2002
03.29

News & Opinion

Here is another news bulletin from the Jerusalem, Palestine Independent Media Center:

    International Civilians come under Fire in Ambulances

    March 29, 2002 [Ramallah]

    International civilians are trying to assist ambulance teams in Ramallah as they attempt to get to wounded and dying people. The ambulances of the International Red Cross, Red Crescent and U.N. have been prevented from moving in the city. The ambulances are now coming under fire and international civilians have been trying to act as human shields on board since 1400 today. Internationals will continue to ride aboard the ambulances in the hope that this may increase the chances of getting to those in need.

    The muka’ta has been under constant tank shelling and the electricity has been cut in the city since early this morning.

2002
03.29

News & Opinion

    If you want to hear the truth from the streets in Israeli-occupied Palestine head over to the Jerusalem, Palestine Independent Media Center. Here are few excerpts from their coverage:

      – Two Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances carrying a doctor and two foreign international volunteers American citizen Adam Shapiro and Irish national Caoimhe Butterly have been held up for over 3 hours trying to reach the injured in the compound

      Adam reported the ambulances being stopped and completely search and everybody was being forced out of the ambulances.

      – At the time of this writing one ambulance carrying the doctor and the two foreign civilian volunteers have been let in. One ambulance was turned back. Two injured are being removed from the compound now.

      – Al-Jazeera satellite channel was showing people bleeding and lying dead on the floor of the compound as the ambulances were held at the gate and the volunteers waiting to be let in to assist the injured could see smoke rising from the compound

      – Electricity throughout Ramallah has been cut in all neighborhoods and water tanks have been shot up causing them to leak precious water. Israeli forces have been shooting at anything moving in the streets as their tanks are positioned throughout Palestinian neighborhoods.

      Friends as you may be hearing, seeing or reading the situation in Palestine is desperate. Israeli forces have invaded almost every area of Ramallah and we are under heavy tank shelling and gun fire. An unidentified number of people are dead and scores are injured. Ambulances have been prevented access and soldiers are opening fire on them.

      There are international civilians in the areas under fire witnessing the carnage of the Israeli soldiers wreaked on the Palestinian people. Other internationals have been beaten down for trying to get into Ramallah to help Palestinians.

      We extend a plea from the Palestinians and the international witnesses to all of our friends abroad to immediately phone and/or fax your representatives and respective governments to demand urgent and decisive action to stop Israel’s brutal offensive on the Palestinian people

      Gather, march, and protest in the streets!

      We need the voices of all good people around the world!

      PLEASE ACT NOW!

2002
03.29

Begging

    If you’re in a generous mood today, feel free to contibute to me via paypal!:

2002
03.29

Music

    Today’s world events are rather depressing, so I thought I would write about something else too, to keep this blog from becoming too dark…

    Ok, during my recent trip to Austin I went with my friend Kimberly to Jupiter Records, the super-nifty new/used CD store at Hancock Center in Central Austin. I spent way too much money on several albums, but my best investment has proven to be 69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields.

    69… is a 3 volume set with an accompanying 75 page book of just love songs. Most are short, but almost all of them are fascinatingly quirky and compelling.

    I’ve mostly been listening to volume I, and oh my word (!), these trippy little songs have seeped into my soul in a way that music hasn’t in a long time.

    Let me put it this way… for the last 2 mornings in a row, I have actually woken up singing different songs from the album. I’m serious about this.

    Ok, I wasn’t literally singing, but I was singing in the dream that was having when the alarm clock went off. And this happened two mornings in a row!!! (Isn’t that so wierd!?)

    The first morning’s dream-song was “Reno Dakota,” a song that Kimberly said made her think of me. (I think it was the part about drinking when broken hearted.)

    And then this morning, my dream’s soundtrack featured “Come back from San Francisco.” The line from the song that I was singing in my dream was

      You need me like the wind needs the trees to blow in like the moon needs poetry you need me.

    I just LOVE those lines. — What is funny though, about the dreams is that I only remember sining the songs and do not remember what the dreams were about. I wish I did, but oh well maybe the mystery of that is part of the significance of the dreams.

    Anyway, I’m really, really digging this album. Thanks K for recommending it to me! 🙂

2002
03.29

News & Opinions

    Extremely sad news from Israel/Palestine today. From what I have heard thus far, I think Israel has crossed the line and has shown that it is not a civilized nation that deserves the respect of other nations. Either they must begin working towards peace, or the world must ostracize them.

    At the same, I am extremely disturbed by the Palestinian terrorist attacks. I am very sympathic to the Palestinian cause (as a person of mixed Native American ancestry, I can’t help but root for those who are the first inhabitants of a land), but they must forever leave behind violence as a means to liberation. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. both proved that liberation can be achieved through non-violent direct actions. Until the Palestinians are willing to lay down their arms forever, not in surrender but as act of faith in God who is the ultimate arbitor of right and wrong, then they will continue to be oppressed by the American-armed and supported Israeli occupation force.

    And by the way, the Americans are very guilty too in this mess. We never should have given the Israelis modern armaments if they as a nation have so little self-control. Regretably most of the Arab world will blame us, because it is American-made tanks and planes that are being used to oppress the Palestinian peoples. Also, America has set a presedent for the Israelis to follow. Now that we have declared our “war on terror” then the Israelis are given complete justification to wage their war against Palestinian terrorists.

    This is just a bad scenario all around, and it looks like the only one who can bring peace is God.

    OK, enough of my opinions. On to the various accounts of the recent events from US and British news media:

  • The Independent of London

  • BBC

  • NY Times

  • MSNBC

  • AP/Washington Post

  • CS Monitor

  • Boston Globe

  • LA Times
    As far as the response from the Arab world, this story seemed to depict it best:

  • Washington Post: Arabs rally to protect Arafat, promote peace plan
      “If he is removed, or not removed, the resistance to the [Israeli] occupation will continue. Every Palestinian is Yasser Arafat,” said Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, the de facto leader of the oil rich kingdom and sponsor of the Arab offer of “normal relations” with Israel if the Jewish state helps create a Palestinian state and withdraws from the Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and West Bank lands captured in 1967. . .

      U.S. credibility has sunk to a low point in the region, and Saudi-U.S. relations have also come under strain after the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington. But Abdullah made clear that, in his view, the Israeli-Palestinian crisis has made it incumbent on the Bush administration to move forcefully, particularly now that he and other Arab leaders have taken an unanimous stand.

      “We’ve asked the U.S. to stop what is currently occurring on the ground. They have promised positive things,” said Abdullah. “How would you feel if someone came and made a promise and did not deliver?”

2002
03.28

News & Opinion

  • American justice, at least when the military dispenses it has become a sick joke. The NY Times reports that Rumsfeld intends to hold detainees even if they are aquitted by the kangaroo courts/tribunals. It’s bad enough that we can’t give these folks fair trials, but now we’re saying even kangaroo courts are too “lenient.” It looks like Rumsfeld may out-fascist Ashcroft before this is all over.
2002
03.28

Random

    I’m back in Oklahoma. I’ll write more later, but just wanted to let y’all know that I’m back online.
2002
03.25

Random

    Life is good in Austin. It is so nice getting to see old friends, see blue bonnets, and not feel like a lonely Okie Liberal for a few days. I’m at a Kinko’s checking email real fast (@ $18/hour!!!) at the present moment or I would write more. I’ll be heading to Oklahoma tomorrow after a trip to San Marcos and to Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg.
2002
03.21

Links

  • I just found via Hope Chapel’s audio archives (Hope.org), two excellent lessons on my favorite Saint, St. Patrick. Yvonne’s is focused more on the historical/mythological aspects of his life and is accompanied by music in parts, while Bill’s (husband of Yvonne) is focused more on the application the lessons we can learn from Patrick’s life.

Random

Good news! In about 24 hours I will be on the road to my favorite city in the whole world, Austin!!! Woohoo!!! I’ll be down there until Tuesday night of next week. If I’m fortunate I will post something while I’m down there, if not I’ll be back on Tuesday.

2002
03.20

News & Opinion

  • MSNBC/AP: Rules for military tribunals unveiled— Trials for alleged terrorists would be similar to courts-martial, but suspects will have only limited rights to appeal

    Well, the rules are whack, but are much better than they could be. I am glad that they are requiring a unanimous vote for death penalty verdicts and are allowing defendants to have civilian lawyers, however there is no provision here for the protection of attorney-client conversations, or for protection from the use of bad or tainted evidence.

    Regretably, the shortcomings of these tribunals will mean that whatever the rulings will be, thinking people will know the truth. Justice was not done. That to me is a great tragedy. If the accused are truly guilty, then they should be brought to true justice and punished accordingly, but a kangaroo court will mean that justice will not be done, and will mean that the terrorists will have accomplished their mission of deterring our great civilization from the principles of liberty and justice.