American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, December 14, 2002
Can't Afford Not to Consume
From the blog of Honorary Harbinger Douglas Rushkoff:
Today, most references to collective costs are mistaken for some form of rehashed communism. Meanwhile, the hard left mistakes all notions of free market forces as the tyranny of the individual. (And, of course, to us 'spiritual' folks, the individual doesn't even exist.)

There's got to be a frame of reference for finances that stresses collective costs while acknowledging the efficiency of market forces. If you know the name of this model, let me know.

Dubya bellows:

As commander in chief, I do not believe I can ask others to accept this risk unless I am willing to do the same. Therefore, I will receive the vaccine along with our military.
Hey George if you really believe that we want to see you on the front lines leading the troops. Oh, whats that, it was really just another bullshit sound bite. Duh!
From
Joe Conason's Journal
at Salon: "After being roundly blasted for excusing Lott, Tom Daschle has tried to sound tougher, and of course failed. Joseph Lieberman and Ted Kennedy made stronger statements but flinched from demanding that Lott step down. Hillary Clinton flinched too, and her statement was pretty lame. Far too few of the Senate Democrats have made themselves heard at all. It's pitiful to watch these Democrats articulate a weaker stance than Bill Bennett and Bill Kristol. They had better take a few minutes to review Lott's full record, available here and elsewhere, and then ask themselves how they will explain this sorry abdication to the decent Americans who have always supported them."
Friday, December 13, 2002
pardon our hippyness

excuse our 60's activism coming out again, but the crack staff at skippy wants to remind everyone in the socal area about the candlelight vigil in hollywood tomorrow.

go to www.answerla.org for details, but briefly, there will be candle light vigil to stop the war before it starts, at the corners of hollywood and highland blvds. in hollywood, on saturday dec. 14, beginning at about 7:30.

see you there!
Parents protest U.S. schools irradiated meat plan - 12/13/2002 - ENN.com WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration's plan to allow irradiated meat to be served to millions of U.S. school children is raising the ire of some concerned parents.

Irradiation, which has been endorsed by the World Health Organization, exposes food to low doses of electrons or gamma rays to destroy deadly microorganisms such as E. coli O157:H7 and salmonella.

Under the U.S. farm subsidy law enacted in May, the U.S. Agriculture Department must allow government-approved food safety technology such as irradiation to be used in commodities purchased by the federal school lunch program. Some 27 million schoolchildren receive free or low-cost meals daily in the program.

The USDA currently prohibits the irradiated meat in its vast school lunch program, which spends billions of dollars annually to buy meat, vegetables, fruits, and other foods.
Dow and Burson-Marsteller Suing Parody Websites
Did You Know...
Dow is responsible for the birth of the modern environmental movement. In 1962, Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring about the side-effects of a Dow product, DDT, on North American bird populations. Her work created a groundswell of concern, sparking the birth of many of today's environmental action groups. Another example of Dow's commitment to Living. Improved daily.


Two giant companies are struggling to shut down parody websites that portray them unfavorably, interrupting internet use for thousands in the process, and filing a lawsuit that pits the formidable legal department of PR giant Burson-Marsteller against a freshman at Hampshire College.

The activists behind the fake corporate websites have fought back, and obtained substantial publicity in the process.

A December 3 press release originating from one of the fake sites, Dow-Chemical.com, explained the "real" reasons that Dow could not take responsibility for the Bhopal catastrophe, which has resulted in an estimated 20,000 deaths over the years. "Our prime responsibilities are to the people who own Dow shares, and to the industry as a whole," the release stated. "We cannot do anything for the people of Bhopal." The fake site immediately received thousands of outraged e-mails .
Within hours, the real Dow sent a legal threat to Dow-Chemical.com's upstream provider, Verio, prompting Verio to shut down the fake Dow's ISP for nearly a day, closing down hundreds of unrelated websites and bulletin boards in the process.

The fake Dow website quickly resurfaced at an ISP in Australia.

In a comical anticlimax, Dow then used a little-known domain-name rule to take possession of Dow-Chemical.com , another move which backfired when amused journalists wrote articles in newspapers from The New York Times to The Hindu in India, and sympathetic activists responded by cloning and mirroring the site at many locations, including http://www.dowethics.com/, http://www.dowindia.com/ and, with a twist, http://www.mad-dow-disease.com/. Dow continues to play whack-a-mole with these sites (at least one ISP has received veiled threats).

Read the Whole Story Here.
More on the Palestinian "Al-Qaeda"
Ibrahim (not his real name) said during a news conference in Gaza Monday night that he had been contacted by a man who identified himself as Haj Yousuf from the city of Akka, who told him that he was working for Osama Bin Laden and that he was able to carry out bombings in Tel Aviv and Haifa and other Israeli towns.

He told me that all he wanted from me was to declare responsibility for the bombings in the name of al-Qaida, said the masked Ibrahim.

He spoke very nicely and told me he would help me financially; then he asked me to try to enlist a number of sincere Islamic-minded youths to set up al-Qaeda cell in Gaza.

Ibrahim said his contacts with Haj Yousuf (the Mossad agents) became more frequent, adding that at one point the Mossad agent offered him a monthly salary of up to 3000 US dollars.

At a later date, the Mossad agent asked Ibrahim to rent an apartment in Gaza in order to facilitate communications between them. He also promised to provide Ibrahim with a computer and fax machine, saying that communication between the two would be conducted via the internet.

Ibrahim said the man would inject his telephone conversations with a lot of Quranic verses and would exhort him to perform daily prayers, particularly the Dawn prayer.

However, Ibrahim, said he began to be suspicious of the man when he told him that he knew him and his family.
Chavez to be overthrown by the CIA in the next 72 hours
Uruguayan EP-FA congressman Jose Bayardi says he has information that far-reaching plans have been put into operation by the CIA and other North American intelligence agencies to overthrow Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias within the next 72 hours.

Bayardi says he has received copies of top-secret communications between the Bush administration in Washington and the government of Uruguay requesting the latter's cooperation to support white collar executives and trade union activists "to break down levels of intransigence within the Chavez Frias administration."
The wrong way to fight terrorism
Lessons from the Middle East that apply to America and the world as well.
Stop The War Conference.
As the US government moves steadily towards a military confrontation with Iraq, resistance to US foreign policy in the Gulf has been growing constantly. With this situation in mind, student activists at the University of Michigan have organized the STOP THE WAR Conference, which will be a productive space both for activists to build connections to increase the effectiveness of the antiwar movement, and for those who want to learn more about the multitude of issues involved in the US war on Iraq.


This conference will be an amazing opportunity to meet and network with other activists and educate yourself on this pressing issue. Conference organizers have gathered a group of experienced activists and world-reknowned intellectuals to give lectures and lead workshops on a wide range of issues.


You can use this website as a tool to learn more about the conference.


If you're planning on coming to the conference, you must register. It only takes a minute, and will ensure that you receive up-to-date information on the schedule of events, in addition to helping us coordinate logistics.


"I began to understand that 'America' in reality belonged to the whole world and not just to Americans. The idea of America had already been invented by the philosophers, the vagabonds, the dispersed of this earth, long before the Spanish ships got there. Those whom we call Americans have only rented it for a time. If they behave badly, we can discover another 'America'.The contract can be canceled at any time."
--Sergio Leone

. . . cool quote via the Musings & Meanderings of an Unabashed Liberal

More on Leone here.

Thursday, December 12, 2002
Invisible killings: Israel's daily toll of Palestinian children
Meanwhile, the steady killing of Palestinian civilians, many of them children, by the Israeli occupation army goes largely unnoticed and unreported.

By consistently emphasizing the suffering of Israelis, and downplaying or ignoring the killings of Palestinians, the media conveys a false impression that Palestinian "attacks" are the principal feature of the conflict. Statistics unambiguously clarify that this impression is the exact opposite of the reality on the ground.
The University of Michigan students vote against war
After weeks of debate and postponements, the Resolution Against a War in Iraq was voted upon and passed, 22 to 13, at last night's Michigan Student Assembly meeting. MSA will now work with anti-war student groups to promote dialogue and educational events pertaining to the war.

It has also been resolved that MSA will urge President Bush not to preemptively or unilaterally start a war with Iraq and encourage the Bush administration to pursue a peaceful diplomatic resolution built upon international support
A striking blow against the axis of evil
WorldNetDaily: U.S. logs Saddam’s son off computer

U.S. officials say Saddam Hussein’s son, Uday, has had his e-mail account on Yahoo’s Internet server shut down by the U.S. government, reports Geostrategy, the global intelligence news agency.

A note posted Nov. 29 on the Internet site belonging to the Iraqi government newspaper Baghdad Babil, which is published by Uday Hussein, stated Uday could now be contacted at a new address: udaysaddamhussein@warkaa.net.

The note to readers said: ‘’We apologize for changing the e-mail address for reasons beyond our control.’’

It goes on to say the U.S. Treasury Department ordered Yahoo to cancel the old e-mail address even though the newspaper company had paid for its use.
Gee, that should give old Uday some problems — just imagine how long it will take for all his .... acquaintances? ... to realize that they need to use a new address (it helps, of course, that WorldNet publishes it, but anyways.)

I just wonder how long it takes before he is “logged off” his new computer... there must be some sort of remote management software installed, I imagine.

Well, at least it will probably take a while before his spam-level gets back to normal.
Wednesday, December 11, 2002
Dubya Subpoenaed For Texas Rape of Minor (link is to a PDF)
It says in this Texas county court document that Dubya has been accused legally of having sex with a minor, and then using his powers as President to harass her into committing suicide.

Wonder if this will make the media? You can be sure that if it was Slick Willie being accused the Republicrats would see to it that it did.

Link to an HTML version for the PDF impaired.
Bush warns Iraq of harsh response
In a new defense strategy submitted to Congress on Wednesday, President Bush warned Iraq and other hostile countries that the United States is prepared to use "overwhelming force" -- including nuclear weapons -- in response to any chemical or biological attack.
The threat was contained in a White House document called the "National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction." Presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer called it a declaration "of how seriously the United States would take it in the event that weapons of mass destruction were used."
Israel Silent on Food Warehouse Razing
The three-story building in this northern Gaza town, however, had enough flour, cooking oil and rice stored on its ground floor to feed 38,000 people for a month. The goods belonged to the U.N.-affiliated World Food Program. Israeli troops blew it up anyway, and 2 weeks later have yet to offer an explanation to the UN or anyone else.
Tuesday, December 10, 2002
some stars coming out...
and speaking up against the administration's war plans:
Artists United to Win Without War (no web site yet?),
Reuter's news item here;
UPI news item here;
CNN story here, a link there with names of the folks involved.
anti-war protests

in honor of human rights day today, there are many planned anti-iraq protests across the world.

reuters says anti-iraq war protestors rally across u.s.

"more than 100 communities in 35 states are playing host tuesday to rallies, marches, and protests by liberal groups and activists against what organizers say are the white house's 'plans to invade Iraq at any cost'," says united press international

"a delegation of priests, nuns and roman catholic lay people is expected in iraq tuesday for the beginning of a series of demonstrations against a possible u.s. invasion of that middle-eastern country," says crosswalk.com.

8 protestors arrested outside of colo. sen. wayne allard's office last week (scroll down to bottom stroy)

and talkleft informs us that more than 100 celebs have signed an anti-war letter to be send to mr. bush. (don't send it with winona, she might lift something at the white house and get us all in dutch!)

remember, if you're in the socal area, this saturday, dec. 14, a candle light vigil to protest war will be held in hollywood at the corner of hollywood and highland streets at 7:30. please go to www.answerla.org for details.
Caught whistling Dixie
Four days later, Lott's controversial comment gets some attention. But not from top congressional Democrats
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's big mistake came last Thursday, at a ceremony commemorating the 100th birthday of Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C. When it was his turn to speak, Lott boasted that his home state of Mississippi had supported Thurmond's run for president in 1948, and that "if the rest of the country had followed our lead we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years."

Thurmond ran in 1948 as an openly pro-segregationist Dixiecrat. Lott's comment, according to the Washington Post, was met by "an audible gasp and general silence."

But perhaps even more surprising is how that stunned silence extended all the way to the Democratic Party. By Monday, many black leaders and black organizations had denounced Lott's remarks. On Monday, Lott said only that his comments "were not an endorsement of [Thurmond's] positions of more than 50 years ago, but of a man and his life." And four days later, few leading Democrats -- including those considering a bid for the 2004 race -- were willing to openly criticize the senator.

Conservative Insider Novak: "Iraq War is for Israel's Benefit"

This is what the hawks in the administration and outside the administration never wanted to happen. They never wanted to have this inspection regime because what this is really about is change of regime in Iraq and change of the political outlines in the Middle East more to Israel’s benefit. That’s what this has all been about, and since it’s very hard to sell that to the American people, they have done it on a weapons of mass destruction basis.

>> More: Transcript Dec. 8, 2002
[Flash with sound] Tune in: America is having some technical difficulties. . .
Monday, December 09, 2002
Anti-War Movement? It's News to Us

Marjie Lundstrom, writing in our favorite newspaper named after an insect, the Sacramento Bee, seems to think that the mass media is missing out on coverage of the anti-war movement. Hey, who are we to disagree with the Bee?

Ms. Lundstrom writes about the decidedly-not-lunatic-fringe that is busy protesting Mr. Bush's march to war:

"The Rocklin schoolteacher who worries about his students' futures. The 68-year-old "stay-at-home protester" who e-mails and writes his elected officials. The 64-year-old semiretired carpenter who proudly stages a war protest in Auburn.

"There is the Sacramento attorney who sees her peace activism as a "matter of logic." And a father who drives his 12-year-old son to the Oct. 26 peace rally in San Francisco. A 51-year-old writer takes a ferry to the rally, too, because she is alarmed by President Bush's "frightening drive to war."


But Ms. Lundstrom thinks the Media are missing the obvious story: that much of mainstream America is anti-war.

"Yet media coverage seems stuck in a 1960s and 1970s Vietnam War-era frame, with journalists confining themselves to protest stories and visual images reminiscent of those times."

"Unlike the early days of the Vietnam anti-war movement...churches and labor unions have edged into this movement much sooner. Those speaking out against attacking Iraq already include the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Council of Churches, the United Methodist Church and, in this state, the California Federation of Teachers. AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney has expressed reservations to both houses of Congress.


Hey, Marjie, we don't disagree! But don't tell us, tell Walter Isaacson!

(Thanks and a tip of the Bush Kangaroo Hat to The Hamster for directing us to Ms. Lundstrom's article in the Bee).


For Fred:

PA uncovers Israelis posing as Al-Qaeda agents
Gaza head of preventive security Rashid Abu Shbak told journalists at a press conference that Israeli agents, posing as operatives of Osama bin Laden's terrorist group, recruited Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

"Over the past nine months, we've been investigating eight cases in which Israeli intelligence posing as Al-Qaeda operatives recruited Palestinians in the Gaza Strip," said Abu Shbak, referring to a series of e-mails and phone call conversations.

Abu Shbak said three Palestinians used by Israeli intelligence had been arrested, while another 11 were released "because they came and informed us of this Israeli plot."

The security chief said his services had traced back to Israel cellphone calls and e-mails in which Palestinians were asked to join Al-Qaeda.

"We investigated the origin of those calls, which used roaming, and messages and found out they all came from Israel," he told journalists.

He said they received money and weapons "although most of these weapons did not even work".

The money was provided by "Palestinian collaborators with Israel" directly to the new recruits or "was transferred from bank accounts in Jerusalem or Israel," Shbak said.
Rawls and Us Rawls, Ryan wrote, "had two deep insights. The first was that utilitarianism was fundamentally flawed; utilitarianism, that is, trying to maximise the welfare of a whole society, failed to recognise what Rawls called 'the separateness of persons.'... The second deep insight is thus that we need an account of justice as fairness. What is the crucial question that we must be able to answer if we are to say that social arrangements meet the test of fairness?... Rawls's stroke of genius was to invent the idea of a 'veil of ignorance,' shrouding the folk who make this social contract so that they do not know who they will be, what abilities they will possess, what faith they will adopt, and so on. If they do not know whether they will be winners or losers, smart or dumb, Christians, Jews, Muslims or atheists, they will sign up only for arrangements that protect them whatever happens." [Eric Alterman in The Nation]
color ourowndamnself unsurprised...
Lawsuit Against Cheney's Energy Task Force Dismissed
okey dokey, datz biznezz as usual nowadays, ain't it?
PDF file of the District Court Opinion available here;
in re U.S. District Judge John Bates
Sunday, December 08, 2002
Be Careful What You Wish For

Gen. Amir al-Saadi, an Iraqi general, "defies" the U.S. and Britain to find any proof of WMD in Iraq. Well, knowing Mr. Bush, he's not one to take a double dare lying down (but he does double down when he dares to lie).

However, apparently the U.S. was right, according to Gen. al-Saaqi, when it contended that Saddam was close to having a "Nagasaki-sized" nuke at the end of the First Gulf War. This is not good news, even if it is old news.

Saddam seems to be calling Mr. Bush's bluff, and that's not a good thing. Because we know that Mr. Bush is many things, but he probably isn't bluffing about invading Iraq.

The U.S. and the other members of the U.N. Security Council has received copies of the Iraqi Arms Disclosure Statement - all 12,000 pages of it. On the face of it, that means it will take at least until Christmas for the lawyers to get through the document...so at least we'll have a happy holiday, assuming the economy holds up, and we aren't any of the 6 percent of the unemployed, the largest surge in unemployment since the end of the last Bush recession 9 years ago.

But, back on point, we are betting that the Bush Administration will find something in the WMD Declaration that won't sit well with them, thus creating an excuse to invade.

Our money is on January...still cold enough to comfortably wear those anti-biological/chemical warfare suits, but soon enough after the holidays to take advantage of the White Sales for the flags that the Bushies assume the Iraqis will want to be waving.
Homegrown Border Patrol?
Chris Simcox, owner of the Tombstone Tumbleweed, a weekly newspaper in Tombstone, AZ, made headlines when he issued call for an armed citizen's militia to patrol the border against "invasion" from Mexicans illegally entering the U.S. Simcox exhorted Tombstonians: "Concerned Citizens turn off the T.V. Join together to protect your country in a time of war!"

Simcox apparently sees the militia as an adjunct to the Department of Homeland Security, telling another Arizona newspaper that the citizen militia will be called "Civil Homeland Defense Force". He told reporters that militia members will be patrolling public lands instead of private property as he initially proposed. Members will be armed and patrolling water stations set up by humanitarian groups, Simcox said.

Meanwhile Tuscon's Derechos Humanos (Human Rights) Coalition noting that several murders of Mexicans as they attempted to cross the border have yet to be prosecuted, says that racist groups are behind recent calls to protect the United States from terrorists. And that "the hate mongers wrap themselves up in the flag and shamelessly exploit the anti-terrorism atmosphere of the country."
The Headless Economy
Bush's new economic policy: Fire everyone!

The markets fell sharply this morning on the news that the U.S. economy lost another 40,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate spiked to 6 percent. Then the markets rallied on the news that Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and Lawrence Lindsey, the White House's chief economic adviser, had both resigned.

The Bush administration now seems to understand what its many critics—including Moneybox—have been saying for months. Its economic program is nonexistent. In October, Moneybox tagged O'Neill, Lindsey, and Harvey Pitt as the weak links of the Bush economic team: All are now gone, with no replacements in sight. The administration seems to have decided that the cure for a nonexistent economic program is a nonexistent economic team.
[more]
even god must bow his head to recognize...
the passing of the mighty life force that was Father Philip Berrigan;
But, but, but...
I cannot forget the dying children of Iraq, and the two million dead of our war, sanctions, and depleted uranium. I cannot forget what 78 days of NATO bombing (NATO is a clone of the U.S.) did to Kosovo and Serbia. I cannot forget my shame and sorrow over the second American nuclear war in Iraq, and the third in Yugoslavia. (Despite the spin doctors who control damage, depleted uranium shells and bombs are nuclear weapons). I cannot forget my country's war psychosis - its obsession with better tools for killing, its mammoth war chest, its think tanks and war labs, its sick ambition "to own the weather" as a "force multiplier." I cannot forget that historical moment when Washington abandoned the American people to become the marionette of billionaires, transnational corporations, banks, and deluded lobbyists with deep pockets. Above all, I cannot forget Our Savior turning his face resolutely toward Jerusalem and the Cross. "Whoever wants to come after me, must deny self, pick up the cross and follow me." (Mk 8:34) I will not forget, and I will not go out to pasture. Instead, I will wrestle for faith with my three brave sisters and brothers. A faith which will hopefully embrace worthiness to suffer for the name of Jesus. (Acts 5:41) As the ballad goes: "For swords into Plowshares, the hammer has to fall." Indeed! Our hammers and blood will fall on this hi-tech monstrosity called the A-10, which fired 95% of the depleted uranium in Iraq and Yugoslavia. A hammer is the universal tool, used to build up and tear down, used to extend responsibility for disarmament universally. Disarming the weapons and abolishing war is the #1 business of the world. Nothing so destroys our relationship with God and one another; nothing so threatens the very survival of the planet.

that from An Apology of Sorts

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