Wednesday, May 31, 2006
  Drugs Now Legal If User Is Employed
WASHINGTON, DC — Seeking to "narrow the focus of the drug war to the true enemy," Congress passed a bill legalizing drug use for the gainfully employed Monday.

"Stockbrokers, lawyers, English professors... you're not the problem here," said DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson at a White House press conference. "If you are paying taxes and keeping your yard tidy, we're not going to hassle you if you come home from a hard day of work and want to enjoy a little pot or blow. But if, on the other hand, you're one of these lazy, shiftless types hanging out on the street all day looking for your next high, we're coming after you."

The new law, which goes into effect May 1, will enable police departments and courts to focus on what Hutchinson called "the real drug offenders."

"There's no point going after some cardiac surgeon who needs some speed to keep him sharp," Hutchinson said. "That's not what the law was intended to prevent. But the more destructive drug users - the addict who spends his welfare money on crack, the guy in Harlem who smokes marijuana - that is something that we as a society must not tolerate."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006
  Hurray! She don't!

Firepussy - Counting full stops

** Sometimes don’t you feel you just have to write your mind out? Like it gets too full and needs emptying.

I was lying in bed last night lulled by the sound of barking dogs. I thought to myself how strange it would be if I couldn’t hear any dogs. Which got me thinking about a couple of books I’ve read about Rwanda this year: A Sunday By The Pool In Kigali and We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families. I remember a part that discussed the fact the author couldn’t hear any dogs barking at night. During the genocide the UN Peace Keepers weren’t given any authority to intervene to stop Hutus killing Tutsis but they got good target practise killing all the dogs that were feeding off the piles of dead bodies.

Anyway I couldn’t get to sleep so for some reason I started counting full stops. Not sheep. Not trees. Nor commas or colons; full stops. [..]

Then one morning while lying in bed fiddling with my itchy skin I felt a lump in my breast.


In two seconds flat in my mind I’d gone from a lump in the breast through to waking up from surgery one breast less. And I had this sudden vulnerability about death, about how breasts help define your femininity, how they make us more sexual beings. And all that. And of course we’re all different but this was my particular speeding train of irrational thought. [..]

Maybe I can write again because the scans and mammogram said I’m ok. The Rash has moved on somewhere else too. Right now I’m feeling relieved, and grateful. **

Better so, from Zimbabwe!

Monday, May 29, 2006
  Freedom Next Time
** Chagossian society continued to grow with the arrival of indentured labourers from India in the mid-19th century. By the 20th century they had developed a distinct language that was a lilting variation of French Creole. There were now three copra factories, supplying the coconut oil that lit street lamps in London, and a coaling station for ships en route to and from Australia; by the 1960s, there were plans for tourism. The workers received a small wage or payment in kind with commodities such as rice, oil and milk. They supplemented this by fishing in the abundantly stocked coastal waters, growing tomatoes, chilli, pumpkins and aubergines, and rearing chicken and ducks. As if celebrating a perfect vision of empire in such a place, a Colonial Office film from the 1950s describes the population as "born and brought up ... in conditions most tranquil and benign". The camera pans across a laughing woman hanging out clothes to dry in a coconut grove while her children play around her. This is Charlesia Alexis.

I met Charlesia recently, 50 years after she was filmed. She was sitting in the shade of her small, sparsely furnished house on the edge of Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, more than 1,000 miles from her home. I asked her for her fondest memories of Diego Garcia. "Oh, everything!" she replied. "The sense of wellbeing is my fondest souvenir. My family could eat and drink what they liked; we never lacked for anything; we never bought anything, except clothes. Can you imagine that?"

"Why did you leave?" **

John Pilger in The Guardian

  Spying the Press
Fringe Special - Surveillance of the press

Freedom of the press is one of the pillars of parliamentary democracy. However, the systematic monitoring of the press and the use of journalists by the intelligence and security services is, sadly, not confined to history. As far as the monitoring is concerned, the watershed has been the War on Terror.

In the last months, there has been an upsurge of articles on press restrictions, surveillance and manipulation of journalists by the intelligence services.

In the US: spying on the press, monitoring and prosecuting civil servants who have contact with the press.

In Germany there seems to have been a systematic surveillance of the press for more than a decade. This is developing into a political scandal of the first degree. [This affair is the main reason for publishing this Fringe Special].

In the Netherlands, of course nothing of the kind happens here. Of course there is the odd incident once in a while. Recently there has been a local version of this domestication process. It concerns the Telegraaf, a mainstream right wing and by far the biggest, newspaper in the Netherlands.

But fortunately, as our intelligence community, the government and the parliament inform us in unison, our AIVD is not comparable with the BND, the CIA and the FBI. So no need for vigilance, just relax. Meanwhile AIVD and AIVD-methods are being put to use in the police investigations on the Telegraaf and their journalists. Our parliamentary guardians of democracy seem to have forgotten that the use of intel methods in police investigations is forbidden by law.

All the best, the Fringe editors

Saturday, May 27, 2006
  Of likely clima-change and big cinema that ain't big enough
Sure because of the rain, grey, and cold of the seemingly eternal Dutch autumn many people went to the same movie like me, this evening.
But who cares, this Pathe'-DeMunt, about which flavoured stories are known with some Italian flowery big names involved too, is one of the biggest cinema's in Amsterdam. Back then it was all just a big money item, with no taxes included. Nothing special, there's loads of these cases.
And big cinema is a [commercial] succes.
And big cinema happened to be sold out tonite.

No V for Vendetta for me now. But tomorrow i'll take revenge.

  Come quando incontravo Nino d'Angelo (in veste da tassista)
"Considering how dangerous everything is, I find it difficult to find anything particularly frigthening."
Virginia Woolf

For Dutch insiders: lately i heard USofA-expert Maarten van Rossum in a lousy radioprogram about soccer (!) where v.Rossum told that he found most other things more important than soccer. The radioguy's answer sounded quite hysterical, and then quite relieved to end his phonecall with van Rossum. I forgot to put VIVA Maarten van Rossum! on my blog the next day, but when i heard it, i was shouting it out: Viva! Vivaaa!

Thursday, May 25, 2006
  About 2.8 per cent of India's GDP
Stolen for Steel: Tata Takes Tribal Lands in India
by Nityanand Jayaraman, Special to CorpWatch

Jug-ger-naut n [Hindi Jagannath, lit., lord of the world, title of Vishnu] 1: a massive inexorable force or object that crushes whatever is in its path.
-Webster’s Dictionary-

-- Tata Steel, one of the country’s largest firms has been in the forefront of India’s industrialization and an engine of growth. It is part of Tata Group, a prestigious, family-owned Indian multinational with 2005 revenues of $17.8 billion, the equivalent of about 2.8 per cent of India's GDP. The company’s website claims that the Tata Group employs about 215,000 people, operates in 40 countries, and markets to 140 nations. About 66 percent of its equity is held by two family-run philanthropic trusts. One of them, the Dorabji Tata Trust is the largest grantmaker to NGOs in the country, surpassing even the mega-funder Ford Foundation. Ratan Tata, the chair of Tata Sons – the holding company – sits on the Ford Foundation’s board. --

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
  We don’t know the truth
Did the Americans bomb themselves? It seems impossible.
Was the CIA involved in the attacks? It cannot be excluded. Did the American administration know much more than they admitted? That seems certain.
Has the war against Islam consolidated the presence of the United States in the Persian Gulf and the income from the petrol position? There’s no doubt.
Giulietto Chiesa has sent a letter (to Beppe Grillo) on this topic.

"The United States practices and theorises about the preventive war, in violation of the United Nations Charter. American citizens (scores of millions) are spied on illegally, by their secret services. The CIA picks up presumed terrorists where it believes that is appropriate in dozens of countries, beyond any legal authority, and it sends them to be tortured in third countries or it tortures them directly in Guantanamo Bay.
The state of rights, already damaged in America, is even demolished in Europe and elsewhere, with the complicity of governments allied to the USA.

On September 11 a curtain of silence has fallen." .../snap/...

By way of Beppe Grillo and Giulio Chiesa

Thursday, May 18, 2006
Saturday, May 13, 2006
  Dickensian world of Victorian poverty being recreated

TomDispatch: If we jump 15 years to your newest book, Planet of Slums, with its vast urban canvas, can we imagine that you're now taking your marching orders from some global central committee? And can you launch us on the subject of our slumifying planet today?

Mike Davis: Stunningly enough, classical social theory, whether Marx, Weber, or even Cold War modernization theory, none of it anticipated what's happened to the city over the last 30 or 40 years. None of it anticipated the emergence of a huge class, mainly of the young, who live in cities, have no formal connection with the world economy, and no chance of ever having such a connection. This informal working class isn't the lumpenproletariat of Karl Marx and it isn't the "slum of hope," as imagined 20 or 30 years ago, filled with people who will eventually climb into the formal economy. Dumped into the peripheries of cities, usually with little access to the traditional culture of those cities, this informal global working class represents an unprecedented development, unforeseen by theory.

An interview with Mike Davis, writer of City of Quartz. TD: "He has most recently turned his restless, searching brain upon the global city in a new book, Planet of Slums, whose conclusions are so startling that I thought they should be the basis for our conversation." [Part 1, part 2]

Thursday, May 11, 2006
  Europe's mission
'United We Stand. Europe has a mission'

is the punchy title of the non-existent, fully EU-produced Hollywood-style blockbuster: "A brilliant mix of espionage and sci-fi political stereotypes in which Europe, not the USA, saves the world from impending doom". The project that consists in the invention and promotion of this nonexistent movie is hitting public and media space all over the world through city-scale urban installations and viral communication tactics.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006
  West Side East Side - story

The America song of West Side Story is singing in my head, but oddly, it got provoked by reading US-ers comments in the Iraqi blogosphere. So timeless.

When you're a Jet,
You're the top cat in town,
You're the gold medal kid
With the heavyweight crown!

When you're a Jet,
You're the swingin'est thing:
Little boy, you're a man;
Little man, you're a king!

BERKELEY, Calif. -- A Halliburton subsidiary has just received a $385 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security to provide "temporary detention and processing capabilities."
The contract -- announced Jan. 24 by the engineering and construction firm KBR -- calls for preparing for "an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs" in the event of other emergencies, such as "a natural disaster." The release offered no details about where Halliburton was to build these facilities, or when. -- /snap/

Monday, May 08, 2006
  Why Xer-Files?
"Why XER-FILES," a friend asked some while ago?
Well, i got to the name by way of people i met, from Cinema-Rex in Belgrade.

You can visit them here: - + - = +
Sunday, May 07, 2006
  Avenida Petra Kelly and Flora Tristan Street
-- And yet, on the horizon, other trends can be observed. There is a marked turning away by many states from the formal commitments on women's emancipation made in the 1960s (covenants on social and economic rights), 1970s (the 1979 United Nations Convention on Discrimination Against Women, or Cedaw), and 1990s (the 1995 Beijing International Women's Conference). The most dramatic non-event of 2005 was an illustration of this: while the states and diplomats of the world rushed to hold review conferences for such issues as nuclear proliferation and the Barcelona Euro-Mediterranean process, no such meeting was held to mark the tenth anniversary of the Beijing conference, or of earlier such decennial events at Copenhagen (1975) and Nairobi (1985). [..]

It may be too early to draw up a balance sheet, but there are strong indications that globalisation, with its increased strains and demands (not least regarding hours worked and the erosion of social services) is enhancing gender differences across both the developed and developing worlds. --

The forward march of women halted? - by Fred Halliday at OpenDemocracy

Saturday, May 06, 2006
  Italian ex-minister of defense in Roman Rebibbia prison

Some good news definitely exists, Cesare Previti is in jail.

In a todays Italian newspaper:

-- The Previti case is closed. In Rebibbia. S
ince yesterday the Roman prison gives roof to the - Italian - ex-minister of Defense, convicted to six years in jail for having corrupted the judges in the so-called Imi-Sir case. --

[[ Il caso Previti è chiuso. A Rebibbia. Il carcere romano da ieri ospita l'ex ministro della Difesa condannato in via definitiva a sei anni di reclusione per aver corrotto i giudici del caso Imi-Sir. ]]

Grillo: "The psychodwarf has not been seen at Rebibbia for fear of being made to stay there. He sent a telegram with a greetings pizzino: “See you at home on Tuesday”."

Friday, May 05, 2006
  sun is shining

Monday, May 01, 2006
  Cold, grey: Aprilfeesten!

I'll have some offline-days ;)

You know Stone's 'Hidden History of the Korean War'?

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