American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, June 08, 2002
Friday, June 07, 2002
Mark Takamichi Miller... 24 Exposures. "...These paintings are derived from a random 1-hour photo packet left for development. I don't know the people in the pictures and they don't know that they are the subjects of the paintings. The photos had been left in the bin over a month. I bought them and took out one of the two sets of prints before returning the second prints and the negatives to the bin."

U.S. says unclear on Israeli objectives for Ramallah raid

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres revealed Thursday that the U.S. is shaping a new diplomatic initiative in which the Palestinians will have to waive the right of return in exchange for Israel's evacuation of all the settlements.

"There is something new emerging in the U.S., which says that the Palestinians will give up on the right of return in exchange for Israel giving up on all the settlements."

Peres reiterated his view that even if it will take time to reach an agreement with the Palestinians, Israel should not wait to reengage the Palestinians in negotiations. A renewal of the political process, Peres added, would help to solve many of the problems besetting the Israeli economy.[more]


Bush to announce new strategy after Sharon, Mubarak meetings

That said, Bush is in no hurry to adopt his State Department's plan, which was drawn up by a member of the National Security Council. According to this proposal, Israel would agree to evacuate the settlements, while the Palestinians would waive their demand for the right of return for refugees.

The plan proposes a three-year process, at the end of which the sides ould reach a permanent agreement accompanied by "serious reforms" within the Palestinian Authority. Sharon has expressed his reservations about the plan, and Bush is not keen to go up against the prime minister.

A senior official, during a White House press briefing, made light of reports of a future U.S. plan. "I'm not sure where those reports came from," he said, "but I'd be happy to find out."

Bush is also busy helping his brother Jeb Bush win his election in Florida. With so many Jewish votes in that state, Bush is not likely to do anything that would alienate Jewish voters, who are showing increasing support for the Republicans, by going head-to-head with Ariel Sharon.[more]

The State Department seems to have a grasp on the situation but the future of peace in the mideast will more likely be sacrificed by Bush to get his brother reelected. Can this get more depressing? Unfortunately, I'm sure it can.
From Sweatshop to Hip-Hop
Jason Morteo understands all of this. He is a 17-year-old Chicano lyricist, beat junkie, and grafitti writer in San Antonio. On Wednesday nights, he can be found at Brunoís, a local restaurant, battling other mcees in the freestyle competition. ("I would have won first place, except the other dude starting beat-boxing on me.") He has a front row seat for what Leviís and other clothing companies are trying to do with hip-hop and garment workers.

"For me, I find it so ironic that Leviís, of all companies, is going to try to make a profit off of hip-hop culture, on top of that Latin hip-hop culture, when thereís so many people here they exploit so much," he says. "And the companies do their best to keep that out of the media."

Some Thoughts on the idea of 'Hacker Culture'
. . . This being said, the points of convergence between the activities of hackers and those of (political) activists are many, and they increase by the day. It is becoming more and more evident that both groups face the same threats, and the same adversaries.
Thursday, June 06, 2002
Perot Systems get caught with hand in cookie jar

As with many political scandals, the Enron trail leads to some unusual places. This time to Perot Systems, who simultaneously designed the California power system, then sold software to trading companies teaching them how to game the system! That "giant sucking sound"? Why boy howdy, that was just Texas energy companies vacuuming money from California by whatever barely legal or outright illegal ways they could devise. And lest we forget, Perot Systems is headed by the very same Ross Perot who, when he ran for President, lectured us all about the virtues of being upright and moral. What a bunch of weasels..

Sometimes I read something that convinces me that I really am a hopeless pinko...

* The complaint: Consolidation has made radio even more cookie-cutter bland, with narrow, unimaginative playlists. Demographic targeting and audience testing eliminate variety, stifle regionalism and foist the least objectionable music on the public.

Failing to recognize that an individual's tastes are broader than a narrow format, stations avoid adventurous artists and diversity. Music's presence is being eroded by gabby DJs and juvenile morning shows.

..."More and more, radio is programmed literally by machine, hurting the limitless potential that makes radio special," Light says. "All the great things about radio, including identity and community, are being devalued. In places that kind of station still exits, people hold onto it with religious fervor."

* The defense: As quirky outposts merged into titanic corporations, radio became a big business beholden to Wall Street's profit standards.

"The stakes are higher," Light says. "One genre is now bigger than the whole industry used to be. It's absurd to think that corporations are going to value artistic merit and innovation. That's not what the game is."

I suppose only a rigid ideologue such as myself can't distinguish between the indictment and the defense...

::USA Today: Hey, Mr. DJ, open the request line via Mediageek
Wednesday, June 05, 2002
Who wants Palestinian reforms, and why?

"There must be Palestinian reforms. That is the great new prescription for Middle East peace-making," veteran Middle East correspondent David Hirst argues in a commentary for the Beirut Daily Star. But: "[Sharon] has always abhorred any legitimate representative institution that embodies Palestinian national identity and eventual statehood on territory he and the Israeli right deem to be an inalienable, exclusive part of 'Greater Israel'."

"The ironic truth is that, in the vast disparity of what all these parties actually mean by reforms, it is the Palestinians ≠ their public, political organizations, and some, at least, within the Palestinian Authority which would be the target of them ≠ who most sincerely seek them, in any true, progressive, universally recognized sense of the word while, for the Israelis and in varying degrees Americans and Arab regimes, they are just a means and a cover for altogether less exalted ends." ...

"[Sharon's] notion of a peace plan, so far as it is known, repudiates all the progress made via the 1991 Madrid Conference, Oslo, and subsequent accords and negotiations; it would consecrate all existing "Zionist facts on the ground" under yet another "interim" agreement of indefinite duration during which Israel would be free to create ever more new ones. His notion of a Palestinian leadership is one that acquiesces in these conditions" ...

"But whatever does eventually come of Palestinian reforms, they won't, on their own, advance the peace process. For that there would have to be far-reaching Israeli reforms too, not about democracy, but about the means of achieving what, since Israel came into being, has, or should have been, its overriding national purpose: winning the acceptance of the Palestinians whose conquest or displacement are the root cause of all its woes."
Narrative bias

From The Rhetorica Network (link found on Rebecca's Pocket), one of the "inherent biases of journalism as a professional practice":

"Narrative bias: The news media covers the news in terms of "stories" that must have a beginning, middle, and end--in other words, a plot. Much of what happens in our world, however, is ambiguous. The news media applies a narrative structure to ambiguous events suggesting that these events are easily understood and have clear cause-and-effect relationships. Good storytelling requires drama, and so this bias often leads journalists to add, or seek out, drama for the sake of drama. Lastly, this bias leads many journalists to create, and then hang on to, master narratives--set story lines with set characters who act in set ways. Once a master narrative has been set, it is very difficult to get journalists to see that their narrative is simply one way, and not necessarily the correct or best way, of viewing people and events."
William Gropper... The Little Tailor (1955, Dodd Mead & Company, New York). "...Many years ago, in a sleepy little town called Nochi, which was hidden far away in the darkest end of Europe, there lived a little tailor who made the most beautiful clothes in the world."
Tuesday, June 04, 2002
A U.S. Air Force colonel who called President Bush "a joke" and accused him of allowing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to happen because "his presidency was going nowhere," has been suspended and could face a court-martial.

At first glance you might think this is something new, turns out theres a history of this sort of thing.
Warblogger Watch is bigger, bolder, and better than ever.
How Sustainable is the Talk of Sustainability?

As world government gets geared up for Earth Summit II in Johannesburg this August and the requisite ton of money gets spent (and resources used) in the name of producing this Lollapalooza of global political spectacle, the buzzword of the day appears to be "sustainability." I use it. Monsanto uses it. Heck, now that the Bush administration has finally admitted that global warming is a serious, human industry-created problem that will greatly affect our future, even G.W. himself appears to want to get in on the act. But are we all speaking the same language here? How can someone interested in animal rights, or non-toxic community gardens, or local, organic produce possibly intend the same thing by speaking about "sustainable living practices" as a giant transnational corporate venture which is bent on outmoding exactly those very things? [Read more]
Oh my. More fuel for the fire, so to speak.

Conspiracy theories abound. This one is nice. It has nice pictures and it's easy to understand. Why don't you go drag your republican/narrowminded/militaristic/gung-ho/where'sthebeef? friend to the computer and let them play, "Find the Boeing". (nonono, not THAT Boeing..the one that crashed into the Pentagon, you piglet)
Monday, June 03, 2002
John Heartfield... Die drei Weisen aus dem Sorgenland (The three magi from the Land of Sorrow. Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung, January 3, 1935, p. 16., rotogravure print, rephotographed montage with typography). From Photomontage by John Heartfield. 23 images from the George Eastman House Still Photograph Archive.
Sometimes, I say to myself, "Self, what do you feel like doing today?" And oftentimes, myself will reply, "well, now, am I feeling selfish, and singular? Do I feel like treating someone badly, or driving around aimlessly just to waste gas? Do I want to go to Wal-Mart and buy some items that were made in China by small children who work for two cents a year and eat once a week? Self, what say we hightail it over that new golf course and watch them needlessly water fourthousand acres of lawn when other parts of the world are drying out..."

Then, I think to myself, "self, what the fuck is wrong with you? What are you, some kind of freaking closet republican or something?" Then I shudder and feel the cold feet of doom walking over my grave.

Then I click here, find someone who needs me, and go out and do something useful to make my soul feel better. Try it. Really. Surely there's something in your neck of the woods that needs to be attended to. Volunteer a little bit of your time.

Hey, here's a crazy idea...what if each individual american, unless unable to due to physical constraints, was required by law to do a certain amount of community service a year?

Coming up next: Grown Men Who Play With Balls--also known as Sports! And the Weather!

. . . All here, on your Favorite Corporate News Network!

Quantum Wormholes Could Carry People

I received this in my email last week from Giovanni (titled "100 Holes"):

For your viewing pleasure

"Locke implied that a causal theory of perception is incompatible with the perception of holes; since holes are not material they cannot be the source of any causal flow. That we do have the impression of perceiving holes should then be considered a sort of systematic illusion. (Unless one rejects causal accounts of perception.)"

Thanks, Giovanni!

See also: The Invisible Worm . . . it's always nice to see new progressives come up!

Sunday, June 02, 2002
The North American Gnome Liberation Front Press Office (GLF-PO) website has been shut down.
The GLF movement has gone underground as a result of the newly-enacted PATRIOT act under the fascist Bush regime. Resistance is strong, but we no longer have the resources to operate a full-time Press Office. The Diary of Actions is still available below.

It is possible that in the future, we shall return.

- Subcommander Dante, GLF
The Soviet Message. "...when Stalin's purges claim the reputations and the lives of the once-loyal, Klustis reworks his material, as he does with this photomontage, beginning by hacking two army marshals from Stalin's side. Marshal Yegorov, who remains in the poster, is tortured to death in 1939. Klustis also suffers under Stalin's regime; he is arrested in 1938 and is eventually killed." From The Commissar Vanishes. The Falsification of Photographs in Stalin's Russia.
Green Party governor candidates getting noticed

"In what could be a major blow to (Mass.) Democrats' hopes of regaining the governor's office, Green Party gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein is on the verge of qualifying to receive up to $3.4 million in taxpayer-funded Clean Election campaign funds".††

Predictably, Democrats are whining about Greens stealing votes from them. 'It is an outrage,' said Philip W. Johnston, the Democrats' state party chairman. 'This will significantly damage our chances in November. A vote for Stein is a vote for (Republican candidate Mitt) Romney.' †

The only outrage here is that Democrats think Green votes somehow belong to them. They don't. And if Democrats wish to stop their exodus of liberals, perhaps they could start acting like Democrats again. More

"Will this be the year when the California Green Party finally makes a significant showing in a statewide election? The Greens are banking on their gubernatorial nominee, millionaire and socially-responsible-investing guru Peter Camejo, drawing substantial support. And given widespread liberal dissatisfaction with Democratic Governor Gray Davis -- a dissatisfaction so deep that leaders of nine prominent organizations of people of color are considering bailing on Davis and supporting Camejo -- it might just happen". reports the L.A. Weekly.

In an unsolicited letter to Camejo, the leaders declare that "neither major party is effectively addressing issues" of concern to their communities and that "a strong showing by a third party" could advance their agendas. Saying that "20 to 30 percent of the minority vote" could be secured by the Green campaign, they suggest a dialogue with Camejo, which is now under way.

This is big news - several business-oriented groups of people of color are bailing on Gray Davis. In Camejo's words, what they did was "a declaration of war." Stay tuned. More

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