Weblog Archives




  Saturday   March 1   2003

mountain art

100 Views of Mount Fuji: a selection

Mt. Fuji has a dominant place in the cultural psyche of Japan, both for the people who have lived there, and for those who have come to imagine Japan from a distance. A potent metaphor in classical love poetry, revered since medieval times by mountain-climbing sects of both the Shintô and Buddhist faiths, it is still today a site of pilgrimage; over 100,000 climb its peak every summer.


  thanks to plep

 01:24 AM - link


Bush Channels Neoconservative Vision

In a major policy address to the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI), President George W. Bush Wednesday declared that a U.S. victory in Iraq "could begin a new stage for Middle Eastern peace." The speech was the latest in an accelerating series of appearances by Bush and other senior members of his administration to drum up public support for war in Iraq with or without the Security Council's authorization.

But the speech was notable as much for its venue as its content.

U.S. Diplomat's Letter of Resignation

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I am writing you to submit my resignation from the Foreign Service of the United States and from my position as Political Counselor in U.S. Embassy Athens, effective March 7. I do so with a heavy heart. The baggage of my upbringing included a felt obligation to give something back to my country. Service as a U.S. diplomat was a dream job. I was paid to understand foreign languages and cultures, to seek out diplomats, politicians, scholars and journalists, and to persuade them that U.S. interests and theirs fundamentally coincided. My faith in my country and its values was the most powerful weapon in my diplomatic arsenal.

It is inevitable that during twenty years with the State Department I would become more sophisticated and cynical about the narrow and selfish bureaucratic motives that sometimes shaped our policies. Human nature is what it is, and I was rewarded and promoted for understanding human nature. But until this Administration it had been possible to believe that by upholding the policies of my president I was also upholding the interests of the American people and the world. I believe it no longer.

Star Witness on Iraq Said Weapons Were Destroyed
Bombshell revelation from a defector cited by White House and press

On February 24, Newsweek broke what may be the biggest story of the Iraq crisis. In a revelation that "raises questions about whether the WMD [weapons of mass destruction] stockpiles attributed to Iraq still exist," the magazine's issue dated March 3 reported that the Iraqi weapons chief who defected from the regime in 1995 told U.N. inspectors that Iraq had destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and banned missiles, as Iraq claims.

  thanks to Cursor

Map Of The World Showing Citizens For And Against War In Iraq


More maps from the Agonist.

 01:17 AM - link


No Relief in Sight
by Paul Krugman

So Glenn Hubbard has resigned as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers — to spend more time with his family, of course. (Pay no attention to the knife handles protruding from his back.) Gregory Mankiw, his successor, is a very good economist, but never mind: When the political apparatchiks who make all decisions in this administration want Mr. Mankiw's opinion, they'll tell Mr. Mankiw what it is.

Meanwhile consumer confidence is plunging, and almost two-thirds of voters rate the current state of the economy as "poor." Is there any relief in sight? No.

 01:06 AM - link

Sharon in Palestine state u-turn
PM drops road map to peace in favour of settlers

Ariel Sharon yesterday virtually ruled out the creation of a Palestinian state under his hawkish new government just a day after President Bush pledged to broker a peace deal once he has dealt with Iraq.

Hazy Mideast Peace Vision

President Bush ended his protracted silence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this week by painting a vision of an independent state of Palestine living in peace next to Israel, a vision he has described before. But his picture of the path to permanent peace was too vague to be useful, especially given his recent neglect of the conflict.

Welsh pensioner turns freedom fighter
Ex-bank manager defends Palestinian suicide bombers

Anne Gwynne is conducting her own war on terrorism. A retired bank manager from Wales, she originally planned to join the thousands of other foreign volunteers who spend a few weeks each year picking olives, monitoring Israeli roadblocks and acting as human shields in solidarity with the Palestinians.

But after nine weeks in the West Bank city of Nablus, with bullet shrapnel in her leg and horrors she never imagined etched on her mind, she says she has come to understand - perhaps support - the more extreme and tragic tactics of a brutal conflict. She has found friends in the men with guns and the proud relatives of suicide bombers, the "martyrs" whose pictures paper the streets.

"I had never seen a tank before. I'd never seen a soldier. I've seen dead people, but I've never seen someone killed by these huge 25mm bullets. The injuries are horrific. The cannon from the tank takes the whole chest off," she said. "This is terrorism gone completely and utterly crazy. There is no other word for this because it's not one incident, it thousands of incidents across the whole city.

 01:03 AM - link


Secretary details Hitler's world
'Blind Spot' reveals his intimate ties

"Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary" is hardly a movie in the usual sense. It's static, just a video transferred to film of an old German woman talking. But if "Blind Spot" is not an example of inspired filmmaking, it's certainly an amazing document, the story of Hitler's Germany and its collapse as seen through the eyes of the fuhrer's personal secretary.

 12:54 AM - link


The Robot Zoo

The Robot Zoo is a traveling exhibit that reveals the biomechanics of giant robot animals to illustrate how real animals work. Nature's engineering and human technology converge in this exciting exhibit, which features giant robot animals and more than a dozen hands-on activities!


  thanks to dublog

 12:40 AM - link


Secret, Scary Plans
By Nicholas D. Kristof

Some of the most secret and scariest work under way in the Pentagon these days is the planning for a possible military strike against nuclear sites in North Korea.

Officials say that so far these are no more than contingency plans. They cover a range of military options from surgical cruise missile strikes to sledgehammer bombing, and there is even talk of using tactical nuclear weapons to neutralize hardened artillery positions aimed at Seoul, the South Korean capital.

There's nothing wrong with planning, or with brandishing a stick to get Kim Jong Il's attention. But several factions in the administration are serious about a military strike if diplomacy fails, and since the White House is unwilling to try diplomacy in any meaningful way, it probably will fail. The upshot is a growing possibility that President Bush could reluctantly order such a strike this summer, risking another Korean war.

 12:40 AM - link

what's in a name?

I ended up with three first names.

Behind the Name
t h e   e t y m o l o g y   a n d   h i s t o r y   o f   f i r s t   n a m e s

ROBERT   m   English, French, Scandinavian
Pronounced: RAW-burt
Means "bright fame", derived from the Germanic elements hrod "fame" and beraht "bright". The Normans introduced this name to Britain. It belonged to three kings of Scotland, including Robert the Bruce who restored the independence of Scotland from England in the 14th century. The author Robert Browning and poets Robert Burns and Robert Frost are famous literary bearers of this name. Also, Robert E. Lee was the commander of the Confederate army during the American Civil War.

DUNCAN   m   Scottish, English
Pronounced: DUN-kan
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Donnchadh which means "brown warrior", derived from Gaelic donn "brown" and chadh "warrior". This was the name of two kings of Scotland, including the one who was featured in Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth'.

GORDON   m   Scottish, English
Pronounced: GOR-dun
From a Scottish surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "great hill". A famous bearer of the surname was Charles George Gordon, a British general who died defending the city of Khartoum in Sudan.


  thanks to BookNotes

 12:31 AM - link

bridge art


The George Washington Bridge stands high above the Hudson River, its eastern end resting on the shores of Manhattan, its western end embedded in the wooded bluffs of New Jersey's Palisades. Twice as long as the longest suspension bridge ever built, it was the marvel of its time and, to some, it will always be the noblest of all bridges. Spanning the river to link New York City and New Jersey had challenged planners for over 100 years before Othmar Ammann, the brilliant, Swiss-born architect and engineer, proposed a bridge design in 1923 that ultimately was chosen from all others. The Port Authority, with Ammann as its new chief engineer, began construction in October of 1927. Ammann's design, bold and foresighted, was an engineering tour de force, with an extraordinary 3,500-foot center span suspended between two 570' steel towers. It would have the capacity and strength to add a railroad or a second roadway with an additional six lanes.


  thanks to plep

 12:21 AM - link

health care


The year was 1997, and the Clinton administration was fighting with the Republican congress over Medicare. To help balance the budget, Republicans proposed transforming Medicaid from a federal entitlement program into fixed block grants to the states. In effect, this would have put a cap on federal Medicaid spending, and left it to the states to figure out how to deal with rising Medicaid expenditures. And so, not surprisingly, the nation's governors were strongly opposed to the move. In a letter to President Clinton written on April 14, 1997, the National Governors Association stated:

We adamantly oppose a cap on federal Medicaid spending in any form. Unilateral caps in federal Medicaid spending will result in cost shifts to states, enabling the federal government to balance its budget at the expense of the states. Under a cap, once the federal spending obligation is fulfilled, states would become solely responsible for meeting uncontrollable program cost increases, stemming from things such as new drug treatments, lawsuits, and disasters. In confronting this cost shift, states would be presented with several bad alternatives. States would have to choose between cutting back on payment rates to providers, eliminating optional benefits provided to recipients, ending coverage for optional beneficiaries, or coming up with additional state funds to absorb 100 percent of the cost of services.

Clinton eventually beat back the proposal. But let's take a closer look at who signed on to that statement. They included, among others, four governors who are now senators -- George Voinovich of Ohio, Zell Miller of Georgia, George Allen of Virginia and Ben Nelson of Nebraska -- and, more significantly, three governors who are now cabinet secretaries in the Bush administration: Tom Ridge, Christine Todd Whitman and Tommy Thompson.

 12:19 AM - link


Victory on the Volga
The anniversary of Stalingrad has inspired major celebrations in Russia, but a strange silence here

Sixty years ago the greatest battle of the second world war reached its climax. The site of that decisive battle was not the windswept sands of north Africa beloved of British war mythology, nor the broad expanses of the Pacific favoured in the American version, but the debris of a devastated city on the Volga.

The German surrender at Stalingrad in February 1943 was the strategic turning point of the second world war. After Stalingrad, Hitler had no hope of winning on the eastern front and that meant inevitable defeat in the wider conflict.

In Russia, the 60th anniversary of the battle has been marked by great celebrations. President Putin led the commemoration in Volgograd (as the city was later renamed) and was joined by the British and American ambassadors. But in Britain and the US the silence about the battle has been deafening.

 12:10 AM - link

russian art

Virtual Museum of Russian Primative

In this house never ever lived and never ever worked any great artist


  thanks to gmtPlus9

 12:11 AM - link

under god — not!

U.S. to challenge pledge ruling
Dispute over words ‘under God’ headed to Supreme Court

The Justice Department will appeal to the Supreme Court a ruling that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional because the phrase “under God” breaches the wall separating church and state, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced Friday. The court ruling infuriated many Americans.

 12:01 AM - link

  Friday   February 28   2003

mr. rogers

TV's Gentle Giant
Mister Rogers, We Liked You Just The Way You Were

Perhaps no story speaks more about the depths of Mister Rogers' appeal, about his pervasive grace, than one he recounted in an Esquire magazine profile a few years ago. It seems that Fred Rogers wanted to meet Koko, the gorilla who was taught to communicate using American Sign Language. Koko had watched Mister Rogers on television. When they first encountered each other, the 280-pound gorilla instantly enfolded Fred Rogers, all 143 pounds of him, in a massive embrace.

And then? And then Koko took off Mister Rogers's shoes.

  thanks to dublog

A Friend in the Neighborhood

When I was 3 years old and my older brother was 6, he wrote a letter to Mr. Rogers. Thrillingly, Mr. Rogers wrote back. They began a little correspondence, and the next summer, when my brother told Mr. Rogers that our family was headed to Massachusetts for a week's vacation, Mr. Rogers invited all of us to chill with him for a day at his summer home on Nantucket.

  thanks to Zoe

This American Life
May 11, 2001
Episode 184

Mr. Rothbart's Neighborhood. When he was just a kid, Davy Rothbart and his family visited the most famous neighbor in America -- Mr. Rogers -- at his summer cottage on Nantucket. Two decades later, as an adult, Davy went back for another visit with Mr. Rogers. This time he brought stories from his own neighborhood, stories of neighborly conflict and distrust -- to see what kind of advice Mr. Rogers could give him. (20 minutes)

  thanks to Zoe

Fred Rogers' 1928-2003
They're mourning in the neighborhood

Today, people will say that the Neighborhood is a much lonelier place now that Mister Rogers has passed away. But they're wrong. And Fred Rogers, who died Thursday at age 74 of stomach cancer, would have told everyone the same thing.

  thanks to Dumbmonkey

How Mr. Rogers Saved the VCR

In ruling that home time-shift recording of television programming for private use was not copyright infringement, the Supreme Court relied on testimony from television producers who did not object to such home recording. One of the most prominent witnesses on this issue was Fred Rogers.

 11:53 PM - link

street art

Basic Stencil Cut

So, for the first tutorial I thought it would be best to put up a basic stencil cutting tutorial for those still unsure about the basic process. Keep in mind that this is by no means the only way for you to do this, just the most effecient way I have found so far.


  thanks to Wooster Collective

 11:43 PM - link

how to piss them off and save the world at the same time or double your pleasure and double your fun

Hippie Crap Saves The World
Can better orgasms and upping your personal vibe really thwart BushCo idiocy?
By Mark Morford

Wanna know what conservatives really hate?

What makes everyone from harmless GOP dittoheads to ultra-right-wing nutjobs full of rage and hiss and homophobia and blind jingoism roll their eyes and throw up their hands and scamper for their Bibles for reassurance that life is still repressed and we're still going to war and Dubya is still smackin' 'round the envurment along with them wimmin and homosekshuls and furriners?

Why, hippie crap, of course. New-age babble about love and peace and godless pagan prayer, organic foods and sustainable trees and chakras, divinity and luscious goddesses and soul paths and upping your personal vibration to counter all the venomous hatred slinging about the culture like some sort of conservative, fearmongering weapon of mass depression. Man, they just hate that.

 11:50 AM - link

where are all those links?

After a busy day yesterday, I ventured off-island to pick up my daughter Jenny at the airport and took her home, which is in Tacoma. Her husband, William, is stationed in Germany and was going to Korea in March. The Army extended his tour in Germany so that they could send him to Turkey. Jenny left two weeks ago to see William before he shipped out not knowing when that would be. She lucked out and William hasn't shipped out yet so they were able to be with each other these past two weeks. He expects to ship out to Turkey today.

My other daughter, Katie, also lives in Tacoma, so I dropped in on her. I made it back for the last ferry to the island, which was 1 o'clock this morning. Why is it that the hurrieder I go the behinder I get? Regular programming should resume later on today.

 11:32 AM - link


My friend Blaine England sent this to me. One of the things that infuriates me the most about those that are just so fucking eager to send American soldiers into harm's way is how they refuse to help them when they come back damaged.

The War Against Ourselves
An Interview with Major Doug Rokke

Doug Rokke has a PhD in health physics and was originally trained as a forensic scientist. When the Gulf War started, he was assigned to prepare soldiers to respond to nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare, and sent to the Gulf. What he experienced has made him a passionate voice for peace, traveling the country to speak out.

QUESTION: Any viewer who saw the war on television had the impression this was an easy war, fought from a distance and soldiers coming back relatively unharmed. Is this an accurate picture?

ROKKE: At the completion of the Gulf War, when we came back to the United States in the fall of 1991, we had a total casualty count of 760: 294 dead, a little over 400 wounded or ill. But the casualty rate now for Gulf War veterans is approximately 30 percent. Of those stationed in the theater, including after the conflict, 221,000 have been awarded disability, according to a Veterans Affairs (VA) report issued September 10, 2002.

Many of the US casualties died as a direct result of uranium munitions friendly fire. US forces killed and wounded US forces.

We recommended care for anybody downwind of any uranium dust, anybody working in and around uranium contamination, and anyone within a vehicle, structure, or building that’s struck with uranium munitions. That’s thousands upon thousands of individuals, but not only US troops. You should provide medical care not only for the enemy soldiers but for the Iraqi women and children affected, and clean up all of the contamination in Iraq.

And it’s not just children in Iraq. It’s children born to soldiers after they came back home. The military admitted that they were finding uranium excreted in the semen of the soldiers. If you’ve got uranium in the semen, the genetics are messed up. So when the children were conceived—the alpha particles cause such tremendous cell damage and genetics damage that everything goes bad. Studies have found that male soldiers who served in the Gulf War were almost twice as likely to have a child with a birth defect and female soldiers almost three times as likely.

 11:18 AM - link

  Thursday   February 27   2003

goodbye Mister Rogers

'Mister Rogers' Dies of Cancer at 74

Fred Rogers, who gently invited millions of children to be his neighbor as host of the public television show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" for more than 30 years, died of cancer early Thursday. He was 74.

I watched a lot of Mr. Rogers when my kids were little. This world just lost a very good neighbor.

[later] Read what jeanne d'arc has to say about Mr. Rogers. I too feel like I've lost a member of my family.

 07:37 AM - link

The linkage has been rather heavy these past few days, and I'm getting a bit behind, so I'm going to slack off this morning. I mean, sometimes you just have to say "Piss on it!"


  thanks to Geisha asobi blog

I don't know, maybe I'll go fishing.

  thanks to Orcinus

 12:11 AM - link

  Wednesday   February 26   2003

sorry, dude

An American Apology To The World

From the heart of the United States, we extend a profound apology to the rest of the world for the serious failure of our political system.

While not receiving a majority of the popular vote and selected by the Supreme Court rather than elected, we nevertheless have ended up with a sociopath as President surrounded by religious fanatics who actively seek war and others who seek to destroy our democracy and impose authoritarian values.

This group is taking the world down the path to an Armageddon that they believe is the necessary and appropriate end to the world as we know it. They hate life, believe themselves to be flawed by sin, and long for a divine intervention that will make them rulers of an Earth transformed by the absence of earthiness.

  thanks to wood s lot

 03:11 AM - link


the origin of the Peace Symbol


  thanks to dublog

 03:02 AM - link


The war planning Commedia Dell’Art

I think we are in a rats’ alley.
(T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land, 1922)

The silence is deafening from No. 10 Downing Street. It’s odd that we’ve heard no reaction from Prime Minister Tony Blair, because two earth-shaking events transpired this past weekend that should have produced some smoke from Blair’s war engine.

The first is that with no obvious contribution from London, Turkey has been granted control of the northern one-third of Iraq by Washington. To this prize is added the green light to disarm the Kurds and privileges to drill oil in Iraq’s Kirkuk region without so much as a nod towards the UK. The United States is committed to turning over Kurdish Iraq to Ankara (and is willing to accept the consequences – including the betrayal of America’s Kurdish allies) without a whimper from Whitehall. We thought that geopolitics was a subject of interest to British strategic thinkers.

The second is that the US administration announced plans to install a military governor in Baghdad to be supported by unnamed civilian staffers. Take note of what’s missing in that statement...the word, “allied.” Indeed, the British press is reporting that Bush has hand- picked a former American general, Jay Garner, for the job. It does not seem that Blair was consulted on the issue.

Army Chief Raises Estimate of G.I.'s Needed in Postwar Iraq

The Army's chief of staff said today that several hundred thousand American troops could be required to provide security and public services in Iraq after a war to oust Saddam Hussein and disarm his military.


RAY SUAREZ: Two top officials from the Bush administration today gave the Senate Foreign Relations Committee a broad sketch of their plans for a postwar Iraq. From the start, it was clear they faced a skeptical crowd.

SEN. RICHARD LUGAR: How long might U.S. troops conceivably remain? Will the United Nations have a role? And who will manage Iraq's oil resources? Unless the administration can answer these questions in detail, the anxiety of Arab and European governments, as well as that of many in the American public, over our staying power will only grow.

Decisions, decisions
While we agonise about whether to go to war, the US has moved on to a different question: what next?

Americans are from Mars, Europeans are from Venus. So says the latest hot polemic exciting transatlantic policy types: Robert Kagan's Paradise and Power, a meditation on how Europeans have grown soft and idealistic (and feminine) while the Yanks remain tough, booted and aware (like real men) of how brutal a place the world can be. According to Kagan, our outlooks have grown so far apart that it's time we stopped pretending we even "occupy the same world". We are from different planets.

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


 03:03 AM - link


Powell, in Asia, Is Dealt a Setback on North Korea

The Bush administration suffered a setback in its North Korea policy on Monday, as officials in China, Australia and South Korea urged the United States to begin direct talks with North Korea about its nuclear weapons programs, a strategy Washington has repeatedly rejected.

 02:45 AM - link

get your war on

page nineteen


 02:48 AM - link

who's next?

Conflict and catchphrases
Brian Whitaker explains what 'creative destruction' and 'total war' mean in the context of current US foreign policy

Faced with obstruction from the French and Germans, ransom demands from the Turks, and opposition from millions of demonstrators around the world, the desired invasion of Iraq has fallen behind schedule.

But not to worry. The process of selecting the next candidates for regime change is already under way.

 02:40 AM - link

japanese gangster art

Posters of Toei Yakuza Movies

[more — click on those links on the left]

  thanks to Spitting Image

 02:43 AM - link

I increasingly get the feeling the Zionist Israelis are perpetrating a giant con in their claim to Israel and their ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. Here is an article with some history of the region. It brings together threads I have seen running through other sources.

The War in Iraq and Its Correlationship with the Conflict in Palestine, Part I

Throughout history, the Canaanites were the first to settle the land, which was named after them: the Land of Cana'an. As such, the Cana'anites may be defined as the native and original owners of Palestine. Through thousands of years, they received an admixture of blood from each of the different invaders: Egyptians, Hyksos, Israelites, Persians, Philistines, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Turks, Crusaders and others. Each of these invaders came and left and none of them has any right to claim the land as its own. Those individuals, of the different invaders, who stayed, settled down and intermarried with the original native population, the Cana'anites, became an integral part of the natives.

In addition to the Cana'anites, two of the invaders, left a lasting mark in Palestine: The Philistines who gave their name to the land, and The Moslem Arabs who gave their religion and language to the majority of the indigenous population.

This is because both the Philistines and the Moslem Arabs have settled down as residents in the land in large numbers and intermarried with the native inhabitants, the Canaanites and whoever intermixed with them. "The position of the Arabs in Palestine is unique. Unlike all other foreign conquerors, they did not hold themselves aloof but, instead, made converts of the natives, settled down as residents, and intermarried with them, with the result that all are now so completely Arabized that we cannot tell where the Cana'anites leave off and the Arabs begin." (...)

Alfred Gillaume, a British orientalist, argued that the Biblical promises were misunderstood and misinterpreted. According to Gillaume, "it is generally supposed that these [Biblical] promises were made to the Jews, and to the Jews alone. But that is not what the Bible says. The words 'to thy seed' inevitably include Arabs, both Moslems and Christians, who can claim descent from Abraham through his son Ishmael. Ishmael was the reputed father of a large number of Arab tribes, and Genesis records that Abraham becomes the father of many north Arabian tribes through his concubine Keturah. The descendants of Ishmael have every right to call and consider themselves of the seed of Abraham. Moreover, when the covenant of circumcision was made with Abraham (Genesis xvii) and the land of Canaan was promised as an everlasting possession, it was Ishmael who was circumcised. Isaac had not then been born."

The source of this article is the Palestine Chronicle, which some may feel has an axe to grind. I'm not a Bible scholar. Actually I'm an atheist but, since the Zionists are making biblical claims, I will play the game and did some Googling on the Bible and the article's claim is correct. Check out Genesis 17. The Arabs claim Ishmael as their ancestor and the Bible seems to state pretty clearly that he was included in the covenant deal. Actually. it would appear that the Arabs entered the covenant deal first since Ishmael had his dick circumcised before Isaac.

The article also claims that the Palestinians are descendants of the original Canaanites. Their ancestors were there before the Israelites. And, to add to the irony, their ancestors were also the ancient Israelites.

Some of the articles I found also made the claim that the Ashkenazi Jews (the bulk of the Israelis) were, in fact, descended from the Khazars and had no link back to the Israelites. Recent genetic studies seem to say otherwise.

Studies Casting New Light On Origin of Europe's Jews
Stanford's Risch Puts Mythic Theory To Rest

Recent genetic testing methods are producing scientific evidence that is clarifying the origins of Ashkenazi Jewry.

Dr. Neil Risch, a researcher at the Department of Genetics at Stanford University, is at the forefront of a field that has brought evidence that may help to break the deadlock between historians who argue over the history and makeup of Ashkenazi Jewry.

"There has been a lot of debate about Ashkenazi history," Dr. Risch said. "There is a period of about 1,000 years, before the people settled in Eastern Europe, that's missing from the record." (...)

Dr. Harry Ostrer, a researcher in the Department of Genetics at New York University Medical School, contends that the Ashkenazi Jewish population is undoubtedly closer to other Jewish populations, at least genetically, than it is to non-Jewish groups outside the Middle East. In a June study of Y- chromosome haplotypes, or genetic markers transmitted on the male line, Dr. Ostrer and a team of researchers concluded, "Despite their long-term residence in different countries and isolation from one another, most Jewish populations [are] not significantly different from one another at the genetic level."

Another finding of Dr. Ostrer's study is that while the Ashkenazi Jews are not very close genetically to European gentiles, they are genetically close to some Arab groups. Reinforcing this evidence is a study by Aravinda Chakravarti, director of the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, who found that a certain genetic mutation causing deafness, DFNB1, affects Jews, Palestinians and other groups of the Mediterranean. Recognizing the historical ramifications of this study, Dr. Ostrer pointed out that Jews and Palestinians probably had common ancestors not so long ago. "It's commonly believed among historians that many of the people that became Palestinian Arabs were once Jewish," he said.

The researcher went on to underscore the social irony of such a situation. "The Arabs don't happen to 'remember' that anymore," he said, pointing to the hostilities of Arab groups toward Israel. He was also able, however, to see the situation from the opposite perspective. "Conversely, maybe if the Israelis 'remembered' [that the Arabs used to be Jews], they'd be nicer to them."

One would think.

 02:22 AM - link

  Tuesday   February 25   2003

peruvian art

Rain of the Moon: Silver in Ancient Peru


  thanks to dublog

 03:22 AM - link

new world order

Out of the wreckage
By tearing up the global rulebook, the US is in fact undermining its own imperial rule
by George Monbiot

The men who run the world are democrats at home and dictators abroad. They came to power by means of national elections which possess, at least, the potential to represent the will of their people. Their citizens can dismiss them without bloodshed, and challenge their policies in the expectation that, if enough people join in, they will be obliged to listen.

Internationally, they rule by brute force. They and the global institutions they run exercise greater economic and political control over the people of the poor world than its own governments do. But those people can no sooner challenge or replace them than the citizens of the Soviet Union could vote Stalin out of office. Their global governance is, by all the classic political definitions, tyrannical.

 03:12 AM - link


A trigger for war? New axis of peace throws UN into chaos

The United Nations was in the throes of the biggest diplomatic confrontation for decades last night after the US and Britain tabled a new resolution paving the way for an assault on Iraq next month.

The resolution declares that Iraq has failed to grasp "the final opportunity" to avoid war.

But France and Germany, the leading opponents of war, immediately produced a powerful riposte by revealing that they had secured the support of Russia and China for an alternative, peaceful plan that would allow Iraq more time.

This formidable opposition alliance throws into doubt whether the resolution will be adopted, and threatens to wreck the US-British timetable for invasion.

The Primakov Mission

Stratfor is reporting tonight that "Hussein was asked -- and agreed -- to cooperate fully with U.N. weapons inspectors," as reported by Interfax.

Stratfor says 'reliable sources' in the Russian "government say Hussein indeed has promised to cooperate with the inspectors' demands -- including that Baghdad scrap its al Samoud 2 missile program by March 1, an announcement that sources expect to be forthcoming within days."

Moreover, the Franco-German-Russian plan for more peacekeepers has been accepted by Hussein and that Baghdad will formally invite them within the next ten days.

Stratfor is also indicating that "Hussein has asked Putin to deliver a secret offer to U.S. and British energy giants, inviting them back to Iraq as major industry players roughly 30 years after they were ousted from the country. The companies could return to Iraq immediately if Washington calls off its planned invasion." Stratfor also indicates that Blair received the idea favorably.

U.S. Officials Say U.N. Future At Stake in Vote
Bush Message Is That a War Is Inevitable, Diplomats Say

"You are not going to decide whether there is war in Iraq or not," the diplomat said U.S. officials told him. "That decision is ours, and we have already made it. It is already final. The only question now is whether the council will go along with it or not."

U.S. on Diplomatic Warpath
The word is out: Rebuff on Iraq could reduce aid

Senior U.S. officials have been quietly dispatched in recent days to the capitals of key Security Council countries where they are warning leaders to vote with the United States on Iraq or risk "paying a heavy price."

Shock and Yawn
Plan could kill millions in 48 hours -- why don't Americans care?
by Geov Parrish

Exactly a month ago Pentagon planner Harlan Ullman, in a CBS-TV interview, publicly revealed for the first time the Pentagon's "Shock and Awe" plan for its assault upon Iraq, should (or when) George W. Bush orders it.

  thanks to Eschaton

 03:13 AM - link

a censored war

Robert Fisk: How the news will be censored in this war
A new CNN system of 'script approval' suggests the Pentagon will have nothing to worry about

Already, the American press is expressing its approval of the coverage of American forces which the US military intends to allow its reporters in the next Gulf war. The boys from CNN, CBS, ABC and The New York Times will be "embedded" among the US marines and infantry. The degree of censorship hasn't quite been worked out. But it doesn't matter how much the Pentagon cuts from the reporters' dispatches. A new CNN system of "script approval" – the iniquitous instruction to reporters that they have to send all their copy to anonymous officials in Atlanta to ensure it is suitably sanitised – suggests that the Pentagon and the Department of State have nothing to worry about. Nor do the Israelis.

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what happens in war — and the major who tried to cover it up

The Massacre at Mylai

With bodies and burning huts all around them troops had accosted the young 13-year-old girl seen here trying to button her top. Another woman tries to hold back the girl's distraught mother. When the troops noticed Haeberle, the photographer, they stopped and turned away as if everything was normal.

"Then a soldier asked, 'Well, what'll we do with 'em?'"

"Kill 'em," another answered."

"I heard an M60 go off," says Roberts, "a light machine gun, and when we turned back around, all of them and the kids with them were dead."

colin powell: don't ask about my lai, don't tell about iran-contra

The My Lai massacre. On March 16, 1968, US soldiers from the Americal Division slaughtered 347 civilians--primarily old men, women, children, and babies--in the Vietnamese village of My Lai 4 (pronounced, very appropriately, as "me lie"). The grunts also engaged in torture and rape of the villagers.

Around six months later, a soldier in the 11th Light Infantry Brigade--known among the men as "the Butcher's Brigade"--wrote a letter telling of widespread killing and torturing of Vietnamese civilians by entire units of the US military (he did not specifically refer to My Lai). The letter was sent to the general in charge of 'Nam and trickled down the chain of command to Major Colin Powell, a deputy assistant chief of staff at the Americal Division, who was charged with investigating the matter and formulating a response.

After a desultory check--which consisted mainly of investigating the soldier who wrote the letter, rather than his allegations--Powell reported that everything was hunkey-dory. There may be some "isolated incidents" by individual bad seeds, but there were no widespread atrocities. He wrote: "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between Americal soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." The matter was closed.

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What If Turkey Agrees?

So, what will happen if Turkey eventually strikes a deal with the United States to let it use Turkish bases? Once war starts, this deal could mean disaster for everyone involved.

Turkish Cabinet agrees to U.S. combat troop deployment

Turkey's Cabinet agreed Monday to host tens of thousands of U.S. combat troops, a key step toward allowing Washington to forge ahead with plans for a northern front against Iraq.

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The French dissent: Is that a crime?
American animosity toward French bubbles up once again

The French are derided as cowards by people like Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican who somehow escaped the Vietnam draft. The French are accused of coveting Iraqi oil contracts, as if our insatiable need for petroleum had never influenced American policy in the Middle East. The French are accused of ingratitude, although most Americans remain ignorant of the critical role they played in our own revolution. In my hometown, there was an elementary school named for the Count de Rochambeau, yet nobody bothered to teach the children there about his gallant service to George Washington.

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Ted Rall: Inconvenient Facts
Ignoring them is not just for media


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It's OK to Eat Belgian Chocolate
by Uri Avnery

The storm broke when a Belgian court decided that Ariel Sharon can be sued for alleged war crimes, but only after finishing his term as Prime Minister of Israel. Israel army officers connected with the 1982 massacre in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps can be sued even now.

On an Israeli TV program, the anchorman, a lawyer, put it this way: "Anti-Semitic Belgium wants to judge the officers of a second country for crimes committed in a third country, while the accused have no connection at all with Belgium, are not on Belgium territory and the whole affair does not concern Belgium. That is megalomania, really a matter for psychiatrists!"

"Strange," I replied on the program, "I seem to remember a case where country A kidnapped in country B the citizen of country C for committing in country D crimes against the citizens of countries E, F and G, all this in spite of the fact the crimes were committed before country A even existed."

I meant, of course, the trial of Adolf Eichmann, to which we all agreed.

Israel Sees War in Iraq as Path to Mideast Peace

Shaul Mofaz, Israel's defense minister, told members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations last week that after Iraq, the United States should generate "political, economic, diplomatic pressure" on Iran.

"We have great interest in shaping the Middle East the day after" a war, he said.

Blaming Arafat won't solve the problem
By Danny Rubinstein

If it's true that Arafat initiated the intifada and continues to be responsible for the bloodshed, then things would be much easier. Get rid of him and everything will resolve itself peacefully. But it's not the case. And who knows? Perhaps the people who replace Arafat will be helpless in the face of the problems and raise a governmental ruckus that will be even worse for us.

Israel's Slippery Moral Slope

The chain of events since the outbreak of the second intifada suggests that the IDF has employed more and more force against a primarily civilian population, and that every action is justified by comparing it to more brutal actions the IDF could, theoretically, have carried out.

In the absence of a universal moral approach—whereby there are things that one simply does not do—one is left with a tribal or relativistic worldview. Here the right to human dignity is contingent on national, ethnic or religious affiliation.

Because the IDF has rejected the notion that human beings are created equal, every young commander who follows its codes will inevitably slide down the slippery moral slope. As the soldiers themselves seemed to understand at the outset of the lecture, universal moral values are what distinguish corrupt from worthy leaders—an axiom that must be applied to the IDF, too.

  thanks to Aron's Israel Peace Weblog

In the Name of Democracy

Almost a year ago, in May 2002, the Israeli Minister of Interior decided to deport Fareg Ibrahim, an Arab-Egyptian married to an Arab-Israeli woman, and father to a two-month-old baby, Camela.

Since June 2002, Mr. Ibrahim has been held in custody, without being accused of any crime. The Tel Aviv District Court denied his requests to be released on bail. Usually, foreign residents, especially ones who are married to Israelis, are interrogated and released on bail. However, apparently because Mr. Ibrahim is an Arab, Israeli judges decided to keep him in detention.

Mr. Ibrahim has been living in Israel for 7 years. He entered Israel on a Visa, and after he married an Arab-Israeli woman, filed a request to become an Israeli resident. He was a hard-working man, committed to his family. He was not involved in any criminal activity whatsoever. He is not connected, directly or indirectly, to any terrorist organization. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Interior decided to tear him away from his wife and child and deport him to Egypt, implementing a policy denying family reunification to Arabs. This act is considered a crime according to international conventions and UN treaties.

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A Hydrogen Economy Is a Bad Idea

When George Bush proposed a $1.7 billion program to promote hydrogen-fueled cars in the State of the Union Address, both sides of the aisle applauded. Almost everyone supports a hydrogen economy – conservatives and liberals, tree huggers and oil drillers. Such unanimity forecloses serious discussion. That's unfortunate. An aggressive pursuit of a hydrogen economy is wrongheaded and shortsighted.

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Looking Back at an Ugly Time
by Bob Herbert

Sometimes it helps to take a look back and see just how far we've come.

In a response to the Brown v. Board of Education decision ordering the nation's public schools desegregated, William F. Buckley Jr.'s guidebook to conservative thought, National Review, declared the following in the summer of 1957:

"The central question that emerges — and it is not a parliamentary question or a question that is answered by merely consulting a catalogue of rights of American citizens, born Equal — is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes — the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. . . .

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


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homeland insecurity

This is where we are headed. We don't need to go there, but there are many dragging us there. Resist.

Fortress America

In the last several weeks, as preparations for the war against Iraq have heated up, it has begun to sink in that this will be a different conflict from what we have seen before -- that there may, in fact, be two fronts, one far away on the ground in the Middle East, the other right here at home. For the first time in history, it seems plausible that an enemy might mount a sustained attack on the United States, using weapons of terrorism. The term ''soft targets,'' which refers to everyday places like offices, shopping malls, restaurants and hotels, is now casually dropped into conversation, the way military planners talk about ''collateral damage.''

  thanks to This Modern World

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Threats, Promises and Lies
by Paul Krugman

So it seems that Turkey wasn't really haggling about the price, it just wouldn't accept payment by check or credit card. In return for support of an Iraq invasion, Turkey wanted — and got — immediate aid, cash on the barrelhead, rather than mere assurances about future help. You'd almost think President Bush had a credibility problem.

And he does.

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war against some drugs

Operations Pipe Dreams And Headhunter Put Illegal Drug Paraphernalia Sellers Out Of Business
National Sweep Shuts Down Retailers, Distributors and Internet Sites

Attorney General John Ashcroft and Acting DEA Administrator John B. Brown, III today announced the indictment of 50 individuals on charges of trafficking in illegal drug paraphernalia. The charges are the culmination of two nationwide investigations code- named Operation Pipe Dreams and Operation Headhunter and include indictments against national distributors of drug paraphernalia and businesses nationwide. DEA offices in Boise, Idaho; Des Moines, Iowa; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Dallas and Tyler, Texas were involved in these investigations.


  thanks to MetaFilter

You would think that they would have better things to do with their time. This is so pathetic.

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now I know where i stand with bush — as if i didn't already suspect

George Bush on atheism and patriotism

The following exchange took place at the Chicago airport between Robert I. Sherman of American Atheist Press and George Bush, on August 27 1987. Sherman is a fully accredited reporter, and was present by invitation as a member of the press corps. The Republican presidential nominee was there to announce federal disaster relief for Illinois. The discussion turned to the presidential primary:

RS: "What will you do to win the votes of Americans who are atheists?"

GB: "I guess I'm pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is important to me."

RS: "Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?"

GB: "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."

  thanks to Eschaton

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death penalty

Prosecutors See Limits to Doubt in Capital Cases

Judge Laura Denvir Stith seemed not to believe what she was hearing.

A prosecutor was trying to block a death row inmate from having his conviction reopened on the basis of new evidence, and Judge Stith, of the Missouri Supreme Court, was getting exasperated. "Are you suggesting," she asked the prosecutor, that "even if we find Mr. Amrine is actually innocent, he should be executed?"

Frank A. Jung, an assistant state attorney general, replied, "That's correct, your honor."

That exchange was, legal experts say, unusual only for its frankness.

  thanks to Eschaton

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Lost Labor


  thanks to dublog

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  Monday   February 24   2003


Powell Speaks with Forked Tongue
Language, not truth, has been the first casualty of the West's war against terrorism
by Terry Jones

It was interesting to hear Colin Powell accuse France and Germany of cowardice in not wanting to go to war. Or, as he put more succinctly, France and Germany 'are afraid of upholding their responsibility to impose the will of the international community'. Powell's speech brings up one of the most outrageous but least examined aspects of this whole war on Iraq business. I am speaking about the appalling collateral damage already being inflicted on the English language.

Perhaps the worst impact is on our vocabulary. 'Cowardice', according to Colin Powell, is the refusal to injure thousands of innocent civilians living in Baghdad in order to promote US oil interests in the Middle East. The corollary is that 'bravery' must be the ability to order the deaths of 100,000 Iraqis without wincing or bringing up your Caesar salad.

I suppose Tony Blair is 'brave' because he is willing to expose the people who voted for him to the threat of terrorist reprisals in return for getting a red carpet whenever he visits the White House, while Chirac is a 'coward' for standing up to the bigoted bullying of the extremist right-wing Republican warmongers who currently run the United States.

Our man in South Africa speaks:

Dave Eats Truckload of Acid

Or is he? The editorial aside, Dave goes further. Let's go to ScriptingPundit, our new war-blogging site. Dave's completed a First-World techie mission and has just returned home. He muses:

On TV, they had lots of meaningless nonsense about the upcoming war in Iraq. Good interview with Condoleezza Rice. She wants to ask the demonstrators what they want to do about Saddam. I gave this some thought. She'll never get a meaningful answer. The problem is, in the West we raise people on a diet of intellectual garbage, so when we need them to think, you just get garbage back. I heard General Wesley Clark on Meet The Press. Very good. He's running for President, no doubt about that.

Dave, if Condi Rice still wants to ask the demonstrators what they want to do about Saddam, she must be bloody stupid. That you have to think about this and come to the peculiar conclusion that she'll never get a meaningful answer goes a long way to explaining why so many outside of the U.S.A. still hold the French in high regard. If "Nothing" is not meaningful, I don't know what is. Saddam is not doing anything. He has not attacked any of his neighbors. There is no credible evidence he has any links to people able to harm the U.S. in a meaningful way [a way that justifies the deaths of yet more innocent people]. In terms of international law, he has fewer black marks against his name than Israel. The U.S., sponsoring his war against Iran, is largely to blame for the latter, I'm afraid. It’s called appeasement.

Aid gets priority in secret US plans for new Iraq
Former general tipped to rule after Saddam

Iraq's government-in-waiting held a two-day secret meeting at a Washington military staff college over the weekend with 100 American officials - plus representatives from Britain - discussing plans for post-war reconstruction.

Among those present was believed to have been Jay Garner, the retired lieutenant-general selected by President George Bush to be Iraq's ruler once Saddam Hussein is overthrown.

Bush Faces Increasingly Poor Image Overseas

The messages from U.S. embassies around the globe have become urgent and disturbing: Many people in the world increasingly think President Bush is a greater threat to world peace than Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

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US plans total war against Kim

WHILE the White House continues its public war of words with North Korea, a battle plan is already being laid in secret by military strategists at the Pentagon.

Until now leader Kim Jong Il’s increasingly flamboyant and frightening game of international brinkmanship has only attracted condemnation from the Bush administration.

But behind the scenes, American strategists are now weighing up the option of a pre-emptive military strike against North Korea as the rogue Stalinist state forges ahead with its plans to build a nuclear arsenal - threatening not only a "domino effect" of nuclear proliferation in east Asia but also a strike against the very heart of America.

  thanks to thoughts on the eve of the apocalypse

U.S. Approach on N. Korea Strains Alliances in Asia

With little of the clamor generated by preparations for war with Iraq, the showdown between the United States and North Korea over that country's nuclear weapons program is severely testing Washington's oldest Asian alliances.

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safety first!

Naval Safety Center
Previous Photos of the Week


  thanks to Spitting Image

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NOW Transcript: Jane Wallace Interviews Seymour Hersh

SY HERSH: Okay, the cream of the crop of Al Qaeda caught in a town called Konduz which is near ... it's one little village and it's a couple hundred kilometers, 150 miles from the border of Pakistan. And I learned this story frankly-- through very, very clandestine operatives we have in the Delta Force and other very...

We were operating very heavily with a small number of men, three, 400 really in the first days of the war. And suddenly one night when they had everybody cornered in Konduz-- the special forces people were told there was a corridor that they could not fly in. There was a corridor sealed off to-- the United States military sealed off a corridor. And it was nobody could shoot anybody in this little lane that went from Konduz into Pakistan. And that's how I learned about it. I learned about it from a military guy who wanted to fly helicopters and kill people and couldn't do it that day. (...)

JANE WALLACE: How high up was that evacuation authorized?

SY HERSH: I am here to tell you it was authorized — Donald Rumsfeld who — we'll talk about what he said later — it had to be authorized at the White House. But certainly at the Secretary of Defense level.

  thanks to American Samizdat

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US considers intervention in Colombia
Washington mulls tough response to kidnapping of CIA 'agents'

The United States is considering direct military intervention in Colombia for the first time following the murder of an American and the kidnapping of three others, all suspected CIA agents.

The US embassy in Colombia has recommended Washington make a 'major response' to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) rebels responsible, and American officials have confirmed that military action is being considered to recover the men from the dense jungles of the southern province of Caqueta.

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Sweet Tunes, Fast Beats and a Hard Edge

Chuck Berry is seated backstage listening to the crowd gather at Blueberry Hill, a music club and bar in the Loop area on this city's west side. Once a month, Mr. Berry, known universally as the father of rock `n' roll, performs downstairs in the cramped Duck Room, named for the famous duck walk he has performed around the world for nearly 50 years.


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Labour out in cold as Sharon shifts to right
New pact dashes hopes of talks with Palestinians

The Israeli Labour party last night finally ruled out joining a national unity government with Ariel Sharon after the Israeli prime minister insisted on including a rightwing party as a partner.

Amram Mitzna, the Labour leader, said that Mr Sharon had missed a "historic opportunity" by refusing to agree to a framework for peace with the Palestinians.

Instead, Mr Sharon has chosen the National Religious party as a coalition partner. The NRP's major constituency is the settlers in Gaza and the West Bank. It rejects any evacuation of the settlements and the formation of an Arab state between the Mediterranean and the river Jordan.

Israel's continued domination and destruction in the Bethlehem area

Kids are gathered round a burned-out car in Bethlehem's Manger Square. There is no school today, their town is under curfew. A Palestinian ambulance is stopped and searched in the rain. It's another day under Israeli military occupation.

For weeks Israeli soldiers have been invading and reinvading the Bethlehem area, holding the residents captive in their homes. In the past two nights Israeli soldiers abucted 20 Palestinians from the Bethlehem area, adding them to the approximatly 9,000 Palestinian political prisoners being held, largely without charge, in Israeli jails.

A man who lives in a refugee camp called a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) ambulance for his sick child last night. UNRWA informed him, "We are under orders to not move." This is the United Nations, too afraid of the Israeli military to use its own ambulance service. UNRWA is also talking about the one million Palestinians who could starve to death in the West Bank when the US officially declares war on Iraq -- and an expected punishing curfew is implemented.

It's only Sderot. Only us

Focusing exclusively on our victims while ignoring the other's victims is morally contemptible, but above all this it has grave political ramifications. With such selective and distorted information at the disposal of the Israeli public, it is little wonder the country has moved so far to the right. Every sensible person who is nourished by the Israeli press would reach the same conclusions. If the Palestinians really are firing rockets at us while they are ensconced securely in their homes, as could be understood from the reports of the Israeli media, the political conclusion is clear: the only solution is force. If there is no occupation, no appalling wrongs and no war crimes, the only possible conclusion is that the Palestinians really were born bloodthirsty. The news pages and the current events programs on radio and television shape public opinion in this way more than a thousand learned and enlightened op-eds.

"We have different views partly because we see different news," the columnist Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times last week. Krugman was talking about the great divide that has opened up between Europe and the United States, but his comment is even more true of the Middle East. Every night the Arab world - and to a lesser degree, the Western world - is exposed to images of atrocity from the territories, whereas the Israeli viewer doesn't have a clue about what is happening less than an hour's drive from his home. He knows only about the brutal suicide bombings and the Qassam rockets.

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homeland insecurity

Ready or Not...
By Maureen Dowd

Nobody in America makes me feel more insecure than Tom Ridge.

The man who is supposed to restore my confidence in the prospect of my safety gives me the uneasy sense that the door's unlocked, the alarm's off and there's a ladder leaning up against the house.

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you are what you eat


We've created a peace sign shaped pasta and combined it with a delicious, totally natural parmesan cheese flavored with a hint of garlic. Annie's Peace Pasta comes in a fun tie-dyed box which features Bernie as the ultimate hippie! Try this cult classic while listening to your favorite 60's singer and burning some incense.


I scanned one of the macaroni pieces.

Good stuff. I wonder if we could get this served at the White House?

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space shuttle

Columbia Marked by Delay, Faults
Space Shuttle Exempted From Some Maintenance

For years before it broke apart in the skies over Texas, the space shuttle Columbia was beset by recurring problems, glitches and close calls.

NASA: Breach allowed hot gases to enter orbiter

  thanks to Robot Wisdom

Rookies did analysis of damage to shuttle, Boeing engineers say

Veteran Boeing engineers say their company falsely led NASA to conclude that the space shuttle Columbia was safe to land because top managers assigned the task of assessing damage to employees who never had done that type of analysis for the space agency.

NASA Considers Options for Space Station

Confined to their orbiting capsule at least until April in the wake of the Columbia accident, the three men aboard the international space station are putting a brave face on their predicament.

"We enjoy the environment on the space station," astronaut Kenneth Bowersox said the first time the crew spoke publicly after the Feb. 1 accident. "And we're going to enjoy the next two-and-a-half, three months."

Their bosses on the ground don't have that luxury. With the remaining three space shuttles out of service indefinitely, NASA and its international partners face some difficult choices about how to operate the station while its main link with Earth is severed.

  thanks to Robot Wisdom

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ray gun art




  thanks to Magnificent Obsessions

 12:23 AM - link


The Economists

  thanks to reenhead

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