For almost a month, the United States has been on the defensive, refusing to deny or confirm media reports the United States has held prisoners in secret in Eastern Europe and transported detainees incommunicado across the continent.
The European Union has demanded that Washington address the allegations to allay fears of illegal U.S. practices. The concerns are rampant in among the European public and parliaments, already critical of U.S. prisoner-abuse scandals in Iraq and Guantanamo, Cuba.
But Rice will shift to offense when she visits Europe next week, in a strategy that has emerged in recent days and been tested by her spokesman in public and in her private meetings with European visitors.
She will remind allies they themselves have been cooperating in U.S. operations and tell them to do more to win over their publics as a way to deflect criticism directed at the United States, diplomats and U.S. officials said.
“It’s very clear they want European governments to stop pushing on this,” said a European diplomat, who had contact with U.S. officials over the handling of the scandals. “They were stuck on the defensive for weeks, but suddenly the line has toughened up incredibly,” the diplomat said.
Translation: “yes, there are secret prisons. Now shut the fuck up.”
In a nutshell, I’d like to invite any interested groups or individuals to help plaster the USA with billboard size reproductions of Picasso’s Guernica. Ideally, the work would stand without any text or headlines or additional commentary: if the painting is all that’s seen, it forces the viewer to make an interpretation instead of being told what to think. Being told what to think is exactly what got Americans in trouble in the first place, no?
The following paragraph is not what inspired the idea, but I think it explains relatively well what one might hope to accomplish in this project:
A tapestry copy of Picasso’s Guernica is displayed on the wall of the United Nations building in New York City, at the entrance to the Security Council room. It was placed there as a reminder of the horrors of war. Commissioned and donated by Nelson Rockefeller, it is not quite as monochromatic as the original, using several shades of brown. On February 5, 2003, a large blue curtain was placed to cover this work, so that it would not be visible in the background when Colin Powell and John Negroponte gave press conferences at the United Nations. On the following day, it was claimed that the curtain was placed there at the request of television news crews, who had complained that the wild lines and screaming figures made for a bad backdrop, and that a horse’s hindquarters appeared just above the faces of any speakers. Diplomats, however, told journalists that the Bush Administration leaned on UN officials to cover the tapestry, rather than have it in the background while Powell or other U.S. diplomats argued for war on Iraq. — quoted from wikipedia
If the painting intimidates warmongers into covering it, then why not make sure that it goes up in as many public spaces as possible?
In a little-noticed decision a few weeks ago, the Federal Reserve Board said it would stop publishing its weekly M3 money supply number as of next March, although it will continue to publish M0, M1, and M2.
M0 is all coins and paper bills. M1 is M0 plus all checking accounts. M2 is M1 plus savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit of less than $100,000. M3 is M2 plus all deposits, euro dollars, and repurchase agreements that are $100,000 and larger.
Some financial analysts disagree violently.
“They know what’s coming — massive amounts of dollar creation to fund the worsening trade and federal government budget deficits,” says James Turk in the Free Market Gold & Money Report.
Lots of discussion here and here:
All of the container loads of new $100 bills the U.S. is spending in Iraq will show up in M3 as soon as they are deposited in a foreign bank – but will not show up in MZM, M1, or M2 unless the money comes back to our domestic economy. Perhaps you should wonder why even U.S. based contractors are being paid with suitcases of $100 bills, when they would prefer the payments be made by direct deposit to their U.S. account.
Looking back into history economic data was only kept a secret in failing economies, like the Soviet Union.
A two-year-old lad has been cautioned by a police officer in Leyland, Lancashire for driving his 2.5mph toy car on the pavement without tax or MOT, the Mirror reports.
Oliver Smith was out with his grandad Derek when the authorites moved in. Oliver’s father Richard said: “My dad thought it a was joke at first – he was expecting Jeremy Beadle to turn up. The officer said the buggy could damage a parked car. He gave a warning and drove off.”
Richard added: “I think it’s utterly ridiculous. It’s the funniest thing I have heard in my life because you can actually walk faster than these things. This one has a top speed of 2.5mph.
“All the shops selling them should have signs to say you need driving documents to use them in a public place. Because of their size, you can’t just use them in a garden.”
The Lancashire Police admitted: “We cannot comment on the individual case but a child’s toy car that can only travel 2-3mph does not come under motor vehicle legislation. Having said that, we would always advise children not to play near to the highway.”
I think I need a new tag on this weblog: “batshitinsane”
Will you be after losin’ somting? Then take a look over this here, will you, bejaysus.
Friday November 18th, 2005, French Department of Culture. SNEP and SCPP have told Free Software authors: “You will be required to change your licenses.” SACEM add: “You shall stop publishing free software,” and warn they are ready “to sue free software authors who will keep on publishing source code” should the “VU/SACEM/BSA/FA Contents Department” bill proposal pass in the Parliament.
It appears that publishing Free Software giving access to culture is about to become a counterfeiting criminal offence. Will SACEM sue France Télécom R&D research labs for having published Maay and Solipsis (P2P pieces of software used to exchange data)?
 VU/SACEM/BSA/FT bill http://eucd.info/index.php?2005/11/14/175-exclusif-amendement-interdisant-les-logiciels-non-equipes-de-mesures-techniques
 Maay and Solipsis