American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, May 11, 2002
Masami Teraoka's Art Theatre

AIDS Series/Geisha in Bath, 1988.
Watercolor on canvas. 108" x 81" (274.3cm x 205.7 cm).

The social and cultural dramas of today's society motivate me to create paintings. My earlier work focused on my life experiences in America and Japan. More recently I have been inspired to create paintings based on worldwide issues such as sexuality, nudity, erotica, media, religion, privacy, confession, politics, gender, AIDS, race, violence, war, and environmental issues, among other things. My paintings are sometimes humorous or lighthearted, and other times very intense. The saving grace is aesthetic concern--beauty transcends the issues.

Think of my paintings as individual scenes from a drama, play or movie. If my paintings were movies, they might be rated everywhere from G or PG to R to X. Like going to a play, you'll have to decide for yourself if you want to see what is showing. I hope with that in mind, that you will enjoy my art theatre. Thanks for visiting, you are welcome anytime.
I am going to try a little experiement and use a blog to serialize the novel that I am working on. Class of 91 details the intoxicated, sexual and violent (mis)adventures of the graduating class of a small town high school. Admittedly, it's still a little rough, but if anyone out there is would like to give it a quick copy edit for free, drop me a line! New material should be put up every day, barring drunkeness or nuclear attack.
Blaming the Victims

Don't expect objectivity from me. You see, for the last few weeks I have not had the benefit of the mainstream media to give me a balanced picture of the situation in Palestine. Instead, I have been living in the middle of the events in Bethlehem, witnessing army brutality and civilian misery. While staying at the Al-Azzeh camp, I obviously missed all the terrorists, the anti-Semites and the fanatics that the Israeli army and the BBC see as infesting the refugee camps.

It doesn't take a genius to be suspicious of the capitalist media -- anyone who's been on a political action is used to being misrepresented and smeared. But the campaign of lies waged against the people of Palestine beggars belief. Resting on old colonial prejudices and modern Islamophobia and racism, it has the objective of blaming the victims in this conflict; presenting Israel as a democratic state under attack from unreasonable semi-humans. I am not even going to talk about Jenin. I am too angry(...)

It was with recognition of these underlying factors that the Palestinian- led International Solidarity Movement has organised groups of international volunteers. Following on from the December 2001 campaign, this Easter was to see similar work replanting olive trees and dismantling roadblocks -- aiming, in fact, to use non-violent methods of direct action to give the Palestinians a chance to be non-violent themselves. Unfortunately, the Israeli army decided otherwise. Having only pulled out of the Bethlehem area two weeks previously, the APCs (Armoured Personnel Carriers) and tanks rolled in again. In our affinity groups, we decided that our places was to act as observers in the nearby refugee camps, home of the radical and dispossessed, thus a favourite target for Israeli army repression, arrests and random shelling. Sitting in the neatly kept, poverty-stricken, living room of our host family, with the Apache helicopters and robot drones flying overhead, I experienced for a few days the terror that these people live through. Sitting drinking endless cup of tea with young men who know they could be dragged out and shot; staying up all night because sleep is impossible. Times like these were almost enough to turn me from an anarchist into a liberal national reformist.[more]


The solution is the problem
The US presents itself as the peace-broker in the Middle East. The reality is different
by Noam Chomsky

No one can seriously doubt that the US role will continue to be decisive. It is crucial to understand what that role has been, and how it is internally perceived. The version of the doves is presented by the editors of the New York Times, praising President Bush's "path-breaking speech" and the "emerging vision" he articulated. Its first element is "ending Palestinian terrorism" immediately. Some time later comes "freezing, then rolling back, Jewish settlements and negotiating new borders" to allow the establishment of a Palestinian state. If Palestinian terror ends, Israelis will be encouraged to "take the Arab League's historic offer of full peace and recognition in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal more seriously". But first Palestinian leaders must demonstrate that they are "legitimate diplomatic partners".

The real world has little resemblance to this self-serving portrayal - virtually copied from the 1980s, when the US and Israel were desperately seeking to evade PLO offers of negotiation and political settlement. In the real world, the primary barrier to the "emerging vision" has been, and remains, unilateral US rejectionism. There is little new in the current "Arab League's historic offer". [more]
"In the State of Kansas, men sit on the curb for hours and just look.." Great Depression Tours with William Gropper. "...During the Great Depression (William Gropper) wrote and illustrated several articles for The Nation magazine about his travels among disposesed agricultural workers caught up in the financial turmoils and droughts of the 1930s."
Friday, May 10, 2002

The Einstein File

Unlike the popular image of Einstein as an absentminded, head-in-the-clouds genius, he was in fact intensely interested in the larger society and felt it was his duty to use his worldwide fame to help advance the cause of social justice. Einstein was a fervent pacifist, socialist, internationalist, and an outspoken critic of racism (he considered racism America's "worst disease"), as well as a friend of celebrated African Americans Paul Robeson and W. E. B. Du Bois. Einstein dared to use his immense prestige to denounce Joseph McCarthy at the height of the feared senator's power, and publicly urged witnesses to refuse to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

. . . the scientist was barred from working on the bomb, as a security risk by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI and US Army officials.

It was part of Hoover's secret, 23-year campaign to undermine Einstein's influence, a campaign that included illegally opening the scientist's mail, monitoring his phone, trying to link him to Soviet spies, and trying to take away his American citizenship - a campaign detailed for the first time in The Einstein File.

Author Fred Jerome today on Science Friday [pp]: "If Einstein were alive today he'd be on the Ashcroft list."
Time Now to Disarm a Soldier
She doesn't even know his name, the Israeli soldier who shot her, although she aims to find out. She has some questions for him.

Like, how could he have failed to notice her cameras, her massive lenses and her large backpack? And how could he mistake a 26-year-old, fair-skinned American woman for a rock-throwing Palestinian man? And what exactly was he thinking that Saturday afternoon on the outskirts of Bethlehem when he lifted his M-16, pointed the gun in her direction, placed his finger on the trigger and squeezed?

Yola Monakhov would like to know.

Israel Leans on Refuseniks and their Supporters
"We have created an entirely hallucinatory reality in which the true humans, members of the Nation of Masters could move and settle freely and safely, while the sub-humans, the Nation of Slaves were shoved in the corner and kept invisible and controlled under our Israel Defense Forces boots," wrote Sgt. First Class Assaf Oron.
The Refuseniks are a newsworthy story, no? It would be interesting to do a LexisNexis search on it to see who has covered it. A Daypop query turns up only 9.
women like litter
Rome. Umberto Bossi, Minister of Reform, announced his plans to create "Eros Centers", government endorsed brothels. His main reason for doing so, he claims, is to force the prostitutes off the streets where their presence gives a bad impression to families. Like it's okay for daddy to go to whores as long nobody can't see him do so.

Also, many female illegal immigrants from Eastern European and African countries are younger, sexier and do more for less. Aging Italian prostitutes complain that their arrival has created too much competition and thus the Italians now earn less. Therefore, if you want to sell your body to earn a living in Italy, you will now have to apply for a sort of Green Card to do so. In other words, if you want to become a whore, first you must try to become an Italian.

Bossi sustainers claim that prostitution also helps stimulate sexual fantasies and thus leads to healthier sex. Please Boys, spare me the sleeze! I've never been to a prostitute before and I have no difficulty at all in stimulating my sexual fantasies. This is just a dust covered justification for those men who don't know what good healthy sex is and can only get it off by Breaking Taboos. Very boring. If you're a good lover, you don't need to pay someone to go to bed with you because they'll do it for free.

Well Berlusconi did promise to create new jobs when he campaigned but I had no idea that he intended doing so, in part, via the creation of these Eros Centers. I mean, maybe if he created other kinds of job opportunities, alot of women wouldn't be forced to sell their bodies as a means of economic survival. And if prostitutes do become part of the legitimized working force, this will mean, wouldn't it, that they will thus be entitled to all the other benefits that other workers have. Like sick leave, the right to strike and retirement at age 63. Yeah....

In Italy, prostitution is not illegal but smoking marijuana is.

Bossi ha parlato di “eros center”, paventando una sorta di riapertura delle case chiuse. («Quando tolsero le case chiuse le mogli si trovarono la concorrenza fuori di casa» ha spiegato). Le nuove leggi a difesa della famiglia dovrebbero quindi, oltre a togliere la prostituzione sui viali, eliminare la pornografia dalle televisioni la notte, eliminare le riviste porno dalle edicole, liberando il Paese da una serie di fattori che porterebbero a una «omosessualità indotta». «Vi immaginate cosa diranno ora i radicali?» ha poi ripetuto ironicamente, sfiorandosi l’orecchio destro.
Thursday, May 09, 2002
Bush's Hit List At the United Nations
Quietly, and without the fanfare that accompanies the campaign in the mountains of Afghanistan, the administration has begun a long march through multilateral institutions. At the UN and elsewhere, the U.S. has mounted a campaign to purge international civil servants judged to be out of step with Washington in the war on terrorism and its insistence that the U.S. have the last word in all global governance issues.

The first and most prominent to go was Mary Robinson . . .

Five questions
Putting Bush in the hot seat, given the chance
William Rivers Pitt

1. What is the true nature of the Saudi Arabian connection to 9/11, and why has this connection not been a priority for Bush's State Department?
2. Why has the Bush administration not been the loudest, most strident advocate for a far-reaching investigation into 9/11?
3. What, precisely, is the legal basis for a war with Iraq?
4. Where is the anthrax killer?
5. What role did America play in the recent failed coup in Venezuela?
59% say W. Bank, Gaza exit would renew peace process
More than half of Israelis believe withdrawing troops from Palestinian territories and dismantling most Jewish settlements there will help put the peace process back on track. Most surprisingly, the poll found that 56 percent support a U.S.-led international force for the Palestinian territories.

In other words, more than half of all Israelis are in diametric opposition to their leader's tactics, which have, as widely predicted before his election, only brought more and more bloodshed to the region. And yet America's foreign policy, heavily influenced by the extreme Christian and Zionist Right is not Pro-Israel, which would reflect the will of the Israeli people for peace and security, but rather Pro-Sharon, which encourages violence and expansion of Israeli territory at the expense of an occupied population. Unfortunately, the US media is unable to separate being Pro-Israel with being Pro-Sharon, to the detriment of the American and Israeli people. Let's be clear: It is quite possible to be Pro-Israel and not Pro-Occupation, and more and more Israelis are understanding that they are On the Road to Nowhere. We can only hope that the American Media and Government will also begin to advance an agenda that recognizes this.

Remember how hard New York's elected representatives had to fight to get $20 billion in aid for the stricken city — aid that had already been promised? Well, recently Congress agreed to give farmers $180 billion in subsidies over the next decade. By the way, the population of New York City is about twice as large as America's total farm population. [...]

Paul Krugman of the NYT blows away the myth of "America's heartland," and how. No matter where you live on the planet or how many megabucks you may or may not have, you should always pay attention to how your government chooses to spend your money. [ via Anil Dash ]
Untitled (My Mother). A drawing by a child survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. From 'Witness to Genocide: The Children of Rwanda' Gallery. "...Their drawings may be unsettling, but they are images emblazoned on the minds of innocent children who witnessed the brutal slayings of their parents siblings and neighbors. For the children, these are the images that wake them in the middle of the night. Night after night. For the rest of us, these drawings are a reminder of what inevitably happens when the international community permits power-crazed leaders to foment genocidal violence." At PaPa iNk - The International Gallery of Children's Art.
Here we go again...

IDF massing troops near Gaza ahead of retaliatory strike

The IDF began massing forces on the border with the Gaza Strip late Wednesday night, in preparation for a retaliatory operation following the suicide bomb attack in Rishon Letzion which killed 15 people.

The army was also reportedly preparing to issue additional emergency call-up orders to reservists.
Wednesday, May 08, 2002
Killing Corporations, by Geov Parrish
A movement is quietly taking shape, in Seattle and other cities, to boldly challenge the power of corporations.

The idea is radical in its simplicity: to take on the rapidly expanding power of corporations by revoking their original charters.

View from Ramallah
Who is responsible for this? Well, there is no such thing as a Palestinian attack helicopter, battle tank or anti-aircraft weapon. And looting has without exception occurred between the moment Israeli soldiers enter a building and the moment they leave it. Today they did the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, containing the archive not only of its namesake-one of our most famous educators-but also the office of our poet laureate, Mahmoud Darwish. Hardly a coincidence if one recalls the Ministry of Education was ransacked last week.
This is the "terrorist infrastructure?" Still sounds like "ethnic cleansing" to me.
Tuesday, May 07, 2002
the following courtesy of Declan McCullagh
The ABA publication Human Rights devotes its entire Winter issue to the
Patriot Act and civil liberties Post-9/11. Essays by such figures as David
Cole (Nation correspondent), Roger Pilon (Cato Institute), Anthony Romero
(ACLU), John Podesta (former Clinton chief of staff) are included.
This issue is available at

also crediting same source for the following link:Enrob Annual Report
& now we return you to your regularly scheduled programming...
Breaking news from last month - was I the only one who didn't notice that the Bush administration started development of a new underground H-bomb called the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator? According to the San Jose Mercury News article, "Energy
Department officials also say the preliminary design contest will help maintain the skills of scientists at the labs." They're exploiting a bunch of loopholes to do it, contending that they'd be "modifying weapons rather than designing a new bomb from scratch," and there's also this adjustable-explosiveness feature called "dial-a-yield":

The B83 at high yield would be perhaps 100 times more powerful than ``Little Boy,'' the atomic bomb that devastated Hiroshima in 1945. But by disabling some features, the yield can be reduced dramatically, by some accounts to only 300 tons.

Despite their potential for low yield, modification of large bombs like the B83 and the B61 would apparently not be affected by a 1994 law prohibiting work on nuclear earth penetrators with yields less than 5,000 tons. That law blocked the development of so-called mini-nukes, but modification of weapons might be allowed.

Now, why should there be a ban against low-yield bombs? Well, according to this Federation of American Scientists briefing on mini-nukes, it was because "low-yield nuclear weapons blur the distinction between nuclear and conventional war":
Senators Warner and Allard imagine these nuclear weapons could be used in small-scale conventional conflicts against rogue dictators, while leaving most of the civilian population untouched. As described in detail below, however, . . . The explosion simply blows out a massive crater of radioactive dirt, which rains down on the local region with an especially intense and deadly fallout. Moreover, as Congress understood in 1994, by seeking to produce usable low-yield nuclear weapons, we risk blurring the now sharp line separating nuclear and conventional warfare, and provide legitimacy for other nations to similarly consider using nuclear weapons in regional wars.
"Earth-penetrating weapons are built long and thin . . . " Carol Norris plays with the implications of "robust penetration." Rather more constructively, Peace Action has a page of information and a sample letter you can use to send to your congressman.
He tapped on the primate’s half-closed eyes with the end of the scalpel saying “You dead?” and then sliced into him. He completely opened the thoracic cavity and severed an artery, saw the blood being pumped out by the heart and said, “this guy could be out more”

--Michelle Rokke
Undercover Investigator inside HLS, 1997

smash hls

A lot of good reasons to resist corporate monoculture.
Monday, May 06, 2002
Timber Giant Gears Up for Eco-Battles
More than two years after anti-logging protester Julia "Butterfly" Hill descended from her redwood tree home, the Pacific Lumber Co. said it is gearing up for a new set of clashes around its plans to log in certain areas of Humboldt County. The timber giant appealed in late April for help from the county's Board of Supervisors in tackling what it called "eco-terrorists" who seek to disrupt company operations. "We now see another summer of possible controversy and confrontation between my company and its employees and those who oppose the cutting of any timber, any place for any reason," said Robert Manne, president and chief executive officer of Pacific Lumber Co. Manne cited Internet traffic that shows "environmental radicals who oppose all timber harvesting have been appealing to hundreds of supporters," encouraging them to come to the North Coast for protests against the Scotia-based company.
The Internet: Peer-to-Peer Democracy?
"Hell, no, we won't go."
Guerrillas of the Week
Editor's Pick,  May 6, 2002

This week’s guerrillas are warriors who refuse to fight. They are some of Israel’s top young military men, yet they have refused to serve in the Occupied Territories. They are called Refuseniks. There are 450 of them, and they have become a lightening rod of  controversy in Israel. 

In a nation in which almost everyone serves in the military at some point in their life, the Refuseniks are going against one of the most sacred traditions in Israeli society. The emergence of an organized group of bright, young soldiers who are refusing to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has rocked that nation to its core.  

spent a few hours this weekend...
in a few different Berkeley bookstores, &
one of the items we came away with was the
current issue of Granta,
#77: What We Think of America ;
intelligent and well written responses to the events of September '01
& our lives and the world since then.
Introducing Blythe ...the newest member of the S.W.A.T. Team. (jp)
Some on Harvard, MIT Faculties Urge Divestment in Israel
Nancy Kanwisher, an MIT professor of brain and cognitive science and one of the petition's organizers, said she had been ''politically dormant'' until she saw photographs of the Jenin refugee camp, where Palestinians allege Israeli forces massacred hundreds of civilians and violated the international laws of war during a three-week siege.

''I looked to see where the protest was, and I couldn't find it,'' she said. ''I was shocked.''

See also:
Activists Welcome Ruling That Corporations "Must Speak Truthfully"
In a ruling hailed by corporate-accountability and labor activists, the California Supreme Court has held that corporations may be liable under the state's consumer-protection laws for misleading advertising or public statements about their products or operations.

A majority of four of the seven Court justices ordered the trial court to proceed with a case brought by Marc Kasky, an activist who charged that Nike, Inc., made false statements about conditions in Asian factories used to produce its shoes and apparel in order to counter criticism that the company was using "sweatshop" labor.

Just do it: don't lie.

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