Out of the Primordial Void

End Trans . . .


And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son! Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah. But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not. Then two concubines came to the king, and stood before him. The one woman said, "Oh, my lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house; and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. Then on the third day after I was delivered, this woman also gave birth; and we were alone; there was no one else with us in the house, only we two were in the house. And this woman's son died in the night, because she lay on it. And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while your maidservant slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead son in my bosom. When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, it was dead; but when I looked at it closely in the morning, behold, it was not the child that I had borne." But the other woman said, "No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours." The first said, "No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine." Thus they spoke before the king. Then the king said, "The one says, `This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead'; and the other says, `No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one.'" And the king said, "Bring me a sword." So a sword was brought before the king. And the king said, "Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other." Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, "Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means slay it." But the other said, "It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide it." Then the king answered and said, "Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means slay it; she is its mother." And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him, to render justice. And he was with them hid in the house of God six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land. And in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and took the captains of hundreds, Azariah the son of Jeroham, and Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, and Azariah the son of Obed, and Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri, into covenant with him.

Wisdom of Solomon

"1": For the ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not aright, Our life is short and tedious, and in the death of a man there is no remedy: neither was there any man known to have returned from the grave.

"2": For we are born at all adventure: and we shall be hereafter as though we had never been: for the breath in our nostrils is as smoke, and a little spark in the moving of our heart:

"3": Which being extinguished, our body shall be turned into ashes, and our spirit shall vanish as the soft air,

"4": And our name shall be forgotten in time, and no man shall have our works in remembrance, and our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud, and shall be dispersed as a mist, that is driven away with the beams of the sun, and overcome with the heat thereof.

"5": For our time is a very shadow that passeth away; and after our end there is no returning: for it is fast sealed, so that no man cometh again.

"6": Come on therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are present: and let us speedily use the creatures like as in youth.

"7": Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments: and let no flower of the spring pass by us:

"8": Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds, before they be withered:

"9": Let none of us go without his part of our voluptuousness: let us leave tokens of our joyfulness in every place: for this is our portion, and our lot is this.

"10": Let us oppress the poor righteous man, let us not spare the widow, nor reverence the ancient gray hairs of the aged.

"11": Let our strength be the law of justice: for that which is feeble is found to be nothing worth.

"12": Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous; because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings: he upbraideth us with our offending the law, and objecteth to our infamy the transgressings of our education.

"13": He professeth to have the knowledge of God: and he calleth himself the child of the Lord.

"14": He was made to reprove our thoughts.

"15": He is grievous unto us even to behold: for his life is not like other men's, his ways are of another fashion.

"16": We are esteemed of him as counterfeits: he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness: he pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed, and maketh his boast that God is his father.

"17": Let us see if his words be true: and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him.

"18": For if the just man be the son of God, he will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies.

"19": Let us examine him with despitefulness and torture, that we may know his meekness, and prove his patience.

"20": Let us condemn him with a shameful death: for by his own saying he shall be respected.

"21": Such things they did imagine, and were deceived: for their own wickedness hath blinded them.

"22": As for the mysteries of God, they knew them not: neither hoped they for the wages of righteousness, nor discerned a reward for blameless souls.

"23": For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity.

"24": Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it.

Arm Leg Leg Arm Head – Forgive me for my damn sins

What up Ya'll (February 22, 2005)

Welcome to My Experiment.

Undoubtedly this may become more self absorbed and weird as time progresses but Fuck It. From time to time I will attempt to make some small contribution to the interpetation of the world in which we live while all the while attempting to escape to a new one. If anyone finds a way out -- Holla. Till then I've got my rock hammer and lovely Raquel -- shhh! don't tell. I can spell most of the time and type some of the time, and punctuate correctly; occasionally. If you don't understand ask, if you still don't get it ask again, if you don't get it then . . . let it go. In short: "Yeah, I know, its spelled wrong, punctuated wrong, and the grammer don't fit." But you get my meanin'.

Last Year we poured for ya'. This year: Life Goes On.

Next iteration>>


Well Done!

Yahoo Sports:
Davis began making history at age 17 when he became the first U.S. speedskater to earn spots on both the short track and long track Junior World Teams and accomplished that feat three years in a row in 2000, 2001 and 2002 … In 2003-04, Davis was the silver medalist at the World All-Around Championships and was the 1500 meters World Champion at the 2004 World Single Distance Championships … During the 2004-2005 season, Davis won his third straight U.S. Long Track Championship Title, broke the 1500 meter World Record, and went on to win the 2005 World All -Around Championships … For the second season in a row, not only did Davis make history earning spots on World Teams in both disciplines, he also made his first World Sprint Team earning two silver medals. In the 2005 Fall World Cup 3, Davis set a new world record in the 1000 meters and went on to win the 1000 meters a total of four consecutive times in World Cups 3 and 4 … Also during the 2004-05 team, Davis was a member of the U.S. Short Track World Team that won a bronze medal in the relay event at the World Short Track Championships … Davis joins an elite group of speedskaters who have represented their countries in different Olympic Games as a long track speedskater and short track speedskater.

It's a mystery! It's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma!

You don't know shit 'cause you've never been fucked in the ass!

Para Ti

gooogh! オーレン 石井
take care

Brother Malcolm


On Education

In our dreams...people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple...we will organize children...and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.

We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forego the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.

Woodrow Wilson

Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.

William Torrey Harris, US Commissioner of Education from 1889 to 1906


Shani Davis Wins Gold

"I like him as a person, I like him as a speedskater," Wennemars said. "What the United States thinks about him doesn't matter because Shani is the Olympic champion, so he is right."

“most of what occurred Saturday came about because of Davis' iron will and his refusal to fall obediently into line. And that beautifully smooth skating motion of his helped too.”

And they say love isn’t enough. Maybe not but it sure as hell helps. Nothing in the world like Mamma’s Love!

"There's more than one way to get the wheels rolling," Davis said. "Sometimes it's hard love. Sometimes it's pampering. And my mom, she does a little bit of both. That's just the way she is.


Shani Davis Website

He sells milk for half the price you pay. The feds want to stop him. Why?

By Andrew Martin
Tribune national correspondent

February 19, 2006

YUMA, Ariz. -- Hein Hettinga is a dairy farmer but he doesn't spend his days milking cows.

Rather, Hettinga keeps a cell phone pressed to his ear to keep tabs on his empire of 15 dairy farms stretching from California to west Texas, including five massive farms in the desert east of Yuma.

But what distinguishes Hettinga from other large-scale dairy farmers is that he also bottles the milk from his Arizona farms and trucks it to stores in Arizona and Southern California. At one of them, Sam's Club in Yuma, two gallons of Hettinga's whole milk sell for $3.99.

That's the same price as a single gallon of whole milk in Chicago, which is second only to New Orleans in the cost of milk.

By controlling all stages of production, Hettinga says he can produce milk so efficiently that he and his customers can make a hefty profit at dirt-cheap prices. Such vertical integration, as it is known, is increasingly popular in agriculture as farmers and processors try to find ways to eliminate costs and increase revenues.

In the highly politicized world of dairy, efficiency could carry a price. Major dairy cooperatives and milk processors successfully persuaded federal regulators to write new rules that would prohibit the business practices that Hettinga has so successfully put in place.

Under the proposed regulations, Hettinga could continue to process his own milk only if he agrees to participate in a federally regulated pool of milk revenues, which would essentially require him to pay his competitors to stay in business. A bill that would have a similar effect is working its way through Congress.



Olympic Speedskating Results

By The Associated Press

The Associated Press

Updated: 1:29 p.m. ET Feb. 18, 2006

1. Shani Davis, Chicago, 1:08.89.

2. Joey Cheek, Greensboro, N.C., 1:09.16.

3. Erben Wennemars, Netherlands, 1:09.32.

4. Lee Kyou-hyuk, South Korea, 1:09.37.

5. Jan Bos, Netherlands, 1:09.42.

6. Chad Hedrick, Spring, Texas, 1:09.45.

7. Yevgeny Lalenkov, Russia, 1:09.46.

8. Stefan Groothuis, Netherlands, 1:09.57.

9. Casey FitzRandolph, Verona, Wis., 1:09.59.

10. Dmitry Dorofeyev, Russia, 1:09.74.

11. Jeremy Wotherspoon, Canada, 1:09.76.

12. Beorn Nijenhuis, Netherlands, 1:09.85.

13. Konrad Niedzwiedzki, Poland, 1:09.95.

14. Mikael Flygind-Larsen, Norway, 1:10.13.

15. Alexey Proshin, Russia, 1:10.14.


US to 'push China hard on piracy'

Did anybody tell them China has an internal Market of 2 Billion people? That is 6 times the size of the US. Another 1 billion in India, not to mention Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, The Philippines, Thai Land, Russia, Hell the entire Orient! Whatever he’s chiefing I got next.

The US intends to push China "aggressively" to clamp down more firmly on piracy and open more of its domestic markets to foreign firms. That was the pledge of US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, as the two countries continue to negotiate the agenda for trade talks in April. Mr Gutierrez said China had "to play by the rules" if it wished to become a "respected" global trader.



New Microchips Shun Transistors

By John Hudson, Wired

For the first time researchers have created a working prototype of a radical new chip design based on magnetism instead of electrical transistors. As transistor-based microchips hit the limits of Moore's Law, a group of electrical engineers at the University of Notre Dame has fabricated a chip that uses nanoscale magnetic "islands" to juggle the ones and zeroes of binary code. Wolfgang Perod and his colleagues turned to the process of magnetic patterning (.pdf) to produce a new chip that uses arrays of separate magnetic domains. Each island maintains its own magnetic field.


Singularity here we come!!

Medicare Plan Benefits Industry, Not Seniors

By Erin Cassin, The NewStandard

Recent research into the new Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit program shows the pharmaceutical industry poised to reap billions in taxpayer funds under the new plan. The data lends new fuel to the fight led by seniors and their advocates to overhaul the program, which took effect January 1.

Under the design of the current scheme, private insurers -- not the Medicare administration -- provide coverage to enrollees, some of who previously received coverage under Medicaid and others who never had government-subsidized prescription drug coverage.

According to a January report by the progressive think tank Center for Economic Policy Research, the program's cost to state and federal taxpayers -- estimated at $776 billion for the next eight years -- and its notorious complexity are predictable symptoms of the legislation.


Your Future with the RIAA

File Sharing Winner and Losers

By Thomas Mennecke

The year 2005 was an excellent year, depending of course on your point of view. For the tech industry, BitTorrent soared to new heights while Steve Jobs enjoyed record breaking iPod sales. Yet not everyone shared this success. The RIAA continued its fight against P2P networking with little effect, as Sony-BMG disgraced itself and the DRM concept.


I Feel Ya'

“I would go to work on the show and I felt awful every day, that’s not the way it was” he said. “I felt like some kind of prostitute or something. If I feel so bad, why keep on showing up to this place? I’m going to Africa. The hardest thing to do is to be true to yourself, especially when everybody is watching.”

I watched the Inside the Actor’s Studio interview with Dave. “I wasn’t crazy but it is incredibly stressful,” I feel you Dave. It did my heart good to hear someone articulate the shit that goes on every day. WE have lost our minds12-16 hour days for anywhere from $10-$30/ hour. Before taxes. You do the math. Sleep deprivation, stress, humiliation, paranoia, for what? They say romance is dead in America, no kidding, when does anyone have time for relaxation? We spend the lion’s share of our waking hours for someone else, commuting to work, working, commuting from work, cell phones, emails, crack berries, shit has gotten out of hand. The shift from a society of domination through discipline to one of domination through surveillance is whittling years off our lives and leaving no room for simple human comforts. The refrain builds “I want to be good at what I do” as what you do is coded into a mainframe and outsourced to India, or worse simply automated, when most clerical service professions – lawyers, accountants, programmers, actuaries, etc. – are destined to end up being staffed by button pusher like an H&R Block Tax center.

Fuck Africa. I’m going to Biminy.


Love is not Enough

Most single Americans are playing hard to get and are happy to dodge Cupid's arrow, new research says, despite the annual Valentine's Day splurge on chocolates and flowers.

Forty-three percent of adult Americans, or 87 million people, describe themselves as single -- but only 16 percent are looking for love, the survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found.

Fifty-five percent of US singles say they have no interest in looking for a romantic partner. That feeling is especially pronounced among women, or those who have been divorced or widowed.

Surprisingly, and despite the dominance of dating images in popular culture, younger singles aged between 18-29 seem to be able to take romance or leave it: 51 percent said they were not in the market for a soulmate.

The survey also lifts the lid on the barren dating scene even for those Americans singles who are playing the field.

Thirty-six percent of those "active" on the dating scene said they had not had a date in three months, 13 percent had one. Twenty-two percent had been on between two and four dates, while a lucky quarter had been on five or more.

Where is the best place to meet a partner? : according to the survey, which sampled Internet users on the question, 38 percent of those in committed relationships hooked up at work or school.

A third met through family and friends, and 13 percent met their match at a nightclub, bar or cafe.

Surprisingly, given the proliferation of online dating agencies and matchmakers, only three percent of happy couples who are also online met through the Internet.

The study, part of larger research on online matchmaking yet to be published, was conducted late last year.


Trouble in Cubicle Nation

Provide paid childbirth leave to all working Americans.

Tighten the salary test.

Hold the back pats.

Support a living wage.

Make Lou Dobbs secretary of labor.

Provide guaranteed sick leave.

Legalize vacations.

Give face time the pink slip.

Establish rules for e-tools.

Restore the 40-hour workweek.

American workers have done their part, doubling productivity since 1969. How about producing a workplace worthy of them in 2006?” It sounds great, it really does but the increase in productivity is not due to the worker but to advances in technology. Not only can work be produced faster but with fewer people. There are no jobs. They don’t need you. Jesus!

The Next

" I look up, alarmed, then send an IM about it to my friend Quinn, across the table from me. "Do you hear the marketing droids behind us?" I write. She giggles, staring at her monitor. Folksonomy. It's a taxonomy, or knowledge organization system, created by regular folks who don't have advanced degrees in information science and don't work in libraries. Only in a folksonomy would you ever get results from searching for the tag "sexy geeks." This development alone makes it clear we've learned something since the days.

It turns out they're crafting a PowerPoint presentation for some company whose business model sounds like what we called vaporware in the dot-com era of yore: They plan to "bring the gaming community together" and somehow make money on that. I eavesdrop until I realize with horror that they're the remnants of a dot-com I made fun of in this very column back in 1999: a company called Zupit. I search for, but the site is just a directory full of files I can't access -- there's nothing left of the bubble company that "brings it down to you," as it says on the ancient Zupit schwag pen I have. And yet the company still lives! Its stupid business model still lives! How can this be? Full

“Created by regular folks.” Who “don't have advanced degrees in information science and don't work in libraries.” Right. The web is the perfect engine for creating the illusion of choice while enforcing the greatest tyranny. The perfect Skinnerian box. So many choices, right? Not really. In reality the web and the computer are on great big feedback mechanism. Buy, go, say, do what we want you to do and you are rewarded with dazzling colors sounds and pictures, and if you’re a real junky, that little buzz you get when the screen flashes “order received.” If you IM to people you can call or worse yet talk to – web 2.0 is gong to make a lot of money. Excuse me while I call my broker.


North Magnetic Pole could be leaving Canada

The North Magnetic Pole could soon abandon Canada, migrate north of Alaska and eventually wind up in Russia, according to a Canadian scientist.

It's about more than oil


LA County Prison Riots

How is the “war on terror” going? You know the shit is about to hit the fan when the block is hot and the jails are rioting. Why? Because wars are funded through the sale of drugs, America needs more money, niggers and spics got to move more drugs. They didn’t teach you that in “good government” did they?

The Supermax waiting area was crowded, and Olmeda, 29, didn’t see Velasquez, also 29, until the last visit of the day. The husband and wife discussed the usual things: the drug case he was fighting, their four kids (the two oldest ones had come with her to see their dad), her battle to pay the bills on a suddenly single mom’s salary, how much he wanted to come home. As they talked, she thought he seemed unusually on edge. “Look, babe,” Velasquez said just before the hour ended. “I probably won’t be able to call you for a few days. There’s a lot of . . .” He searched for a neutral way to say it, “. . . tension here.”

"We're seeing and witnessing a racial gang war in the south central Los Angeles community and that gang war has transformed itself into the county jail system," Baca said in a weekend TV interview.

When Olmeda arrived home around 4:30 p.m., she flipped on the television and made dinner for all four kids. “And there it was, all over the news,” she says, “this huge riot at Supermax.”


Singularity Utopia

Dear Athena,

A singularity utopianism.

Tim Finnegan lived in Walkin Street

A gentleman Irish, mighty odd;

He'd a beautiful brogue so rich and sweet

And to rise in the world he carried a hod.

Now Tim had a sort o' the tipplin' way

With a love of the liquor poor Tim was born

And to help him on with his work each day

He'd a drop of the craythur ev'ry morn

The computer screen is the new campfire; it has the flicker we crave, that transfixing luminescence that we first discovered with Prometheus. There has been so much talk about the singularity. They wonder whether we’ll interface, whether or not we’ll integrate mind and machine. What they are really asking is will we be gods? Will we create intelligence? Will we be able to answer the question – “is there a god?” – by becoming god? And when we do, and we find that we are either alone or that we are one among a multitude, on a path well worn and tread, what will we do then? When we have confronted our insignificance will we still be human?

The myth of exceptionalism is what sustains our humanity; unjustified though it is. The enlightenment was nothing but Adam clothed in reason. An idiot savant, only a child or a fool could be fascinated so long with one thing, it was only contradiction. If the singularity is to come, contradiction is dead. We will look back at Enlightenment’s humanity as the prison of a dark age in which vanity and hubris stood guard over beauty, subdued truth and allowed ignorance to reign.

The transfer has already begun. From polar nucleotides, hydrophobic/hydrophilic proteins, beta pleated sheets, quaternary structures, organelles, membranes, tissue, organs, intelligence ??? Or does that go at the beginning? I mean we’re still working with positive and negative, we are still operating at the level of the electron. How long before our mathematics has to account for up, down, top, bottom, strange and charmed? Three quarks for Muster Mark. How long before our control reaches there? How long before we are able to cohere consciousness through mechanical means? How long before we bind Prometheus in a mechanical shell? How long before we can imprison the soul?

How’s that for a utopian singularity.


The Sneaky Bastards at FOX

I thought something was funny. Media Matters caught the “Old Jedi Mind Trick” at work.

Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume showed an edited video clip of Rev. Joseph Lowery's remarks at Coretta Scott King's funeral, during which he mentioned the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Lowery's remarks were greeted with 23 seconds of applause and a standing ovation, but the clip Fox News aired presented nine seconds of applause and little hint of the standing ovation without noting that the clip had been doctored. After seeing the clip, Roll Call's Morton Kondracke concluded that the audience "wasn't exactly uproarious in its response" to Lowery.


Trademark Dilution Revision Act

Written by Edward Greenberg

"HR 683 - the Trademark Dilution Revision Act" will serve to eliminate the current protection for non-commercial speech currently contained in the Lanham Act. It will prevent businesses (artists)and consumers from invoking famous trademarks to explain or illustrate their discussion of public issues. Exceptions for fair use, non-commercial use, reportage, commentary, etc. currently existing could disappear and would be no defense to claims of infringement of a registered or unregistered mark. Trade dress is often unregistered.



Sweden plans to be world's first oil-free economy

Sweden is to take the biggest energy step of any advanced western economy by trying to wean itself off oil completely within 15 years - without building a new generation of nuclear power stations.The attempt by the country of 9 million people to become the world's first practically oil-free economy is being planned by a committee of industrialists, academics, farmers, car makers, civil servants and others, who will report to parliament in several months.


Church Fires

Morning Star Baptist and three other rural Alabama churches were damaged or destroyed by fires Tuesday, bringing the number of suspicious church fires in the state to nine in less than a week. Authorities said they had no clear suspects but were inspecting tire tracks and footprints and searching for a dark-colored sport-utility vehicle.

"Obviously somebody or somebodies are interested in burning down churches. Whether it's hate against a race or religion in general, we don't know," said Ragan Ingram, a spokesman for the state insurance agency that oversees fire investigations.

Ingram said the first rash of fires early Friday — at four predominantly white churches and one predominantly black church — are believed to be linked.

The FBI was already looking into whether those fires were civil rights violations under laws covering attacks on religious property, and the state and federal government had offered $10,000 in rewards for information when the new fires were reported.

The four fires Tuesday — all at predominantly black churches — could be a continuation of that crime spree, or they could be copycat attacks, Ingram said Wednesday.


Exporting Evangelism

By Anoosh Jorjorian

In the packed stadium, people stood in the summer heat, craning their necks for a view of the stage. Evangelist preacher Benny Hinn, dressed head to toe in white, paced and preached, backed by a choir singing gospel hymns. Audience members whose pain had disappeared after Hinn's healing prayer came to the stage to testify. Abandoned crutches and wheelchairs lined the platform.

This scene could have taken place in Louisiana or Texas, Minnesota or California, but in fact occurred in Suva, the capital of the Fiji Islands, a few weeks ago. The Benny Hinn Miracle Crusade lasted three days and drew an estimated 180,000 people on the final day, an impressive feat in a nation where the population hovers just under 1 million. The Fiji national television news showed the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, and the acting president, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, as well as other parliamentarians, in attendance


Losing Feminist Leaders

By Jessica Valenti

In a time when the so-called "opt-out revolution" reigns supreme in the media and mainstream columnists unconvincingly tell women that the "power is in the kitchen," we need a continuation of Friedan's work more than ever. Thankfully there are women like Linda Hirshman out there who not only debunk the happy housewife myth, but completely obliterate it. Wasserstein fans can rest easy -- people like Sarah Jones and the Guerrilla Girls are making strides for women in the arts, whether on stage or in masks. And of course, the growing opposition to the current administration and invasion of Iraq is building amazing momentum for the movement for nonviolence and civil rights.

It's clear that women are doing the work -- but where are the new icons? Is it that a successful women's movement simply doesn't need icons anymore, or are they out there just waiting to be recognized by a mainstream that still doesn't take kindly to feminism?

The idea of a new crop of mainstream feminist leaders is met with some wariness when talking with younger women. For many young women, especially those who work in grassroots organizations or who have taken their activism online, the idea of a feminist icon or leader seems a bit passe.

Amanda Marcotte of the popular blog Pandagon notes, "There's a good reason to be optimistic that iconic feminist leaders are a thing of the past. Without having the same handful of feminist leaders to return to time and time again, maybe the media will be forced to acknowledge the geographic, racial and class diversity in modern feminism."




Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
"Many daughters have done noble, but you excel them all”

The End of the Internet

And yet for just about 10k you can start your own network. You don’t need them.

By Jeffrey Chester, The Nation

The nation's largest telephone and cable companies are crafting an alarming set of strategies that would transform the free, open and nondiscriminatory Internet of today to a privately run and branded service that would charge a fee for virtually everything we do online.

Verizon, Comcast, Bell South and other communications giants are developing strategies that would track and store information on our every move in cyberspace in a vast data-collection and marketing system, the scope of which could rival the National Security Agency.

According to white papers now being circulated in the cable, telephone and telecommunications industries, those with the deepest pockets -- corporations, special-interest groups and major advertisers -- would get preferred treatment. Content from these providers would have first priority on our computer and television screens, while information seen as undesirable, such as peer-to-peer communications, could be relegated to a slow lane or simply shut out.

Under the plans they are considering, all of us -- from content providers to individual users -- would pay more to surf online, stream videos or even send e-mail. Industry planners are mulling new subscription plans that would further limit the online experience, establishing "platinum," "gold" and "silver" levels of Internet access that would set limits on the number of downloads, media streams or even e-mail messages that could be sent or received.


Ex-President Carter: Eavesdropping Illegal

Former President Jimmy Carter criticized the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program Monday and said he believes the president has broken the law.

"Under the Bush administration, there's been a disgraceful and illegal decision _ we're not going to the let the judges or the Congress or anyone else know that we're spying on the American people," Carter told reporters. "And no one knows how many innocent Americans have had their privacy violated under this secret act."


Mayor: New Orleans will seek aid from other nations

Shortcomings in aid from the U.S. government are making New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin look to other nations for help in rebuilding his hurricane-damaged city. Nagin, who has hosted a steady stream of foreign dignitaries since Hurricane Katrina hit in late August, says he may seek international assistance because U.S. aid has not been sufficient to get the city back on its feet. "I know we had a little disappointment earlier with some signals we're getting from Washington but the international community may be able to fill the gap," Nagin said when a delegation of French government and business officials passed through on Friday to explore potential business partnerships. Jordan's King Abdullah also visited New Orleans on Friday and Nagin said he would encourage foreign interests to help redevelop some of the areas hardest hit by the storm.



Profile: Jean-Marie Le Pen



So, while, realizing that people are sheep for about the 200th time, giving up is hard to do, it really does burn, there was a primordial void, Trippin’ still hits too close to home; imbibing copious amounts of beer; marveling at the wonders of Wi Fi, modern public transit, my own cupidity, a fantastic view of downtown and a gifted cop, I found my friend up to her old tricks. Know magic. Shun magic.

On Cursing by Chicago Dyke

here’s the trick with cursing.

you need: beer, dirt, blood, and some instruments which make a loud sound.

spill the beer on the ground. curse, loudly. invoke your personal god. spill the blood on the ground, softly. invoke your Special God. dance. take your clothes off. dance some more. think about how much you would’ve liked to drink the beer sacrificed.

pull out your favorite bloody fable. perhaps the one where little red riding hood gets eaten. sing and dance as you recite the best passages. promise the gods your most treasured item. curse your enemies.

dance some more, and drink some beer. that’s how ancient “iraqis” did it. and surprisingly, it worked more than you’d expect.


Sheep for the Fleecing: Megachurches Growing in Number and Size

In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet, and say to us, "Make us your slaves, but feed us."

They will marvel at us and look on us as gods, because we are ready to endure the freedom which they have found so dreadful and to rule over them- so awful it will seem to them to be free. But we shall tell them that we are Thy servants and rule them in Thy name. So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship. The most painful secrets of their conscience, all, all they will bring to us, and we shall have an answer for all. And they will be glad to believe our answer, for it will save them from the great anxiety and terrible agony they endure at present in making a free decision for themselves. Too, too well will they know the value of complete submission! And until men know that, they will be unhappy. Fydor Dostoevsky, “THE GRAND INQUISITOR”


A new survey on U.S. Protestant megachurches shows they are among the nation's fastest-growing faith groups, drawing younger people and families with contemporary programming and conservative values. The number of megachurches, defined as having a weekly attendance of at least 2,000, has doubled in five years to 1,210. The megachurches have an estimated combined income of $7.2 billion and draw nearly 4.4 million people to weekly services, according to "Megachurches Today 2005." The study, released Friday, based its findings on 406 surveys from megachurches. It was written by Leadership Network, a nonprofit church-growth consulting firm in Dallas, and the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, which did a similar survey in 2000.

Leadership Network's clients are large churches in the U.S. and Canada looking to grow or maintain growth with new ideas and methods. The Hartford Institute for Religion Research is part of the nondenominational Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. "When you add up all that megachurches are doing from books to video to the networks of connection across the nation, you can't say this phenomena of more than 1,200 megachurches is anything but really one of the most influential factors of American religion at this point in time," said Scott Thumma, researcher for the study and sociology professor at Hartford Seminary. The South has the most share with 49 percent, including Texas with 13 percent. California led the nation with 14 percent but is part of a declining western region with 25 percent, seven percentage points lower than five years ago.



Mammy Oprah

Tom Madigan
February 2, 2006 Chicago Tribune

Manteno, Ill. -- America's energy problems would be solved if only someone could harness the power of Oprah's ego.

So I decided to go pick up a million little pieces, yeah the book. Yes, I’m going to do the Borders library thing. Hey its paperback fiction how seriously can I take it? But, this Oprah thing. Here in Chicago, all the Oprah fanatics have turned rabid. Now that the Great Mammy has scolded some wayward child and used her powers to excommunicate him from . . . existence, now everyone says she has gone too far and may have lost perspective. Nobody said shit when Mammy “O” decided to turn vigilante and do her version of America’s most wanted. Come on. With Oprah’s history do we really want her being judge, jury and executioner? I think she might lack “perspective.” All that aside. This is the fault of all of Oprah’s fans. The moment you she started a book club people forgot that even though she may be friends with Maya, Toni, Alice, Steven, and Mike. Damn it! She is a talk show host! Asking Oprah to critically engage literature is like asking a professional athlete about philosophy. Oops! Sorry Shaq. We deserve it though. Oprah has made her fortune off of the morbid voyeurism of American culture. Every day America tunes in to watch Oprah pull the wings off flies. How many episodes can one person have on dysfunctional lifestyles? Apparently, nearly three decades worth and a super box set.

You reap what you sow, enjoy.

And James, keep writing.

By Julia Keller
Tribune cultural critic
January 30, 2006

A nice deep breath, please. In and out. That's right.

Thank you.

Perhaps we can take advantage of this temporary calm, this blessed respite from rancor and scolding, to acknowledge a largely forgotten but not altogether irrelevant truth:

"A Million Little Pieces" is one terrific book.

It's hypnotically readable and deeply moving. It breaks new ground with its narrative structure and typography. Even the punctuation -- or lack thereof -- is weirdly riveting.

Yet amid the quite legitimate furor over author James Frey's fibs and flourishes, amid the high-decibel debates about the murky rules of memoir and the primacy of fact, one fact has been routinely overlooked:

The guy can write.


Witches in Bennett, Colorado

I can’t believe it. A witch hunt. A for real witch hunt. Duncan was right.

Some parents in Bennett, Colorado are angry with an elementary school music teacher for showing pupils a video about the opera "Faust," whose title character sells his soul to the devil in exchange for being young again. Tresa Waggoner showed approximately 250 first-, second- and third-graders at Bennett Elementary portions of a 33-year-old series titled "Who's Afraid of Opera" a few weeks ago.The video features the soprano Dame Joan Sutherland and three puppet friends discussing Gounod's "Faust." Waggoner thought it would be a good introduction to opera.


In China, to Get Rich is Glorious

By Dexter Roberts and Frederik Balfour
BusinessWeek Online

More Chinese are becoming millionaires -- and driving a fast-growing market for luxury goods

Wang Zhongjun is loaded and happy to flaunt it. He wears Prada shoes, Versace jackets, and a Piaget watch. He smokes Cohiba cigars from Cuba. He drives a white Mercedes-Benz SL600, a silver BMW Z8, and a red Ferrari 360. His art collection includes hundreds of sculptures and paintings. Value: $30 million or so. Home sweet home is a 22,000 square-foot mansion north of Beijing with antique British and French furniture, a billiard room with bar, and an indoor pool. When he tires of swimming, Wang can head to his stable (annual upkeep: $500,000) of 60 horses from Ireland, France, and Kentucky. "Entrepreneurs in China today feel much safer than before," says Wang, a 45-year-old movie producer who served in the Chinese army, studied in the U.S., and learned painting before backing internationally acclaimed films such as Kung Fu Hustle. "We are more accepted by the media, government, and society today."

Propaganda, Jack Bauer and 24

It marked a blurring of Hollywood fantasy with political reality that represented a sharp departure even in the no-holds-barred world of political campaign advertising.

WASHINGTON -- Jack Bauer, the fictional counterterrorism agent on the Fox Network's popular "24" show, hasn't actually waded into the debate on civil liberties versus terrorism surveillance as Congress considers making changes in the USA Patriot Act.

But during the most recent episode of the white-knuckle TV drama, viewers in the nation's capital saw a message drawing on the show's themes that was intended to influence real-life political debate in a highly unusual way.

During a commercial break while the fictional Bauer was desperately searching for canisters of deadly nerve gas that had fallen into the hands of terrorists, viewers saw an advertisement questioning the wisdom of senators who would "weaken" the Patriot Act. "What if they are wrong?" the commercial asked.



Prague Seeks City-wide Free Internet Zone

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- The government here wants to allocate $4.1 million to create a free wireless network citywide, which has the country's largest telecom providers crying foul. Companies have sent a letter to the Information and Technology Ministry saying that Prague already has a developed Internet infrastructure and that the plan would hurt their businesses. "Operators who are members of our association have a very negative opinion of this plan," said Hana Jelinkova, executive director of the Association of Public Telecommunications Networks Operators (APVTS), which includes the country's top telecom providers. The proposal comes as more major cities, especially in the United States, are wrestling with offering municipal wireless services to get their citizens easy access to broadband. New York, San Francisco and New Orleans all plan to go wireless, and Philadelphia signed a deal with Earthlink Jan. 30 to get a citywide wireless network running by next year.

Senate Panel Rebuffed on Documents on U.S. Spying

NY Times

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 — The Bush administration is rebuffing requests from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for its classified legal opinions on President Bush's domestic spying program, setting up a confrontation in advance of a hearing scheduled for next week, administration and Congressional officials said Wednesday.

The Justice Department is balking at the request so far, administration officials said, arguing that the legal opinions would add little to the public debate because the administration has already laid out its legal defense at length in several public settings.

But the legality of the program is known to have produced serious concerns within the Justice Department in 2004, at a time when one of the legal opinions was drafted. Democrats say they want to review the internal opinions to assess how legal thinking on the program evolved and whether lawyers in the department saw any concrete limits to the president's powers in fighting terrorism.


Nanoscale magnets promise more-shrinkable chips

Nanoscale magnets can be cajoled into performing the same digital arithmetic as the transistor-based logic gates in computer chips, according to a new study.

The research suggests that today’s transistors, which will approach their limits of miniaturisation sometime in the next couple of decades, could eventually be replaced by more shrinkable nanomagnet technology – allowing ever more powerful, faster processors to continue to be constructed.

Better still, the function of the magnetic logic gates can be changed after the hardware has been built, meaning that hardware could be “reprogrammed” – potentially making gadgets that use them far more versatile.


Electronic Arts cuts staff by 5 percent

World's biggest publisher confirms major layoffs as more than 300 employees across three studios see pink. Following initial reports in several game forums, game publisher Electronic Arts confirmed that it has laid off a sizeable number of its employees. An EA rep confirmed to GameSpot that the company is reducing its total workforce by 5 percent. Because the massive third-party publisher employs 6,500 to 7,000 people worldwide, that means between 325 and 350 people received their notice of termination today.

The spokesperson said that the reductions were made "due to the fact that we are in a transition [period]," adding that "every division is going through this resource evaluation." The rep said some employees affected by the layoff had been offered the option to relocate, though the rep was not sure of an exact number.



Palace Revolt

By Daniel Klaidman, Stuart Taylor Jr. and Evan Thomas


Feb. 6, 2006 issue - James Comey, a lanky, 6-foot-8 former prosecutor who looks a little like Jimmy Stewart, resigned as deputy attorney general in the summer of 2005. The press and public hardly noticed. Comey's farewell speech, delivered in the Great Hall of the Justice Department, contained all the predictable, if heartfelt, appreciations. But mixed in among the platitudes was an unusual passage. Comey thanked "people who came to my office, or my home, or called my cell phone late at night, to quietly tell me when I was about to make a mistake; they were the people committed to getting it right—and to doing the right thing—whatever the price. These people," said Comey, "know who they are. Some of them did pay a price for their commitment to right, but they wouldn't have it any other way."