An end to macho war reporting : Maggie O'Kane
wikiquote.org : "The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." (Harlon Ellison)
Tom Tomorrow: Fucked up If you want to see the true face of war, go to the amateur porn Web site NowThatsFuckedUp.com. For almost a year, American soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been taking photographs of dead bodies, many of them horribly mutilated or blown to pieces, and sending them to Web site administrator Chris Wilson. In return for letting him post these images, Wilson gives the soldiers free access to his site. American soldiers have been using the pictures of disfigured Iraqi corpses as currency to buy pornography. At Wilson's Web site, you can see an Arab man's face sliced off and placed in a bowl filled with blood. Another man's head, his face crusted with dried blood and powder burns, lies on a bed of gravel. A man in a leather coat who apparently tried to run a military checkpoint lies slumped in the driver's seat of a car, his head obliterated by gunfire, the flaps of skin from his neck blooming open like rose petals. Six men in beige fatigues, identified as US Marines, laugh and smile for the camera while pointing at a burned, charcoal-black corpse lying at their feet. The captions that accompany these images, which were apparently written by the soldiers who posted them, laugh and gloat over the bodies. The soldier who posted a picture of a corpse lying in a pool of his own brains and entrails wrote, "What every Iraqi should look like." The photograph of a corpse whose jaw has apparently rotted away, leaving a gaping set of upper teeth, bears the caption "bad day for this dude." One soldier posted three photographs of corpses lying in the street and titled his collection "DIE HAJI DIE." The soldiers take pride, even joy, in displaying the dead. This could become a public-relations catastrophe. The Bush administration claims such sympathy for American war dead that officials have banned the media from photographing flag-draped coffins being carried off cargo planes. Government officials and American media officials have repeatedly denounced the al-Jazeera network for airing grisly footage of Iraqi war casualties and American prisoners of war. The legal fight over whether to release the remaining photographs of atrocities at Abu Ghraib has dragged on for months, with no less a figure than Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Meyers arguing that the release of such images will inflame the Muslim world and drive untold numbers to join al-Qaeda. But none of these can compare to the prospect of American troops casually bartering pictures of suffering and death for porn.
Juan Cole and Markos Moulitsas Discuss the Middle East. webcast from www.evolvetv.tv
Taking a screwdriver to the truth : Conflicting signals from the military make getting to the root of events in Iraq a frustrating experience (times online)
Hundreds of Bedouin protest house demolition orders in Negev : Some 300 residents of unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev demonstrated on Monday in front of the government's Be'er Sheva office in protest of a policy calling for the demolition of their houses. The National Planning and Building Council a few weeks ago rejected opposition to its plan to build 30 isolated farms on territory belonging to the Ramat Hanegev Regional Council, unaffiliated from any towns. The Arab human rights organization Adallah said the building of these private farms - which will allocate thousands of dunams to single families - violates a national right to the division of land, and demonstrates a government goal to displace the Bedouin population of the Negev.
Bringing Out the Dead. : The United States government doesn’t do body counts, but three well-publicised studies have attempted the task of accounting for those who have died, in various ways, as a result of the occupation.
400 Palestinian s arrested in west bank : Iranian press reports Palestinian source said the Israeli army arrested nearly 30 activists throughout the West Bank, bringing the number of the detainees since Sunday to more than 400 people. The detainees include doctors, engineers, university professors, journalists, teachers, students and business people. It is widely believed that the sweeping arrests are aimed at thwarting the upcoming Palestinian elections and preventing the movement from taking part in the polls, slated to take place in January.
AL-MANAR TV : Ex-Sunday Express journalist Jason Burke had a documentary on BBC4 recently called 'Channel Terror' about propaganda and terrorism. hmmm wished I'd taped it. Didn't know you could watch streaming Al_Manar on the interweb...
Pelota vasca. La piel contra la piedra, La (2003) : aka The Basque Ball: Skin Against Stone. Just watched this film. Intersting, not sure if i liked the technique used to illustate this though, lots of talking heads, but thoughtful and incisive none the less. The Orson welles bits are amusing.
sakamoto & alvo noto @ the barbican mon 10th Oct : not sold out
typenow.net : fantastic movie fonts
Iraq in Fragments : James Longley who made the excellent documentary 'Gaza Strip' has made a new film. You can watch bits of it online.
catsinsinks.com : show me another cat in a sink
Just World News : Palestinian Israelis, Jewish Israelis, etc
Raising Yousuf : a diary of a mother under occupation. "I'm beginning to feel like I'm part of an old 1970s Disney movie where a family attempts (succesfully) to escape walled in East Berlin in a hot air baloon. Hmmm. I can picture that now, Yousuf and I floating across Philadelphi, dodging (probably not for long...) Israeli drones and radars. Hey, we've careened across the Gaza coast in a donkey cart during closures of the (area formerly known as) Netzarim Junction, I think we can handle that."
It Was Only a Matter of Time…(via wfmu) : This past Friday, the Wall Street Journal had an interesting article about Saatchi & Saatchi’s new “content arm” called GUM: "In an effort to reach young people who increasingly tune out traditional advertising, London ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi is offering marketers an unusual proposition- the opportunity to own their own hip-hop band as a way to spread their advertising messages. Saatchi & Saatchi said it assembled that as-yet-unnamed band as part of its launch yesterday of a division it is calling GUM, which will target teenagers and people in their 20s for advertising disguised as entertainment. Saatchi & Saatchi said it is offering potential advertisers naming rights for the all female band, or the chance to have their products appear in the band’s music videos or on stage with it.”
Kanye West Video Mashup : Today I completed the music video for the song "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People" by The Legendary K.O. I don't know much at all about this group and this is the first song I've heard from them, but it definitely moved me enough to produce this music video.
Church of England: "No current grounds for disinvestment" from Caterpillar : A robust and rigorous review of the Church of England’s shareholding in Caterpillar Inc – the US-based manufacturer of construction and mining equipment - has resulted in a decision by the Church's Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) not to recommend disinvestment at this time.
Syria’s Curious Dilemma (via angry arab) : Seasoned observers of Syria have learned not to make much of apparent political changes in the country. This lesson holds true today, but with a twist. Five years after the death of Hafiz al-Asad, who ruled Syria for 30 years, a series of “springs” have come and gone without substantially opening up the political system. The country’s political institutions are stable, but stagnant, including the governing Baath Party, which continues to rule by periodically reshuffling elites. Syria’s economy continues to sputter, its small oil reserves continue to dwindle and its work force continues tolag in acquiring the skills needed in today’s global economy. Perhaps the most troubling part of Syria’s predicament is an invisible but rising wave of poverty unprecedented in recent history.
boing boing write about a Linux-based handheld that's open, powerful and cheap : It can play games. It can play your Movies. It can play your music. It can view photos. It can read Ebooks. It runs on just 2 AA batteries - And it can do all this in the palm of your hand or on your TV screen. It's powerful - Two 200mhz CPU's with 64meg of RAM, custom graphics hardware and decoding chips. Takes SD cards and has 64M of NAND memory. Plenty to play with. One of the most powerful and advanced handhelds today. It's cheap. Just £124.99.
Security Situation in Baghdad Sinking like the Titanic : (via Juan Cole) An observer in Iraq writes to me:"The situation has deteriorated in Baghdad dramatically today. Five neighborhoods (hay) in Baghdad are controlled by insurgents, and they are Amiraya, Ghazilya, Shurta, Yarmouk and Doura. It is very bad. My guys there report that cars have come into these neighborhoods and blocked off the streets. Masked gunmen with AKs and other weapons are roaming these areas, announcing that people should stay home. One of my drivers in Amiraya reports that his neighborhood is shut down totally, and even those who need food or provisions are warned not to go out.
Nepali political activists shout anti-monarchy slogans during a demonstration in Kathmandu September 20, 2005. Nepali police used excessive force to break up recent protests against King Gyanendra who sacked the government last February and seized absolute power, a top U.N. official said on Tuesday. Nepalese police arrested more than 400 people in protests against King Gyanendra's rule, witnesses said, as the UN rights agency in the country criticised police handling of the demonstratorsREUTERS/Gopal Chitrakar.
Enthusiast uses Google to reveal Roman ruins. Google Earth programme leads to remains of ancient villa.
Democracy Now Interviews President Hugo Chavez : "If the Imperialist Government of the White House Dares to Invade Venezuela, the War of 100 Years Will be Unleashed in South America"
Yarlswood: Another Death in Detention Manuel Bravo from Angola, who lived in Leeds, was 'snatched' by immigration officials, along with his son, on the morning of September 14. In the early hours of September 15, Manuel was found hanging in a stairwell at Yarl's Wood Removal Centre. He was due to be deported the next day. Custody staff have tried to move hungerstrikers into solitary confinement and many woman speak of the ongoing harassment: "When any of us go to the doctor or nurse we get sent away with pain killers no matter what we complain of. Blood tests and other vital information forwarded to the NHS go missing, One woman is suspected of suffering from TB. No progress has been made in her diagnosis or treatment. Even when someone tries to commit suicide, they get no psychiatric assessment. Racist abuse from staff is a daily occurrence. We are called 'black monkeys' who 'don't deserve to be here' and 'don't belong here'. We don't get enough food and what we get is tasteless, often burnt, undercooked or a day old. One woman reported she saw officers strangling a young man they had already stripped naked."
Media policy dominated by 'cosy cartel' : ""Key decision makers operate in close ideological conformity with the broad interests of one key constituency - that of business - in a way that structures the parameters of the debate, dictates what forms of participation are most effective and conditions the balance of power in the policy process. Public opinion is collected to lend support to policy outcomes but otherwise the process remains largely out of reach for members of the public."
The Tragedy of a Complicit Media (via globalecho.org by william frey)
Black ops in Iraq : (rough translation from Spanish press on medialens.org) : Monday, 19 September, tanks from British occupation forces liberated by force two of its soldiers, arrested by Iraqi police as they were travelling disguised as Arabs in a car loaded with explosives and weapons. A furious crowd attacked the tanks and their occupants, leading to the deaths of at least two Iraqi civilians. Spokesmen of the Shia cleric Al Sadr claimed that the two individuals "were preparing to shoot at a crowd congregated at a Shia religious centre in Basra" (according to the Madrid daily newspaper El Mundo in its 20 September edition), as a week of heavy confrontation in this city sparked between Shia and the British forces due to the arrest of two representatives of Muqtadar Al Sadr accused of terrorism. Although at the time of their arrest the two disguised British soldiers fired at the Iraqi police, official British sources claim, paradoxically, that their men "were acting covertly in agreement with the [Iraqi] authorities." The same British sources also claimed that "the prisoners were not freed by force", despite the fact that various tanks had knocked down walls to reach the detention centre and free the two prisoners. The events appear to demonstrate, once again, the direct implication of occupying forces (in this case without local intermediaries) in the wave of indiscriminate terrorist attacks against civilian targets which Iraq is enduring, while these attacks, despite evidence to the contrary, are being blamed on the resistance.
Galloway - "Crawl back under your rock, Mr Palast!" : geez i was deeply disapointed with the sniping that apparently passes itself of as debate. Galloway and Hitchens do no favours for the credibilty of the left during a time of war. ignore em and they may go away.
Mos Def gets his shots in on Katrina Clap (via hiphopmusic.com)
shiver me timbers, instantly translate your web page to pirate speak : "The trouble with peace propaganda is that when it is permitted it isn't necessary ye landlubbers, and when it's necessary it isn't permitted ye scurvy dogs"
He was on form last night. I caught him do two sets with differing 'sound carriers'. He sang alot about the moon and did a take on 'mother sky' towards the end. The Keyboard player Steve Elwell was hilarious, at one point he was stroking his keyboard with his nose and two kids in the audience dived in and joined him onstage. 1st Set: Damo Suzuki with Tuner: Michael Levison (Bass), Glyn Owen (Drums), Chris Salmon (Guitar), Pete Stephens (Keyboards) and Steve Wilson (Guitar, Keyboards) 2nd Set: Damo Suzuki with Seth Bennett (Double Bass), Eric Boros (Baritone Guitar), Steve Elwell (Keyboards) and Marylise Frecheville (Drums)
snarf-it.org : BT database. good documentary section
Orwell Project is comprehensive, offering all of Orwell's main works in both English and Russian. Orwell fans will also discover a large photo gallery here — with the opportunity to access a selection of photos from Orwell's life as well as the extracts from biography written by Sir Bernard Crick — ‘George Orwell: A Life’ and a complete Orwell bibliography. The section ‘A Life’ features critiques on Orwell's work and discussions devoted to the writer's continuing relevance in today's world. This web-site also features full text versions of Aldous Huxley's ‘Brave New World’.
As bodies recovered, reporters are told 'no photos, no stories' : On Saturday, after being challenged in court by CNN, the Bush administration agreed not to prevent the news media from following the effort to recover the bodies of Hurricane Katrina victims. But on Monday, in the Bywater district, that assurance wasn't being followed. The 82nd Airborne soldier told reporters the Army had a policy that requires media to be 300 meters -- more than three football fields in length -- away from the scene of body recoveries in New Orleans. If reporters wrote stories or took pictures of body recoveries, they would be reported and face consequences, he said, including a loss of access for up-close coverage of certain military operations.
Hitchens and Galloway have had their debate in New York. You can hear it here | Greg Palast on Galloway |
urbandictionary.com : Urban Dictionary is a slang dictionary with your definitions. Define your world.
philmulloy.com : Phil Mulloy is an animator par excellence. He made a trilogy called intolerance - its rather good. watch it.
Thought Thieves : THOUGHT THIEVE$ short film showcase. THOUGHT THIEVE$ is a short film showcase about corporate appropriation of knowledge, culture, and creativity. It is a grassroots response to the Micro$oft short film competition of the same name.
One Bit Music - Tristan Perich 'Perich programs and packages electronics in a standard CD jewel case. The device plays minimal glitch/dance music when headphones are plugged in. The music itself is all 1-bit and is generated by software written by Perich.'
winmorph plugin : for premiere - need patch as well...
photoshop tutorial : Beautify a Face. Good classroom stuff
Hi, I am Wing! I immigrated to New Zealand with my family about ten years ago from Hong Kong. I have been learning singing in New Zealand and I do performances in Rest Homes and Hospitals and occasionally promotional concerts as I go along.
Minotaur Shock at the ICA : Minotaur Shock (4AD) with very special guests: Tunng and DJ Max Tundra plus Freeze Puppy and mr_hopkinson's computer sings 19.30 £10
parliamentprotest.org.uk : Resistance against the new restrictions on demonstrations in the vicinity of Parliament
Tal Afar Under Media Carpet : Like the people of New Orleans, almost 90 percent of Tal Afar’s residents have fled their homes. And like their American counterparts, the doors of their houses are being smashed in by military forces, there to pacify the town after weeks of bombing and shelling. The similarities don’t end there. While people of the US Gulf Coast are suffering the effects of a cocktail of chemicals and effluent in the flood waters, 170 residents of Tal Afar have fallen ill to “curious poisons”, which according to Dr. Mohammed Qassem of the Iraqi Red Crescent could result from “inhaling gases”.
They don't just want your money. They want your brain : Neuromarketing is the new technique being developed by big companies to see if their products 'light up' your brain. It has been described as the Holy Grail of marketing, and soon companies may be queuing up to invest in a process that allows them to get inside the minds of consumers - almost literally. "Neuromarketing" tracks volunteers' reactions to products not by listening to their views, but by reading impressions from their brains. The system, which has been condemned by some as Orwellian, puts consumers into MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanners to see which feelings are engaged by a product.
Democracy Now(http://www.democracynow.org) can now be received four times a day via TV. All you need is an easily available low-cost(non-Sky, non-Murdoch !) digital satellite receiver (so called FTA "Free-to-Air" -don't confuse with Freeview !) costing around £79 (see this Technomate model for example http://www.satellitesuperstore.com/free.htm) -plus an 80 cm dish(around £25) and somewhere vaguely facing south to locate the dish. DIY set-up is child's play. Democracy Now's one hour show is being broadcast by Homa TV(http://www.homa.tv) and broadcast times are 21.35 - then repeated every 6 hours ie. 03.36,09.36,15.36. Your (£79-ish) FTA receiver will automatically find HomaTV/Democracy Now at Transponder 97, 11,585 MHz.
What I Heard about Iraq : In 1992, a year after the first Gulf War, I heard Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense, say that the US had been wise not to invade Baghdad and get ‘bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq’. I heard him say: ‘The question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is: not that damned many.’
Jamie's Big Voice : great blog on Homelessness - check this Guardian Article for an introduction to it.
George Monbiot: It was claimed that the internet and satellite TV would topple dictators, thanks to corporations, instead of democracy we get Baywatch
UK link to terror snatches : The United Nations is investigating the CIA's use of British airports when abducting terrorism suspects and flying them to prisons around the world where they are alleged to have been tortured. The inquiry, led by Martin Scheinin, a special rapporteur from the UN Commission on Human Rights, comes as an investigation by the Guardian reveals the full extent of the British logistical support. Aircraft used in the secret operations have flown into the UK at least 210 times since the September 11 terror attacks. Foreign Office officials have denied all knowledge of the secret flights, telling MPs on the foreign affairs select committee that the ministry has "not granted any permissions for the use of UK territory or air space", and suggesting to the Guardian that it was "just a conspiracy theory". Privately, Ministry of Defence officials admit that they are aware of the flights, and that they have decided to turn a blind eye. "It is not a matter for the MoD," said one. "The aircraft use our airfields. We don't ask any questions. They just happen to be behind the wire."
THE LEON KING : Interview with actor and director Leon Herbert : “Black people are just not included in the film industry here,” he says. “Everything about making the film was an absolute struggle. From getting the funding, getting cinemas to show the film, to getting any kind of distribution deal, it was five years of absolute struggle. In fact, we were told by industry people that our film wouldn’t do well because a film with black people in it wasn’t commercially viable. If people see a poster for Bad Boys II with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, they don’t think ‘black film’ because they are stars. That’s why we took the decision not to feature any of the cast in the film’s publicity material.”
Hunter S. Thompson's Suicide Note : No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun - for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax - This won't hurt. He left the note for his wife before committing suicide in February. It was titled Football Season Is Over.
Nepali police used water cannons to break up pro-democracy rallies in Kathmandu on Tuesday and detained more than 250 activists protesting against King Gyanendra's decision to seize power earlier this year. Police said 258 activists were detained for defying the ban on protests in the city centre and three others were injured. But protest organisers said 500 had been detained.
Digital camera turns 30 sort of -Kodak had prototype in 1975, but waited for decades to enter market : Steven Sasson knew right away in December 1975 that his 8-pound, toaster-size contraption, which captured a black-and-white image on a digital cassette tape at a resolution of .01 megapixels, "was a little bit revolutionary." When anyone asked, the Eastman Kodak Co. engineer ventured that it would become a commercial reality in 15 to 20 years. It would be a quarter century, though, before Kodak began to capitalize on Sasson's breakthrough: the first digital camera.
Worlds Largest Arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin Named for National Archives Project : “How will we be able to read 1990’s email messages in the year 2090? Will GIF files still be accessible in 2105? The US National Archives - tasked with preserving records “for the life of the republic” - has chosen Lockheed Martin to solve exactly this problem. Lockheed was awarded the $308M Electronic Records Archives contract after a year-long design competition.
Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan : The Pentagon has drafted a revised doctrine for the use of nuclear weapons that envisions commanders requesting presidential approval to use them to preempt an attack by a nation or a terrorist group using weapons of mass destruction. The draft also includes the option of using nuclear arms to destroy known enemy stockpiles of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.
MediaQueen : MediaQueen enters the weird, strange, psychedelic world which the media can create, to transcend our normal perceptions and go into a metaphysical world which only exists in our minds. new...
Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB) : 'KEEP SPACE FOR PEACE' called for by the GLOBAL NETWORK AGAINST NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND POWER IN SPACE (GN) at NSA MENWITH HILL near Harrogate North Yorkshire Guest speaker: Bruce Gagnon - Coordinator of GN on Saturday 8 October 2005 12 noon to 4/5ish
'Racist' police blocked bridge and forced evacuees back at gunpoint : A Louisiana police chief has admitted that he ordered his officers to block a bridge over the Mississippi river and force escaping evacuees back into the chaos and danger of New Orleans. Witnesses said the officers fired their guns above the heads of the terrified people to drive them back and "protect" their own suburbs.
We had to kill our patients : Doctors working in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans killed critically ill patients rather than leaving them to die in agony as they evacuated hospitals. Senior doctors took the harrowing decision to give massive overdoses of morphine to those they believed could not make it out alive. One New Orleans doctor told how she 'prayed for God to have mercy on her soul' after she ignored every tenet of medical ethics and ended the lives of patients she had earlier fought to save.