Weblog Archives




  Saturday   June 21   2003

sweet music

This is a TestingTesting webcast. It will be house concert at Robbie and Marnie's. The TestingTesting House Band will open and Karin Blaine will do two sets. This will start at 7:30 (maybe a little later, but we will be on at 7:30) and run for a couple of hours. Karin can really do things with a song. Wonderful. So click on in for a great house concert. Enter your comments in the show guest book and I'll read them to Karin during the show.

 01:54 AM - link

is that a light at the end of the tunnel or is that an oncoming freight train?

Liberal Arts Mafia has been silent for a month, until now.

Item: Why I stopped blogging

If youíre still checking back here after a month with no update to show for it, then this mea culpa is for you. Obviously, right? Because no one else is going to read it.

The reason, the number one reason (drum roll please), why the Liberal Arts Mafia web log has disappeared from the radar screen for the last month is: I CANíT FUCKING STAND IT ANY MORE.

The DISEASE is everywhere. It is worse than SARS, scarier than monkeypox (which hit Ohio, not France, by the fucking way), and more pertinent to the substance of America than Laci Paterson or is it Petersonís bloody awful death will ever be.

So Iím sorry to my friends who came to rely on me. I may eventually get back to posting news. But right now my RAGE is beyond def con five. Right now Iím in a life and death struggle with the DISEASE.

And if you canít figure out what the DISEASE is, then Iím sorry, this apology isnít for you.

I understand completely. The rage isn't easy to control. But sometimes the rage is overtaken by the fear. Not the fear of terrorists -- the fear of my government and of my fellow Americans. The fear of people who believe the world is 6,000 years old and believe that Satan is a real being that is loose on this earth. The fear of people, and a country, that have become delusional and have the power to do great harm. The fear of people that believe their own lies. The fear of people who see all who are not like them as evil and who must be destroyed. For I am not like them, not like them at all. I represent their worst nightmares. I do not believe in their god, I do not follow their hive mind, I do not swallow their lies. Worst of all -- I think for myself.

Why do I keep doing this blog? Why do I keep bringing back reports of the destruction of things that I hold so dear? Why do I feel like I am watching the largest wreck I have ever seen and I can't stop looking? I guess there is part of me that just has to know. I guess that, if you like history, watching the biggest history in your lifetime makes it real hard to tear your gaze away. I guess that I want to know when it will no longer be safe for me to remain in the country of my birth.

Is there hope? I honestly don't know. The fear, hatred, and utter ignorance of the world that these people have is a disease that is spreading and I don't think that it is curable. Can they be contained? I fear that it may be too late. It's not just a matter of defeating Bush. It's so much deeper than that. It's a mass hysteria and it seems to be inpenetrable by truth or reason or caring or love or forgiveness.

The only way I can keep some sanity in my blogging is to contrast this destruction with acts of creativity. By inserting examples of the things that are created by people who are passionate about the world around and within, who are open to the wonders that this world offers. I keep my sanity by bringing back things by people who have a fucking clue as to what a metaphor is. I bring back things by people who want to live and want their children, their children's children, and all those that follow to be able to live and discover all that is beautiful and wonderful because there will still be beautiful and wonderful things left to discover.

That is not to say that there aren't days I can't post another story and I need a break. I can't disparage anyone who can't keep this up. We all do what we can, as we can. I hope it will be enough. I fear it won't.

 12:17 AM - link

  Friday   June 20   2003


David Neiwert, at Orcinus, posts his final installment on his excellent series on fascism. Pay attention to this one.

Fascism and fundamentalism

In the Christian world, the trend is much less pronounced but still present. It exists in the increasing identification of mainstream fundamentalism with its more radical components, particularly the anti-abortion and anti-gay rights extremists. It is latent in the openly theocratic approach to governance propounded by Christian Reconstructionists and neoconservative moralists like Antonin Scalia.

And it has gained a popular voice in the violently eliminationist rhetoric increasingly aimed at liberals, particularly those opposed to President Bush's war policies, much of it inflamed by conservative propagandists on talk radio like Rush Limbaugh. This kind of inchoate rage has always needed someone to scapegoat. This time around, it's liberals.

As the War on Terror, instead of combating the rise of fascimentalism, transforms itself into a War on Liberals; as conservatives increasingly identify themselves as the only "true" Americans; as Bush continues to depict himself as divinely inspired; as the political bullying that has sprung up in defense of Bush takes on an increasingly righteous religious cast; and as free speech rights and other democratic institutions that interfere with complete political control by conservatives come increasingly under fire, then the conditions for fascimentalism will almost certainly rise to the surface.

These conditions remain latent for now, but the rising tide of proto-fascist memes and behaviors indicates that the danger is very real, especially as fascimentalist terrorist attacks take their toll on the national sense of well-being and security. It may take fully another generation for it to take root and blossom, but its presence cannot be ignored or dismissed.

European fascism was a terrible thing. An American fascism, though, could very well devastate the world.

'The Hitler concept'

GNN: Define what they mean by Hitler Concept.

SHARLET: A loyal leadership cadre, which is interesting because guys like Hitler and Stalin were famous for purging, but they seem to focus on a couple of guys. "If two or three agree" is a phrase they use a lot. If you can get together and focus you can accomplish anything. You don't need to sway the electorate. You don't need to convert everyone to Christ. Everyone doesn't have to believe in Christ, and that's where they differ from other fundamentalists. Some fundamentalists really distrust them for that. [They say] "We need to convert everyone, the high and the low." The Family says, "No we don't need the high." All these guys Hitler, Lenin, Pol Pot and Osama bin Laden is another guy they cite a lot, are guys who understood the power of a political avant garde. That's what they mean by the Hitler Concept. Also keeping your message simple, and repeating it again and again because there is only one message and it is "Jesus Loves." You can express lots of different things with that term.

I read this last night after posting "Fascism and fundamentalism" and thought I was being slapped upside the head. I'm aware that I suggested that fascimentalism was largely only latent in the landscape. The existence of this group, however, makes me wonder if it isn't fully active now. Certainly I can't think of a group that better fits the description:

"A political movement that claims to represent a Phoenix-like resurrection of a true national spiritual identity, focused on building a theocratic state that receives its imprimatur from God, ultimately adopting a rule based on scriptural inerrancy, and intent on dominating and imposing its will upon the rest of the world."


 11:36 AM - link


Manabu Yamanaka Photograph

Of the hundreds of people, I selected 16,
who I believe possess abilities,
which elevate then above normal
human being to a level whose some of the greatness of
Buddha is manifested.


  thanks to Solipsistic

 11:14 AM - link

the taliban — our future new best friends

Caving In
Guess who's appeasing the Taliban now?

Remember back when the Taliban was evil? Sure you do. George W. Bush used that tough frontier talk of which his speechwriters are so fond, the press swooned and every decent American was made to understand that the Bush administration, unlike its morally rickety predecessor, would never give an inch to such people.

So guess who's negotiating with them now?

Last week a Pakistani jihadi leader told the Asia Times that he had set up a meeting between U.S. and Pakistani intelligence officials and Taliban leaders to discuss the seriously deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. At the meeting, held at a Pakistani air-force base, FBI officials floated the possibility that the Taliban might have a role in the future Afghan government on four conditions: that Mullah Omar be removed as leader, that foreign combatants engaged in fighting against U.S. and allied troops be deported, that any captive allied soldiers be released and that Afghans currently living abroad be brought into the government.

Well. The first thing you may be wondering: Why is there a possible role for the Taliban in a future government? Isn't that fellow Hamid Karzai running things, and isn't it all going basically OK? As it turns out, not really and not at all. In his 2002 State of the Union address, Bush recognized Karzai in the House gallery, along with a then-newly appointed Afghan director of women's concerns. The impression was conveyed that things were under some semblance of control, and the Congress and the media applauded and moved on.

The reality, according to the Asia Times account -- and it practically goes without saying that this report has not filtered its way into the U.S. press -- is an escalating guerilla war in which "small hit-and-run attacks are a daily feature in most parts of the country, while face-to-face skirmishes are common in the former Taliban stronghold around Kandahar in the south."

 11:08 AM - link


Inconstant Moon

Explore the Moon... discover its dramatic features and phenomena - often beautiful, sometimes bizarre, always changing. Inconstant Moon will take you on a new tour each night, with maps, photos, explanations, animations, selected links and even music!

The Moon is the most easily observable astronomical object, and also the most rewarding. For the beginner, it is a breathtaking spectacle through even a modest optical instrument, and as the knowledge and resources of the astronomer increase, it will continue to provide fascinating new challenges and insights. Inconstant Moon is intended as both an introduction to lunar astronomy for the beginner, and an ongoing reference point for the more experienced observer.


  thanks to plep

 11:04 AM - link

rant of the week

Return to the Southern Cone

The DC Court of Appeals has ruled 2-1 that the the government may withhold

. . . the names and other details about hundreds of foreigners detained in the months after the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. The powerful decision was deferential to the Bush administration's arguments over continued threats to America from terrorists.

I can't find the full opinion at any of the top law blogs (come on, guys!), but here's what David B. Sentelle is quoted as writing in his majority opinion:

"America faces an enemy just as real as its former Cold War foes, with capabilities beyond the capacity of the judiciary to explore," wrote U.S. Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle. He said judges are "in an extremely poor position to second-guess the executive's judgment in this area of national security."

For those of you reading these words I have one request:


What has the appeals court authorized?

Secret detentions.

Please say those words aloud. "Secret detentions." Now use them in a sentence:

The US government engages in the practice of secret detentions.

  thanks to Eschaton

 10:53 AM - link


Blaine England sent me these two links.

An Interesting Day:
President Bush's Movements and Actions on 9/11

At approximately 8:48 a.m. on the morning of September 11, 2001, the first pictures of the burning World Trade Center were broadcast on live television. The news anchors, reporters, and viewers had little idea what had happened in lower Manhattan, but there were some people who did know. By that time, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the National Military Command Center, the Pentagon, the White House, the Secret Service, and Canada's Strategic Command all knew that three commercial airplanes had been hijacked. They knew that one plane had been flown deliberately into the World Trade Center's North Tower; a second plane was wildly off course and also heading toward Manhattan; and a third plane had abruptly turned around over Ohio and was flying back toward Washington, DC.

So why, at 9:03 a.m. - fifteen minutes after it was clear the United States was under terrorist attack - did President Bush sit down with a classroom of second-graders and begin a 20-minute pre-planned photo op? No one knows the answer to that question. In fact, no one has even asked Bush about it.

Deception Dollar

DeceptionDollar.com is committed to exposing the truth about 9-11 and the "war on terrorism".


This site is also has links to other deceptions.

 10:46 AM - link


Report by the E.P.A. Leaves Out Data on Climate Change

The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to publish a draft report next week on the state of the environment, but after editing by the White House, a long section describing risks from rising global temperatures has been whittled to a few noncommittal paragraphs.

The report, commissioned in 2001 by the agency's administrator, Christie Whitman, was intended to provide the first comprehensive review of what is known about various environmental problems, where gaps in understanding exist and how to fill them.

The editing eliminated references to many studies concluding that warming is at least partly caused by rising concentrations of smokestack and tail-pipe emissions and could threaten health and ecosystems.

Among the deletions were conclusions about the likely human contribution to warming from a 2001 report on climate by the National Research Council that the White House had commissioned and that President Bush had endorsed in speeches that year. White House officials also deleted a reference to a 1999 study showing that global temperatures had risen sharply in the previous decade compared with the last 1,000 years. In its place, administration officials added a reference to a new study, partly financed by the American Petroleum Institute, questioning that conclusion.

 10:30 AM - link


G.F. Atkinson

"In the death of George Francis Atkinson, American botany has suffered an incalculable loss." This first line of his 1919 obituary in the journal Science identifies G.F. Atkinson as an important turn-of-the-century scientist. Atkinson graduated from Cornell in 1885 and returned to his alma mater in 1892 as assistant professor of botany. By 1896 he was head of the prestigious department. Professor Atkinson's career resulted in the publication of several text books and over 150 papers revealing an unusually wide range of interests. His focus on plant pathology and mycology (mushrooms) is evinced in this gallery of quirky photos of fleshy fungi. Atkinson died in 1918 of influenza and pneumonia, contracted while on a trip to collect fungal flora near Mt. Ranier, Washington.


  thanks to wood s lot

 10:22 AM - link


Still Blowing Bubbles
by Paul Krugman

The big rise in the stock market is definitely telling us something. Bulls think it says the economy is about to take off. But I think it's a sign that America is still blowing bubbles ó that a three-year bear market and the biggest corporate scandals in history haven't cured investors of irrational exuberance yet.

Or, to put it another way: it's hard to find any real news to justify the market's leap. Instead, investors seem to be buying stocks because they are rising ó which is pretty much the definition of a bubble.

 10:08 AM - link


Instant Ramen's Home Page

Welcome to Instant Ramen's Home Page.

This is an official website of Japan Convenience Foods Industry Association, which have various contents of the Instant Ramen.

The first Instant Ramen was made in Japan in 1958.Today it is known as global food. It is consumed about 50 billion meals a year all over the world.

A stack of 1.935 billion noodle packages
is 13,000 times higher than Mt. Fuji!

How much instant ramen is made in Japan every year?
Annual production 5.3 billion meals
Packaged noodles 1.935 billion meals
Cup-type noodles 3.103 billion meals
Nama (fresh-type) instant noodles 278 million meals


  thanks to consumptive.org

 10:05 AM - link

oh canada!

Stop The Gay Canadians!
First icky legalized homosexual marriage, then the apocalypse. Conservative America trembles
by Mark Morford

Hordes of quivering GOP lawmakers and vast throngs of proudly homophobic right-wing Christian Americans fell into an adorable tizzy the other day as the entire really, really big country of Canada announced it will change its law to allow full-on homosexual marriage anywhere in the whole country including Vancouver and Toronto and even "that weird province with all the gay French people."

Hysteria and open weeping and panicky looks accompanied the uncontrollable overeating of many stale Ding-Dongs, as millions of sexually confused Bush-ites and members of self-righteous Bible-icious anti-everything groups like the American Family Association, along with entire towns such as Colorado Springs, were absolutely certain the world was coming to an end, like, immediately. I mean, Canada's right next door!

Moreover, they fear, Canada's decision means the God-given sanctity of tepid hetero missionary-position marriage is utterly doomed and our innocent children are sure to become fans of modern dance and maybe even old Barbra Streisand movies, and all of this will undoubtedly result in the introduction of a pair of wacky gay Canadian neighbors on "Everybody Loves Raymond."

News Analysis: Canada's Gay Marriage Plan

Canada's decision to allow marriage between same-sex couples is only one of many signs that this once tradition-bound society is undergoing social change at an astonishing rate.

Increasingly, Canada has been on a social policy course pursued by many Western European and Scandinavian countries, and over the last few decades it has been moving gradually more out of step with the United States.

Even as the government announced on Tuesday that it would rewrite the definition of marriage, it was also in the process of transforming its drug policies by decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana and, to combat disease, permitting "safe-injection" clinics in Vancouver, British Columbia, for heroin addicts.

The large Indian population remains impoverished, but there are signs that native peoples are taking greater control of their destinies; their leaders now govern two territories, occupying more than a third of Canada's land mass.

As far as the ease with which society changes, Canada is virtually in a category by itself.

  thanks to wood s lot

Luck of the Irish
And the French and Canadians and Germans and so on

There will come a time, when and if George W. Bush wins the 2004 election, that many first-rate Americans will give serious thought to emigrating from the country of their birth, this place formerly known as the land of the free. If you haven't at least given some fleeting thought to this possibility already, then you aren't paying attention to what's going on here. You are, shall we say, living in a fool's idea of paradise.

This has never been more apparent to me than now, after a 10-day visit to Ireland, a grand, beautiful country with a civilized, healthy democracy and a free -- and freely skeptical -- press. Returning to these shores, I'm convinced that America is in the grip of a monstrous delusion, one that bears no resemblance to the rest of the world's reality. The passive acceptance of corruption and lies that is the foundation of this current house of cards strikes me as a collective version of the go-along-to-get-along mentality that rules families victimized by abuse and addiction. It is easier -- and less dangerous in the short run -- to look the other way, to let the likes of Ashcroft, Delay, Scalia and Rove redefine the meaning of the Constitution, to let Rice and Fleischer and Cheney corrupt even the language we use to communicate. But a house of cards is just that, something that will in the long run collapse into nothingness.

To the Irish (and the rest of the world), for example, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are far from over, despite the fact that Americans collectively watched, in shock and awe, as the idiot prince, sporting a codpiece and helmet, landed aboard an aircraft carrier to declare the "mission" in Iraq was "accomplished." To the rest of the world, Bush is, at best, a laughingstock and, at worst, untrustworthy.

I certainly understand why anyone would hesitate before leaving the nation of their birth. Who the hell, after all, wants to toss in the towel on what was one of the greatest experiments in democracy in world history? To use the metaphor begun above, many a spouse has reconsidered, at the eleventh hour, taking the kids and running from an abusive mate.

And many have asked the police to drop charges and rescind restraining orders, after being physically beaten, psychologically assaulted and/or threatened, only to turn up dead or permanently maimed a few months down the line.

However, I would suggest taking a different, more pragmatic view of any such decision. Rather than see it as a defeat, a tossing in of the towel, see it as a rational reaction to irrational behavior. See it as a way to take yourself out of a place that is dangerous, violent and delusional and put yourself in a different place where a government -- however inefficient -- is in the business of caring about its people rather than crushing them underfoot in pursuit of an extremist ideological agenda.

  thanks to BookNotes

Canada keeps looking better and better. At least I am reasonably close to the border in case I have a need to flee. I may have said this before, but this is the first time in my life that I have thought of leaving this country. I'm getting real tired, as a liberal and an atheist, of being accused of treason and seen as an evil-doer and satan spawn. This country is becoming increasingly insane. At some point we may need to protect ourselves by exiting, stage left.

 09:50 AM - link

  Wednesday   June 18   2003

corporate censorship

In A Wal-Mart Kind Of Hell
Censored magazines, banned music and pseudo-Christian fun at America's scariest retailer
By Mark Morford

Stop. You've found it. This is the place. Americana HQ. Patriotism in a giant tin bucket. This is where souls recoil, children wail, dreams die.

This is Wal-Mart. The glorious consumer mecca, the epic wonderland/wasteland of prefab landfill merch, not only the world's largest and most powerful retailer and the most aggressive snarling frightening happy-place marketer and quite possibly the most hideously overlit soul-draining monster empire you will ever know in your entire lifetime, but also the very multibillion-dollar pseudo-Christian kingdom that censors their offerings and refuses to sell certain music CDs and bans "risquť" beer-'n'-babes mags like Maxim and FHM and Stuff, because, you know, pretty girls are evil.

And Wal-Mart just recently decided to cover up the covers of other, less garish but apparently equally "naughty" women's mags like Elle and Cosmo (which, BTW, is owned by Hearst, as is SFGate) and Vogue due to racy or suggestive images -- but will not, presumably, cover up the truly dangerous and psychologically debilitating mags like Better Homes & Gardens, Mary-Kate and Ashley and Cake Decorating & Dog Mange Monthly. Go figure.

We must try to focus. We must zero in. Innumerable are the intellectual insults and karmic assaults Wal-Mart represents (atrocious labor practices, reliance on foreign sweatshop slave labor, anti-union stances, saturation marketing, etc) and hence we shall concentrate on the censorship issue. Because it matters. We wish it didn't. But it does.

 04:32 PM - link

books and botanicals

The Art of Botanical Illlustration

The Art of Botanical Illustration highlights selections from the University of Delaware's Special Collections which show the development of botanical illustration from early printed books to the present day. The primary goal of botanical illustration is not art, but scientific accuracy. It must portray a plant with the precision and level of detail for it to be recognized and distinguished from another species.


  thanks to BookLab II

 04:27 PM - link

downloads and abject stupidity

Hatch Takes Aim at Illegal Downloading

The surprise remarks by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, during a hearing on copyright abuses represent a dramatic escalation in the frustrating battle by industry executives and lawmakers in Washington against illegal music downloads.

During a discussion on methods to frustrate computer users who illegally exchange music and movie files over the Internet, Hatch asked technology executives about ways to damage computers involved in such file trading. Legal experts have said any such attack would violate federal anti-hacking laws.

"No one is interested in destroying anyone's computer," replied Randy Saaf of MediaDefender Inc., a secretive Los Angeles company that builds technology to disrupt music downloads. One technique deliberately downloads pirated material very slowly so other users can't.

"I'm interested," Hatch interrupted. He said damaging someone's computer "may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights."

The senator acknowledged Congress would have to enact an exemption for copyright owners from liability for damaging computers. He endorsed technology that would twice warn a computer user about illegal online behavior, "then destroy their computer."

  thanks to Drudge Report

I'm sure that this will really make the customers happy. There is only one name for this: Shit-for-brains, which I'm happy to report, thanks to Booknotes who reported that Todd Morman reports, that it is officially in the dictionary. So there!

 04:15 PM - link

decal art

Roller Skating Decals


 03:55 PM - link

impeach the bastards!

When Will House Republicans Call for Bush's Impeachment?

It has now become clear that President Bush lied to the American people in order to promote a war. That war continues and has already led to the death of thousands of Iraqi civilians, hundreds of U.S. soldiers and countless Iraqi soldiers. In truth, Bushís lies are more than just lies. They are high crimes and the President should now be subject to impeachment.

There are those who say that the Presidentís current popularity or the Republican majority in the House and Senate preclude the possibility of his impeachment. Perhaps they are underestimating the moral integrity of our Republican congressmen. In fact, some of them have already publicly stated their opinions on this subject. They did so in February of 1999 when they served as Impeachment Trial Managers for the Senate Impeachment Trial of former President Clinton. Letís look at what they had to say then:

Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Illinois),

"There is a visibility factor in the president's public acts, and those which betray a trust or reveal contempt for the law are hard to sweep under the rug...They reverberate, they ricochet all over the land and provide the worst possible example for our young people.Ē

 03:51 PM - link


Inside The Western Wall

This is the area entered in the north side of the Western ( wailing ) Wall in Jerusalem. It contains the Wilson's arch which you see to the right. The cabinets contains the Torah Judaism's "holiest" book .


 03:44 PM - link


America's rebuilding of Iraq is in chaos, say British

The American-led reconstruction effort in Iraq is "in chaos" and suffering from "a complete absence of strategic direction", a very senior British official in Baghdad has told The Telegraph.

The comments paint a grim picture of American incompetence and mismanagement as the Coalition Provisional Authority struggles to run post-Saddam Iraq.

"This is the single most chaotic organisation I have ever worked for," the official said yesterday.

The source revealed that Paul Bremer, the US administrator in Iraq, had "fewer than 600" staff under his control to run a country the size of France in which the civil infrastructure was on the point of collapse.

"The operation is chronically under-resourced and suffers from an almost complete absence of strategic direction," he added.

  thanks to BookNotes

It's a quagmire

Things are going from bad to worse, and we don't even have a full-fledged guerilla war on our hands yet.

In another violence-wracked day, another US soldier was killed, while US troops shot two protesters dead.

Protesters throwing stones at military convoys. Massive crowds protesting the US occupation. Temperatures in the 110s. Out of work, desperate former Iraqi soldiers. Heavy-handed US tactics. Lack of basic services.

With these ingredients, is it really surprising that we have lost 52 soldiers since Bush's GI Joe moment on the USS Lincoln?

Update: Jesus, two more. What's distressing is that these attacks will further embolden future attacks, as the mighty, invincible American military machine exposes its weaknesses.

Against a set foe, there is little any enemy can do against US military hardware and cash. But against guerilla fighters, our guys are nothing more than sitting ducks.

 03:33 PM - link


photographies de sophie thouvenin


  thanks to Iconomy

 03:21 PM - link

in the land of the ignorant and the land of the stupid

Many misinformed on Iraq, 9/11
Polls show many Americans have facts about Iraqi weapon finds, 9/11 hijackers wrong

A third of the American public believes U.S. forces found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, according to a recent poll. And 22 percent said Iraq actually used chemical or biological weapons in the war.

Before the war, half of those polled in a survey said Iraqis were among the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001.

The facts:

- Such weapons have not been found in Iraq, and were never used.

- Most of the Sept. 11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. None was Iraqi.

How could so many people be so wrong about life-and-death information that has dominated news coverage for almost two years?

  thanks to BookNotes

 03:12 PM - link


Stewart L. Woodruff
Oatmeal Box Pinhole Photographs


  thanks to The J-Walk Weblog

 03:08 PM - link

war against some terrorists

Former Aide Takes Aim at War on Terror

Five days before the war began in Iraq, as President Bush prepared to raise the terrorism threat level to orange, a top White House counterterrorism adviser unlocked the steel door to his office, an intelligence vault secured by an electronic keypad, a combination lock and an alarm. He sat down and turned to his inbox.

"Things were dicey," said Rand Beers, recalling the stack of classified reports about plots to shoot, bomb, burn and poison Americans. He stared at the color-coded threats for five minutes. Then he called his wife: I'm quitting.

Beers's resignation surprised Washington, but what he did next was even more astounding. Eight weeks after leaving the Bush White House, he volunteered as national security adviser for Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), a Democratic candidate for president, in a campaign to oust his former boss. All of which points to a question: What does this intelligence insider know?

  thanks to American Samizdat

 02:59 PM - link


The pictures are up for the Shifty Sailors show, Monday night.

 12:21 PM - link

  Tuesday   June 17   2003


I have the sound up for last night's show with the Shifty Sailors. Pictures up later.

 07:03 PM - link

  Monday   June 16   2003


Monday night is here and it's another night for TestingTesting. The TT living room studio will be full tonight. There will be about 10 Shifty Sailors singing shanteys and seafairing songs

From The Shifty Sailors website:

"A class act," "a cut above all the rest," and "a new approach to an old genre." That's how editor Peter Spectre in the May/June 1999 issue of the Wooden Boat Magazine describes the Shifty Sailors.

The Shifty Sailors have performed on and off the Island in dozens of festivals, benefits, school events, in concert with other groups, and at most of the Puget Sound festivals.

Not a shanty group, but one that sings all varieties of song having to do with seafaring, this is an evening not to be missed.

Click on in at 7(pm) (pacific), for a fun evening of living room music!

 03:43 AM - link

smooth sheets

Old Irons and Ironing Ephemera


  thanks to Solipsistic

 03:29 AM - link


Does Gen. McKiernan really and truly believe there are some diehard loyalists running around and blowing things up without the support of the people? Everyone is armed and his soldiers are now expected to hunt for guns? This isn't working. Iraqis didn't have this happen under Saddam and to have American soldiers burst into their homes while their women are around has alredy been sighted as an issue.

There is a raging disconnect between American actions and Iraqi perceptions and these sweeps, while essential for basic security, enrages Iraqis.

What the American military and civilian command seems to think is that they've landed in occupied France and the population was filled with only victims. Well, Iraqis may have hated Saddam, but the Americans have no support. The exiles are screaming at them to hand over power in a meaningful way and they are being ignored. The Americans are being told that the sweeps are enraging Iraqis and violating their dignity

The exiles may or may not be naive about their role in Iraq, but they know their people and they're screaming that this is just making more guerrillas.

Imagine running around Fayettville, NC with these tactics. How long would it take before the locals would start sniping at your patrols.

 03:24 AM - link


Among the Trash People


  thanks to wood s lot

 03:17 AM - link

The appalling loss of humanity
By Gideon Levy

Last Monday, attorney Leah Tsemel wanted to give some photographs to her client, who was standing a few meters from her in the military courtroom at the Ofer base near Ramallah.

The photographs were of Quds, the firstborn son of administrative detainee Abed al-Ahmar, who is being held in custody without trial. Quds was born two months ago, while his father was in military custody. Military judge Major Ronen Atzmon refused to allow the photos to be passed to al-Ahmar, who has never seen his child. Atzmon was unwilling to assume the security responsibility for such a move.

This incident may seem trivial in view of the mutual bloodbath of the past few days, but it is precisely these minor events that show the level of cruelty that the Israeli occupation has reached. The story of our moral deterioration is to be found here, no less than in the acts of killing.

Al-Ahmar can't see his newborn son because family visits to security prisoners were banned three years ago and have not been reinstated. The fact that his wife is a Jewish Israeli is of no help. Thousands of Palestinian prisoners and detainees have been totally cut off from their families for three years without a telephone call or a visit. There are not many regimes in the world that treat their prisoners this way.

 03:13 AM - link


Vintage Photo Gallery


  thanks to Iconomy

 03:07 AM - link

latin america

US suffers Latin American rebuke at OAS meeting

US Secretary of State Colin Powell came away empty handed from the annual meeting of the Organization of American States held earlier this week in Santiago, Chile.

Not only did the US delegation fail to push through its agenda of a unified hard line against Cuba, for the first time in its history the OAS voted against seating the US nominee for the bodyís human rights commission.

Dominating the OAS general assembly was a sharp divergence between Washington and the other members of the organization over what represents the greatest threat to stability in the region. Powell delivered a speech exhorting Latin America and the Caribbean to unite in a battle against ďtyrants, traffickers and terrorists.Ē Latin American and Caribbean representatives replied that social unrest fueled by increasing misery represented a far greater danger than all three combined.

  thanks to Politics in the Zeros

 02:56 AM - link


Quint Buchholz


  thanks to Solipsistic

 02:54 AM - link


Iraqi mobile labs nothing to do with germ warfare, report finds

An official British investigation into two trailers found in northern Iraq has concluded they are not mobile germ warfare labs, as was claimed by Tony Blair and President George Bush, but were for the production of hydrogen to fill artillery balloons, as the Iraqis have continued to insist.

The conclusion by biological weapons experts working for the British Government is an embarrassment for the Prime Minister, who has claimed that the discovery of the labs proved that Iraq retained weapons of mass destruction and justified the case for going to war against Saddam Hussein.

Instead, a British scientist and biological weapons expert, who has examined the trailers in Iraq, told The Observer last week: 'They are not mobile germ warfare laboratories. You could not use them for making biological weapons. They do not even look like them. They are exactly what the Iraqis said they were - facilities for the production of hydrogen gas to fill balloons.'

The revelation that the mobile labs were to produce hydrogen for artillery balloons will also cause discomfort for the British authorities because the Iraqi army's original system was sold to it by the British company, Marconi Command & Control.

 02:50 AM - link


Baroque Rome in the etchings of Giuseppe Vasi

Giuseppe Vasi was born in 1710 in Corleone, Sicily. He published between 1746 and 1761 ten books of etchings showing the monuments of Rome.

At that time, with the completion of Fontana di Trevi, of Porto di Ripetta and of the Spanish Steps, the whole period of Baroque in Rome was coming to an end. In a few years a wave of neoclassical revival will progressively criticize and despise the works of Bernini, Borromini and their followers. Giovan Battista Piranesi, who started working with Vasi, privileged the views of the Roman ruins, but Vasi was perfectly happy with "modern" Rome. An architect himself he paid attention to all the details of the churches and the palaces he showed in his etchings.


  thanks to dublog

 02:42 AM - link


Everything changes. Everything. Especially in Southern California.

Twenty-two years ago, late in the evening one night in March of 1981, to be specific, my mother was killed in an auto accident on Foothill Boulevard in a town called Claremont. This was one town over from ours. She was on her way home. She was killed instantly --- at least in every meaningful sense of the word. And the impact of her car left a softball-sized dent in the foot-thick metal pole that held up the street lights at the intersection where she died.

The street, Foothill Boulevard, is the main drag in the region. It's actually the westernmost part of the legendary, cross-country Highway 66 and for years after I'd see that dent --- hard to notice for most people, but hard for me to miss. First as a passenger in other people's cars I'd see it and then as a driver myself cruising over the same path countless times.

 02:31 AM - link