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Atomized junior- The Radio Weblog

Friday, 28 March, 2003
Attention Time Magazine

In the same vein as my last post, here is a metafilter thread unwinding from an MSNBC story. I remember Andrew Natsios (dir. US agenecy for International development) from 30 years ago when he was a substitute teacher (social studies usually, sometimes math) in my hometown's school system and lived down the street from my best friend George -Holliston MA if anybody cares. For a republican I consider him a straight shooter, and have followed the rough outline of his career over the years, from Attorny General of Massachussets, head of an NGO involved in the North Korean famine relief, and for a short while chief of the "big dig". Gist of the article is that a lot of the contracts for the rebuilding of Iraq will come out of the USIA and Halliburton has taken a first draft pass because Director Natsios has let it be known he isn't interested in the insider cronyism of his peers. If this is the deal Mr. Natsios has got my vote as mench of the year.
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halliburton. Halliburton out of the running for the $600 billion contract to rebuild Iraqs infrastructure. Andrew Natsios, director of the USAID, which is handing out most of the postwar contracts, is keen to counter any allegations of favoritism or political influence. "If I got a phone call from anybody putting any political pressure on me, I would report it immediately". Halliburton is the company formerly run by Dick Cheney, VP of the United States. [MetaFilter]
9:59:31 PM    comment [];trackback [];

Security for sale, because sometimes, things break

I've seen a couple of stories on this now Defense Adviser Perle Resigns and everyone seems to think this is a surprise. They must have missed his exchange last week when he called long time investigative reporter Seymour Hersh a home grown terrorist or close to one. What was that about? It was about this article Hersh wrote for the for the New Yorker for which Perle is threaten to sue him over, denies yet has not challenged the material facts of. It's the appearence created. Some in this administration aren't just hanging out their influence peddling shingles - they're doing cold calls and rain dances.
9:50:36 AM    comment [];trackback [];

Saturday, 22 March, 2003
In the balance

This post was mixed in my thoughts with another post I am trying to write. I've extracted this single thought, to consider it fully for a moment. A week ago a young woman died in the Gaza strip. I know it hardly seems worth while to even type those words. It's like saying there was a gang related murder in Southeast DC. Like saying the sky is full of air. But this girl was an American, and a college student named Rachel Corrie from Evergreen college in Olympia Washington. That's where Courtney Love went to school, or say Calvin Johnson if your tastes run K records style. A person from a demi-monde I could, perhaps, relate to. She was run over by a bulldozer, twice, the driver running over her again moving his rig back out. She was part of a peace group standing in front of a Palestinian house that the local Israeli authorities had marked for destruction. There are some places you can stand in front of bulldozers and they will stop even if it's just to get the authorities to drag you away, and there are some places where the bulldozers do not stop. It does no good to point to legal authority, to some piece of paper with some ones signature on it. It is irrelevant, that signature did not authorize an execution. People just figure it did - but it does point to the very real difference between standing in front of an old theater for the sake of historic preservation in the United states and standing in front of a house in the Gaza Strip. What is happening here is violence and hatred to the point and purpose of extinction of human life.

My local paper [The Washington Post] put the story in the deep of Mondays paper with no flag or note on the front page. It was off message, it diverged, it went away.

Then it came back. Driven again into the public's consciousness by a thoughtless cartoon in the Diamondback , the student newspaper at the University of Maryland. I work at Maryland - though I try to avoid the Diamondback and didn't see this cartoon Tuesday, but I did see the stories later in the week as reaction to the cartoon emerged. Campus administration weighed in, usually they try to ignore the student body as best they can. I went looking for a copy of that issue and took it home with me . It was hard to be prepared for what I found a malignant ill-conceived scrawl masquerading as editorial draftsmanship and humor, a spray of bile stuck to paper, signifying the non-presence of a comprehending human heart in the fingers and persona that inflicted that thought into the world. Here there is no compassion, no pity, no empathy. It may be true as Rousseau says that this is a feeling obscure and strong in the savage man, developed but weak in civilized man, that reason engenders vanity and reflection fortifies it. (discourse on inequality). Let love of self grow too strong and reason will never rise beyond ideology and that faculty which connects each to others will be submerged.

I see this as being similar to an incident a year or so ago in which an art exhibit at a Palestinian college, recreated the moment of destruction from a suicide bombing which displayed, with colored plastic objects hung on nylon thread, body parts and [formerly] internal organs of shattered human beings flying through the air. I encountered this story in some variety in the media at the time and while the exhibit was usually portrayed as cautionary, the tone of its engaged viewers as they were interviewed was by the largest part celebratory.

Consider for a moment a room. In this sad desolate room lies a dead child amongst the toys of youth, murdered cruelly by your enemies and their single language of fear and terror in a savage attack. agonized torment grips you. A visceral spasm palpable - no different from a punch to the stomach. A weak swirling feeling like the long movements of the sea wash over you. Your breath comes back to you but slowly extending in lamentations bitter and painful to voice. Then rage. Rushing in, charging forward with banners of righteous hatred. Punishment! revenge! The dogs that did this have started something - let's have them see it finished across their own thresholds. Arm yourselves with weapons sharp and cold: with the spear that roars for blood.

Now, come feed your indignation, while the neighbors are out to gather vengeance with edged bronze and iron. Let me take you to second shaded room nearby. Here another lies dead. A youth of the others, brazen, already indoctrinated with the foul creed of their elders. Caught willfully engaged in defying of the right and beautiful truth. Pursuing their likely planned path of cowardly murder of the innocent. This time gloriously stopped before one death could be notched to their hilt. Here is victory! Rejoice and immerse yourself in the deserved suffering and death of our enemies and all those that oppose us. Let us spit on the body now and leave.

But wait there has been some mistake. I have gotten the rooms mixed up. We have just spat in disdain on our own beloved, innocent baby. We have left their soul un-consoled, their passing unmourned. Worse yet we have felt pity, heartbreak and pain at the sight of the broken body of the guilty. Grieved and wept at their lost beauty. The rage in us rebounds our remorse centers on the lost minutes of correct feeling. We sink to our knees devastated; with focused effort we bring our recollection back to the first room. This time we see the clear truth, the unmistakable hallmarks of the damnable, so obvious and even worse than appears to the uninformed deluded eyes of the fence sitters. We know how to feel now, there is no doubt. No consideration ought be wasted on them whatsoever. They should all die.

I have played a cruel trick on you; though, there is only one room and only one dead child. I have simply led you into that room, twice, through two separate doors.
11:54:41 PM    comment [];trackback [];

Saturday, 15 March, 2003
Move along folks

Another week-end another anti-war protest. No real news here I figure. Unlikey to change anybodys mind at this point. I don't know how Google's news chewer decides its main and subsiderary links before it puts up its "and 231 related" link, but what struck me about this was the lack of the Washington Posts name on this story entity. Guess I'm not the only one that has decided there's nothing to see here. The W. Post is apparently replacing is old moto an Independent Newspaper with a new one "No sir, we don't don't bite the hand that feeds us
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Anti-war slogans ring again in Washington. United Press International - (UPI) -- Washington rang again with anti-war slogans Saturday as protesters from across the nation poured into the nation's capital.
AP News in Brief San Francisco Chronicle
Bush plans summit on gaining UN backing for Iraq war Kansas City Star
Reuters - BBC - Deutsche Welle - Independent - and 231 related » [Google News]
11:49:38 PM    comment [];trackback [];

Fade to white

Metafilter had a thread up mid-week on Lafcadio Hearn, who you say? well, this is an opportunity to find out. The name rung a small bell with me and when I had a moment I went digging through the small notebook I carry around and write stuff down in... (too be honest at the moment I have about three little notebooks meeting that description, but one is the real one the others just pale imitations) digging back about two years I find this: "Henry Adams went to Japan, and so did Lafcadio Hearn." If the purpose of my small red notebook is to produce cyrptic contextless fragements of thought, I pronounce it a triumphant success. I'll go out on a limb here and suggest the two possibly knew one another and let someone prove me wrong. Henry Adams was the Harvard prof. grandson of presidents and author of The Education of Henry Adams.
10:59:41 PM    comment [];trackback [];

This is the second story the NYT has run on this in three days. Generally my feeling is any news story combining the phrases "mystery illness", and "world health threat" is not good. The name they've given it - Severe Acute respitory syndrome. When the W.H.O. starts piling on adjectives its time to stock up on vitamin c.

Of course maybe it was just a bad day to start reading Pale Horse Pale Rider. Hey if you look at the picture in the previous post you can see the apartment building where she used to live, Katherine Anne Porter, it's that bump on that apparently nameless low ridge on the horizon, mostly a small state park.
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Rare Health Alert Is Issued by W.H.O. for Mystery Illness. The alert declared a mysterious respiratory illness "a worldwide health threat" and urged all countries to help control it. By Lawrence K. Altman and Keith Bradsher. [New York Times: NYT HomePage]
9:23:24 PM    comment [];trackback [];

Monday, 10 March, 2003
Snow Nostalgia

Still have a few photos I took when the snow was still here. A picture named mall at UMD from McKeldin Despite the tremendous hassle of all that snow, fighting for bike lane space getting to the grocery store and what. There was one part of it all that I liked. It made everything look different and new. It rarely snows all that much around here so with all the colors monochromed and in stark contrast I saw all my familiar daily surroundings as if for the first time. Second picture here is of my favorite tree. A picture named tree by queen anne hall Everyone ought to have a favorite tree, but you can't have this one thought because I called it first.
12:19:57 AM    comment [];trackback [];

Sunday, 9 March, 2003
Trickery trickery

One Web Sprite that never grew the legs I figured it would was the story of the leaked memo outlining the US Government's desire to ramp up information gathering on UN security council delgations - particularly the undecided ones. And by information gathering what is meant is spying, phone tapping wire tapping, communications, cars, rooms, elevators etc. What few mentions I saw of it early on tried to portray it as a hoax on the British newspaper that broke it or somehow or other not true. At mid-week Jack Tapper of Salon took it on, but could only say that the Independent had answered the hoax issues and was standing by the story and that while the story was not being taken up by the US press, it was not being denied just given "no comment" by the Government. I was surprised to see in the News roundup at the bottom of an online Observer/Guardian article yesterday that this story had its own section with seven stories and some others spilling over to other categories. I had accepted the notion that this was a non-story and that the UN is a den of mutual interception that would make Stanislaw Lem's Memoirs found in a Bathtub (ISBN 0156585855) seem like a understated nursery tale. If you read the memo, one thing which stands out is the language is not the language of dispassionate professional intelligence collection but something altogether more clumsy, arrogant and amateurish. You can be certain that this did not help the administration in its efforts to bring swing votes onboard. That and the remarkable degree to which this story has been suppressed in American media is the real story here.
2:50:15 PM    comment [];trackback [];

Tuesday, 4 March, 2003
CMJ was never worthy of tying the laces of the least zine' writers chucks

This is an Metafilter Item from last week. I had about 20 open windows in my browser - I've gotten into the habit of continually opening links into background windows - I just got down to this window now. CMJ it seems has been falysifing playlists. Well surprise surprise surprise [add your own Gomer Pyle accent to the catch phrase]. CMJ to those of you not familiar with it, is the college media journal. I spent some time in the college radio dj ranks. I remember CMJ right from the start trying to insert themselves as a middle man to a process that didn't need one. Nothing would seem less in touch with our ten watt punker ethos than seeing my music directors and assistant music directors reading CMJ before they even sat down and opened the records and listened to things. Those micro playlists for stations they would print in the back were nothing more than ego excersises for lazy music directors. Beyond lip service and a passing nod to independents CMJ was nothing more that a shill sheet for the major labels. It cost a small fortune too - nothing like paying for damage. The future Infinity One employees we had runing about the place bought the subscription - they didn't know to program as much as a half hour set without something like that. I put Rockpool in the same catagory as well, if any one remembers them, they never struck me as being as snake like though.
10:49:10 AM    comment [];trackback [];

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