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Monthly Archives: April 2002

I just read an article…  §

I just read an article in a recent edition of one of the two major US news magazines by John Leo which argued that the September 11th attacks were in essence the fault of American universities and academics, who are responsible for teaching young people tolerance — for having the audacity and moral bankruptcy to try to show that Arabs and Asians, for example, are humans, rather than just plain evil.

If we hadn’t been trying to teach our students such things, the article seemed to argue, we would have blown up all those God damned darkie heathens years ago — and therefore we’d all be living in a White Christian Utopia by now.

Well, we have a difference of opinion. Mr. Leo blames people like me for the terrorist attacks. I personally blame people like him.

The article made me want to puke.

Nothing pisses me off more…  §

Nothing pisses me off more than people who argue that “science as a whole is a religion just like any other, and it is just as dependent on faith.”

Of course they write these sorts of articles while sitting at their computer using a word processor in an artificially lit, centrally air-conditioned room on a nice vinyl office chair. They then submit the article to their editor using e-mail over a telephone line. Afterward, they go hop into their car to go out to a safe, hygenic dinner and then to a movie.

If you have no idea what any of this has to do with science, then you’re clearly a product of the American educational system.

In the end, canonized science is purely a matter of works and the entirety of the history of the modern lifestyle is easily seen in the timeline of the sciences. You don’t need faith, you have your electricity, your plastic, your pacemaker and your car to demonstrate the value of the scientific method.

Yes, there are serious drawbacks to this “modern lifestyle” but that is a separate issue. When the luminaries at the Christian Coalition stand up to tell you that “the scientific method is all a pile of lies from Satan’s mouth,” what proof are they offering in return to show that the mic they’re speaking into is indeed just a figment of your tempted imagination?

Senator Tom DeLay and others…  §

Senator Tom DeLay and others in the US government have this week finally explicitly stated what many suspected all along: they refuse to accept a Palestinian state. Instead, they are in favor of mass ethnic deportation or destruction by force of native Arabs from the West Bank and Gaza — all of them. According to newly honest US representatives, that is all Jewish land, period.

The United States of America’s transformation is now complete. Welcome to the largest Nazi state on earth. We will colonize you economically, then if you won’t convert, we will ethnically cleanse you. Heil Bush. Heil Cheney. Heil Hitler.

I have to get out of here. I’m not 100% white, nor am I Christian. I already feel the heat from locals… It’s only a matter of time before I am the next one up against the wall.

Surprise, surprise!  §

“When the NASDAQ will fall by more than 50% during one trading session you will know that we will claim complete final & total Victory.”

Who said this? You may be surprised. These are ugly times. Fundamentalism and right-wing politics are rearing their heads again. It is time for everyone to choose sides…

What is the point in…  §

What is the point in allowing an international investigation into Jenin if Israel gets to pick-and-choose just who the “investigators” will be? Furthermore, what’s the point in Israel deciding to “allow” humanitarian aid into the camps if it excludes the International Red Cross and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the two most important of them?

Of course the reasoning in both cases is the same. Israel won’t allow UN investigators because it believes that the entire world, other than the US, is biased against Israel. Israel won’t allow the two large aid agencies because it believes they are part of the terrorist infrastructure (!). It sounds like Israel’s bad behavior in trying to end terrorism has led the political forces in the country down the road of self-aggrandizement and paranoia.

They have no idea how to play the politics game at Likud, do they?

I’m watching the little yellow…  §

I’m watching the little yellow and green lights on my 8505XL flash. I still derive a bizarre kind of satisfaction from the secondhand knowledge that such flashing means that information is somehow flowing on to the tape in the drive, silently, gigabytes at a time.

I love information.

I need to go back to school. That is now first priority.

Do you some days get…  §

Do you some days get the feeling that you’re stuck in a special kind of hell in which every hour, on the hour you are doomed to realize that what you have just spent the last hour doing has been worthness, a misdirection — no matter what it was?

Frustration really begins to set in today. Perhaps I do indeed need all sorts of interesting drugs to help me keep things straight and focused.

I think that part of the problem is that I have made so many promises, both to others and to myself. Myself: I promise to get into a good graduate school. I promise to take the GRE first. I promise to turn a profit and make a name for myself selling photographs. I promise to get another book deal. I promise to get a job on the side and to build up a bank account. I promise to plan a trip to Moscow and maybe even China and Egypt. I promise to learn to speak Arabic. I promise to learn to speak Chinese. I promise to get my car running again. I promise to upgrade my computer. I promise to finally clean up my old file cabinets. I promise to eat more healthy and get more exercise. I promise to stay on top of the news. I promise to read all of these very important books that are sitting in the “Read ASAP” pile. I promise to update my Web site. I promise to rewrite my resume. I promise to shop for some clothes. I promise to pack twenty years of junk, including two sports car corpses, and put it all into storage. I promise to move on with my life! Others: I promise to fix your computer. I promise to help you run your network. I promise to get you a birthday gift. I promise to help you build your Web site. I promise to help you move. I promise to meet you for coffee. I promise to meet you for beer. I promise to see that movie, and the other one. I promise to visit you at your home, far away from mine. I promise to write you back, call you back, e-mail you back.

I have no time management skills because I cannot prioritize because the due date for all of these promises is NOW! I cannot wait six more months or even one more month for any of them! I am unwilling to sacrifice any of them or place any of them ahead of any of the others. I will not compromise! So I’m balancing plates. But I’m getting nowhere! I mean, I’m 26 for God’s sake and I still haven’t done anything with my life. There isn’t any time for ANY of these things to be completed in a single day or a single month, much less all of them. But to do any one before the others, or to let any one fall behind — is like a moral compromise. So, I move back and forth, switching, switching, walking one inch in each of fifty directions every day — a pace which will kill any hope of eventually reaching a destination in any direction. But I refuse to compromise! It is a personality flaw.

At the end, I will go mad(der). I will finally take my Zoloft or my Prozac or whatever they have been wanting to give me for years, and then I will turn all of the dreams off. I will tell everyone, including myself, no. No degree, no photography, no books, no Arabic, no Chinese, no Web page for you, no coffee with you, I will just go to work and then I will come home and watch sitcoms and because I am drugged for complicity, I will finally be happy in such complicity and that will be my life.

Anyway, want to know what happened in the Jenin refugee camp? Try this story at BBC or this one at CNN. Interesting that most American outlets aren’t covering this at all… Most are instead running with the “Bush: Israel keeps promise” headline, which congratulates Israel for its activity instead. here is a story from an Israeli news source.

What I want to know is this: does the United Nations represent the authoritative body on international law or not? Is there even such a thing as international law? If not, we had no jurisdiction to try the Nazis. If so, where the hell are the other nations now? When will the world take a stand against the US and Israel? I mean a real stand, not just passing resolution after resolution calling the US and Israel names!

Can nobody see the obvious parallel between Nazism and Zionism? The world is putting its head in the sand once more. Don’t forget, Israel is the only force in the region with American armaments and a nuclear arsenal. For some time now there have been ghettos. Now there are also massacres, mass graves, and popular support inside Israel for “transfer” of the Palestinian population.

The world will never learn.

Early AM here and the…  §

Early AM here and the breeze is cool and obviously coming across the Great Salt Lake into the city. It smells salty and wet. It makes me want to forget about school, forget about photography, forget about writing, make my way to a 3rd world country against the sea and live there in a shack.

Tonight I miss my grandfather.

Or rather, this morning. It’s 2:30 AM.

(Where are you?)

Here is perhaps  §

Here is perhaps the best article I’ve seen about the problem Israel is facing and the ethical subtexts thereof. Note the author’s use of the term ‘apartheid’ toward the end.

To the American media: why can’t you come up with reasoned op-ed pieces like this, instead of simply spewing hate and misinformation all the time? Why do you take the same stupid, simplistic view of anyone east of the “green line” whether in Palestine, in Afghanistan, or in China?

Watching Larry King Weekend tonight I’m laughing once again at the Israeli naivet&eacute. They repeat over and over again that they won’t negotiate with Arafat because he’s a crook, so they want to negotiate with someone else. They seem oblivious to the fact that there are four million people behind Arafat — four million people who did not vote for Sharon because they do not have a vote in Israel, but who did vote for Arafat in the only election Israel has allowed in the territories — four million people who support Arafat at a level of 90% or more right now, today.

Through all of this, Israel just continues to talk about Arafat and about terror while ignoring the real issue. It is almost as though Israelis completely discount, with contempt, they very existence of the Palestinian peoples — as though they’re a myth from a storybook, or from a Nazi propaganda sheet somewhere. As though it’s just Yassir Arafat and a few teenage boys standing in the middle of the desert tossing rocks over the border.

The fact that anyone thinks…  §

The fact that anyone thinks Arafat should be able to stop suicide bombings is flabbergasting to me.

Misters Harris and Klebold — a couple of kids from a smallish area in Colorado with an efficient, modern police force — were able to cook up an entire room full of bombs and get their hands on tons of weapons all while authorities were powerless to stop them and were unaware of their intentions. Their only motive was rage and their killing was indiscriminate. Yet they grew up in an affluent society not under military occupation.

Now we have Arafat sitting beneath one of the largest piles of rubble anywhere in the world without electricity or running water, his entire security force dissolved and arrested, his entire population subject to a brutal, decades-long military occupation without the right to influence the course of their lives at all or even to visit the ocean just a few miles away because it is reserved for Israelis — and he is supposed to find those one or two angry people in four million, in a densely populated area, and somehow singlehandedly stop them from acting on their incredible rage, all while dodging tanks and machine gun fire.

It’s nuts. Israel has guaranteed that these suicide bombings will go on for the next fifty years because of Palestinian rage. Israel is going to have to accept that there is only one way to peace: have the courage to withdraw and then sustain suicide bombings for years until hope can be rebuilt in the occupied territories.

Otherwise, they can just get bombed until Arabic growth demographics push them into the ocean — an inevtiable occurance given current birth rates in the region.


Op-ed.  §

From Ha’aretz:

“Past experience proves that international condemnations, exposure to the horror, demonstrations and political protests have a cumulative influence, but those are countered by feelings of tribal unity, moral superiority and self-righteousness. One would expect that the price of the bloodshed from the continuing violence would lead to a rational calculation of the value of human lives versus the goals for which they are killed. But communities that grow used to calculating their steps according to absolute values do not do so according to pragmatic assessments of cost and benefit. Even making the comparison between the cost in human lives and its purpose is problematic: The most costly price has already been paid in human lives and the need to justify it requires inflating the value of what they were paid for.

“Leaders who inflict great sacrifices upon their people cannot let it be known to all and sundry that they were wrong, so they make the goals absolute: ‘A war for our homes’ or ‘a war for our existence’ — goals with infinite price tags. The issue of the relationship between the goal to its price is decried as irrelevant, and raising rational arguments is considered blasphemy, an attempt to quantify something that has no price.”

The rest of the op-ed piece is here.

Anybody catch Alan Keyes’ show…  §

Anybody catch Alan Keyes’ show tonight? I did.

He said he was completely in favor of the killing of innocent civilians so long as they are not Israelis or Americans. When guests tried to say “Shame on you, Mr. Keyes!” he yelled at them, cutting them off and calling them moral equivocators.

The truth about the right wing on national television: conservative Americans are in favor of a policy of ethnic cleansing against the entire non-Christian world. The Isalmists are correct, the crusaides are still in progress.

The fact that few Americans can even see this is what is so truly frightening.

I’ve said it once before,…  §

I’ve said it once before, I’ll say it again: pushing and keeping Arabs and non-Jews out to preserve the “Jewish nature of Israel” is not a morally sound position; it is Nazism. It is what pushed the Jews out of Europe in the midst of a horrific holocaust. “Never again” should not mean “Never again the Jews” and anyone who says otherwise is equivocating about Hitler. Pure and simple.

Now, the city of Dallas has trumped up hundreds of drug charges against minorities and “helped” federal authorities to toss them into prison… and only recently do defense attorneys finally test the “evidence” and find that the seized “drugs” are not cocaine at all, but white gypsum, the stuff that the walls are made of. Now there are massive investigations into corruption in law enforcement.

Considering that 70% of the people in the US prison system are there because of drug-related charges, and considering just how heavily laden with minorities this prison population is, it occurs to me that tens of thousands of people might be in jail for years or for life simply because someone wanted them there. Why exactly where they targeted? A large portion of them are in the federal system. It makes you wonder…

What about all those people in jail saying the drugs were planted, but for whom no evidence remains by time of appeal because the “drugs” that were used as evidence originally have been destroyed or “misplaced” or those for whom the judge refuses to allow such testing of the evidence to see if it is actually cocaine at all? If I was one of them, I’d be ready to kill myself.

This is being reported by the mainstream American media, folks. Gonna try and say it’s foreign propaganda now? Communist plot? Terrorist plan? Envy by the non-whites?

Heh… Right. For some of you, and you know who you are… “This could be you.”

Meanwhile, all of the defense attorneys for the Islamic Group are now being endicted for supporting terrorism. How much would you like to bet that fewer defense attorneys are now ready to defend John Walker or anyone at Camp X-Ray? Or that anyone who does… somehow ends up in prison? Maybe for “supporting terrorism” or maybe just for “distributing cocaine” much to the shock of their family and friends…

I went yesterday afternoon to…  §

I went yesterday afternoon to a little lake at the top of a mountain. As I approached it — I had to hike in — I heard a remarkable current of noise, a sound that could almost be described as a forest of tiny windchimes all ringing at the same time. As I got closer to the water, I saw what was causing it… the spring thaw was in full-force and for some reason, the ice on this lake had formed in quartz-like crystals — there were innumerable bunches of tiny ice shards sticking straight up out of the water. The sound was of millions of these little floating crystals all gently undulating, nudging against each other in the gentle waves, each diminutive tap making a tiny bell-like sound.

It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen or heard. Unfortunately, the pictures I got don’t do it justice and I didn’t have any sound recording equipment.

I won’t forget it for a very long time.

I’m tired of hearing about…  §

I’m tired of hearing about Arafat at Camp David. The Palestinians did not turn down peace at Camp David. Peace was already dead. Years earlier at Oslo, when what should have been a peace deal was signed by both parties, the plan was that Israel would pull back to UN 242 borders within five years as the situation was de-escalated. This never happened — instead of pulling back according to the peace agreement, Israel advanced into the territories further and settlements grew by a huge margin though the Palestinians met their requirements under the same agreement. Naturally, the Palestinian people got upset and felt that they’d been double-crossed.

Eight years after the Oslo accord was signed, with tensions increasing beacuse of this illegal growth by Israel contrary to the peace deal they’d signed, leaders met in Camp David to try to come to some new agreement. Arafat was offered less at Camp David than he had already agreed to at Oslo, with important aspects of autonomy still missing from the offer. Israel had already failed to abide by one agreement; now they were offering even a less favorable one. How could Arafat sign on to that?

And for the people who keep claiming he’s a dictator: this is a lie, plain and simple. Arafat was elected in free and open elections and the result was recognized by the western nations. Now for some reason the press wants to declare him a dictator and Israel is claiming that he came to power by force to oppress his own people. And they say this while Israeli tanks line the streets.

Anyone who wants to know how much Israel wants peace need only look at the track record of the Israeli people: Yitzak Rabin signs Oslo peace accord, gets assassinated by his own citizens; Israeli civilian settlements in occupied Palestine increase faster than ever before during the very period in which they were supposed to be pulling out under the same Oslo agreement; Barak offers a lesser peace at Camp David and gets booted out because of it; in his place, Ariel Sharon, the Butcher of Beirut, currently on trial for War Crimes in Europe, gets elected; Sharon launches some of the largest operations in the camps in a decade and yet the Israeli citizens are still not satisfied and will in all likelihood elect Netenyahu next time around.

Considering all of this and the overwhelming force being used by the very modern IDF against ill-equipped Palestinian citizens (who have died at a much higher rate than Israeli citizens during this whole affair), it is no wonder that there is no peace in the region.