Wednesday, 31 August 2005

Land of the Giants


The Principles of Pain
the Funeral
Weapons Sales Worldwide Rise to Highest Level Since 2000

....driven by arms deals with developing nations, especially India, Saudi Arabia and China, according to a new Congressional study. The report, "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations," is published by the Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress.

The United States once again dominated global weapons sales, signing deals worth $12.4 billion in 2004, or 33.5 percent of all contracts worldwide. The share of American arms contracts specifically with developing nations was $6.9 billion in 2004, or 31.6 percent of all such deals, up slightly from $6.5 billion in 2003.

"he developing world continues to be the primary focus of foreign arms sales activity by conventional weapons suppliers."

Russia was second in global arms sales, with $6.1 billion in agreements, or 16.5 percent of all such contracts. Britain was third in arms transfer agreements to the developing world in 2004, signing contracts worth $3.2 billion, while Israel ranked fourth, with deals worth $1.2 billion. France followed with $1 billion.

Over the last four years, China has purchased more weapons than any other nation in the developing world, signing $10.4 billion in deals from 2001 to 2004. For that same four-year period, India ranked second, with $7.9 billion in arms purchases, and Egypt was third, with $6.5 billion in deals.

But India surpassed China in total purchases in 2004, agreeing to buy $5.7 billion in arms.

Saudi Arabia was second in signing arms deals last year, with contracts valued at $2.9 billion, and China was third in 2004, signing $2.2 billion in contracts for arms purchases.
CIA banned from Danish air space

The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs says unauthorized flights by the CIA will not be allowed into Danish airspace

the planes are used to transport "terror suspects" to places where torture is conducted.

The government has told the United States that the CIA can no longer use Danish airspace for flights to transport "suspected terrorists" around the world, reported the Copenhagen Post.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made it quite clear to U.S. officials that Denmark does not want its airspace used for purposes that are in conflict with international conventions," wrote the danish Foreign Minister in response to an inquiry from a spokesman for military affairs for the Red-Green Alliance.

pdf: "Listen up, you Christo-Fascist bullies, you Apostles of Perpetual Psychosis, it's high time somebody called you out"

"The hour has come round that we look you straight in your bulging, true believer eyes, and told you that we've had it with your smugness, with your blood-drenched crusades, with your victim mentality and with the madness begot by this cracked-brain belief system of yours, which all began (according to your sacred delusions) more than 2,000 years ago...."

(via we-make-money-not-art)

Tuesday, 30 August 2005

pdf: software for parrots

"It's in its very early stages, and is currently a 'smart-perch' hardware platform providing the most basic interface a parrot might use to interact with a computer. A software framework consisting of various media viewers has been written for the birds. Finding software that is compelling to these birds is our ongoing challenge."

African Grey Parrots have an intelligence that can rival that of 5-year-old children

"We are simply building devices and interfaces that allow these intelligent creatures to communicate with their owners when separated by distance."
"Fags and Booze"
park trees


the red descent

Saturday, 6 August 2005

"Ideas Are Also Weapons"

...said Subcomandante Marcos



"Bush wants alternatives to Darwinism taught in school"
"the rules of the game are changing."

tony blair's PLANNED MEASURES include..... Make justifying or glorifying terrorism anywhere an offence

The prime minister also promised to wage a battle with the British and European courts, warning that he would amend the Human Rights Act if necessary. "Should legal obstacles arise we will legislate further, including if necessary amending the Human Rights Act," he said.

A database will list individuals who pose a threat to British society.

and he proposes to extend the use of control orders to British nationals advocating terrorism.

Mr Blair said Parliament might be brought back from the summer recess early to discuss other measures.

London's mayor Ken Livingstone said that, 20 years ago, the measures would have meant banning Nelson Mandela or anyone supporting him.


"Worse than the disease"


Thank God there are still some people (in Britain) who have the intelligence to know the truth, and the courage to speak out. Mrs Blair is one such individual.

Speaking at a charity event in London (2002), Mrs Blair said young Palestinians felt they had "no hope" but to blow themselves up....


"I am Prepared to Die"

Nelson Mandela's statement from the dock at the opening of the defence case in the Rivonia Trial Pretoria Supreme Court, 20 April 1964

"...I must deal immediately and at some length with the question of violence. Some of the things so far told to the Court are true and some are untrue. I do not, however, deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness, nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation, and oppression of my people by the Whites."



"We attack property not people."
"if they want your opinion,"
Language Is A Virus

Friday, 5 August 2005

shopdropping, reverse shoplifting and droplifting


effectively the opposite of shoplifting. to place personal belongings in an establishment where goods are displayed for sale.


Artists contribute tracks created using found sounds and samples to this compilation CD. The CD's are then droplifted into stores.


an ongoing project in which I alter the packaging of canned goods and then shopdrop the items back onto grocery store shelves. I replace the packaging with labels created using my photographs.


FREE WORDS is a book which belongs to whoever finds it. The books are placed on the shelves of bookstores and libraries


The BLO returned the altered dolls to the toy store shelves, who then resold them to children who had to invent scenarios for Barbies who yelled "Vengeance is mine!" and G.I. Joes who daydreamed "Let's plan our dream wedding!"

The Barbie Disinformation Organization

the group strikes not at the dolls themselves, but at the packaging that envelops and contextualizes them. They print up stickers in a style identical to traditional Mattel packaging and slap them on Barbie products on the shelves


Liberating Stuff You Need: A Guide to Political Shoplifting

"Why I Love Shoplifting from big corporations"
Banksy has decorated Israel's controversial West Bank barrier with satirical images of life on the other side.

Thursday, 4 August 2005

posters from the Spanish Civil War
A Brief History of US Flag Burning


"Pro-Democrat Progressive Anti-Right Wing US Products"
"World turning its back on Brand America"

...according to study of 25 countries' brand reputations.

Although the US received high marks for its popular culture, it ranked last in cultural heritage, a measure of a country's "wisdom, intelligence, and integrity"

"The US is still recognised as a leading place to do business, the home of desirable brands and popular culture," said Simon Anholt, author of the survey. "But its governance, its cultural heritage and its people are no longer widely respected or admired by the world."

That the world takes a dim view of the US people will surprise most Americans themselves: the study's American respondents consistently placed the US at the top of all six categories polled.


"Trouble in the Land of the Free"

Apparently the White House believes this free press stuff is fine in theory, as long as it's not practiced.

following on from government-produced fake news casts, government-funded journalists/shills, and a phoney reporter planted into the White House press corps, now the Bush machine routinely sets up stages with fake props and Soviet-style backdrops, invites only registered Republicans; excludes anyone who might - just possibly might - not be an ardent supporter; pre-screens the questions; then hires goons to patrol the audience and strong-arm and illegally arrest anyone who doesn't look ... well ... right (as in Right wing), trampling the First Amendment in the process. These taxpayer-supported campaign events they call a town meeting.

The only thing missing is the Brown Shirts

But in the land of the free, nary a peep of protest is heard, nary a discouraging word is printed or uttered by the Democrats or the press.

Recently, British MP George Galloway showed the Democrats how to confront demagoguery - with a strong dose of the truth. But Mr. Galloway isn't the only European showing how a free people act.

For example, when the White House tried to set up one of their pre-scripted propaganda events in Germany this past February the Germans would have none of it.

A "town hall" meeting with the German people in the town of Mainz was supposed to be the PR highlight of the President's February trip. The White House had spent a week talking it up, but when the Germans refused to allow Bush's handlers to review and screen all questions in advance, the White House quietly dropped the event, according to Spiegel.

Mr. Bush and the American people got another lesson in how a free people act on his recent trip to Europe in May to celebrate the defeat of the Nazis. A group of students in the Netherlands showed just how gloriously cantankerous a free people can be. At a meeting near Maastricht, Mr. Bush tried flying without a net, in an unscripted question and answer session with the Dutch youth. After a half hour of tough questions, worried White House aids cleared the room of reporters before allowing the session to continue. No transcript of the remaining questions was kept, no summary was released.

And it took an Irish journalist to show our spin-dried press how a real free press acts. In July of last year, Irish TV journalist Carole Coleman was granted an interview with George Bush just prior to his trip to Ireland and the US-European Summit meeting. There in the White House map room, Ms. Coleman did the unthinkable: she asked tough follow-up questions when Mr. Bush gave canned non-responses. She had the unmitigated gall to point out that "... the world has become a more dangerous place because you have taken the focus off al Qaeda and diverted [it to] Iraq," and when Mr. Bush raised the specter of WMDs she did what no American journalist has seemed able or willing to do - she interrupted him to point out there were no WMDs found in Iraq.

One of them took my penis in his hand and began to make cuts. He did it once, and they stood still for maybe a minute, watching my reaction. I was in agony. They must have done this 20 to 30 times, in maybe two hours. There was blood all over. "I told you I was going to teach you who's the man," [one] eventually said.

They cut all over my private parts. One of them said it would be better just to cut it off, as I would only breed terrorists.

One time I asked a guard: "What's the point of this? I've got nothing I can say to them. I've told them everything I possibly could."

"As far as I know, it's just to degrade you. So when you leave here, you'll have these scars and you'll never forget. So you'll always fear doing anything but what the US wants."

About once a week or even once every two weeks I would be taken for interrogation, where they would tell me what to say. They said if you say this story as we read it, you will just go to court as a witness and all this torture will stop. I eventually repeated what was read out to me.

They told me that I must plead guilty. I'd have to say I was an al-Qaida operations man, an ideas man. I kept insisting that I had only been in Afghanistan a short while. "We don't care," was all they'd say.

They weren't really interrogations, more like training me what to say. The interrogator told me what was going on. "We're going to change your brain," he said.

I suffered the razor treatment about once a month for the remaining time I was in Morocco, even after I'd agreed to confess to whatever they wanted to hear. It became like a routine. They'd come in, tie me up, spend maybe an hour doing it. They never spoke to me. Then they'd tip some kind of liquid on me - the burning was like grasping a hot coal. The cutting, that was one kind of pain. The burning, that was another.

"Alleged bomb plotter claims two and a half years of interrogation UNDER US and UK SUPERVISION in secret prisons abroad"

"'One of them made cuts in my penis. I was in agony"


"in our names"

Halliburton announces 284 percent increase in war profits

Top Ten War Profiteers of 2004
US secret detention and torture of prisoners abroad

Two Yemeni men claim they were held in secret, underground US jails for more than 18 months without being charged, Amnesty International has said.

Amnesty's Sharon Critoph, who interviewed the men in Yemen, said: "To be 'disappeared' from the face of the earth without knowing why or for how long is a crime under international law."

"We fear that what we have heard from these two men is just one small part of the much broader picture of US secret detentions around the world."


The United States' Disappeared: ...The CIA's Long-term "Ghost Detainees"...
"Disappearances" were a trademark abuse of Latin American military dictatorships in their dirty war on alleged subversion. Now they have become a direct United States tactic in its conflict with al-Qaeda.

AMERICA suspected of keeping secret prisoners on warships
"There are very, very serious accusations that the United States is maintaining secret camps, notably on ships," the Austrian UN official told AFP in Vienna, adding that the vessels were believed to be in the Indian Ocean region.
The UK government has admitted that it has been guilty of "overselling" the case for a compulsory national identity card scheme in Britain and conceded that it will not prove a panacea for fraud, terrorism or the abuse of public services.

"I think, maybe in the past, we were offering the system as a panacea to all these ills when it will help and benefit each one but is not going to solve any one of them." said Tony McNulty, the Home Office minister now responsible for identity cards.

"Labour steps back in push for ID cards"


flickr identity

Wednesday, 3 August 2005

S Korea unveils first dog clone

Snuppy, whose name stands for Seoul National University puppy, was made from a cell taken from the ear of a three-year-old male Afghan hound.

Although many other animals have been successfully cloned, dogs are notoriously difficult: the South Korean team only obtained three pregnancies from more than 1,000 embryo transfers into 123 recipients.
naked burial wish denied

During his life Robert Norton, of Pekin, Illinois, was often prosecuted for gardening and wandering outside his house in the nude. Robert Norton fought 20 arrests for "indecency" since his first in 1962, arguing that he had a constitutional right to public nakedness.

The 82-year-old said he wanted to be buried unclothed.

but his brothers have decided to lay him to rest in grey trousers and a shirt.

One of them, Jack, is a minister. "He's not going to be buried in the nude," he said.

a culture's power structure depends largely on how we look and are looked at.

"To be offended by the visual appearance of another person is prejudice, akin to racism. The right to exist, uncovered, should hold precedence over the right not to view this, for the objection is irrational."
Australian Painting, Drawing and Printmaking
FRANCIS CRICK, the Nobel Prize-winning father of modern genetics, was under the influence of LSD when he first deduced the double-helix structure of DNA nearly 50 years ago.

"Dick Kemp told me he met Francis Crick at Cambridge. Crick had told him that some Cambridge academics used LSD in tiny amounts as a thinking tool, to liberate them from preconceptions and let their genius wander freely to new ideas. Crick told him he had perceived the double-helix shape while on LSD."
Before Prohibition

Images from the pre-prohibition era when many psychotropic substances were legally available in America and Europe

(via growabrain)
365 tomorrows

a collaborative project designed to present readers with one new piece of short speculative fiction each day for one year.

(via gravity lens)

Tuesday, 2 August 2005

the GENOCIDE of native americans

the LYNCHING of black citizens

the compulsory STERILIZATION of "undesirables"

TORTURE as foreign policy


"in our names"

MP3 Bush RNC 2004 Sheep Pen Mix

"I believe America is called to lead the cause of terror in the new century."

...via Truthful Translations of Political Speech
("What they really meant when they said that.")
Bush has formally appointed John Bolton as US ambassador to the United Nations, without waiting for approval from the Senate.

we've all seen the old footage of Mr Bolton saying that there is "no such thing" as the UN and calling the US the world's "only real power".

Mr Bolton also said that if the 38-storey UN building "lost 10 storeys today, it wouldn't make a bit of difference".

Employees at the UN in New York described reactions ranging from disbelief to horror when Mr Bolton was nominated.

The nomination of such a strident character as UN envoy incensed many former US ambassadors - 102 of whom signed a letter urging senators to reject his nomination.


"Calls to end US domination of the internet"

Some 35 years after the US military invented the internet, the US Department of Commerce retains overall control of the master computers that direct traffic to and from every web and email address on the planet. And the US could make changes without the agreement of the rest of the world.

But a UN group is calling for an end to US domination of the net, proposing that instead a multinational forum of governments, companies and civilian organisations is created to run it.

"The internet should be run multilaterally, transparently and democratically. And it must involve all stakeholders,"
(new scientist)
there is no "psychology of the terrorist,"

there is only the psychology of the Human that plays out in a multitude of ways.

..."Terrorists, Victims and Society" edited by Andrew Silke


Governments around the world betrayed their commitment to human rights in 2004

...and the american administration is seeking to dilute the absolute ban on torture....

The "war on terror" appeared more effective in eroding international human rights principles than in countering international "terrorism".

Monday, 1 August 2005

"The most destructive element in the human mind is fear. Fear creates aggressiveness."

...said Dorothy Thompson

12 warning signs of fascism


14 defining characteristics of FASCISM
" I think of the many myths, there is one that is very harmful, and that is the myth of countries. I mean, why should I think of myself as being an Argentine, and not a Chilean, and not an Uruguayan. I don't know really. All of those myths that we impose on ourselves - and they make for hatred, for war, for enmity - are very harmful. Well, I suppose in the long run, governments and countries will die out and we'll be just, well, cosmopolitans."

...said Borges, 1980
"The composition of vast books is a laborious and impoverishing extravagance. To go on for five hundred pages developing an idea whose perfect oral exposition is possible in a few minutes!"

"A better course of procedure is to pretend that these books already exist, and then to offer a resume, a commentary."

"I have preferred to write notes upon imaginary books."

...said Borges

In 1921, Borges returned with his family to Buenos Aires where he imported the doctrine of Ultraism
the death of free speech and protest in the UK

Five people were arrested today after staging an "illegal" demonstration outside parliament to object to new laws restricting protests in the area. the demonstration was to highlight the enactment of a new law banning demonstrations within half a mile of the palace of Westminster without at least 24 hours' prior authorisation from the Metropolitan police.

It also bans loudspeakers, megaphones and "encampments" such as the long-standing protest by Brian Haw in Parliament Square.
"vote for yourself"
"The Vicissitudes of Moi, Moi, Moi"

...DrJoanne flickr