Sexual frustration. Can you imagine the US bombers loaded with porn headed for the Middle East?
Dubya's new ranch of 98,000 acres in Paraguay. Okay, here is where it gets weird. Is that his little hiding spot to avoid prosecution for war crimes? Of does the 2.2 mile long runway (look on google earth) mean he's moving full-time into the cocaine exporting racket? Weirder still is the connection with the Moonies and their purchase of land in the same area. Okay, and then the Jenna connection? Too strange for words.
Zimbabwe plans to use Chinese technology to monitor telecommunications. It does seem to be the refuge of failed dictatorships and nascent ones perhaps as well...
If you don't know him, he's the UMD professor and local master of conspiracy theories. He is sort of the unofficial dean of the Minnesota conspiracy theory folks (okay, guys, as there aren't too many gals into that particular business) and a compelling argument for the humorlessness of public access television.
On the conspiracy theory news front, as long as we're there, I just finished reading The Letters of Wanda Tinasky. If you remember, she's the "bag lady" who wrote the Pychonesque letters to the editor of various papers around (the California) Fort Bragg area while Pychon himself was in the area researching Vineland. Anyway...the whole story sounds so much better in theory than when actually read, the letters are rather pedestrian and remind me more of the weird letters to Savage Love or Creative Loafing than anything Pychon would author. Anyhow...just my random thoughts to send you off to google.
Do you remember those hilarious little Chick Tracts? The ones telling you that you needn't pack sweaters for the afterlife? It seems inevitable, now that the stars are right, that the Cthulu Chick Tract is now available. I want to be eaten first!
Muriel Degauque blew herself up in Baghdad. It's a long road from the little industrial Belgian town of Charlesroi to an islamist suicide bombing. It'll be such converts to Islam that will likely be the first home-grown suicide bombers here in the States.
Bush has claimed that he is above more than 750 laws. That they do not apply to him. ''There is no question that this administration has been involved in a very carefully thought-out, systematic process of expanding presidential power at the expense of the other branches of government," Cooper [Phillip Cooper, a Portland State University law professor who has studied the executive power claims Bush made during his first term] said. ''This is really big, very expansive, and very significant."
And more than 3500 Americans were illegally spied on last year by the FBI following the contention of Bush that domestic spying laws could be completely ignored. I really think his best chance in the long term is to resign and let Cheney give him a pardon. Unless Cheney is forced to resign first...
Been thinking about the big rally being held this Sunday, April 30th at the State Capital. "What did you do to try to stop the Darfur Genocide?" Been thinking about Biafra in light of what is happening now (and heck, for years now) in the Sudan. Got a book on the Biafran War a few days ago. Hadn't thought about it in quite some time. Anyway...there's not a lot of good material (at least that I could find quickly) on Biafra online, but you can try these to start:
It's clear now how the Iraq distraction has harmed us in the pursuit of bin Laden, with North Korea's nuclear weapons, and now with the standoff with Iran. The US is immeaurably weaker today than when Bush decided to launch a war of aggression with Iraq.
JACK: Well, your A. Buttle has been confused with T47/215, an A. Tuttle. I mean, it's a joke! Somebody should be shot for that. So B58/732 was pulled in by mistake.
SAM: You got the wrong man.
JACK: (a little heated) I did not get the wrong man. I got the right man. The wrong man was delivered to me as the right man! I accepted him, on trust, as the right man. Was I wrong? Anyway, to add to the confusion, he died on us. Which, had he been the right man, he wouldn't have done.
SAM: You killed him?
JACK: (annoyed) Sam, there are very rigid parameters laid down to avoid that event but Buttle's heart condition did not appear on Tuttle's file. Don't think I'm dismissing this business, Sam. I've lost a week's sleep over it already.
SAM: I'm sure you have
JACK: There are some real bastards in this department who don't mind breaking a few eggs to make an omelette, but thank God there are the new boys like me who want to maintain decent civilized standards of terrorist eradication. We've got the upper hand for the moment, but they're waiting for us to slip up, and a little slip- up like this is just the chance they're looking for.
This priest in Mexico killed and cut up his long term lover. They had been together since he met her at the age of 13. She was murdered after an argument following his Easter Mass. Their 18 month old daughter was not injured.
Next week's New Yorker has an article from Seymour Hersh claiming the US is getting quite close to making a decision of military action in Iran. That article is being referenced around the world noting that the use of nuclear weapons is under consideration.
An unaccredited college for the looniest of the loons. Get expelled for "making eye babies!" That is, looking at a member of the opposite sex.
But I definitely enjoyed his spirited defense of Denmark, the free press, and democracy. And I think we can safely ignore his praise of the Iraq War. I am impressed that he's remained steadfast in his opinions, hmmm..., despite evidence that they're wrong?
"General: 'Mr. Arkin, do you consider yourself a journalist or an American.' I took a drink of water as my blood boiled. Me: 'Well General, because I am an American, I cherish the fact that I can call you a f***ing idiot for asking the question.'" There are more thoughtful bit as well...
Ick! South Korean firms are moving some manufacturing across the DMZ to employ North Korean workers who officially get 1/10th to 1/20th the salary of South Koreans, but the money goes to the North Korean government, not the workers. And the factory owners want to have the products labeled as made in South Korea.
The Donald Rumsfeld that is. Plastic has an excellent resume of web links from his halcyon days in the Nixon and Ford administrations to leading two failed wars (see what sort of freedom and democracy has brought to Afghanistan?) for Dubya.
Read his own words, justifying what has been accomplished in the past three years in Iraq. Believe any of it? Like Rummy's $50 billion dollar and 5 week estimates of the war costs and length? And what's up with his comparisons of very and sundries with Hitler? Do we really fear that a 1000 year Venezualan Reich is right around the corner? Or is he projecting a bit?
Going back to the resume, we have to reflect on his successful running of the Office of Economic Opportunity under Nixon and his back-room efforts to help get the US out of the Vietnam War. For that he was shuffled off to be NATO ambassador. Then triumph as chief of staff and defense secretary under Ford, fighting against the whole nastiness of detante. Off to the private sector until Dubya decides to bring the Nixon crowd all back to the White House. The epic Shinseki-Rumsfeld fight seems now to be a footnote in the story, but certainly marked part of the White House team's decent into unreality.
Who had just left the White House. It does remind us of how terrorists (here a man who ordered the murder of many people) morphs into a distinguished political guest.
Wal-Mart press releases and other PR/propaganda are being distributed via blogs. So, blog for Wal-Mart. Hmmm...does it pay well? Hey, I could write positive comments about how Wal-Mart helps out state economies by forcing its workers onto public assistance. Or how it improves the trade deficit with China. Or how much electricity is consumed to make the cheap injection-molded plastic crap. Or how much CO2 is emitted in generating that electricity. Or...
Palm Beach County voting machines have had their error logs examined. Votes cast ahead of the election, powered off many times during the election day, and plenty of other headaches. Let's see, there are trillions of petro- and military-dollars at stake, would people make an attempt to defraud the American public and alter the election?
In addition to the cost of lunatic policies, Bush has been charging us for propaganda to support his policies. $1.6 Billion dollars worth of legally questionable propaganda. Some bits seem sensible enough, boater warnings and National Park paperwork, but there are also partisan campaigns to sell the regimes war in Iraq, gutting of environmental laws, and Medicare fiddlings.
Printing these, gives rise to these folks...
Darn it, I hate it when I have to agree with Hitchens again.
"There isnβt an inch to give, nothing to negotiate and no concessions to offer. Those of us who believe in enlightenment and free speech also have unalterable principles which we will not give up. We have to listen all the time to piratical-looking mullahs calling our Jewish friends pigs and demanding the censorship of The Satanic Verses and we find this fantastically insulting, but we donβt behave like babies. They are making a puerile spectacle of themselves. We should say, how dare you behave in this way? They can put themselves under laws and taboos if they wish, but it is nothing to do with me or anybody else. They are completely out of order." - Christopher Hitchens
LAWRENCE WILKERSON: It makes me feel terrible. I've said in other places that it was-- constitutes the lowest point in my professional life. My participation in that presentation at the UN constitutes the lowest point in my professional life.
I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community and the United Nations Security Council. How do you think that makes me feel? Thirty-one years in the United States Army and I more or less end my career with that kind of a blot on my record? That's not a very comforting thing.
DAVID BRANCACCIO [interviewer]: A hoax? That's quite a word.
LAWRENCE WILKERSON: Well, let's face it, it was.
"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Contrary to what you've just seen, war is neither glamorous nor fun. There are no winners, only losers. There are no good wars, with the following exceptions: The American Revolution, World War II, and the Star Wars Trilogy. If you'd like to learn more about war, there's lots of books in your local library, many of them with cool, gory pictures." - Bart Simpson
The Pope says that the duty of the church is to influence our leaders and the Supreme Court looks to be changing a bit. There was also some bit in there about eros and agape but the Bishop of Rome talking about Greek philosophy is a little too serious for this blog I fear.
In the context of Iran and nuclear. Do a little search on this blog and another recent CNN problem with nuclear facility pictures. And, of course, we need to remember that this is the US's non-politically-crazy and generally responsible cable news network. Oi!
...since several of my friends who are religious will take this link as a statement of my thoughts on the subject. However, let me make the link to Harris's atheist manifesto with the proviso that some of his backing evidence as to how religious nations are more violent, etc. is not completely solid. The notion of the lack of sensibility for the label "atheist", likening it to the terms "non-astrologer" or "non-alchemist" is especially interesting, and, in my experience, novel.
As a Oil Industry shill goes to the Climate Change conference as a journalist. Credentialed by the Washington Times.
With 38% of the country affected, they opted to cancel AIDS Day observances. Cancelled due to a harvest festival?
Horribly blatent age discrimination! Dubya stands by people of age.
"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgement of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist." - Winston Churchill (November 21, 1943)
Always one of the most important links of the year. The end of open government, the civilian deaths in Iraq, the Diebolding of the election, 1984 cameras, and the purpose of "Homeland Security." Makes you feel proud to be an American.
Yup, alive and well and sure to root out the evils of the Ctholic church.
Tragedies and utter incompetence still prevail. I meant in NOLA, rather than DC, the latter is obvious.
"Before 9/11 the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing America: a terrorist attack on New York, a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. 'The New Orleans hurricane scenario," The Houston Chronicle wrote in December 2001, "may be the deadliest of all.'"
The continuing story of how we define this country. Whose country? Whose ideas? Which freedoms? Which path? The BBC reporting on the growing number of scientists concerned about the anti-science being pushed by the religious leaders of the US. There's so much back material to this. What happens when I mention that I do physics for example. Comments of "I did badly in math" or the like are really the most typical connection. Add in a virulently anti-modernist agenda from the right-wing theocrats-in-waiting, and you have the current situation in the States. (Don't believe that the Intelligent Design and related attacks are a planned afront to rationalism? Read their own "Wedge Plan.")
Does it make sense to quote the "founding fathers?" Of course one could find rival quotation I suppose.
"It is owing to this long interregnum of science, and to no other cause, that we have now to look back through a vast chasm of many hundred years to the respectable characters we call the Ancients. Had the progression of knowledge gone on proportionably with the stock that before existed, that chasm would have been filled up with characters rising superior in knowledge to each other; and those Ancients we now so much admire would have appeared respectably in the background of the scene. But the christian system laid all waste; and if we take our stand about the beginning of the sixteenth century, we look back through that long chasm, to the times of the Ancients, as over a vast sandy desert, in which not a shrub appears to intercept the vision to the fertile hills beyond." - Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
"The clergy, by getting themselves established by law, and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man. They are still so in many countries and even in some of these United States. Even in 1783, we doubted the stability of our recent measures for reducing them to the footing of other useful callings. It now appears that our means were effectual." - Thomas Jefferson, 1800
"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution." - James Madison, 1785
"As I have now given you my reasons for believing that the Bible is not the Word of God, that it is a falsehood, I have a right to ask you your reasons for believing the contrary; but I know you can give me none, except that you were educated to believe the Bible; and as the Turks give the same reason for believing the Koran, it is evident that education makes all the difference, and that reason and truth have nothing to do in the case. You believe in the Bible from the accident of birth, and the Turks believe in the Koran from the same accident, and each calls the other infidel. But leaving the prejudice of education out of the case, the unprejudiced truth is, that all are infidels who believe falsely of God, whether they draw their creed from the Bible, or from the Koran, from the Old Testament, or from the New." [...] "It is often said in the Bible that God spake unto Moses, but how do you know that God spake unto Moses? Because, you will say, the Bible says so. The Koran says, that God spake unto Mahomet, do you believe that too? No. Why not? Because, you will say, you do not believe it; and so because you do, and because you don't is all the reason you can give for believing or disbelieving except that you will say that Mahomet was an impostor. And how do you know Moses was not an impostor?" - Thomas Paine, 1797
Turkmenistan's president bans lip synching. This follows bans on opera, ballet, gold teeth, and restrictions on long hair and beards. Saparmurat Niyazov's cult of personality has always been a bit weird, but seeing lip synching as a threat is sure evidence of deep thinking about the future direction of his nation. All hail Kibo!
The fearless leader has also banned recorded music on TV and at live events. I'm starting to see a trend here! In fact, "radio and television programmes are dominated by performances of his own poems and philosophical writings set to music." Must be a fun country.
Ah yes, there are ongoing efforts to Turkmenify the population. They recently celebrated Melon Day and the fearless leader had a 300 square meter rug commissioned entitled "The 21st century: the epoch of the great Saparmurat Niyazov." That's ego! (Of course, by writing this, I have virutally eliminated the possibility of visiting Turkmenistan without getting to visit a finely crafted prison cell for a couple of days. Darn!) On the other hand, they granted citizenship to 16,000 refugees from neighboring Tajikistan and Uzbekistan so they are at least responsible in that way.
Are there other good Saparmurat Niyazov stories? Post them here!
Looking at the Wikipedia, there's also the closure of libraries and hospitals, replacing doctors with army constripts, building an ice palace in the middle of the desert, the statues of himself, the super-expensive mosque, and banning makeup for TV announcers. Sounds like a lower-rent, maybe somewhat friendlier, version of North Korea.
Oh yeah, and from the opposition website some English language news on Turkmenistan including banning converted LHD vehicles.
The English papers have been asking the question. We know that Dubya spends most of his time snorting coke and on vacation in Texas, but the Brits aren't used to their leader disappearing.
Though there is a rumor that Blair is in the Caribbean on holiday, we know better! He's taking some time off in Vancouver, BC to learn how to skate.
Skateboarding that is. Reliable reports indicate that Tony Hawk and Tony Blair are practicing some phat moves in parking lots and the stairs of government buildings across the Hong Kong of the West. The Tonymeister was last seen wearing a "Skateboarding is not a crime" cutoff and demanding that The Urinal's first 7" be played louder.
Downing Street had no comment, but unnamed sources in the government confirmed that the Blairster had indeed taken up a new "recreational activity" and would be training the best experts in the world. Earlier reports that this activity was bicycling were proven wrong when Lance Armstrong showed up in Crawford, TX to ride with Dubya and ask for some political cover. The French have finally proven his performance-enhancing drug use, but we know that just starting to call that certain food item "Freedom Fries" will shut them up.
We now speculate that skateboarding is intended as a second occupation for Bliar. He had noted that he would not stand for PM in the next elections, so what would be a more natural job than as a professional skateboarder? He would be the clear front-runner in the "former leader of a nation" skate class/category.
And he couldn't even play the piano. Just the silliness of the media which needs to make a story compelling.
Amazing to see popular coverage of atheism. And terribly odd to think of Jesse Ventura as a spokesperson for anything, or eloquent.
For 16,000 people in a former sports stadium. Opiate of the masses for sure.
You can learn quite a bit from this little animation. Well done little bit of data processing.
Other Iraq links for today:
Op-ed, NYT, "Dangerous Incompetence"
Report on the ground in Iraq. Fight for an area and then leave it to the insurgents. Sound familar?
Nearby, a scruffy young man in dirty pants and an unbuttoned shirt stood staring at vegetables scattered on the ground by one of the explosions. Bending over and picking up an onion spattered with blood, he began to cry.
"Every one of you in Karrada calls me Crazy Ali," he said to no one in particular. "But I would never do such a thing. I am better than you sane people. At least I do not hurt you."
"Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad." - Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash
...doesn't seem to be accomplishing anything. The authorities have announced that they will "deal ruthlessly" with any street protests. Oddly enough, the state-controlled media didn't report on the general strike. Funny that.
The Beeb has the best coverage that I know of. Click on the link above and follow links there to quite a bit more coverage, including video and some photos. Including the one to the right.
...with no real resistance. It looks like some sort of enforced ruralization to eliminate the urban poor pockets of opposition to Mugabe. Not quite Pol Pot, but we'll see how those people make up.
I keep being saddened by the Zimbabwe disasters. A country I didn't quite fall in love with when traveling there, but one that I appreciated and hoped the best for.
"Bobby Fischer? Man, that guy is crazy!" - Mike Tyson
"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." - Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP keynote address
Four people finally being tried for this. It's the classic tale of the corrupt banker who controlled the Vatican's money. Plenty of fnords and illuminati. Do a search.
As our protections against the religious tyranny fades, at least we need to remember the "founding fathers" were hardly Christians.
* I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth. (Thomas Jefferson)
* The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.
The doctrine of the divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. (John Adams)
* I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of... Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all. (Thomas Paine)
* What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy.
Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize. (James Madison)
The Univ. of CO looks determined to find a way to get rid of Prof. Churchill. It seems that his opinionated rant was just too much for the reputation of the school (ignoring the football-player rapists and the ensuing coverup). Let's think about it though, he's claiming that at least some of the victims, working in the Pentagon and the World Trade Center were "little Eichmanns," little bureaucrats enacting the deadly policies of their superiors. Is this crazy? Well, let's see, the Pentagon, they direct bombing campaigns from there. Okay, so someone working there is complicit in killings (justified or not). Check. How about the World Trade Center? I'm guessing that Mr. Churchill had the bankers in mind. International Finance, World Bank, moving money and resources from the third world to the wealthy first world. Connect those banks and multinationals with the Nigerian corruption, or the Brazilian rain-forest exploitation, picking two random examples, and you get into the territory of killing. But Eichmann? Genocide? Hmmm...not sure I want to blame folks working in a restaurant or investment bank in NYC of beaucratic involvement in genocide. But on the other hand, if we can write a paragraph or two discussing it, and come to a different conclusion then why is his conclusion so unacceptable as to require his dismissal (or death as several commentators have requested)?
Taken from the (oddly) rather tepid "No. 1?" article in the Minneapolis City Pages. As in, the US is #1 in which ways? Some of the items are so apalling as to demand repeating though. (Many of the others in the article reflect more on the author than the status of the US, in my opinion.)
Shotgun Golf! The final article...
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die" HST
Although HST's work is done, others take up the slack. Jewish journalist infiltrating a neo-nazi hate group? That meets at Applebee's? Yup, hilarity ensues. Gonzo continues. Film at 11.
Will Duke pass away now? Go not quietly into the night unless you have a huge wad of case, night-vision goggles, and a drug-filled date with a pair of Madonna look-alikes.
From the Doonesbury FAQ:
Q: What kind of relationship, if any, does Mr. Trudeau have with Hunter S. Thompson? --H. Delano R., Long Beach, CA
A: Non-existent. The two have never met, although there was a brief but acrimonious exchange of letters in the mid-70s. Since that time, Thompson has uttered numerous public threats against Trudeau's person, threats Trudeau takes seriously.
Bill Murray met Hunter S. Thompson in the late 70's, prior to portraying him in "Where the Buffalo Roam." He was driving a car back from the coast for Lorne Michaels (I believe) and met Thompson in Las Vegas.
They were sitting around a pool. Murray got tied to a chair (horsing around) and was thrown in the pool. He figured, no sweat, he could stand to his full height (6'1") and extricate himself from the socks that tied him to the chair. One thing though, when you are strapped in a chair, you are in a seated position and not able to extend to your full height. After momentary panic by the ever cool Bill, Thompson saw that Mr. Murray was floundering and hauled him out.
(This story was broadcast on "Focus with Bill Murray" hosted by critic Elvis Mitchell, and repeated last year by Bill Murray at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Film Festival devoted to him, 4/13/04). On the GettyWire Image page if you type in Bill Murray and scroll to all images within 12 months, and go back to April 13, 2004, you will see the photographs of the re-creation.
Longer quotes and stuff below...
"Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism--which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful." - HST, Nixon Obit
No relevance whatsoever for America. In 2005. Under the Dubya-crowd.
East Timor? Nope, the Indonesians were our friends. Cambodia? Bad commies, but what could we do? Rwanda? Just Africans killing each other. Bosnia? A European problem. The Congo? Which one? Good thing that we've been preventing genocides since learning the whole "never forget" lesson.
I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said "Stop! Don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he said. "Well, there's so much to live for!" "Like what?" "Well... are you religious?" He said yes. I said, "Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?" "Christian." "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant ? "Protestant." "Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?" "Baptist" "Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?" "Baptist Church of God!" "Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you reformed Baptist Church of God?" "Reformed Baptist Church of God!" "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!" I said, "Die, heretic scum", and pushed him off. (Emo Philips)
...at the opening of a new Ikea in England. People were almost killed, for cheap sofas.
The winners of the Iraqi elections will be...Iran! Sistani's folks. The next PM of Iraq will be someone who wants Islam to be the official religion of Iraq, who wants the Koran to be the main basis for writing a Constitution, who will take directives from Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani when writing the nation's laws, and who will be very close to Iran.
I can't imagine that the neocons will be too happy with this. Or maybe they were closet Islamists all along? Bringing fundamentalist Islamic governments to Afghanistan and Iraq, and bringing up a new generation of Islamists from the Netherlands to Indonesia.
"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves." -- Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under Richard Nixon, about Chile prior to the CIA overthrow of the democratically elected government of socialist President Salvador Allende in 1973
Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are a delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate freedom?
The astonishing figure is that the Iraq/Afghanistan conflict has now cost one-half what we (the US) spent in World War 2, after adjusting for inflation!!! Now, how could we defeat Japan and Germany in a four-year war which had 10 million men in uniform for only twice what this latest conflict has cost? Especially considering how poorly we're doing in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Halliburton profit? Cruise missiles?
Supporting torture will make you the Attorney General. Lying to Congress and the American people and creating a fiasco will get you Secretary of State. So, now does the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture need to import additional mad cows? Education Department head needs to be illiterate? The President a bumbling idiot? Guess so.
MATH RIOTS PROVE FUN INCALCULABLE
by Eric Zorn
News Item (June 23) -- Mathematicians worldwide were excited and pleased today by the announcement that Princeton University professor Andrew Wiles had finally proved Fermat's Last Theorem, a 365-year-old problem said to be the most famous in the field.
Yes, admittedly, there was rioting and vandalism last week during the celebration. A few bookstores had windows smashed and shelves stripped, and vacant lots glowed with burning piles of old dissertations. But overall we can feel relief that it was nothing -- nothing -- compared to the outbreak of exuberant thuggery that occurred in 1984 after Louis DeBranges finally proved the Bieberbach Conjecture.
"Math hooligans are the worst," said a Chicago Police Department spokesman. "But the city learned from the Bieberbach riots. We were ready for them this time."
When word hit Wednesday that Fermat's Last Theorem had fallen, a massive show of force from law enforcement at universities all around the country headed off a repeat of the festive looting sprees that have become the traditional accompaniment to triumphant breakthroughs in higher mathematics.
Mounted police throughout Hyde Park kept crowds of delirious wizards at the University of Chicago from tipping over cars on the midway as they first did in 1976 when Wolfgang Haken and Kenneth Appel cracked the long-vexing Four-Color Problem. Incidents of textbook-throwing and citizens being pulled from their cars and humiliated with difficult story problems last week were described by the university's math department chairman Bob Zimmer as "isolated."
Zimmer said, "Most of the celebrations were orderly and peaceful. But there will always be a few -- usually graduate students -- who use any excuse to cause trouble and steal. These are not true fans of Andrew Wiles."
Wiles himself pleaded for calm even as he offered up the proof that there is no solution to the equation x^n + y^n = z^n when n is a whole number greater than two, as Pierre de Fermat first proposed in the 17th Century. "Party hard but party safe," he said, echoing the phrase he had repeated often in interviews with scholarly journals as he came closer and closer to completing his proof.
Some authorities tried to blame the disorder on the provocative taunting of Japanese mathematician Yoichi Miyaoka. Miyaoka thought he had proved Fermat's Last Theorem in 1988, but his claims did not bear up under the scrutiny of professional referees, leading some to suspect that the fix was in. And ever since, as Wiles chipped away steadily at the Fermat problem, Miyaoka scoffed that there would be no reason to board up windows near universities any time soon; that God wanted Miyaoka to prove it.
In a peculiar sidelight, Miyaoka recently took the trouble to secure a U.S. trademark on the equation "x^n + y^n = z^n " as well as the now-ubiquitous expression "Take that, Fermat!" Ironically, in defeat, he stands to make a good deal of money on cap and T-shirt sales.
This was no walk-in-the-park proof for Wiles. He was dogged, in the early going, by sniping publicity that claimed he was seen puttering late one night doing set theory in a New Jersey library when he either should have been sleeping, critics said, or focusing on arithmetic algebraic geometry for the proving work ahead.
"Set theory is my hobby, it helps me relax," was his angry explanation. The next night, he channeled his fury and came up with five critical steps in his proof. Not a record, but close.
There was talk that he thought he could do it all by himself, especially when he candidly referred to University of California mathematician Kenneth Ribet as part of his "supporting cast," when most people in the field knew that without Ribet's 1986 proof definitively linking the Taniyama Conjecture to Fermat's Last Theorem, Wiles would be just another frustrated guy in a tweed jacket teaching calculus to freshmen.
His travails made the ultimate victory that much more explosive for math buffs. When the news arrived, many were already wired from caffeine consumed at daily colloquial teas, and the took to the streets en masse shouting, "Obvious! Yessss! It was obvious!"
The law cannot hope to stop such enthusiasm, only to control it. Still, one has to wonder what the connection is between wanton pillaging and a mathematical proof, no matter how long-awaited and subtle.
The Victory Over Fermat rally, held on a cloudless day in front of a crowd of 30,000 (police estimate: 150,000) was pleasantly peaceful. Signs unfurled in the audience proclaimed Wiles the greatest mathematician of all time, though partisans of Euclid, Descartes, Newton, and C.F. Gauss and others argued the point vehemently.
A warmup act, The Supertheorists, delighted the crowd with a ragged song, "It Was Never Less Than Probable, My Friend," which included such gloating, barbed verses as --- "I had a proof all ready / But then I did a choke-a / Made liberal assumptions / Hi! I'm Yoichi Miyaoka."
In the speeches from the stage, there was talk of a dynasty, specifically that next year Wiles will crack the great unproven Riemann Hypothesis ("Rie-peat! Rie-peat!" the crowd cried), and that after the Prime-Pair Problem, the Goldbach Conjecture ("Minimum Goldbach," said one T-shirt) and so on.
They couldn't just let him enjoy his proof. Not even for one day. Math people. Go figure 'em.
WHAT'S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 14 Dec 05 Washington, DC
1. EARTHQUACKS: THE DEEPER MEANING OF THE TSUNAMI IS EXAMINED.
Religions are busy explaining how we should view a disaster that claimed more than 150,000 innocent lives. "Innocent"? Buddhists explained that seemingly innocent victims could be paying for some really bad stuff they did in previous lives. A leading Moslem cleric in Southern California says it was, "a test from God to see how human beings respond." Columnist and pretentious theologian
William Safire also saw the tsunami as a test, and compared it to God's test of Job. Sure Job is faithful, Satan had scoffed, God made him rich and powerful. Wagering that Job would remain faithful, God lets Satan take it all away: Job's sheep are stolen, his servants slain and a great wind kills his children. Whereupon Job falls to the ground and worships God, "the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away." So Job passes the test. Never mind his sons and daughters who died, or his servants who were murdered, it's all about Job. Well, thank God for physics. The tsunami was caused by the release of elastic energy in a tectonic earthquake.
"So huge benefit cuts...I don't think that's where we want to go." - President Bush, 12/16/04
"The White House, in a private memo to conservative allies, strongly argues that Social Security benefits paid to future retirees must be significantly reduced." - Wall Street Journal, 1/6/05
Canadian health officials are drawing up plans to prohibit prescription drug sales to Americans, apparently the result of private discussions between President George Bush, who opposes legalized reimportation of drugs, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. The Los Angeles Times reports that during the president's November visit to Ottawa, Bush encouraged Martin to prohibit drug sales in exchange for potential trade concessions between the two countries.
Stan : "Why would God let Kenny die, Chef? Why? Kenny's my friend. Why can't God take someone else's friend?"
Chef : "Stan, sometimes God takes those closest to us, because it makes him feel better about himself. He is a very vengeful God, Stan. He's all pissed off about something we did thousands of years ago. He just can't get over it, so he doesn't care who he takes. Children, puppies, it don't matter to him, so long as it makes us sad. Do you understand?"
Stan : "But then, why does God give us anything to start with?"
Chef : "Well, look at it this way: if you want to make a baby cry, first you give it a lollipop. Then you take it away. If you never give it a lollipop to begin with, then you would have nothin' to cry about. That's like God, who gives us life and love and help just so that he can tear it all away and make us cry, so he can drink the sweet milk of our tears. You see, it's our tears, Stan, that give God his great power."
Stan : "I think I understand."
David Byrne / Brian Eno / Hugo Ball
GADJI BERI BIMBA CLANDRIDI
LAULI LONNI CADORI GADJAM
A BIM BERI GLASSALA GLANDRIDE
E GLASSALA TUFFM I ZIMBRA
BIM BLASSA GALASSASA ZIMBRABIM
BLASSA GLALLASSASA ZIMBRABIM
A BIM BERI GLASSALA GRANDRID
E GLASSALA TUFFM I ZIMBRA
GADJI BERI BIMBA GLANDRIDI
LAULI LONNI CADORA GADJAM
A BIM BERI GLASSASA GLANDRID
E GLASSALA TUFFM I ZIMBRA
For some reason, tonight after waking up, tossing and turning, with bad dreams and with general unhappiness at myself, I sat at this computer sending email (in an apology of sorts) and thinking about the Talking Heads song I Zimbra. From Fear of Music. Always liked it and Life During Wartime off of that album. Life During Wartime is also a fantastically good novel by Lucius Shepard. Sort of science fiction, sort of an attempt to exorcise the ghosts of Vietnam with a magical realist Central America and the next war of "liberation." Seems all the stronger with the current events. (Oddly enough, there's a Life During Wartime blog which seems to be mostly bitching about the economy, the election, and bad jobs.) Anyway, back to I Zimbra. Hugo Ball doesn't get many liner note references. Now, during the 1980s, or even back in the day of the Cabaret Voltaire and Dada over Zurich.
Glossolalia of a sort, wasn't it? The Dadaists certainly made that connection to the Pentecost but I'm not too sure that David Byrne intended anything along those lines. Nor is it Sumerian eliminating a non-casual link to Stephenson. African rhythms and the "nonsense" words of Hugo Ball. (You didn't expect this posting to lead anywhere, did you?) The first time I heard the song I assumed that the words were in a language, prolly some African language. Glancing at the liner notes, I caught the vaguely familiar H. Ball and had to look it up. Was England's Dreaming already written at that point? No, it couldn't be, Jon Savage was still working on the official biography of the Kinks at that point. (Look it up!)
So, I Zimbra got me to look up who the heck these dadaist were. A few years later, in my college library I discovered a copy of the Futurist Cookbook by Marinetti and that led to a whole 'nother world of weird books for me. The line from the Talking Heads to the Situationist Internation to the Temporary Autonomous Zone is far from straight (perhaps like the roads in Boston, paving over old cow paths) but the connections are there. Which brings us to Fight Club (see A., I'd have to bring it up in the blog eventually) where the connections between fascism (a la Marinetti and, well, a bunch of blue collar folks unifying with two shirts, black, one pair boots, black...) and the Temporary Autonomous Zone (if a fight club isn't one, then the Code Duello meant nothing).
So, is that in some way a positive fascism? A friendly fascism? Certainly George Bush and company are more sinister than any Project Mayhem. Where we were supposed to be revolted, we cheered for the waiters and projectionists and testicular cancer survivors. And we hated ourselves for it. The Futurists wanted impressive architecture, and we got ovens, we wanted Pax Americana and got Iraqis in black hoods, like Hugo reciting his poem Karavane in the photo to the left.
"Our cabaret is a gesture. Every word that is spoken and sung here says at least one thing: that this humiliating age has not succeeded in winning our respect. What could be respectable and impressive about it? Its cannons? Our big Drum drowns them. Its idealism?That has long been a laughingstock, in its popular and its academic edition. The grandiose slaughters and cannibalistic exploits? Our spontaneous foolishness and our enthusiasm for illusion will destroy them. - Hugo Ball
End of the year/start of the year, mandatory best/worst list:
Of course no Best/Worst list would be complete without quotes of the year, here is a pretty comprehensive list from By Daniel Kurtzman, AlterNet
25. "This is the best election night in history." -Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, Nov. 2, 2004, just before 8 p.m. EST
24. "This race is hotter than a Times Square Rolex." -CBS Anchor Dan Rather, on election night
23. "As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time." -Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, responding to a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq who asked him why troops had to dig through scrap metal to armor vehicles
22. "I heard there's rumors on the Internets that we're going to have a draft." -President George W. Bush, during the second presidential debate
21. "You've done a nice job decorating the White House." -Pop star Jessica Simpson, upon being introduced to Interior Secretary Gale Norton while touring the White House
20. "Go fuck yourself." -Vice President Dick Cheney to Sen. Patrick Leahy, during an angry exchange on the Senate floor about profiteering by Halliburton
19. "I even accept for the sake of argument that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged." -Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, speaking at Harvard
18. "You forgot Poland." -President Bush to Sen. John Kerry during the first presidential debate, after Kerry failed to mention Poland's contributions to the Iraq war coalition
17. "I wish we lived in the day where you could challenge a person to a duel." -Sen. Zell Miller to Chris Matthews, during a heated interview on "Hardball"
16. "We are in a three-way split decision for third place." -Sen. Joe Lieberman, on his fifth place finish in the New Hampshire primary
15. "If I could only go through the ducts and leap out onstage in a cape that's my dream." -Ralph Nader, on the presidential debates
14. "You bet we might have." -Sen. Kerry, asked if he would have gone to war against Saddam Hussein if he refused to disarm
13. "Gammie, we love you dearly, but you're just not very hip. She thinks 'Sex and the City' is something married people do, but never talk about." -Jenna Bush, speaking at the Republican convention
12. "All of a sudden, we see riots, we see protests, we see people clashing. The next thing we know, there is injured or there is dead people. We don't want to get to that extent." -California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, on the dangers posed by gay marriage
11. "I couldn't get a job with CIA today. I am not qualified." -CIA Director Porter Goss, in a March 3, 2004 interview that was conducted while he was still in Congress and which was cut from "Fahrenheit 9/11"
10. "I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it...I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn't yet...I don't want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one." -President Bush, after being asked in a news conference to name the biggest mistake he had made
9. "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere!" -President Bush, joking about his administration's failure to find WMDs in Iraq as he narrated a comic slideshow during the Radio & TV Correspondents' Association dinner
8. "So anyway I'd be rubbing your big boobs and getting your nipples really hard, kinda' kissing your neck from behind...and then I would take the other hand with the falafel thing and I'd just put it on your p -y but you'd have to do it really light, just kind of a tease business..." -Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, as quoted in a sexual harassment suit filed against him by a Fox News producer
7. "Wolf, be excited. This is Joementum here in New Hampshire." -Sen. Joe Lieberman to Wolf Blitzer, on his momentum leading up to the New Hampshire Primary
6. "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." -President Bush
5. "I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it." -Sen. Kerry, on voting against a military funding bill for U.S. troops in Iraq
4. "Go, balloons. Go, balloons. Go, balloons ... What's happening balloons? There's not enough coming down. All balloons! Why the hell is nothing falling? What the fuck are you guys doing up there?" -Democratic Convention producer Don Mischer, overheard on CNN having an apoplectic seizure when the balloons failed to drop from the ceiling of the Fleet Center in Boston
3. "As I was telling my husb-" -National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, overheard making a slip of the tongue at a Washington dinner party. Rice, who is unmarried, stopping herself abruptly, before saying, "As I was telling President Bush."
2. "Not only are we going to New Hampshire ... we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we're going to California and Texas and New York! And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. And then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House, Yeeeeeaaaaaargh!" -Presidential candidate Howard Dean's Iowa concession speech
1. "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." -President Bush
Thank you for submitting your idea for calendar reform. However, we must reject it for the following reasons:
* ( ) It changes the seven day week or adds days outside the week.
* ( ) It has a day or days that are not in a month causing problems for writing dates, etc.
* (X) It has an unusual number of months in all or some years making it hard to divide a year into quarters.
* (X) One or more months have significantly more or fewer days than the others causing problems for monthly fees, etc.
* (X) The number of days in a year varies greatly from some years to others.
* (X) Some months are only in certain years and therefore the number of months in a year varies from year to year.
* (X) The number of days between a date in one year and the next varies form year to year.
* (X) It makes people keep clock time that does match the daytime, i.e. sunrise at midnight or noon.
1938 Adolph Hitler
1942 Joseph Stalin
1972 Kissinger and Nixon (double evil, but the magazine costs the same!)
1979 Ayatollah Khomeini
1995 Newt Gringrich
The simple logic of Dubya-dum:
1. The terrorists hate us because we have freedom
2. Let's get rid of our freedoms
3. The terrorists will leave us alone.
It's all so simple, a child could have come up with it!
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. - Anatole France.
Well, I hate to admit it, but I do look at Rabbit Blog from time to time. Ms Bitter Rabbit is the former-suck.com Filler person. Anyway, the December 7th rant there is pretty special. "Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid."
The false consequences of sex: A congressional report criticizes "abstinence-only" programs, finding that most are giving children inaccurate information.
By Gary Younge
Dec. 3, 2004 | The Bush administration is funding sexual health projects that teach children that HIV can be contracted through sweat and tears, that touching genitals can result in pregnancy and that a 43-day-old fetus is a thinking person.
A congressional analysis of more than a dozen federally funded "abstinence-only programs" unveiled a litany of "false, misleading and distorted information" in teaching materials after reviewing curriculums designed to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
There are more than 100 abstinence programs, involving several million children ages 9 to 18, and running in 25 states since 1999. They are funded by the federal government to the tune of $170 million, twice the amount being spent when George W. Bush first came to power.
The money goes to religious, civic and medical organizations as grants. To qualify, the programs may talk about types of contraception only in terms of their failure rates, not in terms of how to use them or the possible benefits.
The survey was conducted by the staff of Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., a long-standing Democratic critic of the Republican administration's approach to sex education. His team concentrated on the 13 programs that are most widely used, and found that only two of them were accurate. "It is absolutely vital that the health education provided to America's youth be scientifically and medically accurate," Waxman said. "The abstinence-only programs reviewed in this report fail to meet this standard."
Other "facts" include that abortion can lead to sterility and suicide, that half the gay male teenagers in the U.S. have tested positive for HIV and that condoms fail to prevent transmission of HIV in 31 percent of incidents of heterosexual intercourse. The U.S. government's own figures contradict all of these assertions.
A.C. Green's Game Plan -- a program named after a basketball player who said he would not have sex before marriage -- teaches: "The popular claim that condoms help prevent the spread of STDs is not supported by the data."
Waxman told the Washington Post: "I don't think we ought to lie to our children about science. Something is seriously wrong when federal tax dollars are being used to mislead kids about basic health facts."
But government officials said Waxman's report rehashed old anti-abstinence prejudices for political purposes. Alma Golden, the deputy assistant health and human services secretary for population affairs, said it took statements out of context to present programs in the worst possible light. "These issues have been raised before and discredited," Golden said. "One thing is very clear for our children: Abstaining from sex is the most effective means of preventing the sexual transmission of HIV, STDs, and preventing pregnancy."
Waxman also criticized some programs for reinforcing sexist stereotypes to children. One -- Why Know -- says: "Women gauge their happiness and judge their success by their relationships. Men's happiness and success hinge on their accomplishments." Another program, Wait Training, says: "Just as a woman needs to feel a man's devotion to her, a man has a primary need to feel a woman's admiration. To admire a man is to regard him with wonder, delight, and approval. A man feels admired when his unique characteristics and talents happily amaze her."
HTML makes sense. Tattoos make sense. Tattoos of HTML seem a little bit dodgy. I still remember when we thought it would be totally cool to tattoo a shell-sort routine in Modula-2 on our butts...
How do we compare these two countries? Well, there's a new metric offered here to look at the similarities and differences in culture. In South Africa, lesbian marriage is now legal. In the United States, we are doomed by decadence. I'm told. Our mores are helping Al Queda. Mmmmm...
The Target Corporation is offering wake-up calls for the big shopping days after Thanksgiving. Really. In a bunch of different voices including a construction worker, a woman with a cat, and a baby. Consumerism is its own reward.
"In your re-election, God has graciously granted America though she doesn't deserve it a reprieve from the agenda of paganism. You have been given a mandate. [...] Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ." - Nov 3 letter, not ackowledged by the White House
"I'm just going out to the shops to get some bread. Will you keep an eye on the children. Oh, and don't go in the attic." - Genesis P'Orridge
I've been asked repeatly lately about the issue of the number 23. Or as the original questioner asked, "Anyone think it slightly suspicious that Ken Bigley was held for exactly 23 days before being decapitated by those CIArabs? Saddam was in power for exactly 23 years until the Illuminati terminated his contract!" Yes, twenty fnord three is a common sight. How common?
Well, that's tough to tell because the accidental 23s are intermingled with the deliberate 23s. Michael Jordan's jersey number, chosen to honor his lifetime allegience to the Illuminated Elders of Mu, and the fact that the Unibomber killed or wounded 23 people are very different sorts of 23-numerology phenomena.
Burroughs (and friends) and the 23 Enigma
The '23 Enigma', as discovered by William S. Burroughs, presents itself as a good omen for some - disaster for others. Trying to convey the phenomenon to the uninitiated is as easy as describing the night sky to someone who has been blind from birth.
When Burroughs was in Tangiers, he knew a Captain Clark who ran a ferry over to Spain. One day, Clark told Burroughs that he had been doing the route for 23 years without an accident. That day, the ferry sank . . .that evening, while Burroughs was thinking about the incident, a radio bulletin announced the crash of Flight 23 on the New York-Miami route. The pilot was another Captain Clark!
Burroughs began to keep a scrapbook of 23s. When writing about Dutch Shultz, he realized that when the New York City gangster had put a contract out on 23-year-old Vincent 'Mad Dog' Coll, who met his end on 23rd St. Shultz himself died on October 23rd, 1935. As Robert Anton Wilson writes in 'Cosmic Trigger', the same night, Marty Crompier, another gangster was shot, but not fatally. "It's got to be one of them coincidences," he told police.
Speaking of October 23rd, Seventeenth century scholar Archbishop Ussher reckoned that the earth was created on October 23rd, 4004 BC, while the Mayans believed the world will end on December 23rd, 2012.
Hexagram 23 in the 'I Ching' oracle means "break apart." 23 in telegrapher's code means "break the line." Aleister Crowley defined number 23 as "parting, removal, separation, joy, a thread, and life . . ."
Parents each donate 23 chromosomes to the fertilized egg . . .the human biorhythm cycle is generally 23 days, and it takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate through the human body.
And so on . . .
This inexplicable fascination with 23 has become a mind-virus, seeping into the music of 'Psychic TV', the art of H.R. Giger, the comics of Jamie Hewlett and Grant Morrison, the literature of Robert Anton Wilson, Arthur Koestler, Umberto Eco, and countless others. The pages of the 'Principia Discordia' supply another feast of 23s. It now reached a point where one has to be sharp to differentiate between the 23s meant as signposts for those in the know, and those which appear for no obvious reason, in the damndest of places. The Internet is these days littered with lists of historical and scientific '23s', some of which are not so ` - i.e. mere coincidence, some mind-boggling - beautiful synchronicity.
The '23 Enigma' has its skeptics - those who say that it's a focusing of attention on just one number. This may be true, but as mentioned above, some folks have fun with 23s - the day-to-day synchronicity that raises a private smile - while for others it can be sheer hell, and we're not just talking about Burroughs' two Captain Clarks. Genesis P. Orridge (his band, 'Psychic TV', released 23 albums on the 23rd of each month for 23 months) told the members of another British band, 'Cabaret Voltaire', about the enigma. They showed interest, but skepticism. Two days later, Genesis received a phone call from them:
"You bastard! . . . We've come to Holland to do three gigs, and in ever hotel we've had room 23, and the gig on the 23rd was a complete disaster. And everywhere we turn, there are 23s. What have you done?"
"Well, I did say you'd start noticing it," answered Genesis.
This 23 shit just goes on and on...... this comes from The Mirror.....
HOW MYSTICAL 23 CHANGED COURSE OF HISTORY Jul 3 2003
By Ryan Parry And Rebecca Smith
IT might be just a squad number to David Beckham fans, but many believe 23 has mystical properties.
Pop stars and writers are among those fascinated by it.
Late author William Burroughs was so gripped by numeric coincidences surrounding 23, he kept a scrapbook of his findings. It is said he was alerted to the number's power when a Captain Clark told him he had run a ferry from Spain to Morocco with no problem for 23 years. Hours later it sank, killing the skipper.
Band Psychic TV were obsessed with 23. They released 23 live albums, each on the 23rd day of 23 months running.
Whether Becks is touched by the number's supposed magic at Real is yet to be seen.
But if he scores 23 goals to help Madrid win the league, no doubt he'll start believing there's something in it.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan wore 23 for the Chicago Bulls. His dad was also murdered on July 23, 1993, during a botched robbery. Real's choice of number is a coup for agency SFX who handle both Jordan and Becks' affairs.
William Shakespeare was born and died on April 23. His first folio of plays came in 1623. Wife Anne died in 1623.
US catchphrase "23, skidoo" is thought to have come from A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens. In it a woman counts guillotine victims.
As she says "23" the hero Sydney Carton is beheaded in the last act.
Author William Burroughs kept a scrapbook about 23 and its appearances in history.
He first spotted its power when a Captain Clark told him he had run a ferry without incident for 23 years. It sank and killed Clark hours later. That day Burroughs heard a radio report of a flight 23 which had crashed in the US - operated by a Captain Clark.
World record-breaking basketball boy wonder LeBron James also wears the number 23 shirt.
The 18-year-old recently signed for Cleveland Cavaliers after agreeing a four-year, £12million contract. And the much-hyped star, dubbed the "Chosen One" signed a £60million endorsement deal with sportswear giants Nike.
Car giant Nissan is touched by a numerical coincidence. In Japanese, "ni" is 2, and "san" is 3. So Nissan would be 23.
Writer Burroughs inspired author Robert Anton Wilson. It was from one of his books that the 23-letter name, Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu, was taken for the band which later became KLF.
A US police car used in the video for the group's hit Doctorin' The Tardis had 23 painted on the roof, and their final performance lasted 23 minutes. They incinerated £1million on a Scottish island on August 23, 1994.
William Burroughs' final TV appearance was in U2's Last Night on Earth video. The letter U is the 21st in the alphabet and adding the 2 gives 23.
Sesame Street's Bert is a member of the national association of W lovers, the 23rd letter of the alphabet.
When 23 or more people are in the same room there is a better than evens chance that at least two share the same birthday. Class sizes in schools are larger than 23, so more than half in Britain have two pupils with the same birthdays.
The Latin alphabet has 23 letters. The German movie 23 explored an obsession with the number, based on a real-life story.
On average, every 23rd wave crashing to shore is twice as large as normal.
In the disaster movie Airport, the bomber has seat 23.
It takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate through the body.
In the Beatles film Yellow Submarine, The Butterfly Stomper, who destroys all things of beauty, wears a shirt with the number 23.
Weird pop band Psychic TV are so obsessed with 23 that at one point they made the Guinness Book of World Records by releasing 23 albums on the 23rd day of 23 months in a row. They were influenced by the occultist Aleister Crowley who had been convinced of the power of 23.
Parents each contribute 23 chromosomes, pictured below, to start a new human life during reproduction.
On July 23, 1996 the "Mysterious Eyes" of comet Hale-Bopp are first sighted.
The earth rotates on an axis of 23 and a half degrees. Alright, that's not strictly 23, but it's near enough to be considered a numerical coincidence.
Rock star Kurt Cobain was born in 1967 and died in 1994. Both years bizarrely add up to 23 if counted as individual digits: 1+9+6+7=23. 1+9+9+4=23.
ROMAN Emperor Julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times when he was assassinated.
The average smoker gets through 23 cigarettes a day.
In Oliver Stone's Nixon, Tricky Dickie's football shirt at Whittier is number 23.
Twenty-three was the shirt number worn by tragic footballer Marc-Vivien Foe when he was at Manchester City. The Cameroon international died after collapsing on the pitch during a Confederations Cup semi-final last week.
In Hollywood blockbuster Die Hard III the train derails in subway station 23.
The human biorhythm is generally 23 days.
The first song on Side A of the Beatles first album took 23 takes to record.
US Cavalry legend General Custer was promoted to the senior military rank at the age of 23. The soldier was the youngest general in the US army at the time.
In the final assault on the Death Star in Star Wars, Luke Skywalker is in Red 5. Red 2 and Red 3 start bomb runs at 23 degrees. The cell block holding Princess Leia, right, was AA-23.
Gotta love 23 and you might as well check out Robert Anton Wilson's political party The Guns and Dope Party.
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - H. L. Mencken
"The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved." - J. Ashcroft, on resigning
We won! This is the best news that I've heard lately. No more crime and no more terrorism. Wait a second, weren't we supposed to be very afraid last week so we'd vote for Bush, but now it's okay? I just can't keep up.
As you may already know, it is a sin for a Taliban male to see any woman other than his wife naked, and that he must commit suicide if he does.
So, in honor of National Nude Recreation Week, on Saturday, July 10, at 4 P.M. Eastern Time, all American women are asked to walk out of their house completely naked to help weed out any neighborhood terrorists.
Circling your block for one hour is recommended for this antiterrorist effort.
All men are to position themselves in lawn chairs (ed: nude, presumably?) in front of their house to prove they are not Taliban and to demonstrate that they think it is okay to see nude women other than their wife and to show support for all American women.
And since the Taliban also does not approve of alcohol, a cold 6-pack at your side is further proof of your anti-Taliban sentiment.
The American government appreciates your efforts to root out terrorists and applauds your participation in this antiterrorist activity.
It is your patriotic duty to pass this on.
Hmmmm...I hadn't planned on doing so much on the elections on this page, and now that they're over I think I'm going to need to step away from politics and political links for a bit. I think it's interesting where the exit polls agreed and disagreed with the final election results. Mandatory Diebold reference here. Though I'm not sure I'm willing to ascribe to conspiracy what can be explained by stupidity.
So far I've heard Antarctica, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, and Tanzania mentioned so far today... To be fair, the Tanzania reference came from a primatologist, so there's a certain bias there.
How about some humor? Man biten by lion. Not funny, right? Man biten by lion while trying to convert lion to Christianity and challenging lion to bite him. Funny.
"They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some sort of federal program." - St. Charles, Missouri, 11/2/2000
"This is an impressive crowd---the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elites; I call you my base." - NYC, 10/19/2000
"Recession means that people's incomes, at the employer level, are going down, basically, relative to costs, people are getting laid off." - DC, 2/19/2004
"There's only one person who hugs the mothers and the widows, the wives and the kids upon the death of their loved one. Others hug, but having committed the troops, I've got an additional responsibility to hug and that's me and I know what it's like." - DC, 12/11/2002
"See, we love---we love freedom. That's what they don't understand. They hate things; we love things. They act out of hatred; we don't seek revenge; we seek justice out of love." - OKC, 8/29/2002
"God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East." - GWB to Mahmoud Abbas (Palestinian PM), 6/23/2003
"We have had triumphs, we have made mistakes, we have had sex." - George H. W. Bush, 1988, describing his special relationship with Ronnie Reagan
I give up now...
You probably know something about the first three, but probably not much about the others... Google away...
George W. Bush (Republican)
John F. Kerry (Democrat)
Ralph Nader (Reform Party)
Stanford E. "Andy" Andress (Independent)
Lawson M. Bone (Write-In)
David C. Byrne (Write-In)
John Joseph Kennedy (Write-In)
James Alexander Pace (Write-In)
Tom Trancredo (Write-In)
Thomas J. Harens (Christian Freedom Party)
Deborah Elaine Allen (Write-In)
Andrew J. Falk (Write-In)
Gene Amondson (Prohibition Party)
Michael Badnarik (Libertarian Party)
Walter F. "Walt" Brown (Socialist Party)
Roger Calero (Socialist Workers Party)
David Keith Cobb (Green Party)
Earl F. Dodge (Prohibition Party)
Charles Jay (Personal Choice Party)
John Parker (Workers World Party)
Leonard J. Peltier (Peace & Freedom Party)
Michael A. "Mike" Peroutka (Constitution Party)
Bill Van Auken (Socialist Equality Party)
And I've probably missed a bunch of others. Sorry!
"You know, I could run for governor but I'm basically a media creation. I've never done anything. I've worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business. But that's not the kind of profile you have to have to get elected to public office." - George W. Bush, 1989
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." - George W. Bush, August 5, 2004
Well, why don't you take a look at his latest article in Rolling Stone? Can you picture Duke voting for Ralph Nader in 2000? It's a difficult mental image to bring up in my head. Of course seeing Kerry going duck hunting was also somewhat surreal. Not to mention almost anything Cheney does. Or Rumsfeld says. Heck, the whole theater of cruelty lot of them.
School Prayer is a sort of a code word. It doesn't mean anything really. I think it would be a step in the right direction possibly. What matters is a return to basic discipline or morality. --Pat Robertson, Baptist Press, 6/7/86
Do as you're told: Vote Conservative. --Tory campaign button, London, 1987
There is no place left where people can discuss the realities which concern them, because they can never lastingly free themselves from the crushing presense of media discourse and of the various forces organized to relay it... When the spectacle stops talking about something for three days, it is as if it did not exist. --Guy Debord, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle
Never before has censorship been so perfect... The spectator is simply supposed to know nothing, and serve nothing. Those who are always watching to see what happens next will never act: such must be the spectator's condition. --Guy Debord, ibid.
The kindly folks at Cornfield Electronics have made a little device that cycles through all know IR "TV off" command sequences. One of these should be able to turn televisions off (regardless of manufacturer) in public locations. They got written up in Wired magazine and their web hosting hasn't been too happy, but it does look like a good device to remove televisions from our environment. Then I will pay attention to the person across from me at dinner and not the CNN screen. I promise!
Also in the news recently have been the Israeli-made cell phone jammers being used in Mexican churches, French trains, and Italian movie theaters. Or GPS jammers...
I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully --G. W. Bush
See also the Bush Calendar site.
Scheduled for sometime after the US elections, there seems to be little doubt that Israel (plus the US behind the scenes) is going to be forced to strike at Iran's nuclear weapons program. Diplomatic efforts are continuing, but Iran appears fixed on their "nuclear power generation" mechanisms. (Don't they have some oil?) The Israeli's have announced a drop dead date in November. Since it appears unlikely that the US is interested in spreading its troops out even further, the Israelis are going to be the active party. After all, they are the only country which has prevented another nation from becoming a nuclear power through air strikes (Iraq in 1981). Well, take a look at the following articles and see what you think...
JWR analysis of the issue. Holbrook's take on the matter.
Details of the BLU-109. Though I would have worked out its penetration and built enough concrete over my reactor. Did the Iranians?
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile...but is morally treasonable to the American people." - Theodore Roosevelt
Or we can just quote Douglas Adams and move on...
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies. Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just part of the way the world works. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you're after thirty-five is against the natural order of things.