Friday, August 25, 2006

Trummerflora, or rubble plants and trees, are a special phenomenon unique to heavily bombed urban areas. The bomb acts as a plow, mixing rubble fragments with the earth, which often contain seeds dormant for a century or more. These seeds come to light and those that can live in this new and special earth grow and flourish.
— Helen and Newton Harrison

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Top Stories from AlterNet for Aug. 22, 2006

Seven Hair-Raising Realities About the Iraq War
Michael Schwartz,
A short guide to understanding a flood of new Iraqi developments — and the fate of both the American occupation and Iraqi society.

Is Marriage Rational?
G. Pascal Zachary, AlterNet
In the debate over who can marry, both sides imbue the institution of marriage with an importance it neither deserves nor possesses.

Immigration: the Tinderbox Issue
Susy Buchanan, Intelligence Report

The immigration debate is searing hot in communities across America — and it’s threatening to tear one California town apart.

The ‘New’ New Orleans Blues
Sheerly Avni, Truthdig

Spike Lee’s HBO doc about Hurricane Katrina is a haunting and expertly told story that shows how little our government truly cares about many of its citizens.

The Jill Carroll Story, Part 5: An Insurgency Leader?
Jill Carroll, Peter Grier, Christian Science Monitor
Carroll discovers that her kidnappers are hardcore Islamic militants.

—>>Watch these new clips, and more, in VIDEO:
Bush: Iraq Has ‘Nothing’ to Do with 9/11

As Bush tries to tie the war in Iraq to 9/11, watch what happens when a reporter interjects with a question.

Neil Young: Living With War
Check out two new videos from Neil Young’s controversial new album.

BREAKING: Jonbenet Ramsey’s Killer Used Illegal Wiretapping
Maybe Bush will be in trouble now!?

Another Lieberman/Lamont?
With a violent scuffle…
Nigerian Scam Continues

From: Subject: urgent message To: undisclosed-recipients:; X-SIG5: 814235eedbb02e38a0c5248e37afd98a



I am the bill and exchange manager at STANDARD BANK OF AFRICA (S.B.A) foreign remittance department. There is a business I would want you to champion for me. In my department I discovered an abandoned sum of USD$10.5M dollars in an account that belongs to one of our foreign client MR ANDREAS SCHRANNER from Germany who died along with his entire family in 31july 2000 in a plane crash.

Visit the site ( )

Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines but unfortunately we learnt That all his supposed next of kin or relation died alongside with him in the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim.

It is therefore upon this discovery that I now decided to make this business proposal to you and release the money to you as the next of kin or relation to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement Since nobody is coming for it and i don't want this money to go into the Bank treasury as unclaimed Bill.

The Banking law and guidelines here stipulates that if such money remained unclaimed after six years, the money will be transferred into the Bank treasury as unclaimed fund. The request of foreigner as next of kin in this business is occasioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner and a citizen here cannot stand as next of kin to a foreigner. I agree that 30 % of this money will be for you as foreign partner, in respect to the provision of a foreign account, 10 % will be set aside for expenses incurred during the transfer and 60 % would be for me. Thereafter I will visit your country for disbursement according to the percentages indicated.

I will not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction is hitch free and that you should not entertain any atom of fear as all required arrangements have been made for the transfer. Trusting to hear from you immediately. Therefore to enable the immediate transfer of this fund to your nominated account as I arranged, I want your banking account details, your private telephone and fax number for easy and effective communication and location where in the money will be remitted. Yours faithfully,


Monday, August 21, 2006

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Coming Soon…

“The Vault of Punk Horror”

— The first ever anthology of authentic punk-themed horror with fresh stories from some of the darkest minds in music and fiction. Featuring cyberpunk pioneer John Shirley. Bram Stoker Award nominee Jeremy Robert Johnson and Duncan Barlow (former guitarist of End Point and By the Grace of God).

“Screams From a Dying World”

— No parade is complete without some acid rain. David Agranoff’s first fiction collection says: not with a whimper, but a scream. Featuring five short stories with eco-terrorism, buffalo ghosts and belligerent rednecks. Plus illustrations!


Monday, August 14, 2006

The Art of the Interview, ESPN-Style
By David Folkenflik

For years, John Sawatsky was one of Canada’s leading investigative reporters. He unmasked a spy and exposed explosive stories about rampant police abuses. He later became a journalism professor at Ottawa’s Carleton University.
He says the big-name reporters are failing to plan meticulously how to extract information from their sources, calling their process "haphazard."
"You are hoping that the person being interviewed is a good talker," he says, "and knows how to do something with your inept question."
Sawatsky’s rules are simple, but he says they get broken all the time: Don’t ask yes-or-no questions, keep questions short and avoid charged words, which can distract people. In his seminar, Sawatsky points to Mike Wallace of CBS’ 60 Minutes and CNN’s Larry King as examples to avoid. In Sawatsky’s illustrative clips, King favors leading questions that generate curt answers, while Wallace’s rapid patter fails to get a subject to speak candidly.
Sawatsky says Wallace and the others are better at theatrics than journalism, and that they often trip up their own interviews — by thinking they should be the focus of attention.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Senator Allen's Racism is Unacceptable
By Nita, Eli, Ben, Wes and the Political Action Team

Republican Senator George Allen used a racial slur against a non-white audience member. This kind of bigotry has no place in America. Can you join us in telling the Republican National Committee to take a stand against these tactics and withdraw support for Sen. Allen?
On Aug. 11, Allen sank to a new low. At a campaign stop, the senator singled out the only non-white member of the audience — S.R. Sidarth, a young Indian-American volunteering for his opponent and called him "macaca" (a racial slur meaning 'monkey'). He went on to say, "Welcome to America." As it happens, Sidarth was born and raised in Virginia.
Republicans have used racism to try to win over voters for decades, but this kind of pandering has absolutely no place in our politics. That's why we're standing with Color of Change to ask the Republican National Committee to withdraw support from Allen. We need to send a strong message that America won't tolerate bigotry.
Can you sign the petition and add your voice? You can sign and watch video of the incident on this page.
The sting of Allen's words upset me personally and I'd hoped to see his colleagues in Washington censure him for this display of bigotry. But just yesterday, Sen. John McCain stood with him at a town hall meeting. Race-baiting continues to be a time-tested tradition for the Republican party in the South. And it's got to stop.
This is our opportunity—hundreds of thousands of us standing together will make a major statement to our elected officials and the media. I'll deliver these comments to the Republican National Committee when we reach 250,000 — we're aiming for the end of the week.
Unfortunately, this isn't the first incident of its kind. Allen — who's a contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 — has a long history of demeaning minorities. Here are just a few examples of his racial hostility.
  • He used to display a noose hanging from a tree in his law offices.
  • When running for governor he admitted to displaying the confederate flag in his home.
  • As governor, he proclaimed April as "Confederate Heritage and History Month" and issued a proclamation calling the civil war "a struggle for independence and sovereign rights" (the statement did not condemn slavery).
  • He opposed the creation of a holiday commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • All of this would be bad enough if Allen were a small-time politician. But he's running in one of the key Senate races and, currently, he's ahead.
    The media are watching this story closely and you can help show that ordinary Americans are ready to stand up for each other when a powerful man uses race to divide us. Can you sign the petition today? Political Action is entirely funded by 3.3 million members. It has no corporate contributors, no foundation grants, no money from unions. Its tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. If you'd like to support its work, you can give here.
    Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    LCP Alumnus Writes for Channel 4

    Ali Catterall, who graduated from the London College of Printing, is credited as a writer for an online movie-review show called Movie Rush. And he's hopeful that it will win a major award.

    Movie Rush is now broadcast on the UK's recently relaunched Film 4 channel in five- and 10-minute formats. According to Channel 4, it's the first online programme to make the transition from the Web.

    "Maddeningly, it’s not actually listed in the schedules," Catterall said. "And it pops up all over the place when there’s a convenient gap."

    According to Catterall, the show is a finalist in the Campaign Digital Awards 2006. So its creators are picking the mothballs out of their tuxedos in anticipation of being awarded a colon-shaped lump of plastic by Jimmy Carr while James Blunt and Dido twitter in the background.

    Movie Rush is edited specifically for broadband and has no presenters, instead taking what Channel 4 describes as a typographical approach, using animated copy to segue between each of its segments.

    The show — which was designed and produced for Channel 4 by digital design and strategy agency, Holler, and sponsored by the brewer Stella Artois — reviews two new movie releases each week plus a recent DVD release. It also has a coming-soon segment that showcases an upcoming movie.

    Each episode is divided into four segments: information about the content of each segment, together with a link to the Web site of the movie covered in that segment, appears on-screen next to a representative image.

    The first episode of "Movie Rush" ( debuted online Feb. 2. It featured reviews of "Walk the Line," "Grizzly Man," "The Brat Pack Selection" (a DVD release), and "Capote."

    Catterall has written and broadcast for Channel 4, the BBC and The Guardian. He is the co-author of Your Face Here: British Cult Movies Since the Sixties.

    Contact: Zone, 168a Camden Street, London NW1 9PT. T: 020 7267 4774

    Stop the Falsiness

    Stop the Falsiness

    We’re putting Stephen Colbert on notice. For almost a year, his ceaseless falsiness — disguised, shamelessly, as truthiness — has gone unchallenged. No longer. It’s time to ask the tough questions:

    • Stephen Colbert calls bears “Godless killing machines.” Are they really? Or is Colbert just a pawn of the gun and/or picnic industry?
    • When Colbert introduces guests, he always hogs the spotlight for himself. Isn’t that supposed to be their moment?
    • He unapologetically stands with George W. Bush. Why isn’t he more apologetic?
    Stand up to Stephen Colbert. Watch the movie, learn the facts — and then sign our petition to end Colbert’s falsiness once and for all.

    Our Political System is Broken

    By Nick Nyhart, Executive Director, Public Campaign

    The officials we elect to represent us spend their time chasing big campaign checks and using their votes to do political favors for big-money special interests and lobbyists instead.

    It’s time to do something about it — and we can.

    By enacting a system of public financing for elections we can cut the ties between politicians and the big-money special interests and lobbyists who currently fund their campaigns. It’s called Clean Elections, it’s already working in seven states and two cities across the country, and it’s on the ballot here in California this November.

    Click here now to tell Congress to enact real campaign reform by passing the Clean Money, Clean Elections Act.

    Under Clean Elections, qualified candidates who agree to forgo all private contributions and follow strict spending limits receive public financing for their campaigns, freeing them from having to chase campaign donations from big money special interests and lobbyists.

    It’s a system that’s proven to work. Clean Elections has been in place in Arizona since 2000 and has already reshaped the state’s politics. Ten out of 11 statewide officials in Arizona — including Gov. Janet Napolitano — ran and won “clean” by accepting public financing.

    Under a Clean Elections program, voters can go to the polls knowing that candidates will answer to them, not big-money, special-interest contributors.

    It’s time to expand Clean Elections nationwide! Click here to tell Congress to pass Clean Elections today!

    Once you’ve taken action, will you please forward this message to five of your friends and ask them to join you in standing up for Clean Elections?

    Thank you for helping empower voters to elect officials who are NOT bought and paid for by big-money special interests.

    Will you take the next step in the fight for Clean Elections? Click here to make a contribution today.

    Clean Elections: antidote to unhealthy campaign financing.(Cover story): An article from: National Voter

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Take your car to Jabar if it needs fixing.

    Sunday, August 06, 2006

    Rock ’n’ Roll Coelacanth

    I was only dimly aware of what The New York Dolls were. Their heyday was pre-1980 and my consciousness was alcohol-based then. When I was a dosser in the royal parks of London, I may have read about the Dolls if some pages of New Musical Express or Melody Maker were among my bedding.

    During most of my sober years, the Dolls have jointly been disbanded and severally dropping dead. I've been otherwise preoccupied. They came to San Diego Street Scene as a last-minute stand in for My Chemical Romance who were unable to attend perhaps ironically because of serious burns sustained while shooting their next video.

    And The Dolls were a welcome relief from the bands described by one local reporter as Interpol wannabes. On most of the stages, the early bands of both days seemed to be repeating the same song, which gradually morphed into a grand finale that made me realise, "Oh yeah. I've heard this on the radio."

    I don't remember hearing the Dolls on the radio. But they had a repertoire. They were entertaining. They had personality. And they presented themselves as the kind of rock 'n' roll veterans we like to think should still to be out on the road working somewhere.

    Lisa thought it was funny to see David Johansen reading his lyrics from a music stand. I was impressed that he could do it without bifocals.

    God botherer Robert Ephrata (aka Robert Warner) picketed in front of the San Diego Street Scene venue during the concerts on Aug. 5 and 6. At the top of a long stick, he held a picture of a man wearing a crown of thorns under the question, "Do you know who this is?" Although I repeatedly asked him where he got the Kanye West poster, he just ignored me. I don't think that was very Christian of him.

    Saturday, August 05, 2006

    Some wonderful stuff was for sale at Street Scene this year.