mousemusings...multimedia, music, progressive politics, video, web design and general rants
Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Sunday, July 30, 2006

Peace Camp in Glorieta

Glorieta, New Mexico, is a former ghost town, southeast of Santa Fe. With a population of fewer than 1,000 people, it rarely is mentioned in the news.

One thing that is revitalizing the town is the active artist community there. Over the past few years, they've hosted the Creativity for Peace camp.

One of the artists who participates, McCreery Jordan, is profiled in a recent article in the Santa Fe Free New Mexican. This year, the experience has been a little different:

Jordan is participating for the second year in the Glorieta-based Creativity for Peace camp, which brings together teenage girls from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza to study peace and how to achieve it. Through guided dialogue, art and fields trips in and around Santa Fe, the program encourages young women of different faiths to come together and develop bonds of trust based on mutual respect and understanding.

The program consists of two consecutive groups of 14 teenagers each, who come to New Mexico for three weeks. Jordan meets with each group twice for the art project: at the first session, she will photograph each girl and talk about photography and the Adobe Photoshop software. Jordan then will print each girl's image on a 12-by-16-inch piece of silk with a board backing. The three-dimensional self-portraits will be assembled on the second visit. The youngsters may add comments or quotes, as well as photos of the other girls on the work, and it's theirs to keep.

This year, open hostilities broke out between Lebanon and Israel, as tension escalated between Israel and Palestinians. Many of the participants became fearful of going home.

This was described in the Albuquerque Sunday Journal (subscription-only)

A Peaceful Front
by Erica Cordova

GLORIETA -- Maya Hochstadter tightly squeezed the hand of her new friend, Raz Ben-Ari, tears streaming down her face, as the girls spoke Wednesday of their fears about returning home to Israel. They both had just completed three weeks in the peaceful confines of Glorieta's Creativity for Peace camp, which each year brings together a mix a Palestinian and Israeli youths...

...For several girls, it was the first time they'd been face-to-face with someone from "the other side."...

...During art classes, intense sessions known as "dialogues" and other camp events, the 12 Palestinian and Israeli girls expressed their fears, spoke of dangers they face at home, and worked to gain each others' trust...

..."The place here is so beautiful," said Fraija after the girls finished the pot, intended as a symbol of peace and reconciliation. "No soldiers. No checkpoints. It's exciting. I feel like I'm dreaming. I don't want to go back."

Podcasts and photos are available, here.

The article described the efforts to engage the girls in discussion of what they could do to promote peace, if they were political leaders.

Perhaps we can be hopeful that some of them will become leaders after they get back.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Friday, July 28, 2006

La Cueva lizard


At La Cueva. I'd appreciate it if someone could identify this lizard. It is about 5 inches (12cm) long.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |


Originally uploaded by Cyndy.
This is the "Rabbit Ears," at Aguirre Springs.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, July 21, 2006

America's domestic policy vs America's foreign policy

America's domestic policy vs America's foreign policy

This week, George Bush used his presidential veto to block a bill on stem cell research, saying he couldn't support the 'taking of innocent human life'. In Iraq, six civilians are killed by a US air strike, while casualties in Lebanon and Israel mount. George Bush (and Tony Blair) oppose UN calls for an immediate ceasefire...

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Difficult to Comprehend

From: Cryptogon.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Shadow Art Fair 2006

The first annual Shadow Art Fair was held at the Corner Brewery in , Michigan today, 15 July, in the year 2006.

A word about the name of the town. A postmaster in Ypsilanti was amused by the varied spellings of the name of the town that he saw on various pieces of incoming mail. He kept a list. The most amusing, in my opinion, was this: Slippery Shanty.

I guess you had to grow up there, to know how funny that is. Anyway, the Shadow Art Fair was a great success. It is going to put Ypsilanti back on the map. After the General Motors mating dance, the place will be known as the world's premier center for indigenous art. All the French corporate types from Renault will be walking around in berets and Iggy Pop t-shirts, while the salarymen from Nissan will head down to the Dreamland Theater.

Iggy Pop was born in Ypsilanti

The "shadow art fair" idea was dreamed up by the notorious liberal entrepreneur, Mark Maynard.


If I had been thinking, I would have gotten a copy of Spiders in the Blood Supply. Maybe next year.

I almost bought a pair of Ypsipanties, but I knew I could lose my job if I bought those and then blogged about it.

The reason the photo is aimed a little high is that there were Ypsipanties on the table, and I did not want them in the picture. You never know what might happen if Alberto Gonzales happened by MouseMusings and saw a picture of Ypsipanties.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Revoking the First Amendment

This article by Paul Waldman at Media Matters was published on the web June 30. It is timeless, extremely important, and is loaded with substantiating links. I would go as far as to say this article outlines the demise of what remained of our democracy. In fact, reading it reminded me in an awkward way of Jeff Cohen's words in, Go to Venezuela. You Idiot! "If Venezuela is a dictatorship, it must be the first in world history in which the opposition controls most of the media."

...For nearly five years, George W. Bush and other members of his administration have been proclaiming proudly that they have been tracking terrorist financing through international financial institutions.

...The House of Representatives passed a resolution saying it "expects the cooperation of all news media organizations."

Cooperating they are. Media Matters also cites a few of the talking points echoed loudly in our media:
* Republicans are "pro-military" and "support the troops," while Democrats are "anti-military" and "attack the troops."
* Democrats want to "cut and run."
* Iraq is the central front in the war on terror.
* Democrats are "divided" or "weak" on national security.
* The Republicans will always win debates on national security.
* The Republicans won the Iraq debate.

Unfortunately, Bush Is Not Incompetent "Unless conservative philosophy itself is discredited, Conservatives will continue their domination of public discourse, and with it, will continue their domination of politics." ~Lakoff
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Losing the War on Terrorism

Foreign Policy magazine has an article (The Terrorism Index) about the Global and Perpetual War on Terrorism. It is a compilation and analysis of the results of a survey of 117 experts on foreign policy and terrorism. The main finding is that 86% of the experts agree that we are losing the war on terrorism.

It is remarkable that there is such strong agreement among experts on this topic. Given the strength of their findings, and the popularity of the topic, you might think that the article would gain widespread attention.

Instead, it has barely made a ripple.

Searching Google News with the string "Terrorism Index" turns up only three pages of results. The is the only major US paper that covered the story (two, if you could an editorial hidden behind the firewall on Times Select). There are articles on the websites for and , but both of those focus on the finding that suicide bombs are felt to be the greatest threat. They both completely miss the main point of the article, which is that we are losing the war on terrorism.

There is one mainstream press article that was not picked up by Google News, perhaps because it is a Times Select article. That is an editorial at the NYT by Bob Herbert: The Wreckage in the China Shop. The Peking Duck kindly reproduced it in full, as did Ed Strong, and .

The Blogosphere does a better job. Hilzoy at covers the issue nicely, as does David at . Hilzoy found that hardly any conservative bloggers covered it.

Winston, writing on , has this to say:

Good liberal that I am, I spend a lot of time second-guessing my own political opinions. So the results of the survey are a kind of good news-bad news thing from my perspective. The good news: I'm not crazy. The bad news: I (and liberals in general) appear to be pretty much right about the efficacy of the Bush administration's approach to our efforts against terrorism.

The author of The Long Goodbye puts this in the context of the overall Republican strategy of trying to turn the G.A.P.W.O.T. into a political advantage, as does Bob at Old Hickory's Weblog. gives a similar treatment on . Oddly, there are only 24 comments there. (Many articles on HuffPo get hundreds of comments.)

Ford Bell's (Minnesota) senatorial campaign blog, Blog for Bell, adds this perspective:

So how did we ever get into this mess? Theories abound but it's clear that the right has successfully "mau-maued" the media into providing favorable coverage of their wars on terror.

I don't like to think that Ford Bell is correct about this, but judging from the underwhelming media response to this important article, I have to agree with him.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Selective Moral Apathy

Earlier, I wrote a post entitled Selective Moral Outrage, in that post, I discussed the fact that some site, particularly conservative sites, picked on the New York Times for reporting on the monitoring of international money transfers. It wan't just two-bit pundits who got on this bandwagon. Senator Bunning openly accused the NYT of treason.

Now, we see a similar situation, but this time, everyone is curiously silent. I wonder if this could be evidence that the whole thing is being played up for propaganda purposes?
The similar situation I was referring to is this: There was a news item in the New York Post on 7 July, 2006, about the apprehension of persons who allegedly were planning to explode a bomb in a tunnel leading in and out of Manhattan. In their story, the Post mentioned the following:
Officials said the FBI had been monitoring Internet chat rooms and cited the arrest of the Lebanese suspect as a significant break in the investigation.

Incidentally, the Associated Press confirmed this:
In the latest case, a federal official said FBI agents monitoring Internet chat rooms used by extremists learned of the plot in recent months and determined that tunnels were possibly being targeted after investigators pieced together code words from their conversations.

As though to make it even more bizarre, the article states this:
"This is an ongoing operation," one source said.

Now, the question is, if it was "treason" for the NYT to write about the methods used in antiterrorism operations, why is it OK for the NYP and the Associated Press to give explicit details about a different method? Especially, why is it OK for "a federal official" to reveal the information? Even more especially, why is it OK for an official to reveal this in the midst of "an ongoing investigation"?

The paradox apparently escaped the attention of The American Spectator. They have an article in which they discuss both the NYT disclosure, and the disclosure of the chat room monitoring. They mention that they have a "source" inside the Department of Justice who confirmed the information about the chat rooms:

Our Treasury source wouldn't comment on the case. One DOJ source indicated that this case initially took off from monitoring of chat rooms that had been identified as havens for some of the plotters

In the same article, they continue the attack on the NYT, but they apparently feel that the disclosure about the chat rooms is no big deal.

Does this mean anything? When I see logical inconsistencies like this, it alerts me to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there is a little of the good old propaganda going on. It's not conclusive, but it is a clue. (People don't have to have a reason to be illogical.)

So if we hypothesize that there is a propaganda aspect to this, can we confirm that by finding more evidence, or refute it in some way? Well, it would be hard to prove that manipulation is not taking place, but we might be able to find some confirmatory evidence.

Let's look at an excerpt from Rolling Stone National Affairs Daily:
Now letís turn to the timing. Hereís the most important line in the piece:
FBI and New York City Police Department officials would not comment about the investigation, which has been kept under wraps for months.

In other words, this is old news . . . of an incipient plot . . . that was defused before it left the chat room. [UPDATE: ABCís The Blotter reports that Andalousi has been in custody for roughly three months, since April.]

They are quoting from the AP article that I linked to above. So we have the Daily News and ABC confirming the information. Rolling Stone points out the obvious question: if this story has been brewing for three months, why did it happen to come out on the anniversary of the London bombings?

As an amusing aside, they also point out the ludicrousness of another passage in the Daily News story:

The plotters wanted to detonate a massive amount of explosives inside the Holland Tunnel to blast a hole that would destroy the tunnel, everyone in it, and send a devastating flood shooting through the streets of lower Manhattan.

That, of course, would require that "the plotters" also have a means of making water run uphill. I would add that if "the plotters" can do that, then we are in big trouble, even if they do not set off any explosions. Once they perfect the technique, they might be able to flood Denver, Colorado. Or Tibet, for that matter. Maybe even the Moon.

If my hypothesis is correct, we should see, over the next four months, a carefully-choreographed, well-financed media campaign that plays up the threat from "the terrorists." It will appear to be sporadic, will come from multiple directions, and the mainstream media will be completely duped by it. Hell Heck, they'll gladly play along. Furthermore, there will be evidence that the response of progressives and moderate Republicans was anticipated, and those responses will be met with planned replies. There will be character assassinations. There will be charges that "liberals" are treasonous and politically-motivated.

Of course, none of the individuals who are running for office in November will be in a position to do anything about terrorism, so the whole thing will be a waste of time if people are logical in choosing for whom they vote.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Saying what he means. Meaning what he says.

Al Gore interviewed in Rolling Stone
He's not mincing words. Unbeholden to anything except his own educated conscience, walking the talk, just like the leader we need. He also has a few satisfying choice words about the current administration. Read it all!

I believe there is a hunger in the country to be part of a larger vision that changes the way we relate to the environment and the economy. Right now we are borrowing huge amounts of money from China to buy huge amounts of oil from the most unstable region of the world, and to bring it here and burn it in ways that destroy the habitability of the planet. That is nuts! We have to change every aspect of that.

...How do the rest of us play a responsible role in advising the group in the White House that doesn't want to hear what any of us say in any case?
If you had written this in a novel before it all played out, you'd get the proverbial rejection slip -- nobody would believe it. That any group of leaders could be this incompetent, and catastrophically blind to reality. But here's my point: What they've done with Iraq, what they did with Katrina, is exactly the approach they're taking to global warming. They're ignoring reality, they're twisting and cherry-picking the evidence to create false impressions that serve the interests of a small, powerful group that has a financial interest in the outcome.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What health care system do YOU want?

Citizensí Health Care Working Group

Read the Interim Recommendations

Comment on the Interim Recommendations

Citizens HealthCare Working Group blog directory

Click image below to answer the poll.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Shadow Art Fair

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


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