American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, September 28, 2002
Newcomer News: A weblog about newcomers to Canada
Global warming forces Inuits to abandon swamped homes: "Thousands of years ago, nomads chased caribou here across a now-lost land connection from Siberia, 100 miles away. Scientists believe those nomads became the first Americans. Now their descendants are about to become global warming refugees. The village is being swallowed by the sea."
Southland defense industry quietly heeds war's drumbeat: "At Pentagon contractors throughout the region, engineers have been ordered to put vacations on hold. Some have been told to plan for longer spells at the office. And companies that make sophisticated intelligence-gathering equipment have been directed by the government to field new technologies ahead of schedule."
Governor Calls for State's Poet Laureate to Resign: "Gov. James E. McGreevey called for the resignation of the state's poet laureate Friday, based on a poem critical of Israel that Amiri Baraka read at a festival earlier this month."
cbs: "the executive director of greenpeace is among the more than six-hundred people arrested today during protests against the international monetary fund and world bank. john passacantando says he was just riding his bicycle to work when police made more than two-hundred arrests near a park just outside of the extended white house security zone."


washington post: "joseph mayer, 69, a retired army lieutenant colonel who lives in alexandria and works in the district, approached the police line at the corner of 15th and pennsylvania and was among those caught inside the line of officers. 'they closed freedom plaza and turned it into a non-freedom plaza,' he said. 'they have turned the constitution off'."


This from Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, who features some nice coverage of today's D.C. protests, including his bringing up the possibility that blogger MaxSpeak might be one of those jailed.
Friday, September 27, 2002
Mark "The Roadie" Steyn: Doing the heavy lifting

Mark "Plagiarism" Steyn, leading ideologue of the warbloggers was recently fact-checked by Eric Tam. Like others of the same political ilk, Steyn has difficulty dealing with criticism and instead uses his column to deliver a spray against his critics. In this case, Steyn throws down the gauntlet and writes:

So I'm grateful to Mr. Tam. He specifically disputed one fact and he called me a hatemonger. That seems fair enough. Dispute two specific facts and you can take me to the Human Rights Commission. Dispute three specific facts and we'll play your karaoke recording on the National Post Web site:

"Hatemonger, hatemonger,

Mong me some hate..."

But just plain old unsupported cries of "hatemonger"? Save it for your next Concordia riot.


That shouldn't be too hard. But, before we deal with the Steyn's attention to detail, let's deal with Steyn's journalistic integrity. If he passes that test, then we can look at the specifics of his claims.

Steyn writes:
In June 2001, for example, the newspaper BT reported that every single gang rape that had taken place over the preceding 18 months had been committed by second-generation immigrants or refugees -- in one instance by a gang from Eastern Europe, in the rest by ... well, I don't want to be more hateful to a certain "vulnerable social group" than I have to, so you're welcome to take a stroll through the archives story by story, if you can stand the details.


If you had read Lars Hedegaard's annotations to the Daniel Pipes "Something rotten in Denmark" screed, these words would be familiar to you. Yes, once again, the increasingly dishonest Mark Steyn has stolen someone elses words. Hedegaard writes:
In June 2001, the Copenhagen daily newspaper B.T. reported that every single gang rape that had taken place over the preceding year and a half had been committed by second-generation immigrants or refugees - and in one instance by Eastern European gangsters.


Pathetic. Once again, Steyn the Roadie is doing the heavy lifting for the war party.

Of course, this leaves out the fact that the most serious gang rape perpetrated during 2001 was carried out in December 2001 by a gang of Danes - not "second-generation immigrants or refugees" at all.


For a more detailed discussion of the facts surrounding the Danish rape statistics, one should read Betramonline's inspired analysis of the Hedegaard response (from which Steyn seems to have based his rebuttal on anyway).
Urgent warning by Israeli Academics: The Israeli government may be contemplating crimes against humanity:

In a recent interview in Ha'aretz, Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon described the Palestinians as a "cancerous manifestation" and equated the military actions in the Occupied Territories with "chemotherapy", suggesting that more radical "treatment" may be necessary. Prime Minister Sharon has backed this "assessment of reality". Escalating racist demagoguery concerning the Palestinian citizens of Israel may indicate the scope of the crimes that are possibly being contemplated.

Ariel Sharon's secret plan to remove Palestinians from Israel:

Israel's hard-line prime minister, Ariel Sharon, has ordered his defence forces to prepare to drive "hundreds of thousands" of Palestinians on the West Bank over the border into Jordan. Jordanian intelligence chiefs say the operation will commence on the day the forthcoming United States conflict starts against Iraq. Sharon believes that will give him "a just excuse" to remove the Palestinians - as they would then pose what he has called "a totally unacceptable threat to the safety of Israel"
The Centers for Disease Control allowed on Thursday that "Fewer U.S. Teens Becoming Sexually Active." An earlier Newsweek story opened with this line, "Zack was an insecure kid who clowned around in high school and felt that no one really liked him." Zack, of course, did what 490,000 other folk not getting any did: he started blogging.

Though not as rigorous as the methodology employed by the CDC, amateur statisticians should monitor this list for additions. Any significant lengthening would suggest that teen sexual activity is down.
This is a must read. It's a .pdf file.

Paybacks
Policies, Patrons and Personell

How the Bush Administration is Giving Away Our Environment to Its Corporate Contributors

"The biggest challenge is going to be how to best utilize taxpayer's dollars to the benefit of industry..."
— Mike Smith, Bush administration Assistant Secretary for Fossil Fuels at the U.S. Department of Energy, Charleston Gazette, January 31, 2002 [read more]

thanks to Tapped
A declaration of war against the world
A 28-page answer to the question 'why do they hate us'

Late last week, copies began oozing out of Washington of a remarkable document the Bush Administration plans to submit shortly to Congress. The document, entitled "The National Security Strategy of the United States," is an overview of policies, most of them apparent or previously announced, that the White House sees as relevant to the nation's security. It should be required reading for any person who still believes the United States represents an unambiguous force for good in world affairs.

Bush's "strategy" is nothing less than a declaration of war against the world. For those of us who want to believe that our government reflects the ideals of our country and the good-heartedness of the American people, it is truly a repellant masterpiece. And while some aspects of the Bush strategy have been strains in American foreign policy for decades, give Bush points for honesty: as never before, he lays it all out, in one place, in 28 pages of arrogance that answer better than Osama himself ever could the question of Why They Hate Us. [read more]
It occurred to me only this week that if the benevolent web association can raise five hundred for Mark Woods to get a new computer, we ought to organize something similar to get Unknown News back. Spending time today finishing helping Jason with his upcoming New World Disorder zine and trying to cover the events in DC, but someone needs to do this soon . . .
From NPR this morning I hear [pp]: "Protesters in DC made fake 911 calls, shattered windows, tried to snarl traffic with burning tires . . . " From the DC Indymedia center, I hear:
"Police have targeted: medics, legal observers, law collective . . . "

"10:50am: Freedom Plaza. The police are surrounding everyone and they are starting to make arrests, including an NPR journalist. Everyone is being peaceful, except the cops."

"The police beat up two men and dragged them across the street and threw them into a van."


We can only assume that the corporate media both locally in DC and nationally are going to be (have been) more shrill and alarmist than NPR. Local Seattle NPR affiliate KUOW, more humane than the NPR HQ, is currently running a one-hour show on the protests featuring an interview with Joseph Stiglitz, who won last year's Nobel Prize in economics and served formerly as chief economist from the World Bank. He now speaks out against corporate-only-globalization. Over 500 people in DC have already been arrested.
Iranian Revolutionary Posters. "...social upheavals and revolutionary struggles often give rise to innovative forms of political artistic expression. Posters produced and disseminated during the Islamic Revolution in Iran were no exception. Engaged artists created posters whose iconography opposed and inverted ideas and images that supported the status quo. Not just a secondary reflection of the revolutionary movement, these posters played a vital role in the struggles for change and in the articulation of collective ideologies." From the exhibit Between Word and Image: Modern Iranian Visual Culture at Grey Art Gallery.
Thursday, September 26, 2002
Oh? You thought the decision to drill in ANWAR was voted upon and decided against months ago? Maybe so, but the "president" is still pushing for the opening up of ANWAR to his oil buddies to be included in this upcoming energy bill. Of course, most Americans are against it, but hey, Bush knows best, right? Add ANWAR to the list of agendas being quietly but vigorously pursued while Bush touts the morality of invasion to the world.
Is Bush's War Illegal? " . . . And basically saying that we reserve the right to use force in self-defense against any state we say is somehow involved in the events of September 11. Well, the San Francisco Chronicle interviewed me on that and asked what is the precedent for this? I said that the precedent again goes back to the Nuremberg Judgment of 1946 when the lawyers for the Nazi defendants argued that we, the Nazi government had a right to go to war in self-defense as we saw it, and no one could tell us any differently. Of course that preposterous argument was rejected by Nuremberg. It is very distressing to see some of the highest level of officials of our country making legal arguments that were rejected by the Nuremberg Tribunal."
Robert Fisk in Wednesday's Independent: "Tony Blair's 'dossier' on Iraq is a shocking document. Reading it can only fill a decent human being with shame and outrage. Its pages are final proof - if the contents are true - that a massive crime against humanity has been committed in Iraq. For if the details of Saddam's building of weapons of mass destruction are correct - and I will come to the 'ifs' and 'buts' and 'coulds' later - it means that our massive, obstructive, brutal policy of UN sanctions has totally failed. In other words, half a million Iraqi children were killed by us - for nothing."
The “Me” Foundation Presents Awards
Each Winner To Receive $500 Million

Thu Sep 26, 6:28 PM ET


A somewhat unexpected winner, George Bush, has been developing new ways to explain why Imperialism is a good thing. I want to dispel the myth that imperialism is bad. I’ve been working on this ad campaign, but want to do it off the books if you know what I mean. The grant money will make that possible. Smart people know what's best for dumb people and I'm plenty smart. Now that George has been awarded the Grant he will be able to expand his work without the annoying scrutiny of the press I'll find more countries that need my guidance he said. Being recognized makes me feel special. I like me just the way I are. I’m a patient man and you can’t fool me.

Having this level of recognition of our work with bulldozers is wonderful, said Ariel Sharon another award winner. Ariel is a specialist at using tools in new ways. I'm thrilled with the opportunity to realize my dreams.

The “Me” Foundation has awarded the no-scruples-attached grants to those best equipped to use them since the beginning of time. It allows them to pursue their work without having to worry about anything.

The Foundation applies three criteria in deciding on winners. No scruples of course. An unwavering focus on "Me" and a record of prior accomplishments that show potential for future advances.

This years winners were announced Thursday. Potential grant winners are selected by hundreds of egotistical bastards; recipients cannot apply for the awards, but bribes are okay.

This year's winners include one British recipient, Tony Blair. "I have some original ideas about kissing asses." he said. Now with this grant I'll be able to find people willing to kiss my ass. Blair who has specialized in ass kissing is uniquely qualified to make important progress in this field.

It was really hard for me to get funding before "because well I’m Prime Minister and people think I have lots of money and there are a lot of ass kissers in the world, and everyone thinks he is an expert.” Tony promises to explore more unconventional ways of gaining favor. I thought the foundation just wanted me to kiss someone's ass. Then they told me about the grant I was just flabbergasted.


Another winner: John Ashcroft plans on working on his music career. “Do Eagles Soar” was just the beginning, he said. I have a song I’ve been working on, “Die When I Say So”, and the money from the grant will help me promote it. I have other songs I want to write. “Give Said The Little Stream” a song inspired by some prostate trouble I’ve been having. I think they’ll be great hits.



Dick Cheney the peripatetic Vice President hasn't decided how to use his grant. “I’m just tripping,” said Dick, The Foundation doesn't require or expect specific projects. I exceeded my travel budget last year. That’s one thing I won’t have to worry about again.

The youngest winner was Ann Coulter an aspiring journalist. I've always wanted to be accepted as a serious journalist, the money will allow me to finish some unfinished business I have with the New York Times building. This could lead to a Pulitzer prize winning story for me.

Friends have told me this will change my life. Perhaps! The ability to pay off my sources of information will make life easier. I’m finally free from any concerns about honesty and integrity. This is an incredible opportunity
US, Britain visit Paris, Moscow on Iraq resolution:

France and Russia have voiced some of the strongest objections, with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov questioning the need for any resolution before U.N. inspectors are back in Iraq to investigate its weapons of mass destruction programs. France prefers a two-step process, with the first resolution threatening Iraq if it did not comply and a second one authorizing force, if necessary.

When you read this, remember the words of CIA director James Woolsey:

"It's pretty straightforward. France and Russia have oil companies and interests in Iraq. They should be told that if they are of assistance in moving Iraq toward decent government, we'll do the best we can to ensure that the new government and American companies work closely with them." But he added: "If they throw in their lot with Saddam, it will be difficult to the point of impossible to persuade the new Iraqi government to work with them."
As you probably all know, Hitchens has left The Nation. Big loss. His work has declined over the years; de-evolving into simplistic, black/white, naive, bloodlusting dross like this:

In order to get my own emotions out of the way, I should say briefly that on that day I shared the general register of feeling, from disgust to rage, but was also aware of something that would not quite disclose itself. It only became fully evident quite late that evening. And to my surprise (and pleasure), it was exhilaration. I am not particularly a war lover, and on the occasions when I have seen warfare as a traveling writer, I have tended to shudder. But here was a direct, unmistakable confrontation between everything I loved and everything I hated. On one side, the ethics of the multicultural, the secular, the skeptical, and the cosmopolitan. (Those are the ones I love, by the way.) On the other, the arid monochrome of dull and vicious theocratic fascism. I am prepared for this war to go on for a very long time. I will never become tired of waging it, because it is a fight over essentials. And because it is so interesting.

He should get a warblog.

Here's Cockburn on the newest Bush useful idiot:

I suppose Hitch's departure has been inevitable ever since the Weekly Standard said he was more important than George Orwell. I think it was becoming increasingly bizarre for the Nation to publish his column. But people only very slowly take in these changes, much like Dorian Gray changes slowly in front of you. Hitch is no longer the beautiful slender young man of the Left. Now he's just another middle-aged porker of the Right.


War without End? Not in Our Name

If you're reading this, you no doubt already opposed to an Iraq war. Let's get the word out on the blogosphere that we can do something about it.

On Sunday, October 6, there will be nationwide anti-war demonstrations, organized by Not In Our Name (NION). Locations include New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, and Atlanta and more. All will have music, spoken word, poetry, as well as speakers and, in the case of L.A., a march.

Central to all of these demonstrations is the NION Pledge of Resistance. Read it. It's quite good. I know people who cried when they first read it because they realized they weren't alone, that others were thinking the same things.

The primary demonstration will be in Central Park in NYC. From the NYC page on the NION website.


We will hear comments from those who have felt the effects of U.S. military actions in other countries and domestic repression in the U.S. We will hear from artists, writers, religious figures, activists and others about why they are taking the Pledge.

At about 3PM. we will assemble in a circle to form a gigantic image of the world. Then, as one, we will take the Not in Our Name Pledge of Resistance.

This message of solidarity with the people of the world needs to be heard especially loud from NYC where the deaths of thousands of innocent people on September 11, 2001 have been invoked as justification for the government's actions.


On Sept 19, NION ran a full page ad in the New York Times (check the impressive list of signers). Their website has been getting 10,000 hits a day since! Something is happening here. A LOT of people are opposed to a war.

Email your friends about this. Post it on your blog. Talk to people about it. Get involved. Do it now. Seriously.
University bans controversial links: "School administrators have told the group, called the Che Cafe Collective, that linking to a site supporting the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) would not be permitted because it violated federal law. In a letter to the Che Cafe Collective, UCSD University Centers Director Gary Ratcliff said the hyperlink violated a law that bans 'providing material support to support terrorists.' Ratcliff warned that the student organization would face disciplinary action if it did not immediately remove the link to FARC." (via Sexual Hypertextual Vegetable)
Wednesday, September 25, 2002

"A civilian gang of thieving lobbyists for the military industrial complex  is running the White House. If to be against them is considered unpatriotic -- Hell, then call me a traitor."

   -- Hunter S. Thompson, ABC Radio Network...
I thought I should weigh in on The Body Shop post by Doc earlier ... I work for Anita and I am hugely disappointed in the Body Shop's asinine statement supporting Bush and the war and totally misrepresenting Anita's position. Obviously some scared little boys in suits got some angry mail from some right-wing thugs and panicked. I expected more of them.

BUT. Boycotting isn't the answer.

The New York Post called for a boycott of The Body Shop last week because of Anita's comments criticizing Bush. Of course a right-wing boycott is silly, and could not begin to touch Anita (conservatives never shopped there in the first place, at least not knowingly). But a left-wing boycott of The Body Shop is just as wrong-headed. A boycott will not affect anyone in the executive suite. It will only hurt people way down the line -- young men and women working in stores, trying to finance their dreams; and thousands of people in the Third World who benefit from The Body Shop's unique programs to source ingredients at fair and sustainable prices. These people are not the enemy, they are innocent bystanders.

Don't boycott the Body Shop. Instead, send them an email saying you will withhold your business until they come to their senses, retract the statement, and apologize for abandoning their most loyal customers -- the ones who shop not because it's cheap (it ain't) but because they vote with their wallets. Then, if/when they see the light, let them know that you will resume shopping with them. We need to learn to use stick AND carrot with equal enthusiasm.
Cheney Wants More Money: "Vice President Cheney, whose travel this year has been mainly trips to secure undisclosed locations and GOP fundraisers, has exceeded his travel budget and is asking Congress to approve shifting $100,000 from other White House accounts to cover the tab."
Received in email today:
Dear friends -

Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop and a internationally recognized social activist, is under heavy fire by the right wing in America for criticizing George W. Bush and the US government for their record on civil liberties since 9/11. A few vocal people even threatened to boycott The Body Shop.

Meanwhile, The Body Shop -- where Anita is still on the board but
retired from executive duties -- has failed to support her courage and conviction. The Body Shop website has declared that the company stands "full square" behind George W. Bush and the War on Terrorism.

It is disappointing to learn that a once-progressive company would not only sell out its visionary founder because it feared a boycott, but that it would endorse wholesale and without exception the president, his misguided and dangerous open-ended war, and his flagrant disregard for civil liberties.


Tell The Body Shop that you are disappointed in their decision to endorse Bush and his war, and that you stand with Anita in her belief that it is not un-American to speak out against injustice.

Send an email to The Body Shop USA and tell them, "Anita Speaks For Me!"


usa.info@the-body-shop.com

(copy staff@anitaroddick.com to let Anita know you're with her.)

Send this letter on to your friends, and let the silent minority be heard!



I have a lot of respect for Anita Roddick. The Body Shop link is coming off SLA. I went into a Body Shop a few weeks back looking for some hemp lip balm. It cost six bucks! I thought about it, then decided I would continue on down to the Pike Place Market where I was headed anyway for produce, and there, in a natural foods store, I found some groovily-packaged vegan hemp balm for half the price. Well, the point is I almost bought a six dollar stick of hemp lip balm because I liked the Body Shop and what they used to stand for, but if I had known they supported George W. Bush, I wouldn't even have gone in the place. Now I know. (anybody hear anything about Aveda?)
Israel/Palestine

Showdown Between Sharon and Arafat

The ultimate goal of Sharon in everything he does is still the same: the total end of the peace process, the expulsion of the Palestinians from their remaining areas, and the establishment of an ever-growing Greater Israel.

His immediate tactics are aimed not only at Arafat but are intended to result in the complete destruction of the Palestinian Authority and its leadership and their ability to address themselves to the world community. [read more]

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Until they take to the streets

The murder in Hebron, like the murders in Tel Aviv last week, presents the events at the Muqata in a light that is surrealistic, in the full sense of the word. Alongside the continuing terror killings, the military show of hand opposite the shreds of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's headquarters is becoming non-real, detached from life. The more sophisticated the demolition gets and as the control becomes ostensibly absolute, the more they recede from the facts that are relevant to the conflict. [read more]

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Ramallah Diary / `We need to believe there are Israelis listening to us'
By Amira Hass

A group of elderly men was seen suddenly running for their lives along the road through the market that links Manara Square with Jerusalem Street. They were running from the square in an easterly direction. It happened yesterday afternoon at a time when Ramallah was officially under total curfew. It very soon became clear what the curfew-breakers were fleeing from. In seconds, two armored personnel carriers came charging down at about 30 kilometers per hour. Their guns were moving but the hatches remained shut and no soldier could be seen peeking out. Behind the APCs was a troupe of eight- to sixteen-year-olds, chasing them and hurling stones at them with all their might. [read more]

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People and Politics / Someone is not telling the truth

Either the political and security hierarchy of the Palestinian Authority has conspired with senior American and European diplomats to weave a web of lies, or for more than three months the political and security hierarchy in Israel has been deceiving everyone - and in particular themselves. Here are some selected Rashomons: [read more]

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Sharon under attack for Arafat strategy
Israeli media questions whether prime minister is becoming a hostage to events, while army investigates shooting

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Nothing doing
A new Palestinian report on UN resolutions exposes the double standards at the heart of Bush's rationale for action against Iraq, says Brian Whitaker
"Local currencies are a practical way to act locally in the face of globalization."

Madison Hours had a booth up at the Food for Thought portion of the Madison Farmer's Market on the Capital Square Saturday morning that I visited. Pretty interesting idea. A number of local places accept this currency, and a request/offer trade board exists, too.

From a food-specific handout they offered on Saturday:

Local Currency is one of many tools we can use to fight globalization, but it is of particular significance in the "food economy".

Sustainable production of food is something which is inherently labor intensive, since diversified, small-scale production (as versus mono-cropping) is required, as is the avoidance of heavy machinery which can damage the land. Because sustainable food production is labor-intensive, we will never find an honest way to make its end product cheap, at least if food producers are to be given a living wage (part of what makes sustainable food "sustainable").

Mass production has made food artificially cheap over the past several decades. Household budgets have adjusted accordingly, and few of us could withstand the sort of increase in price that would be necessary to give sustainable food producers a truly living wage. As it is, organic food is out of the reach of many consumers, and most small scale organic farms can barely survive, even with a truly punishing work-load during the growing season….

Madison HOURs always recirculate locally, which prevents the wealth generated by the community from draining away into distant corporate coffers or the pockets of stockholders somewhere. They can't be lent at interest, one of the mechanisms by which wealth and credit (is, "new" money) becomes scarce. And HOURs are denominated in hours-of-labor to encourage equalization of rates of pay, a stepping stone to redistributing wealth in [a] way that might allow all of us to afford sustainable grown food, and growers to be given a living wage for it.
According to the spokesperson, the Madison currency is based on the Ithaca Hours system which has enjoyed success since 1991. While searching the Ithaca Hours site, I found an interesting speech by author Margaret Atwood endorsing local currency.
Terror Alert downgraded from Orange to Yellow

Americans breathed a sigh of relief as the dreaded Terror Alert was lowered to Yellow from Orange. Texas rancher Billy Bob Morris said "That Orange alert had me more nervous than a whore in church, but now we have a Yellow alert, I'm heading to the mall to spend money so the terrorists don't win."
Must-read editorial on the disasterous road (for both Palestinians and Israelis) Sharon is taking
If you only read one thing about the increasingly urgent and dangerous situation in the middle east, read this one.
Although I've referred to this before, I continue to find it matter for obsessive contemplation. From Robert Musil's journals, 1933:
March 33. Three days ago the Reichstag went up in flames. Yesterday the emergency regulations to eliminate the Communist party and the Social Democrat Party appeared. The new men don't wear kid gloves. In the circles with which I have some contact there was, at first, a general feeling of indignation, an instinctive response to this blow in the face for truth, freedom, etc. It is the reaction of the liberal education in which people have grown up. Yesterday, after Goering set out the measures in a radio broadcast, with a calm, friendly, masculine voice, Frau Witte is already starting to waver! 'If it is true what the Communist Party was up to, then things are really in a dreadful state!' The hypothetical part of this statement is shrinking. The feeling is growing that the new arrangements will not be so bad after all and that, overall, there will be a liberation from many of the things that were felt, at an unconscious level, to be oppressive. An impression of decided rejection comes only from the serving girls, even though they keep silent.

Freedom of the press, of expression of any kind, freedom of conscience, personal dignity, freedom of spirit etc., all the liberal fundamental rights have now been set aside without one single person feeling utterly outraged, indeed by and large without people being strongly affected at all. It is seen as a spell of bad weather. The average individual does not yet feel under attack. One might feel most profoundly disappointed over this but it is more correct to draw the conclusion that all the things that have been abolished here are no longer of great concern to people. This was indeed so. Did a person make use of his freedom of conscience for example? He had no opportunity whatever to do so! Nor did he trouble himself over this freedom... The newspaper did this for him and everything that the newspaper did he accepted with a degree of unease, even though it was seemingly indispensable to him. Seen in this way the discipline of the 'fascio' is indeed a creation that goes unerringly to the core of man's instincts.

The general feeling is: it isn't as serious as it sounds -- a process of 'making-things-less-serious'.... 'Life goes on' -- even though, each day, hundreds are killed, imprisoned, beaten up, etc. This is not frivolity, but is rather to be compared to the helplessness of the herd that is slowly pressed forward while those at the very front go to their deaths.

Definition: the modern person is a coward but likes to be forced to perform heroic feats.
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Booknotes has alerted me to The Obvious?, which is currently featuring a WOOD S LOT DISASTER FUND. He needs a new computer! The pot is already up to $485! Get him a nice one! (I recommend iMac G4, or the latest) Hey! Why stop there! Get him a year's worth of DSL! Marks Woods is one of my all-time top favorite bloggers. Get his ass back in here!
Afghanistan back on top in opium production: "Afghanistan has reclaimed the top spot as a world producer of opium, and, despite optimistic signs, it will take several years to erase poppy production, the head of the United Nations drug control agency said yesterday."
Monday, September 23, 2002
The word from the CIA: it's the oil, stupid:

France and Russia have oil companies and interests in Iraq. They should be told that if they are of assistance in moving Iraq towards decent government, we'll do the best we can to ensure that the new government and American companies will work with them. If they throw their lot with Saddam, it will be difficult to the point of impossible to persuade the new Iraq government to work with them.

Another Oil War:

"The most adventurous ingredient in the anti- Iraqi proposal is the use of US ground troops . . . significant numbers of [US] troops could also be called on in the early stages of any rebellion to guard oil fields around the Shia port of Basra in southern Iraq."

Isn't it amazing the London Times didn't refer to US troops guarding the new parliament, or the schools or hospitals full of ravaged civilians, or saving the men, women and children brutalized under years of Hussein's rule.
Israel/Palestine

Ramallah Diary / Defying the curfew to demonstrate over the attack on Muqata
By Amira Hass

Suddenly, at about 11 P.M. on Saturday night, people started calling one another to ask with disbelief if it was true there was demonstrating in the streets. "Is it true what Al Jazeera is reporting - that dozens of young people are demonstrating in support of the besieged Yasser Arafat? Could the tear gas suddenly filling the room and burning the eyes with suffocating tears, and the gunshots drawing closer, all be aimed at dispersing such demonstrations?" [read more]

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Unconvincing explanations

The explanation that the government is giving for the decision to demolish the Muqata - the Palestinian Authority official compound in Ramallah - and to isolate Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat in the wake of the murderous terror attacks last week is unconvincing, and it involves the government in contradictions.

The government is contending that by tightening the siege on the Palestinian leader, it aims to reinforce his labeling as someone who is irrelevant to dialogue until he comes to the conclusion that it is best for him to quit the territories and leave it to other people to lead the PA. Another of the government's justifications is its demand to hand over the wanted men who have taken shelter in Arafat's office. This explanation is not believable because the government is not providing evidence that proves a connection between the latest terrorist actions and the involvement of Arafat and the aides who are with him. The organization that took responsibility for last week's terror attacks is the Hamas. [read more]

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Hanegbi: IDF action not over; Arafat 'will be deported'

Environment Minister Tzachi Hanegbi of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Likud party said Monday that the IDF's Operation Matter of Time had not been stopped, and that ultimately, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat would be deported, perhaps this month or next. [read more]
American Empire

Defending ourselves
Only a united Europe can counterbalance an increasingly paranoid and hawkish America

In ancient Rome, the statesman Cato the Elder was renowned for declaiming, at the end of every speech, that "Carthage must be destroyed", referring to Rome's long-standing enemy. It is perhaps appropriate, therefore, that one of the rightwing thinktanks in the US should be called the Cato Institute - except that the ultra-right of American politics sees enemies everywhere. [read more]

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Reasons Not to Invade Iraq,
by George Bush Sr.


While we hoped that popular revolt or coup would topple Saddam, neither the U.S. nor the countries of the region wished to see the breakup of the Iraqi state. We were concerned about the long-term balance of power at the head of the Gulf. Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in "mission creep," and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-cold war world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome. [read more]
Larry Lessig is our only chance to break the copyright monoply. This is a must read. Go Larry!

The Cultural Anarchist vs. the Hollywood Police State
A Stanford Professor Is One Supreme Court Decision Away From Ending Copyrights on Thousands of Movies, Books and Songs.

The entertainment industry, Lessig feels, is locking up old movies, books and songs that long ago should have transcended private ownership and become the property of the people, just as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and the other framers of the Constitution intended. At stake, he says, is not only our common cultural heritage, but also the freedom that writers and musicians and filmmakers must have to interpret, reinterpret, adapt, borrow, sample, mock, imitate, parody, criticize--the very lifeblood of the creative process. [read more]
Sunday, September 22, 2002
pssssssst...
not the usual kind of material yourstruly posts here,
but definitely in the spirit of mention of worthy cause,
so stop by Euen's The Obvious?,
& lend a hand, you'll feel really good about doing so, I promise;
personally, am grateful to Dean Allen at Textism for the heads-up.
we now return you to our regularly scheduled anti-programming...

The Order of Skull and Bones



You might expect this from Disinfo, but from The Atlantic Monthly? Where Alexandra Robbins, also a graduate of Yale, first published her article on the secret organization which she has since turned into a book, as currently seen on MSNBC . . . Or would you expect a story on The Order of Skull and Bones very nearly from Connie Chung on CNN before it was axed? How or why would a story like this ripple up into the mainstream?


An excerpt from the book:

Sometime in the early 1830s, a Yale student named William H. Russell--he future valedictorian of the class of 1833- traveled to Germany to study for a year. Russell came from an inordinately wealthy family that ran one of America's most despicable business organizations of the nineteenth century: Russell and Company, an opium empire. Russell would later become a member of the Connecticut state legislature, a general in the Connecticut National Guard, and the founder of the Collegiate and Commercial Institute in New Haven. While in Germany, Russell befriended the leader of an insidious German secret society that hailed the death's head as its logo. Russell soon became caught up in this group, itself a sinister outgrowth of the notorious eighteenth-century society the Illuminati.


. . . As soon as initiates are allowed into the "tomb," a dark, windowless crypt in New Haven with a roof that serves as a landing pad for the society's private helicopter, they are sworn to silence and told they must forever deny that they are members of this organization. During initiation, which involves ritualistic psychological conditioning, the juniors wrestle in mud and are physically beaten--this stage of the ceremony represents their "death" to the world as they have known it. They then lie naked in coffins, masturbate, and reveal to the society their innermost sexual secrets. After this cleansing, the Bonesmen give the initiates robes to represent their new identities as individuals with a higher purpose. The society anoints the initiate with a new name, symbolizing his rebirth and rechristening as Knight X, a member of the Order. It is during this initiation that the new members are introduced to the artifacts in the tomb, among them Nazi memorabilia--including a set of Hitler's silverware-dozens of skulls, and an assortment of decorative tchotchkes: coffins, skeletons, and innards.


Robert Anton Wilson, co-author of the cult classics The Illuminatus Trilogy, has this to say in a piece entitled, "Perils of Cocaine" currently displayed on his website:

Two recent political leaders allegedly had this nefarious habit.

Both came to power after dubious elections, by non-electorial and
irregular methods.

Both nations immediately experienced attacks on famous public buildings.

Both blamed an ethnic minority before forensics had
any evidence.

Both led "witch-hunts" against the accused minority.

Both suspended civil liberties "temporarily."

Both put the citizenry under surveillance.

Both maintained secret and clandestine governments.

Both launched wars against most of the world.

One had a funny mustache. Can you name the other one?


Of course we all know that Germany's justice minister recently compared Bush to Hitler, which produced this interesting mefi thread . . .


Speaking of Nazis, this also from Disinfo:

G.W.'s grandfather and great-grandfather, Prescott Bush and George Herbert Walker, were among the chief American fundraisers for Germany's Nazi Party. Through industrialist Fritz Thyssen, the Bush-run Union Banking Company and W. A. Harriman & Company, the Bushes sold over $50 million in German bonds to American investors, starting in 1924. Thyssen in turn pumped money into the infant Nazi Party, which had proved its desire to rule and its willingness to use brute force in 1923's Munich Beer Hall Putsch.

George Walker, GW's great-grandfather, also set up the takeover of the Hamburg-America Line, a cover for I.G. Farben's Nazi espionage unit in the United States. In Germany, I.G. Farben was most famous for putting the gas in gas chambers; it was the producer of Zyklon B and other gasses used on victims of the Holocaust. The Bush family was not unaware of the nature of their investment partners. They hired Allen Dulles, the future head of the CIA, to hide the funds they were making from Nazi investments and the funds they were sending to Nazi Germany, rather than divest. It was only in 1942, when the government seized Union Banking Company assets under the Trading With The Enemy Act, that George Walker and Prescott Bush stopped pumping money into Hitler's regime.



Of course, if you don't want to take Disinfo's word for it, or the Bush Body Count's word for it, I can point you to articles about the Bush Family and it's ties to Nazi Germany in the Boston Globe, Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the Jewish Advocate.

And finally, of course, you all know about the CIA's history of hiring Nazis, as well as George Bush Sr.'s record of service there . . . and then there was that reporter reporting from Florida on NPR the day after the last presidential election, who said [pp]: "There are CIA agents swarming all over the place down here."

The most amazing thing is that some Americans have actually fallen for the hilarious deception that Bush is fighting "evil" . . . so go the powers of brainwashing, I guess.


News From The U.N.
The latest satire from Bogon
Gentlemen, War is a Game of Inches
Iraq crises due to Oil: Former Indian PM:

Former Indian Prime Minister I. K. Gujral has disclosed that he had made all possible efforts to defuse the crisis of Iraq in 1995 but the then US Foreign Secretary informed him it was due to oil reserves.

"I thanked God that we do not have oil," he said and elaborated "The pre-independent India had spices, and we paid for it,'' in an apparent reference to the colonial Britain's imperialistic policies.

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