American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, April 20, 2002
I'm on my way out the door to catch some of the Seattle proceedings planned today in solidarity with the actions going on in D.C. and elsewhere . . . More soon. My best wishes and most heartfelt thanks to all the harbingers on the left who have helped make the Samizdat such a wonderful alternative outlet.
It's 4/20!

The Inside Dope on '420' Buzz
When, where and why did innocuous numbers become a sly reference to "pot smoker"? Its history is hazy but the smoke may finally be clearing on the real story.
Village Voice... The Outsiders - John MacGregor Unlocks Henry Darger's Unreal Realms. "...Virtually anonymous in his daily life, he has become, in the years since his death in 1973, an index of our fears and ambitions, an alchemist, a litmus test, an urban legend, a cautionary tale. Some records from the Lincoln Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children, where he passed most of his teenage years, give his name as 'Henry Dodger' - a fitting slip for this most elusive of culture heroes." (via Scrubbles)
Friday, April 19, 2002
Israel: the generals’ grand design
Sharon’s present strategy of fighting the Palestinians to the last and imposing a new regional order follows the long-term vision of Israel’s political generals. For them, the failure of the Oslo peace process was not just inevitable, but a goal.

In conventional political discourse, Israel’s recent attacks on Palestinian civilians, villages, and governmental institutions are described as “retaliatory acts”. They are justified as a “response” to the latest wave of terror attacks on Israeli civilians. In fact, these “retaliatory measures” are part of a systematic assault on the Palestinian Authority that was carefully prepared long before the current “war on terrorism.” As far back as October 2000, at the outset of the Palestinian uprising and before the terror attacks had started, military circles in Israel had prepared detailed operative plans to topple Arafat and the Palestinian Authority.

In a statement published in Israel’s major newspaper, Ha’aretz, on 18 October 2001, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared, “Oslo [the peace accord] is not continuing; there won’t be Oslo; Oslo is over.” Oslo is now widely considered in Israel to be “an historical mistake.” Since March of 2001, the Israeli media has openly discussed plans to re-establish full military control of the territories.
Exquisite Corpse #11: THE MANIFESTO ISSUE

Yours truly did not make the deadline for this one, but they graciously included a link to the Samizdat here. If you scroll down on this page you will find a letter I sent them over 2 years ago, wherein I excitedly carry on about . . . blogs.

uh oh...
yah, I know it's friday, but it's still awfully quiet around here...
from the New York Review of Books,
The Road to Nowhere,
an appraisal of A. Sharon, the resident's idea of a Peacemaker...
what a load of crap that is...
glimmers of hope...
yourstruly sat in audience of concerned citizens yesterday evening,
a panel of interesting fellows presenting some strategies in re
"the war against terrorism", but mostly all of us there to hear
Gore Vidal. There will be a transcript of the evening's discussion
& repartee made available some time next week by the organization
hosting the event, we'll advise you of same when it appears, but for
now, out of the pages of the local fishwrap:
Some say Bush weak on world,
Even allies question his influence

Thursday, April 18, 2002
Otto Reich -- Goon for Reagan, Bush I and now Bush II
Latin America's Dilemma: Otto Reich's Propaganda is Reminiscent of the Third Reich by Tom Turnipseed

The Bush administration is engaging in damage control for their questionable involvement in the failed 2 day coup against the democratically elected government of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Alarmingly, the ominous Otto Reich is emerging as a key player in the administration's role in the failed coup attempt to replace Chavez with an oligarchy of business, military and wealthy elites. Scrambling to distance themselves from the botched overthrow of the democratically elected Chavez government, the Bush administration admitted that Mr. Reich called the coup leader, Mr. Carmona, and asked him not to dissolve the National Assembly because it would be a "stupid thing to do". The next day the administration revised their story and said Reich only asked our ambassador to relay that message to Carmona.

The New York Times noted that the disclosure raised questions as to whether Mr. Reich and other administration officials were stage-managing the takeover by Mr. Carmona. Although the Bush administration admits their desire to replace the Chavez government because of its opposition to U.S. policies and friendship with countries like Cuba and  Iran, they now insist that they were not involved in the armed coup. The administration also admits talking with various Venezuelan officials prior to the coup including General Lucas Romero Rincon, head of the Venezuelan military, who met with Pentagon official Rogelio Pardo-Maurer, a former close associate of the U. S. supported Contra forces in Nicaragua.

Mr. Reich's propensity to pernicious propaganda has once again emerged from events surrounding the coup.  According to the New York Times, Reich told congressional aides that the administration had received reports that "foreign paramilitary forces"-suspected to be Cuban-were involved in the bloody suppression of anti-Chavez demonstrators, in which at least 14 people were killed in Venezuela. Reich, a former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela and lobbyist with ties to Mobil Oil in Venezuela, further told the Congressional staffers that Mr. Chavez had meddled with the historically independent state oil company, provided haven to Colombian guerillas, and bailed out Cuba with preferential rates on oil.

Reich is a right-wing Cuban-American obsessed with overthrowing Fidel Castro's regime and is also a big political supporter of President Bush's brother and Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who needs strong support from Cubans in Florida in his re-election bid this year. Reich, along with fellow Reagan administration cohorts, Elliott Abrams and John Negroponte, were discredited for their covert activities and false assertions when the United States intervened in Central America in the 1980's and '90s, but have been re-instated in prominent positions in the second Bush administration. They abhor Latin-American governments that are elected by the poor and working class people, like the Chavez government in Venezuela and the deposed Sandinista government in Nicaragua. [read on]

A little more background on Otto Reich from the Center for International Policy

Relton from Le Bloguer has this to say: For all your tasteless daily weird-o-rama fun, visit everlasting blort
small steps, perhaps eventually inconsequential...
and after having watched some of the debates yesterday on C-Span,
we began to wonder who was going to stand up and be counted, well,
you know, on the side that I'd prefer to see take the upper hand...
Senate rejects oil drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge;
a small step, to be sure,
w/our continued concern & attention remaining essential.
After reading the excellent articles about marriage in the American Prospect, noted below by Evan Daze, check out Stephanie Coontz's The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap. She goes beyond the fantasy of marriage and looks at the facts and data of marriage in this country over the last 200 years. Suprisingly, the fantasy and the reality don't match. Duh!
The American Prospect has a special issue on the politics of family, children and marriage with pieces by Stephanie Coontz, Robert Kuttner and others.
David Chess offers a thorough analysis of the Supreme Court's decision overturning CPPA (aka, the "virtual child pornography" ban). You can also read his email exchange with Nina Totenberg (yes, she wrote back) following an NPR piece that quoted several critics of the decision but not one free speech supporter. David also points to the full text of the Supreme Court decision online in PDF format.
Well well...wanna see who owns the words coming out of Dan Rather's or Tom Brokaw's mouth? Wanna know who owns the big media giants? Who decides what is shown to your kids, and what slant the news will have?

I quote from the site and italicize my own comments: "The past decade's wave of media mergers has produced a complex web of business relationships ~not unlike the sewers of NYC if you ask me~ that now defines America's media and popular culture ~and political opinions~. These relationships offer a massive opportunity for cross promotion and selling of talent and products ~oh, and don't forget political candidates. Why, without the TV, I simply wouldn't know who to vote for~ among different companies owned by the same powerful parent corporation. ~Who, as we all know, really own this great land of ours~

Have a cup of coffee and go here. Then read some alternate news for a change.
Wednesday, April 17, 2002
A privatisers' hit list
European commission demands to deregulate services spell disaster for the developing world

In the fevered imaginations of anti-globalisation protesters, the World Trade Organisation agreement known as Gats is a corporate boot sale of essential services, from water to electricity to the media. It is, they say, an attack on democracy that will lock the world into privatisation and deregulation of essential services ad infinitum.

Now, as revealed in this paper, we have got the leaked documents of the European commission's secret WTO negotiating positions to prove it. Let no one wonder any longer why WTO negotiators have to meet behind six-foot fences to avoid protesters.

The commission documents - leaked to Corporate Europe Observatory and posted on the Guardian's website - are breathtaking in scope. This is a corporate shopping list of requests to open up service sectors in everything from water supplies to banking in 29 countries, including China, India, Canada, Egypt, Mexico and the US. In a month, more countries will be included.

The requests are described by an Indian NGO, Equations, as "a frontal attack on the Indian constitution". The Council of the Canadians, a large and moderate consumer group, described them as "chilling". The EU demands are extraordinarily aggressive - whether they are to remove the ability to limit Wal- Mart's activities in India, or to take away the Mexican people's control of the land along their borders, or to destroy Malaysia's capacity to regulate its financial sector.
speaking for myowndamnself...
been aware of the intellectual limitations of the resident for some while,
a child of privilege, who has never earned an honest dollar in his life.
If he & his administration have their way, there will be nothing but
obfuscation, mealy mouthed platitudes, & the outright extermination of truth.
Do we really get the government we deserve? A pity, if that's the case...
Should History Record the Unvarnished Bush?
The guy behind Warblogger Watch wants to put togther a book of the best anti-war blogging. I think it's in response to a book the warbloggers want to put togther of the best pro-war blogging. If you know of any exceptional anti-war blogging go the his anti-war book blog and send him the links.
"Happy chickens make happy customers..." Matthew Moreau... Mr. Murdu. "...This comic contains graphic scenes of chicken stabbing, beheading, choking and chewing, which may be offensive to some viewers. In addition this comic presents certain moralistic viewpoints about the treatment of animals which may be offensive to members of the poultry and similar industries." From Big Old Future. Digital narratives, comics and animations by Matthew Moreau.
Tuesday, April 16, 2002
Happy Earth Day From George W. Bush: Will He Gut The Clean Water Act?
The Clean Water Act is supposed to protect these watersheds. Its rules explicitly forbid filling waterways with "waste." But for years, mining companies have used their influence to stop the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA from enforcing the act. The devastation is ongoing.

Now President Bush -- egged on by his King Coal political patrons -- is about to change Clean Water Act rules in an effort to legalize mountaintop mining and valley filling. It’s like stopping bank robbers from breaking the law by making bank robbery legal.

Dow Shall Be Liable,
by Darryl D'Monte and Nityanand Jayaraman
Over 500 survivors from Bhopal's 1984 gas disaster protested against Dow's refusal to assume liabilities for the disaster that killed thousands and continues to kill today.
. . . via CorpWatch sister site: CorpWatch India.
News From Inside the Jenin Refugee Camp, by Kevin Skvorak
Total numbers of dead inside the camp range from 200 to 500.  No one really has any realistic idea yet and no one here knows how many where removed by the Israelis, but witnesses in the camp saw at least two large refrigerated semi trailers in the camp, and the UN aid people here maintain it is a relatively open secret that the Israelis maintain an “enemies” graveyard in the Jordan valley for events like this.
Same article with pics here.
Ari & I: White House Press Briefing with Ari Fleischer : Tuesday, April 16, 2002 12:30 PM, by Russell Mokhiber
Russell Mokhiber: Ari, last week, you called the Palestinian suicide bombers "murderers." I'm wondering if you believe that the Israeli Defense Forces committed murder in the Jenin refugee camp last week.

Ari Fleischer: Israel undertook a military operation. And the United States has continued to say that Israel needs to withdraw from that area. The United States has also called for the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian observers to be permitted into Jenin to see what is happening. As Secretary Armitage said, there is now a growing almost mythology about events that took place on the ground in Jenin. And I think what the United States would look for are facts.

Mokhiber: Ari, if in fact the Israeli defense forces destroyed buildings on top of innocent civilians and there were no terrorists in those buildings, would you consider that homicide?

Ari Fleischer: Again, this is the purpose of the international committee on the Red Cross, and the other fact finders who are in the region, to ascertain facts. I can't deal with questions that begin with "if."

I'm surprised they still let Mokhiber into the briefings . . .
The Enforcers: The Hague Convention and the Threat to Internet Freedoms and Consumer Protection, by Charlie Cray
Critics say that unless it explicitly exempts speech torts, the Hague Convention could expose writers, publishers and even people who post opinions on the Internet to defamation and libel suits in countries where free speech protections are weaker than those in countries such as the United States.

“There are a lot of countries that have laws that are far less protective of free speech than the United States,” Chris Chiu, an Internet policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union points out. “What has prevented a lot of foreign judgments from being enforced on U.S. soil is that courts in the United States have refused to enforce those decisions based on the First Amendment and other public policies. The concern is that the Hague Convention will shift the balance of power, and create some sort of bias towards enforcement of foreign judgments. It opens up the possibility that American publishers will face potential lawsuits from places like mainland China, Singapore and other countries where there are strong restrictions on what people can say about the government.”

Inside Jenin, Rubble and Decomposing Bodies, by Brian Wood
As we walked we saw many bodies buried under rubble, just in the remains of their homes and were killed. Their bodies are decomposing, there's all kinds of maggots and lice and flies eating their bodies. I won't go into more detail than that, but I'll just say that it's the most gruesome thing I've ever seen in my life, with body parts lying all over.
Three Days that Shook the Media: Online Journalism's Finest Hour, by Al Giordano
AP, Reuters, the New York Times, and CNN, the worst offenders in the English-language media among many others, have had to radically adjust their coverage of the events in Venezuela precisely because online journalists worked overtime in recent days to break the information blockade and get the true facts to the international public.

The same media professionals who cringe at the term "authentic journalism" are the ones who, for the sake their own future credibility, ought to pay close attention to what has just occurred. For there is going to be hell to pay over the professional misconduct by many of them in recent days.

Just as the Venezuelan majority - out-hollered, out-dollared, but not out-smarted - called the bluff of its nation's spoiled oligarchy and reclaimed its right to choose its own destiny, authentic journalism - in particular, the rapid response of independent online journalism - forced the mass media to eat its own dishonest words.

Let the banquet begin.

Israelis blast church with invisible weapon. "The Israeli Army is broadcasting ear-splitting screeches and wails at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, traditional site of Jesus' birth, to force out 200 Palestinians besieged there. Troops brought in a crane to hoist loudspeakers over the ancient basilica, one of the holiest shrines in Christendom, as part of what one person inside called 'psycho terror'. One of the noises sounds like a car alarm."
Palestinian Refugees - 1948....In the period from 1917 to 1949, Israel had occupied 78% of the land of Palestine and evicted or caused to flee more than 750,000 Palestinian refugees to Gaza Strip , West Bank and other Arab countries like Syria , Lebanon, Jordan and others.. It is the plight of the Palestinian refugees, who now number 1.5 millions, and the fate of the Palestinians, who now number 2.5 millions, as a people, which have remained the most pressing problems.
Why Bush dances to Sharon's tune
Monday, April 15, 2002
Palestine Chronicle - Help Needed in Seattle
The Palestine Chronicle is in urgent need of volunteer help at our Seattle based location.

Check out the rest of the site for lots of daily coverage. They are looking for helpers with web and/or PR experience.
On Tax Day thank the rich and support lifting the tax yoke off them

You know, if you can actually read all the way through without grinding your teeth into mush, or feeling your heart seize up, there are maybe one or two points worth thinking about.

HOWEVER, all I can think about is that sorry ass unproductive old grandmother of mine. How she contributes nothing to the gross national product. She doesn't buy anything, because she doesn't have any money, so she isn't contributing to the economic well-being of this great nation of ours. She doesn't drive an SUV, she can't see over the wheel. Therefore, she's not helping to keep the economic recovery rolling. She's nothing more than a drain on society.

To quote the author of this article, "On Tax Day support tax cuts by promoting the idea of a truly just society: where each man keeps what he earns and has no claim upon the life and property of others."

So read it and weep, old woman. The party's over, the meal train has left the station, the time for unproductive old age is gone. Get those ancient arthritic fingers moving and start crocheting toilet paper covers or refrigerator magnets. It's time to carry your weight, grandma. All 65 pounds of it.

Part of a complete meal:
The three year old sandwich official site.
Why It's Needed:

In many of today's tactical scenarios, soldiers must be quickly mobilized and prepositioned. A high quality, eat-on-the-move ration component is needed to support these highly mobile and forward-deployed troops, under any environmental condition, climate and location - including temperate, arctic, jungle, desert, mountain, and urban terrain.
I was born human, but it was an accident of fate:
The Neural Connection is Kevin Warwick's site documenting his attempt to be a cyborg.
Frequently Asked Questions:

"Thought Communication"? Telepathy: Do you think "transparency" is a goal for humanity? Do you think it is better to be able to lie or to adapt what you think, for better communication?

I think what we are doing is shifting the boundary, not making things transparent. Instead of lying by speech, you will lie by thought.

Do you think telepathy will destroy the arts: poetry, literature, music and painting? Or even humanity itself?

No. It will dramatically change it, but not destroy it. Unless we think it is humanity itself that changes by becoming a Cyborg.
How much do you make a year? uh huh. I see. And how much do you pay in "the T-word"? yes, yes. Very good.

Now go see how much your average CEO makes.

And you can bet your bottom dollar (you know, that last one you're looking at in the bottom of your dusty unused wallet) that most of these frick fracking money hungry corporate slugs aren't hurting as bad as you are on April 15 - St. Vaseline's Day!
Ramallah Diary
Here's a description of what happens during a 'lull' in the siege of Ramallah: Across the street from my company's showroom there is a supermarket with at least 10 cars parked outside. There is a truck unloading milk cartons. I step outside to get some drinks. As I am about to cross the street I see an Israeli tank approaching at about 20 miles per hour. To see a tank going that fast is a chilling sight. To see a tank going that fast on a busy street is nerve-racking. The tank is headed towards the supermarket. Silence. Everyone on the street is watching helplessly. There is no way the tank can fit between the cars parked outside. There are children in some of these cars waiting for their parents. Thank God for the huge milk truck. It took the first impact. The tank crushed half of the truck. The street turns white with wasted milk. The tank shifts gear, hits two trees and speeds away.
no doubt part of the dumbing down of america...
More than half of the adults in this country read no more than 10 books a year,
reports Philadelphia columnist Karen Heller -
and pap seems to be the most popular prose.
thanking Bear Flag Republic for the heads up.
"What do wars do to women? They often reinforce the traditional roles of women by framing domestic duties and unconditional support of their country's leadership as patriotic. They also create a climate in which violence against women (and children) is acceptable so long as it fulfills the goals of the war. Women commonly suffer unimaginably violent acts, such as gang rape by soldiers, and they make up the bulk of the world's refugees. This affects the lives of the women who are the targets, as well as the women whose brothers, sons, fathers and husbands come home to them after having committed these sanctioned acts of violence. "

Link to

May 24 is International Womens Day for Peace and Disarmament Don't you think it's sad that we have to have a day devoted to something that we should be doing anyway?
Memento Mori: Death and Photography in Nineteenth Century America by Dan Meinwald. "...The subject of this essay is an imagery of death characteristic of another time and place: nineteenth century America. Although the nineteenth century is much closer to our own era, these photographs and other images represent a concept of death that is in many ways as different from ours as that of the Europe of the Middle Ages." my url, please.
buon giorno my friends
The sky is gray and I hope it rains. Today in Rome, as in Washington, I'm told, an Israel Day Manifestation. It begins at 6 pm at Campidoglio and ends at the Temple Israelitico Synagogue . It's been organized by Giuliano Ferrara, owner and editor of IL FOLIO. Ferrara, of course, is the Right of the Right (Berlusconi's wife Veronica is one of the investors in Il Foglio). Ferrara, the same guy that invited the audience at San Remo to throw eggs at Roberto Benigni. The same guy who threw eggs at his own TV while Benigni was on.
What is the significance of this manifestation?
I don't like Berlusconi but that doesn't mean I don't like Italians. I don't like Bush but that doesn't mean I don't like Texans. I don't like Sharon so why must that mean that I don't like Jews.
see: Israel/Palestine: A Requiem for the Damned (via Bornfamous)
see: Aish Ha Torah's Window on The Wall, webcam in Jerusalem...It is a centuries-old tradition to place a note with a prayer or request in the Western Wall.Type in your prayer. It will be printed out in the Old City of Jerusalem where it will be placed in the Wall by a student of Aish HaTorah. service note "Window on the Wall" offers a special Internet service for people who are not in Jerusalem who wish to place a note in the Wall. Can't get into Jerusalem to pray? Place a Note in the Wall via email. I sent one and got a reply that my message had been recieved and would soon be printed and taken to the wall. I wonder who's going to take it.
Sunday, April 14, 2002
Stencil Graffiti by Tristan Manco (2002, Thames and Hudson). "...The book showcases over 400 examples of contemporary stencilled works from across the globe, their innovation and vitality achieved with new materials, methods and approaches." Yes! How much do I want this book?
again, more evidence of shiftless laziness...
& my indebtedness to the wisdom & efforts of friends like
S.J. Green of the marvelous entity known as plep
who has kindly forwarded the following links to me, 'cause he gives a damn...
from the Guardian On-line, You Won't Break Them;
from Amnesty International, A Petition re Fear for Safety & Torture.
Gracias, Esteban!
Richard Neville : Beyond Good and Evil ...
... Bush's "new kind" of war in the name of freedom is actually an old kind of imperial excursion to extend America's grip on the wealth of the world. A wealth which belongs to everyone. But instead of a misnamed bombing spree, which incubates terror, what the world needs most is an ongoing, unconditional fairness revolution to eradicate the roots of rage. Such a sweeping global ethic is absent from the priorities of the millionaire mogul hawks who run Washington, but it was briefly glimpsed at street level in the rubble-strewn surrounds of the twin towers. ...

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