Saturday, October 05, 2002
Children Defy Curfew to Go to School
The town has been under 24-hour curfew since the army reoccupied it in June. For more than three months, nobody here has been allowed to leave their home, except for a few brief hours every 10 days to stock up on food. This is how wretched life has become-- shops, factories, offices, everything has been shut.
Those who dare to venture out are often shot, but brave school children are defying the army (and often their worried parents) and sneaking to school. In a related story, the fifth child in 12 days was shot dead by the army as the world watches and does nothing.
Some say a flight of birds shot up the way
a flock surprised leaps free from field or marsh.
But no, that flash was not just boys at play.
It was a strike and flame more swift and harsh.
Some say the river stopped its glide of light.
Some tried again the doors, but locks were jammed.
Some say the smoke was thick and dark as night —
The slow and subtle suck of being damned.
There was a crack, a roar, then floor to floor,
They fall — the sides like skin just peel away.
Who counts the stars? Who stripes the map of war?
The nudge of earth just said, "Do come this way."
And so America both arms and morns.
God grants the rose. Be wary of the thorns.
White Men Dreaming
Western Lands make room for drums and bones.
While Chinese merchants
abacus their gain,
Our musty Congress sits and drones and drones-
Let's say Columbus better try again.
The Virgin Mary treads
upon The Snake,
But still the greedy banker's feet are cleft.
Do soccer moms rush home to scrub and bake?
Those hearts pump ash, there is no fire left.
Enslaved by protein shakes and C. K. joys,
Technique remains our nation's only end.
The painful beauty of the circuit boys
Is proof that tyranny is on the mend.
Alone and tired, he rides the midnight train,
To read at home, then listens to the rain.
Robert Klein Engler
Let me extend Benny Morris's logic (G2, October 3) in arguing that if the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1948 had been complete, there might have been peace today in the Middle East. If the Nazi programme for the final solution of the Jewish problem had been complete, for sure there would be peace today in Palestine.
Prof Baruch Kimmerling
Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Friday, October 04, 2002
Bloggers of the Left, Unite! "They are democratic dynamite: private networks of information, unchecked by sensible debate. The aftermath of 11 September increased the cascades. Blogging became warblogging; the community became indignant cheerleaders for any madcap Bush anti-terrorism scheme. Attempts to question were given a vigorous fisking."
Menwith Hill. The original Big Brother, its history, and its relationship with the Echelon
'Menwith Hill is the worlds largest monitoring communications station and is situated just outside
Harrogate, North Yorkshire, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Its official title is R.A.F Menwith
Hill which is misleading since it is actually run by the US National Security Agency (NSA). '
'The official cover story is that it is an all-civilian base and is a Department of Defence
communications station, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) describing it as a "communications relay centre". '
'Little is known about the true activities of the station, although the word 'spying' seems to be
always associated with it. This could be due to its extensive 560 acre complex of masts, satellite dishes
and radomes (affectionately called 'golf balls' by the locals) and a fibre-optic link supplied by British
Telecom (BT) which has a call capacity of about 100,000 concurrent voice telephone channels (the
phone bill must be horrific). '
'The station is subject to much controversy, recently due to the planned installation of 'Star Wars'
equipment at the site. Two new radomes are to be built for the Space Based Infra Red System (SBIRS). The
Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB) claim that the installation of the equipment
is unlawful under international arms control treaties. '
This site found via Daelnet, a website about the Yorkshire Dales.
The Native Born. Contemporary Australian
Aboriginal art. Wonderful.
'The Native Born is an exhibition of paintings and sculptures by distinguished Australian Aboriginal
artists from Ramingining, Arnhem Land in northern Australia. Arranged according to six different natural
environments found in this region:mangroves (larrtha’puy), forests (diltjipuy), waterholes (gulunbuy), jungles (retjapuy), beaches (rangipuy) and plains (ninydiyapuy), each painting and sculpture illuminates the specific cultural relationship between the Aboriginal people and the land. Two ephemeral commissioned works are featured: a large-scale wall painting and a sand sculpture.'
Radical Israeli in u-turn on Palestinians
The radical Israeli historian who did more than any other to force his country to face up to its responsibility for the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the 1948 war now believes the Middle East might be at peace if David Ben-Gurion had expelled all the Palestinians.
In an about-turn that will horrify his former Iiberal allies, Benny Morris argues in the Guardian that "perhaps, had [Ben-Gurion] gone the whole hog, today's Middle East would be a healthier, less violent place, with a Jewish state between Jordan and the Mediterranean and a Palestinian Arab state in Transjordan". He adds: "Perhaps it was the very indecisiveness of the geographic and demographic outcome of 1948 that underlies the persisting tragedy of Palestine." [read more]
This, and Benny's article below, make it clear that Zionism has always argued for the destruction and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. I don't see how the Jews can say that Hitler's ethnic cleansing of the Jews was an abomination while the Jew's ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians would make for a better world. There is no difference. Both are unacceptable.
A new exodus for the Middle East?
Rightwing Israelis are talking about 'transfer' - the expulsion of all Arabs. Shocking as it sounds, the idea once had support from British and Arab officials, reveals distinguished Israeli historian Benny Morris. And, continuing our series on the Arab-Israeli conflict, he argues the Middle East might now be at peace if Israel's first leader had driven out all the Palestinians in 1948 [read more]
The Vietnam War. Essential - a stunning collection of photo-essays.
'In the 1950's, the United States began to send troops to Vietnam, during the following 25-year period, the
ensuing war would create some of the strongest tensions in US history. Almost 3 million US men and
women were sent thousands of miles to fight for what was a questionable cause. In total, it is estimated
that over 2 million people on both sides were killed.'
'This site does not try to document the entire history of the Vietnam War but is intended as a
picture essay, illustrating some of the incredible conditions under which soldiers from both sides lived,
fought, played and ultimately died. The legendary combat photographer, Tim Page, took almost all of the
images shown; they are nothing short of stunning. I have tried to minimize the download time. If you wish
to add any comments or share your experience with us on this site you will find email links on every page.'
'On Dao Island , Vietnam, an elderly woman dressed in
black, kneels amid young children praying for peace and an end to the Vietnam War. The island is actually
named Phoung and was an island of peace where prayer and meditation was the routine, 24 hours a day. There
were no weapons or bases and the island enjoyed a kind of immunity from all sides in the war. '
Human rights in the balance. (Amnesty International)
'The human rights situation in Iraq is being invoked with unusual frequency by some western political
leaders to justify military action. This selective attention to human rights is nothing but a cold and
calculated manipulation of the work of human rights activists. Let us not forget that these same
governments turned a blind eye to Amnesty International's reports of widespread human rights
violations in Iraq before the Gulf War. They remained silent when thousands unarmed Kurdish civilians were
killed in Halabja in 1988. '
Anatol Lieven: The push for war.'... What we see now is the tragedy of a great country, with noble impulses, successful institutions, magnificent historical achievements and immense energies, which has become a menace to itself and to mankind.'
Anthony Sampson analyses the roots of America's fear of the Iraqi dictator,and warns that toppling him
might cause less stability and more insecurity' Oldish article.
Anthony Sampson is worth reading as the author of
'The Seven Sisters', an analysis of the world's seven big oil firms, which won awards back in the
The Iraq Foundation.
About the Foundation.
'The Iraq Foundation is a non-profit, 501(C)3 corporation, working for democracy and human rights in
Iraq, and for a better international understanding of Iraq's potential as a contributor to political
stability and economic progress in the Middle East. '
'The Foundation was established in 1991 by Iraqi expatriates with the purpose of working with Iraqis
and non-Iraqis in promoting its vision. The Foundation is non-partisan, non-sectarian and non-ethnic, and is
not affiliated with any other organization or political party. '
Human rights in Iraq.
Human rights campaign.
People's Literature. 'Indigenous Peoples Literature is a non-profit educational resource and
collaboration dedicated to the indigenous peoples of the world and to the enrichment it can bring to all people.'
and Peoples Organisation. 'UNPO is an international organisation created by nations and
peoples around the world, who are not represented as such in the worlds principal international organisations,
such as the United Nations.'
'Founded in 1991, UNPO today consists of over 50 members who represent over
100 million persons.'
'UNPO offers an international forum for occupied nations, indigenous peoples, minorities,
and even oppressed majorities who currently struggle to regain their lost countries, preserve their cultural identities, protect their basic human and economic rights and safeguard the natural environment.'
Conflicts in Africa. 'Destructive conflicts have turned Africa, the most diverse of all the continents
in the world, into a Continent unable to turn its trend of diversity into opportunities for development.'
The People of the other Village
hate the people of this village
and would nail our hats
to our heads for refusing in their presence to remove them
or staple our hands to our foreheads
for refusing to salute them
if we did not hurt them first: mail them packages of rats,
mix their flour at night with broken glass.
We do this, they do that.
They peel the larynx from one of our brothers’ throats.
We devein one of their sisters.
The quicksand pits they built were good.
Our amputation teams were better.
We trained some birds to steal their wheat.
They sent to us exploding ambassadors of peace.
They do this, we do that.
We canceled our sheep imports.
They no longer bought our blankets.
We mocked their greatest poet
and when that had no effect
we parodied the way they dance
which did cause pain, so they, in turn, said our God
was leprous, hairless.
We do this, they do that.
Ten thousand (10,000) years, ten thousand
(10,000) brutal, beautiful years.
~ Thomas Lux
The Trial of Arthur Miller
If I were in Arthur Miller's shoes, I do not know what I would do, but I could wish, for myself and for my children, that I would be brave enough to fortify and defend my private morality as he has. I feel profoundly that our country is better served by individual courage and morals than by the safe and public patriotism which Dr. Johnson called "the last refuge of scoundrels."
My father was a great man, as any lucky man's father must be. He taught me rules I do not think are abrogated by our nervous and hysterical times. These laws have not been annulled; these rules of attitudes. He taught me--glory to God, honor to my family, loyalty to my friends, respect for the law, love of country and instant and open revolt against tyranny, whether it come from the bully in the schoolyard, the foreign dictator, or the local demagogue.
And if this be treason, gentlemen, make the most of it.
Thursday, October 03, 2002
Ashcroft’s Baghdad Connection
Why the attorney general and others in Washington have backed a terror group with ties to Iraq
It was a dark and stormy night and George was happy. "Can you feel it", he said. "Evildoer's everywhere". The signs had been apparent to him for some time. Back in September of 2001 George was on Air Force One flying over some fly over country, that is the nation's heartland, Kansas to be more exact. He was avoiding members of the axis of evil, though at that time they weren't called that they were the unknown unknowns.
So he is flying and looks out the window, he spots a crop circle right below him near Chapman confirming his worst fears. Aliens, yes aliens. That was it; aliens were responsible for the WTC. He ordered the military to Afghanistan an alien land if there ever was one. He was searching for bin Laden, certainly alien to the American way of life. He never found him. Perhaps a J-DAM got him or perhaps he's still hiding no one seems to know and few seem to care. Fortunately bin Laden was not the only alien. There was Saddam, the guy that tried to kill his Dad. No human would try and hurt someone's daddy he had to be an alien. George had spoken of his fear at home. Illegal aliens he said lock them up. The press misunderstood, illegal combatants they reported. George laughed, fucking press and they criticize me for misunderestimating stuff, and they laugh at my perkadillo's, pekadildos whatever. They won't be laughing long. George told the American People that evil had spread across the land. The axis of evildoers has expanded. First there were three then six and now it was nothing less than a modern day plague. God and the Supreme Court had chosen him to respond. The problem was not everyone could see the aliens. He had a poster printed, "Dead or Alive" it read. Many saw the picture but not an alien. They saw nothing but an Arab who needed his beard trimmed. Then he showed pictures of Saddam, and some blinded by the truth saw the leader of Iraq. A bad guy true enough but not an alien. Not George though, he saw deep into their souls and saw nothing human at all, just evil. Some even suggested they be given a chance to repent, a Christian Idea. But all knowing George said, "No need I've looked into their hearts, they have hardened, we'll get no repentance. Besides did you forget these are aliens." Some continued to protest but George told the press they were unpatriotic a concept alien to the American way of life. He told the congress that they would never get reelected if they didn't support him against evil, and besides they would lose their unfettered access to free cash and sexy interns. They bought it and all started beating the drums of war. "It's like masturbation once you've done it you never forget" said Trent Lott somewhat wistfully. George was giving the speech of his life. Who's your daddy that's what I want to know. Who's the alien now, motherfucker? George, George have you lost it this is the National Education Association you're speaking to. "I'm sorry", he said. I must have been dreaming. You see I keep having the same dream over and over again. I'm abducted and taken to a place with bright lights and a man with a mustache or a beard or something, but they are not humans. I think they are aliens and they are doing things to my body, it's okay it feels good, but I'm a moral man I realize I'm just being used. That's all I remember. So you see it's important that we get those aliens like Saddam and bin Laden and well we've got a list you know. I'm the President sometimes I think I'm dreaming I pinch myself all the time.
"George it's Dad."
"Yes Dad. I'll get them they won't hurt you any more."
"George you fuckup, Israel just nuked Iraq. The shit has hit the fan. What are you on these days?"
"Nothing Dad I promise nothing."
"Don't give me that shit George."
"Well okay I'm a little addicted to this power thing."
"Oh God George, I told you when you smoked dope in college when you drank your first beer, I told you when you started snorting that white stuff at board meetings, I told you that you'd never be satisfied you'd need more and more. What have you done George."
"I'm sorry Dad, but that's the guy that tried to kill you."
"Shut the fuck up George its over. Saddam escaped the blast he's giving a speech at the U.N. He's calling you the asshole of evil."
Israeli Court Sentences Jewish Terrorist to 'Symbolic" Six-Month House Arrest
The latest in a long string of double-standard court cases finds a terrorist given a "symbolic" sentance after being found guilty of charges including possessing and providing bombs to other terrorists, conspiring to place bombs in Arab schools in East Jerusalem, throwing steel balls on Arab pedestrians in Hebron, causing severe injuries, vandalizing Arab property, and planning to burn down Arab businesses near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.
Checks and balances: As well as reluctantly agreeing that communism was a god that failed, historian Eric Hobsbawm told Newsnight yesterday that any world empire runs the risk of overreaching itself:
'For the last 50 years - and it's lucky for you and for me and for all of us that this was so - there were two world empires that kept the position in check.
'One of them was a more agreeable one that one would prefer to live under; the other was less agreeable. But nevertheless both had the function of keeping each other in check.
'One of them has disappeared and the net effect of this, I think, is a certain degree of the occupational disease of, you might say, world conquerors, particularly people that feel their military power is unlimited: megalomania.
'I think there needs to be a learning curve because there are even in the United States a lot of people, even among the officials of the United States, who believe that world empires live in the real world and the real world is a bit too big and a bit too complicated to be run singlehanded from Washington.' [Newsnight video].
The Roaring Nineties
As the chairman of Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers, and subsequently as the chief economist of the World Bank during the East Asian financial crisis, Joseph Sitglitz was deeply involved in many of the economic-policy debates of the past ten years. What did this experience tell him? That much of what we think we know about the prosperity of the 1990s is wrong. Here is a revised history of the decade, by the winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics [read more]
Check out the latest issue of Tikkun...
Seven Pillars of Jewish Denial
I am thinking about American Jews, wondering why so many of us have trouble being critical of Israel. I faced this difficulty myself when I first went to Israel in 1971. I was an ardent Zionist, intending to spend my life on a kibbutz in the Galilee and to become an Israeli citizen. Back home, before leaving, I argued almost daily with my mother, an extreme left wing radical, about the Jews' right to a homeland in our historical and therefore inalienable setting. However, once established on my kibbutz on the Lebanese border, I began to notice things that disrupted my complacency.
Loving the Jewish Community Means Supporting Justice
Supporting justice in the current crisis in the Middle East is not easy. The issues are painful for any Jew to face. Criticizing Israel comes at a huge emotional cost for all of us who were raised to love her. And when we do, we meet a wall of denial, hostility, and rage. Yet if we truly love Israel and the Jewish people, we must speak and act against the policies of the Israeli government.
Wednesday, October 02, 2002
When does a 'conspiracy theory' go mainstream and stop being a conspiracy theory? When someone like Al Gore gives it heft? Gore accuses White House of ignoring 9/11 warnings. Perhaps the term 'conspiracy theory,' like 'political correctness,' is simply an overloaded term used by the right in order to put down ideas which it does not like and does not want repeated. An unrelated paragraph I found interesting from the article: "Ironically, while Mr. Gore was escalating his attacks on the administration, former President Bill Clinton was planning to attend a Labor Party conference in Great Britain to help Prime Minister Tony Blair persuade skeptical party members to support Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush in taking military action against Iraq."
What, does Clinton get a seat on the Carlyle Group, too?
More on the Skull and Bones: "Amidst the debate over the impending US-led war against Iraq, some European media, mostly in Italy and Germany, took note of the publication of Secrets of The Tomb: Skull and Bones, The Ivy League and The Hidden Paths of Power.
" . . . What worries Europeans most about the Bonesmen is the suspicion that the organization may have a neo-Nazi tendency or that it may be animated by anti-Semitic sentiments. According to various reports about the activities of the Bonesmen throughout the years, it appears that many prominent members, in particular those linked to the Union Bank in New York and its sister bank in Holland at the beginning of WWII, were financing Hitler throughout the war and as late as 1945. Italians and Germans alike have a long history of secret associations meddling in the internal affairs of their countries."
What I find odd is that this article does not mention that Prescott Bush--George Jr.'s grandfather--was one of those who helped sell at least fifty million dollars worth of Nazi Party war bonds within America (in a time when fifty mil was a lot of money).
France and Germany Agree on Iraq (NY Times membership required)
As Congress moved to accept a resolution giving President Bush latitude to strike Iraq if he concluded that United Nations diplomacy was stalled, the leaders of France and Germany said they opposed any effort to alter the conditions under which United Nations inspectors operate.
Newt Gingrich To Join Fox News
Additionally, citing Salon.com as inspiration, Fox News has also announced that they are planning to add either Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn to their news staff to provide 'balance.'
If you would like to hasten the return of Unknown News to the web and have, perchance, some extra duckets to throw behind that wish, please send your check or money order to Helen Highwater, care of Stephanie Webb, PO Box 32185, Kansas City MO 64111 (they need a new hard drive). Because the Highwaters are not presently entertaining a bank account, please make those checks or money orders payable to Stephanie Webb. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Helen Highwater here (she's keeping in touch with email thru the library at twenty minutes a day).
And remember, kids: "If you're not reading Unknown News, you're letting the terrorists win."
Senators Threaten To Rein In Bush
I'm somewhat ashamed to say that I have never called a Congressman or Senator in my life, tho spent high school living next-door to Rep. Fazio (D) from California, went to school with many politician's sons and daughters (including one of Colin Powell's daughters), and spent two years walking up and down the six Congressional and Senate buildings (3 each, one group on each side of the Capitol like shoulders with the Supreme Court in the middle and behind and a subterrean network linking them all underneath) delivering letters and packages when I worked as a bicycle messenger there while going to school (I wasn't the slightest bit political back then; the only thing I noticed was how consistently beautiful every Congressman's or Senator's receptionist was when going down the hall).
But I intend to call my Congresswoman and Senator now--for this. Perhaps after I make my initial call, it will then be easier to make a habit of it.
Israel 'disturbed' by Blair speech
Blair had the audacity to suggest that both Israel and Iraq should comply with UN resolutions.
Some details about the smuggled uranium seized by Turkish police.
I'll wait patiently for the President and the pro-war crowd to
correct the record.
Tuesday, October 01, 2002
The playbook for the Pax Americana was written long before Septermber 11th, 2001.
MIT OpenCourseWare: "We hope the idea of openly sharing course materials will propagate throughout many institutions and create a global web of knowledge that will enhance the quality of learning and, therefore, the quality of life worldwide."
This, I love.
Monday, September 30, 2002
Dyer: Saddam, Like Evil the Cat, Is a Cartoon Villain, No Real Threat
Cartoon villains have no need of complex personalities or even motives; they're just evil, that's all. From the Joker in the old Batman comics down to Evil the Cat in 'Earthworm Jim', they seek to destroy our hero and conquer the universe simply because evil is their vocation. Saddam Hussein's image in Western propaganda is a lot like that.
Looking Behind Ha'aretz's Liberal Image, by Ran HaCohen
A new Israeli web-site, supported by two major settlers' sites from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, is dedicated to the holy cause of "encouraging and supporting the employment of Jews only". It is already listing dozens of Israeli firms that do not employ "Gentiles". In the first months of the Intifada, Israeli racists initiated a boycott of Arab shops and restaurants; now, employment of Arabs is targeted. Let's keep the inevitable historical analogies for another time; the point I want to make now is, that most of you haven't heard of this web-site. Right?
The site is neither confidential nor is it my discovery: I simply read about it in the Hebrew Ha'aretz a few days ago (24.9.02). But most of you could not. Why? Because this item was left out of Haaretzdaily.com, the English version of Ha'aretz.
Professors want own names put on Mideast blacklist
The Web site lists "dossiers" for the eight university professors and teachers, including a graduate student instructor from UC Berkeley, and portrays them as preaching dangerous rhetoric to students. The site also calls them "hostile" to America. Run by Daniel Pipes' Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia think tank, the site, www.campus-watch.org, also asks for people to snitch on Middle East lectures, classes and demonstrations.
Will the Iraqis welcome American soldiers?
The Iraqi people will welcome American soldiers and will cheer at the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime, many people who support a war against Iraq contend. After all, the Iraqis are suffering under Saddam's rule. I suspect however, that the pro-war pundits base this belief on statements from certain elements in the CIA-sponsored Iraqi opposition living in Europe and the US. I guess they didn't ask Iraqis living in Iraq for their opinion. [...]
[...] The American soldiers will need the Iraqi people to respect them, they will need to be able to communicate, to be able to convince the Iraqi people that they are not there as an occupying army, that they are there to safeguard the transition to a new government. They will need the locals' respect even more when they want to effectively fight violent opposition from Saddam Hussein's supporters, a struggle - possibly urban warfare - in which they need help from the locals. If the soldiers want to earn respect, and if they want to be able to communicate, they need brains and some kind of "cultural awareness" training. They won't be respected by the locals if they don't respect the locals' culture. And to be able to respect the locals' culture, they will have to study it first. And I must say, the current negative and intolerant stereotyping of Arabs and Muslims in the US and many other Western countries doesn't make me optimistic. [...]
[...] there don't seem to be enough brains in the US military to successfully overthrow a regime and safeguard the transition to a new and stable government in a culture that significantly differs from the "American culture".
Triggering abrupt climate change: can global warming cause an ice age?
Global warming could actually lead to a big chill in some parts of the world. If the atmosphere continues to warm, it could soon trigger a dramatic and abrupt cooling throughout the North Atlantic region—where, not incidentally, some 60 percent of the world’s economy is based.
When I say “dramatic,” I mean: Average winter temperatures could drop by 5 degrees Fahrenheit over much of the United States, and by 10 degrees in the northeastern United States and in Europe. That’s enough to send mountain glaciers advancing down from the Alps. To freeze rivers and harbors and bind North Atlantic shipping lanes in ice. To disrupt the operation of ground and air transportation. To cause energy needs to soar exponentially. To force wholesale changes in agricultural practices and fisheries. To change the way we feed our populations. In short, the world, and the world economy, would be drastically different.
U.S. Military Grows in Djibouti:
The five-month-old U.S. base in this former French colony just miles across the Red Sea from Yemen and within striking distance of Iraq is no longer a secret. But finding out what the Americans are up to is another matter.
Djibouti's acting foreign minister, Mahamoud Ali, said American troops have been conducting large-scale exercises involving ground troops, helicopters, boats and AC-130 planes fitted with air-to-surface missiles.
Giant U.S. Air Force cargo planes swoop in and out of Djibouti's small airport every day as camouflaged MH-53 helicopters with the word "Marines" barely visible on their shells ferry men and equipment to and from Le Monier.
Djiboutians say terrified sheep and goats tumble into ravines running from the roar of the helicopters sweeping overhead.
The logic of dictatorship: Bush demands workers sacrifice rights to “homeland security":
According to Bush, collective bargaining rights are an impermissible obstruction to the actions required to defend the American people from the threat of future terrorist attacks. The executive branch—by which he means himself and his immediate coterie, not the hundreds of thousands of workers employed by the federal government—must have a free hand.
Of the 170,000 workers who would be employed by the new department, some 40,000 currently are union members with collective bargaining rights. The Bush administration initially sought the immediate elimination of these rights. It then settled for a provision that would maintain existing contracts for one year, after which the president would be free to impose new conditions on the workers by executive order.
ADL condemns New Jersey poet laureate for 9/11 'big lie':
Baraka, who told the New York Times that reading the Internet had convinced him that Israel knew about Sept. 11 beforehand, said he had no intention of stepping down and defended his message.
"Obviously they knew about it, like Bush knew about," Baraka told the newspaper, suggesting that letting the attack happen served the White House's agenda in Afghanistan, Iraq and the rest of the Middle East.
Told he had offended people, Baraka replied: "I know. What can I do? I'm not perfect, alas."
India planning pre-emptive strikes against Pakistan:
The government has picked up signals that India has begun putting in place a plan to carry out pre-emptive strikes against Pakistan in the eventuality of an American attack on Iraq, well-placed sources revealed to The News on Sunday.
The sources added that the government was taking the signals seriously and had ordered preparations to counter any such eventuality. "There have been several simultaneous developments in the past few days that indicate a sinister game plan by India against Pakistan," a high-placed official disclosed on the condition of anonymity.
Free Trade Is Mythical Road to Prosperity:
After stinging criticism of the two organizations by Nobel Prize winner and former World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz, a new book from a Cambridge University professor challenges the very bedrock of these institutions -- that globalization and free trade are a sure-fire path to prosperity.
Embarrassing, perhaps. But not surprising, according to Chang's recently-published book, "Kicking Away the Ladder," which examines the economic policies that today's industrialized countries used during their development.
"The title of the book comes from a passage from German economist Friedrich List," Chang said, adding that the 19th century economist complained that British calls for free-trade policies were simply attempts to thwart growth and development in poorer nations such as Germany.
The British were trying to kick away the ladder -- protectionist economic policies -- by which they themselves had climbed up, Chang quotes List as saying. Two centuries later, Chang said List's complaint can be leveled against the United States.
American officials of the 19th century were deeply skeptical of free trade and Chang argues that U.S. industries were literally the most protected in the world until 1945.
Newly established industries were aggressively coddled and promoted, making the United States an early believer in the "infant industry" argument -- the same one many developing countries use today to impose limits on free trade and liberalization.
Sunday, September 29, 2002
While the US Special Forces appear to be behaving in Afghanistan, the rank and file army, such as 82d Airborne Division are not; taking every opportunity to kick in doors, terrorize (that's a funny word) locals, and generally ruin any chance of catching any actual, real, live terrorists.
“Those guys were crazy,” said one Special Forces NCO who was there. “We just couldn’t believe they were acting that way. Every time we turned around they were doing something stupid. We’d be like, ‘Holy s— t, look at that! Can you believe this!’ ” Another said: “They were acting like bin Laden was hiding behind every door. That just wasn’t the way to be acting with civilians.”
A chapter from my novel (unpublished, for now) is up at Indie Journal: "Ed kicked him in the mouth. He flew backwards and landed on his ass. The back alley gravel ripped a hole in his faded and stained Jack Daniel's sweat pants and tore his ass skin. 'Just leave him alone!' yelled the guy's girlfriend. An ugly old woman. Fat jiggled underneath her tee shirt as she gesticulated. Missing teeth. A misshapen statute sculpted by collaboration between the famous artists Fear, Poverty, Ignorance and Despair. She didn't want to put down and possibly lose the beer she was carrying, but by the way the shit was going down it looked like she was going to have to risk it to help out her old man. She punched her husband's assailant in the back of his head. Ed turned around. The veins in his head and neck were throbbing. When he saw it was a woman, the typical reactions (a punch in the face, a kick in the groin, a breath-stealing headlock, a brain cell killing piledriver . . .) were suspended and the ethics that his dad had installed in him by drunkenly blathering while on sitting on the couch in front of the tube, the coffee table covered with empty beer bottles, allowed only for a little verbal abuse."
Anita Roddick: How I Became a Target for America's Zealots
Check out some of the quotes from the hate mail she has received. It is not really funny when you consider that it is people like these who will also vigorously support Bush's megalomaniacal push to invade a foreign country by himself (ahem, with American Sues and Joes--maybe one of yours or someone you know, at any rate someone also familiar with Wal-Mart and cable tv soon to get a bullet in the head), at the risk of de-stabilizing the region and causing more blowback (foreign policy karma, see also: string theory), at a time when the American economy is good for only a small percentage at the top (at the bottom, see Nickle and Dimed, by the esteemed Barbara E.), poverty is widening, social services cutting, library and education suffering, surplus vanishing JUST SO he and Cheney and the rest of his transnationals-ridin' friends can make even more millions of dollars as if this will buy them a ticket into living ad infinitum (you can't take it--)--it won't. Instead they will have lived their lives as some of the most selfish sons-a-bitches humanity ever saw--and billions will have suffered in their wake.
These very same people quoted in Anita's article sound exactly like the people who comment so extensively in the comments section at Warblogger Watch. I've actually heard a blog who idolizes James Lileks and Instapundit say that something was: " . . . like a watermelon: green on the outside and red on the inside." If you oppose the war and the type of people who actually respect this common crook called Bush then why not go over to Warblogger Watch and tell them how you feel? Release your anger and frustration over the fact that in this country the will of the people is being not only being routinely ignored but held in contempt by this administration who is willing to kill thousands, tens of thousands or more. The Peace Movement is Alive and Growing: help it along; voice your consternation now. This is information war, boys and girls (absolutely nonviolent): speak your words, spread your wares; peacemongers share.