Weblog Archives




  Saturday   April 6   2002

Middle East slide show

Israeli peace demonstrators participate in a peace rally in front of the Israeli Defense inistry in Tel Aviv Saturday, April 6, 2002. President Bush, who hosted British Prime Minister Tony Blair at his Texas ranch on Saturday, again called on Israel to end the incursion and withdraw its troops "without delay." Main banner center left reads "Peace Now," banner behind in red reads "Peace Justice and Equality," banner front near flag right reads "Get out of the territories and get back to ourselves."
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thanks to D r. M e n l o

 03:32 PM - link

America's response to foreign affairs

 02:44 PM - link


"Sometimes, when I sleep at night, I think of 'Hop on Pop'"
— George W. Bush, in a speech about childhood education, AP, April 2, 2002

George: Pat... Cat...

Laura: George?

George: Pat sat on cat.

Laura: George honey?

George: No Pat no! Don't sit on that!

Laura: George! Wake up!

George: Whuh...?

Laura: You were dreaming.

George: Drea... dreaming?

Laura: Yes dear. "Hop on Pop." Again.
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 11:41 AM - link


Interview with Bill Mollison

In the1960's and 70's Bill Mollison, and later with David Holmgren, developed the concepts of permaculture, (derived from the words "permanent" "agriculture" and "culture,"). In 1978 the seminal work "Permaculture One" was written, with "Permaculture Two" to follow a year later. By 1981 the graduates of the first permaculture workshop set out to make a difference in the world. Since then, Mollison and countless acolytes have spread permaculture principles throughout the world while developing thousands of sustainable systems and creating a model for ecological design and development.

Recently declared "Ecologist of the Century" in Australia, Mollison conceives permaculture as the "conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems." and "the harmonious integration of landscape and people..." permaculture design he points out, stems from "protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labour:" In short, its goals are energy and water conservation, sustainable local food production and regional self-reliance. As conceived by Mollison, permaculture is nothing less than a "sustainable earth-care system" capable of providing our food, energy, shelter, and other needs while conserving the world's resources.

On July 25, 2001 I was fortunate enough to have this conversation with Bill Mollison as he visited our New Mexico Research Farm.
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thanks to MorfaBlog

 10:55 AM - link

Michael Moore

Katie Couric not needed if you've got Net

In three months, "Stupid White Men and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation" has gone from a potential date with the shredder to 15 printings and the top of The New York Times' bestseller listings.

What makes "Stupid's" ascension remarkable is that it was accomplished almost entirely outside the publicity mill of mainstream media. Moore's book may be the first Internet-enabled No. 1 bestseller — a work whose author and audience connected directly via the Net and forged an online publicity campaign that carried the book to the top.
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 10:49 AM - link

Movies as propaganda

An Actor Speaks Out
What's Wrong With Black Hawk Down

By Brendan Sexton III

In February of last year, another actor and I flew down together to Georgia for our "Ranger Orientation Training" at a place many of you might know--Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia.

In Atlanta, we caught a shuttle plane to Columbus, and on our flight, there were a bunch of guys with Marine haircuts speaking Spanish. It took us a few moments to realize these guys were "students" of the School of the Americas, the U.S. Army's own terrorist training camp for Latin America, which is stationed at Fort Benning. That started to put things into perspective.
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thanks to Dr. Menlo at American Samizdat

 10:46 AM - link


There is no shortage of pixels devoted to our generation's Warsaw Ghetto. In addition to Palestine Independent Media Center, Ha'aretz, and the Guardian, I would suggest BBC News — Middle East for news.

Fears grow of humanitarian crisis

Israeli operations bring 'wanton destruction'


Sharon tries to destroy all traces of Arafat rule

Debate on war leads to Knesset uproar

MK uses Nazi salute to `warn of fascism'

Robert Fisk: A speech laced with obsessions and little else

The Middle East Conflict - Has it Been Engineered by Extremist Rightwing Christians and Zionists Hoping to "Force" the "Rapture"?

And Darkness Covered the Land

Is There a Solution?

 10:38 AM - link

Cell Phones

Cell Phone Industry Group Launches Public Service Campaign

Under pressure to do something about car accidents involving cell phones, the industry-backed Cell Phone Safety Council today launched a public service campaign urging users to "scream like hell" before impact, thereby alerting callers on the other end that there is some kind of trouble.

"It's ironic, but people who can talk forever on a cell phone suddenly come up mute when they're about to get into a collision," said CPSC spokesman Donald Lufrette. "They just get hit, and the caller on the other end doesn't know what happened."
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 10:14 AM - link


Grandma's Camera

But I do know the faces, and that makes all the difference. You, of course, do not - yet you might find these interesting nonetheless. It’s a small portion of a record a young farm wife made of her times with her camera. That she took her hoby seriously isn’t in doubt - look at the picture above. She had to get dressed in winter clothes - no small feat - and trudge through the snow to the back of the barn to get that shot. She wanted these things to be remembered. And so they are.
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 10:10 AM - link


One of the greatest comic strips ever...

Lyrics in the Swamp

In the Swamp, nothing was more squishy and unstable than language. Whenever there were arguments—and the Swamp was rife with clamorous dissension—the source was likely to be words misheard or misspoken, misused or misconstrued.

The Swamp was ostensibly the Okefenokee Swamp, but it had far less in common with Florida and Georgia than with Lewis Carroll's Wonderland, another enchanted domain where voluble zoological oddities—weird talking animals—could be heard distorting syntax and splintering language:

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 10:00 AM - link


A Review of Hard Time Blues: How Politics Built a Prison Nation

The statistics are staggering. The United States incarcerates more people for more offenses than any other country in the free world-- five to eight times more citizens per capita than Western European countries. The American prison population increased 500 percent between 1970 and 2000, doubling in the last decade of the century. More than 2 million men and women are locked up in the U.S. today.

What accounts for this unique and shameful social problem? The answer is partly explained by Sasha Abramsky in Hard Time Blues: How Politics Built a Prison Nation - a well-researched and reported narrative of the recent history that lengthened sentences, built prisons, and resulted in mass incarceration.

This fact comes as no surprise to criminologists and statisticians. Only 10 percent of crimes are violent offenses against persons. The remaining 90 percent consists of property and drug offenses. People like Ochoa, a heroin addict who burgled and defrauded to support his habit, not psychopathic rapists and killers, fill the supermax prisons built in California, Texas, and Virginia to prepare for the age of incarceration.

Abramsky traces Ochoa's pitiful story up to and including his ultimate Three Strikes sentence. Ochoa was never convicted of a violent crime as an adult. (He was convicted of kidnapping as a juvenile, but the offense, though potentially frightening for the victim, was not as serious as the charge implies. Rather than taking a girl home from a party directly, Ochoa took her on a joy ride on the freeways instead).

Nevertheless, Ochoa was sentenced, at the age of 53, to 326 years in prison for committing $2,100 of welfare fraud to support his drug habit. He will spend the rest of his life in a supermax prison - where prisoners are confined to tiny cells for 23 hours a day, and never have any human contact unless chained and shackled - at a cost to taxpayers of over $20,000 a year. The Alice-in-Wonderland logic that makes petty theft a felony also turns someone sentenced under Three Strikes into an escape risk deserving of the harshest deprivations penal experts can devise. (The head of Virginia's Department of Corrections, Ronald Angelone, has boasted that the goal of a supermax is to "make life hell" for the inmate.)
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thanks to wood s lot

 09:51 AM - link


Zen Diving Organization

For ZenScuba students the most important thing is not to be dualistic. Our "original mind" includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. You should not lose your self-sufficient state of mind. This does not mean a closed mind or rebreathing system, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. Like paying for another course. In the beginner's mind there are many financial possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few.
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thanks to MetaFilter

 09:43 AM - link

  Friday   April 5   2002

Dolphin Art

Mystery of the Silver Rings

The young dolphin gives a quick flip of her head, and an undulating silver ring appears--as if by magic--in front of her. The ring is a solid, toroidal bubble two feet across--and yet it does not rise to the surface! It stands erect in the water like the rim of a magic mirror, or the doorway to an unseen dimension. For long seconds the dolphin regards its creation, from varying aspects and angles, with its vision and sonar. Seemingly making a judgement, the dolphin then quickly pulls a small silver donut from the larger structure, which collapses into small bubbles. She then "pushes" the donut, which stays just inches ahead of her rostrum, perhaps 20 feet over a period of up to 10 seconds. Then, stopping again, she regards the twisting ring for a last time and bites it--causing it to collapse into a thousand tiny bubbles which head--as they should--for the water's surface. After a few moments of reflection, she creates another.
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thanks to plep

 10:59 AM - link


What the American Flag Stands For
by Charlotte Aldebron

The American flag stands for the fact that cloth can be very important. It is against the law to let the flag touch the ground or to leave the flag flying when the weather is bad. The flag has to be treated with respect. You can tell just how important this cloth is because when you compare it to people, it gets much better treatment. Nobody cares if a homeless person touches the ground. A homeless person can lie all over the ground all night long without anyone picking him up, folding him neatly and sheltering him from the rain.

School children have to pledge loyalty to this piece of cloth every morning. No one has to pledge loyalty to justice and equality and human decency. No one has to promise that people will get a fair wage, or enough food to eat, or affordable medicine, or clean water, or air free of harmful chemicals. But we all have to promise to love a rectangle of red, white, and blue cloth.

Betsy Ross would be quite surprised to see how successful her creation has become. But Thomas Jefferson would be disappointed to see how little of the flag's real meaning remains.

Charlotte Aldebron, 12, wrote this essay for a competition in her 6th grade English class. She attends Cunningham Middle School in Presque Isle, Maine.

thanks to new world disorder at American Samizdat

 10:54 AM - link

Mental Illness

A Nation In Denial About Mental Illness

Many people find it hard to believe that Andrea Yates was insane when she killed her children. Indeed, one cannot really blame them, because in judging Yates, they are simply drawing on widespread beliefs about insanity.

While understandable, this common perspective - shared by the Yates jury - does not accurately reflect the reality of Andrea Yates's mental state at the time of the killings. It underlines instead the dramatic chasm that divides public perceptions and myths about mental illness from what psychiatrists and other experts know to be its reality.
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 10:50 AM - link


Sound's of the World's Animals

Animals make much the same sounds around the world, but each language expresses them differently. English and French cows sound the same, but not in English and French! Explore the sounds of the world's languages through the sounds of the world's animals.
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thanks to MorfaBlog

 10:46 AM - link


There are too many pages to link to on this. Again, look at Palestine Independent Media Center for reports from the ground, the Israeli paper Ha'aretz, and the Guardian's Special Report—Israel and the Middle East. Here are a few links.

Under Fire — An American Student in Ramallah

Even though the Israeli army said it had lifted the closure for two hours -- in which we still were not able to transfer medical supplies and still was not long enough to everything that was badly needed -- the Israelis continued shooting people in the streets indiscriminately on their way, so people were running around trying to make it to the store or find a safe route only to have to run back home again. It was an added cruelty and terror tactic in this macabre situation, a sick joke: starve people and then shoot them when they try to find food with your permission.
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thanks to BookNotes


"Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader, I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we came here and stole their country. Why should they accept that?"
David Ben-Gurion

thanks to Ethel the Blog


Bush has finally grasped that Sharon is the problem
American prestige is now on the line: the president must not fail

It has been a long time coming, but President Bush has finally engaged with the Middle Eastern crisis which his administration has skirted for so many months. One American commentator recently called on the United States to wake up, and behave, "for God's sake, like a superpower". Yesterday Bush seemed to be acting on such advice. When the rhetoric, and long exposition of anti-terrorist principles, are set aside, at the heart of his speech was a series of orders.
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A generation of the lost
The Palestinian children of the first intifada, now in their teens, are time bombs in the making, according to a new survey.

The analysis of the results left no room for doubt: The vast majority of the teens in the territories suffered in one way or another from the environmental friction: 87 percent of the adolescents said they had suffered under lengthy curfews in their neighborhoods; 68.5 percent were directly exposed to worry about a relative; 70 percent said that they or one of their relatives suffered during the first intifada by school closings, or other interruptions to their schooling; 21 percent said a relative was deported; 58 percent said at least one relative was denied freedom of movement by arrest, curfew, or travel bans; 41.4 percent said that at least one relative was arrested for political reasons; 22.8 percent had a relative, friend or another member of their community killed as a result of the conflict; 50.8 percent had one of their relatives attacked by the army or settlers; 30.6 percent reported that a relative was wounded by the army or settlers; and 8.3 percent reported that a relative had become an invalid as a result.
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Attacks Strip Away Foundation of Palestinian Rule

After a week of Israeli attacks on Palestinian towns and institutions across the West Bank, these vestiges were all that remained of the Palestinian Authority, the institution that was supposed to administer Palestinian cities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the Israeli withdrawals of the mid-1990s.

"There is no Palestinian Authority," said Saeb Erekat, an aide of Arafat and the minister of local government. "Anyone who has an IQ of 14 can see that the goal of this operation has been to make sure that there is no government for the Palestinians."

"This was not the government we wanted," said Adel Yahya, director of the independent Palestinian Association for Cultural Exchange. "The courts and police didn't function, services were lousy. No one used to cry for the authority. Now, we are afraid of its disappearance."

The alternative, in the Palestinian view, will likely be the reorganization of society into underground resistance factions and support groups. The PLO, the group with the longest history of resistance, is still the largest political- military organization. However, the Islamic Resistance Movement, known as Hamas, rivals the PLO in several areas of the West Bank and Gaza. Both groups have large supplies of weapons.

"There are plenty of recruits for armed action. There are plenty of candidates for suicide bombers," said Samir Huleileh, a businessman and one-time political activist. "The real infrastructure of terror will be 3 million people without hope."
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 10:40 AM - link


A couple of fine photography sites thanks to James Luckett at consumptive.org.

Portraits & Dreams
Photographs by Mexican Children

In October of 1991 I set out for San Cristóbal de las Casas in the mist shrouded highlands of Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico. The Tzotzíl Indians, descendants of the great Mayan culture, and the Ladinos, descendants of the original Spanish explorers, had been living there side by side since the 1520s. I wanted to create a group of photographs which looked at that legacy through the words and images of children. I decided to teach the children from these two communities—in the colonial city of San Cristóbal de las Casas and in the nearby mountain villages of Chamula and Zinacantán—to use the camera to explore their environments.

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Middle East Photograph Archive

In the second half of the nineteenth century, the spread of the art of photography and the influx of Europeans into the lands of the Middle East conjoined in the creation of a large number of photographs produced by professional photographers. During these decades, the versatility of photography was enhanced through the development of a variety of chemical techniques, enabling photographers to produce images in relatively large numbers, intended chiefly to satisfy the tourism trade burgeoning in the Middle East and the European thirst for images of the Orient. Antique photographs, of course, stand now as important documents of the history of photography. However, the significance of these artifacts is enriched by their utility as historical documents of the architectural and social history of the Middle East. The photographers chose as subjects the monuments of the Middle East's medieval and ancient past, as well as scenes of daily life. Since the nineteenth century, many of these monuments have been altered through architectural restoration, or their contexts have been radically transformed by the inevitable modernization witnessed in this century. In some cases, and particularly in those scenes depicting social life, the images are the only surviving

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This arrived yesterday: Adobe Photoshop Master Class: John Paul Caponigro

It's one of those books that I can only read in small doses because my mind starts to explode. It gives me so many new ways to use this amazing tool for my photography. Justin and Eliot will be blown away. They should drop by some time and check it out.

There was some debate over the title of this book. After reviewing hundreds of candidates, the editors decided on Master Class. Concerned that this might be interpreted as a volume filled only with advanced techniques to dazzle the most accomplished professional Photoshop users with technical proficiency, I asked them to clarify what Master Class meant to them.The concensus was, "A Master Class is when an acknowledged practitioner works with aspiring professionals to have them reflect on their performances or art. Usually, it is a demonstration followed by the participants either also creating or asking profound questions in order to create. Essentially,the master works with aspirants because the master has resolved both art, form and technique and is so perceived." Some likened it to the spirit of a Maria Callas Master Class.While the concept/title was daunting,I appreciated the spirit of the suggestion as it placed technique in the service of vision, rather than technique before vision. I might have been more comfortable with Zen and the Art of Photoshop; then, my impulse to keep things simple would have been served. On the other hand, if a true Zen spirit were observed, nothing would be said save, "Look." So, I have tried to find a useful equilibrium in this book, a balancing point between many poles — East and West, personal and universal, aesthetic and technical, analog and digital, to name a few.

This book is as much about visual problem solving as it is about technical problem solving. You will note that the titles of the core chapters of this book are based on visual principles, not the words found in the program's interface, and not the technical language found in the process. In each of the core chapters, conceptual precedes technical. In truth, the one generates the need for the other. I have chosen to address the visual strategies that I find most useful, ones that may help you make images more successfully. You may even begin to make images in new ways. While not every technique will be suitable for the intentions and needs of every user, there is something for everyone here, purist and pioneer alike. Treat all as food for thought. Then make your own informed decision and take an action of your own making. You could do nothing better.

 10:04 AM - link

Some Things Just Shouldn't Be Attempted Department

Lesson 1. Making Lethal Ninja Weapons with Househould Items.

This detailed manual will guide you through the finer points of designing your weapon from the comfort of your own home, quite possibly within your school during class.

Step 4. Now you just simply insert your dart into the tapered end of the tube.

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thanks to /usr/bin/girl

 09:17 AM - link

  Thursday   April 4   2002

Medical News

American Medical Association — Very Important Study

thanks to BookNotes

 01:48 AM - link


Beyond the case mod, way beyond

So you like modifying computer cases? So do we, but instead of drilling holes and windows out of our computer cases to install cold cathodes, fans and plexiglass, we simply left the case away this time.

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thanks to MetaFilter

 01:41 AM - link


Table of Condiments That Periodically Go Bad


 01:34 AM - link


Inside hell
Muna Khleifi lives in Ramallah, one of the Palestinian towns besieged by Israeli soldiers. Here she describes a week of deprivation and terror

Our real problem is the children who have lived under violence for so long. We try our best to isolate them as much as we can, but it feels like trying to empty the sea with a glass. Now, with the tanks and the noise of bombing and shelling, fear is occupying our children. My husband has an artery and heart problem, and should not be exposed to the cold weather, so we prepare a plan for when the Israeli soldiers start asking the men to get out of their homes, to keep them for hours in the streets in the rain and the cold. My husband has put more layers of warm clothes on, because they don't allow them more than three minutes from the moment they call the men to the streets. They keep them for hours while they search the houses. So my husband has to sleep in these clothes.

Last night it got worse, five tanks stopped 200m away from our house and started to bomb and shoot at the Preventative Forces location. Helicopters were shelling from above our house. We thought the door of hell had opened. I went to check on the children in their rooms. I found my daughter awake in her bed, unable to speak, her eyes were full of fear. I carried her in my arms and took her to our bed. She could not speak at all; it was clear that even when she was in our bed that was not comfort to her. I decided to bring my son also to our bed although he was not awake. I woke him and asked everybody to get dressed warmly in case the soldiers came.

But we are lucky when we compare ourselves with the Abdeh family from Bethlehem. When the Israeli soldiers opened their front door (the house consists of one room, a kitchen and toilet) they shoot dead the grandmother and the uncle in front of five children, their mother and their father. Now they can't call for an ambulance to take the bodies to the hospital. The mother has put the children in the toilet room to prevent them from spending the night in front of their dear dead grandmother and dead uncle. The Israeli soldiers do not take this into consideration and will shoot the father and the mother if they go out to call for an ambulance. Aren't they here to fight terror?
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Truce plan let Israel continue attacks
Furious Palestinians leak 'one-sided' US envoy draft

Israel would be allowed to continue attacks on Palestinian presidential buildings, security headquarters and prisons as part of a Middle East "ceasefire" plan proposed by US envoy General Anthony Zinni, it emerged yesterday.

Furious Palestinian negotiators have released a copy of the document, presented by Gen Zinni on March 26, the day before Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had been due to attend the Arab summit in Beirut.

Israel treated the document as an ultimatum, demanding Mr Arafat sign it as a condition of being allowed to attend the summit, but he refused.
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Why an iron fist only makes things worse

With most of the Palestinians again under occupation, with almost two million under house arrest and troops imprisoning Yasser Arafat in Ramallah, the realisation sets in that Ariel Sharon can never offer them peace and end of occupation.
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Transfer is a clear and present danger
`The desire to transfer us has roots in the past, and in the history and ideology of certain Zionist circles, which have never given up hope of attaining this goal,' a leading Palestinian in Gaza, Dr. Haidar Abdel Shafi says.

He does not consider the idea of a population transfer as just a case of extremist brainwashing. "The Israeli authorities are today trying to finish the job they did not manage to complete 53 years ago - namely, our banishment from Palestine. The Israeli government is deliberately ignoring the Palestinians' natural right to an independent, sovereign national entity, like any other nation on earth. The Palestinians have made immense concessions, and the international community recognizes that fact. We have declared that we are prepared to settle for a quarter of the territory of the original area of Palestine. We are not prepared to make any further concessions. Our backs are to the wall."
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 01:30 AM - link

Just which way is up?

The Upsidedown Map Page

It came as a surprise to me after over 20 years of seeing "normal" world maps to come across an upsidedown one. The most surprising thing was that I found it surprising. It is completely artificial that we have North at the top of a map

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thanks to plep

 12:23 AM - link

Scandal of the day

Taiwan-gate: The scandal that threatens to destroy the Bush White House

In an ever-widening scandal involving a Taiwanese government secret "slush fund," the purpose of which was to covertly influence other countries' (including the United States and Japan) politics, leaked Taiwanese government documents name two Bush appointees as receiving money from this "slush fund" for services, including convincing Bush to agree to $4 billion worth of sophisticated arms sales to Taiwan.
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thanks to BookNotes

 12:13 AM - link

War Against Some Terrorists

This Modern World
A Patriot's Guide to debating the War on Terror.

thanks to follow me here...


Who terrorizes whom?

But there is a third indisputable truth, although much less understood, let alone universally reported: namely, that from the 1950s the United States itself has been heavily engaged in terrorism, and has sponsored, underwritten, and protected other terrorist states and individual terrorists. In fact, as the greatest and now sole superpower, the United States has also been the world's greatest terrorist and sponsor of terror. Right now, this country is supporting a genocidal terrorist operation against Iraq via "sanctions of mass destruction" and regular bombing attacks to achieve its political objectives; it is underwriting the army and paramilitary forces in Colombia, who openly terrorize the civilian population; and it continues to give virtually unconditional support to an Israeli state that has been using force to achieve its political objectives for decades. The United States has terrorized or sponsored terror in Nicaragua, Brazil, Uruguay, Cuba, Guatemala, Indonesia/East Timor, Zaire, Angola, South Africa, and elsewhere. And it stands alone in both using and brandishing the threat to use nuclear weapons. It has for many years provided a safe harbor to the Cuban refugee terror network, and it has done the same for a whole string of terrorists in flight from, among other places, El Salvador, Haiti, Vietnam, and even Nazi Germany (see Christopher Simpson's Blowback).
[read more]

thanks to Red Rock Eater Digest


America's War Incorporated: Weapons and Wars 'R' US

Critics of the US war machine frequently cite U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower's seminal speech in which he uncannily predicted the threat the "US military industrial complex" would pose to America and the world. In 1961, Eisenhower, a retired U.S. Army general who led the allied invasion of Germany in WWII, uttered these prescient words, "...In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together..."

If only the citizenry had listened.
[read more]

thanks to SmirkingChimp.com

 12:08 AM - link

War Against Some Drugs

What Has The Supreme Court Been Smoking?

In an infuriating blow to reason, logic, fairness, compassion and equal justice, the Supreme Court ruled last week that people living in public housing can be evicted for any drug activity by any household member or guest -- even if the drug use happened blocks away from the housing project and even if the tenant had no inkling that anything illegal was taking place.

Chew on that for a second. The highest judicial body in the land has said -- unanimously -- that it's OK to toss people who the court acknowledges are innocent out of their houses for crimes they didn't commit and didn't even know about. The generals in the drug war are getting mighty desperate -- and silly.

"A tenant who cannot control drug crime," wrote Justice Rehnquist in the majority opinion, "is a threat to other residents and the project." I wonder if the Chief Justice would apply the same condemnatory logic to Gov. Jeb Bush, who also lives in public housing and was also unable to control his troubled daughter.
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 12:01 AM - link

  Wednesday   April 3   2002

I'm baaaack! I think.

We have Zoe's mom moved in and she is mostly unpacked. There are still minor issues of moving into a new house, like trying to figure out how to program the thermostat, but we are getting there. I made a dump run this morning to get rid of no longer needed packing materials and returned the van to Andrew. Now to get caught up on work.

Spring has arrived! I've been so busy I 've not even mentioned this. It was about a week ago the I saw the first swallows. (I love watching them dart around the sky feeding on insects.) The plum trees going into Langley are covered with blossoms and leaves are sprouting everywhere. It was a beautiful spring day today.

 11:56 PM - link

  Tuesday   April 2   2002


James Luckett at consumptive.org linked to this wonderful series of interviews with photographers: Dialogs

The interviews are by John Paul Caponigro. He is the son of a major photographer—Paul Caponigro. John's work and teachings are most interesting.


degree confluence project

The goal of the project is to visit each of the latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world, and to take pictures at each location. The pictures and stories will then be posted here.
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 01:52 AM - link


Words fail me.

Here are some words from an Israeli...

Letter From Israel
The Auschwitz Logic

So this is the Auschwitz logic in a nutshell. Ramallah is not Auschwitz. Israel is not the Third Reich. We have no death- camps and we haven't massacred one third of the Palestinian population in gas chambers. Therefore, everything we do is quite all right. We may fill the occupied territories with tear gas and blood, we may kill and injure and torture and blackmail and dispossess, we may surround millions by electric fences and tanks in tiny enclaves, we may hold them under siege and daily bombing, we may make pregnant women walk to hospitals, and we shoot ambulances too, don't we. But as long as we fall even an inch short of the atrocities of Nazi Germany, it's all fine and good, and don't you dare make the comparison.

The IDF is not allowing journalists in and they are shooting the journalists there. Everyone is fair game. Check out coverage by Ha'aretz and Guardian. The best coverage is Palestine Independent Media Center.

April 1, 2002 – 8:45 PM Today the Israeli military attack on humanitarian infrastructure and civilian population continues.

In Ramallah the 4th day under complete 24 hour curfew
- Many houses without water, electricity, and telephones
- Food is becoming scarce
- Soldiers make house to house searches ransacking and looting homes and
- 100’s of men and youths arrested and detained
- Tanks patrol the streets opening fire randomly and indiscriminately
- Many foreign reporters have left the area after pressure from the Israeli
- Buildings such as the Kassabe cinema/theatre have been destroyed, Al Haq –
a local Human Rights organization, HDIP a Health Research Institute is
currently being ransacked and destroyed.

The list of atrocities continues…
[read more]

Life here has totally stopped; it’s dead

Let’s start from the beginning. It has been 4 days since [the Israelis] invaded Ramallah. They started entering on Friday morning around 4am and it was really like a war. All that you could hear was shaking from the sound of the tanks and helicopters. You thought at the beginning that it was the start of the war. Clashes started. What do you expect? They were entering with tanks, so there was some resistance, but with kalashnikovs, light weapons.

Of course, we have had so many sleepless nights but this was the worst, actually, worse then the ones before. The people were really surprised this time because they started entering all the homes and shooting at anything - even cats on the streets. The sound of tank bombing was unbelievable. And they demolished something to do with the electricity so there was no electricity and we couldn’t follow the news so we didn’t know what was going on.

There were 6 tanks in my neighborhood. They crashed through 6 cars, they didn’t have to, there was space for their tanks to go past, but they destroyed the cars anyway. They entered my neighbor’s house with their dogs.

The worst thing is that so many people are living without electricity or water. And the food is finishing. It will be really serious if this continues. Some people are injured, and some are just ill and they need to get to hospital and get treatment. But the Israelis don’t let any ambulances get though to help people.

Yesterday, 5 policemen were just sitting in their place and the Israelis shot them. It was so clear there was no resistance. All the blood was on the floor, not high on the walls. It was clear they were sitting on the floor when they were killed. They showed it on TV. All of them were shot in the head when they were sitting on the floor.

The Israelis entered all the big buildings here with their tanks. But there are so many normal shops in the buildings; normal shops selling cell phones, clothes, computers and other things. They stole things from the shops, computers…so many things. They also stole computers from students and turned their homes upside down.

The West always asks about [Palestinian] attacks against civilians. But they must ask what is the cause of these attacks: the daily humiliation of the Palestinian people, which creates so much anger amongst people. Like at the checkpoints, for example. Every day we have to walk 20 minutes and more across the Israeli checkpoint to reach the University. It takes more than a hour to get through and they sometimes arrest people. Even to get to Al Ram – not even Jerusalem - we have to go through the checkpoints.

This is all about civilians. It’s all about humiliation, about punishing a whole people. This is terrorism.

Also, the Western media is totally biased. There is so much rage and anger here, especially at the last speech by Bush. The Israelis are fighting the Palestinian people, not terrorism. The whole Palestinian nation is imprisoned. What do they expect? This [Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians] will happen, whether we are with it or against it. What do they expect for people living in poverty, in a hopeless situation and with this daily humiliation that everyone feels. Everyone feels so angry about it every day.

And now they are talking about civilians. Until when do the Palestinians have to face all this? I don’t understand it when they talk of the two sides having to stop the violence. When they say that they don’t distinguish between the criminal and the victim.

One of the top 10 armies in the world is invading a civilian city. People here are helpless, they feel like this situation will never end. They are seeing soldiers with all kinds of weapons entering their homes, doing what ever they like. A few days more and people will have nothing to eat. And people are talking about violence between two sides!
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 01:39 AM - link

  Sunday   March 31   2002

More Moving

We spent the last two days moving Zoe's mom, Gerry, into her new condo here on the Island. Everything is moved and much is unpacked.

My body and brain are burnt out. I'll be back tomorrow.

 09:44 PM - link