September 15, 2003
Misleader.org: Tracking Bush's False Statements
Misleader.org: Sign up for a short daily email chronicling the President's untrue statements at by clicking here.
View the New York Times ad launching Misleader.org
The daily dispatches will take a "Just the Facts, Ma'am" approach -- no rhetoric, just a couple of paragraphs we'll email each morning on what the President said and why it was misleading or untrue. It's our hope that by doing some of the research for the press corps, we can ensure better coverage of President Bush's lies. If you know someone who could use this kind of information, please point him or her to the site.
To launch the site, we've taken out a full page ad in the New York Times titled "Mis-State of the Union." The ad reveals how the President mislead the nation in his State of the Union speech -- not just on Iraq, but on the economy, the environment, and other important issues. You can check the ad out at:
Here are a few juicy tidbits from our New York Times ad:
ON TAX CUTS:
ON THE ENVIRONMENT:
When Bush was running for President, he said, "I believe everyone should be held responsible for their own personal behavior." We agree. The President has repeatedly mislead the country. Now it's time for Americans and the press to hold him responsible.
Posted by Brian Stefans at September 15, 2003 05:20 PM
September 10, 2003
Independent: Pentagon targets Latinos and Mexicans to man the front lines in war on terror
By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles
With the casualty rate in Iraq growing by the day and President George Bush's worldwide "war on terrorism" showing no signs of abating, a stretched United States military is turning increasingly to Latinos - including tens of thousands of non-citizen immigrants - to do the fighting and dying on its behalf.
Senior Pentagon officials have identified Latinos as by far the most promising ethnic group for recruitment, because their numbers are growing rapidly in the US and they include a plentiful supply of low-income men of military age with few other job or educational prospects.
Recruitment efforts have also extended to non-citizens, who have been told by the Bush administration that they can apply for citizenship the day they join up, rather than waiting the standard five years after receiving their green card. More than 37,000 non-citizens, almost all Latino, are currently enlisted. Recruiters have even crossed the border into Mexico - to the fury of the Mexican authorities - to look for school-leavers who may have US residency papers.
The aim, according to Pentagon officials, is to boost the Latino numbers in the military from roughly 10 per cent to as much as 22 per cent. That was the figure cited recently by John McLaurin, a deputy assistant secretary of the army, as the size of the "Hispanic ... recruiting market", and it has also been bandied about in the pages of the Army Times.
Posted by Brian Stefans at September 10, 2003 10:23 AM
August 12, 2003
Transamoeba: Bush Has a Dream
by Mike Nourse
Two months ago, President Bush gave a speech outlining America's new priorities in the world. If you missed it, click here to watch a special version -- with all of the bullshit taken out.
Posted by David Perry at August 12, 2003 05:40 PM
August 04, 2003
Wired: Bush Impeached? Wanna Bet?
Though there was an outcry over the Pentagon's terrorism futures market, a similar online exchange is in the works to predict what the U.S. government is up to.
The American Action Market will offer various Washington "futures" that can be bet upon and traded. Examples include:
•Which country will the White House threaten next?
•Who will be the next foreign leader to move off the CIA payroll and onto the White House's "most wanted" list?
•Which corporation with close ties to the White House will be the next cloaked in scandal?
The AAM will begin registering traders in September and plans to open for business Oct. 1 -- the same launch date proposed for the Pentagon's terrorism market, until it was shelved.
Posted by Brian Stefans at August 4, 2003 12:04 PM
July 31, 2003
NY Forum on UFPJ Iraq Campaign, 8/5
United for Peace and Justice NY
WHAT: UFPJ NY Iraq Campaign Forum
BUSH LIES - WHO DIES?
The Anti-War Movement Was Right:
Speakers:Invited speaker from Military Families Speak Out (http://www.mfso.org) an organization of people who oppose the war in Iraq and have relatives or loved ones in the military
Rahul Mahajan, United for Peace & Justice, Peace Action, author of FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE: U.S. POWER IN IRAQ AND BEYOND
Posted by Brian Stefans at July 31, 2003 02:45 AM
July 29, 2003
DARPA: Information Awareness Office
[Read Times article below to see exactly what this is... it's fer real! The project has just been scrapped -- about $8 million was approved for it -- but I thought it should exist here for the record!]
The DARPA FutureMAP (Futures Markets Applied to Prediction) program is a follow-up to a current DARPA SBIR, Electronic Market-Based Decision Support (SB012-012). FutureMAP will concentrate on market-based techniques for avoiding surprise and predicting future events. Strategic decisions depend upon the accurate assessment of the likelihood of future events. This analysis often requires independent contributions by experts in a wide variety of fields, with the resulting difficulty of combining the various opinions into one assessment. Market-based techniques provide a tool for producing these assessments.
There is potential for application of market-based methods to analyses of interest to the DoD. These may include analysis of political stability in regions of the world, prediction of the timing and impact on national security of emerging technologies, analysis of the outcomes of advanced technology programs, or other future events of interest to the DoD. In addition, the rapid reaction of markets to knowledge held by only a few participants may provide an early warning system to avoid surprise.
The DARPA FutureMAP program will identify the types of market-based mechanisms that are most suitable to aggregate information in the defense context, will develop information systems to manage the markets, and will measure the effectiveness of markets for several tasks. Open issues that will drive the types of market include information security and participant incentives. A market that addresses defense-related events may potentially aggregate information from both classified and unclassified sources. This poses the problem of extracting useful data from markets without compromising national security. Markets must also offer compensation that is ethically and legally satisfactory to all sectors involved, while remaining attractive enough to ensure full and continuous participation of individual parties. The markets must also be sufficiently robust to withstand manipulation. FutureMAP will bring together commercial, academic, and government performers to meet these challenges.
Posted by Brian Stefans at July 29, 2003 01:09 PM
NYTimes: Pentagon Prepares a Futures Market on Terror Attacks
"According to descriptions given to Congress, available at the Web site and provided by the two senators, traders who register would deposit money into an account similar to a stock account and win or lose money based on predicting events.
"For instance," Mr. Wyden said, "you may think early on that Prime Minister X is going to be assassinated. So you buy the futures contracts for 5 cents each. As more people begin to think the person's going to be assassinated, the cost of the contract could go up, to 50 cents.
"The payoff if he's assassinated is $1 per future. So if it comes to pass, and those who bought at 5 cents make 95 cents. Those who bought at 50 cents make 50 cents."
The senators also suggested that terrorists could participate because the traders' identities will be unknown.
Posted by Brian Stefans at July 29, 2003 12:30 PM
July 28, 2003
Exchange on Circulars
[Here's the final, unedited version of Darren Wershler-Henry's and Brian Kim Stefans' exchange (in a series of 250-word paragraphs) about the website Circulars, which yet lives even if we treat it here as a dead project. The exchange meanders into a discussion of blogs, group authorship, appropriation, the public sphere, intellectual property, etc. and we get a little argumentative at the end -- not quite Freddy vs. Jason, but enough to create wrinkles. This exchange forms the third part of a three section essay on the website to be published in a forthcoming MIT book.]
BKS: I've come up with an awkward, unsettling title for this essay: "Circulars as Anti-Poem." I'm sure cries will be raised: So you are making a poem out of a war? The invasion was only interesting as content for an esoteric foray into some elitist, inaccessible cultural phenomenon called an "anti-poem"? (There is, in fact, a lineage to the term "anti-poem" but I don't think it's important for this essay.) This legitimate objection is to be expected, and I have no reply except the obvious: that a website is a cultural construct, shaped by its editors and contributors, and more specifically, Circulars had a "poetics" implicit in its multi-authored-ness, its admixture of text and image, its being a product of a small branch of the international poetry community, etc. Of course, the title also suggests that this website has some relationship to a "poem," but perhaps as a non-site of poetry—as it is a non-site for war, even a non-site for activism itself, where real-world effects don't occur. But my point for now is that the fragmentary artifacts of a politicized investigation into culture—Gramsci's Prison Notebooks for example—has an implicit "poetics" to it, but standing opposite to what we normally call a "poem." This suggests roles that poets can play in the world quite divorced from merely writing poetry (or even prose, though it was the idea that poets could contribute prose to the anti-war cause—as speech writers or journalists, perhaps—that initially inspired the site.
DWL: Hey Brian: what are you using to count words? MS Word says the previous paragraph has 254 words; BBEdit says 259 (me, I'm sticking to BBEdit). Poets—particularly poets interested in working with computers—should be all about such subtleties. Not that we should champion a mechanically aided will to pinpoint precision (a military fiction whose epitome is the imagery from the cameras in the noses of US cruise missiles dropped on Iraq during the first Gulf War), but rather, the opposite—that we should be able to locate the cracks and seams in the spectacle ... the instances where the rhetoric of military precision breaks down. As such, here's a complication for you: why "anti-poem" instead of simply "poetics"? Charles Bernstein's cribbing ("Poetics is the continuation of poetry by other means") of Von Clausewitz's aphorism ("War is the continuation of politics by other means") never seemed as appropriate to me as it did during the period when Circulars was most active. The invocation of Smithson's site/non-site dialectic is also apposite, but only in the most cynical sense. Is the US bombing of Iraq and Afghanistan the equivalent of a country-wide exercise in land art? In any event, the relationship is no longer dialectical but dialogic; the proliferation of weblogs ("war blogs") during the Iraq War created something more arborescent—a structure with one end anchored in the world of atoms, linked to a network of digital nonsites.Continue reading "Exchange on Circulars"
Posted by Brian Stefans at July 28, 2003 11:27 AM
July 26, 2003
Based on a set of digital drawings (transformed into desktop replacement icons) depicting George W. Bush's administration as wounded soldiers in the war against terrorism, RE:THE_OPERATION explores the sexual and philosophical dynamics of war through the lives of the members as they physically engage each other and the "enemy".
Letters, notes, and digital snapshots "produced" by the members on their tour of duty become the basis of video portraits that articulate the neuroses and obsessions compelling them toward an infinite war.
Part A-Team, part philosophical meditation, with a dose of character assassination, RE:THE_OPERATION exists as a video and a set of desktop replacement icons for MAC and WIN.
[You might want to skip the icons, which I can't get to download properly, and go straight to the videos, which are fascinating.]
Posted by Brian Stefans at July 26, 2003 09:15 AM
July 21, 2003
Maureen Dowd: Let's Blame Canada
What we are witnessing is how ugly it can get when control freaks start losing control. Beset by problems, the Bush team responds by attacking those who point out the problems. These linear, Manichaean managers are flailing in an ever-more-chaotic environment. They are spending $3.9 billion a month trying to keep the lid on a festering mess in Iraq, even as Afghanistan simmers.
Posted by Brian Stefans at July 21, 2003 11:27 AM