Weblog Archives




  Friday   January 10   2003


Georgia Nigger

One of the neglected figures I’m starting to look into now is John Spivak, a reporter who “broke” the story of the abuses of Southern chain-gangs in the 1930s. I had never heard of him, but thanks to William Stott’s excellent treatment of him in Documentary Expression and Thirties America I felt like I needed to track down a copy of Georgia Nigger. This entry presents all the photographs used in the book, and some notes about the rhetorical perspective. The book opens with a postscript:

To have placed the scene of action of “Georgia Nigger” in some specific county would manifestly been unfair since it would have singled out for national opprobrium when it is no worse than many others in the state or other southern states; and to have presented a collection of factual, individual cases would have centered attention upon them and have left the many thousands of others as unknown as before.


  thanks to Riley Dog

 01:50 PM - link


Comments from Our Man in Korea.

Cloudy, Strong Chance of Rain

A number of friends and neighbours have expressed some concern about my proximity to the Bouffant Brigades across the DMZ, and asked me for my take on the latest developments here in Korealand™. I am happy to oblige.

First, some background, which tends to be glossed over by the shiny-toothed automata reading the news, and seems to be missed by most of the print media I've seen too, unsurprisingly.

In 1994, the Clinton administration established an "Agreed Framework" with the well-fed wackjobs in Pyongyang. One of the drivers of the agreement was the desire on the part of the Americans to prevent North Korea from operating a weapons- grade reactor. The Agreed Framework promised North Korea progress toward "full normalization of political and economic relations." It also promised shipments of heavy fuel oil, and two light-water reactors by 2003 to replace the weapons-grade facility Pyongyang was to shut down.

Several months ago (November 14 2002), the Bush administration decided to punitively cut off fuel oil supplies in response to Kim Jong Il's latest hijinks (admitting to a secret nuclear program), just as winter was approaching and famine looming again. This is significant because these fuel supplies were basically the only thing that America actually delivered on to fulfill their part of the 1994 agreement, and given the poverty of the country, the only way that any fuel could be had for electrical generation and so on. Ironic, actually, because it is fairly clear that, at least in part, the reason for the nuclear program in the first place was to generate electricity (and make filthy bombs to sell off and/or kill people with, of course). Construction on the promised lightwater reactors began in August of 2002, 8 years after the agreement, and 4 months before they were meant to begin operation.

It's good to see the Wonderchicken back. He's been missed.

 12:17 PM - link

Sharon seems to be experiencing a meltdown. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Sharon, Going on TV Over Scandal, Is Yanked Off Air

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, his once almost certain re-election thrown into the balance by corruption charges, went on the counterattack tonight, but his feisty, nationally televised news conference was abruptly yanked off the air.

As campaigning heats up for the Jan. 28 elections, Mr. Sharon and his Likud Party have been jolted first by accusations of party corruption and now by an accusation that Mr. Sharon committed bribery, fraud and breach of trust by taking a private loan to repay a political contribution.

But today, when Mr. Sharon took to the airwaves to defend himself, he was cut off after it was determined that he was using the broadcast time illegally to spread "election propaganda" in the month before the vote.

He's gotta go

In a normal country, the first thing expected of a prime minister suspected of bribe-taking, fraud and breach of trust, who is being questioned by the police, is to step aside, right then and there. Because someone who is suspected of such crimes - after taking an outrageously oversized loan (NIS 7 million, or NIS 14 million gross) at a totally ridiculous rate of interest, repaid with tricks and shticks, through phony companies and fishy financial channels that sent the money half around the world - can't simply wash his hands of the whole affair and blame it on the media.

Sharon's Fingerprints on Latest Suicide Bombing

It is difficult to imagine that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, with his much vaunted military and strategic acumen, did not understand the consequences of his policies over the past month.

Since the last suicide bombing on November 21, escalating Israeli military assaults have killed over sixty Palestinian civilians, culminating in the December 26 wave of killing and abductions, in which Israeli occupying forces killed at least nine Palestinians, injured more than 30 and abducted several others.

On that day alone, Israeli execution squads assassinated three prominent members from three different militant Palestinian groups: Hamza Abu el-Rab of Islamic Jihad, Ibrahim Hawash, of Hamas and Gamal Abu el-Nader of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades. All three groups vowed revenge.

As if on que, the horrific double suicide bombing near the old Tel Aviv bus station took place within two weeks of these assassinations and reports have now confirmed that the bombers were members of the Al- Aqsa Martyr's Brigades. Twenty two Israeli's and foreign workers were killed and a hundred more injured.

 12:07 PM - link

it's only money

American Currency Exhibit

Money hasn't always looked like it does today. Explore the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's American Currency Exhibit online and watch history come alive as you step back in time to our nation's beginning. Learn how our country's rich history is closely tied with our currency. Discover the role the Federal Reserve has played--and continues to play--in that history.


  thanks to reenhead.com

 11:59 AM - link


Is War Still a Racket?
An Ex-Marine Compares Gen. Smedley Butler's 1933 with 2003

In 1933, Butler lamented how as a Marine officer, he assisted Wall Street in their efforts to extend their empires into the Caribbean Basin and other places in the developing world. His opening statement follows: WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international is scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what is seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes. My mission as a Marine veteran is to continue Smedley Butler's (as well as all other veteran dissidents) legacy of exposing the truth about the purpose of military.

 11:06 AM - link


Happy Imbeciles At War
Massive U.S. military buildup, billions of dollars, a useless enemy, and no one seems to know why
By Mark Morford

This is not a war. Iraq will not be a war. Do we understand this? We do not seem to understand this. This is heavily corporatized power brokers killing each other for oil and capital. Oh yes it is.

Let's be perfectly clear. You cannot have a war when the so-called enemy has done nothing to provoke you and is absolutely no threat to your national safety and has no significant military force and has negligible chance of even setting off a firecracker near your own overwhelming death machines, and whose only weapons of minimal destruction are the rusty short- range warheads and biochemical agents we sold him 20 years ago, and kept selling to him, even after we knew he was gassing his own people.

You cannot have a war when there is nothing to fight against, when it's essentially going to be a huge U.S. military stomping/bombing exercise, when, just like Afghanistan, we stand to suffer zero U.S. casualties (except for those we seem to kill ourselves), and we just bomb and bomb and kill and kill and shrug.

Plan: Tap Iraq's Oil
U.S. considers seizing revenues to pay for occupation, source says

Bush administration officials are seriously considering proposals that the United States tap Iraq's oil to help pay the cost of a military occupation, a move that likely would prove highly inflammatory in an Arab world already suspicious of U.S. motives in Iraq.

Officially, the White House agrees that oil revenue would play an important role during an occupation period, but only for the benefit of Iraqis, according to a National Security Council spokesman.

Yet there are strong advocates inside the administration, including in the White House, for appropriating the oil funds as "spoils of war," according to a source who has been briefed by participants in the dialogue.

 09:37 AM - link

economy / tax cuts

Jobless, and Stunned

Left behind by the great Republican raid on the national Treasury are folks like Karelia Escobar and Joe Bergmann, middle-aged New Yorkers who have worked most of their lives but now find themselves traveling the anxious paths of the long-term unemployed.

With bills mounting and each day bringing a heightened sense of dread, they could use a little help. But the jobless are at the bottom of the economic heap, and the Bush administration's help seems always to go to the top.

  thanks to Eschaton

 09:30 AM - link


One generation to save world, report warns
Influential body says last chances must be seized

The human race has only one or perhaps two generations to rescue itself, according to the 2003 State of the World report by the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute.

The longer that no remedial action is taken, the greater the degree of misery and biological impoverishment that humankind must be prepared to accept, the institute says in its 20th annual report.

Overuse of resources, pollution and destruction of natural areas continue to threaten life on the planet. Conditions continue to deteriorate rapidly, the report says, although there are some hopeful signs in that technical solutions to the problems have been found and - where there is political will - adopted. In most cases, though, nothing is being done.

  thanks to BookNotes

 09:22 AM - link

  Thursday   January 9   2003

erich topp

I have been doing a web site on my grandfather, who was a naval artist during WWII. He wrote a book about the North Atlantic Patrol. He watched the Reuben James go down and wrote, and sketched, what is probably the best eyewitness description of the loss of the first US naval vessel during WWII and the rescue of its men.

It has resulted in some interesting contacts. I received an email from the niece of a survivor of the Reuben James — a survivor that was mentioned in my grandfather's book. I commented about this last June.

Yesterday I read this entry in the site guest book from Volker Erich Kummrow in the Netherlands:

Dear Sir, I'm the godson of Kapitänleutnant Erich Topp, who sank the above mentioned ship as skipper of U-552. He is still among us and doing aceptional well for his age and I talked to him as recent as two days ago. In 1990 he wrote his biography "Fackeln über dem Atlantik", Ullstein 24613; Berlin 1999 (pocket book edition). The book starts with the events which led to sinking of the REUBEN JAMES from his point of view as a U- Boat-Commander and is very moving. The book describes GURTHIE's [sic] song about the good people lost of the Reuben James.

Volker left a phone number and I called him this morning. Erich Tropp is still alive. Volker is going to visit him in a couple of weeks and wanted to know if I had any questions. What a trip! I asked Volker if there was an english translation of Erich's book. I want Erich's description of his experience from under the water to put in my grandfather's web site.

There is an english translation (The Odyssey of a U-Boat Commander:Recollections of Erich Topp) but it is $62.95, which is more money than I can afford. If anyone wants to buy it for me they are welcome to. (The book link goes to Amazon.). I will let you know where to send it. In the meantime, I will call Volker back and see if he has access to a translation of Erich's description of the sinking of the Reuben James.

By the way, U-552 was the same type of U-boat as used in the movie Das Boot.

 02:09 AM - link


Fear Me, Wicked Record Execs
In which our columnist discovers the latest in genius MP3 software, and may never buy a new CD again
By Mark Morford

But of course you know about MP3 downloads. Napster. KaZaA. Yay. Song swapping as rebellion, as pop-culture revolution, as a way to really piss off Lars Ulrich. Then came the swift sword of dumb justice. And Napster went poof. But KaZaA and its brethren still thrive.

As do cheapass CD burners, and DVD burners, and spindles of 100 blank CDs for pennies apiece, all immediately followed by the increasing realization that, Jesus with a 20GB iPod, record companies and movie studios and etc. really have been ripping us off for, you know, millennia. Twenty bucks for the new Coldplay CD? Only 75 cents of which actually goes to the band? Something's got to change.

 01:20 AM - link

people art

Life of the People

A newly sharpened social and political awareness dominated the prints and drawings of the period between 1912 and 1948. Artists of the period felt a strong affinity for the common people and argued that prints should be not just for the wealthy but treated, as they once had been, as a product for the many.


  thanks to plep

 01:14 AM - link


More on Korea from Joshua Marshall:

What are some of the great political betrayals of history?

Folks who follow Asia policy are familiar with what's called the policy of 'strategic ambiguity'.

 01:12 AM - link


Why Does President Bush Want to Drop Bombs on Innocent Iraqis?

Helen Thomas: At the earlier briefing, Ari, you said that the President deplored the taking of innocent lives. Does that apply to all innocent lives in the world? And I have a follow-up.

Ari Fleischer: I refer specifically to a horrible terrorist attack on Tel Aviv that killed scores and wounded hundreds. And the President, as he said in his statement yesterday, deplores in the strongest terms the taking of those lives and the wounding of those people, innocents in Israel

Helen Thomas: My follow-up is, why does he want to drop bombs on innocent Iraqis?

 01:08 AM - link

foreign policy

Canary in the Mine Shaft

Some two decades ago, I served at the American Embassy in Oslo. I traveled extensively through Norway and met hundreds of Norwegians. Positive feelings toward America reigned.

At that time, the United States' historical regard for the rule of international law and for human rights stood in sharp contrast to the policies of the Soviet Union.

Five years ago, I returned to Norway as a Fulbright scholar. Most Norwegians then still considered America the hope of the world. They felt great pride in their role in formulating the Oslo Accords and valued the efforts of the United States in furthering the Middle East peace process.

Last month, I traveled again to Norway. How things have changed!

Mark Fiore Presents
Foreign Policy Fashion


 12:59 AM - link


This is a story of true American heros — the Freedom Riders. A must read.

American Heroes

We like to read history. The recent Trent Lott episode shocked us out of a multi-year review of colonial America and redirected our interests back to the history of mid-twentieth century America.

Easing our way back towards the present, we picked up a copy of an old friend, Taylor Branch’s definitive work on the civil rights movement entitled Parting the Waters, America In The King Years 1954-63. It is a magnificent work being comprehensive, insightful and very readable. In re-reading it, we came across a story of courage and heroism that bears retelling.

  thanks to Body and Soul

Oakland's Reeves rips GOP racism

The highest ranking African-American in the California Republican Party on Tuesday condemned the racism he has endured working for the GOP.

"Black Republicans are expected to provide window dressing and cover to prove that this is not a racist party, yet our own leadership continues to act otherwise," party Secretary Shannon Reeves wrote in an e-mail to party board members.

  thanks to Eschaton

 12:56 AM - link


Flaws in the war machine

Until September 11, 2001, the US military's budget was about the size of the entire Australian economy. After the terrorists struck, the government quickly increased defence spending, by an amount equal to the New Zealand economy. In the budget that President George Bush is preparing to submit to Congress, he is expected to ask for another increase, this time equivalent to the national economy of Syria.

Altogether, this would put US military spending at roughly $US410 billion ($730 billion) for the fiscal year beginning in October.

So if the Pentagon were a country, it would rank as the world's 14th-biggest economy - a fraction smaller than India and South Korea, but larger than the Netherlands or Russia.

  thanks to Cursor

 12:55 AM - link

japanese prints

Viewing Japanese Prints

Japanese Prints are among the world's most beautiful, complex, and expressive works of art. For more than three centuries Japanese printmakers of exceptional skill and vision have created images of enduring beauty. The colorful and varied tradition of Japanese woodblock printmaking includes 17th-19th century 'Ukiyo-e' ("Pictures of the Floating World"), 20th century 'Shin hanga' ("New prints") and ''Sôsaku hanga' ("Creative prints"), and 'Kindai hanga' (modern or contemporary prints). This website presents illustrated discussions about selected artists and their prints, as well as explorations into various themes in Japanese printmaking.


  thanks to Liberal Arts Mafia

 12:54 AM - link

a right wing talking head goes down

Down goes Goldberg! Down goes Goldberg!
Best-selling author of 'Bias' silenced on 'Donahue' by Al Franken

How do you get a right-winger to shut up? Hit him/ her with the facts!

 12:52 AM - link

the suv and terrorism

Road outrage
How corporate greed and political corruption paved the way for the SUV explosion
by Arianna Huffington

America's automakers have finally sputtered into first gear.

Responding to the growing public outcry over its reckless gas-guzzling ways, the auto industry used the Detroit Auto Show this week to unveil a line-up of "coming soon to a showroom near you" hybrid vehicles -- including a number of hybrid SUVs.

The question -- though I'm willing to bet no one at the car show asked it -- is: What took them so long? After all, cars powered by a combination of gas and electricity have been around since 1905, when the Woods Motor Vehicle Co. offered a dual- powered model.

Stations reject TV ads that connect SUVs to terrorism

Television stations in New York, Detroit and Los Angeles are refusing to air ads that link driving sport utility vehicles with supporting terrorism, producers of the ads said yesterday.

The two ads were produced for The Detroit Project, a media campaign organized by author and columnist Arianna Huffington and Hollywood movie producer Lawrence Bender, among others. Both ads were modeled on hard- hitting anti-drug public service announcements produced by the Bush administration that equate drug use with support for violence and terrorism.

 12:46 AM - link



During the Clinton years, the US economy experienced an unprecedented boom. The economy added millions of jobs. Unemployment shrank while inflation was tame. The budget deficit disappeared and surpluses materialized. Poverty decreased and earnings rose. Interest rates dropped and the stock market rose. All in all, the US economy did very well.

The fact that the economy did well under Clinton’s policies drove conservatives crazy. It simply could not be that the good fortune that the country experienced under Clinton was actually caused by the policies enacted under Clinton. The good things must be attributed to something, anything else.

  thanks to Body and Soul

 12:45 AM - link

railroad art

Vintage British Railway Posters


 12:48 AM - link

  Wednesday   January 8   2003


The pictures are up for Darryl Purpose's show Monday night. If you haven't listened to the show — do so. He is a great songwriter. It was an experience to have him in my living room.

 02:00 AM - link


Siberian Digital Photo Collection


 01:59 AM - link


Morality Is Not a Strategy
The crisis is not that Kim has suddenly become more evil. It is that North Korea will, within months, become a plutonium factory

President Bush is right about one thing—North Korea’s Kim Jong Il is an evil man who runs one of the most barbaric regimes in the world, suppressing and starving its own people. In the back-and-forth of diplomacy around the current crisis we should not forget this fundamental fact. The problem, however, is that in foreign policy you need not just moral clarity, but also strategic clarity.

Right now on North Korea we have moral clarity but strategic incoherence.

  thanks to Talking Points Memo

 01:27 AM - link


Two new blogs, by writers, added to the blogroll:

The Diary of Samuel Pepys

William Gibson

 01:19 AM - link

plant art

Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen

In Gera, an east-central German city south of Leipzig, Hermann A. Köhler's magnum opus, Medizinal Pflanzen, was published in 1887, eight years after his death. The set of three volumes was a noteworthy achievement and included plants of medicinal interest from several European nations. It was described by Sitwell and Blunt as "From the botanical standpoint the finest and most useful series of illustrations of medicinal plants."


  thanks to dublog

 01:05 AM - link

subsidized oil

Public Money in the Pipeline
When ExxonMobil and BP need millions to pay for their oil projects, who do they turn to? The U.S. government.

The pipeline will begin on the outskirts of Baku, where oil rigs rise from the Caspian Sea and the hazy yellow sky reeks of petroleum. From the capital of Azerbaijan, it will cross more than 1,000 miles of rough terrain, stretching through Georgia and Turkey. When it is completed, it is expected to provide Western markets with 1 million barrels of oil a day -- and to provide a gusher of profits to the consortium of 10 companies headed by British Petroleum that is developing the project.

But regional conflicts and uncertain production make the $3.5 billion pipeline so risky that the oil executives who devised the venture don't want to pay for it -- and the commercial banks they normally deal with don't want to lend them the money. So the oil companies are turning to another big lender for help: Uncle Sam. The U.S. government, which helped broker the pipeline deal and has paid for engineering studies in Azerbaijan, is expected to provide as much as $500 million this year to help finance the project, supplying some of the world's wealthiest companies with what British Petroleum CEO John Browne calls "free public money."

 12:54 AM - link

tax cuts

The Truth About Bush's New Tax Cut

Here, in one nugget, is what you need to know about President Bush's plan to scrap taxes on dividends:

Almost half of the projected benefits from President Bush's plan to scrap taxes on dividends would go to the 1 percent of the population whose incomes top $1 million. The scheme has been promoted as beneficial to the elderly, but in fact, only 6 percent of the elderly with incomes under $50,000 get anything out of it. These figures come from a briefing Monday by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington think tank. Further, taxpayers who earn $35,000 or less come away with $27 more a year.

An Irrelevant Proposal
By Paul Krugman

Here's how it works. Faced with a real problem — terrorism, the economy, nukes in North Korea — the Bush administration's response has nothing to do with solving that problem. Instead it exploits the issue to advance its political agenda.

Nonetheless, the faithful laud our glorious leader's wisdom. For a variety of reasons, including the desire to avoid charges of liberal bias, most reporting is carefully hedged. And the public, reading only praise or he-said-she-said discussions, never grasps the fundamental disconnect between problem and policy.

And so it goes with the administration's "stimulus" plan.

Bush Proves He's an Upper-Class Act
Under his tax plan, the only winners are the economic elite

It's Time for Glenn Hubbard to Quit as CEA Chair

  thanks to Tapped

The Seriously Dumb Tax Cut
by Molly Ivins

 12:52 AM - link


Why is Capitalism in Crisis?

The problems of capitalism are structural in nature. CEOs remain focused on quarterly earnings reports and with pumping up share prices. Jeffrey Garten, dean of the Yale school of management, says, "it would be an important turn of events if the administration and business leaders took a longer and broader view of the policies that would stimulate economic growth and strengthen our free market system." But Garten concedes this is unlikely to happen any time soon. Andrew Bernstein and the editors of the Wall Street Journal would do well to dust off their Schumpeter to find out why.

 12:38 AM - link

pulp art

Pulp Gallery


  thanks to BookNotes

 12:40 AM - link

be all you can be — run away

Deceptions in Military Recruiting:
an Ex-Insider Speaks Out

The points in this essay concerning the dark side of military recruiting largely inform my decision to work incessantly to dissuade young men and women from enlisting. My primary audience is every U.S. citizens because it is necessary that as many people as possible understand the manipulation used by the military to lure young Americans. It is important to question the notion that the all-volunteer military is truly made up of volunteers. If one is lied to about a profession by the people who convinced them to join that profession, then is the person who was lied to a volunteer in the clearest sense of the word? My research has led me to forsake the ideology of "once a Marine, always a Marine", that imposes on us to refer to ourselves as "former Marines" and never "ex-Marines". I condemn my past Marine identity, and therefore, I proudly call myself an "ex- Marine" who is against any offensive use of the U.S. military.

 12:32 AM - link


This Modern World

The K Chronicles

 12:29 AM - link

  Tuesday   January 7   2003


The sound archive is up for Darryl Purpose's show. There were some amazing songs. Actually, they were all amazing.

 12:30 AM - link

  Monday   January 6   2003


It's Monday and time for another TestingTesting, webcast from my living room. Our special guest will be singer/songwriter Darryl Purpose.

"A physically imposing man, hat firmly on head and dressed in black, he bordered on the menacing, until he opened his mouth. Then his natural warmth and charm blazed through." - Michael Mee, Southern Reporter

"America's most original narrative story-teller since Harry Chapin" - Q Magazine, February 2001

Check out his web site at http://www.darrylpurpose.com/. He has some RealAudio and MP3s. Listen to "Mr. Schwinn", and "Last Great Kiss of the 20th Century." Not to be missed.

The TT House Band will be Derek Parrott, Steve Showell, and Joanne Rouse. Barton Cole will do his "Commentary From the Wires."

Click on in at 7pm (pacific) (the web site has times for other time zones) for some fine living room music.

A good time will be had by all.

 12:14 AM - link


The Cowboy's Pinups

Here are a compilation of favorite cowboy's cowgirl pinups from the 1930s through the 1960s, as well as some contemporary.


 12:03 AM - link

  Sunday   January 5   2003


N. Korea plays Bush like a fiddle
'Dear Leader' Kim knows the Americans would rather pay than fight
By Eric Margolis

This column has warned since 1993 of the danger posed by North Korea's odious Stalinist regime and its nuclear weapons. But lately, we confess a measure of amusement, even sneaking professional admiration, for North Korea's "Dear Leader," Kim Jong-il, for playing a really mean game of Pyongyang bluff poker.

  thanks to SmirkingChimp.com

 11:57 PM - link

Israeli Soldiers Tell Palestinian Villagers 'We will do to you what the Nazis did to us'

The estimated 25,000 people of this small town have been subjected to a fresh wave of “nightmarish terror” at the hands of the notorious Israeli border police unit whose largely undisciplined soldiers abducted and brutally murdered a Palestinian teenager in Hebron Monday night.

For two consecutive days, hundreds of soldiers, backed by military vehicles, two military trucks, and several large bulldozers, rampaged through the town, opening fire and stun grenades in all directions.

On Wednesday, the force held some 200 Palestinian youths inside the town’s only cultural Center for 10 hours during which the soldiers did, as one hostage put it, “what all Israeli soldiers do in the absence of television cameras.”

“They beat each and every one of us without any reason, they started cursing our religion and making other blasphemous remarks. Afterwards they, using large hammers, smashed all the windows and doors of the building. Then they smashed all the 30 computers, which had been donated from a European country. In short they were Gestapo in real life,” said Musa Abu Salameh, one of the hostages.

23 dead, 100 hurt in double suicide bombing in Tel Aviv

At least 23 people were killed and 100 others were wounded - seven critically - in a double suicide bombing at around 6:30 P.M. Sunday evening at the Old Central Bus Station in south Tel Aviv.

Guarantees to perpetuate the occupation

The most dangerous innovation in the American attitude to the settlements shouldn't be sought in their relationship to the guarantees or the problematic timing of the negotiations over the aid. There's a much more profound change in policy here: in the latest discussions of the road map, President Bush rejected the Quartet's position that terror should be fought as if there were no new settlements and the settlements should be frozen as if there were no terror. He set a new precedent, that settlements are not an absolute danger to peace, but rather a matter contingent on outside factors, including domestic American politics. The American decision that a settlement freeze is conditional on Sharon's satisfaction with a cease-fire is, in effect, a legitimization of the deepening of the occupation, perpetuating the war and perhaps a guarantee for continued right-wing rule.

 11:59 PM - link


William Gedney
photographs and writings

From the mid 1950s through the early 1980s, William Gedney (1932-1989) photographed throughout the United States, in India, and in Europe. From the commerce of the street outside his Brooklyn apartment to the daily chores of unemployed coal miners, from the indolent lifestyle of hippies in Haight-Ashbury to the sacred rituals of Hindu worshippers, Gedney was able to record the lives of others with remarkable clarity and poignancy.


  thanks to plep

 11:47 PM - link


Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
Bush's Armageddon Obsession, Revisited

"We are lived by forces we scarcely understand," wrote W.H. Auden. What forces live us now as America again torques toward war?

George W. Bush is certainly the plaything of such forces as the geopolitics of oil but it seems that he is susceptible to other even darker archetypal concerns. Let me be blunt. The man is delusional and the shape of his delusion is specifically apocalyptic in belief and intent. That Bush would attack so many vital systems on so many fronts from foreign policy to the environment may seem confusing from the point of view of realpolitik but becomes transparent in terms of the apocalyptic worldview to which he subscribes. All systems are supposed to go down so the Messiah can come and Bush, seemingly, has taken on the role of the one who brings this to pass.

 11:35 PM - link


UN inspectors fear Bush will ignore them

UN weapons inspectors in Iraq fear their work - which has failed to turn up any evidence thus far of weapons of mass destruction - will still be used as an excuse to trigger a US-led invasion of Iraq.

Leaks from the inspections teams - and the two agencies in charge of them, Unmovic and the International Atomic Energy Agency - have fuelled an increasingly frenetic diplomatic effort among opponents of the war.

The weapons inspection teams in Iraq have visited breweries and former nuclear plants, and raided missile factories and pharmaceutical production lines. They have examined former weapons factories and interviewed scientists and university technicians. As of yesterday they had checked 230 sites in all. If one is to believe the few inspectors who have been prepared to be interviewed anonymously, they have found absolutely nothing.

  thanks to SmirkingChimp.com

This American Life (the best thing on radio) has a good show on Iraq: Why We Fight (RealAudio)

Stories about why we should go to war in Iraq versus stories of why we shouldn't.

  thanks to Zoe

Rt Rev Peter B Price: We must answer the midnight call on Iraq

"It is midnight in the moral order. There is a knock on the door of mankind," declared Martin Luther King at the height of the struggle among America's minority ethnic population for civil rights. It is a strangely apt observation as we enter 2003, and the Prime Minister has issued notably jeremiad warnings in his New Year message, with its continued litany of despair over war with Iraq, the continuing threat of global terrorism, and the stark realities of a stalled peace process in the Middle East and the systemic crisis in Africa.

  thanks to also not found in nature

United Nations Security Council Resolutions Currently Being Violated by Countries Other than Iraq

UN Security Council resolutions. However, in addition to the dozen or so resolutions currently being violated by Iraq, a conservative estimate reveals that there are an additional 91 Security Council resolutions about countries other than Iraq that are also currently being violated. This raises serious questions regarding the Bush administration's insistence that it is motivated by a duty to preserve the credibility of the United Nations, particularly since the vast majority of the governments violating UN Security Council resolutions are close allies of the United States.

  thanks to American Samizdat

 11:31 PM - link


Painted Prints
The Revelation of Color
at The Baltimore Museum of Art

In the minds of most people, northern Renaissance and Baroque engravings, etchings, and woodcuts are images comprised of black lines printed on white paper. Yet, between 1450 and 1650, these monochromatic images frequently were painted. Until recently, however, little was known about the coloring that appears on early prints. This exhibition presents, for the first time, over one hundred examples of German and Netherlandish painted prints and provides the opportunity to explore the many questions these embellished prints raise.

  thanks to dublog

 11:16 PM - link

health care

Frist's loyalty is to health care industry, not patients

Capitol Hill's well-heeled lobbyists and political cognoscenti have proclaimed that with a doctor in charge of the U.S. Senate, health care reform is imminent. Unfortunately for the public, the doctor running the house, Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), typifies the GOP government's new health care strategy: Care most about the health of corporations that elect you.

Why a Centrist (No Fooling) Wants Universal Insurance

SOMETIMES, in the crush of news, seemingly minor things that later prove significant are overlooked.

That may have been the case last fall when Senator John B. Breaux of Louisiana said he had changed his mind and was now calling for universal health care coverage because the American system of medical care "is collapsing around us."

  thanks to DANGEROUSMETA!

 10:51 PM - link

prarie home meets city lights

A Bright City Light
Commiserating with Lawrence Ferlinghetti on the state of the world

The morning after the election, I was in San Francisco at the Huntington Hotel, wanting to think about things other than the empty suit Minnesota elected to the U.S. Senate, still in a dark mood over the death of Paul Wellstone. I had a cup of coffee with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, whom I'd admired for 40 years and never met. The poet and painter and proprietor of City Lights Bookstore, for whom the city even named a street. I'd heard a story about him the day before: of Ferlinghetti, who is 83, riding his bicycle and running into a hydrant while distracted by the sight of two beautiful women and crashing down in the street, and the two women running over to help him up, the poor old man, who was disappointed that they wouldn't give him their phone numbers.

 10:48 PM - link

the wedding

Zoe put up the wedding snaps of Jenny and Will's wedding New Year's day. 165 of them taken by Zoe and Robby. Some registration required.

 10:44 PM - link