Sunday, April 30, 2006

China Compensates Vocal Mother of activist to Avoid more attention


Zhou was riding his bicycle home from work when police detained him, according to a complaint lodged by his mother.

He died after being beaten in a police cell, she said. Photos of his corpse showed bruises and cuts, but he was cremated soon afterwards. Since then Tang has waged a constant campaign of petitions and visits to officials in a bid to win redress for her son.

Huang [an activist who runs this website] also said the case might not presage other compensation payments to the families of crackdown victims.

"This was a special case because we have the photos on the Internet, and because his mother was so persistent," Huang said.

Tang and other members of Zhou's family did not want to speak to the media, fearing recriminations, Huang said.

"Mexico May Allow Some Cocaine, Heroin Use" - AP via Yahoo

Currently, Mexican law leaves open the possibility of dropping charges against people caught with drugs if they can prove they are drug addicts and if an expert certifies they were caught with "the quantity necessary for personal use."
Treating addicts as if they have a "disease" that leaves them helpless makes me sick - as if they aren't engaging in repeated knowingly destructive choices.

"Scientists Study Hundreds of Dead Dolphins" - AP via Yahoo

"U.S. Says It Fears Detainee Abuse in Repatriation" - NYT

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Good music at Stanford

Hell yeah, just heard good girl rapper K.Flay on kzsu! Tomorrow night she has a show at CCRMA (the Knoll) @ 6 pm.

Also, last night I aided in the loss of my friend Jose's radio show on kzsu. Sorry Entertainment is no more (at least until next qtr). D'oh!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Response to my post re: protest

Report on the protest from fellow Stanford student. Thank you, Daniel, for the amazing videos. I love the caterpillars at the beginning. I got the chills seeing my friends handled like that. What an immoral move to falsely bring the fire truck in. I wonder if there is anything we can do? Are they allowed to lie and create a false sense of emergency like that? Okay, it's just a microcosm then.

My friend Tom McManus** who works for the Sierra Club replied thus:
One thing I wish to respond to is the idea that those who express criticism of the administration have a moral obligation to either go easy because there is far worse elsewhere, or express some commeasurate outrage with other countries whose behavior is worse. You are right that other countries behave horribly, and many who express outrage regarding U.S. behavior are silent about behavior by other countries. But the reason people in this country criticize our own government so much is because we have primary responsibility for its behavior - more so than we do for that of other countries. Our government is supposed to be accountable to us. Other countries' governments are only accountable to us indirectly at best. I also believe that the ability of the U.S. to influence other countries is increased when we have the credibility of practicing what we preach.

True that. I need to articulate the above points too, when I am explaining my position in the future.

Practicing what we preach is so crucial*. The example about which I've read most recently: the business deals that American economic advisor (and hostage) Moorhead Kennedy saw in Iran just before the students took the embassy (The Ayatollah and the Cathedral, excellent book). American diplomats and the American businessmen to whom they pandered were certain that they could use the provisional government and the instability in the country to control the market (which goods? oil, probably). Iranian businessmen of course also benefitted, though the country's interests and those of the people were completely neglected.

*I'm the worst at it

**Tom is also the bassist of Brother Buzz and Tonal Recall, formerly of the Mystery Cats, a band that plays Jerry Day, one of the coolest events I've ever attended. I was at Jerry Day 2005, which was the actual official renaming of an amphitheater in McLaren Park as Jerry Garcia Amphitheater. This SF Chronicle article mentions that "the name change...cost the city almost nothing."

" Warriors of the future will 'taste' battlefield" - CNN

A narrow strip of red plastic connects the Brain Port to the tongue where 144 microelectrodes transmit information through nerve fibers to the brain.

they hope to give elite soldiers superhuman senses similar to owls, snakes and fish.

"Missing bioterror substances have officials guessing" - AP via PhillyBurbs

Oh lovely

Columbae FUCK THE MAN!!

Casey Neill band played Beltane last year!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Former gulag prisoner asked to exaggerate re: Guantanamo-Washington Post

Amnesty International asked Paul Litvinov to stretch a comparison in order to help the situation of Guantanamo detainees. It is exactly this polarized, extremist mindset that is NOT good for this controversy/situation. Unecessary coddling of prisoners may make activists feel better about their level of cultural sensitivity, but it also considerably weakens our position if we ever want to make a point in the future.
There is ample reason for Amnesty to be critical of certain U.S. actions. But by using hyperbole and muddling the difference between repressive regimes and the imperfections of democracy*, Amnesty's spokesmen put its authority at risk. U.S. human rights violations seem almost trifling in comparison* with those committed by Cuba, South Korea, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.

The most effective way to criticize U.S. behavior is to frankly acknowledge that this country should be held to a higher standard based on its own Constitution, laws and traditions. We cannot fulfill our responsibilities as the world's only superpower without being perceived as a moral authority. Despite the risks posed by terrorism, the United States cannot indefinitely detain people considered dangerous without appropriate safeguards for their conditions of detention and periodic review of their status.

So many reasons for the government to start following strict protocol.

*italics added

"Tehran and Havana are interested in joint projects..."

"The changing face of college politics"

Melissa Fusco, Stanford Daily

Protest 4/21

Stanford students protested Bush's visit with Hoover fellows on Thursday. pics by L Finger, mine not developed from film (!!) yet.

tummy says stop destroying the environment with luxury (not -ery, like my friend had spelled it) consumption, [b/c it's the only way to] save capitalism.

Protests are a team spirit exercise unless they are done super intelligently. The little "U-G-L-Y, Bush ain't got no alibi" chants really have to go. An interesting contrast is the smiling faces of the pampered students at Stanford with this Nepalese protester. or this blurred picture of children, Nepalese police, and sticks clashing. Or this Iranian dormitory room that had been broken into by militants.

Why is there not more vehement outrage at the way that other governments treat their people, alongside the existent critiques of the US govt/Bush administration? Without commenting on both sides of the issue, more harm is done than good. bomb Iran? that would obviously be careless and counterproductive. but to criticize the US to no end without also demanding - via protest, writing, educating - that totalitarian governments everywhere stop persecuting their citizens, is to aid The Leaders - Ahmadinejad, Castro, Chavez, Jong-il - in maintaining their grip on power, wealth, collectivism. By fomenting hatred for Bush, they clench legitimacy. Those born in these closed-border countries have ZERO chance to leave freely without experiencing severe hardship or death upon failure. Not that it isn't good to object to the US's actions in the Iraq War - but Bush is NOT an imperialist dictator, and we best remember that our situation could be much worse.

I was just rereading my article about Irshad Manji and found that she has made this point perfectly (thank God she's such a wonderful teacher!). She wrote a book and speaks about reform coming within Islam from the bottom up, with faithful followers no longer silently allowing radical militants to monopolize their religion's media time. She calls for loud and vocal renunciation of murder, violence, misogyny, anti-Semitism, and "the political bastardization of Islam." In Western countries (particularly Muslim citizens, but ideally all men) will (and must) take the responsibility because
[there is an] ultimate difference between barriers to free thought in 'the West' and in some Islamist countries: 'we can [speak out] without being raped, murdered, tortured, or imprisoned by the state. That is a gift. What in God’s name are we doing with that gift? If we Muslims care enough about universal human rights, and not just our civil rights, we should stand up' for internal change in the religion...'we can’t leave it to the government and the media, but we as citizens have to take responsibility.' Stanford Review

Many would say that by ousting Saddam and directly or indirectly killing Iraqis on their own turf, the United States is no more ethical (less, in fact, by hiding behind "legal" auspices) than the governments of the above-mentioned places. This is true, and we will unavoidably face decades of lasting, possibly increasing anti-Americanism because of our actions. However, why are the anti-war activists in the United States not also raising their posters in support of helpless people who live in fear of or who have been killed or imprisoned for aspects of their life that these students take for granted everyday (e.g. homosexuality)?????

My three friends, two of them close friends, were arrested for sitting in front of a fire truck.

Video from CBS5

I wish they had gotten my bikini-clad torso and my sign, which referenced many things: Bush spending like a Democrat, "thanks for all the pork," "don't forget the real dictators" (pics of Ahmadinejad, Castro, and Hugo Chavez), "fuck luxury consumption to save capitalism," etc. The other side was entirely about China and North Korea, and the recent Hu protestor issue.

I love the love sign! this girl is always so right on too!

** smoking before getting arrrested
** firefighter breath
** Condi n Dubya in the Hummer
** "Thou Shalt not Kill"
** sky, with cops, helicopter
** "I am the child of an illegal immigrant"
** right at the line
** All Blood is Red
** the cops
** Interview (I'm jealous)
** the group from afar
** marching past the Quad
** White Plaza decorating time
** Good thing that girls dance at protests!
On 4/28 in NY, there will be an anti-Ahmadinejad rally.
Pics from 2003's NYC pro-democracy rally

"Pregnant Jolie, Pitt Seek Namibia Privacy"

Aw, poor things.

Allegations that Angelina's movie Beyond Borders might harm NGO work.

When I saw Seoul Train, the documentary about North Korean refugees escaping to China and being returned, the director encouraged us to boycott her movies, since she is the Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency, and the US and UN still deal with China, which does not accept NKorean refugees.

"Bin Laden Urges Sudan Fight in New Tape"

Reinaldo Arenas

Is a writer from Cuba who died of AIDS in 1990. He was imprisoned and tortured. His book Before Night Falls, which I'm reading right now, is amazing.

Miguel Correa's literary page
He travelled on the same type of boat as Arenas to reach freedom in the United States. He is in the front, with Arenas' arms on his shoulders.

video of Arenas saying this:
There is a very advantageous position among leftists writers who live in capitalistic countries who enjoy all the benefits of democracy and great profits they earn while attacking democracy while they live in a democratic country. Maybe if those writers lived in a communist country from where they could not get out - they might change the way they think. Since living there, they would not be able to write a word! So for us, who suffered so much in Cuba - it's infuriating to see people enjoy all the security that comes with democracy - getting pleasure attacking it and becoming rich from doing this!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Solar Prominence + comet break

Fragment B of dying comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 has split in two

Wow! Here you can play with an orbit simulation

the sun is spotless

also, "just before sunrise on Monday, April 24th, Venus and the crescent Moon will have a spectacular close encounter in the eastern sky."

Friday, April 21, 2006

Protesting around the world today!

"Nepali king faces mass protests" - BBC

...despite a shoot-on-sight curfew...tens of thousands of protesters had assembled at several points on the edge of the curfew zone on Friday, after as many as 100,000 people rallied in the capital on Thursday.

well that's lovely...citizens ordered shot because a monarch is seeing his power wrenched away.

Stanford students also protested Bush's visit with Hoover fellows today. **Pics up soon**

My three friends, two of them close friends, were arrested for sitting in front of a fire truck.

Video from CBS5

I wish they had gotten my bikini-clad torso that said "Save capitalism" on the back and "Stop destroying the environment with luxury consumption" on the belly. I had a sign that referenced many things: Bush spending like a Democrat, "thanks for all the pork," "don't forget the real dictators" (pics of Ahmadinejad, Castro, and Hugo Chavez), "fuck luxury consumption to save capitalism," etc. The other side was entirely about China and North Korea. yesterday Bush actually apologized to China's president for allowing a protestor some time for free speech (which China would not have given) before being escorted away. Bush apologized? We don't quell our opposition the same way China does!! In China, the protester was not shown to the public.
Comparison of Dr. Wang Wenyi to Rosa Parks.
Apathy and even admiration at Yale when Bush and Mr. Hu visited.

A Washington Post article that speaks too favorably of Mr. Hu:
Bush and Hu looked up, stunned. It took so long to silence her -- a full three minutes -- that Bush aides began to wonder if the Secret Service's strategy was to let her scream herself hoarse.

Maybe they thought she was right and should have been heard!

"Ala. Students Expelled for Showing Porno" - AP

haha my dream was doing this in high school

Monday, April 17, 2006

Star Parker on immigration
Part of the package deal that comes with showing up in the United States today is our welfare state as well as our free economy.

There has to be something between here:

and the assumption that immediate integration and benefits are a right acquired by inhabiting space within US borders. Obviously, xenophobic quotas are not the answer.

I think it might be him!

the answer! I love this guy.

40K Suicide Bombers - eitb24 Spain

Falun Gong Responds to US -

At a press briefing in Washington DC yesterday, US State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said that US investigators had found no evidence of wrongdoing while visiting a facility in the Sujiatun district of Shenyang in northeast China - a facility witnesses say held as many as 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners and killed thousands for their organs.

Media Watch

"Abuses of Surveillance Cameras"

"Twenty-two state legislatures are likely to impose significant new restrictions on abortion" - USA Today

Um, so there's a problem that can pretty obviously never be eradicated from humans' desires, and we outlaw it. what happens? it goes underground and causes crime and death. excellent.

Fonda likes Sheehan - ABC Bay Area

mm hm

Veteran spits on Fonda - Kansas City KMBC

Michael A. Smith, 54, a Vietnam veteran [19 went drafted], was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, which is a city charge.

(Fonda) said, 'Don't worry, I'm fine. He just has issues,' and she just kept on signing books. She didn't even get up out of her chair...

Things I'm happy about happening on October 17, my bday

1898 - Shinichi Suzuki, Japanese violin teacher (d. 1998)
1915 - Arthur Miller, American playwright (d. 2005)
1930 - Robert Atkins, American nutritionist (d. 2003) haha
1938 - Evel Knievel, American daredevil
1958 - Alan Jackson, American singer and songwriter [pride of Newnan, my grandma's town]
1962 - Mike Judge, Ecuadoran-born cartoonist and writer [the rise of Beavis and Butt-head interview]
1968 - Ziggy Marley, Jamaican musician [pic: Ziggy + Melody Makers the day before I saw them w/my dad at FurtherFest 2000]
1972 - Eminem, American rapper [Hoover Policy Review]
1972 - Wyclef Jean, Haitian-born singer [Trump is a fan]

538 BC - King Cyrus The Great of Persia marches into the city of Babylon, releasing the Jews from almost 70 years of exile and making the first Human Rights Declaration
1604 - Kepler's Star: German astronomer Johannes Kepler observes that an exceptionally bright star had suddenly appeared in the constellation Ophiuchus, which turned out to be the last supernova to have been observed in our own galaxy, the Milky Way.
1777 - American troops defeat the British in the Battle of Saratoga
1781 - General Charles Cornwallis offers his surrender to the American revolutionaries at Yorktown, Virginia
1806 - Former leader of the Great Slave Rebellion of 1791, Emperor Jacques I of Haiti was assassinated after an oppressive rule
1888 - Thomas Edison files a patent for the Optical Phonograph (the first movie).
1931 - Al Capone convicted of income tax evasion [ok not happy]
1933 - Albert Einstein, fleeing Nazi Germany, moves to the US [picture actually his swearing in as citizen, 1940]
1968: Black athletes make silent protest
1992 - The United Nations General Assembly declares October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, to be observed beginning in 1993.

"Nepal: Anti-monarchy protests intensify" - CNN-IBN

Laughing Yoga - Washington Post

"EXXON Chairman Gets $400 Million Retirement Package Amid Soaring Gas Prices"

picture: Washington Times

Eonomic Times from India Times
$98m (e 81m) pension payout to Exxon Mobil’s former CEO & chairman Lee R Raymond has some shareholders and economists asking, “how much is enough?”

The Australian

"Crude Oil Price Hits $70 a Barrel in Asia"
The market was also driven by the disruption of Nigerian crude supplies by rebels, the possibility of Iranian oil exports being halted due to political tension.

In Nigeria, the world's 12th-largest oil producer, more than half a million barrels of crude a day are being blocked due to militant violence, and rebels have said they will target more supplies.

"Fuel rations in Nepal, anti-king strike hits prices"
- Reuters

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Drug-Free America - Libertarian Resources

Monday, April 10, 2006

"'Playing The Clash made me a terror suspect'" - UK Daily Mail

This is an insane example of citizen vigilance. I wonder exactly what the cab driver told the police, and if the majority of the idiocy here fell on him or them.

Ah, monarchy. Today is the Queen's 80th bday. "80 Quirky Facts" about her.

"Thousands join protests in cities across U.S." - Houston Chronicle

Of course there should be easier access to legal immigration:
'We're hoping that employers stop to consider what this is all about,' organizer Adriana Galvez said. 'That if you need people here to do the work, to buy, then give them a legal channel to get here.'

But even though the U.S. lacks decent policies, you cannot demand public goods from a coffer into which you have not paid taxes:
The protesters had two targets in Georgia: Congress members weighing immigration reform and state legislation now awaiting Gov. Sonny Perdue's signature that would require adults seeking many state-administered benefits to prove they are in the U.S. legally.

Wait-maybe these benefits are all state sales tax funded? In which case, there is more justification for demanding benefits.

Frankly, no matter how much I want to support freedom of travel between borders, I can't bring myself not to cringe when I read attitudes like this:
Nineth Castillo, a 26-year-old waitress from Guatemala who joined the Atlanta march, said she has lived in the United States for 11 years 'without a scrap of paper.'

Asked whether she was afraid to parade her undocumented status in front of a massive police presence, she laughed and said: 'Why? They kick us out, we're coming back tomorrow.'

from Vivir Latino blog: Martyr?
Are suicide "victims" usually considered martyrs? If one cannot handle the weight of the revoluationary load one has brought upon onesself...?

Erotic Signature Art Competition

Sunday, April 09, 2006

"A Progressive Case for US involvement in Iraq" and I like this guy Ben Ho

Ben Ho (Palo Alto):
...for me, and the economist magazine and the neo-cons, the WMD threat was always just rhetoric to persuade the people, just like Woodrow Wilson used the bullshit excuse of the Lusitania to convince the Ameircan people to go to WWI when he personally had much better reasons (wow, never thought of that analogy before). The good reasons for going to war, to plant the seed of democracy to infect perhaps all of the middle east still holds.

from a Stanford Republican e-mail list post of 4/9/06:
I used to hate Chomsky quite a bit (probably one out of 3 or 4 people I really hated (the others include Dr. Laura). I went to MIT and attended many of his talks, and felt [that he is a 'wacko'], which is odd for me because I normally give credit to a lot of progressive ideas and thinkers.

But an interview in the New York Times Magazine changed my opinion a bit...the last question of the interview was: 'NYT: Have you considered leaving the United States
permanently? Chomsky: No. This is the best country in the world.'

Friday, April 07, 2006

"Mosque Suicide Bombers Kill 79 in Baghdad"

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"No Firmó Contra el Presidente"

picture is screen view of Venezuelan government database, for use by officials at all levels to deny citizens of their rights.

protests yesterday in Venezuela. BBC doesn't include a specifically anti-Chavez quote, though CNN does:
"'Chavez always criticizes the United States and talks about thousands of innocent people killed in Iraq, but what about the thousands who are killed here,' said 26-year-old protester Gustavo Marin."

protests at other times, from...:
*Cuban Miami residents
*the ones who got caught

*PBS story:
"'He says he's going to end poverty, and people are digging through the trash looking for something to eat,' Rendon's wife, Giobanna, added. 'It's lie after lie. He's a dictator.'"

*let's recognize both sides of Chavez: "Dr. Evil and Mr. Hood"

*Proof of Chavez's order to create a database of all Venezuelan citizens who signed the petition to bring a recall referendum on him. The database will be used to deny these citizens IDs, passports, employment, etc. Aleksander Boyd from VCrisis: "...what would happen should any of the leaders of the democratic nations of the world be caught ordering the construction of such database? What would happen to the electoral institutions of any European country and its officials should they be caught passing critical information with respect to the political tendencies of the electorate to politicians of a given ruling party?"

Chavez in bed with Iran

Saturday, April 01, 2006

"Carroll Rejects Statements Made in Iraq"

"'At any rate, fearing retribution from my captors, I did not speak freely. Out of fear I said I wasn't threatened. In fact, I was threatened many times," she said. "Also, at least two false statements about me have been widely aired: That I refused to travel and cooperate with the U.S. military and that I refused to discuss my captivity with U.S. officials. Again, neither is true.'"

Other captives tell the same story...POWs in North Vietnam and emabassy hostages in Iran. Activists like Jane Fonda and William Sloane Coffin, respectively, aided the dishonest captors by supporting the Vietcong and the student revolutionaries. POWs respond with utter contempt: Michael Benge, Moorhead Kennedy...

William Sloane Coffin was a member of Yale's Skull & Bones.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?