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December 30, 2002

a ban on hate, or heritage?

"This is our heritage. Nobody should be upset with these shirts," said Ree Simpson, a senior soccer player at Cherokee who says she owns eight Confederate-themed shirts. "During Hispanic Heritage Month, we had to go through having a kid on the intercom every day talking about their history. Do you think they allow that during Confederate History Month?"

Simpson said no one complains when African American students wear clothes made by FUBU, a black-owned company whose acronym means "For Us By Us." Worse, she says, school officials have nothing to say when black students make the biting crack that the acronym also means "farmers used to beat us." Similarly, she says, people assume that members of the school's growing Latino population mean no harm when they wear T-shirts bearing the Mexican flag.

Are the Southerners defending the Confederate flag in this article kidding, or are they really this ignorant?

business as usual

Saddam Hussein has used "weapons of mass destruction on his own people," as we all know -- oh, but by the way, the U.S. helped provide those weapons, and didn't especially care how Saddam used them. Kudos to the Washington Post for nailing Bush to the wall with this one.

December 29, 2002

Bye-bye to the lullaby?

"A few years ago, America's Food and Drug Administration approved a drug called Modafinil, sold under the brand name Provigil, to combat daytime sleepiness in narcoleptics. Modafinil makes up for patients' deficiency in a neurotransmitter called orexin, though no one knows quite how.
"What is clear, however, is that the drug can keep awake people who are tired for other reasons. That in itself is nothing new: coffee and amphetamines have a similar effect. But Modafinil's special attraction is that it does not seem to produce a "rebound" effect, whereby sleep eventually catches up after a prolonged period of wakefulness. The drug seems capable of keeping people alert for several days and nights without apparently building up any kind of sleep debt."
From The Economist December 21, 2002.
"Even if the drug is safe, it seems dangerous to mess with your body's sleep needs," Scammell said. "Aside from the obvious effects on brainpower, which modafinil does seem to counter, there is evidence that lack of sleep hurts the endocrine system and the immune system."
From ABCNews.com December 3, 2001.

originally posted by Greer

in the Sunday New York Times

A Lost Eloquence
When I ask students early in the semester if they know a poem by heart, I usually hear the names Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss and occasionally Robert Frost. They often say that they can't memorize long poems, but then I ask them if they know the lyrics of "Gilligan's Island" or "The Brady Bunch," and my point is made.
McDonald's Tarnished Arches
Fast-food joints are losing market share to a growing niche of more expensive, and possibly healthier, "fast casual" eateries, like Panera Bread and Cosí, that offer more customized selections. McDonald's itself is expanding its successful Chipotle chain of Mexican-themed restaurants.
Spiritual Connection on the Internet
"Is it much different than kneeling next to your bed at night? The idea is to connect with God anywhere. In the moment you are typing, it's another form of devotion"
Who Owns the Internet? You and i Do
Joseph Turow, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, studies how people use online technology and how that affects their lives. He has begun a small crusade to de-capitalize Internet — and, by extension, to acknowledge a deep shift in the way that we think about the online world.

December 27, 2002

torture by proxy

WP: interrogations at Bagram.

originally posted by xowie

the fear in review

After a year of trepidation, unease, and malaise both at home and abroad, the media types who three years ago wouldn’t shut up about what to name our nascent decade now have an answer: the Uh-oh’s. It’s certainly more fitting than the Naughties, the Zeros, the Aughts, or the M&M’s; at least "uh-oh" communicates the sense of threat Americans have endured since 9/11. Uh-oh describes the moment after something precious has dropped, right before the damage has been checked. A person who’s previously been robbed might utter uh-oh after awakening to a thump in the night. Uh-oh often precedes a scream or a sigh. Uh-oh sounds a lot like now.
Uh oh!

originally posted by xowie

December 26, 2002

but he likes lynda barry the best

Nick Hornby reviews six graphic novels in the New York Times Book Review.

people of color who never felt they were black

Exactly who these immigrants are is almost impossible to divine from the 2000 Census. Latinos of African, mestizo and European descent -- or any mixture of the three -- found it hard to answer the question "What is your racial origin?"

Some of the nation's 35 million Latinos scribbled in the margins that they were Aztec or Mayan. A fraction said they were Indian. Nearly forty-eight percent described themselves as white, and only 2 percent as black. Fully 42 percent said they were "some other race."

The complexities of Latino and Afro-Latino labeling, at washingtonpost.com.

December 25, 2002


Sainthood for Mychal Judge?

originally posted by daiichi

Big Brother: killer P2P app?

The first generation of the Internet — called the Arpanet — consisted of electronic mail and file transfer software that connected people to people. The second generation connected people to databases and other information via the World Wide Web. Now a new generation of software connects computers directly to computers.

And that is the key to the Total Information Awareness project, which is overseen by John M. Poindexter, the former national security adviser under President Ronald Reagan. Dr. Poindexter was convicted in 1990 of a felony for his role in the Iran-contra affair, but that conviction was overturned by a federal appeals court because he had been granted immunity for his testimony before Congress about the case.

The New York Times: Many Tools of Big Brother Are Up and Running.

December 24, 2002

11,400 tampons over a lifetime

The notion that women are less competent before or during their periods was exploded in 1914 by Leta Stetter Hollingworth, who gave 23 women a battery of tests over the course of several months and found no discernible pattern to the results. Yet it persists. Women themselves constantly attribute clumsiness and bad moods to PMS, as if they would invariably be calm and cheerful and supercompetent were it not for the menstrual cycle.
Katha Pollitt, The last taboo: why is menstruation still a curse?.

originally posted by xowie

December 23, 2002

john ritter is #37

The Beast 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2002

originally posted by daiichi

i seen cupid's span


Taxicab, pouring
ass rain. I'm trying to meet
my sweet baby Jane.

Peer out the window
what do I see? Cupid's bow
pointing straight at me.

originally posted by daiichi

s.o.s. thing.net

In a 1950's horror movie the Thing was a creature that killed before it was killed. Now in a real-life drama playing on a computer screen near you, the Thing is an Internet service provider that is having trouble staying alive. Some might find this tale equally terrifying.

The Thing provides Internet connections for dozens of New York artists and arts organizations, and its liberal attitude allows its clients to exhibit online works that other providers might immediately unplug. As a result the Thing is struggling to survive online. Its own Internet-connection provider is planning to disconnect the Thing over problems created by the Thing's clients. While it may live on, its crisis illustrates how difficult it can be for Internet artists to find a platform from which they can push the medium's boundaries.
Cyberspace artists paint themselves into a corner, NYTimes.

Chabon on Summerland

What I came to see I was writing about, which is something that's of great concern to me as a parent, is what I see as the lost adventure of childhood. I remember a childhood that was the kind of childhood that people had been having in the United States going back at least four or five generations before me. It was rooted in independence and freedom. I'd just go out in the morning on Saturday morning and say "Bye, Mom" and I'd be gone all day long.

She wouldn't know where you were.

She would not have the faintest idea where I was, and I'd come home for dinner. And I'd get into a lot of trouble, no doubt about it, and probably almost died a couple of times, but still that's the world. It dovetailed so completely with what I read, so when I went out to play I could go play in Narnia or I could go play in the Virginia wilderness of George Washington's boyhood if I was reading a biography of George Washington. There was a seamlessness between the world of literature and fantasy and the world that I was living and playing in. That really mirrored what was going on in the fantasy worlds themselves, where there was a seamlessness and a porousness between, say, England and Narnia.

Or even something like Tom Sawyer. Even though I wasn't a boy, there was a Tom Sawyer element to my childhood. Our mother didn't know where we were half the time and there was so much more undeveloped land to play on.

There was more undeveloped land and so much more free space. And now so much of the space we put our children into is created by adults for children. It's licensed by adults, patrolled and permitted by adults. There's nowhere for them to disappear into. They're under surveillance all the time. It's that idea of that lost ... that's the Summerlands, to me, ultimately. That this is imperiled, or probably gone forever, is a very painful idea to me. Maybe that ties into the idea of a lost innocence or a lost boyhood.

Salon.com: The lost adventure of childhood. "Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, talks about his new book, Summerland, and the freedom he fears is vanishing from children's lives."

December 22, 2002


"Live Phish Downloads offers high quality, unedited soundboard recordings of select shows in the form of MP3 and Shorten digital music files."

the legend of Shigeru Miyamoto

"Nintendo of America recently hosted an interview with two of the masterminds behind The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Producer Shigeru Miyamoto (who directed the original Zelda titles, including Ocarina of Time) and Director Eiji Aonuma spoke with members of the gaming media via video teleconferencing from Japan."


Who sold what weapons technology to Iraq:

1. Honeywell (rockets, chemical)
2. Spectra Physics (chemical)
3. Semetex (rockets)
4. TI Coating (atomic, chemical)
5. Unisys (atomic, chemical)
6. Sperry Corp. (rockets, chemical)
7. Tektronix (rockets, atomic)
8. Rockwell (chemical)
9. Leybold Vacuum Systems (atomic)
10. Finnigan-MAT-US (atomic)
11. Hewlett-Packard (atomic, rockets, chemical)
12. Dupont (atomic)
13. Eastman Kodak (rockets)
14. American Type Culture Collection (biological)
15. Alcolac International (chemical)
16. Consarc (atomic)
17. Carl Zeiss - U.S (chemical)
18. Cerberus (LTD) (atomic)
19. Electronic Associates (rockets)
20. International Computer Systems (atomic, rockets, chemical)
21. Bechtel (chemical)
22. EZ Logic Data Systems, Inc. (rockets)
23. Canberra Industries Inc. (atomic)
24. Axel Electronics Inc. (atomic)

1. Euromac Ltd-Uk (atomic)
2. C. Plath-Nuclear (atomic)
3. Endshire Export Marketing (atomic)
4. International Computer Systems (atomic, rockets, chemical)
5. MEED International (atomic, chemical)
6. Walter Somers Ltd. (rockets)
7. International Computer Limited (atomic, chemical)
8. Matrix Churchill Corp. (atomic)
9. Ali Ashour Daghir (atomic)
10. International Military Services (rockets) (owned by the British Ministry of Defence - !!!)
11. Sheffield Forgemasters (rockets)
12. Technology Development Group (rockets)
13. International Signal and Control (rockets)
14. Terex Corporation (rockets)
15. Inwako (atomic)
16. TMG Engineering (chemical)
17. XYY Options, Inc (atomic)
And so on and so on and so on. Who sold what to Iraq, as contained in the Iraqi arms declaration, brought to you by Andreas Zumach of Die Tageszeitung. The article also lists French, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Dutch, Belgian, Spanish and Swedish companies. Zumach's articles are available in English here, in the original at taz.de; and there's an interview with Zumach at Democracy Now!

December 21, 2002

yet another reason why i'm not going to fly about the us unless i absolutely positively have to

After a short time I received a visit from the arresting officer. "Mr. Monahan," he started, "Are you on drugs?"

Was this even real? "No, I'm not on drugs."

"Should you be?"

"What do you mean?"

"Should you be on any type of medication?"


"Then why'd you react that way back there?"

You see the thinking? You see what passes for reasoning among your domestic shock troops these days? Only "whackos" get angry over seeing the woman they've been with for ten years in tears because someone has touched her breasts. That kind of reaction - love, protection - it's mind-boggling! "Mr. Monahan, are you on drugs?" His snide words rang inside my head. This is my wife, finally pregnant with our first child after months of failed attempts, after the depressing shock of the miscarriage last year, my wife who'd been walking on a cloud over having the opportunity to be a mother...and my anger is simply unfathomable to the guy standing in front of me, the guy who earns a living thanks to my taxes, the guy whose family I feed through my labor. What I did wasn't normal. No, I reacted like a drug addict would've. I was so disgusted I felt like vomiting. But that was just the beginning.

An hour later, after I'd been gallantly assured by the officer that I wouldn't be attending my friend's wedding that day, I heard Mary's voice outside my cell. The officer was speaking loudly, letting her know that he was planning on doing me a favor... which everyone knows is never a real favor. He wasn't going to come over and help me work on my car or move some furniture. No, his "favor" was this: He'd decided not to charge me with a felony.

Think about that for a second. Rapes, car-jackings, murders, arsons - those are felonies. So is yelling in an airport now, apparently. I hadn't realized, though I should have. Luckily, I was getting a favor, though. I was merely going to be slapped with a misdemeanor.

"Coffee, Tea, or Should We Feel Your Pregnant Wife's Breasts Before Throwing You in a Cell at the Airport and Then Lying About Why We Put You There?" by Nicholas Monahan

[ via jwz ]

via chumba.com

Anti-war mp3: Jacob's Ladder(Not In My Name).

originally posted by daiichi

"the drug czar knew me by name"

Profile of "marijuana madonna" Renee Boje.

originally posted by xowie

vox bloggus

The one upside to the fact that we no longer have any real leaders, only ersatz ones slavishly addicted to following public opinion, is that, at the end of the day, public outrage really matters.
Arianna Huffington, In Praise Of Making A Stink.

originally posted by xowie

a great, un-Jewish evil

''They are good and courageous people, the sort of people who took great risks to save Jews during the occupation,'' Bromberger wrote to Summers. ''What you insinuated about them was sheer, crude calumny. You must have known that. You must know people like them. ... As a Jew, I found your statement to be slanderous. As a holder of a Harvard degree I found it embarrassing.''
Globe, Jewish professors keep divestment drive alive.

originally posted by xowie

wild, wild west

Rawhide Kid, Marvel's leather-slappin' cowboy.

originally posted by xowie

December 20, 2002

zeitgeist according to google

Google 2002 Timeline

originally posted by Jane Die


I.M. Me, the song by teen songstress Brittney Cleary (who recently changed her name to Nikki) is rife with the evolving lexicon of wired teens. E.G., "Send your jpeg / I wanna see your face / Girlfriend, send an I.M. /TTYL /No time to spell /Oops, there goes that little bell Bye, bye for now / BBFN . . . Hey, LOL, G2G / I gotta go, but baby / Watch for me 'cause / I'll be right back, BRB /So sign on, and I.M. me"
Feeling aurally masochistic? Scroll down to find link for dl.

originally posted by Jane Die

sick of lott yet?

50 things you didn't know about Trent Lott

originally posted by Jane Die

TSA, get it?

In an apparent bid to become the office of Total Suitcase Awareness, the federal Transportation Security Administration is suggesting that travelers not lock their checked baggage, as such locks may require forcible removal.

more on Venezuela

When is a strike not really a strike?

originally posted by zagg

December 19, 2002

animated gifs rule!

I'd like to invite you to explore the randomWalks wiki. [Thanks to riley dog for that poor fucker with the scissors.]

expanding the search for weapons of mass destruction

Following Bush’s guidelines, Rooting Out Evil is demanding that his administration allow immediate and unfettered access to international weapons inspectors to search out their caches of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. If they refuse to comply, we will assemble as many volunteer weapons inspectors as possible at a major border crossing between the US and Canada and attempt to cross into the US on a mission of peace. We will be greeted on the US side by Americans who favour true global cooperation, an end to weapons of mass destruction, and a regime change in the US at the next election.
Have no fear, Mission USA is here! Don't miss this useful map of the U.S. terrorist infrastructure.

Because we don't know when

Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustable well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that is so deeply part of your being that you, that you can't even conceive of your life without it. Perhaps four or five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20. And yet it all seems limitless.
Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky

i'm a peace-dog too

The L.A. ANSWER—organized candlelight peace vigil, the first of its kind to occupy a pedestrian-filled intersection, circulated steadily like a slow vortex around the four corners, blending imperceptibly with holiday shoppers, street vendors, and even the police, who appeared to be on hand only to pet all the dogs with peace signs hanging from their collars and make sure nobody got hit by a car.
Peace gets a chance by Judith Lewis.

originally posted by xowie

Scores of international performers have

Scores of international performers have had to cancel appearances since America tightened its visa rules and security checks this summer.

Performers and presenters in the US are losing money. The recording industry will be hampered, say critics of the policy. Labels prefer to issue CDs when a group is touring. And Americans are being deprived of cultural communication at a time when it is more crucial than ever before.

'This just increases the sense of isolation that's descending on the US and shows how much we're not in synch with the rest of the world,' says Richard Pena, director of the New York Film Festival.
Welsh harpist Robin Huw Bowen, Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami, Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki, Ibrahim Ferrer and Ruben Gonzalez of the Afro-Cuban All Stars, pianist Chucho Valdes, rapper X Alfonso, members of Sintesis, Humberto Solas, Polo Montanez, Iranian musician Hussein Alizadeh, Kayhan Kalhor, Bahman Ghobadi, Berlin's Artemis Quartet, Rohinton Mistry, Margaret Atwood, Burach ... all among the artists and performers unable to enter the States, or whose entry has been made nigh-impossible.

Touch Tarepanda for descriptions !

Touch Tarepanda for descriptions !

from Saudi with love

It would be nice if George W. Bond would kick over the cocktails and lob a grenade into Oilfingers refinery, but instead he and the sheikhs are still teasing each other. In this latest curious episode, the official explanation, if I can type it without giggling, goes something like this: Princess Haifa, the wife of the Saudi ambassador to Washington, gets a letter from a woman in Virginia she’s never heard of complaining about steep medical bills. Being a friendly sort of princess, she immediately authorises the Riggs Bank in Washington to make payment by cashier’s cheque of several thousand dollars per month to this woman, no questions asked. How come I can never get hold of a princess like that when I need one?
Mark Steyn in the Spectator on Bush's relationship with Saudi high society.

'On the Road' on the road

If you're actually able to handle the manuscript, you have a kind of contact with the author that you otherwise wouldn't get. At the risk of sounding too obscure, the most advanced physics teaches us that the moment you come into contact with something, it is part of you and you are part of it forever.
Jim Irsay, owner of the legendary original manuscript of Jack Kerouac's On the Road as well as (it's always mentioned) some ball team or other, is planning to exhibit the scroll at various libraries and schools around the country including Boulder's Naropa University.

December 18, 2002

needles & pinheads

Alison M. Rosen on free tatt night at Luxx.

originally posted by daiichi

(means I love you)

Eep opp ork ah ah.

December 16, 2002

washingtonpost.com: Caesarean Births Hit High Mark

More women are having C-section births, not because the medical establishment is pushing them (though it's known for that), but because they want them. ("I was born by Caesarean section, but you really can't tell--except that when I leave my house, I always go out the window." --Steven Wright.)

washingtonpost.com: Officials, Cyclists Push Pedaling for Commuters

We've focused the last 25 years on optimizing the automobile commute. As we run out of space for them, we realize we have to enhance the other alternatives. . . . The streets aren't getting any wider.
Washington, D.C., area planners are paying marginally more attention to commuting by bike, but some are pessimistic it'll catch on.


The nation's 35.3 million Latinos are still being relegated to the margins of U.S. news consciousness. The networks' dismal record of covering the nation's fastest-growing minority group undermines the information needs of all U.S. residents.
Major TV news networks are almost entirely ignoring Latinos, according to a new study from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

washingtonpost.com: Star Visits Baghdad in Hope of Staving Off a U.S. Attack

Somewhere along the line, the actions of this government are the actions of me. And if there's going to be blood on my hands, I'm not willing to have it be invisible. I wanted to come to Iraq and see Iraqi faces -- children, adults, diplomats, anybody that implies -- and go home with some impressions that will not let me off the hook. . . . It's not abstract anymore.
Anti-war activist Sean Penn on his recent trip to Baghdad.

head hunting

"Welcome to Breaking Open the Head, a companion website for my book, which includes a cultural history of psychedelic use, philosophical and critical perspectives on shamanism, and my personal explorations, ranging from transcendent to terrifying."

originally posted by zagg

"The census results indicate the Latino population will be receiving a lot more attention."

If your local paper doesn't carry it, you can finally read Lalo Alcaraz' new daily strip La Cucaracha at the uComics website.

Y2K can't delete the true ancient

"Spread the good word about Bagelhole.org's collection of folklore, alternative energy methods, and low-tech sustainability articles." Thanks to dangerousmeta.

boxcars boxcars boxcars

"The Trained Eye series began in October of 2000 as I wandered in the railyard near downtown Colorado Springs. All of these images are from the sides of boxcars, coal cars, miscellaneous freight cars and a caboose. These cars have been scratched, gouged, painted, scraped, rusted, and repainted over the course of their lifetimes. From a distance they appear uniformly colored, neat, and tidy. But, up close, with their context removed, they have become the gallery you see here." I'll let you find your own favorites among these achingly beautiful photographs. Thanks, Jerry.

December 15, 2002

hey adults! comics!

Mark Frauenfelder reviews Rebel Visions, a history of the underground comics movement, in this week's LA Weekly.

December 13, 2002

watchdog watch

Ralph Nader has turned his attentions to recreational sports and ailing libraries of late.

mary hansen

roger tells us: Mary Hansen is dead.


Camper Van Beethoven is getting back together and touring (third item)--but minus guitarist Chris Molla and drummer Chris Pederson (or Crispy Derson, for Camper Van Beethoven fans). But Jonathan Segel, the violinist who left after Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart, is even going to be in the band--along with Greg Lisher, Victor Krummenacher and of course David Lowery. Join me at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, won't you?


U.S. officials say Iraq report has big omissions.

Oh. I'm really surprised. If every single object from Iraq were removed so that all you had left was Saddam sitting on a rug by himself and the rest of the Iraqi people wandering around, Bush and the rest of his pit bulls would still make a case to nuke him for "giving us dirty looks and having impure thoughts."

originally posted by zagg

john peel corner

John Peel picks tracks for his new compilation album, and an old interview with Radio B92 where he talks about working for Texan radio:

And you worked for WRR in Dallas…
PEEL: WRR had a late night program that all the kids used to listen to called "Kat's Karavan" which was a rhythm'n'blues program and played almost entirely black music. But the audience was almost entirely white in one of those kinda strange things that goes on in American culture, and the kids who listened loved the music but if any of the musicians had turned up on their front door they would have called the police, because it was quite a racist society at the time. But I had some records which were only available in Europe - some in this country, some in the Netherlands - and I took them to the radio station and they asked me to go on the program and talk about these records, which I thought they'd done because of my extraordinary knowledge of the music, but I think they probably did because they thought I had such an amusing accent — which by Texas standards I certainly did.

"The name of our country is América" - Simón Bolívar

Some things:

little green papers

The Club has chosen to invoke its internal policing power mainly against members who have pushed for the Club to adopt more robust environmental policies: ending livestock grazing, mining and logging on public lands; backing Ralph Nader and the Green Party; or opposing the sell-out of Yosemite National Park to a corrupt firm linked to Bruce Babbitt.
Jeffrey St. Clair on the sad decline of the Sierra Club.

originally posted by daiichi

December 12, 2002

click here

I've been sleeping on wimminandminorities.com but it's time to WAKE UP!

December 11, 2002

my big jewish trojan

As a lighthearted reminder, Pashkow circulates around the admissions office a three-page memo called "Jews Clues." The first piece of advice is to spot names ending in "baum," "berg," "burg," "bloom," "man," "stein," "thal," "vitz" or "witz." Another dead giveaway mentioned in the memo: If applicants mention that they have had a bar or bat mitzvah.
USC is looking for a few good Jews.

originally posted by daiichi

see his eye as he stops one of three

We are just temporary conglomerations of ideas, moulded together for their own protection. The analogy with our bodies is close. Bodies are the creations of temporary gene-complexes: although each of us is unique, the genes themselves have all come from previous creatures and will, if we reproduce, go on into future creatures. Our minds are the creations of temporary meme-complexes: although each of us is unique, the memes themselves have come from previous creatures and will, if we speak and write and communicate, go on into future creatures. That’s all.
Waking from the Meme Dream

postcards to marina abramovic

(Basically) every day for the past 6 years I have painted with watercolor for an hour. This activity has proved to be one of the most important aspects of my process, I believe there is a lot to be said for a daily practice. Since the possibility of being able to observe cycles by keeping work in chronological order appeals to me AND since I feel dealing with process is about honoring the ugly as well as the beautiful, keeping a bound journal was the next step.
NYC artist Nina Meledandri created a blog-like project inspired by "The House With the Ocean View". Thanks, Nina!

originally posted by xowie

"Sorry I'm a racist Republican majority leader"

In an edition of his Hop Hop Political Newsletter which is unfortunately not online, Davey D makes a crucial point about Trent Lott's wildly offensive remarks at a birthday bash for Strom Thurmond.

It will be interesting to see how
the media references his remarks when mentioning his name. In other
words there's a tendency to always make mention of past transgressions
when speaking about African American leaders even if the events or
remarks were made 20 years ago. I still read newspapers where Jesse
Jackson's off color 1984 'hymie town' remarks are made mention. Al
Sharpton and the Tawana Brawly case are seemingly always in the same
sentence. The word 'anti-Semite and NOI leader Louis Farrakhan are
always made to go hand and hand. I've heard apologies and
explanations from these individuals just like Lott and his folks are
trying to explain his 'poor choice' of words. My question is will
Trent Lott go back to simply being the Senate Majority Leader or will
he be forever known as the Trent Lott the Senate Majority Leader the
'Jim Crow Law Supporter'? Will we start referring to Trent Lott as a
bigot or will he still be viewed as a distinguished United State's
Senator who leads the Senate?

For chewy context, dig Howard Kurtz' round up of recent media coverage: Lott's 'Sorry' Doesn't Cut It.

part of the anti-war movement no one knows about

"Our army that now remains in Vietnam is in a state approaching collapse. with individual unit avoiding or having refused combat, murdering their officers and noncommissioned officers, drug-ridden, and dispirited where not near-mutinous ... [C]onditions [exist] among American forces in Vietnam that have only been exceeded in this century by ... the collapse of the Tsarist armies in 1916 and 1917." - Armed Forces Journal, June 1971

The soldier's rebellion has been whited out of the history books, but it was key to ending the Vietnam War.

Another thought:
"Perhaps the author's most startling revelation is her exposé of deprivation among the nation's enlisted soldiers. Salaries are so low ($887.70 a month in 2000 for a newly enlisted Marine) that even with food stamps, many military families find it hard to cobble together an existence. The director of a charity for enlisted families in San Diego tells of a soldier who bought 21 McDonald's hamburgers when they were 39 cents apiece so that his pregnant wife would have something to eat while he was away on field duty. His wife ate one a day until he returned. Another young Marine admits that he is accustomed to going without meals for four days at a time when his family's food stamps run out at the end of the month."

From Mother Jones' review of Loretta Schwartz-Nobel's Growing Up Empty: The Hunger Epidemic in America.

Meanwhile, many reservists are already becoming frustrated and worried. What's going to happen when soldiers on food stamps start to die as part of a $200 billion war, while their friends and family continue to get laid off and social services continue to be cut at home, but Bush, Cheney and their cronies continue to amass dirty fortunes?

originally posted by zagg

December 10, 2002

what would macarthur do?

"Some people, some of the junior cadets, view it as a very personal thing," said Thomas. "They say, 'We are going to roll up in the desert,' 'We are going to go get those people,' 'We should have done it the first time.' But I think as they get closer to graduation, people have a much more balanced perspective on things. They are not only concerned about going to get Saddam, but the 25 million Iraqis he governs, the effect this is going to have on our allies, on world opinion. There is much more debate than there is rabid vilification of the enemy."
VV: The New Long Gray Line: West Point Gets Set for Iraq.

originally posted by xowie

shoot the sheriff if you must, but not those deputies

The Corrals’ attorney, Ben Rice, said "deputy" status would put WAMM under the provisions of a federal law stating a person can’t be sued for having a controlled substance if he or she is carrying it while "enforcing" local drug laws.
Such a clever little lawyer! Santa Cruz pot club may get official status.

originally posted by daiichi

A message from RAWA

"For one year the world watched Afghanistan to see how the collapse of the Taliban destructors might be followed by an anti-Taliban and anti religious tyranny government. But the entire hopes and aspirations of our freedom-loving people and the people of the world turned to illusion and despair when they saw that the power in Afghanistan had been given by the US and its allies to the "Northern Alliance" destructors -fundamentalists who are more bloody, unchaste and hostile to human rights."

The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan issued a statement to mark International Human Rights Day. The U.S. is celebrating by executing two people. Do your part by helping build the movement against a war in Iraq. Go to Washington or San Francisco on January 18.

originally posted by zagg

For the record, I love Big Brother

'Burning Bush' comment draws prison term

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota (AP) -- A man who made a remark about a "burning Bush" during the president's March 2001 trip to Sioux Falls was sentenced Friday to 37 months in prison.

Richard Humphreys of Portland, Oregon was convicted in September of threatening to kill or harm the president and said he plans to appeal. He has said the comment was a prophecy protected under his right to free speech.

Humphreys said he got into a barroom discussion in nearby Watertown with a truck driver. A bartender who overheard the conversation realized the president was to visit Sioux Falls the next day and told police Humphreys talked about a "burning Bush" and the possibility of someone pouring a flammable liquid on Bush and lighting it.

"I said God might speak to the world through a burning Bush," Humphreys testified during his trial. "I had said that before and I thought it was funny."

market economics: bollocks to it all

While we're all shitting our pants about those cheeky rogue states' possession of dual-use technology, this might make for interesting reading:

What is a Dual Use Technology? A technology that has both military utility and sufficient commercial potential to support a viable industrial base.
Objectives: To partner with industry to jointly fund the development of dual use technologies needed to maintain our technological superiority on the battlefield and for industry to remain competitive in the marketplace.
The above, live and direct from the Department of Defence Dual Use fact sheet. In the interests of world peace and international understanding, perhaps Iraqi microwave oven owners could receive US Department of Defense Dual Use Technology Awards. Meanwhile, our friends the unnamed senior US officials have been busy again telling scary stories 'bout meanies in the desert and their evil germ toys. But:
Meanwhile, the Bush administration, having got atropine into the public eye, began kicking up a stink about it in the UN security council. Twice in the last two weeks, it threatened to block a renewal of the oil-for-food programme unless action was taken to stop Iraq acquiring atropine and other substances. Had the US carried out its threat, Iraq would by now have been unable to continue selling its oil or buying food and other civilian goods from abroad - another way, perhaps, of tightening the screws around Saddam Hussein. In the event, a crisis was averted and the American antics achieved little more than annoying other members of the security council.
Sweet dreams, y'all.

December 9, 2002

Selling War To the Toddler Set

This toy (yes, that's a bombed out house that soldier has just parachuted into) is listed as being appropriate for ages 5 and up. This one is for ages 3 and up. Gotta brainwash them while they're young.

December 8, 2002

don't blog on drugs

In one of Ram Dass' books, don't remember which, he told a story about his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, aka Maharaji. Ram Dass tried many times to give LSD to Maharaji. Nothing ever happenned. But he had some doubt that the old man was really swallowing the tabs. So the next time Ram Dass gave a tab to Maharaji, the guru made a show of placing it on his tongue and carefully swallowing. A short while later, Maharaji went wild, started acting crazy. Ram Dass was thinking, "What have I done to this poor old man?" Maharaji came immediately back to his senses and told Ram Dass, "They knew about this stuff a thousand years ago. If you take it in a meditative mood, you can visit Jesus. But after two hours, you have to come back. Wouldn't it be better to BE Jesus?"
I'm shrooming today. "Have you got anything stronger?".

originally posted by daiichi

another random night walk

Yes, TV? NOH! TV

Personality: the Shape

My sins cost two bucks!

originally posted by Jane Die

ease the terror with a cute attack - kawaii!

my nightmare came true

now i must think happy thoughts

No, happier thoughts.

originally posted by Jane Die

in orbit now.

remember, when I

said, hey! send your name to mars?

Forget I said that.

originally posted by Jane Die

I do not condone mistreatment of animals, even human ones.

Earl Stanley, take heed.

Collar yes, but never this.

Just calm down, click peas!

originally posted by Jane Die

It's still a 4 letter word to me.

what means this, lo-ove?

what the web has learned of love.

Love, the killer app.

originally posted by Jane Die

I do not endorse this non-fda regulated product

"The World's First Digital Drug: You'll feel like you're on ecstasy! Experience A Non-Addictive, Non-Harmful Narcotic Substitute, Increased Relaxation, Enhanced Sexual Performance, Improved Memory and Concentration, Removed Depression and Anxiety, A 100% Legal & Safe Product that does all of this!"

If everything I ever saw online were true. . .

originally posted by Jane Die

December 7, 2002

earl's girls wear green or nothing at all


We'll probably have a presidential candidate forty years down the road, saying that as a kid in the Twin Cities she "experimented with BDSM" and it was "first-class training in the art of firm government."
Did you know there is a Girl Scout Gold Project in BDSM? Thanks to the dubiously named Alex. Cockburn for this vital info, accompanied for some reason by a eulogy for the late Phil Berrigan.

postscriptum: Uniforms for bad girls of all ages can be found at the Girl Scout Online Shopping Mall. Let's see those cookies, baby!

originally posted by daiichi

don't tell her about it

Carolyn! Recently read the news -- you got divorced last year and now you're unmarried and pregnant. Nice going! Just the sort of example I'm proud to see in an advice columnist. Planning on getting strung out on prescription drugs, maxing out your credit cards, and filing for bankruptcy any time soon? Wouldn't want you to miss a thing! I mean, you're carrying bastards now; why stop while you're going strong? We all know that marriages that start with parenthood are more likely to crash and burn than marriages in which the partners get to know each other before adding children to the mix, so I assume we lucky readers can look forward to yet another divorce in your column; gosh! Won't that put you in an even better position to dispense advice to other people on how to straighten out their lives and clean up their acts.
From the latest chat with Carolyn Hax, the knocked-up advice columnist.

home court advantage

Deadheads, a notoriously finicky bunch, are enamored of Herring. Having played with the Allman Brothers, his technique is sometimes described as a cross between Duane Allman's and Garcia's. On Thursday, he hinted at Garcia's quicksilver style but also carved out his own distinct airspace. More often than not, his tone was something very different: echoing, yowling, distant yet a key piece of the puzzle.
The Other Ones at Kaiser Aud.

originally posted by xowie

the war on drugs is just another war

Mike Gray's Busted, reviewed by Judith Lewis.

originally posted by xowie

running down the dragon

During the first days of Ocean View, Abramovic seemed restless, moving around, no doubt, so she would not drift mentally. She had to stay "present." She knew she would face this. First the boredom, then the pain. She had turned her most banal activities into rituals: showering, peeing, drinking water. By day three, she had taken to standing for long periods at the edge of the center platform, right behind the knife ladder. She looked shaky, vulnerable, like a person on a tightrope.
The knife ladder? VV covers the latest work from extraordinary artist Marina Abramovic.

originally posted by xowie

jeering, insult-hurling white guys

"We recognize Filipinos, but this is a step backwards," said one of the more moderate voices at the microphone. "I think this would segregate the Filipinos . . . This is just starting a trend."
Meet the village idiots of Eagle Rock, California.

originally posted by daiichi

in the peace of christ

Blood - the most intense and powerful Biblical symbol - causes two realities in disarmament. First, it reaffirms the covenant with the nonviolent Jesus, a covenant sealed in his blood. Second, it stresses again the prohibition against killing. There will be no justice, no peace, no relief for the poor, no restoration of the ecology until we stop killing one another.
So long and thanks, Phil Berrigan.

originally posted by daiichi

December 6, 2002

the beatles of hip hop

Mtv News: Roots' ?uestlove, Black Thought Delve Into Phrenology

"For the most part, none of us were in the studio at the same time for most of the recording," he said. "It just came to be in the process of layering. Everybody came in and did their thing, and we just layered it up. Ahmir will come in the studio and lay three or five joints in a one- or two-session period, then the next time I'll come through the studio it will be like, 'Yo, put the joints on Ahmir was working on a couple of days ago.' It might be two to three that I'm feeling that I wanna build upon. I might wanna drop that or ask him to come and add more to the foundation."

During a soundcheck a few months ago, the Roots came up with Phrenology's first single, "Break You Off."

"We were doing a pilot for some TV show and we were jamming with Musiq," Black Thought remembered. "We just came up with it and it felt real smooth. ... It was sexy from the start. We couldn't really take it nowhere else but keep it for the ladies. In a nutshell, the tune is about me meeting a young lady who's already involved and she's in a relationship. I'm coming to break her off, basically giving her what's missing."

" 'Me and Mrs. Jones' for the new millennium," ?uest interjected. "The basic direction the album was going was so far to the left — it wasn't like anything out there — we kind of needed a balance. We are smart businessmen and we know medicine tastes better with a little sugar in it. This seemed like a logical choice because it was something easy to get into."

There are a couple of neat Behind the Scenes videos worth watching. Has anybody seen an insightful review? Where is intelligent hip hop criticism these days? (Besides Boondocks of course.)

kissinger in hell

It's getting so it's nearly impossible to follow which war-crimes monster or which convicted lying felon or which mysterious pro-corporate stable boy is heading what major investigative commission or sinister domestic-surveillance database or cramming what vile homeland-security bill with how many tons of conservative pork. Whew.
Whew indeed. Because what we really need now is more murderous criminal masterminds in power by Mark Morford in today's SF Gate, via Smirking Chimp.

December 5, 2002

Rogue nation, under God, indivisible ...

There is a nation that has ignored UN resolutions, denied weapons inspectors access to facilities believed to hold weapons of mass destruction, used weapons of mass destruction on its own citizens (on multiple occasions) and is led by an unelected ruler. Won't some great nation come to the rescue of this nation's citizens who are clearly at the mercy of a tyrannical regime?

originally posted by zagg

the electric maid

On some level, we all want to be part of the dream of the Electric Maid: a place that's always open and always warm, a place populated by people we know, the juice bar equivalent of Cheers, where folks shout your name as you enter and your stool is perpetually reserved. When Robinson hit on the idea for the Maid, he was thinking that Takoma Park needed a "third place," an inclusive neighborhood gathering spot -- once the barber shop, the park, the soda fountain -- that has disappeared from chain-ridden suburbia. This was no leftist effort, he says. "I'm kind of a radical centrist. I believe in communitarianism."
DC residents are struggling to build a locus of community in the Electric Maid. This article appears just days after dj was trying to point out to me the former location of a similar place, the Beehive.

December 4, 2002

recommended nutria amounts

"Nutria are the worst thing that ever happened to this country," he said. But bounties, he added, "might bring people back (to hunting again). I hope so."

Have you heard the story of the nutria? (Some some more general information.)

originally posted by zagg

True Jellyvision employee stories?

Everything else happened suddenly too, so suddenly that I never knew Thursday would be my last shift. I thought I’d get one final shift in there Monday or Tuesday to say my goodbyes, and even dropped a note asking for one, but Gary just went ahead and took me off the schedule. It makes sense, I guess — this way I don’t spill over into another payroll week, but still. I dropped by Saturday to find out when I’d be working my last shift and instead turned in my hard-won key. I spent a little time reassuring a pissed-off Casey that I’d never meant to just split without telling anyone, and then it was time to go. I’d always visualized a sort of Dorothy-leaving-Oz moment, but it was the shift change and they were busy and a new clerk had already sprung up to take my place. So we said so long and that was it.

Ali Davis quit her porn clerk gig.

originally posted by zagg

December 3, 2002

good luck!

What's wrong with Ronald McDonald? Ronald lies to children. (I hit the Jackpot.)

just in time for christmas

Take Robert Christgau's consumer guide for a spin -- 12 random A--ranked or better albums each time you click.

pride cometh

Today’s cheerleaders for unilateral methods have convinced themselves that the more our power grows, the less we have need of others, and hence the more we can consult a purely national standard. As the architects of the postwar order understood, however, the reverse is true. The more powerful the state, the more important that it submit to widely held norms and consensual methods. The more it overawes the remainder of the system, the more vital it is that restraints are laid upon that power, either by itself or by others. It is to the enduring fame of that generation of American statesmen that they imbibed that lesson, as it was the genius of the postwar system to have instantiated it.
Toward Universal Empire: The Dangerous Quest for Absolute Security by David C. Hendrickson.

spoof dow site

Did you know?

Dow is responsible for the birth of the modern environmental movement. In 1969, 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.
Dow-chemical, an excellent site, not really brought to you from the people at Dow, the company who now own Union Cardbide, whose pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, sprang a leak in 1984, killing est. 5,000 then and up to 15,000 since. The Responsible Care: Aiming for Zero Responsibility page, as well as all the others, is genius.

Pop Culture Junk Mail (Dec.

Pop Culture Junk Mail (Dec. 1) sez:

If you enjoyed the film, you've got to watch the DVD with the commentary turned on. Not only are director Chris Smith and producer Sarah Price on the commentary, but Mark and his familiar buddy, the perennially out-of-it Mike Schank, comment right along with them. Mark and Mike are just as goofy as they were in the first go-round, and really, watching the commentary is like getting a whole new "American Movie" sequel.

only under hip hop supervision

Users are not actually moving the CD against the laser; rather, using a touch-sensitive "jog dial" that imitates the spinning platter of a turntable, they are "scratching" a copy of the song stored in the machine's memory.

D.J.'s can come to a club armed with beats and songs they put together hours or even minutes before. "I used to have to get samples and new beats cut onto a temporary acetate, which costs $50, doesn't sound very good or last very long," said DJ Swamp. "Now I just burn the music onto a CD. My laptop burns CD's internally, so I can be backstage putting stuff together right before I go onstage."

Cut Chemist of Jurassic 5 takes the process even further; at recent shows he has ventured into the crowd to record audience members talking, quickly burned a CD onstage and then immediately scratched up the vocals using the CDJ-1000. "It's something that you could never do with vinyl or a traditional turntable," Cut Chemist said. "And the audience just freaks out when they hear it."
The New York Times: Scratching Without Vinyl: A Hip-Hop Revolution.

we were there, for a minute

David Rees of mnftiu spoke to a crowded house at the doomed Midnight Special bookstore last night, along with cartoon bad boys Robbie Conal and Lalo Alcaraz.

originally posted by xowie

December 2, 2002

best of NPR

    A few NPR segments I've been collecting:
  • "The pornography industry has been a key driver in the development of new technology -- technology that eventually finds its way into widespread use." (Listen)
  • dan savage on skipping towards gomorrah (Listen)
  • skinwalkers on PBS' Mystery (Listen)
  • covert marketing (Listen)
  • 'clean flicks' (Listen)
  • 'skinny water': the most scathing outrageous joke about of consumerism my feverish imagination could muster, come to life (Listen)
  • santa cruz pot giveaway (Listen)
  • florida 'terror event' (Listen)
  • vocal sampling (Listen)
  • bill frisell on his old-timey album (Listen)
  • turqouise (Listen)
  • anti-matter (Listen)
  • movie falls (Listen)
  • Present at the Creation: Thoreau's Walden (have you read Walden?) (Listen)
  • ATC feature on RV travel (HTML)
  • Life as a Blackman board game segment details
  • remodeling plans at mosque (Listen)
  • teen horror films and the indictment of the family (Listen)
  • beth orton profile (Listen)
  • hybrid cars (Listen)
  • "minority" enrollment at highest levels ever in FL state colleges (Listen)
  • uncle tom (Listen)
  • Present at the Creation: the surfboard (Listen)
  • explaining punk music to my 11-year old son (Listen)
  • the theremin (Listen)
  • reading up on Islam (Listen)
  • braving the badwater ultramarathon (Listen)
  • "During his visit to Mexico, the pope will canonize the country's most well-known early Christian Indian, Juan Diego. The church's altering of a traditional painting of Juan Diego from dark-skinned to pale has angered Indian communities in Mexico." (Listen)
  • a miner speaks (Listen)
  • Dirty Work: cleaning oil tanks in 100-degree heat (Listen)
  • Russell Simmons joins Urban League board of trustees (Listen)
  • 'Ozzy' (Listen)
  • 'Maryam' 'a movie about a first-generation Iranian teenage girl.' (Listen)
  • 50th anniversary of Chesapeake Bay Bridge (Listen)
  • Present at the Creation: 'Animal House' (Listen)
  • iced tea (Listen)
  • summer songs (Listen)
  • wilco (Listen)

repaint, right over the manure

Visitors to the exhibit will be encouraged to make their own cow poetry by taking a tiny cardboard cow, writing a word on it and setting it down on the vibrating board from an old electric football game so it can wander and interact with other cows.
This art mooooves you, via fark, dude.

originally posted by xowie


Thriftdeluxe is another crafty DIY site, this one based in London. For the record, a few other good craft sites I've found are: digs, get crafty, not martha, rebecca's domestic, and unique projects. (Now to click and see who's still active.) Full disclosure: I'm not at all crafty and haven't tried any of these projects. I do generally try to keep a dying plant nearby to remind me what color my thumb is not.


The good folks at Eatonweb might want to tweak their portal a bit; it's less than accurate to suggest that the Aryan Revolutionary Digest is a weblog similar to randomWalks.

hoping to find artifacts lovingly called "potty nuggets" and "potty treasures"

Syracuse New Times: The Plunder Down Under.

Tall and narrow, usually built for one and typically made of wood, most had flat roofs. Some had angled roofs and classy models had gables. A half-moon was traditionally cut into the door so no one mistook it for the wood shed, chicken coop or pigsty. Odiferous, dark and drafty, outhouses didn't make good reading rooms, especially in winter.

Unlike current toilets, yesterday's commodes weren't simply the final resting place of their owner's intestinal products. They made convenient dumping grounds for small imperishables that couldn't be burned; and even served as vaults for storing small valuables like cash and unmentionables: grandma's whiskey, dad's porno, the kid's tobacco. Since it was considered unwise and in bad taste to discuss "potty deposits," the owner was usually the only one who knew about the stuff and it was sometimes left in the hole when illness or senility claimed him, or if he had to get out of town in a hurry. Today, these spoils are like juicy wild fruit, available to everyone, just for the picking.

Standing alone against the elements isn't easy and an abandoned thunder house -- not exactly a farmer's pride and joy -- didn't last long. In fact, about all that remains of the majority of these uniquely American temples to the human appetite is the wood cut to create the holes in the benches. Allowed to fall to the bottom of the pit, the "holes" were quickly buried, especially if the family was big. Some of the slabs have survived and when unearthed, are rare, prized trophies by diggers who varnish them, attach plaques bearing the date and time of the find, and hang them on their living-room walls.

and now you're even older

Most students entering college this fall were born in 1984. The Beloit College "Mindset List" has fast become a benchmark forwarded by scattershot email from those for whom feeling old still has some novelty. It's refreshing to see that I (b. 1975) have got something in common with these kids, though: (18.) They have no recollection of Connie Chung or Geraldo Rivera as serious journalists.

If some country was going to bomb the U.S. because they thought that at some time we might bomb them, we'd say that's a war crime. - Ben Cohen

The extraordinary array of groups questioning the Bush administration's rationale for an invasion of Iraq includes longtime radical groups such as the Workers World Party, but also groups not known for taking stands against the government. There is a labor movement against war, led by organizers of the largest unions in the country; a religious movement against the war, which includes leaders of virtually every mainstream denomination; a veterans movement against the war, led by those who fought Iraq in the Persian Gulf a decade ago; business leaders against the war, led by corporate leaders; an antiwar movement led by relatives of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks; and immigrant groups against the war.

There are also black and Latino organizations, hundreds of campus antiwar groups and scores of groups of ordinary citizens meeting in community centers and church basements from Baltimore to Seattle.
Antiwar Effort Gains Momentum. December 10th is the next major day of action for peace.

December 1, 2002

the ghost of World AIDS Day yet to come

The U.S. Central Intelligence agency reckons that in a mere seven years, by 2010, India will have the most HIV victims in the world -- somewhere between 20 and 25 million. China, it says, will have between 10 and 20 million.

i'm tested, are you?

The National AIDS Memorial Grove covers approximately 7.5 acres in the eastern end of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

originally posted by daiichi