March 2003 Archives

Cultural Sensitivity

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You're either with us or against us.

Like it or not, Canadian baseball fans will be hearing God Bless America played during the seventh-inning stretch of each team's first home game.

Toronto's SkyDome will air the song during the New York Yankees game on Monday night, a Toronto Blue Jays spokesman said. Normally, Okay, Blue Jays is played during the seventh-inning stretch.

The directive was handed down from Major League Baseball, which has decreed that God Bless America will be sung during the seventh-inning stretch of all home openers, Sunday games and holiday games to honour U.S. military men and women serving in Iraq.

His is not a house of mirth

The title of this post, along with "We can't hear your car alarms / from our renovated barn" are some of my favorite lyrics from People Are Wrong, a rock musical at P.S.122. There are only two more performances -- Saturday at 9pm and Sunday at 5pm.

Don't just stand there! Go buy tickets!

The talented cast includes our friend David Driver (web site seems to be down), John Flansburgh from They Might Be Giants, and is directed by our friend David Herskovitz. The cast also includes Maggie Moore from Hedwig, and the great music is written by Julia Greenberg and Robin Goldwasser.

Intermittent posting

I won't be posting much for a few days. Mom arrived today for a visit, and we're busy having fun. While walking around Chelsea this afternoon we spotted Tony Kushner eating at Le Gamin on Ninth Avenue. Mom saw Angels in America at Arkansas Rep, so I had to stop and point him out. We also went to see the Douglas Gordon video works at Gagosian:




I haven't had time to post it, but the night before the El Niño debacle I saw a brilliant music/theater work by Heiner Göbbels work at BAM called Hashirigaki. Go read Flying Vicar's take on it -- including photos. While you're there, do not miss the essay titled What is art for? by Jeanette Winterston.

The Onion - Special War Edition

"Baghdad resident Taha Sabri, killed Monday in a U.S. air strike on his city, would have loved the eventual liberation of Iraq and establishment of democracy, had he lived to see it, his grieving widow said." Yes, there is a special war edition of The Onion.

Boycotting America

Paris Commune

This should be fabulous. We went to a preview reception, with a few of the songs and one of the speeches, in someone's loft a few nights ago and it was amazing. It's being presented by The Civilians, who did The Ladies.

Paris Commune is a workshop production of a new piece using the cabaret form and actual songs from the period to stage the 1871 revolution of Paris - the first socialist revolution in Europe. On March 18, 1871, a sudden uprising propels the Commune into power, sending the government fleeing to Versailles. During the brief 73 days of its existence, the Commune attempts to radically restructure society. Everything is brought into question - the rights of women, religion, and even whether or not bakers should be forced to labor at night. There are many different opinions on the merits of the Commune. The army's repression of the Commune remains one of the most ruthless and horrific episodes of modern history.

It's a workshop with only a few performances. Go here to get tickets before they sell out. We're going with Glenn on the 6th.

Free Miss Kittin mix

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Go here to get a 78 minute MP3 (about 108MB) of a mix by Miss Kittin. I just burned a CD with it. It's more like the abstract stuff I heard when I first encountered her on The Frying Pan boat than the recent CD with The Hacker.

No more war posts for a bit

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OK. I need to take a break on war stuff for a bit. Here are links to my favorite news sites. Only one of them is based in the U.S. Imagine that!

Common Dreams


Guardian (UK)

The Independent (UK)

Agence France-Presse (in English)

Ha'aretz (Israel)

Google News

Or, you can click on the "other blogs" link over on the right and look at the ones under "Politics". Most highly recommended are Atrios, Daily Kos, and Nathan Newman. The Agonist seems to have updates every couple of minutes about Iraq.

Also, my partner James probably won't be able to stop himself from posting about it.

I'm going to post some cultural notes soon.

Kottke photos

Kottke has great photos from yesterday's march.

Tom Duane

I love my State Senator, Tom Duane.

Report from Bill Dobbs

The AP has a story quoting Bill Dobbs from United for Peace and Justice about what happpened at the end of the march.

The organizers of an antiwar march said Sunday police escalated tensions by trying to clear a downtown park too quickly, while Mayor Bloomberg blamed a handful of unruly protesters for the injuries of 17 police officers.

“Most people behaved themselves, said their peace and went home,” Bloomberg said, a day after thousands marched through the city to show their opposition to the war in Iraq. “Unfortunately, a handful of people really got out of control and injured 17 New York City police officers who were there to protect us all.”


United for Peace and Justice spokesman Bill Dobbs said four medics volunteering for the group were pepper-sprayed by police at Washington Square Park, while others reported seeing protesters handcuffed too tightly.

Dobbs said police were cooperative and helpful until the protest reached the park. He said officers then tried to clear the area of thousands of people too quickly, and raised tensions by massing in riot gear and on horseback.

“It was premature to clear those streets,” Dobbs said. Once officers massed in riot gear, “the police became lightning rods. It’s regrettable.”

Several protesters also complained that they were shoved by officers and sprayed with Mace, Dobbs said.

“Whatever happened down there ought to have been defused with some common sense and not trying to clear streets prematurely,” he said.

Police officials had no immediate comment Sunday. Officials had said that the protesters’ march permit expired at 4 p.m. Officers began ordering people to disperse after the permit expired.


Interesting --The NY Post article has this:

The peaceful mood turned truculent when cops started clearing the park around 3:30 p.m. - about a half-hour before the march was expected to end.

Unless if was dangerously crowded in Washington Square Park itself, it is NOT illegal for people to be in the park with anti-war signs. It is a public space, and one's presence there should not be at the whim of the NYPD.

Boondocks / reality

While reading some of the blogs linked to in my general links I'm reminded of this Boondocks.

I think you know who you are.

Reichstag / WTC


I didn't see this one, but as agitprop (and painting) it's pretty good.


Photo courtesy of Tom Moody. Go read his post on the march.

Riot Gear

I got an email from Jesse of fame -- go read his beautifully written post from early this morning -- about the fact that he only saw well-behaved police. I agree that I only saw that, except that as I got close to the end I saw more and more police officers wearing riot gear on the site streets. I finished the march around 3:30.

Tom Moody has a good photo of NYPD in riot gear from yesterday. We all know displays like this are meant to intimidate, even when we've had hours of peaceful marching so far.


Our group's Pink Triangle Peace Symbol (with glitter!) shows up in's photos of the march.

Call me paranoid

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There are currently ten stories on the NY1 home page.

Nine of them have video.

One does not: the one about yesterday's anti-war march.

Get Your War On

Hey -- do the Iraqis own their own oil fields yet? They're all gonna be rich over there now, right?

The latest Get Your War On has arrived.

Lord and Taylor on war

The Lord and Taylor on why people go to war

Fascism: see NYC/NYPD

Jimmie Breslin is right. Maybe it is time for some NYPD layoffs.


A young woman began banging her paint bucket drum so hard we couldn't hear anymore. I don't know how many were in the march, which was kept on the sidewalk by too many police. As usual, far too many.

The police at marches suggest the need for layoffs.

The faces on the police were evidence of a deep belief that the First Amendment can have nothing to do with these scruffy kids and a jobless squatter. If they try to pick it up and use it, then swing a big black billy club to squash it. Who are they to stomp along the street and call George Bush names? They ought to watch their betters on television and acquire class.

The following is from an immensely interesting transcript of Barbara Bush on an ABC-TV morning show. She was asked if she and her husband, the former president, watch television.

"He sits and listens and I read books because I know perfectly well that - don't take offense - that 90 percent of what I hear on television is supposition, when we're talking about the news. And he's not, not as understanding of my pettiness about that. But why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's going to happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Oh, I mean, it's, not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? And watch him suffer."

This is NY1's latest story on the anti-war march:

Several Arrested, Officers Injured In Largest Anti-War Rally Yet

More than 20 people were reportedly arrested and at least 10 police officers were sprayed with Mace during an anti-war demonstration that drew an estimated 200,000 people to Manhattan Saturday afternoon.

While the rally began as a peaceful one, violence broke out near Washington Square Park as police attempted to disperse the crowd at the scheduled 4 p.m. end of the rally. Several protesters were arrested and a number of police officers were sprayed with Mace as they tried to move crowds out of the area.

“I was trying to disperse, you couldn’t get through because of a line of helmeted riot police,” said a woman who participated in the protest. “They started making a line and pushing the crowd back so you could not exit. They’re squeezing in people like rats because there’s no place to go and the police are provoking what’s going to be violent.”

Riot officers and mounted police tried to get control of the crowd, announcing via loudspeaker about 5:30 p.m. that those who remained in the area could face arrest. Many protesters appeared defiant of the announcement, continuing to linger in the area and shouting “Our street” as officers tried to disperse crowds.

The protest, which began at West 35th Street and finished in Washington Square Park, was estimated to be the largest anti-war rally the city has seen since the situation with Iraq first escalated.

While tens of thousands were still marching, the NYPD decided that the city had had enough free speech for one day. I'm glad I finished earlier. I can hear all of the sirens going by my apartment on West 23rd Street.

March 22, 2003 Anti-War March

I got back a little while ago from the big march from Times Square to Washington Square Park. It took over two hours to march the whole route, once it finally started moving around 1 or so. The crowd has huge, with each block quite crowded. Given that it was at least 30 blocks of people marching for hours, and typical estimates are 1000-1500 people/block, that's in the 100,000-250,000 range.

We marched in a group including ACT UP, Housing Works, Church Ladies for Choice, and an ad-hoc group assembled a few days ago of queer activists with the working title "Flaunting Peace".

More photos may be found here.

Some favorite chants and signs:

  • How many persons/gallon?

  • Respect Democracy, Don't "Install" It

  • How did our oil get under their sand?

  • "... a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind" -- Declaration of Independence

  • No Iraqi children in my gas tank

  • Who's pro-life now?

  • Pretzels for Peace

  • This was is so heteronormative

  • Baby Bombers 'R US

  • 48 Hours / Leave the White House (chant that rose around Washington Square

The ACLU/NYCLU was handing out a good flyer with "Know your rights while demonstrating." Here is a PDF of it. After seeing cops on March 21 in Times Square telling people they couldn't walk on the sidewalk while carrying anti-war signs but were required to go into the holding pens set up with barricades, it's a good flyer to keep around.

Here is a good article from Reuters on the protests.

I just looked at CNN's web site. Is this balance?

Americans demonstrate for, against war 100,000 gather in Manhattan

Saturday, March 22, 2003 Posted: 3:29 PM EST (2029 GMT)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Supporters and opponents of the ongoing U.S.-led military campaign in Iraq took to the streets Saturday in cities across the United States.


I also hate the way all of the coverage -- including NY1 and CNN -- spend a lot of time talking about how nice it is that there was so little violence. Hello? They think that the people opposed to the war are the violent ones? NY1 also kept reminding viewers that the permit said the march would end at 4, but there were thousands still marching down Broadway, so "it should get interesting." Are they hoping the riot police (there were a lot around Washington Square) would give them some interesting footage?

On TV CNN also contrasted the anti-war demonstrations with smaller "support our troops" demonstrations near various bases around the country. It's offensive to say that anti-war people are showing hatred for our troops. No wonder CNN was expelled by the Iraqis as a "propaganda tool of the government."

See also: James's account.

Feels good

Minutes before the speech, an internal television monitor at the White House showed the President pumping his fist.

"Feels good," he said.


From Britannica Concise:

fascism: Philosophy of government that stresses the primacy and glory of the state, unquestioning obedience to its leader, subordination of the individual will to the state's authority, and harsh suppression of dissent. Martial virtues are celebrated, while liberal democratic values are denigrated. 20th-cent. fascism arose partly out of fear of the rising power of the lower classes and differed from contemporary communism (as practiced under J. Stalin) by its protection of the corporate and landowning powers and preservation of a class system.

From a column by Richard Perle in today's Guardian:

Saddam Hussein's reign of terror is about to end. He will go quickly, but not alone: in a parting irony, he will take the UN down with him. Well, not the whole UN. The "good works" part will survive, the low-risk peacekeeping bureaucracies will remain, the chatterbox on the Hudson will continue to bleat. What will die is the fantasy of the UN as the foundation of a new world order. As we sift the debris, it will be important to preserve, the better to understand, the intellectual wreckage of the liberal conceit of safety through international law administered by international institutions.

From the NY Times:

Even as he advises the Pentagon on war matters, Richard N. Perle, chairman of the influential Defense Policy Board, has been retained by the telecommunications company Global Crossing to help overcome Defense Department resistance to its proposed sale to a foreign firm, Mr. Perle and lawyers involved in the case said today.

Mr. Perle, an assistant defense secretary in the Reagan administration, is close to many senior officials, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who appointed him to lead the policy board in 2001. Though the board does not pay its members and is technically not a government agency, it wields tremendous influence in policy circles. And its chairman is considered a "special government employee," subject to federal ethics rules, including one that bars anyone from using public office for private gain.

Mr. Perle is also a member of Project for the New American Century - the people that created Rebuilding America's Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century in 2000: a plan for the U.S. to take military control of the Persian Gulf to create a "global Pax Americana".

Thanks to Lisa at Ruminate This for the links, and for inspiring this post.

Moscow Bombing, July 1941

Moscow Bombing, July 1941 by Margaret Bourke-White, via gmtPlus9.

Digby on why protest matters

Go read Digby on why protests are important.

Under cover of war

While Americans were watching footage of missiles and files on CNN, the House passed (215-212) the Bush budget which includes a $726 billion tax cut and an estimated deficit of at least $350 billion. Note that the deficit number does not include any estimate of the costs of the Iraq war. The White House is expected to submit a request next week for "emergency spending" of about $80 billion.

One Nation over God


This is nice. We've started an unprovoked war that looks to much of the world like a crusade against Muslims. The House of Representatives responds by passing this resolution:

The nonbinding resolution, passed 400 to 7 with 15 members voting "present," states that the phrase "one nation under God" in the pledge reflects the religious faith central to the founding of the nation and that its recitation is a patriotic act, not a statement of religious faith.

Does this sound particularly religious to those of you that believe in such things? As Slacktivist points out:

In other words, the phrase "one nation under God" an affirmation of America's goodness and piety, not -- as it would seem -- a statement of humility before a sovereign God. The House resolution elevates patriotism above religious faith, and thus elevates America above God. This is more frighteningly imperial than anything even Richard Perle or John Bolton has said.

Belief in a sovereign God places rather severe limits on the kind of patriotism the House seems to favor. If religious faith -- freedom of conscience -- is made subordinate to a loyalty oath of patriotism, then the First Amendment is meaningless.

Iraq snapshots

Casual snapshots of Iraqi people.

Jewelry for peace

Some celebrities are going to demonstrate their commitment to peace at the Oscars by wearing expensive jewelry with diamonds.

I surved El Niño

I went to see John Adams's El Niño at BAM tonight. Ugh. I think living in California has ruined his mind. Given the current state of the world, the last thing I want to hear is a religious work about Mary and the birth of Jesus. I live in a country whose president says he is a man of faith and God wants him to bomb Iraq to make us safe. Soaking in the most anti-woman, anti-human aspects of Christianity isn't something I want to make time for. Let's think about it: the only woman suitable to bear Jesus is a virgin, so the only really holy woman in Christianity does something no human woman can do: bear a child while remaining a virgin.

The music isn't even particulary interesting, with a few exceptions, and I love a lot of Adams's work -- especially Nixon in China and Death of Klinghoffer.

For a better written take on the whole thing, go read James.

We're not worthy of Kiki and Herb

Speaking of queer culture, while getting the demo photos from my camera, I realized I had two good photos of Kiki from the March 3 performance. She really is a performance goddess.



Anti-war protest March 21, 2003


The heavy rain made it depressing and wet, and the NYPD were pretty incompetent. They spent most of their time trying to figure out how to keep traffic moving despite big crowds, rather than dealing with crowd control in any intelligent way. We left as they started arresting people and pushing against them. We refused to move into any pens, and after seeing the Newsday photos, I'm glad.


James's sign, suitable for a queer anti-war protest, quoted The Wizard of Oz. The other side said, "Toto Knew."


Newsday has a good article. Don't miss the slideshow with photos, including nice moments like the police using a barricade to shove protesters.

After reading this Reuters story, I feel like NYC is rather amateur. There were over 1000 arrests in San Franciso.

From The Guardian:

Israeli forces fired teargas and stun grenades yesterday in an attempt to break up a memorial service for Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist killed by an army bulldozer in Gaza on Sunday.

Witnesses including several dozen foreigners and Palestinian supporters say Israeli armoured vehicles tried to disperse the gathering at the spot in Rafah refugee camp where Ms Corrie was crushed to death.

3,000 students demonstrate in Vienna

It has started

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I will be at the demo at Times Square tomorrow at 5pm. Call or email me if you want to meet up.

Is satire possible anymore?

At yesterday's meeting we talked about using satire for anti-war purposes. I'm not sure that's possible when a Supreme Court Justice (Scalia) can ban the media from a ceremony where he is to receive a free speech award.

He also said this in a speech last night:

The Constitution just sets minimums. Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires.

More discussion of this may be found here.


Word of the day: menschy

BYOQS [bring your own queer sign]

James and I spent a couple of hours with some smart queer activists talking about anti-war activism that doesn't involve a laundry list of other issues, or worrying about being polite: exactly the people I need to be around right now.

If you want to join us for the 5pm rally -- whichever day it is -- or the one on Saturday, send me an email or call me.

Here is what James had to say about it.


I've just added a new category to my blog: War.

Go read Matt Stoller on the Administration's 'audacious' plan to rebuild Iraq using private American construction companies rather than multilateral organizations with experience in nation-building in the Balkans and Afghanistan.

... just not our current regime.

From Ha'aretz:

GAZA - Palestinians held a symbolic funeral yesterday for U.S. student Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israel Defense Forces bulldozer as she protested the demolition of a house in the southern Gaza Strips's Rafah refugee camp.

Holding a stretcher draped with an American flag, some 1,000 Palestinians marched through the refugee camp as a sign of mourning for the 23-year-old American who was killed on Sunday.

"We fly a U.S. flag today to show our support to all American peace lovers - those like Rachel," said Palestinian farmer Hassan Abu Toa'ma, 24.

It was a rare change of pace for Rafah, where American flags have more often been burned than held in reverence since the Palestinian uprising began in late September 2000.

This is sick

No wonder we have almost no allies left. So the 48 hours to leave thing was just a joke?

From the BBC:

President George W Bush's spokesman Ari Fleischer said that allied troops would go into the country "no matter what", but warned the Iraqi leader that if he did not leave it would be his "final mistake".

System of a Down Video

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Michael Moore's web site has the new anti-war video he directed for System of a Down. Make sure you watch all the way to the end.

Regime change

Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choosing.

I thought this was supposed to be about disarming Iraq.

I don't think another country has ever given an ultimatum like that: change your government or we invade. Also, what's with the "his sons" part?

Robin Cook resigns

Robin Cook, leader of the House of Commons, resigns from Blair's cabinet.
Update: He receives a standing ovation from the Commons after making his statement.

Bush vs. Tic-Tacs

Bush vs. Tic-Tacs. You decide.

Holi festival


Yahoo has a nice photo of colored powders, ready for the Holi festival. Stephen Dean had a beautiful video from the festival at Henry Urbach in 2001.

Israel's army and civilians

Ha'aretz has a good column by an Israeli on the deaths of civilians at the hands of the Israeli Army.

I'll quote the end:

Israel's efforts at obfuscation are intended above all to keep our conscience clean. This is false posturing that can no longer be countenanced. When the IDF demolished a mosque on the "Philadelphi" route on the outskirts of Rafah and immediately claimed that the building had been abandoned, no one asked why the mosque had been abandoned. Here is the real sequence of events: first the Gaza Strip is occupied, then settlements are established in it, then guarded roads are built to protect the settlers. In the next stage, after the Palestinians begin to rebel violently against the occupation, we begin killing them until they are forced to abandon the mosque and indeed the entire area. Finally the "abandoned" mosque is demolished. But to us it seems that only the Palestinians destroy holy places, such as Joseph's Tomb. Our conscience is pure and unblemished, always.

Protesters halt London oil trade

Return of Bazima

Server problems solved, Bazima returns with a post about her trip to Florida.

Bush already guilty

A University of Washington law professor says Bush may already be guilty of international law because of our treatment of captured Al Qaeda prisoners. Go read the letter the NY Times decided not to publish.

I am so angry my hands are shaking.

I do not want one more American dollar going to Israel. It is behaving like an apartheid state -- persecuting the Palestinians with brutal force, and murdering people who try to prevent this outrage.

Yesterday an IDF (Israel Defense Forces) bulldozer ran over and killed an unarmed American woman, Rachel Corrie aged 23. This page has more information. Be warned: there are graphic photographs of what happened to her, but I think it is very important that such picture are shown to the world.

We give nearly $3 billion a year to Israel at this point, and it's being used to kill people. They are requesting an additional $12 billion for this year.

I do not want the blood of Palestinians or anyone else on my hands.


Related Stories from Google News.


See earlier coverage of the activists on James's site.

Global Vigil for Peace

I'll be at Union Square around 7pm for the Global Candlelight Vigil for Peace.

Also, the March 22 protest march in NYC has been approved. More info here.

The former head of the Pacific Stock Exchange was arrested in San Francisco blocking traffic in the financial district to protest war with Iraq.

American protester killed in Gaza

An American peace protester, Rachel Corrie aged 23, was killed by an IDF bulldozer in Gaza. Update: CNN article.


I love Naples. A scuffle broke out in front of the Naples Cathedral between supporters of the Bourbon and Savoy royal families, preventing members of the Italian royal family (Savoy) from attending mass.

Eileen Myles

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I didn't realize she had a web page. Fabulous! Thanks to Mr. Trinity for letting me know. I first met her through Paul Schmidt -- a genius we lost before we should have.

New flu

Something else to worry about? A new deadly flu appears in Asia.

Reporters or whores

At some point reporters have to decide whether they are journalists or whores.

Ugly Americans

Those are just the sort of people that make me cringe while traveling in Europe.

Ugliness in my home state


ACLU Warns Arkansas School to Stop Persecuting Gay Student:

JACKSONVILLE, AR -- The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging officials at Jacksonville Junior High School over repeated punishment of a 14-year-old student for being openly gay. In a letter to school officials sent today, the ACLU demanded that the school stop violating the student's rights and remove all unconstitutional disciplinary actions taken against him from his record by March 21 or face legal action.

In its letter, the ACLU said that school officials "outed" the gay student, Thomas McLaughlin, to his parents against his wishes and have since told him he must not discuss being gay while at school, forced him to read from the Bible and disciplined him for being open about his sexual orientation.



Update from my friends at the ACLU. You can send supportive emails to Thomas via

Back to Iraq 2.0

After seeing an article in Wired, I added Back to Iraq 2.0 to my blog links.

Sporting a cameraman's vest and lugging a satellite phone, Christopher Allbritton may be no match for heavy artillery. But he's apparently got enough guts to be the Web's first independent war correspondent.

Allbritton, a former New York Daily News reporter living in the East Village, plans to file stories directly to his weblog, Back to Iraq 2.0, next month as part of an independent news-gathering expedition to Iraq.

Allbritton says he wants to cover the humanitarian effects the likely U.S.-Iraq war will have on civilians in Iraqi Kurdistan, which is protected by a U.S.-imposed no-fly zone over northern Iraq.

While "embedded" reporters with backing from major news outlets bump along on prearranged Hummer rides and report what they see in the mainstream media, Allbritton will hitchhike and bribe his way through an area that could become the most dangerous place in Iraq outside Baghdad.


Here's another, mentioned by Boing Boing: Kevin Sites, a CNN correspondent.

Funny homeland security

Who says Homeland Security can't be funny?

Perle & Seymour Hersh

If he's so pro-American and anti-international law, why is Richard Perle suing the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh for libel in the UK?

NY Press Daily Billboard

They certainly seem to be better with the new editors/owners. People such as David Ehrenstein and Atrios/Eschaton are contributing to their Daily Billboard.

Sofitel / flag

Sofitel removes French flags from hotels.

Halliburton dirty bomb

Remember the story about Iraq possibly getting material for a dirty bomb from Nigeria? Which company "lost" the material in the first place? Cheney's own Halliburton.


A carnival float shows paper mache figure of German conservative opposition leader Angela Merkel emerging from the buttocks of Uncle Sam during the traditional Rose Monday carnival parade in Duesseldorf, March 3, 2003. Merkel has strongly criticized the German government's anti-Iraq war stance and recently visited Washington. The Rose Monday parades in Cologne, Mainz and Duesseldorf are the highlight of the German street carnival season.

[via Boing Boing]

Government agencies opened a package mailed between two Associated Press reporters last September and seized a copy of an eight-year-old unclassified FBI lab report without obtaining a warrant or notifying the news agency. [via Atrios]

French Toast


It's probably American -- possibly named after an Albany chef named Joseph French.

ACT UP / Roche

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ACT UP has photos and a statement from its protest of Roche's new drug Fuzeon's cost: $25,000 per year.

A few more photos may be found here.

I love the French

From the French Embassy:

The French Embassy in Washington said French fries actually come from Belgium.

"We are at a very serious moment dealing with very serious issues and we are not focusing on the name you give to potatoes," said Nathalie Loisau, an embassy spokeswoman.

GYWO #21

Get Your War On 21 has arrived.

Oh yeah, I'm cool

The newspapers won't even print the title, but Suzan-Lori Parks' new play Fucking A, is the hottest ticket in New York.

My mother is coming to New York at the end of the month, and we already have tickets to take her. We're also taking her to see a real musical instead of the crap that Broadway produces these days: People Are Wrong at P.S.122.

A cleaner Times Square

I suspect most tourists would rather ignore a porn shop than risk getting shot.

Eight people were shot and two were stabbed when fighting broke out in a crowded Times Square nightclub early yesterday, sending people rushing for the exits over the bodies of those wounded in the fray.

Though two of those hurt in the second-floor club at the Broadway City Arcade on West 42nd Street were in critical condition, no one was killed, authorities said.

I don't recall things like this happening too often before Rudolph "bring my mistress to official events" Giuliani decided to make Times Square safe for Disney and chain restaurants.

Kidnapping children

The U.S. and Pakistan are now involved in kidnapping and interrogating children.

Americans turning to foreign news

British news sites are seeing unprecedented traffic from US readers as Americans turn to Old Europe for Real News. [via Boing Boing]

Bush had decided by last summer

Buried in a NY Times article, I found this (Abdullah is King of Jordan):

Jordanian officials say that Abdullah, told by President Bush at the White House last summer that he would not be dissuaded from military action to topple Mr. Hussein, chose to limit Jordan's losses. "The king asked the president, 'Can I change your mind?' and the president told him bluntly, 'No,' " one Jordanian official said. "From that point on, we began preparing for war, and trying to minimize the political and economic costs."

Do you see the word "disarmament" in there?

Alec Soth at ArtKrush

Go look at Alec Soth's photos on ArtKrush.

Drawn In

This is one of my favorite artists' anti-war things I've heard about -- Drawn In -- which happened on March 5.

We invite artists and others around the world to gather on Moratorium Day, March 5, in their local museums which exhibit ancient near eastern art. In New York, this action will take place from 9:30 to 5:30 in the Assyrian gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

We will respectfully draw with pencil on paper the art around us, which was created as early as five thousand years ago in the land now known as Iraq, where urban life and the written word originated.Our goal is to call attention to all of the civilizations which have flourished in Mesopotamia under so many names and cultures: Sumer, Babylonia, Assyria, the Arab/Muslim Abbasid Empire and contemporary Iraq.

This is a peaceful vigil, made in protest against US foreign policy under George W. Bush. If someone asks what we are doing, we will speak quietly with them and explain our position, then continue to draw. We will keep in mind the intention: to pay homage to this land, culture and people, which our government is planning to destroy. We are deeply concerned about an imminent threat to human life, and to the memory and history embedded in all of Mesopotamia, modern Iraq.

The web site has pictures of the action.


The Washington Post's "Style Columnist" wonders whether Bush was a bit medicated for his pseudo-press conference.

Worshipping Mark Morford

Go sign up to get his regular emails, so you don't miss things like this:

I get this a lot: Hey Mark, you know what you should do, you pathetic piece of liberal S.F. scum? You should kneel down right now and thank our angry God there's a hard-ass non-pussified non-wimpy U.S. military out there protecting your pathetic little butt, baby. Isn't that thoughtful?


Let us now speak blasphemy. Let us point up something no one seems to be mentioning, as Shrub sends in 300,000 of our youth to blast a cheap thug who is, by every account, no serious threat to the U.S., and never has been, and who had nothing to do with 9/11, and whose ties to terrorism are tenuous at best, all while rabid North Korea happily buys more nuke technology from desperate Pakistan and sells the finished product to the highest bidder.

Here it is: The military does not protect my freedom. Our soldiers are not out there right now safeguarding me, or you, or us, from some sort of total, '50s-era, Red Scare-esque dictatorial overthrow of our nation; nor is the military guaranteeing I have the right to write this column any more than it is protecting your right to read it, or to protest the war and speak freely and smoke imported French cigarettes and watch porn and drive really fast. Not anymore, they're not. Not this time.

More than ever before in recent history, the otherwise worthy U.S. military is right now in service not of the people, not of the national security, but of the current government regime and its corporate interests. Has it always been this way? Of course. But this time, with our smirky Enron president and cash-hungry CEO administration, it's never been so flagrant, or insulting, or invidious.


Is the military protecting us from terrorism? Doubtful. By most every estimate, Shrub's war will only ignite more anti-U.S. hatred, spark more countries to fuel up and prepare for America's random attack. We are not pouring water on the dying embers of U.S. revulsion -- we are kicking them. As hard as we can.

I understand and value the need for a strong military. I appreciate the necessity. But the war in Iraq does nothing but denigrate the value and integrity of our military. Note to conservatives: Those soldiers aren't out there dying for you, they're dying for strategic political power, for some oil exec's portfolio. They're protecting the American oligarchy. Does that make you feel proud?


Afghanistan homicides

Two prisoners who died while being held for interrogation at the US military base in Afghanistan had apparently been beaten, according to a military pathologist's report. A criminal investigation is now under way into the deaths which have both been classified as homicides.

Art Art Art

Busy art weekend! If I'm not too feverish -- still have my cold -- I will be at the Friday and Saturday Scope Art Fair parties, and possibly head to Williamsburg on Saturday for some of their festivities. I'll probably go to the Armory Show during the day on Saturday.

Britain's dirty secret in Iraq

From the Guardian:

A chemical plant which the US says is a key component in Iraq's chemical warfare arsenal was secretly built by Britain in 1985 behind the backs of the Americans, the Guardian can disclose.

Documents show British ministers knew at the time that the £14m plant, called Falluja 2, was likely to be used for mustard and nerve gas production.

Senior officials recorded in writing that Saddam Hussein was actively gassing his opponents and that there was a "strong possibility" that the chlorine plant was intended by the Iraqis to make mustard gas. At the time, Saddam was known to be gassing Iranian troops in their thousands in the Iran-Iraq war.

But ministers in the then Thatcher government none the less secretly gave financial backing to the British company involved, Uhde Ltd, through insurance guarantees.

FT: lunacy from Bush

The Financial Times says Bush's economic policy is lunacy.

Nuns prepare for trial

Our SCLM (so-called liberal media) sucks. I just heard about this.

February 22, 2003

Carol Gilbert, 55, Jackie Hudson, 68, and Ardeth Platte, 66, have been held since shortly after their Oct. 6 arrests at the tiny Clear Creek County Jail in Georgetown. The sisters have cooled their heels there since the Federal Detention Center in Englewood can't accommodate women.And, although they could have been free months ago on personal recognizance bonds, they have stayed put because they decline to sign a promise they will stay clear of further legal trouble.

But they appeared no worse for wear after nearly five months of confinement and were met Friday by several dozen fellow pacifists who crowded the court benches to show their support.


The nuns, operating under the umbrella of Sacred Earth & Space Plowshares II, a national movement for nuclear disarmament, trespassed early the morning of Oct. 6 on to the site of a Minuteman III nuclear missile site in northeastern Weld County.

There, as they chanted and prayed, they allegedly poured what is believed to have been their blood on the silo missile lid, in the shape of crosses.

They are slated for trial March 31 on charges of damaging of federal property, and of injuring, interfering with or attempting to injure national defense material.

Their defenses largely are linked to a theory this was a crime of necessity. They say America, by arming itself with hundreds of first-strike capability nuclear missiles, is in violation of the United Nations charter, numerous treaties and long-established, internationally accepted rules of war.

More than once, a defendant or her lawyer pointed to America's nuclear arsenal and the fact that recent reports indicate the Bush administration has considered scenarios where a nuclear response could apply to Iraq.

Colin de Land

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Colin de Land, gallerist/art lover extraordinaire, has died.

Arrested for a t-shirt

A man was arrested at an Albany-area mall for wearing a "Give Peace a Chance" t-shirt.

Janet Rehnquist

More immoral Republicans: Janet Rehnquist, daughter of U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist, is stepping down as inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, in the face of allegations of professional misconduct, several sources told CNN Tuesday.

Get Your Sad On

Get Your Sad On: A tribute to Mr. Rogers.

On a lighter note...

I'm going to the 7:30 show of Kiki and Herb at Knitting Factory tonight.

I note that Knitting Factory Hollywood has Ellen Degeneres while the NYC one is putting on people like Kiki and Herb. That rather sums it all up, doesn't it?

Courtesy of Chris, here is an MP3 of Kiki and Herb's "People Die". It's high quality, so it's rather big (10.9 MB).


Yes, I know I should really be going to a performance of Lysistrata. There is one at Barracuda at 4pm...

Refuting Kenneth Pollack

No War Blog has links to two good refutations of Kenneth Pollack's arguments for attacking Iraq.

A night in Williamsburg

Williamsburg galleries will be open until midnight this Saturday, March 8 -- followed by an afterparty at northsideBank. More details may be found here.

In honor of France's pro-peace stance, Plus Ultra Gallery will be holding a wine tasting featuring French wines from 9-midnight.

Tom Friedman: Idiot, part II

I now feel completely justified in my opinion of Thomas Friedman.

Go read Digby on Sunday's column:

This wishful thinking is running amuck among people who are even less dazzled by the President’s manufactured machismo than Tom Friedman. They cling to the idea that even though this administration has fouled up every single foreign policy initiative, that they wasted all of the U.S. moral authority emanating from 9/11, that they have been proven over and over again to be the boldest and most shameless liars to ever occupy the White House, that somehow they “Just Have To” do this one right. The long bomb “Just Has To” connect.

I think it’s time for everybody to start considering just what we are going to do in the event this thing, like every single other thing this administration has done, goes wrong? What are we going to do when the "It Just Has To Work" theory of geopolitics fails?

Also, go read David E.

This is the result of our "liberation" of Afghanistan. Malnutrition rates have doubled since 2001. We bombed the country from 30,000 feet, killed thousands, and now we're abandoning it.


Suffering from severe malnutrition and a distended stomach, Ahqel Khan, 2, of Khost, smiles as his grandmother, Khatou, helps him stand, at the Indira Ghandi Children's Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 25, 2003. Khan's development skills have been severely stunted due to his malnutrition, and he is still unable to crawl or walk. Dr. Assef Ghecy of the French non-governmental organization Action Contre de la Faim, says that the percentage of children in Kabul suffering from severe malnutrition has increased from 6 percent in 2001 to 11 percent in 2002. This is largely due to inadequate living conditions for recent refugees returning to Afghanistan.

Photographer attacked by NYPD

The Village Voice has photographs of New York Daily News photographer Susan Watts getting knocked down at the intersection of 53rd Street and Third Avenue on February 15, 2003 while covering the anti-war rally. Yes, she was knocked to the ground by NYPD officers.

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