...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



their futures, our futures:

Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat
Badge out, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough
Wants to get it paid off
Look out kid
It's somethin' you did
God knows when
But you're doin' it again
You better duck down the alley way
Lookin' for a new friend
The man in the coon-skin cap
In the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills
You only got ten

Maggie comes fleet foot
Face full of black soot
Talkin' that the heat put
Plants in the bed but
The phone's tapped anyway
Maggie says that many say
They must bust in early May
Orders from the D. A.
Look out kid
Don't matter what you did
Walk on your tip toes...
Subterranean Homesick Blues
Bob Dylan
we must trust in the ability of free peoples to make wise decisions, and empower them to improve their lives for their futures
we must trust people with their own money and empower them to grow our economy
we must trust Americans with the responsibility of homeownership and empower them to weather turbulent times in the housing market.
we must trust patients and doctors to make medical decisions and empower them with better information
we must trust students to learn if given the chance, and empower parents to demand results from our schoolswe must trust students to learn if given the chance, and empower parents to demand results from our schools
we must trust American workers to compete with anyone in the world and empower them by opening up new markets overseas
we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology. (Applause.)
we must trust in the skill of our scientists and engineers and empower them to pursue the breakthroughs of tomorrow.
we must trust in the innovative spirit of medical researchers and empower them to discover new treatments while respecting moral boundaries
we must trust in the wisdom of our founders and empower judges who understand that the Constitution means what it says. (Applause.)
we must trust in the good heart of the American people and empower them to serve their neighbors in need
George W. Bush, State of the Union Address 28.Jan.08
LET PETER rejoice with the MOON FISH who keeps up the life in the waters by night.

Let Andrew rejoice with the Whale, who is array'd in beauteous blue and is a combination of bulk and activity.

Let James rejoice with the Skuttle-Fish, who foils his foe by the effusion of his ink.

Let John rejoice with Nautilus who spreads his sail and plies his oar, and the Lord is his pilot.

Let Philip rejoice with Boca, which is a fish that can speak.

Let Bartholomew rejoice with the Eel, who is pure in proportion to where he is found and how he is used.

Let Thomas rejoice with the Sword-Fish, whose aim is perpetual and strength insuperable.

Let Matthew rejoice with Uranoscopus, whose eyes are lifted up to God.

Let James the less, rejoice with the Haddock, who brought the piece of money for the Lord and Peter.

Let Jude bless with the Bream, who is of melancholy from his depth and serenity.

Let Simon rejoice with the Sprat, who is pure and innumerable.

Let Matthias rejoice with the Flying-Fish, who has a part with the birds, and is sublimity in his conceit.
Jubilate Agno
Christopher Smart

Christie says, ‘Over 100 tribes on three continents continue to shun contact with the outside world. They are among the most vulnerable peoples on earth
‘If you people try to stop our plans, we will kill you.’
A Jarawa man and boy by the side of the Andamans Trunk Road
some Kwegu
The UK has refused to ratify ILO 169 on the basis that there are no tribal peoples in the country.
A British company, Vedanta Resources plc, looks likely to be given the go-ahead for a mine that will devastate the Dongria Kond tribe’s sacred mountain.


after three days, guests and:

"We were shocked that mercury levels in tuna were as high as those in many of the fish on FDA's 'do not eat' list," Jacqueline Savitz, Oceana's senior campaign director, said in a statement.


writing the check and getting out of Dodge
scared of an Obama candidacy? which satisfied quickly condemned they should be addressed a strong record on issues of importance Obama has a strong record on issues of importance Obama's policy doesn't differ substantially from the current administration Obama has a strong record on issues of importance Obama counts Lester Crown Obama has a strong record on issues of importance has repeatedly said that he has never been a Muslim
That's fine and good, but won't satisfy
to be loud and clear


the forces that are blindly working to ensure:

"Being contained within the region," writes Martin Walker of UPI in his summary of Mr. Cordesman's study, "such a nuclear exchange might not be Armageddon for the human race."

What would happen then? In a recently released study, Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies argues that Mr. Rafsanjani had it wrong. In the grisly scenario Mr. Cordesman draws, tens of millions would indeed die, but Israel--despite the decimation of its civilian population and the destruction of its major cities--would survive, even if just barely, as a functioning society. Not so Iran, and not its "key Arab neighbors," particularly Egypt and Syria, which Mr. Cordesman thinks Israel would also have to target in order "to ensure that no other power can capitalize on an Iranian strike." Furthermore, Israel might be driven in desperation to go after the oil wells, refineries, and ports in the Gulf.
Tempting as it must be for George Bush to sit back and let the Israelis do the job, there are considerations that should give him pause. One is that no matter what he would say, the whole world would regard the Israelis as a surrogate for the United States, and we would become as much the target of the ensuing recriminations both at home and abroad as we would if we had done the job ourselves.

N.Podhoretz/WSJ 23.Jan.08


Why should the resources of human genius and the riches of the people turn more often to preparing arms ... than to increasing the welfare of all classes of citizens and particularly of the poor?
-Pope John XXIII
Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker newspaper,
picketing against the Atomic Bomb, New York, 1959
Vivan Cherry Monroe Gallery
"The Pope is Dead. Long Live the Pope/Viva John XXIII"
By Dorothy Day November 1958
The Catholic Worker

Martin Luther King, Jr. Arrested on a Loitering Charge, Montgomery, September 3, 1958

Inf38 is reading the latest papal encyclical for some reason. Struggling through but pausing long enough to note that there's a sense behind the meaning behind the words that when [if, etc.] Jesus Christ performed a miracle like healing the sick or feeding the hungry, it wasn't so much to end the suffering of the afflicted as it was to demonstrate his mighty command of miracle-working technologies, and the mighty mightiness of the copyright holder on those technologies.
Put another way, healing the sick and feeding the hungry is all about founding and then expanding the Church - the individuals involved and their individual sufferings aren't important except strategically.
A little thought along the other line would lead inescapably to - Can feed the multitude; can raise the dead; can do these things whenever He wants: therefore He could feed everybody all the time, and nobody ever has to die.
Here speaks Pope Benedict XVI:

With regard to the personnel who carry out the Church's charitable activity on the practical level, the essential has already been said: they must not be inspired by ideologies aimed at improving the world, but should rather be guided by the faith which works through love...
That isn't so much dogma or spiritual commentary as it is politics and conservative social theory with its gunsights on leftist revolutionaries. Ratzinger/Benedict's sort of the George W. Bush of the Vatican. A man chosen for his low-wattage, as well as his acquiescent dependability and unwavering fealty to the party line. Still, he's the Pope. Which puts him right up there with the Reverend Sun Yung Moon and that Dobson fella, as a leader of millions of more-or-less human beings, and the political power and economic energy that brings with it.

Radical entertainments:

George Galloway vs David Frum video link at Fanonite.
In the US we have David Frum's all over the place, especially on television news programs, but where's the American George Galloway?
Godard dance number video link at Lenin's Tomb

tomahto, tomayto, torture:

A training manual for Canadian diplomats lists the United States as a country where prisoners risk torture and abuse, citing interrogation techniques such as stripping prisoners, blindfolding and sleep deprivation.
The Foreign Affairs Department document, released Friday, singled out the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay. It also names Israel, Afghanistan, China, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Syria as places where inmates could face torture.
AP 19.Jan.08
Canada's foreign ministry, responding to pressure from close allies, said on Saturday it would remove the United States and Israel from a watch list of countries where prisoners risk being tortured.
Both nations expressed unhappiness after it emerged they had been listed...
Reuters 19.Jan.08



The Pink Project : Helicopter Fly By

the only person running for president who not only voted against the war, but voted 100% of the time against funding the war.

How did Brad Pitt get to know about Winy Maas?

The wife of late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin yesterday championed the anti-whaling protest group Sea Shepherd as the tense stand-off between the Australian vessel and Japanese whalers intensified.

The Olm, a blind salamander that can survive for 10 years without food, and a purple frog that spends most of its life four metres underground

Poor, woebegone


potahto, potayto, ptui:

GAZA CITY (AFP): A Palestinian woman was killed and dozens of people, including children, were wounded on Friday in Israel's latest air strikes on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, medics and witnesses said.
The raids were part of a spiralling escalation of violence between the army and the Islamists, amid warnings the upsurge could sink revived peace efforts.
A 47-year-old woman died when an Israeli warplane fired into a building that used to house a Hamas "interior ministry" in Gaza City, destroying the structure, they said.
The building was abandoned, but the powerful blast damaged 15 adjacent houses, killing the woman and wounding 46 others, including several children.
NYTimes:"...there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza and there won’t be one"
Guardian: Wadia had been working at a mechanics' market on Tuesday morning when the Israeli military launched a major ground incursion, beginning a new round of intense fighting in Gaza. When he heard the sound of gunfire, Wadia began to leave but was knocked to the ground by the force of an Israeli shell. It sliced off his left foot, shattered his right leg and shrapnel lacerated his stomach.
Doctors at the Shifa hospital have told him his best chance for any kind of recovery is to leave for treatment abroad, perhaps in Jordan. But Israel closed the crossings into Gaza yesterday and prevented even UN trucks from delivering food aid.





I’m under no illusions:

...the men’s friendship was cemented during Mr. Olmert’s first visit as prime minister to Washington in May 2006. They sat on the Truman balcony at the White House, without aides, and smoked cigars. They talked for more than an hour about family and sports and not, the Israeli official said, about politics.
Their relationship is politically useful to both of them, as both seek, in their own ways, to shore up their legacies as leaders. A large photograph of Mr. Bush and Mr. Olmert, walking shoulder to shoulder, hangs prominently in the West Wing of the White House. In Mr. Olmert’s private study, there are two photos of him with Mr. Bush, one like the one in the White House and the other with Mr. Olmert’s hand on the president’s shoulder.
For Michael Oren, an Israeli historian of American-Israeli relations, “the message is very clear” that Mr. Bush...
Steven Erlanger Steven Lee Myers/NYTimes 10.Jan.08


a great loss of such a great American:

"He had kids, his family, and he didn't want to go," said Kelly Nelson, Inman's cousin in Wimberley. "But he loved the Army and did his duty."
Then, on the day after Christmas, his family learned that he had been killed.
On Saturday, the military said he was one of two U.S. soldiers shot and killed by an Iraqi soldier with whom they had been working. The Iraqi soldier is reportedly in custody and representatives for both the U.S. and Iraqi armies said they are investigating.
"Initially, they are upset over the way he died," said Sam Canine, a pastor at Killeen's Memorial Baptist Church. "It was quasi-friendly fire. We train them and they shoot one of our best."
But Canine said he has been urging mourners to take comfort in how Inman lived his life.
"Rowdy was the kind of guy where you realized it's not the duration of his life, it's the donation of his life," he said. "His name said it all. He didn't lack for having fun."
Tinsley/Star-Telegram 08.Jan.08
Now he is a hero, with a name that will never be forgotten:
"I was there when the American captain and his soldiers raided a neighborhood and started shouting at women to tell them where some men they wanted were," a resident of Mosul, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS on phone. "The women told them they did not know, and their men did not do anything wrong, and started crying in fear."
The witness said the U.S. captain began to shout at his soldiers and the women, and his men then started to grab the women and pull them by their hair.
"The soldier we knew later to be Kaissar shouted at the Americans, 'No, no,' but the captain shouted back at the Iraqi soldier," the witness told IPS. "Then the Iraqi soldier shouted, 'Let go of the women, you sons of bitches,' and started shooting at them."
Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail/IPS 07.Jan.08
Independent sources have since told IPS that Kaissar was captured by a special joint Iraqi-U.S. force, and he is now being held and tortured at the al-Ghizlany military camp in Mosul.

headline: Britney Spears Rejects Visit From Dr. Phil

My meeting with Britney and some family members this morning in her room at Cedars leaves me convinced more than ever that she is in dire need of both medical and psychological intervention," [Dr. Phil]McGraw told the programs.
"She was released moments before my arrival and was packing when I entered the room. We visited for about an hour before I walked with her to her car. I am very concerned for her," he said.
FOXNews giving the lie to accusations of a covert vendetta by media cabal against young Ms. Spears through cognitive dissonance of the first order.


cryptogon has a nicely illustrative graph showing US spending on solar, "other" fossil fuels, nuclear, and coal energy versus spending on the Iraq debacle. Lots of scrolling involved.


brave documents


Around 47 million Americans are currently without health coverage of any kind

New York: At the Laser and Skin Surgery Clinic in Manhattan, Stephanie gets a course of Sculptra injections to her cheeks, by Dr Karen Kim. To stay youthful, 52-year-old Stephanie Winters (whose name has been changed) takes more than 100 supplements a day, gives herself growth hormone injections almost daily, goes to an anti-aging clinic, exercises vigorously, practices gyrotonics, pilates and other forms of body work. She also gets botox injections for her face
Healthcare in the United States (16 pictures)
Guardian UK

Blog Archive