American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, June 01, 2002

Under the nuclear shadow
Arundhati Roy, Booker prize-winning author, looks at the conflict over Kashmir from her home in New Delhi

This week as diplomats' families and tourists quickly disappeared, journalists from Europe and America arrived in droves. Most of them stay at the Imperial Hotel in Delhi. Many of them call me. Why are you still here, they ask, why haven't you left the city? Isn't nuclear war a real possibility? It is, but where shall I go? If I go away and everything and every one, every friend, every tree, every home, every dog, squirrel and bird that I have known and loved is incinerated, how shall I live on? Who shall I love, and who will love me back? Which society will welcome me and allow me to be the hooligan I am, here, at home?

We've decided we're all staying. We've huddled together, we realise how much we love each other and we think what a shame it would be to die now. Life's normal, only because the macabre has become normal. While we wait for rain, for football, for justice, on TV the old generals and the eager boy anchors talk of first strike and second strike capability, as though they're discussing a family board game. My friends and I discuss Prophecy, the film of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the dead bodies choking the river, the living stripped of their skin and hair, we remember especially the man who just melted into the steps of the building and we imagine ourselves like that, as stains on staircases. [more]


Eyeball to Eyeball, and Blinking in Denial

AS India and Pakistan, fledgling nuclear powers, edge closer to war, the rest of the world looks on aghast at a possible nuclear exchange that could kill millions of people. British and American envoys are rushing to the region in last-ditch efforts to avert catastrophe. On Friday, the United States government urged tens of thousands of Americans living in India to leave.

But here in India's capital — a plausible bull's- eye — there has been no panic. The sweltering city moves to its usual somnolent summer rhythm. At a recent seminar titled "Preparing to Survive," the subject was earthquakes and cyclones, not nuclear firestorms and radiation sickness.

And that is in large measure because India's ruling elite and many of its leading strategic thinkers are in nuclear denial. [more]
"licke bizatch"

Yeah, I was aiming for anathema with that statement. I wasn't aiming for mysoginy, would it have been a man, he'd still be a bitch. My statement the sterilization of work environments, and as such was echoing the sentiment. Yaknow?
during a lull in our globalgasm festivities today,
chanced upon mention of this depressing bit of repartee whilst visiting Blivet,
& certainly, N. Chomsky doesn't need assistance from us in refuting the blowhard
that is William Bennett.
Some other items here, because we believe knowledge is power,
but be careful, it will likely depress the hell outta you &
may make you seriously consider leaving behind this vale of tears.
W. Bennett: Moral Clarity isn't simplistic,
then why does it seem so, when it is you providing us with your version of morality?;
W. Bennett, Gays & the Truth;
W. Bennett, Don't Surrender,
a response to that Bennett item, Thank You William J. Bennett;
from SF Indymedia, notice of "Invitation to Debate"
(as if such a thing - A DEBATE - could EVER actully occur on Zahn's program);
personal aside to W.B.-- preposterous as some of the claims you mention may appear,
ALL are documented, ALL in the public record; Seek & Ye Shall Find
Let us not forget this glorious moment in William Bennett's personal history;
Now, because we're beginning to sicken & pale w/the realization of the numbers of ignorant fools
who take this buffoon seriously, and we still have some mighty contribution to make to globalgasm
and do not want to mess that all up (HELL NO!!!), Bennett's A. V. O. T.
"little bitch"?
Friday, May 31, 2002
Seattle artist Charlie Krafft has a great article in about his concurrent shows at the Grand Central Arts Center and Copro Nason gallery in LA. Charlie makes porcelain weapons and other assorted ephemera. I have one of his "Spone" teapots...porcelain made from human bone china. He's an usual but intelligent and entertaining guy, who ought to be an art superstar.
"How to Build Support for War" (1992) by the same folks who brought you the spin on the Persian Gulf "Crisis".
What the fuckety-fuck-fuck? Or G-rated news rooms and X-rated board rooms. This is an interesting thread covering pressrooms and their current state.

I like the little bitch that sez "Excuse me, this is a business office." [Start from the bottom of the page and read up]

courtesy of FastForty, WashPost veteran, freedom fighter, and supporter of da cause.
Thursday, May 30, 2002
Sketches from Palestine
We were at least one hundred-strong, representing Europe, America, and Australia, citizens of France, Italy, Sweden, the USA, the UK, and many points in between. We were marching arm-in-arm, chanting in Italian, French, and English.

We were (are!) the International Solidarity Movement to end the occupation of Palestine.

. . . The soldier pulled out his M16.

There was a shot. Pop!--like a firecracker. I ducked.

Another shot. Pop! I headed for the nearest wall. Another and another. Pop! Pop! Some of us ran back, others held their ground with their arms over their heads. Pop! Pop, pop!

spent some sizeable time watching...
gwb, rumsfeld, & the att'y generalissimo on c-span,
and am feeling pretty damn yucky, ooooh, what a mess we're in.
Before we go and do the technicolor yawn & get it out of our system,
two things: first from Slate, FBI CYA;
from The New Yorker, Seymour Hersh's Missed Messages;
oh, and just one other thing, from the Online NewsHour,
Eye On Terror, commentary on the new FBI guidelines.
we'd provide a c-span link to the AG on C-span if they'd have provided one,
but believe us when we tell you, you'd only be sickened by the bullshit.
Ah, you don't believe me, eh? well...     damn...
go here and see for yourowndarnself.
We really wanted to locate a transcript of the Q & A afterwards,
so if we find it, we'll post it hereabouts.
EU techno-privacy on the line. Just coz that's how de do here in the US, doesn't mean it's the best idea, right?
Perhaps unwittingly (most likely), well-known right-wing hatchet man Jimmy L. has stumbled across a post by yrs. truly and responded with the most bumbleheaded tangle of opprobrium you ever did see. My reply is forthcoming.
George Bush: "Do you have blacks in Brazil?"
It is said, that, before September 11, George W. Bush thought the Taliban were a Bavarian brass band. Now, thanks to his comprehensive knowledge, the most powerful man in the world has got into hot water again.

Washington - It was Condoleezza Rice, national security advisor, who helped her boss out of the embarassing situation. During a conversation between the two presidents, George W. Bush, 55, (USA) and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, 71, (Brazil), Bush bewildered his colleague with the question "Do you have blacks, too?"

Rice, 47, noticing how astonished the Brazilian was, saved the day by telling Bush "Mr. President, Brazil probably has more blacks than the USA. Some say it's the Country with the most blacks outside Africa." Later, the Brazilian president Cardoso said: regarding Latin America, Bush was still in his "learning phase".

I'm speechless.
FBI and CIA coming on-line with new powers

The anticipated changes will release agents from antiquated constraints such as requiring evidence of criminal activity before launching an under-cover investigation. Nine hundred agents will be recruited by September in furtherance of this scheme. The new anti-terror undercover shock-troops will be permitted to infiltrate groups of which the government disapproves, including religious groups, and trawl the Net poking about for signs of trouble without prior approval from headquarters.

In addition, the FBI has granted itself permission to work more closely with the CIA, a military support organization currently forbidden to operate within the US.
Wednesday, May 29, 2002
De-Creeing Capitalism as the Only Alternative?

The following came over the Anarchy listserv yesterday -- someone posted the Cree prophecy, and then this post updating the capital situation there:

Quebec's Cree indian lands and rights sold for $3.8 billion. The treaty was signed February 7th. The Cree community wants profits from hydroelectricity and forestry projetcs despite their famous prophecy :

'Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then you will find out that money cannot be eaten.'

The treaty was hailed as a triumph, the final, cheery chapter of an otherwise messy history between the Quebec government and the province's Cree. The 50-year deal would give the Cree much needed income and stability, while allowing the province to develop the vast hydroelectric, forestry and mining opportunities in the north.
Then, last night, I was involved in a long debate around the intersections of the work of radical educator Paulo Freire and the problems of indigenous peoples. It was pointed out that the North American indigenous peoples, through wave upon wave of oppression against them, find themselves in the contradiction of 1) shut out capitalism and try in whatever brutal fashion to remain traditional in non-traditional times, or 2) embrace capitalism and be assimilated. In the United States, the Cree appear to have chosen the latter, though in the guise of a cyborg culture which practices both native traditions and Anglican traditions -- weddings for instance have priests from both supervising. In any event, the idea was floated by Peter McLaren that it is interesting that a third possibility is never apparently presented as a real option for these peoples: to take capitalism up critically in revolutionary struggle against its oppressive nature. Can Chairman Mao be made to speak with Geronimo?
Tuesday, May 28, 2002
Bread, coffee, beer
Culinary betterment and other gifts of the left
Alexander Cockburn

I always try to sell the Left on optimism because of the Left's regrettable tendency to think everything's for the worst in the worst of all possible worlds. We just saw East Timor celebrate independence. As I told a celebration party put on by East Timor Action Network in Seattle, "Who would have bet in 1976, that after ghastly suffering and tremendous heroism, East Timor would, in 2002, be hoisting its flag?"
Guns, oil and private armies: A Bush-Cheney scandal you haven't heard, yet.
Wayne Madsen

Water, water, everywhere?

Water is indeed becoming a huge issue. Not just in the Southwest either. Atlanta, Georgia is running out of water too. Not because of drought, but because of too many people and no new water sources. And South Carolina and Tennessee aren't about to let Atlanta grab their water.

Plus, there's a major drought in the country now - Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, and New England to mention a few - which is causing usually simmering water wars to break out into major hostilities.

It gets worse. The same fine minds who brought us Enron and energy privatization want to do the same with water. They want to privatize public water utilities. Mega-large corporations like Vivendi, Suez, Bechtel are buying up water rights and privatizing water utilities worldwide. Bechtel privatized a water utility in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Water prices tripled, residents became enraged, began organizing, and eventually drove Bechtel out. Other areas are not so organized or fortunate, their water prices went up, quality dropped, and they are stuck with it.

In southern California, the public Metropolitan Water District may cut a deal with a private company, Cadiz, where Cadiz would store trillions of gallons of public water in their private aquifers in a desert, then pump it out when MWD needed it. No one knows if this will work, what the environmental effects would be, or whether the aquifers would be able to replenish fast enough if large quantities of water were pumped out during a major drought. Also, Cadiz is millions of dollars in debt and tettering on bankruptcy. So, why oh why would their crazy scheme interest anyone? Did I mention they've given $300,000 to Calif. Gov. Gray Davis?

Is putting public water in private hands a good idea? No! Water should be publicly owned, and quality water to should be available to all for a modest price. Water is a right, not a privilege. My blog has a water privatization page, with more links and info.

Garret mentioned his water woes and then I ran accross a couple of other pieces with the same theme. This is an issue that is going to get nastier and nastier as time goes on and bears watching. I live on a lake on an island in the Northwet (spelling intentional) and water is becoming an issue here too. And we are one of the areas that isn't having a drought! Too many people using too much water and the water table is dropping. Check out the water situation in your area.

A three part series on the water situation in Santa Fe courtesy of dangerousmeta!

Dispatches From the Santa Fe Drought

These days I'm heard saying "arrrgh" a lot because the main issue I'm grasping goes like this: In about three weeks, barring a miracle, the drought-whomped city water supply will run so low that homeowners will be forbidden from watering their plants. It's called a Stage 4 Water Shortage Emergency, and Santa Fe—a high desert city that bumps up against the Southern Rockies—has never entered such a crisis state before, though there have been three Stage 3s since 1996. (In Stage 3, which we're in now, you can water once a week.) In addition to the fatwa on yard and garden bubbly, Stage 4 would halt new construction permits—a dire outcome for a growing community. As for Santa Fe's all- important tourist economy … well, would you vacation here if the "City Different" becomes the "City Dehydrated"? [more]


Atlanta's Growing Thirst Creates Water War

It has all the elements of a classic regional water war, pitting developers against environmentalists and state against state. Yet this battle is gripping not the parched Southwest, but the normally verdant Southeast, in a sign of future clashes around the country over an increasingly limited supply of fresh water. [more]


A book review from the Very Early Summer 2002 edition of Ralph.

Every Drop For Sale
Our Desperate Battle Over Water in a World About to Run Out

"The water-wars like those in Cochabamba --- and its historical predecessor, the Lake Owens theft --- are just the beginning. Already bruising legal battles and sword-rattlings are erupting across the globe. The Six-Day War was just such a water-war." [more]
Palestinian Enslavement Entering a New Phase
The Israeli far-right – always the best indicator of Israel's true intentions – is quite outspoken: its aim is to make Palestinian life unbearable to a point that they would rather get up and go. Asked about his conception of "voluntary transfer" of Palestinians, Minister of Tourism (Rabbi) Benny Eylon compared the "voluntary" element to that of a Jewish husband who refused a rabbinical order to divorce his wife. Since rabbinical court cannot undo the marriage without the husband's consent, it should use force – excommunicate the obstinate husband, slash him, jail him etc. – until he "voluntarily" agrees to divorce. This is how the Palestinians should be "voluntarily" made to leave. And obviously, as long as they do not leave – because they cannot or will not – they should be struggling to survive rather than resist their oppression.
Rome. Leaders of 19 NATO countries voted Tuesday to allow Russia into the alliance's decision-making process, effectively making a diplomatic partner of the very entity that NATO was created to defend against.
Rome has become a bunker. Many of the main streets in the center of town are closed to the public. Getting to the coastal roads has become impossible. And the roar of all the helicopters has given me a headache. From my livingroom window, I can see 3 helicopters zapping around like mosquitoes.

Berlusconi said today was the most beautiful day of his life. He thanked the heads of state for coming to Rome calling them all by first name. He called Bush "Dub-ya". And my ears will be happy once all the boys go back home again.
The Yes Men, following proposals (in the spirit of taking capitalism to it's logical conclusion) to have votes sold to the highest bidder, and allow human rights abuses through Justice Vouchers, have disbanded the WTO.
Monday, May 27, 2002
FBI actively BLOCKED 9/11 investigation

The FBI stopped an investigation of flight school student Zacarias Moussaoui prior to 9/11 and also actively blocked those trying to link him to the 9/11 attacks after they occurred. charges Minneapolis FBI field agent Coleen Rowley.

"Rowley wrote, that some field agents were frustrated enough to joke that key officials at FBI headquarters 'had to be spies or moles ... who were actually working for Osama bin Laden to have so undercut Minneapolis' effort'."

Hmmm, let's not forget FBI Deputy Director John O'Neill who resigned in July 2001 to protest Bush Administration blocking of FBI investigations into the bin Laden family.
The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nation's Millennium General Assembly. "...Around 1950 James Hampton approached a merchant in Washington, D.C., about renting an unheated, poorly lit garage in a deteriorating residential neighborhood. Hampton explained that he was 'working on something' and needed a larger space than that available in his room in a nearby boarding house. By November 4, 1964, when he died of cancer, he had built 180 glittering objects in the garage. That 'something' had become The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly."
"In 1972 he had a vision about the end of the world, after which he began building computational devices and elaborate calendars in order to calculate the exact date of the Final Judgment..." Zebedee Armstrong is one of the featured visionary artists in the book The End is Near! Visions of Apocalypse, Millennium and Utopia by Roger Manley.
Sunday, May 26, 2002
One of the demands of the kidnappers/killers of Daniel Pearl was that they wanted the F-16 fighters that Pakistan had bought from the US but had never recieved. Apparently the US didn't deliver the paid for F-16s because of laws barring arms transfers to Pakistan if they were attempting to build a nuclear weapon. Late last year Pakistan was still trying to get Washington to cough up the F-16 fighters. Washington refused the demand saying "Any transfer of advanced weapons would get everyone all riled up." Omar Sheikh, who is on trial right now for the murder of Daniel Pearl apparently was an agent of the ISI. It's weird that the fact that the murder of Daniel Pearl may be a Pakistani secret service tactic to pressure US to deliver the F-16s hasn't really been fully investigated by the media. But I guess as long as Pakistan continues to be a strategic asset for the US the truth of who really ordered the Daniel's killing will remain obscured until the US has to bomb/invade Pakistan for some reason and accusations and evidence will miraculously flood the corporate media sphere.
a few items gleaned from our reading today...
Bush vs women of the world, Joan Ryan, S.F. Chronicle;
Life in Viper City:
'I joined up because I watched Full Metal Jacket too many times,'
the 10th Mountain Division's combat photographer tells me.
Later, admitting that he had thrown away a Fulbright scholarship
at college through partying too hard, he talks about being mortared
during the set-piece battle between American troops and al-Qaeda
and former Taliban fighters at Shah-e-Kot in March. 'Now I can tell
my grandchildren that I have been in the real shit,' he says. The line
was borrowed from the film. Later that day I heard a US marine sergeant
address a platoon. 'Listen in, ladies,' he began. He explained how he
wears a set of dog tags on his boots - as recommended by Doc, the drill
sergeant in Hamburger Hill - so that his corpse could be identified if decapitated.
When Uncle Sam meets 'Stan, Jason Burke, Observer UK;
Last item from New Scientist,
Three million would die in "limited" nuclear war over Kashmir

T.H. Huxley
Letters and Diary 1859

November 23, 1859
My dear Darwin–I finished your book yesterday, a lucky examination having furnished me with a few hours of continuous leisure.

... I trust you will not allow yourself to be in any way disgusted or annoyed by the considerable abuse and misrepresentation which, unless I greatly mistake, is in store for you. Depend upon it, you have earned the lasting gratitude of all thoughtful men.

I am sharpening up my claws and beak in readiness.

....I think the more


The end of subjectivity
A guide to musical correctness

But everything is not relative. Though there is no accounting
for simple bad taste, what is correct (or not is readily
apparent to anyone well-versed in the subject at hand.

For example, music.

(7.5 + 8) X (8 + 9.5 - 3) = 224.75

The formula
(c@ + E) X (rP + iP + T) = mc

Lowest possible score: -140

Highest possible score: 400

300 - 400:   Only the most correct subjects can expect
to score anywhere near 300. These mavericks make up for any
slight missteps with their adventurous spirit. Highest scores
yet calculated: 361, for the Lou Reed-led, pre-reunion Velvet
Underground, and 360, for John Coltrane's work between 1963
and 1967. These scores break down as follows:

Velvets (10 + 9) X (10 + 8 + 1) = 361

Coltrane (10 + 10) X (9 + 9) = 360

-140 - 0:  Only the most incorrect subjects can be
expected to score below zero. At this point, a coherent aesthetic
and apt execution will hurt a subject more than these factors
will help. Consider: the Cranberries (-7), Sammy Hagar (-8),
Motley Crüe (-14), Jane's Addiction (-28), Night Ranger
(-40), Doobie Brothers (-45) (oh shit, forgot "China Grove"),
Whitesnake and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (both -48), and Billy
Joel (-75).

The lowest scores yet tabulated are:

Sting (6 + 8) X (1 + 10 - 18) = -98

Eagles reunion (8 + 10) X (1 + 10 - 18)= -126

a singular theory that lies at the heart of the subject's work



Israel: the military in charge?

Is Israel ruled by politicians or generals? In an extract from her forthcoming book, Israel/ Palestine – how to end the war of 1948 (Seven Stories), a leading scholar and commentator illuminates the perilous tensions, and chilling ideas, at work deep within the Israeli security establishment. [more]


Letter From Israel
Palestinian Enslavement Entering a New Phase
by Ran HaCohen

The Israeli far-right – always the best indicator of Israel's true intentions – is quite outspoken: its aim is to make Palestinian life unbearable to a point that they would rather get up and go. Asked about his conception of "voluntary transfer" of Palestinians, Minister of Tourism (Rabbi) Benny Eylon compared the "voluntary" element to that of a Jewish husband who refused a rabbinical order to divorce his wife. Since rabbinical court cannot undo the marriage without the husband's consent, it should use force – excommunicate the obstinate husband, slash him, jail him etc. – until he "voluntarily" agrees to divorce. This is how the Palestinians should be "voluntarily" made to leave. And obviously, as long as they do not leave – because they cannot or will not – they should be struggling to survive rather than resist their oppression. [more]

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