ACLU Action Alert:

Oppose Culture War Against Raves!:

In a misguided spin-off of the “War on Drugs,” the Senate is considering legislation that targets raves and would have the effect of classifying common rave items like glow sticks and massage oils as drug paraphernalia. The Reducing Americans Vulnerability to Ecstasy (RAVE) Act, S. 2633, introduced by Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), would also impose huge fines and even prison time on the owners of venues into which customers bring controlled substances. No matter how much security is put in place, they could be held responsible for the actions of just one customer.

Holding club owners and promoters of raves criminally liable for what some people may do at these events is no different from arresting the stadium owners and promoters of a Rolling Stones concert or a rap show because some concertgoers may be smoking or selling marijuana. Unless a loud and powerful objection to this legislation is voiced, an already misunderstood community and culture could be criminalized.

Urge your Senators to oppose attacks

on youth culture!

American Civil Liberties Union Freedom Network

A Wheel within a Wheel

[Hoag's Object]

“A nearly perfect ring of hot, blue stars pinwheels about the yellow nucleus of an unusual galaxy known as Hoag’s Object. This image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captures a face-on view of the galaxy’s ring of stars, revealing more detail than any existing photo of this object. The entire galaxy is about 120,000 light-years wide, which is slightly larger than our Milky Way Galaxy. The blue ring, which is dominated by clusters of young, massive stars, contrasts sharply with the yellow nucleus of mostly older stars. What appears to be a “gap” separating the two stellar populations may actually contain some star clusters that are almost too faint to see. Curiously, an object that bears an uncanny resemblance to Hoag’s Object can be seen in the gap at the one o’clock position. The object is probably a background ring galaxy.” STScI

Making a date

“There’s one way to take 11 September away from

terrorists and politicians: remove it from the

… For as long as it exists, 11 September will be a popular attack date for radical Islamists or those who want to pass off their own nefarious deeds as the work of radical Islamists. Get rid of it, and the world will be a safer place.” sp!ked

Laughing Squid

Underground art and culture from San Francisco and beyond: “Laughing Squid is an online resource for independent art and culture of San Francisco and beyond. It also is home to the Squid List: a daily event announcements list, The Tentacle List: a list to find artists & perfomers and the Tentacle Sessions: a monthly series that features many of the artists featured on the Laughing Squid website and The Squid List. “

Today in the Bush-Iraq Debacle:

When contemplating war, beware of babies in incubators: “The babies in the incubator story is a classic example of how easy it is for the public and legislators to be misled during moments of high tension. It’s also a vivid example of how the media can be manipulated if we do not keep our guards up.” On the CS Monitor [via Walker]

Iraq Said Likely to Have Bioweapons

Despite its denials, Iraq probably possesses large stockpiles of nerve agents, mustard gas and anthrax, former U.N. inspectors say.”

On AP World News

Iraqi Hospital Prepares for War

Dr. Luay Qasha is preparing for a U.S. attack on Iraq by turning the basement of his Baghdad children’s cancer hospital into a bomb shelter – stocking enough food, medicine and water for 500 people.

On AP World News

Inspectors Step Up Iraq Preparation

U.N. weapons inspectors are stepping up preparations for a possible return to Iraq, seeking new sources for satellite photos, scouting laboratories to test samples, and pressing friendly governments for more intelligence reports.”

On AP World News

U.S. Steps Up War of Nerves in Skies over Iraq

The United States is intensifying air operations over Iraq in a war of nerves which military experts said on Saturday appears designed to show resolve and confuse Baghdad over a strike date.

On Yahoo! News – Most-emailed Content

Disarm Iraq Quickly, Bush to Urge U.N.

President Bush plans to tell world leaders at the United Nations next week that unless they take quick, unequivocally strong action to disarm Iraq, the United States will be forced to act on its own, senior administration officials said yesterday.

On Washington Post: Front Page

Lauren Bush Falls Ill at Arab-Look Fashion Show

A stomach bug rather than diplomatic jitters kept President Bush’s niece Lauren from modeling an Arabic-inspired collection at a fashion show in Barcelona, fashion house Toypes said on Friday.”

On Yahoo! News – Most-emailed Content

Plans for Iraq Attack Began on 9/11

On CBS News [via Red Rock Eaters]

Jets Bomb Key Iraqi Air Base

In The Scotsman [via Red Rock Eaters]

<a href=”

“>History of deceptive claims about Iraq

In CS Monitor [via Red Rock Eaters]

"Horrendous…lack of dissenting voices…"

Dissenters fault reactions to attacks:

Over the course of the year, the few audible voices that publicly questioned the quasi-official narrative of Sept. 11 have been ridiculed and criticized, often harshly.

But now, a year after the attacks, a handful of scholars is once again suggesting that there are other ways of looking at what happened last year, that perhaps the attacks weren’t so shocking and the response not so justifiable.

”We academics are paid to sit on our butts and think, and yet we mainly underwrite the sentimentalities that the culture desires when we’re supposed to be telling the truth,” said Stanley M. Hauerwas, a prominent professor of theological ethics at Duke Divinity School. ”I find the lack of dissenting voices to the current outrage of Americans about September the 11th, and the resulting attack on Afghanistan, to be absolutely horrendous.”

Hauerwas and Frank Lentricchia, a professor of literature and theater studies at Duke, have edited a new collection of writings, Dissent from the Homeland: Essays After September 11, that is being published on Wednesday, Sept. 11, in a special edition of The South Atlantic Quarterly. In the journal, 18 theologians, philosophers, and literary critics speak out against the war on terrorism, led by the two Duke professors, who complain in an introductory note that ”this war has … seen the capitulation of church and synagogue to the resurgence of American patriotism and nationalism.” Boston Globe

Big Muddy Dept (cont’d):

Richard Reeves thinks President Bush is Losing It:

Former Secretary of State Alexander Haig, writing in The Washington Post last Thursday under the headline “On Invading Iraq: Less Talk, More Unity,” warned the Bush administration that too many official voices are saying too many contradictory things about Iraq. “Loose lips sink ships,” he said, and they could sink the administration’s war plans, too.

That advice may be too late for Mr. Bush. In exactly one year, the president and his men have managed to divide a nation unified by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The administration’s obsession with deposing Saddam Hussein looks to be one of the stupidest efforts to manipulate public opinion in the country’s democratic history.

Over the past year, when I have criticized the president, my mail has shifted from about 20-to-1 calling me a traitor to about 10-to-1 complimenting me for my obvious common sense. I realize that those numbers indicate I may be preaching to a liberal choir, but the change is striking. And I see the same thing happening on the letters page of journals with a far greater reach than my voice.

Stopping the inanity of a strike against Iraq, of course, cannot be achieved in the letters columns unless the tide of shifting public opinion it reflects has an impact. Do you really believe that Bush’s offer to confer with the Congress before starting a war will make his zealots any less emboldened to do whatever they want regardless of what anyone else thinks? The war probably won’t be stopped without a massive civil disobedience effort on the scale of anti-Vietnam War protests, and I see no signs that anyone is doing that preemptively. Maybe several years into the quagmire…

Waist Deep in the Big Muddy

It was back in nineteen forty-two,
I was a member of a good platoon.
We were on maneuvers in-a Loozianna,
One night by the light of the moon.
The captain told us to ford a river,
That's how it all begun.
We were -- knee deep in the Big Muddy,
But the big fool said to push on.

The Sergeant said, "Sir, are you sure,
This is the best way back to the base?"
"Sergeant, go on! I forded this river
'Bout a mile above this place.
It'll be a little soggy but just keep slogging.
We'll soon be on dry ground."
We were -- waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool said to push on.

The Sergeant said, "Sir, with all this equipment
No man will be able to swim."
"Sergeant, don't be a Nervous Nellie,"
The Captain said to him.
"All we need is a little determination;
Men, follow me, I'll lead on."
We were -- neck deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool said to push on.

All at once, the moon clouded over,
We heard a gurgling cry.
A few seconds later, the captain's helmet
Was all that floated by.
The Sergeant said, "Turn around men!
I'm in charge from now on."
And we just made it out of the Big Muddy
With the captain dead and gone.

We stripped and dived and found his body
Stuck in the old quicksand.
I guess he didn't know that the water was deeper
Than the place he'd once before been.
Another stream had joined the Big Muddy
'Bout a half mile from where we'd gone.
We were lucky to escape from the Big Muddy
When the big fool said to push on.

Well, I'm not going to point any moral;
I'll leave that for yourself
Maybe you're still walking, you're still talking
You'd like to keep your health.
But every time I read the papers
That old feeling comes on;
We're -- waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.

Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.
Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.
Waist deep! Neck deep! Soon even a
Tall man'll be over his head, we're
Waist deep in the Big Muddy!
And the big fool says to push on!

Words and music by Pete Seeger (1967)
TRO (c) 1967 Melody Trails, Inc. New York, NY

Some Seek Attention by Making Pets Sick

“Some people have a rare disorder — Munchausen’s — in which they deliberately cause illness in others, and then use the illness to get sympathy and medical attention. Most cases involve mothers who hurt their own children, but a new report shows that people with this illness may also hurt their pets.” Reuters Health

[Addendum: Hal is of course completely correct to note that Munchausen’s Syndrome is the name of the condition where you induce illness in yourself for the gratification the medical attention provides. It is “Munchausen’s by proxy” when you do it via your child or your pet.]