Monthly Archives: October 2001


I just got mail from Peru… An internet aquaintance came across some bound/deformed skulls and has offered them to me at a great price. This is museum grade stuff, so maybe if I broker it, it'll pay the IAM bills for a month or two…

Media Democracy Day

I got an email last night from a friend who is definitely more pro-war than I am. He forwards me various Bin Laden jokes and things like that, which I often object to on because I feel that reducing a highly complicated war into a one-liner joke is degrading to everyone involved. That said, he asked me, if I object so much to the positition the US has taken, what do I suggest as a reasonable alternative. My response:

  1. As the UN has insisted, stop the current bombing which is doing zero damage to the Taliban, enormous damage to citizens, turning the Muslim and much of the international community against the US, and will only result in more terrorist attacks on US citizens which cannot be stopped.
  2. Develop alternate energy research so the US is no longer financially/oil dependant on the Middle East and has no "need" to interfere with their politics. Then, worst case, they just kill each other off and leave the US alone.
  3. Seek a diplomatic solution.
  4. If #3 is unsuccessful, QUIETLY and out of the public eye take the Israeli approach -- simply assassinate Taliban and Al-Quaeda leaders and don't make ANY statements about it. Just have them disappear. No martyrs, no PR nightmares.

Look at what's happened so far — “first” (not really first, but let's make that the start of our count) around 5000 people were killed in the US by terrorists, as well as massive damage being done to the US financially. Then the US launched an attack which it had to call on every political favor and deeply put itself in debt over. The attack so far has been entirely ineffective at killing anyone responsible, but has killed around 500 innocent people, made thousands more homeless, and has disrupted aid efforts which, if the war continues, will result in the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians (none of them involved in the first attack on the US). In addition, enourmous resentment toward the US has been created internationally, especially in Muslim countries, creating a strong liklihood of continued attacks on the US, both my Al-Qaeda and other groups (since they know it works so well now). In addition, the US has attacked itself on its own soil with a series of “homeland security” measures, taking away the (perhaps illusionary) freedoms that in theory differentiate the US from other countries. Most people have seen this link, but this one takes the cake.

It's not as if it's going to get any better, largely because of the people calling the shots I suspect. Look at Bush — he's called for freezing the assets of Bin Laden, but his first business, Arbusto Energy, was financed by the bin Laden family. It's not like Arbusto was the only time either, Bush's Harken Energy Corporation was bailed out by Saudi Sheik Abdullah Taha Bakhsh and BCCI and Khalid bin Mahfouz. As Wayne Madsen points out, “the ties between bin Laden and the White House may be much closer than [Bush] is willing to acknowledge.”

Want the other side of the story?

When I present these alternate viewpoints, I can't prove to you that they are true. What I can tell you is that neither “side” is telling the truth — the media is certainly not impartial — and that only by learning as much as you can and from all points of view will you be able to make an informed observation.

Which brings me to an important reminder:

Today is Media Democracy Day.
Please, if you have a moment, read that page, and read it fully. It's not that long, and contains a great deal of important information. There are various events going on all day (mostly in Toronto), including protests at the CRTC regarding their attempt to shut down Star Ray TV

Six more puppy pix

Guess who got a PUPPY?

And guess who's big fat belly makes a comfy puppy bed?

Some more news links

The storm of “stop the bombing” calls is increasing, even locally. Everyone from aid organizations (who point out that if they are not able to get food through, 100,000 Afghani children will die this year) to Farrakhan (who wants evidence supporting the attacks — The US government, he says, has “lied before, and there's no guarantee they are not lying now.”), the Archbishop of Canterbury (who warns that we not repeat the misery we inflicted on Iraq, and asks, “how to punish the guilty without hurting the innocent, uproot evil without eroding the common good?”), to the city of Berkeley (the first city in America to pass a war censure act). Objection to the extreme laws and security measures are coming from all over the place… from knitters who had their needles taken, and even from Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), who is concerned that the new laws may well much of his comedy routines illegal.

I keep hearing threats of more serious attacks. I don't really know if this is because they're stopping them and we don't know about it, or because they're just scare tactics. There have been tons of false scares… my favorite was the unlucky coincidence that right now Publisher's Clearinghouse is running a promotion where they are mailing out thousands of little packs of white powdered soap. Then of course there's assholes like the Army of God who have said that anthrax scares at abortion clinics “made their day“.

A bigger concern though may be the strain with “out Saudi allies“. It's pretty much clear to everyone that Saudi Arabia is the real source of the terrorism, but because we “need” them for their oil, they're somewhat untouchable. Of course, if they really do demand that the 13,000 US troops leave their soil, I'm sure that things will get very unpleasant very fast.

Well, at least somebody is doing well… drug companies are able to push way more pills, and, I guess now that they've been caught, maybe some CIA directors can collect their cash from the September 11th stock trading tricks. Not that I can believe anything the media says. Recent events here in Toronto certainly showed that — after all, if a relatively stupid couple of politicians here can fabricate stories about local protests, what can be fabricated when you have a trillion dollar budget?

Finally, if you're not already taking some GAP drug, this will help you get there.