Weblog Archives




  Saturday   September 15   2001

One way to beat the bombers

It won't be easy. It truly feels -- pardon this cultural reference -- like a genie you can't stuff back in the bottle. You can't hunt it down because no country is its home; its home is despair, delusion and faith in values such as cosmic war and an afterlife. You can't "make them pay"; they're already dead. You can't threaten their families and communities; that's what started the cycle. But if you can't destroy it, you can try to defuse it.

By that, I mean deprive it of the soil it lives in. Take a precursor: Japan's kamikaze pilots during the Second World War. They were dependent on the emperor's blessing, their nation's applause, its mythology etc. Remove that and it would have been hard to find candidates. Today's soil is the despair and sense of injustice in places such as the Mideast. Communities have been created that laud these gestures, as one sees at Palestinian funerals. "Terrorism experts say the approval of the community is an important reason why terrorists do what they do," wrote Marcus Gee. You defuse this by eliminating the worst cases of wretchedness that sustain it. An obvious example, since Palestine has been a tinderbox of religious terror, and the Israeli occupation has been the tinderbox of the tinderbox, would be to end the occupation and hand those lands back to Palestinians. It would be hard, because of the settlers, but it would eliminate the tinderbox. A similar case would involve ending sanctions against Iraq that have led, the UN says, to the death of a million children.

The fanatics themselves wouldn't vanish. And fanaticism itself may be a human perennial. But there would be massive relief among huge numbers who yearn mainly to live decent, unharassed lives. The despair, mania and hate that sustain the fanatics would largely be withdrawn.

Would this mean "giving in to terrorism"? No, it would be a strategy to cut off its oxygen. It would also be the right thing to do, but think of that as merely collateral damage.

[read more]

[letter in the Globe and Mail, September 12]
"Ironically, it is the citizens of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, who can best empathize with New Yorkers and other Americans horrified by the terrorist attacks on their city. During the 72 days of terrorist bombing by NATO to force the Yugoslavian to sign the hated Rambouillet accords, an American plane sent a rocket into the top of the tall office building housing the offices of the governing socialist party. Shortly afterward, a second plane sent a rocket into the base of the building, where firefighters and rescue workers were gathered."

both thanks to wood s lot

 11:15 AM - link

The bigger they come the harder they fall

All we will be able to allege will be the “hospitality” or “ambiguity” shown by some governments to shadowy figures who flit in and out of their territories. The IRA, for instance, flitting in and out of America and raising funds. Shall we bomb Washington? Should we bomb Dublin? Should white supremacist South Africa have bombed London when black freedom fighters with bases here killed innocent people there? We have got a cheek — have we not? — to declare (as has this and other newspapers) that the Americans should “make no distinction between the perpetrators of a terrorist atrocity and the government which gives it shelter”. London and the capitals of Europe offer some of the world’s best havens for terrorists and freedom-fighters seeking neutral countries from which to hatch their campaigns.

thanks to Scripting News

 09:34 AM - link

History repeats itself again.

"American Planes Hit North Vietnam After Second Attack on Our Destroyers; Move Taken to Halt New Aggression", announced a Washington Post headline on Aug. 5, 1964.

This was quickly followed by much flag waving, calls to bomb them back to the stone age, and an open checkbook for President Johnson which led us down that slippery slope called Vietnam.

Now we have the World Trade Center. Followed by much flag waving, calls to bomb them back to the stone age, and a fat checkbook for Shrub.

This Is War

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war.

Time to use the nuclear option

At a bare minimum, tactical nuclear capabilites should be used against the bin Laden camps in the desert of Afghanistan. To do less would be rightly seen by the poisoned minds that orchestrated these attacks as cowardice on the part of the United States and the current administration.

Congress OKs Use of Force

Congress voted overwhelmingly Friday to grant President Bush authority "to use all necessary and appropriate force" against those behind Tuesday's devastating terrorist attacks, part of a burst of activity as the nation's capital focused on mobilization as well as mourning.

I see the same arrogance coupled with an almost complete lack of understanding of what this will mean. How many people even know where Afghanistan is? Given Shrub's not so keen reputation for International affairs, I'm sure someone had to point it out to him. And he probably doesn't remember that these little brown men kicked the Russian's collective ass.

Do any of these people who want to bomb them back into the stone age have any understanding of what that means?

An Afghan-American speaks
You can't bomb us back into the Stone Age. We're already there. But you can start a new world war, and that's exactly what Osama bin Laden wants.

But the Taliban and bin Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats' nest of international thugs holed up in their country.

Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering. A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan -- a country with no economy, no food. There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban.

So what else is there? What can be done, then? Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin Laden is to go in there with ground troops. When people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" they're thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about killing innocent people. Let's pull our heads out of the sand. What's actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that, folks. Because to get any troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through Pakistan. Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will other Muslim nations just stand by? You see where I'm going. We're flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.

And guess what: That's bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants. That's why he did this

Retaliation is trickier than Afghan terrain

Invading or occupying the country would prove difficult - Afghanistan is a rugged land whose fighters have defeated the imperial ambitions of several invading armies, including the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Any large military operation against Afghanistan would require the help of neighboring Pakistan, whose military intelligence service helped to create and train the Taliban. This critical connection is one reason why US diplomats have been working overtime, huddling with Pakistani officials yesterday and the day before to gain firm commitments of support.

Maybe all this call to war is because we haven't had a real war since Vietnam. Our illegal invasion of Panama hardly counts. The Gulf War, as presented in the media, was a video game but those that were there might say something different. But, in the end, the Gulf War was a turkey shoot. Bombing Yugoslavia wasn't a real war either.

Anyone who wants to bomb them back to the stone age should first go to the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington D.C. and read all 58,226 names aloud.

The next time the number will be much larger and we will have less to show for it.

 02:03 AM - link

  Friday   September 14   2001

A World Out of Touch With Itself
Where the Violence Comes From
by Rabbi Michael Lerner

We may tell ourselves that the current violence has "nothing to do" with the way that we've learned to close our ears when told that one out of every three people on this planet does not have enough food, and that one billion are literally starving. We may reassure ourselves that the hoarding of the world's resources by the richest society in world history, and our frantic attempts to accelerate globalization with its attendant inequalities of wealth, has nothing to do with the resentment that others feel toward us. We may tell ourselves that the suffering of refugees and the oppressed have nothing to do with us—that that's a different story that is going on somewhere else. But we live in one world, increasingly interconnected with everyone, and the forces that lead people to feel outrage, anger, and desperation eventually impact on our own daily lives.

The same inability to feel the pain of others is the pathology that shapes the minds of these terrorists. Raise children in circumstances where no one is there to take care of them, or where they must live by begging or selling their bodies in prostitution, put them in refugee camps and tell them that that they have "no right of return" to their homes, treat them as though they are less valuable and deserving of respect because they are part of some despised national or ethnic group, surround them with a media that extols the rich and makes everyone who is not economically successful and physically trim and conventionally "beautiful" feel bad about themselves, offer them jobs whose sole goal is to enrich the "bottom line" of someone else, and teach them that "looking out for number one" is the only thing anyone "really" cares about and that anyone who believes in love and social justice are merely naive idealists who are destined to always remain powerless, and you will produce a world-wide population of people feeling depressed, angry, unable to care about others, and in various ways dysfunctional.
[read more]

thanks to wood s lot

 11:08 AM - link

An article I read yesterday (I don't remember where) pointed out how much of the news is being generated by non-news sources. Private citizens with video cameras and cell phones have changed how we find out about events.

The corporate news centers are now focused on manufacturing consent for war. You are not hearing any opposing views on TV or in the newspapers. But there are opposing voices. And, unlike during the Gulf War, there are other ways for those voices to be heard. The Internet has given the ability to end run the corporate voice to the individual citizen. E-mail is a way for people to communicate directly. Web logs are a way to collect and disseminate the alternative voices.

My dad used to say, much to my mother's dismay, "'Every little bit helps', said the old lady who peed into the sea." This web log is my way of peeing into the sea of corporate insanity. Citizenship in this country requires more than going to the polling booth every four years and more than sitting in front of a big screen TV, drinking Bud Light, and yelling "Nuke the rag heads!" (I know people who actually did that, I'm ashamed to say.) It requires action. This is one way for me to act.

The picture on top of this page has a picture of me flashing a peace sign. It was done light heartedly, at the time. I even thought recently of updating that picture. I'm glad it's still there. Peace is now very serious business. Our survival depends on it.

I lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Civil Rights Movement, the assassination of JFK, the terrible year of 1968 with the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, and the whole madness of Vietnam. What is happening now is getting much scarier. And, with what is happening now, I have never been more convinced that pacifism is the only way out. Pacifism doesn't mean doing nothing. Martin Luther King and Gandhi were pacifists and look at how they changed the world. We are not Kings or Gandhis but, as my dad would say, "Every little bit helps."

On the left column is a list of web logs that are also offering other voices. Please read them too.

As a great 20th century philosopher once said:

Give peace a chance. - John Lennon

 09:55 AM - link

  Thursday   September 13   2001

US proposes, Pak disposes

Pakistan on Thursday turned down a US request for deployment of US special forces on its soil, the Washington Post quoted senior Pakistani officials in Islamabad.

India will help if US strikes

India has offered all operational help to the United States in the almost inevitable event of Washington mounting a strike against the Ground Zero of terrorism, now widely identified as the area between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

thanks to Red Rock Eater Digest

Paksitan and India both have nuclear weapons. They don't like each other. This could destabilize everything.

I remember sitting in a car in a parking lot at the University of Washington and listening to the announcement of the Cuban Missile Crisis. I was afraid. I am more afraid now. This must stop.

 05:27 PM - link

The insanity builds.

U.S. military will retaliate

The United States will launch sustained military strikes against those behind the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington as well as their support systems, a senior Pentagon official said Thursday.

In the most explicit description yet of the Bush administration's intentions, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said the military retaliation would continue until the roots of terrorism are destroyed.

"One has to say it's not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems, ending states who sponsor terrorism," he told a news conference in a Pentagon briefing room that still smelled of smoke and soot.

Don't they realize that this country is the the root of the terrorism? Don't they realize that we are only escalating terrorism? This is madness. This isn't a fucking Rambo movie.

Eagleburger calls for sustained war

Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger called Thursday for a sustained war against terrorist groups and their supporters.

"If we think we can kill a few people and leave the scene, we are crazy," Eagleburger said in a telephone interview from his home in Charlottesville, Va.

"If they are active in terrorism, then we must do everything we can to wipe them off the face of the earth," he said.

The Bush administration should think hard about punishing Iraq, probably Syria and possibly Iran, Eagleburger said. And, he said, Saudi Arabia is "much too tolerant" of terrorists.

"We need to start demanding cooperation," he said.

Do these people think we can fight the entire Arab world? This Rambo arrogance is scarier than *anything* Osama bin Laden could ever do.

 05:05 PM - link

War talk begins in Congress

"I say, bomb the hell out of them," Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga., said Wednesday. "If there's collateral damage, so be it. They certainly found our civilians to be expendable."

Well, folks, here we go. I just want to know one thing. How does our killing their civilians (which, by the way, we have been doing for years) make us any different from the mad men that flew into the World Trade Center?

Here is the song of the day. One of those timeless numbers that keeps coming back. All it takes is a few simple word substitutions to bring it up-to-date. It isn't hard to figure out what those might be.

Yeah, come on all of you, big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He's got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We're gonna have a whole lotta fun.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

Well, come on generals, let's move fast;
Your big chance has come at last.
Gotta go out and get those reds —
The only good commie is the one who's dead
And you know that peace can only be won
When we've blown 'em all to kingdom come.

Well, come on mothers throughout the land,
Pack your boys off to Vietnam.
Come on fathers, don't hesitate,
Send 'em off before it's too late.
Be the first one on your block
To have your boy come home in a box.

There's more. But you get the idea.

 01:20 PM - link

Concrete, Steel, blood.

Despite what any "news pundits" say to the contrary, New York's Financial District will be closed until Spring, at the earliest. The devastation to infrastructure and the surrounding neighborhoods is complete and utter. Once the search for victims is ended (which by itself will take weeks), then all surrounding structures have to be checked. Many will have to be demolished.

thanks to Scripting News

 12:55 PM - link

Blinded by scandal
Obsessed with sharks and Gary Condit, the media, like the White House, missed earlier warnings about possible terrorist attacks at home.
By Arianna Huffington

 12:46 PM - link

elegant hack posted a link to Infographics of the WTC

One of the best infographic descriptions was from the Seattle PI:
Damage to the Financial District

It's a 362kb PDF file.

 12:11 PM - link

They can't see why they are hated
Americans cannot ignore what their government does abroad

As Mahatma Gandhi famously remarked when asked his opinion of western civilisation, it would be a good idea. Since George Bush's father inaugurated his new world order a decade ago, the US, supported by its British ally, bestrides the world like a colossus. Unconstrained by any superpower rival or system of global governance, the US giant has rewritten the global financial and trading system in its own interest; ripped up a string of treaties it finds inconvenient; sent troops to every corner of the globe; bombed Afghanistan, Sudan, Yugoslavia and Iraq without troubling the United Nations; maintained a string of murderous embargos against recalcitrant regimes; and recklessly thrown its weight behind Israel's 34-year illegal military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza as the Palestinian intifada rages.

Already, the Bush administration is assembling an international coalition for an Israeli-style war against terrorism, as if such counter-productive acts of outrage had an existence separate from the social conditions out of which they arise. But for every "terror network" that is rooted out, another will emerge - until the injustices and inequalities that produce them are addressed.

thanks to Scripting News

 08:37 AM - link

  Wednesday   September 12   2001

Analysis: Terrorism - the new form of warfare

Ever since the Romans built Hadrians Wall, the attempt to protect the heartlands of Empires from determined aggressors have been doomed to failure. The barbarian hordes have simply outflanked the powerful citadels that they could not storm, and opened another front – against which there is no defence.

When Osama Bin Laden earlier plotted to bomb the World Trade Centre, the US bombed his encampment.

The reprisals failed spectacularly, simply demonstrating the impotence of conventional military forces.

He escaped unscathed; if anything, he grew in stature because of the raid. If he is behind either of these spectacular blasts, it shows conclusively how the balance of power is changing.

The overwhelming might of America has failed to protect its citizens, and no reprisal can change that fact.

In the past fifty years, the stratagems of the guerrilla fighter have moved from the periphery to the mainstream of conflict. Finding themselves unable to defeat regular forces on the field of battle, resistance fighters turned firstly to guerrilla war. Today, the weapons of the terrorist have become the tools of the dispossessed.

At a stroke, these explosions demonstrate our vulnerability. If simultaneous blasts can be contrived to hit both a building signalling the success of the interconnected world and the nerve centre of the US military command, it should act like a beacon warning us of the dangers ahead.
[read more]

thanks to The Liberal Arts Mafia

 11:44 AM - link


The War Comes Home

The war that the United States has been waging against the nonwhite peoples of the world for over half a century came home yesterday.

Nothing does, nothing can, justify the brutal terror attack that may have killed thousands of innocent civilians. It is a crime against humanity of the highest order, and the sympathies of all right-thinking people must be with the families of the victims.

But we must understand what led to it, and draw the right lessons from it, or as Santayana suggested, we may be condemned to relive it.

Let us not pretend that this was the only harvest in history that was never sown.
[read more]

(Sept. 13. I sent a note to Helen to keep the following commentary up. It needed to be read. Her reply:

Well, I appreciate that. Thanks for such kind words.

No, the editorial is not going away. I squished it
into a narrow column, and plan to leave it on the
front page for as long as it keeps bringing in email
from the brain-dead bomb-em-to-hell people. You
wouldn't *believe* my in-box this morning. Your's
are the first kind comments I've gotten all day...)

(It's on the left side of the page}

Helen Highwater, Unknown News

One thing I haven't seen, despite plenty of switching from network to network, is anyone taking five seconds to ask why.

Why are people willing to kill and even die to express their anger at America? What has America done to provoke such a suicidal rage, one might wonder. The answer, like the question, is nowhere to be found in America's media coverage.

I have a theory: People do not decide to hijack and crash planes, obliterate skyscrapers, attack the Pentagon, and kill themselves in the process, on a whim. My guess is that they do it because they're angry -- angry as hell, and because peaceful protest is not allowed, or is allowed but accomplishes nothing.

Terrorism does not arise in a vacuum. "Violence is the language of the unheard," Rev. Martin Luther King once said. Is there something unheard in all this rubble?

Of course, I'm smoking a pipe dream here, offering a strategy straight from LaLaLand. America will "retaliate," Americans will feel pretty darn good about it, and the president's approval ratings will shoot up higher than 110 storeys. It all goes without saying, just like the reasons for terrorism go without saying -- meaning literally that the reasons can never be seriously discussed.

The agony thousands of American families are going through this morning will be repeated -- first in an Arab nation, and then, soon, in America again. What goes around comes around. Again and again and again.
[read more]

both thanks to BookNotes

 09:28 AM - link


Kim's pictures of
World Trade Center

thanks to elegant hack

 08:37 AM - link

  Tuesday   September 11   2001

A message from Noah Grey that must be seen.

september 11, 2001
"an eye for an eye, and the whole world would be blind."—gandhi

 05:27 PM - link

The destruction of the World Trade Center is more than symbolic.

Robert Litan, director of economic studies, Brookings Institute

The World Trade Center is the home of American Express and Merrill Lynch. Morgan Stanley had a huge presence there, and Lehman Brothers is there. You have a bunch of other financial institutions there, including a number of foreign banks.

The only reason that I raise all this -- apart from the terrible tragedy to the people at those companies -- is that these are huge firms; they all have counterparts that they owe money to. When the markets open people are going to be calling and e-mailing to get their money. They're on the other sides of trades, whether it's derivatives or stock orders. They engage in billion and billions of dollars of financial transactions where they are supposed to ship money to people and people are supposed to ship money to them. The people that they owe money to are going to be worried about how they're going to get paid.

One assumes that they've got computer backup facilities. But if you're a counterpart to someone at American Express or Merrill Lynch or wherever, you may need a loan and you [don't] know whether or not you're going to get paid.

I'd have to say that it's worse than it appears.

 03:21 PM - link

 02:23 PM - link

  Monday   September 10   2001

Mariners reduce magic number to win AL West to two

Freddy Garcia threw a three-hit shutout for eight innings last night, helping the Mariners win their 104th game of the season, a 5-1 victory over the Anaheim Angels at Edison Field.

The best ever
Through 144 games

1906 Cubs 110-34 --
1909 Pirates 106-38 4 games back
2001 Mariners 104-40 6 games back
1904 Giants 104-40 6 games back
1954 Indians 104-40 6 games back

 11:26 PM - link

Texas Republicans Want Gramm Out, Hispanic In

I had decided not to link to this article since I had sort of run amok with links this weekend but Craig, at BookNotes, summarized this article, and the whole situation, so well that I include it so that I can quote Craig's comment:

Get this. The appointed, unelected President of the United States, George W. Bush, met with the appointed, unelected Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, about pressuring Phil Gramm to resign his senatorial seat early so they can appoint an unelected token hispanic republican to that seat. Still think America is a democracy?

 10:05 AM - link

This Modern World
George W. Bush - The president who finally managed to render satire obsolete!

 09:16 AM - link

Aliens, Bucketheads, and Polar Bears
A Walking Tour of Greg Brown's Trompe-l'Oeil Murals in Palo Alto, California

Periodical Historical Atlas of Europe
Depicting with accuracy the states of this continent every first day of each centennial year from AD 1 to AD 1700

thanks to Electrolite

 12:51 AM - link

  Sunday   September 9   2001

The ‘Accidental President’

These were always collegial meetings inside the Supreme Court. This time—over the course of two days, January 9 and 10—seven American justices participated, everyone but Souter and Thomas. The justices from the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation—Yuri Rudkin, Nikolai Seleznev, Oleg Tyunov, and Gennady Zhilin—were joined by judges from the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Dagestan and the Constitutional Supervision Committee of the Republic of Northern Ossetia-Alania. They all met in the Court’s private ceremonial conference rooms: for an informal reception, the blue-motif West Conference Room; for hours of discussions about law and American heritage, the rose-motif East Conference Room, with a portrait of the legendary 19th-century chief justice John Marshall above the fireplace.

But this year, the discussions weren’t about general topics such as due process or free expression or separation of powers. Some of the Russians wanted to know how Bush v. Gore had come to pass—how it was that somebody other than the electorate decided who ran the government. That was the kind of thing that gave Communism a bad name. “In our country,” a Russian justice said, bemused, “we wouldn’t let judges pick the president.” The justice added that he knew that, in various nations, judges were in the pocket of executive officials—he just didn’t know that was so in the United States. It was a supremely ironic moment.

thanks to the SmirkingChimp.com message board

 11:23 PM - link

Settling Scores
By Avishai Margalit

The term "settler" can be expressed by two different words in Hebrew: mitnachel and mityashev. Roughly, the first is one who possesses an inheritance, the second a dweller. The first term, inheritor, has a strong biblical connotation of Joshua's conquest of the land: "For you [Joshua] shall cause them to inherit the land" (Joshua 1:6). Indeed, this is the term the Israelis generally use in talking about the ideological religious settlers. But for a long time the Gush settlers felt offended by the term "inheritors" and wanted instead to be referred to in the same way as the old Labor Zionists, namely as dwellers. It was not just the Bible that they wanted to inherit, but the legacy of Labor Zionism; they wanted retroactively to participate in the drama of the past, and since they were living in populated Arab areas, the stage seemed set for them to do so.

The Middle East: Snakes & Ladders
By Avishai Margalit

As a boy I used to play the rather menacing game of Snakes and Ladders. The ladders, at least in the Israeli version, enabled you to skip rows on your way to heaven. Snakes brought you down to hell. At the top of the game board, just before you approached heaven, there were two successive snakes: a big snake that plunged you back to square one, and a small snake that tumbled you down a few rows but left open the possibility of going up a ladder to heaven.

In the complicated game of the Middle East, the ladders lead to peace and the snakes to violence and war. And it is just not clear whether the current Intifada is a big snake that brings us all back to the square one of relations that existed between Jews and Arabs in 1948, or a small snake that is a temporary setback with an optional ladder to peace up the road. We lack the historical perspective to judge. Yet it looks like a pretty big snake to me.

At the advanced ages of seventy-three and seventy-eight respectively, Sharon and Shimon Peres now run Israel. It is hard to tell which is the "moderate." At some stage they may try to revive the negotiations with Syria, but at the moment they have on their hands, not politics, but a feud, however vehemently each side may deny this. It has now led to Israeli bombing of Syrian targets in Lebanon and Palestinian Authority targets in Gaza, and if it goes on, I sense that the two Israeli leaders may try to get rid of Arafat. They might warn him first by attacking his lieutenants. When five members of Arafat's security guard were taken prisoner by Israeli forces on the West Bank at the beginning of April, this seemed to prefigure further attacks on the center of Palestinian power. Sharon and Peres may want to destroy Arafat's regime, reasoning that better the devil you don't know than the one you do. That is the kind of action that suggests itself when you don't deal with politics but pursue an endless cycle of revenge

 10:54 PM - link

M's complete sweep on Cal Ripken Jr. Day

Seattle (103-40) swept its 13th series of the season and remained on pace to match the Chicago Cubs major league record of 116 wins set in 1906. The Mariners' magic number to clinch the AL West is three.

Boone hit his 35th homer in the first inning, giving him 128 RBIs breaking the AL record for second baseman set by Detroit's Charlie Gehringer in 1934.

The Mariners won 6-1 and the beat goes on. All the rest of the games are with AL West rivals.

 08:03 PM - link

A Blast From The Past: Nuclear Madness Sweeps White House
by Arianna Huffington

To make the world safer.

That's the justification by the Bush administration for its missile defense shield. But, as is often the case with the Bushies, once they have a goal, they let no facts or logic stand in their way, even if they contradict the original motivation. So just how far is the White House willing to go to build support across the globe for its missile defense shield obsession? Further than any sane person would imagine.

thanks to follow me here...

 07:54 PM - link

Leading from the Center
Like stuffing toothpaste back in the tube

by Bryan Zepp Jamieson

The Democrats have been appeasing the appeasable and letting the far right determine the terms of debate for 25 years now, with the result that the political "center" is far to the right of any other developed nation on earth. In no other country is environmentalism equated to "liberalism". In no other country is it considered a bad idea to make sure that the guy buying a gun isn’t a raving psychotic, a serial bank robber, or a guy in a murderous rage because he caught his wife cheating on him. Religious fundamentalists aren’t taken seriously, but are, rightfully, dismissed as ignorant crackpots. The attitude on abortion is that if you don’t like abortion, don’t have one. No other work force in the developed world is arguing over the ability of the government to demand employers pay overtime for more than eight hours work in a single day, and no other developed country tolerates the notion that an employer can dictate your medical care and personal behavior when off the clock.

Democrats, by trying to appease the right, have let the country slide to the right of all but the most reactionary and backward places on earth.

Democrats are at a crossroads. They can either flutter their hands at the far right, which doesn’t take them seriously, and squeak, "boys!, boys!", or they can pick up some of those old, core, liberal principles that guided them and the country for over two centuries, and start leading again.

thanks to SmirkingChimp.com

 09:13 AM - link

New Copyright Bill Heading to DC

With the help of Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.), the powerful chairman of the Senate Commerce committee, they hope to embed copy-protection controls in nearly all consumer electronic devices and PCs. All types of digital content, including music, video and e-books, are covered

The Security Systems Standards and Certification Act (SSSCA), scheduled to be introduced by Hollings, backs up this requirement with teeth: It would be a civil offense to create or sell any kind of computer equipment that "does not include and utilize certified security technologies" approved by the federal government.

It also creates new federal felonies, punishable by five years in prison and fines of up to $500,000. Anyone who distributes copyrighted material with "security measures" disabled or has a network-attached computer that disables copy protection is covered.

Repeat after me...Government of Corporations, by Corporations, for Corporations.

thanks to Scripting News

 08:51 AM - link

The Paper Dart Site

This is really cool! Why is it that there usually seems to be a relationship between cool and socially irresponsible? Enquiring minds want to know.

thanks to weblog wannabe

 02:06 AM - link