Tuesday, December 28, 2004

'Ecstasy' Use Studied to Ease Fear in Terminally Ill (washingtonpost.com)

Finally, common sense and compassion prevail over unscientific and propagandistic disinformation. Keeping useful medicines from sick people is simply wrong.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Deep-sea monster caught on tape

Beautiful, eerie, and "fundamentally different."

The civilians we killed

In his book The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien said: "You can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromised allegiance to obscenity and evil." (thanks to TAK for sending me this article.)

Revealed: Haiti Bloodbath That Left Dozens Dead in Jail

Covert (and not so covert) U.S. influence over democratic countries... it's beginning to look a lot like the Reagan days again.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Way We Eat Now

If you thought "Supersize Me" was eye-opening, check out this article.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Smarter drugs and sharper minds

Next generation smart drugs.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Poll Finds Nearly Half of Public Wants to Cut Civil Liberties for Muslim-Americans

Sliding faster down the slippery slope... Appalling.

The Last Of The Wild Men

REAL Santa.

Friday, December 17, 2004


Baltimorean Margie Roswell's excellent site, with footage from the Columbus, Ohio Congressional hearing.

Shades of Karen Silkwood: Attacks on a recount activist

Each encouraging word is like a block of strength right now. Last night I was returning from Columbus and was scared out of my mind. First I’ve been getting calls from a man that has been able to tell me each and every place I’ve been or roads I’ve been traveling on (a group of 3 other women heard this while driving me to meet Jesse Jackson and Cliff Arnebeck last night, having the call on speaker). Then while driving back I was ran off the road by two dark blue Suburbans(?), bigger than 4 runners anyway, with dark tinted windows. They came up behind me with their brights on and then one came to the side of me and ran me into the ditch off I-70. I saw as they sped away that one had a Maryland license plate, but in the heat of it all I couldn’t get the plate number or even see the plate of the other one. It’s becoming apparent to me that someone is not liking what I’m doing. So thank you much cause I truly need the encouraging words.

Katrina Sumner

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Telegraph | Arts | The night aliens called on Lennon

(Thanks to "anonymous" poster for this story)

The night aliens called on Lennon
(Filed: 07/12/2004)

They came in the darkness and had bug-like faces. Stranger still, they left a weird egg-shaped object behind. Uri Geller recalls his friend John Lennon’s encounter with the unknown

There is an egg-like object in my pocket. It was given to me by John Lennon. And it was given to him by . . . well, I’ll come to that.

We were eating in a restaurant in New York City. Yoko was with us, so this was after their big break-up and reconciliation. Yoko was expecting their child, Sean, and John was excited — he was going to love this baby day and night: feed him, change him, teach him to talk, teach him to love music.

He did all of that. And he was going to watch him grow into adolescence, through the tumbles from bicycles and terrors of schooldays, from reading to dating to college. He never got to do that. John started talking about UFOs.

He said he believed life existed on other planets, that it had visited us, that maybe it was observing us right now. He took me to a quieter, darker table, lit a cigarette and pointed its glowing tip at my face.

“You believe in this stuff, right?” he asked me. “Well, you ain’t f---in’ gonna believe this.

“About six months ago, I was asleep in my bed, with Yoko, at home, in the Dakota Building. And suddenly, I wasn’t asleep. Because there was this blazing light round the door. It was shining through the cracks and the keyhole, like someone was out there with searchlights, or the apartment was on fire.

“That was what I thought — intruders, or fire. I leapt out of bed, and Yoko wasn’t awake at all, she was lying there like a stone, and I pulled open the door. There were these four people out there.”

“Fans?” I asked him.

“Well they didn’t want my f---in’ autograph. They were, like, little. Bug-like. Big bug eyes and little bug mouths and they were scuttling at me like roaches.”

He broke off and stared at me.

“I’ve told this to two other people, right? One was Yoko, and she believes me. She says she doesn’t understand it, but she knows I wouldn’t lie to her. I told one other person, and she didn’t believe me.

“She laughed it off, and then she said I must have been high. Well, I’ve been high, I mean right out of it, a lot of times, and I never saw anything on acid that was as weird as those f---in’ bugs, man.

“I was straight that night. I wasn’t dreaming and I wasn’t tripping. There were these creatures, like people but not like people, in my apartment.”

“What did they do to you?” Lennon swore again. “How do you know they did anything to me, man?” “Because they must have come for a reason.”

“You’re right. They did something. But I don’t know what it was. I tried to throw them out, but, when I took a step towards them, they kind of pushed me back. I mean, they didn’t touch me. It was like they just willed me. Pushed me with willpower and telepathy.”

“And then what?”

“I don’t know. Something happened. Don’t ask me what. Either I’ve forgotten, blocked it out, or they won’t let me remember. But after a while they weren’t there and I was just lying on the bed, next to Yoko, only I was on the covers.

"And she woke up and looked at me and asked what was wrong. I couldn’t tell her at first. But I had this thing in my hands. They gave it to me.”

“What was it?” Lennon dug into his jeans pocket. “I’ve been carrying it round ever since, wanting to ask somebody the same question. You have it. Maybe you’ll know.”

I took the metal, egg-like object and turned it over in the dim light. It seemed solid and smooth, and I could make out no markings. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“Keep it.” John told me. “It’s too weird for me. If it’s my ticket to another planet, I don’t want to go there.”

When we first met on November 28, 1974, almost exactly 30 years ago, he was suffering terribly from his separation from Yoko. His drug abuse and drinking, linked to the sorrow of Yoko’s recent miscarriage, had driven them apart, and John desperately wanted to mend the relationship.

He just didn’t know how to make the first move. The night Lennon and I were introduced, Elton John was playing at Madison Square Gardens. Elton was trying to persuade the ex-Beatle to get up on stage with him, and John was torn — he wanted to perform but he was scared.

Finally, he turned to me and offered a deal, as though I were a negotiator sent by God: “I’ll sing,” he said, “but you have to make Yoko call me.”

Like all of John’s jokes, this one was a plea from the heart, wrapped in a sardonic quip. Yoko phoned John out of the blue, 36 hours later. I think John always believed I had beamed a mind-control ray at her. For my part, I think that of all the synchronicities that have shaped my life, that was one of the strangest.

John Lennon was a compulsive doodler. The last autograph he ever signed, 15 minutes before Mark Chapman gunned him down outside his home at the Dakota Building, on December 9, 1980, features a double portrait of himself and his wife, Yoko Ono. The drawings are done in a couple of lines — the style is unmistakable and so are the faces.

I always marvelled at John’s skill as an artist. There is no doubt that, if he’d been tone deaf and tuneless, the boy who created The Beatles could have become a successful painter or illustrator. During the last year of his life, we met most weeks to chat over a coffee in one of the hotels near our New York homes.

Sometimes John would bring Sean, who was about four years old then. The rocker had put his music career on hold while the child was small. John once told me how bitterly he regretted that while his first son, Julian, was a toddler, he himself was devoting his energies to the stage or the studio, or would be out partying with friends.

“You don’t get those years back,” he said. “I’m not going to miss a minute while Sean is growing up.”

That is the greatest tragedy of my friend’s death. He had finally learned what made him happy, and then he was robbed of it. What really interested me about John was not his incredible life, his fame or his talent, but his deep spirituality.

I too was working out what made me happy — I’d realised at last that buying watches and eating six helpings of dessert before making myself throw up was not the path to nirvana.

The shock of Lennon’s murder was one of the powerful forces that drove me to quit New York and spend a year in Japan, undergoing a spiritual detox. John spoke with passion about Japanese views of life, and I am certain that Yoko’s philosophies were at the core of his last years.

I was woken on the day John was shot by a call from a friend, Roland, a publisher who lived opposite the Dakota.

“He’s dead,” Roland sobbed. “They killed John.” I dressed in a few seconds and ran across town: somehow I had to see the house to believe the news. The radio reports weren’t enough.

If John really were dead, if this wasn’t some sick media hoax, then there would be people outside his home with candles and prayer bells. They were there, in their hundreds already.

I didn’t have to push my way through the crowd; I simply stood and stared across the road, and then walked away through Central Park with the tears running down my face.

Now, 24 years on, when I hold the cold, metal egg in my fist, I have a strong sensation that John knew more about this object than he told me. Maybe it didn’t come with an instruction manual, but I think John knew what it was for.

And whatever that purpose was - communication? healing? a first-class intergalactic ticket? - it scared him. I wish I could have warned him . . . that however scary aliens seem, it’s the humans you have to fear.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

t r u t h o u t - Proof of Ohio Election Fraud Exposed

It's getting harder and harder to dismiss...

Journalism is a dangerous job

Exposing hypocrisy and criminality predisposes one to "suicide."

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

NEJM -- Caring for the Wounded in Iraq -- A Photo Essay

There is a special place in Hell for Bush.

R.I.P. Gary Webb -- Unembedded Reporter

Sure sounds like payback to me.

Monday, December 13, 2004

TomPaine.com - The Delusional Is No Longer Marginal

Some scary shit from Bill Moyers.

Another one bites the dust

Gary Webb -- dead of "self-inflicted" gunshot.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Goodle Good News

Good News!

Ohio fight isn't over

Let's hope the fight doesn't wither under the calculated barrage of "tin foil hat" accusations designed to shut down dialogue.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Liberals On Terror

David Corn of The Nation argues for common sense in the "war on terror."

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Strange Mars Rover photo

Things that make you go "hmmm..."

Palast steps out of his black helicopter

A Stolen Election
The View From My Black Helicopter
by Greg Palast
in The Nation
29 December issue

I'd just stepped out of my black helicopter to read that one of my favorite journalists, David Corn, had attacked my analysis of the vote in Ohio as the stuff of "grassy knoll conspiracy theorists." ("A Stolen Election," The Nation, November 29 issue.)

Oh, my! And all because I wrote that the uncounted ballots in Ohio -- more than a quarter million designated "spoiled" or "provisional" -- undoubtedly contain enough votes to overturn George Bush's "victory" margin of 119,000 out of over 5 million cast.

Corn says, "Palast wrongly assumes that an overwhelming majority of these ballots contain votes for Kerry." Now why would I think such a thing? Maybe because the precinct-by-precinct analysis of "spoiled" votes (those which machines can't count) by Professor Mark Salling of Cleveland State University, the unchallengeable expert on Ohio voting demographics, concludes that "spoiled" punch cards in Ohio cities come "overwhelmingly" from African-American neighborhoods.

The Republican Secretary of State of Ohio does not disagree, by the way; he intends to fix the Jim Crow vote-counting problem in Ohio ... sometime after the next inaugural ball.

The second group of uncounted ballots, "provisionals," were also generated substantially in African-American areas, the direct result of a Republican program to hunt down, challenge and suppress the votes cast in black-majority precincts.

What happened in Ohio is one-fiftieth of a nationwide phenomenon: the non-count of African-American votes, about a million of them marked as unreadable in a typical presidential race. (See, Palast, "Vanishing Votes," The Nation, March 17, 2004.)

I will admit, David, I can't tell you exactly how each of those disenfranchised voters would have cast their ballots. Indeed, one Republican statistician claims these uncounted ballots are cast mostly by African-American supporters of George Bush.

Nevertheless, most of us conspiracy nuts on the Grassy Knoll hold to our wild belief that most black citizens whose ballots were spoiled or rejected tried to vote for the tall guy from Massachusetts.

"WHISTLEBLOWER AFFIDAVIT: Programmer Built Vote Rigging Prototype at Republican Congressman's Request!"

Interesting... we'll see if it pans out.

Scientists Make Phone That Turns Into a Sunflower

This is the way science and product development should be done. Brilliant.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Fight To Survive

Awesome blog written by a disillusioned Army guy.

Returning Fallujans will face clampdown

Working for the clampdown...

34 questions about the election

that need to be answered.

THE ZOOMQUILT | a collaborative art project

Very cool!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Wired 12.12: To Hell and Back

An amazing article about dangerous cave exploration.

Docs showing CIA foreknowledge of attempted Venezuela coup

For your discernment.

Bush Arrested in Canada for War Crimes

If only.... dare to dream.

School Bus Driver Fired Over Stem Cell Talk

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A school bus driver who chatted about stem cell research with her pupils was fired for inappropriate behavior, a local newspaper said on Thursday.

Can you take the Internet seriously?


Former CIA Director George J. Tenet yesterday called for new security measures to guard against attacks on the United States that use the Internet, which he called "a potential Achilles' heel."

"I know that these actions will be controversial in this age when we still think the Internet is a free and open society with no control or accountability," he told an information-technology security conference in Washington, "but ultimately the Wild West must give way to governance and control."

The way the Internet was built might be part of the problem, he said. Its open architecture allows Web surfing, but that openness makes the system vulnerable, Mr. Tenet said.

Access to networks like the World Wide Web might need to be limited to those who can show they take security seriously, he said.

Mr. Tenet called for industry to lead the way by "establishing and enforcing" security standards. Products need to be delivered to government and private-sector customers "with a new level of security and risk management already built in."

The national press, including United Press International (UPI), were excluded from yesterday's event, at Mr. Tenet's request, organizers said.