American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, February 23, 2002
Kirsten, please note I didn't refer to you personally when I said 'have a problem? . . . get science, etc.'--this was to any wayward readers who wandered over here from Ken Layne or something. Kirsten Anderson is--to all you in the world who weren't aware--one of the coolest underground art figures in Seattle, and deals routinely with the likes of Dan Clowes, Chris Ware (heard last nite on "This American Life"--very funny) and Mark Ryden, among many more. I am also very honored that she has agreed to move her blog over to my domain: viva Thumbmonkey!

Kirsten, you rock, and please accept my deepest apologies if you thought my acid was directed at you--it wasn't.

The Emergence Of The Fascist American Theocratic State
John Stanton And Wayne Madsen

Historians will record that between November 2000 and February 2002, democracy-as envisioned by the creators of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution-effectively came to an end. As democracy died, the Fascist American Theocratic State ["The State"] was born. This new fascist era was designed and implemented primarily by Republican organizations and individuals who funded, supported and ultimately inserted George Bush II in office. Equally complicit in this atrocity was the Democratic Party, itself having become corrupt and beholden to its own interests. But the greatest tragedy in this horrific turn of events was that the public and media embraced fascism's coming. It should be noted that the Green Party's valiant efforts were too little, too late.

WOW!
Dr Menlo ripped me a new one! I'd never heard of Bjorn before- and I never said I agreed with him, I was just facinated by what he was saying and thought it was very interesting thought fodder. Anyway to all outraged Samizdaters, I humbly stand down. I shall go "get myself some science" now....
Gravely,
Miss Anderson
Afghan refugees sold into prostitution; indentured servitude flourishes; scenes from a slave auction Pakistan’s slave trade
Howard Clifford... Family in camp "apartment". From the Camp Harmony Exhibit at the University of Washington. "...In the spring of 1942, just months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, more than 100,000 residents of Japanese ancestry were forcefully evicted by the army from their homes in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona and Alaska, and sent to nearby temporary assembly centers. From there they were sent by trains to American-style concentration camps at remote inland sites where many people spent the remainder of the war. This exhibit tells the story of Seattle's Japanese American community in the spring and summer of 1942 and their four month sojourn at the Puyallup Assembly Center known as 'Camp Harmony.'"
Look out, Internet sextrepreneurs: John Aschroft wants you to serve hard time.

In explicit terms, the attorney general told Congress this week that hardcore sex sites would no longer be selling peeks at balloon-breasted babes.

"I am concerned about obscenity and I'm concerned about obscenity as it relates to our children," Ashcroft said in his first appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.

Is 36 C acceptable? or, say: this lass?
WASHINGTON — American tobacco companies have violated sanctions against Iraq for years by sending billions of cigarettes into the country, often with the aid of a terrorist organization, the European Union has alleged.

The allegations, made in recent filings in U.S. District Court in New York, were the latest salvos in a civil racketeering lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris by the European Community and 10 member nations. The suit accused tobacco companies of running a global and decades-long cigarette smuggling operation that robbed national treasuries of billions of dollars in tax revenue and became a money-laundering vehicle for criminal organizations.
[ more]
Michael Moore's Stupid White Men hits number one at Amazon.

"I'm up early doing a satellite tour of 20 or so radio stations around the country. The best thing about hitting #1 is that it has turned around all my interviewers perceptions about Bush's popularity. One after the other, I hear them say through my headphones, "Gee, I thought Bush's approval was 80%, but here you have a book that shreds him to pieces -- and that book is the biggest selling book on Amazon.com!" What a refreshing thing to listen to after months of a compliant press bowing down to the Oval Office Occupier."

Michael Moore's last book tour ended up as a movie. This book tour is being chronicled at Mike's Book Tour Diary. You can get to the latest entry from the Mike's Book Tour Diary button at Mike's home page.

Friday, February 22, 2002
While Kirsten Anderson's credentials in the world of outsider art are superlative, I'm afraid she was done in a bit on the cuckolded side by falling for a side of baloney like that espoused by an economist writing about science--i.e., Bjorn Lomborg.

For a quality debunking, I defer to Grist Magazine, who offers up real and actual scientists to talk about the matters Lomborg 'discusses.'

The only thing 'brave' about Bjorn Lomborg is his ability to take his retardation public.

You got a problem with that? Email me your arguments and our distinguished panel of science fans and citizens of earth will respond. And for Buddha's sake, get yourself some science, why don't you?

AMERICAN SAMIZDAT

WEAPON OF MASS INSTRUCTION

SaudiPhobes Target Neil Bush
Wide-ranging and link-heavy essay by AntiWar.com's Justin Raimondo. Lots of interesting Oilbiz/Saudi backgrounder.
Chris Weinkopf -- Danielle van Dam — Victim of "Alternative Lifestyles?"
Right-winger wonders if San Diego family's 'swinger' lifestyle contributed to the kidnapping of their child. Manages to throw in a Clinton reference at the end, natch.

Meanwhile, next-door-neighbor and reportedly failed swinger David Westerfield has been arrested after the missing little girl's blood was found on his clothing and vehicle.
"THE PROFITS OF DOOM"
"Matt Ridley celebrates Bjorn Lomborg, the environmentalist brave enough to tell the truth — that the end is not nigh..." Interesting article on how maybe we're not as fucked as we think.
"Do not believe falsehoods about American cruelty. See for yourselves! Select representatives to come forward and observe the treatment they will receive. Then these representatives can return and guide you to safety. You will receive food, water, clothing, and medical treatment..." Leaflet 509 from Psychological Warfare in World War II. "...selected propaganda leaflets used during World War II to influence Japanese soldiers serving in Japan and the Philippines, as well as Japanese civilians."
Please circulate far and wide.
>
> Vigil for Shawn Maxwell
> Sunday Feb. 24th at 2:00pm
> at the shooting location
> (51st and 7th Ave N.E.)
>
> This will be followed at 2:30 by a community meeting
> at the Peace Cafe regarding police violence and
> accountability. Points of discussion will include
> starting a cop watch program in the neighborhood and
> strengthening community bonds in the aftermath of
> this shooting.

"So, I'm assuming by now that people have heard about the death of Shawn Maxwell a few days ago. He was a black man, shot by the Seattle Police Department in front of my house........"

- Matt Leonard
Thursday, February 21, 2002
Asaf Oron's Statement, Refusing to Serve in the Occupied Territories

[Asaf Oron, a Sergeant Major in the Giv'ati Brigade, is one of the original 53 Israeli soldiers who signed the "Fighters' Letter" ( Courage to Refuse - Combatant Letter 2002 ) declaring that from now on they will refuse to serve in the Occupied territories. He is signer #8 and one of the first in the list to include a statement explaining his action. My sense is that his statement comes as close as possible to being the refuseniks' manifesto, given the loose structure of the group and their insistence on independent, individual responsibility. Below is my translation of Oron's statement. Read it, and you will no longer be surprised by the amazing response to the soldiers' initiative (251 signers as of February 17, 2002).--Ami Kronfeld]

"We are the Chinese young man standing in front of the tank. And you? If you are nowhere to be seen, you are probably inside the tank, advising the driver."
The Death of Empires
a very good question put to each of us
by Jon Carroll in his column today
Unsafe, Unsightly and just plain Idiotic...
tonight on PBS FRONTLINE:
Rollover: Hidden History of the SUV
and this brief examination of the program from the SF Chronicle
friends don't let friends buy SUVs
Issandr El Amrani
Cairo, Egypt
Feb. 14, 2002


Photo: Issandr El Amrani
More than eight months after he was sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of illegally accepting foreign funds, sullying Egypt's image abroad, and embezzlement, Egyptian human-rights activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim walked free—pending a retrial—on Feb. 7. Ibrahim's seven-month trial, which began in November 2000, and his subsequent imprisonment, led international human-rights organizations and Western governments to express concern that the country was backtracking on political reforms. Local activists, who had long warned that the government was strangling civil society with tacit Western approval, were silenced by his arrest.
[more] America has made military tribunals acceptable.
It is always useful to know who the enemy is and how we know we have won the war against terrorism Otherwise, we are likely to label just about anything and anyone we dislike as terrorists or terrorism to justify our actions.
thanks Al: I blog therefore I am.
In the spirit of the post below from the hardest workin man in the blog business:

Palestine Chronicle - An Open Letter To My Palestinian Brothers and Sisters
As the deathtoll mounts in the Middle East, here is an article written purely from the Palestinian point-of-view-- you'll understand how much once you read the complex, intelligent piece of strategy and consolation by Palestinian-American businessman Jaffer Ali. From PalestineChronicle.com.

From the Israeli perspective comes this piece by Micah D. Halpern about Arafat and what he should (and won't) do. The latter is from the incredibly well-designed Israel Insider website.
Wednesday, February 20, 2002
About bitterlemons.org

Bitterlemons.org is a website that presents Israeli and Palestinian viewpoints on prominent issues of concern. It focuses on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and peace process, but other, related regional issues are also discussed. It is produced, edited and partially written by Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian, and Yossi Alpher, an Israeli. Its goal is to contribute to mutual understanding through the open exchange of ideas. It aspires to impact the way Palestinians, Israelis and others worldwide think about regional issues.

Bitterlemons.org is directed toward the interested public and policymakers in the region and elsewhere. Each weekly edition of bitterlemons.org is posted on our website. Readers can obtain a free subscription by entering their email address in the space provided on the home page or by writing to subscribe@bitterlemons.org.

bitterlemons.org As an example of this on-line discussion, The French have recently offered a proposal for resolving the Palestinain/Israeli deadlock in the region, for which see an evaluation and discussion of French peace proposal I find this site useful in that it offers views from both sides rather than simply feeding into pre-conceived notions.
Gays Caused Enron Collapse, sez Christian newspaper editor
The push for same-sex domestic partnerships in Fortune 500 companies has put those companies in a position where they are "promoting" homesexual behavior while doing business in regions where homosexual behaviour is illegal. This guys says it created a slippery slope where accounting firms began to selectively obey laws.
How To Tell Japs From The Chinese (LIFE Magazine, December 1941). "...In the first discharge of emotions touched off by the Japanese assaults on their nation, U.S. citizens have been demonstrating a distressing ignorance on the delicate question of how to tell a Chinese from a Jap. Innocent victims in cities all over the country are many of the 75,000 U.S. Chinese, whose homeland is our stanch ally. So serious were the consequences threatened, that the Chinese consulates last week prepared to tag their nationals with identification buttons. To dispel some of this confusion, LIFE here adduces a rule-of-thumb from the anthropometric conformations that distinguish friendly Chinese from enemy alien Japs." From Posters from World War Two - curriculum for the course Japanese American Internment at the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at San Francisco State University.
Stonewall hero and longtime activist Sylvia Rivera died on Tuesday. As a 17-year-old drag queen, she led the spontaneous resistance to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn on June 27, 1969. Some links:
-- New York Times obituary of Sylvia Rivera
-- 1998 Workers World interview with Sylvia Rivera in which she described life on the streets of New York as a drag queen, the uprising in Greenwich Village, and the era that followed
-- 1999 New York Times short memoir by Rivera of her life since Stonewall
Anyone expressing surprise at the supernova-like explosion of Enron and its accounting firm Arthur Andersen must have been roommates in a cave with Osama bin Laden. Eight or nine years ago, Newt Gingrich and the Contract With America laid the very groundwork by which Enron and Arthur Andersen could perpetrate their gigantic fraud on the public.

The benign-sounding Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 would enable corporations and their accountants to dodge investor lawsuits.
[link]
Tuesday, February 19, 2002
in reference to an earlier post


requires nurturing & support
yourstruly made mention of this on post of 2.18;
I've addresses of some of the contributors to American Samizdat &
you'll find copies heading your way care of the U.S. Postal Service.
More info re War Times as I can come up with it...

Millennium persecution Images
Somewhat extravagant title for one of the best online collections of images from Palestinian uprising of 2000-present. This site has links to other galleries, illuminating the importance that photography has always had in this and other low-inensity conflicts. Each sides attempts to use images as part of their war for security/independence. Even with all propaganda value stripped away, these galleries contain some striking and moving images.
The response to this New Scientist story, on the newstands since the beginning of the month, has been a collective shrug. 'Anthrax, schmanthrax, that's so three months ago...'

Investigators are virtually certain of one thing, though: it was an inside job. The anthrax attacker is an American scientist -- and worse, one from within the US's own biodefence establishment. And only now, four months on from the posting of the first letters, are the frightening implications of that beginning to sink in.

America's experience of bioterrorism was, above all, one of institutional failure and a breakdown in the trust on which those institutions are based. The US had its own bioweapons research turned against it-by one of its own. To add to the embarrassment, advances in the massive investigation so far owe more to the serendipity of a few researchers than to any organised response to bioterrorism.

::Debora MacKenzie, New Scientist: The Insider
Bush Seeks a New Generation Of Nuclear Weapons, Delivery Systems
Some groups are criticizing the Bush administration's plans. "Not since the resurgence of the Cold War in Ronald Reagan's first term has there been such an emphasis on nuclear weapons in U.S. defense strategy," said the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group that specializes in analyzing U.S. nuclear weapons programs.

At the time the Nuclear Posture Review was released, officials focused attention on its proposals for large-scale reductions in the number of nuclear warheads. Bush announced in November that the United States will reduce the number of deployed warheads from its current level of 6,000 to between 1,700 and 2,200 within 10 years. But instead of destroying most of the warheads, the administration plans to put them in storage where they could be reactivated.

Terry Jones on the potential Bombing of Iraq in the Observer newspaper:
"To prevent terrorism by dropping bombs on Iraq is such an obvious idea that I can't think why no one has thought of it before. It's so simple. If only the UK had done something similar in Northern Ireland, we wouldn't be in the mess we are in today..."
Read the rest of the article at http://www.observer.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,651594,00.html
An advocate for the control of biological weapons who has been gathering information about last autumn's anthrax attacks said yesterday the Federal Bureau of Investigation has a strong hunch about who mailed the deadly letters.

But the FBI might be "dragging its feet" in pressing charges because the suspect is a former government scientist familiar with "secret activities that the government would not like to see disclosed," said Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, director of the Federation of American Scientists' Chemical and Biological Weapons Program.
The Abraham Lincoln Wing - A Specialized Collection of United States Essays & Proofs. Part of the Peter Schwartz collection at the Museum of United States Essays & Proofs. "...dedicated to the study and appreciation of early U.S. postage and revenue stamp design, as seen through the actual handiwork of the designers and engravers essays and proofs."


Operation Enduring Freedom
WAR, PROPAGANDA, AND TOPPS TRADING CARDS
[ link]
Tariq Ramadan: The Muslim Martin Luther?
The author of "To Be a European Muslim" discusses terrorism, the problem of Saudi Arabia and whether Islam can peacefully coexist with the West.
[link]
Monday, February 18, 2002
Permit THIS!
"The City of Seattle's refusal to grant a permit to organizers for November 30, 2001 ?Ethe second anniversary of the 1999 WTO Ministerial conference in Seattle, led to our creation and first victory. We sought and were granted a federal injunction requiring the City of Seattle to issue a Special Event Permit so people could peacefully gather and rally in Westlake Park on N30, 2001!

"The legal battle has just begun."


"Tuvalu is sinking, man!"

--Ryan Parker, whom we most fervently hope will be joining us soon.

Complete Collapse of North Atlantic Fishing Predicted
"The entire North Atlantic is being so severely overfished that it may completely collapse by 2010, reveals the first comprehensive survey of the entire ocean's fishery.

"'We'll all be eating jellyfish sandwiches,' says Reg Watson, a fisheries scientist at the University of British Columbia."

Stop the Hog Farm: Go Veg.
W-o-T® Me Worry? According to a report in a Lebanese daily as related by Ha'aretz, CIA director George Tenet reportedly asked President Mubarak not to oppose a US attack on Iraq, reportedly stating during his visit to Egypt Saturday that the US has already decided to take this next step. The scenario reportedly involves the US demanding that Iraq allow the return of arms inspectors, fully expecting Iraq to defy the ultimatum and open itself to a massive attack The Guardian 'But former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter writes that Iraq has already called Bush's bluff, by showing a willingness to discuss the issue of inspectors, and raising the question as to whether a U.S. call for them "has been merely rhetorical".' CommonDreams [via Cursor, as are many of these links] The New York Times yesterday had Colin Powell rejecting Iraqi assurances on arms inspectors as, well, rhetoric.



"...let's find Osama bin Laden, together. If alive, he is certainly not in Baghdad," Michael Naumann, former German Minister of Culture and editor of Die Zeit, writes in a NY Times op-ed piece. Why Europe Is Wary of War in Iraq:

"...While American patriotism proudly celebrates its armed forces' power and victories, Europe's diverse loyalties and identities are formed by a war-weary pessimism thoroughly grounded in our history: Wars can be just, certainly those fought in self- defense can; but they can be bloody useless, too. This pessimism may shade, potentially, into appeasement, yet its roots are real. They explain European reluctance to intervene quickly in Bosnia — a deplorable reluctance, in hindsight — and the present refusal to join arms with the United States against Iraq.



This time, however, the powder keg is not the Balkans but the highly armed, explosive Mideast. Too many guns are drawn, too many fingers are on the triggers, and some of them could be on nuclear bombs. This should be the hour of forceful diplomacy, not to be mistaken for appeasement.



The distance between Europe's leaders and the Bush administration continues to grow. The existence of a new threat — global terrorism — is undisputed. But Washington's unilateralism, from here, looks like simply a form of America's longstanding isolationism, which is to say that the distance is created by America, not by Europe. Perhaps North Atlantic Treaty Organization members should not whine so much about being left out of Pentagon planning sessions. But the United States might benefit from recalling the late Senator J. William Fulbright's diatribes against "arrogance of power." Europe's liberal and conservative pundits already are."

However, what this argument does not explain is why the US after Vietnam should not be as war-weary and -wary as Europe. A European FmH reader wrote to suggest that this is because wars have been fought on European but not US soil; could that really be the difference, when most of the living European adult population is as remote in time from the last pan-European ground war in 1945 as the US is in space. I'm convinced one has to turn instead to temperamental differences. The cowboy strain in American psychology -- both rugged individualism and cocky adventurism -- born of having had a frontier to push against for most of our history, has been an important difference, especially when the yahoos off the ranch are the same people managing the interests of Big Oil.

Indeed, European warnings about the rift in the Atlantic alliance that would be caused by an attack on Iraq don't seem to give Dubya pause. Neither does criticism of an Afghan-style intervention by even a key Iraqi resistance leader, reports the Christian Science Monitor. In fact, 'President Bush and his top aides now seem to welcome, even to egg on, the sharp differences prompted by Mr. Bush's determination to expand his battle against what he calls "evil" regimes', suggested yesterday's New York Times. Bush relishes his dark, struggle-against-evil worldview, says this Washington Post foreign policy analyst who found that Bush had picked the brains of grim foreign correspondent Robert Kaplan months before 9-11.

'Many Republicans criticized the Clinton administration for entering peacekeeping operations without having an exit strategy. It's ironic, perhaps, that this administration seems to be waging war without any exit strategy other than moving to the next battlefield. The war could become, as in the Orwell novel 1984, a permanent state of being. "War is Peace," the Ministry of Truth slogan read in the novel.


Or, as Kaplan has argued, war becomes a condition no longer distinctly separate from peace. Bush has embraced that view, at least for now. As he declared in his State of Union address, "I will not wait on events, while dangers gather." He has seen a grim landscape, to paraphrase Kaplan, and seems determined to confront it.'

The administration jackasses are so enamored of their grandiose anti-axis-of-evil mission that a set of new campaign ads will suggest, in essence, that supporting Democrats aids the terrorists. ABC via MetaFilter

Meanwhile, David Corn asks in The Nation, US mis-strikes: mistakes or war crimes?

That's a provocative question, the sort of query that few, if any, reporters at the Pentagon briefing room are going to toss at Rummy. Nevertheless, it's a question that may bear consideration as new details emerge about the latest US mis-strikes.



Over the past week, two US military operations originally touted as successes have turned into PR nightmares for the Defense Department and the CIA First, the Pentagon had to acknowledge (sort of) that a January 24 commando raid that attacked two small compounds in Hazar Qadam--resulting in the deaths of 21 or so Afghans and the capture of 27 others--had been a mistake. Those people killed or grabbed were not, as the Pentagon first announced, Taliban or Al Qaeda fighters, but troops and local officials loyal to the current government. Then The Washington Post reported on Monday that the three men killed on February 4 in the remote village of Zhawar by a Hellfire missile fired from a Predator drone were not Al Qaeda leaders, as the Pentagon had suggested. They were Afghan peasants foraging for scrap metal, and the group did not include Osama bin Laden. Media reports following the attack raised the possibility the Al Qaeda chief had been one of the dead.


Corn and others in the progressive/alternative press have, of course, been raising such questions all along. But now the mainstream press, as well, is revisiting 'collateral damage' as war coverage takes a negative turn, reports the Washington Post
Time to stop being America's lap-dog
Observer editorial

Tony Blair is faced with a stark choice - either to ally himself to the increasingly conservative and intolerant US or be a fully engaged European

The most important political story of our time is the rise of the American Right and the near collapse of American liberalism. This has transformed the political and cultural geography of the United States and now it is set to transform the political and cultural geography of the West. Britain's reflex reactions to an ally with whom we apparently share so much and which has served us well are going to be tested as never before. (...)

The emergence of the largely reactionary south and west of the US as its new economic and political centres of gravity; the weakness of its rules on campaign finance which allow rich, usually conservative, candidates to buy elections; the inability of American liberals to fight back; the embrace of Straussian ideas, laced with traditional anti-tax, free-market nostrums - these ingredients make a deadly cocktail.
consider this a heads up...
late yesterday evening, watching the local news (KTVU),
caught a story about local folks making their voice heard;
spent a good hour this morning trying to track down a copy
with no luck at all, maybe tomorrow when I'm in the city...
wha' you talkin' bout Willis?
new publication premiered this week, War Times
distribution appears to be quite limited at this time,
I'll update with further info when available.
Sunday, February 17, 2002
This article is going to remind you of the classic three-card monty, wondering where the money gets shifted to. But here is the scam operator and how he moves with his organization--and note how Enron enters too, along with many government offices.(s)the money pit
Selected quotations from a Monitor Breakfast with Arthur Levitt Jr., former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission on the Enron debacle [link]
The Spirit of Terrorism
by Jean Baudrillard


Terrorism is immoral. The event of the World Trade Center, this symbolic
challenge is immoral, and it answers a globalization that is immoral. Then
let us be immoral ourselves and, if we want to understand something, let
us go somewhat beyond Good and Evil. As we have, for once, an event that
challenges not only morals, but every interpretation, let us try to have
the intelligence of Evil. The crucial point is precisely there: in this
total counter-meaning to Good and Evil in Western philosophy, the
philosophy of Enlightenment. We naively believe that the progress of the
Good, its rise in all domains (sciences, techniques, democracy, human
rights) correspond to a defeat of Evil. Nobody seems to understand that
Good and Evil rise simultaneously, and in the same movement. The triumph
of the One does not produce the erasure of the Other.

Therefore, here, death is the key (to the game) not only the brutal
irruption of death in direct, in real time, but also the irruption of a
more-than-real death: symbolic and sacrificial death - the absolute, no
appeal event.


This is the spirit of terrorism.

Never is it to attack the system through power relations. This belongs to
the revolutionary imaginary imposed by the system itself, which survives
by ceaselessly bringing those who oppose it to fight in the domain of the
real, which is always its own. But (it) moves the fight into the symbolic
domain, where the rule is the rule of challenge, of reversal, of
escalation. Thus, death can be answered only though an equal or superior
death. (Terrorism) challenges the system by a gift that the latter can
reciprocate only through its own death and its own collapse.

found thru open brackets
Designs for Democracy: 200 Years of Drawings from the National Archives. "...an exhibition of nearly 125 design drawings selected from the vast holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration and its Presidential Libraries."
North Africans (Moors) demand apology from Spain! This should make your day. Who invaded whom? via Ken.Layne blog.

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