American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, March 16, 2002


Remember the East Asia crisis? when the US Treasury and its IMF allies blamed that region's problems on crony capitalism, lack of transparency, and poor corporate governance? Countries were told to follow the American model, use American auditing firms, bring in American entrepreneurs to teach them how to run their companies. (Never mind that under the leadership of their own entrepreneurs East Asia grew faster than any other region - and with greater stability - over the previous three decades.) The unfolding Enron scandal brings new meaning to two favorite American sayings: ``What goes around comes around,'' and ``People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.''

Crony Capitalism American Style
Alas. I seem to have caused many to get indignant. Sorry about that. A quick note (since there is no spot where views might be exchanged at this site).
1. I am aware of the camps and how bad they are. Question: how did the camps come into existence? Who had the land that is now under Israeli control? Why did the two nations (the only two) make peace with Israel but did not want this land back?
2. A book written by someone years ago from the camps is simply that: a book written years ago about the camps. In fact, you no longer see kids tossing stones but bearing automatic weapons...how did they manage to turn stones into authomatics?
3. I do get a bit annoyed when told I am this or that when in fact not that much is known about me. I have been in a war zone and know what goes on that is not what is or should be "proper." I challenge virtually anyone to imply that they read more Arab sites on a daily basis than I do. In fact I have even had an e-mail exchanges with one of the leading Arab terror groups at their website. I read more Arab sites than I do Israeli ones!
4. I knew years ago that Israel was becoming a garrison state because of the many attempts to eradicate it; America is heading now in this direction.
5. I believe and have identified with Palestinians, Chrisitians, and American Jews to get Israel out of the occupied territories--but on condition that a peace accord between contending parties is signed. Who gives back land taken in war without first having a peace accord?
6. How many of my detractors have examined the public school texts used in the territories under PLO control? Try it.
7. The US is "even" willing now to reocgnize a Palestinian state? This is because we want (it won't happen) Arab support for an attack against Iraq and are sucking up to get their friendship. The Palestinians were offered statehood in 1947 by a huge vote of support in the UN. It was turned it down. The Rightwing in Israel might oppose a Palestinian state but the center and today';s just issued poll reveals that over 60% of Israelis favor statehood for Palestine and a giving back of the territorires. So why merely site a minority view to make a case to support one's position?
8. Simple test: let both sides cease shooting at each other, get to peace table and hammer out an accord. If one or the other does not make a good faith effort and abide by the terms, or walks away from the table because not getting enough, then we will know where proper blame can be placed. Fair enough, no?
9. Both sides have been cruel, filled with hate, and intransigent. But there is a viable Leftist oppostion allowed in Israel. I don't find this in any of the Arab countries. There are extremists on both sides. The notion that a paper ought not write about the refugee camps because someone is not there is overly simplistic: There are reporters who know the camps firsthand. The camps are a symptom of the problem but not a solution or the cause.
10. A high ranking Carter appointee said years ago: Let Saudi Arabia recognize Israeli's right to exist and then we can recognize a Palestinian right to exist as a state too. Let's see then how the Arab League reacts in the upcoming meeting in Syrian occupied Lebanon.
I will no longer post anything about the Israeli/Arab conflict since it seems to cause a bit of upset here.
Peace to all.
It's not difficult to get facts and opinions on what is happening in Palestine. It's just that most of the facts and opinions we read in this country are written by those who have never been to Palestine. I would wager quite a bit that the writer of the Wall Street Journal piece below has not spent much time in the refugee camps of Gaza.

I would recommend a book written by someone who has. Amira Hass is an Israeli journalist writing for Ha'aretz. In 1993 she was assigned to cover Gaza as the Oslo Peace Accords were being implemented. She took the radical step of actually moving to Gaza to live. She rented an apartment in Gaza City and lived with the Palestinians that are feared and despised by most Israelis.

Drinking the Sea at Gaza : Days and Nights In A Land Under Siege is the book of those experiences. You will find that the situation in Gaza is a bit more multi-faceted than the Wall Street Journal, or the current Israeli government, will admit. This book is a must read.

Other sources for what is happening in Israel/Palestine: indymedia israel, the left-wing paper Ha'aretz, right leaning papers The Jerusalem Post and israel insider. The extreme right papers are all in Hebrew. These are all Israeli sources.

I generally don't quote Palestinian sources because too many will discount them simply because they are Palestinian. You won't find many Palestinian sources supporting Israel. (However, you will find many Israeli sources supporting the Palestinians.) An excellent place to start for Palestinian sources is The Electronic Intifada.

This is a very complex situation. Know all you can.

Friday, March 15, 2002
Fred, while there may be more than one side to any political discussion, you are being disingenuous --to say the least--to trot out this troll before presenting yet another link in support of Israel's latest atrocities (which you do not mention and are too numerous for me to mention here, now). If by predictable, you mean a source of information least likely to be spoiled by mass propaganda machines, then by Zeus, I wouldn't mind being so predictable . . . A symptom of being "spoiled" by aforementioned progit engines would be the naive swallowing and subsequent regurgitation of certain oft-trod myths--here's an example: the myth that Palestinians SEND their children out to the dangerous intersections of Jews and Arabs dotting these deadly zones. This is a myth, Fred. I cannot tell you how many first hand accounts I have read or listened to which portray worried Palestinian parents locking their children in the house to prevent just that. While I have the utmost of respect for you Fred, and your beliefs, I also believe that in the case of the Israeli-Palestinian issue you have become nothing more than a tautological intercom for the Israeli killing regime. I have been particularly incensed over the actions of Israel as of late, and was more than pleasantly surprised to see the U.S., of all people, sponsor a bill in support of a Palestinian state. Meanwhile, over at the Samizdat, you, Fred, seem to be not only ignorant of the latest extrajudicial executions, supranational excursions, and additional cold-blooded murders conducted by the official state of Israel on Palestinian men, women and children (and Red Cross ambulance drivers) in a manner seemingly pell mell here, there, and everywhere--but you doggedly continue to plug anti-Palestinian views in a way which would make FOX News proud. If you really believe in looking at more than one side to a political discussion, Fred, I suggest you start with yourself.
There is, as usual, more than one side to any political discussion. Even so dedicated a left-wing writer as the highly honored Israeli revisionist historian Benny Morris--the Arab web sites sell his books on line--has changed his position since the suicide bombings began and steadily mounted in Israel. Thus-- horror of horrors-- this right of center American paper recently published a piece LINK which presents an argument contrary to the ones often posted here and at other sites.

I offer this so that our outstanding and very young new site does not become overly predictable, as is the case with Znet, Counterpunch, The Weekly Standard, Commentary and others, where like good parishoners, we go weekly to reaffirm our membership in the various Texts of Holy Writ that we have accepted as The One True Faith while (alas) all others --non-believers--wander in the Darkness of False Belief, having their own Bibles and Faith that strike us as plain silly, meaningless, and empty of The True Way--the one we affirm and know to be Right, though located to the Left.

There is a fiction that the Israeli right-wing, including Sharon, sees the inevitability of a Palestinian state. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are deep divisions in Israeli society. Divisions deep enough to cause fear, in Israel, of an Israeli civil war should the settlements ever have to be evacuated. Remember, the Israeli Prime Minister, Rabin, that sought peace was assassinated by an Israeli settler. Two articles from the left-wing Israeli paper Ha'aretz...

With a mighty hand
Sharon's intoxicating policy of force has been encouraging the brutal dreams of the right and its power to extort

"I don't agree," said Sarbaro angrily. "This is our land. The solution is in the nation's ability not to leave even one of them here. Transfer or extermination, it's all the same to me. Anyone who wants to accept our rule and ownership, without civil rights and without ownership of land, can stay. Whoever doesn't will be eliminated. Even if we kill them all, the hostile population will give birth to new terrorists. I'm no racist. In the Jewish people there are many races, but I absolutely hate anyone who hates the Jewish people. I don't believe that they will agree to live under our rule. They see themselves as occupied and no people will agree to live under occupation over time, so we have to get rid of them, to wipe them out."[more]

Our self-appointed settler warlords

The truth is, this only looks like a dispute between hawks and doves over relations with the Palestinians. Actually, the settlers have their own special agenda - a nice, solid one that conflicts with the agenda of most Israeli citizens. Over the years, however, they have managed to hide its true essence behind a veil of defense concerns or nostalgic-Zionist inertia.

Only occasionally does the truth slip out, via an unplanned shout at a rally ("The people of Israel don't want peace!") or the careless remark of a settler ("The real dispute is over the character of the state. We've never had any intention of being a nation like all others.

"Secular Zionism has got it all wrong. We're going to build a Temple on the Temple Mount, and the mosque will be torn down," a settler told Ha'aretz correspondent Daniel Ben Simon in September 2001). [more]
Portrait of José Guadalupe Posada with his son S.D.. "...During the Revolution war of 1910, and until his death in 1913, the artist worked restless in the press for the working class. His political stamps are considered today, a chronicle of the social and political events of his time." José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913). The life and works of José Guadalupe Posada at Arts and History - a virtual forum of Mexican culture.
A class-action lawsuit was filed in district court in Washington, D.C., today alleging that Iraq, "in whole or in part," planned and financed the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City nearly seven years ago.

"Plaintiffs assert that the entire plot was, in whole or in part, orchestrated, assisted technically and/or financially, and directly aided by agents of the Republic of Iraq," said the suit, filed by public interest law firm Judicial Watch. [more]
WHEN DID ATHENS become Sparta? When did America redefine itself so profoundly around war?

Events of this winter had already prompted the question, but then over the weekend The Los Angeles Times published the stunning news of the Pentagon's Nuclear Posture Review. Reversing a longtime trend away from nuclear dependence, our government is projecting a US military strategy based on usable nukes, with unprecedented potential for first use against nonnuclear states, for development of new nuclear weapons, and even for a resumption of nuclear testing. This is a move from Mutual Assured Destruction, as The New York Times put it, to Unilateral Assured Destruction - our enemy's. Washington has invited Dr. Strangelove back.

How did this happen? [more]

With no medicine and little food, detainees are slowly dying: 3,000 forgotten Taliban prisoners.
Thursday, March 14, 2002
Vice Guide to American Foreign Policy
Anthony Lappé


One of the quickest ways to end a get dirty looks in America these days, I've found, is to point out certain historical truths. The other night, for instance, I made the mistake of pointing out to a group of fellow New Yorkers engulfed in a rehash of 9-11 experiences the irony that the number of WTC victims is almost exactly the same number of Panamanian civilians human rights experts estimate where killed by American forces in our 1989 "arrest" of Manual Noriega. "Huh?" The conversation screeched to a halt. People still don't like to hear that kind of relativism. Six months after the worst attack on American soil, we are still wearing blinders to our own legacy of death and destruction. As I look out on the two beams of light remembering America's innocents lost, I thought I'd republish a short list I wrote up for our friends at Vice magazine:.....
DOJ's Dot-Narc Rave Strategy
"The NDIC said five types of people should be targeted, including previous drug offenders, legalization advocates, anarchists and people promoting 'an expanded freedom of expression' that pushes the boundaries of the First Amendment."

Does this explain the six hundred and thirty-six hits from the U.S. Government for this domain in the last 8 days alone?

you learn something new every day...
certainly simpler to accomplish when you start out as ignorant a fool as yourstruly...
Nuclear Posture Review [Excerpts], from Global Security.org;
we heard it thru the grapevine
On December 4, 2001, Enron filed for bankruptcy. Not long ago Enron was the largest energy trader in the world, the largest natural gas pipeline owner in the country and a pioneering force behind energy deregulation. Employees and investors were stunned. How could one of the most wealthy and powerful corporations in the world go bust over night? Enron links
Enron is about money. The Tobacco industry is about money and health. And this is what has been taking place since the tobacco industry was exposed. The money: where some of the money went

smoking & hollywood

the industry and its broken promises

low tar, light cigarettes--the final deception

Wednesday, March 13, 2002
Mike's Book Tour Diary
Police Raid, Shut Down My Booksigning in San Diego

I have visited the most out-of-the-way places in California and, no matter where I go or how right-wing the congressman is that represents their district, all sorts of people are desperate to get inside to be with the thousands of others who want to be part of "United We Stand Against the Thief-in-Chief." Grass Valley, Hayward, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Ukiah, Arcata, Berkeley, Westwood, East L.A., Koreatown (L.A.) -- I wish all of you could see what I have seen. In every town, at every stop, huge throngs of Americans who are sick and tired of the silence that has been demanded of them, lest they be thought of as "unpatriotic" should they dare to question the actions of George W. Bush and company. That's what this tour is all about. It's time to come out and start acting like Americans again.

And then there was San Diego.[more]
it is our duty as a Liberty Loving primate. . .
to inform all of you visiting that we are on heightened alert:


& you better believe it brothers and sisters...


& just a personal aside (please see fit to minimize my ignorance)
but is there anything even remotely politically attuned in terms of
the independent web in re to civil disobedience, environmental issues,
support & maintenance of alternate news sources going on at SXSW ?
Some Uses for Mexican Plaster Burro Ornaments That for Some Reason Are Still in Your Car the Morning After You Capture Them from People's Lawns. "...Stiggs was reading that Winston Churchill painted a mouse on the corner of a Rubens painting in his house, which Stiggs really admired since it coincided with our policy that most paintings in art museums can use a plaster burro on them for extra balance and visuality. A few drops of an advanced type of miracle glue and a good design sense are all you need." From The Utterly Monstrous, Mind-Roasting Summer of O.C. and Stiggs by Tod Carroll and Ted Mann (National Lampoon, Fall '82). Our all-time favourite issue turns 20 this year.
As it turned out, while even most conservative Israelis (including Ariel Sharon) conceded that there would, in the end, be a Palestinian state, the Palestinians had not necessarily altered their own founding myths and intentions. Forget Hamas and Islamic Jihad and their culture of martyrdom and absolute victory. Last year, Faisal Husseini, a decided moderate among Yasir Arafat's leadership ranks, gave an interview not long before he died in which he compared Oslo to a Trojan horse, an intermediate, tactical step leading to the elimination of Israel. He said, "If you are asking me as a Pan-Arab nationalist what are the Palestinian borders according to the higher strategy, I will immediately reply: 'From the river to the sea' "—that is, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean.

[more]
If we are not allowed to torutre prisoners in the U.S. for information, we have friends elsewhere who can do it for us. U.S. Behind Secret Transfer of Terror Suspects
Christina, at elegant hack, has been busy. In addition to her blog on information architecture, Gleanings, she has just put up a new information architecture magazine called boxes and arrows. Web design is more than buttons and Flash. It begins here.

Boxes and Arrows is the definitive source for the complex task of bringing architecture and design to the digital landscape. There are various titles and professions associated with this undertaking—information architecture, information design, interaction design, interface design—but when we looked at the work that we were actually doing, we found a “community of practice” with similarities in outlook and approach that far outweighed our differences.
[more—much more]

Learning from the “Powers of Ten”

Although more than 20 years old, the series of films offers lessons on successful presentation and explorations of layered information. The information problems explored through film, by the Eameses, are really no different than many of the problems facing information architects today. Studying the Eames’ work and their processes may yield effective processes for today’s IA. Using different media and methods in prototyping and modeling of ideas, as well as presenting layers of information in a way that is simple and elegant, the Eameses succeeded in their original goals:

“The sketch should, Eames decided, appeal to a ten-year-old as well as a physicist; it should contain a ‘gut feeling’ about dimensions in time and space as well as a sound theoretical approach to those dimensions.”
[more]
Tuesday, March 12, 2002
Third former militiaman with links to massacres murdered
A Belgian court has postponed a decision over whether to indict Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister, for his role in the massacres – he was held "personally responsible" by an Israeli commission of inquiry – while lawyers for the survivors produce more evidence. But the vital evidence that may lie in the memories of those involved with the killers, who were allied to Israel at the time, is disappearing almost by the week as the death list grows.
more shenanigans from the current administration:
New threat to salmon habitat
Settlement plan cuts protections in 4 states


color us unsurprised...
Making pudding with a bucket... 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05.
"Body Piercing Linked to Risky Behavior in Teens"
In related news, Fear of Piercing Linked to Fundamentalism, Obesity, and Love of Jello . . .
Monday, March 11, 2002
"Lunch's career began in the seventies as part of the early seminal no-wave band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, but her rise to underground infamy came in the eighties, when her music became denoted by various collaborations (Birthday Party, Sonic Youth and Einsturzende Neubauten, to name an extreme few) and she expanded to the fringe of spoken-word poetry, photography, film and video. (She was once even the poster girl for the Whitney Museum of Art's Underground Film Festival.) Long before Henry Rollins took his reading act to the road, Lunch was touring with her personal salon of erotic, extreme and offbeat words/poetry; long before Jello Biafra began his Chomsky-esque tours of anti-populist rants, Lunch was giving her own alternative news reports."

Lydia Lunch: Women We Love

Warehouse Full of Russian Books May Go to Incinerator
Luckily, ATC reported a positive update on this story today: the landlord has given a three week extension, and the Library of Congress will "absorb" the most valuable books while doing their best to find homes for the rest. Thanks to Janet Kagan for the link.
FRANKENFISH
The folks over at Greenpeace have made a little flash game where you can "mutate" a fish and then email it to your pals. (To better warn people about enviromental pollution) Mindlessly fun for a few minutes...
the Bush tribe believes in Family Values
unfornately, these values happen to conflict w/the rest of us/ours,
D. Lazarus reminds us the sins of the father have become those of...
well, you likely already know the whole sordid story, it's good to be reminded, though...
Alex Jones Show Appearance Transcript
Interview with Gregory Palast

GP: Right. First you open up the capital markets. That is, you sell off your local banks to foreign banks. Then you go to what's called market-based pricing. That's the stuff like in California where everything is free market and you end up with water bills - we can't even imagine selling off water companies in the United States of America. But imagine if a private company like Enron owned your water. So then the prices go through the roof. Then open up your borders to trade - complete free marketeering. And Stiglitz who was the chief economist, remember he was running this system, he was their numbers man and he was saying it was like the opium wars. He said this isn't free trade; this is coercion trade. This is war. They are taking apart economies through this. [more]
Now we learn that the Bush gang were not really all Dr. Strangelove types but merely a batch of assholes: ha ha: we were kidding
The Legendary Jesus Helguera by Benjamin F. Hernandez. A salute to the famed Mexican calendar painter. "...Several generations of Mexican American families have hung the calendar artwork of Jesus Helguera on the walls of their homes. Some never noticed the signature on the bottom right hand corner. Helguera's art captures both the Christian spiritual and indigenous mystical images of Mexico's cultural past."
Sunday, March 10, 2002
The lure of conspiracy theories... defines a common bond between Islamic and Western societies.

The psychological motives that underlie paranoia vary, experts say. But they include a distrust of government, a drive to feel important and in the know, the tendency to blame others for misfortune and a need to make sense out of confusing events.

Americans are no strangers to any of these imperatives.
[more] via NY Times, reg reqd.

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