Saturday, August 03, 2002
Cruel and UsualHow some of American's best zoos get rid of their old, infirm, and unwanted animals
New Braunfels, Texas–Deep amid the weeds and trash alongside Interstate 35, rusty cages and flimsy wire enclosures hold what's left of a former roadside zoo: six primates, three or four New Guinea singing dogs, a few exotic birds, and several African meerkats. The saddest residents are two rare white-handed gibbons, small apes listed as an endangered species. But the male-female pair is imperiled for another reason. They are the neglected castoffs from one of the nation's top wildlife institutions, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, N.Y. [more]
reports: "American pilots in Afghanistan, blamed for a series of "friendly fire" incidents and devastating erroneous attacks on innocent civilians, were routinely provided with amphetamines to tackle fatigue and help them fly longer hours," noting further that "Pilots who refused to take the drugs could be banned from taking part in a mission."
Will "supporting the troops" now cover the Army's shameful ill usage of servicemen and its awful consequences?
efforts by an alert & concerned citizenry...
that should not go unnoticed or unsupported:
this story on War Resistance from the NYT
;National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee
;National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund
.and goddamit, write, fax, email and call your Senator & Congress-Folk,
ask your friends and family to do the same, LET THEM KNOW HOW YOU FEEL
Destroying our own creation -- again
The Saddam in Rumsfeld's Closet by Jeremy Scahill
Five years before Saddam Hussein's now infamous 1988 gassing of the Kurds, a key meeting took place in Baghdad that would play a significant role in forging close ties between Saddam Hussein and Washington. It happened at a time when Saddam was first alleged to have used chemical weapons. The meeting in late December 1983 paved the way for an official restoration of relations between Iraq and the US, which had been severed since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
With the Iran-Iraq war escalating, President Ronald Reagan dispatched his Middle East envoy, a former secretary of defense, to Baghdad with a hand-written letter to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and a message that Washington was willing at any moment to resume diplomatic relations.
That envoy was Donald Rumsfeld.
Rumsfeld's December 19-20, 1983 visit to Baghdad made him the highest-ranking US official to visit Iraq in 6 years. He met Saddam and the two discussed "topics of mutual interest," according to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry. "[Saddam] made it clear that Iraq was not interested in making mischief in the world," Rumsfeld later told The New York Times. "It struck us as useful to have a relationship, given that we were interested in solving the Mideast problems."
Just 12 days after the meeting, on January 1, 1984, The Washington Post reported that the United States "in a shift in policy, has informed friendly Persian Gulf nations that the defeat of Iraq in the 3-year-old war with Iran would be 'contrary to U.S. interests' and has made several moves to prevent that result." [more]
It is for the expedient of short-term "national interest" that US administrations create these Frankenstein dictators, such as Saddam Hussein, then soon turn their attention to eliminating them because they have either lost control or the national interests have changed.
Usually, however, it is a subsequent administration and a different batch of bureauocrats left to do the dirty work of elimination. So it is ironic that this time around, due to the dynastic nature of the Bush II administration, it is the very same bureaucrats who nurtured the Saddam dictatorship that are now the most militant in advocating his elimination.
They proved their incompetence in the Bush 1 administration and should be retired or collecting unemployment (or in jail), not starting a war to clean up the mess that they helped make.
In the numskulls’ rush to exonerate Israel in the “JENIN PSEUDO-MASSACRE,” this
seems to have been overlooked. Most striking passage:
In early May, the Israel Defense Forces made a commitment to investigate every incident documented in the [original HRW] report. To date, Human Rights Watch has had no response from the IDF as to the progress of any such investigations.
Before offering “the final word on this non-issue
,” it might be wise to mount a thorough collection of evidence.
USS Liberty Attack By Israel On The History Channel August 11th
From the USS LIBERTY Memorial site: "During the Six Day War between Israel and the Arab States, the American intelligence ship USS Liberty was attacked for 75 minutes in international waters by Israeli aircraft and motor torpedo boats. Thirty-four men died and 172 were wounded . . . The attack has been a matter of controversy ever since."
Man Criticizes Government, Story at Eleven
: Of course, if we lived in the America that existed before we all became a bunch of pathetic bleating sheep, some "red blooded Americans" might actually show some concern that Americans are being hauled off as "material witnesses" and then upgraded to "enemy combatants" and locked up for the duration of the "war" (or the Apocalypse, whichever comes first).
F-16s Pursue UFO Near DC
: "It was this object, this light-blue object, traveling at a phenomenal rate of speed," Rogers said. "This Air Force jet was right behind it, chasing it, but the object was just leaving him in the dust. I told my neighbor, 'I think those jets are chasing a UFO.' "
From the Washington Post, no less.
Friday, August 02, 2002
: "I just realized that one of the reasons 'the plan' to oust Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq
is public knowledge is that the Bush administration needs it to be public knowledge. The Bush administration plans to spend $396.1 billion
on military operations and national defense in the 2003 fiscal year. The best way to spend this much money is to launch a large, senseless military campaign against another country. Instead of sending in a few small groups of highly-trained infiltrators and assassins to get the job done quickly (and in comparison, cheaply), Bush is rewarding the defense and military industries, which are also considered Big Business
. It makes me ill to think that there might be
such an hidden agenda and that the American public are being told that such a 'war' in Iraq is needed. By going public with the whole Iraq thing, the Bush administration gains enough of the support they need from the American public to spend so much money, even though not a single country
has come out and said they will support the U.S. if they go through with the plan. [links via The One to Go
Invasion on autopilot
The Bush wars and public dissent -- then and now
This week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is holding hearings of George Junior's intent to invade Iraq again. Just like Daddy. Unlike 12 years ago, there is no compelling invasion of Kuwait (or fake incubator deaths) to spur global outrage (and alarm over oil supply). There is, in fact, no compelling reason of any sort to go to war against Iraq. The only recent development cited by the Bush Administration is the claim that Iraq is developing new "weapons of mass destruction." That claim that has consistently been considered patently absurd by the rest of the world, including a succession of United Nations officials charged with looking into such things. Several of the ones who've headed the "Food for Oil" program, or who've served as weapons inspectors in Iraq, have quit their jobs (and careers) and become full-time activists trying to counter White House propaganda (under both Clinton and Bush) and the steady, inexorable war drums of the past two years. [more]
Judge Orders Detainee Names Released
“The government must reveal the names of those held in the investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal judge ruled Friday, rejecting claims terrorists could use the information to plot new crimes. The Justice Department has not justified a blanket policy of secrecy about more than 1,000 people picked up since the jetliner attacks, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled. She gave the government 15 days to provide the names.”Turkey bans the death penalty, legalizes broadcast in Kurdish
Next stop, the European Union.
All that and perhaps the beginning of the end
of Africa's ‘First World War
'. Finally, some good news.
Punk in Los Angeles - 1977
. Mark Vallen's Punk Rock Portraits. "...As an Artist I've always been interested in oppositional culture and the shock of the new, so when the Punk Rock movement hit Los Angeles in the 70's, I was enthralled. I immediately recognized the Punk scene as fertile ground for expressions of dissent and cultural insurrection, so I wasted no time in joining the ranks of the Blank Generation." Also... Punk Flyers from Los Angeles - circa 1977
and A visual survey of early Punk Rock Album Covers
. From Art For A Change
credit where credit's due...incidentally, i tried watching some of the Bush-wacker's
post press conference Q & A, alonside the Jordanian
president, and one of the immediate things out of his
mouth in reply to one inquiry was something about
"My Governement..." which pissed me off something
awful----- the nerve of that goddamned schmuck...On Opposing the U.S.A. Patriot Act
a speech by Sen. Russell Feingold
IRAQ BUILDS MASSIVE LOVE BOMB
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a briefing at the Pentagon today, head skeletor Donald Rumsfeld announced new U.S. intelligence sources reporting that Iraq is in the process of building a "massive love bomb," capable of instilling the entire North American continent with overwhelming feelings of unconditional love.
"And it just wouldn't know any bounds," explained Rumsfeld. "Christians loving Buddhists, Americans loving Canadians, rich people loving the homeless--it would destroy the American Way of Life as we know it."
"Love, love, love, all you need is love."
-- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
The Renewed Israeli Occupation
2 million Palestinians under curfew for 42 days!Inside Ramallah
How Can the World Witness Such Suffering and Yet Do Nothing?I am writing this letter on a Saturday evening--a day of the week when many people are preparing for a fun evening out with friends and loved ones. As I write, my desk periodically shakes due to the sounds of gunfire and tank shelling. Israeli soldiers are driving through the deserted streets of Ramallah shouting "Mana ata jawaal, Mana ata jawaal" -- you are under curfew. Periodically they catch someone trying to break curfew and either detain them or shoot in the air--like just a moment ago on the street in front of my house. You may not believe this, but I cannot remember what it must be like to have the freedom to do something as simple as taking a walk, let alone enjoy a Saturday night out with friends. I now consider myself lucky if curfew is lifted for a few hours so I can go to my office and meet with my colleagues, then dash to the market to get a few days worth of fruits and vegetables before curfew is slammed down on us once again.[read more]
For years I wondered how the world could have turned their backs on the Jews in the late 30s when they were being destroyed by the Germans. Now I see the same thing happening again, only it is Jews destroying Palestinians this time. What will you say when your grandchildren ask you about this? Will you say "Gosh, we didn't know."? We are seeing the Warsaw Ghetto replayed.
Thursday, August 01, 2002
Some UK News and Views on the US v. Iraq ReMatchIraq 'close to nuclear bomb goal'
Khidir Hamza, who played a leading role in Iraq's nuclear weapon programme before defecting in 1994, cited German intelligence in saying: "With more than 10 tonnes of uranium and one tonne of slightly enriched uranium...in its possession, Iraq has enough to generate the needed bomb-grade uranium for three nuclear weapons by 2005." The Madness of War with Iraq
Instead of open debate, what we have had from President Bush is the vague assertion that Saddam Hussein has "plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade". Our own Prime Minister is even more vague, implying that Saddam Hussein now possesses an arsenal of dangerous but as yet unspecified weapons of mass destruction. Neither of them has yet produced any evidence that Saddam plans to use any of these weapons against the West. The Case for War
Failing this, however, the outlook is grim. Some argue that a better alternative to war is to keep Mr Hussein in his box, persevering with the strategy of containment. But after 11 years, it is time to acknowledge that the box is full of holes and that containment has failed. By keeping Iraq poor, the sanctions have inflicted suffering on Iraq's people and so brought America and its allies into disrepute in much of the Arab world. But the sanctions have not dulled the Iraqi leader's appetite for the most lethal of weapons, and have slowed rather than stopped his ability eventually to procure them. The honest choices now are to give up and give in, or to remove Mr Hussein before he gets his bomb. Painful as it is, our vote is for war.However brutal the regime, Britain must not support an invasion of Iraq
Too many Americans believe invading Iraq is justified by 11 September, even as they accept that President Saddam had nothing to do with those attacks. The terrible truth is that the perpetrators of 11 September would want nothing more than a massive show of force by the Christian West against the Muslims of Iraq. For that reason alone, we should say no to war.
EPA Official Promises More Superfund Documents After Senator Complains
More evidence of the hostility of Cheney admin towards the concept of 'open government'--you know, that outdated hi-ideal right up there with affirmative action and free and fair elections . . .
FBI: Just 200 Hard-Core Al-Qaeda
"Al-Qaeda itself, we know, is less than 200," said an FBI official, referring to those who have sworn allegiance to Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
That figure -- far fewer than recent press reports have suggested are in the U. S. alone -- is based on evidence gathered by the FBI and CIA. It includes Al-Qaeda members who are now in custody at Guantanamo Bay.
"Everyone tries to tie everything into 9-11 and Al-Qaeda," said one of the two FBI officials interviewed Friday on condition of anonymity. "There was a recent report suggesting that Al-Qaeda is about 5,000 strong. It is nowhere near 5,000 strong." [more]
Link via Tom Tomorrow
Wednesday, July 31, 2002
Top Interior Official Resigns
: "A top Interior Department official said he was forced to quit Tuesday because he challenged the department's claims that it is repairing a historically mismanaged trust fund for American Indians."
Retired Army intelligence officer Ralph Peters tells The Christian Science Monitor
that Bush's belligerence and planning a sneak attack
in plain public view serves a purpose: "You're getting the Europeans and the Arabs accustomed to the idea" of war.
Mission, sadly, accomplished
Gabrielle de Montmollin... Miss Milligan and La Belle Lucie, at the Dance
. A brilliant new series of 30 photographs by one of our favourite fine art photographers, Gabrielle de Montmollin. From Art Is Hell
. Works by Tony Calzetta and Gabrielle de Montmollin.
The United States Ousted the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Mary Robinson, the outgoing United Nations human rights commissioner, discusses the U.S. role in her leaving: "'I am not somebody to just walk away,' Robinson, a former president of Ireland, told Reuters in an interview in Geneva. She said she would have agreed to stay if asked, but added, 'There seems to have been strong resistance from just one country.'
"Robinson has had sharp differences with the Bush administration on several issues. They include her criticism of U.S. treatment of prisoners from Afghanistan being held at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; the idea of using U.S. military tribunals to try suspects on charges arising from the Sept. 11 attacks, and the lengthy U.S. detention without trial of some suspects.
'I do appreciate that the United States was very traumatized by the attacks of Sept. 11 and geared itself for a situation of being at war,' she told Reuters. 'That meant that it did not put the same emphasis on human rights standards, and it was my job to say that human rights standards apply even more at times like that.'"
Tuesday, July 30, 2002
CIA Expert: Leaks of Classified Information Must Stop
: "We’ve got to do whatever it takes – if it takes sending SWAT teams into journalists’ homes – to stop these leaks,” admonished James B. Bruce, vice chairman of the CIA's Foreign Denial and Deception Committee.
Foreign Denial and Deception Committee? Even the name spooks.
Left Behind, the bestselling series of paranoid, pro-Israel end-time thrillers, may sound kooky, but America's right-wing leaders really believe this stuff.
Israel is the key to the theology that dominates Left Behind, the chain of events that lead to the return of Christ depends on the existence of a Holy Land that is under catastrophic assault. No wonder the born-again lobby is obsessed with Israeli self-defense, but opposed to any peace plan.
Congo and Rwanda Sign a Peace Agreement
The presidents of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo signed a peace agreement Tuesday aimed at ending a devastating war which has killed about two million people in the heart of Africa.
from our unelected supreme genius on the subject of welfare reform, caught via the boxed brief on the WSJ's front page. In strict accordance with the new e-business logic, the Journal
charges for premium content; crap, such as reptilian James Taranto's Best of the Web Today [sic], is free:
In other words, they're [the Senate] saying we've got to spend a bunch more money in order to make us feel better and make things work better. We don't need that.
Earlier in the "speech," Bush, lifelong recipient of corporate welfare, gentlemen's Cs, and hand-outs from his family's plutocratic friends, noted the following:
Under the way they're kind of writing it right now, out of the Senate Finance Committee, some people could spend their entire five years -- there's a five-year work requirement -- on welfare, going to college. Now, that's not my view of helping people become independent.
Outfitting welfare recipients with a college degree, of course, would be an unpardonable indulgence, what with workfare working so well
Powell gives human rights pledge
United States Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday tempered his anti-terrorism message with a pledge on human rights, as he continued a lightning six-nation tour of Southeast Asia in Malaysia.
Mr Powell said that he raised human rights issues in talks with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and senior government ministers.
``We did discuss human rights in each meeting. In the context of our counter-terrorism efforts I made the point to all my interlocutors that we still believe strongly in human rights and that in everything we do we have to be consistent with the universal standards of human rights,'' he said.
The Renewed Israeli Occupation
2 million Palestinians under curfew for 39 days![more]
----------Victims of pre-conceptionsIsrael's political and military commanders want the Palestinians, including the parents of the children killed and wounded in Gaza, to believe that nobody took into account the possibility that a ton of explosives dropped from a plane into a crowded residential neighborhood would harm only the bomb's target, no matter how deserving he was.Those same politicians and generals mock those who believe in the possibility that a few hours before the bombing, a Palestinian declaration for a general cease-fire against Israeli civilians had been finalized. No wonder Israel's propaganda effort is trying so hard to minimize the reports about a dramatic change in the thinking of the Palestinian leadership, the Tanzim, and even the Hamas. If they were to admit the process is serious, in the worst case it would be confirmation of Hosmi Mubarak's conspiracy theory that the bomb was meant to disrupt the cease-fire. In the best case, it would be a slap in the face to the concept that there's nobody to talk with on the Palestinian side about "painful concessions." [more]
----------If there's smoke, there's no cease-fireIsrael's propaganda machine worked overtime this week and proved its efficacy. The prime minister, the foreign minister, intelligence officers, officials and spokesmen changed overnight from a fight for a cease-fire to a fight against a cease-fire initiative. For many months, they told the entire world that it's a waste of paper to reach a cease-fire with the Palestinian Authority, explaining that Tanzim and Fatah leaders are in control of the street, along with Hamas. They claimed that with one hand, PA Chairman Yasser Arafat signs condemnations of terror and with the other signs fat checks that he shoves into the pockets of the terrorists. Some backed their claims by saying that even Alistair Crooke, the head of the EU security team in the territories whose integrity and professionalism is unassailable, says that there's no value to a cease-fire that doesn't include at least the Tanzim.But when a unilateral declaration for a cease-fire, an initiative that rose from the deepest of the grassroots of the Tanzim and Fatah, was presented to them, everyone made a mockery of it. They weren't impressed by Arafat and his associates jumping on the bandwagon driven by Fatah's Hussein a Sheikh and his associates, because Arafat et al fear being shoved off the road by the young leadership. After we heard, unceasingly, that everything is under Arafat's thumb, Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer announced to the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the cease-fire was initiated by local leaders, and that they have no influence over the terrorists. [more]
Monday, July 29, 2002
Palace revolt by the Joint Chiefs?
Despite President Bush's repeated bellicose statements about Iraq, many senior U.S. military officers contend that President Saddam Hussein poses no immediate threat
and that the United States should continue its policy of containment rather than invade Iraq to force a change of leadership in Baghdad.
The senior officers' position -- that the risks of dropping a successful containment policy for a more aggressive military campaign are so great that it would be unwise to do so -- was made clear in the course of several interviews with officials inside and outside the Pentagon.
For those who ask, what is the about-to-be-forced-out Colin Powell been doing, I would say the above is your answer. When Joint Chiefs are letting it be publicly known they think the White House is deeply stupid, this is serious dissension indeed. Lately, most criticism of Bush is coming from the Right, while mainstream Democratic politicos snooze - or try to out-hawk the White House hawks.Revolt by the police?
The Fraternal Order of Police point-blank says they oppose a bizarre law passed by the House that makes any attempt to break a Federal law a punishable act, even it was only an attempt and didn't result in a crime.
Malcolm McMillin, sheriff in Jackson, Miss., said, "I don't think this country wants us to move closer to a police state
. We need to work harder enforcing the laws we have." The Fraternal Order of Police, a police labor group with 300,000 members, also opposes the change."It's scary and it's at variance with common sense
," Jim Pasco, the executive director, said. "It creates literally thousands of crimes."
And where are protests by mainstream Democratic politicians on this grotesque law? When Democrats are apparently silent on huge civil liberty violations while police protest the possibility of us becoming a police state - well, the wheels are coming off the wagon, aren't they?
Bush Admin Backs Bill for Offshore Energy Projects
Surface: "The Bush administration last week urged Congress to pass legislation giving the Interior Department authority to permit wind, solar and other alternative energy projects in federal offshore waters."
Beneath: "However, environmentalists fear the bill would allow the department to also easily approve facilities that are related to traditional oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, providing a shortcut to avoid jurisdiction by existing federal agencies."
Remember, folks: play Surface/Beneath with all corporate news items before ingestion! You'll be glad ya did!
Here is the sound of Homer Simpson introducing Paul Krassner
. Here is Paul Krassner talking about his latest album--dedicated to Ken Kesey--and how the aforementioned snippet of Homer Simpson was supposed to be on it, but Fox said no
. The Guardian reports: "The album, which was due out this month, pokes fun at President Bush, the US attorney general, John Ashcroft, and the 'war on terrorism'."
If you point out that Krassner is the "father of the zine," he will, for the umpteenth time, demand a paternity test. The Guardian also points out that Krassner is finishing up a novel about his friendship with the late Lenny Bruce. As always, Lenny lives on.
Nobody mention this to Ben Shapiro. It may really upset the poor young man.Peres: Bombing in Gaza was `100 percent a mistake'
: Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said yesterday that the Israel Defense Forces' bombing of Hamas leader Salah Shehadeh's apartment in Gaza last Monday had been an "absolute mistake."
"Yes, it was a miscalculation, 100-percent a mistake. The outcome shows clearly that we used the wrong weapon. The bomb caused more harm than good," Peres told the German news magazine, Der Spiegel
, in an interview released ahead of publication yesterday.
Woof Woof...Operation Sniffs
be a volunteer for amerika!
From odball Jude Wanniski, who hauls off on Paul O’Neill this morning.
Sunday, July 28, 2002
US ships Al Qaeda suspects to Arab states
: In addition to snatchin’ ‘em up and holdin’ ‘em incommunicado, we’re now sendin’ ‘em to Egypt, Syria, and Jordan for torture. I wonder if the warbloggers will continue to indulge in their collective fever dream of bombing the former two? I'm guessing they will.
Blair's brilliant answer to a question of deep moral complexity. Meanwhile, our own supreme genius flaunts his qualifications as honest broker
yo! is 'dis a great country or wha'?
particularly if you priviledged & monied, datz fo sure.I.R.S. Loophole Allows Wealthy to Avoid Taxesyah, okey, tell us sometink we don' already know, eh?
To see how many US and UK soldiers Bush has killed in Iraq with his lies, click here
Cost of the War in Iraq
"America was never innocent. We popped our cherry on the boat over and looked back with no regrets. You can't ascribe our fall from grace to any single event or set of circumstances. You can't lose what you lacked at conception.
"Mass-market nostalgia gets you hopped up for a past that never existed. Hagiography sanctifies shuck-and-jive politicians and reinvents their expedient gestures as moments of great moral weight. Our continuing narrative line is blurred past truth and hindsight. Only a reckless versimilitude can set that line straight."
--James Ellroy, American Tabloid