Saturday, September 24, 2005
i coincidentally came across THIS today as well. Queen of Scots
i have always found her beautiful, yes, if not androgynous. like so very few in her profession she takes risks. she's not afraid to be seen as less than glamorous on camera. i admire that. oh, please note she has collaborated with andy goldsworthy, named artist of the day in my blog a few weeks ago.
A Powerful Presence On-Screen, Tilda Swinton Eschews Regal Airs Off It
By Ann Hornaday Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, September 25, 2005; Page N01
"It's all about the Goldsworthys."
Tilda Swinton's laugh is only slightly rueful as she winds up a photo session in front of "Roof," sculptor Andy Goldsworthy's installation of stacked-slate domes at the National Gallery of Art. While Swinton, who like Goldsworthy lives in Scotland, poses in front of the contemplative mounds, her feet occasionally grazing their surface, it's clear that the museum's curators and security personnel are far more excited about the well-being of the art than the mere presence of a celebrity.
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Of course, it doesn't help that Swinton, 44, exudes not one whiff of actressy self-regard. In town to promote her new movie, "Thumbsucker," which opens Friday, the muse of artists and fashion designers alike keeps a low profile in the hushed museum, stopping only once to sign an autograph. She describes her fan base as a "secret handshake society," and it's true that, since making a stunning debut in Derek Jarman's "Caravaggio" in 1986, then delivering similarly potent performances in Sally Potter's adaptation of Virginia Woolf's "Orlando" and the post-feminist parable "Female Perversions," she has garnered a following composed of the discriminating and passionate few, filmgoers whose admiration of Swinton borders on worship of her patrician, androgynous beauty and keen intelligence.
But that has changed in recent years, as Swinton has begun to appear in bigger, or as she calls them, "industrial" films. Once a sort of mascot of independent film at its most intellectual and adventurous, Swinton has become a memorable presence in movies as diverse as the journalistic thriller "Adaptation," the sci-fi drama "Vanilla Sky" and the comic book fantasy "Constantine."
Swinton's co-stars in those films were Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves, respectively, and the fact that hers is increasingly mentioned in the same breath as such marquee names comes as something of a surprise to her fans.................
in dc that is
(Storm watch: Hurricane Rita's path, projected this morning by the National Weather Service. Noted are Halliburton's HQ in Houston; Wal-Mart's HQ in Bentonville, Arkansas; Edmond, Oklahoma, where former FEMA director Mike Brown was assistant to the city manager, not "assistant city manager"; and Bartlesville, Oklahoma, my hometown)
from a blog in the village voice
Morning Report 9/23/05
The End Times and Profits of Doom
As Hurricane Rita nears Gulf coast, more looting spotted in D.C.
Oil speculators are pissed off this morning as Hurricane Rita weakened slightly, but they're probably not as unhappy as the families of elderly Texans who were killed as their bus exploded on Interstate 45 while they were fleeing Houston.
Monumental traffic jams — meaning more pissed people — hampered rescue crews from getting to the scene. CNN's early reports indicate at least 20 people killed when the bus burst into flames in the middle of a paralyzing gridlock on the highway. KWTX-TV in Waco reports "multiple fatalities" and adds:
Some of the passengers were reportedly on oxygen, and oxygen tanks may have helped fuel the fire, which burned for a long period of time.
At least helpless people were being bused to safety, unlike the situation before Hurricane Katrina, when the race to safety was so one-sided that at least tens of thousands of poor, black people living in New Orleans were neglected..................
Courtesy of the Jewish Museum Shocking, graphic, memorable: Joan Snyder’s Women in Camps, 1988.
Painter Joan Snyder Takes On the Big Boys: Pollock, de Kooning By Hilton Kramer
What, for other artists, might be considered excess—excess energy, excess emotion, excess ambition, excessive quantities of paints and other materials for making paintings—is, for Joan Snyder, a minimum of what a painting requires. She belongs to the school that labors in the belief that Too Much Is Hardly Enough. As a consequence of this painterly overload, Ms. Snyder’s work has an immediate and compelling impact on the viewer—so much so, indeed, that the initial encounter doesn’t leave much room for later discoveries. The paintings on view in her show at the Jewish Museum are so “out front” to begin with that subsequent encounters with the work simply confirm one’s first impression of the artist’s hell-bent appetite for excess. What results from this high-energy ambition are paintings that are big and blowzy and blatantly competitive. It’s not with her immediate contemporaries, however, that Ms. Snyder enters into fierce competition. (She hardly bothers to acknowledge the existence of contemporaries—unless they share her ardently feminist views on art and life.) The artists she’s eager to compete with and surpass are the big boys of the Abstract Expressionist generation—Pollock, Kline, de Kooning, Hofmann et al. Born too late to be a member of that generation, she nonetheless stakes her claim as its principal successor...................
i just coincidentally came across this book review in the nation today. it's on a new biography of sam cooke
sam is one of my favorite artists. his voice is velvet and gets right into your soul. a friend sent me a bootleg recording of sam live in a club with an audience made up of people of color. what a difference in that recording and sam's studio recordings or his tv appearances. he seemed to feel more comfortable and was looser. he seemed to let you get a glimpse of the inside of him rather than just a surface look. he wasn't 'performing' the songs on this live recording, he was LIVING them.
In Search of Sam Cooke
Peter Guralnick's Dream Boogie follows You Send Me, Daniel Wolff's serious and authoritative Sam Cooke biography, by ten years. It's nearly twice as long--too long, like so many doorstops before it, including Careless Love, the second volume of Guralnick's life of Elvis. But it draws on research that would have justified an even more monumental book. Guralnick doesn't add much to Wolff's thesis. Both argue that though the soul singer who predated soul music made many records that fell short of his artistic potential, he was nevertheless a heroic figure, topping a voice that for those who loved it was liquid magic--cool, relaxed, infinitely inviting--with a questing intelligence and cultural ambition startling in a teen idol whose most important compositions included "You Send Me" and "Twistin' the Night Away." As Cooke strove for pop success, he funded one of the most resolutely black labels the record business has known. He supported the civil rights movement in word and deed. He studied black history. At the time of his death in December 1964, he really was a hero, cut down in his prime at 33, and Guralnick's sense of this man, and of the lesser men and women who surrounded him, is vastly more complex and vivid than his predecessor's.
That Wolff is no hack hardly puts him in a league with Guralnick, who alongside the more eccentric and intellectually ambitious Greil Marcus is the prestige brand in rock authordom. By 1986 Guralnick had published two major profile collections and Sweet Soul Music, which remains the go-to history of the style. Yet only with the 1994 publication of Elvis I, Last Train to Memphis, did many outside the specialist audience recognize his gift. Even in the intermittently clumsy 1971 Feel Like Going Home, where five of the eight subjects are bluesmen, Guralnick's self-effacing eye lent a cinÃ©ma vÃ©ritÃ© authority lacking in, for instance, Michael Lydon's hipper and slicker collection Rock Folk. By 1979's Lost Highway, which focuses on country and rockabilly, he was a master of the journalistic portrait. Yet for Guralnick, who until the 1990s made his living running a summer camp he'd inherited, journalism was only a means to literature. Despite a few shortcomings, Last Train to Memphis justified his ambitions--it is a book that grows in the mind. I can't see how any reader could come away unmoved by Elvis Presley's intelligence, musicality and sense of spiritual adventure, or still crediting the character assassinations of Albert Goldman's Elvis, which Marcus once predicted would be conventional wisdom in perpetuity. ..................
here is another informative sam cooke site
just listening to mayor bill white of houston texas on abc news. i liked what he was saying. he wasn't an alarmist but he sure wasn't pulling any punches either. we're (ALL of us) in for some hard times up ahead.
i have a friend in houston. i hope he and his family and friends and neighbors are all ok.
lots of candles are lit for the people in the gulf areas (again)
Friday, September 23, 2005
hell if i know! why in the WORLD would TWO police officers in an unmarked car (at least one from homeland security) follow and surveil (is that a word? if not, it is now) TWO (that's right TWO NOT a GROUP or a MOB, but TWO) vegans who were protesting on public property? shouldn't homeland security be somewhere protecting our borders from TERRORISTS? oh, i'm vegan by the way BUT that has nothing to do with posting this story. i would have anyway.
ACLU sues Homeland Security for arresting, spying on vegans who protested ham
The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal lawsuit in Atlanta on behalf of two vegan protesters who were subjected to imprisonment, arrest and harassment by Homeland Security officials, RAW STORY has learned.
The lawsuit stems from a Dec. 2003 incident, when vegans Caitlin Childs and Christopher Freeman were protesting on public property outside a Honey Baked Ham store in Georgia's DeKalb County.
After the protest, the duo noticed they were being watched and photographed by a man in an unmarked car. They approached the car and wrote down the make, model, color and license plate number on a piece of paper. They then noticed the unmarked car was following them.
According to the ACLU suit, the car contained both a uniformed police officer and an undercover detective, later identified as Homeland Security Detective D.A. Gorman. The two pulled in behind Childs and Freeman and ordered them to exit their car.
Gorman then demanded that she turn over the piece of paper on which she had copied his license tag number. Childs refused to hand the paper over, and was handcuffed.
She was searched a male officer, despite her request to be searched only by a female officer, the ACLU says.
Both Childs and Freeman were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Police confiscated the piece of paper and Childs' house keys. Both were released from custody, but neither the piece of paper nor the keys were returned. The county has not pursued a criminal case.
To view the surveillance photos taken by Homeland Security, go to http://www.aclu.org/spyfiles/honeyham/1.html ................................
Critics Say EPA Withholding Information on New Orleans Contamination
Journalists, government watchdogs and a top Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official have criticized EPA’s inability to provide adequate data on the location and danger of chemicals leaked into New Orleans communities in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Last week Hugh Kaufman, a senior EPA policy analyst in the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, said of EPA’s water testing efforts, “There is not enough information to draw any conclusions other than EPA has become totally incompetent at water testing, or there is a cover up.” 
George Sorvalis, outreach associate for OMB Watch, a nonprofit government accountability group, told BushGreenwatch, “EPA does not appear to be testing for chemicals related to the petrochemical and oil industries, including diesel and byproducts of petrochemical refining. These are chemicals you would expect EPA to test for.”
“EPA’s sampling to date has been spotty and inconsistent,” says Darryl Malek-Wiley, a New Orleans-based environmental justice advocate for Sierra Club, who spoke to BushGreenwatch from Baton Rouge. “The amount of sampling that has been done doesn’t fully characterize what is happening in New Orleans.”
Sorvalis, who has been in close communication with a number of scientists and researchers working in the New Orleans area, said EPA’s failure to assess the presence and danger of such chemicals presents a particular concern for rescue workers and others exposed to the contaminated water. “Many chemical byproducts of the petrochemical industry are hazardous to human health and can breach certain types of protective gear,” said Sorvalis. “If EPA is not testing for them, how can people make the right choices to protect themselves?”
Not only has EPA failed to distinguish exactly which petrochemical industry byproducts lurk in the floodwaters, said Sorvalis, but the limited amount of information EPA has is poorly organized and difficult to access. “This information should be available by a click of the mouse, but it has taken me, a professional, days to find out the real story.”.........
The Porn of War
On November 15, 2004, a report on CNN.com briefly described a clash in the Iraqi city of Baquba, including an insurgent attack with rocket-propelled grenades on members of the First Infantry Division, in which four American soldiers were wounded. CNN did not post any images of the battle, and the incident wasn't given much attention in other media.
But visitors to the amateur porn website nowthatsfuckedup.com were given a much closer view of the action: "today in baquba we got into the shit again and got some of it on vid.....this is me and my wingman fuckin some shit up when these fucks shot 3 rpg's at us so we took down the whole spot.....look for yourself...the fight lasted like 85 mins total and they are still counting up the bodies."
The poster, an anonymous soldier identified only as "Stress_Relief," uploaded two videos of the clash onto the website, drawing enthusiastic responses from patrons: "nice work, guys. Keep blasting those mujadeen [sic] bastards."
Originally created as a site for men to share images of their sexual partners, this site has taken the concept of user-created content to a grim new low: US troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan are invited to display graphic battlefield photos apparently taken with their personal digital cameras. And thousands of people are logging on to take a look.
The website has become a stomach-churning showcase for the pornography of war--close-up shots of Iraqi insurgents and civilians with heads blown off, or with intestines spilling from open wounds. Sometimes photographs of mangled body parts are displayed: Part of the game is for users to guess what appendage or organ is on display...............
The men from Blackwater USA arrived in New Orleans right after Katrina hit. The company known for its private security work guarding senior US diplomats in Iraq beat the federal government and most aid organizations to the scene in another devastated Gulf. About 150 heavily armed Blackwater troops dressed in full battle gear spread out into the chaos of New Orleans. Officially, the company boasted of its forces "join[ing] the hurricane relief effort." But its men on the ground told a different story.
Some patrolled the streets in SUVs with tinted windows and the Blackwater logo splashed on the back; others sped around the French Quarter in an unmarked car with no license plates. They congregated on the corner of St. James and Bourbon in front of a bar called 711, where Blackwater was establishing a makeshift headquarters. From the balcony above the bar, several Blackwater guys cleared out what had apparently been someone's apartment. They threw mattresses, clothes, shoes and other household items from the balcony to the street below. They draped an American flag from the balcony's railing. More than a dozen troops from the 82nd Airborne Division stood in formation on the street watching the action.
Armed men shuffled in and out of the building as a handful told stories of their past experiences in Iraq. "I worked the security detail of both Bremer and Negroponte," said one of the Blackwater guys, referring to the former head of the US occupation, L. Paul Bremer, and former US Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte. Another complained, while talking on his cell phone, that he was getting only $350 a day plus his per diem. "When they told me New Orleans, I said, 'What country is that in?'" he said. He wore his company ID around his neck in a case with the phrase Operation Iraqi Freedom printed on it...........................
Thursday, September 22, 2005
New Vatican Rule Said to Bar Gays as New Priests
By IAN FISHER and LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: September 22, 2005
ROME, Sept. 21 - Homosexuals, even those who are celibate, will be barred from becoming Roman Catholic priests, a church official said Wednesday, under stricter rules soon to be released on one of the most sensitive issues facing the church.
The official, said the question was not "if it will be published, but when," referring to the new ruling about homosexuality in Catholic seminaries, a topic that has stirred much recent rumor and worry in the church. The official, who has authoritative knowledge of the new rules, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the church's policy of not commenting on unpublished reports.
He said that while Pope Benedict XVI had not yet signed the document, it would probably be released in the next six weeks.
In addition to the new document, which will apply to the church worldwide, Vatican investigators have been instructed to visit each of the 229 seminaries in the United States.
Although work on the document began years ago under Pope John Paul II, who died in April, its release will be a defining act in the young papacy of Benedict, a conservative who said last spring that there was a need to "purify" the church after the deeply damaging sex scandals of the last several years..........
if benny wants some hints on how to purify the church, i am chuck full o' them! just ax benny just ax (but say please)
Haitian children sold as cheap labourers and prostitutes for little more than £50
Dominican Republic accused of turning a blind eye to thriving trade in youngsters
Gary Younge in Santo Domingo Thursday September 22, 2005 The Guardian
On market day in Dajabón, a bustling Dominican town on the Haitian border, you can pick up many bargains if you know where to look. You can haggle the price of a live chicken down to 40 pesos (72p); wrestle 10lb of macaroni from 60 to 50 pesos; and, with some discreet inquiries, buy a Haitian child for the equivalent of £54.22.
"You just ask around town," says Hilda Pe-a, who monitors border crossings for the Jesuit Refugee Service. "People know who the scouts are. You just tell them what kind of child you are looking for and they can bring across whatever it is that you want."
There is a thriving trade in Haitian children in the Dominican Republic, where they are mostly used for domestic service, agricultural work or prostitution. Eight-year-old Jesus Josef was one of them. Numbed by a mixture of trauma and shyness, this small boy with huge eyes cannot recall how he left his three brothers and mother in Haiti and ended up doing domestic work for a Dominican family in Barahona, 120 miles from the capital, Santo Domingo.
Jesus sits quietly as Father Pedro Ruquoy, who runs a refuge near Barahona, tells how he escaped from the family and ran away to a local hospice. When he arrived his neck was twisted from carrying heavy loads on his shoulder and the marks on his slender torso suggested ill-treatment. The Dominican family found out where he was and came to the hospice demanding either his return or 10,000 pesos for the loss. "They used him as a slave," says Mr Ruquoy. "And they tortured him."..................
i really don't mind teaching the bible. it's a must read for most. it's part of our history and it's a great work (of fiction for the most part). there is a difference between TEACHING and PREACHING though. i DO mind the preaching part and the proselytizing.
Bible textbook could circumvent culture war
BY STEVEN THOMMA Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON - (KRT) - Seeking to defuse a central controversy of the culture wars, a Bible advocacy group will unveil a new textbook Thursday that could open the door to widespread Bible courses in public high schools.
BUSH'S BOOZE CRISIS
By JENNIFER LUCE and DON GENTILE
Faced with the biggest crisis of his political life, President Bush has hit the bottle again, The National Enquirer can reveal.Bush, who said he quit drinking the morning after his 40th birthday, has started boozing amid the Katrina catastrophe.Family sources have told how the 59-year-old president was caught by First Lady Laura downing a shot of booze at their family ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he learned of the hurricane disaster.His worried wife yelled at him: "Stop, George."Following the shocking incident, disclosed here for the first time, Laura privately warned her husband against "falling off the wagon" and vowed to travel with him more often so that she can keep an eye on Dubya, the sources add."When the levees broke in New Orleans, it apparently made him reach for a shot," said one insider. "He poured himself a Texas-sized shot of straight whiskey and tossed it back. The First Lady was shocked and shouted: "Stop George!""Laura gave him an ultimatum before, 'It's Jim Beam or me.' She doesn't want to replay that nightmare — especially now when it's such tough going for her husband."Bush is under the worst pressure of his two terms in office and his popularity is near an all-time low. The handling of the Katrina crisis and troop losses in Iraq have fueled public discontent and pushed Bush back to drink.A Washington source said: "The sad fact is that he has been sneaking drinks for weeks now. Laura may have only just caught him — but the word is his drinking has been going on for a while in the capital. He's been in a pressure cooker for months."The war in Iraq, the loss of American lives, has deeply affected him. He takes every soldier's life personally. It has left him emotionally drained.The result is he's taking drinks here and there, likely in private, to cope. "And now with the worst domestic crisis in his administration over Katrina, you pray his drinking doesn't go out of control."Another source said: "I'm only surprised to hear that he hadn't taken a shot sooner. Before Katrina, he was at his wit's end. I've known him for years. He's been a good ol' Texas boy forever. George had a drinking problem for years that most professionals would say needed therapy. He doesn't believe in it [therapy], he never got it. He drank his way through his youth, through college and well into his thirties. Everyone's drinking around him."Another source said: "A family member told me they fear George is 'falling apart.' The First Lady has been assigned the job of gatekeeper." Bush's history of drinking dates back to his youth. Speaking of his time as a young man in the National Guard, he has said: "One thing I remember, and I'm most proud of, is my drinking and partying. Those were the days my friends. Those were the good old days!"Age 26 in 1972, he reportedly rounded off a night's boozing with his 16-year-old brother Marvin by challenging his father to a fight.On November 1, 2000, on the eve of his first presidential election, Bush acknowledged that in 1976 he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol near his parents' home in Maine. Age 30 at the time, Bush pleaded guilty and paid a $150 fine. His driving privileges were temporarily suspended in Maine.
blumenthal does some fairly decent things....... (remember he is opposing the 'no child left behind' bs)
Blumenthal: Out-Of-State Civil Unions To Be Recognized
POSTED: 8:57 am EDT September 21, 2005
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut will recognize civil unions and possibly domestic partnerships from other states and foreign countries when a new law allowing civil unions takes effect here Oct. 1.
But Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Tuesday that Connecticut will not recognize same-sex marriages from neighboring Massachusetts because the Connecticut Legislature has defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
"Civil unions performed in other states are entitled to full faith and credit in Connecticut, and cannot be repeated here. Out-of-state same-sex marriages have no legal force and effect here," Blumenthal wrote in a legal opinion requested by the state's Department of Public Health, which administers marriage licenses.
Married same-sex couples will, however, be able to enter into civil unions in Connecticut.
Currently, Vermont is the only other state that allows civil unions. Massachusetts is the only state that allows same-sex marriages. Several states, including California, New Jersey and Maine, allow some form of same-sex domestic partnership. Blumenthal said Connecticut will recognize the California partnerships but needs to review the laws in New Jersey, Maine and other states and countries to see how they match up with Connecticut's civil unions law............
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
the bush-whacked boyz know as much about mysticism as i do about the mating rituals of the now-extinct (we think) thylacine (and i forgot to add, i'm shakin' in my shoes jebbie. please don't unleash cheng on us)
i got this via news from the underground mark crispin miller's blog
Gov. Bush & his mystical buddy
fter more than an hour of solemn ceremony naming Rep. Marco Rubio, R-West Miami, as the 2007-08 House speaker, Gov. Jeb Bush stepped to the podium in the House chamber last week and told a short story about "unleashing Chang," his "mystical warrior" friend.Here are Bush's words, spoken before hundreds of lawmakers and politicians:''Chang is a mystical warrior. Chang is somebody who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society.''I rely on Chang with great regularity in my public life. He has been by my side and sometimes I let him down. But Chang, this mystical warrior, has never let me down.''Bush then unsheathed a golden sword and gave it to Rubio as a gift.''I'm going to bestow to you the sword of a great conservative warrior,'' he said, as the crowd roared.The crowd, however, could be excused for not understanding Bush's enigmatic foray into the realm of Eastern mysticism.We're here to help.In a 1989 Washington Post article on the politics of tennis, former President George Bush was quoted as threatening to ''unleash Chang'' as a means of intimidating other players.The saying was apparently quite popular with Gov. Bush's father, and referred to a legendary warrior named Chang who was called upon to settle political disputes in Chinese dynasties of yore.The phrase has evolved, under Gov. Jeb Bush's use, to mean the need to fix conflicts or disagreements over an issue. Faced with a stalemate, the governor apparently "unleashes Chang" as a rhetorical device, signaling it's time to stop arguing and start agreeing.No word on if Rubio will unleash Chang, or the sword, as he faces squabbles in the future.Let freedom ringOne of the more heavily lobbied issues in the 2006 Legislature is likely to be the proposal to change the way Florida regulates mail-order wine sales.Court rulings have invalidated the state's existing law, which bans out-of-state wineries from selling directly to Florida consumers.............
China 'acts on forced abortions' Several Chinese health workers have reportedly been arrested or sacked over claims that they forced people to have abortions or sterilisations.
China's state-owned media said the abuses had come to light in Linyi city in the eastern province of Shandong.
US magazine Time said last week that some 7,000 people had been sterilised against their will in Shandong.
Human rights groups often accuse China of forcing sterilisations and abortions - a charge Beijing denies.
China brought in a one-child policy 25 years ago in a drive to curb population growth.
Urban couples are offered strong incentives to have no more than one child, while rural families are allowed up to two.
However, the government does not authorise health workers to carry out forced sterilisation and abortions.
China is the world's most populous country, with a population of more than 1.3 billion people............
'THEY'LL KILL ME' -- A GAY IRANIAN TORTURE VICTIM SPEAKS
by Doug Ireland for Gay City News Senior Contributing Editor
I wrote the following article for Gay City News -- the largest gay weekly paper in New York City -- and it will appear in their new issue on Thursday.
Amir is a 22-year-old gay Iranian who was arrested by Iran’s morality police as part of a massive Internet entrapment campaign targeting gays. He was beaten and tortured while in custody, threatened with death, and lashed 100 times (see photos). He escaped from Iran in August, and is now in Turkey, where he awaits the granting of asylum by a gay-friendly country.
In a two hour telephone interview from Turkey, Amir -- through a translator -- provided a terrifying, first-hand account of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s intense and extensive anti-gay crackdown, which swept up Amir and made him its victim. Here is Amir’s story:
Amir is from Shiraz, a city of more than a million people in southwestern Iran that the Shah tried to make “the Paris of Iran” in the 1960s and 1970s, attracting a not insignificant gay population and making Shiraz a favorite vacation spot for Iranian gays -- but after the 1979 revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini, Shiraz was targeted as a symbol of taaghoot (decadence). Amir’s father was killed by a gas attack in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1987, becoming -- in the Islamic Republic’s official parlance -- a “martyr,” whose surviving family thus had the right to special benefits and treatment from the state.
Amir, who grew up with his mother, an older brother and two sisters, says “I’ve known I was gay since I was about 5 or 6 -- I always preferred to play with girls. I had my first sexual experience with a man when I was 13. But nobody in my family knew I was gay.” Amir’s first arrest for being gay occurred two years ago. “I was at a private gay party, about 25 young people there, all of us close friends. One of the kids, Ahmed Reza -- whose father was a colonel in the intelligence services, and who was known to the police to be gay -- snitched on us, and alerted the authorities this private party was going to happen. Ahmed waited until everyone was there, then called the Office for Promotion of Virtue and Prohibition of Vice, headed in Shiraz by Colonel Safaniya, who a few minutes later raided the party. The door opened, and the cops swarmed in, insulting us -- screaming ‘who’s the bottom? Who’s the top?’ and beating us, led by Colonel Javanmardi. When someone tried to stop them beating up the host of the party, they were hit with pepper spray. One of our party was a trans-sexual -- the cops slapped her face so hard they busted her eardrum and she wound up in hospital. Ahmed Reza, the gay snitch, was identifying everyone as the cops beat us up........
holy shite!!!!!!!!!!! the office for promotion of virtue and prohibition of vice? day - um. i think i missed passing by that doorway long ago
Report: Hurricane tax aid does more for wealthier survivors
9/20/2005, 3:39 p.m. CT
By MARY DALRYMPLE The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) Tax breaks designed to help Hurricane Katrina victims get their hands on needed cash could do more for higher income survivors than for the neediest, a congressional report says.
The Congressional Research Service, an office that provides nonpartisan legislative analysis to lawmakers, pointed to several items in virtually identical bills that passed in the House and Senate last week.
One helps hurricane victims get access to their savings by waiving penalties imposed on taxpayers who tap into their retirement savings accounts before retirement. Others let taxpayers write off more of their destroyed property, and erase taxes regularly imposed when a debt, like a mortgage, is forgiven.
The report says lower income survivors are less likely to have retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs to tap into for recovery. Because many lower income individuals and families pay little tax, assistance efforts that lower their taxes may do little good, the report said.
However, the same tax bills also include tax assistance specifically for lower income families that help the working poor hang onto their income tax credits, which can be disrupted by unemployment or family separation.
The provision lets those left unemployed or earning less because of Hurricane Katrina calculate their earned income tax credit based on income earned last year, allowing some families to claim a bigger credit. A similar calculation could be done for the child tax credit.
The House and Senate bills must be reconciled and signed by President Bush before becoming law............
Email from arrested White House official suggests powerful congressman lied about trip
WASHINGTON -- News of David Safavian's arrest Monday ricocheted through the Washington political scene like a gunshot.
Safavian, 38, who oversaw $300 billion in federal procurement for President George W. Bush, quit Friday after an FBI operation alleged he obstructed an investigation and tried to finagle a government deal for a friend. He was appointed in 2004.
Yet what is most significant about Safavian's case isn't Safavian himself. It’s the fact that he was arrested—and that emails he sent to conservative superlobbyist Jack Abramoff indicated that those on the trip knew that a trip to Scotland in 2002 was being paid for by the lobbyist
An email sent by Safavian appears to indicate that the powerful Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) lied when he said he was "duped" by Abramoff and lied again on financial disclosure forms when he said that a nonprofit had paid for the trip, RAW STORY has found............
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
a man who taught us a lesson
Nazi Hunter Simon Wiesenthal Is Dead at 96
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: September 20, 2005
Filed at 4:56 a.m. ET
VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust survivor who helped track down Nazi war criminals following World War II, then spent the later decades of his life fighting anti-Semitism and prejudice against all people, died Tuesday. He was 96.Wiesenthal died in his sleep at his home in Vienna, said Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.
''I think he'll be remembered as the conscience of the Holocaust. In a way he became the permanent representative of the victims of the Holocaust, determined to bring the perpetrators of the greatest crime to justice,'' Hier told The Associated Press.
Wiesenthal, who was an architect before World War II, changed his life's mission after the war, dedicating himself to trying to track down Nazi war criminals and to being a voice for the 6 million Jews who died during the onslaught. He himself lost 89 relatives in the Holocaust.
Wiesenthal spent more than 50 years hunting Nazi war criminals, speaking out against neo-Nazism and racism, and remembering the Jewish experience as a lesson for humanity. Through his work, he said, some 1,100 Nazi war criminals were brought to justice...............
(the more they say, the LESS you know)
WSJ's Taranto offered no backup to his claim that Bush's poll numbers are bouncing back
Appearing on the September 16 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Wall Street Journal OpinionJournal.com editor James Taranto relied upon nonspecific poll data to claim that President Bush's job approval ratings are rebounding after the Hurricane Katrina disaster and that the Democratic response to President Bush's handling of the catastrophe has "backfired." It is unclear, however, to which polls Taranto was referring, as most polling shows Bush's approval ratings are in a steady, downward slide.
Without citing any specific polls, Taranto claimed that Bush's job approval ratings have risen recently, saying: "I think we've already seen the poll numbers start to bounce back." When co-host Alan Colmes asked Taranto, "Where are the poll numbers bouncing back?" Taranto obliquely replied: "I've seen some polls in which the approval rating is almost as high as the disapproval." Guest host and National Review editor Rich Lowry then admonished Colmes and suggested that the data Taranto referred to is posted on OpinionJournal.com, saying: "Read OpinionJournal.com, Alan. Come on."
But most polling available prior to September 16 shows that Bush's job approval ratings have steadily declined and, indeed, several polls show Bush's approval ratings at the lowest mark of his presidency. Among recent polls showing record-low approval ratings for Bush:
ABC News/Washington Post, conducted September 8-11; 42 percent approve, 57 percent disapprove.
NBC News/Wall Street Journal, conducted September 9-12; 40 percent approve, 57 percent disapprove.
CBS News/New York Times, conducted September 9-13; 41 percent approve, 53 percent disapprove.
Fox News/Opinion Dynamics, conducted September 13-14; 41 percent approve, 51 percent disapprove.
Even The Winston Group, a Republican polling outfit, put Bush's approval rating at 42 percent in an August 31-September 1 poll (subscription required) released September 15. All of these polls had margins of error of +/- 3 percentage points............
Cindy Sheehan speaking out in Union Square with Al Zappala, who also lost a son in Iraqphoto: Sarah Ferguson
NYPD Unplugs Cindy Sheehan
City’s Finest pulls move even Bush wouldn’t have tried
by Sarah Ferguson September 19th, 2005 5:54 PM
Cindy Sheehan speaking out in Union Square with Al Zappala, who also lost a son in Iraqphoto: Sarah FergusonCindy Sheehan may be the Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement. But that didn't stop members of the New York Police Department from marching into the crowd of about 150 people gathered in Union Square Monday to hear her speak and yanking away the microphone.
The NYPD pulled the plug just as Sheehan was calling on the audience not to lose heart in the fight to end the war in Iraq.
"We get up every morning, and every morning we see this enormous mountain in front of us," said Sheehan, speaking on behalf of the other parents and family members of fallen soldiers who have taken up the crusade to bring the troops home.
"We can't go through it, we can't go under it, so we have to go over it," she continued, just as the cops rushed the makeshift podium.
Police dragged away Paul Zulkowitz, a.k.a. Zool, an organizer with “Camp Casey NYC,” the small encampment that he and other activists set up a month ago in Union Square in solidarity with Sheehan’s vigil outside President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. The New York branch existed much to the ire of the city’s Parks Department. Today, Zulkowitz was arrested for failing to obtain a sound permit—a charge that normally warrants no more than a summons.
Moments earlier, Zulkowitz had been chastising Parks officials for refusing to grant a permit to the encampment, and accusing the police of trying to harass the antiwar protest away. Contrasting the liberal Big Apple with the hostile environs Sheehan faced in Crawford, Zulkowitz told the crowd: "You would think that here in New York City, at Union Square—our Hyde Park—you would think that we would little difficulty having a 24-hour vigil to oppose the war. In fact, we've had two arrests and eight summonses and endless harassment from the police for doing what we do.".........
By DAVID KRAVETS Associated Press Writer
September 19, 2005, 10:24 PM EDT
This plain-tailed wren sings the most complex harmonies of any known bird (Image: University of St Andrews)
Scientists have heard possibly the most complex vocalising by any creature aside from humans as they stood in an Ecuadorian bamboo forest listening to plain-tailed wrens.The sheer number of singers and their impressive synchronicity put the birds at the top of the world pops, according to researchers from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. "It's already known that some birds duet and that others sing in choruses, but these wrens do both and, furthermore, the choruses are extraordinarily precise and well coordinated," says Peter Slater, a St Andrews biology professor who led the study, which is published online in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters. Slater says that up to seven birds sing "choruses", with males and females contributing different parts.The song consists of a series of four repeated phrases that follow the pattern ABCDABCD. Males sing A and C, while females sing B and D. Listen to the birdsong here (Sound: mp3, 190kb, Mann et al)All the birds sing around 20 sets of phrases for up to two minutes at a time.............
cool, n'est pas?
By R. Jeffrey Smith and Susan SchmidtWashington Post Staff Writers Tuesday, September 20, 2005; A01
The Bush administration's top federal procurement official resigned
Friday and was arrested yesterday, accused of lying and obstructing a criminal
investigation into Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's dealings with the federal
government. It was the first criminal complaint filed against a government
official in the ongoing corruption probe related to Abramoff's activities in
The complaint, filed by the FBI, alleges that David H. Safavian,
38, a White House procurement official involved until last week in Hurricane
Katrina relief efforts, made repeated false statements to government officials
and investigators about a golf trip with Abramoff to Scotland in 2002.
also contends that he concealed his efforts to help Abramoff acquire control of
two federally managed properties in the Washington area. Abramoff is the person
identified as "Lobbyist A" in a 13-page affidavit unsealed in court, according
to sources knowledgeable about the probe.
Until his resignation on the day
the criminal complaint against him was signed, Safavian was the top
administrator at the federal procurement office in the White House Office of
Management and Budget, where he set purchasing policy for the entire
The arrest occurred at his home in Alexandria. A man who answered
the phone there yesterday hung up when a reporter asked to speak to
Abramoff was indicted by federal prosecutors in Miami last month on
unrelated charges of wire fraud and conspiracy. He remains the linchpin of an
18-month probe by a federal task force that includes the Internal Revenue
Service, the Interior Department and the Justice Department's fraud and public
integrity units. His lawyer did not respond to phone calls seeking
God, liquor, and Katrina Coping with the devastation of the mind and spirit at Camp Edwards BY DEIRDRE FULTON
Standing outside the three-story barracks he will call home for the foreseeable future, Don Vavasseur recounts how he navigated the streets of his New Orleans neighborhood, Gentilly, looking for stranded victims. On the first day, Vavasseur and a companion encountered a dead body and covered it with a blanket. Days later, the same body lay in the same place, draped with the same blanket. By then, it was bloated from the water and the heat.
This is just one of countless gruesome images that will haunt thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims, including many of the 209 evacuees who arrived at Camp Edwards, located on Otis Air Force base in Buzzard’s Bay last week.
In the weeks following the category-four storm, government officials and aid workers have concentrated on ensuring physical survival. Rescuing people. Feeding people. Housing people. Clothing people. But volunteers at Camp Edwards, like those at evacuation centers across the country, are trying to create an environment that also replenishes the spirit of the survivors. That could be even more vital for this group since, according to organizers, most of the 209 survivors were among the last hold-outs — those who stayed through the storm and the first part of the aftermath before finally being coaxed away from the devastation. Research shows that approximately five percent of natural-disaster victims develop diagnosable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yet others will be at risk for depression, substance abuse, and other disorders.
At Camp Edwards, organizers are doing a number of things to help ease the shock. At breakfast last Friday, for example, they made a last-minute decision to serve grits to help the evacuees feel more at home. On Sunday, residents attended a rousing worship service led by Camp Edwards’s unofficial "mayor," Reverend Jeffrey Brown. They’re also getting cable installed and new recreation equipment.........
my ex-boss is burried at camp edwards/otis afb. the cemetary section, believe it or not, is simply beautiful. the scrub growth (you know how plants grow next to the ocean. it's a different kind of growth) is haunting. the base, when i was there, was not very populated. i did see service people here and there, but NOT many. good luck to all of you katrina survivors and r.i.p. dear bill. i know you're running things in your own way where ever you are now.
No Place for a Poet at a Banquet of Shame
For reasons spelled out below, the poet Sharon Olds has declined to attend the National Book Festival in Washington, which, coincidentally or not, takes place September 24, the day of an antiwar mobilization in the capital. Olds, winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award and professor of creative writing at New York University, was invited along with a number of other writers by First Lady Laura Bush to read from their works. Three years ago artist Jules Feiffer declined to attend the festival's White House breakfast as a protest against the Iraq War ("Mr. Feiffer Regrets," November 11, 2002). We suggest that invitees to this year's event consider following their example. --The Editors
Laura Bush First LadyThe White House
Dear Mrs. Bush,
I am writing to let
you know why I am not able to accept your kind invitation to give a presentation
at the National Book Festival on September 24, or to attend your dinner at the
Library of Congress or the breakfast at the White House. In one way, it's a very
appealing invitation. The idea of speaking at a festival attended by 85,000
people is inspiring! The possibility of finding new readers is exciting for a
poet in personal terms, and in terms of the desire that poetry serve its
constituents--all of us who need the pleasure, and the inner and outer news, it
And the concept of a community of readers and writers has long
been dear to my heart. As a professor of creative writing in the graduate school
of a major university, I have had the chance to be a part of some magnificent
outreach writing workshops in which our students have become teachers. Over the
years, they have taught in a variety of settings: a women's prison, several New
York City public high schools, an oncology ward for children. Our initial
program, at a 900-bed state hospital for the severely physically challenged, has
been running now for twenty years, creating along the way lasting friendships
between young MFA candidates and their students--long-term residents at the
hospital who, in their humor, courage and wisdom, become our teachers.
...............................I tried to see my way clear to attend the festival in order to bear witness--as an American who loves her country and its principles and its writing--against this undeclared and devastating war.
But I could not face the idea of breaking bread with you. I knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would feel to me as if I were condoning what I see to be the wild, highhanded actions of the Bush Administration.
What kept coming to the fore of my mind was that I would be taking food from the hand of the First Lady who represents the Administration that unleashed this war and that wills its continuation, even to the extent of permitting "extraordinary rendition": flying people to other countries where they will be tortured for us. .................
Monday, September 19, 2005
i'm talking about the NEW YORK TIMES
'NY Times' Introduces New 'Pay' Service Today: Reader Reaction Awaited
By Greg Mitchell Published: September 18, 2005 11:35 PM ET
NEW YORK The New York Times unveiled its great pay experiment Sunday night, when it unveiled TimesSelect and started putting its popular opinion and sports columnists behind the firewall.No doubt thousands have already visited the newspaper’s site and clicked on, for example, the link to the new Paul Krugman column, to find just the title, “Tragedy in Black and White,” and one sentence from his column, then the following: “To continue reading this article, you must be a subscriber to TimesSelect.”Click on the Times Select button and you find that if you subscribe to the paper, or to its International Herald Tribune (three times a week or more) then you can still get Krugman and the other columnists online for free. Otherwise, you have to have to pay $7.95 a month.But to break you in easily—-the paper is offering a 14-day free trial.The question, of course, remains: how quickly, and how many, other Web editors and bloggers will copy the columns in question and put them up on their own sites, daring the Times to sue them. One of the first to put up most of Krugman's column was http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/.The second op-ed columnist behind the firewall for Monday is Bob Herbert. His column is titled “Good Grief” and the one sentence gift is: “The country has put its faith in President Bush many times before, and come up empty.”Joining Krugman and Herbert in the pay-for-play zone are sports columnists Dave Anderson (writing about the football Jets' need for a new stadium) and William Rhoden, who contributes not one but two columns (on the trauma of the Yankees possibly not making the playoffs this year and a rocky road ahead for the Jets on the field)................
Samantha Marley, 9, on a “dream hunt”for bearin Vermont this month, organized by Kevin Hoyt
or wag my finger in the face of another or think because i don't hunt i'm better than someone who does.......BUT it is VERY VERY VERY disturbing to me that someone who is nine years old thinks it is fine to kill an innocent animal with a giant (or otherwise sized) gun. i cannot fathom thinking that way or having parents that would think it is an acceptable way of life. again, i rarely say these things because i try to believe 'each to their own'. it hurts and frightens me. i have been in the green mountains and i love the green mountains, BEAR AND ALL.
Girls and Boys, Meet Nature. Bring Your Gun
By PAM BELLUCK
Published: September 18, 2005
GREEN MOUNTAIN NATIONAL FOREST, Vt. - Chomping wad after wad of Bubblicious Strawberry Splash gum and giggling as she tickled people's necks with a piece of grass she pretended was a spider, Samantha Marley could have been any 9-year-old girl.
A couple of things set her apart, though. She was cloaked in camouflage from boots to baseball cap. And propped next to her on the seat of a truck was her very own 20-gauge shotgun.
Samantha, a freckle-faced, pony-tailed fourth grader, was on a bear hunt. Not the pretend kind memorialized in picture books and summer-camp chants, but a real one for black bears that live in the woods of southwestern Vermont and can weigh 150 pounds or more.
She had won a "dream hunt" given away by a Vermont man whose goal is to get more children to hunt, and she had traveled about 200 miles from her home in Bellingham, Mass., and was missing three days of school to take him up on his offer.
"Almost everything you hunt is pretty fun," said Samantha, grinning and perfectly at home with a group of five men, the youngest of whom was nearly three times her age...........
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Thirty-eight Nobel Prize laureates asked state educators to reject proposed science standards that treat evolution as a seriously questionable theory, calling it instead the "indispensable" foundation of biology. The group, led by the writer Elie Wiesel, said it wanted to defend science and combat "efforts by the proponents of so-called intelligent design to politicize scientific inquiry."
The proposed standards, which could come up for final Board of Education approval later this year, are designed to expose students to more criticism of evolution but state in an introduction that they do not endorse intelligent design.
That increasingly popular theory argues that some features of the natural world are best explained as having an intelligent cause because they are well-ordered and complex. Its followers attack Darwin's evolutionary theory, which says natural chemical processes could have created the basic building blocks of life on Earth, that all life had a common ancestor and that man and apes shared a common ancestor.........
New twist on Iraq aid: U.S. seeks donations
BY CAM SIMPSON Chicago Tribune
WASHINGTON - (KRT) - From the Indian Ocean tsunami to the church around the corner, Americans have shown time and again they are willing to open their pocketbooks for charity, for a total of about $250 billion last year alone.
By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
Published: 19 September 2005
One billion dollars has been plundered from Iraq's defence ministry in one of the largest thefts in history, The Independent can reveal, leaving the country's army to fight a savage insurgency with museum-piece weapons.
The money, intended to train and equip an Iraqi army capable of bringing security to a country shattered by the US-led invasion and prolonged rebellion, was instead siphoned abroad in cash and has disappeared.
"It is possibly one of the largest thefts in history," Ali Allawi, Iraq's Finance Minister, told The Independent.
"Huge amounts of money have disappeared. In return we got nothing but scraps of metal."
The carefully planned theft has so weakened the army that it cannot hold Baghdad against insurgent attack without American military support, Iraqi officials say, making it difficult for the US to withdraw its 135,000- strong army from Iraq, as Washington says it wishes to do.
Most of the money was supposedly spent buying arms from Poland and Pakistan. The contracts were peculiar in four ways. According to Mr Allawi, they were awarded without bidding, and were signed with a Baghdad-based company, and not directly with the foreign supplier. The money was paid up front, and, surprisingly for Iraq, it was paid at great speed out of the ministry's account with the Central Bank. Military equipment purchased in Poland included 28-year-old Soviet-made helicopters. The manufacturers said they should have been scrapped after 25 years of service. Armoured cars purchased by Iraq turned out to be so poorly made that even a bullet from an elderly AK-47 machine-gun could penetrate their armour. A shipment of the latest MP5 American machine-guns, at a cost of $3,500 (£1,900) each, consisted in reality of Egyptian copies worth only $200 a gun. Other armoured cars leaked so much oil that they had to be abandoned. A deal was struck to buy 7.62mm machine-gun bullets for 16 cents each, although they should have cost between 4 and 6 cents...........
Italy snaps over gay poster excess
Barbara McMahon in RomeSunday September 18, 2005 The Observer
Half-naked models are commonplace on Italy's advertising hoardings but a kiss between two fully dressed men has caused a furore on the streets of its capital.
Photographer Oliviero Toscani has ignited a furious debate over homosexuality with his latest adverts featuring two men kissing and groping on a sofa. The billboards have triggered outrage at a time when the rights of homosexual couples are being hotly debated in Catholic Italy.
In one poster for the men's clothing line Ra-Re, one of the models is clutching another's crotch. Another shows the same model lying across the sofa and pulling his boyfriend on top of him for a kiss.
'These posters are vulgar and a bad example for our children,' said a spokesman for the parents association MOIGE, which wants the adverts banned. 'It's not a matter of sexual orientation. They would be crass even if they featured a man and a woman.' Complaints have flooded in to the offices of Rome city council and an organisation called The Citizens Defence Movement has joined the chorus of criticism. 'Obviously we respect homosexuality but it can be difficult to explain to young children,' a spokesman said.
Toscani, who was behind the controversial Benetton clothing company adverts and whose career has been built on shock tactics, was typically unrepentant. The 63-year-old photographer admitted he had taken advantage of the current debate in Italy about the legal and civil rights of gay couples..................
or more.... i believe these are also the GOD HATES FAGS people (i can't tell them apart)
i am more frightened of THESE types of lunatics than almost anyone else. that is exactly what they are too. however, the good news is (sort of good that is) they are almost all members of the SAME family.
Clinton launches withering attack on Bush on Iraq, Katrina, budget
Former US president Bill Clinton sharply criticised George W. Bush for the Iraq War and the handling of Hurricane Katrina, and voiced alarm at the swelling US budget deficit.
Breaking with tradition under which US presidents mute criticisms of their successors, Clinton said the Bush administration had decided to invade Iraq "virtually alone and before UN inspections were completed, with no real urgency, no evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction."
The Iraq war diverted US attention from the war on terrorism "and undermined the support that we might have had," Bush said in an interview with an ABC's "This Week" programme.
Clinton said there had been a "heroic but so far unsuccessful" effort to put together an constitution that would be universally supported in Iraq.
The US strategy of trying to develop the Iraqi military and police so that they can cope without US support "I think is the best strategy. The problem is we may not have, in the short run, enough troops to do that," said Clinton.
On Hurricane Katrina, Clinton faulted the authorities' failure to evacuate New Orleans ahead of the storm's strike on August 29.
People with cars were able to heed the evacuation order, but many of those who were poor, disabled or elderly were left behind.
"If we really wanted to do it right, we would have had lots of buses lined up to take them out," Clinton.
He agreed that some responsibility for this lay with the local and state authorities, but pointed the finger, without naming him, at the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA boss Michael Brown quit in response to criticism of his handling of the Katrina disaster. He was viewed as a political appointee with no experience of disaster management or dealing with government officials.
"When James Lee Witt ran FEMA, because he had been both a local official and a federal official, he was always there early, and we always thought about that," Clinton said, referring to FEMA's head during his 1993-2001 presidency.
"But both of us came out of environments with a disproportionate number of poor people.".............................
Sunday, September 18, 2005
i just finished watching a movie entitled sick: the life and death of bob flanagan, supermasochist
bob was a performance artist born with cystic fibrosis. he was also a masochist, spending the last fifteen years of his life (give or take) with a sadist/dominatrix as his partner/mate. the movie to me was not shocking in that sense as i have intimate knowledge of that 'lifestyle'. he was a funny man, great sense of humor. he was someone i think i would have liked to have a cup of coffee with. he knew he was dying. he lived more than twice the lifespan people with cystic fibrosis are supposed to live. i was uncomfortable watching the very last stages of his life and his death AND i was uncomfortable with sheree rose his mistress (there is a scene where she keeps punching him in the stomach over and over. he is begging her not to. people with cycstic fibrosis have stomach and intestinal and pancreatic problems. this WAS abuse, not a doubt in my mind. that area should have been off limits. i had no problems with the cuttings or the play piercings or the ass whippings or the scrotum sewings or the penis nailings. they were ALL WITH his consent. there is also a scene where he is very close to death. she is filming him and asking him to say for the camera she is entitled to all of his possessions. on and on and on. NOT a very heartwarming touching moment in filmdom. another scene with her whining and complaining to bob that he no longer submits to her. he is obviously in a great deal of pain all of the time at that poin. his face is bloated and his hair is all matted. he answers her by saying that he can't even breathe much less submit). just as bob is dying sheree rose leaves the room. you don't know why but she's back in a flash with a still camera. she goes to work shooting his death. including several shots of his genitalia. i do NOT want to go for a cup of coffee with her. not in this lifetime or the next! lest you think ALL dominant woman are like that, let me reassure you THEY ARE NOT. oh i almost forgot to mention sarah the (then) 17 year old from canada who was granted a wish from the make a wish foundation. hers was to meet bob, which she did. under the special features on the dvd you see sarah as she was a couple of years ago (i don't know if she is still alive or not, but she was in 2003 and older than she even thought she would be). the other thing i liked was bob's creation of the invisible man...... you have to see him, i cannot do it justice.
bob's pain journal
bob's nyt obit
Los Angeles writer and performer, Bob Flanagan (December 27,1952-January 4, 1996) was the author of several books of poetry and prose including The Wedding of Everything, Slave Sonnets, and the infamous Fuck Journal which was destroyed by its printer in India out of fear of reprisals by Indian customs agents. Selections of his last work in progress, Book of Medicine appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including High Risk (Dutton/Plume), Amy Scholder and Ira Silverberg editors and Best American Erotica 1993, Susie Bright, editor. Excerpts from "Pain Journal" have also been published in Unnatural Disasters (Incommunicado Press), Nicole Painter, editor and the magazine Fruit (#3). Flanagan performed throughout the U.S. often in collaboration with his partner Sheree Rose. Together, Flanagan and Rose combined text, video, and live performance in highly personal but universal explorations of sex, illness, and mortality. One of their major collaborations was "Visiting Hours" which premiered in 1993 at the Santa Monica Museum, California traveling the following year to the New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY (1994) and the Museum of the School of Fine Arts in Boston (February, 1995). This installation dealt with Bob's lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis in relation to his sexuality. In addition to performing in art venues, Flanagan also appeared on stage with Los Angeles Groundlings Comedy Improv Ensemble and in numerous films and videos including the Nine Inch Nails music video Happiness is Slavery and in Michael Tolkin's film, The New Age. He also the subject of Kirby Dick's 1997 documentary: SICK: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist and a 1993 RE/Search publication: Bob Flanagan: Supermasochist, a book of interviews with Bob and photographs by Sheree. A forthcoming book of his writings, The Bob Flanagan Reader, will be edited by Sheree Rose Levin.
Blair attacks BBC for 'anti-US bias' James Robinson, David Smith and Ned TemkoSunday September 18, 2005The Observer
Tony Blair has denounced the BBC's coverage of Hurricane Katrina as 'full of hatred of America' and 'gloating' at the country's plight, it was reported yesterday.
Blair allegedly made the remarks privately to Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, which owns the rival Sky News.
The comments threatened a new rift between the government and the BBC following the Andrew Gilligan affair over events leading to the Iraq war and recent criticisms of ministers Today presenter John Humphrys, which were controversially leaked to the press.
Downing Street said last night it had no comment on the report in the Financial Times. The BBC said that its coverage had been 'committed solely to relaying the events fully, accurately and impartially'.
Murdoch, a long-standing critic of the BBC, was addressing the Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York. Chuckling, he said: 'I probably shouldn't be telling you this' before recounting a recent conversation with Blair. He said the Prime Minister was in New Delhi when he criticised BBC coverage of the catastrophe in New Orleans: 'He said it was just full of hatred of America and gloating at our troubles.'
Bill Clinton, the former US President who was hosting the conference, also attacked the tone of the BBC coverage at a seminar on the media. He said it had been 'stacked up' to criticise the federal government's slow response............................
Message: I Care About the Black Folks
By FRANK RICH
Published: September 18, 2005
ONCE Toto parts the curtain, the Wizard of Oz can never be the wizard again. He is forever Professor Marvel, blowhard and snake-oil salesman. Hurricane Katrina, which is likely to endure in the American psyche as long as L. Frank Baum's mythic tornado, has similarly unmasked George W. Bush.
The worst storm in our history proved perfect for exposing this president because in one big blast it illuminated all his failings: the rampant cronyism, the empty sloganeering of "compassionate conservatism," the lack of concern for the "underprivileged" his mother condescended to at the Astrodome, the reckless lack of planning for all government operations except tax cuts, the use of spin and photo-ops to camouflage failure and to substitute for action.
In the chaos unleashed by Katrina, these plot strands coalesced into a single tragic epic played out in real time on television. The narrative is just too powerful to be undone now by the administration's desperate recycling of its greatest hits: a return Sunshine Boys tour by the surrogate empathizers Clinton and Bush I, another round of prayers at the Washington National Cathedral, another ludicrously overhyped prime-time address flecked with speechwriters' "poetry" and framed by a picturesque backdrop. Reruns never eclipse a riveting new show. ................
toto, i don't think we're in kansas any more
By Mark Fitzgerald Published: September 16, 2005 5:15 PM ET
CHICAGO A two-day investigative series that the South Florida Sun-Sentinel will publish starting this Sunday says that the wretched performance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during Hurricane Katrina is the rule rather than the exception for the agency.The series comes down hard on FEMA from the first graf: "The federal government's mishandling of Hurricane Katrina is just the latest in a series of missteps by a national disaster response system that for years has been fraught with waste andfraud."FEMA's bungling during Katrina came as no surprise to the Sun-Sentinel, says Editor and Sr. Vice President Earl Mauker."We actually called for [Michael Brown's] resignation a year ago," he said, referring to the FEMA head who resigned earlier this week. The Tribune Co.-owned Fort Lauderdale paper has been on FEMA's case since last year when its computer-assisted investigation turned up massive fraud and waste in the wake of Hurricane Frances. FEMA, the paper found, had paid millions of dollars in claims in Miami-Dade County -- even though the hurricane made landfall 100 miles away."It was absolutely incredible. In Miami, the hurricane never hit, it never came on shore, and we found FEMA paid out $31 million for a storm that never came ashore," Mauker said.The Sun-Sentinel followed up that revelation with continuing reporting of FEMA waste. The paper says the agency paid for funerals for people whose deaths had nothing to do with the hurricane. It reports that FEMA inspectors receive little training -- and that a shocking number of them have criminal records. With this coming investigative series -- titled, "FEMA: A Legacy Of Waste -- the newspaper expands its examination far beyond Florida."We found the same waste in Detroit, Baton Rouge, Cleveland, Los Angeles," Mauker said. One example: After a season of wild fires and mudslides in Los Angeles, FEMA paid $5.2 million in disaster relief to families in Watts, far from the affected areas..................
and the article itself;
FEMA: A LEGACY OF WASTE
The handling of aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina is only the latest in a series of missteps and fraud that has plagued this tax-funded government agency. The Sun-Sentinel took a look at 20 recent disasters and found mismanagement and misallocation abound.
THE FEMA INVESTIGATION This report is the latest in a series by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel examining the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster assistance payments. The newspaper first revealed that FEMA paid $31 million in Miami-Dade County for Hurricane Frances, even though the Labor Day weekend storm made landfall 100 miles to the north. Subsequent reports detailed how FEMA inspectors receive little training; that the agency paid for funerals for deaths unrelated to the storm; and that some criminals were hired to inspect damage. The reports resulted in recommendations by a U.S. Senate committee and the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security for widespread changes in the way the agency administers its program. FEMA announced last month that it was making some alterations in the way it awards aid. The U.S. attorney in Miami has charged 16 Miami-Dade aid recipients with fraud. Fourteen have pleaded guilty and one was found not guilty after trial.
Hundreds of millions paid to people untouched by disasters The federal government's mishandling of the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe is only the latest bungling in a national disaster response system that for years has been fraught with waste and fraud............