March 29th, 2004 §
yesterday john kerry began to win the 2004 election campaign. it started in a church in st louis, where he gave a speech which moved men and women, of faith and without.
The scriptures say: “It is not enough, my brother, to say you have faith, when there are no deeds.”…
This is our time to start building up America again. Time to build up the material things that matter– from our schools to health centers to depressed communities that can thrive again. But even more, time to build up the things of the spirit that lift us up — the sense that no matter where we come from, what we have or what we lack — we are all God’s children, linked together by the dignity of each and the shared destiny of all.
So let us pray. Let us move our feet. Let us march together and let us lead America in a new direction — toward that mountain top which has always been our destination. We won’t get there in one year or one election. But this year is our time to take another giant step toward the country we can and should become.
the ideals expressed in this speech are noble and realistic. they are the kind of ideas with which a better world is made. ideals of compassion and brotherhood.
while the speech was made in a church, ironically enough it closely follows liberté, egalité, fraternité. but that the speech was made in a church is marvellous. the sanctimony of the bush administration is unbearable. they feel they have a direct pipeline to god. unfortunately their god is an angry god, moses’s god. not a god which should dictate the sentiments or the votes of warm hearted christians.
by vigourously opening the democratic party to christian americans with sentiments like this is the kiss of doom for the republican election machine, already reeling from richard clarke’s book and personal testimony. john kerry instantly evoked a harsh rebuke from a white house spokesperson.
which is why some four months from today it would not surprise me to read of john kerry’s assassination. even if he survives until after the election, hidden powers may be gunning for him. it strikes me that this ex-vietnam hero and antiwar campaigner houses many contradictions in his complex soul.
when did he decide that he may want to become president? perhaps a long, long time ago. you cannot play your hand too early. if you make a career in politics, you must bide your time and accommodate important interest groups along the way, occasionally vote against your convictions. otherwise you are thrown out of the game.
but once you become president, it’s pretty much your show to run for the next four years.
initially i had thought john kerry just another yale fraternity man, beholden and complicit. his marriage to a heinz and a large fortune only deepened suspicions that he is a bush clone, albeit with some intellect and dignity and knowledge of the world and men.
but perhaps he’s not. once he’s president, finally he will have a chance – the one chance of his life – to enact some of those ideals of the antiwar days. cast off the hands that try to control all american political life.
in many ways, this is what the kennedy boys did. you’ve heard it all before – beholden to mob money, special interests, etc. once in power they broke the mould. and were gunned down one by one. in a clearly organised way.
and this is why john kerry may be a more noble man than we doubters think. and this is why in ten months you may be reading of the john kerry assassination.
john kerry is dead. long live john kerry. you read it here first.
doubters in the house, please view alan j. pakula’s the parallax view. i hope john kerry has hired the best security people in the world. since yesterday’s speech in new north side baptist church his life is in grave danger, both before and after the upcoming presidential election. and those who wonder whether i consider the current US administration capable of directly plotting and commissioning the assassination of an american political leader – the answer is yes. to mention a single incident, these are people who bombed a foreign capital in peacetime. that means the murder of men, women and children.
March 27th, 2004 §
Wait a minute, I can hear you saying after reading this headline. The EU has just fined Microsoft 500 milllion euros and has demanded that they open certain API’s to other software makeres. Actually the monetary fine is negligeable. Microsoft scoffs back $32 billion per year. This amounts to less than two per cent of annual revenue for a fine which covers almost a decade of miscreance. The equivalent is of a factory owner pouring contaminants into the communal revenue who prefers to pay the small fines and keep doing his dirty business. The only positive aspect of the ruling is that by compelling Microsoft to open up some of these API’s and protocols to other software makers that future predatory practices will be staved off. But those Microsoft apologists who think that Microsoft is finished annihalating competition and trying to control the entire IT sphere are simply wrong. If you don’t believe me, check out what Steve Balmer has to say about search:
people sometimes say Microsoft wants to do it all. This is a case where we actually didn’t do it all. Shoot, I wish we had done it all.
The one sector where they had not eliminated all competition is where they want in now (Google adwords no doubt awoke them to the sad fact that somebody besides themselves were making money in IT). So with this tiny fine, Microsoft wins again, the EU loses and so does humanity. But they must shed crocodile tears and bleat how it hurts. Window dressing and play acting. Pardon the pun. Strangely, the US Department of Justice doesn’t agree with the settlement. One of the largest contributors to Republican coffers, on and off the playing field. Government corruption at the highest level. Anything but protect the interest of the common man or the consumer. The only way for Microsoft not to win is to get their products off your computers. Fortunately, apart from the Microsoft funded SCO suit, Linux really seems to be coming around the corner this time. Imagine a world of secure operating systems, transparent code and reliable operation. And no US governmental security holes to spy on you. That world is here now. Disclaimer: I am writing this epistle on an Apple computer, another American company. Why? I work with video and there is no suitable software – yet – on Linux. So for the moment, I cannot move to Linux myself. From what I can tell, Apple is not working with US security agencies to leave hidden doors into the OS and logging perpetually all of one’s email communication. The day that becomes apparent I will no longer use an Apple computer. And I think Apple knows that a huge proportion of their users would leave the platform in this case.
March 23rd, 2004 §
vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, whether you are in the city or looking at it from outside. here is a look down at vienna from two nights ago. for those who know the city, i am in kahlenberg. it’s a forty five minute ride from downtown on a mountain bike.
and last night, a little later.
March 23rd, 2004 §
for afficiandoes of short film, my friend and sometimes cameraman richard yagutilov has just put up his own site, yougottalove.com, where you can see some of his short films.
particularly interesting are numb and balls out.
once you watch numb, public transportation will never be the same. closet iPodphobes mustn’t miss the chance to see their darkest fantasies realised.
balls out is a little harder to explain. some guy wants to neuter his poodle. the poodle doesn’t want to be neutered. enough that he starts to talk. or rather starts to rap.
after much singing back and forth, master and pet hold an extended rap duel over who should be castrated in the end while the master’s two friends referee.
my dislike of rap and the agressive of posturing of hip hop stood in the way of really enjoying the film. but for amateurs of either rap or talking pets, there’s quite a bit of fun here.
park pleasures would also be worth a peek – it looks to me like richard is trying to do something a little more mainstream in the hopes of getting a movie or a television deal.
sadly, the web version is just a short excerpt from the beginning and misses the visual punch line altogether. thus quite unsatisfying.
i have the DVD version and enjoyed park pleasures. maybe richard will post the whole film some time soon.
technical: the web versions are in quicktime format (i.e., they look and sound good enough to watch unlike most of the WMV and real stuff). worth a visit.
March 14th, 2004 §
the world of men is full of noise today. the sound of 200 spaniards going up in smoke on account of their president’s support for the americans in the so-called war on terror.
can we not call this war what it is… an extension of the crusades. and as doomed to fail now as it was when richard undertook it in the 15th century.
the only way a crusade could succeed is if it eliminates every man woman and child from the middle east, certainly including old constantinople and its ottoman empire, known now as turkey.
and this crusade must carry on into the wilds of pakistan who already have bombs of their own.
i mean do the americans have any clue about what they are up against and up to. even if they succeed in pilfering the stocks of middle eastern oil for a song, they will ruin the chances of their citizens being accepted or welcomed in half of the world for a good hundred years.
can the short term economic benefits of prolonging the age of oil really be worth it?
and two hundred spaniards are frowning down at these yankee imbeciles now, saying you have deprived me of a life with my beloved wife or i will never see my children again or i so looked-forward to my daughter’s first accouchement in june.
not to mention the unfortunate two thousand to have lost their earthly refuge in the fall of 2001, for little reason, as history will point out, no reason at all. (link to osamma bin laden’s letter).
i am inclined to take bin laden at his word. if we would leave the middle east alone, i suspect the middle east would leave us alone. unguarded constantinople was a mistake. but that is what serbs and hungarians are for.
when we are not raining bombs down upon their heads or frivolously bankrupting their previously quite self-sufficient economy.
scandalous thoughts. but as we casually bomb civilian cities, can we really expect to live in peace with our fellow man.
any one who has lived under the rain of bombs could tell you that is impossible. any wonder this
modern warfare is not but target practice. the americans are building robot soldiers to do their dirty work for them in a decade. you will have command centers hooked up with high speed data connections and so-called soldiers seated there. better we call them players. they will have movement sensitive helmets and complicated hand and wrist controllers. with these apparatus they will manage to be somewhere far away, shooting up the countryside in either a palestinian, syrian or saudi village.
there will be no one left alive when their medics arrive on the ground to clean out the area.
the impoverished and jobless americans of the underclass will make up the new colonizers for this new old continent.
feudalism and true imperialism sound their siren lure. but no more successful than england, america will die in its colonisation of distant lands.
nothing loathed like an american. gradually the doors of europe close to them.
the world divided into zones of influence again. nothing loathed like an american.
March 2nd, 2004 §
there is a new documentary film making the rounds in sweden called “deadly game”. it suggests that playing video games makes children fat and violent.
some argue that there is insufficient scientific evidence to prove this. like large doses of the more violent shows on american television, certainly it would seem to be the case.
america does have the most violent society among the western nations (often the murder rate is cited as 10 to 1 with most european nations and the US population is the largest consumer of both their own tv shows and video games), so real life would seem to support hypothesis.
yet another reason to restrict the cultural space and tax the hell out of american imports to support european cultural programs. those might promote sex, promiscuity and idle talk.
there are no shortage of neo-conservative pundits to decry such joys as illicit – anything from unproductive to unholy.
vices or not, they certainly beat murder and armed robbery as leisure pursuits.
who wants a bunch of fat, violent and lazy children lurking around?
perhaps the americans. as the last of the actively militarized western nations – the propaganda rains down from hollywood and television as heavily as it did in the soviet union – they must prepare their population for the sacrifices and compromises of war.
once the clones minds accept violence, whipping their bodies into shape is something any second-rate drill sargent can manage.
no wonder the pentagon is subsidising and distributing computer games.
The military is now using the Web and developing games as a way of recruiting and retaining kids. “I do think the point about being motivational is really a very, very relevant one,” says Johnson. ….The real problem for the military, according to Thinking Machines founder Danny Hillis, is not to simulate a tank or airplane, but to train the people’s minds so that when they get into a real tank on a battlefield, they do the right thing.
the right thing.
March 2nd, 2004 §
the rss feed of le monde diplomatique continues to turn up interesting nuggets. while the writing is too voltarean (read 18th century grandiloquence) to easily be digested by those accustomed to either newspaper, internet or glossy magazines, the ideas are stimulating.
corinne gobin takes on the hidden menace of the federal europe. effectively the creation of a greater europe takes the power a long way away from the individual elector and individual country or canton or landkreis. a great deal more power moves into the hands of central bankers and almost faceless bureaucrats.
Le nouvel ordre politique qui se met en place oeuvre très activement à la déstabilisation, voire au démantèlement de tous les éléments – procédures, principes, droits, symboles et imaginaire – qui avaient permis, à travers les luttes sociales et politiques des siècles passés, l’élaboration d’un pouvoir démocratique et, avec lui, la création d’un espace de droits et de règles imposant une ligne de démarcation claire entre l’intérêt collectif des populations et les intérêts des pouvoirs privés, que ceux-ci soient de type marchand, mafieux ou religieux.
in rough translation:
The new political order coming into existence is working very hard towards the destabilisation, indeed the dismantling of all the elements – procedures, principals, rights both symbolic and imaginary – which had permitted (all of them attained through social and political struggles in the course of centuries) the creation of democratic government, accompanied by a legal framework which imposed a clear border between the collective interests of the people and the interests of any private elite, whether merchant, mafia or religious.
a greater europe brings enormous benefits to all. i live in france and austria and to be able to travel freely between the two countries and calculate expenses – as simple as those for sending a package or buying a pair of shoes – in a common currency is a source of great joy.
the spreadsheets that one had to run to keep track of bank accounts and income across countries are no more. the five per cent money changer tax both coming and going with one’s francs and schillings and marks and various pesos is no more.
for those with retail across the continent or even in two or three countries, it is a far greater boon.
but here in austria, most consider that the conversion of prices to the euro was accompanied by an enormous inflation (on the order of 20%) without much adjustment in wages.
this year pensioners have already had to take a 10% hit in their pensions. many public programs have been cut back or are up on the chopping block. austrians begin to wonder exactly who is benefiting from the euro and the expansion of europe. it certainly does not appear to be themselves.
what is frightening about the new europe and the distant powers in brussels, is that they have adopted an orwellian language to cover all of their initiatives. corinne gobin notes:
All the working language of the European social movements finds itself perverted, even if the words leave one with the superficial impression that things are moving solidly to the left: “return to full employment”, “lifetime learning”, “increase of the employment rate”.. That the contents of the “guidelines for employment” almost unchanged since their first version in 1997 is illustrative. Accompanied by an ongoing chorus from the business elite in favour of company spirit and flexibility and employability and adaptibility, a crusade develops to increase employment rates by 70% between now and 2010. This is a completely surreal objective which actually represents forced labour under any and all conditions for the unemployed. Such an objective destabilises the previous collective agreements against poverty wages and under employment of the qualified and implies the idea of a return to the workforce of the elderly by an increase of the age of retirement or a “participation” of the retired in the workforce in exchange for reduced remuneration.
if corinne gobin’s numbers are right, the statistics are grim: overall wages of the working population in the EU are lower in francs (constant) than what they were in 1960, while the overall GDP has doubled since 1970 (in constant francs). since 1998, the workers in europe earn less of the GDP of their economy than american workers. since 1975 there has been a decline of the workers share of GDP of 9%.
while her numbers may be somewhat suspect (so many economies, so many different rates of inflation, so many calculations to make), the tendencies towards disenfranchisement of the worker and the citizenry are not at all uncertain. so much senseless privatisation (natural monopolies should never be in private hands – capitalism only ever works in competitive industries) and so much state wealth disappearing into private pockets (vivendi anyone?).
it is not quite such a grim tale as in north america, however, as the average european citizen and worker is far more on guard for his or her rights than an american is. these are populations which have toppled numerous corrupt regimes and carried whole elites to the guillotine.
i have always leaned far against revolutionary tendencies in favour of art and beauty, much of which torn to shreds at the first sign of revolution. much to regret in both the french and bolshevik revolutions.
but if disempowerment and enslavement is what the hidden capitalist hand seeks in europe, revolution is surely what they will get. and in short order.