Weblog Archives




  Saturday   February 22   2003

poster art

Wake the World

the point of this site is quite simple, it contains copyright free anti-war posters that you can print off and display in windows, on walls and at protest marches.


  thanks to wood s lot

 10:30 PM - link


Freeing the Iraqi People to Death
by Peter Matthiessen

The country today is very much concerned about the young Americans in the military whose lives will be endangered in an attack upon Iraq. But in the event of that attack, who in the White House will take responsibility for the never-mentioned yet inevitable slaughter of Iraqi civilians whose sole offense was getting in the way of a regime change?

In our name, a half million human beings are being threatened with death in the next few weeks -- dreadful deaths not unlike those of the victims of 9/11, except that far greater numbers will be burned and crushed and suffocated, and the horror will be painfully intensified by the shrieking of maimed and dying children. Nobody in this closed government, and almost nobody in the compliant mainstream media, is dealing squarely and honestly with this subject.

  thanks to the bitter shack of resentment

Full U.S. Control Planned for Iraq

The Bush administration plans to take complete, unilateral control of a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, with an interim administration headed by a yet-to-be named American civilian who would direct the reconstruction of the country and the creation of a "representative" Iraqi government, according to a now-finalized blueprint described by U.S. officials and other sources.

The Martial Plan
By Paul Krugman

The Marshall Plan was America's finest hour. After World War I, the victors did what victors usually do: they demanded reparations from the vanquished. But after World War II America did something unprecedented: it provided huge amounts of aid, helping both its allies and its defeated enemies rebuild.

It wasn't selfless altruism, of course; it was farsighted, enlightened self-interest. America's leaders understood that fostering prosperity, stability and democracy was as important as building military might in the struggle against Communism.

But one suspects that our current leaders would have jeered at this exercise in "nation-building." And they are certainly following a very different strategy today.

Morality for sale
Building a coalition against Iraq is costly

  thanks to Body and Soul

When U.S. Foreign Policy Meets Biblical Prophecy

Does the Bible foretell regime change in Iraq? Did God establish Israel's boundaries millennia ago? Is the United Nations a forerunner of a satanic world order?

For millions of Americans, the answer to all those questions is a resounding yes. For many believers in biblical prophecy, the Bush administration's go-it-alone foreign policy, hands-off attitude toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and proposed war on Iraq are not simply actions in the national self-interest or an extension of the war on terrorism, but part of an unfolding divine plan.

The shell game
By focusing headlines on WMDs that don't exist, attention is drawn away from ongoing catastrophes
by Geov Parrish

The daily headlines this week from the White House, in which steadily harsher rhetoric threatens an invasion that is already underway, are nothing more nor less than a shell game. But then, "Shell game" pretty well defines this entire oil-soaked administration's record to date. There's an awful lot they'd prefer not to talk about, or have you hear about. And, so, they hide things, under an onslaught of information, disinformation, and shells.

 10:24 PM - link


Boondocks: Pre-emptive Condolences

David Horsey

 10:04 PM - link

The Story of Yoni Ben-Artzi

Those of you who are long time readers here, know my opinions of the Israeli army. To quote from my FAQ:

1. The IDF is the main reason that Israel continues to illegally occupy the West Bank and Gaza, and refuses to reach a just and permanent solution with the Palestinians.
2. The IDF is the key institution that undermines democracy in Israel, and perpetuates inequality and corruption in Israeli society.

There are so many stories I can tell about the corruption and cruelty of the army that I saw and experienced in my ten years of service. Tonight, I will tell just one, the story of a 20 year old boy, Yoni ben-Artzi.

By Anne Gwynne

“3 Palestinians killed and 25 injured in Nablus” say the headlines. Tells you nothing at all…

I have just come from Raffidia Hospital on the North Mountain in Nablus, formerly the most beautiful and prosperous city in the ancient, cultured and peaceful land of Palestine, where most of those 25 people were taken and where one of the injured, FERAS MABROUKI aged 21, has just died of the wounds he sustained a few hours earlier. Also under the sanitized ‘3 dead’ heading come AYMAN KAMAL abu ZANT aged 20, and MOHAMED- SAMIR TAKRURI, aged 35. All, I am told, murdered by shots to the head - all human beings with families suddenly and grievously bereaved tonight. Three more innocents murdered - three more Martyrs in Nablus.

Under a continuous, year-long, brutal, illegal military occupation, the suffering of the people of Nablus goes on day after day in ever-escalating terror inflicted upon them by what the people here can now only describe as the crazy and totally evil Jewish-Israeli soldiers. Today demonstrated that, in the most terrible fashion. The desperately injured and the dead in the Hospitals of Nablus are witnesses-without-a-voice to the murderous assault upon an innocent civilian population on a sunny, shopping-eating-laughing Sunday afternoon.

As the world focuses on Iraq, the bodies pile up in Gaza

The question hung over the concrete rubble and twisted iron support rods, the ruined buildings where Palestinians said three young men were killed when the Israeli army demolished them this week.

Is the Israeli military taking advantage of a time when the world is not paying attention to what is going on here, when media coverage is focusing on Iraq, to step up its campaign in the occupied territories?

In the past week, while the world's press focused on the UN security council and Baghdad, the violence has suddenly surged. In six days, at least 30 Palestinians have been killed in a series of Israeli operations, chiefly in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank city of Nablus.

Israel divides Bethlehem with a wall of concrete, fear and suspicion

As you arrive from Jerusalem, the first street of Bethlehem, lined with old, carved limestone houses, is deserted. Where the tourists used to throng, the restaurants are boarded up. In a few months, a high concrete wall will run down the middle of this street, blocking a neighbourhood of Bethlehem from the rest of the city.

  thanks to American Samizdat

Peace hopes sink as Sharon rules out Jerusalem deal

The Israeli prime minster, Ariel Sharon, last night further entrenched his obstacles to a peace settlement by ruling out the division of Jerusalem or the return of Palestinian refugees from negotiations.

 09:53 PM - link

homeland insecurity

Canadian in passport fiasco
Humiliated by immigration staff

A Toronto woman coming home from India says she was pulled aside at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, accused of using a fake Canadian passport, denied consular assistance and threatened with jail.

In tears and desperate, Berna Cruz says she told U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) officers she didn't want to go to jail. She told them she had to get home to her two children and was expected to be at work the next day at a branch of a major Toronto bank where she works as a loan officer.

Instead of jailing her on Jan. 27, an INS officer cut the front page of Cruz's passport and filled each page with "expedited removal" stamps, rendering it useless.

She was photographed, fingerprinted, barred from re-entering the U.S. for five years and immediately "removed." Not to Toronto, but to India, where she had just spent several weeks visiting her parents.

Helping America prepare for fiery death.

1. Don't get so preoccupied with
biological weapons that you forget
to put on deodorant.


 09:06 PM - link


The New Opium Wars in Bolivia
The IMF Fiddles While La Paz Burns

Last week 27 people were killed in Bolivia. They were in the streets protesting a 12.5 percent income tax increase ("impuestazo") levied on the poor by the government at the behest of the International Monetary Fund. The IMF says this is necessary to reduce a budget deficit and as a pre-condition for four billion in new loans. So the people went in the street to protest and Bolivia's right wing president, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozado, sent out the troops. The situation was so bad - - shops and supermarkets were looted and government buildings in Plaza Murillo were torched -- that the president decided it wise to roll back the tax. For now.

On the first day of the riots CBS, NBC, and Fox published stories. Colorful riots and footage of historical buildings aflame will always attract the attention of a corporate media addicted to sensationalism. They mentioned the tax increase but said nothing about the IMF or its austerity plans. "While Bolivia has had some recent success transferring itself into a market-oriented society, the slow growth rates in the late 1990s fueled discontent in the country's low-income sectors, leading to major civil disturbances in both 2000 and the following year," the UPI explained. ABC felt it was necessary to mention the looting of Pepsi and Coca- Cola bottling plants, as well as a Burger King. As usual, little was put in context. No mention of loan sharking by the IMF. No mention of the wholesale looting of Bolivia's economy by international neoliberal bankers, "market-oriented" managers who specialize in dismantling Third World countries for fun and profit.

 08:51 PM - link


Another blog for the blogroll — a street art blog. Cool!

Wooster Collective / A Celebration of Street Art

COLLECTIVE \Col*lect"ive\: done by or characteristic of individuals acting together; "a joint identity"; "the collective mind"; members of a cooperative enterprise
WOOSTER: a street in Soho, New York


  thanks to wood s lot

 08:51 PM - link

Orcinus orca

David Neiwert explains why he writes his blog and what it is about killer whales: Why Orcinus?

 08:18 PM - link

space art

Dreams of Space

With the discoveries by Robert Goddard and Hermann Oberth of liquid-fueled rockets in the 1930's and the use of V-2 rockets in the 1940's, rocket travel went from science fiction to science fact in the public's mind. In post-World War II America anything seemed possible, even going to the Moon! There appeared in 1949, a book The Conquest of Space , which led to a new trend in children's books. These books outlined the future the children of the "baby boom" would grow up in, the world of space (example). The illustrations in these books show facts (as they were known) mixed in with the fantasy of space flight and led many of the readers of these books to "dream of space".


  thanks to dublog

 08:08 PM - link

science art

Images from Science - The Photographs


  thanks to Coudal Partners

 08:06 PM - link

i wish i wish i wish

I went through my Amazon Wish List this morning and cleaned it up. It's down to 13 pages but there are still many choices, if you would like to send me something to show your appreciation. Don't be shy.

 06:20 PM - link

  Friday   February 21   2003


I was going to feature some links about Turkey, the inspections, and the million kids that are going to die. You can read them if you want, but I would rather you read this little book. You can download it for free — it's a .pdf file. It's only 39 pages, a bunch of pictures, and the print is big. After reading it ask yourself "Why the fuck are we going to kill these people?"

On a Small Bridge in Iraq
Text by: Natsuki Ikezawa
Photo by: Seiichi Motohashi

If we can't stop this war, then what hope is there of stopping the next war? International politics will be driven not by discussion , but by military force. In the city of Nasiriyah, a man was painting the curbstones white and green around a traffic rotary. I only saw him for an instant out of a moving car, but I can still see the way his hand worked the paintbrush. A simple action people do the same way everywhere. Just trying to get along, trying to live comfortably with the family and neighbors. What else is there, really? I believe we can still avoid this war
------------------------ Natsuki IKEZAWA


  thanks to thoughts on the eve of the apocalypse

 02:28 AM - link


The Perfect Anti-War Poem

My friend Rich Broderick invited me to an anti-war poetry reading at a St. Paul coffeehouse. I thought about anti-war poems for several days. What should they do, exactly?

Be against the war, of course. But what should happen when certain words are uttered in a room of people who, presumably, already agree on basic principles?

It is like me to get bollixed with basic questions at a time when everyone else is scurrying for their duct tape and rifles.

I mean, what good is a poem by some lowly person against a cruise missile, or an aircraft carrier, or Total Information Awareness? (...)

Words mean little in the moment of a great evil. But we remain human, despite, or perhaps because of our moments of madness. Some day the dust will settle again, and all that will be left are the words of peace.

To quote Rich, quoting the greatest anti-war poem ever, commemorating the billions of luckless over a thousand bare centuries, swept away by strong certain men, in Iraq, in Judea, even in the wintry streets of Saint Paul:

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."

  thanks to follow me here...

 02:04 AM - link

paleobiology art

Strange Creatures - A Burgess Shale Fossil Sampler

More than 1/2 BILLION years old, the fossils of the Burgess Shale fauna preserve for us an intriguing glimpse of early animal life on Earth. These fossils are named after a Cambrian rock formation (the Burgess Shale) that is located in the western Canadian Rockies. They were first discovered there in 1909 by Charles D. Walcott, then Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. The vaults of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History currently house over 65,000 specimens, the largest collection of these fossils in the world.


  thanks to dublog

A wonderful book on the Burgess Shale is Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, by Stephen Jay Gould.

 01:59 AM - link

Hebron, City of Terror
by Ran HaCohen

Israeli "security analysts" describe the Palestinian city of Hebron as a "city of terror". This is true: Israel’s state terrorism is nowhere as brutal. If you wish to see ethnic cleansing at work, Hebron is a good instance. (...)

So far, the junta’s policy has proven quite effective. Driven away by economic strangulation and fear of settlers’ violence, the population of 12.000 Palestinians who inhabited Hebron’s Old City has dwindled to 5.000 souls since the division of the city in 1997. As for H1 in its entirety, Israeli Channel 1 estimated last week that 20.000 out of its 40.000 Palestinians left their homes. The camera showed rows of Palestinian houses with windows left broken in spite of the cold winter, a clear evidence for a successful policy of ethnic cleansing. Deserted houses are then taken over by settlers, who get the chance to harass the next row of Palestinian neighbours. Depicting Hebron as a purely Jewish city, the maps of Israel’s Foreign Office are thus not just a distortion of reality: they express both a desire and an actual policy of ethnic cleansing, which is carried out with horrendous efficacy in this terrorised Palestinian city. PS: I am well aware of standard Israeli propaganda, so anti-Palestinian readers need not bother to remind me of the 67 Jews massacred in Hebron back in 1929. May they rest in peace. Their children and grandchildren (none of whom is among the present Hebron settlers) have repeatedly condemned the atrocities carried out by the settlers, who claim to be heirs to the massacred, but in fact desecrate their very memory by their crimes.

 01:41 AM - link


Medieval and Renaissance Book Production - Manuscript Books

There is a widely held, yet erroneous, belief that the invention of the book was concurrent with the invention of printing. Somehow it is assumed that the act of printing--that is producing a book by mechanical means--endows the finished product with that essence that embodies a book. After all, the hand-produced book is called a manuscript, not simply a book, and early-printed books are called incunabula, books in their infancy. We are accustomed to think of the periods of manuscripts and printed books as distinct. Traditionally a scholar working in one of these fields has known little of the other field. Even our libraries have perpetuated this dichotomy: manuscripts are always separate from printed books, both administratively and physically. Yet historically this is a false dichotomy. The printed fifteenth-century book was a direct imitation of the contemporary manuscript book. Yet perhaps talk of imitation is misleading. Gutenberg never intended to imitate anything or mislead anyone: he was merely making books by a new means. The end product was really little different than the product of the scriptorium. It was the means of production which was revolutionary, not the book itself. The book, or more properly the codex, was invented in the first century AD, and has continued to this day with relatively few changes

  thanks to BookLab II

 01:25 AM - link

fat tuesday apparel

My daughter Katie just got back from visiting a friend in Louisiana. They took the obligatory trip to New Orleans and she brought back these great Mardi Gras beads. [Disclosure: I collect pig stuff.]

 01:14 AM - link


The George W. Diet
Lose unsightly pounds by eating like a pig.
By Michael Kinsley

Suppose you had a friend who was grossly overweight for years but lately had been looking very trim. Suddenly, though, he puts on 30 or 40 pounds and is waddling around like his old porcine self. He explains that he's found a marvelous new diet: "You eat like a pig and stop exercising until you get so fat that you just have to lose weight." Would you say that your friend is kidding himself?

And if your friend went on to complain that he was getting fat because other people were eating too much, and this diet was the only way to stop these other people from putting those unsightly pounds on him, would you think his self-delusion was becoming clinical? Or would you start to suspect that the joke is on you?

Yet this is essentially the logic adopted by the Bush administration and the Republican congressional leadership to rationalize turning the federal budget surplus back into huge deficits. They say that deficits are actually a good thing—despite what you may have heard from Ronald Reagan and almost every Republican before and since—because deficits create pressure for smaller government. "Conservatives Now See Deficits as a Tool to Fight Spending" was the headline on a recent New York Times article quoting a slew of them—including the chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, Glenn Hubbard.

  thanks to Tapped

Economic Stimulus

by Mark Fiore


 01:09 AM - link


Whites Swim in Racial Preference

All you white boys and girls out there will benefit from reading this — no matter how racially sensitive you might think you are.

Ask a fish what water is and you'll get no answer. Even if fish were capable of speech, they would likely have no explanation for the element they swim in every minute of every day of their lives. Water simply is. Fish take it for granted.

So too with this thing we hear so much about, "racial preference." While many whites seem to think the notion originated with affirmative action programs, intended to expand opportunities for historically marginalized people of color, racial preference has actually had a long and very white history.

 12:57 AM - link

caricature art

Celebrity Caricature in America

The art of caricature—the distortion of the face or figure for satiric purposes—claims a long tradition in Western art. For centuries, comically exaggerated portrayals served the purpose of ridicule and protest, probing beneath outward appearances to expose hidden, disreputable character traits. In early twentieth-century America, however, caricaturists deployed a fresh approach, inventing a form of stylized portraiture that responded to the new preoccupation with mass-media–generated fame. They chose for their subjects colorful personalities rather than the corrupt officials. Their epigrammatic likenesses, transformed by a modern aesthetic and a detached, sophisticated wit, appealed to an audience hungry for emblems of the emerging celebrity culture.

Irving Berlin


  thanks to dublog

 12:56 AM - link

american empire

U.S. to Send Nearly 2,000 Troops to Fight Militants in Philippines

The United States will send nearly 2,000 troops to Philippines in the next few weeks to fight Muslim extremists in the southern part of the country, Pentagon officials said today.

Unlike a six-month training mission that involved 1,300 American forces on Basilan Island last year, this will be a joint operation with the Philippine military that has no fixed deadline. It marks a significant escalation in the war against terror even as the United States builds up for a possible war against Iraq and continues to hunt for Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

Haven't we been through this before?

 12:40 AM - link

good news

President Bush's Ratings Fall Sharply


  thanks to MyDD

 12:36 AM - link

i use duct tape, but only for medicinal purposes

Duct Tape May be Potential Wart Treatment

Experts have found that applying duct tape to warts can remove them as effectively as using the more clinic-intensive cryotherapy treatment.

Zoe turned me on to an article in Good Housekeeping about this wart treatment. I have a couple of warts on the bottom of my feet that have been bothering me for years. They were resistant to the liquid nitrogen treatment but are now covered with duct tape. Scientific inquiry is alive, even as you read. I will bring regular Wart Reports on the effectiveness of medicinal duct tape. How's this for reality programming?

 12:28 AM - link

  Thursday   February 20   2003


These pictures are from a slide show with Donna's comments. Enter her Photo Gallery and look at the images and read her comments. I highly recommend it.

My Latin American Odyssey
Photographs by Donna DeCesare

Last month, I was sitting in a darkened classroom at the University of Texas, watching a slide show by photographer Donna DeCesare. She had been teaching documentary photography in the School of Communications for the past year, and on this day, she was taking her students on a visual tour of her growth in photojournalism.

Donna believes that the purpose of the photo documentary is, as Henri Cartier- Bresson explained, "to keep a journal with a camera." For the past several decades she has roamed the world doing just that. From the battlefronts of Latin America, to the barrios of Los Angeles, she has been telling the stories of ordinary people caught up in the events of a changing world.

And finally yes to Esperanza who I met so many years ago
in Los Angeles and whose name is Spanish for HOPE.


  thanks to gmtPlus9

 08:30 AM - link


Bush's war timetable unravelling

The Bush administration's determination to keep to a tight timetable that would see its forces ready to go to war against Iraq by early March is in danger of coming unstuck.

Plans to open a northern front against Iraq - seen as vital to ensure a pincer movement against Baghdad - were looking shaky last night as Turkey resisted an ultimatum from Washington to accept US troop deployments or forfeit a multi- billion dollar compensation package.

The White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer, warned Ankara it had been presented with a final financial offer - believed to exceed $26bn - and that a response was needed. "There comes a moment when plans must be made, decisions must be made, and it cannot stretch on indefinitely," he said.

Exclusive: Risking a Civil War
Turkey is demanding that it send 60,000 to 80,000 of its own troops into northern Iraq

BUT NOW, NEWSWEEK has learned, Turkey is demanding that it send 60,000 to 80,000 of its own troops into northern Iraq to establish “strategic positions” across a “security arc” as much as 140 to 170 miles deep in Iraq. That would take Turkish troops almost halfway to Baghdad. These troops would not be under U.S. command, according to Turkish sources, who say Turkey has agreed only to “coordination” between U.S. and Turkish forces. Ankara fears the Iraqi Kurds might use Saddam’s fall to declare independence. Kurdish leaders have not yet been told of this new plan, according to Kurdish spokesmen in Washington, who say the Kurds rejected even the earlier notion of a narrow buffer zone. Farhad Barzani, the U.S. representative of the main Kurdish party in Iraq, the KDP, says, “We have told them: American troops will come as liberators. But Turkish troops will be seen as invaders.”

  thanks to Truthout

What the Cheney White House really wants out of Iraq
For the morally flexible oilman and his cronies, it's all about money.
By Arianna Huffington

Boys, boys, you're all right. Sure, it's Daddy, oil, and imperialism, not to mention a messianic sense of righteous purpose, a deep-seated contempt for the peace movement, and, to be fair, the irrefutable fact that the world would be a better place without Saddam Hussein.

But there's also an overarching mentality feeding the administration's collective delusions, and it can be found by looking to corporate America's bottom line. The dots leading from Wall Street to the West Wing situation room are the ones that need connecting. There's money to be made in postwar Iraq, and the sooner we get the pesky war over with, the sooner we (by which I mean George Bush's corporate cronies) can start making it.

The nugget of truth that former Bush economic guru Lawrence Lindsey let slip last fall shortly before he was shoved out the Oval Office door says it all. Momentarily forgetting that he was talking to the press and not his buddies in the White House, he admitted: "The successful prosecution of the war would be good for the economy."

Some interesting comments about attitudes inside the military as noted by Rececca Blood.

Iranian-backed forces cross into Iraq

Iranian-backed Iraqi opposition forces have crossed into northern Iraq from Iran with the aim of securing the frontier in the event of war, according to senior Iranian officials.

  thanks to Cursor

Regime Change, Literally - Jordan's King May Rule Post-War Iraq
A recently revealed document suggests that until recently, regime change in Iraq was considered not as a U.S. security issue, but as an Israeli one. PNS commentator William O. Beeman looks at the ill-advised plan.

In September 2002, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Vice President Dick Cheney reportedly suggested that a post-war Iraq be unified with Jordan into a "Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Iraq." The story was dismissed by many Middle East experts as a wild rumor. However, the rumor has surfaced again, and it is given new credence by the revelation of a document written in 1996 by Bush White House policy makers now associated with Wolfowitz and Cheney.

The possibility that Iraq could be ruled by the Royal Family of Jordan in the future gives new meaning to the frequently used term "regime change."

  thanks to American Samizdat

A Brief History of US Diplomacy, 2002 - 2003


  thanks to the bitter shack of resentment

 08:09 AM - link

Grandmother hurt in Israeli violence
A Welsh woman has been shot at and injured by Israeli troops in the West Bank while trying to help people to hospital.

Anne Gwynne, 65, from Aberystwyth, was hit in the leg by shrapnel while carrying a stretcher through the old quarter of the besieged town of Nablus.

She said two soldiers opened fire on her and a colleague after they failed to hear an order for them to halt as they were trying to reach a heavily pregnant Palestinian woman.

  thanks to American Samizdat

The above BBC article mentions that Anne writes for Ramallah Online.

by Anne Gwynne

The Lockdown Intensifies

The situation here in Nablus today is the worst it has been since I came here six weeks ago. This city of 186,000 people is completely closed to the outside world - sealed off. We are very few internationals - too few to send anyone to the checkpoints this morning; every point of entry is closed and patients are not being allowed to go to the hospitals. The IOF is now beating Internationals at the checkpoints - today a Swedish woman and a Danish man. I have called the West Bank IOF offices many, many times and have spoken to several underlings who say that there is complete closure on Nablus, except for ambulances which should be allowed through. But they are not being. I called the Press Office, the West Bank Command and the Nablus Command and they all deny that this is happening - we know first-hand that it is.

 07:50 AM - link

railroad art

Canada by Train

The content of brochures and timetables included practical details like schedules and maps, but the imagery on the covers and on the posters, were often romanticized pictures of mountains, prairie and seashores that lent an exotic air to travel in Canada. In addition to using natural settings as promotional tools, railway companies used historical, literary and popular figures such as Frontenac in Quebec, Evangeline in Acadia, and Mounties in the Rockies. These practices helped to create stereotypes and solidified mythologies about Canada that still linger in today's popular imagination.


  thanks to wood s lot

 07:40 AM - link


Art Spiegelman, cartoonist for The New Yorker, resigns in protest at censorship

Art Spiegelman decided to leave The New Yorker in protest at what he calls "the widespread conformism of the mass media in the Bush era."

"The decision to leave was mine alone," the author of Maus, (the saga of Jewish mice exterminated by Nazi cats that won him the Pulitzer Prize -- the first ever awarded for a comic book), explained in an interview with Corriere della Sera. "The editor of the The New Yorker, David Remnick, was shocked when I announced my resignation. He attempted to dissuade me. But I told him that the kind of work that I'm now interested in doing is not suited to the present tone of The New Yorker. And seeing that we are living in extremely dangerous times, I don't feel like stooping to compromise."

 07:15 AM - link


GOP threats halted GAO Cheney suit

Threats by Republicans to cut the General Accounting Office (GAO) budget influenced its decision to abandon a lawsuit against Vice President Dick Cheney, The Hill has learned.

Sources familiar with high-level discussions at the GAO said Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), chairman of the Appropriations Committee, met with GAO Comptroller General David Walker earlier this year and “unambiguously” pressured him to drop the suit or face cuts in his $440 million budget.

  thanks to Cursor

 07:17 AM - link

aerosol art

Censorship and Aerosol Murals

The purpose of this page is to educate the public how murals (regardless of medium used) beautify and benefit business, giving youths a forum for expressing creative ideas, to alter some of the misconceptions about aerosol muralists, and to promote the idea that public art should be controlled by the people in the community rather than face unjust censorship of social concepts/issues at the hands of the government afraid of facing those same issues. (...)

Below are three stories about Aerosol Murals being censored and ultimately removed. Click on the topics to read the stories and view images of the aerosol murals.


  thanks to dublog

 07:08 AM - link

domestic terrorism

The return of the anti-abortion terrorists

Many of us who have observed the Bush administration's wink-and-nudge act with anti-abortion activists have feared that it would eventually encourage the extremists among them -- who largely were quiet during the 2000 campaign and have been largely subdued since then -- to resume their former activities. That may be starting to happen.

Other Republicans in key positions have made plain that the domestic terrorism engaged in by the American right would not be viewed as part of Bush's "war on terrorism." Florida Republican Porter J. Goss, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, explicitly said so during hearings on the Sept. 11 attacks.

"The trouble is, 'terrorism' is a very broad word, and it lends itself to a lot of mischief for people who would abuse common sense," Goss said. He then cited bombings of abortion clinics. "To me, that's not the kind of terrorism I'm talking about."

Statements like this just leaves me speechless.

 06:51 AM - link

electronic voting raud

This in Salon. Go ahead and get a free day pass — it's worth it.

Hacking democracy?
Computerized vote-counting machines are sweeping the country. But they can be hacked -- and right now there's no way to be sure they haven't been.

During the past five months, Bev Harris has e-mailed to news organizations a series of reports that detail alarming problems in the high-tech voting machinery currently sweeping its way through American democracy. But almost no one is paying attention.

 06:49 AM - link


Book Sizes

The names of book sizes are based on the old system, still widely used, of considering the size of a page as a fraction of the large sheet of paper on which it was printed. This system is illustrated in Table I below. In printing books, an even number (as 4, 8, 16, 32, 64) of pages is printed on each side of a single large sheet, which is then folded so that the pages are in proper sequence and the outside edges are cut so that the book will open. Except for the largest size, the folio, the name of the size indicates the fractional part of the sheet one page occupies (as octavo "eighth"). In this system, since the fractional name alone cannot denote an exact size, the name of the sheet size precedes the fractional name. Thus royal octavo is understood to designate a page one-eighth the size of a royal sheet, medium octavo a page one-eighth the size of a medium sheet, and crown octavo a page one-eighth the size of a crown sheet. But paper is cut into many sheet sizes and even the terms crown, medium, and royal do not always designate sheets of the same dimensions. Three of the more common sheet sizes have been selected: royal 20 x 25 inches, medium 18 x 23 inches, and crown 15 x 19 inches. Actual page sizes run a little smaller than calculations, since the sheets, when folded to page size, are trimmed at top, outside and bottom, the inside edge becoming part of the binding. British sheet size sometimes differs slightly from American.

  thanks to BookLab II

I've seen these descriptions mentioned before and have never know what the hell they were talking about. Another mystery solved.

 06:34 AM - link

street art

Dan Witz

Dan Witz has been committing random acts of unattributed street art since he moved to New York City in 1978. His work is also in major corporate and private collections. In 1982 he received an NEA fellowship, and in 1992 one from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Currently he resides above a Chinese funeral home on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.


  thanks to reenhead.com

 06:22 AM - link

  Wednesday   February 19   2003

Living Rooms
Destroyed living rooms from the Jenin refugee camp. West Bank, April, 2002


  thanks to American Samizdat

 10:15 AM - link


Turkey Conditions Troop Deployment On More U.S. Aid

The Turkish government yesterday demanded Washington significantly enhance a multibillion-dollar aid package before it receives new U.S. troops, a move that threatened to scramble the Bush administration's plans to use Turkey to open a northern front against Iraq.

The delay in Turkish approval -- which administration officials had expected by yesterday -- has left four U.S. ships carrying tanks and other heavy equipment for the Army's 4th Infantry Division stranded off the Turkish coast. Twenty to 30 ships to supply an estimated 15,000 troops are expected to arrive shortly, and U.S. officials said a decision must be made within the next 48 hours before the equipment is sent elsewhere and the war plans redrawn.

Damned if they do, damned if they don't
Drop the pretension -- Bush administration is determined to invade Iraq

It would be so much easier if the Bush administration just dropped the confusing pretension of an earnest campaign for truth, international cooperation and the rule of law. The reality is and has been that the U.S. is determined to invade Iraq whether or not it has weapons of mass destruction and no matter the findings of the weapons inspectors or the judgment of the Security Council.

Who's Dumber...Bush or Us?
Are They That Stupid?

Are they really that stupid that they could present a plagiarized paper by a UCLA graduate student pulled off the internet as their "top secret proof" of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and think that nobody would notice? Hard to believe, but that's exactly what Prime Minister Tony Blair did, and what US Secretary of State Colin Powell cited as "proof".

Are they really that stupid that they could offer detailed "before and after" satellite photos of Iraqi trucks said to be "possibly" transporting Iraqi weapons, and then an empty space as "proof" that the trucks loaded up and quickly departed without acknowledging that the photos, as pointed out by Hans Blix, were actually taken two weeks apart?

This Modern World: Lethal Buddies!
Coming soon from Bush Administration Productions

 10:10 AM - link

american empire

Unrivaled Military Feels Strains of Unending War
For U.S. Forces, a Technological Revolution and a Constant Call to Do More

"At no time in the history of modern warfare has a force been as well-trained, well-equipped and highly motivated as our Air Force is today," Gen. John P. Jumper, the Air Force chief of staff, said last month. Indeed, one of the Air Force's slogans is "Global Reach, Global Power."

That reach, say military commanders and other experts, may also prove to be an Achilles' heel: The more capable the U.S. military has become, the more it has been asked to do, and now strains are beginning to show. As the Bush administration prepares for war with Iraq, it is also sustaining peacekeeping missions in the Balkans, protecting South Korea from a newly aggressive North Korea and pursuing a war against terrorism that stretches from Afghanistan and the Caucasus to the Horn of Africa and Southeast Asia.

This is a period characterized by what seems like continuous warfare, likened by military analyst Ralph Peters to the Thirty Years War that decimated Western Europe in the 17th century, and the effects are beginning to tell on the military's manpower, on its budget, on the nation's treasury, and on a conflict of priorities - - between the need to fight today's wars and the pursuit of means to dominate tomorrow's.

  thanks to Tapped

 09:59 AM - link


The K Chronicles
(This in Salon. Go ahead and get a free day pass — it's worth it.)

David Horsey

 09:55 AM - link


A Geopolitical Earthquake?
The Crisis in NATO

The next weeks should reveal whether we are experiencing the equivalent of a geopolitical earthquake.

Washington intended that NATO, from its very inception, serve as its instrument for maintaining its political hegemony over Western Europe, forestalling the emergence of a bloc that could play an independent role in world affairs. Charles DeGaulle, Winston Churchill, and many influential politicians envisioned such an alliance less as a means of confronting the Soviet army than as a way of containing a resurgent Germany as well as balancing American power.

 09:42 AM - link


This in Salon. Go ahead and get a free day pass — it's worth it.

Clear Channel's big, stinking deregulation mess
The sorry state of the radio industry today is sabotaging FCC chairman Michael Powell's plans to let media conglomerates run wild.

Clear Channel Communications, the radio and concert conglomerate so many people love to hate, has a new batch of disgruntled critics to deal with. But this time it's not the musicians who claim that the entertainment giant plays hardball and locks acts off the airwaves, or the broadcast rivals who allege the company leverages its unmatched size to drive competitors out of business, or even the former employees who insist the company's rampant cost-cutting style has gutted American radio.

Nope -- now the heat is coming from other media company executives and Beltway lobbyists. They are dismayed that Clear Channel is doing what many might have thought impossible. In an era when Republicans control the government and big business generally gets what it wants, Clear Channel is making deregulation look bad.

The Failure of American Journalism
War, Protest and the Press

The abject failure of the American journalistic model-- long worsening--has become depressingly apparent in the run-up to what appears to be almost certain war with Iraq.

Although there are clear and rational and compelling arguments being made against war both at home and abroad by professional soldiers, seasoned diplomats and millions of ordinary people, the American corporate media, both print and electronic, have become virtual parrots of the Administration line that war is necessary because Saddam Hussein is evil and a clear threat to America.

If the administration's warning that a terror strike was imminent and that Americans should all buy plastic sheeting and duct tape to enable them to protect their homes in the event of a gas or germ attack was akin to someone shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater, the resulting panic stoked by the media's breathless and uncritical repeating of that self-serving nonsense was like a gang of ushers echoing the cry while goading theatergoers into a stampede for the exits.

 09:30 AM - link

archaic technology

Welcome to the official 5.25" disk sleeve archive!

Featuring an ever growing archive of every 5.25" disk sleeve ever made! The work of a madman? A catalog of nostalgia? An excuse to do something with all these disk sleeves?


  thanks to Museum of Online Museums

 09:28 AM - link

drug wars

Bush blocks deal allowing cheap drugs for world's poor

George Bush's close links with the drugs industry were last night blamed for the failure of talks in Geneva aimed at securing access to cheap medicines for developing countries.

Delegates at the World Trade Organisation expressed frustration after the US again rejected a deal that would have loosened global patent rules to enable poor countries to import cheap copies of desperately needed drugs.

"We believe that governments should maintain their distance and should not be directed by pressure groups," one EU trade official said.

Negotiators said a solution to the deadlock lay in America's hands. "The pharmaceuticals lobby is running the show in Washington," one development activist said.

 09:17 AM - link

nuclear madness

US plan for new nuclear arsenal
Secret talks may lead to breaking treaties

The Bush administration is planning a secret meeting in August to discuss the construction of a new generation of nuclear weapons, including "mini-nukes", "bunker-busters" and neutron bombs designed to destroy chemical or biological agents, according to a leaked Pentagon document.

The meeting of senior military officials and US nuclear scientists at the Omaha headquarters of the US Strategic Command would also decide whether to restart nuclear testing and how to convince the American public that the new weapons are necessary.

The leaked preparations for the meeting are the clearest sign yet that the administration is determined to overhaul its nuclear arsenal so that it could be used as part of the new "Bush doctrine" of pre-emption, to strike the stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons of rogue states.

Greg Mello, the head of the Los Alamos Study Group, a nuclear watchdog organisation that obtained the Pentagon documents, said the meeting would also prepare the ground for a US breakaway from global arms control treaties, and the moratorium on conducting nuclear tests.

 09:14 AM - link

duct and cover

Duct Tape and Cover


 09:11 AM - link


Settle down and listen up
Time for a quick primer on French history. This means you, George Will
Molly Ivins

As our coaches used to say, "OK, people, settle down and listen up." We have been enjoying a lovely little spate of French- bashing here lately. Jonah Goldberg of The National Review, who admits that French-bashing is "shtick" -- as it is to many American comedians -- has popularized the phrase "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" to describe the French. It gets a lot less attractive than that.

George Will saw fit to include in his latest Newsweek column this joke: "How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris? No one knows, it's never been tried." That was certainly amusing. One million, four hundred thousand French soldiers were killed during World War I. As a result, there weren't many Frenchmen left to fight in World War II. Nevertheless, 100,000 French soldiers lost their lives trying to stop Hitler.

On behalf of every one of those 100,000 men, I would like to thank Mr. Will for his clever joke. They were out-manned, out-gunned, out-generaled and, above all, out-tanked. They got slaughtered, but they stood and they fought. Ha-ha, how funny. In the few places where they had tanks, they held splendidly.

 09:05 AM - link

molly ivins

The Salon Interview: Molly Ivins
The Op-Ed populist says her fellow Texan, the man from Midland, is in over his head as he rushes to war with Iraq.

 08:57 AM - link


Trained Eye Gallery

All of these images are from the sides of boxcars, coal cars, miscellaneous freight cars and a caboose. These cars have been scratched, gouged, painted, scraped, rusted, and repainted over the course of their lifetimes. From a distance they appear uniformly colored, neat, and tidy. But, up close, with their context removed, they have become the gallery you see here.


  thanks to dublog

 08:51 AM - link

  Tuesday   February 18   2003


The archives for last night's TestingTesting with Stephanie Patrick is up. It was another fun evening of music in my living room. Barton Cole also did a spoken work piece he titled War of the Wankers. Barton is a poet and the piece was inspired by the recent revelation by Laura Bush that poetry could be political. (What was she thinking?) Listen to Stephanie's music, the TT House Band's contributions, and there is a link to War of the Wankers.

 01:53 PM - link


Chirac pledges to veto new resolution

Tony Blair's options for going to war on Iraq were shrinking last night after Jacques Chirac publicly pledged that France would veto an early second United Nations resolution explicitly authorising military action.

Turkey stalls vote for US troops

American hopes of preparing a northern front against Saddam Hussein were dealt a fresh blow yesterday when the Turkish government delayed a parliamentary vote authorising US troop deployments.

This one is of particular interest to me. My son-in-law is sitting in Germany, with bags packed, waiting to move into Turkey. My daughter Jenny flew back to Germany Sunday to see him before he left. He was to have gone to Korea in March when he would have taken some leave to see Jenny. That's off until Iraq is over.

Behind the Great Divide
by Paul Krugman

There has been much speculation why Europe and the U.S. are suddenly at such odds. Is it about culture? About history? But I haven't seen much discussion of an obvious point: We have different views partly because we see different news.

Let's back up. Many Americans now blame France for the chill in U.S.- European relations. There is even talk of boycotting French products.

But France's attitude isn't exceptional. Last Saturday's huge demonstrations confirmed polls that show deep distrust of the Bush administration and skepticism about an Iraq war in all major European nations, whatever position their governments may take. In fact, the biggest demonstrations were in countries whose governments are supporting the Bush administration.

The Weapon We Gave Iraq

Since U.S. President George W. Bush put Saddam Hussein on notice that the "game is over," a countdown to a military intervention in Iraq appears to have begun. This prospect has heightened concerns from the allied veterans of the last war in the Persian Gulf, many of whom still suffer from serious health problems that they believe resulted from exposure to depleted uranium.

The 220,00 Casualties No One Speaks About

The major media will talk about holes in the Administration case on Iraq, weaknesses in the accusations about Halabja, and even occasionally an article about sufferings of Iraqi civilians. What they won't talk about is the huge number of U.S. casualties from our first Gulf War.

For a little comic relief: These Weapons of Mass Destruction cannot be displayed

Peace on the Beach


  thanks to Politics in the Zeros

 01:40 PM - link


Perfidious Gaul, how sharp is thy barb
by Jon Carroll

It has been amazing to note the upwelling of Francophobia in previously unsuspected locations. Suddenly, every commentator worth his five-figure lecture fee has been discoursing on the various faults of the French: their cowardice, their incivility, their ingratitude.

We saved their butts in 1944, and now look at them -- they're opposing a perfectly reasonable war for their own selfish reasons. How dare they act in their national interest! Better they should let the United States decide what their national interest is. We'd be happy to do it. We'd even be happy to send a retired admiral over to run the country. It would seem that John Poindexter will soon be unemployed again.

 01:21 PM - link

will eisner

Barton Cole just lent me a book by Will Eisner — Spirit Casebook. I've hear of Eisner but this is the first stuff I've seen. These strips were done in 1948, 1949, and 1950. The guy is a true artist and is still a big influence.

Will Eisner

Will Eisner has been a pioneering force in comics for over sixty years. His career spans groundbreaking work in early newspaper comics to the mature graphic novels that he continues to produce today.

 01:17 PM - link


S Korea warns of regional arms race

The outgoing South Korean president, Kim Dae-jung, gave warning yesterday that his country and Japan may join a nuclear arms race if North Korea declares itself the latest member of the atomic weapons club.

Both have the technological prowess and abundant supplies of plutonium to build huge nuclear arsenals which would destabilise north-east Asia, which borders on China and Russia.

North Korea Threatens to Withdraw From '53 Accord

North Korea's military threatened today to abandon its commitment to the 1953 Korean War armistice if the United States moves to impose penalties like a naval blockade for its suspected nuclear weapons program.

 12:15 PM - link


Zen poet's voice of dissent heard by anti-war literati

Sam Hamill, a reclusive former Marine turned Zen Buddhist poet, is an unlikely spokesman for the anti-war poetry movement he started almost by accident.

Hamill triggered a nationwide artistic uprising when he declined a White House invitation to a literary symposium Feb. 12, instead asking fellow poets to write protest poems.

 12:06 PM - link


My son, Robby, has a ceramics class project involving masks. Here are three sites he found. Cool stuff.

Welcome to Noh Mask Home Page


Native American Masks

Our Way of Making Prayer

 12:09 PM - link

The Unsettlers

Maizelis's distaste for the occupation is shared by a majority of Israelis, as expressed in opinion poll after opinion poll. A recent one found that 78 percent of Israelis would be willing to give up the vast majority of settlements in order to strike a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

But despite those polls, and despite international laws prohibiting settlement in occupied territories, Jewish settlement in the West Bank has expanded continually since the land was captured in the 1967 war. At first, settlement was rare, undertaken only by religious extremists. In that era, the government tried to prevent the building of settlements in Palestinian population centers, a policy that led to repeated evacuations of religious settlers by soldiers.

When the Likud Party came to power in 1977, though, the government began constructing Jewish villages and cities all over the territories. Ariel Sharon, then the minister of agriculture, engineered a settlement plan with financial incentives that made the territories an attractive home even for Israelis who didn't feel strongly about the political ideology that drove the settlement project. The settlements grew quickly, and there are now 400,000 Israelis living outside the country's 1967 borders -- 200,000 in East Jerusalem, and another 200,000 deeper into the West Bank and Gaza. (...)

Maon Farm is also on Ben-Eliezer's ''dismantled'' list. But when I visited, the outpost was being rebuilt in the forest 200 yards from the hill where the army destroyed the young settlers' cabins and homes. It is a particularly volatile outpost: last year, a resident of Maon Farm was among a group arrested and charged with planting a bomb at an Arab school in Jerusalem.

The founder of Maon Farm, Yehoshefat Tor, says he still thinks the bombing was a good idea. ''The Torah says we should kill all the Arabs,'' he told me. ''Not just Arabs who maybe help terrorists. Everybody.''

 11:49 AM - link


Leaving the Temple

These photographs are the result of 3 years of work in Asia and represent, in many ways, the discovery that I wouldn’t find spiritual fulfillment in Asia. When I arrived in Thailand in 1988, I saw a land of golden light and saffron robed monks–idealistic images of an idealized land. Although an atheist, I briefly thought I'd find God in Asia.

But like all idealized stereotypes, this image told only half the story because underlying this image was a society as deeply flawed and hypocritical as the one I left behind in America. My attempt to replace what I saw as flawed western world views with the spirituality of Thai Buddhism failed and my experiences in Asia have taught me not to use such simple models as an east/west dichotomy. Rather than look for oppositional models, I am attempting to understand the world through a more universal, critical eye.

Zoo Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Monkeys Phonsavan, Laos


  thanks to emptybottle.org

 11:43 AM - link


Some new names for the old ball yard
by Jon Carroll

Pac Bell Park is officially on the dustheap, the victim of corporate consolidation. It would do no good to argue that Pac Bell Park had a swell sound to it, three short syllables with twin "k" sounds at the end of the first and third words. Pacific Bell est mort, which means that Pac Bell est mort aussi. (...)

But if you look at the place that San Francisco currently holds in the national discourse, I think there would be only one truly appropriate name: Homosexual Park.


 10:36 AM - link


The Museum of HP Calculators

The Museum of HP Calculators displays and describes Hewlett-Packard calculators introduced from 1968 to 1986 plus a few interesting later models. There are also sections on calculating machines and slide rules as well as sections for buying and selling HP calculators, an HP timeline, collecting information and a software library.

HP-35 — The First Slide Rule Pocket Calculator

  thanks to Coudal Partners

Not only does it cover HP calculators, but it has an excellent section on the amazing mechanical calculators like the Friden SRW. How it was done in the old days.

 10:36 AM - link

nuclear safety is an oxymoron

Attack on nuclear plant 'could kill 3.5m'

More than three and a half million people could be killed by a terrorist attack on a British nuclear plant, concludes a series of three reports so alarming that even Greenpeace – which commissioned them – is unwilling to publish them.

The reports – whose findings the Government has also sought to suppress – show that terrorists could identify the most dangerous parts of the plants from publicly available information and crash aircraft into them, releasing vast amounts of radioactivity.

  thanks to the bitter shack of resentment

 10:21 AM - link

german expressionism

Artists of Brücke
Themes in German Expressionist Prints


  thanks to Coudal Partners

 10:12 AM - link

  Monday   February 17   2003


It's time for another webcast from my living room. Click on in to TestingTesting at 7pm (pacific) (the TT web site also has the times for other time zones) for an hour or so of music and such. Tonight we have young singer/songwriter Stephanie Patrick singing her songs while accompanying herself on electric guitar. The TT House Band will be Steve Showell, Joanne Rouse, and Lisa Toomey. Barton Cole will be doing his Commentary From the Wires. A good time will be had by all.

 01:45 AM - link


A New Power in the Streets

The fracturing of the Western alliance over Iraq and the huge antiwar demonstrations around the world this weekend are reminders that there may still be two superpowers on the planet: the United States and world public opinion.

A Season of Stupidity
by Molly Ivins

The news is not good. Osama bin Laden wants us to invade Iraq. We're at orange on the alert code. The economy is tanking. We're spending $1.08 billion a day on the military.

One Man Against the World
by Uri Avnery

The German people, which gave him power and followed him with closed eyes even when he committed heinous crimes, paid a heavy price. It has learned the lesson. Now it abhors war, any war, from the depth of its soul. Hundreds of thousands - young people, children, grandchildren and grand-grandchildren of that generation - march these days through the streets of Germany to protest against Bush's war. Their leader, Schroeder, was reelected solely because he expressed this deep longing for peace. The most warlike people has turned into the most anti-warlike.

That's great, isn't it? Not at all! American and British leaders condemn Germany for its refusal to go to war. The Israeli government heap scorn on its head. Wet rugs, these Germans! Damn pacifists! Cowards! Pitiful people who refuse to fight!

All this less than 60 years since Hitler's suicide. Who would have believed./font>

Strategic Advice From the Public
by Bob Herbert

Walt Rostow, one of the ultimate hawks on Vietnam, died last week. He, along with many others, suffered from an optimism about the use of U.S. military force in that conflict that bordered on delusion. In an obituary Saturday, The Times's Todd Purdum quoted Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, an under secretary of state and attorney general in the Johnson administration, who had argued with Mr. Rostow over the efficacy of U.S. bombing.

"I finally understand the difference between Walt and me," said Mr. Katzenbach. "I was the navigator who was shot down and spent two years in a German prison camp, and Walt was the guy picking my targets."

President Bush and his hawkish advisers speak blithely about a U.S.-led invasion leading to a garden of democracy blooming in the desert soil of Iraq. I wouldn't reach for my gardening tools too quickly. What the administration has been unwilling to tell the public is the truth about some of the implications of war with Iraq — first and foremost, the bloody horror of men, women and children being blown to smithereens in the interest of peace, and then the myriad costs and dangers associated with a long-term U.S. military occupation.

As late as last week the administration tried to give the impression that the U.S. could be in and out of Iraq in as little as two years. That's a case of optimism as dangerous as Walt Rostow's.

The US: A Nation Divided, With No Bridges Left to Build
In Austin, Texas, Robert Fisk sees at first hand the vast gulf between the pro- and anti-war movements in the United States

The show was over, recorded for one of those nice liberal local American TV cable channels – this time in Texas – where everyone agrees that war is wrong, that George Bush is in the hands of right-wing Christian fundamentalists and pro-Israeli neo- conservatives.

Don Darling, the TV host, had just turned to thank me for my long and flu-laden contribution. Then it happened. Cameraman number two came striding towards us through the studio lights. "I want to thank you, sir, for reminding us that the British had a lot to do with the chaos in the Middle East, " he said. "But I have something else to say."

His voice rose 10 decibels, his bare arms bouncing up and down at his sides, his shaven head struck forward pugnaciously. "Yeah, I wanna tell you that the cause of this problem is the fucking medieval Arabs and their wish to enslave us all – and I tell you that it is because we want to save the Jews from the fucking savage Arabs who want to throw them into the sea that we are about to fuck Saddam." There was a pause as Don Darling looked at the man, aghast. "And that," cameraman number two concluded, "is the fucking truth."

 01:37 AM - link


David Neiwert, over at Orcinus, continues with excellent comments and links on the proposed national sales tax. Nothing Bush has proposed is as frightening as this. Pay attention. You will be tested on this.

Bush's Class War: Back to the Future

It's becoming increasingly apparent on a broad range of issues that the Bush administration intends to turn back the nation's social clock by a century or so. This is no more evident than in the regime's push to replace the corporate and personal income tax with a national sales tax. (...)

There is in some ways an appealing aspect to "turning back the clock." Indeed, many Americans are positively nostalgic for the "good old days." But the reality of everyday life for Americans in 1900 was not quite so golden. In fact, most Americans were by today's standards dirt poor, and the phrase "wage slave" was not merely a euphemism.

There were no limits on the length of the work week, and in fact the average laborer was often expected to put in between 60 and 80 hours of work per week. There was no such thing as overtime pay. Retirement plans were a distant fantasy. Child labor was very common. People of all sexes and all walks of life were so overworked, and their health care so marginal, that the average lifespan was 47 years (it's now 75). Life, in Hobbes' famous phrase, was "short, nasty and brutish."

That's the kind of world to which the Bush regime wishes us to return -- all for the sake of further enriching his fellow members of the wealthiest class of Americans.

 01:30 AM - link

stencil art

Stencil Revolution
Collectively Reconstructing the Urban Canvas


 01:15 AM - link


Spontaneous Mind: Selected Interviews, 1958-1996.

If that is true, then Allen Ginsberg does need an introduction in 2003, for he was one of the finest poets of the last century, perhaps the equal of his mentors such as William Blake or Walt Whitman. At the height of his powers, Ginsberg was at once a mystic, a comedian, a political commentator; and it is difficult, and senseless, to separate those roles. The combination is wholly original and resulted in such achievements as "Howl", "Kaddish", "Wichita Vortex Sutra", and "Kral Majales", to name but a few. To suggest, as numerous critics and journalists have done, that Ginsberg's work is that of a self- promoting, "know-nothing Bohemian" whose poetry was a meaningless outburst of energy, is a misjudgment. If this book of interviews, selected from the entire span of Ginsberg's writing life, is valuable then it is for the way it makes clear the utter seriousness of Ginsberg's poetic vocation. And it is valuable for other reasons also.

  thanks to wood s lot

 01:13 AM - link


1800s Ephemera


  thanks to Coudal Partners

 01:09 AM - link


Smithsonian Folkways Dusts Off Titles With New Technology

The major music companies may fret over falling revenue, but one label saw its business jump 33 percent last year — thanks in part to the recordable compact discs that the industry says are hurting its sales.

The label, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, is using recordable CD's, or CD-R's, to ensure that each release in its extensive catalog is always available. And in doing so, the label best known for dusty recordings by Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly is taking initial steps toward creating a 21st- century "celestial jukebox," where nothing recorded ever goes out of print.

 12:48 AM - link

ghost dance

Imaging and Imagining the Ghost Dance: James Mooney's Illustrations and Photographs, 1891-1893

Fundamental to the way the Ghost Dance of 1890 has been perceived and visualized are the images James Mooney used to illustrate his 1896 Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology report on the ceremonial. Besides portraits of the principal as well as the peripheral participants, Sitting Bull the Hunkpapa and Sitting Bull the Arapaho, scenes of Wounded Knee and of the survivors of the massacre, Mooney also included eight illustrations of the Dance in progress. In the course of the century since Mooney published, his illustrations, and the photographs upon which they are based, have continued to be used to evoke and to illustrate the Ghost Dance. But the photographs themselves have not seldom been examined for their ethnographic and historical content, let alone for what they can say about the processes of imaging and imagining the Ghost Dance.


  thanks to wood s lot

 12:51 AM - link

  Sunday   February 16   2003

Kucinich for President

Kucinich in New York
The Whole World is Watching
by Rep. Dennis Kucinich

One of the Columbia astronauts is said to have looked upon the earth from the silence of outer space and said to fellow voyagers: "Look! The whole world is reflected in the iris of my eye." As she watched the whole world, the whole world is watching us to see what is reflected in our eyes, the light of peace or the fires of war. We who gather carry a vision of peace. We see the world as one. We carry a vision of human unity. We see the world undivided. Today and tomorrow we act on that vision.

To those leaders in our country struggling in inner space, those who have war in their eyes and in their hearts and would project it upon the world: The whole world is watching. "Look, the whole world is reflected in the iris of my eye." America is reflected in the irises of billions of eyes. The whole world is watching to see if the power of our morality is greater than the power which would unleash our weapons. Peaceful coexistence or war. The whole world is watching. A fist or an open hand. The whole world is watching. First use of nuclear weapons or leadership in global disarmament. The whole world is watching. Bombs or bread to the Iraqi people, to the Iranian people, to the North Korean people. The whole world is watching.

Kucinich Plans to Launch Presidential Run

Rep. Dennis Kucinich plans to file papers to launch a presidential campaign next week, a source familiar with the Ohio Democrat's plans said Saturday.

His entry into the 2004 presidential race bumps the Democratic field of candidates to eight.

Kucinich has said voters need to hear alternative points of view on Iraq, trade and the nation's economic policies, all issues expected to be at the center of his campaign.

  thanks to MyDD

 03:59 PM - link

be afraid

Current Terror Level:

  thanks to JOHO the blog

 03:43 PM - link


U.S., Britain regrouping, plan new tests of Iraq

The Bush administration plans a set of final, specific tests of Saddam Hussein's willingness to disarm, administration officials said yesterday.

The Venus Trap

Henry Kissinger summed up the logic of conservatives: "If the United States marches 200,000 troops into the region and then marches them back out . . . the credibility of American power . . . will be gravely, perhaps irreparably impaired."

The painful parts of Washington history have often been about men trying harder to save face than lives.

With or without the fussy Frenchies, we're going to war. For this White House, pulling back when all our forces are poised for battle would be, to use the Bush family's least favorite word, wimpy.

One million. And still they came
Euan Ferguson reports on a historic peace march whose massive turnout surpassed the organisers' wildest expectations and Tony Blair's worst fears

'Are there any more coming, then?'

There have been dafter questions, but not many. At 1.10 yesterday afternoon, Mike Wiseman from Newcastle upon Tyne placed his accordion carefully on the ground below Hyde Park's gates and rubbed cold hands together. Two elderly women, hand in hand in furs, passed through, still humming the dying notes from his 'Give Peace A Chance'. They were, had he known it, early, part of a tiny crowd straggling into Hyde Park before the march proper.

Half a mile away, round the corner in Piccadilly, the ground shook. An ocean, a perfect storm of people. Banners, a bobbing cherry-blossom of banners, covered every inch back to the Circus - and for miles beyond, south to the river, north to Euston.

  thanks to plep

Craig has many links to the protests.

Robert Fisk: The case against war: A conflict driven by the self-interest of America

In the end, I think we are just tired of being lied to. Tired of being talked down to, of being bombarded with Second World War jingoism and scare stories and false information and student essays dressed up as "intelligence". We are sick of being insulted by little men, by Tony Blair and Jack Straw and the likes of George Bush and his cabal of neo-conservative henchmen who have plotted for years to change the map of the Middle East to their advantage.

WG Sebald, who died two years ago, was a wartime baby in rural Bavaria and grew up haunted by an unspoken sense of collective shame. His account of the RAF's devastating bombardment of Germany's cities - and the horrors that followed - has been translated into English for the first time

  thanks to consumptive.org

Iraq: Going in is the Easy Part

  thanks to Aron's Israel Peace Weblog

One US rule for Israel, another for Saddam
For 30 years, America has acted hypocritically in wielding its UN veto

  thanks to thoughts on the eve of the apocalypse

Mike Golby posts a long rant. Go read: The United Colors of War.

 03:24 PM - link

why you don't cross the bushies

BuzzFlash asks Greg Palast:
"What the Heck is Going on With Tony Blair?"

BUZZFLASH: Tony Blair and Bill Clinton were very similar. They were centrists. They were able to get elected by being moderates to both sides of the aisle. And Blair, like Clinton, is known as an intelligent man, unlike George Bush. People are so surprised that Blair is not only supporting Bush's agenda, but is in lockstep, as if he's following the orders of the Bush administration. And I'm not kidding when I tell you that we've gotten a slew of e- mails from BuzzFlash readers that suggest Karl Rove must have embarrassing pictures of Tony Blair, and they're blackmailing him. And it sounds ridiculous, but how do you explain this intelligent man walking his country and his soldiers into hell following the orders of George W. Bush?

PALAST: You're getting warm. The answer is Irwin Stelzer. He is the guy who is a good friend of George Bush from the Hudson Institute, and the most powerful lobbyist in Britain representing British-American interests and, by the way, chief lobbyist for Rupert Murdoch. As soon as Bush seized the White House, Stelzer walked into Blair's office and said ‘we noticed that you were supporting Mr. Gore during the Presidential election' - even though clearly that didn't carry many states. Blair's effective endorsement of Al Gore did not go unnoticed. And there was a price to be paid. Blair was given a list of the things that would befall Britain from military subsidies and equipment, to a reduction of value in the dollar versus the pound, which would destroy England's exportability. And Blair was basically told get in line, stand up and salute or "here's your last cigarette, Tony."

  thanks to also not found in nature

US to punish German 'treachery'

America is to punish Germany for leading international opposition to a war against Iraq. The US will withdraw all its troops and bases from there and end military and industrial co- operation between the two countries - moves that could cost the Germans billions of euros.

The plan - discussed by Pentagon officials and military chiefs last week on the orders of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - is designed 'to harm' the German economy to make an example of the country for what US hawks see as Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's 'treachery'.

The hawks believe that making an example of Germany will force other countries heavily dependent on US trade to think twice about standing up to America in future.

  thanks to Eschaton

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useful applications for duct tape

  thanks to This Modern World

 02:49 PM - link


Israel: Germs, gas and A-bombs
Fingers on all the buttons
The world's best-known and most efficient 'secret' manufacturer of weapons of mass destruction is not Iraq, not even North Korea, but Israel. Neil Sammonds looks at a nuclear, biological and chemical warfare programme that even the Israeli Knesset cannot get access to, let alone the United Nations.

In September 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, a technician at Israel's Dimona nuclear site, revealed to the Sunday Times that the nuclear military programme based there had produced 'over 200' nuclear warheads.

Days later he was tricked into flying to Rome where he was abducted by Mossad agents and secretly transported to Israel. In November 1986, he was tried in camera and sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment, 14 of which were spent in solitary confinement.

In 1999, in response to a petition from Yediot Ahronot newspaper, the government released about 40 per cent of the trial documents.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimates that Israel has the world's fifth largest stockpile of nuclear warheads (more than Britain, which it believes has 185).

A War Without Legitimacy
Lessons from Israel

Despite the fact that the war against Iraq is presented also as aimed to protect Israel from Sadam's aggressive intentions, Israeli public opinion is not convinced that the war is needed. A new poll shows that only 46% support waging the war without international legitimacy, and 43% oppose it. In addition, a new coalition of peace organizations has been formed to join the world protest on February 15. Apparently the Israelis know something about preemptive wars that President Bush ignores. I would suggest learning some lessons from the Israeli experience.

 02:39 PM - link

what our government is doing to us

  thanks to the bitter shack of resentment

My sister works at one of those warehouse hardware stores. I was talking to her last night and she commented on the fear in people's eyes as they bought the store out of duct tape and plastic sheeting.

 02:29 PM - link


Google Buys Pyra: Blogging Goes Big-Time

Weblogs are going Googling.

Google, which runs the Web's premier search site, has purchased Pyra Labs, a San Francisco company that created some of the earliest technology for writing weblogs, the increasingly popular personal and opinion journals.

The buyout is a huge boost to an enormously diverse genre of online publishing that has begun to change the equations of online news and information. Weblogs are frequently updated, with items appearing in reverse chronological order (the most recent postings appear first). Typically they include links to other pages on the Internet, and the topics range from technology to politics to just about anything you can name. Many weblogs invite feedback through discussion postings, and weblogs often point to other weblogs in an ecosystem of news, opinions and ideas.

  thanks to MetaFilter

 02:20 PM - link


Pioneer of a Beat Is Still Riffing for His Due

Every morning at 4 a.m., Bo Diddley walks into a ramshackle studio on his 76-acre property outside Gainesville to write music. Several electric guitars are scattered on the floor. The studio, a double-wide trailer, is crammed with recording equipment, a synthesizer and electronic gadgets of obscure types. Piled in every corner are boxes of tapes of Bo Diddley songs never released.


Phish Resurface
The inside story of why they walked away from it all two years ago, why they came back and where they're going

The four members of Phish face each other, ready to jam. But they cannot see one another, because they are all blindfolded. Guitarist Trey Anastasio, keyboard player Page McConnell and the band's namesake, drummer Jon Fishman, wear rolled-up dish towels over their eyes. Bassist Mike Gordon settles for a blue wool scarf. They look like prisoners awaiting a firing squad. It is early December, and Phish should be rehearsing for their first concerts in two years: four New Year's-week dates in New York and Virginia and a U.S. tour opening on February 14th in Inglewood, California. The shows, along with a new studio album, Round Room, mark the end of a long break from the road and from recording. Instead, up at the Barn -- a 100-year-old farm building on a snowy hillside near Burlington, Vermont, that Anastasio bought for $1,000 in 1996 and turned into a cozy studio and practice space -- Phish are playing a game called Zen Language Ball. Someone improvises a lick, and the others grab it as inspiration strikes, adding notes, bending the beat. But there is no speaking or eye contact. The idea is to write new music together from thin air, in total darkness. Anastasio calls it "throwing the ball around." He's right. The music bounces all over the room, from player to player, as it grows: a hot Gordon bass run quickly fattened with funky drums and organ glaze; a guitar drone slowly turning into a spooky bit of ballad. It is the sound of Phish doing what they love best: playing without a net, in the psychedelic-dance-party tradition of the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band; making new music out of nothing but friendship and telepathy. And it is the reason why Phish split up in October 2000.


 02:10 PM - link

has anyone noticed that the whole world seems to be going down the shitter?

Bolivia descends into chaos after police join strikers
Government plans for a tax rise sparked a week of bloody riots in La Paz. Sandra Jordan reports as yet another South American nation implodes

It has been a weekend of funerals in La Paz as thousands draped flowers over the coffins of nine policemen who were among at least 33 killed in vicious riots that spread across the Andean nation last week.

Striking police officers returned to work on Friday, restoring a tentative calm, but fears persist that a 48-hour general strike beginning tomorrow will catapult the country back into chaos. The strike, organised by the Central Bolivian Workers' Union - the country's largest - is in protest against the government's economic policies and to demand the resignation of President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada. Nationwide blockades by independence-seeking indigenous people and coca farmers are also planned.

Last week's violence was triggered when the 22,000 strong police force and other government employees mutinied against a salary tax, triggering two days of riots as troops were called in to restore order. Despite criticism of its handling of events, the government refused to take responsibility, denouncing the riots as an attempted coup, the product of a 'conspiracy' against democracy.

 01:57 PM - link

the first computer bug

Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

In 1943, during World War II, she joined the United States Naval Reserves. She was assigned to the Bureau of Ordinance Computation Project. There she became the third programmer of the world's first large-scale computer called the Mark I. When she saw it, all she could think about was taking it apart and figuring it out. "That was an impressive beast. She was fifty-one feet long, eight feet high, and five feet deep," said Hopper. She mastered the Mark I, Mark II, and Mark III. While trying to repair the Mark I she discovered a moth caught in a relay. She taped the moth in the log book and from that coined the phrase "a bug in the computer".


Check out the rest of the page. A most remarkable person. "In the world of technology, most women do not get the recognition that Rear Admiral Dr. Grace Murray Hopper has received. Hopper is the mother of computing. Her development of the first computer compiler and the first computer programming language helped revolutionize the world of computers."

 01:52 PM - link

freedom of religion — not!

Union schools hit with religion-related lawsuit
Action claims student was beaten, harassed for being different

India Tracy came to expect being sent to the principal's office even though she was a well-behaved, straight-A student.

But the Union County youngster knew she'd probably be the only student with "no" written on the permission slip to attend a tent revival during school hours. When she declined to portray Mary in a Christmas play, she also was sent to the principal's office.

India and her parents, Greg and Sarajane Tracy, allege other students taunted her, beat her and ridiculed her religion for years. Fed up with the treatment, her parents filed a federal lawsuit on her behalf Thursday.

The lawsuit claims the Union County school system violated India's civil rights by promoting and endorsing religious activities, denied her right to freely exercise her religion and failed to protect her from harassment and physical and verbal abuse.

It's shit like this that, as an unbeliever, makes me very nervous when our fearful leaders invoke god in their rush to a theocracy.

  thanks to Eschaton

 01:39 PM - link

a philosophical question

In light of the news about human cloning going on, we have to ask ourselves the hypothetical question: If you pushed your naked clone off the top of a tall building, would it be

A) murder
B) suicide
C) making an obscene clone fall

   a thanks and a groan to Politics in the Zeros

 01:26 PM - link