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  Saturday   March 29   2003

a great american patriot

  thanks to wood s lot

Iraq Crisis doodle

A doodle Allen titled "Iraq Crisis," drawn during a War Resister's League meeting at the Cooper Union Great Hall, October 23, 1990 


[more]

 11:36 AM - link



iraq


Staffers at Nour Hospital in Baghdad wheel out Muslim Naama, 19, after surgery to remove shrapnel lodged in his abdomen as a result of the marketplace blast. “I don’t remember so many injured people, so much blood everywhere, in this hospital before,” a doctor said. “Even doctors and nurses were shocked.”

For a continous war update see: The Agonist
For analysis see: dailyKOS
For a blog of an unembedded journalist: Back to Iraq 2.0

BushCo Wants You Stupefied
Please remain mesmerized by grainy live footage, ignore appalling larger schemes. Thank you

This is not the time to get complacent and lazy and reactionary and wallow in ennui and sadness and bourbon-fueled fatalism, the sense that all is hurling down the road to hell in a hot Republican-drenched handbasket. Tempting as that is.

This is not the time to be all shrugging and dismissive and think whelp, that's it then, nothing we can really do anymore, just sit back and watch the carnage I guess, the switch has been thrown and the snarling war machine is churning in high gear and the mass herd is mewling and subdued and misled and aggro and stupefied.

And therefore you can only sit there and guzzle your scotch and go numb and sigh, flip around to see which frantic network has the best video of windblown reporters riding high on U.S. tanks and yelling about food shortages and lack of sleep as they rumble nobly through the desert.

This is not the time to get thoughtless and simpleminded. The trigger has indeed been tripped and we are right this minute slaughtering thousands in Iraq and dozens of US soldiers are being killed by Bush's "peaceful" order and ooh look, stray bullets and raging dust storms and bedraggled reporters tagging along, all wide-eyed and chaotic and no one really having any idea what, exactly, is really happening.
[more]

‘So Much Blood Everywhere’
A Baghdad hospital is overwhelmed after a missile hits an outdoor market, killing dozens.

Hearts and Minds
by Nicholas D. Kristof

With Americans and Iraqis killing each other just north of here and many of my friends at risk, I've been pained by some e-mail that has trickled over my laptop computer.

Some of it came from an old Egyptian friend, Ikram Youssef, a Harvard-educated scholar who has a natural empathy for the United States — and since he once lived in Kuwait, a rich understanding that Saddam Hussein is a monster. Yet Professor Youssef hopes that this war will end with an Iraqi victory over America.

"I certainly hope that this campaign will fail," he declared. And when even a thoughtful internationalist like Professor Youssef is siding with Saddam's army against America, I want to leap out of my hotel window.
[more]

Raw, Devastating Realities That Expose the Truth About Basra
by Robert Fisk

Two British soldiers lie dead on a Basra roadway, a small Iraqi girl – victim of an Anglo American air strike – is brought to hospital with her intestines spilling out of her stomach, a terribly wounded woman screams in agony as doctors try to take off her black dress.

An Iraqi general, surrounded by hundreds of his armed troops, stands in central Basra and announces that Iraq's second city remains firmly in Iraqi hands. The unedited al-Jazeera videotape – filmed over the past 36 hours and newly arrived in Baghdad – is raw, painful, devastating.
[more]

The War in Iraq Turns Ugly. That's What Wars Do.

This campaign was begun, like so many others throughout history, with lofty exhortations from battlefield commanders to their troops, urging courage, patience, compassion for the Iraqi people and even chivalry. Within a week it had degenerated into an unexpected ugliness in virtually every populated area where American and British forces have come under fire. Those who believed from intelligence reports and Pentagon war planners that the Iraqi people, and particularly those from the Shiite sections of the southeast, would rise up to greet them as liberators were instead faced with persistent resistance.
[more]

A Disaster Unfolding in Iraq

One would have thought Washington had learned from the 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco that you can't really trust exiles who assure you that their people will greet you enthusiastically as liberators and rise up against the regime. Despite optimistic predictions, there have thus far been no mass defections of Iraqi soldiers, there have been no spontaneous uprisings against Saddam Hussein and U.S. and British soldiers attempting to enter Iraqi cities have been met not by cheers and flowers but by bullets and grenades.
[more]

Bush's Peril: Shifting Sand and Fickle Opinion

Pause in Baghdad advance

A four to six day pause in the advance on Baghdad is planned, according to an unnamed US military officer quoted by Reuters.

With American and British troops drawing close to the Iraqi capital, it is reported that the US commanders will call a halt in the advance in order to bring in supplies and reinforcements.
[more]

Iraqi Suicide Bomber Kills 4 U.S. Troops

A bomber identified as a noncommissioned Iraqi army officer killed four American soldiers Saturday, and Iraq threatened more such suicide attacks. Coalition forces pounded Republican Guard positions in preparation for an all-out push toward Baghdad.
[more]

Prepare for the war, and occupation that follows, to look like Lebanon in the 80s and Palestine today.

Standing Up to Uncle Sam
by Naomi Klein

The Gulf War: Secret History

This extensive history of the first Gulf War by William M. Arkin draws on lots of declassified documents and inside information to present previously unknown facts about that conflict. It was published in installments on the Website of the magazine Stars and Stripes (a privately-owned magazine, not the US military newspaper of the same name). At some point the Website disappeared and with it, unfortunately, went this important piece of work. A full copy had survived in the Internet Archive until just a week ago. Now that it has completely vanished from the Net, The Memory Hole is extremely pleased to resurrect it.
[more]

  thanks to BookNotes

The Priority Here is Clear: Oil Comes Before People

Thomas L. Friedman: How to know if the U.S. is winning

(3) Has America been able to explain why some Iraqi forces are putting up such a fierce fight? Are these the most elite, pampered Special Republican Guard units, who have benefited most from Saddam's rule and are therefore willing to fight to preserve it? Or are these primarily Sunni Muslim units, terrified that with the fall of Saddam the long reign of the Sunnis of Iraq will end and they will be replaced by the Shiite majority? Or is this happening because even Iraqis who detest Saddam love their homeland and hate the idea of a U.S. occupation - and these Iraqis are ready to resist a foreign occupier, even one that claims to be a liberator? Knowing the answer is critical for how America reconstructs Iraq. It is not at all unusual for Arabs to detest both their own dictator and a foreign occupier. (See encyclopedia for Israel, invasion of Lebanon, 1982.)
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 11:19 AM - link



photography

gmtPlus9 provides us with a František Drtikol festival.

František Drtikol
photographer

One of the most important Czech photographers of the twentieth century. He was dedicated to photography since 1901 through 1935, he painted at the same time and after he had ceased photography he devoted himself mainly to philosophy. He was one of the most famous Czech artists in his time. His portraits and particulary nude photographs to order brought the most fame to his originator. In these works, the late19th century decorative style is reflected as well as the signs of a new age symbolized by geometric backgrounds and the movement of the age.
He died in 1961, lonely and forgotten. Nowadays, his place in the Czech and International photography can hardly be replaced.

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František Drtikol

Frantisek Drtikol

Frantisek Drtikol (1883-1961)

František Drtikol (1883-1961)

Drtikol František (1883-1961)

 10:49 AM - link



Delusions of Power
by Paul Krugman

They considered themselves tough-minded realists, and regarded doubters as fuzzy-minded whiners. They silenced those who questioned their premises, even though the skeptics included many of the government's own analysts. They were supremely confident — and yet with shocking speed everything they had said was proved awesomely wrong.

No, I'm not talking about the war; I'm talking about the energy task force that Dick Cheney led back in 2001. Yet there are some disturbing parallels. Right now, pundits are wondering how Mr. Cheney — who confidently predicted that our soldiers would be "greeted as liberators" — could have been so mistaken. But a devastating new report on the California energy crisis reminds us that Mr. Cheney has been equally confident, and equally wrong, about other issues.
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 10:33 AM - link



extreme sports

Wheelbarrowfreestyle
A new wave in sports style

Within these web pages are seriously up-to-date new wave extreme sports trickery


[more]

  thanks to Coudal Partners

 10:26 AM - link



out of steam

That's it for tonight, but I have more luscious links to post. I'll finish them in the morning. Good night.

 12:57 AM - link



medical history

The Truss Wars

The year is 1905. Hercules Atrick, an inventor of little reknown from South Minneapolis, Minnesota, is credited with inventing the first truss.

Having suffered from a terminal hernia condition, Mr. Atrick developed a simple leather belt with pads placed appropriately to hold in his hernia while he carried on his daily inventing chores. His new invention worked like a charm. (...)


The Hercules Old Comfort
Elastic-Tipped Superfluous
Self-Operating Salve Dispensing
Truss with Wind Powered
Meat Grinder.

[more]

  thanks to Speckled paint

 12:54 AM - link



racial equality

Affirmative action's evolution
How the debate has changed since 1970s.

Twenty-five years ago when the US Supreme Court issued its landmark affirmative- action decision in the Bakke case, Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote a separate opinion arguing for the necessity of using racial classifications to remedy historic discrimination against blacks.

He lost that fight by one vote, with only four of the nine justices agreeing that the Constitution permits the use of racial quotas and set-asides in such circumstances.

From that moment, the debate over affirmative action shifted in a fundamental way. Rather than black-white equality, the goal became diversity. Rather than empowering racial groups, the idea was to empower individuals.
[more]

  thanks to CalPundit

 12:46 AM - link



prints

Red-Haired Barbarians
The Dutch and other foreignersin Nagasaki and Yokohama
1800 - 1865

Until the middle of the nineteenth century, Japan was closed to foreigners. The only Westerners allowed to stay in Japan and engage in trade were the Dutch. They had to submit to very strict regulations, however, and were only allowed to live on Deshima, a small artificial island in Nagasaki harbor.

This is a digital exhibition of a collection of 40 Japanese woodblock prints published between 1800 and 1865, depicting Dutch traders in Nagasaki. Now extremely rare, at the time of their publication the prints were sold as souvenirs to Japanese who visited Nagasaki and perhaps hoped to catch a glimpse of these strange 'red-haired barbarians'.


[more]

  thanks to Speckled paint

 12:39 AM - link



world statistics made easy

the global village

people

gender
49 people are female
51 people are male

age
half the people are over age 26
half the people are under 26

30 people are age 0-14
63 people are age 15-64
7 people are 65 and over 

[more]

  thanks to abuddhas memes

 12:35 AM - link



  Friday   March 28   2003

iraq

For a continous war update see: The Agonist
For analysis see: dailyKOS
For a blog of an unembedded journalist: Back to Iraq 2.0

This is a must read...

Practice to Deceive
Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks' nightmare scenario--it's their plan.
By Joshua Micah Marshall

Imagine it's six months from now. The Iraq war is over. After an initial burst of joy and gratitude at being liberated from Saddam's rule, the people of Iraq are watching, and waiting, and beginning to chafe under American occupation. Across the border, in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, our conquering presence has brought street protests and escalating violence. The United Nations and NATO are in disarray, so America is pretty much on its own. Hemmed in by budget deficits at home and limited financial assistance from allies, the Bush administration is talking again about tapping Iraq's oil reserves to offset some of the costs of the American presence--talk that is further inflaming the region. Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence has discovered fresh evidence that, prior to the war, Saddam moved quantities of biological and chemical weapons to Syria. When Syria denies having such weapons, the administration starts massing troops on the Syrian border. But as they begin to move, there is an explosion: Hezbollah terrorists from southern Lebanon blow themselves up in a Baghdad restaurant, killing dozens of Western aid workers and journalists. Knowing that Hezbollah has cells in America, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge puts the nation back on Orange Alert. FBI agents start sweeping through mosques, with a new round of arrests of Saudis, Pakistanis, Palestinians, and Yemenis.

To most Americans, this would sound like a frightening state of affairs, the kind that would lead them to wonder how and why we had got ourselves into this mess in the first place. But to the Bush administration hawks who are guiding American foreign policy, this isn't the nightmare scenario. It's everything going as anticipated.
[more]

Josh Marshall has an excellent weblog: Talking Points Memo. Check out recent posts here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Here are a couple of headlines recycled from the Vietnam era.

More U.S. troops, armor head to Iraq  thanks to thoughts on the eve of the apocalypse

As President Bush declared the war in Iraq would last "however long it takes to win," the Pentagon said Thursday that 130,000 more troops were being deployed to the Persian Gulf region.
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Trying to Sort Out the Enemy From the Innocent

More...

How the Pentagon's promise of a quick war ran into the desert sand

03/27/03: War in Iraq - requirement for more troops  thanks to MyDD

My brother Marines are dying for nothing - AGAIN!  thanks to MyDD

SIX DAYS OF SHAME  thanks to also not found in nature

OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR  thanks to BookNotes

Check this out...

X-Ray Screen

 04:12 AM - link



sign art

Eyeing America
The Prints of
Robert Cottingham


[more]

  thanks to plep

 03:14 AM - link



guinness

The black stuff?

Question
When I buy a pint of Guinness there is no doubt the liquid is black. Yet the bubbles that settle on top, which are made of the same stuff, are white. The same is true of many types of beer. Why?
Stewart Brown , Bristol, UK

Answer
In the interests of science I poured myself a Guinness and waited until the rising bubbles had formed a creamy head. I put a little of this in a dish and examined it through a low-powered microscope. Unlike bath foam, which has many semi-coalesced bubbles, Guinness foam is made mainly of uniformly sized, spherical bubbles of about 0.1 to 0.2 millimetres in diameter, suspended in the good fluid itself.

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  thanks to reenhead

 01:55 AM - link



light art

This is a remarkable exploration of light.

Bob Miller's Light Walk

"It begins here, with a commonly observed and reported phenomenon: the light coming through the cracks between the leaves in the trees hits the ground or a piece of white cardboard and is round. Now you know that the spaces between the leaves aren't round. They're all irregular. The round spots of light are images of the sun.

"One thing that occurred to me when I looked at this was that there must also be an image of the sky surrounding the sun. The light from the sky must get through the holes, too. But we aren't normally aware of it, because the blue light of the sky is so dim compared to the sun. The sun is really bright - about a million times brighter than the moon. And the moon is even brighter than the clear blue sky.
[more]

  thanks to consumptive.org

 01:51 AM - link



  Thursday   March 27   2003

photography

Faces of Iraq

I don't have any answers to the situation in Iraq, but I hope when you look at the photographs you will feel like you know the people of Iraq and know that we are all more alike than we are different.


[more]

  thanks to wood s lot

 02:13 AM - link



iraq


Baghdad Shops Attack

For a continous war update see: The Agonist
For analysis see: dailyKOS

Uncensored Info on Iraq War from the Russian GRU

As of morning March 25 the situation on Iraqi fronts remains quiet. Both sides are actively preparing for future engagements. Exhausted in combat US 3rd Motorized Infantry Division is now being reinforced with fresh units from Kuwait (presumably with up to 1 Marine brigade and 1 tank brigade from the 1st Armored Division (all coming from the coalition command reserves) and elements of the British 7th Tank Brigade from the area of Umm Qasr. The troops have a stringent requirement to regroup and, after conducting additional reconnaissance, to capture An-Nasiriya within two days.

The Iraqis have reinforced the An-Nasiriya garrison with several artillery battalions and a large number of anti-tank weapons. Additionally, the Iraqis are actively deploying landmines along the approaches to their positions.

However, currently all combat has nearly ceased due to a sand storm raging over the region. Weather forecasts anticipate the storm's end by noon of March 26. According to intercepted radio communications the coalition advance will be tied to the end of the sand storm and is planned to take place during the night of March 26-27. The coalition command believes that a night attack will allow the its forces to achieve the element of surprise and to use its advantage in specialized night fighting equipment.
[more]

  thanks to The Agonist

Robert Fisk: 'It was an outrage, an obscenity'

It was an outrage, an obscenity. The severed hand on the metal door, the swamp of blood and mud across the road, the human brains inside a garage, the incinerated, skeletal remains of an Iraqi mother and her three small children in their still-smouldering car.

Two missiles from an American jet killed them all – by my estimate, more than 20 Iraqi civilians, torn to pieces before they could be 'liberated' by the nation that destroyed their lives. Who dares, I ask myself, to call this 'collateral damage'? Abu Taleb Street was packed with pedestrians and motorists when the American pilot approached through the dense sandstorm that covered northern Baghdad in a cloak of red and yellow dust and rain yesterday morning.
[more]

Baghdad shops attack kills 14

Behind the Lines
Here in New York, half a world away, the war in Iraq is having its impact, changing politics and media and mind-sets at cruise-missile speed. What will New York and America do—and what will it be like to be an American—when the smoke clears? An examination of the war and its aftermath.
  thanks to Cursor

Jubilation turns to hate as aid arrives

They are fighting for their independence, not Saddam
Resistance to the US-British occupation will not end with this regime

Arab governments struggle to control protests against US  thanks to Liberal Arts Mafia

Shock, Awe and Overconfidence   thanks to Tapped

War Could Last Months, Officers Say

Bush Bravely Leads 3 rd Infantry Into Battle

As the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division began its ground assault on Iraq Monday, President Bush marched alongside the front-line soldiers, bravely putting his own life on the line for his country by personally participating in the attack.

"Bush is the real deal, and when he talks about fighting for freedom, he means it," said Pvt. Tom Scharpling, 21. "He'd never ask one of us grunts to take any risks for our country that he wasn't willing to take himself."

According to reports from the front, many of the soldiers were initially suspicious of the president, doubtful that an Ivy Leaguer who once used powerful family connections to avoid service in Vietnam had what it took to face enemy fire head-on. However, Bush—or, as his fellow soldiers nicknamed him in a spirit of battlefield camaraderie, 'Big Tex'—quickly overcame the platoon's reluctance to having a "fancy-pants Yalie" in its ranks.


[more]

  thanks to Eschaton

 02:07 AM - link



scrapbook art

Scrapbook of the Revolution
Interpreting the Mao Era

I purchased two photo albums from a man at the Gui Shi flea market in Beijing. The albums contain the images you see here.


[more]

  thanks to Coudal Partners

 01:30 AM - link



is anyone paying attention to korea?

N. Korean threat to quit armistice

North Korea says it may have "no option" but to stop honoring its commitments to the 1953 Korean War armistice because of U.S. "persistent war moves" in and around the Korean Peninsula.
[more]

  thanks to The Agonist

North Korea warns Japan of ‘self-destruction’ over satellite launch

North Korea has warned that Japan would face “self-destruction” if it puts a spy satellite into orbit as Tokyo said it had stepped up vigilance amid reports Pyongyang may test a ballistic missile around the time of the satellite launch.
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 01:20 AM - link



drug wrapper art

xŽR‚Ì’u‚«–ò?B‚ ‚ç‚©‚¶‚ߊe‰Æ’ë‚É–ò” ‚ð”z’u‚µ?A


[more]

  thanks to Geisha asobi blog

 01:11 AM - link



Bush's Iraq plan includes 10 billion for Israel

US President George W. Bush formally unveiled an emergency spending bill to cover costs tied to the war on Iraq which would also provide some 10 billion dollars in aid to Israel.

If lawmakers approve the plan, Israel will receive one billion dollars in military financing and additional loan guarantees of nine billion dollars, the conditions of which are still being negotiated, the State Department said.
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 01:06 AM - link



anatomy

Anatomy of the Human Body
by Henry Gray

The Bartleby.com edition of Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body features 1,247 vibrant engravings—many in color—from the classic 1918 publication, as well as a subject index with 13,000 entries ranging from the Antrum of Highmore to the Zonule of Zinn.


[more]

 12:59 AM - link



economy

Bush fiddles with economy while Baghdad burns
Could a faltering dollar and global rebellion against its values presage the decline, and eventual fall, of the American empire, asks Mark Tran

Yet there can be little doubt that the US, backed by Britain, its loyal junior ally, will eventually prevail. The conflict will bring the US little glory, pitting the world's most powerful military machine against a dilapidated army, but when American and British troops enter Baghdad, the US will surely cement its status as a hyperpower.

But does the US colossus have feet of clay? It takes a brave soul to argue that America, the world's largest economy and by far its most potent military power, is about to go into decline, when it is widely perceived as a hyperpower. But Independent Strategy, a financial research company for institutional investors, has made the case in a paper that is making the rounds of big investment banks such as Goldman Sachs.
[more]

 12:49 AM - link



photography

Jan Saudek
Czech Photographer


Purgatory No. 354
- 1987 -

[more]

  thanks to gmtPlus9

 12:42 AM - link



tax cuts

 12:29 AM - link



  Wednesday   March 26   2003

peace! what is it good for?

  thanks to Liberal Arts Mafia

 11:03 AM - link



mark morford

Mark Morford has returned from his vacation. His pointy words were missed but his time off from the world seems to have brought new perspective, renewed enthusiam, and more pointy words.

Sad Spouts Of Ignorance
Where humpback whales meet the snarling void of war, and human progress takes a bullet

We think we know so damn much.

We think we know cause and effect. We think we know basic systems and human nature and the arc of time, what sort of hellish road we are paving right this minute, all those big colorful maps and arrows and diagrams and missile trajectories on CNN, all the clusters of little green plastic army men pushed around a giant map table by embittered generals.

We think we know what will happen to the collective unconscious, to the soul of the population at large when the scowling GOP war hawks issued the order to rain 3,000 multimillion-dollar warheads down on a bedraggled piss-poor food-starved nation in a single day.

Or when we massacre tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians and lay waste to an entire culture and landscape and history, as a 20-mile-long procession of U.S. troops rumble into Baghdad to kill anything with a turban and an Islamic faith and a dusty 1983 U.S.-Iraq chemical-weapons sales receipt, and call it patriotism.

We think we know all about body counts and nation building, and we think we have some sort of sanctimonious monopoly on the idea of what type of freedom everyone should have, what sort of force-fed democracy everyone really needs, whose self-righteous angry SUV-driving god has the right to bitch-slap which self-righteous angry Koran-reading god, and call it Christian largesse.

We don't know anything.
[more]

 10:04 AM - link



support our toops

Bring Them Home Now


[more]

  thanks to thoughts on the eve of the apocalypse

The billboard Bush can't see
In Crawford, Texas, near the president's home on the range, discouraging words about the war can't be heard.

Is this antiwar message too hot for Crawford, Texas?

That's what four billboard companies have decided, by refusing to run an advertisement containing the message on billboards in the Texas town near President Bush's ranch.
[more]

 03:45 AM - link



iraq

For a continous war update see: The Agonist
For analysis see: dailyKOS

Robert Fisk: In the long hours of darkness, Baghdad shakes to the constant low rumble of B-52s

All night, you could hear the carpet-bombing by the B-52s. It was a long, low rumble, sometimes for minutes. The targets, presumably the Republican Guards, must have been 30 miles away but, each time that ominous, dark sound began, the air pressure changed in the room where I'm staying near the Tigris river. I've put some flowers in a vase near the window and the water in it was gently shaking all night as the vibrations came out of the ground and air. God spare anyone under that, I thought.

"When we have our soldiers at the front," Tariq Aziz, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, had told us hours earlier, "you don't expect us to line them up for you to shoot at, do you?" We had laughed merrily but I didn't laugh now. Surely Saddam Hussein's praetorian guard could not be sitting this out in the desert, tanks abreast, soldiers out in the open? So what were the B-52s aiming at?
[more]

World Book Encyclopedia, 2004 Edition: Iraq

Iraq, the proud new 51st state of the USA, was once a seething hive of freedom-hating terrorists linked to international terrorism. American-led nation building projects begun after the 2003 War of Liberation have transformed a population of terrorized victims into members of an open society that values individuality, international copyright laws and human rights.
[more]

  thanks to PageCount

Arab nations want emergency UN meeting and vote to end war  thanks to The Agonist

U.S. Trying to Stop U.N. Session on War   thanks to The Agonist

Iraqi opposition gives warning

Head of the Iran-based Iraqi Shiite Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution of Iraq, Ayatollah Mohammad-Baqer Hakim, Tuesday warned coalition forces to leave Iraq as soon as Saddam Hussein is toppled or face the military resistance of the Iraqi opposition.

"Foreign troops must exit Iraq at the earliest," Hakim told a news conference, adding that the "Iraqi nation will resist by any possible means" if the U.S.-led forces opt to stay in the country.
[more]

  thanks to The Agonist

Suddenly, real war hits home   thanks to The Agonist

  thanks to Spitting Image

Caution: The following contains strong pictures. Pictures not see on your TV.

This Is Gulf War 2

  thanks to consumptive.org

 03:36 AM - link



pows

Prisoners of Hypocrisy

Further complicating the United States' position on the top of the moral high ground are allegations of on-going mistreatment of Taliban and Al Qaeda prisoners at Camp X-Ray, in Afghanistan and other "undisclosed" locations.

Further complicating the United States' position on the top of the moral high ground are allegations of on-going mistreatment of Taliban and Al Qaeda prisoners at Camp X-Ray, in Afghanistan and other "undisclosed" locations.

The teams then allegedly "package" some prisoners by hooding them, duct-taping them to stretchers and then flying them to friendly states less picky about the norms of human decency. According to the Post article, approximately 100 prisoners have been sent to basements in Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia for interrogations.

There has been little outcry over these charges because torture as an interrogation technique has largely been embraced by the American establishment.
[more]

 03:08 AM - link



posters

peace poster competition


[more]

  thanks to Dumbmonkey

 02:59 AM - link



who's out of compliance with un resolutions?

Defying the Security Council
Is Iraq the only country in the world alleged to be out of compliance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions, and if so, what other countries are out of compliance and what actions are being taken to force them to comply?

One authoritative study shows at least 88 UN Security Council resolutions are currently being ignored by a dozen countries. There are a handful of principal offenders – Israel, Morocco, Turkey, Indonesia and Armenia.

And there is a common factor, according to Stephen Zunes of the University of San Francisco's Department of Politics.

"These have been allies of the United States and the non-enforcement has been a direct consequence of the U.S. support for these governments," Zunes says. "So I would argue that the United States probably more than any single country has compromised the credibility of the Security Council and has been doing so for quite a few years."

Most of the 88 resolutions pertain to occupation

Israel's occupation of east Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank.
Morocco's occupation of western Sahara.
Turkey's invasion of Cyprus.
Indonesia's predations in East Timor.
Armenia's actions in Azerbaijan.

[more]

  thanks to wood s lot

 02:55 AM - link



flower art

The Tulip Book of P. Cos

In the entire world, 43 tulip books are known to exist. They are all manuscripts, made by different illustrators, and therefore unique

Of these books, 34 were made in the Netherlands during the first half of the seventeenth century. This period saw a rapid development of the range of cultivated tulip varieties. 'Broken' tulips, showing a flame pattern, were all the rage. We now know that these patterns were the result of a viral infection. Speculation rose in the year 1637 to an extent that bulbs were sold faster than they could grow.

Prices spiraled to a ridiculous level for bulbs of which neither buyer nor seller had seen the flower. This tulipomania got out of hand so badly that bulb growers themselves asked the government to ban the trade.

The Special Collections of Wageningen UR Library has one of the rarest of these tulip books. The tulip book of nurseryman P. Cos of Haarlem is a manuscript nursery catalogue of tulips and a small number of other flowers, published in 1637. In comparison with other tulip books, this one is special because not only their names are mentioned, but also their weight and the price for which each bulb was sold. The most expensive one, the Viseroij, was sold for Dfl 3,000 and Dfl 4,200. Fifteen or twenty times a year salary of a schooled craftsman then. Compaired with the inflation within the real estate market over more than 3,5 centuries that would be about 3 to 4 million dollar in US dollars of today. And that in those days! For these prices at the height of the tulipomania you could buy a nice estate along the canals of Amsterdam or, at the end, be ruined for the rest of your life.


[more]

  thanks to dublog

 02:48 AM - link



remember korea?

North Korea Calls Off U.N. Meeting

North Korea cut off the only regular military contact with the U.S.-led United Nations Command on Wednesday, after accusing the United States of planning an attack.
[more]

N. Korea Claims U.S. May Attack After War

North Korea claimed again Tuesday the United States may attack the communist state after the war in Iraq and spark a "second Iraqi crisis."

North Korea accuses Washington of inciting a dispute over the North's suspected nuclear weapons programs to create an excuse for invasion.
[more]

  thanks to The Agonist

Is anyone in Washington paying attention? Hello?

 02:33 AM - link



one man's stuff

André Breton (1896-1966) French poet, essayist, critic, and editor, chief promoter and one of the founders of Surrealist movement with Paul Eluard, Luis Buñuel, and Salvador Dali among others.

André Breton had a lot of cool friends and a lot of cool stuff. Really a lot of really cool stuff. And now they are selling it all off. Check it out before it is all gone. It's a shame. His stuff is worthy of a museum.

André Breton
42, rue Fontaine


Duchamp Marcel
Man Ray
La Tonsure 1919 ou 1921

[more]

  thanks to consumptive.org

 02:22 AM - link



People and Politics / The road map has no room
for haggling

Last Wednesday, when the eyes of the world were on the clock for the ultimatum given by President Bush to Saddam Hussein, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, took time out to listen to a report to the Security Council by the secretary-general's envoy to the Middle East, Terje Larsen.

After Larsen folded up his papers, the ambassador asked for the floor. Negroponte's statement, which was prepared in advance and read aloud in the behind-closed-doors session, puts an end to the efforts of Prime Minister Sharon to lower a curtain between the U.S. and other Quartet members.
[more]

Sharon has been ignoring the road map. Maybe the US is serious about the Israelis actually changing their ways.

Horror scenarios coming true
By Amira Hass

Vaguely, people in Israel are hearing about the chronic unemployment and the extreme poverty that would have unraveled the social fabric of any society with less solidarity than the Palestinian one. Only internal Palestinian solidarity and European and Arab philanthropy are preventing situations of mass starvation. Every day between 10 and 20 "wanted men" are arrested, according to reports from the IDF, which does not report how many of them were released a day later, or how many were arrested so they would become collaborators, how many were beaten, what their conditions of detention were in tents exposed to the rain and wind and how much time goes by before they are allowed to see a lawyer or their family.

The many dead have been mainly an opportunity to show more pictures of funerals accompanied by cries for revenge. The Palestinian wounded, among them many children - a huge burden on impoverished families - are an opportunity to point out the Iraqi money going to the terrorists. The limitations on Palestinians' freedom of movement are an opportunity to film wadis where Palestinians are trying to break the strict internal closure to get to work, to school and to their families. An opportunity to show how the security authorities have stretched their limits to the breaking point.
[more]

This is what the founder of Zionism envisioned. Very different from today's reality. Very different.

Zionism according to Theodor Herzl

According to a myth that is prevalent in Israel - and all the more so in the Arab world - the founders of Zionism totally ignored the existence of Arabs in Palestine. Those who think so apparently never read Theodor Herzl's "Altneuland" ("Old-New Land"). "Altneuland" is, as is well known, a utopian novel written by Zionism's founder, Theodor Herzl, in 1902; it describes how the Land of Israel would look in 1923 if the Zionist vision would be realized there.
[more]

 02:07 AM - link



Mahatma Gandhi and His Myths

There are many myths about Gandhi. I’d like to point out a few of them and hopefully get rid of them for you.

First, a quick one: Gandhi was not a scrawny little man. Yes, his legs were scrawny—and bowed—but he had a barrel chest, and a deep, booming voice to match it. In pictures, you just don’t notice his chest, because he usually had a cloth draped around it.

That was an easy one. Let’s try another.

One of the most common and most dangerous myths about Gandhi is that he was a saint. The name—or rather, the title—Mahatma itself means “Great Soul.” That’s somewhere between a saint and a Messiah. Gandhi tried to avoid the title, but the people of India ignored his protests. Now I see that even the Library of Congress has begun to classify him under “Gandhi, Mahatma,” so I guess he’s lost that battle.
[more]

  thanks to consumptive.org

 01:56 AM - link



budget

Senate slashes Bush's proposed tax cut

The Senate unexpectedly reversed itself Tuesday, voting to slash more than half of President Bush's proposed $726 billion tax cut and dealing a blow to the keystone of his economic recovery plan.
[more]

  thanks to The Agonist

 01:31 AM - link



frist seems to work for eli lilly

A plea for action...

As I suggested two weeks ago, the latest move by Senator Frist to push through legislation indemnifying Eli Lilly and other pharmaceutical campaign contributors might in all actuality be worse than the provision tacked onto the Homeland Security Legislation last fall, but removed in January, at the behest of my own Maine Senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Well, it is in fact worse. Much worse.

The language tacked onto the Homeland Security Bill originated from Senator Frist's earlier failed attempt to modify the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: That last-minute provision asserted that the mercury-based vaccine preservative Thimerosal, which had been concluded to be an adulterant by various courts, was instead a vaccine ingredient, and thus all potential injuries sustained by mercury in vaccines had to first go through the NVICP. The problem with this was that vaccine law crafted in the mid-1980s which established the NVICP was not clear as to whether claims which were no longer able to be submitted to the Vaccine Court, due to a three year statute of limitations, could then be addressed in civil court. This was particularly relevant, as the "lag-time" between first symptoms and diagnosis of many neurological disorders, including autism, PDD and ADD/ADHD is more than three years. So families were concerned, particularly as new studies might come out implicating mercury in neurological conditions, that they would be closed out of both the Vaccine as well as civil courts.
[more]

 01:29 AM - link



choptstick wrapper art

Kim's Page o' Chopsticks

Your Number One Source for Chopstick Wrappers!
The Largest Collection of Chopstick Wrappers on the Internet!



[more]

  thanks to Geisha asobi blog

 01:21 AM - link



  Tuesday   March 25   2003

our coward in chief

Where was Bush?


[more]

  thanks to Eschaton

 01:25 PM - link



iraq

There is a firehose of information and misinformation out there. For a minute by minute account, it's The Agonist. (Sean-Paul makes it into the NY Times!) He is also throwing in relevant links all the time. This site is a must for up to the minute news. For analysis, it's daily KOS. No doubt. As an example...

What the Experts Are Saying

The "Shock and Awe" campaign failed completely. The traditional term of "Mass" has not been used by ground forces. Air power has supplied the mass, while the ground forces have suffered from "economy of force" being redefined. The march of 3rd ID (infantry division), while amazing, has left huge supply lines from Kuwait. These supply lines do not seem to be well guarded. The Apache attack on the Medina division was largely ineffective.
[more]

The Agonist linked to this incredible interview with Rober Fisk who is in Baghdad. It's long and incredibly informative. A must read!!!!

Live From Iraq, an Un-Embedded Journalist: Robert Fisk on Washington’s ‘Quagmire’ in Iraq, Civilian Deaths and the Fallacy of Bush’s ‘War of Liberation’

Robert Fisk, The Independent: Well, it’s been a relatively—relatively being the word—quiet night, there’s been quite a lot of explosions about an hour ago. There have obviously been an awful lot of missiles arriving on some target, but I would say it was about 4 or 5 miles away. You can hear the change in air pressure and you can hear this long, low rumble like drums or like someone banging on a drum deep beneath the ground, but quite a ways away. There have only been 2 or 3 explosions near the center of the city, which is where I am, in the last 12 hours. So, I suppose you could say that, comparatively, to anyone living in central Baghdad, it’s been a quiet night.

The strange thing is that the intensity of the attacks on Baghdad changes quite extraordinarily; you’ll get one evening when you can actually sleep through it all, and the next evening when you see the explosions red hot around you.

As if no one really planning the things, it’s like someone wakes up in the morning and says, “Let’s target this on the map today”, and it’s something which sort of characterizes the whole adventure because if you actually look at what’s happening on the ground, you’ll see that the American and British armies started off in the border. They started off at Um Qasr and got stuck, carried on up the road through the desert, took another right turn and tried to get into Basra, got stuck, took another right at Nasiriya, got stuck—it’s almost as if they keep on saying, “Well let’s try the next road on the right”, and it has kind of a lack of planning to it. There will be those who say that, “No it’s been meticulously planned,” but it doesn’t feel like it to be here.
[more]

Aid May Take Weeks to Get Into Iraq, Officials Say

Bush sends $75bn bill for war  thanks to The Agonist

Key battle looms south of Baghdad  thanks to The Agonist

US, British supply lines stretched thin, analysts say

Battle for Baghdad begins

Newtie's Strategery  thanks to Eschaton

In Nasiriya, Marines Find an Urban Fight They Didn't Want

Rumsfeld's strategy under fire as war risks become increasingly apparent  thanks to Eschaton

Pentagon caught off-guard by news reports

Allies Risk 3000 Casualties in Baghdad - Ex-General

Making a mess

 01:07 PM - link



nature art

Ernst Haeckel:
Kunstformen der Natur
1899-1904

Diese elektronische Ausgabe wurde erstellt mit Hilfe einer Original-Ausgabe des Haeckel'schen Werkes, das freundlicherweise von Prof. Dr. v. Sengbusch zur Verfügung gestellt wurde.


[more]

  thanks to Speckled paint

 12:02 PM - link



media

Channels of Influence

By and large, recent pro-war rallies haven't drawn nearly as many people as antiwar rallies, but they have certainly been vehement. One of the most striking took place after Natalie Maines, lead singer for the Dixie Chicks, criticized President Bush: a crowd gathered in Louisiana to watch a 33,000-pound tractor smash a collection of Dixie Chicks CD's, tapes and other paraphernalia. To those familiar with 20th-century European history it seemed eerily reminiscent of. . . . But as Sinclair Lewis said, it can't happen here.

Who has been organizing those pro-war rallies? The answer, it turns out, is that they are being promoted by key players in the radio industry — with close links to the Bush administration.
[more]

 11:57 AM - link



michael moore

Just in case you haven't heard or seen the speech Michael gave at the Oscars.

Big ups to Michael Moore

Whoa. On behalf of our producers Kathleen Glynn and Michael Donovan from Canada, I'd like to thank the Academy for this. I have invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us, and we would like to — they're here in solidarity with me because we like nonfiction. We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fictition of duct tape or fictition of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you. And any time you got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up. Thank you very much.
[more]

 11:55 AM - link



breaking news!

This just in...

PHISH SUMMER TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED
Phish will play twenty one concerts across the U.S. this summer, including several two-night stands at favorite venues like Shoreline Amphitheatre, The Gorge, Alpine Valley and the Tweeter Center in Camden, NJ, plus a three-night stand in Noblesville, IN. The dates are as follows:
July 7 Cricket Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ
July 8 Coors Amphitheatre, Chula Vista, CA
July 9 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA
July 10 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA
July 12 The Gorge, George, WA
July 13 The Gorge, George, WA
July 15 West Valley Amphitheatre, West Valley, UT
July 17 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Bonner Springs, KS
July 18 Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI
July 19 Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI
July 21 Verizon Wireless Music Center, Noblesville, IN
July 22 Verizon Wireless Music Center, Noblesville, IN
July 23 Verizon Wireless Music Center, Noblesville, IN
July 25 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC
July 26 HiFi Buys Amphitheatre, Atlanta, GA
July 27 ALLTEL Pavilion at Walnut Creek, Raleigh, NC
July 29 Post Gazette Pavilion, Burgettstown, PA
July 30 Tweeter Center at the Waterfront, Camden, NJ
July 31 Tweeter Center at the Waterfront, Camden, NJ
August 2 Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME
August 3 Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME

[more]

 11:52 AM - link



seen any terrorists lately?

Something Suspicious Is in the Air

The sign above the highway leading into the nation's capital advised motorists to "Report Suspicious Activity" and gave an 800 number for the Office of Homeland Security. As a reporter, I figured this was right up my alley and set out yesterday to report on things that struck me as suspicious.

For instance, near the Jefferson Memorial, I saw a five-foot-tall metal box that was hooked up to an electrical outlet and equipped with a high-tech antenna and chrome-dome receptor. What was it?

I asked a couple of National Park Service workers and some Cherry Blossom Festival organizers whose tent was set up next to the thing if they knew. Little did I know that my inquiry would become a suspicious activity in itself.

"We hear you've been asking curious questions," U.S. Park Police officer Michael Ramirez said as he and fellow officer Karl Spilde approached me from behind a blossomless cherry tree. "Why are you doing that?"
[more]

  thanks to This Modern World

 11:48 AM - link



how we can all be terrorists

INSIDE THE CAPITOL

The harshest critics of the war protests in downtown Portland angrily called the demonstrators "terrorists" and wished aloud that the police and courts would treat them as such.

This morning, that idea gets put to the test at the Oregon Legislature, where a ranking senator has introduced a bill to "create the crime of terrorism" and apply it to people who intentionally cause injury while disrupting commerce or traffic.

If convicted, they would face imprisonment for life.
[more]

  thanks to This Modern World

 11:44 AM - link



diatom art

World events have been a little overwhelming lately and I was considering not linking to the eye candy I usually include here, but then Bob Morris, at Politics in the Zeros, linked to this wonderfull site and had the following words:

Let's not forget beauty and wonder in these times of lunacy.

Absolutely!

Art Deco Diatoms

About photographing epiphytic colonies of marine diatoms


[more]

 11:41 AM - link



dissent

Tom Tomorrow says it so well...

As real as it gets

MS. MITCHELL: And I think, as well, that frankly we in the media did not cover the anti-war movement as it was moving along on the Internet. We weren’t focused on that. And now, brilliantly, the Pentagon has accomplished the fact with embedding that we’re watching the war unfold in slices, if you will, maybe not getting the big picture, but trying to.
MR. RUSSERT: But real time.
MS. MITCHELL: But real time. And so this anti-war debate seems harder to get a handle on. It becomes less "relevant." Not that it is less relevant, but it is less dramatic. And I think we have to be careful about balancing that, frankly.
MR. RUSSERT: And when we see pictures tonight of American men being executed, Michael Elliot, it’s very difficult to have any tolerance for people who are saying, "Wait a minute," although that is what America is all about.

And why is that, exactly, Mr. Russert?

Why is it "very difficult to have any tolerance" for the people who never wanted to send American soldiers into this battle to begin with?

In the exceedingly unlikely event that the anti-war movement had won the day, those servicemen would still be alive this morning.

It all unfolds with ritualized familiarity. The people who clamor for war downplay or ignore the obvious consequence of war--that human beings on both sides are going to lose their lives. Until the dying starts, and then their anger is focused on those who opposed the war from the start.

Right.
[more]

 11:20 AM - link



fascism

More on David Neiwert's excellent series on fascism:

Rush, Newspeak and Fascism: A Postscript

 11:13 AM - link



remember 9-11 and terrorism?

This is an interesting observation on how the Republican attacks on Clinton's actions against terrorism set up 9-11. And how the Republicans are hypocritically using the patriotism card. Like, were are all shocked that they would do that.

The War on Dissent: The leadership front

Defenders of Daschle have focused on the Kosovo debate, but almost all of Clinton's military decisions came under withering Republican criticism. That's especially true of those he took in the middle of his sex scandal. Note, for example, this Republican reaction to Clinton's missile strikes in Sudan and Afghanistan against al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

"I just hope and pray that the decision that was made was made on the basis of sound judgment and made for the right reasons, and not made because it was necessary to save the president's job," said Dan Coats, then a senator from Indiana and now President Bush's ambassador to Germany. "Why now? Bin Laden has been known to be a terrorist for a long time. Why did this happen?"

This is an important point, because this hypocrisy demonstrates with crystal clarity just how the Republicans' manipulation of the "patriotism" issue for their own convenience has been detrimental to the American public as a whole.
[more]

 11:08 AM - link



my mind is melting

I'm behind in posting because I spent last evening away from the computer. (I don't normally recommend this, but sometimes it happens.) I spent time on two things that are putting me in a possibility overload.

A week ago Friday, I webcast a house concert with Gideon Freudmann. (You can listen to it here.) It was in Robbie Cribbs' new recording studio, which is in his new house. The space is fantastic as a small performing venue and, of course, it is a full featured recording studio. I've been doing webcasts from my living room, and occasionally other places, for over four years with a music show called TestingTesting. While the majority of the performers have been local, we are starting to get regional and national acts. I've been looking for a local venue where we could do paying gigs for these musicians, but nothing was really suitable until now. Robbie's studio is perfect. Zoe and I went over and chatted with Robbie and Marni about doing a TestingTesting series there, with some of the better known musicians we have contact with. We all think it's a good idea. Stay tuned. As a another early step, we will be doing next Monday's TestingTesting from Robbie's Studio. It will let us work out some of the technical details. Small Potatoes will be playing. Small Potatoes is the type of act that we would be featuring in the series. Click on in Monday and hear them.

The other thing that has diverted my attention is:





Mastering Digital Printing:
The Photographer's and Artist's Guide
to High-Quality Digital Output

My photography has been stalled while I've been wrestling with how to do digital printing right. I came across this book, which arrived yesterday. This book is the bible of digital printing. No photographer who is printing digitally should be without this book. Anyone who wants to print high quality digital prints should not be without this book. It's all there. My mind is melting.

 10:52 AM - link



  Monday   March 24   2003

iraq

The war is not going like the used car salesman in the White House told us it would go. It's beginning to look like our worst nightmare — the Iraqi's are actually fighting back. That wasn't in the script. How dare the Iraqis not surrender? When is the American public going to wake up and see that they've been had? This isn't Gulf War 1. This is a war where our people die too. It brings to mind the arrogance of the Union at the opening of the Civil War. Everyone went out to watch the Battle of Bull Run expecting to see the Rebells routed. Didn't work out that way. One shouldn't underestimate the enemy. The best site for what is happening is, by far, The Agonist.

Avoiding Big Pitched Battles, Iraqis Slow Advance

Iraqi forces apparently operating in small pockets or hit-and-run raids held up the U.S.-led advance into Iraq in at least four places on Sunday and captured their first U.S. prisoners on the fourth day of the war. (...)

In Kuwait, former oil minister Ali al-Baghli, a Shi'ite, said he suspected the time taken to capture Umm Qasr might undermine any faith ordinary Iraqis had that the Americans had the ability to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

"We are astonished that there is still resistance in Umm Qasr after all this time. It is a very small place.

"If it takes them this long to capture Umm Qasr, how long will it take to capture Tikrit or Baghdad?
[more]

  thanks to American Samizdat

How a walkover turned into a three-day battle

THE skies over Umm Qasr burned orange last night as the allies brought in tanks, aircraft and heavy artillery in an attempt to bring to an end a three-day siege.

The scale of the resistance met by allied forces in Iraq’s only deep-water port has stunned coalition forces.
[more]

  thanks to The Agonist

Doubts and Questions
Slow Aid and Other Concerns Fuel Iraqi Discontent Toward United States

They were unforgettable images: Residents of this southern Iraqi town openly welcoming coalition forces. They danced in the streets as a picture of Saddam Hussein was torn down.

That was yesterday.

Traveling unescorted into Safwan today, I got a far different picture. Rather than affection and appreciation, I saw a lot of hostility toward the coalition forces, the United States and President Bush.
[more]

  thanks to follow me here...

Bitter Rice
by Uri Avnery

Beware of the Shiites. The troubles of the occupation will start after the fighting is over. Here is a personal story and its lessons:

On the forth day of the 1982 Israeli attack on Lebanon, I crossed the border at a lone spot near Metulla and looked for the front, which had already reached the outskirts of Sidon. I was driving my private car, accompanied only by a woman photographer. We passed a dozen Shiite villages and were received everywhere with great joy. We extracted ourselves only with great difficulty from hundreds of villagers, each one insisting that we have coffee at their home. On the previous days, they had showered the soldiers with rice.

A few months later I joined an army convoy going in the opposite direction, from Sidon to Metulla. The soldiers were now wearing bulletproof vests and helmets, many were on the verge of panic.

What had happened? The Shiites received the Israeli soldiers as liberators. When they realized that they had come to stay as occupiers, they started to kill them.
[more]

What 'coalition'?

Given how the Unilateral States of America just flushed the United Nations into the East River, it is interesting to see just who has ''got our back.'' When you look at the list, you realize that the actual thing that most of the ''coalition of the willing'' actually said to Bush was, ''You want to assassinate Saddam? Cool, I'm down with that. You got it. Now, I can't exactly be there with you right now, you know what I mean bro, right? You know how it is. My treasury is bankrupt, my people are starving, and I got some rebels to repress. But, hey, you go ahead and take out Saddam. And remember bro, no matter what happens, I got yo' back. Peace.''
[more]

Baghdad Civilians will Fight Invaders
Editor's Note: This is the nightmare scenario.  A city as populous as Baghdad or Tikrit can do terrible damage to an invading army if they engage that army in urban combat.  Likewise, an invading army will be required to obliterate buildings and neighborhoods to root out the attackers.  These are the seeds of Stalingrad. - wrp

  thanks to follow me here...

US braces for urban warfare pains

Since the main goal of the US war on Iraq is to topple Saddam Hussein's government, it will be different from the 1991 Gulf War, which was aimed at liberating Kuwait. The whole world is waiting to see how the US will use its high-tech arms and war strategies to complete its invasion.

Judging from the strategic approach of both sides, the most crucial point to winning this war seems to be the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, located in the geographic center of the nation.

Urban warfare will therefore become an important factor in deciding the war. The US is certain to direct its main war effort toward Bagdad, while Iraq will deploy its elite Republican Guard in urban Bagdad and in the areas surrounding the city in the hope of fighting a Stalingrad-like defensive urban war.

The US is fully confident that a direct strike on Bagdad will lead to a quick end to the war, hoping that high-tech precision arms and superior fire power will overcome the nightmare of urban warfare and at the same time set a new standard for urban warfare.
[more]

  thanks to The Agonist

 03:38 AM - link



how does it do that?

Impossible art

[more]

  thanks to Speckled paint

 02:47 AM - link



Concessions of a dangerous mind
While Tony Blair may believe he has transformed President Bush's thinking on the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, Ariel Sharon can remain confident that nothing has really changed, says Brian Whitaker

This is a road map to nowhere
The Palestinians need an end to occupation, not bogus statehood

Israel to extend security fence deep into West Bank

Israel is preparing to move a security fence, designed to separate Israelis and Palestinians, further into the West Bank. About 40,000 more settlers and another 3,000 Palestinians would find themselves on the Israeli side of the barrier.

Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian negotiator, denounced the initiative yesterday as "flagrant defiance" of President George Bush and Tony Blair, who have promised to present their "road map" to peace as soon as a new Palestinian Government is sworn in.

"Israel is telling the Americans and British to forget it," Dr Erekat said. "They are saying they have their own road map, based on dictation, not negotiation. They are creating facts on the ground, which will take 40 per cent of the West Bank."
[more]

 02:36 AM - link



bicycles

Nostalgic.net

Welcome to Nostalgic.net! The only place on the web were you will find an image archive containing hundreds of images of vintage bicycles, parts and literature! 


[more]

  thanks to Speckled paint

 02:30 AM - link



why they hate us

This is long and is a must read. There seems to be a bit more to this than Bush seems to be capable of comprehending. You can't fight something unless you know what it is and Bush hasn't a clue.

The Philosopher of Islamic Terror

To anyone who has looked closely enough, Al Qaeda and its sister organizations plainly enjoy yet another strength, arguably the greatest strength of all, something truly imposing -- though in the Western press this final strength has received very little attention. Bin Laden is a Saudi plutocrat with Yemeni ancestors, and most of the suicide warriors of Sept. 11 were likewise Saudis, and the provenance of those people has focused everyone's attention on the Arabian peninsula. But Al Qaeda has broader roots. The organization was created in the late 1980's by an affiliation of three armed factions -- bin Laden's circle of ''Afghan'' Arabs, together with two factions from Egypt, the Islamic Group and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the latter led by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's top theoretician. The Egyptian factions emerged from an older current, a school of thought from within Egypt's fundamentalist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, in the 1950's and 60's. And at the heart of that single school of thought stood, until his execution in 1966, a philosopher named Sayyid Qutb -- the intellectual hero of every one of the groups that eventually went into Al Qaeda, their Karl Marx (to put it that way), their guide.
[more]

 02:22 AM - link



who's next?

Iran to be US next target: CIA Report

The next target of US after capturing Iraq will be replacement of religious government in Iran with a secular government as the US forces in Afghanistan have already started implementation on action plan in this regard.
[more]

  thanks to The Agonist

 02:10 AM - link



democracy

DEMOCRACY OR DEATH

The idea that America is poised to ride into Iraq on a white charger, spreading democracy like fairy dust, is the popular conservative version of the oncoming war in Iraq. But in American politics, "democracy" ceased long ago to be a genuine political ideal and became instead an image without substance or integrity, used to mask, justify and sell the naked exercise of power.
[more]

  thanks to BookNotes

 02:07 AM - link



ben shahn

I came across this link of exhibits (thanks to Speckled Paint) : Grey Art Gallery

Check it out, it has some really nice stuff. One of them was an exhibit of Ben Shahn photographs: Ben Shahn's New York

I discovered Ben Shahn in 1963. I was a second year Architecture student and the world of art was opening up and blowing my mind. The artist that I remember most was Ben Shahn. He worked in several mediums — he was a painter, a print maker, and a photographer. It wasn't just what he did with lines — it was his humanity. He was also a writer. The best book I've read on art was his The Shape of Content. It's been too many years since I've read it. I went rummaging through my books and found it. It's a bit yellowed around the edges. It's now on the top of my reading pile.



Ben Shahn
Passion for Justice

Ben Shahn was an artist who spoke to the world. A man of uncompromising beliefs, he became the most popular artist of his age – his work was on the cover of Time as well as in the Museum of Modern Art.

Shahn came to prominence in the 1930s with "The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti," a politically pointed series about the Italian anarchists who many believed were framed for murder. He went on to paint murals and take photographs for the government during the New Deal, and to become a successful painter and commercial artist. (...)

From The Shape of Content:

On Nonconformity

The artist is likely to be looked upon with some uneasiness by the more conservative members of society. He seems a little unpredictable. Who knows but that he may arrive for dinner in a red shirt… appear unexpectedly bearded… offer, freely, unsolicited advice… or even ship off one of his ears to some unwilling recipient? However glorious the history of art, the history of artists is quite another matter. And in any well-ordered household the very thought that one of the young may turn out to be an artist can be a cause for general alarm. It may be a point of great pride to have a Van Gogh on the living room wall, but the prospect of having Van Gogh himself in the living room would put a good many devoted art lovers to rout.
[more]




The Shape of Content

It's nice to see it's still in print. My old copy of The Shape of Content was $1.25. The current list price is $13.00.

Photographer: Ben Shahn

Ben Shahn made two important contributions to the newly formed Historical Section in 1935. First, of course, were the photographs he himself added to the agency's file. The portion dating from 1935 is small--less than 2 percent of the eight-year accumulation--but about one-third of those early images are Shahn's. And second, his counsel, along with that of several colleagues at the Resettlement Administration, helped Roy Stryker clarify his mission. Shahn's sophistication as a painter and printmaker and his keenly felt moral sensibility influenced the running dialogue he had with Stryker. Once, Shahn recalled in 1964, he had explained to Stryker that a certain photograph of soil erosion would not have a strong impact on viewers. "Look Roy," Shahn said, "you're not going to move anybody with this eroded soil--but the effect this eroded soil has on a kid who looks starved, this is going to move people."
[more]

Ben Shahn at Harvard

Ben Shahn at The Old Print Shop

 02:00 AM - link



budget

Delaying Talk About the Cost of War

As war with Iraq has gone from possibility to likelihood to reality over the past several months, the Bush administration has persistently declined to tell Congress and taxpayers what the conflict would cost — and for good reason, said Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., the White House budget director.

We really did want to wait to get a little better sense of what scenario we were facing," Mr. Daniels said late on Friday, two days after Mr. Bush began the war with an effort — its success still unclear — to bring it to a speedy end by killing Saddam Hussein. "Had there been a very quick resolution, clearly we would have sent a scaled-down request."

But many Democrats on Capitol Hill, as well as some independent analysts and a few Republicans, said Mr. Bush had been stalling for another reason.

They said that setting out the big price tag for the war and its immediate aftermath — at least $60 billion and perhaps as much as $100 billion, depending on what the administration includes — would complicate if not doom the White House's efforts to push through Congress a budget that makes room for Mr. Bush's latest round of tax cuts.
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  thanks to BookNotes

 12:53 AM - link



photography

I discovered Pedro Meyer and ZoneZero in 1996. Pedro had previously done a CD ROM about the last years of his parents' lives, called I Photograph to Remember, that had received a lot of critical praise, but I couldn't afford it. Pedro was an early adopter of the Internet, too. He saw the Internet as a way for Latin American photographers to be seen. ZoneZero has always been a source of amazing images but I haven't paid close attention to what has been happening there. It turns out that I Photograph to Remember is now on ZoneZero along with some other photographic stories that I will be needing to check out. I Photograph to Remember takes about 35 minutes to view. Take in the whole thing. It's a love poem.

I Photograph to Remember


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“... some background thoughts”
by Pedro Meyer

A decade after the first presentation of “I Photograph to Remember” which was originally designed to be viewed on a computer screen and delivered by means of a CD ROM, [ by the way, this was the first CD ROM with continuous sound and images that had ever been produced anywhere], we can now with present day technology bring you over the internet what was initially available only via a CD ROM.

I will examine here from the photographer’s point of view, some of the experiences and thoughts associated with the making of this work; I will also discuss some of the problems inherent with the vehicle itself, the CD ROM, and how it evolved. (...)

But why are we talking about such matters of technology and distribution, in the context of a body of work so closely related to poetry? The only reason I can come up with, is that in this age of transition, where digital solutions are constantly evolving, we need to evaluate all that has something to do with how our content is affected. After all, we do not create in a vacuum; we produce and we address our creative energies hopefully in the direction of that which is plausible. We need to understand how these technological changes influence that which can be produced.

In this context several things have become clear to me. The computer screen will in time become so ubiquitous that it will no longer draw much attention to itself, and people will no longer bring their initial prejudices to bear on viewing our work on such displays. If the content is to be delivered in an efficient manner, and thus the screen rendered transparent, the only thing remaining will be the nature of the content itself.
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 12:47 AM - link



freedom of speech

Who are the real, useful idiots?

Columnist's note: This was my last column to appear in the Star Community Newspaper cluster. It is ironic that after writing a forceful essay in support of the first amendment, my column was cancelled. I was told that because I had attended an anti-war rally, I had violated the newspaper's ethics policy that prohibits members of the editorial staff from participating in any political activity other than voting. I was also told that my objectivity as a reporter would be called into question. However, my opposition to an invasion of Iraq was well documented in previous columns before I revealed that I had participated in the protest. But instead of taking me off of my beat or terminating my employment as a staff reporter, my opinion column was cancelled-- the aspect of my job that was enhanced by my participation in the rally. In my opinion, a powerful liberal voice was unwelcome in the conservative Republican county served by my newspaper. The fact that the column was cancelled just days before the start of the US invasion of Iraq raises serious questions about the motives for the cancellation.
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  thanks to BookNotes

 12:19 AM - link



baby humor

It's in times like this that good tasteless humor is needed and appreciated.

splish, splash


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  thanks to American Samizdat

 12:14 AM - link