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Atomized junior- The Radio Weblog

Saturday, 28 February, 2004
 
Supra Tuesday

My official (says so right on the cover) P.G. county specimen ballot has arrived in the mail. Primary Election Tuesday March 2 2004 Polls open 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. I take a look in side to see what awaits. No Republicans are running to challenge Geo. W Bush, how odd. So there is only a democratic ballot inside. President of the United States Vote for one: Carol Moseley Braun, Wesley K Clarke [doesn't ring a bell], Howard Dean [says here he's from Vermont - who knew], John Edwards [this guy needs a middle initial], Dick Gephardt [name's familiar can't picture the face], Mildred Glover [Mildred Glover?], John F. Kerry [JFK], Kucinich, Lieberman, LaRouche [I thought he was still in jail], and Alfred Sharpton, Jr. What no Nader? then again has anyone ever seen Mildred Glover and Ralph Nader together at the same time?

On the following pages there are lists of delegates separated by sex to the convention with the candidate they are pledged to in parenthesis. Pick four from about thirty names each. I'm puzzled this seems to be where the real action is. One of the LaRouche delegates is named Pierre Fatal.

I saw Kerry and Edwards together in the debate with Larry King. They were being so sweet with each other it was very touching. For a moment I thought they were going to announce they were eloping to San Francisco to get married. I feel strongly about the middle initial thing for Edwards; though. 'W' might be coming open soon, but not till the end of the year, and he needs one now. He could try 'X', there used to be a politician back in Massachusetts (he had a radio commercial with a jingle), Francis X Belloti, strangely he was just Frank Belloti when he hit the big time. 'Z' is the one I think, John (J.Z.) Edwards, a natural.
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Friday, 27 February, 2004
 
Phylum : Integrity, subphylum : scientific, subclass : political.

Last week the Union of Concerned Scientists held a press conference to release a report Scientific Integrity in Policymaking. It garnered a lot of press at the time (that was the idea). The article Scientists Accuse White House of Distorting Facts in the New York Times covers things well, so does the Tom Toles editorial cartoon that ran in the Washington Post later in the week. Two articles stood out. One appearing in the 08 March issue of nation The Junk Science of George W. Bush by Robert F. Kennedy jr. is a strong journalistic piece that parallels and recomposes the history and argument of the UCS's report and leaves one with a better sense of the problem (came across that link first in comments to a K5 piece. The other interesting article was in the International Herald Tribune IHT: When science was thwarted before which compares the case of Trofim Lysenko the paladin of Stalinist science with the growing conception of science of the Bush Administration. As Mark Green puts it in a piece for Alternet.org his policy process is more catechismic than empiric - instead of facts leading to conclusions, conclusions lead to 'facts'. AlterNet: W's Reality Gap. The key point is the sense of a creeping ideology moving in to re-organize all things.

About a month ago I had been trying to convince my sister of just this sort of thing (this would be my older sister Ann). That some industries and industrial trade groups were embarked in a long term project to create their own army of scientists, credentialed expert witnesses who will reliably gainsay, assail, and prevent the formation of any scientific consensus that isn't conducive to their bottom line. They want nothing from the Sierra club, from Greenpeace, from the Nature Conservancy to gain any catchet from the public at all. With the Bush administration they have found the perfect authoritarian partner. My sister mentioned something called the Proposed Bulletin on Peer Review and Quality Information Federal register 15 Sep 03 (pdf) from the Office of Mananagement and Budget's OIRA Regulatory Matters office. I hadn't heard about it, but the Union of Concerned Scientist's report takes this issue up in the last section of Part I.

The new rule proposed by OMB would centralize control of review of scientific information relied upon in policymaking at federal agencies, even though OMB fails to identify any inherent fl aws in the review processes now being used at these agencies. The proposed rule would prohibit most scientists who receive funding from a government agency from serving as peer reviewers, but would permit scientists employed or funded by industry to serve as reviewers (unless they had a direct financial interest in the issue under review).
This is a government wide ruling that will have the force of law when it takes effect. Currently it is in a "call for comments" stage. There is another page - 2003 Information Quality Peer Review where the comments received so far can be read. They are in pdf format and 1 to 3 pages in length. I read ones by the American Library Assn., the National Academy of Science, and the American Bar Assn among others. The unifying element to these was that no one seems quite to know where the need for such a move came from, and view it awkward restrictive and unnecessary.

The Bjorn Lomborg book the skeptical environmentalist epitomizes the whole trend. Starting, as he tells it, from the point of an earnest environmentalist Lomberg looks into the work of economist Julian L. Simon (who taught here at the University of Maryland in fact). Simon edited a book called the Resourceful earth: a response to Global 2000, and wrote one called Population matters: people, resources environment, and immigration. You can grasp his basic thesis from the titles: human ingenuity is infinite - you can never have too many people. If scarcity - relative or absolute - comes about, the cost of the resource in question will increase (exponentially?) and human resourcefulness will answer for it. Lomborg decides that Simon can't be de-bunked or disregarded, and writes his book essentially claiming that what the entire modern environmental movement is responding to (global warming, deforestation, species extinction) are mere phantoms. From the tower tops of one hundred coal burning power plants, one hundred energy industrialists fling garlands into the air and cry let one hundred flowers bloom! The specter of loss will be entertained no more.

Or look at tobacco. For years there was conclusive statistical evidence that smoking was related to cancer. The Tobacco industry wasn't about to pay damages or allow itself to be regulated on that account. They looked for a threshold of accountability that turned on evidence of a process by which the chemicals in burning tobacco interacted with the chemicals of the human body at a molecular level to produce uncontrolled fiberous cell reproduction. It always seemed to me that they were surprised when medical science began to produce such evidence. In reaction to this and in other area's where the quiet working of research produced bodies of data that lead to conclusions that restricted the freedom of industry, funding lines, career paths and research institutes were established to create a permanent counter-evidentiary avenue. In the process of which establishing one difference between technology and science.
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Wednesday, 25 February, 2004
 
Hey, Ralphie Boy.

I saw Ralph Nader on the Lehrer News hour on Monday. He gave a better account of himself than I would have presupposed. He doesn't have much love lost for people who don't think he should run. As he doesn't have much love lost for Bill Clinton or Clinton style democrats. This is much of the problem - he truly cannot see the difference between centerist globalist democrats and George Bush. To people who would say "those who don't want Nader to run don't understand democracy". I would say this in return. First simple and declaritive, I understand democracy just fine, Some people these days seem to think that having a point of view immunizes them from criticizm of it. In the last election Nader's green party candidacy possibly tipped the balance in some localities and those who still see difference between the democrats and republicans would be upset to see that repeated. Losing the presidency this time would put the democrats largely out of the federal government for 10 years to a generation (between a wholly conservative Supreme court and an entrenched, redoubted republican congress.). Democracy is not only a loftly abstract ideal, it is a thing in practice on the ground in dust among the people.

What Nader is about these days is his ego, I don't mind him not stepping down from the soap box, but he doesn't seem to be able to get over himself. He insists on being a celebration to his own purity of conviction and unsuccumbed compromise. He isn't a politition, who can't afford such fine robes, and never will be. He also doesn't understand that this country has become very conservative - that the great society libralism of the new left is over. Those parts of it that did not get entrenched will not. His great steed - as noble as Traveler - the courser Covair is tired and needs the quite green of pasture. Now is a time for guarding what gains remain in environmental, and consumer protection, in equal rights of all who work for this nation, and redeveloping principles for this to continue.

This republic goes through phases where it can conduct its affairs with astonishing puritinism, and others when the concepts of "Good Government" just set the power brokers laughing. Perhaps the worst times are when the one is being said and the other being done. This is what Ralph Nader sees. I am not going to take that away from him. I watched Frontline last night (blowing off whatever was on Fox or the mouse channel) an engaging tale of how Tom Delay and Speaker J Dennis Hastert continually rewrite the tax code so that looping hole corporations like Wachovia pay no ($ 0.00) taxes. Well taxes are bad aren't they, money for the shiftless poor - DeLay's doing the Lords work there, and all of congress signs on.

On second thought let Nader run, this will not hurt his legacy. This government isn't safe at certain speeds.
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Sunday, 22 February, 2004
 
Wither Courier

Something that was on Slate this week caught my eye: the U.S. State Department has apparently issued a proclamation to switch all their official documentation from Courier 12 to Times New Roman 14 Courier Dispatched.... Nothing perks me up like a good typeface discussion. I have surrendered much abused english in my day from Selectric i's and ii's with their spinning Courier golf balls to paper. Courier to Times New Roman; though, not really seeing this I must say. Not the same thing at all. Apples and Oranges. Do they mean for press releases, correspondence, message traffic, as well as published PR tripe? Would they put a declaration of war out on Times New Roman? Well, maybe that I could see (they could call it New Roman Times) .

I had the posts of my old site Atomized (what I call atomized sr. now) done in Times NR. I liked the way it looked. I think I even had the style sheet set to give the led graph a different line height for effect. This Radio Userland template turns everything into Verdana 12. Can anything ever seem exciting in Verdana 12?

When I type these posts up in textedit on my iBook I have the default typeface set to American Typewriter 12. It all seems so much less when posted up on the web in Verdana. Of course that may not really be Verdana's fault. American Typewriter bears a good resemblance to the type of this machine A picture named Royal_quitedeluxe.jpeg which sits on a bureau over in another room. This is one of the typewriters I learnt to type on (the other being an vastly larger and far more ancient black Royal my Mother used in college). This machine was my grandfather's, my Mothers Father, on it he typed out innumerable sermons then delivered to the good Methodists of Taunton, New Bedford, Middleboro, Manchester CT and places in between. The Rev. John Manley Shaw, or as I knew him growing up; Rev. Sandy Dunes, which is how the birthday and Christmas cards would come.

I think I will find one corner of Atomized jr I will set in Courier, and another I will arrange to be in American Typewriter.
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Friday, 20 February, 2004
 
TomPaine's Dreyfuss Report.

As a minor follow on to the preceding piece, I noticed that the web site Tompaine.com has started an embedded web log dedicated solely to the situation in Iraq which they are calling the Dreyfuss report - after reporter Bob Dreyfuss, who is running it. It seems to be a more complex content management system emulating a web log, I haven't quite got the hang of its navigation yet. Its inauguration was this last wednesday 18 Feb 04. One of the things I noticed in that days post I wanted to point out is where he is recommending sources and says:
Check out "Baghdad Burning", a blog by a beautifully articulate 24-year-old Iraqi woman. Her thoughts read like a diary, a political commentary and novel all wrapped together. (post: Iraqi Voices)
Mir's Dim Sum Diaries has had that link on her blog roll for a couple months now. Way ahead of you there Bob. Go Mir! The Dreyfuss report seems to have gotten of to a gang buster start judging from the first two days. He seems intent on catching up and getting a handle on the story. Most news sites now have a special Iraq section (NPR has a nice one Beyond the War in Iraq), but these sites demonstrate the general failure of the press on Iraq from the near absolute lack of questioning coverage in the year leading up to the war and it's initial conduct - which is that the coverage is reactive and massively behind the wave front of the story. This may be a case where small is beautiful and a web log is the right tool. --- 22Feb04: made a minor correction to the Dreyfuss link so that it will bring the index page and not just last Thurdays post.
._._. pb _._

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Thursday, 19 February, 2004
 
Wheat from the chaff

When it comes to military intelligence, you get what you pay for. You pay a little to know a little, get a heads up. You pay more to know more certainly. If you want to know a particular thing you must design create and fund a specific program to gain that particular thing. Then, if you want to act on what you know, you pay again, and pay very steeply. The information that comprises intelligence is gained by gleaning open sources, and through techniques and channels of clandestine nature. Acting draws a path back to these latter and they dry up or are thwarted. They must then be rebuilt or new methods provided for at great expense.

This problem of knowing and acting is compounded if the action desired is a large scale demonstration of force on an international stage. Legitimate use of force asks for a high level of knowing. It wants to be multipily sourced, vetted, and demonstrable. This last means that you must lay something out - something akin to common legal expectations of evidence that would be required to deprive someone in civil society of property or life either to the people of the nation or nations or their representatives. War is not arrest or corporal punishment, it is capital punishment.

In many ways Intelligence is simply a subset of information gathering in general with its own group of techniques. Communications analysis falls into the two general catagories : quantitative and qualitative. One could look at how much communication traffic appears to be occurring and between how many nodes. This would include not only electronic means, but physical means: couriers and transactions. One could also intercept and possess these communications and try to determine their meaning or put it into some sort of context.

Photo-intelligence is another of these technical means. I learned the beginnings of aerial photo-intelligence where everyone in the military used to learn it, a school at Lowery AFB in Denver CO. Photo-intelligence runs the gamut between very objective and almost entirely subjective. Mostly it attempts to identify activity through associated physical objects. It attempts to ascertain the properties of objects: size shape, shadow, texture, type, color, material. From there it tries to speculate what can and cannot occur with, around, or within these objects or object clusters - their purpose. Or as we said at Lowery: What? I didn't join the damn Navy to learn trigonometry
[CPO] Sailor?
Sorry chief-- I didn't join the damn Navy to learn trigonometry, Sir!
that's better sailor
.

When Secretary of state Powell went to the United Nations I was hoping he would have something to say. Something that would make me think they had something. A look through the keyhole that would sweep away the disparity between the administrations single-mined read of the situation and everyone else's questioning or more nuanced reads. They had nothing. They had pictures of buildngs and complexes and were saying things about them that were at the end of a long chain of conjecture and assumption, that had gotten beyond what the photographed objects could say for themselves.

Human Intelligence or humint is the biggest part of intelligence work, direct observation or inquiry. There is a tendency to see this work as people versus gadgets, and to place people ahead of the antennas and cameras. The Navy, used to working with mechanical devices, had no such prejudices. If a collection raised more questions than it answered, you tried to get closer and more personal with the next round. The intelligence and counter-intelligence worlds are a paranoid cowboy culture, and delusional mind sets like the FBI's Robert Hanson are not as abborational as some would prefer to believe. If you are familar with it - think of the book Memoirs found in a Bathtub by Stanislaw Lem. The various Iraqi expatriates told the administrations AEI crowd a great many things, for their own reasons. Little or none of it usefully true. You get what you pay for.

Intelligence is a multifaceted and fragile thing. The intelligence community conducts collection and analysis - then they provide customer service by developing products. A lot of attention gets focused on a few key products - like the president's daily briefing and the national intelligence estimate. Since the Ford administration a number of people circulating in and around the military industrial complex (a phrase made memorable in a speech by Dwight Eisenhower) have been hammering away at these products as exercises in bureaucratic pollyanna groupthink. No matter what the threat from whatever direction the CIA was underestimating it. This heterodox inconclasm produced two results. first the CIA under this constant pressure began producing top level estimates which lay open to interpretation and were grounded only in their footnotes. The second thing is that as these people came together in the second Bush admistration now holding high ranking offices in the DOD and White House, They seem to have been unable to comprehend the totality of their power as the new institutional orthodoxy and produced intelligence largely divorced from reality. Paul Wolfowitz, and Douglas Feith's office of Special plans produced a privileged stove-piped narrative systematically pressuring the community and distorting the product - gaming the system. The CIA, out of the business of critical analysis made no waves rocked no boats.

The Neoconservatives have talked a lot about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and democracies in the middle east. There is little evidence of either to be seen. President Bush is pleased to tell people that he knows that Iraq will not become an Islamic Republic because Adnan Pachachi, Ahmad Chalabi, and Abdel Aziz al Hakim have sat in his office and told him that's not what will happen Daily outrage, the nation. The U.S. and the CPA have encouraged low level civic democracy on one hand In Iraqi Towns, Electoral Experiment Finds Some Success (washingtonpost.com) while fighting national democratic aspirations as much as they can with the other (Guardian Unlimited | Of course the White House fears free elections in Iraq. Seeking to control a constitution writing and annointed process that will allow them to turn sovereign authority over to a preselected few. When the talked-about reasons melt away before your eyes like a soap bubble dragonfly, what is left is not an impenetrable mystery. What was done, was done for the other obvious reasons. Paul Wolfowitz has been saying as much since May. Iraq does indeed swim on a sea of oil, and the battalions and squadrons we had in Saudi Arabia will sit better and ever more visibly in the long run in Iraq.

The neoconservative monomania on Iraq was a false positive that left them looking on Libya, Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea. You could call these false negitives. Al Qaeda's move towards outreach global terrorism got by them and the FBI. There is little the CIA can say about this, they seem to have come to conceive their new national role as awaiting and sweating the New Right's fantasies CIA chief defends his analysts | csmonitor.com. The scale of the breakdown and degree of denial (Kojo Nnamdi interview. AEI fellow Laurie Mylroie 12Feb04) is the real story in all of this, it is undoubtedly what is pushing David Kay in the direction he has been going. They are eyeless in Gaza at the mill with the slaves.

Call this the Post Dreadnaught Era of intelligence collection. The Dreadnaught was a British Warship completed in 1906. It was revolutionary in the totality of its design and it started an arms race even before it hit the water. It was also very large, and took a couple of years to build. Displacing nearly 22,000 tons some five or six hundred feet long and made of metal, it pretty easy to spot from a distance and awkward to hid. Formerly things that could hurt a nation: warships, fleets of warships, or armies were like that; awkward to hid. Now things that kill the better part of a large city are luggage sized. Chemical weapons can be assembled in the same facilities that manufacture other industrial chemicals. Nuclear weapons while much harder to understand design and build, are open to component architecture and incremental transfer of parts, technique and assembly.

One element remains constant; the resources and interests of a state are involved in these. Even within the realm of stateless terrorism competence and skill sets, seem to emanate from the direction of state security forces. This is why some still believe the War in Iraq Was the Right Mistake to Make. Until a time when the granularity of intelligence collection catches up with the granularity of potential threats volatile grand-strategizing will remain ascendent and this will never deliver opportunity or democracy to anyone.
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Tuesday, 17 February, 2004
 
Adelphi North - a poem

Adelphi North

season falls grey seamless layered cloud close boxing delivered day rung in by semi-tones muted pleasant Taut felt, fabric pressed flat against lowered sky as routes errands steps press against ground inscribing circles scratched from doors to destinations staked between background browns over dry yellow grass dense winter green in half-tone light


._._. pb _._
The adelphi north is a bus, not a magic bus as such, more a bridge as in lines composed upon adelphi north... But as a wharf can be a disappointed bridge so can a bus be a disappointing one
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Saturday, 14 February, 2004
 
LOTR for short

Last Saturday my sisters and some assorted nieces, nephews went out to see Return of the King again before it left the Uptown. I had not seen it yet, so I went along. I only got around to reading the book last year. They've been steeped in this for about 30 years and have passed it along to their next generation. Unlike them I occasionlly get turned around on some of the details. Therefore, about this time last year, I went searching for a libretto of some type and I found this: A picture named Lotr_equation.gif

Perfect, I thought succinct and comprehensive. You can follow along with the story, tracing the unfolding action as it's presented here and if you lose your place it's a snap to review and get back in line. The up arrow is departure of the hero, down arrow is return of the hero. Simple no? I suppose some folks might find they need appendix A (the four pages of appendix a 1, 2) which sorts all this out. Or may want to read Anne Petty's book One Ring to Bind Them All: Tolkien's Mythology itself, you'll probably want to glance through ch.3. at least

Now all I need is for someone to explain why the character I liked best from the book, Tom Bombadill [§ B (Rs)] isn't in the movies at all.
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Friday, 13 February, 2004
 
If It Quacks Like A Duck..

One story I've been following is Justice Scalia and the Supreme Courts descion to hear a case that will decide whether the records of VP Cheney's energy tak force will be released to FOI requests. That latter case is an enourmous can of worms on its own. Some feel it was compounded beyond endurance by the revelation that after picking that case up, Scalia went on a private duck hunting trip to Louisiana with his 'friend' Dick Cheney. They even flew down together on the same plane, which I believe belonged to another participant in the hunt - and the energy task force. Now many believe that Scalia is not in a situation where he can render impartial decisions and ought to recuse himself.

Justice Scalia doesn't think so Yahoo! News - Scalia Defends Hunting Trip With Cheney. Others point out if this is not an instance for recusal when would be Looks like Duckgate | TomPaine.com. TomPaine also has a current Op Ed out listing the language of the Federal code that deals with recusals and noting the number of Major newspapers whose editoarial boards have weighed in for recusal Ducking the Law. Still its not as open and shut as it might seem The Associated Press article has a quote from Justice Ginsburg which clearly indicates that she does not regard it as a world stopping event (My brother-in-Law Al clerked for Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she was a Judge on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals and they remain close). Others point to the slippery slope issue which would open the door to constant pressure for SCotUS personal to remove themselves from cases on a regular basis. The Court can't work that way, there is a reason why the law leaves this up to a Justice on the call of their own conscience.

All the same, I am beginning to have a problem with Scalia. I have read a number of excerpts of speeches he has given over the years and can only conclude he has no real use for democracy. I'm not sure he would recognize justice if it were a rottwiller and were hanging off his posterior. He seems more keyed into the natural and divine rights of privilege. Take this quote from a statement he made in response to this: (from the AP)

It did not involve a lawsuit against Dick Cheney as a private individual," Scalia said in response to a question from the audience of about 600 people. "This was a government issue. It's acceptable practice to socialize with executive branch officials when there are not personal claims against them. That's all I'm going to say for now. Quack, quack.
Quack, quack, that was within the quotation marks. He was making a joke I suppose. Be without doubt; though, that mocking tone signifies. And what it signifies is the contempt that man has for you.
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Sunday, 8 February, 2004
 
I would be Sluggo, if You'll be Nancy.

I feel compelled to say something about this, much as I'd hate to get stuck in a rut. A Bill Griffiths Zippy from last week: in Bushmillerland it says. A picture named ZippyandNancy.jpeg I may have been there, I believe it is right next door to Winsor McKay's Slumberland. And that name, Bushmiller, that sounds awfully familiar.

The Ernie Bushmiller who created and drew the comic strip Nancy was a cousin of my grandfather, Paul Ernest Bushmiller. My great-grandfather also Paul Bushmiller emigrated from Germany (Dusseldorf) in 1888 when he was 18. He had three brothers who also emigrated one by one as they reached conscription age. The Kaiser and Mr. Bismark had themselves an army. It does not seem to have been terribly popular among my family.

Sigfried and Ernst settled in New York City. Sigfried, I think, first went to St Louis but moved after a month or so. One, whose name my father does not know, went to South Africa. There was also a sister Vera who stayed in Germany. Paul the middle brother came after trying Belgium and England first and settled in St Louis. He thought initially that at 5ft 5in. he was under the conscription height for German army, and only moved to the U.S. and away from european extradition agreements when it became clear he was in fugitive status. The cartoonist was the son of the brother Ernst. On a trip to the east coast in 1938 my dad, whose name is Hugh, met the elder Ernie his wife and daughters. My Dad's family moved from St. Louis to Boston in 1940, at that time they also changed the spelling of the family name from Buchmiller to Bushmiller, which the other branches of the family had done years earlier.

My father notes that Ernst, who seems to have been different from the rest of the family, married an Irish women and having learned english quickly and proficiently got a job as an assistant editor for a New York daily newspaper and eventually got his son a job with the paper as well (where he seems to have sat around drawing pictures of his wife which he published as a strip called Fritzi Ritz). My father also relates that Ernst worked as a performer for a German Vaudeville-like circuit in the Bronx when he was still young.

From all this I determine that east coasters like blonds have more fun, take that California I also note that my other great grandfather, Oscar Nutter, who was also a small man seems to have conspired with the original Paul Bushmiller to pass on the shortness genes to me. I hope they're happy.
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Friday, 6 February, 2004
 
Articles I didn't fall asleep to while reading.

I have a large number of open pages on my browser all of which I think I intended to write about, I will fall back to the sufficient of simply mentioning them now that they are two or three weeks old - kicking it Robot Wisdom style. All of this for the small chance you may not have run across these yet. EmptyBottle.org: Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Wonderchicken Stavros compares Blogs to punk rock. I tried to do that for about a year I could never convince anybody of the metaphor. Somebody asked me though why I called the last post "and the Lash"; because of what Neel was supposed to do for the camaign and because the painting "Raft of the Medusa was the cover to the Pogues album Rum Sodomy and the Lash. Now some of you are thinking: do I consider the Pogues punk rock? Yes, naturally, but I also think the Mekons are punk rock, so you'll get no sense out of me.
Bilmon's experience at Davos, Davos Discovers the Blogs, indicates no one there has any idea what web logs are either. They are like color commentary to a ball game you can't see.

If ou haven't seen it, Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall has a good overview of of the oppurtunism and shallowness of the new -- new world order the Neoconservatives are trying to chickenwire together in the New Yorker. Power Rangers. I was looking at one of the books he mentions in that article Chalmers Johnson's new book Sorrows of Empire, yesterday. It and Frum and Perle's book An end to war came to the library in the same shipment, that's irony for you. Maybe David Brooks thinks that there is no such thing as a policy influencing neoconservative but the dust jacket to this book doesn't think so

David Frum and Richard Perle are two of Washington's most influential insiders. Their words have steered the direction of American foreign policy. In An End to Evil Frum and Perle revel their blueprint for what could be the Bush administration's agenda in the war on terrorism
This is followed by a bulleted list of particulars which includes Regard Saudi Arabia and France not as friends but as rivals-maybe enemies.... squeeze China, and blockade North Korea.... Abandon the illusion that a Palestinian state will contribute in any important way to U.S. security. Chalmers Johnson's book and Marshall's piece point out that this take no prisoners, make no friends approach may not be contributing to U.S. security either.

Robert Kuttner's, article America as a One-Party State, in The American Prospect is worth reading. He isn't the only one saying this. The republican party is playing a new game in American politics. A game that only allows one victor. If they succeed in breaking the two party state it may not be they victory they imagine.

Arundhati Roy, author of "The God of Small Things" and "Power Politics" gave a speech at the world social forum in mumbai back on 16 Jan The New American Century which alternet has reprinted. I was impressed by the anger expressed and profound mistrust in the speech. Roy came under criticism last year, criticism of the 'writers should just stick to making up their little stories" type.
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Wednesday, 4 February, 2004
 
Developmentally appropriate practice

My youngest sister has two children (nephews Grant and Raine) just entering the school system where she lives. I this school system and at their particular elementary school they are considering something called the arts integrated curriculum. It sounds nice, but I've never hear of it before at least not presented this way. It makes use of insights that were born in Gardner's book Frames of Mind. At the moment I am still in an information acquisition mode on the subject so I can't explain it. If any one out there knows anything - drop a comment.

Like anything it is a point of contention at the local PTA. Some parents just want reading, riteing, and 'rithmatic with barbed wire fences between. I thought of an NPR report I heard last year that pointed out that boys tend to fall behind in K12 education often further in further behind with each year. This eventually stabilizes but often too late, and this is reflected in college enrollments. Boys it is thought do not take at an early age to 'linguistic (reading, speaking) learning' as well as girls, and so their attention wanders. This probably explains why I spent all of third grade watching trains go by out a back window. I recall all through the first six or seven years of school teachers saying "boys, boys settle down - the girls are behaving". And amongst each other we would say: "sure, behave, that's what girls do. Big deal." Eventually I learned women also misbehave. But at that moment I was experiencing the learning differential, and could have benefited from an arts integrated curriculum.
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Monday, 2 February, 2004
 
[A]nd the Lash

A quick followup to my last post: Dean '04 -- raft of the Medusa. My sister knows Roy Neel only by reputation. There are a lot of telecom lobbyists in washington apparently. My brother-in-Law, Al, does know him and offered that the guy is not a lawyer - his lobbying work doesn't come from that angle, but is a professional politician. Of that tribe there are those telegenic types who run for office, and those maybe less so, who run those offices. Further he indicated that Roy Neel "has been around forever".

The statement the Dean campaign was trying to make by bringing Neel on was not intended to reverberate out to the general public a shift in what the Dean cadidacy was about - as much as it was aimed at those who already gave money and those who may still be considering it. The campaign felt they needed to reassure people that they would bring someone in who would shepard the campaign treasury more carefully from now on. After New Hampshire they found themselves spent through what they had raised last year and unable to buy TV spots for the next primary round (this tues) which occurs in seven widely separated states.
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Last update: 2/28/04; 14:11:10.