent them food, providing a pack train loaded with bear meat, because the bears at Los Osos were plentiful, then.
Brown bears. Black bears. And grizzlies. There's a lot of people living around that area now, it's semi-suburban and at the margin of one of the most expensive real estate markets in the US - men women and children, going about their relatively comfortable lives. The idea of them living in proximity to bears now is ridiculous; but since the bears are gone, and have been for pretty much a hundred years, it doesn't come up for discussion.
What you have there, if you look at it from far enough away, is a progression, from having dangerous bears around and needing guns to deal with them, to not. It was never announced that "Now we no longer need to be armed against these ferocious and aggressive creatures." They left, or were exterminated, and after a while, and after a whole bunch of social change, so did the idea of going armed into the hills around the area. To the point that now most of the middle-class white people who enjoy hiking around there would be offended and angry to see someone coming down the trail toward them carrying a gun. That there are very few other mammals besides the small generalists like possums and raccoons and coyotes out there, and a vastly reduced bird count - tragically vast measured from the days of the Spanish presence - isn't important to the immigrants, Smiley and her demographic, who mostly just accept the landscape as they find it - rolling hills, beautiful seacoast, and one of the mildest climates in the world.
The birds they have are the birds that are there, and no one's making any big fuss about the disappearance of anything like bears or - heaven forfend - the Chumash and Salinan indians that once lived among and around those other, vanished, creatures, bird and bear, without feeling compelled to kill them all or accidentally reducing them to remnants and vanishing points.
What I want to illustrate here is the flow of change, the continuum, from guns at all times during the early Spanish Alta California period, to guns hidden away at home today, and active gun owners a minority, almost like smokers huddled in a windy doorway except they're way more intimidating, and far less ashamed.
And that's missing from Smiley's friend's rap - his mind circles that gun when he gets angry at someone, or did when he had one, but also, someone who's pissing him off will have to stop and consider that as well won't they?
Maybe I don't want to make this guy too mad, because he might be armed.
The flow of change from Spanish to present seems inevitable, because it happened and that's how we view things, but there's nothing that says this is how it will always be.
And there's another continuum. From relative security in the social landscape, to a steadily increasing anxiety and tension, as that landscape devolves and loses its cohesion. The question is are we riding another continuum, toward some time and place where guns may again be as necessary as they were when bears were living just a few miles away from where we slept? Big scary bears that didn't run away when they were shot at, and often kept coming even when they were shot point blank.
Also, what weaponry will protect us from this:

2005 Fatalities Fatality Rate per
100M VMT
Fatality Rate per
100K Population
California 4,329 1.31 11.98
US 43,443 1.45 14.66


Dilip Hiro at Tom Dispatch/Z-net on al-Sadr's growing strength, and the fact that he mobilized over a million demonstrators in a country exploding with war and irrational hatred and all kinds of shadowy weird violence - hundreds of thousands of pissed-off Iraqis, all in one place, demonstrating peacefully to end the occupation. Pretty radical.

He has not been seen in public for months, but Monday's dramatic withdrawal of his supporters from the government shows that radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is still a dangerous force in Iraq.
Radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has announced the withdrawal of his political bloc from the Iraqi government.
Cars, minibuses and roadside bombs exploded in Shiite Muslim enclaves across the city Sunday, killing at least 45 people in sectarian violence that defied the Baghdad security crackdown, while a radical anti-U.S. cleric raised a new threat to Iraq's government.
The radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his followers
The political movement of the radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr today ordered
The al-Sadr bloc leader, Nassar al-Rubaiy'i, said today that as long as U.S. forces were in Iraq, the government could not stop the violence. He said Iraqi people want U.S. troops to leave but al-Maliki's government does not listen.
"The most important reason, sadly, is the non-response of Prime Minister al-Maliki to the demonstration of a million [people], staged by the Iraqi people in the province of holy Al-Najaf, while [al-Maliki] directly demanded that the occupation forces remain," al-Rubay'i said. "And since al-Maliki gained his position as a result of a parliamentary system, he is asked to reflect the will of Iraqi people."


the cash:

Conservation groups today asked an Alaska judge to immediately stop the state from paying a bounty for dead wolves.
The new state program aims to boost wolf kills by paying aerial gunners and pilots $150 for the left foreleg of wolves.
State officials last week said the "incentive program" - designed to boost wolf kills this spring - is not a bounty because it’s being offered to a select group of people for a select time and will yield scientific information. Past bounty programs were more widespread, they argued.
State officials said they shifted to the new program because this winter's wolf-kill program is behind schedule and the snow that allows pilots to track wolves is melting.
The predator-control program was begun four years ago to boost moose numbers.
Anchorage Daily News 27.Mar.07
Moose numbers being a given good, and not needing a cause, a "moose numbers are important because". Except what that is is hunters killing moose for sport provide large amounts of cash to the Alaskan tourist economy. It has nothing to do with regard for moose, or the health of moose populations in their natural place, or Alaska or Alaskans. It's about the money.
Oh and that part about the snow is melting...
But reduced sea ice is causing massive damage in coastal communities because it no longer provides a buffer to damaging ocean waves, said Partain from the National Weather Service.
It doesn't take a scientist to notice that, now, if the wind blows at 30 knots in Barrow, you need a gravel berm to protect the roads. That wasn't the case in the past, Partain said.
Not only are coastal Native villages at risk, but the sea-level rise is causing saltwater intrusion in low-lying rivers in the Yukon-Kuskowkim region, he said.
The National Weather Service is also recording more variable and unpredictable weather. Though Anchorage and Fairbanks had near record snow years this winter, the snow is melting very rapidly, Partain said.
Rapid melt off doesn't penetrate the ground but instead flushes into the streams and rivers. That won't be good for the state's fire season, he said.
Fisheries are another economic engine that could get swamped. Alaska's fisheries provide half of the country's seafood.
SIT/Anchorage Daily News 14.Apr.07
Defenders of Wildlife

shadows from the new world:

...the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.
The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up.
IndependentUK 15.Apr.07
via rwa

news from the shadow world:

The authorities appear unwilling to allow opposition gatherings except at locations where crowds can be contained easily by large numbers of police.
SFGate/WaPo 15.Apr.07


Ich bin nicht ein Juden!

Mr Berezovsky, 61, a former mathematician, turned to business during the Yeltsin years and made his fortune by capturing state assets at knockdown prices during Russia's rush towards privatisation.

Although he played a key role in ensuring Mr Putin's victory in the 2000 presidential elections, the two men fell out as the newly elected leader successfully wrested control of Russia back from the so-called oligarchy, the small group of tycoons who had come to dominate the country's economy.
GuardianUK 13.Apr.07
Ich bin nicht ein Mann!
"Theoretically is it possible," Professor Nayernia said. "The problem is whether the sperm cells are functional or not. I don't think there is an ethical barrier, so long as it's safe. We are in the process of applying for ethical approval. We are preparing now to apply to use the existing bone marrow stem cell bank here in Newcastle. We need permission from the patient who supplied the bone marrow, the ethics committee and the hospital itself."
he said there was no intention at this stage to produce female sperm that would be used to fertilise a human egg, a move that would require the approval of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
IndependentUk 13.Apr.07
Ethical barriers that may or may not exist but when they do are only there if the authority, the designated official authority, says so. Because otherwise there's just the chaos of everyone's opinion. So all you have to do is find out if the authority says it's wrong or not.
That Dr. Nayernia may not have the vision necessary to recognize the incremental slide toward profane godhood he's in, because of the rewards and the limitless worlds of promise just over the horizon that beckon him onward, shouldn't be used to condemn him. What should be condemned is the thing that uses him to create itself. And we may as well start working toward an understanding of what that is.
The bizarre intolerance for sex that came down to us as institutionalized taboos never made much sense to me. Especially when held up to the serious and awful regard toward death those same institutions carried. But sex and death are Darwinian, aren't they? If you were immortal you wouldn't need sex anymore would you? Physically immortal, not spiritually. You'd still need the physical packaging to get you forward, through time, if you weren't really eternal, but were groping toward that in increments, using every means at your disposal, heedless of the consequences to anything and everyone else. So you'd hate sex and fear death, because sex means death, reproduction means replacement. We're stepping right toward that shining moment, or some thing we carry is, when the keys to physical immortality will replace the keys to spiritual immortality as grail and goal.
What that thing is after is permanence, kind of a biological apotheosis. Dr. Nayernia's doing his part. I guess I'm not.
Berezovsky's little puff piece in the Guardian never touches on the source of his wealth. And it damn sure doesn't go into what the Russian people might be thinking about his talking stink on Putin, their president.
Berezovsky made his billions by manipulating the Russian economy, raping the gut-shot Russian economy, or gutting the raped and beaten Russian economy - however you're more comfortable phrasing that. As a by-product, and a tangent to this post, the glut of cute young blondes fellating tattooed faceless male bodies that was so much of the early internet experience for so many of us came right out of that. Abject poverty, striking suddenly, like lightning from a clear sky, and thousands of Russian kids were filtered through the gates of hell. And into the do-this-or-die dynamic of Russia's way-evil criminal enterprise or "mafia", though that's a dire insult to the only guys that have a poetic right to the name. Which way-evil criminal enterprise Berezovsky and his fellow oligarchs comported with, ran with, or ran, on their way to the top of capitalism's only metric of success.
Paul Klebnikov, whose picture that is, was murdered in Moscow in July 2004, the same month this article appeared, in Forbes, under his byline. It had been published in Forbes Russia in May. It's a fairly innocuous story about the oligarchs and their billions, nothing like the direct accusations that almost appear in this story, from Forbes in 1996, in which Berezovsky's virtually fingered as the capo di capo of Russia's crime/business world. That one has no byline, though wikipedia has an entry that says it's by Lebnikov.
In that article Berezovsky was linked to the murder of Vladislav Listiev, albeit loosely and indirectly. He sued, evidently got some legal satisfaction.
In 2000 Lebnikov wrote a book whose title can't have pleased our Boris much - Godfather of the Kremlin: The Decline of Russia in the Age of Gangster Capitalism.

wikipedia Lebnikov:
The trial began on January 10, 2006 in closed session because Russian authorities claim case-related documents contain information about secret surveillance methods used by law enforcement ... Soon the original judge, Mariya Komarova, fell ill, and on February 13, according to the Russian law, she was replaced by a different judge, Vladimir Usov. The trial had to be restarted from the very beginning, including the new jury selection process. The trial ended on May 5, 2006 with a jury verdict of "not guilty" for all the accused and they were released from custody in the courtroom.
Michael Klebnikov, Paul's brother, said it was a remarkable coincidence that the same eight jurors also acquitted the same two men of the murder of Yan Sergunin, a former Russian deputy prime minister of Chechnya, with whom Klebnikov had been in contact; Sergunin was shot dead outside a Moscow restaurant just two weeks before Klebnikov's murder.
Robert Levinson was involved in an FBI investigation in Klebnikov's death. Levinson disappeared in Iran in April 2007.
[though it seems he's still alive]
Project Klebnikov


True charity remembers not only those in need who ask, but also those who are prevented by some reason from asking.

Sura 51:19
starting very, very early:
Karl Rove's lawyer on Friday dismissed the notion that
President Bush's chief political adviser intentionally deleted his own e-mails from a Republican-sponsored server, saying Rove believed the communications were being preserved in accordance with the law.

The issue arose because the White House and Republican National Committee have said they may have lost e-mails from Rove and other administration officials. Democratically chaired congressional committees want those e-mails for their probe of the firings of eight federal prosecutors.
"His understanding starting very, very early in the administration was that those e-mails were being archived," Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, said
Kellman/AP/Yahoo 13.Apr.07
the administration’s version of the dog ate my homework
Protein Analysis of T. Rex Bone Finds Link to Chickens

After the warmest winter ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere and much talk of global warming, weather watchers say occasional snowstorms in the Midwest and Northeast, and unseasonable cold gripping much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation, is rare though not unprecedented.

"It's pretty unusual," said University of Wisconsin-Madison atmospheric scientist Jonathan Martin.
Stern/Reuters/Yahoo 13.Apr.07

crazy, man!

Indoctrination is supposed to be a predicate for action commensurate with professions of seriousness.
Opinions differ as to whether acid rain from the Canadian mining and smelting operation is killing vegetation that once absorbed carbon dioxide. But a report from CNW Marketing Research ("Dust to Dust: The Energy Cost of New Vehicles from Concept to Disposal") concludes that in "dollars per lifetime mile," a Prius (expected life: 109,000 miles) costs $3.25, compared to $1.95 for a Hummer H3 (expected life: 207,000 miles).
The question is:
Suppose the costs over a decade of trying to achieve a local goal are insignificant. And suppose the positive impact on the globe's temperature are insignificant -- and much less than, say, the negative impact of one year's increase in the number of vehicles in one country (e.g., India). If so, are people who recommend such things thinking globally but not clearly?
George Will/WaPo/MiamiHerald 12.04.07
another one!
Tony Blair yesterday claimed the spate of knife and gun murders in London was not being caused by poverty, but a distinctive black culture.
Mr Blair said he had been moved to make his controversial remarks after speaking to a black pastor of a London church at a Downing Street knife crime summit, who said: "When are we going to start saying this is a problem amongst a section of the black community and not, for reasons of political correctness, pretend that this is nothing to do with it?" Mr Blair said there needed to be an "intense police focus" on the minority of young black Britons behind the gun and knife attacks. The laws on knife and gun gangs needed to be toughened and the ringleaders "taken out of circulation".
Mr Blair is known to believe the tendency for many black boys to be raised in families without a father leads to a lack of appropriate role models.

He said: "We need to stop thinking of this as a society that has gone wrong - it has not - but of specific groups that for specific reasons have gone outside of the proper lines of respect and good conduct towards others and need by specific measures to be brought back into the fold."
-'re at the grocery store and somebody behind you in line starts talking and you realize after a little bit that they're not only not talking to someone else on a cel phone, they're not talking to anyone visible in particular and they're not making any coherent sense, either. But they're relatively normally dressed and they don't stink, and they have packages of food they seem to intend to buy, which is normal activity for the context.
But the things they're saying, while constructed grammatically and having essentially appropriate tonalities, don't add up to a logical and pertinent delivery of conversational info.
Kind of like that. Will makes beaucoup umpteen dollars-a-word and has a national audience for whatever he says whenever he says it, and Blair is second only to GWBush on the world stage, or was until a few months ago
Two men with the ready ear of millions, and both of them either Satanically possessed or pretty much barking mad.
"My dog failed his second driver's test."
Nothing overt in the sentence is wrong, the sentence itself is correct grammatically, both dogs and driving licenses are common elements of the contemporary landscape.
It's the linking of the one with the other, with the unstated, unspoken and therefore invisible corollary that having your dog get a driver's license would imply getting your dog behind the wheel at some point, an idea that without a great deal of background reinforcement most people would find absurd to the point of incoherence.
Will's version of this:
Opinions differ about the point I don't like, and here's a study that says something I do like.
Those aren't equal bits of information and they don't belong in the same sentence as parts of a logically coherent argument.
The study I'm presenting may well be differed-with equally or even more strenuously than the opinions I'm discounting, but we aren't going to talk about that because we're not being logical, we're being absurd. And getting away with it.
Blair's version:
Things are a certain way now, and certain things now are not to my liking, therefore I want to change them, by disrupting things as they are and forcing others to behave in ways I find more acceptable.
The irrefutable statistical evidence that young black men are far and away more responsible for incidents of violent crime, in England as well as the US, when taken all by itself provides all the confirmation needed for social controls on young black males, to either be "taken out of circulation", or "brought back into the fold" depending on which paragraph of Mr. Blair's speech you happen to be reading.
But as soon as you widen the boundaries of the problem, to include, let's suggest, more of the real world and its real history, including the exploitation of the resources young black males represent, or represented, say what young black males - the cultural if not genetic ancestors of these contemporary young black males - represented in the 19th century, so that what you have there is really more like a strip-mined mountain in some ways than a living landscape with its ecological components intact and in balance, and that imbalance, that incompleteness, that damaged place is directly and without any fuzzy cheap talk your fault, and came about as a direct result of the same events and practices that built the very fortunes and properties and other economic benefits you now try so frantically to protect from them, those young black males - the people you fucked over to get it.
But as long as you pretend that never happened what you're saying makes perfect sense.
As long as you pretend everyone was born pretty much when the television began to take up its residence in the home, and to take over the historical function of grandparents, to teach the youngest members of the family who they are in a wider, more rooted sense, and where they come from past the obvious beginnings in their parents' adult lives. As long as you pretend the past is over and done with and all we have is this long extending now that stretches from just about right here to whenever up ahead or forever. As long as you pretend that slavery stopped being a problem in any way as soon as it became functionally illegal, and that racism, while irritating, like smoking in public, is essentially a lifestyle choice of ignorant and unpleasant people, and not systemic and institutionalized, still, yet. And as long as you can keep the public debate from the topic, chilling as it may be, of Darwinian evolution working on us as a species, and as races, and even as classes of people in economic segregation.
And of course the same pattern's there in the non-existent, still at this late hour, media public debate over climate change and its causes and consequences.
Black male rage as internalized global warming.
Same cause, and there's the same mealy-mouthed horseshit that's all we're given, coming from the same heirs to the same benefits of that same cause, trying to rectify and justify what they can't possibly justify, because there isn't any way to do it.
Greed wrecked the lives of these "young black Britons" through wrecking the lives of their ancestors, and that damage has never been addressed for what it really was and it's never been healed; and greed has wrecked the world's climate, and that's become too obvious to ignore now, and the people that did it are in both cases the same people generally and in particular, and they're still riding the power and privilege that come from it, and Will and Blair both work for them, as servants, and that's why they say these things that make no sense at all, but seem to.


Kentucky Fried China
maids in Japan

Of such great importance:

"In the Middle East, besides some signs of hope in the dialogue between Israel and the Palestine Authority, nothing positive comes from Iraq, torn apart by continual slaughter as the civil population flees," [Pope]Benedict told tens of thousands of faithful in St. Peter's Square.
Newton is best known today as the author of the hymn "Amazing Grace," and he is a central figure in the film of that name now in theaters, in which he is portrayed as repenting his devotion to the slave trade in the 1780s. But his grace apparently wasn't amazing enough to curb the constant affirmation of anti-Jewish sentiment in his "Messiah" sermons.
frightened villagers descended from the hills
Yesterday's Liberation, the left-wing newspaper, was edited by Diams, a female rapper whose latest album, In My Bubble, has sold 700,000 copies and who at every concert calls on her fans to vote. 'I read all the manifestoes, but I'm not going to make an explicit choice because I don't want to influence people ... to incite people to vote is to discover the country,' Diams, 26, told the newspaper. '[However], if Sarko or Le Pen are elected I'm getting ready for it to kick off.'


The Davos dilemma:

What are the stakes here? The stakes could not be higher. What we are losing is the incentive, the economic incentive, for peace, the economic incentive for stability. When you can create such a booming economy around war and disaster, around destruction and reconstruction, over and over and over again, what is your peace incentive?
Naomi Klein/DemocracyNow!journal - 02.04.07


unable to open their eyes:

The renegade cleric Muqtada al-Sadr urged the Iraqi army and police to stop cooperating with the United States and told his guerrilla fighters to concentrate on pushing American forces out of the country, according to a statement issued Sunday.
The statement, stamped with al-Sadr's official seal, was distributed in the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Sunday
"You, the Iraqi army and police forces, don't walk alongside the occupiers, because they are your archenemy," the statement said. Its authenticity could not be verified.

In the statement, al-Sadr — who commands an enormous following among Iraq's majority Shiites and has close allies in the Shiite-dominated government — also encouraged his followers to attack only American forces, not fellow Iraqis.

"God has ordered you to be patient in front of your enemy, and unify your efforts against them — not against the sons of Iraq," the statement said, in an apparent reference to clashes between al-Sadr's Mahdi Army fighters and Iraqi troops in Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad. "You have to protect and build Iraq."

The U.S. military on Sunday announced the deaths of four American soldiers, killed a day earlier in an explosion near their vehicle in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad. The province has seen a spike in attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces since the start of a plan two months ago to pacify the capital. Officials believe militants have streamed out of Baghdad to invigorate the insurgency in areas just outside the city.
Separately, a pickup truck loaded with artillery shells exploded Sunday near a hospital south of Baghdad, killing at least 15 people. The blast left a crater 10 yards wide, the Iraqi military said.
Three mortars sailed into houses in eastern Baghdad, sending six people to the hospital with breathing difficulties from a possible chemical agent, police said.
Doctors said the victims' faces turned yellow and they were unable to open their eyes.
Kadir/AP/Yahoo 08.04.07
It feels silly today, trying to do this. Something says there's still a few souls trying to understand what it is, but everyone else is carrying cardboard boxes of food and water down into the shelters, hoping for the signal to come in time.
Anyway. This is propaganda, not news. As dull and vicious and insanely deceptive as anything that came out of the concrete fortresses of the 1950's, America or Russia or China. It's insane, but there it is, all black and white and read all over.
The renegade cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
That would be renegade from what exactly? Evil Islam that everyone supposedly knows is a religion of violence and intolerance? He's a renegade from that?
Or is he a renegade from the benevolent hand of freedom and democracy so patiently extended toward him by his peace-loving brothers and sisters in the Judeo-Christian West?
What exactly is he renegading about, or to, or against? Or is he one of those people we all know that just have to be contrary, no matter what?
al-Sadr — who commands an enormous following among Iraq's majority Shiites and has close allies in the Shiite-dominated government
the renegade with an "enormous following" and "close allies" in...
The "lone wolf" with his fiercely loyal posse and thousands of disciples.
Also, this is fun - how the statement is quoted with total authority in the lede paragraph, then described as "stamped" with his "official seal", then qualified with
...the statement said. Its authenticity could not be verified
"God has ordered you to be patient in front of your enemy..."
"You have to protect and build Iraq."
followed immediately by
The U.S. military on Sunday announced the deaths of four American soldiers, killed a day earlier in an explosion near their vehicle in Diyala province
The visual equivalent would be footage of him yelling something in Arabic at the camera with a mincing translation voiceover and simple english scrolling underneath, followed right away by footage of wounded and dead American soldiers.
You hated Osama bin Laden so much because you were told to hate him so much, by voices on your television and radio, voices that lied to you repeatedly and consistently, whenever it suited their dark purpose; and you hated Saddam Hussein because those same invisible ever-present voices encouraged that hatred; and now you're supposed to hate al-Sadr. Because he's a renegade.
Because he thinks of the American military as "the enemy". The American military which invaded his country and has killed or been responsible for killing close to a million of his countrymen - images of dead and grotesquely maimed Iraqi children being so common on the internet now they're no longer all that stimulating to the death-porn freaks - a war that's destroyed the Iraqi economy, a war which the majority of Americans now believe was begun under false pretenses, that they were tricked into supporting because the evidence for it was based on lies and cunning manipulations of the truth, a war funded by blank checks on the American treasury issued by corrupt and lying politicians, to the outrageous benefit of corrupt and lying corporations.
Renegade from that.
I'd like to thank Thomas Harris for providing us with the image, in Silence of The Lambs, of the politician's daughter down in the pit, with that little yapping dog running around up above her, just out of reach, and the stone psycho Buffalo Bill humming to himself and primping in the mirror - because it is exactly where we are right now.


Compare and contrast:




Relief at the freeing of the British sailors and Marines in Iran is tempered with dismay at the humiliation to which they and the country they serve have been subjected.
A proposed reservoir just north of the California-Mexico border would correct an inefficient water delivery system that allows excess water to pass to Mexico.


"confessin" the "blues":

MM"Were those your words?"
"Yes," he answered.
Britain's efforts to secure the release of fifteen sailors detained in Iran bog down amidst protests and televised "confessions."
The British government has vehemently denied that its personnel entered Iranian waters, and has said the confessions appear coerced.
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi of Yemeni descent, is the second "high value" detainee to contend he was tortured while being held in secret CIA prisons prior to transfer to the detention site in Cuba last September.
A British official has confirmed that work is going on "behind the scenes"
All 15 UK personnel 'confess', claims Iran
...what it said were two of the 15 captured British sailors, admitting they had entered Iranian waters
British officials have questioned the conditions under which the apparent confessions have been made
The Pentagon released a transcript yesterday according to which Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, long believed to be the man behind the Sept. 11 attacks, confessed at a military hearing in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba this past Saturday.
Iran said footage of the "confessions" would not be broadcast
Mohammed is being held in a secret detention system run by the CIA after being moved from secret CIA prisons to the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay last year
Attacks Mohammed confessed in range from the suicide hijackings of Sept. 11, 2001 - which killed nearly 3,000 - to a 2002 shooting on an island off Kuwait that killed a U.S. Marine and the 1993 World Trade Center truck bombing in which six people died.
Iranian media reports said footage of the "confessions" would not be broadcast, following unspecified "positive changes"
A detainee accused of being Al Qaeda's Persian Gulf operations chief said in court that his U.S. captors tortured him for years and forced him to falsely confess to the bombing of the U.S. destroyer Cole and to many other terrorist plots, according to a Pentagon transcript released Friday.
...its decision to parade them before the cameras for forced confessions and "apologies."
Leurs "témoignages" n'etaient pas audibles, mais selon la television, ils ont "avoue" avoir penetre dans les eaux iraniennes en venant du cote de l'Irak
Mohammed said he also thought about assassinating former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, and planned bombings of buildings such as the Sears Tower in Chicago, the Empire State Building in New York and Big Ben in London, England.
A suspect in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen said he was tortured into admitting responsibility for that attack and others, according to a hearing transcript the Pentagon released Friday.
Last week [mid March] senior al-Qaeda operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed reportedly confessed during his Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) at the US prison in the US Naval Station, Guantanamo, Cuba to having planned virtually every al-Qaeda attack on the United States. But during the military tribunal proceedings, he also said he was tortured during his four year confinement in CIA secret prisons. Senators Levin and Graham viewed the Guantanamo proceedings over a special video link into the US Senate. Afterwards, Senator Levin said that Sheikh Mohammed’s allegations of torture by US officials must be investigated.
Iranian television last night showed "confessions" of two of the 15 British sailors and marines held in Iran, heightening tensions between the two nations and drawing a rebuke from officials in London
Two weeks after Khalid Mohammed confessed to everything, right back to hiding Lord Lucan, comes the news that David Hicks, the only Australian in Guantanamo Bay, has pleaded guilty to charges of assisting al-Qaida in terrorist operations.
Britain's delicate diplomatic efforts were set back by U.S. President George W. Bush, who made a statement Saturday in which he characterized the imprisoned sailors as "hostages" - a phrase that Britain has been carefully avoiding to prevent the crisis from becoming a broader political or military conflict
Despite the earlier rulings, none of the roughly 385 detainees has yet had a hearing in a civilian court challenging his detention because the administration has moved aggressively to limit the legal rights of prisoners it has labeled as enemy combatants.
Torture and other abuses against detainees in U.S. custody in Iraq were authorized and routine, even after the 2004 Abu Ghraib scandal, according to new accounts from soldiers in a Human Rights Watch report released today. The new report, containing first-hand accounts by U.S. military personnel interviewed by Human Rights Watch, details detainee abuses at an off-limits facility at Baghdad airport and at other detention centers throughout Iraq.


if we don't charge on despite all the criticism:

"Whatever one thinks of Perle and of the philosophies that took us into Iraq," he said,
"it is a hugely important part of American policy, and I don't think the neoconservative view has ever been put out on American television."
Said by Mr. Leo Eaton, producer of "America at a Crossroads", a series soon to run on PBS.
Mr. Eaton was defending the inclusion of Richard Perle's film, "The Case For War", in the series, which consists of eleven independently made films. Independent at least in the sense they were made by different filmmakers. Mr. Perle being one, or rather the subject, or cause of one.
That inclusion caused Mr. John Schidlovsky, founding director of the International Reporting Project at Johns Hopkins University and one of the "Crossroads" outside advisers, to resign from the project, saying on his way:
"In a series as comprehensive as this nationwide 12-hour production, I believe it is editorially imbalanced for PBS to present only one viewpoint on this important story."
Elizabeth Jensen, in her story in the Television section of the New York Times, from which these quotes were drawn, concerning another of the films in the series:
Meanwhile some Muslim leaders are unhappy about "Faith Without Fear," in which a Canadian journalist, Irshad Manji, gets an hour to outline her call for changes in what she sees as overly monolithic Muslim societies. As in Mr. Perle's film, Ms. Manji's views come with a counterpoint: her observant Muslim mother.
"Meanwhile" and "some" being shadow diminutives, and serving to keep any Muslim criticism of the series firmly marginalized and adjacent to the hobgoblins and boogie-men-of-terror the media has portrayed so vividly for its viewers these last five years or so.
It's probable Ms. Jensen didn't mean to imply that Mrs. Manji's observant Muslim mother is also in Mr. Perle's film.
Ms. Jensen, again:
The series incorporates numerous voices that might not usually be found on public television, including, in an odd twist, President Bush’s chief domestic policy adviser, Karl Zinsmeister. He has a producer credit on "Warriors," a sympathetic portrait of soldiers, filmed in Iraq in 2005. Mr. Zinsmeister, an editor at the American Enterprise Institute when the film was commissioned, recused himself from finishing it after his White House appointment last May, turning the production over to his wife, Ann Zinsmeister, and the director Ed Robbins.

"The Case for War" survived the gantlet as well, although the British producer who conceived it, Brian Lapping, also recused himself after publicity over his friendship with Mr. Perle.

Mr. Perle said his critics had a straightforward goal...
Ms. Jensen's story was published in the Times April 1, 2007.

Those who would disagree with Mr. Eaton, who doesn't think "the neoconservative view has ever been put out on American television", should keep in mind that "the neoconservative view" has never been presented on American television as such, but rather always as the naturally arising will of the American people, an outgrowth of common decency and moral outrage - an outraged moral response to what have been portrayed to them consistently and invariably as causeless acts of irrational hatred, of themselves and freedom, and the actions of outright evil.
This has never been presented as "the neoconservative view" because, until the internet and widespread common access to it made the term "neocon" familiar and useful in describing those men who have worked so diligently behind the scenes in the Bush Administration and elsewhere to accomplish goals that had nothing to do with the welfare and well-being of America or Americans, no one outside a narrow stratum of politically sophisticated people, and some academics here and there, had any idea what it meant.

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