Monday, March 31, 2003

This very clever parody of an Apology from Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks is what I and pretty much every right thinking human being in the world wishes she had really said. Had she said it, I might have bought one of the group's records (although I wouldn't have listened to it, as I am very picky). Actually, I might someday by a record anyway, as a gift or something.

She should release a spoken word album.

Dear Oppressed People

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Ah well, a Googlenews search for "guadalajara war protest" yields naught, but maybe the journalists just haven't filed their stories yet (again: don't be hasty, hroom hoom).

But it really happened. Honestly. I was there. The turnout was modest, given that this is a huge city, but there were enough people to carry a 400 meter long banner through the streets plus lots of extras who walked along. And there was a great deal of support from bystanders and bydrivers (lots of happy honking and peace sign waving. We walked for what seemed like 3000 miles from the park to the consulate and then surrounded the consulate and listened to people talk. It was cool. The guards and rent-a-cops of the US consulate, at least, now know (in case they doubted it) that a few hundred Guadalajarans think the war is bad.

Supposedly there will be a larger gathering (how they know this, I know not) in the main downtown plaza on Thursday evening.

So, paz, dude.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Protesters continue march against war including, this afternoon, right here in Guadalajara. The protest is set to begin around 3 or 4 (or so: this IS Mexico, after all, and we wouldn't want to be too hasty, hroom hooom) at Parque Azul and proceed to the US consulate.

See you there?

Friday, March 28, 2003

The comments thingies are gone. No great loss. Perhaps they will reappear someday, but they may find that we haven't missed them.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Tee hee!

Want some anti war songs? New ones? Look no further!

JONES (clash) MCGEE (sigue sigue sputnik)
ROBBIE WILLIAMS (who has apparently downplayed the story)


the artist formerly known as CAT STEVENS (linked on SCOTT'S SITE

lenny kravitz has recorded a peace song with an iraqi dude. this adds him to the list with john mellencamp, rem, the beastie boys, and mick jones (the clash) and a dude from sigue sigue sputnik.

meanwhile, the simply red guy is pro war. money, i guess, is no longer too tight to mention.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Scott gave me this link which is really funny and which set me to thinking . . .

It bugs me that operation titles for the US military are so tv friendly. Back in the old days (sort of) things used to be called something innocuous (I think, but am not certain, that the D-Day invasion was called "anvil". Maybe I'm thinking of the landings in southern France. One of the bombing campaigns during the Vietnam war was definitely called "linebacker").

It all started, I suspect, with the invasion of Panama, which you may recall was called Operation: Just Cause (I'm sure the man meant that it was a just cause, but I like to think of it as "just 'cause"). Then we had Desert Shield and Storm and Fox and Operation: Restore Hope and now, I guess Operation: Iraqi Freedom (or something along those lines). I wonder if we can expect . . .

Operation: Supersize it!
Operation: Act Now!
Operation: You may have already won!
Operation: Huge Cock in Five Days!
Operation: Here are my pics!
Operation: Never Pay Taxes Again!
Operation: Brittney Spears Nude!

Any suggestions?

Monday, March 24, 2003

Not that I want to distract anyone from the glorious liberation of Iraqis from their mortal coils, but take a gander Kashmirward.

The word "fuck" seems somehow insufficient.

And so it begins?

Birgit and I visited the city of Zacatecas this weekend (really just yesterday and today).

Very cool.

So I came home and read this and thought about a few small things.

I saw a newspaper headline this weekend which said, in big bold type, "barbarism!" (guess what it was about). I saw some people having a tiny anti war rally which included a poster of a US flag crossed out and bleeding. An old dude at one of the museums talked a little bit about the war with us.

By the way: I was German this weekend, in case anyone asked.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

retyping is hard, but linking is easy


I just saw, on Televisa, a short interview with a Mexican schoolboy who was crying over the fate of Iraqi kids. Me too, dude.

-- I'm SHOCK(ed) that there hasn't been any terrorism reported anywhere around the world (at least none that I've noticed). Apparently someone let their blow spill out at LaGuardia, but that's all (so far?). I'm SHOCK(ed) that there hasn't even been a major ramping up of "the terrorist threat" (tm). Will the proverbial other shoe drop? IS there another shoe?
-- I'm in AWE at the protesters (especially in the US).
-- I'm in SHOCK over the fact that one of my friends (Steve) has a brother who requested (and got) a temporary demotion (from major to captain) so that he could be deployed with the Brits for this campaign. Kipling wrote about shits like that guy.
-- I'm AWEstruck by the pictures coming out of Baghdad and will, no doubt, be driven to tears by the casualty figures (even the fake ones) offered by the US/Brits and Iraqis.
-- I find it SHOCKing that none of the US tv networks (or cable outlets) have people in Baghdad. Apparently CNN was just told to fuck off. The SHOCKing part is NOT that they are unwanted or are afraid to be there: it is that this may mean that folks in the US may not be seeing what their government is doing (or are they? The nearest US tv is 800 miles from here).
-- The Turkish army may well invade northern Iraq (or may have already: this happens from time to time). Will this stick in Rumsfeld's crAW(E)?


Thursday, March 20, 2003

I just got back from watching a remarkable high school production of "Fiddler on the Roof". The kids were great and there was lots of love in the room.

While I was watching it, I was able to forget that my government was engaging in mass murder and that (far, far too) many of my fellow citizens were happy about it.

The show is over. Wine is filling the void it has left. Wine is being assisted, tonight, by papers which I must grade.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

CARLTON recently blogged the list of songs which were banned, temporarily, by radio stations just after the 11sept terrorist attacks. I own the following ones of them, and will shortly be listening to them as a (very silly) way of reminding myself why "they" hate "us".

Alice In Chains, "Rooster," "Sea Of Sorrow," "Down In A Hole," "Them Bones" Louis Armstrong, "What A Wonderful World" Beastie Boys, "Sure Shot," "Sabotage" Beatles, "A Day In The Life," "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," "Ticket To Ride," "Obla Di, Obla Da" Pat Benatar, "Hit Me with Your Best Shot," "Love Is A Battlefield" Black Sabbath, "War Pigs" Blood, Sweat & Tears, "And When I Die" Jackson Browne, "Doctor My Eyes" Chi-Lites, "Have You Seen Her" The Clash, "Rock The Casbah" Phil Collins, "In the Air Tonight" Bobby Darin, "Mack The Knife" Jimi Hendrix, "Hey Joe" Billy Joel, "Only The Good Die Young" Elton John, "Benny & The Jets," "Daniel," "Rocket Man" Judas Priest, "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll" Carole King, "I Feel The Earth Move" Led Zeppelin, "Stairway To Heaven" John Lennon, "Imagine" Paul McCartney & Wings, "Live And Let Die" Barry McGuire, "Eve Of Destruction" John Mellencamp, "Crumbling Down" Alanis Morissette, "Ironic" Tom Petty, "Free Fallin'" Pink Floyd, "Run Like Hell," "Mother" Pretenders, "My City Was Gone" Queen, "Another One Bites The Dust," "Killer Queen" R.E.M., "It's The End Of The World As We Know It" Rolling Stones, "Ruby Tuesday" Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, "Devil With The Blue Dress" Santana, "Evil Ways" Simon & Garfunkel, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" Frank Sinatra, "New York, New York" Smashing Pumpkins, "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" Edwin Starr, "War" Cat Stevens, "Peace Train," "Morning Has Broken" Talking Heads, "Burning Down the House" James Taylor, "Fire And Rain" Tramps, "Disco Inferno" U2, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" Zager & Evans, "In The Year 2525" Youngbloods, "Get Together"

Sara is law-school bound!

Tuesday, March 18, 2003


By the way: the US is going to bring democracy to Iraq?

The same sort of democracy which goes like this?

US AND GB "We want a Sec. Council vote!"
SEC COUNCIL "K. You'll lose."
US AND GB "We don't need a vote!"


Dubyah's speech just finished.

If he meant what he said, there will probably be a full-scale war going on in Iraq by this time Wednesday night. He did say that if Saddam Hussein (and his sons?!?) "leave" then everything will, apparently, be hunky dory. He didn't say where Sad and the boys should go, and he didn't say what all those US troops would do if they left. Just as well, since that is as unlikely as my finishing my grading.

Why 48 hours? Why not 24 or 72?

Dubyah again said (for no fucking reason that anyone who lives on THIS planet has ever made clear) that Saddam losing power would strike a mighty blow against terrorism BUT (just in case?) everybody in the US (and the "free" countries of the earth: terrorists apparently don't attack unfree countries) should bend over and kiss their asses goodbye now so that it will not be left undone if it is needed later.


As Rupert Brooke once wrote, "[i]t seems I have no tears left."

As William Butler Yates once wrote, "Turning and turning in the widening gyre the falcon cannot hear the falconer; things fall apart; the center cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."

As Vyvyan from "the Young Ones" once said, "BLOODY! BLOODY! BLOODY!"

Monday, March 17, 2003

Google Search: "robot planes" hussein


Friday, March 14, 2003

Clever, as always.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Anarcho-Syndicalist - You believe that governments
and corporations are both equally evil. You
think that all people should have maximum
personal freedom. You think everyone should
have control over their economic production,
because the economy should be structured
completely in terms of cooperatives and
communes. Your historical role model is Noam

Which political sterotype are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sara has a birthday today (as does betty)!

Scott and Shelley are having their anniversary!

The Beastie Boys have a new antiwar song available for you.

I have a job interview tomorrow.


Zoran Djindjic was assassinated today.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Upon reading US may go it alone as Blair is caught in diplomatic deadlock, it crossed my mind that it may be a worse feeling to be British than American right now.

Consider: as an anti-war citizen of the US, I have to deal with the knowledge that my government is preparing to do something that most people outside my country think is a crime BUT that most people inside my country will probably give at least tacit support. The sadness I feel is more akin to frustration at the state of public opinion in the US than anything else, since I'm pretty sure the government wouldn't do it if the public were strongly opposed (of course, I could well be wrong about that).

Consider, on the other hand: anti-war citizens of Britain have to deal with the knowledge that their government is trying to do something that is not only deeply unpopular around the world but also AT HOME. In short, the sadness anti-war Brits feel probably has a whole lot to do with the fact that their government is trying to act in clear contempt of the will of the voters. Add to that the image of being Dubyah's poodle AND the increased danger of terrorism Brits face AND the estrangement of Britain from most of the rest of Europe AND the fact that Blair is, among other things, the leader of the Labour Party (at least Dubyah is a card-carrying Republican).

World to Blair: "You're no fun anymore!"

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

If THIS is what it appears to be, then it is truly fascinating. Actually, it is pretty darned interesting even if it isn't what it appears to be.

In any event, it appears to be a blog out of Iraq. The writer of the blog writes really well, can be quite clever, and reminds people who need reminding that there will be PEOPLE killed in the upcoming war.

While i'm at it, download THIS.

Do you suffer from a wilful blindness? I certainly hope not.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Read THIS if you can. If you can't, here's basically what it says (summarized bigtime):

Recep Erdogan, leader of the AKP party which currently runs Turkey, has been allowed to take a seat in parliament (he had been barred, but the laws have been fixed) and will likely soon form a new government. This MAY mean that the Turkish parliament will revisit the question of whether to allow the US to use Turkey as an invasion launch pad.

MEANWHILE several hundred US troops attempted to leave a port area and were turned around, at gunpoint!, by Turkish soldiers enforcing what is still, for now, the will of the government. The Turks and the US ambassador are trying to play the incident off.

MEANWHILE the Turkish army is reinforcing itself along (and over) the border with Iraq.

Those who may not know should know that the Turkish army generally sees itself as the protectors of the secular order and has led coups on several occaisions to overthrow governments it didn't like. The army doesn't usually like religious parties. The AKP is a religious party, and Erdogan (he of the former ban) was on the army's shit list for quite a while.

Interesting stuff.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

I have not checked for a hard date, but it seems that Bush and Blair (mainly Bush) have been saying for at least 6 months (well over that if you count more indirect rhetoric) that Saddam Hussein is an immediate threat to goodness and righteousness in the world. They have said, at various times (sometimes pulling back a bit from previous declarations) that Saddam 1) has newkewler weapons 2) wants newkewler weapons 3) has biological weapons 4) wants biological weapons 5) has chemical weapons 6) wants biological weapons 7) has helped al Quaeda 8) wants to help al Quaeda


that he 9) has long range missiles 10) wants long range missiles 11) has robot planes 12) wants robot planes (this one is one that I buy: who doesn’t want robot planes?)


that he 13) has attacked his neighbors (true enough) 14) wants to attack his neighbors 15) is a cruel despot (true enough) 16) wants to be even more cruel 17) is a threat like Hitler was 18) wants to be a threat like Hitler was 19) can attack Britain or the US 20) wants to be able to attack Britain or the US


that he 21) hasn’t been effectively thwarted over the past 12 years 22) can no longer be effectively thwarted, like he has been for the past twelve years (it is hard to say #s 21 and 22 at the same time without people noticing, but Bush is a “can do” guy) 23) has ignored the UN without being punished 24) cannot be seen to be able to ignore the UN without being punished


that the 25) UN is a useless talking shop 26) that the UN cannot be allowed to fall to the level of a mere useless talking shop 27) US and Britain will act “alone if necessary” to enforce the expressed will of the UN 28) US and Britain will act “alone if necessary” AGAINST the expressed will of the UN


that the 29) people of Iraq must be liberated 30) people of Iraq must be made to stay together in one country, even if they don’t want to 31) people of Iraq must have democracy 32) people of Iraq must have a stable occupying army guiding them


that this is about 33) forging stability in the region 34) eliminating an immediate threat to the existing stability of the region 35) the Israel/Palestine question 36) basic morality 37) the future 38) the past


that we 39) must act NOW 40) must act SOON 41) should have acted long ago 42) could not have acted long ago 43) can’t wait any longer 44) will only wait a little while longer 45) have waited too long already.

What have I missed? I’m sure there’s something. Maybe “history will be our judge”?

I say all that because it just hit me (and it should have hit me a long time ago) that if it really is true that Saddam is as bad and dangerous as Bush and Blair would have us believe, and if Bush and Blair are as certain of the morality and urgency of this issue as they would have us believe, then WHY HAVE THEY NOT YET INVADED? Why are there not, right now, huge smoldering piles of rubble throughout Iraq being poked through by journalists and investigators brought in for the expressed purpose of seeing how right Dubyah and Tony have been all along? What are they waiting for?

I’m pretty sure they are lying (or at least exaggerating) about almost everything they have said about this issue, so I guess what’s holding them back are the last vestiges of concern they have regarding how they might be judged in the future. Not quite so convinced by their own rhetoric, in other words.

PS: deployment shmeployment! If it really is as bad as they say we should be on full war footing and using all available transport to get troops into position.

Friday, March 07, 2003

Dubyah just gave a speech in which he referred, apparently, to the twelve “long” years of Saddam Hussein’s naughtiness (I say apparently because the rabidly knee-jerk anti-american Mexican tv stations didn’t carry the speech: bless them!).

I am 31 long years old.

1971 -- I was born. The US was fighting in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia (not always directly).
1972 -- I was gaining sentience. Nothing much had changed since the previous year.
1973 -- Words were starting to form, walking was being done, and Vietnam was still (sorta) going on. The US got in bed with Pinochet in Chile
1974 -- The bliss of childhood: nothing particularly special to report on the US action front.
1975 -- My brother was born: I immediately refused to be his keeper. The US wasn’t done with Cambodia.
1976 -- Bicentennial: I endorsed Ford over my parents’ choice of Carter (my logic, unimpeachable as ever, was along the lines of “who better to be president than the president?”). School starts. Angola proxy war.
1977 -- more school, more proxy fighting.
1978 -- ditto
1979 -- I was a very naughty schoolboy. Soviet invasion of Afghanistan: the fun starts!
1980 -- Battlestar Gallactica finally reached Earth. Iran stuff. Afghanistan stuff. Contras.
1981 -- Still naughty. Central America flares up bigtime and Uncle Sam is there!
1982 -- Just assume naughty schoolboy until 1986. Don’t forget Lebanon!
1983 -- Grenada
1984 -- not THAT 1984, silly! Not yet, anyway. M.E., C.A., Afghanistan, drug war
1985 -- more M.E., C.A., Afghanistan, drug war
1986 -- more M.E., C.A., Afghanistan, drug war
1987 -- more M.E., C.A., Afghanistan, drug war
1988 -- MORE M.E., C.A., Afghanistan, drug war
1989 -- MORE M.E., C.A., Afghanistan, drug war, with a dash of “end of the Cold War” and a side order of invading Panama (operation “just ‘cause!”)
1990 -- HERE’S that naughty Saddam! And I’m in college now!
1991 -- we got him, but good! But we will continue getting him for the next 12 long years.
1992 -- Somolia! Woot!
1993 -- I move abroad for the first time. Bosnia! Woot!
1994 -- I return, and meet Birgit. Haiti! Woot!
1995 -- basically same shit, different day.
1996 -- quiet time. I move away again, and work (sorta) for the US government!
1997 -- more quiet time.
1998 -- Sudan, Afghanistan, embassy bombings. I return to the US (why?).
1999 -- Yugoslavia!
2000 -- somewhat quiet
2001 -- NY and Wash terrorist attacks, US goes in search of the “real killers”
2002 -- I move away again. The hunt for the “real killers” continues, but meanwhile yonder Saddam Hussein has a lean and hungry look.
2003 -- We are a peace loving people. Would you like “freedom fries” with that, sir?

see this for some dates

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Also sprach Roger Ebert: Public prayer fanatics borrow page from enemy's script.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Going Underground - which London Underground tube line are you?

I'm the DISTRICT line!


I’m not feeling at all well. I have had, for 4 days now, a low-grade fever, a headache, and a general weakness of the body. Similar symptoms (plus chest congestion, which, though I smoke a great deal of tobacco, I do not have) seem to be common this time of year (early March) in this town.

This town is Guadalajara, Mexico, and I’ve been told by people who seem to know (one is my boss, the other my Spanish teacher) that the upsurge in illness is due to the fact that we are well into the “dry season”. As I write this, it has not rained here in weeks. When it rained, weeks ago, it was brief and unusual. Before that it had not rained in, well, weeks. It won’t likely rain again for weeks.

One of the things that happens when it doesn’t rain for weeks and weeks is that human waste, which normally festers in lagoons around the area, dries up. “Remember,” the priest used to say on Ash Wednesday as he dabbed an ash cross on our forheads, “that you are dust and to dust you shall return.” So the things I eat become feces, which I deposit in the toilet and flush. The flush sends my feces, eventually, to a lagoon, where they meet up with other feces from other people. The assorted feces then dry up, divide into tiny teams, and take wing. I then inhale the feces while sitting on my balcony writing this. It is possible that more than seven million people live in the greater Guadalajara metroplex. That’s a lot of fecal dust.

And don’t get me started on the dog feces.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

This article from CBS News doesn't say it, but there are lots and lots of people in the US (and perhaps in other countries, but I can't speak to that) who absolutely HATE it when a celebrity of some sort speaks on a political or social issue. Just last year, in fact, Father Joseph Coughlin (I mean Bill O'Reilly of Foxnews) had an hour-long prime-time show devoted to the topic.

I've never really understood why someone would get so lathered up about this. I suppose it is a little bit annoying for a politician or professional political type to have his thunder stolen by a Hollywood person who doesn't have the wonking creds, but sheesh.

Actually, I do have a theory: bias. See, much of the entertainment media pisses hard-core conservatives off (sex, drugs, rock and roll, and the like) anyway, and for the perveyors (sp?) of that to ALSO have political influence must really burn. BUT it really is more about the message than the messenger with such folks, anyway, as the following short list may suggest:

Arnold Schwartzeneggar (governor?), Ronald Reagan (governor, president), Sonny Bono (mayor, congressman), Clint Eastwood (mayor), Charlton Heston (head of a major lobbying group), Gopher from the Love Boat (congressman, head of Goodwill), Fred Thompson (senator), Ted Nugent (gadabout)

Every man Jack of them on the list were actors (or singers, in the case of the Nuge) before getting involved in conservative politics, and some (Heston and Thompson for sure) did both at the same time.

Does this bother people? I know it doesn't bother me, but then I'd vote for Pat Paulson (if he were on the ballot).

Monday, March 03, 2003

You do a Google Search of "jay leno" and "butt plug" you'll get 17 returns. I'm not one of them.

I'm sick.

I'm also physically ill.

I'm sorry.

I also apologize for not going to work today.

According to SPIEGEL ONLINE, the Russian pop duo "Tatu" were on the Jay Leno television program recently. They are, apparently, famous for being (or pretending to be lesbians) and were forbidden, according to the article, from tongue kissing on the show.

Sad enough, you might think.

They were also forbidden from saying anything about Iraq. They therefore had a phrase in Russian written on their shirts to the effect of "to hell with the war". Leno and his minders are all upset. The ladies went on to appear on the Jimmy Kimmel television program (what on earth is that?) and wrote the word "censored" on their shirts.

This whole business confirms two things I knew already: 1) Jay Leno is a butt plug 2) censorship in the US rarely needs to come from the government because our media is full of butt plugs.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

This sort of thing is not said often enough:Joe Bob Briggs is right.