American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, August 31, 2002
we might all be a little better off...
if good stuff like this wasn't only scheduled on
holiday weekends and only viewable on C-Span,
Howard Zinn, Live, on In Depth, Sunday 9am PST
okay, the rest of you can go and watch amurrican idle &
all that other network crap-ola now, stay dumb, stay numb... Inspired by the famous Israeli Voice of Peace pirate radio station.
Related :- the Offshore Radio Guide.
Refugees face starvation
In 1975, after the death of Franco, Spain withdrew from its Western Sahara colony. It was promptly annexed by Morocco against the wishes of (at least part of) the indigenous population, leading to a decades long guerilla war. During the course of this war, some 155,000 people fled to the borders with Algeria, which is where they're still living in refugee camps. These camps are wholly dependent on humanitarian aid provided via the UN world Food Programme, which is now struggling to get the funds needed to do so, according to a report from AllAfrica.

Since 1991 an UN sponsored ceasefire has been in effect between Morocco and Polisario Front and since then the UN has been trying to hld an referendum on the future of the Western Sahara. Read more about the history of the Western Sahara here.
Friday, August 30, 2002
"Gentiles in Aaliyah have always persecuted Jewish people, I don't know if you're one of them or not, but...". Jackie Mason talks to CNN as to why he had a Palestinian comic fired.
Poll shows free speech support down
Support for the First Amendment has eroded significantly since Sept. 11 and nearly half of Americans now think the constitutional amendment on free speech goes too far in the rights it guarantees...

The survey was performed by the (supposedly) non-partisan First Amendment Foundation. A PDF of the report, State of the First Amendment 2002, is available here.

Via Slashdot
Earth Summit

Booby Traps at Rio + 10
by Naomi Klein

On August 24, police even attacked a candlelight "freedom of expression march," held to protest these and other mass arrests. The spontaneously organized march was headed to a downtown prison, but before the crowd of 1,000 local and international activists had walked a block, riot police surrounded them and barricaded the road. Without warning, stun grenades were fired at the marchers, injuring three.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development isn't going to save the world; it merely offers an exaggerated mirror of it. In the gourmet restaurants of Sandton, delegates are literally dining out on their concern for the poor. Meanwhile, outside the gates, poor people are being hidden away, assaulted and imprisoned for what has become the iconic act of resistance in an unsustainable world: refusing to disappear. [read more]


The State machinery of intimidation and misinformation

JOHANNESBURG 27 August - With only four days to go before the showdown in Sandton, the lines between protesters and the State have become increasingly apparent. Not only in the form of police repression – which according to many international anti-globalisation protesters has bypassed the draconian standards of Seattle, Québec and Genoa – but more sinisterly within the mainstream media as well. The corporate media has been working hand-in-hand with the intelligence agencies and other government officials in circulating untruths and fabrications aimed at demobilising mass movements rejecting the neoliberal agenda of WSSD and at justifying excessive use of force, unjustified arrests, torture and a flawed legal system. [read more]
Greenpeace finds American wanted for Bhopal tragedy. (Guardian)
'The former head of Union Carbide, Warren Anderson, who faces homicide charges in India in connection with more than 14,000 deaths following leaks from the company's pesticides plant in Bhopal in 1984, has been tracked down to his luxury home in the Hamptons on Long Island, New York. '
'Mr Anderson was served with a copy of a warrant for his arrest by an environmental campaigner and moves are now under way to bring him to India to face trial.'
Palestinian: Stop Suicide Bombings
Yehiyeh, a retired general, was appointed interior minister in June in a Cabinet reshuffle, taking charge of Palestinian security forces. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had held the post until then.

In the interview, Yehiyeh said that ``suicide attacks are contrary to the Palestinian tradition, against international law and harm the Palestinian people.''
Bed art promotes 'safe sex'. (BBC) 'A young couple are to spend a week in bed in the window of a London art gallery to reinforce the importance of safe sexual practice in the fight against sexually transmitted disease. '
US presses Africa to take GM foods. (Guardian) 'The US was accused yesterday of putting intense pressure on United Nations organisations, the European Union and individual countries to support the export of GM food aid to six African countries facing severe hunger in the coming months. '

This page on water scarcity includes a 'world water shortage map' which graphically illustrates where these problems are occurring. The worst shortages are in the Middle East, parts of South Asia and China, and South Africa; this could prove to be an added complication in regions already affected by conflict.
Goya to Beijing. 'In the politically responsive spirit of Goya, internationally acclaimed contemporary artists have gathered together to remember the tragic events which took place in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China, June 4, 1989. '
'The purpose of this exhibition is to commemorate the anniversary of this political struggle for democracy.'
Thursday, August 29, 2002
The Majority Loses as Revenge Tactics Breed More Death and Despair
Palestinians and Israelis 'prefer peaceful protests'
Meanwhile, four Palestinians were killed and four were wounded early yesterday when Israeli tank shells slammed into a Bedouin encampment in Gaza City, Palestinian witnesses said.
Johannesburg: According to a report (Report in PDF format) to the World Summit on Sustainable Development now being held in Johannesburg, about 1.2 billion people have no access to safe drinking water and 2.4 billion do not have adequate sanitation services. 6,000 children every day die because of lack of drinkable water, inadequate sanitation and bad hygiene.

Thanks to rapid population growth in the poorest countries, as well as laissez faire industrialisation, industrial as well as agricultural pollution threatens the drinkwater supply of millions of people. At the same time, water is rapidly becoming scarce in many places, partly due to growing use by industry and agriculture. As of now there's little check on wasteful use of water anywhere and in fact wasteful uses may even be subsidised (as I understand has been a problem in California).

Beyond this, the growing pressure on water resources (not just grondwater, but also rivers etc) by growing populations, industry and agriculture also threatens or harms entire ecosystems. Need I point out how the rich farming grounds of ancient Sumeria were ultimately destroyed by careless use of water?

Please read this report. Far more then oil, water is going to be the resource over which wars in the 21st century will be fought, if action isn't undertaken soon.
Gonzo times: As well as Walter Cronkite and Peter Carey talking about US journalism in the wake of 9-11 on Australian radio this morning, the great Hunter S Thompson: 'It’s sort of a herd mentality, a lemming-like mentality. If you don’t go with the flow you’re anti-American and therefore a suspect. And we’ve seen this before, these patriotic frenzies. It’s very convenient having an undeclared war that you can call a war and impose military tribunals and wartime security and we have these generals telling us that this war’s going to go on for a long, long time. Maybe not so much the generals now, the generals are a little afraid of Iraq, a little worried about it, but it’s the civilians in the White House, the gang of thieving, just lobbyists for the military industrial complex, who are running the White House, and to be against them is to be patriotic, then hell, call me a traitor.' [ABC]; [Realplayer - full interview].

Searching for a hero: why America has turned to Winston Churchill.
'It is hardly surprising that President George Bush and the hawks in his administration invoke the memory of Sir Winston Churchill with ever growing fervour as they plead the historic necessity of a pre-emptive attack on Iraq. '

'In Britain the wartime prime minister's long public career is associated with many achievements, some of them admired, some remembered with anger or embarrassment. But to Americans, especially conservative Republicans, he symbolises unflinching opposition to appeasement, first to Hitler, then during the cold war to Soviet communism. '

'Never mind that the great man's record is a good deal more complex, and certainly more interesting than the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, seems to think. He was a social reactionary as well as a champion of liberty, a Victorian aristocrat and imperialist rebranded as a democratic orator in the cauldron of war ... '

The historians' view. Ben Pimlott, warden of Goldsmiths College, London; biographer of the Queen and Harold Wilson :-
"Churchill is the only Englishman any of them has ever heard of, with the possible exception of Shakespeare if they were hard-working at school. President [Lyndon] Johnson once compared Harold Wilson with Churchill. In fact, there is no comparison between Hitler and Saddam Hussein, who is not an expansionist within the region. Americans admire Churchill's brilliance, his language and oratory, his feline style. But Bush is a neanderthal with no knowledge of the world. Churchill had a great deal of knowledge. The key is being friendly to the United States. When the US feels beleaguered and has a friend in the British prime minister, the prime minister gets noticed a bit more."

Philip Ziegler, biographer of Lord Mountbatten, Harold Wilson and Edward VIII :- " ... Churchill is one of the very few non-Americans whom educated or half-educated Americans have been taught to revere. They also associate him with his Iron Curtain speech [in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946] and see it as Churchill's wake-up call for the democracies to oppose the perils of communism."

Peter Hennessy, professor of contemporary history at Queen Mary and Westfield College, London; author of Muddling Through, a History of British Government since 1945 :- " ... As for what Bush and Rumsfeld are doing, when you want to do something and need instant justification with brand recognition, you invoke Munich. Eden also invoked Munich at Suez, he said Nasser was Mussolini. It's not good enough; it just doesn't work; it's not on. It's lazy thinking."

Court refuses to reduce murder charge against Bhopal chief. (Guardian) 'A court in Bhopal, central India, refused yesterday to reduce the murder charge against Warren Anderson, the former chief executive of Union Carbide, for the gas leak from the company's pesticides plant in the city in 1984 which has killed thousands and maimed hundreds of thousands. '
'The chief judicial magistrate, Rameshar Kotha, asked for extradition proceedings to be started to bring Mr Anderson to court from the United States, although his precise whereabouts are unknown. '

Put thirst of poor communities first, demands Mandela. (Guardian) 'Nelson Mandela took the earth summit by the scruff of its neck yesterday, urging politicians to make access to clean water a basic human right and to put water and sanitation much higher up the political, economic and social agendas. '
Wednesday, August 28, 2002

According to BartCop, this happened recently in America because the woman was holding an anti-Bush sign.

I don't know about you folks, but those allegations make this American absolutely furious.

The "Girls" of Toulouse... Graffiti by Miss Van 01 | 02, FAFI, and KAT with the Hanky Panky Girls photographed by Bernard Tocheport.
Gunmen kill two Zapatista leaders: "Ricardo Flores, a spokesman for Zapatista leadership in Ocosingo, said several men with guns burst into a meeting of rebel officials in a local school and opened fire late Sunday, killing Lorenso Martinez Espinosa and Jacinto Hernandez Gutiarrez."
Steve Bell cartoon archive in the Guardian. One of the most biting cartoonists in the British press; George Bush is a regular cartoonist. Readers of this blog may enjoy his work.
Texas spends more on its prison system that it does on its schools.
Tony Blair cracks down on arms sales to Israel to appease the members of his government who are still Labour.
The Saudis must try harder to fight the terrorists.
[Flash with sound] Turn up the volume: And the struggle continues. [iMakeContent].
Tuesday, August 27, 2002
A pair of dandies in today's Washington Post: first, a disreputable anti-American body issues a report full of lies. Next, pursuant to a retroactive application of that triumph of advanced statecraft known as the Bush Doctrine, we must now bomb the fucking piss out of Japan. And yes, I have been reading too many warblogs.
Right on! (as we used to say way back when). And while we're at it, here is a letter I wrote to Paul Gigot, Editorial Page editor of the estimable Wall Street Journal concerning a column by one Melik Kaylan:

Dear Paul Gigot:
Though a liberal Democrat, I’ve been something of a fan of yours for many years. I thought the News Hour Friday political discussion went entirely flat after you left Mark Shields high & dry. // I have certain problems, though, with the column you recently ran by Melik Kaylan. Not only does she get her lede completely wrong—Dr. Johnson remarked on a dog walking on “two legs,” not, as she has it, on its “front legs,” the good doctor indicating an image of a dog dressed as a human and walking on its hind legs, a much more plausible scene and funnier that the illiterate version offered by your columnist; in any case, the entire tenor of Ms. Kaylan's piece is, quite simply, depraved. // Does the Wall Street Journal really want to go on record as calling for the bombing of the New York Times? And it is not only this statement of Coulter’s, but a long record of irresponsible hate-mongering that should make her anathema to real conservatives. She has also said that John Walker Lindh should be executed in order to “frighten liberals”—presumably by threatening them with death. I’m a liberal, I take this personally. I have no problem with principled statements of conservatism, but I ask you again, is this the sort of rhetoric with which the WSJ whishes to be associated? // Oh, you say—or your editorialist says—she’s a satirist, she’s only kidding. Please perform the following thought experiment: Imagine that James Carville or Paul Krugman had remarked to a reporter for, let’s say, The Nation, that his only regret was that Tim McVeigh hadn’t left that U-Haul in front of the Heritage Foundation. Can you imagine the hue and cry? We would be subjected to days of outraged commentary on the various news outlets. // Really, Mr. Gigot, an honorable man and a journalist who cared about the political discourse of his nation would publicly dissociate himself from the ravings of Ann Coulter. // I look forward to your response. // Professor Joseph Duemer

You, too, can write Mr. Gigot & ask him to dissociate himself from right-wing terrorist threats. If Ann Coulter had her way, American liberals would live under the sort of routine criminal harassment imposed by the Sharon government on Palestinian civilians.If Ann Coulter had her way guys like me would be in detention without access to a lawyer & without any expectation of due process. Ms. Coulter wraps herself in the flag & Ms. Kaylan adjusts her hem, but both are enemies of the Constitution. If this is Patriotism, I'll pass.
Feds to indict anarchist webmaster: "On January 24th, 2002, Sherman became one of the first victims of the new USA Patriot Act when 25 heavily armed FBI agents and secret service surrounded and raided his home in Los Angeles because of his anarchist web site The entire server was shut down, all computer equipment along with political literature, even protest signs were seized and loaded into a big white truck."
Target Iraq - Global - One stop war / anti-war portal

Military options, pros and cons of attack, anti-war sites, government, diplomatic, NGO links, military policy, breaking news, military targets, Iraq weather.
Terrorists on Both Sides Destroy Their Own People
Son's story kills mother
The son of the first known Palestinian woman to be executed as an Israeli collaborator said yesterday that gunmen tortured him until he invented a story about his mother's involvement in a militant's death. Ikhlas Khouli, a 35-year-old mother of seven, was shot dead at the weekend after being seized from her home in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarm.
As George Bush channels George Orwell, some are wondering if a sitting president can be charged with plagiarism?
Useful :- BBC Online's religion and ethics news weblog. Views from many different perspectives, including naturally some on the Middle East.
Recently featured links include Chinese and Tibetans debate Dalai Lama's return, Does Islam promote violence? (a considered article on, The bonds of friendship in a bitter war (Israeli and Palestinian teens in a Maine refuge), Through fire and water (Dresden's old synagogue, recently threatened by flooding), The ultimate sacrifice (the recent case of suttee in India).
Israel set on tragic path, says chief rabbi. (Guardian) 'Britain's chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, today delivers an unprecedentedly strong warning to Israel, arguing that the country is adopting a stance "incompatible" with the deepest ideals of Judaism, and that the current conflict with the Palestinians is "corrupting" Israeli culture. '
Aunt Sallies and red herrings: A spectre is haunting Europe. According to the Hudson Institute's John Fonte, 'transnational progressivism' is an attempt by what's left of the Left to impose collectivist international agreements like the Kyoto Agreement, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the International Criminal Court on the US. If it succeeds, US market dynamism will come screaming to a halt.

Nice name, shame about the concept. Lumping together individuals as diverse as Tony Giddens and Toni Negri should set alarm bells off.

There's nothing new about international cooperation, states working together for their common good. There's nothing new about the powerless seeking redress for local grievances by citing international standards.

What's new is the emergence of a Republican leadership intent on using US superpower status to get its own way.

Fonte's argument is a mirror image of what's actually happening. 'Transnational pseudo-judicial institutions' run by shadowy elites do exit. They're known as the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.

File under fiction created by right-wing academics and journalists scrambling to produce an intellectual justification for the Bush administration's realpolitiking, its contempt for democracy, its belief that might gives it the right to reorder the world to suit its business ends. [Hudson Institute]; [UPI].

From iMakeContent

Monday, August 26, 2002
This: One tiny cut in the skin of empire; may there be a million more.
Aren't you a little OLD for testosterone poisoning?

Dick Cheney foams at the mouth today about why we need to go stomp those Iraqis into the ground RIGHT NOW.

The alternative to a pre-emptive attack on Iraq is to let Saddam Hussein get stronger and stronger until he is bold enough to act, warned Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday. Rumors that Mr. Cheney reported seeing Communists under the bed remain unconfirmed

"The imminence of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the huge dangers it involves, the rejection of a viable inspection system and the demonstrated hostility of Saddam Hussein combine to produce an imperative for pre-emptive action," Cheney told a national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Nashville, Tenn. Uh, then why aren't we targetting China or North Korea or India or Russia, all of whom, at times, have been guilty of the terrible crime of being hostile towards us>

"This nation will not live at the mercy of terrorists or terrorist regimes," he added. So, all manly men must go now and stomp the Iraqi peril. And here I thought only teeenage boys suffered from testosterone poisoning>

The Rolling Stones: Cocksucker Blues by Rick "Ojo" McGrath. "...Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, commenting on Cocksucker Blues, called it 'definitely one of the best movies about rock and roll I've ever seen. It makes you think being a rock and roll star is one of the last things you'd ever want to do.' Amen to that. One has the feeling these guys are soldiers, waiting for the next battle, the next opportunity to feel alive."
The woman who gave the world the term "Paleo-stinian" is getting all worked up over honour killings in Pakistan. No doubt, honour killings are a problem and must be eradicated. The fact is though that there is nothing in Islamic law to condone such acts which are considered unlawful. These are cultural traditions. They are also not limited to Eastern societies, but honour killings happen in the West as well. Obviously, its not politically expedient to worry about violence against Western women.
Insult to Injury Department:
Israeli Army Admits Soldiers Ransacked Palestinian Towns, Stole Money, Jewelry
For the first time, the Israeli army admitted its occupation troops had ransacked Palestinian homes and businesses and stole money, electronic appliances and jewelry worth millions of dollars.
Text message: Ann Coulter's Slander may currently be number seven at Amazon US. But Amazon political bestsellers also include counterblasts to the current conservative credo: Michael Moore's Stupid White Men at number 32; Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation, 86; Noam Chomsky's 9-11, 234.

Michael Moore, on the lecture circuit, says the support of ordinary Americans gives him a 'kinda weird optimism in the people of this country':

'I look out at the auditorium or gymnasium, and I don't see the tree huggers and the granola heads. . . I see Mr. and Mrs. Middle America who voted for George W. Bush, who just lost $60,000 because their 401(k) is gone. And they believed in the American Dream as it was designed by the Bushes and Wall Street, and then they woke up to realize it was just that, a dream.' [Village Voice].
My uterus demands retribution!

I, apparently, am a "steaming pile of excrement", a "stupid maroon", and a "he man woman hater". Which is quite hilarious, and I'll have to mention that whole "I just hope his mother does not see what sort of misogynistic piece of shit he has become" to my Mom. She'll get quite the kick out of that one.

Yes, dear and gentle readers, I've been completely misunderstood. I didn't realize my style of writing caused such confusion to the general public. If you go back to my original post dated Sept. 18, perhaps you'll see where I was misunderstood. I felt I was clear enough, but hey, I've been wrong before (once, a long long time ago, and I really don't want to talk about it now, ok?)

Basically, what I meant to infer was A) How deplorable (my exact word, and how could you read acceptance into that?) it was that in this day and age, a woman is being executed for having a child out of wedlock, while the men that sentence her are most likely guilty of the very same thing -- And B), now that there is an excuse, the US can go ahead and bomb the crap out of Nigeria in the name of Free Christian women everywhere, when in reality, the US (not me, mr. corsair) couldn't give a flying crap whether one woman or a hundred are stoned to death. (Unless of course they are republican voters) The US really only cares about it's oily interests.

So, Corsair the "Rational yet speed reading Pirate", please go back and reread my post, and if you have difficulty understanding what I am saying, perhaps you'd like to discuss it further. I'll be happy to expound on my theories regarding the subjugation of women, the corporate take over of american and the appalling lack of social conscience that seems to be in fashion these days.

Sunday, August 25, 2002
Lenny Bruce audio. In these times, the old hipster is still tonic for what ails us.
War of the worlds - the speculations last year concerning the origins of the name, al-Qaida have not only failed to go away, they have provided Giles Foden with the meat for an intriguing essay in yesterday's Guardian:
"This peculiar coincidence would be of little interest if not for abundant parallels between the plot of Asimov's book and the events unfolding now," wrote Dmitri Gusev, the scientist who posted the article. He was referring to apparent similarities between the plot of Foundation and the pursuit of the organisation we have come to know, perhaps erroneously, as al-Qaida.
The Arabic word qaida - ordinarily meaning "base" or "foundation" - is also used for "groundwork" and "basis". It is employed in the sense of a military or naval base, and for chemical formulae and geometry: the base of a pyramid, for example. Lane, the best Arab-English lexicon, gives these senses: foundation, basis of a house; the supporting columns or poles of a structure; the lower parts of clouds extending across a horizon; a universal or general rule or canon. With the coming of the computer age, it has gained the further meaning of "database": qaida ma'lumat (information base)...

I suppose I better give in and read the first Foundation trilogy, which I've managed to avoid up to now...I have to admit the idea doesn't thrill me. I always tended towards Ballard in my 70s scifi reading, such as it was.
It had struck me, as is pointed out in this article, that the same theory might apply equally to the Grundrisse, and it remains to be established whether OBL or his intellectual mentor, Abdullah Azzam, has read either one. Whatever ideological distaste - to put it very mildly - they may have for the motivations and outlooks of either Asimov or Marx is completely beside the point; I cannot believe that for all their steely-eyed puritanism, they lack a sense of irony. I mean, they're supposed to be "playas", right? How serious can you really be if you don't have a sense of irony? (via Matt Jones)

Contemporary Vietnamese political poster. [Translation: Each good person, each good act is a beautiful flower. We as a nation are a garden of beautiful flowers.]
It's frightening, really. The last two nights while trying to fall asleep I have been obsessively thinking about Ann Coulter. It's frightening, but not surprising, I suppose, since for the last several months I have been trying hard to ignore Ms. Coulter, who gives me the screaming creeps. But as any Freudian will tell you, repression will out. The proximate cause of my obsessive nocturnal visitations was a couple of remarks of the pundit reported this week pretty widely in the (left) alternative media. The first, to the effect that Timothy McVeigh should have bombed the New York Times building instead of a federal office building in Oklahoma, elicited general outrage & rightly so; but another remark really struck a nerve with me. It's a remark that has gone largely unremarked, if you will; but it is telling. Ann Coulter is apparently suffering from the delusion that she "speaks for the American people." She is quoted as making this claim in a piece in the right-wing rag the New York Observer. Here's a nasty little snippet, in which the Connecticut WASP is talking about NYC: ". . . 'we’re living in an insane asylum', Ms. Coulter said. She said she 'takes joy in liberal attacks. It’s like coffee. I mean, usually when I write up a column, I know what’s going to drive them crazy. I know when I’m baiting them, it’s so easy to bait them and they always bite. That is my signature style, to start with the wild, bald, McCarthyite overstatements—seemingly—and then back it up with methodical and laborious research. Taunting liberals is like having a pet that does tricks. Sit! Beg! Shake! Then they do it.' Ann Coulter is not a screeching reactionary? 'The American people don’t think so. I speak for them'."

I'd like to see the demographic data on who is buying Coulter's Slander. Somehow, I have the sense that it's not my neighbor Ed, who lives up the road & runs the General Store here in South Colton; & somehow I have the feeling that it's not the father of one of my students I met last night who, after dropping his kid off at my college, told me that he & his wife were going to "get the camper & go up to Blake Falls & do a little fishing." We had been talking about the Raquette River, on the banks of which both of us live. Does Ann Coulter, wearing a short black dress & sipping white wine in a snazzy NY bistro, speak for these guys? How long since she's been in a bass boat? Ed & my student's dad both may very well vote Republican, but Ed doesn't bat an eye when I walk into his store wearing my Ho Chi Minh t-shirt & dad didn't seem concerned to be dropping his kid off at a university, where, it's well-known, all the professors are card-carrying member of The Left. That's because Americans are at heart a tolerant people. Coulter's notion that she speaks for the American people is so ludicrous as to suggest a profound deficit in the realm of reality testing. That is to say, Ms. Coulter is a raving lunatic. Actually, Coulter gives most lunatics a bad name--most crazy people aren't vicious bitch-goddesses who call for the murder of people they don't like.

Fact is, Ann Coulter, child of privilege, born in Connecticut, who lives in New York City [to be read in the outraged voices of those cowboys in the salsa commercial], is a member of the Northeast media elite. She's just another one of the--I was going to say "clowns," but clowns are artists--one of the badly educated, solipsistic products of excessive affluence produced after the idealism of the sixties had died out. So, no, Ann, you don't speak for "real Americans." Ed & my students & their folks & my other neighbors on Mill Street, we're the real Americans. We have various & often conflicting political positions, but we get along with each other; we vote in our local elections, we go to work every day. We contribute our labor, physical & intellectual, to American society. Ann, what do you contribute? Despite your blonde good looks, it appears that you are a parasite within the body politic. You're a fucking alien, Ann. You make us real Americans sick with your lies. I had to worm a puppy the other day--man, he hated that medicine, but today he's romping around with a shiny coat & a good appetite. That puppy loves everybody, too. There were some worms in his gut that he shit out. They're dead.

Abu Nidal sows chaos from the grave. (Observer) 'As confessions go it was spectacular, but little remarked on outside of the specialist circles that monitor these things. Youssef Shaaban, aged 29, and a self-confessed member of Abu Nidal's Fatah Revolutionary Council, was on trial for his life in a Beirut court for murdering a Jordanian diplomat when he stood up and insisted that he be heard. '

'Shaaban had a statement to make. To the surprise of those gathered in court, he claimed that six years before - in 1988 - he had been personally responsible for the bombing of PanAm Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing 270 people. '

'His claim was immediately dismissed, both by the judge and by the few who bothered to comment on the confession. ' [ ... ]

'But now Nidal is dead in Baghdad - shot four times in the head, according to the Iraqis, who also say he committed suicide. And once again Nidal is in the frame for Lockerbie, although former Libyan agent Abdel Basset al-Megrahi is serving a life sentence for the attack. '

Divine Chocolate.
Fair trade choccies; small-scale
cocoa growers in Ghana own a chocolate company in the
Pity the President:

We know that the unelected president's pea-sized brain is likely taxed to near failure by the innumerable demands of the office he holds. We already pitied the poor cranial Lilliput, though the following tale of woe sent us directly to the Kleenex:

"I try to go for longer runs, but it’s tough around here at the White House on the outdoor track. When I’m at my ranch in Crawford, I can do longer runs. It’s sad that I can’t run longer. It’s one of the saddest things about the Presidency." [more]

The poor guy. Elsewhere in the interview, he provides a possible reason behind his baffling bellicosity: "It’s interesting that my times have become faster right after the war began." Interesting indeed, though the unlucky shepherds of Afghanistan won't be enough to put 'ole forty-three up in Hicham El Guerrouj's ranks. Best add Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Guerrouj's native Morocco to the Axis of Evil.
The top ten conservative idiots. Updated weekly.

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