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February 28, 2003

flag pin

I put this on as a modest riposte to men with flags in their lapels who shoot missiles from the safety of Washington think tanks, or argue that sacrifice is good as long as they don't have to make it, or approve of bribing governments to join the coalition of the willing (after they first stash the cash.) I put it on to remind myself that not every patriot thinks we should do to the people of Baghdad what Bin Laden did to us. The flag belongs to the country, not to the government. And it reminds me that it's not un-American to think that war — except in self-defense — is a failure of moral imagination, political nerve, and diplomacy.
Bill Moyers on Patriotism and the American Flag.

originally posted by xowie

things-to-do list

Guy Dauncey's 101 Ways to Stop the War in Iraq.

originally posted by xowie

moratorium to stop the war

If you had known about Hiroshima in advance, what would you have done to stop it? Today’s war-makers are telling us what they plan to do, including the possible use of nuclear weapons. This war will visit unspeakable terror and suffering on the people of Iraq, in the name of ‘liberating’ them. It will put people all over the planet at risk, in the name of protecting them. It will, no doubt, be accompanied by even more severe repression within the U.S. against immigrants and against resisters.
Moratorium to Stop the War - March 5, 2003.

originally posted by xowie

weapons of mass distraction

Follow me here has posted an excellent article by Lawrence Mosqueda on A Duty to Disobey All Unlawful Orders.
Among other things, the article includes a key section talking about the so-called Bush Doctrine which points out that despite many references to terrorism and 9/11, the document holds an eerie similarity to a position paper published in September 2000 by a conservative think tank. Its main theses:
"At present the United States faces no global rival. America's grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible."
Part of the challenge for the antiwar movement is being clear that a war on Iraq is not about weapons of mass destruction and that the whole debate around inspections is a distraction from the real U.S. aims. This about reviving imperialism and we have to oppose the war on those grounds.

originally posted by zagg

i love peckham

I Love Peckham, committing reckless acts of wanton improvement in South London.

peace studies

There has been a lot of talk within the United States about the possibility of developing new types of nuclear weapons, even to the extent of considering a new round of nuclear tests, but this is the first clear sign that such talk may be translated into action. Moreover, it fits in with the Bush doctrine of pre-emption which itself is not much more than an extension of hidden aspects of cold war doctrine.
Yikes. Paul Rogers on the possible use of nuclear weapons against Iraq. Paul Rogers taught me at on my BA and is a very nice man with a very deep voice which makes everything he says doubly scary.


Here are two things I'd post more on if I had time: Fespaco 2003, this year held in Burkina Faso, Africa's largest film festival. How come this doesn't get more coverage? How will we know how many awards LOTR got? What will Gwyneth Paltrow be wearing? And also this: Only half of the RAF jets due to move to the Gulf have yet reached their destination or even leave British bases, because 'Middle Eastern countries have refused to allow them to fly over'. This is not getting the coverage it needs. The war effort is f*!@ked if neighbouring states (which ones?) won't let you use their airspace to bomb Iraq.

February 27, 2003

a worm eating at the innards of its complacency

There is a basic weakness in governments, however massive their armies, however wealthy they are, however they control the information given to the public, because their power depends on the obedience of citizens, of soldiers, of civil servants, of journalists and writers and teachers and artists. When these people begin to suspect they have been deceived, and withdraw their support, the government loses its legitimacy, and its power.
War by Howard Zinn.

originally posted by xowie

war college

BLOOD. America’s blood supply, already at such a seriously low level that some parts of the country have less than a one-day supply, may be stretched to dangerous levels if a war in Iraq proves to be bloody. A Red Cross official explains that many American service personnel are ineligible to donate blood because they may have been exposed to Mad Cow disease while stationed in Western Europe. With a reduced pool of military donors, the Red Cross may have to ask civilians for more blood, blood they haven’t been providing over the past few months.
OCW: 67 things you might want to know before the bombs drop.

originally posted by xowie

Debates in the movement

They grasped that globalisation was about more than investment and trade, that it was also about military competition and geopolitical domination. They have discovered, or rediscovered that, as Arundhati Roy put it at Porto Alegre, the real name of ‘Corporate Globalisation’ is ‘Imperialism’.
Some commentary from Alex Callinicos on debates within the European antiwar movement. Also, activists in New York send an open letter on movement building and race.

originally posted by zagg

I always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you

This American Life, May 11, 2001:
Act One. Mr. Rothbart's Neighborhood. When he was just a kid, Davy Rothbart and his family visited the most famous neighbor in America -- Mr. Rogers -- at his summer cottage on Nantucket. Two decades later, as an adult, Davy went back for another visit with Mr. Rogers. This time he brought stories from his own neighborhood, stories of neighborly conflict and distrust -- to see what kind of advice Mr. Rogers could give him. (20 minutes)

February 26, 2003

I guess they noticed

NY Times coverage of today's virtual march on Washington.

originally posted by zagg

Policing the rally

Cheryl Mantia, 23, a senior at NYU, was arrested for stepping into the street when the sidewalk could not hold the flow of demonstrators, and was held until 7 a.m. on Sunday. She was frightened by the whole ordeal, but most disturbed, she says, by an officer who called her a "cunt." When she objected—"Hey, I have rights, you know," she said—he replied, "Yeah, the right to suck my dick."
Alisa Solomon's Busted for peace from this week's Village Voice.

originally posted by zagg

my new favorite player

"A lot of people blindly stand up and salute the flag, but I feel that blindly facing the flag hurts more people. There are a lot of inequities in this country, and these are issues that needed to be acknowledged. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and our priorities are elsewhere."
Player's protest over the flag divides fans

originally posted by zagg

February 25, 2003

adolf wolfli

Morgenthaler supplied his patient with colored pencils, quizzed him about his life and his drawings and made sure his work was preserved.

The doctor's attentions had a profound effect. Wölfli's pictures blossomed into color and he embarked on a multivolume autobiography chronicling in story, poetry, song and endless columns of numbers his fantastical adventures and his apotheosis into an all-encompassing god (the "St. Adolf-Giant-Creation" of the show's title). His project eventually yielded more than 45 large volumes of newsprint sheets and scrap paper that Wölfli illustrated with his own drawings and with pictures cut out of magazines and then stitched together.

A new exhibit of Adolf Wolfli's art combines his "bread art" with the work he created for his own pleasure.

back on top?

It was almost always there if you looked hard enough, usually in a cubbyhole of the water-bed headboards of the day: a 7-by-10-inch paperback, with a plain yellow or white cover, red lettering, and inside, everything you didn't want to know about sex, everything you wouldn't even dream of asking. So long, childhood mystery; hello, Mr. and Mrs. Fleetwood Macrame Neanderthal.
There's a new edition of The Joy of Sex. I remember discovering it on the shelf in a friend's basement ca. 1985. His parents were Catholics, but didn't mind discussing flavored body creams at the dinner table. I wasn't Catholic, and did mind.

iraq is the excuse

My long experience with human nature - I'm 80 years old now - suggests that it is possible that fascism, not democracy, is the natural state. Indeed, democracy is the special condition - a condition we will be called upon to defend in the coming years. That will be enormously difficult because the combination of the corporation, the military and the complete investiture of the flag with mass spectator sports has set up a pre-fascistic atmosphere in America already.
Norman Mailer, Gaining an empire, losing democracy?

originally posted by xowie

helix @ 50

NYT has gone bonkers over the 50th anniversary of DNA:

originally posted by xowie

wars for "democracy."

People remember Tony Blair's pronouncement that the world "will not walk away from Afghanistan, as it has done so many times before". But Afghans have also listened with astonishment as Americans portray their country's experience since the overthrow of the Taliban as a "success".
Living in poverty and fear of abandonment, the barely functioning state that trusted its saviours.

originally posted by zagg

dxing baghdad

DXing.info: Monitoring Iraq: War of the Airwaves. (For the shortwave radio fetishists among us.)

originally posted by xowie

slip sliding away

Anyone see a pattern here? (kudos to pollkatz)

originally posted by zagg

poetry for peace

"For evidence, I
submit the fact that we're not
yet at war."

via fojo

pencil carving

February 24, 2003

when he tastes a pear, it's like a hundred pears

If you go around telling people to change their diets, they tend not to do it. Maybe the reason is simply that a better diet tastes terrible to them.
Being a supertaster may not be as cool as "John Lee Supertaster" makes it out to be.

we must execute them anyway

A prosecutor was trying to block a death row inmate from having his conviction reopened on the basis of new evidence, and Judge Stith, of the Missouri Supreme Court, was getting exasperated. "Are you suggesting," she asked the prosecutor, that "even if we find Mr. Amrine is actually innocent, he should be executed?"

Frank A. Jung, an assistant state attorney general, replied, "That's correct, your honor."
NYT: Prosecutors See Limits to Doubt in Capital Cases. [mefi]

originally posted by xowie

see america first

A camera crew and I followed Hollywood legend Ernest Borgnine at the wheel of his beloved 40-foot luxury bus The Sunbum as he barrels across the Midwest. Yep, he actually drives it! A special thank you to my brother Michael who drove the crew RV.
Ernest Borgnine on the Bus (1997).

originally posted by xowie

February 23, 2003

never forget

Hammer's treachery by Anil Dash.

grundig radio

I would like to own a radio that doesn't need batteries.

kucinich pivots choice

"Congressman Kucinich has been at work thinking about a lot of these issues, and his votes reflect a thoughtful journey," said NARAL President Kate Michelman. "I do accept, and I do welcome, that he believes the right to choose is fundamental."
SFGate: Ohio presidential hopeful pivots over to pro-choice camp.

originally posted by xowie


Reworked State of Union address at smokehammer.com, AKA Chris Morris.

February 22, 2003

mt tricks

randomWalks archives for Dec., Jan., Feb.
rW posts about music, books, peace, prison, marijuana.

originally posted by xowie

vegan clothing

Old Navy has vegan belts on sale for $9.50.

snarkout on absinthe

'In the green hour'

February 21, 2003

they treat the ill as criminals

Think of the number of police officers, judges, lawyers and prison guards — not to mention prison construction firms and other providers of basic prison services — who are employed through marijuana's criminalization. It is apparent by any measure that the marijuana laws are more harmful to society and to the individual than the behavior they are attempting to regulate.
A marijuana crusader defends his healing mission, by Ed Rosenthal.

originally posted by xowie

aaron mcgruder

You can't put Ralph Nader on television and expect people to vote for him. This is America. People don't like smart, nerdy guys. You don't run Ralph Nader. You run a real good-looking guy and Ralph Nader tells him what to say.
Aaron McGruder on the university circuit. Man, I wish he (or Vonnegut) had been my graduation speaker. Instead we got the head of IBM or Coke or some bullshit.

damn hippies

Tough numbers to deny, nonetheless. Over 600 cities across the globe, all staging major anti-war rallies against America's aggro attitude and insipid war posture, millions and millions of people -- teachers and salespeople and politicians and doctors and students and workers, every creed and gender and age group and nationality and hairstyle -- and yet Geedubya simply equates them all with some sort of negligible "focus group." And he said he doesn't base his policy decisions on focus groups, of course, because naturally he uses Barbie's Super Magic 8 Ball and old secret codes from his Vietnam draft-dodging days intermixed with his father's late-night gin-soaked advice and a cassette of Dick Cheney whispering demon-conjuring incantations in Latin.
Bush Gives You The Finger by Mark Morford.

originally posted by daiichi

February 20, 2003


How many is too many?

the director who tilts at studios

Terry was the person who said, 'Look, screw ethics. Just shoot. Tell the story. Document what's going on.' His justification was: 'Your film might be the only record of 150 people's hard work. And if I'm not going to make a film out of this, you guys better get one.'
Director Terry Gilliam discusses a new movie chronicling one of his moviemaking failures.

labor against war

Leaders of more than 400 labor organizations, representing 4.5 million union members, have signed on to a tough resolution condemning the Bush administration's push toward war. The statement is an expression of the deepest mistrust about the administration's central claims.

Tom Robbins gives one account of labor's mobilization against war in Iraq.
In New York, labor leaders are urging City Council to pass an antiwar resolution.
And a grassroots organization called U.S. Labor Against War was formed. That group marched in Washington and New York and yesterday announced that more than 200 unions and 550 union leaders from 53 countries representing 130 million workers have signed the International Labor Declaration against war.

originally posted by zagg

sex at the sun

I dig the Cornell Daily Sun. E.B White and Kurt Vonnegut worked there once. Jessica Saunders and Kate McDowell work there now.

originally posted by xowie

west coast massive

Here in Hollywood I climbed a light pole to hang the cumbersome sign I was carrying ("Let the Inspections Work") and saw before me an endless valley of signs, bobbing like square-headed daisies and extending as far ahead as I could see. (There were a few undercover cops, too, but nobody stopped me.) For the first time I thought, as maybe civil rights workers did in '63 and AIDS activists did in '93: This mass of humans, this noise, this exuberance — maybe all of this will register in Washington. Maybe.
LA Weekly: A Day for Peace.

originally posted by daiichi

spamming for peace

On February 26th, you can join a massive march on Washington without leaving your living room. The Virtual March on Washington is a first-of-its-kind campaign from the Win Without War coalition.
Virtual March on Washington Headquarters.

originally posted by daiichi

clubs for l.a. cowboys

I know Kris and Rita and Marty Mull
Are meeting at the Troubadour
We'll get it on with the "Joy Of Cooking"
While the crowd calls out for more

- Peter Rowan, 1973

LA Times on the rejuvenation of the Roxy, Troubadour and Whisky. Also, NYT on the Malibu scene. Howzat blizzard, boys?

originally posted by xowie

February 19, 2003

font samples

This one's a keeper: Browser News: Resources > Fonts features samples of just about every font it's safe to assume a Mac and/or Windows user will have installed -- with the necessary caveat that "fonts will not be depicted properly if they are not installed or if your browser's CSS support is poor."

weblog kitchen

"The Weblog Kitchen explores current research in weblogs, wikis, and other hypertext systems."

speaking of getting ready

The more Americans start talking with each other about where our country is headed the better. But these conversations need to be genuinely helpful, not exercises in mutual misunderstanding. And since they are most likely to occur without much prior arrangement, you need to get ready.
Susan Strong, Mainstreaming Our Conversations On War.

for better or for worse: end is in sight

Michael and Elizabeth have grown to young adulthood; Michael is married and a father. Elly's mother has died, as have two of the family pets, most recently April's rabbit, Mr. B. Each time "FBFW" has dealt with such a grim subject, Johnston has gotten pointed reminders from readers that this is supposed to be a comic strip. ("Do you know what comic means?" one asked.) But she also gets letters of appreciation and gratitude.

The rabbit's passing elicited a "huge" response, she said, much of it for the discussion Elly and April had as April held the dying Mr. B. Elly told her that life is a miracle, as is death, but death is a "sad miracle." Readers told Johnston that they've used those words to talk to a child about, for example, a grandparent's death.

"It's marvelous that readers use these things in their lives," she said.

For Better or For Worse is one of the few comic strips I've read as long as I've turned to the comics pages, but it looks like that will end in four years. Why couldn't Beetle Bailey take the hit? (Via Obscure Store.)

protests around the world

1, 2, 3.

originally posted by daiichi

holly protest toonie

Faces in the Crowd by Carol Lay.

originally posted by xowie

playing with time

"Playing With Time takes visitors on a journey to the unseen world of natural change and shows events that happen too fast or too slow for humans to perceive." At the website of the current exhibition at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, you can watch an eye blinking (5/10ths of a second), the tide going in and out at Cape Cod (14 hours) and the formation of the continental plates (240 million years).

gulf war 2 (AKA world war 2.5)

Grim entertainment: Gulf War 2.

February 18, 2003

heaven forbid we remember there are people over there

Two peace activists were arrested for posting photos of Iraqis in NYC on February 13; they were charged with criminal misdemeanors and told by police "how mace was going to be used on all the protesters" and that "they had heard suicide bombers might attack the rally" on the 15th, presumably to keep them home that day.

Make sure and see those photos online at Baghdad Snapshot Action and see if the smiles on their faces don't make you think of your friends and family.

"C students from Yale"

When it became obvious what a dumb and cruel and spiritually and financially and militarily ruinous mistake our war in Vietnam was, every artist worth a damn in this country, every serious writer, painter, stand-up comedian, musician, actor and actress, you name it, came out against the thing. We formed what might be described as a laser beam of protest, with everybody aimed in the same direction, focused and intense. This weapon proved to have the power of a banana-cream pie three feet in diameter when dropped from a stepladder five-feet high.

And so it is with anti-war protests in the present day. Then as now, TV did not like anti-war protesters, nor any other sort of protesters, unless they rioted. Now, as then, on account of TV, the right of citizens to peaceably assemble, and petition their government for a redress of grievances, ‘ain’t worth a pitcher of warm spit,’ as the saying goes.

In These Times: Kurt Vonnegut vs. the !&#*!@. Which reminds me I've been looking for an excuse to post this quote which is the entirety of the afterword of the children's book of Free to Be... You and Me:
I've often thought there ought to be a manual to hand to little kids, telling them what kind of planet they're on, why they don't fall off it, how much time they've probably got here, how to avoid poison ivy, and so on. I tried to write one once. It was called Welcome to Earth. But I got stuck explaining why we don't fall off the planet. Gravity is just a word. It doesn't explain anything. If I could get past gravity, I'd tell them how we reproduce, how long we've been here, apparently, and a little bit about evolution. And one thing I would really like to tell them about is cultural relativity. I didn't learn until I was in college about all the other cultures, and I should have learned that in the first grade. A first grader should understand that his or her culture isn't a rational invention; that there are thousands of other cultures and they all work pretty well; that all cultures function on faith rather than truth; that there are lots of alternatives to our own society. Cultural relativity is defensible and attractive. It's also a source of hope. It means we don't have to conitnue this way if we don't like it.

how can they sleep at night?

D.C. police released a startling surveillance tape yesterday that shows a daylight killing at a Northeast Washington gas station and witnesses doing nothing to report the crime or tend to the victim as he lay bleeding on the concrete.

Washington Post: As Man Lay Dying, Witnesses Turned Away

Rest in peace, Allen E. Price. He was someone's son, someone's friend, maybe even someone's father. Could he have been you?

8 millimeter amateur film of marilyn monroe discovered

For several months he staked out the Gladstone Hotel on East 52nd Street, where she was recovering from her divorce from Joe DiMaggio and her summary dismissal from her contract at 20th Century Fox. On one of those truant mornings, Mr. Mangone took an eight-millimeter Kodak camera from his brother, headed downtown and met Monroe just as she was leaving the hotel for a therapeutic shopping spree. Then, just as in the movies, she waved, winked and asked him to come along.
NYT: A Boy's Film of a Day With Marilyn Monroe.

originally posted by xowie

February 17, 2003

richard rodriguez

I grew up wanting to be white. That is, to the extent of wanting to be colorless and to feel complete freedom of movement. The other night at a neighborhood restaurant the waiter, after mentioning he had read my books, said about himself, 'I'm white, I'm nothing.' But that was what I wanted, you see, growing up in America -- the freedom of being nothing, the confidence of it, the arrogance of it. And I achieved it.
I've never read any Richard Rodriguez, but he's moved up my list.

friend or foe?

Paul was really good at these super-minimalist lyrics. 'Why don't we do it in the road?' 'You say it's your birthday. It's my birthday, too.' I like that, and I did it a bit with the Pixies. We did a song called 'There Goes My Gun,' which was just 'There goes my gun, there goes my gun.' Like Woody Guthrie, 'Why oh why oh why.' It's good. It's tough.

Frank Black (who will always be Black Francis in my heart) runs through ten favorite songs.

the latest on DWB

Evidence continues to mount that driving while black and male still attracts the attention of police officers -- even as evidence continues to pile up that young black men are no more likely than young white men to be doing bad stuff on the road.

Dennis wants to be president.

Congressman Kucinich is one of the few vegans in Congress, a dietary decision he credits not only with improving his health, but in deepening his belief in the sacredness of all species.

That's all I need. He's got my vote

originally posted by judlew

Educating for Peace

"Education must include our giving students both freedom to acknowledge their violence and genuine opportunities to transcend it." -Debra Weistar, director our Outdoor Education at EnCompass Learning Center in Nevada City, CA.

A page of resources for educating for peace.

(crossposted to The Radical Homeschool Blog)

February 16, 2003

children of the outposts

The founder of Maon Farm, Yehoshefat Tor, says he still thinks the bombing was a good idea. "The Torah says we should kill all the Arabs," he told me. "Not just Arabs who maybe help terrorists. Everybody." His neighbor at Maon Farm, David Ben Zvi, a 27-year-old shepherd who lives with his wife and children in a blue-and-white city bus, tells me that he would like to see a "Jewish Taliban" that would run the country according to the Torah. "This is my land, but it is not my nation," he says.
The Unsettlers by Samantha M. Shapiro (via MeFi).

originally posted by daiichi


Google buys Blogger; randomwalks moves to Movable Type. Coincidence? Well, yeah.

girls with good nails and really nice bags against the war

Half a mile away, round the corner in Piccadilly, the ground shook. An ocean, a perfect storm of people. Banners, a bobbing cherry-blossom of banners, covered every inch back to the Circus - and for miles beyond, south to the river, north to Euston [...] I called a friend at two o'clock, who was still making her ponderous way along the Embankment - 'It's not a march yet, more of record shuffle' - and she expressed delight at her first protest. 'You wouldn't believe it; there are girls here with good nails and really nice bags .'
1.5 - 2 million people march in London. It took my family six hours to get from Waterloo Bridge to Hyde Park (about two miles? i dunno), the mobile phone network collapsed, and when I waved at Red Ken in a cafe he waved back. Pix of London here and here, complete with wandering apostrophes.

February 15, 2003

haiku for f15

Massive marches in
every city, in every
country on the globe
More at dayku.

originally posted by xowie

the whole world is watching

We call upon the Spirit of the Founders to guide us as we create a new world where all may live in peace.
Remarks of Rep. Dennis Kucinich at Feb. 15 peace march in New York City.

originally posted by daiichi

we have talked our extinction to death

The case against the war by Jonathan Schell.

originally posted by daiichi

February 14, 2003

now is the time for you to speak

And the terrorists in Washington
Are drafting all the young men

And no one speaks

And they are rousting out
All the ones with turbans
And they are flushing out
All the strange immigrants
And they are shipping all the young men
To the killing fields again

And no one speaks
Speak Out, by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

originally posted by daiichi

u r going 2 die, u stpd mthrfckr

ITS ARMAGEDDON WRE ALL FCKD DUCK & COVR U HAVE 5 MINS. Or whatever. SMS service warning of terrorist attacks for Londoners.

February 13, 2003

of guernica and vietnam

Most of the world cried out at the slaughter of the people of Guernica. Such bombings were considered highly inhumane and Picasso's painting caught much of the outrage that was shared by most civilized people... Perhaps remembering the original horror and revulsion that was felt in 1937 after the bombing of Guernica will remind us that the bombing of civilians is a hideous and immoral practice of eliminating helpless and innocent people whose only crime is living in a war zone.
Editorial, Cornell Daily Sun, April 26, 1966.

originally posted by daiichi


You must remember this,
A kiss is still . . . an osculatory apposition of the orbicularis oris and levator labii muscles with posterior involvement of the sternocleidomastoids, commonly in a dexterous orientation.
A sigh is just a sigh,
The fundamental things apply,
As Onur Güntürkün of Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, goes by . . . taking notes.

Most of us tilt our heads rightwards when kissing, says Dr. Güntürkün.

the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table

La Surrealisme, other Gallicisms and Superbad-style wanderings at kicking giants.

i love you

Happy birthday, Domina Jane Die!

originally posted by daiichi

red sheep of the family

At the Coalition on Homelessness, Tracy has another idea: "There are very acute mental illnesses that are specific to the activist scene. For one, you have a society that ridicules and marginalizes your vocation. And second, people who come in and are expecting change now or change today are in for a big disappointment. If you don't have the long view, you're going to be in a constant cycle of raising your hopes and having them beat down. It's very easy to get into the 'nothing changes' mentality."
SFBG, Looking for Hugh: The strange, sad disappearance of an activist.

originally posted by daiichi

who's the bastard?

Bastard, by M. Shahid Alam.

originally posted by daiichi

look, i'll pay more for gas!

Stop Mad Cowboy Disease.
Make Tea Not War.
War is sweet to those who haven't tasted it (Erasmus).
Some slogans for this weekend's anti-war rallies. Also, SFGate: Lifting the veil on anti-war groups.

originally posted by daiichi

did CNN or NPR cover this?

You can watch a bit of video (scroll down) at dc.indymedia and listen to a bit more of the town hall meeting on Pacifica's PeaceWatch.

February 12, 2003

alexandria, usa

The audience — mostly middle-age professionals — broke into sustained applause when the veteran said the nation was being led into war by men who had never gone to war. He thundered off half a dozen names: "George Bush, hawk, did not fulfill his National Guard duty; Dick Cheney, hawk, did not serve; Paul Wolfowitz, hawk, did not serve; Richard Perle, hawk, did not serve."
Love that town hall meeting!

originally posted by xowie

a hard sell for wool-pullers

Someone tell Bush that Oz is having a sale on brains.
The masters of war vs. a a town hall meeting of folks--"not your usual peaceniks," even.

feed me

Given the uncertainty around the permit for the big march on Saturday, if you're coming to New York, look into taking part in one of the dozens of feeder marches.

originally posted by zagg

be there

Folks, this one is truly important. Everyone out there will count in what may be our last chance to prevent the war on Iraq. And it will be a remarkable moment, a worldwide demonstration for peace, perhaps the largest worldwide protest in history.
There are demos around the world—more than 315 cities—on all continents! There’s even a demonstration scheduled outside of the McMurdo Station in Antarctica. As for New York, the buzz is, this is going to be a major amount of people. Nobody is giving out numbers except to say it will build on the success of the Jan. 18 demonstration that the Washington Post called the largest antiwar demo since the Vietnam period. The London Daily Mirror several weeks ago forecast that there will be ten million turning out worldwide for all these protests.

More on the battle for our free speech rights, this time from Alexander Cockburn.

originally posted by zagg

February 11, 2003

cookie cross-talk

gwen: do Brits also apply the term "biscuits" to the small files websites send to your computer?

I hope so.

come march

The mayor and the police chief and the attorney general may not like it, but the masses are about to take to the streets of New York.

The Village Voice on the fight around us being able to march on Saturday.

originally posted by zagg

homeland security update

Dave Barry: "We are in a Heightened State of Alert. Our official national-security status has been raised to Level IX, or 'Buttpucker.'"

left is not a word that you mention in polite company


February 10, 2003


From United For Peace and Justice:

To our great shock and outrage, Federal Judge Barbara Jones ruled this morning that the City of New York can deny United for Peace and Justice
a permit to march on February 15. Citing "heightened security concerns," she ruled that we may only hold a stationary rally, for which we have been granted a permit for First Avenue stretching north from 49th Street.

We are accepting the rally permit, and our massive demonstration to stop the Iraq war will go forward no matter what. But we are appalled by this
attack on our basic First Amendment rights, and we will continue to fight for the right to march. Our attorneys, the New York Civil Liberties Union, have
already filed an appeal, and we are asking all of our supporters to protest passionately against this attempt to stifle the growing opposition to
Bush's war.

We will provide you with more information soon on this rapidly evolving situation. For now, we encourage you to keep organizing and mobilizing
for February 15 -- we have a legal permit to rally, and we cannot and will not let the NYPD and the Bush Administration silence our cry for peace.

More than 300 cities around the globe will be holding protests this weekend against the Iraq war: Let's make New York City's protest the biggest,
most passionate anti-war gathering of them all.


1) KEEP MOBILIZING FOR FEB. 15: The NYPD wants to discourage people from coming to this protest -- we need to redouble our efforts to make
February 15 an enormous gathering for peace. Please contact Fran Geteles asap (fgeteles@igc.org or 212-663-8048) if you are organizing buses or trains.

Check out our website at United for Peace -- we've added lots of new information.

2) SPREAD THE WORD: Forward this message widely, post the assembly location on your website, tell everyone you know that the February 15 protest is indeed happening and that we have a permit to rally at 49th Street and First Avenue.

3) SPEAK OUT: The denial of our right to march sets a very dangerous precedent for free speech in this country -- we ask you to raise the
biggest ruckus you can about this attack on our rights. Some suggestions:

  • Fax a statement from your organization to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg
    insisting on our right to march on February 15. Fax#: (212) 788-2460

  • Ask sympathetic elected officials, community leaders, and/or celebrities to contact Mayor Bloomberg and demand that the City issue a march

  • Contact your local media, write letters to the editor, call in to radio talk shows, get the word out about this outrageous denial of our Constitutional rights.

  • Make phone calls of protest to these officials:

    *NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg: 212-788-9600, 212-788-3010, 212-788-3040

    *NYC Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly: 646-610-8526

    *NYPD Chief of Department Joseph Esposito: 646-610-6710

originally posted by zagg

i wake up crying

and here is the worst, to date, anti-war article: relentlessly emotive, poorly written, essentialist, simpering crap.

white trash curry kick

Like so many provincial towns in Britain, Bedford undergoes a remarkable metamorphosis on Saturday nights, transforming itself from sleepy market town into a magnet for young people who are out for excitement. The artist proposes to destabilise and question this revelry by kicking a 'take away' curry and carton from one end of the High Street to the other. The remains of both this performance, and other events in the programme, will be incorporated - as temporary exhibits - within the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery's permanent collection.
White Trash Curry Kick: one man kicks a curry carton through Bedford town centre.

amen to that

MJ: At the EFF party, you and R.U. Sirius were talking about being part of a counterculture without a name, and I was wondering if you could tell me a little more about what you meant by that.

JPB: It occurred to me recently that I'd been a member of every counterculture that had been available throughout my conscious life. I started out as a teenage beatnik and then became a hippie and then became a cyberpunk. And now I'm still a member of the counterculture, but I don't know what to call that. And I'd been inclined to think that that was a good thing, because once the counterculture in America gets a name then the media can coopt it, and the advertising industry can turn it into a marketing foil. But you know, right now I'm not sure that it is a good thing, because we don't have any flag to rally around. Without a name there may be no coherent movement.

MJ: What would be the organizing principles of this counterculture?

JPB: Well, for starters, that practically everything that this administration is doing right now is fucked. [Laughs]

MJ: I'll make sure we print that.

JPB: Of course you've got to have a more intelligent response than that, but it's hard for me to rise above it. I think the counterculture believes that there are ways to manage being the world's most powerful country that involve creation of consensus -- ruling by virtuous example rather than by force of arms. Managing the world that has fallen to us to manage in a way that it has some morality. I think that that counterculture is very concerned about the completely unchecked ability of multinational corporations to roam the planet and serve their hungers without any meaningful regulation now. That counterculture probably agrees that mass media are bad for you, particularly television. I suppose drugs are an element. And it appreciates irony -- as opposed to the administration, which clearly has an irony deficiency. [...]
Mother Jones' Tim Dickinson chats with John Perry Barlow in "Cognitive Dissident" (via Liberal Arts Mafia)

February 9, 2003

phil spector in context

"I would say I'm probably relatively insane, to an extent," he was quoted as saying. "I take medication for schizophrenia, but I wouldn't say I'm schizophrenic. But I have a bipolar personality, which is strange. I'm my own worst enemy. I have devils inside that fight me."
"Don't move the mikes," Phil would warn if we got up to take our 5-minute break which we were lucky to get. He didn't want anything to touch the "sound-waves" of that room once he had gotten balance. "DON'T MOVE THE MIKES," so we were very careful. The whole band was in the room. Some were playing chess, or throwing darts to naked ladies drawn on the walls. Phil would sometimes dress in outlandish costumes and then use his psychological tricks on us. We were ready for him.
Wrecking Crew doll Carol Kaye is the most recorded bass player in history, Hal Blaine (1, 2) the most recorded drummer.

originally posted by daiichi

February 7, 2003

the game is over, declares a ooh-tough-guy shrub

There is no real evidence. There is no smoking gun. There isn't even a smoking spit wad. There is only, basically, a smoking middle finger.
Mark Morford, Everybody loves a War Thug.

originally posted by daiichi

sundries at democracymeansyou.com

Dubya explainifies (in Texan) the war against Iraq, more USPS honest stamps, and 'The Left Needs A Rhetorical Haricut: Demonstrating is crucial, but the movement needs an upgrade in a big way (Peace 2.0?)', a contribution to the ANSWER debate (he says their outmoded rhetoric makes an easy target for Red-baiting and invalidation, thus, they are a pain in the arse), all over at DemocracyMeansYou.com.


Nedlog, another way to feel better (in my opinion), is to get together with millions and millions of friends from 66 cities (so far) worldwide and tell Bush he can take his war and go to H*ll.

originally posted by zagg


Re nedlog's perfectly-timed request for nice fluffy/sprinkly things which give us that warm glow inside (see below, can't do the html): some much-needed flattery, mmm, lovely cup of tea and a sit down and London radio station Resonance FM, described here in the Guardian and apparently, the best radio station in the whole world according to the Village Voice. Resonance FM is great. I particularly enjoy the truly revolutionary 'Calling All Pensioners'. And you can never, I repeat never, go wrong with MenWhoLookLikeKennyRogers.com. I've posted that one before and now I'm doing it again. It occurs to me that the biscuit section of NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown not only provides an in-depth glossary of British 'cookie'-related terms (ugh, that hurt), but also makes progress towards being a dossier on biscuits. It's Brit-centric though. We should put together an international dossier on stockpiles of biscuits/cookies.

'i may be wrong, but i do believe it'

Evidence of an electronic cut-and-paste operation by Whitehall officials can be found in the way the dossier preserves textual quirks from its original sources. One sentence in Dr Marashi's article includes a misplaced comma in referring to Iraq's head of military intelligence during the 1991 Gulf war. The same sentence in Downing Street's report contains the same misplaced comma.
UK war dossier a sham, say experts.

originally posted by daiichi

February 6, 2003

randomwalks supports the fairfax one

March on Melrose by Judith Lewis.

originally posted by daiichi

thank you mr. mcphee

It's OK, I found an antidote.

yet another worst case

>christ this is all so depressing. Isn't something good happening?

Well I *was* holding back on this one... 'A Sea of Fire,' or Worse? by Nicholas Kristof. (Verrry depressing.)

originally posted by daiichi

immigrating to canada

Every year, Canada welcomes thousands of new residents. Coming to Canada as an immigrant is an exciting opportunity, but also a great challenge.

If you are interested in immigrating to Canada, you have a number of options when applying for permanent residence status. Read about these programs and decide which class suits you and your family best.

this is the cry of the spoiled bourgeois

christ this is all so depressing.
Isn't something good happening? Somewhere?
I'm not saying we're blogging the wrong stuff -- of course we aren't -- but jesus, all this stuff in the news is wearing me down.
let's make a weblog about cookies with sprinkles on them.
or a weblog with sprinkles on it.
or a weblog in cookie form.

on our backs

Q: How do the nation's elite pay for a $200 billion war and tax cuts for themselves while the economy is in recession?

A: The rest of us get the snot kicked out of us.

Personally, my favorite lie about how things are getting better is how we're going through a "jobless recovery." Thanks dudes. That helps a lot. Incidentally, we're in the worst hiring slump in 20 years.

originally posted by zagg

When Ashcroft attacks

Just a few weeks removed from a victory against the death penalty in Illinois, the right strikes back, with resident lunatic John Ashcroft pushing for more executions in Connecticut and New York.

originally posted by zagg

smoke and mirrors

Phyllis Bennis (who is one of the confirmed speakers for the Feb. 15 United for Peace and Justice demonstration in New York pokes some holes in Powell's case. Robert Fisk does too.

originally posted by zagg

rice for peace

Rice for Peace: If we are going to send something to Iraq it should be food, not bombs.

February 5, 2003

no apologies

She needed the rewrite by Wednesday. I told her that I’d do my best but that my lover, Walta, was having brain surgery on Tuesday. A shunt was being placed in his cranium to drain fluid that was building up because of an AIDS-related infection. Sarah listened to me. When I was finished, she paused and said, "Well, that excuse might work in Boston, but it won’t fly here in New York."
BP: Remembering lesbian journalist Sarah Pettit.

originally posted by daiichi

powell without picasso

"How could anybody think for a moment
that I could be in agreement with reaction and death?"
Pablo Picasso

originally posted by daiichi

a million deaths is just a statistic

Iraqis and Americans who, doctors say, might die in the next war: 48,000 to 260,000
Additional deaths expected from the civil war within Iraq following an invasion: 20,000
Additional deaths expected from "post-war adverse health effects": 200,000
Total deaths if nuclear weapons are used: 3,900,000

VV: Blood, Stats, and Tears. Also, Dying for War by Alisa Solomon.

originally posted by daiichi

usps gulf war stamps

The first of the series, the ‘Malformed Iraqi Baby’ stamp, will celebrate the glorious success of the first Gulf War and is scheduled to be released in April 2003. It will eventually be flanked by three more commemorative postage units: ‘Burning Oil Fields,’ ‘Terrorism at Home,’ and ‘Hatred for America.’
Heh heh. Check out the US Postal Service's new line of stamps over at the Wacky Iraqi.


Top investigators of the Columbia space shuttle disaster are analyzing a startling photograph -- snapped by an amateur astronomer from a San Francisco hillside -- that appears to show a purplish electrical bolt striking the craft as it streaked across the California sky.

San Francisco man's astounding photo.

originally posted by zagg

February 4, 2003

the fumes they lay low

From London Slang:

geezer - a very common term for a man. There are many disproved origins of the word. Used respectfully and for a person of unknown name, i.e.. "some geezer" or to say that someone is a bit of a laddish rogue "he's a bit of a geezer". Also 'dodgy geezer' can be used to describe a man of bad character.

I wish someone would tell me these things. Now the Pavement line "I needed a visa/I bought off a geez-uh" makes much more sense.

is "class warfare" a dirty word?

Percentage tax paid by income groups.

originally posted by zagg

February 3, 2003

mebbe they'd dig dayku

Spurned by the White House, antiwar poets are kicking ass.

say it right, dumbass

Why does Bush pronounce it "nuc-yoo-ler"? (fark)

originally posted by daiichi

John Perry Barlow interview

JPB: I'm discouraged with the role of the Internet in the antiwar movement. Because so far what I see happening is that cyberspace is a great place for everybody to declaim. There are a million virtual streetcorners with a million lonely pamphleteers on them, all of them decrying the war and not actually coming together in any organized fashion to oppose it. It strikes me that existing political institutions -- whether it's the administration or Congress or large corporations -- only respond to other institutions. I don't care how many individuals you have marching in the streets, they're not going to pay attention until there's a leader for those individuals who can come forward and say I represent the organization of those individuals and we're going to amass the necessary money and votes to kick you the hell out of office. Then they pay attention. But not until. And so right at the moment it would strike me that the Internet is counterproductive to peace.

MJ: I'm rather shocked to hear you say that.

JPB: Well, I'm rather shocked to say it.

MJ: Is it that people just leave their anger online?

JPB: You vent online and then you dust your hands off in satisfaction and that's the last you do.

MotherJones.com interview with John Perry Barlow. Alternately, perhaps he just doesn't know what he's talking about.

abolish the racist death penalty

How we won in Illinois. And statements from the exonerated.

originally posted by zagg

3,000 bombs in 48 hours

So was it Iraq that was the country threatening to drop 3,000 bombs in 48 hours? Oh no. Wait. That was the U.S.

originally posted by zagg

February 2, 2003

the undying cry of the void

          Let her now take off her hat in summer air the contour
Of cornfields     and have enough time to kick off her one remaining
Shoe with the toes     of the other foot     to unhook her stockings
With calm fingers, noting how fatally easy it is to undress in midair
Near death     when the body will assume without effort any position
Except the one that will sustain it
Falling by James Dickey.

originally posted by daiichi

vital signs

Think Outside the Bomb
It's NUCLEAR, not NUCULAR, you idiot!
Anything War can do, Peace can do better.
1 & 2.

originally posted by daiichi

someone set us up the bomb

After the shock of losing wears off and an unmitigated free-for-all ensues, the Triads go back to talking their usual shit. There's an explosion and a Triad shouts, "Suck it!" Another player laments his own death: "Damn, dude! Fuck, I had, like, no life left! How'd you not die?" His opponent curses back. "Fuck you! Owned!"
Baang! You're Dead.

originally posted by daiichi

mp3s are lessening the decline of the music business, not creating it

The RIAA has staked out an untenable position that is as unrealistic as it is anti-consumer and anti-artist... Their solutions are not good solutions. They cling unsuccessfully to the past rather than embrace the stunning opportunities offered by the future. They will be unsuccessful in their attempts to criminalize the society, and in their attempts to stretch the drum head of old laws onto the drum of new technology. It is one thing to be unsuccessful, it's one thing to argue a bad position, but it's quite another to be silly and laughed at, and that's where the RIAA has ended up. They appear to be totally irrelevant except as bagmen.
Music exec John Snyder, Embrace file-sharing, or die.

originally posted by daiichi

keystone cops-style coup d?etat

"I don't want to belong to a country that attacks little countries."
Kurt Vonnegut vs. the !&#*!@; Vonnegut at 80.

originally posted by daiichi

in less than one year the rss distributed one million trishuls

The Other Face of Fanaticism by Pankaj Mishra.

originally posted by daiichi

excelsior, you fathead!

Jean Shepherd on mp3; also Greenwich Village, Jean Shepherd & the Web Today by Lorraine McConaghy.

originally posted by daiichi

kathy acker; wrote novels about sex and violence

The rebel speaks for herself, by Ben Ehrenreich. (cf.)

originally posted by daiichi

mj gallimaufry

"It isn't about being drug free," Cowan argues. "It's about being free."
LAT, The Drug War Refugees.

Fair? Fair's got nothing to do with it.

originally posted by daiichi

blazing dippies

Take a Newport and dip it into the bottle of Juice and smoke it down. I would be on a Dust cloud floating over Queens. I was in a trance thinking about the fuzzy feeling that surrounds your brain, and then your whole body. I loved the way Juice made me feel like an animal that has just been released from a zoo. How all inhibitions left and I felt wild.
A dusty night by J.R. Donovan.

originally posted by daiichi