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  • 1/23/2007

    Weird South Florida just keeps getting weirder...

    This was on the front page of the Palm Beach Post today...

    Mummified baby found in suitcases

    Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

    Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    DELRAY BEACH — A woman cleaning out her deceased parents' storage unit discovered a partially mummified baby - possibly born in the 1950s - inside a suitcase, police said.

    The baby was wrapped in 1950s-era newspapers and placed inside the suitcase, which in turn had been packed into a larger suitcase and stored inside the unit at Security Self Storage, 189 Linton Blvd., police said.

    The medical examiner's office declared the remains human and took them from the scene for an autopsy.

    A couple had rented the storage unit since 1996, but the man died several years ago and the woman in the past year, said officer Jeff Messer, Delray Beach police spokesman. The couple's family recently received a bill for money owed on the unit, so an adult daughter and her husband came to clean it out Monday.

    Among the furniture, a bicycle and other possessions scattered about the room, the daughter and her husband spotted a large suitcase. They opened it to find a second, smaller suitcase, with newspapers inside. They unwrapped them and made the grisly discovery shortly before 6 p.m., when police were notified.

    Investigators believe it's a "very safe bet" that the baby was born as early as the 1950s, Messer said.

    Police did not release the names of the man and woman who found the baby, or of the couple who rented the unit before their deaths.

    Police and the medical examiner's office are investigating.

    As one of my coworkers said, it brings a whole new meaning to skeletons in your closet...


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    Echoes of History

    A famous and very outspoken journalist in Turkey was killed in broad daylight on Friday in Istanbul. He was apparently shot in the head on a busy street?

    The reason? Because he proclaimed that the mass killing of Armenians by the then Ottoman Turks during World War I amounts to genocide. Many media outlets and journalists have found themselves in front of the Turkish courts with charges against them, at times, treason for speaking of Turkey's complicity in the genocide.

    Following the lead of some very bold representatives in the French government, I believe that Turkey should not be allowed into the EU until they at least admit that the mass killing of a targeted ethnic group of people is in fact, a genocide. I also believe that reparations are in order for the descendants of those affected by this crime. These are two of the most obvious conditions for making amends, until that time Turkey is still just throwing salt on very old wounds.

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    Thanks to everyone so much for your comments to my last blog. I really enjoy those rare moments where a sort of conversation or dialogue is elicited by a posting. It makes me feel close to home and friends in spite of the fact that I'm so far away. I do understand Andy's point of view that being on a jury, you are presented only with the information allowed and not given the full view that the media exposes. I also understand and support the point made that 3 people should not go down for the abuses of 15, rather all 15 should be punished. My thoughts are that this essentially exposes a deeper flaw in the criminal justice system. America is still dealing with racism and its tendencies for systematic abuse of minorities, especially African Americans. Everyone should be held to account on this. The prosecutors, defense and most of all judge, are responsible for ensuring a fair jury and a fair trial. It is shameful but true that a man will never be given a fair trial when the "jury of his peers" are people that have essentially no common life experience with him. Therein lies the flaw. Inspired by the Diane Rehm show that aired today, I'll leave you with a poem that has been a favorite of mine for many years, a poem about justice for all people, a poem of hope. Let America be America again. Let it be the dream it used to be. Let it be the pioneer on the plain Seeking a home where he himself is free. (America never was America to me.) Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed-- Let it be that great strong land of love Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme That any man be crushed by one above. (It never was America to me.) O, let my land be a land where Liberty Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath, But opportunity is real, and life is free, Equality is in the air we breathe. (There's never been equality for me, Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.") Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark? And who are you that draws your veil across the stars? I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart, I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars. I am the red man driven from the land, I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek-- And finding only the same old stupid plan Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak. I am the young man, full of strength and hope, Tangled in that ancient endless chain Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land! Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need! Of work the men! Of take the pay! Of owning everything for one's own greed! I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil. I am the worker sold to the machine. I am the Negro, servant to you all. I am the people, humble, hungry, mean-- Hungry yet today despite the dream. Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers! I am the man who never got ahead, The poorest worker bartered through the years. Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream In the Old World while still a serf of kings, Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true, That even yet its mighty daring sings In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned That's made America the land it has become. O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas In search of what I meant to be my home-- For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore, And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea, And torn from Black Africa's strand I came To build a "homeland of the free." The free? Who said the free? Not me? Surely not me? The millions on relief today? The millions shot down when we strike? The millions who have nothing for our pay? For all the dreams we've dreamed And all the songs we've sung And all the hopes we've held And all the flags we've hung, The millions who have nothing for our pay-- Except the dream that's almost dead today. O, let America be America again-- The land that never has been yet-- And yet must be--the land where every man is free. The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME-- Who made America, Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain, Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain, Must bring back our mighty dream again. Sure, call me any ugly name you choose-- The steel of freedom does not stain. From those who live like leeches on the people's lives, We must take back our land again, America! O, yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me, And yet I swear this oath-- America will be! Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death, The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies, We, the people, must redeem The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers. The mountains and the endless plain-- All, all the stretch of these great green states-- And make America again!


    Milwaukee, You Look Like the Old South to Me

    I was shocked and disgusted this morning to read the online edition of the Journal Sentinel and find that an ALL WHITE jury acquitted the officers in the Frank Jude Jr. case. This is just reprehensible to me. While it's hardly a secret that Milwaukee has more than a heaping spoonful of race problems, being one of the most segregated cities in the country, this verdict still managed to stun me into a sort of stupor. How could this be? In spite of its problems, I love Milwaukee and was an active community member during my years there. Even now, nearly 1500 miles away, I extoll the virtues of the city while trying to speak frankly about its vices to my friends and colleagues. Today though, I have to say, I am hanging my head in shame. Maybe all of the progress that seemed to be happening was just an illusion? All of the activism that was happening across neighborhoods, across races and even languages... all for not? Obviously, I can't believe that. The implications here are enormous. This jury didn't find those white cops innocent of beating the hell out of Frank Jude so much as they found Jude guilty of being black. I'm ashamed of the city I love.


    Forget the hoopla, I'm Back

    Yeah, so I've been thinking about doing this for a while. Since the last time we spoke I have moved approximately 1500 miles away from my previous location, Milwaukee. I'm now down in south Florida although for how long is anyone's guess. I'm trying to get an internship with a popular radio program - more on that at a later date though. The situation in Belarus has been a point of interest... some of the tactics the police have used is reminiscent of the Milwaukee police during anti-war protests. Articles I've read about this include police arresting or preventing people from bringing food in to the protesters, police harassing and ticketing motorists who honk as they drive by and harassment and arrest of people who leave or try to return to the protests. The United States has threatened sanctions against Belarus. Strange our government condoned such abuse of its own citizens.


    London, again

    There are early reports breaking that a series of "incidents" have occurred in the London Underground and on another bus. According to a Reuters article, fire brigades were dispatched when smoke was seen coming from a train and a bus's windows were blown out by a "minor explosion". Today is the two-week anniversary of attacks by suicide bombers on the London mass-transit system in which more than 50 people were killed. According to the BBC the London police are not treating this as a major incident. In their article the Beeb has stated that the explosions were from detonators which were not attached to explosives. Detonators are devices that create the primary explosion which activates a secondary explosion. They are being referred to as "dummy bombs" by the Associated Press. UPDATE Update from a London native about what's going on (from Gawker): University College Hospital has apparently been flooded by police, possibly because a suspect's gone in there for treatment. Police tape up all over the place. The Warren Street tube is getting reports of a guy's backpack making an exploding noise (possibly while still ON HIS BACK), splitting, and then smelling awful. Then the train pulled into the station and they all ran for it. The 26 bus had a backpack left on the back seat, and some people are saying that the windows are blown out at the back of the bus. Oval, it sounds like some guy made a run for it, leaving a rucksack behind? Shepherds Bush, no idea, but I live about a minute away and we're getting no sirens or ambulances or anything. It's the Hammersmith and City branch of Shepherds Bush, though, NOT the more active hub on the Central line. Above ground, though. The Tube workers are apparently getting some sort of message that the explosions are due to nail bombs which had detonators (hence the loud noise) but no explosives, so it just sounded like a firecracker and then smelled horrendous. They're saying "dummy nail bombs". There are general reports of panicky-looking young asian men (late teens, early 20s) being chased out of tube stations by fellow passengers? That's about it. Let's do this again, shall we? In a fortnight, then. Bah.


    Not Hate, Vengeance

    I'd be hard pressed to believe that anybody ever visits this blog anymore, but nevertheless.... This article appears in the Guardian from the UK, it's written by a Muslim activist and former exile of Saddam Hussein's government. http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1529801,00.html Not hate, vengeance Mundher al-Adhami Saturday July 16, 2005 The Guardian The two-minute silence brought the tears forth again, as I thought about the victims, and their tenuous connections with me. Shahara Islam, who died on the number 30 bus, is from Plaistow, where one of my daughters lives. All those others, whose pictures stare out of our newspapers, worked in London, where I also work, and I wonder if I ever crossed paths with them. Then there is the 18-year-old who killed them and himself. He is from Leeds where another member of my family lives. He too is a victim of religious madness. And then I think of the 32 children who lived in a poor area of Baghdad and died in a suicide bombing there on Wednesday. I know the area, and I cry for those children too. Tony Blair talks about "them" hating "our values and our way of life". But I have seen atrocities like last week's London bombings taking place in Iraq over the past two years. Attacks there, as those in London, are not about hating anybody's way of life, but straightforward revenge: revenge for Falluja and al-Qaim - and for Palestine and Afghanistan, which have been subsumed in them. The pictures of Iraq, Afghanistan or Palestine, with their dust and grime, might be different to the pictures of the London bombs, but they represent a continuity. The war of revenge and collective punishment has arrived in London. And it has its own rationality. Don't give me the nonsense about why do they hate us. They don't. The response to the neo-colonial adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq should surprise no one. Islamist extremism and terrorism, unknown in Iraq before occupation, now fights side by side with the more measured Iraqi resistance. It responds with callous bombs there, and now in the west. The spirit of revenge becomes more planned, merging with nationalist or faith ideology such as al-Qaida's, and the targets become more diffuse. Perhaps even in the west, identification with innocent people hit by bombs and napalm - their voices unheard and names unknown - in remote lands of the prophets makes for a holy madness among susceptible youngsters. As other suicide bombers have said, they may regret the loss of innocent lives in their political, murderous acts - but they atone with their own lives and hope God forgives them. The logic is clear: your security is only assured if ours is. If our women and children are killed, then your women and children are killed. The policies of Bush and Blair have made life much more dangerous for all of us. Muslims in London are as much victims of atrocities as in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. And, as happened after September 11, those back home phone, worrying about us here - because of the bombs as much as a racist backlash. The British public have deep sympathy and understanding of the folly of the Iraq war, and will not condone any backlash. On the other hand, they have not yet made their mark as the people of Spain and others did, forcing their governments to withdraw from Bush's evil "coalition of the willing". And they should. 183; Mundher al-Adhami, an exile from Saddam Hussein's regime, is a co-founder of the Iraq Anti-Occupation Forum mundher.aladhami@hotmail.com



    Every night I go to sleep listening to the BBC World Service on NPR. I find that this keeps me up to the minute on what's going on, as I usually wake up if breaking news is occuring that they report on. It was in this way that at roughly 3:00 this morning that I heard of the first bomb going off in the London Underground, as well as each successive bomb thereafter. Generally I reserve my tirades for a couple of friends, my journals that I keep on politics, etc but must admit my frustration publicly this time. The fault for this lies with religion. I'm not singling out Islam, though it may very well have been and in all probability was Islamic extremists. Religion is an ancient notion used to explain the unexplained and to quell the upheaval of the lower classes. We now have science which is based on reason, logic and constant experimentation. We also have capitalism unfortunately, which is a profoundly more effective way of controlling the lower classes and ensures the dominance of the few. The mark of religion is unmistakeable throughout history. It is punctuated by oppression, theft, ignorance, genocide and terrorism. Today we have fine examples in the Islamic extremists, Israeli zionists, and the quaintly named American Taliban (referring to the Bush admin and it's ultra-right, born-again Christian agenda). As nice as it would be, I can't blame religion for all of the world's problems, but to deny that it is one of the few major sources is folly. As long as science, compassion, education and humanity are ignored we will never move beyond these sorts of acts. A world ruled by religion and money will always create volatile situations in which violence is the rule of thumb. My condolences to those affected by today's attacks as well as all of those affected by the terror of religion.


    Bolivian Upheaval

    This week the capitol of Bolivia, La Paz has been the scene of several days of protests by the country's majority indigenous population. As always, Narco News is one of the best places for information on the happenings there, as well as the rest of Latin America. One promising thing that happened today was the 1st regiment of the National Police deciding by consensus not to supress the protests. As reported on Democracy Now! Evo Morales, an extremely popular leader of the indigenous people's movement in Bolivia, has warned of a possible right-wing coup in the next few days to prevent the indigenous people's movement from gaining anything from the protests. So what's this all about? In two words, water and oil, the most precious and coveted resources on the planet. The indigenous of Bolivia want a hydrocarbon nationalization program. The US backed government of Bolivia is deeply in the pockets of the large oil companies. Sadly, it would come as no surprise to see Evo Morales have an unfortunate "accident" if he gains much more sway with the Bolivian populace.


    This is great. I would have loved to have been there. Thanks to Geoff for sending me this. Arrest made at Coulter speech; Student arrested, charged with disorderly conduct after 'offensive' question 04 May 2005 --Incessant heckling and shouting culminated in an arrest Tuesday night during a speech by Reichwing whackjob Ann Coulter at the University of Texas at Austin. From The Texan: [summary] Coulter said she supported the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman on the basis that a good woman civilizes and inspires a man to strive for something better, leading to this question: "You say that you believe in the sanctity of marriage," said Ajai Raj, an English sophomore. "How do you feel about marriages where the man does nothing but f*ck his wife up the ass?" UT Police officers approached Raj to arrest him, resulting in a mass exodus of protesters chanting, "Let him go." Lewd heckler arrested at conservative's Texas college lecture --During a speech last night at the University of Texas in Austin, a 19-year-old UT student was busted after asking Coulter a lewd question, which he followed up with equally inappropriate hand gestures, according to the police affidavit. The student, Ajai Raj, was arrested by campus police and hit with a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.


    Debunking a Spitting Image

    I love stories like this. Sociologist Jerry Lembcke looks into the whole myth of the soldier returning from Vietnam and being spat upon by anti-war protesters. Not only does he do a good job of showing how it's unlikely it ever happened but also how it deals with a deeper sense of immasculation of the warrior culture... very interesting...


    May Day

    So yesterday was May Day, and the first of many, many years that I conciously chose not to participate in what I view as the masturbatory efforts of the bourgeois youth of Milwaukee. It was billed on milwaukee indymedia as the largest celebration in recent memory. Sad. It's great when people get together and try to organize something but there's a difference between doing it for yourself and doing it with a wider vision. Sadly, most Americans lack that vision because the idea of collective action is stunted by the rampant need for individuality, especially in the young, white, college student sector who inexplicably identify as anarchists (I myself was there at one point, so I cannot claim innocence). The workers of the rest of the world celebrated accordingly, once again proving how out of step the working class in the U.S. is. In even more disturbing news the fascist movement in Germany continues to grow, this year the assholes once again tried to usurp the holiday from working people.


    We Stand As One

    This video is without a doubt the funniest shit I have seen in some time, and he's totally serious. Mark Morford has a few good things to say about it.


    "He was ranting like a rabid monkey."

    Good old boys dig up a tree and discover thousands.


    He's so precious!

    I saw this while "working" at Mel's tonight and had to post it. Is Bush curious or "curious"?

    Right Wing Terror... OK!!!

    In a recent draft memo that was obtained by the Congressional Quarterly it was stated that the Department of Homeland Security has for unknown reasons omitted right-wing domestic terrorist organizations from its list of domestic threats.


    Hostage Mystery

    This is probably one of the oddest stories that have come from Iraq in a while. According to the Shia involved in the government somewhere around a hundred people, all Shia, had been kidnapped by Sunni insurgents. After a raid of the village that they were supposedly kidnapped from no one was being held hostage. Now fifty bodies have been found in the Tigris river. Where did they come from? Reuters reported that there was scant evidence of a hostage situation. Of course the question is, when the media is too intimidated to go much beyond the Green Zone, how much real information can we possibly receive that isn't released by the Occupation Authority?


    UW-Madison--an infectious campus

    This article appeared on a website called the Sunshine Project. They frequently do FOIA requests of government documents and release them to the public. The focus of most of their requests is generally the biodefense industry. It seems that UW-Madison has sold a number of aerosol containment units--which are used to infect animals with deadly infectious diseases via mixing the agent with an aerosol propellant into the chamber where the animals are held. A chamber that had a leak was responsible for three tuberculosis infections in a Seattle lab last year. Could this be linked to the very odd tuberculosis case at Marquette University here in Milwaukee? They do have a grad level biological reasearch program and they purport to prepare students for positions in the biotechnology field. Inside information would be helpful, if anyone knows if Marquette does have one of these aerosol containment units please post it in the comments.


    FBI Begins Probe of Noted Anarchist Server

    Noted Anarchist web server flag.blackened.nethas recently come under attack by the FBI, being served two subpoenas by the Oakland branch of the bureau. This would be a serious blow to anarchist organizing worldwide, as so many anarchist websites are hosted by this server, including the ever-popular infoshop. The complete press release from the server's maintainer, Dave, can be read here. Regardless of your feelings about anarchism or self-proclaimed anarchists, this should alarm anyone concerned about issues of free speech. Especially disconcerting is having the prior knowledge that this more than likely will get very little press. It's incumbent upon advocates of free speech to make sure this spreads to as many as possible.


    It Doesn't Take a Minuteman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows

    As expected, the Minuteman craze was little more than hype created by some very conservative activists who are angry about immigrants coming to the US illegally. Salon has a great take on this issue and make special note of the fact that long-standing conservative website Free Republic has made it apparent they don't want to be associated with the Minutemen. What's funny is how easily this small group, who disrupted the Immigration authorities more than the immigrants, were able to manipulate the mass media and get so much attention. Another story that has yet to get much media play is the opening of the jury selection in the trial of accused serial bomber Eric Rudolph. Rudolph, for those who don't know is accused of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games bombing as well as bombing an abortion clinic in 1998. New evidence suggests that he may have been associated in one way or another with a Tennessee church.


    My Stupid Life

    So just a little personal update... this morning at 5:30 I get a call from Neuman. He tells me that one of the interview tapes that we have has an unexplained buzz on it, which pretty much renders it useless for our documentary. We've had nothing but the worst of luck from the beginning of this project. I'm not sure whose grave we pissed on that is coming back for the ultimate karmic retribution, but they're sure doing an excellent job of fucking us. So to recap for those who have been out of the know:
  • we work for an entire semester and get few interviews when we try to work with a class
  • the students consistently fail to inform us of interviews that they've set up
  • when they do let us know, it's far too late to get the equipment that we need
  • Nueman and I have to take an incomplete for the first semester
  • we change the focus of the documentary and begin pursuing other interview subjects
  • a criminal justice expert and personal friend disses us and refuses to do another interview
  • we travel to Madison numerous times and only after many times and much wasted gas money we get the interviews we need
  • on one trip to Madison I lock my keys in my car, another 50 bucks gone
  • we travel to Two Rivers, WI and get a terrible interview from a man who barely speaks
  • another expert in the field cancels a third time on us and tells us, "best of luck", essentially a fuck you
  • we find an unexplained buzz on one of our tapes
  • frustrated, our supervising professor tells us just to write a paper


    With Kung Fu I'll Kick Your Ass

    In a story that just broke across several wires there are reports that the Kyrgyz revolution that just occurred last week was supported by nothing less than an army of Kung Fu fighters. Apparently they're led by one of the wealthiest men in Kyrgyzstan who had some trouble a few years ago after allegedly beating a judge. It doesn't appear from the outside that Akayev was any shining jewel but it is interesting that he alleges that the same forces behind Georgia and the Ukraine's revolutions were the same behind this one. Some sites have even gone so far as to point the finger at Washington for backing these revolutions, stating that the AFL-CIO and NGO's that are directly funded by the US government have been very active in these countries. Others have also commented on the increasing political isolation and geographic encircling of Russia. On a totally shameless note, the blog Dean's World suggested putting the name Mario Vasquez in your blog to increase traffic. Apparently he was on American Idol? Something tells me that the type of people who are into American Idol are not exactly my target audience, but what the hell? In the interest of science I'll try it out.


    Pakistan Flying High with US F-16's

    Looks like the US is taking another step towards destablising the entire region. Between destroying Iraq and making bold threats to both Iran and Syria it looks like the bold and proud stars and stripes have just approved a deal to give Pakistan a fleet of F-16's as a reward for their help in the war on terrorism. India, rightfully so, is more than a little pissed about this. It just reminds me of a time when I was in France and I was talking to a group of friends that were from different countries. I started talking about US foreign policy and everyone stopped. My friend Rosi, who is from England, said, "I didn't know your country had a foreign policy." Kudos.

    Spring Break

    Been on spring break all this week and I could handle another one. I'm so fucking sick of school it's unreal. I've also been getting wasted with a frightening regularity... That said, this week has been pretty up for me. I had an opportunity to tell my former "lover" or whatever the hell she was, Sara that there is no chance of us being friends and that she's not a good person. I saw her out at Onopa and as soon as she saw me talking with another girl she freaked. "can we talk outside right now?" -"I can't go outside, I've got a beer" -"will you talk with me over here?" -"I'd rather not." You get the jist. I also had an opportunity to meet someone that may actually be worth my time, however little of it I have left here in Milwaukee. She's witty, funny and fit as fuck. And I mean fit in the english sense not the american. The only issue I really have is overwhelming fear. Don't really want to get too involved with anyone, for my sake as much as hers. I think my fear has put an 'automatic sabatoge' on anyone I'm really interested in. So I end up making out (or more) with someone other than the person I'm really interested in.


    Argentine Workers

    A story that I've written about a couple of times in the past is about the Zanon Workers Collective in Argentina. There are actually around 200 of these co-ops in Argentina, this one (which makes ceramics) has been effectively run, managed and maintained for several years now. They are an awesome example of the power of the working class and an inspiration to the possibilities of a worker run society. Unfortunately they have caught the ire of the Argentine government that's not fond of such a shining socialist example. They've frequently been fucked with in the past and now it's starting again but with torture and kidnappings. This smacks of the days of the Dirty War in Argentina under the military dictatorship when thousands of leftist activists were kidnapped, tortured and killed. Also take a minute to sign the petition in support of them.


    Nod to Hunter S.

    Something that has come up recently in one of my classes that I think is worth looking at more thoroughly is Hunter Thompson's influence on the blogosphere. It's my contention that he is pretty much the godfather of blogging in his own way. So far as I know he never had one himself but his style of inserting himself into the stories he wrote seems to be an influence on the way that a lot of bloggers, myself included, do their writing. Of course this raises the question is blogging journalism? Any thoughts?

    A New Approach

    Well, I've been attempting to maintain several different blogs and thinking about starting others whenever a new idea strikes me. As of today I've decided to end all of that and just post all my bullshit here. I'm still going to maintain Milwaukee Degenerate because it is very slowly taking on a life of its own. So expect a little more than just political and media commentary from now on.


    Journalism Briefs

    Here are a few stories that have popped up in the news recently about the profession of journalism and the challenges that reporters face both in the field and in the workplace. The first is about the hazards of journalism, according to a report by the AP the last 12 months have seen more journalists killed and more journalists targeted for killing than in the last 10 years. In another story I applaud the stand that Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, has taken in her resignation from Newsday. She quit as a result of the growing phenomenon of corporate journalism where increased profits are weighed more heavily than quality of product produced. One of the great quotes from her concerning this: "If you trim back your staff, if you trim back your costs, and you put out a lower quality product, your stock value goes up. All across the news industry, we have seen this same phenomenon." Finally, the practice of television journalism, always on shaky ground in regards to credibility in my mind, has been dealt a further blow this week. It appears that many stations have been accepting prepackaged news from the White House and airing the pieces as their own according to the Government accountability Office. The Office has stated that this amounts to "covert propaganda" and that 55 year-old rules against government spending on propaganda had been violated. An update to this story: it appears that the White House is sticking to its guns. Advisors to the administration have made claims that it is perfectly legal for the propaganda machine to go into full swing, stating that an arm of the Department of Justice is responsible for investigating this issue, not the GAO. Of course we know who controls the DoJ....


    Suicide Bombing in Baghdad

    I happened upon this article on a website called Jihad Unspun. They claim to have the statement issued by Al-Qaida about the suicide bombing that occurred this morning in Baghdad. Al-Qaida Claims Responsibility For Bombing The Al Sadeer Hotel In Baghdad Mar 10, 2005 English Translation © JUS 2005 A bomb exploded near a hotel in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, early this morning. Two security guards were killed in the attack on the neighboring Agriculture Ministry, Agence France-Presse reported. “There were casualties,'' in the blast near the al-Sadeer hotel, Captain Kelly Lewis of the US militay said in a telephone interview from Baghdad, though she said she was unable to give any numbers at this stage. The Sadeer Hotel is used my man foreign contractors. Al-Qaida was quick to claim responsibility for the bombing. Following is their statement, uncut and uncensored. We remind our viewers that the statements, opinions and points of view expressed in this article are those of the author and shall not be deemed to mean that they are necessarily those of Jihad Unspun, the publisher, editor, writers, contributors or staff. In the name of Allah, Most gracious, Most Merciful Praise be to Allah who promised us victory and helped us with His soldiers. Peace and prayer be on the one who struggled (Performed Jihad in the cause of Allah) with his person and his sustenance were made under the shade of his spear. Peace be upon his family, and his companions. Ask Baghdad about what did they wake up to see this morning? And ask paradise about the new occupants of today. As to paradise, they welcomed a lion from the “Martyrs Brigade”. As to Baghdad, it woke up at the thunderous sound of an explosion that was heard from one end to the other Today, this glorious Wednesday, 27 Muhaaram, 1426 (March 9, 2005), a Nobel brother of yours, along with a few others headed for the Sadeer hotel. You may call it the Jewish hotel because it is their fortress and secure home. But the fortress with all its security measures did not stop the punishment of Allah from reaching them. Oh you Jews, have you forgotten the Khaibar Expedition? Or the Nadhir Expedition? If you did, here we are to jog your memory. You Mujahideen brothers approached the hotel and open fire on the Iraqi security forces protecting the Jews there. Some fell dead and others ran for their lives. When the entrance was secured by your brothers, the main part of the mission started to unfold. Your hero of the mission, a brother of yours, stormed inside and blew up the hotel with its occupants. Alhamdulillah in the morning and in the afternoon. As to the timing of the mission, it had to be early before rush hour to avoid harming Moslems passing by. The timing also had to be at a time when a large number of Jews are still inside getting ready to leave for work. Oh you people of Sabt (Sabbath), ancestors of monkeys and swine, those recipient of the wrath of Allah, Allah has prepared severe punishment for you. Our nobel Qura’an has taught us to hate you, hold animosity towards you, and slay you. As to you, our Tawhid brother (the main man of the mission), you have earned the greatest honor, Shahadah (Martyrdom), in sha’a Allah. We hope to join you soon and we hope and ask Allah to elevate you to the highest level in Ferdaws (the most high part of paradise). Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! And glory be to Allah, his messenger, and Mujahideen Al-Qaida in the Land of the Two Rivers 27 Muhaaram, 1426 March 9, 2005 English Translation © JUS 2005


    Putin On the Ritz (sorry to anyone who already may have used this lame title) It looks like Bush and Putin finally did the hokey pokey together and had a typical press conference where they acted like buddies and smiled alot without saying anything. The Guardian actually came out and spoke of the underlying tension that existed in their meeting saying that Bush delivered a "coded but pointed message". Compare this to what Eric Umansky found in his daily news analysis in Slate... from the Washington Post, "Bush gently prods Putin on democracy." Other interesting findings: Maureen Dowd slams the Swiftboat Veterans for their latest assault. And on the increasing fascism meter, a Michigan artist was recently handed a 30 day sentence and a $500 fine for painting Eve on the side of his building with exposed breasts. It looks like he's been given a reprieve until March 4th though while his lawyers attempt to make a First Ammendment case out of it. My question: are his lawyers completely incompetent?!?

    Eulogy for Hunter S. Hunter S. Thompson killed himself this week. I know it may be hard for some of you to believe but he was actually my inspiration for getting into journalism. I read my first book by him when I was 17. I'm left a little stunned and very saddened by his death but I guess it should really be no surprise. In an essay that he wrote about Hemingway, "What Lured Hemingway to Ketchum?," that's getting a lot of blog play right now Thompson wrote: "He was an old, sick and very troubled man, and the illusion of peace and contentment was not enough for him. ... So finally, and for what he must have thought the best of reasons, he ended it with a shotgun." So maybe Thompson approached the end of his life in the same way, faced with the options, he chose the one he thought best. Over at blogcritics they've got a couple of torrents available for download that are of a couple of Hunter's speaking engagements. Also a eulogy of sorts. Since Hemingway was mentioned, here's a great quote from him: They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason. ~Ernest Hemingway


    My first real post in probably about 6 months. It seems that CNN has continued their policy of failing the basic tenets of journalism... In a story discovered by Brad over at bradblog it appears that they have presented declassified photos of the nuclear facilities in North Korea and Iran. Problem is, they're the same damn photo. Either CNN noticed this and didn't care or didn't follow up with the information that they were given by the government. Either way this is just disgusting, sloppy and inexcusable. And also not surprising. Shortly after the story was posted and circulated CNN issued a "correction". Check out Brad's story.


    Mr Manajid, from Falluja - a hotbed of armed opposition to the US-led occupation in Iraq - said if he was not playing football "for sure" he would be fighting as part of the resistance.

    "I want to defend my home. If a stranger invades America and the people resist, does that mean they are terrorists?" he asked.

    "Everyone [in Falluja] has been labelled a terrorist. These are all lies. Falluja people are some of the best people in Iraq."



    US Document Reveals Scale of Conflict


    It's been a while so I thought I'd throw this up quickly... Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC. War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses. I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag. I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket. There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism. It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service. I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested. During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.


    Venezuelan troops are already on standby readiness for attacks * In the countryside, the Colombian army often fights as follows: paramilitaries infiltrate a community and attempt to draw a response from the guerrillas. In the rare cases where guerrillas respond, the paramilitaries back off and the army replaces them, attacking the guerrillas with heavy weapons. This is also the ideal formula to create a border war: A paramilitary infiltration, which the Venezuelan Army would try to repel, whose defenses the Colombian Army's new heavy tanks, conveniently posted on 'border patrol', would be able to smash through once the initial 'incident' was set. This would then be presented as 'Venezuelan aggression', and no doubt the US papers would set to work writing about how Chavez started a war to prevent the referendum. The war could then quickly change from one between Colombia and Venezuela to one between the US and Venezuela. Perhaps a repeat of the 3,000 or so civilians killed in Panama's poorest neighborhoods in 1989, along with a media campaign about 'saving' them, while showing happy rich Venezuelans applauding on television, could follow? (This is an imperfect analogy: Noriega actually was a dictator. Chavez is not.) Should that happen, one of the recipients of applause will be Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe Velez. http://www.vheadline.com/readnews.asp?id=21678


    G8 Summit begins today Well, no real surprise that very few activists turned out for the G8 summit, and I think it has little to do with the overwhelming, aggressive and ridiculous police state that has been established there. To me it would seem there is a fundamental lack of concern among American youth. Having been involved in activism for some time now my frustration has only grown with the docile, complacent nature that the fat, white, middle-class youth of this country are known for. Fighting is seen as a real difficulty, while watching TV and accepting the reality as crafted by corporate news networks, is easy and pleasant. Disgusted? You betcha. It's even more frustrating that the staples of whatever sort of movement exists in this country are also failing. There's hardly anything on indymedia, Atlanta Indymedia, (which as of this posting has crashed) and very little on infoshop. San Francisco Indymedia has been reporting actions that are occurring there (big surprise considering the liberal bastion that that city is). And Enemy Combatant Radio has been covering those events. If anyone gets any good updates about the situation in GA, especially if they actually magically become organized to do something, please email me! It's very simple, just push the little button over there on the right that says EMAIL ME. Also... Another Eulogy for Ronnie Raygun


    Hooray! Hooray! Now is the time for a people's parade! Break out the wine; a toast, a toast to a multiple felon and war criminal and to his death! Goodbye Ronald Reagan you fuck. To tweak the lyrics of one of my favorite hip-hop groups (The Coup): "one thing I gots to ask Ronald Reagan down in hell can you see me? I'm standin' on your grave and I'm finsta take a pee-pee!" In the words of Levar Burton from Reading Rainbow, "Don't take my word for it..." Greg Palast rips old Ronnie a new one on his website but if that page takes too long to load you can also find it here at the Axis of Logic website. Of course, Counterpunch responded appropriately with 4 of today's 8 articles devoted to "the gipper". _____________________________________________ On the documentary tip, close to my heart as some of you may know, there are some great ones coming out this summer. Control Room promises to be excellent. It highlights the birth and recent life of the fiercely independent Al Jazeera. The other one, coming out later this summer is called The Corporation. It doesn't look like it's going to be a real mind-blower but it will introduce people to what so many activists have know for so long.


    Just dropping in briefly while at work. I'd like to give a shout out to some of the new people that have been stopping by, mysteriously traffic has increased dramatically on the site. I'm also going to make a plug for Sherman Austin, RTF has finally succumbed to the growing financial burden it was under. Please check out Sherman's support page and help his mom out with the legal costs. Anyone living in the midwest should check out the Socialism 2004 conference coming up in Chicago. I really don't care too much for conferences, workshops, etc. but there appear to be some pretty decent speakers there. I think that the ISO, those infamous newspaper hawkers, has something to do with the organization of this so keep yer running shoes on so that you can escape when they try to get you to join their organization. Even if I were interested their dues are way too high to join ($20 a month)... I'd be better off spending that on a gym membership! Finally, leave some fucking comments! I feel like I'm yelling into a cave around here. I had 45 visitors last Wednesday and no one had anything to say about that rant?


    David Dellinger has passed... I really did not agree with a lot of his politics but I do have enormous respect for the stance that he took in life, especially his unflinching defiance of the power structure (in his own way). Here's a memorium on ZNET also check out Democracy Now for today 5/27 for another On the topic of Rafah, there's a good editorial here.


    The disturbing and repulsive behavior of the US military in Iraq, including the Abu Ghraib issue and the recent attack on a wedding party, has me reconsidering how sympathetic I really am for 'the troops'. At one point I approached the whole ordeal with an eye towards blaming the leaders and not the actors. The fact that so much of the armed services is made up of working class folks and is far more reflective of society than even the university that I go to also has made me more favorable to those doing the fighting. As the towns of Fallujah and Najaf (and every other city) were/are being bombarded by the marines my mood started to shift. But still some how I rationalized it by telling myself, well the marines are all fucking wingnuts and murderers with a pathological zeal for violence and killing, they're not even human. Sick part is, they are. And so are the motherfuckers who bombed a wedding party. And so are the fucking mindless idiots from the sticks who tortured Iraqi prisoners. So you begin to see how my resentment towards the actions of this country is boiling over. I am and all of you (assuming you're from the States) are essentially complicit in the attrocities occurring right now. Still, the rational side of my mind chimes in. Not all of the kids in the armed forces are like these people it says. Somehow I really hope that they only represent a small minority but when I look around, when I open my eyes and walk around and see the society that I'm in... I get a really bad feeling that those people are not just a product of it but that they account for a larger percentage. Prone to following orders with an unflagging loyalty, capable of the most inhumane acts because they can say they were just following orders. You know it's funny, Lyndie England actually said that she doesn't think she should be punished for abusing and torturing people because she was just following orders. She was even crying when she said it. This type of thing happened in Nazi Germany and it's happening here. Not that this is a terribly new thing. I've read plenty about the shit that happened in Vietnam. The difference is that this is the first time that I have actually borne witness to what's occuring; the first time in my life that I have been very conscious of what's going on. And it's fucking disturbing. What hope for humanity? No appeal to humanity for sanity and compassion has ever impacted anything. Nevertheless, I am appealing for that now. Right after I wrote this, I got sent this article. Impeccable timing, thanks Geoff, it made me smile. Shit, then I find this article by Mark Morford, a great columnist with the SF Gate. He articulates the ensuing collapse of the empire quite well.


    New Issue of Workers Solidarity online now also check out this great article: The Jesus Landing Pad


    Cold Turkey by Kurt Vonnegut In my extremely agitated state yesterday I forgot to leave a link to the Nick Berg video. Here it is: http://video.bmj.net/Alluh_Akbar.wmv also, here's a zipped copy that you can download: http://armor.typepad.com/bastardsword/files/iraq2vediow.zip


    The Nick Berg Lie I would like to preface this with the statement that I am not a person prone to conspiracy theories, however when the truth is right in front of your face, it's hard to deny that bad things are afoot. Having said that... In no uncertain terms is the Nick Berg video a total farce. There are so many gross indiscrepencies throughout the entire thing it's shocking. Most disturbing is that they don't even care that they did a bad job. I'd like to quote a friend of mine here, "After 3 or 4 viewings, my overall impression is that this was just badly done. The whole thing is juvenile. Even more than the Iraq invasion, it shows, most importantly, that they don't care whether we believe them or not. The second, corollary pointis that this is exactly the kind of shoddy operation you'd expect from some hack politician from Illinois--Rumsfeld. FDR had class when it came to deceiving the Amerucan public, which showed a certain respect for our intelligence. Stalin, despite his brutality, operated on the assumption that you had to keep the worst secret. But these morons running the show are themselves so inadequate, and the few intelligent operatives they have working for them, too arrogant to engineer a passable deception." That pretty much sums it up. Click the links below for all the proof you'll need that this was a sham devised to divert attention away from the attrocities perpetrated by the real criminals... the US government. Check out infowars, especially this section of the website for a complete archive of different ap stories as well as stories from other sources that expose the lie. Diplomat's E-Mails Show Berg in Custody Executioner wore gold ring - forbidden by Islam Here is what I found myself after watching the video a number of times: At about 2:43:19 on the video, based on its own time stamp there is a "glitch" where a white line passes through the bottom of the screen. Based on my own experience with video, especially vhs video (which is what this appears to be shot on) this occurs when video is recorded over. In other words, when a video is stopped, rewound and recorded over. The white line would indicate the most probable place that the re-record began. Other evidence for this is the strange noise that follows that point. It seems that this is a ghost track... because vhs is a shotty medium, it sometimes maintains parts of the original track. Thus we get a visible cut in the video followed by a brief one and a half seconds or so of sound from the original recording. Also in the 5 minute 37 second long version that I saw, the men start yelling 'allahu akbar' and Berg starts screaming while there is nothing happening... this happens at 2:44:32 on the video's time stamp. The final, and most egregious error on the whole video is when they cut from the man brandishing the knife to showing Berg just getting his throat cut. The time stamp jumps from 2:44:42 to 13:45:47. There are only a couple of explanations that I can think of for this. 1. this was shot with one camera at two very different times either approximately 11 hours before or after the first clip 2. this was shot with two different cameras one in standard time and one in military time--there is a one hour discrepency here 3. this was shot with two different cameras one in standard time and one in military time--and one of the cameras time stamps had not been adjusted for daylight savings time the third possibility seems to be the most likely and would explain why we hear the men yelling 'allahu akbar' and Berg screaming without noticing any change in the on-screen action. This does however imply that two videos have been edited together. here's some more good analysis: 1) extremely convenient "wag the dog" timing at the height of furor regarding U.S. torture of Iraqis 2) CNN poll question: "Is the Berg killing a reason for withholding any remaining Iraq prisoner abuse pictures?" Bush has been reported to be struggling with question of whether Pentagon should release additional torture photos. Given that the alleged decapitation of Berg was allegedly prompted by the first wave of torture photos, Bush could now cite "national security" issues for witholding additional materials. 3) Berg's last known whereabouts was in U.S. custody. 4) Berg shown in video wearing orange jumpsuit known to be of U.S. issue (compare with pictures at Guantanamo). 5) Berg mysteriously captured by Al-Quaeda (still wearing jumpsuit). Either he escaped from U.S. captors or U.S. let him out -- with orange suit and all -- to be immediately apprehended by Al-Quaeda (before he had a chance to change). 6) Tape obviously spliced together and heavily edited. Goes from a) Berg sitting in chair talking about family, to b) Berg sitting on floor with hooded "militants" behind, to c) blurry camera movement, to d) almost motionless Berg on floor as head cut off. 7) Audio clearly dubbed in. 8) "Arab" reader flips through pages of "statement" and keeps ending up on the same page. Perhaps doesn't even known enough Arabic to recognize what page he's on? 9) "Arabs" have lily-white hands and (other exposed) skin. 10) "Arabs" have Western-style body posture and mannerisms. 11) When Berg decapitated, there was almost no blood. If Berg were still alive at this point, with the cut starting at front of throat, blood would have been spraying everywhere. Berg's severed head, the floor, Berg's clothes, and even the hand of the "Arab" who decapitated Berg had no visible blood on it. 12) Berg's body didn't move while on the ground. Although held down, Berg would have tried to instinctively wiggle and writhe away from captor's grip. 13) Camera angle made it impossible to see if Berg's eyes were even open. 14) Alleged "scream" from Berg sounded to be that of a woman and was clearly dubbed in. 15) Berg goes to great trouble to identify himself, providing information about his family. Why? To elicit greater sympathy? Or to provide a positive ID. FBI visited Berg family in an attempt to "verify his identity". Guy in video looks very little like Berg photos provided by family. I believe that Berg (or this lookalike character) was first killed (perhaps by lethal injection, poisoning, etc.), then decapitated after dead (explains lack of blood spraying everywhere). Berg was killed by Al-Quaeda (known to be a CIA - Mossad joint venture). Berg video released at height of furor over U.S. torture of Iraqis and just before Bush was to decide whether to release additional torture videos. Now torture videos will be witheld from public for reasons of national security. Now "patriots" everywhere will laud the virtues of U.S. torture of "enemies". Sensitivity level of public gets heightened in terms of what's acceptable treatment of prisoners. Juxtaposed with decapitation, piling naked men into pyramid is nothing. Such treatment will be considered more and more acceptable even in domestic situations. George W. Bush sleeps well tonight while Berg family lives in torture. Serves Berg's father right for opposing Bush and the war of aggression against Iraq. Jeff Rense has compiled some important information on Berg's detainment and questioning what really happened in his article, "Why Did The US Take Custody Of Nick Berg?"


    "A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime...Certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there." - William E. Dodd, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, 1937, from Facts and Fascism, George Seldes, p. 122, and Trading with the Enemy, Charles Higham, p. 167


    Proclamation by an adversary of the US Government


    "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience ... Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.": The Nuremberg Tribunal 1945-1946. = " ... the United States, for generations, has sustained two parallel but opposed states of mind about military atrocities and human rights: one of U.S. benevolence, generally held by the public, and the other of ends-justify-the-means brutality sponsored by counterinsurgency specialists. Normally the specialists carry out their actions in remote locations with little notice in the national press. That allows the public to sustain its faith in a just America, while hard-nosed security and economic interests are still protected in secret. ": Robert Parry, investigative reporter and author = "The essence of oligarchical rule is not father-to-son inheritance, but the persistence of a certain world-view and a certain way of life ... A ruling group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its successors... Who wields power is not important, provided that the hierarchical structure remains always the same.": George Orwell, 1984 = "Our rulers make the news, but they do not appear in the news, not as they really are-not as a political class, a governing establishment, a body of leaders with great and pervasive powers, with deep, often dark, ambitions. In the American republic the fact of oligarchy is the most dreaded knowledge of all, and our news keeps that knowledge from us. By their subjugation of the press, the political powers in America have conferred on themselves the greatest of political blessings-Gyges' ring of invisibility. And they have left the American people more deeply baffled by their own country's politics than any people on earth. Our public realm lies steeped in twilight, and we call that twilight news." : Walter Karp ===


    I couldn't resist: if the pic doesn't show up, go here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/cartoons/stevebell/0,7371,1211576,00.html


    Is there a way to be constantly horrified but not shocked? I feel like that's the state that I've been in for months now with the terror of the occupation force. It's unbelievable on a visceral level to me that this is happening right now; but then on an intellectual level I'm not suprised at all. This will probably be my last post for a week or two until finals are done. I'm still reading about all the shit that's going down but won't be able to post anything here for a while. Check out the links to the right to stay up to date on the real story. Victory for Fallujah!!! Victory for Najaf!!! Victory for the people of Iraq!!!


    Okay, so everybody in the club gettin tipsy?
    May Day I'm sure everyone who visits this page knows everything that's going on tomorrow... the link to the map below is actually a map to the Palomino, but if you look at the map closely you'll see that Cupertino park is like a block and a half away. Just in case people are still unsure how to get there. [ Yahoo! Maps ]
    Map of Palomino
    2491 S Superior St
    Milwaukee WI 53207


    the horror is endless, but really, vote for kerry, he'll change everything Soldiers Fire on Civilian Minibus Leaving Fallujah G.I.'s Are Accused of Abusing Iraqi Captives Bush decides not to take oath, let hearings go public Toeing the Line: Where Does anti-Zionism end and anti-Semitism Begin? To Continue a Theme: ISRAELI INDEPENDENCE DAY DEMONSTRATION mAngus has suggested an interesting article: Is Gay Marriage Anti-Black? Discussion follows at this blog. A march for women’s lives or Democrats’ votes? An Announcement from the Police State Nepal: Revolution At The Top Of The World


    In a shameless attempt to get more hits, I've resorted to the unthinkable, unbelievable, shameful, and sinful topic of sex: Is Your Porn Safe? other items worth inspecting: Huge US Attack Fails to Crush Rebels Dozens die as US planes strafe Najaf Al-Asad: Iraqis are right to resist US renews attack on Falluja


    What the hell have I been saying all along? Please read on: A realistic election strategy the Left can really get behind


    Pictures like this one are being intentionally hidden from the American public for obvious reasons. These were obtained through the freedom of information act. Click on the pic to go to several full pages of pics like this.


    This article, just issued yesterday, relates to an internal top secret memo that blows the lid on the entire Iraq situation. The author of the memo is very much in favor of the toppling of Sadam, which is all the more intriguing considering some of the criticisms he levels against the administration and the CPA. Go here for the article. See the original memo here. Marco's suit against DC police begins: go here to read about it in pdf format No big surprises here, (or how the term contractor now means mercenary): Iraq Victim Was Top-Secret Apartheid Killer


    In one year, American GIs have fallen from the status of super-warriors to ordinary men in the eyes of Iraqis who have seen them fall victim to old rocket-launchers and home-made bombs. 87 US Soldiers, at least 880 Iraqis killed in April A response from Emma Goldman regarding Bush and the plight of women's eroding rights. Also... the illustrious master of modern genocide, Ariel Sharon, will be visiting DC today. A rally of Orthodox Jews in front of the White House will meet him to voice their opposition both to Sharon and the state of Israel. Read about it here. Commentary by Stan Goff about the needed connections between soldiers and leftists, also encourages abandoning the asinine belief that anything credible can be achieved through strict non-violence.


    Comparing Iraq and Vietnam

    When those in power threaten, condemn and accuse the powerless of lies, you know you're doing something right. Here's a not so sympathetic article from the Jerusalem Post. US Installed Council Threatens Al-Jazeera with Censorship


    "The US will never leave Iraq," he says more soberly. "You know what I want to see happen in Iraq? I want to see a federal Iraq where everyone from north to south, and east to west is fairly represented. We Arabs, Sunni, Shia, and Christian; the Kurds, the Turkmen – we are all Iraqis." ---another report from al Jazeera

    We're just going to have one big carnival of assasinations!!!

    The US has officially comitted (another) war crime as they bombarded a civilian area and killed more than 600 people and wounded another 1000 over the weekend. The Fallujah Massacre This website, recommended by mangus is another very good resource. ICH: Continuing Slaughter, Kidnappings, US Rhetoric: "That's not really a number I'm terribly interested in.": General Colin Powell, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, on being asked his assessment of Iraqi military and civilian casualties, April 1991 === Lesley Stahl: "I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima and you know, is the price worth it?" Madeline Albright: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it." Former U.N. Ambassador Madeline Albright, responding to reporter Lesley Stahl as to whether the over half a million Iraqi children killed by the UN sanctions against Iraq were "worth it." CBS May 11, 1996 === "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's gonna happen? It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?": George W. Bush's mother Barbara on ABC/Good Morning America, March 18, 2003 === WEB SITE: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/


    Assasination now a viable political option... as long as you have the market cornered on hegemony. Apparently bolstered by the state terrorism of Israel after the assasination of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, Republican Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart has said that the US should consider assasinating Fidel Castro. the article the congressman's website


    This is just amazing from Democracy Now! Sadr also issued a statement Wednesday making a comparison to Vietnam. He said "I call upon the American people to stand beside their brethren, the Iraqi people, who are suffering an injustice by your rulers and the occupying army, to help them in the transfer of power to honest Iraqis. Otherwise, Iraq will be another Vietnam for America and the occupiers." Sadr also urged the Kuwaiti government to expel the U.S. military from that country. here's the full story, transcribed and archived in audio as well

    Rumors of March 15, 2005 being a pivotal day in the lives of many young people are growing stronger. Here's a link to check out so that you're prepared: the link

    Condi's Testimony Before Congress Though it's not going to really expose anything except the fact that she's proficient at lying, it's pretty funny to hear Condi get flustered and stumble occasionally while being questioned. The transcript of her (prepared) statement as it was released by the White House immediately after she concluded. The questioning period is not included. Oh, and please don't be too distracted: At Least 97 Iraqis Killed In Fallujah, 40 In Ramadi a warning to those who haven't gone completely numb yet, there's a picture of a dead Iraqi baby in this article. Don't worry though I'm sure the child was packing heat, maybe even an RPG, offering the "security forces" a real threat.


    File this under sickest story of the fucking week: Indian Killer Tribute Sparks Controversy Leave it to those crazy Pennsylvanians. That state is quickly becoming the pariah in my mind that certain southern states used to occupy. Oh yeah, also take special note that I had to find this article in the Guardian, a fucking UK site, because the worthless amerikkkan media wires wouldn't touch this fucking story with a ten foot pole.


    To All of You Naysayers and Democratic Hangers-On As if there needed to be any thorough sort of explanation, here is proof, in fact that there is no difference between the Democrat and Republican parties. They both have the same interests and the same masters and are now so securely entrenched in their power that they can walk naked among us this fall to the chagrin of the nation. On June 30, 2003 Al Giordano made this cryptic prediction: The McCain Factor Just today he published this article: Kerry-McCain and the Warbloggers Suicide Watch Which was backed by this article: For Kerry aides, McCain would fit bill as running mate Cheers to all of you morons that continue to support the bi-partisan (giggle) system. Now more than ever we should be actively boycotting the vote. People claim up and down it's how we can participate in the democratic process. Two questions to those people: Where was your vote in 2000? What is your definition of democracy?

    Fallujah So what was up with the Fallujah incident? Were the the actors in the event just fanatical people who seek nothing more than death and destruction? There is very little sanity to explore this world with, however, a reasonable mind will quickly conclude that there is more to what goes on than what we're bottle fed by US media, especially in the case of Fallujah. This article by Paul Jamieson is one of the first that I've seen attempt to examine this issue: The Fallujah Massacre also check this out: Men, ages 18-35 wanted, preferrably of lower income background, special preference given to people of color, to die in desert 8000 miles away. The Draft: It is a Reality


    Hello to my three or four readers, who may or may not still be checking this blog out. I realize that it has been a considerable period of time since my last post and I have to say that this one and possibly future ones are going to begin having a slightly different tone than prior posts. Generally I've shied away from talking about anything even loosely personal unless it has had a political element to it. I can't say this is going to be the case anymore. As many of you know, my partner of 2 years and I broke up in early February, and the sense of personal fallout was immense. Total melt-down was one way of describing what happened. Other metaphorical descriptions such as forced reboot or rising from the ashes also come to mind but none of this quite captures it. Wait a minute...breakdown with forced awakening. I could go on like this forever. I'll spare you that. One of the reasons that this was such an intense experience for me (other than the obvious ones) was that it completely shifted my mental environment. Outside of my home I had the freedom to wander, to explore, to be amazed and horrified by what I found (and am still finding), to look upon the surrounding world with renewed innocence that had failed me for so long. I discovered light blue fissures running through my facade and purple rivers pooling into bruises beneath my eyes. There was an electrical field on the fringes of my consciousness that was filled with a forest of luminous trees glowing white but gave off cool vibrating waves. When I touched the branches I was shaken violently and thrown some distance. When I came to, there was an ocelot nuzzling my neck and purring gently into my ear. We talked at considerable length near a fountain and were both sad and joyful. It was amazing to find another who spoke the same language because I was struggling for so long to communicate brokenly with the others that I had come upon before the haze was lifted from my eyes. We drank from the fountain and grew tired and slept together under the luminescing moon. The piles of concrete impinging upon us hummed. We travelled frequently, mentally exploring and pursuing one another; we also covered considerable distance physically. In the process we became great friends with a powerful love. Now I travel into the hurricane and hope not to come back--not the same--I'm in search of the constantly swallowing throat which this storm may take me to. For my more practically-minded readers who may think I finally have come unhinged or dropped my last tab of acid please consider the value of storytelling and metaphor. I'll also remind you that this indeed is a very close account of what happened, so think I'm crazy if you will. Take either one of these conflicting statements that you feel most comfortable with. I've set up a mirror-for-the-moment at: http://resplandeciente.blogspot.com This will eventually become the home of posts of this nature. Force of love will either live on as my continued ranting/political commentary area or will become obsolete, knowing myself, only time will really tell. While my mind wanders my heart is firmly planted: Silent Genocide


    Both men are well-bred sons of wealthy and powerful East Coast families; both were educated at Yale and were admitted to its most exclusive secret society; both spent their childhood rubbing shoulders with the leading figures in business and politics. Give up? The answer is George Bush and John Kerry!


    Give up, It is pointless... This has been the personal message on top of every mailing that I receive from the local Catholic Worker, Casa Maria. Part serious, part inside-joke, now it's a mantra I'm taking to heart. It would be asinine to say that I didn't think we were all fucked and on the verge of a terrible global catastrophe but this report is just one more nail in the coffin. The worst part is that even the elements of our world that benefit least from releasing this sort of info, are in fact releasing it. Article in the Observer


    “the international press must discontinue the practice of repeating rumors and innuendos and begin to spend quality time learning the truth and writing the truth about what is really going on in Haiti.” -Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-California) Read the report on Narconews and DemocracyNow! plays John Kerry's testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Commision from April 22, 1971 and as tomorrow is the anniversary of Malcom X assasination, they also play his "The Ballot or the Bullet" speech


    Haiti Burning... As Haiti has been continuously under a state of chaos for nearly a month, the "international community" has finally taken the time to respond. The following press release, from the Council on Hemisphere Affairs, was released a week ago today and offers some good insight into what is occurring: Press Release In this article, from the Guardian today, 15 NGO's have banded together to issue a statement about the situation in Haiti. According to the article they say that Haiti is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis but advise against an influx of food aid or a military intervention. The argument is that without the social structures in place, this sort of help will only be a band-aid solution. The problem is that all they are really offering is some vague "international solidarity," whatever that means and a demand to obey the Geneva Convention and various human rights treaties. To anyone who has been following the situation there have already been numerous reports of human rights abuses. France "and a large number of other countries," have decided that they may send peace-keeping troops soon. On a personal note... I welcome one of my olde tyme friends who recently reestablished contact with me. Good to see ya beatin' round the interhood again. One last thing... This must be the most I've posted to this blog since it was the interim spot for milwaukee indymedia... Anyhow, one of my personal favorite online news magazines has officially come back online today after some desperate funding problems. Check it out: Narconews


    I don't do much media critiquing but found this interesting tidbit in the national syndicates: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2004/02/13/international2119EST6274.DTL The interesting thing about this is that they take the message of the communique and obviously change it. It took me all of two minutes to find this glaring error, I'm sure there are others that exist I would have found if I had taken the time. If you look at the closing of the article it says: " "Ten years after the beginning of the war against oblivion ... (we) salute the memories of those Zapatistas, most of whom were poor Indians, who died in Indian villages for ...," it concludes. " Then if you read the actual communique it says: "[...]Chiapas indigenous in the majority, who died for the Indian peoples and for? Democracy! Liberty! Justice!" or if you can translate the smallest bit of Spanish it seems even more clear: "[...]INDÍGENAS CHIAPANECOS EN SU MAYORÍA, QUE MURIERON POR LOS PUEBLOS INDIOS Y POR ... ¡DEMOCRACIA! ¡LIBERTAD! ¡JUSTICIA!" The AP article concludes that this is a statement that perhaps these people died in vain. Looks to me like Marcos was incorporating the shout for democracy, liberty and justice into the closing not, as ALEJANDRO RUIZ of the AP would have you believe, a statement of bitterness or resignation. Check out the latest communique from Marcos here: http://chiapas.mediosindependientes.org/display.php3?article_id=107303

    I can't fucking believe this. This sinking hole of a town that I grew up in (literally, it's built over a huge mineshaft) has its own website. Please check it out, you'll know why I've been committed so many times. http://www.sherrardil.net/centennial.shtml


    In light of some new, drastic and surprising events in my life part 2 of the previous story may be suspended for some time. I look forward to and hope to be able to do some more posting soon but as seems to be the trend in the land of the blog, we'll see how much comes together.


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    A Weekend With the Feds in the Family part 1 This weekend was pretty wierd for me. I went with my partner to her aunt and uncle's house in some suburb of Chicago that was striking in the concentration of wealth. Every house looked the same and every store looked the same... you really couldn't go more than a couple miles without feeling you're passing through one of those cartoon backgrounds that just repeat the same thing over and over. Her aunt and uncle are nice people though- really. They were more than gracious hosts and in the end made sure that we were overfed (and over-drunk on Saturday night). There was just one thing that freaked me out though. My partner's uncle is a U.S. Marshall and there's really nothing that gets a paranoid "leftist" more thoroughly agitated than spending time with a cop. And a federal cop to boot. When it came down to it, the most striking thing about this experience wasn't the fact that I was inside a fed's house, but just how boring it was inside this fed's house. We napped, played video games, board games, and ate food, lots and lots of food. Saturday afternoon consisted of this very strange bleeding of lunch into dinner that lasted about 5 hours, accompanied by approximately 10 cups of coffee. Saturday night got a bit lively though as we (or should I just be honest and say I) drank copious amounts of wine. Everyone else had wine too but I was the only one that had wine and a drinking problem. The uncle's partner (in the literal cop sense of the word) came over and we all ended up sitting around the table talking about what for me is inescapable: politics. more to come...


    Wow, so I'm trying to muster up the inspiration to write through this quagmire of dull predictability in my life. The gamut of white radical politics is beginning to run its course I think and now I'm trying to figure out where to go with my mind. Apologies to my 2 readers, I'm having wine to loosen up while writing this so I can get out some of the nitty-gritty that doesn't pass so easily. I've been having some intense and interesting discussion with friends lately, mostly dealing with the aforementioned recognition of the limits of white radical politics. This has resulted in an all new form of spiritual crisis-- an admittedly odd experience for a non-spiritual person. So maybe that crisis could be more easily recognized as an identity crisis. I've been feeling for some time that going to protests and organizing these weird patronizing sort of "i'm gonna help you" campaigns isn't jiving with me, but I haven't known what to do with that energy. Most recently I've taken to going to these same events as the 'gonzo' reporter, taking a page from Hunter S. and just writing about what's happening through my lens on the world. (see my previous post) This satisfies some part of me but not entirely. It feels more like criticizing a bankrupt movement instead of empowering new people and new possibilities. {{A quick aside... I feel there is a definite place for criticizing bankrupt movements, even satirizing the whole shit heap. As a consumer movement people need to realize that they're still playing in that old ballpark called capitalism}} Still don't know where this leaves things. Right now I'm just writing as much as I possibly can, even for publications that I hate. Pessimism is a foregone conclusion and I think sometimes it's good to wallow in that (as opposed to cynicism). As the mAngus pointed out to me, pessimism is just the ultimate expression of frustration. I still have energy, still want to do things, just not in the same old self gratifying way I have been. The problem is that I realized I can't dance in that revolution, so I don't want to be a part of it.


    An Ollie North Experiential Omnibus Amid the shouts of 'Ollie North, Shame On You...' all I kept thinking was, 'Ollie North, Where Are You?' As the van pulled out of Madison on Wednesday at around 3 o'clock in the afternoon the waves of anxiety and frustration slowly ebbed. I was going back to my own community and as infuriating as it can be it is my own community. One of my friends was sleeping with his head resting against the head rest in the front seat, the other was reading a book. I rested my face against the spare tire sitting next to the back seat which had been bungey strapped down and napped intermittently. I had brief dreams about what had occurred in the previous 24-hour period. Vivid dreams that were a simple reliving of the situation. As I slept... we got into Madison around 5:30 on Tuesday night, we were all a little excited, if for nothing else than to be escaping the dolldrums of our regular lives in our hometown. We had some coffee and then went to the area of the protest, around the Hilton right by the Monona Terrace. There were already about 75 people there marching around and around in front of the building, chanting. This quickly became monotonous so I stepped aside and talked with a few of the friendlies I know from Madison that were standing around an inflatable 'the scream' doll covered in phony money. I snapped some pics in the hopes of including them for a story on Indy. I got a sense fairly quickly that perhaps things were a bit askew in the conveniently nicknamed Madtown when I was taking some pics of counter-demonstrators from the campus conservatives at UW Madison. An older man covered in buttons who was protesting North came up to me and started questioning: him: Where are you people from? me: (looking around) People? him: Where are you from? me: Why? him: I want to know where you pro-Olly North people are from. me: I'm not for that son-of-a-bitch. I'm taking pictures of them for indymedia. Why the interrogation? him: (walks away) I was a little perturbed by that interaction. Granted, I didn't look like the typical person that was at this protest, wasn't covered in buttons or carrying a sign and have long since grown weary of shouting at buildings, so nope, no chanting either. On the other hand I didn't look like one of those pro-Olly North people either. Their clothing was much nicer than my dirty, ripped up jacket and hand-knit hat. The tremors of something a little amiss in the 'scene' were making themselves noticeable. After getting frustrated that the flash on my camera was not adequate enough to take decent pictures at night, I regrouped with my friends and we decided to take the sky walk into the hotel and see how far we could get. We encountered no resistance. There were no police, no security and no hotel staff to greet us with that fake ass, "i'm sorry sir, but we're going to have to ask you to leave." There were just two security cameras. We used the bathroom. We walked through the bar. It was a little suspect. Why was the hotel not offering any security for an 'honored guest'? What the hell was going on? We chatted about it a little bit and then got creeped out by all the suits and left. The only thing we could think was that perhaps the event had been moved. Surely security was watching us cross the sky walk. Also they probably had us on camera the whole time we were in the hotel. (Ollie North, Where Are You) After this we went to Nick's cafe on State and had some drinks and chilled out. We were still positive about the possibilities for the next day. Later we met up with some great people that put us up in their house and went out for drinks with them at some bar where you can throw your peanut shells on the floor. We had a nice time and were treated as if we were honored guests by these people. We woke up in various states of grogginess but Big Mac and I were feeling just fine. We went to some blinding white hell hole for bagels and coffee and Mac and I chatted while the other two stared at the walls. We teased them. The bigger wall-gazer of the two wanted to go to the protest right away. I tried to shed light on the fact that it was still 2 hours away but he was unstoppable. A man craven and demented as he is you just don't get in the way of. We went to the terrace and saw a small crowd beginning to mill about and walked right by them and went into the terrace. We walked up stairs, down stairs, through parking garages, out the back, waved at a woman who was ice skating with a protest sign on the lake, reflected back on the occupation of John Nolen Drive during the mayor's conference some two years prior and then went back into the building. We eventually found our way back out to the area near where the protest had been occurring and saw the people had moved right up to the doors but failed to come in. Big Mac looked at me with his patent anger-confusion mix and opened the door and began inviting our fellow protesters in. They were timid as rabbits, jumping in and out, finally enough came in and we walked through the fourier into the main reception area. It was ridiculous, the security there made a half-assed attempt to stop us, but quickly gave up. So there we were with about 75 people and they were doing the whole chanting, sign waving thing. Big Mac and I were a little bored by all the noise and we started cracking jokes. Madison police filed through and stood behind the security. We cracked more jokes. Some sad-eyed woman kept giving me weird looks but I didn't think much of it, some people just aren't keen on the biting cynicism and sarcasm that peppers our conversations. Our wall-gazing friend leaned against the wall, doing more wall gazing. I took some pictures of the cops, security, and some guy named Chuck who was part of the conference who kept taking pictures of us. Then I see the sad-eyed woman come back and she's got that guy Al or Allen or whatever with her. We had taken to calling him Papa Allen the night before because he seemed to try to lead the whole protest scene in Madison in a staunchly patriarchal sort of way. So Papa Allen comes up, and starts asking people around us if anyone has a camera. I hide mine because I figure he wants some assinine picture that I just don't feel like taking. Then sad-eyed woman points at us, and I he pronounces with much vigor: Get pictures of THOSE guys!!! What? Let's stop a minute here. Did he just point at us? In seconds, toadies lusty to follow orders begin sticking their cameras in OUR faces and snap tons of pics, who knows how many. Suddenly I understand why celebrities punch members of the paparazzi. I want to punch members of the protest paparazzi. Big Mac is dumb-struck, his only defense is to give an exasperated thumbs up to the cameras. I wake up and we're 28 miles away from home. I am angry all over again because I had to relive that ridiculous experience. Later I found out that Papa Allen suspected us of being, "pigs." He said, "I must have got a bad read on one of your people, he looked like a pig." Police do not wear old, tattered clothing, even when they are undercover. Police have never in my experience looked as shabby and disheveled as we did on that day. This mentality is evidence of extreme paranoia and xenophobia. Were we not people who had been activists for years prior, say we were new to the 'movement', this might have chased us away for good. This was however the first time any of us had been singled out as 'pigs' and it sucked. The potential repercussions of this are huge. People who don't know us but recognize us from this event will forever feel uneasy around us at future actions because of one frantic man. Coming from a different community to add support to this protest, I can't help feeling like outsiders are not welcome. We were not involved in a direct action where elements of security culture are indeed necessary. We were in a protest and a boring one at that. As we were coming into the city one of my friends pointed out something I hadn't considered. Something that made the whole van explode with laughter. He said that this was probably the first time that four Wobs were accused of being cops.