Monthly Archives: July 2003

Batman the way nature intended

Oh yes. Batman: Dead End. If you are a Batman fan and you have broadband go check it out. There is a full screen version at 160MB and a small version at 48MB. It’s a very well done, 8 minute short film. In my opinion it is far closer to the way Batman is meant to be portrayed. Hollywood’s Gotham City was sterile and synthetic compared to Dead End which feels dark, gritty, and realistic. There’s no comical Joker here, but a very creepy lunatic. Yeah… I’d love to see this guy make a feature length film with the exact feel of this short.

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We’re not liberators?

But while the prince was taking the raid calmly, elsewhere in Mansur it provoked a reaction that was anything but. “We consider the Americans now as war criminals,” said Mahmoud al-Baghdadi, a 32-year-old baker. “They claim to be fighting terrorism, but they cannot defend freedom by killing disabled people.”

It’s not getting better.

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Geneva Conventions. Protocol 1.

Art. 75.

2. The following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever, whether committed by civilian or by military agents: (a) violence to the life, health, or physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular: (i) murder; (ii) torture of all kinds, whether physical or mental; (iii) corporal punishment; and (iv) mutilation;

(b) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, enforced prostitution and any form or indecent assault; (c) the taking of hostages; (d) collective punishments; and (e) threats to commit any of the foregoing acts.

The US is now violating this Article of the Geneva Conventions. US troops are taking hostages.

Atrios points this out and adds more details.

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Photo’s from the storm

Okay, I did not take any photos but my good friend Mat sure did. Nearly one week later and the clean up is in full swing. There are still many, many homes without electricity. What a crazy week it’s been. Mama Nature sure has a way of shaking things up when you least expect it. It’s not been easy but in the end, I love this kind of nature induced freak-out.

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Crazy in Memphis

Few updates for the time being. Memphis had a crazy storm Tuesday morning. Winds reported at 80 mph and massive destruction. 325,000 homes without electricity… mine included. It’s nearly impossible to get net access there right now. I’ve taken the opportunity to visit my family in St.Louis. I’m going to post from here as much as I’m able. Word in Memphis is that many folks will be without power for over a week. Yuck.

So, sorry about the sparse updates. One quick note for the geeks in the house. I’m currently online, a slow dial-up connection which my brother is sharing from his iBook. The beauty of Mac OSX is the ease of use. He dialed up, clicked share internet connection in preferences, then created a network which I joined instantly. Soooooo easy.

One last thought… impeach Bush and try him for war crimes.

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Homeland security

USA Today: Microsoft acknowledges a critical flaw in nearly all Windows software allows hackers to seize control of your computer over the Net, steal your data, delete your files, and eavesdrop on your email.

Heh. Now this is, er, funny. The spooky aliens of the U.S. “Department of Homeland Security have awarded a five-year, $90-million contract to Microsoft to supply all its most important desktop and server software for about 140,000 computers inside the new federal agency.”

Kinda not too funny that one department of the government is awarding a $90-million dollar contract to a criminal which has been found guilty of abusing monopoly power. So much for any kind of punishment. I wonder if they get cupcakes too? “Our” government hard at work.

You gotta wonder, why not Unix, Linux, or Mac OSX? All of these are, by default, more secure. Is Windows secure? Well, Zeldman says it well: “Windows can be hacked by a squirrel monkey, thus is wide open to attack.”

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Earth to Bush… come in…

George Bush would like us to forget certain inconvenient truths:

The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region. I firmly believe the decisions we made will make America more secure and the world more peaceful.

Those words were spoken by George during a meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on July 14, 2003. Now, I have to ask, was George, er, unaware of the fact that UN weapons inspectors were in Iraq? George, it was only a few months ago… try real, real hard and maybe you’ll remember it.

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The downward spiral

The situation in Iraq is apparently worsening day by day. Two more soldiers died today. One yesterday and the day before that too. It seems that it’s becoming a daily happening.

Are they serious? U.S. Plans To Enlist Iraqis in Operations: Civil Force Is Intended To Quell Resistance. Do they really think this is a good idea?


CAMP AS SALIYAH, Qatar, July 19 — U.S. military commanders plan to train and arm thousands of Iraqis to conduct military missions alongside U.S. and British troops in an effort to restore security and quell resistance by forces loyal to ousted president Saddam Hussein, the new head of U.S. military forces in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East said today.

The Iraqi army was falling apart

In the final days of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, this country’s armed forces collapsed from within, with soldiers deserting in droves and commanders of even the most elite units refusing to push their last fighters toward inevitable slaughter by a technologically superior U.S. force, former Iraqi military leaders said.

Was Iraq a current and immediate threat to the US? What evidence did the Bush and Company have? Did they have any real evidence at all? Where are the WMD? Recent developments indicate that they did not have new information which would justify anything close to pre-emptive war.

It seems to me that the primary threat to US safety is the US itself. It’s president lied to wage a pre-emptive war. It’s congress, republicans and democrats, went along for the ride and offered no dissent during the conflict. Millions of people in the US and around the planet protested what amounted to a war of aggression. It’s bizarre that the “leader of the free world” so completely ignored the voices of so many millions of people who did not want war. It is increasingly clear that the US is in no way a government by the people for the people. It’s political culture and governmental structures have made it easy for Bush to do what he has. The US is the rogue nation which needs to be stopped in it’s tracks by the world community. Is this not obvious?

The US and Britain committed a crime in waging this war. What will the consequences be? I’d say fly Bush, Blair, and their cabinets into Iraq and deposit them into the streets. Let the Iraqi people deal out whatever justice they feel necessary.

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You won’t see this reporting in a U.S. newspaper

Red, white and worried
Post-war euphoria gives way to new realities as Fourth of July finds America troubled and confused


Since George W. Bush congratulated troops on their job well done in his infamous photo op aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier on May 1, American soldiers are facing an average of 13 ambushes and attacks per day. Seventy have died, 27 from enemy fire.

The long Independence Day weekend opened here with television images of jubilant Iraqis jumping on the roof of a burned-out U.S. Humvee and a threatening audiotape from Saddam Hussein. That wasn’t supposed to be happening.

The Taliban is regrouping in Afghanistan. No one here talks much about Afghanistan any more, but the job is not finished.

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Hiding out

Spent the past few days away from the keyboard. There’s so much going on in the community of which I’m a part and in my personal zonality (i just made that word up) that I thought it better to keep my thoughts on the downlow. I think at the moment I’m feeling emotionally detatched or disconnected. Some would say that’s bad, I don’t think it is. I kinda feel like I’m watching a movie. I see turmoil, emotion, missed communication, miscommunication, disrespect… everyone seems to have a role in one mess or another. I was talking to a friend yesterday and we concluded that we need a big heart circle with everyone in our community present… maybe 25 people. Personally I think folks should be naked at this heart circle. People put up too many barriers, myself included.

We freak out about relationships. Sometimes we try to own or control. I’m starting to think that the traditional model of a “romantic relationship” (or whatever you want to call it) is a failure. Actually I’ve thought about that off and on for eight years. I’m not sure that model is the best way of going about intimacy. I guess I’m not sure what I think of the idea or emotion called love. Hollywood would have us believe in soulmates but I don’t think that is real. The modern family unit, the nuclear family, is a recent fabrication with particular purposes. It works for some people but I do not accept it as the ultimate goal or model for relationships. I think this is especially true for folks who do not intend to have children.

I wonder if we ought not develop a different mentality regarding romantic or intimate relationships. Why not have something more open with more people. I’m not talking about sex, but emotional and certain kinds of physical intimacy. Perhaps pairings which are more transient and less serious. If we love and are more intimate with more people at the same time might this not be better? If our various needs are being met by a greater pool of people, might that not be more interesting and more stable? In a way that’s what our community already does (and others also) but we have weirdness with the different kinds of intimacy.

I’ll leave it at that. I think it’s possible and would be a good thing. I’m sure there are various social and psycological barriers that will need to be worked through but in the end… well, who knows?

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