Weblog Archives




  Saturday   August 2   2003


Vertical Constellation with Bomb

Alexander Calder invented mobiles, sculpture that moved, in the early 1930s. Later, he added large-scale stabiles, fixed sculpture. During World War II, Calder created the Constellations series. The pieces are motionless, like stabiles, yet airy, like mobiles. Many, for example Vertical Constellation with Bomb, rest on a flat surface, but some Constellations are mounted from the wall at an angle. Generally, they are composed of small abstract forms carved from wood that are carefully arranged in three dimensions. The materials are either painted or left unfinished.[...]

After a few years of making wire figures, Calder’s work took a different direction, but he did not know what to call his new pieces. One night, a friend brought Marcel Duchamp to his studio in Paris, and Calder took the opportunity to ask the master of visual and linguistic innuendo for advice. “I asked him what sort of name I could give these things and he at once produced ’Mobile.’ In addition to something that moves, in French it also means motive.” Likewise, Calder consulted with Duchamp and another friend, James Johnson Sweeney, when naming his Constellations series.

  thanks to plep

 09:39 PM - link

Israel has real weapons of mass destruction — nuclear, chemical, and biological. And lots of them. Yet they do not admit it and have signed no treaties that control these weapons of mass destruction. How is that? This BBC transcript is a must read.

BBC Transcript of "Israel's Secret Weapon" (part 1)

Israel declared over the weekend that it is cutting off ties with the BBC to protest a repeat broadcast of a documentary about non-conventional weapons said to be in Israel. The program was broadcast for the first time in March in Britain, and was rerun Saturday on a BBC channel that is aired all over the world. The boycott decision was made by Israel's public relations forum, made up of representatives from the Prime Minister's Office, the Foreign Ministry and the Government Press Office. It was decided that government offices won't assist BBC producers and reporters, that Israeli officials will not give interviews to the British network, and that the Government Press Office will make it difficult for BBC employees to get press cards and work visas in Israel. Before the broadcast Saturday, Israeli officials tried to pressure the BBC to cancel the broadcast, saying that the program was biased and presented Israel as an evil dictatorship. Here is a complete transcript of the program.

BBC Transcript of "Israel's Secret Weapon" (part 2)

Ceasefire is at risk, Sharon told

The Palestinian government said yesterday that Ariel Sharon had jeopardised last month's ceasefire by rejecting President Bush's plea to stop building his security fence through the West Bank.

The information minister, Nabil Amr, said the Israeli prime minister had given "no single positive sign at all: he is not stopping the settlements and he is going on with the wall".

Mr Bush left a meeting with the Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, last week saying the fence was a problem, but after seeing Mr Sharon at the White House on Tuesday he said merely that he had urged him to "carefully consider all the consequences".

Mr Sharon said work would continue.

Bush just doesn't get it
The US president has allowed himself to be comprehensively bamboozled by Ariel Sharon, says Simon Tisdall. Peace is as far away as ever

The things that you don't get to know
by Amira Hass

There is a school of thought which contends that if only Israelis went to where Palestinians live, if only they met them as flesh-and-blood human beings, their political and security opinions would be transformed. They would no longer automatically support the government's policies of recent years toward the Palestinians, nor would they continue to have a priori faith in every official Israeli explanation for some political or military action.

People who have experienced this transformation personally are living testimony that this school of thought has validity. And these are people, only a few perhaps, whose political background cannot explain the doubts they now have toward Israeli policy - for example, those who employed and still employ Palestinians. Over the years they have learned to doubt the security explanations given for the hermetic closure and limits on the freedom of movement of their employees since 1991.

People like M., a woman from Jerusalem who votes NRP and who befriended a family from a Palestinian village. She was aghast to discover how easily and systematically Palestinian lands are confiscated and orchards uprooted, how savings and hopes dissipate in favor of the settlements.

Israel imposes 'racist' marriage law
Palestinian-Israeli couples will be forced to leave or live apart

Israel's Parliament has passed a law preventing Palestinians who marry Israelis from living in Israel. The move was denounced by human rights organisations as racist, undemocratic and discriminatory.

Under the new law, rushed through yesterday, Palestinians alone will be excluded from obtaining citizenship or residency. Anyone else who marries an Israeli will be entitled to Israeli citizenship.

 09:32 PM - link

stereo photography

Stereo images "Time for Space Jiggle"

Experimenting here with a way to present stereo images on the screen by simply putting the right and left images in an animted .gif.


  thanks to The J-Walk Weblog

 11:21 AM - link


State of Decline
by Paul Krugman

From smog to silicon, from the sexual revolution to the tax revolt, the future has usually arrived in California first. Now the Golden State is degenerating into a banana republic. Can the nation be far behind?

The recall isn't just a case of hardball politics. It's also a grand act of evasion: in the face of a severe fiscal crisis, voters are being invited to focus not on hard choices but on personality. Replacing Gray Davis with someone more likable isn't going to pay the bills.

And California's slide into irresponsibility, in which politicians refuse to acknowledge any connection between the government services the public demands and the taxes that pay for those services, is being replicated all across America.

It isn't just the politicians who have this disconnect between taxes and services. There is a demagogue in our lovely state of Washington who has made a career of getting Initiatives passed that reduce taxes. Then the people who voted to reduce taxes get upset when their services are reduced. Go figure. There is this idea that government and taxes are evil and that if only government was "more efficient" there would be plenty of services for all. At no cost, apparently.


Hello, thanks for visiting my site, JobforJohn.com. Last Thursday, July 24th I was "downsized" from my job of 3 years at a software company.

Later the same day I heard that President Bush's economic team would be doing a bus tour through Wisconsin and Minnesota this week touting Bush's tax cut and its prosperous economic effects.

"What a bunch of BS. I'd like to give their PR tour a dose of reality," is what I thought. So I packed up the minivan and decided to follow their bus around the countryside and talk to whoever would listen about the real facts--that this economy stinks, and Bush's tax cuts are making it worse.


  thanks to daily KOS

A job for John

They have a phrase they used called "cheap-labor" conservative. I like it, because it's true. We live in a country which is creating a ruling class of business elite and their spawn. They are creating wealth for generations from paper transactions. While robbing you of your future to do so.

It was bad enough when they took the blue collar jobs away to Mexico, now it's white collar jobs to India.

These people don't care about the security of the US as long as they make a profit. If we all work in Wal-Mart, fine company that it is, it will not matter to them. The fact that the social damage from living on debt and working 60 hour weeks is killing families and increasing various forms of dysfunction. But as long as there are people who will help create these massive profits, they just don't care.

Of course this can't last. Something will have to give and the days of raiding the treasury for the rich are going to end because Americans are falling behind in their living standards. Sixty hour weeks and no job security is what caused unions to be formed in the first place. People will fight back because they won't have any choice.

Hard Landing

 11:08 AM - link




  thanks to wood s lot

 10:31 AM - link


Unmasking the Writers of the W.P.A.

Writers are usually unabashed about claiming authorship for their work. So it's curious that many of the alumni of one of the most significant American literary projects of the 20th century were ashamed of it: the Federal Writers' Project, a program of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration.

Created in 1935, in the heart of the Great Depression, the Writers' Project supported more than 6,600 writers, editors and researchers during its four years of federal financing. When the government funds expired, Congress let the program continue under state sponsorship until 1943. Although grateful for even subsistence wages in a time of economic despair, few participants deemed it a badge of honor to earn $20 to $25 a week from the government.

But the Library of Congress takes a different view. With little fanfare, it has been unpacking boxes of extraordinary Writers' Project material over the last few years from warehouses and storage facilities. After an arduous vetting process, much of it is now available to the public.

What is becoming clear, says Prof. Jerrold Hirsch of Truman State University, in Kirksville, Mo., is that the editors of the project believed that they could build a national culture on diversity. "They faced a great challenge coming out of the 1920's, where white supremacists, via WASP primacy and the K.K.K. and anti-immigration laws, held sway," Mr. Hirsch said. "In the Federal Writers' Project, ethnic minorities were celebrated for being turpentine workers or grape pickers or folk artists."

Here is the website...

American Life Histories
Manuscripts from the Federal Writer's Project, 1936-1940

These life histories were written by the staff of the Folklore Project of the Federal Writers' Project for the U.S. Works Progress (later Work Projects) Administration (WPA) from 1936-1940. The Library of Congress collection includes 2,900 documents representing the work of over 300 writers from 24 states. Typically 2,000-15,000 words in length, the documents consist of drafts and revisions, varying in form from narrative to dialogue to report to case history. The histories describe the informant's family education, income, occupation, political views, religion and mores, medical needs, diet and miscellaneous observations. Pseudonyms are often substituted for individuals and places named in the narrative texts.

Here is one of the many amazing stories from the Federal Writer's Project. (From my hometown of Seattle.)

The Chief Mate

"There used to be a queer character on the Seattle 'front that we used to call: "The Chief Mate". About all he owned was an extensive collection of discarded ship's officer's caps, and he used to parade slowly up and down the board-walk in a different one every day. Likely as not, he'd wear them inside out, for variety. Nobody seemed to know where or how he lived. He never talked to anybody. But every once in a while he would scare the daylights out of a person by coming up behind them and suddenly yelling Whrooo!. Then he'd pass on without a word and without looking back to see the effect.

"They say that he was really a first mate on a sound steamer years ago. He was married, and had a kid about three years old. The tale runs that he was sending his wife and kid out on a coast passenger boat to visit her mother. This was about the time of the gold rush, and every boat man loaded down scandalous. This one man loaded so she had a starboard list, and just an she had pulled out of the slip and was turning around, she capsized, with the dock swarming with women and children waving good-by. That was the last he saw of his family.

"He never went to sea again. They say he tried a few shore jobs, but the shock had unbalanced his mind so that he just didn't seem to give a hoot about anything. Finally he just took to walking up and down the waterfront, wearing his funny hats.

"Once in a while a longshoreman will try to badger him, but they seldom ever try it again. The poor devil would draw himself up for a second or two like he was a First Mate again, then look hurt and pitiful, mumble a few words nobody could understand, and hustle on his way, back and forth, from Pier 14 to the Luckenbach dock. The skinners and longshoremen found out there was no sport in devilling the poor bugger, especially after someone had told them how he is supposed to have gotten that way. So all the regular people an the 'front just pay no attention to him at all -- that seems to be what bothers him least. The only people who turn their heads and stare at him, or snicker, or make wisecracks, are the ones that don't know the front, and don't belong down here."

Told by anonymous, a wharfinger.

From Merriam-Webster Online:

Main Entry: wharf·in·ger
Pronunciation: -f&n-j&r
Function: noun
Etymology: irregular from wharfage
Date: 1552
: the operator or manager of a commercial wharf

 10:10 AM - link

  Friday   August 1   2003

heavy equipment


Although Historical Construction Equipment Association members are from all corners of the world and from all walks of life, there is a common thread that ties us all together. That bond is an interest in historic construction equipment and a concern for the preservation of these machines and their history.


  thanks to Everlasting Blort

 10:52 PM - link

it's nice to see the democrats doing their job

Filibuster Leaves Pryor in Legislative Limbo

It's official: The filibuster against the nomination of Alabama Attorney General William H. Pryor Jr. to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has begun.

The U.S. Senate on Thursday fell seven votes shy of the 60 votes required to put the nomination to an up-or-down vote. All 51 Republicans, plus Democrats Zell Miller of Georgia and Ben Nelson of Nebraska, voted to end debate on Pryor.

But the Democrats collected 44 votes against ending debate, sending Pryor into legislative limbo. He joins two of President Bush's other appeals court nominees, Miguel A. Estrada for the D.C. Circuit and Priscilla R. Owen for the 5th Circuit, who have been filibuster targets for months.

Republicans have decried the Democrats' use of the filibuster, which allows the minority party in the Senate to put a stop to legislative business it does not like. Democrats have defended the tactic as a rare step in a small number of highly controversial nominations, noting that 140 of Bush's circuit and district court nominees have been approved.

Pryor's conservative views -- against abortion, broad powers of the federal government with regard to civil rights laws and legalizing homosexual sodomy, among other things -- have drawn fierce opposition from liberal groups.

  thanks to daily KOS

 10:38 PM - link

art for dummies

My grandmother used to paint these.

Paint by Number

Propelled by postwar prosperity, increased leisure time, and the democratic idea that anyone might paint a picture, paint by number became a popular pastime in the early 1950s. Each paint-by-number kit included two brushes and up to ninety premixed, numbered paints ready to be applied to numbered spaces on an accompanying canvas or board. As the spaces were filled in, the gradual revelation of a picture surprised and delighted.


  thanks to The J-Walk Weblog


Paint a Masterpiece from your Photos.
Make paint-by-numbers from your photos - Online in no time. It's fun, it's easy, and it's free to paint your artwork on the web and share it with others via email.


  thanks to The J-Walk Weblog

 10:34 PM - link


Early Alaska thaws curbing oil search
Energy Department seeks new way to lengthen season

Global warming, which most climate experts blame mainly on large-scale burning of oil and other fossil fuels, is interfering with efforts in Alaska to discover yet more oil.

The U.S. Department of Energy plans to help oil companies and Alaska officials find a way around the problem.

A state rule says heavy exploration equipment can be used on fragile tundra only when the ground is frozen to 12 inches deep and covered by at least 6 inches of snow.

However, because winters in the Arctic are becoming shorter, the number of days the tundra meets those conditions has shrunk from more than 200 in 1970 to only 103 last year, a state document notes.

"It is unlikely that the oil industry can implement successful exploration and development plans with a winter work season consistently less than 120 days," says the Alaska project description. "Therefore, it is imperative that the Alaska Department of Natural Resources develop a new set of criteria that will simultaneously increase the number of days available to companies to conduct exploration and ice road construction in winter while providing equal or greater environmental protection of the tundra."

  thanks to DANGEROUSMETA!

Oh sweet irony!

 12:05 PM - link

diego rivera

The Virtual Diego Rivera Web Museum

Diego Rivera's legacy to modern mexican art was decisive in murals and canvas; he was a revolutionary painter looking to take art to the big public, to streets and buildings, managing a precise, direct, and realist style, full of social content.

The Exploiters, 1926
Universidad Autonoma de Chapingo Chapel, west Wall


  thanks to plep

 11:59 AM - link

nuclear madness

US scraps nuclear weapons watchdog

A US department of energy panel of experts which provided independent oversight of the development of the US nuclear arsenal has been quietly disbanded by the Bush administration, it emerged yesterday.

The decision to close down the national nuclear security administration advisory committee - required by law to hold public hearings and issue public reports on nuclear weapons issues - has come just days before a closed-door meeting at a US air force base in Nebraska to discuss the development of a new generation of tactical "mini nukes" and "bunker buster" bombs, as well as an eventual resumption of nuclear testing.

Ed Markey, a Democratic congressman and co-chairman of a congressional taskforce on non-proliferation, said: "Instead of seeking balanced expert advice and analysis about this important topic, the department of energy has disbanded the one forum for honest, unbiased external review of its nuclear weapons policies."

 10:54 AM - link


Jerry Uelsmann

The visually plausible but philosophically impossible situations presented in Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs contradict the essential information we have come to expect from photographs. By subverting the currency of literal fact, Uelsmann releases us from the constraints of photography’s mimetic function. No longer burdened by representation, we naturally return to our internal, nonlinear faculties of thought and feeling to savor the inexpressible resonance of his enigmatic visions. Vague, despite their sharpness and fine detail, and ambiguous despite our recognition of their constituent elements, his photographic montages are like dreams that slip past our perceptual defenses triggering a response but never quite revealing their meaning.


  thanks to Esthet

 10:49 AM - link


Grabbing the Nettle
by Nicholas Kristof

The Pentagon held an all-day meeting a couple of weeks ago seeking ways to restrain North Korea. At the end of it, one expert turned to another and summed it up: "In other words, we're" doomed — except he used a pungent phrase I can't.

It was a fair judgment. North Korea was always more terrifying than Iraq, and now the situation is getting worse.

It's true, as the administration enthusiastically announced yesterday, that we seem to be moving toward a new round of multiparty talks with North Korea, and that's great. But it's very unclear what North Korea is demanding and when the talks will take place. In any case, no one thinks that this round of talks will produce much more than possible photo-ops.

Meanwhile, the North seems to be proceeding steadily, perhaps as fast as its rusty technology will allow, to build nuclear weapons, using both plutonium and uranium methods.

"Time is slipping away for a peaceful resolution of the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula," warns a major report issued yesterday by the International Crisis Group. It adds: "North Korea has the materials and the capability to develop nuclear weapons — more than 200 of them by 2010."

What would it do with them? Well, it may have been bluster, but a senior North Korean official, Li Gun, warned a U.S. counterpart that if the stalemate continued, North Korea could transfer nukes abroad.

While President Bush has said he won't tolerate a nuclear North Korea, it looks as if that may be where we are headed. Part of the problem is that the administration is still groping for a policy on North Korea.

"We have an attitude, not a policy," said Donald Gregg, a former ambassador to South Korea who is president of the Korea Society in New York.

 10:29 AM - link

pin-up art

The Pin-up Page

Welcome to the Pin-Up Page, a web site devoted to the pin-up girls of the 1940's and 50's. There's none of that gratuitous rubbish from the 60's onwards, merely the artistic masterpieces of the golden age of "girlie Mags"


  thanks to plep

 10:23 AM - link


It's not just the weather that's cooler in Canada

You live next door to a clean-cut, quiet guy. He never plays loud music or throws raucous parties. He doesn't gossip over the fence, just smiles politely and offers you some tomatoes. His lawn is cared-for, his house is neat as a pin and you get the feeling he doesn't always lock his front door. He wears Dockers. You hardly know he's there.

And then one day you discover that he has pot in his basement, spends his weekends at peace marches and that guy you've seen mowing the yard is his spouse.

Allow me to introduce Canada.

  thanks to BookNotes

 10:02 AM - link


Tour: Winslow Homer Watercolors - A Survey of Themes and Styles


  thanks to plep

 09:59 AM - link


Just a little busy lately. Zoe's nephew is visiting from Iowa and will be leaving tomorrow. My sister is also having a party tomorrow afternoon celebrating the end of her radiation treatment. (Her breast cancer was caught very early and everything looks good. All fingers and appendages are crossed for good luck!) Jenny, my oldest, and William have moved back on the Island and are having a house warming tomorrow evening. Customers keep calling wanting their work done. And the links keep piling up. Lots to post, as I can.

 09:42 AM - link

  Wednesday   July 30   2003


US troops turn botched Saddam raid into a massacre
By Robert Fisk in Baghdad

Obsessed with capturing Saddam Hussein, American soldiers turned a botched raid on a house in the Mansur district of Baghdad yesterday into a bloodbath, opening fire on scores of Iraqi civilians in a crowded street and killing up to 11, including two children, their mother and crippled father. At least one civilian car caught fire, cremating its occupants.

The vehicle carrying the two children and their mother and father was riddled by bullets as it approached a razor-wired checkpoint outside the house.

Amid the fury generated among the largely middle-class residents of Mansur - by ghastly coincidence, the killings were scarcely 40 metres from the houses in which 16 civilians died when the Americans tried to kill Saddam towards the end of the war in April - whatever political advantages were gained by the killing of Saddam's sons have been squandered. A doctor at the Yarmouk hospital, which received four of the dead, turned on me angrily last night, shouting: "If an American came to my emergency room, maybe I would kill him."

  thanks to BookNotes

US troops 'manhandle' reporter

A JAPANESE reporter was manhandled and briefly detained by US troops in Baghdad after filming their weekend raid on a house in search for ousted president Saddam Hussein, Japanese press reports said.

Kazutaka Sato, 47, was held in an arm-lock, thrown to the ground and kicked by several US soldiers Sunday when he was filming the bodies of Iraqis being removed from a car which was shot up in the raid, the reports said.

  thanks to The Agonist

'I did not want to be a collaborator'
Isam al-Khafaji, a former member of the Iraqi reconstruction council, explains his decision to resign

On July 9, with deep sorrow, I submitted my resignation as a member of the Iraqi Reconstruction and Development Council to US deputy secretary of defence Paul Wolfowitz.

I did this with great sadness but, in doing so, I was able to leave Iraq with a clear conscience. If I had stayed any longer, I might not have been able to say that. I feared my role with the reconstruction council was sliding from what I had originally envisioned - working with allies in a democratic fashion - to collaborating with occupying forces.

  thanks to BookNotes

Desperation in Iraq

Things in Iraq are becoming desperate

We are under siege out here, without supplies, without a mission and we can only roll the dice so many times and not get our (expletive) shot. More and more body bags and amputees will be coming home.

While commanders tell reporters that they have seen attacks halved and the think the war may soon be over, the same kinds of things said in the fall of 1967, their tactics show an increasing desperation and recklessness

Col. David Hogg, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, said tougher methods are being used to gather the intelligence. On Wednesday night, he said, his troops picked up the wife and daughter of an Iraqi lieutenant general. They left a note: "If you want your family released, turn yourself in." Such tactics are justified, he said, because, "It's an intelligence operation with detainees, and these people have info." They would have been released in due course, he added later.

The tactic worked. On Friday, Hogg said, the lieutenant general appeared at the front gate of the U.S. base and surrendered

As Atrios and a couple of people noted in comments, this is called hostage taking. It is, of course, a war crime. It also belies the evidence that resistance is dropping. Come in or we'll take your women may work in the short term, but it makes people angry. Especially in an Arab culture where messing with women can get you killed.

UK troops reveal their new ordeal in 120F Iraq

The Self Inflicted Wound

In the end, policy mistakes -- particularly big ones -- tend to produce a kind of circular reasoning -- in which those in charge try to justify the policy by citing the need to avoid, at all costs, the failure of the policy. So it was in Vietnam. So, too, with our latest misadventure in Iraq.

Chechnya and Iraq: imperial echoes, militant warnings
Military occupation, armed resistance, pervasive insecurity, the hunger for religious certainty, a compliant media and oil. The parallels between Russia’s war in Chechnya and America’s in Iraq are uncomfortably close. Will either ‘imperial’ power heed the warning they present?

It was late at night and I must have dozed off for a moment in the stuffy cinema. I woke to a hand-held shot onscreen of pale, nervous soldiers being harangued by headscarved women and children, while through the door terrified young men were being led away with guns in their backs. I saw the scene as Iraq today. Then the soldiers started speaking Russian, and I was awake again, watching a rare, documentary film about Russia’s protracted war against the breakaway republic of Chechnya.

The confusion of sleep lasted seconds, but the thought remains, wedged in my brain. Could Iraq become America’s Chechnya? Despite all the differences between the two wars, and the countries prosecuting them, the parallels provide a tool with which to investigate the potential consequences of the American occupation of Iraq. True, America’s war is in its early stages, while Russia’s has lasted on and off for the best part of a decade. But seen from another angle, the US has been at war with Iraq since 1991 – and it is perhaps here to the south of Russia, rather than Vietnam, that we should be looking for a warning of what might await America.

 09:32 AM - link

paranoid architecture

The Subterranean Fortress
This tri-level house sits on top of a camouflaged 4-story deep Subterranean Fortress designed to handle virtually any disaster.

Above Ground: A roomy yard with rustic landscaping (large trees, boulders, rock wall, garden) completely fenced backyard. L-shaped kitchen, vaulted ceiling & skylights; living, dining, & family rooms; 3 bedrooms; 2 full bathrooms, 1 half bathroom, and a 2 car garage. Approximately 2,000 square feet.

Below Ground: The 4-story deep Subterranean Fortress is something you must see to believe!! The Subterranean Fortress adds about 1,400 square feet in rooms plus many passageways and hiding places, for a total of about 3,400 square feet.


  thanks to The J-Walk Weblog

 08:44 AM - link


The whiff of fascism

I hate to keep sounding like a broken record, but the fascist motifs trickling their way into mainstream Republican politics (which is the focus of the "Rush" essay, of course) are starting to come fast and furious -- at a much faster rate, I'm afraid, than I think most of us anticipated.

I was especially struck by Michelle Goldberg's piece in Salon:

Beautiful young shock troops for Bush

Erickson was followed by Jack Abramoff, a powerful right-wing lobbyist and former College Republican chairman, who exhorted the next generation to fight hard, lest "the ascension of evil, the bad guys, the Bolsheviks, the Democrats return."

That equation -- evil = communist = Democrats -- was nearly axiomatic at the convention. Ann Coulter's latest book, "Treason," which tarred virtually all Democrats as traitors, may have been denounced by conservative intellectuals, but its message has pervaded the party. Gene McDonald, who sold "No Muslims = No Terrorists" bumper stickers at the Conservative Political Action Conference in January, was doing a brisk trade in "Bring Back the Blacklist" T-shirts, mugs and mouse pads. Coulter herself remains wildly popular -- Parker Stephenson, chairman of Ohio College Republicans, calls her "one of my favorite conservative thinkers."

One of the essential traits of fascism, you may recall, is the widespread belief that dissent is treason, "dissent" being anything outside the official party line.

 08:34 AM - link


Window Shopping in the (Evil?) Empire

Between 1986 and 1990, I made approximately 8,000 color, Hasselblad images on the streets of Communist Europe. I purposely avoided dramatic moments and newsworthy events. In a cityscape without commercial seduction, banality seemed to signify everything. At first I was interested in simple pedestrian traffic. Later I doggedly documented store windows. These seemed to signify the real difference between East and West. Without the garish ad campaigns of the West, these streets felt more neutral... devoid of trumped up and pumped up urgency.

Plumbing supplies : Krakow, Poland, 1989


  thanks to Coudal Partners

 08:27 AM - link

Analysis: Sharon beats Abbas in battle for Bush

The clear impression from the White House press conference held by George Bush and Ariel Sharon on Tuesday is that the U.S. president accepted the Israeli prime minister's argument that the primary issue is the dismantling of armed groups by the Palestinian Authority.

In other words, Bush did not accept the argument put forward by Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud (Abu Mazen), at their
meeting last Friday, that he cannot move against groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, because this would precipitate a civil war.

This is a clear indication that Bush is not prepared to get into a confrontation with Sharon, and that what is uppermost on his mind now, are electoral concerns. A recent poll showed his approval rating to be at its lowest
since Sept. 11.


Sharon says barrier will stay despite Bush plea

Ariel Sharon shrugged off President George Bush's request to halt construction on the security fence through the West Bank yesterday, vowing that the work would continue.

Primordial illogic and primitive cruelty
by Amira Hass

There is nothing more logical than setting arbitrary times of day when a Palestinian is allowed to leave his home and come back to it. There is nothing more logical than forbidding him to leave his field in a pickup truck to take his
crops straight to market. It is logical to forbid him to receive guests, to take a donkey-drawn wagon, to ride a bicycle, to visit his parents a few kilometers away - or to bring a goat into his house "without coordination" so as to provide some fresh milk for his children.


A striking resemblance to Summer 2000
By Danny Rubinstein

In the meetings Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and his colleagues had in Washington last week, as in their prior meetings with senior Israeli officials, the same picture emerged. The Palestinians warn that the cease-fire, the hudna, is temporary and very fragile. The statements are highlighted at every Palestinian-Israeli meeting and are published daily in the Palestinian press, which is full of claims that if there is no progress in the process - meaning if the Israeli government and army don't release prisoners, lift checkpoints, freeze settlements and halt the construction of the separation fence - the fire
will be ignited again.


 03:45 AM - link


Geometry & Perspective

When scanning in the images for the entry below, I noticed a couple of small geometrical illustrations in Mauriès’ book that I had previously overlooked. These were taken, I read, from a work entitled Geometria et Perspectiva, by one Lorenz Stoer (also spelt Stöer, and Stör), which was published in Augsburg, in 1567, the year before the appearance of Jamnitzer’s Perspectiva Corporum Regularium in the rival Bavarian city of Nuremburg.


 03:30 AM - link


Snow in July

Wouldn't be any stranger than this:

Treasury Sec. Sees Recovery Coming Soon

U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow on Tuesday said he saw an economy on the brink of a much faster recovery.

"This economy is poised to take off. It's spring-loaded to go," Snow said during a CNBC interview on a bus tour of Wisconsin and Minnesota with Commerce Secretary Don Evans and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

The tour was to promote President Bush's economic agenda, including the latest $350 billion tax cut package, in the run-up to the 2004 election.

Rolling Thunder, it's not. And shouldn't these guys be back in Washington, trying to actually do something about the President's economic agenda, instead of taking the scenic route from Sheboygan to Duluth?

Red Ink in States Beginning to Hurt Economic Recovery

Having already stripped the nation of a source of economic growth, the budget crises in California and in almost every other state are now beginning to drag down the national economy, prolonging the weak, jobless recovery, the latest budget numbers show.

 03:15 AM - link


Oshkosh in Motion

Pedestrian traffic on Main Street in Oshkosh was heavier than usual on Friday May 31, 1912. Folks were not out in great numbers hoping to see anything special as much as they were hoping that they would be seen. The special occasion was a film crew from Carl Laemmle's Independent Moving Pictures Company who had arrived to make a promotional movie on Oshkosh.


  thanks to gmtPlus9

 03:06 AM - link

the real jessica lynch

The real hero behind the 'bravery' of Private Jessica
America's most famous woman soldier owes her fame to a case of mistaken identity, reports Julian Coman in Washington

As she watched Private Jessica Lynch's emotional homecoming on television last week, Arlene Walters struggled to suppress her growing anger.

For millions of Americans, Pte Lynch's first faltering steps in her home town of Elizabeth, West Virginia, were a moment of high emotion, a happy ending to one of the darkest incidents of the Iraq war.

For Mrs Walters, however, the standing ovation and praise lavished on the young woman soldier, who was captured by Iraqi forces and later freed in a dramatic American raid, served only to highlight the contrasting treatment of her dead son, who fought in the same unit.

It was, fellow soldiers have told her, Sgt Donald Walters who performed many of the heroics attributed to Pte Lynch in the fanfare of publicity designed to lift the nation's morale, and Sgt Walters who was killed after mounting a lone stand against the Iraqis who ambushed their convoy of maintenance vehicles near Nasiriyah.

  thanks to Cursor

 02:58 AM - link


Urinal Net
The best place to piss away your time on the Internet ®

Urinals of the International Space Station "HabLab" module

To use, the person needs to be strapped in to the foot pads shown in the lower portion of the picture, and needs to hold on to the railings.


  thanks to The J-Walk Weblog

 02:53 AM - link

the fall of the american empire

A must read.

The Conceited Empire
A historian credited with predicting the downfall of the Soviet Union in the 1970s now says that the US has been on its way out for the last decade

Then you are of the opinion that there was an American empire at one point?

The American hegemony from the end of WW II into the late 1980s in military, economic, and ideological terms definitely had imperial qualities. In 1945 fully half the manufactured goods in the world originated in the US. And although there was a communist bloc in Eurasia, East Germany, and North Korea, the strong American military, the navy and air force, exercised strategic control over the rest of the globe, with the support and understanding of many allies, whose common goal was the fight against communism. Although communism had some dispersed support among intellectuals, workers, and peasant groups, the power and influence of the US was by and large with the agreement of a majority throughout the world. It was a benevolent empire. The Marshall Plan was an exemplary political and economic strategy. America was, for decades, a 'good' superpower.

And now it is a bad one?

It has, above all, become a weak one. The US no longer has the might to control the large strategic players, primarily Germany and Japan. Their industrial capacity is clearly smaller than that of Europe and approximately equal to that of Japan. With twice the population, this is no great accomplishment. Their trade deficit meanwhile, is in the order of $500 billion per year. Their military potential is nevertheless still the largest by far, but is declining and consistently over estimated. The use of military bases is dependant on the good will of their allies, many of which are not as willing as before. The theatrical military activism against inconsequential rogue states that we are currently witnessing plays out against this backdrop. It is a sign of weakness, not of strength. But weakness makes for unpredictability. The US is about to become a problem for the world, where we have previously been accustomed to seeing a solution in them.

  thanks to Liberal Arts Mafia

 02:48 AM - link


The Bromoil Homepage

Bromoil combines the skills, nuances and attibutes of fine art photography, printmaking and painting. This historic process is truly a happy marriage of craft and art

Iron Structure
Maija McDougal


 02:40 AM - link

there's trouble in river city...

This is a Salon article. It's worth the watching the ad — get a daily pass.

Bush I vs. Bush II
As the deficit yawns and Iraq becomes a quagmire, old-guard Republicans are increasingly worried about where George W. Bush is leading the country.

Philip Gold, a former Georgetown University professor who worked on Steve Forbes' presidential run, says that when he talks to conservatives about the direction of America under President George W. Bush, he senses a clammy, middle-of-the-night kind of fear. "I am getting more and more a sense across the board of enormous apprehension," he says. "There's this whole 3 a.m. sense of, 'What are we doing?'

"Between this recession that ended statistically but not in real life, and all the little lies or fabrications and falsehoods in Iraq and elsewhere that are starting to add up to one big problem, there's so much diffuse anxiety right now," he says.

Bush is still beloved by the Republican rank and file, the people who participate in voter drives and turn out on Election Day. Increasingly, though, there's unease among some of the party's elders, including veterans of the Reagan and Bush I administration. It's not principally about Bush's poll numbers, though they're going down, or about the 2004 election, though it's shaping up to be more competitive than most predicted a few months ago. It's about something more fundamental. Though they don't like to say it, when they look at the economy and Iraq, they can't help worrying about where Bush is taking the country.

 02:35 AM - link



The toys are manufactured in the same factory (since 1906) that made the originals using the same tools and kinds of materials as before. The production run of these pieces is limited to 5000 each, all of wich are individually numbered. The retrieval of this toy's parts takes from one for four years. It starts with the election of the model to retrieve, the search and then the restoration of the slabs and dies and the creation of the pigments for the colors.


 02:28 AM - link

the new god

America is a religion
US leaders now see themselves as priests of a divine mission to rid the world of its demons

The explanation is wearing a little thin. Are we really expected to believe that the members of the US security services are the only people who cannot see that many Iraqis wish to rid themselves of the US army as fervently as they wished to rid themselves of Saddam Hussein? What is lacking in the Pentagon and the White House is not intelligence (or not, at any rate, of the kind we are considering here), but receptivity. Theirs is not a failure of information, but a failure of ideology.

To understand why this failure persists, we must first grasp a reality which has seldom been discussed in print. The United States is no longer just a nation. It is now a religion. Its soldiers have entered Iraq to liberate its people not only from their dictator, their oil and their sovereignty, but also from their darkness. As George Bush told his troops on the day he announced victory: "Wherever you go, you carry a message of hope - a message that is ancient and ever new. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, 'To the captives, "come out," and to those in darkness, "be free".'"

So American soldiers are no longer merely terrestrial combatants; they have become missionaries. They are no longer simply killing enemies; they are casting out demons. The people who reconstructed the faces of Uday and Qusay Hussein carelessly forgot to restore the pair of little horns on each brow, but the understanding that these were opponents from a different realm was transmitted nonetheless. Like all those who send missionaries abroad, the high priests of America cannot conceive that the infidels might resist through their own free will; if they refuse to convert, it is the work of the devil, in his current guise as the former dictator of Iraq.

 02:22 AM - link

pinhole photography

the photography of robert mann

Robert Mann shares with his viewers an experience rich in dreams and induces an exploration of the psyche. Robert is a master printer and uses pinhole cameras to achieve his ethereal photographs. The lensless pinhole camera has a way of suggesting objects rather than precisely representing them because of the particular quality the pinhole image gives. When this alternative technique is brought together with his themes and choice of subjects, Robert's photographs begin to breathe and become metaphoric environments. They are enigmas born to be deciphered by the viewer.


  thanks to Esthet

 02:15 AM - link

chemical weapons

This is an excellent interview with someone who actually knows something about chemical weapons.

Iraq and chemical weapons: a view from the inside
In both the United States and Britain, there is passionate contest over the legitimacy and honesty of government attempts to justify war with Iraq – especially claims of the existence of active Iraqi chemical weapons programmes. In an interview of profound insight, the man responsible for chemical weapons destruction operations in Iraq from 1991-94 talks to Anthony Barnett and Caspar Henderson of openDemocracy about the true extent of Iraq’s capacity to produce, store and deliver weapons of mass destruction.

openDemocracy: The British government’s assessment refers to intelligence findings that such processes were being revived – for, example at the Ibn Sina company at Tarmiyah, and at the al-Qa’qa’ complex south of Baghdad.

Ron Manley: It does. But the sites you mention were visited both by UN inspectors, immediately before the war and subsequently by the US military; neither found evidence that any production had taken place.

The point is that production of these materials on a large scale really is not something you can easily hide. You could hide the individual items of equipment or the raw materials in, say, Saddam’s massive palace complexes. But when you actually start to build a plant and manufacture chemical agents it’s a whole different story.

My view has been all along that they didn’t retain any militarily significant quantities of chemical weapons. A terrorist attack – the ability to fire the odd al-Hussein missile at Saudi Arabia, say – would be a different matter. They could probably have done that. I must admit I am amazed that they haven’t yet come across the odd CW-related item because I find it incredible that none of the programme was left.

 02:09 AM - link


The archives of Don Billie's show are up. Lots of wonderful old songs. It takes a lot of time and effort to put these shows on but I can't think of a better way to get musicians like Don to come and play in my living room. It's worth the effort. If any of my readers haven't checked out TestingTesting, they should. You know who you are.

 02:01 AM - link

  Monday   July 28   2003


It's Monday and time for another TestingTesting. Our special guest is Don Billie. Don collects old songs and will be bringing some of them to my living room for this webcast. These are songs from the 20s and 30s. The songs were great then and are still great now. The Internet famous TT House Band will be there with Derek, Joanne, Steve, Lisa, and Barton. We will be starting the show at 7pm (pacific). The TT website has the times for other time zones. Grab your friends, curl up on the floor in front of your computer, and click on in to an evening of living room music. If you enter your comments in the guestbook during the show, I'll read them to the performers.

 03:22 AM - link

bring them home now — alive!

Don't Extend Them & Don't Replace Them
Just Bring 'Em on Home Now!

I replied to every email, most perfunctorily, some at length. I skimmed at first, until I realized I had overlooked a letter from a woman whose son struggled for four years with post traumatic stress disorder before he took his own life. Not long after, his young wife did the same. This bereaved mother wrote to say thanks for giving her a voice. But it was she and others like her who are giving us a voice.

I made calls, and the people I called made calls, and within four days a small group of activist veterans and military families had formed a coordinating committee to figure out how we might find those other voices and amplify them. We bought a web domain, made more calls, wrote statements of purpose, developed outreach literature, conferred for two hours at a time on the phone from the west coast to the east. We did more organizing in two weeks than I have seen with most initiatives in six months. As the word has leaked out, we are getting phone calls and email. What is this thing you are doing? Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Citizen Soldier, and others --these dissident military communities have networks!

So we are going to give troops, their families, and critical veterans a voice. That's the reason-for-being of "Bring Them Home Now!" We are using our web site www.bringthemhomenow.org as a communications clearinghouse to publish the voices of military communities and to link them to the networks and resources they will need to organize themselves. When military families rebelled recently at Ft. Stewart, the brass didn't hesitate to issue veiled threats that criticizing the war might impact on their loved ones' careers. The brass will have no control over us, however, and those same people (mostly courageous women) will be able to say what they want, when they want, and we'll protect their identities if that's what they need. Through them, we will communicate with the troops in combat zones, whose recent public dissent brought a swift and clear injunction from the CENTCOM commander threatening retaliate with the full force of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Bush says "Bring 'em on." We say

BRING THEM HOME NOW! is a coordinating committee of military families, veterans, active duty personnel, reservists and others opposed to the ongoing war in Iraq and galvanized to action by George W. Bush's inane and reckless challenge to armed Iraqis resisting occupation to "Bring 'em on."

Our mission is to mobilize military families, veterans, and GIs themselves to demand: an end to the occupation of Iraq and other misguided military adventures; and an immediate return of all US troops to their home duty stations.

The truth is coming out. The American public was deceived by the Bush administration about the motivation for and intent of the invasion of Iraq. It is equally apparent that the administration is stubbornly and incompetently adhering to a destructive course. Many Americans do not want our troops there. Many military families do not want our troops there. Many troops themselves do not want to be there. The overwhelming majority of Iraqis do not want US troops there.

Our troops are embroiled in a regional quagmire largely of our own government's making. These military actions are not perceived as liberations, but as occupations, and our troops are now subject to daily attacks. Meanwhile, without a clear mission, they are living in conditions of relentless austerity and hardship. At home, their families are forced to endure extended separations and ongoing uncertainty.

I'm a former Army Nurse – served stateside after college from 1977-1980. Also, my eldest brother was a Vietnam KIA, an Army helicopter pilot shot down in '69 near Pleiku. I only began finding out about Bush's AWOL/desertion from the Internet after this war started & am outraged our major news organizations have deliberately kept Americans in the dark concerning the truth about Bush's military service record. It's unconscionable to me and my family that this nation has the abomination of a military deserter in the position of Commander In Chief and as such, this shameless liar and hypocrite so enthusiastically sends other Americans into harm's way, then has the astounding gall to exploit the military with these galling propaganda "photo ops" and lofty speeches about duty, honor, commitment, and sacrifice. This is the biggest sham I've seen yet from a politician and our media, especially broadcast, are his greatest shills. The Watergate scandal pales in comparison -- at least Watergate didn't kill anyone nor did it exploit those serving in the military.

San Jose

We ARE losing this war....It was lost before we ever started because we went there for oil and the whole world knows it. Instead of the opinions of "We the people" counting anymore, its "We the Pentagon" or "We the Corporations of America" carrying all the weight with government.

As a rifle platoon sergeant with Delta Company 1- 7th Cav 1st Air Cav Div in Vietnam I understand clearly how those who have never been in combat can be so cavalier with other people lives.


I was in the Cav at LZ Dog, across from English in '67. Got shot down in the An Loa, and other adventures! 157 of my friends are on that black wall. I'm 60% officially screwed up.

My son is in the Seabees and several of his friends have been killed in Iraq.

When I saw Bush make that ["Bring 'em on"] comment I wanted to wring his fucking neck with my bare hands.

Lakeview, OR


 03:10 AM - link


Edward Burtynsky

Nature transformed through industry is a predominate theme in my work. I set course to intersect with a contemporary view of the great ages of man; from stone, to minerals, oil, transportation, silicon, and so on. To make these ideas visible I search for subjects that are rich in detail and scale yet open in their meaning. Recycling yards, mine tailings, quarries and refineries are all places that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis.

These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire - a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.

Three Gorges Dam Project, Wushan #5,
Yangtze River, China 2002


  thanks to amberglow

 02:48 AM - link


Mike Golby, Our Man from Africa, has a post that is a must read — with many links. Hold on to your socks.

Paradise Lost?

US Threat to Africa Grows

Liberia and São Tomé paint the forward path

“We import fifty per cent of our oil. Supplier number one is Canada, two is Saudi Arabia, three is Venezuela, four is Mexico, and five is Nigeria. Folks have finally figured out that we don’t need to rely on the Middle East for oil. African oil is less sticky than the stuff you get in the Middle East, and much of it is in deep water far offshore, so the natives don’t notice it being taken, whereas in the Middle East it’s pumped out of the ground under the noses of Wahhabi fundamentalists. Then you have São Tomé, which is basically the only stable democracy in West Africa. It’s perfect.”
US State Department official


 02:40 AM - link

digital images

Image Savant

Image Savant is a fine art studio located in Hollywood, California, owned and operated by me, Richard "dr." Baily. My primary focus is digital fx animation, but occasionally I compose music, paint, and write.

SPORE is an ongoing software/aesthetic development project that has grown out of a proprietary ultra-high speed particle renderer which runs on Irix, Linux, and OSX. All the images on page 1 and 2 are stills from animations, and some of these stills are constructed with over 1 billion particles.


  thanks to dublog

 02:31 AM - link

letter from america

The power of a phrase
by Alistair Cooke

Listening the other evening to the President of the United States telling us with his roguish smile: "There's no need to doubt the authenticity of the 'uranium from Africa' phrase - it was authenticated by British intelligence, wasn't it?"

The head of the CIA believed it, George W Bush believed in it and believes in the CIA. No problem, huh?

I yearned for Mr Bush to recall and emulate one Fiorella La Guardia, who for 10 years before and into the Second World War was Mayor of New York city.

A cocky, militant, deadly honest reform mayor, who called corrupt politicians by name and jailed the most untouchable gangsters in the country.

He was a hurricane of a clean sweep and those of us who lived through him will never forget him.

But in his headlong style he made mistakes - he never covered them up or explained them away.

So I yearned for Mr Bush to recall and repeat a famous line of Mayor La Guardia. It was this. "I seldom make a mistake but when I do, it's a beaut."

 02:28 AM - link

they're watching!


Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, New York :
Imagery Collected August 2, 2002


  thanks to dublog

 02:20 AM - link

  Sunday   July 27   2003

tour de france

Number 5.
Allez, Lance!

Lance Armstrong Wins Fifth-Straight Tour de France

Aglow in the yellow jersey of the Tour de France's leader, Lance Armstrong rolled into Paris today and for the fifth successive year accepted all the honors and tributes of the race's winner.

This was a somewhat different Armstrong, however. Unlike the champion of the previous four years, he seemed weary physically and emotionally. ``Humbled,'' is the way he put it this morning on the train relaying the 147 remaining riders from Nantes to the start of the 20th and final daily stage outside Paris.

``I came into this race very confident I'd win,'' he said, ``but I won't be so confident before next year's Tour.''

As a victory speech, that lacked his customary bravado.

He joined just four others - Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain - as champions who have won the Tour five times. Only Indurain had won it five times consecutively before Armstrong sealed his victory on Saturday in a long individual time trial when he increased his lead over his remaining rival, Jan Ullrich, who crashed on rain-slick roads.

Armstrong eyes history

Armstrong finished third in Saturday's time trial 19th stage to increase his lead over Jan Ullrich to 76 seconds with just one stage remaining.

And he then revealed he will now attempt to become the only man to win six Tours.

"I'll be back next year, and I'm not coming back to get second or to lose," he said.

 12:30 PM - link

boring family stuff

I went throught some more boxes and found another treasure. These pictures of my kids were taken by a friend, Charlotte Casey, who is no longer with us. The year was 1982. Robby was a newborn, Katie was 2, and Jenny was 3 1/2. Robby just turned 21. There are some scanner portraits of the kids I took last year.




 02:15 AM - link


Eshcaton has a lot to say about the Congressional report and Max Cleland. In ascending order:

Dana Priest Pays Attention To What's In and Not In That 9/11 Report

That 9/11 Report; Is Anyone Paying Attention

Does It Get Any More Anguishing Than This?

The Wrath Of Max Cleland

Regarding that Iraq-al-Qaida Link Not In The 9/11 Report

 02:03 AM - link


Lofoten - Photogalerie

Die Bilder sind in den Sommern 1987/91/99, in den Wintern 2001/02 und im Herbst 2002 entstanden. Sie zeigen meine persönliche Sicht dieser faszinierenden Inselwelt.


  thanks to dublog

 01:51 AM - link


Oil groups snub US on Iraq deals
  thanks to The Agonist

Senator denounces reconstruction effort
  thanks to Body and Soul

Now it's right war, wrong reason
  thanks to follow me here...

Guerilla war intensifies

5 U.S. troops killed in Iraq attacks

 01:46 AM - link


The Secret of the Black Paintings

Venerated as the first modern artist, Francisco Goya produced nothing more abrasively modern than the series of 14 images known as the Black Paintings, which a half-century after his death were cut from the walls of his country house on the outskirts of Madrid. Even today, when you come upon them in the sanitized confines of the Prado Museum, these nightmarish visions can unmoor you. An ancient crone grins ghoulishly over a bowl of food; a demonic figure whispers in the ear of a stooped old man; a midnight coven surrounds a goat-headed sorcerer; a dog raises its head forlornly; and, most famous of all, a raggedy-bearded man with bulging eyes devours a human form that is already reduced to red meat. Of this last iconic image -- called ''Saturn,'' after the Titan who ate his children -- the art historian Fred Licht has written that it is as ''essential to our understanding of the human condition in modern times'' as Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling is to our grasp of the 16th century.

So it made perfect sense that Scala Publishers, which specializes in art books and museum catalogs, would commission a book on Goya's Black Paintings. To write it, the editor, Antony White, signed up Juan Jose Junquera, a professor of art history at Complutense University in Madrid who is best known for his studies of 18th-century Spanish furnishings. A burly, gray-haired man, Junquera, 60, has made a career of tunneling through the labyrinthine Spanish archives. During the eight years that he researched his doctoral thesis, on the art of the court of Goya's royal patron, Charles IV, he spent five hours every weekday morning in the archives. ''It is amusing,'' he says. ''You can touch everyday life. Their way of eating, their way of dressing, their way of thinking -- their whole life is before your eyes.'' Having taken on the subject of Goya's Black Paintings, Junquera proceeded to scrutinize the documentary record. Before long, he realized that he had a problem.


 01:40 AM - link


Experts at US Conference on Global Warming Say Bush's Position ‘Ludicrous'

President Bush and his advisers maintain that reducing emissions through costly near-term measures is unjustified. The White House argues that forecasting climate change is too imprecise to agree to long-term, international, mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

“It is only imprecise if you choose to consider what I would describe as fringe science,” Bradley told AP. “Politicians are always faced with making decisions in the face of uncertainty, but I think the uncertainty over this issue is relatively low.”

Bradley co-authored a study of tree rings and ice cores that determined 10 of the hottest years globally over the past 600 years have come since 1990 — the hottest in 1998.

“We need to put our present state in perspective for politicians and others who are not yet convinced things need to be taken seriously,” he said in a speech Thursday.

 01:31 AM - link


Le Mont St-Michel


  thanks to plep

 01:29 AM - link

Behind the Hudna Scenes
by Ran HaCohen

The Hudna is not a new idea: the Palestinians and Egypt have suggested it several times before. Whenever the Palestinians came close to signing it, the Israeli army initiated a major escalation – usually an assassination with extensive "collateral damage". Last year, when Israel's President Moshe Katzav asked to go to Jordan to discuss a Hudna initiative, PM Sharon vetoed his trip.

This time, even the Israeli assassination attempt of Hamas leader Rantisi failed to do the trick: the Hudna is a fact, and, given the masses on the streets, a paper signed between the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Islamic Jihad seems to give Israelis much more security than one of the strongest armies on earth has been able to. Following years in which Israel did its best to pulverize the Palestinians physically, politically and institutionally, one is astonished by the almost absolute obedience to the Hudna on the Palestinian side.

The truth should be said: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is far from ending. The parties' visions and expectations are incommensurable. In the long term, the Palestinians expect the evacuation of Israeli settlements; Sharon – take my word for it – will never dismantle a single settlement, and won't even freeze settlement activity; he says it over and over again. But even in the short term, the Palestinians expect the release of all Palestinian detainees, whom they consider prisoners of war; Israel, though it often also claims "there is a war going on" in the territories, might release some 300 detainees: just 5% of the 6.000 Palestinians arrested in Israel, and probably less than the number of those arrested in the past few weeks alone. And even this symbolic release has been postponed over and over again. Add to it new Israeli provocations, like opening the Temple Mount for Jewish zealots to visit, and you don't have to be a prophet to see that peace is not where we are going to.

Jenin, Jenin

I just saw the documentary, Jenin, Jenin, about the Israeli attack on the Jenin refugee camp in April 2002.

From the website of the film:

Award-winning documentary film "Jenin Jenin" exposes Israel’s war crimes and consistent policy of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people.

Harsh words? Overstated? All I can say is watch the film. Jenin was a small city. People had built homes there, some had been there for decades. It was a CIVILIAN refugee camp. The Israeli military did their absolute best to level it. Missiles, bombs, tanks, they killed anything that moved including children, dragged men out of their homes and shot them, forced women to strip naked, ran over corpses with tanks to destroy the evidence.

One man said, we can take most anything, but when a child who has been shot in the chest dies in your arms because no ambulance will come and you can't take them to a hospital because they will shoot you if you go outside, and the U.N. and the Arab Nations do nothing - it is too terrible to bear. But bear it they do, and they survive. And then fight back. Wouldn't you?

 01:23 AM - link


Burgers 'n Fries

What can be more American than mom and apple pie? Well, for many hungry Americans the answer is our classical favorite: burgers and fries. Unlike some other famous pairs in American history, such as Abbott and Costello, Lewis and Clark, Donnie and Marie, and Simon and Garfunkel, burgers and fries marched forward across the Millennium frontier and into the 21st Century with just as strong a following as ever. Whether served with cheese, lettuce, tomato, "hold the onion", pickles, ketchup, mayonnaise, or mustard, we know where the beef is: between two slices of fresh bun and next to an extra large order of crispy golden fries.

Wheat Kernel Stained Thin Section


 01:04 AM - link

the california recall and another nail in the coffin of democracy

Recall Madness

This unprecedented recall election is not actually about Davis vs. Issa/Schwartzenegger/Simon or somebody better. It's about whether it is acceptable that some rich guy finances a petition drive (with paid signature gatherers) in order to overturn an undisputed legal election so that he might get himself (or somebody else) elected with far fewer votes instead. It's of a piece with some other nasty political shenannigans we've seen recently --- like impeachment over a blowjob, refusing to count legal votes in Florida and redistricting whenever you get enough votes to do it. These things are chipping away at our system in ways that can potentially cause disaster in the not too distant future. When you start screwing with the actual levers of democracy --- the predictablity of elections, the integrity of the electoral system and a universal acceptance of the results, you have a big problem on your hands.

This is not the theoretical "oh what's the use" kind of common griping about how politics are making people apathetic. This is the actual, literal manipulation of the electoral system. The principle that "the guy who gets the most votes wins the office for a set term" is really becoming subject to debate.

  thanks to Eschaton

Out of Their Cages
by Maureen Dowd

On the surface, the recall is so complicated that even those who are in charge seem bumfuzzled. John Burton, the State Senate president pro tem, said he had never even heard of the Commission on the Governorship until he learned he might have to convene it this week. But like all California epics, this one revolves around two things: cars and money.

Years ago, Darrell Issa, the right-wing millionaire congressman from San Diego who bankrolled the recall drive, was arrested twice on car theft charges. He ended up making his $100 million fortune developing the Viper alarm system, in which his own voice warns thieves to "please step away from the car." Now he is trying to hot-wire the political system and speed away with the governorship.

"The recall provision was created to get rid of governors guilty of malfeasance — not so malfeasers could put themselves into office," sniffs Chris Lehane, a Gray Davis recall adviser.

 12:58 AM - link


Chance Encounters: The LA Project

Douglas McCulloh wandered across the 1,287.75 square miles of urban Los Angeles, randomly photographing life in L.A. Chance Encounters: The LA Project took over six years to complete. Each day Douglas would draw a slip of paper that selected a coordinate on a 5,151 grid map of urban L.A., then drive there and spend all day photographing.

This Virtual Gallery has a selection of photographs from Chance Encounters: The LA Project. Like the project itself, random chance selects a photo, and therefore some may repeat as you click on the “Chance Encounter” button or reload the page. By clicking on the photograph a caption will be displayed.

I slipped into the guarded, gated community of the Palos Verdes Peninsula by hiking up a wooded ravine and ascending a horse trail. For a time on the private streets, the only sounds were of birds and the distant hum of muffled pool pumps. I passed a woman coaching a girl on a small bicycle with training wheels. The street ended at long gated drivers flagged with signs of armed response. “There comes that man again,” said the child as I returned, and the mother hustled her out of sight along a curved driveway. As I photographed trees and clouds reflected in a car, a woman with a small dog on a short leash gave me a wide berth.

  thanks to Esthet

 12:54 AM - link

dean, reporters, and the internet

What does it mean for a politician to "use the Internet?" A website used to be bleeding edge and then you needed to have a blog. Well, Dean is using the internet as an attack tool to keep from getting Gored.

Dean Defense Forces: Lobbing E-mail at the Enemy

When Dotty Lynch, CBS's senior political editor, wrote a column criticizing Howard Dean on foreign policy, she was deluged with e-mails defending the Democratic presidential candidate, often in similar language.

"They were all rather insulting: 'Why don't you do your research?' " Lynch says. "When anything's orchestrated, you sort of smell a rat."

The letters were indeed generated by Dean Defense Forces, a volunteer outfit affiliated with the doctor's campaign. Day after day, the DDF Web log, which is linked to Dean's official site, hammers reporters deemed critical of Dean and urges its followers to flood the in-boxes of offending journalists.

Howie calls it defense, but I think he's wrong. No matter how nonchalantly the reporters may seem here, they don't like letters criticizing their reporting. They don't like the idea of organized groups watching their stories and looking fro any error. It makes reporters cautious in how they write. The last thing they want is an editor or board member asking if there is an anti-Dean bias.

 12:48 AM - link


Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls

Stanford's Dime Novel and Story Paper Collection consists of over 8,000 individual items, and includes long runs of the major dime novel series (Frank Leslie's Boys of America, Happy Days, Beadle's New York Dime Library, etc.) and equally strong holdings of story papers like the New York Ledger and Saturday Night.

Both genres flourished from the middle to the close of the 19th century in America and England (where the novels were known as "penny dreadfuls"), and benefited from three mutually reinforcing trends: the vastly increased mechanization of printing, the growth of efficient rail and canal shipping, and ever-growing rates of literacy.

The dime novels were aimed at youthful, working-class audiences and distributed in massive editions at newsstands and dry goods stores. Though the phrase conjures up stereotyped yarns of Wild West adventure, complete with lurid cover illustration, many other genres were represented: tales of urban outlaws, detective stories, working-girl narratives of virtue defended, and costume romances.


  thanks to dublog

 12:39 AM - link

america — the ex-democracy

Why I Am Leaving This Country:
Daniel Pipes and the Failure of Democracy in America

It is instructive to know how the wonderful democracy that the U.S. is exporting through its own very real WMD’s actually works. There are worse governments than the US “democracy,” but surely there are better ones, and US “democracy” is not worth exporting or imposing on anyone except the most desperate.

It is necessary to give the context to my small, modest insight into the reality of American democracy.

It has to do with Dr. Daniel Pipes.

Dr. Daniel Pipes is a rather belligerent fellow who has been wonderfully successful in intimidating the vast majority of US professors into near total silence despite: (1) two major wars that are getting progressively worse (from the official US viewpoint), (2) a threatened nuclear war with North Korea that has the potential of killing us all, down to the cockroaches that have amazing resilience to radiation, and (3) a domestic economic crisis spinning out of control thanks to the insane quest for world dominance and the maniacal looting of the US by the chums of Bush, the First and Bush, the Second.

The case of such a gem of free enterprise as B2's “Kenny Boy” Lay of Enron infamy comes readily to mind, but you could point to a great number of other pirates of gangster capitalism who have, quite simply, cheated the American people out of life savings or merely stolen a big chunk of their retirement money.

So one might suspect that all is not well. Indeed.

 12:28 AM - link

penis prognostication

Lingam Gnosis:
The Ancient Art of Penis Reading
By Yoni Passionata

Forget palmistry, everything you need to know about your man is written on his cock. Tell your friends and lovers to whip íem out, then let them sit back and prepare to be amazed. Lingam gnosis is here and it beats the crap out of reading tea-leaves.

About Lingam Gnosis
Lingam gnosis is based on the belief that all penises fall into one of four broad essential categories, or types fire, air, earth and water. Most commonly, however, penises are a combination of two or more of these types.


  thanks to plep

 12:22 AM - link

election 2000 — never forget!

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: Part II
Silence of the Media Lambs: The Unreported Story of How They Fixed the Vote in Florida
by Greg Palast

But if profit lust is the ultimate problem blocking significant investigative reportage, the more immediate cause of comatose coverage of the election and other issues is what is laughably called America’s “journalistic culture.” If the Rupert Murdochs of the globe are shepherds of the New World Order, they owe their success to breeding a fiock of docile sheep -- snoozy editors and reporters content to munch on, digest, then reprint a diet of press releases and canned stories provided by government and corporate public-relations operations.

Take this story of the list of Florida’s faux felons that cost Al Gore the presidential election. Shortly after the U.K. story hit the World Wide Web, I was contacted by a CBS TV network news producer eager to run a version of the story. The CBS hotshot was happy to pump me for information: names, phone numbers, all the items one needs for your typical quickie TV news report. I freely offered up to CBS this information: The office of the governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, brother of the Republican presidential candidate, had illegally ordered the removal of the names of felons from voter rolls -- real felons who had served time but obtained clemency, with the right to vote under Florida law. As a result, another 40,000 legal voters (in addition to the 57,700 on the purge list), almost all of them Democrats, could not vote.

The only problem with this new hot info is that I was still in the midst of investigating it. Therefore, CBS would have to do some actual work -- reviewing documents and law, obtaining statements.

The next day I received a call from the producer, who said, “I’m sorry, but your story didn’t hold up.” And how do you think the multibillion-dollar CBS network determined this? Answer: “We called Jeb Bush’s office.” Oh.

 12:07 AM - link