Last week Clinton was chuckling over the fact that his first post-presidential interview is going to NEWSWEEK, a magazine he calls “the house organ of Paula Jones.” Then, out of nowhere, Clinton the Score Keeper made a cryptic reference to the obscure case of an anti-Castro terrorist named Orlando Bosch, who blew up an airliner in 1976, killing 73, and was freed from jail in 1990 by the then President Bush under pressure from his son Jeb and Cuban exiles. “I swore I wouldn’t answer questions about Marc Rich until [former president] Bush answered about Orlando Bosch,” he says with a forced grin. But he did, admitting for the first time that his hard feelings toward prosecutors in his own case played a role in the Rich decision. With notable exceptions, Clinton isn’t a grudge holder. Newsweek interviews with Clinton
U.S. officials tell Time that before the Netanya attack, Zinni had made progress toward a truce. He had asked the two sides to give him lists of conditions they wanted to see in place before they would agree to quit shooting. Early last week Zinni whittled down the two sets of demands into a single "bridging" proposal, which he presented to Sharon and Arafat the day before Passover. According to a senior U.S. State Department official, Zinni told them to make their choice. The Israelis accepted; Arafat, claiming the plan put unfair burdens on the Palestinians, rejected it. After the Netanya massacre, Arafat scrambled to give the impression that he was willing to enter a cease-fire, but no one believed him. Says a senior U.S. official: "I can't say that he's even agreed to implement the Zinni plan." [more] via Time magazine
the spam letters here is a hilarious batch of letters of a guy who began mailing back to his spammers to see what they had to say and offer. Funny stuff.
What to do with those rabbits given to kids as Easter pets and that are not wanted? For things rabbit, see house rabbit Society
March 29, 2002 The True Arab Leaders By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF India's national tumult produced Gandhi and Nehru. America's nurtured Jefferson and Madison. So why does the decades-long Arab crisis spawn the likes of Yasir Arafat and Saddam Hussein? At a time when Arab countries face far-reaching choices — about economics, democracy, Israel, religion — the region needs most what it lacks most: great leaders. Most of those in power seem to "lead" by staying in the crowd, distracting it when possible, and running around in front of it when necessary. The sad reality is that real moral and political leadership — an effort to articulate a vision and take risks to persuade people to share it — comes mostly from Osama bin Laden and other Islamists. Their vision may be harmful, frightening and deceitful, but they have one, and struggle to persuade people to follow them. I've just returned from Yemen, where a militant Islamist, Abdelmeguid al-Zindani, started his own university (where John Walker Lindh studied). Cassette tapes of his fiery sermons suggest that President Bush conspired with Jews to destroy the World Trade Center. The government of Yemen has clamped down on Mr. Zindani lately. But Yemen's president and other prominent pro-Western figures have mostly avoided publicly denouncing him for distorting Islam. In the last few years, one of the few public figures with the courage to take on Mr. Zindani publicly is another crackpot, Sheik Muqbel bin Hadi al-Wadie. Until his death last year, Sheik Muqbel spewed fury at the West and ran what Western spooks said was a training camp for holy warriors. But Sheik Muqbel also believed that religious figures should stay out of politics. And so he blasted Mr. Zindani for accumulating political influence — with the result that the public battle of ideas here was between two backyard bullies. Likewise, terrorist leaders like Mr. bin Laden gain legitimacy by their commitment to a cause, their willingness even to die for it. In contrast, what are most Arab presidents, ensconced in their palaces and limousines, committed to besides power for themselves? Some Arab thinkers, like Naguib Mahfouz, the Nobel-Prize-winning writer and conscience of Egypt, have had the courage to stand up for their beliefs and against the militants. But Mr. Mahfouz was stabbed for his troubles, and so the educated often seethe in their salons rather than over the airwaves. I began my career by learning Arabic in Cairo and thought I would focus on the Arab world. Instead, happenstance (a.k.a. editors) diverted me to East Asia, where I worked for most of the last 15 years. In retrospect, I feel lucky: the Arab world remains in the political and economic stasis in which I left it, while Asia has become one of the most vibrant places in the world. In 1957 Sir Isaiah Berlin wrote a brilliant critique (the only kind he ever wrote) of the Soviet Union, titled: "The Silence in Russian Culture." It is striking how much of what he wrote applies to the Arab world as well, how much of the Middle East's problem arises from a "silence in Arab culture." The problem is not Islam, for other Muslim nations (like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia) have vigorous debates and genuine leaders. Part of the responsibility is the West's, for backing its own pet rulers. But ultimately it is Arabs themselves who must break their silence. One evening, while chewing qat with a handful of Western-educated Yemenis gathered in a lovely private home in the capital, Sana, I asked them why they did not speak out against crazies like Mr. Zindani. There was a long silence. Then one man, whom I admire for his intelligence and open-mindedness, spoke with resignation. "My word against Zindani," he said, "is hopeless." That defeatism hangs like a pall over the best and brightest of the Arab world. There are hints in the Arab press that 9/11 is beginning to prompt a greater reflectiveness, and it was encouraging that this week's Arab summit meeting included a parallel meeting of nongovernmental organizations. As the Iraqi-born scholar Kanan Makiya writes in his book "Cruelty and Silence": "Change for the better will only come in the Arab world when a new generation of young Arabs become incensed at the unacceptably cruel state of their world." Let's hope they get incensed soon.
Bush doesn't believe in polls. Just ask his pollsters pointed to this by the always wonderful Talking Points.
sprezzatura The 16th century focus here by Ben Johnson on the contrast between Art (artifical) and Nature. But then men often wore codpieces to enhance what Nature had not given.
via: beerbreath.com Sela Ward. Her series, Once and Again, just cancelled after three seasons. Ah, well. There are still the eye-catching Sprint ads.
Global warming may be the most devastating environmental problem human beings have created, and the toughest to solve. For starters, our society is largely powered by the fossil fuels that cause global warming. What's more, fossil fuel companies have vast reserves of money to pay for lobbyists, advertising and their own studies to counter scientific evidence. And many people think of global warming as an abstract problem, not a pressing threat. [more]
Water,water--nowhere The East coast beginning to experience what the West Coast has confronted: shortage of water
A camcorder on Flo, the cat, for a study of image recognition (and what is like to be a cat)Flo Control
Actress Jodie Foster discusses her career, children and her new film "Panic Room," as she is interviewed by talk show host Larry King during a March 18, 2002, taping of the CNN program "Larry King Live" in Los Angeles. The show is scheduled to be telecast Tuesday, March 26, 2002. "Panic Room" opens March 29 in the United States. (AP Photo/CNN, Rose M. Prouser)
A note from Fred: If you are like me and have been watching on and off today's news on TV, you will have seen many scenes of the Israeli Defense Forces entering the Arafat compound. Why is it that we are able to see so much of the military action taking place here but see almost nothing of what is taking place in Afghanistan, unless some carefully monitored foottage released or allowed by the American military?
existentialism one of two sites offering insights into this philosophical view of The Meaning (or lack thereof) Of Live
Existentialism: an introduction The key writers/thinkers of this perspective on life discussed. Very nice overview.
A new web page offering subscriptions for a new journal/magazine. I guess you have to be fairly successful to subscribe at these prices but worth noting what they are attempting to do in cutting out a niche for themselves.legal affairs
Middle East negotiations have failed. But the US can make a final deal stick A solution is possible now nice and objective but ignores the statement yesterday by Hamas that they want the extinction of the state of Israel.
The way you speak says a lot about you. Your dialect or accent might indicate where you grew up, for instance, while your vocabulary may suggest the type of education you've had. But can the language you use--English, Spanish, Mandarin, etc.--indicate the way you think, or help shape those thoughts? [more]
Gaza City, Hamas spokesman Abdel Aziz Rantisi said the Arab League summit did not change anything for his group, which is dedicated to Israel's destruction. Militant Palestinian group rejects Arab peace overture to Israel, vows to continue attacks
anti-Nader screed many revelations that seem unnoticed about Nader, the knight on a white horse. I post to twit my pals who are "true believers."
The Zen KnowledgeBase research project was founded in late 1989 by the associate director of Hanazono University's International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism (IRIZ), Dr Urs App. Its aim is to port primary and secondary sources of and about Zen Buddhism to the electronic medium, to structure and link such sources in intelligent ways, and to make the result of these efforts available to all students, teachers, researchers, and practitioners. The staff of the Zen KnowledgeBase project makes every effort to create a firm basis for future scholarship. [click here]
The building blocks of proteins, amino acids, can be generated in the chilly conditions of interstellar space, suggesting the ingredients for life are universal. "This means they aren't just in our Solar System," says Max Bernstein of the SETI Institute and the NASA-Ames Research Center, both in California. "I'm confident they are in planetary [click here]
all look same You are given a series of pictures of faces. Can you tell the difference between Japanes, Korean, and Chinese? Take the test.
Everyone's seen Survivor and everyone's played Sims, so the folks at Bobopolis (in other words Bobby) decided to put the two together. What you get is Sims Survivor. The game is simple, eight contestants are going to be left alone in a house and the one who survives the longest is the winner. [click here]
Our Habits and Opinions Have Been So Cleverly Manipulated by PR People That We Have Forgotten How To Thinkslaves of our desires
A new search engine with options to rival Google through use of returned info in grouped categories.wisenut
How IBM Helped Automate the Nazi Death Machine in Poland Final Solutions by Edwin Black When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, most of the world saw a menace to humanity. But IBM saw Nazi Germany as a lucrative trading partner. Its president, Thomas J. Watson, engineered a strategic business alliance between IBM and the Reich, beginning in the first days of the Hitler regime and continuing right through World War II. This alliance catapulted Nazi Germany to become IBM's most important customer outside the U.S. IBM and the Nazis jointly designed, and IBM exclusively produced, technological solutions that enabled Hitler to accelerate and in many ways automate key aspects of his persecution of Jews, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others the Nazis considered enemies. IBM & the Nazis
BEHIND THE MASK OF AGAMEMNON I have opened up a new world for archaeology," said Heinrich Schliemann after his 1871-1873 excavation of Troy. Schliemann was speaking the truth; the businessman-turned-archaeologist had shown that Homer's epics may have been based in fact. Schliemann next turned his attention to Mycenae, where the ancient geographer Pausanias had located the grave of Agamemnon, the leader of the Greek assault on Troy, and his fellow soldiers. Unlike previous scholars, Schliemann interpreted Pausanias as meaning the Homeric graves were within the walls of the late Bronze Age citadel, not outside. Tests Schliemann conducted in 1874 inside the wall revealed house walls, a tombstone, and terra-cotta artifacts--promising evidence for a future investigation. [click here]
Meeting of Frontiers is a bilingual, multimedia English-Russian digital library that tells the story of the American exploration and settlement of the West, the parallel exploration and settlement of Siberia and the Russian Far East, and the meeting of the Russian-American frontier in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. [link]
An oubliette was originally a dungeon where you put people about whom you wished to forget (the word comes from the French 'oublier', to forget). This oubliette is a place where the work of some neglected and obscure writers can be found. I like to think of it as something like a crack at the back of the literary world's sofa. link
In northern Iraq, there is new evidence of Saddam Hussein's genocidal war on the Kurds—and of his possible ties to Al Qaeda The horros visited upon the Kurdish population within Iraq as testing of weapons of mass destruction as well as the conection to al Qaeda. A must read article.
Author Diana Souhami's story of Alexander Selkirk, a Scot seaman who inspired the story of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, won this year's Whitbread Award for biography for her book, 'Selkirk's Island--The True and Strange Adventures of the Real Robinson Crusoe.' The judges called her work 'a great adventure, a great read and a real advance for the art of biography.' Souhami is photographed in this undated photo on Selkirk's Island, today a Chilean territory, at 1,000 feet above sea level. (Reuters)
this lovely "dedicated" to me by unablogger Does this mean I get to keep her? Or is it like dedicating a bull by a bullfighter? Visit this site. Great babes. What more is needed?
Alina is no Hooligan This site is in support of Alina Lebedeva from Latvia. Alina is the 16-year-old girl who gave Prince Charles a slap in the face with a bunch of flowers in protest over Britain's involvement in the war against Afghanistan. She is provisionally charged with endangering the life of foreign dignitary. If found guilty she could face up to 15 (fifteen) years in prison. [link] don't yet know the upshot of all this but the photos at this site are nice and a worthwhile read.
Graham Hancock doesn't look mad as he sprawls in an armchair in his small, neat house in Kennington, south London. But his critics would say appearances deceive: he is either a lunatic, a charlatan, or both. Hancock has spent the past 10 years writing books and producing TV programmes which argue that everything we are told about ancient history is wrong: civilisation didn't start in Sumeria and Egypt around 3,500 BC; it began 10,000 years before in great cities which subsequently suffered a cataclysm. [link]
Welcome to the NASA JSC Digital Image Collection. Each Shuttle mission produces 2000 to 5000 photographic images. Over 250,000 images have been captured, digitized, and stored. Learn more about this collection and the JSC digital imaging project. [link]
JMW Turner, Norham Castle, Sunrise, circa 1845 In 1856, nearly five years after Turner's death, his estate was settled by a decree in which the works found in his studio that were considered to be by his own hand were accepted by the nation as the 'Turner Bequest'. This comprises nearly 300 oil paintings and around 30,000 sketches and watercolours (including 300 sketchbooks). A group of nine paintings from the Bequest is retained at the National Gallery LINK
NOTE: computer problems. No posting till (possibly) later today. But I should be back fully by Wed morning. Play nice.
NEW YORK'S FIRST SUBWAY LINE was a marvel in numerous aspects, and most certainly from an engineering and architectural point of view. During all stages of construction, from 1900 to opening day on October 27, 1904, photographs were taken to record the progress of the new subway. These photographs highlighted everything from an "86th St." sign being tested at the 28th St. station, to the installation of City Hall Station's vault lighting, to the 116th St. station with an exposed street surface. More than 35 such photos, at least one for each of the twenty-eight original IRT stations, are presented in this exhibit from the collections of the New York Transit Museum Archives. In addition, for several stations, including City Hall, there are photographs that I have taken within the last five years. Select stations from the following list or from the accompanying map, highlighting the route of New York's first subway line. Take note of your surroundings next time you are in the subway; many stations have changed little, many have witnessed dramatic changes, four are not even open anymore. Enjoy your trip back in time! LINK
The [Bull] Moose [reform Republican] observes that while we are scoring victories in the Afghan theater, we are losing on the Middle Eastern front in the war against terror. Don't be deceived by the triumph in Afghanistan. Yes, the military victories have been impressive. But, on an important objective, the political and public relations story is quite different. OBL and his pals in the Muslim world are not on the run, but on a run. Prior to 9/11 Al Qaeda was not overly concerned about the Palestinian cause. That is no longer the case. Increasingly, there appears to be an overt alliance between Al Qaeda and Arafat's war against Israel. In a particularly alarming report, the New York Times cited American and Israeli officials' fears of an Iranian The Moose observes that while we are scoring victories in the Afghan theater, we are losing on the Middle Eastern front in the war against terror. Don't be deceived by the triumph in Afghanistan. Yes, the military victories have been impressive. But, on an important objective, the political and public relations story is quite different. OBL and his pals in the Muslim world are not on the run, but on a run. Prior to 9/11 Al Qaeda was not overly concerned about the Palestinian cause. That is no longer the case. Increasingly, there appears to be an overt alliance between Al Qaeda and Arafat's war against Israel. In a particularly alarming report, the New York Times cited American and Israeli officials' fears of an Iranian, Arafat and Al Qaeda alliance... [more]
Smut at the library the govt, with the power of the purse, wants libraries to install filters or lose funding.
military oppose spraying poppies in Afghanaistan This, so they claim, a non-military job and ought to be left to others. Do we privatize this "war on drugs"?
Oscars film focus On Sunday 24 March Hollywood's glitterati got together for that fiesta of prize-giving, speech-making and expensive-dress-wearing: the Oscars. Not to be upstaged by Russell Crowe et al, we have plundered our archives to bring you some of the more unusual stars of the screen. Our nominees include: mitochondria, a ghostly squid and some badly behaved lobsters. We also take you behind the scenes on recent computer-animated features, find out why a new film restoration technique has raised hackles, and reveal how seals are creating their own nouvelle vague. So, get out the popcorn, set your browser to wide screen and enjoy the Nature Science Update movie tribute. [link]
Soviet memorial to the victims of the Nazis, on the site of the old Jewish cemetery in Berlin (dug up by the Nazis) via: photo.net