The Friends of California Libre...

03 August 2004

The August 2nd Non-Denominational Holiday Means STAND UP

Greetings, friends,
What is the August 2nd Civic Holiday, anyway? I await your enlightenment.

For those of you who shared the Berkeley experience with me in 1983-1987, Ms. Josh Beth just mailed me an article from the East Bay Express which is by turns chilling and eerily hilarious. Seems there's a bad student co-op out there..."Over the years, there have been reports of wild parties, drug overdoses, and homeless people from nearby Telegraph Avenue crashing..." And now this co-op (I'll let you guess which one) is being threatened with imminent closure by...GEORGE PROPER! Am I thirty-eight years old now or what? WILL IT NEVER END?

Not a chance:
Texas teenager finds marijuana joint in McDonald's frozen yogurt
XXL women shoplifters on the rampage in South Africa

Anyway, I scanned the article if any of you care to read it.

This plug is for David Del Valle, my friend, for this screen at the lovely Egyptian Theatre on 14 August at 3 PM (sadly, I will be working):
VINCENT PRICE – THE SINISTER IMAGE, 1987, Allday Ent., 62 min. Prior to our Vincent Price double-bill on 8/21, join us for this in-depth video interview with the legendary actor and horror/sci-fi expert David Del Valle conducted in 1987, where Price discusses his entire career including such classics as THE FLY, HOUSE OF WAX and many others. Introduction to screening by David Del Valle. [Note: There is no admission charge to this event.]

It never seemed like we would would make it to the election...but now they're almost here. Just three months to see what kind of fun the US wants...UN domination fun or US domination fun. Who gets to pick the players in Armageddon? Osama or Tom De Lay...or are they rooting for the same team? Here's my NEW kind of fun:
Protests Will Run Gamut at GOP Gathering in NYC By Martha T. Moore USA TODAY
Fortress Big Apple By Nick Turse TomDispatch Will the President escape from New York?
Anti-War Group Agrees to NYC Protest Site By Sara Kugler The Associated Press Anti-War group agrees to protest site away from Central Park during Republican convention in NYC.

Yep, 29 August is coming, and New York City is a real zoo:
Circus Tiger Escapes, Causes Scare in NYC

Not that the Democrats should fare much better, but there were less than a dozen people arrested in Boston:
The "Demonstration Zone" at the Democratic National Convention: An "Irretrievably Sad" Affront to the First Amendment
By Michael Avery t r u t h o u t Perspective

Are the Europeans stressing over our elections? I think not:
French are Europe's biggest sleepers

Well, maybe some of them:
"Uptight" Germans can't relax

Young Britons think Germany is uncool

I'm more interesting in the modern German:
German Driver Beaten Up for Observing Speed Limit

ANYWAY, here's a bit of environmental news I'll bet you didn't see; the results of years of research into why whales are mysteriously beaching themselves all over the world. I feel this way sometimes when a really bad punk band is on stage down the street at the Zen:
Military, Industry Sonar Harms Whales
By Salvatore Laporta The Associated Press Report finds noise waves cause self-destructive behavior.

And another environmental breakthrough that Detroit hopes you didn't notice:
Hydrogen Cars Ready to Roll, For a Price
By Miguel Llanos MSNBC

But Californians, as dumb as they are, know what's what:
Poll Says Foul Air, Gasoline Prices Grab Californians
By Carl T. Hall San Francisco Chronicle
Fuel-efficient cars, rules to battle smog even top concerns about job growth.

And even four years of George W. Bush can't change that; Americans are not THAT stupid:
U.S. bends on farmers, advancing WTO talks
Elizabeth Becker/NYT
NYTFriday, July 30, 2004
The U.S., the EU and three other key nations reached an undisclosed accord on agriculture aid Thursday.

It's about time; the rest of the world is about to give up on us:
Headline: Voices From Abroad "At few other times in history has the view of the United States around the globe been so polarized. We are envied; we are loathed; we are wanted and needed; we are cast aside as bullies. But we Americans here, on the inside, get only the views on our own streets and our computer screens, in our newspapers, on our ..."

Here's a nice patriotic website hearkening back to a simpler time, when Pearl Harbor was the intelligence failure (and when you consider the logistics, a much bigger one than 11 September) and waving the flag didn't mean shooting your neighbor, just locking him up in an internment camp out in the desert:
July 1942: United We Stand
Explores the "patriotic conspiracy" of July 1942, when nearly five hundred "magazines nationwide featured the American flag on their covers." Includes background information on the campaign and the slogan "united we stand"; searchable and browsable images of covers; a timeline; related information on the Treasury Department, war bonds, and war savings stamps; an annotated gallery of other objects that featured the flag; and suggested reading. From the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. That kind of America is long gone...maybe that's what they're celebrating on 2 August? It's like an old episode of "Ironside" or "Columbo" (see that new one last night? Great)...optimistic about the future, no matter how noir the present. GOOD NEWS for us motley sorts: - Survey: USA's Protestant majority might soon be no more*

Perhaps that explains this rather virulent spam I received:
To: Subject: Humanists against Christians: learn more
>>The Institute for Humanist Studies promotes nonreligious perspectives on social, political, and ethical issues and serves as a resource for and about the humanist community.
Learn why Christianity should be destroyed! Ration and science will not be able to move forward until we tear down the church.
The Institute for Humanist Studies (IHS) is a think tank whose mission is to promote greater public awareness, understanding, and support for humanism. The Institute specializes in pioneering new technology and methods for the advancement of man.
Go to
You can make a difference here and now with your online credit card donation. The higher the donation, the more rational the world will become.

Well, onto other's an interesting little history of la Marianne, who might be standing over New York Harbor if not for a twist of fate:
The French icon Marianne à la mode
Mary Blume
International Herald Tribune
She is Marianne, symbol of the republic, her name, like that of the national anthem, having been brought up to Paris from the south.

That's what we need; symbols we can believe in.
As Bush Confers With NATO, U.S. Is Seen Losing Its Edge
By Christopher Marquis
New York Times
President Bush's trip to the NATO summit meeting in Turkey comes at a time of diminished diplomatic strength, in which international organizations and individual countries have forced his administration into some strategic compromises, foreign policy specialists and diplomats say.

Instead we get Generation Kill, which if you haven't read it, is a chilling account of how we beat the Iraqis with the videogame generation. The most amazing thing (thanks, Henry) was the account of young soldiers staying up for days on nothing but energy drinks and coffee crystals eaten straight from the jar. WHOA! And the government thinks that's just peachy:,13026,1270902,00.html
Wired awake
Soldiers in the field go for days without rest. Now, a Guardian investigation discovers that the MoD has been buying a new stimulant in bulk. Ian Sample reports on the dangers of sleep deprivation
Ian Sample
Thursday July 29 2004
The Guardian
On April 17 2002, an incident just outside Kandahar in Afghanistan thrust one of the military's least favourite subjects into the media spotlight. Two US F-16 pilots, Major Harry Schmidt and Major William Umbach mistakenly bombed a Canadian infantry unit, killing four and injuring eight. But while the "friendly fire" incident was terrible in itself, worse was to come for the military. In the ensuing legal case, it was claimed that the pilots had been pressured into taking amphetamines - speed - to sharpen their senses.

Our presence in Europe doesn't diminish; it moves:,12271,1260037,00.html
US in talks over biggest missile defence site in Europe
Ian Traynor in Warsaw
Tuesday July 13 2004
The Guardian
The US administration is negotiating with Poland and the Czech Republic over its controversial missile defence programme, with a view to positioning the biggest missile defence site outside the US in central Europe.

And we're not the only bad influence over the Atlantic:,11374,1261588,00.html
BNP leaders may face charges after TV expose of racism
Matthew Taylor
Thursday July 15 2004
The Guardian
Senior figures within the British National party, including the chairman Nick Griffin, could face prosecution after an investigation revealed what lawyers have described as criminal levels of racism, violence and anti-semitism. The extreme rightwing organisation polled more than 800,000 votes in the European elections in May after portraying itself as a non-racist, democratic political party.

Not by a long shot:
The EU's foolish idea of selling arms to ChinaReginald Dale IHTThursday, July 15, 2004
European unilateral action risks precipitating a crisis.

But Trisha will always be having fun, no matter what goes on in this crazy world (see enclosed photo!)
Vive le screed!

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