Weblog Archives




  Saturday   September 21   2002

The Murder of Arafat
by Uri Avnery

While I am writing this, Yasser Arafat is still alive. But his life is hanging on a thread.

When we visited him the last time in his bombed-out Mukata'ah compound in Ramallah, I warned him that Sharon is determined to kill him.(...)

Now Sharon believes that he can achieve his aim. He needs only Bush's approval. Not necessarily a formal confirmation. A subtle hint will suffice. Half a word. A wink.

It will be easy to implement the decision. An incident can be put in motion: soldiers enter the office in order to capture "wanted" people, somebody opens fire, Arafat will be shot "by accident". Arafat may draw his pistol, soldiers will "have no alternative" but to return fire. A shell may hit the office "by mistake", Arafat will be buried under the rubble. After all, in war accidents happen. A lot of accidents.

Sharon never wanted to "deport" Arafat to Gaza or any other place in this world. He wants to deport him to the next world. Now this is possible.

Therefore, it is necessary to speak out bluntly and unequivocally:

Morally, the murder of Arafat, the historical leader and elected president of the Palestinian people, is reprehensible. Like the murder of Rabin.

Legally, the murder of Arafat is a war crime.

Politically, it will be said about the murder of Arafat what a French statesman said about another political murder: "It is worse than a crime, it is a mistake!"

Arafat is the man who decided, 28 years ago, to start on the road to a settlement with Israel, in order to realize this way the national aspirations of the Palestinian people. At the time, that was an incredibly bold decision, and he took it long before Rabin and Peres even dreamed about Oslo. I know, because I was an eye-witness to the beginnings of the process.

Since than, Arafat has not changed by one iota the decision he took then: to seek conciliation with Israel within the framework of peace that will include an independent Palestinian state, return to the pre-1967 border with mutually agreed adjustments, Jerusalem capital of both states, withdrawal of the settlers, suitable security arrangements, a mutually agreed solution of the refugee problem.

On this basis, peace is possible even now. Immediately. But Sharon rejects is with both his fists. He wants a Greater Israel, the extension of the settlements, and, eventually, the elimination of the Palestinian presence west of the Jordan. [read more]


Peace hopes in tatters as Israel ditches Arafat flag

It was precisely 1.28pm yesterday when Israeli troops emerged on the roof of what had once been the proudest building in the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority and unceremoniously hauled down the Palestinian flag.

As Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, was holed up powerless and humiliated in his private offices a few feet away, the disappearance of the flag from above the meeting hall where he had once received the US Secretary of State Colin Powell and other foreign dignitaries marked Israel's final repudiation of the Oslo agreement, which it had signed on the White House lawn nine years ago.

It also launched a new international crisis that could widen the splits between the Bush administration and European governments, already visible over US plans to attack Iraq. The US is backing Israel's action while Britain and France condemned it as unacceptable. [read more]

 09:54 PM - link

Propaganda posters

I have been linking to the excellent propoganda posters of Micah Wright. Some of the posters aren't Micah's but are credited to E.J. Fischer. After my last post on Micah's posters, E.J. Fischer left a comment that he had more posters than Micah had put up. Here they are...

Propaganda for the Modern Day

[read more]

Also a link on the story behind the posters.

 12:25 PM - link

This isn't right

Political 'Reality': Viewers to Pick 2004 Candidate

Rupert Murdoch has finally found a way to get what he wants in Washington.

His cable network FX announced yesterday it has bought a TV series in which it gets to select a candidate for the 2004 presidential election.

"American Candidate" will allow TV viewers to choose their "people's candidate" over a six-month period, the network said. [read more]

 10:48 AM - link

Comic Relief

The following is from an interesting column in Salon written by an ariline pilot about flying titled Ask the pilot.

What is the most embarrassing thing you ever did as a pilot?

Well, this is something I once described in article for Airways magazine: While a crewmember one night aboard a cargo jet, I'd gone to the galley to get myself a Diet Coke. Clearing out the cooler, I mistook a block of dry ice for regular ice and threw it down the toilet. Now, to combine dry ice, which is frozen carbon dioxide, with any sort of liquid is to initiate a turbulent and rather unstoppable reaction, not unlike dumping water into boiling oil, or mixing vinegar with baking soda. Except, in this case, on a much, much grander scale than you can imagine.

After dispatching the block of CO2 I heard a deep and powerful burble, which seemed to emanate from somewhere in the bowels of the plane. It was similar to the sound your own innards might make if you've eaten an entire pizza or, perhaps, swallowed Drano.

When I turned and looked, the toilet had for all practical purposes disappeared, and where it once rested I now saw what can best be described as a vision. In place of the commode there roared a Technicolor volcano of bubbling blue toilet fluid thrusting waist-high into the air and, subsequently, all over my pants, shoes, and into every corner and crevice of the airplane's floor.

It took several minutes before the geyser of blue foam at last abated, and to this day the soles of my black Rockports are stained a lovely azure.

 10:35 AM - link

Nature's Revenge

There was a scary show on NPR last night — Hurricane Risk for New Orleans. If a Category 5 hurricane ever hits New Orleans it's, as one recent study showed, KYAGB — kiss your ass good bye. There would be a death toll of between 40,000 and 100,000. It would be the end of New Orleans.

This is the link to the NPR show. Scroll down to the RealAudio links New Orleans' Hurricane Risk, Pt. I and New Orleans' Hurricane Risk, Pt. II.

All Things Considered

There is also a web site with the transcript and some pictures.

Hurricane Risk for New Orleans

I don't think I will be moving to New Orleans.

 10:30 AM - link

Magazine Art

The Decline of Western Magazine Design

Take a look at your local newsstand and here's what you'll see: racks upon racks of magazines that look almost identical. Whether they focus on music, fashion, cigars, fitness, women, or men, most magazines typically feature a grinning celebrity on the cover peeking out from behind squadrons of coverlines. It wasn't always like this.

[read more]

thanks to MetaFilter

There are a number of now and then examples. Depressing.

 10:11 AM - link

American Empire

Talking Points Memo

I just happened upon this excellent piece by James Fallows in the November issue of the Atlantic Monthly. As you might imagine, it's about Iraq. And it's one that should be on the top of your list to read if you want to think seriously and in depth about this very important and quite pressing subject.

In this article at least Fallows doesn't draw any real conclusions, at least not explicitly. What he does is dig into all the details of what the 'day after' of regime change would look like. He doesn't spend much time with the more outlandish scenarios -- cleaning up after a nuclear blast, treating thousands of people for exposure to Anthrax, some follow-on confrontation with Iran, etc. He sticks to the ones we know we'd face: feeding everyone in the country, setting up a new government, courts, bringing in an American military police force to prevent people from killing each other -- both in ordinary criminal ways and out of politically-tinged revenge. [read more]


The Fifty-first State?
by James Fallows
Going to war with Iraq would mean shouldering all the responsibilities of an occupying power the moment victory was achieved. These would include running the economy, keeping domestic peace, and protecting Iraq's borders—and doing it all for years, or perhaps decades. Are we ready for this long-term relationship?

Over the past few months I interviewed several dozen people about what could be expected in Iraq after the United States dislodged Saddam Hussein. An assumption behind the question was that sooner or later the United States would go to war—and would go with at best a fraction of the support it enjoyed eleven years ago when fighting Iraq during the Gulf War. Most nations in the region and traditional U.S. allies would be neutral or hostile unless the Bush Administration could present new evidence of imminent danger from Iraq.

A further assumption was that even alone, U.S. forces would win this war. The victory might be slower than in the last war against Iraq, and it would certainly cost more American lives. But in the end U.S. tanks, attack airplanes, precision-guided bombs, special-operations forces, and other assets would crush the Iraqi military. The combat phase of the war would be over when the United States destroyed Saddam Hussein's control over Iraq's government, armed forces, and stockpile of weapons.

What then? [read more]

thanks to Talking Points Memo


Missionaries and marines: Bush, Blair and democratisation

The real ‘line’ of the Bush administration on Iraq is ‘regime change’. A compliant not democratic Iraq is its objective, the aim being to secure a compliant Middle East. Now, in its rhetoric, the administration is calling for democracy in Iraq, and Bush academics are calling for, and explaining the US strategy in terms of, a desire to bring democracy to the entire Arab world. This is a stroke of malign brilliance. It is unbelievable to those who study what is actually happening. Nonetheless, it may prove highly influential in the US because of the way in which rigid, ideological paradigms dominate the public discussion here. [read more]

thanks to American Samizdat


Inspect this
If we don't bomb Iraq, then the terrorists have already won

"What's so interesting is that he's given in at the ideal moment: really early, when it messes us up." --Kenneth Pollack, an Iraq expert at the Brookings Institute, on Saddam Hussein's agreeing to weapons inspections as quoted in The New York Times.

Don't you just hate it when the bad guys agree to do what we want them to? If that's not a good reason to go in and take out Saddam, name one.

But our Fearless Leader, not one to be deterred from war merely by getting what he wants, promptly moved the goalposts and issued a new list of demands Iraq must meet, including paying reparations to Kuwait. [read more]


Bush: how I'll rule the world

The Bush Administration has spelt out its determination to enforce America's global domination, insisting it will allow no other power to challenge its military and economic supremacy.

In a 33-page document, published overnight Sydney time, President George Bush says the US will never allow its military might to be challenged the way it was during the Cold War.

It says "the President has no intention of allowing any foreign power to catch up with the huge lead the United States has opened since the fall of the Soviet Union more than a decade ago".

The document, titled The National Security Strategy of the United States, declares the policies of containment and deterrence - staples since the 1940s - all but dead. There was no way in this changed world to deter those who "hate the United States and everything for which it stands". [read more]

thanks to Politics in the Zeros


Schlock 'n' Roll

[read more]

thanks to rebecca's pocket

 09:42 AM - link

  Friday   September 20   2002


:-) turns 20

Fahlman is known for his work with neural networks -- a computer technique designed to mimic the human brain -- and helping develop Common Lisp, a computer language that uses symbols instead of numbers, but the bearded scientist is perhaps best known for a flash of inspiration that helped to define Internet culture, in all of its ungrammatical glory.

On September 19, 1982, Fahlman typed :-) in an online message. [read more]

 11:10 PM - link


I am linking to this issue because it provides an explanation for the irrationality of what is going on around us. What this country is doing appears irrational because it is irrational — it's based on sentimentalism. That's a helpful start in dealing with it, but my question is: How, as an apparent rationalist, do I reach sentimentalists? Rational arguments sure don't seem to cut it. Can rationalists convert their arguments to a sentimentalist narrative? Or do we just duck and cover and come out to pick up the pieces?

More linkage on sentimentalism. Liberal Arts Mafia added a big chunk (The warblogger narrative) to the discussion which ended:

It is not surprising in the wake of September 11th that most sentimentalists (which most Americans are) have sided with the President and have said things like "the first amendment goes too far." It is also not surprising that in the wake of September 11th that most rationalists have become wary. And this is because the sentimentalist narrative, as espoused by the warbloggers, is essentially a fascist narrative: all the nations of the world are against us, because there is a giant conspiracy to deny us our rightful place as masters of the world, but we shall prevail, in a state of perpetual warfare, and all of our enemies, those that are left at any rate, shall bow down before us (check Mein Kampf and others for similarities).

To most rationalists, the conclusion following September 11th was that we were being lied to. Rationalists may not necessarily have a handle on the truth, but to a one they know they aren’t being told it. Which has made rationalists much more wary of war, especially a war with no rational explanation, the war on Iraq.

Of course what is missing in the national "debate" is a counter-narrative. Because in a sentimentalist culture — and what culture isn’t? — political debate is largely a debate between narratives. Which is why, in large part, we continue to march, as a nation, to Baghdad. [read more]


Joseph Deumer, who started the discussion on sentimentalism, had this to say, here, about the Michael Kinsley link below.

Michael Kinsley doesn't use the word sentimental, but his analysis of the way the right has been using the word evil over the last year takes up another aspect of the idea I've been worrying for the last week or so. Sentimentality always involves the denial of thought & the deadening of feeling.

Deliver Us From Evil
By Michael Kinsley

Of all the explanations for Sept. 11, 2001, and the subsequent alleged war on terrorism, the least illuminating is that it's all about evil. We didn't know or didn't appreciate that there is evil in the world. Now we do know, or ought to. In President Bush's "axis of evil" speech last January, the first item on his list of truths "we have come to know" after 9/11 is that "evil is real, and it must be opposed." [read more]


My previous links to this subject are here and here.

 02:50 PM - link

The Rape of a Nation

It has been many months since I last wrote anything that I believe would be a contribution toward the struggle of Palestinians for freedom, independence and most importantly justice. I found that my inability to write was part of both an inner and external struggle as a deep sadness has been rooted in my heart and for so many months weaved itself around me--body and soul. Since September 2000, the outbreak of the Palestinian struggle for independence, the Al-Aqsa Intifada, I have born witness to the rape of a nation, people and land. In my thirty-one years on this earth I have gone though many struggles -- beginning as a young girl to womanhood to belonging to a 'minority; and being a firm and strong believer and follower of feminism. However, nothing in my thirty-one years prepared me for witnessing the rape of a nation and what I truly believe is outright ethnic cleansing of a people--all in broad daylight and on prime time TV. [read more]


Killings of dozens once again called "period of calm" by US media

Many US media reports were quick to declare that two suicide bombings in Israel on September 18 and 19, in which eight Israelis were killed, had brought an end to a period of "calm" simply because there had been no similar attacks for six weeks and few Israelis had been victims of Palestinian violence. In fact, the bombings came at the end of a particularly bloody period in which dozens of Palestinians, most of them unarmed civilians, and a large number of them children, had been killed and injured by Israeli occupation forces. In effect, the definition of "calm" or a "lull in violence" inherent in these reports is 'only Palestinians are being killed.' [read more]




A country held captive

It's very sad, this Mitzna business with the empty chairs, and now the illegal donations. Because it proves that not only is there no room in the political arena for people with good intentions, but also for people who think differently. Our democracy has been commandeered by one man. [read more]

 01:49 PM - link


The Vision Thing
By Paul Krugman

This is the way the recovery ends — not with a bang but with a whimper

O.K., I could be wrong. Industrial production is falling and layoffs are rising. But it's still not a sure thing that the months ahead will be bad enough for the business-cycle referees to declare a renewed recession. And on the other hand, the administration seems determined to have a bang sometime before Nov. 5.

But right now it looks as if the economy is stalling, and also as if the people in charge have no idea what to do. In short, it's feeling a lot like the early 1990's. [read more]

 12:54 PM - link

Real Life

Playing catch up today. I removed the manacles that keep me attached to my computer and left for the mainland yesterday morning not to return until almost midnight. I needed to set up a computer for a niece and took the opportunity to kill several birds with one trip.

The first stop was in Tacoma. I picked up my 3 year old grandson Mikey and met with his mother (Katie) for lunch. Then I returned him home and my other daughter (Jenny) put him down for a nap. My granddaughter Robyn (Jenny's little girl who will be 4 in January) was already down for a nap. I unloaded a filing cabinet I had been storing for Jenny and then loaded some software on her computer. We visited and then Robyn woke up. There is something special about a little kid (who is still waking up) that comes over, climbs into your lap, and then snuggles into your arms. A little while later, Mikey did the same thing. We went out into the back yard and I spent a little time kicking a minature soccer ball with the kids. Their lack of technique was more than made up with by their enthusiasm.

The next stop was back up to Kirkland where I needed to drop off some chairs for my sister Madelane. There was no one home when I arrived. As a last minute effort, I tried to open the door. It was unlocked so that mission was accomplished.

The last stop was at my brother Roger's in Kirkland. I needed to set up a computer for his daughter. He was still assembling the computer table when I arrived. I helped him finish that. We never did find the little bag with the "v" sticker on it — so it was a trip to the hardware store. By the time the table was together it was dinner time.

After dinner I set up the computer (it was an old Windows 95 machine) and cleaned up the hard drive. She just needs it for word processing so it should work find.

All in all it was a day of visiting with family — not to mention the driving up and down the freeways. A good time.

Now the mancacles are firmly reattached and it's back to reality land.

 12:29 PM - link

  Thursday   September 19   2002

This is bad taste but how can we resist?

The Farting Dog Harmonics

 01:30 AM - link

American Empire

Robert Fisk: President Bush wants war, not justice - and he'll soon find another excuse for it
Saddam Hussein's own cynicism - for he could have given UN inspectors free rein years ago - will be matched by Mr Bush

You've got to hand it to Saddam. In one brisk, neat letter to Kofi Annan, he pulled the rug from right under George Bush's feet. There was the American president last week, playing the role of multilateralist, warning the world that Iraq had one last chance – through the UN – to avoid Armageddon. "If the Iraqi regime wishes peace," he told us all in the General Assembly, "it will immediately and unconditionally forswear, disclose and remove or destroy all weapons of mass destruction, long-range missiles and all related material." And that, of course, is the point. Saddam would do everything he could to avoid war. President Bush was doing everything he could to avoid peace. And now the Iraqi regime has put the Americans into a corner. The arms inspectors are welcome back in Iraq. No conditions. Just as the Americans asked. [read more]


US could strike in 3 weeks, some analysts say

US forces in the Persian Gulf could be ready to attack Iraq in as little as three weeks, armed with a prepositioned arsenal bolstered in recent weeks by a stealthy series of logistical movements, according to military analysts. [read more]


Lemon Fizzes on the Banks of the Euphrates

The trap is sprung. The name of the game is containment.

Contain the wild man, the leader with the messianic and relentless glint who is scaring the world.

Surround him, throw Lilliputian nets on him, tie him up with a lot of U.N. inspection demands, humor him long enough to stop him from using his weapons and blowing up the Middle East.

But this time, the object of the containment strategy is not Saddam Hussein, but George W. Bush, the president with real bombs, not the predator with plans to make them. [read more]

 01:25 AM - link

War Art

These wonderful posters...

Know Your Place! Shut Your Face!

[read more]

...are for sale.

War posters

There are over 100 designs at the Full Propaganda Poster Remix website. Any of them is available to be printed onto a poster, t-shirt or any of Cafe Press' merchandise... see the bottom of page for the full panoply of goods. [read more]


 01:08 AM - link

Facing up to ethnic cleansing
In the third of a series, a Palestinian and an Israeli say that only by giving the refugees a say in their future can the two peoples be reconciled

What would be the structure of a real peace between Israel and Palestine?

First, the refugee issue needs to be placed at the centre of the process from where it has mysteriously disappeared. Next, all those involved in resolving the conflict must have the public courage to confront the Israeli denial of the expulsion and ethnic cleansing at the heart of the Palestinian refugee question. This remains the single largest stumbling block towards a lasting peace between both peoples. [read more]


The Other Israel:
Voices of Refusal and Dissent

A very close friend, non-Jewish, recently told me that, although she does not sympathize with much that Israel has done to the Palestinians in the last few months, she generally supports Israel in the conflict because so many of her friends are Jewish, and many of them are deeply worried about Israel's existence in the face of Palestinian depredations. I refrained from asking her at the time, but the question still haunts me, just which Jews she is supporting. Are they her friends who apparently do represent the mainstream of American Jewry these days, who ignore Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories and think of Palestinians only as terrorists, Israelis only as victims, and the Palestinian intifada as another pogrom, with no root causes other than Jew-hatred? Or are they perhaps those Jews who send hate mail to any who criticize the Israeli occupation and who threatened death to the family of Adam Shapiro, a young Jewish man from Brooklyn who daily risks his life to protect Palestinians under Israeli siege in the West Bank? Or, at the other end of the spectrum, are they those Jews--Israelis and Americans--who know clearly what the occupation is, what it means to Palestinians and what it does to Israel, and have been courageously speaking out against the murderous policies of the Israeli government? [read more]


20 Years Aft
Sabra and Shatila:
the Forgotten Massacres

Over the years dirt from Sabra and Shatila has clung just as tenaciously to Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon. As some -- but probably not many -- Americans may remember, twenty years ago this month the twin camps in southern Beirut were the scene of an infamous massacre carried out by Lebanese militiamen operating under Israel's direct control. The massacre was an exceptionally tragic denouement to Israel's 1982 invasion of its neighbor to the north, which Israel carried out with American approval partly in the hope of establishing a Lebanese government friendly to its interests. [read more]


Blind evil

Of all the grave and ugly developments on the fringes of settler society, none is more frightening than acts of Jewish terror, whose perpetrators attack Palestinian targets, primarily schools in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, without hindrance. One or more cells, comprised of Israelis living either in the territories or west of the Green Line, has for the past two years succeeded in making a laughingstock of the Shin Bet security service and the police, and assaulting Arabs. These attacks would be disturbing even if the targets were chosen at random. But the targets are chosen carefully - and, abominably, they are children. Even worse, these attacks target children while they are in school. So blindly evil is the fire of vengeance that burns in these Jews that they seek the lives of children where they can be found in the greatest quantity - while they are studying. [read more]

 12:56 AM - link



thanks to BookNotes

 12:44 AM - link


More from Joseph Deumer on sentimentalism. (Previous link.)

The sentimental muse:

Well, she's a half-sister, really. She only completed the eighth grade. But she has her devotees. The problem is that the Muse of Sentimentality has not read very much, or listened to music with attention. She likes television. Not that I'm superior--sometimes I shack up with her & she always shows me a good time. But if I want to think, if I want to write a poem, I have to climb a little higher on the mountain. The Muse of Sentimentality is numbed-out.
[read more]

 12:37 AM - link

False Advertising

Girls are panting for more

WOMEN have declared Marks & Spencer’s new bulge-enhancing wonderpants for men a truly swell idea.

Yesterday we told how the company had developed the upfront undies, called Urban Survivor, to do for men’s tackle what the Wonderbra has done for women’s boobs.

[read more]

thanks to rebecca's pocket

 12:31 AM - link


The K Chronicles

 12:22 AM - link

  Wednesday   September 18   2002

American Empire

Bush Now Has To Refuse To Take Yes For An Answer

Saddam Hussein has thrown George W. Bush and his pro-war friends a most difficult curveball.

By agreeing at the eleventh hour to let United Nations inspectors return unconditionally to Iraq, Saddam has neatly finessed Bush's attempt to give his proposed war on Iraq legitimacy.

If they want to keep their invasion on schedule, Bush and his fellow war buffs will now have to scramble for a way to reject as insufficient what appears to be a full capitulation by Saddam.

They'll have to refuse to take yes for an answer. [read more]


Saddam's concessions will never be enough for the US
Unless it can engineer a war, Bush's administration is political roadkill

And why, the "man in the street" might ask, do they appear so set on violence? Because Bush's misconceived, over-hyped global "war on terror" has run out of targets and is far from won. Because Iraq is oil-rich (the second biggest reserves) and the Saudis grow unreliable. Because, purely in domestic policy terms, especially post-Enron, this government is political roadkill. Because the administration's predominant, evangelical clique believes it is solo superpower America's historic mission (Bush says it is a "calling") to spread its universal values and rescue a muddled world from itself. Because the Bush family has old scores to settle and new elections to win. Because Bush lacks the insight and imagination to act differently. Because in their September 11 pain and unforgotten anger, not nearly enough of America's "men in the street", and in high places too, are prepared to say stop, pause, and consider what it is they do. [read more]


Lies My President Told Me
It's mid-September during alleged wartime. Do you know where your government is?

This much is all too obviously true: We have no real idea what our government is doing right now, at this moment, as you read this. And we find this enormously reassuring.

We know far less than we think we know and far less than we want to believe and that is apparently exactly the way we like it, because otherwise it's just so frustrating and depressing and gives us just the worst sort of collective cultural eczema. [read more]

thanks to enthusiasm


Rome, AD ... Rome, DC?
They came, they saw, they conquered, and now the Americans dominate the world like no nation before. But is the US really the Roman empire of the 21st century? And if so, is it on the rise - or heading for a fall?

The word of the hour is empire. As the United States marches to war, no other label quite seems to capture the scope of American power or the scale of its ambition. "Sole superpower" is accurate enough, but seems oddly modest. "Hyperpower" may appeal to the French; "hegemon" is favoured by academics. But empire is the big one, the gorilla of geopolitical designations - and suddenly America is bearing its name. [read more]


Plus Ça Change ...

I'm currently doing research on A.J. Muste, a huge and yet practically invisible figure in the American labor, civil-rights, and anti-war movements of the 20th century.

In one of his essays, I ran across this passage, which refers to the months following the United States' entry into World War I. Tell me if you think anything really changes:

"The custom of having people rise to sing The Star Spangled Banner at the opening of plays, operas, and many public meetings was introdiced, and conformity was forced on those who disliked the practice. Military parades occured frequently, and men were expected to doff their hats whenever a flag was carried by. Many were obviously self-conscious and uncomfortable about it. Salutes and pledges to the flag were introduced in schools. ... [read more]

 03:03 AM - link


I often wonder why people would support the Bush war-mongering policies. Are they just fucking idiots? But maybe there is a more nuanced explanation. From Joseph Duemer...

Ad captandum: I finally figured out what it is about the warbloggers--like this one, who is typical: they are sentimentalists. The problem with sentimentality is that it obscures reality in a haze of ill-defined & manipulative feeling. And the Rottweiler's sentimentality is no less sentimental because it is violent & vulgar. [cf warblogger watch]
[read more]


Jonathon Delacour's elaboration...

A metaphysical brothel for emotions

I spent a dispiriting twenty minutes reading the 73 comments. What struck me most forcefully was that Joseph Duemer's opponents, who argued in favor of an invasion of Iraq (with or without UN sanction) failed to comprehend the meaning of sentimentality, even after Joseph carefully defined it for them:

Sentimentality is the substitution of emotion for intelligence; sentimentality requires of the reader assent to heightened feelings not legitimated by the matter at hand; sentimentality seeks to manipulate the reader's emotional response by calls to conventional wisdom or attitudes; sentimentality seeks approval by reference to the vast warm blanket of majority opinion; sentimentality never, ever risks the disapproval of any member of its intended audience. [read more]

Joseph and Jonathon's explanation of sentimentality hits the nail on the head. I keep seeing scary parallels to Germany in the thirties and what is happening in this country today. This is certainly one of them.

I also admire Joseph and Jonathan for even reading that warblogger shit, much less trying to carry on a dialogue (or pissing contest as Joseph describes it) with them. I can't do it. It just upsets me too much. Trying to carry on a rational discussion implies the application of intelligence. That's not what we are dealing with here — it's just thoughtless emotion. I'd call them ignorant fucks but ignorance can be cured. They're just stupid fucks. See? I need to calm down...I'm getting carried away...breathe deeply...time to take my medication again.

 02:05 AM - link

My mind is made up and I will not be swayed be facts.

Department of Education to Delete Years of Research From Its Website

According to an article in Education Week, the US Department of Education is in the process of overhauling its Website. One of its main goals is to remove reports, research, statistics, etc. published before 2001, especially material that doesn't support the Bush Administration's approach to education. However, The Memory Hole will be preserving much of this material. [read more]

 01:37 AM - link

Japanese Art

The Tokugawa Art Museum

At the core of the collection are objects inherited from the first shogun, Ieyasu. The Owari, like other great daimyo, also treasured the art from earlier generations. Thus the Museum has come to own most of the extant sections of the twelfth century Illustrated Tale of Genji.

Some idea of the quality of the collection can be gleaned from the fact that besides this early masterpiece the collection includes nine other designated National Treasures, fifty-two registered Important Cultural Properties, and forty-five Important Art Objects. The Museum is noted further for the overall fine condition of its pieces. Moreover most objects have been handed down accompanied by meticulous family documents, catalogues and other records.

Gusoku style Helmet and Armor, covering of bear fur, black silk lacing.
Momoyama-Edo period,16-17th century.
Worn by First Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.

[read more]

thanks to plep

 01:28 AM - link

These are the first two installments of a series.

Our strength is in the camps
In the first of a series, a PLO representative turned academic argues that the refugees remain at the core of Palestinian national identity

This morning exactly 20 years ago a terrible massacre was unfolding in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Beirut. Some of us lost friends there, some relatives, but all Palestinians come together annually to commemorate those who died, as well as the thousands killed at the Tal al-Za'atar camp in 1976 and the many massacres that made us refugees in 1948 - such as Deir Yassin, Abu Shusha, Tantura, Eilaboun, and Husnaynia.

How many Palestinians became refugees, and where are they now? The story of the Palestinian refugees is not simply unknown, it is concealed. [read more]

No peace without an end to exile
In the second of a series, a Palestinian academic says that any Middle East deal which ignores the rights of the refugees will be rejected

A few weeks before the al-Aqsa intifada began in September 2000, an extraordinary public meeting took place at Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem. There were others at Palestinian refugee camps all over the region. A cross-party British parliamentary commission was actually asking the refugees what they thought about their future, peace and the right of return. They were taking the testimony of dozens of groups of refugees, popular committees, old people, children. This was unprecedented, for during the last 10 years of the Oslo process, the issue of the refugees had been comprehensively removed from the negotiating table - many thought for good. They were instead to be resettled either in a new state or in the host Arab countries, against their will and international law. [read more]


thanks to Gush Shalom

 01:16 AM - link

Online Art

Museum of Online Museums

Welcome to the coudal.com Museum of Online Museums. Here, you will find links from our archives to online collections and exhibits covering a vast array of interests and obsessions: Start with a review of classic art and architecture, and graduate to the study of mundane (and sometimes bizarre) objects elevated to art by their numbers, juxtaposition, or passion of the collector. The MoOM is organized into three sections. [read more]

Many tasty sites are listed such as...

LSD Blotter Art Gallery

Black market LSD blotter generally bears art or a design printed on the paper. The paper is then perforated into individual "tabs" or "hits" approximately 1/4 in. x 1/ 4 in. Following are images of more than 60 blotter samples showing various designs and art. Some show entire sheets while others show only a few hits. The images are displayed at various sizes for best viewing. Click on each thumbnail to see a larger image.

[read more]

thanks to MorfaBlog

 01:04 AM - link


Russia says its rusting fleet could poison Arctic

Russia issued a stark warning yesterday about the "dilapidated" condition of dozens of navy ships along its eastern and Arctic coasts, where tons of spent fuel from the ageing submarine fleet is stored.

In a rare insight into the Russian administration's own fears about the condition of its fleet, Viktor Akhunov, head of the department of ecology and decommissioning at Minatom, the Russian atomic energy ministry, said yesterday that corrosion on the hulls of 39 ships posed the "greatest danger" to the environment and security of the region. [read more]

 12:59 AM - link



Throughout this modern marvel called Vintage Skivvies, you'll find news clips, special features and fascinating facts — everything to ensure you are a hip and informed consumer, an enlightened enthusiast of the fine art and science of men’s classic underwear.

[read more]

thanks to MetaFilter

 12:53 AM - link

Republican Science

HHS Seeks Science Advice to Match Bush Views

The Bush administration has begun a broad restructuring of the scientific advisory committees that guide federal policy in areas such as patients' rights and public health, eliminating some committees that were coming to conclusions at odds with the president's views and in other cases replacing members with handpicked choices. (...)

"It's always a matter of qualifications first and foremost," Pierce said. "There's no quotas on any of this stuff. There's no litmus test of any kind."

At least one nationally renowned academic, who was recently called by an administration official to talk about serving on an HHS advisory committee, disagreed with that assessment. To the candidate's surprise, the official asked for the professor's views on embryo cell research, cloning and physician- assisted suicide. After that, the candidate said, the interviewer told the candidate that the position would have to go to someone else because the candidate's views did not match those of the administration.

Asked to reconcile that experience with his previous assurance, Pierce said of the interview questions: "Those are not litmus tests." [read more]

thanks to MetaFilter

 12:34 AM - link

These are the best terrorists our money can find?

Is the Buffalo, NY Terrorist Cell For Real?

Empty as Pataki's rhetoric sounded, he basically presented the entire case against the five suspects. Special Agent Ahearn, standing in front of the cameras with the taller Pataki visibly towering behind him, reported that no weapons were found and that there was no evidence that the suspects were supporting or planning any specific terrorist actions. The entire case against the five Americans consists of the fact that they allegedly, while on a pilgrimage to study Islam in Pakistan, took a side trip into Taliban Afghanistan and visited what later became known in the American media as the "al-Farooq terrorist training camp." The trip allegedly took place before the Sept. 11 attacks and the onset of "the war on terrorism," at a time when it was legal to travel to Afghanistan, when the U.S. was funding Taliban drug eradication efforts and when U.S. oil companies were still hoping to cut a deal with the Taliban to build a trans-Afghanistan pipeline. While the five are charged with "Providing Material Support or Resources to Designated Terrorist Organizations," Ahearn could not be specific as to what sort of resources the men were providing or if there was any further evidence that would be forthcoming. He did, however, leave the door open to more charges, explaining that the investigation was still in progress. This statement, however, only serves to fuel speculation about the political timing of the arrests, since they otherwise seem premature. [read more]

 12:32 AM - link


This Modern World

The Boondocks

 12:25 AM - link

War Against Some Drugs

The latest Bush hypocrisy
Gov. Jeb Bush calls for jail time for nonviolent drug offenders as his daughter gets sent to rehab.
By Arianna Huffington

I feel nothing but sympathy and concern for Noelle Bush. Her latest stumble on the rocky road to recovery -- being caught with crack cocaine at a drug rehab center -- shows that she is in desperate need of help. As a parent, I can also easily empathize with the anguish Noelle's father, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, must be experiencing. And I'm in total agreement with his insistence that his daughter's substance-abuse problem is "a private issue."

But when I think about the heartless stance the governor has taken toward the drug problems of those less fortunate and well connected than his daughter, my empathy turns to outrage.

While Noelle has been given every break in the book -- and then some -- her father has made it harder for others in her position to get the help they need by cutting the budgets of drug treatment and drug court programs in his state. He has also actively opposed a proposed ballot initiative that would send an estimated 10,000 nonviolent drug offenders into treatment instead of jail. I guess what's good for the goose gets the gander locked away. [read more]


Pot raid angers state, patients

Suzanne Pfeil understands why federal agents burst in just after dawn with guns drawn and handcuffed her. That's routine in drug busts. What she can't understand is why agents kept ordering her to stand up after they saw her crutches and leg braces next to the bed.

When when her blood pressure spiked and she felt chest pains, the agents refused to call an ambulance, says Pfeil, 42, disabled by polio ( news - web sites). That she can't forgive. ''Totally unprofessional,'' she says. ''They were brutalizing us.''

Outrage over a Sept. 5 raid at a medical marijuana cooperative in the coastal hills north of here festers beyond the terminally ill patients who use marijuana to ease pain, which California law allows. [read more]

thanks to American Samizdat

 12:15 AM - link

  Tuesday   September 17   2002

White House Crooks

Cronies in Arms
By Paul Krugman

In February 2001 Enron presented an imposing facade, but insiders knew better: they were desperately struggling to keep their Ponzi scheme going. When one top executive learned of millions in further losses, his e-mailed response summed up the whole strategy: "Close a bigger deal. Hide the loss before the 1Q."

The strategy worked. Enron collapsed, but not before insiders made off with nearly $1 billion. The sender of that blunt e-mail sold $12 million in stocks just before they became worthless. And now he's secretary of the Army. [read more]

 01:47 AM - link


The sound archive is up of Monday night's TestingTesting. It was a great show. It's late. I'm going to bed.

 01:22 AM - link

  Monday   September 16   2002


Time to knock off this blogging and get to work getting ready for tonight's TestingTesting which will come to you right from my living room on beautiful Honeymoon Lake. Jack Knauer (guitar and vocals) will be accompanied by Linda Matte (vocals), and Fred Butterworth (hand drums). Our own TestingTesting House Band will be Steve Showell and Joanne Rouse (too many instruments to list but mainly mandolin), singer/songwriter Lisa Toomey, and Tishia Malone on Congas. It will be a roomfull of musicians and music. Click on in, listen, and leave a comment or two.

 01:27 PM - link


Powers of Ten

For those of you who don’t know a picometer from a pickle or a fermi from a fern, Powers of Ten may take a little explaining. Charles and Ray Eames produced the Powers of Ten film in 1977 as part of an ongoing effort to make science and technology more interesting and accessible to the public. In nine minutes, the film—now the centerpiece of the Powers of Ten exhibit—takes its viewers on a voyage from a picnic in Chicago to the edge of the Universe, zooming out to cover ten times as much space every ten seconds. Then the camera returns to the picnicker, narrowing in on his hand by powers of ten until it focuses on a tiny quark within one of his cells. Along the way, viewers learn not only about exponential growth and the appropriate units to define it, but also about the many ways in which questions of scale can enhance their understanding of the world around and within them. [read more]

thanks to plep

 12:05 PM - link

Drought and Farm Welfare

Hope Has Dried Up on Farms
A crippling drought in the nation's breadbasket brings home to growers their dependence on federal aid. Many despair at their plight.

The drought, as bad in spots as the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, has broken spirits. And it has prompted reflection—unhappy reflection—about the future of farming in these vast, rich plains when the only money to be made comes from handouts.

Even in fine weather, grain farmers in the heartland rely on federal subsidies to make ends meet. Usually, they can point to the bursting bins of inexpensive food they produce as justification for the aid. This year, though, thousands have little to show for their government checks—just rubbery ears of corn pocked with five or eight desolate kernels, just stunted stands of soybeans with yellowing leaves.

The subsidies feel, more than ever, like welfare.

"How do you not feel embarrassed?" asks Robert Drees, a farmer here in western Kansas. [read more]

 11:58 AM - link

What to expect

The Sabotage Of Legitimate Dissent
The Black Panther Coloring Book

This is but one horrific example of the tactics used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to stifle legitimate dissent and violate the civil rights of political groups that the administration dislikes. Along with the anti-war movement, the Nixon White House targeted the civil rights movement for disruption, using on-campus informants to infiltrate and in many cases to disrupt legal protests and activism.

This coloring book, which was purported to be from the Black Panthers, had actually been rejected by them when it was brought to them by a man later revealed to have intelligence connections. Not to be troubled by the fact that the Panthers found the coloring book revolting, the FBI added even more offensive illustrations, and mass mailed it across America. It so infuriated the white population that they stopped listening to the legitimate grievances of the black people.

[read more]

thanks to Blowback

 11:50 AM - link


This Modern World

Tom the Dancing Bug

 11:39 AM - link


With White House Approval, E.P.A. Pollution Report Omits Global Warming Section

For the first time in six years, the annual federal report on air pollution trends has no section on global warming, though President Bush has said that slowing the growth of emissions linked to warming is a priority for his administration.

The decision to delete the chapter on climate change was made by top officials at the Environmental Protection Agency with White House approval, White House officials said. [read more]

 11:37 AM - link

Fighters' Talk
by Ran HaCohen

I went to an evening organised by the Israeli soldiers who refuse to serve in the occupied territories. It was called "Fighters’ Talk", referring to the title of a well- known book from just after the 1967 war, which exposed the first ideological cracks – hesitations, questions, criticism – of soldiers who had occupied the territories in the six days of that war. The speakers as well as the audience were varied: refusers, serving soldiers, supporters and opponents, hesitators.

One of the participants in the old Fighters’ Talk was on the stage too. Comparing the two occasions, he said things were much simpler in the old days. "We were fighting against regular armies – of Jordan, Egypt, Syria – and not against civilians. The Palestinians were there, the war was in their territories, but they were not fighters, not terrorists, not the enemy. Whether we believed holding the territories was desirable or not, none of us thought we should settle them." Compare this to the present reality, where a quarter of a million Israeli settlers live on Palestinian soil, taking Palestinian land, water, freedom. Where an army is fighting a civilian population with no state, no defence, no rights, no dignity.

A refuser described the mission that made him refuse. Last year, he said, we were ordered to destroy a Palestinian house in the territories because of a balcony added to it without a permit. It was a clear Israeli provocation: it had been expected to develop into a battle, and it did. He described dragging crying children out of bed, wondering how long it would take before they become suicide-bombers. He described how, after a cease-fire order was given, fire went on. Another army unit that happened to be in the area kept shooting, ignoring the order. No one ever bothered to check who they were, nor did he believe it was an exception. The battle ended with six Palestinians wounded and one soldier shot in his leg. The next day he heard it all on the radio: "During a military operation, our soldiers were attacked and returned fire."[read more]


A Witness from the Past
From Josephus to Sharon
by Uri Avnery

That may be a hint of what's to come. Sharon plans a full-fledged attack on Gush Shalom and all the serious peace camp, in order to silence all criticism and frighten other opponents into silence. His words are not only designed to pressure the state prosecution into putting the Gush activists on trial, but are also a simple incitement to murder, very much like his speeches on the eve of Rabin's assassination.

What frightens Sharon so much? It seems that the Gush Shalom activity causes many soldiers to think, for the first time, about the possibility that certain actions are not only immoral and sabotage all chances for peace, but also violate Israeli and international law and might constitute war crimes. After all, the great majority of the soldiers are reasonable persons. Sharon hears the echo. In order to silence the message, he chooses to silence the messenger. I believe that even Josephus Flavius will not help him to achieve that. [read more]


While this might not be as newsworthy as the latest suicide attack or Israeli bombing, Palestinian democracy is stirring. They seem to be calling Bush and Sharon's bluff.

An Arab parliament that speaks its mind

Between the burdens of the occupation, the poverty, the gang and organization wars, the curfew, the closures, the liquidations, the home demolitions and the relocations, someone latched onto a thin golden thread that came out of the frayed and tattered Provisional Palestinian Constitution - and fomented a revolution. (...)

But this democratic development was not executed for the benefit of either Israel or the United States. There is no doubt that it was accelerated by the pressure of the occupation, because in conditions like these, even small mistakes are unforgivable, and the corruption of the few becomes more blatant against the background of the general shortage. But we should not be under any illusions: the basic demands of the Palestinians will not change just because they decided to clean their stables, while, in any case, the government in Israel will not agree to pick up the gauntlet if the Palestinian regime is changed. Both to introduce democracy for the Palestinians and to give up territories for them? [read more]

 11:25 AM - link

Illustration Art

I've aways loved illustrations. Before the advent of Illustrator and Photoshop (and all their fellow travellers), illustrations were drawings and paintings done by actual people. This is not to put down Photoshoppers (I am one). I have, many years ago, done drawings and pen and ink and, let me tell you, there is no undo selection! When you lay down a wash there is no going back and adjusting the density.

This site sells the originals used for illustrations in myriad books and magazines.

Illustration House

In addition to select exhibitions each year, the gallery holds twice - annual premier auctions of fine illustrative paintings and drawings and two absentee "Back Porch" auctions. The gallery publishes various catalogues corresponding to its auctions & exhibits.

Back Porch Auction XII

"The Viking ship starboard" "The Viking Ship" , Author: Edwin W. Foster St. Nicholas Magazine August, 1898; ink and wash en grisaille,

Advertisement: Caterpillar Diesel tractor clearing lumber. Caterpillar ca. 1950's; gouache

[read more]

thanks to enthusiasm

 11:03 AM - link


Time for TestingTesting again!

TestingTesting #137 is Monday evening , September 16 (Tuesday mid-day the 17th in Australia and Japan) at

Monday 4:00pm (Hawaii-Aleutian), 6:00pm (Alaska), 7:00pm (Pacific), 8:00pm (Mountain), 9:00pm (Central), 10:00pm (Eastern), 11:00pm (Atlantic)
Or Tuesday, September 17, in Australia at: 10:00am in Perth , 11:30pm in Darwin and Adelaide, 12 noon in Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne. In Tokyo at 11am
Or 2:00am Tuesday, September 17, Universal Time (GMT)

Our special guest will be singer/songwriter Jack Knauer. He will be accompanied by Linda Matte on vocals, and Fred Butterworth on hand drums. The TestingTesting House Band will be Steve Showell, Joanne Rouse, Lisa Toomey, and Tishia Malone (Derek has been on holiday in Hawaii). Barton Cole will be here with his "Commentary from the Wires".

Click on in for some fine living room music.

A good time will be had by all.

 01:53 AM - link

American Empire

Blood Spills to Keep Oil Wealth Flowing

Under pressure from Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum and the U.S. government, the Colombian military has redeployed its forces to protect a key oil pipeline, leading to an explosion of violence in the undefended countryside. [read more]


In Iraqi War Scenario, Oil Is Key Issue
U.S. Drillers Eye Huge Petroleum Pool

A U.S.-led ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could open a bonanza for American oil companies long banished from Iraq, scuttling oil deals between Baghdad and Russia, France and other countries, and reshuffling world petroleum markets, according to industry officials and leaders of the Iraqi opposition. [read more]


The march of folly

Never before in a time of great peril to our republic have we been gifted by a President as inherently irrational and incapable as we currently are. IF we survive the next two years with only a minimum amount of bloodshed — say less ten thousand innocent lives — we will have to consider ourselves lucky. It is galling that our commander in chief, rather than pursue the guilty parties of September 11 to the ends of the Earth, is willing to drop everything in order to satisfy an ideological vision of American world domination. [read more]


Bush Planned Iraq 'Regime Change' Before Becoming President

A SECRET blueprint for US global domination reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure 'regime change' even before he took power in January 2001.

The blueprint, uncovered by the Sunday Herald, for the creation of a 'global Pax Americana' was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defense secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), George W Bush's younger brother Jeb and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, was written in September 2000 by the neo- conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says: 'The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.' [read more]


Saddam's Nukes are a Western Myth

Does Iraq have nuclear weapons? Last week, Britain's authoritative International Institute for Strategic Studies issued a study that concluded Iraq had the ability to produce a few nuclear devices, but lacked the enriched uranium or plutonium to do so. [read more]

 01:28 AM - link

  Sunday   September 15   2002

If Hackers Ruled

[read more]

 01:17 PM - link

War Against Some Drugs

Nevada voters may legalize marijuana

A measure on the ballot Nov. 5 would make Nevada the first state to allow adults to possess marijuana -- up to 3 ounces, enough for maybe 100 joints.

People over 21 would be allowed to smoke it in their homes but not in cars or public places. Pot would be sold in state-licensed smoke shops and taxed like cigarettes. [read more]

 01:04 PM - link

A good morning for phishing.

The computer is back together again and I'm catching up on blogs.

I subscribe to Rhapsody Digital Music Service (listen.com). I went to check out what they had that was new discovered that they are starting to offer the live Phish CDs. The last time I looked they only had Billy Breathes. Now they have numbers 7, 10, 11, and 12 of the live series. Oh! Joy! You can get a 7 day free trial to Rhapsody. Check them out. Phish studio CDs are great but live is the way to hear them. Live CDs will have to do until they tour again.

I became a Phish Head at the Mt. Baker Theater in Belligham in 1993. I used to go camping with my kids at Grateful Dead and Phish concerts. Here is a set of pictures from September, 1999, at the Gorge. Camping with my son, his friends, and mine. Great music and great times. A couple of reviews of those shows from the phish.net: 09-10-99 (has an interview with Trey on the pause in Divided Sky), 09-11-99. They will be doing some touring next year. Hopefully they make it out to the Northwet.

laughing laughing fall apart

 11:10 AM - link