October 30, 2002
Miscellaneous Subjects #158: We Live in Such a Strange and Yet Funny World
Well! folks, here are good news regarding the problems mentioned earlier. The Cybernaute company phoned me Monday, readily admitted their rude behaviour and offered to shift my very active and high volume account (and 35 MEGs website!) from a private ($17/month) to a commercial one ($50/month), thus giving me/us access to many more possibilities. For instance, I will soon start using an automated email system - named <firstname.lastname@example.org> - that will make my life much more simpler - more explanations on this and other options as soon as I've studied them. Also I've registred the EarthRainbowNetwork.com domain name for 10 years (Cost: only $69 US at https://registrar.godaddy.com) and it is already operational with the entire previous website transferred there! As for the possibility of getting high speed Internet, I'm waiting for a reply on this but it looks unlikely for now. So of course, any assistance --- preferably from new donors - towards these relatively modest costs (so far) will be welcomed. More details soon.
In the meantime, here is a satirically funny and yet sobering compilation for you.
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
This compilation is archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2002/MiscelSubjects158.htm
1. Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine & BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE SETS BOX OFFICE RECORD
2. Bush liberates Europe!
3. Good News, Strategic Action
4. Message to the Troops: Resist!
5. ZEN THOUGHTS
Business as Usual
The mood among business lobbyists, according to a jubilant official at the Heritage Foundation, is one of "optimism, bordering on giddiness." They expect the elections on Nov. 5 to put Republicans in control of all three branches of government, and have their wish lists ready. "It's the domestic equivalent of planning for postwar Iraq," says the official. The White House also apparently expects Christmas in November. In fact, it is so confident that it has already given business lobbyists the gift they want most: an end to all this nonsense about corporate reform. (...) The bottom line is that you shouldn't worry about those TV images of men in suits doing the perp walk. That was for public consumption; now that the public is focused on other things, it's back to business -- insider business -- as usual.
SOME REALLY GOOD NEWS
Lula Elected in Landslide, Workers Party Candidate Will Lead Brazil
Over 200,000 People March in The United States!
Huge Rally Joins Protests Across Globe to Decry U.S.' Iraq Policy.
More on this at http://www.voice4change.org/stories/showstory.asp?file=021022~nlg.asp
Huge Rally Joins Protests Across Globe to Decry U.S.' Iraq Policy
Antiwar Protest Largest Since '60s (October 27)
Organizers Say 100,000 Turned Out
US Peace Marches Draw Large Crowds
Calendar of Demonstrations for Peace in the U.S.
Four incredibly tight, battleground races in the U.S. elections - these four may go to Democrat candidates!
Fax THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL to resist the Bush Administration's rush to war
Take The Pledge to Oppose War with Iraq
To take the pledge: http://www.voice4change.org/stories/showstory.asp?file=020624~for.asp
AND IN THE NOT-SO-FUNNY CATEGORY
Wheels Come Off U.S. War Plans for Iraq
Sierra Club Deeply Mourns Death of Senator Paul Wellstone
Foul play suspected in Wellstone death
Was Wellstone's plane tampered with?
Paul Wellstone | The Right Thing to Do
Mysterious group spends $1 million on anti-Wellstone campaign
Bush Fears Tenacious, Popular Wellstone
CBS | Wellstones To Cheney: Stay Home
Bush to Force Vote on Iraq Resolution
No One Elected Bush to Attack Iraq
Russian Special Forces Killed Most Hostages With Gas
Chechnya: "Human rights take a backseat in the 'war on terrorism'" (Oct 27)
AND A FRANKLY BIZARRE ONE
Surgeons Deliver 46-Year-Old Fetus (Oct 24)
RABAT (Reuters) - Moroccan surgeons have relieved a 75-year-old woman of what she thought was a long-standing tumor but turned out to be the remains of a 46-year-old fetus, Moroccan newspapers said Thursday.
This is a link to create fireworks. Everything feels so heavy right now, it may bring a smile.
Recommended by "Karen Revell" <email@example.com>
From: "Leonard" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002
Yesterday I saw Michael Moore's movie Bowling For Columbine and I was shocked. This, in spite of the fact that I didn't learn anything I didn't already know. His presentation was so well done that the effect was shocking even to this old salt and an even saltier companion. We were both stopped in our tracks. I urge all to see this for a new perspective on our American culture and I urge all to bring an unconscious acquaintance. This movie can make an huge difference.
Thank you and best wishes,
There is also this forwarded by Fraser Clark <email@example.com>
BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE SETS BOX OFFICE RECORD
Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore's new film protest against the violence of American culture which we asked you to support 2 weeks ago, has set an all-time opening weekend box office record for a documentary! The unprecedented outpouring of support for this film has sent a shock wave through Hollywood. And the White House. 18 films opened last Friday in New York and L.A. - so, for a documentary to do this well in such a crowded field represents a finger in the eye for the warmongers in power in that poor country and will spread some desperately needed information among the general populace.
"For those of you who packed the New York and Los Angeles theatres this past week" says Michael Moore, "I want you to know your attendance has resulted in me having a much larger forum in which to speak out against the war on Iraq and the other misdeeds of the Bush administration. After being virtually banned from the airwaves during the release of my book, that wall has been broken down by this film's success. I've been able to be a "stand-in" for all of you and say the things on prime time TV that never get said. Mainstream publications like People Magazine (whose critic called the film "provocative, entertaining and maddening - a must see!") are running feature stories, and this weekend I'm spending the entire hour with Tim Russert on his CNBC show.
Here's a sample of one of the thousands of e-mails sent to Michael's site this week:
"A group of us went to see Bowling for Columbine tonight - to a completely packed house in the big theatre at Loews 19th St. Besides laughter overriding scenes, tears, and applause throughout, there was a spontaneous cheer with the applause at the end of the film. I have never seen that kind of thing in a theatre in New York. But I understand. I couldn't keep myself from laughing out loud and crying throughout. And folks didn't rush out, as New Yorkers do, but sat through to the end of the credits and left the theatre talking furiously. The audience was blown away by the film. It was clear everyone in that room was. This film will do well. It needs to."
SO VOTE WITH YOUR MOVIE EYES AGAINST THE IRAQ AND TERROR WARS (IT'S JUST ABOUT THE ONLY PART OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY STILL WORKING!!)
THE EDUCATING POWER OF INTELLIGENT AND INFORMED SATIRE
Forwarded by "Sibylle Hartmann" <firstname.lastname@example.org> on October 21, 2002
Bush liberates Europe!
Wild celebrations greet president as 10-year marijuana sentences, assault rifles and politicians who never lose their hair sweep across continent!
By Erik H. Thoreson
Oct. 12, 2002
With the publication of President Bush's statement of strategic priorities, a euphoric outburst of gleeful anticipation is sweeping across Europe. America intends to make our world "not just safer but better" -- an action that will be "sustained by faith in the principles of liberty and the value of a free society." Bush intends "to extend the benefits of liberty and prosperity through the spread of American values and tangible rewards for good governance." Discussion and speculation abound. What will the new Americanized Europe look like?
No country will feel the effects of Americanization more than Norway, long known for its naive view of social responsibility and fairness. American values will liberate Norway from the repressive restrictions of its social-democratic philosophy. While some disagreements continue over the look of the New Norway, a general consensus on major changes is taking form.
After more than half a century of high-quality, universal and equal healthcare treatment for all, Norwegians will adopt the more elegant pay-as-you-go American system. The best medicine will be reserved for those who can afford it. Those who can't will either join a limited service, for-profit HMO or simply go without healthcare. After all, who said healthcare was a right? It is a privilege for those who have earned the right to pay for it.
As part of the same exciting transformation, Europeans will soon be paying four to 10 times more for their prescription drugs, bringing pricing in line with the American experience. Americans understand pharmaceutical corporations have to make strong profits so they can develop new drugs. The American way is to solve every problem with a pill, so drug company profits must be protected at all costs.
To improve their safety and allow them to defend their personal property, Europeans will be encouraged to own and carry handguns, assault rifles and any other weapons they want. There is little doubt Europe will be the "safer" place promised by Bush once capital punishment returns, offering people the same deterrent protection against the murder of children and other innocents Americans enjoy.
Marijuana users will face long-term incarceration, raising public morality while also creating a boom in penal institution construction and increased employment not only for building tradesmen but individuals attracted to the dynamic new profession of prison guard.
Global fast-food companies will put small restaurants out of business, allowing Europeans to enjoy the security of knowing that no matter where they travel, the food will always taste, smell and look identical and be served by minimum wage, uniformed high school kids or pensioners. McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Subway and other franchises will eliminate the anxiety of restaurant choice. As all European towns will look the same once the franchises and strip malls have been installed, Americans will no longer have to visit six countries in 10 days during their once-in-a-lifetime overseas trip.
Stand a group of Europeans next to a group of Americans, and it is obvious the former are nutritionally deprived. Once fast-food restaurants take over, Europeans will grow to their proper size. And the economic benefits will be multiple: Big and Tall shops will open in all countries, and a billion-dollar diet industry will spring up. Foul-tasting low-fat foods will be everywhere. No food product will ever again be sold without a package claim of 10 to 99 percent less fat, calories, sodium, etc., etc.
Food animals will be raised the American way. No longer will chickens, lamb, beef cattle or any food animal be denied the benefits of growth hormones and antibiotic maxi-doses. Grains will all be biotech and farms will be run by huge corporations, which will benefit everyone. Selfish small-acreage farms will be swallowed up. Enormous food animal facilities will allow neighbors from miles around to smell the sweet scent of animal waste day and night. The sharing of animal droppings in streams, rivers and lakes will promote new exotic plant growth in unexpected places, greening our dull European world and delighting everyone.
Europeans will no longer have to endure the burden of producing their own products. All items needed for good living will be produced in Third World countries. Even better, each town, large or small, will have at least one Wal-Mart to sell those goods. Wal-Mart will no longer be just "America's store" -- it will supply the world with low-priced goods while providing minimum-wage, 28-hour-a-week, no-benefits jobs for a permanent class of service serfs. As an added benefit, the congestion that has long plagued town centers in Europe will be relieved once Wal-Mart puts most small retail stores out of business.
When it comes to work, it'll be time for lazy Europeans to come to terms with the fact that "La Dolce Vita" may have been a great movie, but it's an unprofitable way to live. Four or more weeks of vacation a year will be replaced by two weeks (after two years of work).
Taxes formerly levied on the rich will be transferred to the middle class, creating a shortfall. Governments will then be justified in cutting back on public transportation or forcing it to privatize. Once railways and bus systems go on the auction block, automobile corporations will snap them up, as they did in many parts of America, and quickly bankrupt them. This will dramatically increase the need for cars, which will greatly increase employment in low-wage countries around the world. It won't be long before all Europeans either own or dream of the day they will own an American-made SUV. These gas-guzzling polluters will warm the earth, bringing a smile to the face of freedom-loving Eskimos, Siberians and researchers in Baffin Land.
Europe's confusing and chaotic political parties will be eliminated, replaced by a one-party system pretending to be two. Europeans will learn that what they previously considered corruption (giving huge cash donations to politicians to gain access and consideration) is really "free speech." At last they will be permitted to enjoy yearlong campaigns. No more six-week campaigns without TV advertising. And those weekly forums when the leaders of each party sit together and present their visions to the public -- b-o-r-i-n-g. American-style attack ads will bring pizzazz and entertainment back to politics.
After years of dangerous transparency, Norwegian politicians will no longer be required by "sunshine" laws to turn over all correspondence not related to national security to any citizen who asks to see it. As Vice President Dick Cheney and the top oil executives who helped him formulate America's energy policy know, no government becomes great by letting the people in on what it is doing!
Europe will adopt American accounting rules, allowing CEOs to adjust the profit figures and enrich executives, who are already paid 500 times the wage of ordinary workers. Golden parachutes and $1 million-a-year retirement packages for CEOs will give European executives the incentive to do a better job for shareholders. Government oversight of corporate business conduct will be replaced by the American system of self-regulation, which has proven to be so effective.
For too many years Norwegians and other Europeans have been neglecting their economic -- which means patriotic -- responsibilities. "Living within one's means" is a fine-sounding phrase, but it does nothing to help national economies to grow. Consequently, all Europeans will be sent five to 20 credit cards so they can begin to incur a level of debt consistent with American freedom and values.
"Whenever I hear the word 'culture,' I reach for my revolver," Goebbels said, and his far-seeing words will provide the parameters for a bold new market-based approach to the arts and entertainment. Tax-supported public television stations will be sold to commercial interests. The discredited 20th century notion of airways belonging to the people will be history, as will the limited economic potential of broadcasting for the public good. Global media companies will decide what news or programs the public will see. Europeans will discover how much better entertainment is when a program is interrupted every 10 minutes to air five commercials!
A new era of victimhood will lead Norwegians to sue en masse for punitive damages. Presently Norwegians are expected to watch where they are going; they assume their accidents to be at least in part their responsibility. When American values prevail, this bizarre delusion will vanish, increasing the number of trial lawyers and other underrepresented professionals.
Sustainable energy schemes like Denmark's electricity-producing windmills will be stopped. People will be encouraged to use energy created with oil and coal. God put it there in the ground for our use; it would be wrong to turn our back on His gift. Europeans will realize that the Kyoto treaty is an insult to man's rightful dominion over nature. No country should ever sign treaties that might cause corporations to spend more money and thereby reduce profits: in the words of President Bush, "I'm not doing anything that will hurt the American economy." Once American values are in place, no country in Europe will have to care about or cooperate with, any other country in the world. That's freedom!
Europeans will accept that the best use of historic buildings is as gigantic billboards. If the Coliseum must stay in its present location, its name will be changed to the "Nike Coliseum." The preservation of culture, traditions, history and even language must be justified economically. Ninety-five percent of all Norwegians may currently attend Independence Day parades and celebrations, but no marketing studies have been carried out to determine whether these events generate enough business to make them economically feasible. If they do not, they must be ceased. Global soft-drink corporations will place their vending machines in every school, bending children's minds to assure brand loyalty and create lifelong consumers.
With American values will come a mass influx of toupees. Unlike in Europe, no American politician, political pundit or news analyst appears to have ever lost a single hair. Moreover, research indicates that almost all American politicians who wear toupees avoided military service in their youth. One theory is that toupee wearers are better able to tolerate the heat of the false hair on their heads since they were never required to wear helmets.
Finally, American values will enable Europeans to fulfill their real obligations. Instead of wasting their tax money on healthcare, social programs, repair of roads, bridges and support of cultural programs, the money will be spent on defense. The European Union will emerge as a potent military force. That will eliminate the endless time and millions of dollars needed to work in harmony with the rest of the world. Europe can turn all its efforts inward and not worry about things like world poverty, disease, the environment, global warming, pollution, brutal dictatorships or hunger. If other countries don't like it, tough. Like America, Europe will be a shining city of freedom on the distant hill, needing no one and watching out only for its own interests.
We can hardly wait.
About the writer
Erik H. Thoreson spends six months a year in his native land, Norway. He regularly comments on the state of America.
From: "David Harris" <email@example.com>
Subject: Good News, Strategic Action
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002
Jean, have been wanting to have some good news to share since you launched the Good News Reports. I have also wanted to acknowledge and honor you. You are inspiring most vitaly needed action. Where can I send some funds for you?
Did you feel the shift. It is not about things need to get much worse before We the People rise up and claim our self respect. All that needs to happen is credibly knowing how bad things really are. Then knowing creditable strategic action we can take.
The Good News is we now change direction by participating in the Redress of Grievance Caravan rally at the Washington Monument in DC on November 14, 2002. This is going to the source of the problem. at the most important web site I have ever seen http://www.givemeliberty.org
It is time to prepare for the 2004 Presidential election. I will be sending you the unstoppable plan to elect the First Peoples Contract President to restore the Constitution of the United States of America.
Jean, It is vital that you get the word out about the Caravan to Washington DC to be at the Washington Monument with Redress of Grievance to the U,S, government. This is going to the roots of the problem.
The gathering is next November 14, 2002
In Prayer and Gratitude,
David J. Harris
Just so there is no question as to where the problem is it may be good to quote Harry Brown again
F r e e d o m W i r e
by Harry Browne
The Bush administration appears to be gearing up for an all-out attack on Iraq -- because George Bush has said "I made up my mind that Saddam needs to go."
The politicians justify this invasion of another nation with all sorts of reasons -- such as Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, his supposed possession of "weapons of mass destruction," and his support for the Palestine Liberation Organization. And if all else fails to convince, the _coup de grace_ is always "He even gassed his own people!" (as though that provides constitutional authority for our politicians to attack another country). Let's Go for the Big Game
But if these are reasons to invade someone, there's a government that's done all these things on a much larger scale -- which would seem to justify having an international military force attack it to make things right.
In just the past two decades, that government has conducted unprovoked military invasions of three other countries and attacked at least four others. It possesses several times as many nuclear weapons as Iraq might have. And it has supported terrorist operations and military dictators in many countries.
And to top it off, the government was caught red-handed gassing its own citizens!
Name That Country
What government has done all these things?
Obviously, the U.S. government.
* Invaded Grenada, Iraq, and Panama -- not one of which attacked the U.S. in any way.
* Attacked Libya, Serbia, Afghanistan, and the Sudan -- not one of which attacked the U.S. (No one has suggested that the government of Afghanistan or its people were behind the September 11 attacks.)
* An enormous stockpile of "weapons of mass destruction" -- nuclear, chemical, and biological. (How safe do you think foreigners feel, knowing our government has such a stockpile and is so eager to attack other countries?)
* Supported such vile characters as Manuel Noriega, the Taliban, Ferdinand Marcos, and others (all of which the U.S. government itself labeled s evil people), not to mention dozens of dictators in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe.
And the _piece de resistance_ is the U.S. government's use of poisonous CS gas (banned by international convention) to kill 80 Branch Davidians at Waco in 1993.
Is there a difference between what our government and Saddam Hussein have done? Only in degree, not in kind.
Those who try to explain this away usually fall back on a simple principle: whatever our government has done was for good reason, whatever our enemies do is bad.
But killing innocent people, invading foreign countries, bullying the world are wrong -- no matter who does them.
Who's at Fault?
Does this make America bad?
Of course not. "America" stands for peace and friendship, and was once the beacon of liberty -- providing light and hope and inspiration to the entire world.
But over the past century its politicians have run amok -- ignoring all constitutional limits, dictating to U.S. citizens how they must live their lives, pretending to be the world's policemen, and telling foreigners who must run their governments.
Not surprisingly, the politicians do a horrendous job with everything they attempt -- not just foreign policy. Their schools are a mess, they've made a shambles of what was once the best health-care system in the world, they've created criminal gangs with their Drug War, and they've bled us white with their taxes.
And even though they can't bring peace to the streets of Washington, D.C., they arrogantly claim they will "rid the world of evil-doers."
No One Is Impervious
Yes, America is the most powerful country in the world. So no one can stop George Bush from pushing around any country he sets his sights on.
But that doesn't mean we're safe from the consequences of such bullying. September 11 showed that foreigners can be pushed only so far. It also demonstrated that when you give other people a reason to hate you, it is the most brutal elements of their society who will take the lead in retaliating. Thus we were attacked by people who had no qualms about killing the innocent -- even as they were supported by people who had real grievances against our government.
Let's Get America Back
In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson said, "Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none."
He was right then. He is right today.
Every American citizen should have the right to finance or join any cause he believes in -- anywhere in the world. But our government has no business using your tax money and risking your life to support _any_ foreign cause.
Any President who thinks he can decide who should rule a foreign country is a danger to the American people. He's a megalomaniac -- putting you and your family at extreme risk to satisfy his own delusions of grandeur.
If we want to prevent further attacks on America, we have to start by stopping the man in the White House. The URL on WorldNetDaily for this commentary is http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27558
Forwarded by "Judith Iam" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Message to the Troops: Resist!
David Wiggins, AlterNet
October 11, 2002
Dear Soldier of the U.S. Military:
Considering the common practice of talking about "supporting the troops" in times of hostilities, I should let you know how I feel.
With all due respect, I want you to know that if you participate in this conflict, you are not serving me, and I don't support you. Speaking for myself, I feel those who participate will be damaging my reputation as an American, and further endangering me and my children by creating hatred that will someday be returned to us -- perhaps someday soon. Your actions will not lead to a safer world, but a more dangerous world of pre-emption and unilateral decisions to commit mayhem. I don't support that.
This talk of 'supporting the troops' is just another method our government uses to manipulate and control us. I don't support the troops, but I certainly fear for the lives of the troops. I would support the troops staying home. I regret that our so-called leaders have involved the troops in such a foolish, misguided undertaking. I would support the troops disobeying orders. I feel sorry for the troops' families. I would support the troops if they realized that the best way to defend their families would be to stay alive and healthy and resist this war.
The only people the troops are possibly serving are those who agree with this act of military aggression. Perhaps you are not even serving them if they end up suffering retribution for your actions.
Oh yes, and you are serving the President, of course -- the man who avoided combat duty and deserted his National Guard unit. You are serving the man who enriched himself through crony capitalism, shady accounting practices and insider trading while running multiple corporations into bankruptcy. You will be serving the man who lost the popular vote for president, but was handed the presidency by a Supreme Court influenced by his father and through voting irregularities in a state governed by his brother. You will be serving the man who, as President, turned the budget surplus into a deficit and presided over the largest stock market decline since the great depression. You will be serving the man who unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, ignored the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and rejected the International Criminal Court and Kyoto Protocol on Global Warming.
If you are involved in an invasion of Iraq, you will be faced with some difficult ethical decisions. Are the Iraqi foot soldiers really the guilty party here? Is it reasonable to expect them to refuse orders to defend themselves against an invading force (you)? Is this conflict really necessary at all? If not, why kill these people? If it is, are there other means our Commander-in-Chief and others are not exploring that might prevent you from having to kill these people and possibly civilians too, and possibly die yourself or contribute to your friend's death? I'm glad I don't have to make those decisions.
I feel for you and the difficult decisions you must make. I hope this note frees you of any sense of obligation to serve me you must feel, and helps you make a conscientious decision that you will be proud to accept complete responsibility for making. Please pass the sentiments I expressed in this letter on to your fellow soldiers.
IRRESISTIBLY FUNNY - IF YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT MOOD
Sent by "Judith Iam" <email@example.com> on October 21, 2002
Some Zen Humor for the day
1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just leave me the hell alone.
2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.
3. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.
4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
5. Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.
6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
7. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
9. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
11. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
12. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
13. Some days you are the bug; some days you are the windshield.
14. Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.
16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
17. Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.
19. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.
20. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
21. The most wasted day of all is one in which we have not laughed.
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