Greg Palast probably wishes he

Greg Palast probably wishes he broke this story. Just another cell in the organism called “Outrage Overload.”

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Firm in Florida election fiasco earns millions from files on foreigners
Oliver Burkeman in Washington and Jo Tuckman in Mexico City
Monday May 5, 2003
The Guardian
A data-gathering company that was embroiled in the Florida 2000 election fiasco is being paid millions of dollars by the Bush administration to collect detailed personal information on the populations of foreign countries, enraging several governments who say the records may have been illegally obtained.
US government purchasing documents show that the company, ChoicePoint, received at least $11m from the department of justice last year to supply data – mainly on Latin Americans – that included names and addresses, occupations, dates of birth, passport numbers and “physical description”. Even tax records and blood groups are reportedly included.

Lost in memories in The Lady and the Clarinet

Michael Cristofer’s play “The Lady and the Clarinet” is less a straightforward romantic comedy and more like a mysterious chocolate candy. The outside is sweet, but the inside is bitter the more you chew — and by the end you’re not sure if the outside was really chocolate to start with.

Mr. Cristofer earned a Pulitzer Prize for his earlier play, 1977’s “The Shadow Box.”

“The Lady and the Clarinet” dates from 1984, and was at one point an off-Broadway hit for Stockard Channing. Director Maggie Mixsell has resurrected the play and brought it to Santa Barbara City College’s Jurkowitz Theater for a three-week run, where it becomes a star vehicle for its leading lady, Katie Thatcher.

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Excuse the long gap in

Excuse the long gap in blogs. I’ve been busy shooting a new video, as well as designing a Stekki Daiyo! DVD, revamping the web page (nearly set to premiere), learning After Effects, experiencing outrage overload, and securing a few more writing gigs to pay the rent. Satisfied?
Anyway, one of the more stomach-churning events of the past week was the totally staged landing of the Top Gun monkey fascist on the aircraft carrier, where essentially he said that the war had been fought with–according to how he phrased it–barely any civilian casualties. Really?
There’s been lots of words spent on this, but Paul Krugman again keeps it short and pointed.

Man on Horseback
Some background: the Constitution declares the president commander in chief of the armed forces to make it clear that civilians, not the military, hold ultimate authority. That’s why American presidents traditionally make a point of avoiding military affectations. Dwight Eisenhower was a victorious general and John Kennedy a genuine war hero, but while in office neither wore anything that resembled military garb.
Given that history, George Bush’s “Top Gun” act aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln — c’mon, guys, it wasn’t about honoring the troops, it was about showing the president in a flight suit — was as scary as it was funny.

While Rummy puts on his

While Rummy puts on his “happy old folkie” mask to talk down to his colonial subjects (read about his Iraqi TV broadcast, seen by almost nobody, here), the ArabNews paints a different picture of the invasion’s legacy. It offers some striking images and doesn’t bode well for the future.

ArabNews: What Kind of a Plain-Jane Victory Is This? Throughout the bombing campaign, many young Iraqis were seen being led away in a line with green canvas bags pulled over their heads, one man’s arm on the shoulder of the man in front, to a wrecked compound taken over by the British Army. Till now, Iraqi civilians are humiliatingly being forced to squat with both hands on their heads at military checkpoints in Southern Iraq. People’s life savings have been systematically confiscated on the pretext that it might be used to help terrorists.
In another sinister development, Jay Garner, the pro-Likud, pro-Sharon American viceroy of Iraq, arrived in Baghdad and went straight to Yarmuk Hospital to visit patients, or should I say victims of US terror. Let’s just hope he visits the children’s ward where mutilated and heavily bandaged children lie crying to be comforted by anguished parents and where deaths from US missiles and a range of hitherto unseen cancers are common. Would he care to see the bodies of children maimed by the explosion of cluster bombs and other unexploded munitions that litter the cities? Let’s just remember that each round fired by US tanks contains 4,500 grams of solid uranium whose particles, breathed or digested, can cause cancer. Let’s just hope Jay Garner knows these facts the next time he makes his rounds of Iraqi hospitals. Let us remind him that according to the World Health Organization, Baghdad hospitals were seeing 100 combat casualties per hour after the initial US thrust into the city, and that amputations were being performed without sufficient anesthesia or morphine.
Unlike Bush, what we will never forget is not the image of Saddam Hussein’s statue falling, but rather the countless images of dead and injured children littering the streets and highways and hospitals of Iraq, images that have been likened to scenes from the Crimean War. What can ever erase the sight of severed heads, incinerated corpses, scattered brains on bloody pavements, and the horror of a woman and her three children being burned alive inside their car in front of stricken pedestrians and motorists? What can ever blot out the screams of a three-year-old Iraqi girl desperately trying to endure the agonizing pain of the surgeon’s needle as he sewed up the rest of her disfigured stitched-up face?
How can we forget missiles slamming into crowded apartment complexes, into family homes, market places, restaurants, roadside cafes and hospitals in Al-Mansour, Al-Shaab, Al-Nasr, and Al-Dora? How can we forget the grizzly scenes in Hilla, 160 kilometers from Baghdad, where TV footage showed an angry father piling a burned and mangled infant onto a truckload of dismembered women and children? Roland Huguenin, one of the six International Red Cross workers in Iraq, described the horrific scene at Hilla Hospital to Canadian TV: “In the case of Hilla, everybody had very serious wounds and many, many of them small kids and women. We had small toddlers of two or three years of age who had lost their legs, their arms. We have called this a horror.”

Oh, and by the way, the BushJunta still doesn’t want us to know what happened on 9/11. Read about the increasing coverup .