Friday, 30 April 2004

UK troops in Iraqi torture probe

its no surprise that British soldiers have been pictured torturing an Iraqi prisoner.

The photographs, obtained by the Daily Mirror newspaper, show a suspected thief being beaten and urinated on.

This follows revulsion expressed across the world by pictures of Iraqi prisoners being abused by US troops.

The Mirror says the pictures were handed over by British soldiers. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the soldiers from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment told the paper no charges were brought against the unnamed captive.

They allege during his 8-hour ordeal he was threatened with execution, his jaw broken and his teeth smashed.

After being beaten and urinated on, he was driven away and dumped from the back of a moving vehicle,
the soldiers claimed.

They added they did not know whether he survived.

The reason for making the photos public was, they said, to show why the US-UK coalition was encountering such fierce resistance in Iraq.

One told the paper: "We are not helping ourselves out there. We are never going to get them on our side. We are fighting a losing war."
A Simulation Study of the Psychology of Imprisonment Conducted at Stanford University 1971

Subjects were randomly assigned to play the role of "prisoner" or "guard".

Those assigned to play the role of guard were given sticks and sunglasses; those assigned the play the prisoner role were arrested by the Palo Alto police department, deloused, forced to wear chains and prison garments, and transported to the basement of the Stanford psychology department, which had been converted into a makeshift jail.

Several of the guards became progressively more sadistic - particularly at night when they thought the cameras were off, despite being picked by chance out of the same pool as the prisoners.

The experiment very quickly got out of hand. A riot broke out on day two. One prisoner developed a psychosomatic rash all over his body upon finding out that his "parole" had been turned down. After only 6 days (of a planned two weeks), the experiment was shut down, for fear that one of the prisoners would be seriously hurt.
Human Radiation Experiments Associated with the U.S. Department of Energy and Its Predecessors

Selected Descriptions of AEC Experiments involving Human Subjects
LANL-3. Radiation Exposure of Aircrews in Mushroom Clouds
LBL-17. A Physiological Study in the Peruvian Andes Using Iron-59
LBL-42. X-Ray Irradiation of the Normal Pituitary Gland During Conventional Cancer Therapy
LBL-70. Studies on Protein-Bound Iodine-131 in Children
OR-9. Studies Using Cobalt-57 Labeled Vitamin (B)12
OT-3. Use of I131-Labeled Protein in the Study of Protein Digestion and Absorption in Children with and Without Cystic Fibrosis of the Pancreas
OT-7. Uptake of Iodine-131 in Normal Newborn Infants in Iowa City
OT-14. Testicular Irradiation of Washington State Prison Inmates
OT-19. Radioisotope Studies at the Fernald State School, Massachusetts
UC-12. Study of Hormone Conversion During Human Pregnancy Using Carbon-14
Project Paperclip: Nazi Scientists Who Performed Human Experimentation in the U. S.
1932-1972 The Tuskegee Syphilis Study
600 low-income African-American males, 400 infected with syphilis are monitored for 40 years. Even though a proven cure (penicillin) became available in the 1950s, the study continues until 1972 with participants denied treatment. Perhaps as many as 100 died of syphilis during the study. In some cases, when subjects were diagnosed as having syphilis by other physicians researchers intervened to prevent treatment.
Resources on Nonconsensual Human Experimentation

Documents of Human Experimentation
links to documents and excerpts of documents written by the experimenters themselves.
Rod Dickinson's "Milgram Experiment"

Rod Dickinson made a name for himself when he faked crop circles. But now the British performance artist has something more electrifying in mind.

a Re-enactment of the Milgram Obedience to Authority Experiment

in the early 1960s, inspired by World War II atrocities meted out by seemingly normal citizens, a series of unsettling and remarkable experiments were carried out by Professor Stanley Milgram of Yale University. Volunteers were asked to act as "teachers" and administer increasingly painful electric shocks to "pupils" (secretly pretending to recieve painful shocks in collaboration with Milgram) for each incorrect answer they gave in a mock exam.

in reality Milgram was measuring the willingness of the volunteers to obey an authority who instructs the subject to do something that may conflict with the subject's personal conscience.


The results of the Milgram Obedience to Authority Experiment demonstrated that, regardless of gender or class, humans seem to have an innate capacity to do bad things to one another, especially when they think they are FOLLOWING ORDERS.

On Tuesday, ACMI gives Melburnians the chance to see a simulation of this fascinating and notorious experiment when British conceptual artist Rod Dickinson screens his 90-minute film of the re-enactment he staged at Glasgow's Centre for Contemporary Art in 2002.

Dickinson used collaborators and actors to play the characters from the original version, and attempted to stick closely to the "script" of the original experiment.

A former painter, Dickinson became interested in exploring people's belief systems in the early 1990s, beginning by constructing fake crop circles in the fields of Wiltshire with fellow art pranksters. When he and his collaborators "outed" themselves in the British press they received thousands of abusive phone calls and emails from crop circle enthusiasts who felt betrayed.

In 2000, Dickinson went on to use actors and collaborators to re-enact sermons by the notorious cult leader Jim Jones at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts, complete with fake miracles and evangelical ranting. According to online contemporary art journal Eyestorm, financial and logistical restraints have prevented him from carrying out the second part of the re-enactment: 900 fake-followers drinking fake poison-laced cool-aide in a simulation of the 1978 Jonestown massacre.

The screening of Dickinson's Milgram Experiment explores the coercive power of authority even further, adding more layers of simulation to those that already existed in the original experiment.


The PHOTOS - believed to date from November or December last year, but only broadcast last night - show a hooded prisoner with a noose around his neck and electric wires attached to his hands, naked hooded male prisoners with their hands behind their heads, grinning male and female US soldiers behind a pile of live hooded prisoners, and a smoking female soldier pointing at the genitals of a naked, hooded male prisioner.

Amnesty International said today it had received numerous other reports of torture by coalition forces, of which "virtually none ... has been adequately investigated by the authorities".

The human rights organisation said: "Our extensive research in Iraq suggests that this is not an isolated incident. It is not enough for the USA to react only once images have hit the television screens."

bbc video

just following orders

Gary Myers, a lawyer said “They were instructed or advised to create favourable conditions’ for interrogation. Favourable conditions’ were conditions where the detainees were susceptible to providing intelligence information, and that process involved techniques of humiliation.”

The soldiers were congratulated by their senior officers, he said. “These guys are being told they are doing a fantastic job for their country, that they are saving lives and to keep up the good work,” Myers said.

A soldier accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners of war claimed that his commanders silenced his questions about harsh, humiliating treatment of inmates.

In a journal he started after military investigators looking into the abuse approached him in January, Army Reserve Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick wrote that Abu Ghraib prison was nothing like the Virginia state prison where he worked in civilian life.

The Iraqi prisoners were sometimes confined naked for three consecutive days without toilets in damp, unventilated cells with floors 3ft by 3ft, Frederick wrote in materials supplied to The Associated Press by a relative.

“When I brought this up with the acting BN (battalion) commander, he stated, ‘I don’t care if he has to sleep standing up’. That’s when he told my company commander that he was the BN commander and for me to do as he says,” Frederick wrote.

A R C H I V E S:

"If the public knew the truth, the war would end tomorrow. But they don't know and they can't know."
(- 1914, Former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, to Manchester Guardian editor C.P. Scott, As quoted by Philip Knightly in his book 'The First Casualty: From the Crimea to Vietnam - Correspondent as Hero, Propagandist and Myth-maker')

"The Pentagon recently justified its’ position on censorship by insisting: ‘If we let people see that kind of thing, there would never again be any war.’"
(- from ‘Military Blunders’ – article by Geoffrey Regan in ‘Night and Day’ (Mail on Sunday supplement) 23rd January 2000)

The United States escaped unprecedented scrutiny at the UN's top human rights forum

Freed Guantánamo prisoner
jamal Udeen, 37, from Manchester, described guantanamo prisoners having their genital areas forcibly shaved.

he described being beaten up and put in isolation for a month for refusing an injection because the american guards would not tell him what it was. he gave in to subsequent unknown injections.

"After a while, we stopped asking for human rights - we wanted animal rights," he said.

indefinite detention without charge
a poll for the BBC indicated almost two thirds of people support indefinite detention of foreign terror suspects without charge.

U.S. torture by proxy
the use of offshore torture for political ends is not new for Washington.

but after Sept. 11, the number of people shipped to offshore locations to extract information by means that are banned in the U.S. ("rendition" as it is known in American intelligence circles) appears to have increased, and is now common practice, although the secrecy surrounding the practice has prevented rights organizations from monitoring exact figures.

january 2002: Powell Asks Bush to Reverse Stand on War Captives
"Breaking with other cabinet officials, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell asked President Bush to declare that the United States is bound by the Geneva Conventions in its treatment of the captives in Afghanistan and at Guant·namo Bay, administration officials said today.

Seeking a review of a presidential decision made nine days earlier, when the administration determined that the captured fighters were not prisoners of war and hence not fully protected by the Geneva Conventions, Mr. Powell and his lawyers at the State Department urged Mr. Bush to affirm that the international law of war does govern the United States' treatment of all captives of the Taliban military and Al Qaeda."

US demands total impunity on war crimes
in october 2002 Washington dispatched a senior US diplomat, Marisa Lino, to Europe to demand that the governments of the European Union (EU) agree to a blanket exemption of all US citizens from the jurisdiction of the newly formed International Criminal Court.

In May 2002, the US formally rejected the treaty establishing the ICC, the first permanent international institution dedicated to trying cases of genocide, war crimes and other human rights abuses. Now it has insisted that governments around the world sign bilateral treaties agreeing not to turn over any American citizens in the event that they are indicted by prosecutors at the court.

With the more impoverished and former colonial countries, Washington threatened to cut off aid unless agreements are signed. As far as the regimes in Eastern Europe, it threatened to block their membership in NATO. The Bush administration is particularly anxious to get immunity agreements signed before it launches its war against Iraq.

april 2002: US finds strange bedfellows in UN vote on torture
Washington found itself on the same side as Cuba, Libya, and Syria, among other states, in trying to block a proposal before the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva designed to give more teeth to the Convention Against Torture.

US diplomats say they disagree with the international prison-inspection regime being proposed by their Latin American and European allies.

The new protocol to the Convention Against Torture, would establish national and international inspectorates to ensure that prisoners are not being tortured, through visits to places of detention. Washington has opposed the idea since it was first raised 10 years ago.

A U.S. Army unit known as Tiger Force committed numerous war crimes during the Vietnam War, including killing scores of unarmed civilians, but an investigation was closed with no charges being brought, The Blade newspaper reported on Sunday.

the Army had investigated the unit for 4 1/2 years, and found 18 soldiers had committed war crimes. But the Army filed no charges, and allowed soldiers who were under suspicion of committing war crimes to resign.

The newspaper said the accusations against the unit included killing women and children, torturing prisoners and severing ears and scalps for souvenirs. The Army's investigation of Tiger Force found 27 soldiers who said the severing of ears from dead Vietnamese was an accepted practice. One soldier told the newspaper that troops would wear necklaces of ears to scare Vietnamese civilians.

two soldiers who tried to stop the atrocities were warned by their commanders to remain quiet before transferring to other units.

vietnam 2
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.

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.

the WEATHERMAN/the Weather Underground
they were convinced that only militant action could end racist U.S. complicity in atrocities at home (assassinations) and abroad (Vietnam),

weatherman Naomi Jaffe argues that to have watched passively in the face of the U.S. government's own violence itself constituted a form of violence, or at least an endorsement of it. “Doing nothing in a period of violence is a form of violence,”

the weathermen were bringing the war home.


world organisation against torture
on this day 1973: Nixon takes rap for Watergate scandal

President Richard Nixon took full responsibility for the Watergate scandal but denied any personal involvement.

In a speech broadcast to the American people he vowed to get to the bottom of the matter, saying: "There will be no whitewash at the Whitehouse."

On Saturday 27 July 1974 the House Judiciary Committee took the momentous step of recommending that the president of the United States be impeached and removed from office.

on 8 aug 74 nixon resigned.

meanwhile.... Bush hails 'cordial' 9/11 session
The US president, George Bush, said today that he had a "good ... cordial" session with the panel investigating the September 11 attacks and that they had asked "a lot of good questions."

Mr Bush appeared behind closed doors with the panel alongside his vice-president, Dick Cheney. Later, in a brief press call at the White House, Mr Bush said he did not want to go into details of what was said but insisted "I answered every question they asked."

The White House initially opposed the commission's creation and Mr Bush and Mr Cheney only agreed to answer questions jointly after sparring with the commissioners for months over ground rules for the meeting.

But after talking to the panel Mr Bush depicted the session as relaxed and rejected aspersions that he had insisted on appearing with Mr Cheney so they could "get their stories straight".

The president refused to answer a question about whether the families of the 9/11 victims deserved a transcript of his evidence. He said the panel would speak in time about what he said.

Plan of Attack by Bob Woodward

US government tries to gag FBI 9/11 witness


sibel edmonds
'I saw papers that show US knew al-Qa'ida would attack cities with aeroplanes', says the Whistleblower the White House wants to silence

Ray McGovern, CIA analyst for 27 years
"Now we know that no other President of the United States has ever lied so baldly and so often and so demonstrably ... The presumption now has to be that Bush is lying any time that he's saying anything." says Ray McGovern, who worked as a CIA analyst for 27 years.

Mr McGovern worked near the very top of his profession, giving direct advice to Henry Kissinger during the Nixon era and preparing the President's daily security brief for Ronald Reagan.

What the Bush White House has done, he believes, is far worse than the FALSE PREMISE that dragged the United States into the Vietnam War - a reported second attack on a US destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin which later turned out not to have taken place. "The Gulf of Tonkin was a spur-of-the-moment thing, and Lyndon Johnson seized on that. That's very different from the very calculated, 18-month, orchestrated, incredibly cynical campaign of lies that we've seen to justify a war. This is an order of magnitude different. It's so blatant."

bush knew- (an american requiem)

5-Minute Video of George W. Bush on the Morning of 9/11

video: bush election fraud

Theologian Charges White House Complicity in 9/11 Attack

US cold-war plot to frame Castro
as a pretext for invading Cuba in the heyday of the cold war, American military leaders devised plans to blow up an empty US navy ship, issue a bogus list of casualties and blame Fidel Castro, according to secret papers cited in a new history of the National Security Agency.

CBS News Channel Eyewitness Describes 'Secondary Explosions' in the WTC
on this day 1975: The war in Vietnam ended
on this day 1999: homophobic nail bomb in london pub

plus hate crime

nov 17 2003...section 28 repealed
Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 prohibited local authorities from "promoting" homosexuality or gay "pretended family relationships", and prevented councils spending money on any educational materials and projects perceived to promote a gay lifestyle.

It is not going without a fight, though. Tory-led Kent county council has chosen to maintain the spirit of the legislation by being the only authority in Britain to fashion it into the curriculum of its 600 schools.

Michael Howard, the new leader of the Conservatives, has refused to condemn Kent for keeping elements of the controversial clause, which was introduced by Margaret Thatcher.

Mr Howard, whose Folkestone and Hythe constituency is in Kent, was local government minister when Section 28 was introduced and in March voted against its abolition.

while queers continue to be murdered, and while suicide amongst young gay men continues to be disproportionately high (even among the disproportionately high level of suicide amongst all young men) then prominent role models and media voices will always be needed.

"Bush opposes hate crimes laws that prescribe harsher penalties for bias-motivated violence."
Entropy8Zuper! - Venustrap
mandatory portraits

apparently many North Koreans died a "heroic death" after last week's train explosion by running into burning buildings to rescue portraits of the country's leader, Kim Jong-il, and his father, the North's official media reported yesterday.

Portraits of Mr Kim and his late father, the national founder Kim Il-sung, are mandatory fixtures in every home, office and factory in the hardline communist state of 23 million people. All adults are required to wear lapel pins bearing images of one or both Kims.
the online registration form for British Airways gives you a drop-down list from which you can select your title. The options for this mandatory field are:

Mr, Mrs, Ms, Miss, Dr, Herr, Monsieur, Hr, Frau, A V M, Admiraal, Admiral, Air Cdre, Air Commodore, Air Marshal, Air Vice Marshal, Alderman, Alhaji, Ambassador, Baron, Barones, Brig, Brig Gen, Brig General, Brigadier, Brigadier General, Brother, Canon, Capt, Captain, Cardinal, Cdr, Chief, Cik, Cmdr, Col, Col Dr, Colonel, Commandant, Commander, Commissioner, Commodore, Comte, Comtessa, Congressman, Conseiller, Consul, Conte, Contessa, Corporal, Councillor, Count, Countess, Crown Prince, Crown Princess, Dame, Datin, Dato, Datuk, Datuk Seri, Deacon, Deaconess, Dean, Dhr, Dipl Ing, Doctor, Dott, Dott sa, Dr, Dr Ing, Dra, Drs, Embajador, Embajadora, En, Encik, Eng, Eur Ing, Exma Sra, Exmo Sr, F O, Father, First Lieutient, First Officer, Flt Lieut, Flying Officer, Fr, Frau, Fraulein, Fru, Gen, Generaal, General, Governor, Graaf, Gravin, Group Captain, Grp Capt, H E Dr, H H, H M, H R H, Hajah, Haji, Hajim, Her Highness, Her Majesty, Herr, High Chief, His Highness, His Holiness, His Majesty, Hon, Hr, Hra, Ing, Ir, Jonkheer, Judge, Justice, Khun Ying, Kolonel, Lady, Lcda, Lic, Lieut, Lieut Cdr, Lieut Col, Lieut Gen, Lord, M, M L, M R, Madame, Mademoiselle, Maj Gen, Major, Master, Mevrouw, Miss, Mlle, Mme, Monsieur, Monsignor, Mr, Mrs, Ms, Mstr, Nti, Pastor, President, Prince, Princess, Princesse, Prinses, Prof, Prof Dr, Prof Sir, Professor, Puan, Puan Sri, Rabbi, Rear Admiral, Rev, Rev Canon, Rev Dr, Rev Mother, Reverend, Rva, Senator, Sergeant, Sheikh, Sheikha, Sig, Sig na, Sig ra, Sir, Sister, Sqn Ldr, Sr, Sr D, Sra, Srta, Sultan, Tan Sri, Tan Sri Dato, Tengku, Teuku, Than Puying, The Hon Dr, The Hon Justice, The Hon Miss, The Hon Mr, The Hon Mrs, The Hon Ms, The Hon Sir, The Very Rev, Toh Puan, Tun, Vice Admiral, Viscount, Viscountess, Wg Cdr.
world wide flush day

At 7pm cst July 31, 2004, let all the people in the world unite as one and simultaneously flush our toilets together. Be a part of the action. Be a part of history.

"Have you ever wondered what would happen if everyone in the world flushed there toilets at the same time? Would there be tidal waves? Would rivers overflow their banks? Here is our chance to do a little bit of scientific investigation and see for ourselves."
(via j-walk blog)
what we want

Thursday, 29 April 2004

christianity meme
Stunted development

The world's wealthiest nations fail to meet targets for aid donations while defence spending soars.

The president of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, chided the world's rich countries this week for not providing enough aid for the world's poorest states.

Mr Wolfensohn argued that low levels of aid from rich countries contributed to international instability and was unacceptable at a time of unprecedented military spending.

He pointed out that while global defence spending - including military budgets in the developing world - stood at $900bn (£503bn), money for development amounted to between $50bn and $60bn.

"I suggested humorously the other day that if we spent $900bn on development, we probably wouldn't need to spend more than $50bn on defence," Mr Wolfensohn was quoted as saying in the Financial Times.
More Agents Track Castro Than Bin Laden

WASHINGTON - The Treasury Department agency entrusted with blocking the financial resources of terrorists has assigned five times as many agents to investigate Cuban embargo violations as it has to track Osama bin Laden's and Saddam Hussein's money, documents show.

In addition, the Office of Foreign Assets Control said that between 1990 and 2003 it opened just 93 enforcement investigations related to terrorism. Since 1994 it has collected just $9,425 in fines for terrorism financing violations.

In contrast, OFAC opened 10,683 enforcement investigations since 1990 for possible violations of the long-standing economic embargo against Fidel Castro's regime, and collected more than $8 million in fines since 1994, mostly from people who sent money to, did business with or traveled to Cuba without permission.

The figures, included in a lengthy letter OFAC sent to Congress late last year and provided to The Associated Press this week, prompted Republicans and Democrats alike to question whether OFAC has failed to adjust from the Cold War to the war on terrorism.
(via news insider)

archives: US cold-war plot to frame Castro
as a pretext for invading Cuba in the heyday of the cold war, American military leaders devised plans to blow up an empty US navy ship, issue a bogus list of casualties and blame Fidel Castro, according to secret papers cited in a new history of the National Security Agency.
on this day 1992: LA in flames after 'not guilty' verdict

Fierce rioting broke out in Los Angeles following the decision by an all-white jury to acquit four white police officers accused of beating black motorist Rodney King.

The case centred on a video, taped by an amateur cameraman in March last year, which caught the scene as the four police officers beat, kicked and clubbed unemployed labourer Rodney King for 81 seconds while other officers looked on.

The four acquitted police officers faced a second trial a year later, on federal charges of violating Rodney King's civil rights.

Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell were found guilty: each served two years in jail. Timothy Wind and Theodore Briseno were cleared. All four left the police force, and have since found it difficult to get work elsewhere.

Rodney King won $3.8m damages from the City of Los Angeles. Much of it went to pay his lawyers, but he used the rest to found a rap record business, the Straight Alta-Pazz Recording Company.
The Photographs of Adi Nes
bob the virgin

and baby doll birth

and ultra cocks
THE UNREPENTANT NECROPHILE: An Interview with Karen Greenlee

Karen Greenlee is a necrophiliac. Five years ago she made headlines when she drove off in a hearse and wasn't heard from for two days. Instead of delivering the body to the cemetery she decided to spend some time alone with the corpse.

She was charged with illegally driving a hearse and interfering with the burial (there is no law in California against necrophilia). In the casket with the body Karen left a four-and-a-half page letter confessing to amorous episodes with between twenty to forty dead men.

"When I wrote that letter I was still listening to society. Everyone said necrophilia was wrong, so I must be doing something wrong. But the more people tried to convince me I was crazy, the more sure of my desires I became."
queer for jesus
christian wrestling
Christian Womens Wrestling

Wednesday, 28 April 2004

(via linkswarm)

on this day 1989: "uk surplus food stocks drop to 5 year low"

according to the annual report of the intervention board which monitors surpluses and pays farm subsidies, stocks of surplus food stored at public expense at the end of 1988 stood at....

beef stocks.. 25,412 tonnes (half the 1987 level and less than a third of the 1985 peak of 82,065 tonnes)

butter stocks.. 24,179 tonnes (down from 237,632 tonnes 2 years before)

skimmed milk powder surplus.. 40 tonnes (in 1984 it was almost 98,618 tonnes)

the biggest stockpiles at the end of 1988 were...

wheat.. 447,442 tonnes (in 1985 there was 3.6 million tonnes in store)

barley.. 869,604 tonnes (in 1987 there was more than 2 million tonnes)

in 1988 the board spent 2.6 billion pounds on farm and food export subsidies, well below the 3 billion record of the previous year.

now.... where are the facts and figures for the world's starving millions?
Louisiana May Ban Low-Slung Pants

People who wear low-slung pants that expose skin or "intimate clothing" would face a fine of up to $500 and possible jail time under a bill filed by a Jefferson Parish lawmaker.

State Rep. Derrick Shepherd said he filed the bill because he was tired of catching glimpses of boxer shorts and G-strings over the lowered belt lines of young adults.

The bill would punish anyone caught wearing low-riding pants with a fine of as much as $500 or as many as six months in jail, or both.

"I'm sick of seeing it," said Shepherd, a first-term legislator. "The community's outraged. And if parents can't do their job, if parents can't regulate what their children wear, then there should be a law."

The bill would be tacked onto the state's obscenity law, which restricts sexual activity in public places and the sale of sexually explicit items.
prison planet rewind: CBS News Channel Eyewitness Describes 'Secondary Explosions' in the WTC
Australia in bed with South-East Asia's largest terrorist organisation

Australia is intimately involved with the Indonesian military. The Australian Defence Force trains the Indonesian military and Australian arms manufacturers arm the Indonesian military.

archive: Bali group, Indonesian army had 'curious link'

An international panel of experts says it has identified a "curious link" between associates of the outlawed regional terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah and the Indonesian military (TNI).

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) said the connection was strong enough to raise the question of how much the Indonesian military knew about Jemaah Islamiah (JI) before the October 12 Bali bombing that killed more than 180 people.
on this day 1986: Soviets admit nuclear accident

The report was the first confirmation of a major nuclear catastrophe since monitoring stations in Sweden, Finland and Norway began reporting sudden high discharges of radioactivity in the atmosphere two days previous.

Chernobyl remains the world's worst civil nuclear disaster.

More than 10,000 people died as a direct result of the accident. The Ukrainian government says 3.5m people, a third of them children, became ill. The rate of thyroid cancer in affected areas increased ten times.

The contamination spread across neighbouring Belarus, and into Europe. In the UK, hundreds of farms in Wales are still subject to restrictions due to sheep eating radioactive grass.

An official exclusion zone around the plant remains in place, extending for 30 kilometres (18 miles). It is one of the most radioactive spots on Earth.

on this day 1990 it was reported that some 33,000 sheep and lambs on 123 northern ireland farms remain subject to movement restrictions because of radioactive fallout from the 1986 chernobyl accident, peter bottomley (under secretary for ulster) told david clark (labour's agriculture spokesman).
rewind: dec 2002... Mossad agents arrested for attempting to set up phony 'al Qaeda' cells in the Gaza Strip.

"Rashi Abu Sba, head of the preventive security apparatus in Gaza, the equivalent of the Shin Bet, accused the Israeli security service of tricking young Palestinians into conducting missions in the name of Al-Qaida."

Gaza head of preventive security Rashid Abu Shbak told journalists at a press conference that Israeli agents, posing as operatives of Osama bin Laden's terrorist group, recruited Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

"The Palestinian Authority arrested a group of collaborators who confessed they were working for Israel, posing as al-Qaeda operatives in the Palestinian territories."

He said the alleged collaborators sought to "discredit the Palestinian people, justify every Israeli crime and provide reasons to carry out a new (military) aggression in the Gaza Strip."

The security chief said his services had traced back to Israel cellphone calls and e-mails in which Palestinians were asked to join Al-Qaeda.

how many phony 'al Qaeda' cells have been successfully set up around the world?
Two Voting Companies & Two Brothers Will Count 80% Of The U.S. Election

Meet the Urosevich brothers, Bob and Todd. Their respective companies, Diebold and ES&S, will count (using BOTH computerized ballot scanners and touchscreen machines) about 80% of all votes cast in the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

Talk about putting all your eggs in one very bogus, but brotherly basket.
UK: stop id cards

"This is how far we have come in this hated and endless war. This is the nadir I have reached in this winter of my discontent. This is how close I border on treason:

Now I root against my own country."

"because I hate what my country is doing, I emotionally and often irrationally hope that it fails."

"But I would hope the day will come when I can once again believe what my country says and once again approve of what it does. I want to have faith once more in the justness of my country's causes and the nobleness of its ideals."

(a column by Art Hoppe originally published in The Chronicle on March 5, 1971)
(via what really happened)

meanwhile.... Blair says US tactics are 'right'

The prime minister launched the defence of US forces after a night of the most intensive use of firepower in Falluja. mr Blair said: "If American soldiers are being fired on, American soldiers are going to have to fire back."

but americans have no right to be there in the first place mr. blair. AND.... if iraqis are being fired on (and invaded), then iraqis are going to have to fight back too.

Tuesday, 27 April 2004

Nazi and East German Propaganda
and more from the fuck society
ocd exhibition
8 artists for whom obsession and compulsion are both the subject and the method of their work
Poop For Peace

"Poop For Peace Day 2004 has passed... and yet, somehow, war and suffering still exist in the world. Next year, we'll Poop For Peace twice as loud; and the world will echo with the flatulence of freedom."
subservient chicken
(via memepool)

"the male answer to "yamamba" girls. bleach blonde hair with pink extensions, Eyes are decorated with stars and made up in white; clothes consist mostly of Alba Rosa, augmented with Disney accessories."
Han Hoogerbrugge
(via octopusdropkick)
Israeli troops tied boy on vehicle as human shield

The photograph, taken by human rights activists in the village of Biddo, north-west of Jerusalem, shows 13-year-old Mohammed Bedwan tied by an arm to a mesh on the jeep windscreen - a mesh intended to protect the vehicle and its driver against stones and rocks.

Palestinian activists say border police had in two separate instances this month used villagers as shields to prevent stone-throwing, and that forces had also repeatedly used both rubber and live bullets to disperse protesters.

archive: "Rabin had ordered Israeli soldiers to break the arms of children who threw stones during the Palestinian intifada."

meanwhile... Since the assassination of Al-Rantisi on April 17 until April 23, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed thirty-two Palestinian men and women, including ten under-8 children and wounded 173 others, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported on Saturday.

IOF extra-judicially assassinated Hasan Mustafa Daraghmah, 21, and wounded Iyad Rafie’ Daraghmah, 20, in the northern West Bank town of Tubas, east of Jenin on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, an IOF undercover death squad assassinated three Palestinian men, including a 16-year-old youth walking home from school in the West Bank city of Jenin. Medics identified them as Kamal Al-Tubasi, Mohammad A’zouqqa and Sa’eed Hardan.

A day earlier, IOF shot dead Dr. Yaser Ahmed Abu Limon, 32, a lecturer at the Arab American University in Jenin, in the West Bank village of Talouza, north of Nablus.

Also on Friday, IOF shot dead Mohammad Abdul-Hafeez, 30, Mahammad Kamel, 23, and Abdul-Rahman Wasef, 22, of the Nazzal family, during a raid into the northern West Bank town of Qalqilya.

Late Thursday, IOF shot dead a girl aged nine and a teenager in the northern Gaza Strip, while a four-year-old girl died of tear gas inhalation.

Earlier Thursday, 16-year-old Mahammad Al-Malfouh died of wounds sustained from IOF gunfire while standing near a hospital in Gaza City.

On the same day, IOF shot dead three men in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, namely Bilal Abu A’msha, 32, Ayman Barahmah, 28, and Ghanem Ghanem, 34.

IOF tanks and armored vehicles, backed by US-made Apache helicopters, raided the northern Gaza neighborhood of Beit Lahiya on Wednesday and Thursday, killing as many as fourteen people.

The Palestinian Mezan human rights center reported recently that Israeli occupation forces murdered 129 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in the first quarter of 2004.

The Mezan report added that 251 Palestinian houses, including 190 houses in the Rafah district, were demolished in the period between January and March 2004.

IOF also destroyed 270 dunums of arable land including 160 dunums in the Deir Al-Balah district in addition to 92 shops 87 of which were situated in the northern Gaza Strip.
Why let Le Pen into uk but ban Farrakhan?

One has convictions for racist incitement - the other is black.

Monday, 26 April 2004


a poll for the BBC indicates almost two thirds of people support indefinite detention of foreign terror suspects without charge. lets repeat that.....almost two thirds of people support indefinite detention of foreign terror suspects without charge. A similar figure support extending such restraints to British terror suspects, the ICM poll suggests.

Of those polled, 69% also supported the idea of uk police having wider powers to stop and search.

archive: The first of the Muslim detainees released from Belmarsh high security prison after being held on suspicion of terrorism has told the Guardian his fellow prisoners are suffering such severe mental problems that they constantly consider suicide.

being held without charge and without limit of time has made his fellow prisoners "crazy".

two of the detaineees have become full-time carers for their fellow prisoners because they are now so obviously sick.

"I don't know if they have tried [suicide] but they are thinking about it," he said. "The reason is because they do not know if they will ever be released."

archive: similarly....... Jamal Udeen, 37, from Manchester, described guantanamo prisoners having their genital areas forcibly shaved. he described being beaten up and put in isolation for a month for refusing an injection because the american guards would not tell him what it was. he gave in to subsequent unknown injections.

"After a while, we stopped asking for human rights - we wanted animal rights," he said.
ID card scheme £2,500 fine threat

UK subjects who refuse to register for the government's planned ID card scheme could face a "civil financial penalty" of up to £2,500, it has emerged.

David Blunkett said not making registering a criminal issue would avoid "clever people" becoming martyrs.

Legislation is expected to be introduced to Parliament in the autumn, with the first biometric passports, which store fingerprint or iris scan information, issued in 2005 and the first cards carrying fingerprint details in 2007. biometric checks will become compulsory for anyone applying for, or renewing, passports from 2007. Ministers will make the final decision on compulsory registration by 2013, as detailed in the government's original timetable published in November.

refuseniks: those who believe they have a duty to oppose the state, even at the cost of prison.

archive: in 1987 Australians managed to stop their government from introducing a national identity card system.

The UK has one of the oldest and most powerful monarchies in the world. While some other democratic countries still have monarchies - such as Spain, Norway, and Belgium - they all have written constitutions which spell out what powers those monarchies should have. And the people living there are citizens of the country who swear loyalty to the constitution rather than to the monarch.

In the UK the situation is more complex. We do not have a written constitution, and so much of our monarchy's powers are based on custom and not very clearly defined. Also, we are not citizens of the UK but subjects of the monarch of the UK. it is time to demand a Citizens' Constitution.


Diplomats slam Blair on Mid-East
More than 50 former British diplomats have signed a letter to Tony Blair criticising his Middle East policy. The diplomats, among them former ambassadors to Baghdad and Tel Aviv, believe their attack is unprecedented in scope and scale. The ambassadors accuse the US-led coalition of having "no effective plan" for Iraq after the war and an apparent disregard for the lives of Iraqi civilians.
Abortion activists on the march

activists from the US and some 60 other countries rallied in Washington in support of abortion rights.

Organisers of the March for Women's Lives say women's reproductive rights have never been so threatened, nor has their health faced such peril.

Pro-life activists, who equate abortion with murder, also rallied in Washington but were vastly outnumbered.

Reports on the size of the crowd vary, but police sources informally estimated it at between 500,000 and 800,000 according to AP, while organisers put it at 1.15 million, AFP reports.

Pro-choice campaigners believe legal abortion is under creeping assault from Republicans who are trying to dismantle its legal foundation bit by bit.

Foreign activists said they were attending not only to show solidarity with their US counterparts but to highlight the impact of American policies on women abroad, especially in developing countries.

They cited a decision by President George W Bush in 2001 to enforce what is known as the global gag rule. This prohibits non-governmental groups that perform abortions or offer counselling on abortion from receiving US government funding.

The event was the first large-scale abortion rights demonstration in Washington since 1992.

Saturday, 24 April 2004

the Book of skin

Books of skin do, quite literally, exist. William Corder, convicted of the murder of Maria Marten, was hanged, dissected, and then recycled as a book binding for a presentation copy of an account of his crimes. For those with specialist tastes in the bibliodermic, this particular publication is still intact in Bury St Edmunds. The Bristol Records Office contains an account of the trial and execution of a young felon called John Horwood, which was bound in the culprit's skin and neatly embossed with a gallows motif. One owner of a book on the subject of virginity explained in the flyleaf that the volume was "bound in a piece of female skin which I myself tanned with sumac", while a 19th-century Russian poet decided to use the skin from his own amputated leg to bind a collection of sonnets for his mistress.

archive... The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism

the consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival.

It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist.

The two aims of the Party are to conquer the whole surface of the earth and to extinguish once and for all the possibility of independent thought. There are therefore two great problems which the Party is concerned to solve. One is how to discover, against his will, what another human being is thinking, and the other is how to kill several hundred million people in a few seconds without giving warning beforehand

The Party is not concerned with perpetuating its blood but with perpetuating itself. Who wields power is not important, provided that the hierarchical structure remains always the same.

They are obliged to prevent their followers from starving to death in numbers large enough to be inconvenient, and they are obliged to remain at the same low level of military technique as their rivals; but once that minimum is achieved, they can twist reality into whatever shape they choose.

The consciousness of the masses needs only to be influenced in a negative way.

to live in a continuous frenzy of hatred of foreign enemies and internal traitors, triumph over victories,

In Oceania the prevailing philosophy is called Ingsoc, in Eurasia it is called Neo-Bolshevism, and in Eastasia it is called by a Chinese name usually translated as Death-Worship, but perhaps better rendered as Obliteration of the Self. The citizen of Oceania is not allowed to know anything of the tenets of the other two philosophies, but he is taught to execrate them as barbarous outrages upon morality and common sense.
Underground London: Travels Beneath the City Streets
The Avant-Garde in Interwar England: Medieval Modernism and the London Underground
Solitude and the Fortresses of Youth

"We don't want teenagers to write violent poems, horrifying stories, explicit lyrics and rhymes; they're ugly, in precisely the way that we are ugly, and out of protectiveness and hypocrisy, even out of pity and love and tenderness, we try to force young people to be innocent of everything but the effects of that ugliness. And so we censor the art they consume and produce, and prosecute and suspend and expel them, and when, once in a great while, a teenager reaches for an easy gun and shoots somebody or himself, we tell ourselves that if we had only censored his journals and curtailed his music and video games, that awful burst of final ugliness could surely have been prevented. As if art caused the ugliness, when of course all it can ever do is reflect and, perhaps, attempt to explain it."
(via my analog life)
Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence"
Luke Jackson a 13-year-old from the UK wrote "so many books are written about us, but none are written directly to adolescents with Asperger Syndrome."

and an edited extract from George And Sam: Autism In The Family by Charlotte Moore
Jay Maynard's TRON costume
10 Things You Don't Know About Terrorism
chicken nuggets

the disturbing truth about every kid's favourite food

"The rise of the nugget has been dizzying. We bought 42 million packs of them - that's £79m worth, or 21,000 tonnes - in the UK last year, just to eat at home, according to analysts Taylor Nelson Sofres. British adults also ate 73 million meals of them away from home in the same period. Children probably ate more. Served in school dining halls, fast-food outlets, at hospital bedsides, and on the tables of harassed parents, nuggets have become ubiquitous. But if you knew about the high percentage of skin, the water, and the pulped carcasses that go into some of them, would you be so keen"
(via growabrain)
An Autonomous Wheeled Climbing Robot with Tactile Wheels
Tetra Vaal
commercial video by South African design studio The Embassy Visual Effects, showing a robotic police force deployed in a 3rd world country.
(via octopusdropkick)
is "Al Qaeda" the modern incarnation of "Emmanuel Goldstein"
ON THIS DAY 1975: Baader-Meinhof embassy blaze

A tense stand-off at the West German embassy in Stockholm ended in violence. fire destroyed the four-storey building.

Five Baader-Meinhof guerrillas had been holding 11 people hostage, including the German ambassador to Sweden, for almost 12 hours.

The guerrilla group were demanding the release of the 26 Baader-Meinhof group members currently in prison in Germany. Among them are four of the founders of the group: Gudrun Ensslin, Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof and Jan-Karl Raspe,

The German government were anxious to avoid a second humiliation after being forced to release five Baader-Meinhof prisoners in exchange for the kidnapped opposition leader Peter Lorenz two months earliar, and refused the demands point-blank.

The Swedish justice minister, Lennart Gerjer, was given the task of breaking the news to those inside the embassy. They could not believe this," he said. "We told them the only realistic thing they could do was to leave the country, and the Swedish government was prepared to help them do this on condition they released their hostages."

Original RAF Communiqués and Statements

and ON THIS DAY 1993: IRA bomb devastates City of London

The damage caused by the Bishopsgate bomb cost £350m to repair. The huge payouts by insurance companies contributed to a crisis in the industry, including the near-collapse of the world's leading insurance market, Lloyd's of London.
For God's sake

The strong influence of the Christian right on US policy will only increase if George Bush wins a second term.

When asked, during the 1999 Iowa caucus debate, who his favourite philosopher was, Bush replied: "Jesus."

Evangelical lobbyists used to talk about access to previous Republican administrations. Today, they can say with confidence: "Who needs access when we are already on the inside?"

This administration has embarked on a radical agenda to roll back liberalism in the US, and won't let up if it gets a second term. The influence of the Christian right on the Bush White House is self-evident. As well as George Bush, cabinet members Condoleezza Rice, John Ashcroft and Don Evans all consider themselves to be born again. Gallup surveys consistently count 46% of the population as being self-described born again Christians, the bulk of whom live in middle America.

As surely as fundamentalism has kept much of the Islamic world in a state of cultural regression, so the fundamentalists of the US threaten to do the same thing in the States.

to rephrase a line from Bush's speech on Iraq: "Now is the time, and America is the place, where the forces of fundamentalism are arraigned against the forces of enlightenment."

Their beliefs are bonkers, but they are at the heart of power

jesus christ superstore

Friday, 23 April 2004

War costs to Pentagon approach $5bn a month

Senior Pentagon officials on Wednesday said the war in Iraq was costing $4.7bn per month, a price tag they said could rise with US troop levels higher than planned and combat intensifying.

General Richard Myers, the US's top uniformed commander, told a congressional hearing the decision to keep an extra 20,000 soldiers in Iraq through the summer would probably cost an extra $700m over the next three months.

"The increased operation tempo [and] keeping 20,000 an additional tour in Iraq is going to cost us more money," Gen Myers said. Although the rise in US troop numbers - from 115,000 to 135,000 - is only authorised through June, Gen Myers hinted those levels could be retained for several more months, since US forces will need to fill in for departing Spanish troops, who had commanded the international division in south-central Iraq.

Gen Myers said the increased spending meant the Pentagon was facing a $4bn shortfall in war funding, but added officials were working on budgeting - possibly deferring acquisition programmes that are not essential - to ensure adequate cash through to the end of the fiscal year, which finishes on September 30.

The new estimates make it more likely that the White House may have to return to Congress for an emergency war spending bill before the November elections. Since the war began last April, Congress has appropriated $150bn in emergency spending for conflict-related costs, including the $87bn approved in October.

mirror Site
The United States escaped unprecedented scrutiny at the UN's top human rights forum after Cuba decided against forcing a vote on alleged rights abuses at a US naval base in Guantanamo Bay.

But in a stinging attack, Cuban ambassador Jorge Ivan Mora Godoy accused Washington of blackmailing members of the United Nations' Commission on Human Rights

Cuba said it chose to withdraw what was probably the first proposal that directly questions the human rights record of the world's only superpower in the face of intense pressure.

Cuban ambassador Jorge Ivan Mora Godoy accused the United States of "threatening and blackmailing" countries with nationals detained at the notorious naval base.

For the past three years, the United States has imprisoned more than 600 Afghan fighters and terror suspects at Guantanamo, where they are held in legal limbo, most with no charges pressed against them nor access to legal counsel.

Washington has declined to give them full status as prisoners of war protected under the Geneva Convention and reserves the right to bring the detainees eventually before secretive military tribunals which could hand down execution orders.
UK news: The first of the Muslim detainees released from Belmarsh high security prison after being held on suspicion of terrorism has told the Guardian his fellow prisoners are suffering such severe mental problems that they constantly consider suicide.

In his first interview since being released from the jail, after judges said there was no evidence that he was a terrorist, detainee M said being held without charge and without limit of time has made his fellow prisoners "crazy".

"Their situation has become very, very difficult for them," he said. "Three or four of them have become mad, exactly mad. They can't control themselves, they are not thinking in a good way."

His claims came on the day that another detainee, G - neither can be named for legal reasons - was released from Belmarsh to become the first prisoner in Britain to be held under house arrest because he is too mentally ill to stay in prison.

The decision marks another embarrassing defeat for David Blunkett, the home secretary, who had fought to prevent both G and M from being released.

detainee M claims that two of the detaineees have become full-time carers for their fellow prisoners because they are now so obviously sick. He recalled how he was once woken at 3am and asked by a prison officer to look after G. "Sometimes he is crying, sometimes he said: 'I would like to kill myself, I can't stay alone in my cell.' He is just thinking: 'When am I going to die?'"

M said he had not contemplated suicide but it has been reported that at least one of the other men attempted it.

"I don't know if they have tried [suicide] but they are thinking about it," M said. "The reason is because they do not know if they will ever be released."

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said: "They did not question me once. If I am a suspect of terrorism, if they are thinking maybe I will do something against this government or this country, why didn't they come to me to ask me any questions?"

The director of civil rights group Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, said detaining people without trial showed the government had a "terrifying contempt for the rule of law" and was showing a "complete failure to observe the presumption of innocence".

Thursday, 22 April 2004

Microbes Could Hold Secrets to Artificial Blood
hemoglobin ancestors that evolved to transport and release oxygen
Pentagon Official Says Nanotechnology a High Priority

The U.S. military expects advances in nanotechnology to impact every major weapons system and is spending hundreds of millions of dollars annually on various research programs, a senior military science adviser said at a meeting of nanotechnology specialists.

"Nanotechnology is one of the highest priority science and technology programs in the Defense Department," said Clifford Lau, the senior science adviser in the Pentagon's office of basic research.

Lau, who also serves as president of the nanotechnology council at the engineering group IEEE, said research is being coordinated across the military branches, and plans are in place to transition the technology from basic research to deployment.
(via betterhumans)
Japanese 365 days

A blog with a new japanese word or phrase posted everyday.

My New Filing Technique is Unstoppable from the man who brought you Get Your War On
(via octopus dropkick)

Tuesday, 20 April 2004

citizen lab

"Traditionally, hacking was associated with someone who is interested in opening up their technology, understanding how it works, not accepting something shrink-wrapped," said Prof Ron Deibert.

"And to me, that's not just a hobby or something that geeks do, that's actually a skill that is fundamental to a liberal, democratic society.

"Citizens can't just accept technology at face value. They need to open the lid, so to speak, understand how it works, beneath the surface," he says in a bbc report.
(....via news of the dead)
bottomless models

'John and Paula, Sitting Bottomless' by photographer Wolfgang Tillmans
chapter 16

"I wanted to burn the Louvre. I'd do the Elgin Marbles with a sledgehammer and wipe my ass with the Mona Lisa. This is my world, now. This is my world, my world, and those ancient people are dead."
Living at the Edge of the World: A Teenager's Survival in the Tunnels of Grand Central Station by Tina S. and Jamie Pastor Bolnick

"Between the ages of 16 and 20, Tina S. lived in the endless labyrinth of tunnels beneath Grand Central Station."
Jennifer Toth's The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City

"Dostoyevky, watch your back: Toth takes even better notes from the underground."

The Mole People movie
How to achieve a workable consensus within time limits

If people believe an idea is theirs, they'll support it. If they believe an idea is being forced on them, they'll resist.

The goal is a continual evolution to "oneness of mind".

thus the need to preserve the illusion that there is Lay, or community, participation in the decision-making process, while in fact lay citizens are being squeezed out."

first a facilitator is hired whose job is supposedly neutral and non-judgmental, though the opposite is actually true. The facilitator is there to direct the meeting to a preset conclusion.

In group settings, the Delphi Technique is an unethical method of achieving consensus on controversial topics. It requires well-trained professionals, "facilitators" or "change agents," who deliberately escalate tension among group members, pitting one faction against another to make a preordained viewpoint appear "sensible," while making opposing views appear ridiculous.

The "targets" rarely, if ever, realize that they are being manipulated.

The facilitator seeks to polarize the group in order that the facilitator becomes an accepted member of the group and of the process. then the desired outcome/idea can be placed on the table and individual opinions are sought during discussion. Soon, associates from the divided group begin to adopt the idea as if it were their own, and they pressure the entire group to accept their proposition.

but why have meetings if the outcome is already established?

Because, as previously emphasised, it is imperative to the continued well-being of the agenda that the people be facilitated into ownership of the preset outcome. If people believe the idea is theirs, they support it: If the people believe the idea is being foisted on them, they will resist.

Likewise, it is imperative to the continued well-being of the agenda that the people perceive that their input counts.

This scenario is being used very effectively to move meetings to a preset conclusion, effectively changing our form of government from a representative form of government in which individuals are elected to represent the people, to a "participatory democracy" in which citizens, selected at large, are facilitated into ownership of preset outcomes, perceiving that their input resulted therein, when the reality is that the outcome was already established by people not apparent to the citizen participants.

The "Delphi Technique" And How It Robs Parents of Control Over Their Child's Education

Consistent use of this technique to control public participation in our political system is a cause for alarm among people who cherish the concept of genuine democracy.

plus... archive: EDWARD BERNAYS (1891 - 1995) the father pf 'public relations'

"Public relations embraces the "engineering of consent" based on Jefferson's principle that 'in a truly democratic society, everything depends upon the consent of the public.' This fundamental truth is the basis of my life's work."
(from 'The Future of Public Relations' by Edward L. Bernays)

"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."

"We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. . ."

"No serious sociologist any longer believes that the voice of the people expresses any divine or specially wise and lofty idea. The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by the group leaders in whom it believes and by those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion. It is composed of inherited prejudices and symbols and cliches and verbal formulas supplied to them by the leaders..."
(excerpts from Edward Bernay's Propaganda -1928)
"Give me the money and three months...and I'll be able to affect the behavior of 80 per cent of the people in this town without their knowing it. Make them happy - or at least they'll think they're happy. Or aggressive."
(-- Dr. Elizabeth Rauscher-Bise, Nuclear Physics and Engineering, University of California)

decades ago Elizabeth Rauscher-Bise identified specific frequencies to induce nausea, happiness and many other behavioral states.

Saturday, 17 April 2004


Each month you will receive complete rituals of the current God &/or Goddess of the month including what (or whom) to sacrifice.

Each monthly package will include:

1. A lavishly illustrated booklet of appropriate prayers and rituals.

2. Necessary tools and instructions for all prayers and rituals.

3. Where needed plastic injected graven images are also included.
Obsidian's Dictionary of Pantheons
(via gravity lens)
cute little kittens
86 the onions
boiled alive

a personally edited collection of drawings depicting men and women in pots.
Cockroach with Wireless Video
Jesus Christ Action Figure

plus the jesus christ superstore
Betsy Davis

vulvic acrylic sculptures
(via geisha asobi blog)
Scubadoo Underwater Motorcycle

The Australian-designed Scubadoo underwater motorcycle is to go into mass production and will go on sale from May 1 at a price of AUD$17,500.
Karl Friedrich Lentze

Karl Friedrich Lentze, a German artist, has written to the country's zoos to ask if they would feed his body to the piranhas once he's dead. he came up with the idea after reading about a Dutch man who wanted to be fed to snails.

but Cologne Zoo director Günther Nogge said even if he agreed it would probably not work. He said: "It's a great idea. But if you want to carry it out for educational purposes then it would be better if you were fed to the piranhas alive, they're not as keen on dead flesh and prefer their food live."

The artist is however still hoping to hear from other zoos that may be more open to his proposal. He said: "They could always poke my body with sticks to get me moving and get the fish interested."
(via underwater times)

... 'The important point to grasp, says Diener, is that although happiness has a large genetic component, none of us are prisoners of evolution. By identifying the sources of happiness in our lives and making a conscious effort to optimise them, most of us should be able to raise our average satisfaction levels. Or as Norman Vincent Peale succinctly puts it: "Who decides whether you shall be happy or unhappy? The answer - you do."'
(via linkmachinego)
tom coates suggests a "New concept - don't clean until your house is clean, instead merely allocate time to the cleaning process and clean until that time is over whether you finish or not.

Also if you finish before the time is up (unlikely) then clean something better than you would normally.

I started this insane cleaning regimen yesterday with a statement that I would clean in a high-impact fashion for no more and no less than precisely one hour. I created an iTunes playlist full of motivational music with the sole intention of keeping me psyched about the whole horrors of cleaning my flat. It is precisely one hour long and is called Precisely One Hour of House-Cleaning Music. It contains a fair amount of cheese, for the specific reason that it's designed to get the heart-pounding and the mind focused on doing things (rather than being subtle or nuanced in any way) so don't get on my case about how lame it is. The first tune is designed to set the scene and the final one to get the pace back down to useful human-levels."
fiction suits

"...imagine what would happen to Pulp Fiction if, when the character of Jules looked into the briefcase, he "woke up" in mid-scene and not only realized that he was a character in a movie, but also realized that he "was" also Mace Windu and Shaft and a bunch of other characters in realities he can scarcely comprehend, while also glimpsing an uber-reality where all of those realities are just movies and he's an actor called Samuel L. Jackson."
(via plasticbag)

plus the redesigned barbelith

Friday, 16 April 2004

POll shows Bush would get a boost from terror attack

a New York Sun poll conducted by McLaughlin and Associates last month showed that should America suffer a terrorist strike on US soil before elections—as did Spain—it would affect public opinion in a way that favors the re-election of Mr. Bush over Mr. Kerry.

The nation-wide survey showed that 39 percent of likely voters said they would be more likely to vote for Mr. Bush in the event of an attack, while 30 percent said they would be more likely to vote for Mr. Kerry in such an event. One quarter of those polled said an attack would not affect their votes.

More Republicans, 71 percent, said they would be motivated to go to the polls to support their candidate in the event of an attack. Only 58 percent of Democrats said an attack would make them more likely to vote for Mr. Kerry.

Registered independent voters also said an attack would make them more likely to vote for Mr. Bush than for Mr. Kerry, 34 percent to 24 percent. Another 34 percent of independents said their voting intentions would not be affected. Both men and women said they would be more likely to vote for Mr. Bush in the event of an attack.
Amnesty International reports that US-led forces have "shot Iraqis dead during demonstrations, tortured and ill-treated prisoners, arrested people arbitrarily and held them indefinitely, demolished houses in acts of revenge and collective punishment."

In Fallujah, US marines, described as "tremendously precise" by their psychopathic spokesman, slaughtered up to 600 people, according to hospital directors. They did it with aircraft and heavy weapons deployed in urban areas, as revenge for the killing of four American mercenaries..... wrote john pilger in the new statesman.

Half the Iraqis killed in the United States offensive in the town of Fallujah were women, children and elderly people, a mediator said on Tuesday, but US officials insisted they take all precautions to avoid non-combatants.

Fouda Rawi, a senior member of the Iraqi Islamic Party that is spearheading efforts to negotiate a ceasefire in the city west of Baghdad, quoted hospital sources as saying more than 600 Iraqis had been killed and 1 250 wounded.

"Among those killed were 160 women, 141 children and many elderly," he said, providing the first precise figures on the number of civilian deaths from the nearly week-long offensive.
(via news insider)
Refusing to kill

Are you in the military, or have a son in the military? Do you or your sister/brother work for the military? Join the growing number of men who refuse this killing work!

As the Global Women Strike* puts it: “For millions of us, military genocide has been the condition of our lives – from Rwanda to Sudan, Palestine to Colombia, Chechnya to Kashmir, Yugoslavia to Afghanistan.” Men and women who are refusing military work, the work of killers, are demanding that resources instead be used for caring, to reduce hunger, disease, and poverty that come with war and precede it, and that fall most heavily on women. Many of us can no longer bear the suffering and overwork inflicted on our wives, mothers, sisters, on our children and on ourselves.

In many countries, men are forced to join the military. Countries where the draft has been abolished may well re-introduce it at any time.  In the US, the richest country on earth, the so-called “all volunteer” army is composed of those of us who have to “choose” between joining the army or no healthcare, no housing, or going back to prison. Men and women of colour make up 45% of the army’s rank-and-file – 15% more than the civilian population.

In almost all cases, armies dehumanise us: we are asked to risk our lives in order to discipline, maim and kill other human beings in wars for whose horrors nothing can possibly prepare us. If we are soldiers and don't obey orders, we can be punished, persecuted, imprisoned and killed.

Hundreds of thousands of us have been pulled away from our families and communities and sent to kill other families and communities for control of world oil resources. It is urgent we understand that these wars are not in our name and that there is a growing movement that will support us when we refuse it.

plus: veterans for common sense

archive: Pentagon pushes more and more drugs onto the frontline.
An exposé of how the Pentagon has been issuing a concoction of mind-altering drugs to its soldiers and airmen. Amphetamines, sedatives, anti-nerve agents, adrenaline and a whole variety of vaccines, including anthrax, make up a cocktail of chemicals banned by civilian authorities in the ordinary workplace, yet forced upon pilots flying multi-million dollar jets into combat and Special Forces soldiers operating behind enemy lines.


along with the United States Efforts to Undermine the International Criminal Court, the United States Government also refused to ratify the U.N. convention on genocide.

There are many facets of genocide implemented upon indigenous peoples of North America.

The list of American genocidal policies includes: Mass-execution, Biological warfare, Forced Removal from homelands, Incarceration, Indoctrination of non-indigenous values, forced surgical sterilization of native women, Prevention of religious practices, just to name a few.

prior to the arrival of Columbus the land defined as the 48 contiguous states of America numbered in excess of 12 million people. Four centuries later, it had been reduced by 95% to 237 thousand.

archive: without sanctuary.
photographs and postcards taken as souvenirs at lynchings throughout America.

Wednesday, 14 April 2004

David Ray Griffin. "Thinking Unthinkable Thoughts"

Theologian Charges White House Complicity in 9/11 Attack

in his latest book, The New Pearl Harbor — released just two weeks ago — Griffin all but accuses the Bush administration of taking a dive on September 11 and giving Al Qaeda terrorists an unobstructed shot at the World Trade Center. According to Griffin, a case can be made that the Bush administration arranged the attack, or allowed it to happen.

He is aware that he may be dismissed as a conspiracy nut, but Griffin has taken to repeating Michael Moore’s line on the subject: “Personally, I’m not into conspiracy theories except those that are true.”

archive: US cold-war plot to frame Castro
as a pretext for invading Cuba in the heyday of the cold war, American military leaders devised plans to blow up an empty US navy ship, issue a bogus list of casualties and blame Fidel Castro, according to secret papers cited in a new history of the National Security Agency.
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Experimental Biology 2004
Starts: Saturday, April 17, 2004
Ends: Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Location: Washington, DC, USA
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brain-computer interface

human trials are set to begin on a brain-computer interface involving implants.

Cyberkinetics of Foxboro, Masschusetts, has received Food and Drug Administration approval to begin a clinical trial in which four-square-millimeter chips will be placed beneath the skulls of paralyzed patients.

If successful, the chips could allow patients to command a computer to act -- merely by thinking about the instructions they wish to send.

TV to show dying minutes of man in custody

CCTV footage of a man dying on the floor of a police station surrounded by officers will be shown on prime-time television tonight in a bid to uncover the truth about his death.

Christopher Alder, a former paratrooper, died in Queens Gardens station in Hull on April 1 1998. His family, who want a full public inquiry, believe his death had racist overtones and was, at best, negligence and, at worst, manslaughter.

Mr Alder, who was 37, is seen and heard lying face down on the floor, his trousers round his knees, his breath rasping, and choking as he dies of a cardiac arrest. Officers accuse him of play acting and make no attempt to revive him.

Police refused to release the CCTV footage, but the documentary makers obtained a copy from another source.

In additional CCTV footage, seen by the BBC team but not included in the programme, monkey noises and laughter are heard as Mr Alder's dead body lies on the ground, where it remained for more than eight hours after his death, just before 4am.

At an inquest two years after Mr Alder's death, the jury, which had seen the footage, recorded a verdict of unlawful killing. But the Crown Prosecution Service decided that there was not enough evidence to bring a case against the five Humberside police officers present when he died.

He is one of 200 black people who have died in UK police or prison custody in the past 15 years.

Monday, 12 April 2004

International Space Station Astronauts may get time extension

The US space agency is considering a Russian plan to keep crews aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for a year at a time. The change would allow Russia to set aside room on its flights for more paying customers - either space tourists or European astronauts.

The space station crew has been limited to two full-time residents since last year's suspension of space shuttle flights in the wake of the Columbia accident. This left Russia's Soyuz capsules as the only means of transportation to and from the space station, reducing Russia's ability to sell seats on its rockets.

Currently, two Soyuz capsules blast off every year at six month intervals. The Russian space program receives about $20m (£11m) from each customer who travels aboard its rockets.

The longest any person has spent in space is 14.5 months, a record set a decade ago by cosmonaut Valery Polyakov.

The Russian space agency recently announced that US millionaire Gregory Olsen would become the next space tourist, flying to the space station either this October or in April 2005.

on this day 1961: Russians win space race

At just after 0700BST, Major Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin was fired from the Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan, Soviet central Asia, in the space craft Vostok (East).

Major Gagarin orbited the Earth for 108 minutes travelling at more than 17,000 miles per hour (27,000 kilometres per hour) before landing at an undisclosed location.

The Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev congratulated Major Gagarin on his achievement.

In 1968 Gagarin was killed in a plane crash just outside Moscow in what some people believed were suspicious circumstances.