July 13th, 2007

Chris Keeley

Bush Distorts Qaeda Links, Critics Assert

Bush Distorts Qaeda Links, Critics Assert

BAGHDAD, July 12 — In rebuffing calls to bring troops home from Iraq, President Bush on Thursday employed a stark and ominous defense. “The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq,” he said, “were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th, and that’s why what happens in Iraq matters to the security here at home.”

It is an argument Mr. Bush has been making with frequency in the past few months, as the challenges to the continuation of the war have grown. On Thursday alone, he referred at least 30 times to Al Qaeda or its presence in Iraq.

But his references to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, and his assertions that it is the same group that attacked the United States in 2001, have greatly oversimplified the nature of the insurgency in Iraq and its relationship with the Qaeda leadership.

There is no question that the group is one of the most dangerous in Iraq. But Mr. Bush’s critics argue that he has overstated the Qaeda connection in an attempt to exploit the same kinds of post-Sept. 11 emotions that helped him win support for the invasion in the first place.

Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia did not exist before the Sept. 11 attacks.

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Chris Keeley

Remembering Greenham Common, 25 years later

Remembering Greenham Common, 25 years later


Robert sez, "Greenham Common was the site of one of the longest anti-nuclear, anti-war protests in history, against the siting of US nuclear missiles in the UK. The site commemorates the 25th anniversary of the peace camps. These women really knew how to protest! For example they dressed up as teddy bears and covered themselves in honey so that the soldiers guarding the base didn't know what to do with themselves. The site brings together loads of interviews, archive footage, massive numbers of photos, downloadable songs, even a kids' colouring book."

There's wonderful stuff here -- alas, it's all in a giant Flash blob, so none of it can be bookmarked, referenced or shared. Link (Thanks, Robert!)

Chris Keeley

Internet radio folks call for support, with new royalty rates imminent

Internet radio folks call for support, with new royalty rates imminent

SaveNetRadio says:
Time and options are running out for Internet Radio. Late this afternoon, the court DENIED the emergency stay sought on behalf of webcasters, millions of listeners and the artists and music they support.

UNLESS CONGRESS ACTS BY JULY 15th, the new ruinous royalty rates will be going into effect on Sunday, threatening the future of all internet radio.

We are appealing to the millions of Internet radio listeners out there, the webcasters they support and the artists and labels we treasure to rise up and make your voices heard again before this vibrant medium is silenced. Even if you have already called, we need you to call again. The situation is grave, but that makes the message all the simpler and more serious.

PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES RIGHT AWAY and urge them to support the Internet Equality Act. Go to (Link) to find the phone numbers of your Senators and Representative.

If they've already co-sponsored, thank them and tell them to fight to bring the bill to the floor for an immediate vote. If the line is busy, please call back. Call until you know your voice has been heard. Your voices are what have gotten us this far - Congress has listened. Now, they are our only hope. We are outmatched by lobbying power and money but we are NOT outmatched by facts and passion and the power of our voices.


Chris Keeley

Haiti Unmasked: Photographs by Child Domestic Workers. "...These children become expert mask-wearers

Haiti Unmasked: Photographs by Child Domestic Workers. "...These children become expert mask-wearers. Masking is part of that invisibility inherent to their position. They wear the faces that are expected of them and often required of them; no one really sees the child underneath the masks. A mask is a place of interaction and engagement - it is the center of a dialogue. It is the heart of collaboration between an audience and a performer, between the one who is seeing and the one who decides what is seen."

http://www.kids-with-cameras.org/haiti/

Kids With Cameras... 

         
 
OTHER WORKSHOPS:

» CALCUTTA
» JERUSALEM
» CAIRO

Chris Keeley

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Chris Keeley

It's called kopi luwak, from the Indonesian words for coffee and civet, and by the time it reaches t

It's called kopi luwak, from the Indonesian words for coffee and civet, and by the time it reaches the shelves of swish foreign food emporiums, devotees fork out as much as $600 for a pound 

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-coffee13jul13,0,3547326.story?coll=la-home-center

$600 a pound coffee

Coffee maker

$600-a-pound coffee

Indonesia's kopi luwak is a rare delicacy of peculiar provenance -- beans plucked from the droppings of wild civets.
By Paul Watson
Times Staff Writer

July 13, 2007

Bandar Lampung, Indonesia — TO connoisseurs of fine coffee, only one is good to the last dropping.

Human hands don't harvest the beans that make this rare brew. They're plucked by the sharp claws and fangs of wild civets, catlike beasts with bug eyes and weaselly noses that love their coffee fresh.

They move at night, creeping along the limbs of robusta and hybrid arabusta trees, sniffing out sweet red coffee cherries and selecting only the tastiest. After chewing off the fruity exterior, they swallow the hard innards.

In the animals' stomachs, enzymes in the gastric juices massage the beans, smoothing off the harsh edges that make coffee bitter and produce caffeine jitters. Humans then separate the greenish-brown beans from the rest of the dung, and once a thin outer layer is removed, they are ready for roasting. The result is a delicacy with a markup so steep it would make a drug dealer weep.

It's called kopi luwak, from the Indonesian words for coffee and civet, and by the time it reaches the shelves of swish foreign food emporiums, devotees fork out as much as $600 for a pound — if they can even find that much. The British royal family is said to enjoy sipping it. A single cup can sell for $30 at a five-star hotel in Hong Kong.

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Chris Keeley

Conrad Black Convicted in Fraud Trial

Conrad Black Convicted in Fraud Trial

By MIKE ROBINSON
The Associated Press
Friday, July 13, 2007; 12:11 PM

 

CHICAGO -- A federal jury convicted fallen media tycoon Conrad Black and three of his former executives at Hollinger International Inc. Friday of illegally pocketing money that should have gone to stockholders.

Black, 62, was convicted of three counts of mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. He faces a maximum of 35 years in prison for the offenses, plus a maximum penalty of $1 million.

He was acquitted of nine other counts, including racketeering and misuse of corporate perks, such as taking the company plane on a vacation to Bora Bora and billing shareholders $40,000 for his wife's birthday party.

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Chris Keeley

Cockatoo with Watch Faces)" (circa

Cockatoo with Watch Faces)" (circa 


Poetic Theaters, Romantic Fevers

SALEM, Mass., July 7 — “Star-light, what is star-light, star-light is a little light that is not always mentioned with the sun, it is mentioned with the moon and the sun, it is mixed up with the rest of the time.” That’s Gertrude Stein in the “Rooms” section of “Tender Buttons,” her great, splintered portrait of interior space evoked through light, emotions and memory.

Her portrait might easily be of a person, the American artist Joseph Cornell (1903-72), a poet of light; an architect of memory-fractured rooms; a connoisseur of stars, celestial and otherwise. He was an archivist of time, immersed in it, buoyed up and pulled down. All of this comes through in the dusky retrospective of his collages and shadow boxes at the Peabody Essex Museum here.

Much of Cornell’s art is spun from the past, a past that was arcane even in his day. The names Rose Hobart, Henriette Sontag and Fanny Cerrito — B-movie actress, 19th-century soprano and Romantic danseuse — mean little or nothing now. But they meant the world to this intensely shy artist, who lived on sweets, worshiped forgotten divas and made portable shrines to them — his version of spiritual art — in the basement of the small house he shared with his mother and disabled brother in Flushing, Queens.

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Chris Keeley

SoundExchange won't enforce new royalty rates on Sunday?

SoundExchange won't enforce new royalty rates on Sunday?

Eliot van Buskirk of Wired News files an update on the webcasting royalty rate crisis, and tells BoingBoing:
The basic gist is that web radio is saved. SoundExchange promised in front of Congress Thursday that they will NOT collect the disastrous new royalty rates from webcasters, and the two parties will negotiate new rates going forward, without webcasters being driven offline on Monday, when the royalties were due. Yay!
Link

Reader comment: Daniel from Accuradio.com says,

Xeni, Love your show, first time calling in. Just read your link to Eliot's Wired piece. Thanks for the great coverage in BB on the issue.

I'm a bit worried about the message "Net radio is saved!" because, technically, this isn't quite true yet. Yes, this is a HUGE development, but the legislation that would set fair and equitable royalty rates for Internet radio AND change the way those rates are determined in the future (which would involve changing the language of the DMCA, a big score indeed), the Internet Radio Equality Act, needs continued support from listeners.

Yesterday's development basically saves us from assured destruction, but a settlement between the two sides doesn't necessarily ensure webcasters an equal, level playing field with other broadcast media w/r/t royalty rates. The Internet Radio Equality Act does.

My bottom line: We need listeners' continued support. While it may not be untrue that we are "saved" to some degree, I'm afraid that the sounding the "all clear" could slow our momentum as it is reaching it's highest pitch.

Chris Keeley

Free the iPhone

Free the iPhone

BB reader Ben Byrne says,
Free Press, the organization behind the pro-Net Neutrality site SavetheInternet.com, has a new project: Free the iPhone.

That's "free" as in speech, not beer. The aim of the campaign, directed at Congress and the FCC, is to make sure that any company looking for a new slice of the public airwaves adheres to "open access," which would put the kibosh on exclusive deals of the Apple-AT&T sort. It may sound petty, but the future of the Internet is in wireless, so allowing such device freedom could become critical.

Here's a snip from the website:
Dear Apple,

for years you have been delighting us with great products, fun to use, tremendous to work with and bringing the joy and beauty back into the Computer world.

Once again you did it with the iPhone.

It is gorgeous, sexy and opens up the mind of millions of consumers... and developers! But... it is enslaved in some awkward cage of technological unfriendliness, begging to be freed.

So please, free the iPhone, open it to the world of opportunities knocking at your door and let the developers unleash its power!

Link
Chris Keeley

Lin Fengmian [Bio 1900-1991] Archive

Lin Fengmian [Bio 1900-1991] Archive
His innovative blending of traditional Chinese and Western painting styles made him one of the true great artists of the 20th century. Unfortunately, those Maoist bastards destroyed most of his great works and imprisoned Lin during the infamous Cultural Revolution in the 1960s.

Seated Woman (1886)
In the Met Museum
Beauty Playing A Musical Instrument Birds in Autumn

http://www.chinaartnetworks.com/artist/show_painting.php?painter_id=1109&id=1834

Chris Keeley

War Dog - Urging War Support, Bush Repeats 9/11 Link to Iraq

Urging War Support, Bush Repeats 9/11 Link to Iraq
The House vote came hours after President Bush released an interim progress report that says the Iraqi government has failed to meet most key benchmarks set by Congress. These include the passage of a U.S.-backed oil law heavily criticized by Iraqi unions. Speaking at the White House, Bush dismissed recent polls showing seventy-percent of Americans back a withdrawal and called on Congress to continue funding the war. The president also repeated his erroneous linkage of the Iraq war to 9/11. President Bush: “The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th, and that's why what happens in Iraq matters to the security here at home.”

Bush on Libby Decision: “Fair and Balanced”, “Moving On”
Bush also addressed his commuting of the sentence of former Vice President Dick Cheney chief of staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby. For the first time, the president publicly acknowledged someone in his administration likely leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame. But Bush called his decision “fair and balanced” and said he is moving on.

    President Bush: “I’m aware of the fact that perhaps somebody in the administration did disclose the name of that person, and I’ve often thought about what would have happened had that person come forth and said, I did it. Would we have had this, you know, endless hours of investigation and a lot of money being spent on this matter? But it’s been a tough issue for a lot of people in the White House, and it’s run its course and now we’re going to move on.”
     

    Clinton, Edwards Plot Excluding Candidates From Debates
    In campaign news, Senator Hillary Clinton and former Senator John Edwards have been caught discussing an apparent plan to exclude other Democratic candidates from future debates. On Thursday, Edwards and Clinton were speaking privately after an NAACP Presidential Forum in Detroit. Unaware their microphones were still on, Edwards is overheard saying: “We should try to have a more serious and a smaller group.” Clinton agreed, responding: “We’ve got to cut the number...They’re not serious.” Clinton also indicated the two had discussed the plan before, telling Edwards “we’ve got to get back to it.” In response, Ohio congressmember and Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich said: “No matter how important or influential they perceive themselves to be, [candidates] do not have and should not have the power to determine who is allowed to speak to the American public and who is not. Imperial candidates are as repugnant to the American people and to our Democracy as an imperial President.”

    House Panel Moves to Hold Miers in Contempt
    Back in the United States, the House Judiciary subcommittee has moved towards beginning contempt proceedings against former White House counsel Harriet Miers. Miers refused to appear before a Congressional hearing on the firing of U.S. attorneys after President Bush invoked executive privilege to prevent her testimony.

    Helen Thomas Questions Bush on War
    And finally, back at the White House, President Bush reverted to a presidential press conference tradition he has long ignored -- giving the first question to veteran correspondent Helen Thomas.

      Helen Thomas: Q Mr. President, you started this war, a war of your choosing, and you can end it alone, today, at this point -- bring in peacekeepers, U.N. peacekeepers. Two million Iraqis have fled their country as refugees. Two million more are displaced. Thousands and thousands are dead. Don't you understand, you brought the al Qaeda into Iraq.
      President Bush: Actually, I was hoping to solve the Iraqi issue diplomatically. That's why I went to the United Nations and worked with the United Nations Security Council, which unanimously passed a resolution that said disclose, disarm or face serious consequences. That was the message, the clear message to Saddam Hussein. He chose the course.
      Thomas: Didn't we go into Iraq --
      Bush: It was his decision to make.