Friday, March 31, 2006

Cesar Chavez and RFK

today is Cesar Chavez day in many states, as this is his birthday (b. 1927- d. 23 April1993). This photo is from March of '68 when Robert Kennedy went to meet with him as Chavez ended a 25 day hunger strike during which he lost 35 pounds protesting working conditions for grape growers in California. Kennedy was, of course, running for president in '68. But can you imagine John Kerry or Hillary Clinton or any other senate democrat meeting with a figure like Chavez today? I couldn't help but think about that this past week, when LA's mayor Villaraigosa spoke to the demonstrators in that city.

here's some more art, darn it

the 1st pic above is in the public domain, but is via, the 2nd is from Getty images

Giudecca, La Donna della Salute and San Giorgio
oil-painting fella J. M. W. Turner didn't exactly believe in catchy titles, but that's just the kinda guy he was. This post is yet another in my never-ending quest to edify my readers, and it's even better for you than that fancy mustard, so I hope both of you appreciate it...

Last exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1975
, the oil has not been seen in Britain for 30 years, spending most of the intervening period hidden from public view in the collection of an order of Capuchin friars in New York. Would I make that up? Well, I would, but I didn't. I'm guessing the friars have rent control, and don't turn the heat up too high in the winter, being monkish, er friarish. It's going on sale next week, April 6th, so if you haven't already been working a lot of overtime you probably don't have much of a chance of scoring the Guidecca for yourself, as it's expected to fetch around 20 million, which would be a record for a British painting.

and, here are two photos from K Goh, taken in Suzhou, China last fall.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Jill Carroll, pt 2

Jill(l.), with twin sister Katie

You probably know that Jill Carroll of the Christian Science Monitor was released by her captors today. She spoke positively about them, stressing that they did not harm her.

from the Seattle Times:
Dr. David Wellish, a psychologist at the UCLA School of Medicine, said he had the impression Carroll was suffering from a psychological trauma known as Stockholm syndrome, a survival mechanism in which a hostage begins to empathize with his or her captors.
I wondered about that too, because I couldn't help but remember that she looked pretty distraught in the 2nd video the kidnappers released, the one in which they announced that they were extending the deadline for the prisoner release to Feb 26th.

via le Matin

What puzzles me is that while people are willing to accept that someone like Carroll might come to empathize with her captors, they have more difficulty accepting that an abducted child might not try to get away here in America. I can't remember the name, but there was a case very recently of a girl who was abducted and lived with her captor(and his parents!) for about ten years before casually escaping.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

more from City Hall 3-28

Michelle Marquez(left), a student at Lamar Middle School in Irving, was criticized for having a US flag during an immigration protest at Kiest Park in Dallas..." Irwin Thompson/Dallas-Morning News

"Renato De Los Santos told students the next big rally was planned for April 9. He said he wanted it to be bigger than the protest in Los Angeles." The kids look unimpressed.

"witnesses said the injured student, who was from Irving High School, jumped into the fountain and appeared to be drowning." Al Dia/Deborah Turner

I don't know if there were other demonstrations in large Texas cities with large Latin American populations, like San Antonio and Houston, but I imagine so. Wednesday it rained in Dallas, which probably influenced kids to stay home or go to school. I heard that a smaller group of students marched on the city hall in Garland but weren't able to get in because it was locked up. When I look at these photos, especially the 2nd and 3rd ones, I'm struck by how "spinnable" the visuals are, by news organizations hoping to stoke fires or assuage peoples' fears, as the case may be. Although pics 2 and 3 were taken by two different photographers at two different events, a news photographer worth her salt would certainly take both pictures if she were present at both, and worry about ideological import later, or not at all.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

meanwhile, here in d/fw...

from WFAA, Dallas's abc affilliate:

"Leaders call on pupils to return to school"

"The walkouts have been very effective, but it's time for everyone to go back to school and start writing letters and making phone calls to your senator or congressman," said Domingo Garcia, a Dallas lawyer and current National Civil Rights Chairman for LULAC.

Garcia said a civil rights march will be held in Dallas on April 9, and encouraged students and others who felt strongly about the issue to plan on taking part in that event rather than missing additional classes.

"Tomorrow, it is very possible that students will begin to be arrested for truancy," said Dallas County Community College trustee Diana Flores. "We want everyone to be heard, but there is a time and a place to do it."

Students from Irving ISD streamed from DART trains at about 10:30 Tuesday morning and marched up Young Street toward City Hall, whooping and hollering, some waving the Mexican flag. Students from Fort Worth and Grand Prairie also walked out of class in protest.

The reflecting pond in front of City Hall became a swimming pool for dozens of young people as the protest continued. At least two students were injured in the water and were taken to hospitals for treatment.

At one point, about 100 students surged into City Hall and got as far as the fifth floor before being escorted back outside by security officers. For the most part, the protest—involving an estimated 2,500 young people at its peak—was peaceful.

Kerry Vargas, 14, from The Academy at Irving ISD, and Sean Wilder, 17, from MacArthur High School were waving a flag from Costa Rica, where their families came from. "I have people in my family who are here illegally," Sean said. "I don't want to see them put away in jail."

Kerry said some kids were going through school, saying "Latinos, stand up," prompting them to leave class. "My family came here and worked really hard," Kerry said. "America isn't just one race. They shouldn't do this to us because we are a large part of the economy." She said she knew a lot of kids were running around not sure what they were protesting.

wfaa links to the video of the students at city hall, here.

an addendum: channel 4 or 5(I forget) said that they would ONLY accept students returning if they came with one of their parents! Are they actually trying to antagonize the students, and maybe even their parents too, by inconveniencing them? The students who are protesting are primarily from working-class and minority rich areas like Grand Prairie and Oak Cliff and downtown, like Skyline.

Monday, March 27, 2006

don't forget...

If you don't believe me, ask the frozen food council, and have some yummy fish sticks. If you haven't already.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Tina Louise and Kerwin Matthews, from the Warrior Princess, 1960. via the Meeker Museum.


and, hover over the face to see the difference. via Josh Narins.

Friday, March 24, 2006

perhaps bored chyron operators do this on purpose

from Media Bistro, via Salon.

Leaving Iraq, pt 1

I've been working, off and on, on a lengthy(and so far, kind of unwieldy) post on the question of whether or not the US should leave Iraq now. I left part of it as a comment at 1115, a new(to me) blog that I first heard of via the Koufaxes, in response to Sarabeth's "Nobody Knows", which you should read. My response:

Even though I think leaving Iraq in chaos is grossly wrong, I’ve come to believe that the US has become one of the destabilizing influences in Iraq. From my vantage point it seems as if so much of what has happened in the past 3 years has been because of Bremer disbanding the Iraqi military, who were mostly Sunni, and who oppressed the Shia under Saddam. The US has essentially sided with the Shiite militias, igniting and inflaming the civil war. If the US leaves the war will probably get bloodier quicker, but the two sides will eventually have to start talking to each other. But if the US stays and aids the Shiites without going so far as helping them secure an outright win against the Sunnis, the war will just keep going indefinitely, and the US will be the obstacle that prevents the Sunnis from going to the negotiating table. As long as they are demonized as “insurgents” and “terrorists”, negotiations will be impossible.

Of course, the Shia will also refuse to negotiate because of their (false) sense that the US is on their side, when in fact the US policy, defacto or deliberate, is just to keep the two sides at each others' throats. This is what the Brits and the French did in Africa a hundred-plus years ago, sowing discord in conquered lands so that the locals wouldn't figure out that it ain't the Hutus/Tutsis/Hausas/Ibos/Arabs/Tuaregs et al they need to be fighting, but well, whitey.

That's where we are, as far as I can see. If you reflect on US/BushCo Iraq policy strictly from a game-theory stance, ignoring their rhetoric, how can you come to any other conclusion? The Bushies want carnage and disorder. They want to wreck countries, and they're probably disappointed that they seem to have run out of time and "political capital" so that they probably won't get a chance to ruin Syria and Iran too. (I question whether Iran is really in jeopardy because it occurs to me that the mullahs may have some October-surprise dirt on Poppy that would suddenly find the light of day if things got too worrisome.)

Xymphora thinks they're doing it for the Israelis. Greg Palast says it's about oil,[via] insofar as capturing Iraq can help keep production down. A recent poll of US g.i'.s in Iraq[via] suggests they mostly think we went to Iraq to get retribution for 9/11, and rhetoric about WMDs notwithstanding, that is pretty much how the war was really sold, just like the current song-and-dance about spreading democracy is just a guilt salve for the unreflective bloodthirsty schmoes who responded to the ur-message of revenge, and have since figured out that all we did was wreck a country that didn't do a damn thing to us and would have been just as happy to sell us Kuwaiti oil in the 90s as they were happy to buy US weaponry in the 80s. How do you do Mistah Rumsfeld?

that photo of rumsfeld and saddam from the reagan years

So now what? The war has cost a quarter of a trillion bucks and counting, and for the money we could have bailed out both Ford and GM, AND brought federalized healthcare to all uninsured Americans(and for the auto workers, to help the bailed-out companies stay competitive), and I'll bet we still would have been ahead. But none of those things would've been particularly macho.

Bush,jnr recently said that the troops will stay through the rest of his presidency. Presumably this will allow Georgie and the delusional few who still support him to then blame the failure of BushCo policies and his war on the subsequent president who will "cut-and-run". This just shows what an evil, puffed-up bag of malodorous wind GWB is. It also parallels his earlier business ventures, almost uniformly failures, in which he took profits, wrecked companies, and others bailed him out.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Spring in Iraq


One of the categories missing from this chart is "US attacks against civilian targets", which seems important to note in light of some of the new facts that have come to light regarding the US raid in Balad from 3.14.

see also"BBC,In the dark:
Foreign troops' killings of Iraqi civilians are often not investigated
(apparently under Iraqi law occupying foreign soldiers cannot be tried for killing civilians.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

war no. 52, Disney, n' von Braun

from Get Your War On, No. 52

did you know that in 1955, Walt Disney made 3 TV movies with former Nazi scientist Wernher von Braun as technical director: Man in Space, First Men to the Moon, and Journey to Mars? I didn't. I try my darndest to learn something new every day. Von Braun also advised Disney on "Tomorrowland" at Disneyland in California.

Walt Disney & von Braun images via

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


the mysterious JK of dunneiv, who may or may not be "crass pastor", has tagged me with a meme, as follows:

Four Jobs I’ve had:
telephone surveyor,
telephone sales(far less pleasant),
insurance sales,
tax preparer.

Four movies I can watch over and over:
8 and a half,
Lawrence of Arabia,
House of Games(even though Mamet's syncopated dialogue no longer charms me.)

Four places I’ve lived:
San Antonio,Tx
Denton, Tx.
actually these are the only places I've lived for any appreciable length of time, post-sentience. I've been told I've lived other places, and seen pictures, so it's probably true.

Four TV Shows I Love:
The Rockford Files,
The X-files,

Four highly regarded and recommended TV shows I haven’t seen (much of):
retro-Battlestar Galactica,
Sex in the City.
the ads suggest 24 is unreflectively melodramatic, so I've shied away from it, and neither Alias nor Sex strike me as shows I'd care for.

Four places I’ve vacationed:
Palm Beach, FL

Four of my favorite dishes:
blueberry pancakes(there was one breakfast place here in Denton which really did them wonderfully which has long since gone.)
Clam Chowder.
I can't think of anything else, although I'm not claiming that I would want to live on nothing but blueberry pancakes and clam chowder. Still, if I could write a book claiming I lost a bunch of weight on such a diet, then went on Oprah...

Four sites I visit daily:
The Sideshow,
BBC News,
and Wikipedia.

Four places I’d rather be right now:
here's ok, I guess. For now. See, I think this is a bad question. A better one would be
four places you'd like to visit that you've never been.
At one time when I was a kid I wanted to visit every place that Tintin had been, even Tibet and the moon, and I figured moon travel would've been commonplace by the time I was middle-aged. Well, I'm 42 and it isn't. And, I missed my chance to ride on the Concorde, another thing I really would've liked to do. C'est la vie.
I would like to visit Barbados one day, as one of my ex-roommates is from there and I could go look him up. I'd also like to visit Brazil and Argentina, and if I made it down there, I suppose I'd want to see Chile too, so that I could say I'd been in a really skinny country, and tell people what the weather was like. Too bad about the Concorde though. I blame Bush. And if the coriolis effect doesn't work the way Molder says it does in Buenos Aires, I'll blame him for that too.


Four new bloggers I’m tagging:
I'm not comfy tagging anybody, as some may regard it as bothersome.
If you want me to tag you, as it were, let me know. If you say that doesn't count, well who made that rule up? You have to leave a comment, cause that's the new rule, saith me.

in those days the tires were skinny

McGoohan and his Lotus 7 from some Lotus site(?), Syrian Protest b'neya [2005]from

Monday, March 20, 2006

hardly worth mentioning...

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office has seized four computer hard drives from the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal as part of a statewide grand-jury investigation into leaks to reporters.

from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

The grand jury is investigating whether the Lancaster County coroner gave reporters for the paper his password to a restricted law enforcement Web site. The site contained nonpublic details of local crimes. The newspaper allegedly used some of those details in articles. If the reporters used the Web site without authorization, officials say, they may have committed a crime
[The reporters' lawyer], William DeStefano, and the coroner, Gary Kirchner, disagreed over whether Kirchner had given them permission to access the site.
DeStefano said that although he didn't know whether any of the reporters used the Web site, "evidence has been presented to the attorney general which makes it clear that the county coroner, an elected official, invited and authorized the paper or reporters access to the restricted portion of the Web site... . If somebody is authorized to give me a password and does, it's not hacking."
[. ..]
The coroner said yesterday that he had not "to my knowledge" provided the password or permission to the reporters."Why would I do that?" Kirchner said yesterday. "I'm not sure how I got drawn into something as goofy as this." State agents raided Kirchner's home outside Lancaster last month and took computers, he said. He said he had had no other contact with authorities since.
So this, perhaps, is a glimpse of our future. I don't know what happened, but let's say the coroner did give the reporter[s] his password. Now he's in hot water with his bosses, and the powers that be go to his house and confiscate his computers. Pretty intimidating, and a good way to impress upon Kirchner that he should deny that he "to his knowledge"[sic] gave the password to the press. His denial is apparently enough to create a second warrant for the reporters' and the newspapers' hard drives.(!?) It starts with the humble Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, speaking of sending a message and impressing it upon others, not so much to the indolent general public, but certainly to the Philly Inquirer, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, et al...

via miaculpa, "beat the press",
and American Samizdat "it starts...startled reporters under siege"

Sunday, March 19, 2006

albatross, etc.

I forget where I found this-- I think it's from a couple of weeks ago.

this polling report chart[from 3-17] suggests that Condoleeza Rice has been singularly successful in inoculating herself from the general taint that the GOP has been suffering from lately. (although I'm also curious how Kerry, Gore, Pelosi, and HRC have been polling recently, as I somehow doubt the democrats are necessarily shining by contrast. If I had to guess, I suspect that Al Gore and Bill Clinton are probably viewed more favorably than any present dem officeholders, including Mrs. Clinton, but I can't afford the el deluxo polling report membership.)

of course, Dr Rice isn't necessarily viewed so favorably elsewhere. She was heckled and called a murderer(!) when she went to speak at the University of Sydney last week, during her 3 day trip down under when she visited with Aussie PM John Howard(photo). To her credit she handled it a lot better than I imagine GWB or Cheney would have, actually asking one of the hecklers if he had something to say.

see also wikinews item, here, and US State dept transcript, here.

a Sunday morning miscellany

CNN: South Dakota hears threats of tourism boycott

PIERRE, South Dakota (AP) -- The superintendent of Mount Rushmore was surprised at first when people from all over the country started calling up to express their opinion about South Dakota's ban on nearly all abortions.
Some callers said they were so upset that they would never visit Mount Rushmore, South Dakota's No. 1 tourist attraction. Others said they were so thrilled that they would make a point of coming to see the chiseled faces of four U.S. presidents in the Black Hills.
Slate:How Much Does It Cost To Buy a Judge in Illinois?

Mark Jurkowitz, Boston Phoenix:
"Attack of the 50 foot Oprah:
Why America’s most powerful celebrity should be more feared than loved"

Mark Schmitt, the Decembrist
who owns bipartisanship?

from Common Dreams(via body n soul):
The United States has tied with Myanmar, the former Burma, for sixth place among countries that are holding the most journalists behind bars, according to a new report by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Each country is jailing five journalists. The United States is holding four Iraqi journalists in detention centers in Iraq and one Sudanese, a cameraman who works for Al Jazeera, at the United States Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. None of the five have been charged with a specific crime.

from Live a U of Michigan study says

"Death Less Painful for the Rich"


the recent 1st round of Koufax voting spurred me on to check out various blogs I hadn't heard of before. Many have quaint names, like

duck of minerva,
and The Terminal Velocity of Sausage.
(makes Hugo Zoom sound positively sober and old-fashioned.)

and, from phronesisaical:
"misery loves company:"

Rumsfeld cashes in on bird flu

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has made more than US$5 million ($7.8 million) from selling shares in the biotech firm behind Tamiflu, the drug being bought to treat a possible bird flu pandemic.

illustration via

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A shapely CATHOLIC SCHOOLGIRL is FIDGETING inside my costume..

My blog is worth $19,194.36.
How much is your blog worth?

when I heard of this website that calculates how much your blog is supposedly worth, I thought of an old Zippy strip in which Zippy is standing on a cliff, asking nobody in particular if he'd sold out yet. So, do you have nineteen grand? No?

Today, by the way, is the birthday of Vanessa L. Williams and John Updike. So happy birthday, you crazy kids.

back to Zippy. Wikipedia says:

The Zippy comic strip has a cult following of devoted readers; however, many people find nothing humorous in Zippy and cannot comprehend the strip. This antagonism and confusion is so common that the official Zippy website contains a tutorial on understanding the comic strip.[see link.]

Friday, March 17, 2006

Ghada Amer

via UNC Chapel Hill

apropo of Lee Siegel discussing MoMA’s current show about contemporary Islamic art*, I thought I’d mention one of the exhibitors, Ghada Amer.

from UNC's “women voices in the franco arabic world:”

Ghada Amer, a 38-year-old Egyptian-born artist who lived in France from the age of 11 and moved to Manhattan four years ago.[c.2001- JV]

Ms. Amer, who received a master's degree in painting at L'École des Beaux-Arts in Nice, found her artistic direction after a visit to her parents in Cairo in 1988. There, she saw how pervasively the veil had been adopted again, hiding the reality of Egyptian women as she knew it. She was particularly stunned, she says, by a fashion magazine featuring sewing patterns called "Venus," which she felt ludicrously superimposed Egyptian veils and hats and long sleeves on Western fashions.

... Ms. Amer uses passages from an 11th-century book written by a Muslim man titled the "Encyclopedia of Pleasure." In the book he earnestly tries to catalog, scientifically, all aspects of sexual pleasure for both men and women.

On the 57 boxes stacked and scattered around the gallery like moving crates — summoning the idea of leaving an old home for a new one — Ms. Amer fitted canvas slipcovers embroidered with sections from the encyclopedia pertaining to women, including her favorite chapter, "On the Advantages of a Nonvirgin Over a Virgin."

"What I find so fantastic about this book is that it's profoundly religious," Ms. Amer says, explaining that it was written during a flourishing intellectual period in Islam but that it has long been a forbidden text. Indeed, the only evidence of its existence is a poor English translation written as a doctoral dissertation and never published. "It's not that the author wanted to make a revolution," she says. "It's that he wanted to be a better Muslim by being a better sexual being. I copied it as a way of preserving it, as proof of something that is very different from now."
While Ms. Amer's parents are progressive in some ways — choosing to educate her and her three sisters in France, for instance — they are strictly religious and have had to get used to their daughter's choice to be an artist, particularly one dealing with the taboo subject of sexuality. Ms. Amer recounts a story about her traditionally veiled cousin, whom she first hired five years ago to help with the time-consuming embroidery.

"In the beginning, she thought that a sex shop had commissioned this," Ms. Amer says with amusement. "I gave her a catalog and tried to explain to her what I was doing. Now, she's the one who explains it to other people. I never believed that art had the possibility of changing the world. Maybe now I believe it a little bit.

(*like Siegel I also wish the MoMA didn’t concentrate so heavily on expatriates, but what are you gonna do...)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

US-led raid kills civilans 15 Mar 2006

I've decided I'm going to try to keep track of these:

"U.S.-led raid kills civilians north of Balad
Police, American military differ on number of casualties"

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 Posted: 1715 GMT (0115 HKT)
11 dead according to police, US:4

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

flag day for Venezuela

here's the old flag of Venezuela,

and here's the new one, as of this past Sunday when Hugo Chavez introduced it. Did you know that he named Wally Chavez until he heard about this blog in 2004? It's a little known fact. You might think you remember people calling him Hugo in 2003, but your memory plays tricks on you; it's the awesome power of the media.

but they sound so reasonable, and went to good schools...

In today's Salon, chi-chi old fart Garrison Keillor writes:
"Only the GOP can save us":

It's time for honorable Republicans to save us all from George W. Bush, a man who does not represent the best that is our country.
If you occasionally read Salon but aren't a subscriber, you are aware that you can get a "day
pass" by watching a 30 second ad to access the article in question. For this? I'd say don't. Keillor posits the existence of reasonable republicans in DC, and while there may well be such characters, or at least ones who mean to be, he further posits that they'll:

speak up,
actually be heard,
not backtrack upon being lambasted by Fox News et al,
not get screwed for not backtracking,
and....... their input will fucking matter.

I also find myself wondering if Keillor was aware of Feingold's censure motion as his op-ed went to press. He doesn't mention it, and if he knew about it, and it wasn't exactly a secret, this only serves to underscore the paternalism that Keillor feels towards the rabble. "Populist grandstanding? How unseemly!"

Earlier this week Mike De Wine, Olympia Snowe, Chuck Hagel and Lindsey Graham, four so-called moderate, reasonable republicans of the sort that make Keillor go all soft at the knees, got set to introduce legislation to make it illegal for journalists to report on federal wiretapping activities, and expand the scope of the wiretapping that's currently going on without court warrant.

Hagel, perhaps ironically, was one of the senators who criticized the administration when their warrantless wiretapping program came to light in December. Maybe he just wanted a piece of the action.

I suppose Keillor would tut-tut me for suggesting this, just as he did last fall to liberals who objected to Roberts' nomination for chief justice:

There were worse nominees George Bush might have sent up to the Supreme Court, and he did not. So shake hands with John Roberts and wish him well...
Democrats were prepared to ... sic the dogs of direct mail on him, but when he brought forth a summa cum laude Harvard man, the crowd quieted down and the dogs crawled back under the porch. The gentleman, John G. Roberts, has a fine résumé and did well at Harvard. Barring some unsavory revelation about close ties to the Gambino family or membership in a secret militia group, welcome to the Court, sir.

This is old-fashioned American elitism and we all believe in it. When you meet the surgeon who will open up your chest, you want his degree to be from a great and famous school, not from the Amigos College of Medicine, P.O. Box 45, Del Rio, Texas...

Mr. Roberts has a good story. A boy grows up in Indiana, which is a disadvantage, but he overcomes it by hard work and clean, purposeful living...

So don't get too excited about a Supreme Court appointment. It's just a job. The only people who know what Judge Roberts will amount to will be the historians 50 years from now and even they won't agree about it. I say, if a man can go through Harvard summa cum laude and still be a yahoo, then the country is in worse trouble than we knew.

Emphases mine. Perhaps we can send him to Indiana, although I imagine Indiana hasn't done anything to deserve it. For my part I do subscribe to Salon, and generally mean to continue, but it occurs to me that if Keillor is so fond of chiding Salon readers for their immoderation, maybe he'd like George Bush jrs proposal regarding allowing union members to opt out from having their dues monies spent on political advocacy applied to Salon "dues". Can I subscribe to Salon without any of my money going to pay Mistah Woebegone's salary?

see also Zembla's "heads they win, tails we lose"

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

it's a wunder i can operat thisyere blog

You Failed 8th Grade Math

Oh no, you only got 1/10 correct!

I know, it's terrible. in the past week or so I've seen a bunch of people who've put the you've-passed-8th-grade graphic from this quiz on their blogs, so I decided that a corrective was in order. If U R smart enough to figure out how to select the hyperlink, U can take th' quiz yourself.

BBC/AP fall 2001

Monday, March 13, 2006

Kitty Genovese

Maybe you remember her from school. Kitty Genovese was a 29 year old woman who was murdered 42 years ago today, and her screams should have been heard by many people, most of whom did nothing. The phenomenon of bystander effect has come to be forever associated with her name since.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Tom Fox and others

if you follow the news on weekends, you've probably already heard that kidnapped aid worker Tom Fox was found dead. Still no word about the other 3 persons kidnapped with him, Briton Norman Kember and Canadians James Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden. By Monday, however, I imagine the death of Milosevic will overshadow the news about Fox in international news. When I heard about Fox I thought about two things: 1st, I wondered about Jill Carroll, and 2nd, I remembered Iraqi-Texas blogger Fayruz's letter from last year about paying ransom to kidnappers in Iraq:

Mr. Silvio Berlusconi,
Next time you negotiate with terrorists, look at ...[these pictures].... Think of where the ransom money is going. This week, you had one state funeral in Italy. We lost 47 Iraqis who were attending a funeral. Those people who died didn't have the privilege to have their names splashed across the newspapers. They're just numbers to the rest of the world while they were dear to their loved ones.If you're honest about helping Iraqi people then stop paying terrorists. Don't help feed the killing machine in Iraq by filling the terrorists pockets with money. My condolences to the unnamed Iraqis who died in the latest terror act in Mosul. Your names are written on the stars.

I have no idea whether or not the dynamic works the way Fayrouz says it does, but obviously the money is going somewhere. More recently, Fay also takes note of Reem Zeid and Marwan Khazaal, two Iraq journalists who were kidnapped earlier this year.

see also Arab Press Freedom Watch, here.

Sunday 3-12, some additional thoughts:

Zeynep discusses Tom Fox's last known e-mail, via Jonathan Schwarz, who shares this particularly poignant image of Fox with 2 children. I admit I still don't understand why aid workers are targeted. Apart from its wantonness, it only stokes the fires of bigoted types who see Arabs as unredeemably savage, although I suppose that the kidnappers may have decided that all Americans are like that, because they presumably voted for the warmonger Bush.

When Fay says that paying ransoms only enables violent people, what about when kidnaps occur because of the desire to move policy, such evacuating prisons or getting a specific country to abandon the US/UK coalition? That doesn't mean she is necessarily wrong, but I wonder why kidnappers who just want money "sell" their hostages to politically motivated groups, as we occasionally hear about this phenomenon. Wouldn't it make more sense to deal with the journalistic bureaus directly? This would make the most sense for both financially motivated kidnappers and the media outlets. Who or what is preventing this, and allowing a market in reselling hostages to be created?

image of Tom Fox via AP,
dead child in Mosul via Middle East Online

Friday, March 10, 2006

th' Luna music club

taken in 2005 with an entry-level Canon point-n-shoot camera, with the aid of the intrepid Cindy DeLeon. And yes, the sky has been mucked around with(to delete a window sticker).
7000 block(?) of San Pedro, San Antonio, Tx. Of course if you want to see some really swanky photos by someone who knows what he's doing, you should go visit Paul Goyette at Locussolus.

Fri ME pop star bloggin': Harika Avcy


this is one of the least naughty pictures I could find of Ms. Avcy. If you're disappointed that it's not more naughty, well the vast internet awaits.(the apparent plethora of augmented risque images of middle eastern pop star women probably has some sort of cultural significance...)

Thursday, March 09, 2006


1951 Salmson catalogue
Salmson used to build both airplanes and automobiles. They're still around, although they haven't built cars since the late 50's. I think they build industrial equipment nowadays.

'54 Salmson 2300 coupe. I don't think the wheel covers are original.