Thursday, February 28, 2002

Another Gerstein!

Adam at adam.gerstein.net just announced number three: Abigail Grace Gerstein!
posted by lee on 02/28/02 at 10:33 AM

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ashcroft is our national daddy

"Terrorism: the new communism" by Troy Pickard, from today's YellowTimes.org:

The Whole Article (YellowTimes encourages reproduction as long as there's a link):

There was a time, a few decades ago, when the U.S. government wanted to silence people who wanted to change our government. They did this in two steps: First, the government convinced American citizens that communism was evil. Then, the government made a list of every person they didnt like and called them communists.

This period, known as the McCarthy Era, is looked upon as one of the most shameful times in American history. Americans learned about this era in high school history and thought that such a thing could never happen again, at least not in our great country. Sadly, the terrorist attacks of September 11th have initiated a new McCarthy Era, which promises to be just as ugly as the last one.

Attorney General John Ashcroft put it as plainly as any government official has in recent months, when he said that U.S. citizens who disagree with George W. BushҒs policies aid terrorism.Ӕ That accurately sums up the governments policy, which is to demonize anyone who dissents with governmental actions. But, make no mistake; this sort of negative behavior towards political and social activists is nothing new.

In May of 2001, nearly 100 activists were arrested at a demonstration in Long Beach, California. Almost all of them were released without being charged with a crime, and of the remainder, most were found not guilty. Police have become increasingly brutal at protests and marches, in a largely illegal effort to quash domestic dissent. The only difference is that now the government has a legal pretense under which to conduct their authoritarian actions.

The U.S. government has its citizens worried about terrorism. The government is now taking every opportunity to call activists ғterrorists. The Utah state legislature recently passed an amendment to their criminal code, House Bill 100, which establishes the crime of ԓcommercial terrorism, which is when a person ԓenters or remains unlawfully on the premises or in a building of any business with the intent to interfere with the employees, customers, personnel, or operations of a business.

This bill sets a dangerous precedent. For example, remember in the 1960s when some restaurants in the south wouldnԒt serve Black people food, soley because of the color of their skin? Remember how groups of Black civil rights activists entered those restaurants and refused to leave until they were served? Under laws like the Utah House Bill 100, those activists would have been classified as terroristsӔ because of their intent to interfere with the employeesӔ of the restaurant.

Another term which the government has been fond of using is ecoterrorism.Ӕ One would think that an ecoterrorist is someone who is terrorizing the ecosystem. This term would logially apply to corporations that have cut down 96% of Americas old-growth forests, that have eliminated the habitats of thousands of animal and plant species, and that spew forth deadly pollution into our air and water. But, these companies do not fall into the definition of ғecoterrorism.

No, the people who fall into the definition of committing ԓecoterrorism are the same people attempting to save the environment from certain companies following a policy of destruction-for-profit.

In the end, profit is what it all comes down to. The McCarthy Era of the 1950s occurred in order to secure the foundations of corporate power in the United States. The government wasnԒt really scared of a communist invasion. They did not fear Soviets arriving by the boatload.

Their true fears were that the American people would catch a glimpse of something better than our dubious economic system. The government has always been worried that people would some day realize that the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer, and that the people might rise up and do something to stop that.

This has not happened yet. But today 75% of the wealth in America is owned by just 8% of the population. The U.S. government makes it seem that this is the way its always going to be, and back in the 1950s, when people almost saw through that, the government convinced people that wanting to change our economic system was evil.

Even in 2002, the U.S. government and its corporate sponsors will viciously attack anything that dares to stand between a company and a healthy profit, and that includes anything that makes people think their lives donҒt have to be this way.

In this country, you have the right to believe whatever you want. But if you believe something that endangers the status quo, youd better watch out; you are a ғterrorist!
posted by lee on 02/28/02 at 04:33 AM

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Wednesday, February 27, 2002

why am i not surprised

E-Commerce News: Lawsuit Claims AOL Fleeced Customers. By shipping them merchandise advertised in popups and charging the credit cards used to pay the aol bill.
posted by lee on 02/27/02 at 12:19 PM

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002

misdisinformation?

The truth is out there ... right?
posted by lee on 02/26/02 at 10:41 AM

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Does this mean salvatore has to give back his pizza joint?

Secretary Fleeces Boss Using Erasable Ink
posted by lee on 02/26/02 at 10:24 AM

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Monday, February 25, 2002

Must Read. must have.

AFDB. How did you ever get along without one or ten? Do it for your mind.

While you're at it, you need to read this, too: A Guide To Metric Time.
posted by lee on 02/25/02 at 02:05 PM

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Sunday, February 24, 2002

alleviate web rage

A Brit bank created a website to get people through those moments of web rage:
Moments of Simplicity.

It's rather silly, really.
posted by lee on 02/24/02 at 02:25 PM

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Saturday, February 23, 2002

Oscar Pool - vote!

Vote here, maybe win some crap: Oscar Pool at Pith & Vinegar.
posted by lee on 02/23/02 at 12:11 PM

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“Notes from the Road” vol. 25

Eric Gauger just released the latest edition of "Notes from the Road." It's a follow-up to an earlier piece about Afghani expatriates, the "Lost Sons of Afghanistan."

"A Museum for Kabul" follows the journey of a fictional art dealer that documents the status of art and artifacts from Afghanistan. Pictures of lost antiquities emphasize the tragedy of Afghanistan.

It begins:
"The Lost Sons of Afghanistan - the ousted souls of war who kept a dream alive from far corners, are uncovering their paperwork, packing their bags, and heading home to do for their country or their cause what they have been working for over twenty three years - to save, restore and return Afghanistan's plundered antiquities back to the country.

"What was not blown to bits from twenty years of war, exists in the dark cellars and long hallways of other countries' private mansions and museums. The museum of Kabul is now a cracked skull in a dusty desert - all its years of knowledge perhaps lost forever, no redemption."
posted by lee on 02/23/02 at 11:26 AM

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wonders of the world

Here's your chance to vote on the New Seven Wonders of the World. (The Eiffel Tower? I think not ... )
posted by lee on 02/23/02 at 11:10 AM

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