Weblog Archives




  Friday   October 12   2001

Everything is set up for tonight's TestingTesting concert. Now I have to shut down my computer and load it up to take it down, along with my living room, to the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. I will be webcasting starting at 7:30 pm (pacific). We should have the streams started about 7:15 pm (pacific) so you can check in a little early for a fun evening of music. Ciao!

 01:37 PM - link

  Thursday   October 11   2001

Light blogging for the next couple of days. Last minute preparations for tomorrow night's TestingTesting concert. TestingTesting is an Internet webcast that I, and some friends, do every other Monday night from my living room. Tomorrow night will be webcast from the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. Click on in and enter some comments in the show guest book. I read those comments to the performers and live audience during the show. Click on in and be part of the show.

Back to surreality.

Lurching towards catastrophe

The most serious objections are, first, that by triggering large-scale refugee movements and interrupting food supplies, the war is turning an existing humanitarian crisis into a disaster, which will cause the deaths of many more than were slaughtered in the World Trade Centre, for no remotely proportional gain. Second, whatever success is achieved in killing or capturing Bin Laden and his supporters or forcing the Afghan theocrats from power, there is no reason to believe that that will stamp out anti-western terrorism, even by the al-Qaida networks, which operate across the world without assistance from their Taliban friends. In other words, it won't work. Finally, and most dangerously, the entire "crusade" in defence of civilisation, as Bush the younger so sensitively described his campaign, shows every sign of creating a political backlash throughout the Muslim world and spawning even more terrorist attacks, rather than curbing them.
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Missing the Oil Story

Why can we assume that global businessmen like Bush Senior and Jim Baker care about who runs Afghanistan and NOT just because it's home base for lethal anti-Americans? Because it also happens to be situated in the middle of that perennial vital national interest -- a region with abundant oil. By 2050, Central Asia will account for more than 80 percent of our oil. On September 10, an industry publication, Oil and Gas Journal, reported that Central Asia represents one of the world's last great frontiers for geological survey and analysis, "offering opportunities for investment in the discovery, production, transportation, and refining of enormous quantities of oil and gas resources."
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If it's a good idea, it's a good idea
by Molly Ivins

The point is that policy needs to be judged not on who is for it or against it - for all we know Saddam Hussein may be right about something - but whether the policy works. We are the shrewd, pragmatic Yankees, remember?

It is in our interest and the interest of Israel and the Palestinians to get that situation settled, so let's get it. Who cares if bin Laden is for it, too? (He's not, of course. He wants to destroy Israel and the West. No one is appeasing bin Laden - you can't appease a fanatic.)
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Molly Ivins for president! She is the Texan we should have voted in for the Presidency. Oops! I forgot, he was appointed.

 11:56 AM - link

It's hard to believe it's only been a month.

 10:58 AM - link

Craig, at Booknotes writes pretty regularly about music. I write pretty irregularly about music. Today (yes, it says the 11th but since I haven't gone to bed yet it is still the 10th) Craig had several links to one of my favorite albums (you know...those big black CDs), Stan Getz's Sweet Rain. The Stan Getz links are at the bottom of Craig's page. Bill Feeley lent me his turntable, until I get mine rebuilt, so I was able to listen to this old friend. Beautiful music.

Craig had another link to a site called Accordian Dreams.

The arrival of the European button accordion to Texas and its merging with traditional Mexican songs gave birth to an explosive new sound.

ACCORDION DREAMS captures this exhilirating musical style featuring yesterday's and today's squeezebox trailblazers.

It's about accordian driven conjunto with lots of history and information about this musical style.

One of the conjunto players mentioned in Accordian Dreams, Flaco Jimenez, played on one of my favorite albums - Ry Cooder's Chicken Skin Music. Ry Cooder is an amazing musician. He's played with everbody, including the Rolling Stones. I have always loved the way he moves through so many musical traditions. This album does that with both Flaco Jimenez on the button accordian and the late great Hawaiian slack key and steel guitarist Gabby Pahinui. Ry Cooder's latest cultural exchange was the popular Buena Vista Social Club.

Ry Cooder Links

Buena Vista Social Club - Biography

The Onion Interview

Ry Cooder on "Buena Vista Social Club" - Salon

Unsung Session Heroes: Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder's Pan-Cultural Journey
An old Addicted to Noise interview. Many broken links but the text is still up

Biography - Amazon

I only have one Flaco Jimenez CD - Arriba El Norte. It's a collection recorded in the 70s. Wonderful stuff. Great accordian. I need to get more.

Flaco Jimenez links

Folk and Acoustic Artist Database

Owit Music Europe

Most popular albums - Amazon

Flaco is to accordian music as Gabby Pahinui is to Hawaiian music - the real thing. Not long after Chicken Skin Music Ry Cooder colloborated with Gabby on Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band, Vol. 1. Beautiful, beautiful music.

Gabby Pahinui links

Gabby Pahinui

A Brief History of Slack Key Guitar

Hawaiian Music Guide

Gabby Pahinui's Music Catalog

Going throught the Accordian Dreams site and listening to Flaco also gets me closer to actually taking lessons on the accordian Maria lent me.

 03:21 AM - link

  Wednesday   October 10   2001

This war is a festival of lies and they will only get worse

Wartime Lies: A Consumer's Guide to the Bombing

The Pentagon and the United States government are telling us lies about the Gulf W. War. You don't have to look at their history of lies in the Gulf War, Panama, and Granada to know this. They've told us they are going to lie. It's important to read as many different sources as you can.

I have added a list of news and information sources under my web log list. Check them out and don't stop there. Keep searching.

 12:43 AM - link

  Tuesday   October 9   2001

The key to our war on terrorism is not support from the Middle East governments. It is the long term support of the Muslim people in the Middle East. If they don't support the United States actions they will not support their government's support of the same. Then we will have a real problem. The intial reactions don't seem to be very supportive of the United States.

Robert Fisk: Bush and Blair have already lost the talking war across the Middle East

Messrs Bush and Blair may tell the world they are going to win the "war against terrorism" but in the Middle East, where Osama bin Laden is acquiring almost mythic status among Arabs, they have already lost.

Whether it be a Lebanese minister, a Saudi journalist, a Jordanian bank clerk or an Egyptian resident, the response is always the same: Mr bin Laden's voice, repeatedly beamed into millions of homes, articulates the demands and grievances – and fury – of Middle East Muslims who have seen their pro-Western presidents and kings and princes wriggling out of any serious criticism of the Anglo-American bombardment of Afghanistan.
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Asem Mustafa Awan: Why my nation burns with anger against Mr Blair

As people in Britain are no doubt aware, some have taken to the streets in violent protest at the air strikes. At around midnight on Sunday night there was a massive anti-bombing demonstration outside the news building of The Jang, the daily Urdu-language newspaper, in Rawalpindi. I made my way there to cover the demonstration for my own paper.
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This anger has the potential to topple governments. And the flash point is still Palestine. This time Arrafat isn't making the same mistake he did during the Gulf War when he supported Iraq. Now, for Gulf W. War, he is supporting the United States war on terrorism and trying to control his fellow Palestinians like the Israelis and the United States want him to. But the rock and the hard spot that he is caught between is becoming much rockier and much harder.

Arafat faces internal crisis after his security forces kill three Palestinians

Yasser Arafat's security forces turned their guns on demonstrators in the Gaza Strip, killing at least three, including a 12-year-old boy, as the missiles fired at Afghanistan blew open the rift between the Palestinian authorities and "the street".

The spectacle of protesters being shot dead by their own police – as opposed to trigger-happy Israeli troops – caused an explosion of popular anger and precipitated Mr Arafat's most serious internal crisis for six years.
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 08:32 PM - link

Every once in a while someone comes along and arranges the kaliedoscope we call reality into a framework that we can hang off of.

Metaphors of Terror

The reaction of the Bush administration is just what you would expect a conservative reaction to be—pure Strict Father morality: The world is a dangerous place. There is evil loose in the world. We must show our strength and wipe it out. Retribution and vengeance are called for. If there are "casualties" or "collateral damage," so be it.

The reaction from liberals and progressives has been far different: Justice is called for, not vengeance. Understanding and restraint are what is needed. The model for our actions should be the rescue workers and doctors—the healers—not the bombers. We should not be like them, we should not take innocent lives in bringing the perpetrators to justice. Massive bombing of Afghanistan—with the killing of innocents—will show that we are no better than they. But it has been the administration's conservative message that has dominated the media. The event has been framed in their terms. As Newt Gingrich put it on the Fox Network, "Retribution is justice."

We must reframe the discussion. I was reminded recently of Gandhi's words: Be the change you want. The words apply to governments as well as to individuals.
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many thanks to Doc Searls

 08:10 PM - link


"Now the Taliban will pay a price" vowed President George W. Bush, as American and British fighter planes unleashed missile attacks against major cities in Afghanistan. The US Administration claims that Osama bin Laden is behind the tragic events of the 11th of September. A major war supposedly "against international terrorism" has been launched, yet the evidence amply confirms that agencies of the US government have since the Cold War harbored the "Islamic Militant Network" as part of Washington's foreign policy agenda. In a bitter irony, the US Air Force is targeting the training camps established in the 1980s by the CIA.

The main justification for waging this war has been totally fabricated. The American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their government into supporting a major military adventure which affects our collective future.
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thanks to MetaFilter

 05:40 PM - link

Conflict Will Follow Taliban's Fall

The United States has begun its military campaign in Afghanistan without first forging a post-Taliban regime. Although opposition forces will take advantage of U.S. air strikes to attempt to drive the Taliban from power, this will only usher in another round of fighting among the victors. Because the United States needs a friendly and stable regime in Kabul to facilitate its primary mission of rooting out Osama bin Laden and his Afghan Arabs, it will find itself drawn into an attempt at nation-building in Afghanistan. This is an intractable problem that could draw the United States into a lengthy, costly and ultimately doomed engagement in Afghanistan at the expense of its primary mission.
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And I'm sure the Russians have their interests in Afghanistan. For what it's worth, the Drudge Report reports the following:

The Russian military has secretly positioned troops on the outskirts of Kabul for an assault on the Afghan capital together with the opposition Northern Alliance forces, the Russian weekly Moscow News said Tuesday.

The weekly said Russian troops are operating tanks that had been given to the Northern Alliance as part of Moscow's military aid and are awaiting orders for an offensive against Kabul.

The maneuver is aimed at beating American forces in entering Kabul not only for the sake of Russian honor, but also to secure a role for Russia in shaping the post-Taliban order in Afghanistan, the weekly said.

In addition to supplying vast amounts of weaponry to the forces fighting the Taliban government, Moscow has also sent "military experts, technicians and military advisers," the Moscow News report said.

A precedent to Russia taking this type of action was seen in June 1999 during the Yugoslavia war when Russian forces surprised the NATO-led international force and occupied the airport at the Kosovo capital.

 03:15 PM - link

Reality has been getting in the way again.

I had a birthday party for Mike, my 2 year old grandson, Sunday. It was nice having family over and focusing on celebrating a two year old than what was happening elsewhere.

Yesterday afternoon it was off to Seattle to see Christine Lavin. (Zoe does the christinelavin.com site and I do the christinelavin.com records site.) She was playing at the Century Ballroom on Capitol Hill. Great old ballroom built in 1903. Christine was great. Waited after the show to drive her to her hotel so we ended up on the 1 am ferry back to Whidbey Island.

Now it's back to surreality land.

 02:39 PM - link

  Sunday   October 7   2001

The phony war is over. The shooting war begins.

 10:03 AM - link

Flying blind with a lazy press

If the London newspaper The Observer is correct, the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division and 101st Air Assault Division will join British commandos in a strike deep inside Taliban territory in Afghanistan within days. Since the present crisis began, the British press has been far ahead of its American counterparts in reporting military developments. The Guardian reported special forces teams inside Afghanistan six days before USA Today broke the story in the United States, explaining that Pakistani newspapers had already revealed it.

British reporters clearly have an advantage in reporting from what was a part of the British Empire until just after World War II. But as USA Today's implicit apology shows, there's more to it than that. Amid the patriotic stampede, American journalists appear reluctant to seek information not handed to them by "Pentagon sources" or "high officials" in the Bush White House.

thanks to BookNotes

Welcome back Craig!

 09:46 AM - link

New plan to destroy Taliban

The international community, led by the US and Britain, is working behind the scenes on an elaborate plan to topple the tottering Taliban as quickly as possible through diplomatic pressure and replace it with a broadly based government that is to some degree democratic.

But British officials were adamant yesterday that the Northern Alliance, an ethnically diverse grouping as undemocratic as the Taliban, will not be allowed to take charge. One official said it would be "a recipe for disaster". Mr Blair, describing the sort of new government he hoped for, said: "Most people accept that the best thing for everyone is to have a broad-based, relatively stable and democratic as possible regime in Afghanistan."
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It will be no small order to achieve anything close to a democratic government. I hope that they can pull it off. At least there is a recognition that the Northern Alliance is not a group you would want to turn your back on.

Northern Alliance denounced
by RAWA (Revolutionary Association of Women)

In our opinion there is no difference between Taliban and Northern Alliance. Both are criminal and anti-democratic forces to the marrow of their bone.

Please note that one of the forgotten aspects of the Afghan catastrophe is the role of Rabbani-Masoud & Co (Northern Alliance also called Jehadis) in destroying and looting the country and the death and destitution they brought with them after the fall of the pro-Soviet puppet regime. More importantly hundreds of girls, women and even young boys were raped and a great number of girls committed suicide lest be assaulted by the barbaric Jehadis (Northern Alliance) henchmen. Most of anti-women rules and measures to deprive, suppress and insult them were taken when these Jehadi murderers came to power till 1996 when their brethren-in-creed-Taliban replaced them.
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thanks to Ethel the Blog

 01:26 AM - link