Monday, 31 May 2004

the dust brothers- Fight Club - This Is Your Life mp3
"Disobedience, the rarest and most courageous of the virtues, is seldom distinguished from neglect, the laziest and commonest of the vices."
(-George Bernard Shaw)
"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress had been made, through disobedience and through rebellion."
(-Oscar Wilde)

KITTEN PINDER and the art of disobedience

kitten continues to push the boundaries inside the big brother house.

today she refused to put on her microphone , and when the voice of Big Brother asks her to comply with the rule, she just shrugs her shoulders and carries on cooking.

she has also stated in advance that she will not obey the big brother rule that compels all housemates every week to nominate each other for possible eviction.

last night, under live broadcast total surveillance, she articulated important basic points and strategies regarding the nature of power and control. emphasising how and why people tend to automatically submit their own power to voices of authority. and how those with power will never give it up willingly, therefore the only way you can make them give up power is to take it.

and she successfully unified the house, if only temporarily, into a mass disobedience against big brother's request to return the empty suitcases

yes, a minor victory perhaps. but she astutely pointed out to her housemates and (more imporatantly) those viewing her, that the regaining of personal power is best achieved initially through small accumulative disobedience actions. at a small level the victories are more likely to occur, which in turn gets people used to disobeying, has the potential to build people's confidence in disobeying, build a sense of unity within the group, undermine the authority, and limbers us up for an eventual state of proper adult autonomy and a more genuine democracy.

last night kitten was also heard openly expressing that she doesn't care if big brother chucks her out, she isn't there to win, it doesn't matter. "we all have our reasons for being here" she said

she has consistently pushed and flaunted every rule since the moment she first arrived on our screens.

ultimately big brother is just a game. but it is a game played daily and live to millions of viewers. and in these ultra conformist times its important for all disobedience activists to take full advantage of any mass broadcast opportunities that come their way.

god bless kitten pinder. i'm sure her friends at home are proud of her.

meanwhile a digital spy forum thread, titled "best way for big brother to get at kitten" and clearly written by an off duty guard from guantanamo bay, suggests.... "the best way kitten can be brought down from her rebellious stance is if for every action she takes against big brother, then her housemates are punished instead of her."

someone also phoned the exact same suggestion into channel 4's "big brother's little brother" earlier today.

well hey yeah, better still if that doesn't tame the minx, why not bulldoze her family's home as a punishment. take a leaf out of the israeli and american book of freedom and justice. where the isrealis punish palestinian communities, and the american invaders similarly punish the families of disobedient iraqis.

Sunday, 30 May 2004

comments and extracts from a BIG BROTHER 5 forum thread on HOMOPHOBIA

online forums are a strange and wonderful thing.

a forum's surface anonymity masks the fact that you are as likely to be arguing with a schoolchild as you are with a member of the royal family, or someone whose primary beliefs are formed by reading tabloids, or an academic, or a psychiatric client, or a seasoned civil disobedience activist, or of course someone whose only motivation within the forum is to troll.

forums can be hilarious and uplifting and forums can be emotionally draining. but i especially love the challenge of trying to be as articulate as possible in the face of extreme adversity.

(similarly a few weeks back i invited the door to door jehovah's witnesses inside for a friendly exchange. we spent 2 monday afternoons discussing the concepts of obedience and free will)

forums aren't ever going to be nodding in general agreement with me (not that i experience that much agreement even among my friends) and unlike a spoken debate where people soon tire of it and want it to end, a forum topic can be debated for days. even weeks. with a variety of forum members taking up the relay battons.

plus unlike a spoken debate, you can take your time both reading peoples contributions and forming your written replies, aswell as being able to look back at what has been previously said, which is especially useful as debates are so often diverted down numerous slippery avenues, by misreadings and high emotion, or by the curious "reasoning" of right wing tabloid readers. and of course by trolls.

sometimes a forum member has pointed out to me that i'm actually (cough!) wrong or i have got the wrong end of the stick, and by looking back over the discussion i can see that they are entirely right.

i especially enjoy forums that are centered around reality tv shows because each forum has a beginning and an end point of existence dependant on the duration of the show. plus being focused on a group of individuals who have volunteered to put themselves under the scrutiny of a 24 hour media microscope, it catalyses a wide spectrum of topics and opinions.

the slipperyist and most frustratingly challenging of topic threads tend to be the ones dealing with prejudice. during channel 5's "back to reality" earlier this year i got so wound up after spending several days in a thread on racism, that i had to step away from my keyboard, take a long walk and resist contributing anymore till a full 24 hours had passed and my friends had grounded me again.

digital spy has rules for its forums. overtly prejudiced posts or threads are removed and persistently offensive forum members can be banned. but as any member of an oppressed minority knows its the insidious little things (that are often even well meaning) that persistently slip through the net, are often experienced every single day, are below the radar of well meaning people outside of that minority and are difficult to point out to people.

generally in the day to day world, picking people up on non-overt prejudice is made difficult as it is most often met with a response such as "its just a bit of fun" or you're accused of being too "politically correct" or even "paranoid", without the perpetrator recognising the accumulative poisonous affect of their original remark. it makes you seem petty for raising the issue. its difficult because its also often from someone you like and you don't want to cause them bad feeling even though they have made you feel bad (again).

highlighting non-overt prejudice is also disadvataged by people not really understanding exactly what prejudice, discrimination or stereotyping actually means, or why combatting it is important.

worse still is the automated manner in which so many people have learned to identify as not being homophobic or racist. everybody today can at some point be heard repeating the mantra "i'm not homophobic", "i'm not a racist" etc and i assume that what they usually mean is that they don't go out murdering faggots and niggers, or they have some friends or family members that are gay or black, or they like watching graham norton and will smith and they assume that any of this is enough to qualify them as not being prejudiced, even though they have possibly never really thought about, discussed or researched the issues involved.

the height of such absurdity is demonstrated when people who are openly opposed to "asylum seekers" persist in telling us that they are NOT racists.

yeah, like war is peace, maaan.

prejudices are deeply hardwired into us. children have learned most social prejudices by the age of 4.

prejudice is more than just overt hatred. Prejudice is a premature judgment--a positive or a negative attitude towards a person or group of people which is not based on objective facts.

These prejudgments are usually based on stereotypes which are oversimplified and overgeneralized views of groups or types of people. Or, a prejudgment may be based on an emotional experience we have had with a similar person, it becomes our own personal stereotype.

Stereotypes also provide us with role expectations, i.e. how we expect the other person (or group,) to relate to us and to other people. Of course, sometimes individual people are somewhat like the stereotype but it is a gross injustice to automatically assume that is the totality of their being, nor how everybody is within a particular group.

so to come back to the forum, since friday night when big brother 5 began, i have predominantly been engaged by a thread titled "raging great homophobes"

out of 12 housemates in big brother this year there are (so far) 2 camp out gay men (Marco Sabba and Daniel Bryan), a politically active and rebellious lesbian (Kitten Pinder), a post op transexual woman (Nadia Almada), and 2 women who have openly identified themselves as bi-sexuals (Michelle Bass and Emma Greenwood)

and briefly friday night i actually glimpsed a forum thread titled "too many gays", which i didn't get a chance to read before it was taken off.

overt prejudice will be censored on the forum, but it doesn't prevent plenty of people expressing insidious sentiments similar to "too many gays". nor implying that the LGBT quota makes this year's housemates "a freak show". nor people expressing their extreme dislike of camp men and disobedient lesbians (genderphobia perhaps? gender policing certainly)

it also didn't prevent posts such as "taking it up the spam is just wrong, i don't wanna see it on the tv." a post that pulls no punches about the writer's bigotry aswell as propagating the obsessive cliche that homosexuality boils down to nothing other than anal sex. (backs to the walls boys, and all that)

so with the 'gay' housemate quota being a hot topic, it didn't take long before a gay forum member felt it nescessary to start a thread on homophobia.

i have to confess i don't really understand much of his initial writing on the thread. maybe its just me but it reads like gobble-dee-gook. but i do understand his sentiment.

tiresomely, most of the responses on that thread have tended to be in that aggresive/defensive style associated with rightwing tabloid "reasoning". you know, the "we can't say anything against the gays without being called homophobic" whinging mantra. where they never seem to understand that they actually ARE homophobic.

frustratingly in such a popular forum, so much is written so fast and on so many threads that its often impossible to re-locate and quote the best bigoted examples to throw back their faces when you're being accused of paranoia. some will have been censored anyway and many others aren't pointed enough when isolated as just a quote extracted from their long threaded contexts. but heres a contender that i cut and pasted....

"my god! Has the world gone completely insane. It’s like the bloody madi-gra, (sorry if that’s spelt wrong). What a freak show, I felt sick, especially the gay bird acting a prat, what the hell was that all about. The sex change el freako was the icing on the cake, the show producers must be seriously sick to even consider this to be entertainment. Looks like Channel 4 have picked the dregs of society"

and heres the typical response given to anybody who bothers pointing out the implications of such a post...

"you were the one who made the sweeping generalisation at the start of this thread, where you accused anyone who mentioned the words freak show as being a homophobe."

or this...

"there are too many gay guys out there who if someone disagrees with them just think "Oh you hate gays because you disagree with me" when in fact it is because they are being an arsehole, and is nothing to do with their sexual preference."

or this...

"Why is it you feel the need to use the term homophobe every time someone disagrees with you."

by post number 35 the originator of the thread articulates his point more clearly..... "BB5 Starts. A Record number of Non-Straight people are in it - suddenly we have threads using the words: Digusting; Freaks; and a whole lot more stating utter contempt because there are not enough straight people in BB5"

a little later a heterosexual says to the originator of the thread ...." I was using the term 'freak show' before I even logged on here tonight. I'm also a fan of BB1 where Anna (lesbian) came second and BB2 where Brian (gay) won. you could do with losing that chip on your shoulder. You're seeing homophobia where it doesn't exist and throwing out unfair accusations towards a forum which is pretty broadminded about matters of sexuality."

translation: "i liked previous token gays on big brother when they were limited to being a proper minority. it is pure coincidence that with two camp gay men, an aggressive lesbian, a transexual and 2 bisexuals all together that i think that this big brother is a freak show. we are tolerant. you are paranoid."

and of course no discussion about homosex is complete without somebody making the classic remark ..... "Do what you like mate in privacy just dont ram it down everyone elses throat. "

translation: "i am tolerant to a degree, but don't complain if you get beaten up for holding hands in the street. its your own fault so just shut up about it."

blah blah blah......

i had initially dipped my toes into this thread by post number 30-something, but things didn't really rev up for me till post 122

it began when i posted this:...... "how homophobic are you? This questionnaire is designed to measure your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with regards to homosexuality. via which also has a specific section of links on heterosexism and homophobia"

which recieved this response from a forum member..... "homosexuality was legalised a long time ago and folk pop in and out of the cupboard as and when they want to. Who cares?......Try devoting your undoubted energies to something worthwile and that matters like a wedding party being blown up in Iraq or maybe that would only mean anything to you if it were a Gay wedding party."

translation: its been legal for decades so what more do you want. (actually homosex was only partially decriminalised until very very recently). not only should you know your place in heirarchichal society and be grateful, but you should also know your place within a heirarchy of oppression (and guess who decides that criteria).

so i replied by posting the following links....

and emphasised that i am perfectly capable of devoting my time and energies to a broad range of equally important issues, thank you very much..

but, just like a slippery bar of soap, they then tell me, in a similarly assumption riddled and diversionary vain, to.... "Try concentrating on OAPs that are getting threatened humiliated and in fear of being beaten to death. Or does it only count if you are gay?."


i mean i really do my best as a citizen, but theres only so many hours to each day.

there are limits as to how fast i can type.

there are obvious limits as to how much to include in each post without it turning encyclopedic.

and besides, theres a forum rule to try and remain on topic.

but most importantly, do i seriously need to demonstrate my entire awareness and active contribution to all injustices in the world before she/he'll pay attention to any facts i present regarding homophobia?

yet on a similar vein from another forum member, i get this.... "you wield your web-links like the Grim Reaper wields his scythe, but you do have a tendency to overplay your hand. Of course gay men were subjected to appalling abuse and violence. But that was many years ago. Today it's the execption to the rule. Huge organizations are devoted to the welfare of the gay community, a community which has grown very much aware of its economic power, a community whose business is greatly sought after by the retail, banking, travel, entertainment sectors. Political pressure groups formed by gays are wielding increasingly greater poltical influence and often get what they want at the expense of society at large. You are either a little naive or not as well informed as you think you are, your readiness to cite websites that support your claims notwithstanding."

so there we have it straight from a hetero horse's mouth.

it was quentin crisp who once said, "even the lowest heterosexual is superior to any homosexual", and here we have a heterosexual who clearly knows better than me (a mere queer) that everything is roses and sunshine for us homos today. we've got a pink pound, and gays just don't get verbally abused, beaten up or murdered for fun anymore. silly me. what would i know.

but even though i knew i should bow down to their superior hetero wisdom regarding all things gay today, i couldn't help replying instead with some contemporary stats from a quick google...."in the Metropolitan police region alone there were 1,239 reported incidents of homophobic hate crime in the 12 months leading up to April 2002. the true figure is estimated to be even higher because hate crime is under-reported due to the victim being too scared or embarrassed to let someone know it happened.

hopefully 2002 doesn't qualify as being too "many years ago".

but as so often happens, just when you think you've succeeded in getting a point across, the other side shifts the fucking goal posts and they respond with this...."How do those figures compare with all other types of crimes?"

and this......"It is not only the gay community that suffers abuse at the hands of the scum that roams the streets with impunity. You are singled out for your sexuality. Others are singled out because they are old or non-caucasian, because they are protestants in a catholic community or hindus in a muslim environment, because they have a speech impediment or because chemotherapy has caused hairloss. Anything and anyon who deviates from the norm these morons believe in. The list of reasons is as endless as it is inexcusable. But you are wrong to think that the hostility directed at you is greater than the indignities heaped on others for reasons of ethnicity, religion, age or beliefs. Believe me, I am only too aware of how badly and unfairly homosexual men were treated in this country. But it pays to retain perspective. (2) It isn't like this everywhere. I do not know where you live (and you'd be wise not to mention it online), but I can assure you that it is NOT like this in the parts of London I know, it isn't like this is Atlanta and San Francisco, in Berlin and Munich, in Paris and Rheims, in Gothenburg and Stockholm (and yes, I do know this firsthand). Look at the little indignities others have to suffer every day. Italians are still called wops, Spaniards spics, Frenchmen frogs, Germans Krauts, Jews kikes, Americans yanks. Pakistani grannies are routinely made fun of by uncultured and barely literate juvenile scumbags, just as boisterous Europeans are still seen as fair game by London thugs. The list is endless. The fact is that many of our fellow countrymen are still a bigoted, myopic and insular bunch, lager-swilling and crisp grazing ********s who drive a white van and will kill for the 'honour' of their chosen football team."

(yeah, like as if homophobia is only propagated by men or working class men. while the above response has zero concept of what today's reality is for queer blacks or muslims. and as if most queers aren't constantly policing themselves in public everyday to avoid violence. no kissing. no holding hands. its because we mostly keep ourselves invisible and acquiescent that we avoid too many kickings, and fuck Atlanta and San Francisco, fuck Berlin and Munich, fuck Paris and Rheims, fuck Gothenburg and Stockholm , in many other countries today we're simply exterminated or imprisoned. or the president of the world's super power is proposing changes in the fucking constitution to keep us from equality. or the pope is describing us as "evil". thats today's happy clappy queer reality)

similarly there was also this...."Hmm, I wonder wot the reported incidents of attacks on women were during that same time frame? I can imagine that the true figure is even higher also; under-reported for the same reasons."

and THIS.... "A figure that becomes meaningless when compared with all other types of assault, burglaries, theft, car crimes, sexual assaults on women etc etc etc. Your sterile, figure-oriented presentation, your apparent victim complex make it very difficult to empathize. You have passion, but you will never carry an audience with your demented fervour. The merits of your case are largely negated by your surly replies to those who refuse to accept your claims in toto. This may sound harsh, but your self-pity is not an attractive quality, as it ignores the suffering of all others. Not everything revolves around the indignities endured by homosexuals. What the hell is your 'suffering' compared to that of the croats in Serbia, the Palestinians, the starving Ethiopians. You suffer from tunnel vision. Compassion is not an appealing quality when it is as selective as yours!"


it was the above same authoratative forum member who had previously stated that violence against gays was "a thing of the past." which was the only reason i'd been prompted to post some recent homo-specific hate crime stats in the first place.

so like a stuck record we'd fundamentally gotten no further forward than that earlier diversionary instruction to "Try concentrating on OAPs that are getting threatened humiliated and in fear of being beaten to death. Or does it only count if you are gay?."

we should know our place in heirarchichal society and be grateful, and we should also know our place within a heirarchy of oppression and just shut up.

actually that was mild. because after that things got really really weird as one forum member blathered on about my "demented cries of woe." and my "blind zeal. my "fatuous nitpicking" my "refusal to listen to any voice other than (my) own." apparently i lived "in a gay ghetto." and "in the past" i was told that "There is little to be gained by sitting on your behind and doing nothing about it. You can't blame your misfortune on everyone else when you are not prepared to do anything about it. Move on and stop feeling sorry for yourself." and (ironically) they told me that my "statistics have become as meaningless as (my) determination to drone on and on and on"

and still later they tell me ....."I have questioned your methodology, your stats etc, all legitimate questions in an open debate. Not once have I been offensive to you. But I know what you're doing. The last desperate hurrah of the golden horde. You seek to invalidate my contribution not through reasoned argument, but by labelling me a homophobe."

yes that old chesnut. bizarre in the extreme when theres never been a single moment that i'd actually labelled anyone on the forum a homophobe. i'd been hoping to give them enough rope to hang themselves.

i'd also been hoping for an actual reasoned argument, not to mention an answer to the question i'd addressed to the above forum member.

what exactly did she/he mean when they had earlier stated that "Political pressure groups formed by gays are wielding increasingly greater poltical influence and often get what they want at the expense of society at large.

of course it doesn't end here, but if you've read this far you're doubtless as exhausted as i am.

i just needed to share it all with someone before i dive back in for more.

Saturday, 29 May 2004

day 2

"will Kitten please come to the diary room" says the voice of big brother

"i'll come when i'm ready" replies Kitten, lounging in the jacuzzi while the other 11 housemates sheepishly comply with the instruction for all housemates to remain on the sofa.
"Push the red button and I show you how much I like you"
The New Perfectionism
subtitlted "Updating Humanity: Is Man Obsolete?" Austin Dacey investigates the transhumanist movement and its relation to humanism in this month's Free Inquiry,
Germans invent robot to do ironing
rate my gas mask- female
rate my gas mask- male
(via fleshbot)
torture posters appearing in New York Subways

and here
Classic Plastic Army Men
mannequin gallery
(via presurfer)
Fun with Transgenic Glow-in-the-Dark Pets and Animals
the Museum of Chimpography
hybrid medical animation
Days I've Been Alive Represented By Dots
Ron Lent keeps track of his life by displaying a new dot every day
(via j-walkblog)
flash: "musicbox"

online art-zine including


(via octopus dropkick)
Creepy the Clown vs. The Dancing Baby
modern day piracy
piracy, the scourge of shipping in the 17th and 18th centuries, is flourishing in the 21st century,
(via grow-a-brain)

Friday, 28 May 2004

BIG BROTHER 5 begins 10pm tonight

this year for the first time they held open auditions for housemates. it’s previously always been done by videotape.

in a press release Executive Producer, shirley jones said "There were loads of people dressed as chickens and loads of brides for some reason - they were the most popular. We also had quite a few naked people … I think people thought that if they showed flesh, it would get them in. We auditioned in Newcastle in two feet of snow and the medical team had to wrap the naked people in foil blankets… it was like the naked marathon."

after last year's disapointing casting and equally disapointing winner, the hype this year is that "big brother gets evil". The new house has been designed to be difficult to live in. The house is smaller than ever before, making it claustrophobic and intense. Inward slanting walls, low ceilings, hard seats and angular surfaces make the house an unsettling place to live in.

The toilet and shower are made of glass and they’ll have to walk outside to get to bed…whatever the weather. There’s only one bedroom and not enough beds. housemates are expecting two bedrooms, but they will be living on top of each other in just one. There will be nowhere to hide and they will have to make some tricky decisions from the beginning as although there are enough places to sleep there aren’t enough beds so a few will have to share.
"We want the whole experience to be a challenge for the housemates from start to finish. There will be no lie-ins, tasks will involve some really agonising decisions and although we’ve increased the prize money to £100,000, ultimately the winner could walk away with nothing. In addition, we’ve also got some nasty surprises planned. It’s really not going to be a holiday this year and knowing what I know I wouldn’t want to go into the house!" said shirley jones.

in total there are 36 cameras used to film the action.

big brother 5 digital spy FORUM


alex bb3

gos bb4

brian bb2

elizabeth bb2

josh bb2

ray bb4

nick bb1

stuart bb2

jonny bb3


One wall. Some paint. You decide.

Watching Paint Dry kicks off today with a luxurious coating of smooth masonry paint in a verdant green. We estimate that the masonry paint could take some time to dry so you should be able to catch a few drips and interesting textures forming as the day progresses. Producers plan to install further spotlights later this evening which will heat up the paint and could lead to some cracks appearing and the possibility of some early flaking so stay tuned!

Every day a different kind of paint will be put on to a wall. Confirmed contestants include; matt, silk, gloss, satin, vinyl, eggshell textured and smooth masonry - all of whom are eagerly looking forward to their first brush with fame.

vote for your favourite paint. The show will run for eight weeks and the results of the daily paint votes will be will be announced at 5pm every day, starting tomorrow. Plus there'll be a special 'Emulsion Show' every Friday when the paint with the least votes will leave the programme and head back to the DIY store.

The final show will witness the unveiling of the nation's favourite paint climaxing with a live demolition of the famous wall. So, if you are passionate about a particular kind of paint, keep coming back and voting!
United Kingdom, United States and Israel: THE KINGS OF PAIN

For over 30 years Israel and the US have used time-tested torture practices devised by the British.

The British Army pioneered these methods way back in 1971, using them against the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Irish people.

The United States and Israel have brutally refined British practices adding cultural torture. For prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanimo Bay and Israel's many detention centers housing Palestinian captives, that means assaulting the integrity of one's culture and religion while physically pushing the prisoners to the brink of death. Modifications made by Israel and clearly adopted by the US for the Arab captives include constant references to hetero-on-hetero sex, forcing nude inmates to role-play as dogs and simulate hetero-on-hetero sex, and the common practice of photographing the prisoner in humiliating circumstances so that in each interrogation session the broken prisoner, or his comrades/family, can see how far he/she has been removed from humanity.

Thursday, 27 May 2004

Poking holes in the official story of 9/11

the mainstream press abdicated its responsibility to probe what happened and has been "complicit" in advancing the official explanation, ("The official conspiracy theory, ie: Osama bin Laden and his co-conspirators did it,"). citizens can choose to buy that official line on the events of Sept. 11, 2001 — or they can ask questions about holes in that story as big as the crater at Ground Zero.

This week, at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in west-end Toronto, the International Citizens' Inquiry into 9/11 picks up where it left off in San Francisco in March.

They're gathering to focus attention on why, nearly three years later, the White House still hasn't produced a plausible explanation for why so much went so wrong all at once.

"To ask questions and to ask them fearlessly," says Citizens' Inquiry director Barrie Zwicker. "This is the heart of this."

A poll conducted for the non-profit inquiry this month shows that 63 per cent of canadians believe the U.S. government had "prior knowledge of the plans for the events of September 11th, and failed to take appropriate action to stop them."

unasked questions include: Why were fighter jets not scrambled in time to stop the planes from smashing into the buildings? Why did the U.S. chain of command — including the commander-in-chief Bush — not act when the hijackings were in progress? Why were so many warnings missed? And why did it take the Kean Commission — Washington's official 9/11 inquiry — so long to get going, and only after the bereaved families noisily lobbied for more than a year?

9/11 panel says too many documents are being stamped secret
which prevents the public from getting vital information, members say

F.A.A. Official Scrapped Tape of 9/11 Controllers' Statements
At least six air traffic controllers who dealt with two of the hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, 2001, made a tape recording that same day describing the events, but the tape was destroyed by a supervisor without anyone making a transcript or even listening to it, the Transportation Department said in a report

911 widow believes President George W. Bush "intentionally allowed 9/11 to happen to gather public support for a war on terrorism,"

FBI Admits: No Evidence Links named 'Hijackers' to 9-11

CBS News Channel Eyewitness Describes 'Secondary Explosions' in the WTC

New York Firefighters Discuss Bombs in WTC Towers

British Broadsheet Links Mossad to 9/11
there was ruin and terror in Manhattan, but, over the Hudson River in New Jersey, a handful of men were dancing.

5-Minute Video of George W. Bush on the Morning of 9/11
(via what really happened)


"top CIA officials proposed a terrorist campaign to stun the Chilean people into accepting a military regime." thousands of declasified US documents explicating the US role in the coup have been synthesised in a book, 'The Pinochet File' by Peter Kornbluh

the lavon affair
In 1954, Israeli agents working in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including a United States diplomatic facility, and left evidence behind implicating Arabs as the culprits.

operation northwoods
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.

"Hey Arabs Leaders"

A vehemently anti-Israel and anti-America music video called "Hey Arabs Leaders" sung by Shaaban Abdul Rahim is, we are told by Arutz Sheva - Israel National News, the latest smash hit in Egypt and the Arab world. The Egyptian-produced video claims – among other things – that Israel destroyed the World Trade Center, and the US and Israel are divvying up the Arab world.

To see the subtitled Egyptian video clip click here:
High Speed
G.W. Bush and His Corporate Mercenaries: The Real Butchers of Baghdad
2,000 pages said missing from US Senate's copy of Iraq prison abuse report
US soldiers abducting innocent Iraqis to blackmail their wanted relatives

In a little-noticed development amid Iraq's prison abuse scandal, the US military is holding dozens of Iraqis as bargaining chips to put pressure on their wanted relatives to surrender, according to human rights groups. These detainees are not accused of any crimes, and experts say their detention violates the Geneva Conventions and other international laws. The practice also risks associating the United States with the tactics of countries it has long criticized for arbitrary arrests.

"We have many cases of Americans going to a house looking for someone, and when they can't find him, they take another family member in his place," said Bassem al-Rubaie, director of the Council of Legal Defense Care, a group of Iraqi lawyers that has been campaigning for prisoner rights. "This has been going on since the early days of the American occupation."

"It's clearly an abuse of the powers of arrest, to arrest one person and say that you're going to hold him until he gives information about somebody else, especially a close relative," said John Quigley, an international law professor at Ohio State University. "Arrests are supposed to be based on suspicion that the person has committed some offense."

Wednesday, 26 May 2004

New York Times admits "we were wrong on Iraq"

In a note to readers published today under the headline 'The Times and Iraq', the editors of the newspaper said they had found "a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been".

The New York Times today issued an extraordinary mea culpa over its coverage of Iraq, admitting it had been misled (and therefore colluded in misleading its readers) about the presence of weapons of mass destruction etc

its an improvement on this..... In a 30 November article, columnist Thomas Friedman,wrote in the New York Times- "this war (in Iraq) is the most important liberal, revolutionary US democracy-building project since the Marshall Plan". He lauded the war as "one of the noblest things this country has ever attempted abroad."
"Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment nothing can fail. Without it nothing can succeed. He who molds opinion is greater than he who enacts laws."
(-Abraham Lincoln)

"Politics is the womb in which war develops."
(-Carl von Clausewitz)

"One cannot wage war under present conditions without the support of public opinion, which is tremendously molded by the press and other forms of propaganda."
(-General Douglas MacArthur)

and as Robert Strauss once said to Bush "You can fool some people all of the time - and those are the ones on which you should concentrate your efforts."
"News is what someone wants to suppress. Everything else is advertising"
(-former NBC news President Rubin Frank)
decisions regarding what to include or disinclude in our master's mainstream voice is controlled not through a covert conspiracy of like mindedness among media employees, but because we live in an an era of network news cutbacks and staff layoffs, resulting in too many reporters being reluctant to pursue stories they know will upset management. "People are more careful now," remarked a former NBC news producer,
John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff of the the New York Times, called by his peers, "The Dean of His Profession," was asked in 1953 to give a toast before the NY Press Club; and this is what he said....

"There is no such thing at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.

There is not one of you that dares to write his honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print.

I am paid weekly for keeping my opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job.

If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

The business of journalists is to destroy truth; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press?

We are tools and vassals for rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."
"Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have."
(Richard Salant, former President of CBS News:)
"though the polls kept showing more people were still getting their news from the TV rather than from computers, the margin kept getting smaller."

"And, the polls didn't reflect the fact that people watching the TV sets were not as mentally involved with the information flow as Internet users were. While fewer in numbers, people who were getting their news from the Internet were more involved with that news... and they were talking to people they knew who did not have Internet feeds."

"Thus it was that after the fall of Afghanistan, blogs carried the news that the new puppet-President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, and the US special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, had both been part of the special oil company working group which had gone before Congress in 1998 recommending a change in the government of Afghanistan in order to facilitate the construction of a pipeline. The US mainstream media never made the connection. The blogs did, and word began to get out. And as Americans began to learn that there were things happening in the world that the TV set was not telling them, they started to ignore the TV set and pay more attention to the Internet news sources."

"The government and mainstream media struck back against the blogs in predictable fashion, warning parents that the Internet was a haven for child molesters and suggesting that only unfit parents would ever consider the Internet a trustworthy news source."

"Paid public relations operatives were hired to dump obvious disinformation onto the net with which to tar it, but a strange thing happened. Unlike TV, where those who have contradictory facts are successfully isolated from all the other viewers, the Internet allowed readers who recognized the false information for what it was to immediately present the facts to the entire world. Unlike the tame and manicured lawn of TV, the Internet became a jungle where only facts survived for very long."

"The government had no more luck controlling the Internet than the old USSR had controlling the Samizdat; the network of FAX machines that allowed Soviet Citizens to learn the truth of what their government was doing."

"All of a sudden, the ages-old mechanism of "what government says, the people think" was broken. The mainstream TV networks had lost their monopoly on the flow of information. The public was able to decide for itself what was newsworthy."

"The Internet gave the country a collective memory outside government control."

"Mainstream news sources have become aware that they can no longer avoid reporting the unpleasant news stories, without their avoidance itself becoming news on the blogs. As a result, blogs now drive the mainstream news. The mainstream media have been maneuvered into having to make a choice between continuing to support the agenda of their owners/handlers, or saving what is left of their credibility by running the stories that the public will be aware of anyway through the Internet"
(extracted from..."Is it time for Bush to press the panic button?")
"...society can only be understood through a study of the messages and the communication facilities which belong to it"
(-Norbert Wiener, 'The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society,' 1950,).
Human rights climate 'worst in 50 years'
Amnesty International Report 2004

"Governments are losing their moral compass, sacrificing the global values of human rights in a blind pursuit of security. This failure of leadership is a dangerous concession to armed groups," said Irene Khan, the secretary general of Amnesty International.

"The global security agenda promoted by the US administration is bankrupt of vision and bereft of principle. Violating human rights at home, turning a blind eye to abuses abroad and using pre-emptive military force where and when it chooses has damaged justice and freedom, and made the world a more dangerous place."

International human rights standards continued to be flouted in the name of the "war on terror", resulting in thousands of women and men suffering unlawful detention, unfair trial and torture – often solely because of their ethnic or religious background.

Around the world, more than a billion people's lives were ruined by extreme poverty and social injustice while governments continued to spend freely on arms.

america being the world's biggest arms profiteer.

the boogey man's gonna getcha if you don't submit to the american way..

Tuesday, 25 May 2004

disasturbation: "idly fantasizing about possible catastrophes (ecological collapse, full-blown totalitarianism) without considering their likelihood or considering their possible solutions/preventions."
Fight for Your Right to Evolve
"Maybe we're about to radically change the operating system of the human condition. If so, then this would be a really good time to make backups of our civilization."
(-Bruce Sterling)
a bacterium that computes
At MIT, Tom Knight, Drew Endy, and their students have been modifying protein production processes to turn E. coli cells into primitive digital computers.

A Japanese bull famous for siring more than 350,000 offspring now also holds the distinction of being the first large mammal to have two generations of clones.

Researchers created six clones of the bull in 2000, and now they have also cloned one of those clones in the first successful "serial cloning" experiment with a large mammal. In 1998, researchers created six generations of serially cloned mice, but efforts in larger mammals failed until now.

plus.... Baby born from 21-year-old sperm
Three years after the "overthrow" of the Taliban and George Bush's declaration of victory, (and as President Bush and Tony Blair unveil their plans today for the future of Iraq), Afghanistan is a nation on the edge of chaos and the Taliban and warlords are, predictably, back in control of large areas.

archive: How Afghanistan Went Unlisted as Terrorist Sponsor
"Throughout the mid-1990s Unocal, a California-based energy giant, was seeking rights to build a massive pipeline system across Afghanistan, connecting the vast oil and natural gas reserves of Turkmenistan to a plant and ports in Pakistan."
US journalists too timid and too commercially controlled

American journalism is suffering a crisis of confidence in the wake of high-profile reporting scandals at the New York Times and USA Today in which reporters were found to have fabricated a series of major news stories.

A growing number of American journalists working for national newspapers and magazines believe they lack credibility with the public and that their news stories are increasingly "full of factual errors" according to a new study of the profession.

The vast majority of reporters - 86% - now believe commercial pressures have meant the US news media avoid complex issues, 50% feel that the growth of 24-hour news services has weakened journalism, 56% believe the country's press is too timid and 52% believe reporting is "increasingly sloppy".

"We don't ask 'why' - or 'why not' - nearly as much as we should, particularly when covering our government," a reporter from the local press said.

The report echoes serious concerns raised about bias in US TV news reports during the conflict in Iraq, with 55% of national journalists saying the media has not been critical enough of the Bush administration, compared with 24% of the general public.

More than twice as many national journalists said they could name a daily news organisation that was "especially conservative in its coverage" than those who could name an overtly liberal news organisation, and most journalists named the Fox News channel as the highest profile conservative media organisation.

plus... Blair government worked with Murdoch's tabloid the Sun to manage news

Monday, 24 May 2004

Seven Pillars of Wisdom
(T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935))

"we were casting them by thousands into the fire to the worst of deaths, not to win the war but that the corn and rice and oil of Mesopotamia might be ours."

"The Cabinet raised the Arabs to fight for us by definite promises of self-government afterwards. Arabs believe in persons, not in institutions. They saw in me a free agent of the British Government, and demanded from me an endorsement of its written promises. So I had to join the conspiracy, and, for what my word was worth, assured the men of their reward. In our two years' partnership under fire they grew accustomed to believing me and to think my Government, like myself, sincere. In this hope they performed some fine things, but, of course, instead of being proud of what we did together, I was bitterly ashamed.

It was evident from the beginning that if we won the war these promises would be dead paper, and had I been an honest adviser of the Arabs I would have advised them to go home and not risk their lives fighting for such stuff:"

(-Lawrence of Arabia info)

"Maybe the human race has reached a point where belief as a mode of thinking needs to be abandoned.

Whether it is belief in gods, or belief in political leader's promises, it is clear that beliefs enslave free minds and lead the believers into actions that logic and facts would argue against.

Long ago we abandoned shaking rattles and dancing around the fire as a primary mode of interacting with the world. Maybe it is time to continue that trend.

We stand at the edge of world war three not because of real events and real crimes but because of beliefs instilled in us by con-artists and tyrants. The way to peace is to abandon those beliefs that lead us to war (and abuse)."

meanwhile, Bush Ratings Continue to Slide
"Sixty-one percent of Americans now disapprove of the way Mr. Bush is handling the situation in Iraq, while just 34 percent approve of ....... OHMYGAWDLOOKATTHETERRORISTBOMB!!!!"

DEEPCUT barracks
The uk armed forces minister, Adam Ingram, today told MPs that he was "not persuaded" of the case for a public inquiry into the death of four trainee soldiers at the Deepcut barracks in Surrey.

All four recruits, Privates Sean Benton, 20, Cheryl James, 18, Geoff Gray, 17, and James Collinson, 17, died from gunshot wounds. The families do not accept official explanations that they killed themselves and have suspicions of foul play, heightened by accounts of bullying at the barracks.

Private Sean Benton, of Hastings, East Sussex, was found dead at the Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut, with five bullet wounds to his chest. Despite ballistics tests suggesting only one bullet was fired from close range and the others from a distance, the Army said he had committed suicide.

Private Geoff Gray, 17, from Hackney, east London, was found with two gunshot wounds to his head while on guard duty. Five shots had been fired and the other three bullets have not been found. A coroner recorded an open verdict after hearing that a figure was seen running away from the area.

Private James Collinson, 17, from Perth, was found dead with a single gunshot wound upwards through his chin while on guard duty at the barracks. The Army says he killed himself, but his parents do not accept this, insisting he had been happy. No inquest is held.

Private Cheryl James, 18, of Llangollen, Gwent, was found dead with a single bullet wound to her head at the barracks - headquarters of the Royal Logistical Corps. An Army inquiry concludes she had committed suicide. Surrey Police say they are not looking for anyone else but a coroner records an open verdict.
(Timeline: Deaths at Deepcut barracks)

plus.... Iraqis lose right to sue troops over war crimes
Military win immunity pledge in deal on UN vote

back in In May 2002, the US formally rejected the treaty establishing the newly formed International Criminal Court, the first permanent international institution dedicated to trying cases of genocide, war crimes and other human rights abuses. then in october 2002 it is 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 were signed. As far as the regimes in Eastern Europe, it threatened to block their membership in NATO. tensions between the US and its Western European allies were exacerbated sept 2002 when Washington succeeded in signing a treaty with Romania before the EU was able to cobble together a common position on the US ultimatum.

now six weeks before the current exemption expires, and despite blatant evidence of america practicing torture, the Bush administration has asked the United Nations Security Council to exempt its troops serving in UN-approved peace-keeping operations from prosecution for war crimes before the new International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague in the Netherlands for another year.

''Given the recent revelations from Abu Ghraib prison," said Richard Dicker of Human Rights Watch (HRW), "the U.S. government has picked a hell of a moment to ask for special treatment on war crimes."
What have we done?
Susan Sontag on the ugly face of the war on terror

Sunday, 23 May 2004

Transhumanist Socialism
New allegations of systematic abuse of Iraqis by British troops
evidence will undermine claims that abuses of Iraqi civilians were carried out by only a "rogue" element of the regiment. Lesley Warner, the media director for Amnesty UK, said yesterday: "The beatings were reportedly conducted in the presence of officers and in some cases officers actually took part."
On this day 1934, bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were shot to death in a police ambush as they were driving a stolen Ford Deluxe along a road in Bienville Parish, La.
the world record for the most amount of naked people to ride on a rollercoaster
london mayor demands that President Bush be prosecuted for war crimes
home made flame thrower
Rumsfeld bans camera phones
it'll help keep the torture more discreet in future.

Saturday, 22 May 2004

"Let's get down to specifics. What would you call a country that produces the highest levels of dangerous chemicals in the world but abandons key negotiations aimed at reversing global warming?

How about a country whose leader blithely announces that he is abandoning a quarter-century old arms control treaty, one the whole world understands to be the key to preventing complete nuclear madness?

And what about a government that walks out of talks to enforce the biological weapons treaty because it doesn't want international inspectors peeking at its own weapons production facilities? That same country keeps rejecting human rights treaties, even the ones protecting the rights of children.

In recent years, the United States has renounced the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, has refused to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and has refused to support treaties banning anti-personnel landmines, chemical weapons, and biological weapons. The US has also refused to sign the Kyoto Accords on global warming, to support the International Criminal Court or the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Only two countries in the world have refused to sign the Convention on the Rights of the Child -- Somalia and the United States."

AMERICA: archive cluster

May 2000 US admits torture record 'not perfect'
The United States has been defending itself to the United Nations against allegations that it practises torture.

April 2002 Torture suspects 'living in America'
At least 150 suspected torturers from around the world are living freely in the United States, according to human rights campaigners in a 174-page report entitled "United States of America: Safe Haven for Torturers"

Horrific abuses regularly occur in america's own prisons with little national attention or public outrage

nov 2003 U.S. torture by proxy. the use of offshore torture

Oct 2002 US demands total impunity on war crimes

june 2003 Before the war, half of those polled in a survey believed that Iraqis were among the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001
and a third of the American public believes U.S. forces actually found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. also according to a recent poll 22 percent said Iraq actually used chemical or biological weapons in the war.

'I saw papers that show US knew al-Qa'ida would attack cities with aeroplanes'

U.S. fails to block U.N. anti-torture vote

How Afghanistan Went Unlisted as Terrorist Sponsor

How the U.S. Secretly Fed Radioactivity to Thousands of Americans

America and the Age of Genocide by: Samantha Power

American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World by David E. Stannar

america and its nazi allies
The FBI and other U.S. agencies ignored the murky pasts of alleged Nazi collaborators living in the United States because the government saw them as useful during the Cold War, according to newly released records.

american Court Opens Door To Searches Without Warrants

your hearts and minds, or else

Two Voting Companies and Two Brothers Will Count 80% Of The U.S. Election

US troop units murdered and tortured unarmed Vietnamese

american foreign policy and the legacy of kissinger

a brief history of american intervention in Nicaragua


Mutiny, Fragging and Desertions in the U.S. Military
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.

this grand experiment that we call democracy, could be scrapped in favor of a military form of government

dec 2003 Video Evidence of Abuse of Sept 11 Detainees

iraqi prisoners tortured by america

Vatican calls american prison abuse of iraqis a bigger blow to U.S. than 9/11
US tried to keep Red Cross out of torture jail

Last year the International Committee of the Red Cross saw abuses in one cell block on two unannounced inspections in October and complained in writing on November 6. The military responded by saying inspectors should make appointments before visiting the cell block. That area was the site of the worst abuses known so far.
Hill of Crosses, Lithuania
implosion world
the explosive demolition industry’s worldwide source for news and information on building implosions, blowdowns and all other types of structural blasting projects.
a car with toys glued to it
larry's face

including "Inside the Mouth of Dr. John Riley"
Fear of mad cow disease hasn't kept Cecelia Coan from eating her beloved deep-fried cow brain sandwiches.

The brains, battered with egg, seasoning and flour, puff up when cooked. They are served hot, heaping outside the bun.

RECIPE: Brain Sandwiches.....

1 lb Pork or beef brains
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 c Flour
1/2 ts Baking powder
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Soak brains in salt water a short time. Cover with clear water and remove membrane. Drain; beat in other ingredients with spoon. If too thin, add a small amount of flour; if too thick, add small amount of milk. Fry on griddle until well done, turning once. Serve on buns, of course.
(via j-walk blog)
"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)
"The most damaging phrase in the language is: `It's always been done that way.'"
(-Rear Admiral Grace Hopper)
"Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting."
(-Alan Dean Foster, 'To the Vanishing Point')
THE BODY: archive cluster

What Types of Cyborg Implants Are Available Now?

Life As a Cyborg

'queer identity and transhuman futures'

brainstem implants aim to tackle deafness

body parts

Cyborg Liberation Front

The Body Electric

Natural-Born Cyborgs

The Altered Human Is Already Here

Pioneers of Human Redesign

And the Disabled Shall Inherit the Earth

Human Enhancement

michael jackson

artificial blood


Friday, 21 May 2004

Are You a Potential Terrorist?

Before helping to launch the criminal information project known as Matrix, a database contractor gave U.S. and Florida authorities the names of 120,000 people who showed a statistical likelihood of being terrorists— sparking some investigations and arrests.

The "high terrorism factor" scoring system became a key selling point for the involvement of the database company, Seisint Inc., in the Matrix project.
(...because present in the images or not, the allies of america are every bit as guilty)

new photos in the washington post

Sworn Statements by Abu Ghraib Detainees

New Details of Prison Abuse Emerge
(washington post requires pesky registration. or you can Bypass Compulsory Web Registration via

The Washington Post says it has seen hundreds of videos and photos which show previously unseen abusive techniques.

detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad said they were beaten and sexually humiliated.

They were force-fed pork and alcohol, against their Muslim beliefs.

new photos include one of a prisoner being menaced by a soldier with a dog.

A naked prisioner who appears to be covered in excrement is paraded down a corridor

A hooded detainee is pictured in a state of collapse

A US soldier appears to be raining blows down on detainees sprawled on the floor

The Washington Post report also describes a video clip which shows an inmate shackled to a door.

He repeatedly slams his head into the metal, leaving streaks of blood, before he ultimately collapses at the feet of the cameraman.

One detainee, named in the report as Ameen Saeed al-Sheik, said he was asked by a soldier whether he believed in anything.

"I said to him, 'I believe in Allah.' So he said, 'But I believe in torture and I will torture you.'"

He said one soldier struck his broken leg and ordered him to curse Islam.

"Because they started to hit my broken leg, I curse my religion," the paper quoted him as saying. "They ordered me to thank Jesus I'm alive."

another soldier is reported as repeatedly throwing prisoners' meals into the toilets and saying, "Eat it."

"They forced us to walk like dogs on our hands and knees," said Hiadar Sabar Abed Miktub al-Aboodi, detainee No. 13077. "And we had to bark like a dog, and if we didn't do that they started hitting us hard on our face and chest with no mercy. After that, they took us to our cells, took the mattresses out and dropped water on the floor and they made us sleep on our stomachs on the floor with the bags on our head and they took pictures of everything."

"They said we will make you wish to die and it will not happen," said Ameen Saeed Al-Sheik, detainee No. 151362. "They stripped me naked. One of them told me he would rape me. He drew a picture of a woman to my back and makes me stand in shameful position holding my buttocks."

a video begins with three soldiers huddled around a naked detainee, his thin frame backed against a wall. With a snap of his wrist, one of the soldiers slaps the man across his left cheek so hard that the prisoner's knees buckle. Another detainee, handcuffed and on his back, is dragged across the prison floor.

Then, the human pyramid begins to take shape. Soldiers force hooded and naked prisoners into crouches on the floor, one by one, side by side, a soldier pointing to where the next ones should go.

there are images of a group of apparently cavalier soldiers assaulting prisoners, forcing detainees to masturbate, and standing over a naked prisoner while holding a shotgun.

In one photo, a soldier is seen cocking his fist as he holds a hooded detainee in a headlock amid a pile of several detainees. Later, he is seen kneeling atop the same pile, flexing his muscles, a broad smile on his face, posing.

Hooded and cloaked men are handcuffed to hallway rails. A prisoner in flexible handcuffs is made to use a banana to simulate anal sex. Two naked male detainees are handcuffed to each other. A naked detainee hangs upside down from a top bunk. Another naked detainee grimaces, his face pressed against the ground, a soldier bending his arm behind his back. Blood covers the detainee's left knee, and another soldier grabs his right leg.

In one photo, a detainee is stripped to his underwear, in a hood. He is standing, crouched, on top of two boxes of MRE military meals, his arms cuffed around his left knee, his right ankle chained to a cell door.

In one video clip, five hooded and naked detainees stand against the wall in the darkness, each masturbating, with two other hooded detainees crouched at their feet.
American Prison Officials with abuse accusations in their past were sent to oversee American-run prisons in Iraq

Lane McCotter was dispatched by Mr. Ashcroft to head a team of Americans to reopen Iraq's prisons. but in 1997 he was forced to resign as director of the Utah Department of Corrections after an incident in which a mentally ill inmate died after guards left him shackled naked to a restraining chair for 16 hours,

After his resignation in Utah, Mr. McCotter became an executive of a private prison company, the Management and Training Corporation, one of whose jails was strongly criticized in a Justice Department report just a month before the Justice Department sent him to Iraq. The report found that the jail, in Santa Fe, lacked adequate medical and mental health care and had no suicide prevention plan, which had contributed to an inmate's hanging himself.

In Iraq, it was Mr. McCotter who first identified Abu Ghraib as the best site for America's main prison and who helped rebuild the prison and train Iraqi guards, according to his own account, given to Correction .com, an online industry magazine

then theres Mr. John J. Armstrong who is assistant director of operations of American prisons in Iraq,

Armstrong is a former commissioner of corrections in Connecticut. He resigned last year after Connecticut settled lawsuits brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the families of two Connecticut inmates who died after being sent by Mr. Armstrong to a supermaximum security prison in Virginia. One of the inmates, a diabetic, died of heart failure after going into diabetic shock and then being hit with an electric charge by guards wielding a stun gun and kept in restraints.

During his eight years as commissioner of corrections in Connecticut, Mr. Armstrong was also criticized by the guards' union and the National Organization for Women for failing to deal with repeated complaints by female guards that they were being sexually harassed by male guards.

But his most difficult time came when he sent more than 200 Connecticut inmates to Wallens Ridge, a supermaximum security prison in Big Stone Gap, Va.

One inmate, Lawrence Frazier, the diabetic, died after being hit with an electric charge. Another, David Tracy, who had been diagnosed with mental illness, jumped off his bunk with a makeshift rope around his neck in plain sight of a guard who did nothing to come to his aid, said David Fathi, a senior staff counsel for the A.C.L.U.'s National Prison Project.

Mr. Fathi, who oversaw a lawsuit against Connecticut and Mr. Armstrong, said the state had deprived the prisoners at Wallens Ridge of their constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment.

Inmates at Wallens Ridge were frequently strapped down in four point restraint, meaning their arms and legs were fastened down, and were then hit by stun guns "for trivial things," Mr. Fathi said. The guards, who were all white, often used racial slurs in talking to the prisoners, he said.

Of all the people who have experience running prisons in america and haven't run into trouble, how did they pick these guys for iraq? One might be an aberration. Two is getting awfully close to a deliberate pattern.

(and torture isn't confined to Abu Ghraib)

Iraqi Major General Abed Hamed Mowhoush, considered a "high-priority target", turned himself in for questioning in November, according to documents. After two weeks in custody at an Al Qaim detention facility, northwest of Baghdad, two soldiers with the 66th Military Intelligence Company, slid a sleeping bag over his body, except for his feet, and began questioning him as they rolled him repeatedly from his back to his stomach, the documents show.

Then, one of the soldiers, an interrogator, sat on Mowhoush's chest and placed his hands over the prisoner's mouth, according to the report: "During this interrogation, the (general) became non-responsive, medics were called and he was later pronounced dead." According to the documents, "The preliminary report lists the cause of death as asphyxia due to smothering and chest compressions."

Immediately after Mowhoush's death was reported, U.S. military officials released a statement acknowledging he died during an interview.

"Mowhoush said he didn't feel well and subsequently lost consciousness," read the press statement, which is still posted on a Pentagon website. "The soldier questioning him found no pulse, then conducted CPR and called for medical authorities. According to the on-site surgeon, it appeared Mowhouse died of natural causes."

Other prisoner deaths under homicide investigation, records show:

The beating in early April of a detainee at the LSA Diamondback facility in Mosul, Iraq, who was found dead in his sleep. A death report showed "blunt- force trauma to the torso and positional asphyxia." He had gone to sleep immediately after questioning by members of the Naval Special Warfare Team. No disciplinary action was noted in the report, but the investigation continues, the report states.

In June, at a "classified interrogation facility" in Baghdad, an Iraqi detainee was found dead after being restrained in a chair for questioning. "While in custody the detainee was subjected to both physical and psychological stress," the report shows. An autopsy determined that he died of a "hard, fast blow" to the head. The investigation continues. No disciplinary action was noted.

On Nov. 4, an Iraqi died at Abu Ghraib during an interview by special forces and Navy SEAL soldiers. "An autopsy revealed the cause of death was blunt force trauma as complicated by compromised respiration." The report notes that Navy investigators concluded Navy personnel did not commit a crime leading to the detainee's death. But the investigation, including by CIA officials, is still ongoing. No disciplinary action was noted.

Another Iraqi military officer, records show, was asphyxiated after being gagged, his hands tied to the top of his cell door.

Thursday, 20 May 2004

"Turn on. Tune in. Take Charge!"

"Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence."

"Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison........ where the State places those who are not with her, but against her. (prison is) the only house in a slave State in which a free man can abide with honor."

"A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight. If the alternative is (either) to keep all just men in prison, or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose. If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be (such) a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood."

What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn."
(Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau)

Wednesday, 19 May 2004

Transforming People into Perpetrators of Evil
Humans cannot lick their own elbows.
it had never occured to me before.
"the real question is not whether machines think but whether men do"
(-b.j. skinner)
becoming human
Snot from the nose of the Great Buddha
(via octopus dropkick)
unreleased soldiers' photos of torture
"A friend of mine who is a congressional aid to a congressman investigating the abuse by US soldiers has told me he got a look at the one picture an american soldier is seen slamming a steel rod against a prisoners face....another one shows an Iraqi tied to the prison bars while a US sodier is burning him with cigarettes. The worst he said was a picture of man pleading with the soldiers as they laughed and held knife to his wonder why the won't let people see them"
(via what really happened)
manual + digital photography
Dale Bolivar's photographic work
(via fleshbot)
Smart glasses detect eye contact

A pair of sunglasses that can detect when someone is making eye contact with the wearer has been developed by Canadian researchers.

Besides being useful in singles bars, its inventors say the system could play a key role in video blogging,
buy feces now
"After buying Cloaca Feces, I am now gainfully employed and achieved a healthy and fully satisfying relationship."
skeletal fuck

skeletal cock sucker

x-ray sex
by Wim Delvoye
purple powder was thrown at Tony Blair during this morning's Prime Minister's question time
Sonic Rhythm Dress
flash: arms12
(via geisha asobi blog)
european arms exports threatening global security

EU arms, security equipment and services are contributing to grave human rights abuses and the scale of potential abuse is now enormous. The major EU arms exporting countries - France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom - account for one third of the world's arms deals. With ten new Member States, the EU now has over 400 small arms companies in 23 countries, almost as many as the USA.

The report identifies major weaknesses, omissions and loopholes in the existing EU arms export controls, including:

The involvement of an Italian joint venture company in the manufacture of vehicles used as mobile execution chambers in China

UK export of components for Chinese military aero engines despite an EU arms embargo on China

A failure to control the huge "transit trade" of arms through the Netherlands allowing the export of armoured vehicles to Israel despite their use against civilians

The transfer of Czech and Polish surplus weapons to governments such as Yemen with a history of diverting weapons to third countries

Spanish satellite intelligence, military equipment and training have been promised to Colombia despite concerns that the Colombian government's polices are exacerbating the human rights disaster there

The supply by a German technology company of surveillance equipment to Turkmenistan despite a history of the government there using such methods for political repression

French helicopters and parts manufactured under licence in India, delivered to Nepal where armed forces have used helicopters to shoot and kill civilians.

Tuesday, 18 May 2004


"With more than 2 million Americans behind bars, the number of prison guards has exploded - from 270,317 in 2000 to 476,000 in 2002."

.... "free trade" has turned the US labour market into an hourglass: plenty of jobs at the bottom, a fair bit at the top, very little in the middle, getting from the bottom to the top has become increasingly difficult, with tuition fees at state colleges up by more than 50% since 1990.....

...And that's where the US military comes in: money for tuition in exchange for military service. Call it the Nafta draft.....
The Disappeared

rewind: January 18, 2001
Florida's 'Disappeared Voters'

rewind: 26 February 2002
"Since 11 September last year, up to 2,000 people in the United States have been detained without trial, or charge, or even legal rights. The fate of most is unknown. a scandal that shames the land of the free"

rewind: August 8, 2002
Return to Afghanistan...... Families of the Disappeared

First-hand testimonies shed light on Operation Condor, the sinister collusion in the 1960s and 70s between South America's military dictators and Interpol and the CIA.

In December 1992, much information about Operation Condor came to light when a judge in Paraguay went into a police station in a suburb of Asuncion looking for files on a former political prisoner. Instead he found the "terror archives," as they were called, detailing the fates of thousands of Latin Americans secretly kidnapped, tortured, and killed by the security services of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

The long and lethal reach of Gen. Pinochet.
Declassified memos show Kissinger and Nixon condoned assassination and human rights abuses in Chile, in "The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents" By John Dinges

archives: the other 911
in september 1973 General Pinochet toppled Chile's elected government.

plus..."top CIA officials proposed a terrorist campaign to stun the Chilean people into accepting a military regime." thousands of declasified US documents explicating the US role in the coup have been synthesised in a book, 'The Pinochet File', by Peter Kornbluh