Saturday, 29 March 2003

on this day 1971: american Lieutenant guilty of My Lai massacre

Lieutenant William Calley was found guilty of murder at a court martial for his part in the My Lai massacre which claimed the lives of 500 South Vietnamese civilians.Lieutenant Calley was in charge of Charlie Company, a unit of the American Division's 11th Infantry Brigade, who were on a mission to root out the communist 48th Viet Cong Battalion fighters.

The Viet Cong were not in the village and instead more than 500 unarmed civilians were brutally killed in an unprovoked attack by US troops.

Lieutenant Calley faced four charges:... the murder of at least 30 "oriental human beings" at a junction of two trails... killing 70 others in a ditch... shooting a man who approached him with his hands raised begging for mercy... killing a child running from the ditch where the 70 died.

The massacre came to light a year after it happened after investigative media reports.

The crimes included murders, rape, sodomy, maiming and assault of civilians.

Charges came after the army commissioned an investigation into the cover-up of the massacre which became known as the Peers inquiry.

The Peers inquiry recommended charges should be brought against 28 officers and two non-commissioned officers involved in the concealment of the massacre.

Lieutenant Calley was the only one to be convicted and he was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour. Within three days he was out of prison, pending appeal, on the personal instructions of President Richard Nixon.

He spent the next three years under house arrest at Fort Benning in Georgia. Freed on bail in 1974 his sentence was then cut to 10 years but he was paroled later that year after completing one third of his sentence.

Friday, 28 March 2003


the other night i was talking on the phone with a friend and she was describing her horrible day. she said she had started out with the intention of getting on with doing something pleasurable, but she found herself drawn into doing horrible admin type phone calls that ended up putting her in a miserable mood.

and then she said

that i don't have things like that to deal with.

i pointed out that she mistakes my lack of anxiety, with meaning that i don't have 'serious problems' to deal with.

i mean for starters, as a consequence of personal priorities and choices made throughout my adult life, i exist at a level of financial poverty. i.e. i spend most days with no money at all. there are holes in my shoes and i have overdue bills and debts i can't pay. i'd prefer to pay them, but if i can't it doesn't matter. i'll deal with the consequences if and when they happen. its not worth being unhappy or worrying about it.

it really doesn't matter if the electric gets cut off or i can't buy new clothes this year or i haven't had a 'holiday' this decade. its not the end of the world, its merely the end of normality.

life is just too short and too fascinating to spend it being worried and distracted by prescribed priorities.

dismissively labelling an idea as a 'conspiracy theory' effectively works like a fire blanket, instantly smothering the flames of non-prescribed thought.

yet if conspiracy theorists, aswell as scriptwriters (not to mention 'terrorists'), are capable of imagining clever and elaborate plots, then whats so difficult about believing that some politicians and corporate power junkies are equally capable of devising and colluding in grand conspiracies?

as a starting point, people who crave immense power usually share a base line of commonality with each other. they crave power. they are usually rich. they have often been processed through similar institutions and social networks. they usually share a strong belief in righteousness. they tend to be rightwing. and they tend to be intolerant of diverse human freedoms, especially when those freedoms threaten to turn their positions of power into an irrelevance.

you see i have a real problem with the notion that a cleverly executed strike such as sep 11th, which involved multiple levels of orchestration, simply didn't register as a significant pre-warning in all that surveillance chatter. you know, the electronic monitoring that justifies america currently working its way through a rainbow of alerts and vaporising civil liberties, or the reason tanks pulled up outside airports in the uk, or why we're at war.

and i have the greatest difficulty imagining how anybody in their right mind could ever believe a single word spoken by those psychotic crooks who run the american administration?

and i don't understand why people on the telly keep telling us that "nobody wants war". of course there are people who want war. just as there are powerful individuals and organisations who don't care the slightest about human lives.

conspiracy or not, (and self censorship amongst journalists certainly resembles a conspiracy) there are important questions not being adressed by the mainstream media: who gains the most from sept 11th? who gains from the restrictions to our liberty? who gains from a consumer population psyoped into a state of anxiety and insecurity? who gains the most from war?
micheal moore at the oscars

Cheryl Seal writes about the reality behind the supposed large chorus of boos and jeers Michael Moore received at the Oscars.

The "liberal" corporate media is playing games in the sound editing room.

When Michael Moore delivered his blast of the Bush Reich at the Oscars, he was, in reality, given a standing ovation and hearty applause. But, to hear the soundbyte presented on the network news, you'd never know it. All you can hear are boos...which, in fact, came from about five people, from eyewitness accounts.

(via ethel the blog)

also worth reading by Cheryl Seal: Smoking Gun
The 9/11 Evidence that May Hang George W. Bush

Wednesday, 26 March 2003

The Alternative United States
By: Dr. Edward Said

"to live in a world that is held in the grip of an extraordinarily unbound great power there is a vital need for knowing as much about its swirling dynamics as is humanly possible. And that, I believe, also includes commanding an excellent working command of the language, something few Arab leaders (as a case in point) possess.

Yes, America is the country of McDonald's, Hollywood, blue jeans, Coca-Cola and CNN, all of them products exported and available everywhere by virtue of globalization, multinational corporations, and what seems to be the world's appetite for articles of easy, convenient consumption. But we must also be conscious of from what source these come and in what ways the cultural and social processes from which they ultimately derive can be interpreted, especially since the danger of thinking about America too simply or reductively and statically is so obvious." .....

....."Cultures, specially America's, which is in effect an immigrant culture, overlap with others, and one of the perhaps unintended consequences of globalization is the appearance of transnational communities of global interests, as in the human rights movement, the women's movement, the anti-war movement and so on. America is not at all insulated from any of this, but one has to excavate beyond the intimidatingly unified surface to see what lies beneath, so as to be able to join in that set of disputes, to which many of the people of the world are a party. There is hope and encouragement to be gained from that view."
former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter
The United States does not have the military means to take over Baghdad and will lose the war against Iraq, former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter said.
"The United States is going to leave Iraq with its tail between its legs, defeated. It is a war we can not win," he told private radio TSF in an interview broadcast here Tuesday evening.

"We do not have the military means to take over Baghdad and for this reason I believe the defeat of the United States in this war is inevitable," he said.

"Every time we confront Iraqi troops we may win some tactical battles, as we did for ten years in Vietnam but we will not be able to win this war, which in my opinion is already lost," Ritter added.

Ritter resigned in August 1998 after accusing both Washington and the United Nations of not doing enough to support the weapons inspectors.

Since leaving the UN weapons inspectors team he has become an outspoken critic of US policies towards Iraq.
The Subversion Of The Free Press By The CIA

"You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month." CIA operative discussing with Philip Graham, editor Washington Post, on the availability and prices of journalists willing to peddle CIA propaganda and cover stories. "Katherine The Great," by Deborah Davis (New York: Sheridan Square Press, 1991)
We were censored

Somebody doesn't like hearing the truth. Okay, for a second, lets scratch that and choose a slightly less politically charged term. Someone doesn't like to be disputed with alternative views, counterclaims, research and fact. Someone wants you, the reading public, to only gather one-sided, monotone, Orwellian dispatch. News the way they "fashion" it. Or as CNN will have you believe, the "most reliable source for news."

And so, once again, the staff at was threatened with a shutdown:

"We are sorry to notify you of suspending your account: Your account has been suspended because [of] inappropriate graphic material."

Within hours, the [] site was shut down.
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices," Voltaire wrote in 1767. The quotation is sometimes rendered with different wording: "As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities."

Lillian Hellman
In May 1952, the playwright Lillian Hellman wrote in a letter to the House Un-American Activities Committee: "I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions."

"In 70 BC, an ambitious minor politician and extremely wealthy man, Marcus Licineus Crassus, wanted to rule Rome. Just to give you an idea of what sort of man Crassus really was, he is credited with invention of the fire brigade. But in Crassus' version, his fire-fighting slaves would race to the scene of a burning building whereupon Crassus would offer to buy it on the spot for a tiny fraction of it's worth. If the owner sold, Crassus' slaves would put out the fire. If the owner refused to sell, Crassus allowed the building to burn to the ground. By means of this device, Crassus eventually came to be the largest single private land holder in Rome, and used some of his wealth to help back Julius Caesar against Cicero."
from today's referrer stats

Tuesday, 25 March 2003

Synapse chip taps into brain chemistry

"A microchip that uses chemicals instead of pulses of electricity to stimulate neurons has been created. It could open the way to implants that interact with our nervous system in a far more subtle way than is possible now."
(via my analog life)
Another Poster for Peace

"Another Poster for Peace is a group of designers who are commited to the peaceful and just resolution of the current crises in the Middle East. Our goal is to help create a grassroots campaign for patriotic dissent as a counter to the onslaught of fear and warmongering currently in the media.

If enough of us voice our dissent, we can raise the level of public engagement and concern to a point at which politicians will have to sit up and pay attention. If enough of us voice our dissent, we will be heard."

Oxfam America

"Oxfam America is an international development organization dedicated to creating lasting solutions to hunger, poverty and social injustice around the world.

Oxfam provides financial, technical and networking assistance to grassroots groups to support their self-help community development initiatives. Oxfam also advocates among national and international policy-makers, suggesting humane public policies that address structural impediments to ending poverty and hunger.

In addition, Oxfam educates Americans about the causes and solutions to world hunger and poverty. A major component of our educational and policy work is campaigning throughout the U.S. to get Americans actively behind the important policy issues that we believe will make significant differences to poor communities."
(via my analog life)
Vegetable-Based Fuels Steam Ahead

"Altering the chemical structure of vegetable oil could make the molecule more resistant to temperature changes and increase its use as a supplement to petroleum-based motor oil in automobiles, scientists said on Monday."

Bio-battery runs on shots of vodka

"An enzyme-catalysed battery has been created that could one day run cell phones and laptop computers on shots of vodka."
(via my analog life)
The Sound of Things to Come
(new york times via plastic bag

"Through the magic of transmitting sound to directionally precise co-ordinates the HyperSonic Sound Amplifier enables really specific and clearly defined parts of the 3-D real-world to be exposed to noise in such a way that people a couple of feet away can't hear it at all."

tom adds: "The most depressing part of this otherwise fascinating story is that the best thing they could come up with as an early application was a Coca-Cola machine that suggested you buy one when you went past... "Wouldn't a Coca-Cola feel pretty good about now?""
JADED WRITES: WAR! What is it Good for? (Keeping your job apparently)

"The backlash in America against celebrities voicing their token anti-war sentiments gathers pace. Whilst the limp bleatings of your favourite TV heart throb or weather girl may seem innocuous enough in Europe, over the pond it's lynchin' time!

A good old fashioned 1950s witch hunt is in progress and it looks likely that one of the first casualties will be Martin Sheen who is pipped to be sacked from NBC's "West Wing". He's been engaged in TV ad war with former Republican senator Fred Thompson, star of NBC's "Law and Order". NBC, like virtually all the US networks and media, is fiercely pro war and has shown it's cards by screening a double bill of "Law and Order" in place of the scheduled "West Wing" episode.

Whilst I'm right behind the caring sharing anti-war millionaires, perversely I'm more interested in hearing the views of those shadowy, shady, strangely quiet, Pro-War Celebs - but who are they?

Here's a brief selection:

Tom Cruise
James Earl-Jones
Harrison Ford
Rob Lowe
Dennis Miller
Kid Rock
Arnold Schwartzenegger
Steven Spielberg
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Bruce Willis
James Woods

Harrison Ford and James Earl-Jones? As someone pointed out; this has got to be the first time that Han Solo and Darth Vader have fought on the same side!
Idaho towns 'dark skies' movement

Two Idaho mountain towns are flicking off light switches, putting in dimmer bulbs and directing street lamps to shine down at the street -- all in the name of letting people experience the simple pleasure of seeing the stars again.

"It's a precious natural resource that's no longer available," said Stephen Pauley, a chief proponent of the local dark-sky ordinances in Ketchum and Hailey. "At least 60 percent of Americans can't see the Milky Way."
(via my analog life)
Biomorphic Robotics and Nervous Net Research:

biomorph : generic term for any organic that has been strongly geneered, especially in a novel or unusual way. (from the terms BIOlogy and MORPHology, and the Latin for "living" and "form")

....The "biomorphic" robots built so far are not "workers" in the traditional sense, but "survivors", in that they fight to solve the immediate problems of existence rather than procedural condition (i.e.: they do not follow the rules of an internal program that mimics the external world, but the world itself). NV control architectures focus on adaptive survival rather than the performance of specific tasks.....

[PDF]The Design of "Living" Biomech Machines:

A Biomorphic robot (from the Greek for "of a living form") is a self-contained mechanical device fashioned on the assumption that chaotic reaction, not predictive forward modeling, is appropriate and sufficient for sustained "survival" in unspecified and unstructured
environments. On the further assumption that minimal, elegant survival devices can be evolved from lesser to greater capabilities using silicon instead of carbon

bioborg : a biological cyborg, does not include any non-organic components. See also softbot

[PDF]constructed artists
"the development of
constructed artists,
i.e., computer programs
capable of creating artworks with little or no human intervention. an analysis and critic of
some of the most prominent work on this field.
a description of the main characteristics that
a system should have, in order to be considered a
constructed artist
. and a model for the development of a
constructed artist"
"This model has the capability of performing aesthetic evaluation, through the use of neural networks.
The images are generated using a genetic algorithm, and represented using Fractal Image Encoding.
This type of methodology allows the representation and, consequently, the generation of any type of

Monday, 24 March 2003

the oscars 2003

micheal moore being micheal moore at the oscars, bless him.
(5.7mb, qt)

i spent the other night at my mum and step-dad's flat. after i'd also popped in on my mum's sister.

when i first arrived at my parent's flat, the tv was on, the bbc national lottery show followed by a hospital soap, 'casualty'.

my mum wanted to listen to the hospital soap and therefore not have conversation. i'd arrived less than half an hour.

on sunday we went for lunch in a pub by the arun river with a view overlooking cranes and (what looked like) slag heaps.

my mum is now almost total cyborg. twice daily insulin injections, dialysis 3 days a week, pills, wheel chair, stair lift, dyed hair, electronic bed, electronic armchair, remote controls and satelitte tv......

we watched a lot of shows like 'fort boyard' and repeats of 'the chrystal maze'. aswell as re-runs of 'the golden girls'. and she has been taping buffy for me. i watched a few episodes when they'd both gone to bed.

last week thieves stole her mobility vehicle from outside their flat.

during the evening i gave my mum a back massage whilst having a pointless discussion about the WaR with my step-dad. he harks back to his army days in africa, i remind him that was half a century ago. the world is different now.

(i must get round to uploading the recent photo of my mum, in a toy shop with my sister and her husband, sat in her wheelchair wearing a viking helmet with a droopy right horn and with that self-conscious public-attention look of dread on her face. she is 70 this year.)

The microscopic population of a compost heap includes at least seven species of bacteria, 14 species of actimomycetes, and 34 species of fungi.

Just a handful of compost contains several million mostly microscopic worms called nematodes.

" If all the matter in the universe except the nematodes were swept away, our world would still be dimly recognizable..."
-N.A. Cobb, 1914

Nematodes are the most numerous multicellular animals on earth.

nematodes are second only to insects in the number of species. Only about 3 percent of all species have been studied or identified and these include significant parasites of humans, animals, and plants.

Nematodes can be grouped according to what they eat. The different groups are fungal feeders, bacterial feeders, predators, animal parasites, algal feeders,omnivores, and plant parasites.

The name "nematode" comes from the Greek words: nema, which means "thread", and toid, which means "form".

"one reason why they're so interesting to study is that they have a nervous system. They have a complete gut tract. They have a reproductive system. They have an excretory system."

"If you were describing a nematode to a Martian and you didn't tell them what size it was and what shape it was and you said 'it has a nervous system. It has an outer coating that's impervious to water. It thinks, it behaves, it responds to light, it responds to chemical signals. It responds to heat; it responds to touch.' If you did that and you didn't tell them what organism you were discussing, you could have substituted the word human for nematode and still have been correct."

1: Human Genes Closer To Fruit Flies Than To Nematodes

2: Nematodes as Biological Control Agents

The Living Dead: What lurks inside these insect cadavers?

"The idea of using dead insects to transport nematodes has been discussed in the past; it allows many more nematodes to be reared at a lower cost than other methods.

But it was not feasible because the cadavers are fragile, and they break apart easily when handled and stored.

So the research team devised a way to successfully coat insect cadavers with sticking agents and powders. The coating makes it easier to store and handle the carcasses and also improves tolerance to environmental extremes.

The nematode-infected hosts are first dipped in a liquid mixture and then rolled in a powder. It sticks to the cadaver and has no significant harmful effect on nematode reproduction.

When the carcass surface becomes moist again, the powder dissolves. The coating biodegrades rapidly, because it is made from environmentally friendly materials."

26-year-old Anguina tritici revived

3-09-01- Living Anguina tritici were revived from wheat galls from the USDA collection, in storage since 1975.  After rehydrating, the nematodes were observed to be alive and moving vigorously. 

Holding It All Together

"We walk upon a thin and fragile crust of broken and chemically weathered rock mixed with organic and animate matter---soil. It is the life-support substance on which all earthly living organisms depend.

Soil organisms play a fundamental role in the sustainability of life on earth, and yet we know so little about them. Says Ingham, "There are seven to nine major groups of organisms present in healthy soil, including viruses, worms, insects, arthropods, protozoa, nematodes, bacteria, fungi, and mycorrhizal fungi.

Different soils have different numbers of individuals, numbers of species, and total biomass."

In a fertile soil, biomass may exceed 20 tonnes/ha."

animation: the miracle of life
Recommended Geoscience Capabilities of Biomorphic
Lessons from Pathfinder.pdf
by Nathan T. Bridges and Timothy J. Parker
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Sunday, 23 March 2003

Mutiny, Fragging and Desertions in the U.S. Military
By Kevin Keating
(via veiled 4 allah)

"someone who was in the US military during the Persian Gulf War told me that when George Bush visited the troops in Saudi Arabia before the war, many enlisted men and women in Bush's immediate vicinity had their rifle and pistol ammunition taken away. The bolts were also removed from their rifles.

If this was so, it makes it clear that Bush and his corporate handlers may have been afraid of the US enlisted people who Bush would soon be killing in his unsuccessful re-election campaign.

The suppressed history of the Vietnam war shows that the Commander-in-Chief had good reason to fear and distrust the troops. Our rulers want us to forget what happened during the Vietnam war, and they want us to forget what defeated their war effort - and the importance of the resistance to the war by enlisted men and women.

Until 1968 the desertion rate for US troops in Vietnam was lower than in previous wars. But by 1969 the desertion rate had increased fourfold." on.....
The bugs are talking to each other

"new research suggests that microbial life is highly social, intricately networked, and teeming with interactions. Bassler and other researchers have determined that bacteria communicate using molecules comparable to pheromones. By tapping into this cell-to-cell network, microbes are able to collectively track changes in their environment, conspire with their own species, build mutually beneficial alliances with other types of bacteria, gain advantages over competitors, and communicate with their hosts - the sort of collective strategizing typically ascribed to bees, ants, and people, not to bacteria."
wired (via my analog life)

Saturday, 22 March 2003


Research has discovered that the largest living entity is a slime mould measuring many miles accross,

slime mould are classified in a separate Kingdom - the Protoctista. These fascinating organisms exhibit characteristics of both animals and fungi.

Slime moulds live as solitary amoebae, wandering around the forest floor or pseudopoding through rotting wood - until their food or water begins to dwindle.

then the individual 'amoebae' live as a multicellular mass. communicating by chemical signals.

When slime mould cells begin to starve or dehydrate, they release a pheromone-like chemical called cyclic AMP.  This messenger molecule alerts all the related slime mould amoebae in the vicinity that their luck is about to change. 
Other slime mould amoebae detect the AMP and   follow the scent to join forces with the troubled amoebae. 

In addition to stimulating a follow the leader attitude, AMP also excites those that detect it into making and releasing their own AMP.  So, as the amoebae stream together, they generate more signals drawing an ever growing crowd. AMP is an important chemical word in the language of cells and seems to be understood and made by all cells, even our own. 

When the amoebae converge, they mound together. When the mound reaches a critical size, it plops over on its side and becomes a small slug-like creature made of about 100,000 cells.

Slime mould solves maze puzzle ( 28 Sept 2000)

 Japanese scientists claim that amoeba-like organisms have a primitive form of intelligence, following an experiment where a slime mould found its way through a maze.

Reporting in the journal Nature, Toshiyuki Nakagaki from the Bio-Mimetic Control Research Centre in Nagoya showed that a slime mould negotiated the shortest route between two exits in a maze, avoiding three longer paths.

Slime mould DNA Music

Listen to slime mould DNA music, developed from the sequence of nucleotides in slime mould DNA.

John Dunn selected and/or developed synthesizer sounds to be used to create music by translating the individual DNA codons, the strings of guanine, adenine, cytosine and thymine, into the proteins they form, taking account of "start" and "stop" signals.

The amino acids of each protein sequence plus chemical properties of the amino acids and the bases themselves were interpreted as pitches, pan positions, transpose values, tempi, tone colors and so on. The realization of the piece was developed manually, until the piece was right.

Listen to slime mould DNA (copyright by John Dunn) in RealAudio
If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable. ~Louis D. Brandeis
Pentagon hawk linked to UK intelligence company

"Amid general stock market jitters, one British company linked to the American hawk Richard Perle and dealing with secret intelligence is among the few UK commercial organisations that stand to profit from the Iraq war and its accompanying worldwide terrorist alert.

The Cambridge-based Autonomy Corporation, with Mr Perle's help, is secretively selling advanced computer eavesdropping systems to intelligence agencies around the world.

Clients to date are believed to include MI6 and GCHQ, the newly launched US department of homeland security in Washington, and intelligence agencies in Italy.

Mr Perle, long one of the most high-profile proponents of war with Iraq, is a director of Autonomy with an option on 75,000 of the company's shares - currently trading in the doldrums, far below the option price. "

the guardian
on this day 1956: Martin Luther King convicted for bus boycott

Civil rights leader, the Reverend Martin Luther King, was convicted of organising an illegal boycott by black passengers of buses in the US state of Alabama.

the boycott in the town of Montgomery was sparked by the arrest of a black woman, Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat for a white passenger on 1 December the previous year.

The town's segregation laws stipulated separate areas on buses for blacks and whites and required blacks to give up their seats for whites if necessary.

The bus boycott lasted a total of 382 days. It ended in December 1956 after bus companies throughout Alabama were forced to comply with a US Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public transport was illegal.

Woke up, put clothes on, went to work.
on this day 2002: uk Woman granted 'right to die'

A woman paralysed from the neck down has won the legal right to die by having her treatment withdrawn.

The 43-year-old woman, known as Miss B after she was granted anonymity, watched via a video-link from her hospital bed as Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss delivered the landmark ruling.

It means doctors at the hospital where she is being treated, which cannot be identified, will have to switch off the ventilator keeping her alive whenever she chooses.

keychain with keys


Friday, 21 March 2003


its brian molko on the jonathan ross show.
Naked anti-war demos sweep world

a global naked protest trend is taking place amid a growing climate of anti-war sentiment.

in SYDNEY Australia -- Hundreds of Australian women stripped off in a naked show of defiance against the possibility of a U.S.-led war on Iraq.

while in Byron Bay, north of Sydney, 250 men used their bodies to spell out "Peace, man."

On the other side of the Pacific, in West Marin, California, about 100 women used their bodies to spell out the word "Peace" on a a local beach.

In a similar protest in the Chilean capital Santiago, 300 naked men and women gathered in a park to voice their anti-war feelings. But the attitude amongst authorities changed when the protesters marched to the presidential palace. A water cannon was used to disperse the crowd, with officials saying the protest was authorized for the park only.
(originally reported by cnn Wednesday, March 5, 2003)

We stand between the earthloving beast and the cool, hot electronic angel. We will feel the dirt in our blood and the sun in our eyes even after they are gone or just memories. Even after we'll have no blood and no flesh eyes. Dirt and sun made us. We won't forget.
(-- Roger Atkins/Greg Bear)

"One can imagine a time when men who still inhabit organic bodies are regarded with pity by those who have passed on to an infinitely richer mode of existence, capable of throwing their consciousness or sphere of attention instantaneously to any point on land, sea, or sky where there is a suitable sensing organ. In adolescence we leave childhood behind; one day there may be a second and more portentous adolescence, when we bid farewell to the flesh."
(-- Arthur C. Clarke's _Profiles Of The Future_ originally published in 1958)

It is my belief that as technology progresses, the confusion regarding the underlying question regarding abortion -- "What is a person?" -- will get worse. I predict that in the near future (the lifetimes of people already born), people will have to face xoxs (clones with identical memories to the original), uplifts (animals whose
intelligence has been increased), cyborgs (human brains encased in mechanical devices), androids (intelligent robots in human-shaped bodies), AIs (artificially intelligent computers), and uploads (human minds uploaded into computers). When I asked Eric Drexler (author of Nanosystems , about how we should react to such entities, he said, "We should give them the benefit of the doubt and consider them human."
(-- Tihamer Thoth-Fejel)

Bendith and Mamau are a clan of Welsh Færies. These ugly creatures (which could be the result of interbreeding between Færies and goblins) are known to kidnap children. In doing this, they replace the kidnapped child with one of their own, called a crimbil. If a child is recovered from the Bendith Y Mamau, they do not remember anything, except notions of sweet music.

Psychological operations really proved themselves in the 1991 Gulf war, according to US officials. but the 'enemy' aren't the only psyop targets...

"Capture their minds and their hearts and souls will follow"
"Psychological Operations or PSYOP are planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of organizations, groups, and individuals. Used in all aspects of war, it is a weapon whose effectiveness is limited only by the ingenuity of the commander using it."

"Psychological operations may be defined broadly as the planned use of communications to influence human attitudes and behavior ... to create in target groups behavior, emotions, and attitudes that support the attainment of national objectives. The form of communication can be as simple as spreading information covertly by word of mouth or through any means of multimedia."

cnn and psyops
"The facts are", De Vries told me, " that the US Army, US Special Operations Command and CNN personnel confirmed to me that military personnel have been involved in news production at CNN's newsdesks. I found it simply astonishing. Of course CNN says these psyops personnel didn't decide anything, write news reports, etcetera. What else can they say. Maybe it's true, maybe not. The point is that these kind of close ties with the army are, in my view, completely unacceptable for any serious news organization. Maybe even more astonishing is the complete silence about the story from the big media. To my knowledge, my story was not mentioned by leading American or British newspapers, nor by Reuters or AP."

Questions on Psyops and Perception Management

1. Discuss how psyops and perception management have been used by the US government, al Qaeda, or others during the war on terrorism.
2. How much control does and should the US government have over what is aired on television or reported in the press?

The Battle for Your Mind: Propaganda, PR and PsyOps

"Bernays regarded Uncle Sigmund as a mentor, and used Freud's insights into the human psyche and motivation to design his PR campaigns, while also trading on his famous uncle's name to inflate his own stature. There is, however, a striking paradox in the relationship between the two. Uncle Sigmund's "talking cure" was designed to unearth his patients' unconscious drives and hidden motives, in the belief that bringing them into conscious discourse would help people lead healthier lives. Bernays, by contrast, used psychological techniques to mask the motives of his clients, as part of a deliberate strategy aimed at keeping the public unconscious of the forces that were working to mold their minds." John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton on The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays & The Birth of PR

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society...Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. . . . In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons . . . who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind." Edward Bernays, from: Propaganda
New networks mimic the behavior of insects and bacteria

"Drawing heavily on the chemistry of biology, researchers from Humboldt University in Germany have devised a way for electronic agents to efficiently assemble a network without relying on a central plan.

The researchers modeled their idea on the methods of insects and other life forms whose communications lack central planning, but who manage to form networks when individuals secrete and respond to chemical trails.

The researchers found that what works for ants and bacteria also works for autonomous pieces of computer code.

The work could eventually be used for self-assembling circuits, groups of coordinated robots and adaptive cancer treatments, according to Schweitzer."

from technology review (via my analog life)
on this day 1960: the Sharpeville massacre

More than 50 black citizens were killed when police opened fire on a "peaceful" protest in the South African township of Sharpeville.

Eye-witnesses said men, women and children fled 'like rabbits' as up to 300 officers began randomly shooting into a 5,000-strong crowd outside the municipal offices in Sharpeville.

Between 5,000 and 7,000 people had gathered at Sharpeville police station to protest against the pass laws, which were designed by apartheid government to seriously restrict movement in white areas.

The laws, which required all black men and women to carry reference books containing their personal details including name, tax code and employer details, were in that year been extended to all black women as well as men.

The law stated that anyone found in a public place without their book would be arrested and detained for up to 30 days.

the march was intended to be the first of a five-day, non-violent campaign by black Africans to persuade the government to abolish the laws.

The aim was for all black Africans to leave their pass books at home and present themselves at police stations for arrest. This, said Mr Subukwe, would cause prisons to become overcrowded, labour to dry up and the economy to grind to a halt.

But three hours after it began, the 'peaceful' gathering had turned into a blood-bath.

Following the Sharpeville massacre the death toll rose to 69 and the number of injuries to 180.

In the following days 77 Africans, many of whom were still in hospital, were arrested for questioning - most were later released.

On 24 March the government banned all public meetings in 24 magisterial districts of South Africa and on April 8 the PAC and the African National Congress (ANC) were banned and a state of emergency was declared in the country.

The following September 224 people lodged civil claims against the government but the government responded by introducing the Indemnity Act which relieved all officials of any responsibility for the Sharpeville atrocities.

No police officer involved in the massacre was ever convicted.

Thursday, 20 March 2003


1: "The send back liberty organization is group of US "patriots" dedicated to having "the Statue of Liberty sent back to the French."

"We believe that the French Government has effectively betrayed the safety of the United States of America by refusing to accept the fact that Saddam Hussein is a danger to every freedom-loving nation and by blocking any UN resolution to oust Saddam from power." they say

"Now is the time to show support for our PRESIDENT and our representatives realize that. They have already worked to change the name of FRENCH FRIES to FREEDOM FRIES. If we all make an effort and write to our Senators to let them know, we can have this gift sent back to the people who gave it, because they've obviously forgotten what liberty means."
(via the ever delightful green fairy)

2: US on high terror alert

The United States government, shifting to high terrorism alert, announced a wartime homeland security plan, Operation Liberty Shield, that will see hundreds of asylum seekers rounded up and detained, and 11,000 Iraqis living in America invited to interviews by the FBI.

"We want to make sure, during this period of time, that you are who you say you are," said Tom Ridge, the homeland security secretary.

Security was stepped up across the country, and the homeland security department's colour-coded five-level "threat warning" system, which has never fallen below yellow, or "elevated", moved to orange, signifying a high risk - one down from the highest possible level, red for "severe". (go here for a view of liberty under level red)

The operation, which will see around 5,000 FBI agents deployed around the US on counter-terrorism duties, comes as the Bush administration is reported to be drafting follow-up legislation to the USA Patriot Act, the internal security laws introduced in the immediate aftermath of September 11.

the new bill would "diminish personal privacy by removing important checks on government surveillance authority, reduce the accountability of government to the public by increasing government secrecy, expand the definition of 'terrorism' in a manner that threatens the constitutionally protected rights of Americans," a letter of opposition to the new proposals said.

3: Phone bugs found in EU offices

"Telephone bugs have been found in EU offices used by the British, French and German delegations, it was revealed today.

Three more, so far unidentified, delegations have also been the victims of wire-tapping.

The discovery comes two weeks after the Observer revealed that the US had been bugging security council members Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria, Guinea and Pakistan."
Spider silk delivers finest optical fibres

 "Delicate threads of spider's silk are about to solve a major problem in photonics: how to make hollow optical fibres narrow enough to carry light beams around the fastest nanoscale optical circuits.

They soon expect to be able to make hollow fibres with cores just two nanometres wide - or 50,000 times thinner than a human hair.

In addition to photonics, the spider silk-based fibres could also be used to boost the resolution of optical microscopes. Or they could be turned into nanoscale test tubes in a new breed of sensors that can suck up single molecules of a particular chemical, say.

The team took one-centimetre-long lengths of spider silk from Nephila madagascariensis, the giant orb-weaving spider of Madagascar.

The next step will be to produce even finer fibres, using the thinnest known silk with a diameter of only 10 nanometres from the spider Stegodyphus pacificus, a native of the Middle East and South Asia."
Plant Rhys Dwfen

The Plant Rhys Dwfen ("children of Deep Rhys") are a tribe of fairies who inhabit a small land which is invisible because of a special herb that grows there. They are handsome, less than average in height, and grateful to those who treat them fairly. They often visit markets in Cardigan where they pay such high prices for goods that ordinary buyers can not compete with them. When visiting the main land, they assume human form.

Wednesday, 19 March 2003


i was just on the phone to my aunt and she was asking me if my ceiling had been repaired yet after the roof builder's multiple accidents, and she was saying how i ought to get compensation and then she said "i bet if you were a different colour (i.e. black or asian) you'd have had compensation right away."

it never fails to startle me when people talk bollocks like that. i mean does she really believe what she just said? in many other ways my aunt seems like quite a smart woman, but such a perspective of reality can only come from the opposite of thinking and from reading fundamentally twisted and mean spirited little newspapers such as the daily mail.

Tuesday, 18 March 2003


globalise resistance
reporters without borders
guerrilla news

neural signals
extropy institute
better humans

protest net
uk indymedia


on this day 1992: South Africa votes for change

White South Africans backed an overwhelming mandate for political reforms to end apartheid and create a power-sharing multi-racial government.

The following year talks had led to the creation of an interim constitution and in 1994 South Africa's first non-racial elections was won by the ANC and Nelson Mandela become president.

This brought with it a lifting of sanctions, restored membership of the Commonwealth along with South Africa retaking its seat in the UN General Assembly after an absence of 20 years.
WAR 2003

here we are on the brink of war in an age when the mainstream information outlets no longer hold a monopoly position. the money-motivated mainstream is still too influential, but there are now powerful and diverse alternative tributaries at our fingertips.

the anachronistic king canutes who hold positions of power and who need to attempt to control the main-streams, are credited as having learned valuable lessons from the media coverage of the vietnam war. coverage that swung public opinion against the war. information is the frontline, and our 'leaders' subsequently learned the importance of sheep-herding journalists through post-vietnam war zones, aswell as the strategic importance of broad-casting (an agricultural term originally) select gm news seeds knowing that much of it will take root.

best of all, in a competetive 'free' information society, well financed repetition is a cost effective means of colonising thoughts, just ask the billion dollar advertising industry.

we were carpet bombed with news about sept 11th, ensuring plenty of folk were talking and feeling and reacting from the same script. compare it to earlier in the same year with the very regular news reportage of the gujarat earthquake, more than 20,000 dead and 200,000 injured. did you talk and cry endlessly about that?

"In the run up to a conflict in Iraq, foreign news websites are seeing large volumes of traffic from America, as U.S. citizens increasingly seek news coverage about the coming war."

""Given how timid most U.S. news organizations have been in challenging the White House position on Iraq, I'm not surprised if Americans are turning to foreign news services for a perspective on the conflict that goes beyond freedom fries," said Deborah Branscom, a Newsweek contributing editor."

the 'foreign news' emphasised in the quote from wired is the website of a mainstream british newspaper, the guardian. but even so, it highlights a broadening of information options for people, where once there would have only been the dominant singularity of their country's media-cocoon. so thats progress, and almost democracy.

meanwhile....Pentagon Threatens to Kill Independent Journalists

"The Pentagon has threatened to fire on the satellite uplink positions of independent journalists in Iraq, according to veteran BBC war correspondent, Kate Adie.

In an interview with Irish radio, Ms. Adie said that questioned about the consequences of such potentially fatal actions, a senior Pentagon officer had said: "Who cares.. ..They've been warned."

She also warned that the Pentagon is vetting journalists according to their stance on the war, and intends to take control of US journalists' satellite equipment --in order to control access to the airwaves.

Another guest on the show, war author Phillip Knightley, reported that the Pentagon has also threatened they: "may find it necessary to bomb areas in which war correspondents are attempting to report from the Iraqi side."
source: dc indymedia

and for anyone still under the illusion that we live in a free society, heres the sound of your master's voice:

u.s. martial law
If america escalates to "red alert," which is the highest in the color-coded readiness against terror, you will be assumed by authorities to be the enemy if you so much as venture outside your home, the state's anti-terror czar Sid Caspersen says.

Caspersen, a former FBI agent, was briefing reporters, alongside Gov. James E. McGreevey, Thursday, when for the first time he disclosed the realities of how a red alert would shut the state down.

A red alert would also tear away virtually all personal freedoms to move about and associate.

"Red means all non-critical functions cease," Caspersen said. "Non-critical would be almost all businesses, except health-related."

"You must adhere to the restrictions announced by authorities

"The state police and the emergency management people would take control over the highways.

"You literally are staying home, is what happens, unless you are required to be out. No different than if you had a state of emergency with a snowstorm."

"The reason being is, what we're saying is, 'Everybody sit down!'

"If you are left standing, you are probably a terrorist.

"That is the basic premise of it."
source: nyc indymedia remember boys and girls, put your hand up if you want to speak. you have been warned.

Monday, 17 March 2003

on this day 1968: Anti-Vietnam demo turns violent

More than 200 people have been arrested after thousands of demonstrators clashed in an anti-Vietnam war protest outside the United States embassy in London.

The St John Ambulance Brigade said it treated 86 people for injuries. Fifty were taken to hospital including up to 25 police officers.

it came after a big rally in Trafalgar square, when an "estimated 10,000" demonstrated against American action in Vietnam and British support for the United States.

Labour MP Peter Jackson, tabled a private question for answer by the Home Secretary about what he called "police violence".

He told The Times newspaper: "I was particularly outraged by the violent use of police horses, who charged into the crowd even after they had cleared the street in front of the embassy."
Curb 'soup kitchens' says london council

"Westminster City Council is 'asking' soup kitchens to stop serving food to the homeless

It has been considering various "tough love" policies, including fining rough sleepers £500 and backing moves to give persistent beggars a criminal record.

a hardcore of homeless people will not accept beds provided.

The council believes soup runs take away the motivation to come off the streets into hostels where they can get specialist care.

The Salvation Army said a minority of homeless people need the kind of front-line help provided by soup runs." (source bbc)

and.....well excuse me westminster council, but isn't there just a basic right to not have to live in doors, especially not a hostel or institution, and not have to prioritise where money comes from.

homeless people are living under the heel of commodified existence. valueless space.

one time when i was in pentonville prison, there was a prisoner who was predominantly homeless when he was on the outside. and a heirarchy existed amongst prisoners that positioned him low down in our chain. i just didn't get it, not when we were all locked in prison. "tough love?" fuck off.

i've worked on soup runs, in brighton and in central london. in brighton we made the basics to hand out, tea, soup and a sandwich. in central london we handed out supermarket pre-packaged food that was otherwise going in the bin that day, aswell as blankets in the winter. heaven forbid anyone should get something for nothing, far better to hide the daily excess of our food industry in bins.

and then for some people, even some with a roof over there heads, the soup run is a warm social space.

theres something fundamentally sinister about letting people get tidied away by the authorities. give homeless people choices, give them more not even less, and give them some of your spare change.
"We cannot, by total reliance on law, escape the duty to judge right and wrong.... There are good laws and there are occasionally bad laws, and it conforms to the highest traditions of a free society to offer resistance to bad laws, and to disobey them." ~Alexander Bickel

Saturday, 15 March 2003

Future looks bleak for Iraq's fragile environment

"Even before it began, the 1991 war with Iraq was headlined as an environmental apocalypse....

Many fears turned out to be misplaced or inaccurate. Twelve years on, are we in a better position to judge how badly the environment would suffer in a new war with Iraq?

There is no official word on the matter. To date, no government or UN agency has assessed the environmental damage that might arise. This is odd, says Ian Willmore of Friends of the Earth. "Both the US and British governments argue that they have balanced the risks of invasion against those of not invading. The environment has to be part of that."
new scientist

"You get a lot more with a kind word and a gun than you do with a kind word alone."

(via online)

Friday, 14 March 2003


meandering aimlessly through the looking glass this afternoon, i found an mp3 that caused my heart to flutter and my neural synapses to misfire.

filled with eager anticipation i moved on to track 2. this time, rather than clicking it as i had the first track, i drag and drop and another 6.5 megs- through- a- dial- up later i pressed the qt play arrow.

but .......... "what the fuck is this?!" i scream, as my ears get a waxing by some kind of whine bar muzak.

you'll understand that it was only natural, during those first few dissapointing seconds, that i'd find myself in a zone of comforting optimism, fuelled by the still-warm thrill of that initial download, hoping that perhaps their sonic priorities were really this impressively broad, and that at any moment this polite prozac- and- piano overture would be husked by something deeper rooted.

sadly, experience tells me that life, and especially art, is rarely that adventurous. so with reluctant scepticism bleeding through, i drag and drop track one once more.

wouldn't you just know it.....their intentended version is more clean professional harmonies puddling up my airspace like bad weather.

therefore the dilemma is: how do i preserve that first heaven generated mistake? in the meantime i'll just hope not to have to restart while it sits in an open browser window. i'm probably being a bit thick about this, but i can't immediatly think how to save it, preferrably without having to wire it out externally. i'll try and upload it here when i figure it out.

Thursday, 13 March 2003


"Forty years ago, he would have called me a communist, and 70 years ago, he would have called me a Jew,"

.... Sy Hersh, lately dubbed a "terrorist" by Richard Perle.
(via ethel the blog)

a list of links dedicated to all the apathetic disco bunnies who think that mardi gras shouldn't be 'political', to everyone hiding in their closets colluding in their own oppression and especially to the gay-friendly straights who don't have a clue.....

"The opportunity to be threatened, humiliated and to live in fear of being beaten to death is the only 'special right' our culture bestows on homosexuals."
- Diane Carman, Denver Post

Around the world, lesbians, gay men and bisexual and transgender people are imprisoned; they are tortured to extract confessions of "deviance" and raped to “cure” them of it; they are killed by "death squads" in societies which view them as "desechables" - disposable garbage.
Crimes of Hate, Conspiracy of Silence An Amnesty International Report

Egypt: free those imprisoned for their sexual orientation
"Shortly after his arrest, one of the 50 men informed the prosecutor that he had been subjected to torture in detention and showed him the resulting marks on his body. The prosecutor noted "red vertical lines on the middle of the back...which the accused alleged were the result of beating with a thin stick...". However, no investigations are known to have been conducted into their allegations.

During the examination of Egypt's report to the UN Committee for Human Rights, in October 2002, the Egyptian delegation stated that in Egypt "homosexuality was not a criminal offence in itself". However, ongoing trials and imprisonment of people solely for their actual or perceived sexual orientation demonstrate that charges of "habitual debauchery" continue to be used to criminalize consensual homosexual relations in private."

u.k.: 'Tory resigns over 'homophobic' remarks'
"I cannot convince myself of anything other than homosexuality being a medical mental condition. I would not harm an individual for being gay but just think that they need medical attention rather than their 'fashionable' display of sexual deviancy being pandered to." said John Jenkins, a Conservative candidate in May's Welsh Assembly election who has resigned after posting comments that his party described as "totally unacceptable" on an internet website.

and yet........

"Tory divisions over section 28 were laid bare last night when (their leader) Iain Duncan Smith voted to retain the contentious clause which bans the 'promotion of homosexuality' in schools.

Modernising Tories looked on in horror as Edward Leigh described homosexuality as "wrong".

"Most British people are tolerant of homosexual people," Mr Leigh said. "However, whether you like it or not many people think that homosexual practice is wrong. That is what tolerance means. It means putting up with something you believe to be wrong."

Mr Leigh denied that section 28 was a "hate clause".

the bill to repeal section 28 now moves to the house of lords where previous debates have included gems such as: "A girl is not ruined for life by being seduced. A young fellow is." Earl of Longford and "It is said that this whole issue is one of equality. I do not myself believe that there is a moral equivalence between heterosexual and homosexual relationships." Baroness Young (via trash addict)

meanwhile: George W. Bush,
"Bush opposes hate crimes laws that prescribe harsher penalties for bias-motivated violence. The existing Texas hate crimes law does not specify what kinds of hatred warrant stiffer penalties by judges. The James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Bill would have defined a hate crime as "one motivated by the victim's race, ethnicity, gender, disability, religion, or sexual preference," thus facilitating enforcement of the law. Bush specifically objected to the inclusion of sexual orientation in the bill. (Paul Burka, "James Byrd, Jr.: Law's latest symbol," Texas Monthly, September 1999.)

When asked, "Do you support sex education programs that stress safe sexual practices?" Bush responded, "No." (Project Vote Smart questionnaire, 1998.) Bush told the Washington Times in July 1999 that he supports abstinence-only education, arguing that teaching safer sex and abstinence together "sends a contradictory message that tends to undermine the message of abstinence." (AIDS Action, "Election 2000 Presidential Candidate Report," August 1999) Bush has told young people that they should avoid sex until they are in a "a biblical marriage relationship." (David Broder, "Bush defends gun record, pushes teen abstinence," Washington Post, June 22, 1999.) Bush also supports using federal funds for abstinence education in equal amounts to that given for teenage contraception education, and supports educational grants for churches and faith-based groups from this pool of funds. (Associated Press, "Bush promotes abstinence for teenagers," June 22, 1999.)

Bush supports Texas's anti-sodomy law, which criminalizes same-sex consensual sexual activity, and when running against Governor Ann Richards in 1994 vowed to veto legislation seeking the law's repeal. Richards said she would not veto the repeal legislation. Bush said of the sodomy statute, "I think it's a symbolic gesture of traditional values." (David Elliot, "Bush promises to veto attempts to remove sodomy law," Austin American-Statesman, January 22, 1994.) The Texas sodomy law was held unconstitutional by a mid-level Texas appellate court in June, 2000. Texas has had a sodomy law since 1860 but dropped criminal penalties for partners of the opposite sex in 1974. (Juan Lozano, "Sodomy law ruled unconstitutional," Associated Press, June 8, 2000.)
stop promoting homosexuality international

(and then there are these americans, who despite their stated belief that the republicans are softy liberals are exactly the sort of people that bush keeps company with)
"It is now obvious that our actions are matters of life and death for us all. We can win the War On Terrorism and the Abortion War if we implement the strategy represented by The Creator's Rights Party. Won't you please help us win this War today? By now, you've probably heard about the massive effort launched by the baby butchers and the homosexuals and all the outlaws committed to destroying God's plan for government in the USA to destroy the Christian Gallery web sites and make it impossible for The Creator's Rights Party to be heard."

they go on to say, in a document titled 'arresting homosexuals--for their own good'.
"Passersby discovered the bloody and unconscious body of Matthew Shepard, a 22-year-old political science major, a mile northeast of Laramie on Wednesday evening. Matthew Shepard was tied to a fence, pistol-whipped, then left for dead in the freezing night. He died six days later.His head had been smashed with a blunt object one news report read..... None of the news reports mention the fact that homosexuality is an illegal activity in several States of this nation, if not in Wyoming, the State where Shepard was killed......because he was a homosexual, he was chosen to be the latest explanatory symbol used by the media to condition the people of this nation to treat homosexuals as a category of human beings deserving special, and therefore unequal, protection of laws passed by the Federal government."

so tell us again diane: "The opportunity to be threatened, humiliated and to live in fear of being beaten to death is the only 'special right' our culture bestows on homosexuals."
- Diane Carman, Denver Post

"Government inaction -- and at times government provocation -- is a driving force behind the torture and mistreatment of lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, Amnesty International said in a report launched today. The report includes documented examples of torture and ill-treatment in some 30 countries, including Uganda, Pakistan, Argentina, the United States and Russia, and details cases of LGBT people who were antagonized in custody, physically and sexually assaulted, subjected to unnecessary medical or psychiatric treatment, and sometimes forced to flee their countries because of persecution based on their sexual identity. Crimes of Hate, Conspiracy of Silence An Amnesty International Report

"The world's first brain prosthesis - an artificial hippocampus - is about to be tested in California. Unlike devices like cochlear implants, which merely stimulate brain activity, this silicon chip implant will perform the same processes as the damaged part of the brain it is replacing."

from new scientist where you also have the chance to "Win your DNA sequence"

"Fifty years on from the discovery of DNA's structure, our competition offers the decoding of your mitochondrial DNA"

the tiresome and antiquated topic of "appropriate clothing" has reared its mannequin head in the news again. we have 2 stories of people quite literally being judged by their appearances. theres the case of the fcuk tshirt wearing juror who was dismissed by the judge, aswell as the man who won his sex discrimination trial re the unfairness of men being expected to wear ties in the workplace.

as someone involved in naked protest i have sometimes appeared in the court room, before a judge, without any form of clothing or fabric concealing my skin. i have also sometimes appeared in court with the lower half of my body concealed in a sari like prison bed-sheet.

wether entirely or partially unclothed, the presence of exposed human skin, in an enviroment where rigid costume and wigs are believed to be of premium value, is an especially empowering experience and always well worth fighting for.

i have a fond memory of one day, when vincent bethell was being held naked in the court cells and the magistrate was trying to negotiate with him, to at least put on a pair of underpants: the solicitor reported back that vincent would not put on any underpants, believing it would be the start of a slippery compromising slope, "it'd be just a pair of underpants one day, then it'd be jeans the next."

the third most regular but fruitless search stat on this site is for beth cordingly. now i'm not certain who she is, but i assume she is in the itv cop drama 'the bill' (???), and the search bots have picked up some micro-mention of her in connection with the hywel simons love triangle storyline.

so, in the ouroboros tradition of referrer stats and courtesy of the brunching shuttlecocks i here present beth's cyborg acronym:

Biomechanical Electronic Troubleshooting Humanoid Construct, Optimized for Repair and Dangerous Infiltration, Networked Galactic Learning Youth

Tuesday, 11 March 2003


"are you now, or have you ever been, anti-American? "

( via plastic bag )

people who make a drama out of a crisis can be frustrating and draining enough. but people who make a drama out of a crisis that came out of a drama rooted in some past unresolved crisis of theirs .....with those people sometimes clarity is not going to be an option and especially when their vortex is at the very start of my day, before my own life has had a chance to get a look in, then the best option is to hang up the phone on them.

Monday, 10 March 2003

uk legislation on begging
....The plans include proposals which would effectively ban begging.

Shelter criticised the proposals. "Begging is a demeaning and risky activity that people only resort to out of desperation," said a spokesperson.

Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat Home Office spokesman said: "It is window dressing rather than good long-term policy." ....

West's failure to donate humanitarian aid threatens catastrophe for millions

....UN given only quarter of requested funds as plans fall behind

With a war against Iraq perhaps days away, the world's richest governments have given the United Nations barely a quarter of the funds its agencies have asked for to deal with the expected humanitarian catastrophe. ....
this article isn't clearly dated, but i think its from 1998

this was a yahoo search referrer in my stats yesterday:...

" + website + shut + down + 2003"

certainly i can't go to today. so whats the story?

Monopoly Media Manipulation
by Michael Parenti

"media bias usually does not occur in random fashion; rather it moves in more or less consistent directions, favoring management over labor, corporations over corporate critics, affluent whites over low income minorities, officialdom over protestors, the two-party monopoly over anarchic third parties, privatization and free market "reforms" over public sector development, U.S. dominance of the Third World over revolutionary or populist social change, and conservative commentators and columnists over progressive or radical ones."

i hadn't bought any cigarettes for a month or so. i just get bored of smoking sometimes, so i don't smoke until i feel like smoking again. i have no withdrawal symptons when i don't smoke, for me cigarettes are a habit not an addiction. this is a subject i intend to get round to writing about eventually.....the cult of addiction and the cult of health/eternal-youth/anti-death etc.

but why i'm writing now is because of the whopping enormous new warning text on the front and back of the packet i've just bought. it fills half the total areas with heavy large black text in a thick black border. imagine if other mediums were made to fill 50% with a warning. your favourite tv programme with half the screen yelling at you "tv dulls your imagination" or half the space on electoral voting slips stating in bold black text "democracy equals bigger cages, longer chains."

Sunday, 9 March 2003


i enjoy language but i have never ever been tempted to do a crossword puzzle. so i need someone who enjoys crosswords to explain to me the point of the electronic 'pocket crossword solver', "with a database of 140,000 words".

it seems to me it would be like ordering an empty cup of tea, thats already been drunk for you, or watching a blank tv screen, your favourite programme pre-watched for you. i just don't get it.

my mum can't understand why people want to read about the soap opera plots ahead of time. she prefers to watch the soap and be surprised by events as they occur, just like in the old days (when the main british soaps were on just twice a week and viewers had to wait a whole 4 days for the next episode).

as the meryl streep character in "postcards from the edge" says: "instant gratification takes too long."

'We hear about the successful "Texanisation" of the Republican party. And doesn't Texas sometimes seem to resemble a country like Saudi Arabia, with its great heat, its oil wealth, its brimming houses of worship, and its weekly executions?'
rumsfeld and saddam 1980s

that photo via cnn.

"reagan whitehouse middle east special envoy donald rumsfeld shakes hands with saddam hussein during his visit on dec 19-20 1983.

rumsfeld would visit again on march 24 1984, the day the u.n. released a report that mustard gas had been used by iraq against iranian troops.

the new york times reported from baghdad on mar 29 1984 "american diplomats pronounce themselves satisfied with relations between iraq and the u.s. and suggest that normal diplomatic ties have been restored in all but name."

( via ethel the blog )

Naked protest sydney

Sydney, Australia March 2, 2003

"More than 300 women use their naked bodies to spell out "No War" on a sports field in Sydney, Australia. The second nude protest in as many weekends is in opposition to the growing tensions against Iraq."
(via baring witness)
Lawyer Arrested for Wearing a 'Peace' T-Shirt

"A lawyer was arrested late last Monday and charged with trespassing at a public mall in the state of New York after refusing to take off a T-shirt advocating peace that he had just purchased at the mall.

According to the criminal complaint filed on Monday, Stephen Downs was wearing a T-shirt bearing the words "Give Peace A Chance" that he had just purchased from a vendor inside the Crossgates Mall in Guilderland, New York, near Albany."

(via my analog life)
War would be illegal
Lawyers told the Guardian there is no justification under international law for the use of military force against Iraq.

"We are teachers of international law. On the basis of the information publicly available, there is no justification under international law for the use of military force against Iraq.

The UN charter outlaws the use of force with only two exceptions: individual or collective self-defence in response to an armed attack and action authorised by the security council as a collective response to a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression. There are currently no grounds for a claim to use such force in self-defence.

The doctrine of pre-emptive self-defence against an attack that might arise at some hypothetical future time has no basis in international law. Neither security council resolution 1441 nor any prior resolution authorises the proposed use of force in the present circumstances."

Afghan prisoners beaten to death at US base
Two prisoners who died at US military base in Afghanistan had been beaten, says military pathologist.

"A criminal investigation is now under way into the deaths which have both been classified as homicides.

The deaths have led to calls for an inquiry into what interrogation techniques are being used at the base where it is believed the al-Qaida leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, is now also being held. Former prisoners at the base claim that detainees are chained to the ceiling, shackled so tightly that the blood flow stops, kept naked and hooded and kicked to keep them awake for days on end. "

Muslims plead for 'return from the brink'
Politics: British Muslim leaders met Tony Blair at Downing Street the other day to make a last-minute plea to avert war.



Analysts confirm there has been an intensification of what is known as "the undeclared war".

Loren Thompson, a defence analyst with the US Lexington Institute, told Reuters: "The US military is taking advantage of the no-fly zones to prepare the battle space for war. There's been a sporadic war occurring in the air over Iraq for a dozen years now. This merely ratchets up the intensity."

The intensification of the Anglo-American attacks is likely to be seized on by Iraq, which has long complained that Britain and the US have abused the no-fly zones.

The intensification of the attacks in the no-fly zones appears to show that Britain and the US are determined to follow the military route, despite the continuing debate at the United Nations.

Figures released by the US central command show that British and US aircraft have stepped up their bombing over the past few weeks.

This year alone they have attacked Iraqi targets more than 40 times.
jaded writes: FASCISTS GOLD(tm)

"In the happy days of cold war pop spy culture the major villain was always a shady, shadowy, super-secret organisation - SPECTRE, THRUSH, etc. Those who long for those good old days of black and white morality, egg shaped swivel chairs and pools of Piranhas, will no doubt to be thrilled to know that the world is still at the mercy of such an organisation - The Carlyle Group.

But if you were expecting a strangely charismatic bald headed leader, with a third nipple, a penchant for short collared jackets and Persian cats you are in for disappointment. This band of badness is fronted by four familiar sober suited OAPs who once wielded immense power in the nineties.

They do not have an enormous sonic disruptor mounted in space that will melt the polar caps and send us into a new ice age, no, they're too sophisticated for that - supply and demand is where it's at. They broker weapon deals across the globe and always ensure there's a market for their "product".

So who are our four hoarsemen of the Apocalypse?
George Bush snr - ex-President (AKA Mr Senior Advisor)
Frank Carlucci - ex-Reagan Defence Secretary (AKA Mr CEO)
Fidel Ramos - ex-President of the Phillipines (AKA Mr Asian Advisor)
John Major - ex-Priminister of the UK (AKA Mr European Chairman)...(I guess that would make Edwina Currie Pussy Galore)

Their nefarious shenanigans are the stuff of legend, so much so that they tried to have their name blocked from Google search engines, but just like their "Crusader Project" they failed.

Still it's a nice little nest egg for George W. Bush when Pops pops his

here in reality/carlyle
bush carlyle

For more beating around the Bush go to:
family values

at the other side

hard to single any out, but my particular favourites so far are:

'if mittens ruled the world'

'little goth girl and the robot'

'mr snaffleburger corporation children's show'

and 'mr snaffleburger is happy'
"why are you happy mr. snaffleburger?"
"because i have surrendered all will towards individuality and replaced it with an unquestioning belief in the superior wisdom and benevolence of corporations."
2 lawmakers spurn Muslim's prayer
Republicans step off House floor; one says, 'It's an issue of patriotism'

"We open this session of House of Representatives in the name of Allah the one God of Abraham, God of Moses, God of Jesus, and God of Mohammed, peace be upon them all. . . . We ask Allah or God to bless the state of Washington so it may continue to prosper and become a symbol of peace and tranquility for people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. We pray that Allah may guide this House in making good decisions for the people of Washington.

At this time, we also pray that America may succeed in the war against terrorism. We pray to God that the war may end with world peace and tranquility."

....This prayer was deemed so offensive to patriotism by two members of the Washington House of Representatives that they walked out while it was being given. Read their reasons why....

"The Holy Quran says that (one should) always respond to bad action with good and those who used to be enemies become friends."

(via veiled 4 allah)

U.S. Pledges Continued Presence in Afghanistan
We'll continue to provide western values and culture.

UN Not Living Up to its Responsibilities, Says Bush
Most members overly concerned with peace.

"Well that's the headline that they'd like to read, in particular the members
of Donald Rumsfeld's Empower America Group (visit their web site but ensure you've got a bucket near by).

Who would have thought that these random rabid radical right wingers would ever have a platform for their bizarre plans for global domination? Imagine David Ike, Mary Whitehouse, Anne Widdecombe, the BNP, London Cabbies, and the Klu Klux Klan granted a national platform in the UK courtesy of the most rigged election since the I(heart)Mugabe fiasco in Zimbabwe.

We could laugh, likening America's disguised colonial ambitions and egotism to that of Britain in the nineteenth century (ho ho Africa and ha ha India). But like all empires (Hello Rome!) the general concepts of growth and expansion by theft and narcissism always herald the end.

So what happens when the bubble bursts for the "last super power"?

Eventually there will come a time when the xenophobic needs and desires of the fundamentally greedy Christian fundamentalists "over the pond" will exceed their concern for their populace (let alone stinky foreigners like
you). At the first sign of dissent you'll be asked to curb your language, then your ideology, and finally report your friends and family involved in subversive activity - all with the backing of your puppet "leader".

If we think about saying "no" will we have a structured society that gives us a voice? Well it doesn't look like it...

Ah well, when I see you in Camp X-Ray, Camp X-ylphone, Camp X-erox, Camp X-enophobic... crouched in some far away occupied isle (forbidden access to the media - natch!) where we can be disposed of or reconditioned as useful members of the Right Wing American Global Empire, be sure to bring some snouts - a surer currency than sterling..."
American plan to bug phones and emails of key Security Council members

The United States is conducting a secret 'dirty tricks' campaign against UN Security Council delegations in New York as part of its battle to win votes in favour of war against Iraq.

Details of the aggressive surveillance operation, which involves interception of the home and office telephones and the emails of UN delegates in New York, are revealed in a document leaked to The Observer.

The disclosure comes at a time when diplomats have been complaining about the outright 'hostility' of US tactics in recent days to persuade them to fall in line, including threats to economic and aid packages.

Dated 31 January 2003, the memo was circulated four days after the UN's chief weapons inspector Hans Blix produced his interim report on Iraqi compliance with UN resolution 1441.

It was sent by Frank Koza, chief of staff in the 'Regional Targets' section of the NSA, which spies on countries that are viewed as strategically important for United States interests. ( full story, read the memo )

A chronology of Bush saying one thing then doing another

on friday march 7 it rained all day and theres a hole in my shoe. but after spending all day out and about i went to see a performance by wendy houston, "the 48 almost love lyrics". its simplicity made me want to cry with happiness.

meanwhile on thursday i wrote this.......
a short while ago i was walking through a local shopping centre on my way home. i had passed a pack of youths near where i had entered and when i was close to the exit that lead to the carpark i stopped to look in a shop window. two of the lads were behind me and they stopped too.

now i am not someone who scares unescessarily, nor do i believe in colluding in the idea of 'dangerous' strangers or metropolitan areas 'to be avoided'. i walk through parks in the middle of the night because that open expanse of night sky is a beautiful thing to experience in the city. i will spend time talking and walking with strangers who approach me in the street in the middle of the night.

throughout my adult life i have experienced random vocal homophobia, based on a judgement about my appearance, and often my tactic to deal with this is to deliberately place myself immediately next to or even within the group, who are usually youths, usually male, and this unpredictable act seems to shut them up or extinguish their verbal psychosis eventually.

in all these scenarios what i rely on is my intuition telling me wether or not i am in any real danger. it seems to work for me. and today in the shopping centre my alarm bells were ringing loud.

i can only assume their intent was homophobic violence, as i don't look worth robbing and i'm just not worth robbing. even a mobile phone mugger would firstly spit on my rubbish chunky old phone and then return it to me with a mixture of pity and contempt in their eyes.

so i turned back, as the carpark exit i was headed to was not a wise space to go to, and i entered the supermarket. i stood browsing the magazine racks and i saw that the whole pack of youths, 6 or 7, were now gathered at the entrance of the supermarket.

i then approached the supermarket security guard and explained the situation. i said i might be wrong, but i'm fairly certain i'm not. he escorted me out of the shopping centre and through the carpark. this would have put plenty of distance between me and them, and i continued walking home. but as i passed the boundaries of a small estate on the other side of the road, there were some other youths sat on the wall. and i immediately read this situation as them being on the lookout, via the wonders of modern communication technology.

i should point out that my trousers are flourescent yellow, so i'm easy enough to describe and pick out. even so i would have carried on walking normally if it wasn't for the fact that i heard them shout "its him. its him." this was a potential hunting ambush, enhanced through technology tailored for beasts with prehensile texting thumbs. civilisation layered about as deep as their ring tones.

of course i preferred to be nobody's prey today, so i ran and ran till i arrived home. lungs burning.

an irony i feel the need to include here is that many friends, acquaintances and even strangers believe that i am good at listening to their troubles and problems. its a social role i regularly find myself in. but today when i got home, lungs burning, nobody i phoned was in. thats life. and i ain't hospitalised or dead.

(note to self: must get round to writing about all the ways i might have been dead these past few years)

finally on wednesday i wrote this.......

where do i begin to describe the extreme weirdness of dinner last night?

it ended with the host's boyfriend being carted off by the police, after an escalating screaming argument between us, which had climaxed with me physically restraining him from leaving until he simply repeated that his lover loved him. when the police arrived, 5 or 6 of them, they said they'd "heard that knives were involved". then shortly after at around 3a.m. the host gets a phone call and is told he is to be suspended from his security sensitive job because of it all, (communication alarm signals had rung out once the police were involved and his address had come up) and he was ordered to report to his workplace at mid-day today (mar 5th).

i'm too hungover to write in detail now, and the details could fill a novel alone, but i'm reminded of a dinner in the early 90s, when i had to physically intervene to prevent our host on that occaision from being strangled by her flatmate, while the other guests remained sat around the table.

meanwhile on monday the 3rd i wrote......

for the past few weeks i have been banging my head over and over trying to upload a working external javascript menu. and i finally discover that it was just one itty bitty fucking apostrophe that has been the cause of all my frustrated screaming.