Tuesday, September 30, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac | The awful truth about Wesley Clark

After his honeymoon period with the media, comes a barrage of criticisms of Wesley Clark (seen below clowning around and swapping hats with Serbian war criminal and mass murderer, Ratko Mladic). This article comes from a page full of Clark info – scary info, like that the Presidential wannabe was in great part responsible for the Waco massacre, and less than honest with the American people, as seen below.

The Democrats have Kucinich, which is all they need. Let's hope they stand with him and let Wesley Clark get back to the big toy box.

"In an article in last Thursday's Toronto Star, reporter Tim Harper uncovered the identity of the man who supposedly called Wesley Clark on Sept. 11, 2001, urging him to go on CNN and blame Saddam Hussein for the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

"Clark, you'll remember, told Tim Russert last June that the attempt to link Saddam and 9/11 'came from the White House, it came from people around the White House, it came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, "You've got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism.'"'

"Clark eventually admitted that he never received a call from the White House. Instead, he talked to 'a man from a – of a Middle East think tank in Canada, the man who's the brother of a very close friend of mine in Belgium.' Clark's explanation threw THE SCRAPBOOK for a loop, because we couldn't locate a 'Middle East think tank in Canada.' But according to Harper, the man who called Clark was Thomas Hecht, who heads the one-man Montreal office for the Israel-based Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies."
Read more of this eye-opening stuff on Clark

*Ø* Blogmanac September 30 | The Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, ancient Greece

Eighth and final day

"Eleusinia ... The eighth day was called Epidaurion Hemera, because once Aesculapius, at his return from Epidaurus to Athens, was initiated by the repetition of the lesser mysteries. It became customary, therefore, to celebrate them a second time upon this, that such as had not hitherto been initiated might be lawfully admitted."
(Lempriere, Dict.)

The Eleusinian mysteries, ancient Greece
The time of the full moon during the Greek month of Boedromion marked the beginning of the Eleusinian mysteries, which began with a procession to Eleusis, a small town about twenty-two kilometres north-west of Athens, where the ceremonies were celebrated. Held annually in honour of the goddesses Demeter and Persephone (aka Kore), these were the most sacred and revered of all the ritual celebrations of ancient Greece.

Drinking of the kykeon (a mix of barley and pennyroyal) was an “act of religious remembrance” involving “an observance of an act of the Goddess” (Mylonas, George E, Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries). Some scholars argue that the Eleusinian mysteries took place because the kykeon might have contained barley which, like many other grains when aged, can contain the fungus ergot which contains LSA, a precursor to LSD.

The Greater Mysteries took place in Boedromion (September) and lasted nine days. In the Hellenistic age (300-150 BCE), the cult was taken over and run by the state, with two aristocratic families (the Eumolpidae and Kerykes) from Eleusis officiating. The ceremony began in Athens; participants purified themselves by bathing in the sea, and also sacrificed a piglet.

The Telesterion
The eighth and final day was called the Second Initiation, with the rites taking place in caves and in the Telesterion, designed by Ictinos in the 5th Century BCE, which was an initiation hall capable of holding thousands of worshippers. There the initiates were shown Demeter’s hiera (sacred relics) that were housed in the interior chamber known as the Anaktoron (Palace), while the priestesses revealed their oracles of the holy night (probably via a fire that represented the possibility of life after death). This was the most arcane part of the Eleusinian Mysteries, with those who had been initiated forbidden ever to speak of the events that had taken place in the Telesterion.

Demeter (‘barley mother’ – her name is purely Greek, meaning ‘spelt mother’, spelt being a hardy variety of wheat.) was the Greek goddess of agriculture, health, birth and marriage. She was associated with the Roman goddess Ceres; also, she was the daughter of Cronos and Rhea, and therefore the sister of Zeus. Her priestesses were addressed with the title Melissa.

The daughter of Zeus and Demeter, Persephone (‘she who destroys the light’) (also Kore, ‘maiden;’ Roman equivalent: Proserpina) became the goddess of the underworld when Hades abducted her from the Earth and brought her into the underworld.

Pip Wilson's articles are available for your publication, on application. Further details
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*Ø* Blogmanac | Medetrinalia, ancient Rome

A day for the Roman goddess of medicines: offerings of fruit were made to Meditrina. In Roman mythology, she was the goddess of medicines, goddess of health, longevity and wine. Festivals in her honour were also celebrated on October 3 and October 11.

Meditrina roughly equates with the Greek goddess Jaso, but differed from Medetrina’s sister Hygieia (they, and Panacea, were daughters of Asclepius and Salus) in that while the Greek goddess preserved good health, Meditrina’s role was to restore it.

“In the month of October [is] the Meditrinalia, 'Festival of Meditrina' ... on this day it was the practice to pour an offering of old and new wine ... and to taste of the same, for the purpose of being healed; which many are accustomed to do even now, when they say: ‘Wine new and old I drink, of illness new and old I'm cured’.”
(Varro, Ling. Lat. VI. 21)

*Ø* Blogmanac | Plan to ban oral in world's largest Muslim nation

"COHABITATION, oral sex and homosexual sex will soon become crimes in Indonesia if the justice ministry has its way, a ministry spokesman said Monday.

"The ministry is drafting an amendment to the country's criminal code to include acts not currently categorised as crimes but considered morally unacceptable.

"These include cohabitation, oral sex, extramarital and non-marital sex, sorcery aimed at hurting other people and homosexual sex, spokesman Sukartono Supangat said.

"'It's still in its early stage. We're still collecting input from various parties and experts,' he said.

"He said in addition to Dutch colonial law, the proposed amended criminal code will also adopt Islamic law, international conventions and tribal laws."

*Ø* Blogmanac | Weapon of Mass Destruction

How the US spied on a tiny island distillery
by Jim McBeth, at "The Scotsman"

"In the wavering image of a webcam, the figures moved with the sinister intent of those whose mission is mayhem. Thank heavens 'Ursula' was watching ...

"If the slightest possibility exists that Bruichladdich distillery on Islay is a threat to world peace, we need to know.

"For it has been revealed that Ursula, a spy with the US Defence Threat Reduction Agency -- 'Our mission to safeguard the US and its allies from weapons of mass destruction' -- has been monitoring the island distillery."

Full story here

*Ø* Blogmanac | Myanmar must clarify Aung San Suu Kyi's fate

The Straits Times, 29 September

"YANGON - Calls were mounted yesterday for the release of Myanmar democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi as she remained under house arrest after nearly four months of detention in a secret location.

"Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, who will host a summit of Asean leaders in Bali next month, reportedly urged the junta to make its plans for the opposition leader clear before the meeting.

"'The Myanmar government should state specifically whether it will keep Suu Kyi under house arrest or free her immediately. The road map over whether it will free Suu Kyi should be made clear,' she told The Jakarta Post newspaper.

"Otherwise the issue could cast a shadow over the summit, said Ms Megawati, who sent former foreign minister Ali Alatas to Yangon last week to persuade the military rulers to release the Nobel peace laureate ...

"The 58-year-old opposition leader was taken to her home on Friday after she was admitted to a private hospital in Yangon for major gynaecological surgery." -- AFP

Full text

*Ø* Blogmanac | World's oldest man dies

Next time someone tells you milk is bad for your health, show them this:

"The world's oldest man has died, aged 114.

"Yukichi Chuganji died at his home, in southern Japan.

"According to his son, the 114-year-old's last words were 'thank you, it was good' - spoken after he had been given some apple juice.

"Mr Chuganji was born in 1889 and later worked as a silkworm breeder.

"He liked to drink milk everyday, but did not consume alcohol.

"He had five children, seven grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

"Japan is also home to the world's oldest woman, 116-year-old Kamato Hongo.

"It is estimated that there are 20,000 people living in Japan who are 100 or older."

Click: More toonimations

Monday, September 29, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac | GM crops? No thanks, say Britons

Britain delivers overwhelming verdict after unprecedented public opinion exercise

"The title of the debate was 'GM Nation?' But that is precisely what the British people do not want their country to be, according to the official report from the national consultation on genetically modified crops and food presented to the Government yesterday.

"The unprecedented test of public opinion, which over six weeks this summer involved 675 public meetings and elicited more than 36,000 written responses, revealed a deep hostility to GM technology across the population.

"Alongside fears that GM crops and food could be harmful to human health and the environment, the debate threw up widespread mistrust and suspicion of the motives of those taking decisions about GM – especially government and multi-national companies such as Monsanto."
Read the full story

*Ø* Blogmanac September 29 | Michaelmas

Feast day of St Michael and other Archangels

Today’s plant
Michaelmas daisy, Aster tradescanti, was designated today’s plant by medieval monks. It is dedicated to St Michael, whose feast day this is.

Ganging day and Taffy on a goose
Michaelmas was typically a playful time. Once every seven years, St Michael’s Day in Britain was known as a ganging day, on which young men went through the parish, jokingly bumping into everyone they met. Women used to stay at home today, except some girls who used to drink with the youths and sleep out with them in the fields. Local publicans were obliged by custom to provide them all with alcohol and plum-cake. In a Norwich, England, tradition that was unfortunately obsolete by World War II, vendors sold ritual biscuits, each called Taffy on a goose, in the form of a man riding on a goose. Throughout Britain and Ireland it was a great time of feasting, replete with folklore, much like Christmas. For example, finding a ring hidden in a Michaelmas pie meant that one would soon be married.

St Michael’s apparition
King Louis XI of France instituted an order commemorating St Michael, because an apparition of the saint had been seen on a bridge at Orleans when that city was besieged by the English in 1428. The Feast of the Apparition of Saint Michael commemorates the 6th century appearance of the archangel on Mount Gargano near Manfredonia in southern Italy. Michael requested a church built in his honor at the site. Today, Catholic medals or holy cards with ‘relics’ of St Michael are usually chips of rock from the cave, or pieces of cloth that have touched it.

Angelic silences
Today being the feast of St Michael and All Angels, it is timely to note a bit of folklore about those strange silences that sometimes befall a group engaged in conversation. It used to be said that an angel had passed by on such an occasion, taking off the conversation to record in a heavenly tome, to bring out on Judgement Day as evidence either in favour of or against the speakers.

Michaelitag, Germany
Since 813 CE, St Michael has been the patron saint of Germany. The German equivalent of England’s John Bull and America’s Uncle Sam is the German Michael, (deutscher Michel), who wears a nightcap with a pompom. Today is regarded as Winter’s beginning and is marked with celebrations, markets and bonfires. In Germany, St Michael is known as the Angel of Death, so many cemetery chapels are named for him.

St Michael’s Chair
This is an old beacon turret atop the chapel at St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall (St Michael is the patron of high places). In an old tradition, whoever of a newly-married couple first sits on the site will gain the supremacy in the marriage.

Excerpted from the new Wilson's Almanac article on Michaelmas.

*Ø* Blogmanac | A little about September 29

Feast of Gwynn ap Nudd
Leading a pack of phantom hunters in chase after a sacred white stag is Gwynn ap Nudd, the Welsh Celtic god of the underworld and the faerie kingdom. Today is the feast day of the god, who dwells on Glastonbury Tor, the sacred mountain also known as the resting place of King Arthur. He is like the British legendary character, Herne the Hunter.

Voodoo Day of Elegba, or Ellequa
Today is a sacred day in the Santeria/Vodoun spiritual tradition. It is also Vodoun’s day of Manman Aloumandia.

Feast day of Heimdall
This Icelandic Viking god is the guardian of Asgard, home of the gods, and lives beside the rainbow bridge that connects Asgard with other realms. He is an enigmatic deity who needs no sleep and can see in the dark even on the darkest night. He was born of nine giantesses and the waves of the sea.

Let's celebrate!
Sumerian New Year
Festival of Nemesis, ancient Greece, Goddess of Fate
Celtic tree month of Muin ends
Election of Lord Mayor of London
National Day of Remembrance for Policeman Killed, Australia (St Michael, patron of police)
Michaelitag, Germany
Roe hunting season begins, old England (ends on Candlemas, Feb 2)
Hare hunting season begins, old England (until Midsummer)
Feast day of St Theodota
Constitution Day, Brunei
Battle of Boqueron Day, Paraguay
Oktoberfest (Sep 20-Oct 5) (send an Oktoberfest card)

*Ø* Blogmanac | Fire Rumsfeld and Change Course

Our friends at MoveOn.org are running a petition (for Americans only) to have Rummy fired. They've already gathered about 200,000 sigs, so please take a moment to help this important campaign.

*Ø* Blogmanac | Dumb Crook? Or Dumb Clerk?

USA: Police are searching for a man who paid for $150 in groceries at a Food Lion grocery store with a bogus $200 bill.

The man walked out of the store with his groceries and $50 in change before the fake bill was discovered Sept. 6.

The phony bill – the U.S. Mint does not print a $200 bill – bore the image of President Bush on the front and had the White House on the back. It also included signs on the front lawn of the White House with slogans such as "We like broccoli" and "USA deserves a tax cut," Roanoke Rapids police said.

Instead of being labeled a Federal Reserve note, the fake bill was marked as a "Moral Reserve Note." The bill bore the signatures of Ronald Reagan, political mentor; and George H.W. Bush, campaign adviser and mentor.

Food Lion said normal policy is not to accept bills over $100.

Source unknown; contributed by Almaniac Mary Ann Sabo.

*Ø* Blogmanac | Thousands march in Europe, Mideast against Iraq war

"Tens of thousands of people demonstrated without incident across Europe and the Middle East against the US-led occupation of Iraq and to voice support for the Palestinians.

"The largest rally took place in London, where police estimated 20,000 demonstrators, although organisers put the tally at five times higher.

"Demonstrations, attracting leading politicians, also took place in France, Belgium, Austria, Greece, Poland, Turkey and Lebanon, although turnout paled compared to the massive rallies earlier this year ahead of the Iraq conflict."
Saturday, October 25, March on Washington

*Ø* Blogmanac | Rogue state joins the civilised world

N Korea calls Rumsfeld 'psychopath'

"North Korea has launched a scathing attack on US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, calling him a 'dictatorial psychopath'.

"The official KCNA news agency commentary went on to call him a 'politically illiterate old man' who was 'cursed and hated worldwide' because of his belief that only the US can dispense international justice.

"The condemnation, outspoken even for the official news agency, followed Mr Rumsfeld's own negative comments about North Korea in a recent speech to US and South Korean business leaders."

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Your daily almanac was born on
Monday, January 1, 2001
(the first day of the millennium), 1,000 days ago.

*Ø* Blogmanac | Poson: New article at the Scriptorium

O great King! the birds of the air and the beasts on the earth have an equal right to live and move about in any part of this land as thou. The land belongs to the people and all other beings and thou art only the guardian of it.
Arhat Mahinda

The Poson Festival commemorates the anniversary of the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka.

Full moon in June would be an excellent time to be in the mountainous heart of Sri Lanka at Mihintale (aka Mihinthele), the ‘cradle of Buddhism’ in that beautiful but tragic island. For two days of the full moon of June, the Festival of Poson is in full flight. It is a nationwide commemoration, but Mihintale is the place to be.

It was here in 246 BCE that the Buddhist apostle Arhat Mahinda Thero, special envoy of his father (Asoka, 264-267 BC King of India), met King Devanampiyatissa (307-267 BCE) on the full moon day in the month of Poson and officially introduced Buddhism to Sri Lanka ...

Excerpted from a new article, on Sri Lanka's Poson Festival, that I hope you will enjoy.

*Ø* Blogmanac | What is it about the American eagle logo?

It's one helluva good looking trademark, but .... hmmmmm ...

*Ø* Blogmanac September 28, 1749| The murder of Arthur Davis

On June 10, 1754, Duncan Terig alias Clark, and Alexander Bain Macdonald, two highlanders, were tried before the Court of Justiciary, Edinburgh, for the murder of Arthur Davis, sergeant in Guise's Regiment, on September 28, 1749. Davis, who had been quartered at Dubrach, a small upland farm near the clachan (village) of Inverey in Braemar, had been missing for several years.

One Alexander MacPherson, who knew only Gaelic, spoke through an interpreter and said that an apparition had come to his bedside. The ghost had said he was Sergeant Davis, and took him to the body. Counsel for the prisoners asked, in the cross-examination of MacPherson, “What language did the ghost speak in?” The witness replied, “As good Gaelic as I ever heard in Lochaber.” “Pretty well for the ghost of an English sergeant,” answered the counsel. The ridicule in the court helped to acquit the accused. Another witness, Isabel Machardie, also saw a man (naked) enter the house.

There is more about this case online
More on Scotland's ghosts

Pip Wilson's articles are available for your publication, on application. Further details
Receive similar items free each day with a free subscription to Wilson's Almanac ezine. Send a blank email

*Ø* Blogmanac | Shhh! Don't tell the truth!

From Bill:

Diebold Shuts Down Blackboxvoting.org
With Legal Threats

BlackBoxVoting.com writes, "Claiming that links on the blackboxvoting.org site were infringing on their copyright, Diebold has temporarily shut the site down. The issue at question is links to a database of Diebold email provided by an insider that documents Diebold's ongoing campaign of fraud and deception in the design, manufacture and sale of its computer voting machines and software. Diebold originally objected to emails being posted in their entirety on the blackboxvoting.org site. When the material was taken down, Diebold then claimed that links to sites outside the US were infringing their copyright, and the ISP complied with the demand. This will not stand. We are searching for new home for the site and it will go back up as soon as we can manage it." Diebold has declared war on the First Amendment -- we demand that ALL state and local governments immediately return Diebold voting machines!


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Report Warns of High-risk Vulnerabilities,
but Diebold Claims Victory

BlackBoxVoting writes, "The SAIC report evaluating Diebold software was quietly released today. It would seem that either Diebold is having a complete mental breakdown, or they are reading a completely different report. 'We are pleased to be moving forward,' said Thomas W. Swidarski, president of Diebold Election Systems. 'The thorough system assessment conducted by SAIC verifies that the Diebold voting station provides an unprecedented level of election security.' Huh? That's not what the report I read says. This Risk Assessment has identified several high-risk vulnerabilities in the implementation of the managerial, operational, and technical controls for AccuVote-TS voting system. If these vulnerabilities are exploited, significant impact could occur on the accuracy, integrity, and availability of election results."


Saturday, September 27, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac September 27, 1177 | Pope Alexander III wrote to Prester John

Presbyter Johannes, or Prester John as he is known in English, was a mythical medieval emperor whose domain was said to have extended from the ruins of Babylon to beyond India. Since that region was roughly the extent of the realm of Alexander the Great (late July, 356 BC - June 11, 323 BCE), it is likely that legends involving the actual historical figure of the King of Macedon influenced the legends of the imaginary Eastern king.

The story of Prester John (his name is derived from the French Prêtre, which indicates he is therefore both priest and king) is known today from almost 100 manuscripts, written in several languages, including Hebrew. The first authentic mention of Prester John occurs in the Chronicle of Otto, Bishop of Freising, in 1145, and the legend endured for centuries ...

Descended from the Three Wise Men
Prester John supposedly belonged to the race of the Magi (the Three Wise Men from the East), and he ruled their former kingdoms. Some said he was a descendent of St Thomas, the doubting Apostle of Christ. His land was rich in silver and gold and all precious stones, and many fantastic things were found there: men with horns on their foreheads and three eyes; warriors riding elephants; amazons who fought upon horseback; pygmies; cannibals; rivers that flow from the Garden of Eden; men who lived 200 years; unicorns, and other wonders. There in Prester John’s paradisiacal lands grew the wonderful plant Assidos which, when worn by anyone, would protect them from any evil spirit, forcing it to state its name and business.

John’s enormous wealth was demonstrated by the fact that he carried a sceptre of pure emeralds. Many believed that his empire contained a fountain of youth and that he ruled with the aid of a magic mirror (the ascent to which consisted of 25 steps of porphyry and serpentine) in which he could see everything that was happening in all provinces of his empire; this mirror was guarded day and night by three thousand men. On September 27, 1177 Pope Alexander III gave his conciliatory letter, requesting an alliance, to his physician Philip to deliver. Philip was never seen again ...

The above is an excerpt from the article on Prester John that I uploaded today here at the Scriptorium.

*Ø* Blogmanac | Kucinich Big Winner in Debate If You Want It

A personal note to all Americans from the one Democratic presidential candidate who CAN and WILL make a genuine difference in our country and the world.

"Dear Friend,

"I'm going to be blunt. My presidential campaign needs your help more than ever. There are only a few days left in this fundraising quarter (ending Sept. 30) and I need your support.

"If you saw last night's nationally-televised debate, you know that I am speaking out for you . . . and for your issues.

"I spoke out for bringing the troops home from Iraq, and against the President's request for $87 billion more. I was alone in discussing how the Iraq occupation hurts our economy.

"I was alone in advocating a withdrawal from NAFTA and the WTO in favor of bilateral trade pacts that protect workers' rights and the environment.

"I spoke clearly about taking our healthcare system out of the hands of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies -- and establishing nonprofit national health insurance, Enhanced Medicare for All. I alone called for returning the Social Security retirement age to 65.

"Our wealthy nation can afford healthcare and retirement security. But we have to rescind the tax breaks for the wealthy, and as I pointed out in last night's debate, the wealthiest 1% in our country will get a majority of the Bush tax cut.

"To keep bringing these issues to the American people our campaign needs an infusion of funds. Please donate. Your contribution today will be doubled through federal matching funds arriving in a few months.

"I know many of you have donated as much as you can, and I thank you. But please reach out to three other people who share our values -- by forwarding this email to them.

"If you watched last night's debate, you saw me call for a 15% cut in Pentagon spending and an end to tax breaks for the wealthy in order to fund childcare and education and job creation. I spoke of my efforts to end the death penalty and to establish a cabinet-level Department of Peace.

"These issues reflect our unique and progressive grassroots campaign that you have helped build. To expand our insurgent campaign, please donate.


"Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich


"Attached is my Audio Postcard to you. To see and hear it, please turn up your speakers, and click here.

"The message you will instantly hear is my message to activists across the country on Peace Day, September 21.

"Remember that it's even better to send postcards than to receive them, so when you have the card on your screen, please send it to friends."

*Ø* Blogmanac | Nigeria: Amina Lawal's death sentence quashed

News Release from Amnesty International, 25 September

Amnesty International welcomes the decision today by the Sharia Court of Appeal of Katsina State, in northern Nigeria to quash Amina Lawal's sentence to death by stoning handed down by a Sharia court at Bakori, in Katsina State on 22 March 2002.

According to her defence lawyer, Amina Lawal was freed on the grounds that neither the conviction nor the confession were legally valid. Therefore no offence as such was established.

"Amina Lawal's case should not have been brought to a court of law in the first instance. Nobody should ever be made to go through a similar ordeal," Amnesty International said ...

Amina Lawal was found guilty by a Sharia Court in March 2002 after bearing a child outside marriage. Under new Sharia Penal Legislations in force in several northern Nigerian states since 1999, this was sufficient for her to be convicted of the offence of adultery as defined in the new Sharia Penal laws of Katsina state and summoned to appear before a Sharia tribunal to respond to this charge which now carries the mandatory punishment of death by stoning.

How Much More Suffering under Sharia Penal Legislation? Take action!
All AI Documents on Nigeria

Friday, September 26, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac | For kissin' cousins

I heard about this interesting site and thought I would share it with you:

"The world's primary information and support network for and about romantic relationships among cousins Welcome to CousinCouples.com!

"This interactive site is for those romantically involved with their cousin. This site is dedicated to providing support and factual information, as well as to foster friendships from around the world. Kissing cousins now have a free site, where they may come to exchange information and advice."

Charles Darwin & Emma Wedgewood: A Cousin Couple
When the principles of breeding and of inheritance are better understood, we shall not hear ignorant members of our legislature rejecting with scorn a plan for ascertaining by an easy method whether or not consanguineous marriages are injurious to man.
Charles Darwin (1871)

*Ø* Blogmanac September 26 | Some of today

Satan urinates on blackberries, Scotland
Yesterday was the last day for picking blackberries because the devil poisons them today by urinating on them (Old Michaelmas Day, October 11, in parts of England).

Click for e-cardsFourth Friday in September: Native American Day (USA)
“This day is set aside to honor and celebrate Native Americans, the first Americans to live in the U.S. Still commonly referred to as American Indians, the term "Native Americans" has been used in recent years as a sign of respect and recognition that they were indeed the first people to populate our wonderful nation. By the time the first explorers and settlers arrived from Europe, Native Americans had populated the entire North American Continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to the northern reaches of Canada.” Source

70 CE Jerusalem fell to the legions of Roman Emperor Vespasian (Caesar Vespasianus Augustus, November 18, 9 CE - June 23, 79), under Titus, ending the Jewish War, despite the besieged fortress of Masada holding out for another three years. After the sacking of Jerusalem, all that remained was the Wailing Wall.

1580 Francis Drake completed the first round-the-world voyage by an Englishman, in the Golden Hind, bringing treasure and spices back to England. (Some sources say September 20.)

“Elizabeth Sydenham, wife of Sir Francis Drake, advised that her husband had been killed by the Spaniards, was on her way to marry another man when a bolt of lightning struck the ground at her very feet. Elizabeth interpreted it as a sign that her husband was still alive and called off the wedding. Later Sir Francis returned from his naval expedition ...alive and well.” Source

1824 Kapiolani defies Pele (Hawaiian volcano goddess) and lives.

Hawaiian legends tell that eruptions were caused by Pele, the beautiful but tempestuous Goddess of Volcanoes, during her frequent moments of anger. Pele was both revered and feared; her immense power and many adventures figured prominently in ancient Hawaiian songs and chants. She could cause earthquakes by stamping her feet and volcanic eruptions and fiery devastation by digging with the Pa'oe, her magic stick. An oft-told legend describes the long and bitter quarrel between Pele and her older sister Namakaokahai that led to the creation of the chain of volcanoes that form the islands. Source: The Daily Bleed

*Ø* Blogmanac | Bomb scare evacuates 'cheeky darkie' host's station

"A bomb threat linked to New Zealand's leading current affairs broadcaster, Paul Holmes – who this week apologised for calling UN chief Kofi Annan a 'cheeky darkie' - has forced the evacuation of the radio station he works for.

"New Zealand Press Association said today a caller was understood to have told Newstalk ZB in Auckland that a bomb would go off unless Holmes was taken off the air.

"Earlier this week, on his morning radio show, Holmes referred to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan as a 'cheeky darkie' ...

"As the bomb threat was made, debate in NZ over Holmes's comments continued to rage.

"A producer of Television New Zealand's (TVNZ) evening Holmes show has resigned and other staff are also believed to want to leave the program ..."

Thursday, September 25, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac | Did US Forces Allow a Massacre of 3,000 Taliban Prisoners?

BuzzFlash asks Jamie Doran, Producer-Director of "Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death"

Read this BuzzFlash interview and/or get the video here

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac | California Moves to Ban Spam

Great news from California:

"California is trying a deceptively simple approach to the problem of junk e-mail: It is about to ban spam.

Gov. Gray Davis of California signed a bill today that outlaws sending most commercial e-mail to or from the state that the recipient did not explicitly request. That is a far more wide-reaching law than any of the 35 other state laws meant to regulate spam or any of the proposed bills in Congress.

"'We are saying that unsolicited e-mail cannot be sent and there are no loopholes,'' said Kevin Murray, the Democratic state senator from Los Angeles who sponsored the bill.

"The law would fine spammers $1,000 for each unsolicited message sent up to $1 million for each campaign."

[Found at Slashdot and contributed by Mary Ann Sabo.]

*Ø* Blogmanac September | And the winner is ...
Monthly Award for Best Comment
The winner of the Best Comment Award for August comments, is Michael, who left his mark a number of times during the week of 08/24/2003 - 08/30/2003.

Michael, we don't know your email address, so please contact us for your prizes. And congratulations!

*Ø* Blogmanac September 24, 1912 BCE | Solar eclipse
According to Kevin Pang, a Pasadena, California, USA, geology consultant, when 4th century BCE Chinese philosopher Motze wrote, in his account of a battle some 1,500 years earlier, "The sun rose at night", he was referring to a total solar eclipse that took place on this day. The sun’s re-emergence from behind the moon was thus recorded as a nocturnal sunrise.

Because Pang knew where precisely where the battle took place, by astronomical calculations done by a computer program by Kevin Yau of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, it was possible to discover the eclipse of September 24, 1912 BC and thus understand what event Motze was referring to.

Kevin Pang’s work on celestial portents and the fall of Constantinople

*Ø* Blogmanac September 24 | Day of Obatalá
Day of Obatalá, West Africa, Orisha/Santeria
Obatalá, the King of the White Cloth, the first potter and sculptor, is the oldest Orisha. He is considered to be the Father of all the other Orishas. In Haiti, Obatala is known as Damballah, the primordial serpent. When he possesses his children, they move about on the floor in the manner of snakes.

*Ø* Blogmanac September 24, 1652 | Highwayman James Hide

1652 English highwayman, Captain James Hind, known by every man and woman in England for his daring crimes, was executed at Newgate Prison. Hind grew up in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, the son of a saddler, served an apprenticeship and worked as a butcher for two years until running away from his disagreeable master.

He went up to London, where he met and teamed up with Thomas Allen, a prominent highwayman. On one occasion they bailed up none other than Oliver Cromwell and his seven bodyguards, but were overpowered by the latter. Tom Allen died on the gallows for this crime, but James Hind somehow managed to make his escape.

A battle of the Bible
Another time on the road, Captain Hind met Hugh Peters, who was one of the Puritan republicans responsible for the death of King Charles I, and commanded him to hand over his purse. Peters, a religious man, regaled Hind with verses from the Bible. “It is written in the Law”’ he chastised the highwayman, “that thou shalt not steal. And furthermore, Solomon, who was surely a very wise man, speaketh in this manner: ‘Rob not the poor, because he is poor’.”
Hind decided to debate his victim in kind, and challenge Peters for his crime of regicide. “Verily,” said Hind, “if thou hadst regarded the divine precepts as thou oughtest to have done, thou wouldst not have wrested them to such an abominable and wicked sense as thou didst the words of the prophet, when he saith, ‘Bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron’. Didst thou not, thou detestable hypocrite, endeavour from these words to aggravate the misfortunes of thy Royal master, whom thy accursed republican party unjustly murdered before the door of his own palace?”

Here Hugh Peters began to make excuses for the king’s assassination, and brought forward other parts of Scripture in his defence, and also to preserve his money. “Pray, sir,” replied Hind, “make no reflections on my profession; for Solomon plainly says, ‘Do not despise a thief’; but it is to little purpose for us to dispute. The substance of what I have to say is this: deliver thy money presently, or else I shall send thee out of the world to thy master in an instant.”
These words of the captain so frightened the old Presbyterian that he gave him thirty broad-pieces of gold, and then the highwayman and regicide parted. However, Hind was not thoroughly satisfied with letting such a notorious enemy to the Crown get off so lightly. He rode after Peters at full speed, caught up with him and cheekily said to him: “Sir, now I think of it, I am convinced that this misfortune has happened to you because you did not obey the words of the Scripture, which say expressly, ‘Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses for your journey’; whereas it is evident that you had provided a pretty deal of gold. However, as it is now in my power to make you fulfil another command, I would by no means slip the opportunity. Therefore pray give me your cloak.”

Understandably, Peters was dumbfounded. Hind explained himself, quoting from the New Testament: “You know, sir, our Saviour has commanded, that if any man take away thy cloak, thou must not refuse thy coat also; therefore I cannot suppose you will act in direct contradiction to such an express direction, especially now you can't pretend you have forgot it, because I have reminded you of your duty.” The old Puritan hesitated, then delivered his coat, which Hind was delighted to receive, and no doubt the highwayman went on his way laughing heartily.

A 17th-century Robin Hood?
As might be expected, perhaps, an aura of the Robin Hood kind grew up around the highwayman, and many stories were told of his kindness, sympathy and generosity to the poor. Once, he came upon a poor man riding on an ass. He rode up to meet him, and asked him very courteously where he was going. The old man replied, “To the market at Wantage, to buy me a cow, that I may have some milk for my children.” “How many children,” asked Hind, “may you have?” The old man answered ten. “And how much do you think to give for a cow?” Hind asked the peasant. “I have but forty shillings, master, and that I have been saving together these two years,” came the answer.

Hind felt compassion for the man, but he needed money, so what could he do? He quickly thought of an plan that would serve both him and the old man too. “Father,” he said, “the money you have got about you I must have at this time; but I will not wrong your children of their milk. My name is Hind, and if you will give me your forty shillings quietly, and meet me again this day sevennight at this place, I promise to make the sum double. Only be cautious that you never mention a word of the matter to anybody between this and that.” Sure enough, a fortnight later the old man came, and Hind was as good as his word, suggesting that he buy two cows, instead of one, and adding twenty shillings to the sum promised, so that the peasant could purchase the best cow in the market.

On Friday, December 12, 1651, Captain James Hind was brought to the bar of the sessions house in the Old Bailey Courts, London, and indicted for several crimes; but nothing being proved against him that could reach his life, he was con veyed in a coach from Newgate to Reading in Berkshire, where on the 1st of March, 1651, he was arraigned before Judge Warberton for killing one George Sympson at Knole, a small village in that county. The evidence here was undeniable, and he was found guilty of wilful murder.

In early September, 1652, he was condemned for high treason, and on the 24th he was drawn, hanged and quartered, aged only 34. At the place of execution he declared that most of the robberies that he had ever committed were upon the republican party, of whose principles he professed he always had an utter abhorrence.

After he was executed his head was set upon the Bridge Gate, over the River Severn, whence it was privately taken down and buried within the week. His quarters were put upon the other gates of the city, where they remained till they were destroyed by wind and weather.

Pip Wilson's articles are available for your publication, on application. Further details
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Highly recommended
*Ø* Blogmanac | Kofi Anna's UN speech

"Excellencies, we have come to a fork in the road"

From Kofi Anna's speech to the UN yesterday

" ...Terrorism is not a problem only for rich countries. Ask the people of Bali, or Bombay, Nairobi, or Casablanca.

"Weapons of mass destruction do not threaten only the western or northern world. Ask the people of Iran, or of Halabja in Iraq.

"Where we disagree, it seems, is on how to respond to these threats.

"Since this Organisation was founded, States have generally sought to deal with threats to the peace through containment and deterrence, by a system based on collective security and the United Nations Charter.

"Article 51 of the Charter prescribes that all States, if attacked, retain the inherent right of self-defence. But until now it has been understood that when States go beyond that, and decide to use force to deal with broader threats to international peace and security, they need the unique legitimacy provided by the United Nations.

"Now, some say this understanding is no longer tenable, since an 'armed attack' with weapons of mass destruction could be launched at any time, without warning, or by a clandestine group.

"Rather than wait for that to happen, they argue, States have the right and obligation to use force pre-emptively, even on the territory of other States, and even while weapons systems that might be used to attack them are still being developed.

"According to this argument, States are not obliged to wait until there is agreement in the Security Council. Instead, they reserve the right to act unilaterally, or in ad hoc coalitions.

"This logic represents a fundamental challenge to the principles on which, however imperfectly, world peace and stability have rested for the last fifty-eight years.

"My concern is that, if it were to be adopted, it could set precedents that resulted in a proliferation of the unilateral and lawless use of force, with or without justification.

"But it is not enough to denounce unilateralism, unless we also face up squarely to the concerns that make some States feel uniquely vulnerable, since it is those concerns that drive them to take unilateral action. We must show that those concerns can, and will, be addressed effectively through collective action.

"Excellencies, we have come to a fork in the road. This may be a moment no less decisive than 1945 itself, when the United Nations was founded.

"At that time, a group of far-sighted leaders, led and inspired by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, were determined to make the second half of the twentieth century different from the first half. They saw that the human race had only one world to live in, and that unless it managed its affairs prudently, all human beings may perish.

"So they drew up rules to govern international behaviour, and founded a network of institutions, with the United Nations at its centre, in which the peoples of the world could work together for the common good ..."

*Ø* Blogmanac | Can this be fair?

Grassroots movement in USA to avoid cost of repairing Iraq damage

There is an email (*see below) that is doing the rounds of the Net, and it's just one example of a growing, widespread movement in America. The new movement opposes granting Bush $87 billion for reconstruction work in Iraq. The argument generally made is that Americans deserve to have the money spent on them more than Iraqis do. "Why should we send all that money to Iraq when our own economy is down the hole?" is the line generally taken.

While one sympathises with anyone who resents giving Bush a dime, one must ask whether this attitude is fair. Shrub might have got into power with a minority of the votes of the electorate, but he did have most Americans backing him to the hilt when it came to invading the sovereign nation of Iraq.

Survey after survey reveals, astonishingly, that the majority opinion in the USA is that Iraq (and Afghanistan) had involvement in the Twin Towers event. We know that Bush invaded Afghanistan not to catch bin Laden – after all, the Taliban offered to turn him over to an international court or third party country – but to secure oil and gas pipelines. By now everybody has heard the fact that Bush did not invade Iraq to stop "Weapons of Mass Destruction", for the evidence was always abundant that there were none.

Now we learn that something like 60 or 70 per cent of Bush's electorate actually believes that the USA has already found WMDs in Iraq, and 70 per cent believe that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9-11! This in spite of the fact that Hussein and bin Laden were as much enemies as Bush and Castro. How can millions of people be so unaware of the facts?

Obviously the fact that the USA has the most restricted media outside totalitarian states is affecting these figures – our American brothers and sisters simply are not getting the news and commentary that the rest of the world is enjoying. I heard somewhere recently that something like 98 per cent of the TV programming in America is actually from America. Compare this with any other country: in Australia probably about 70 per cent of our programming comes from overseas, such as Britain, USA, as well as many countries in Europe and Asia (mostly). My American friends constantly complain to me that all they get is "Made in America" news and current affairs. This is so sad. No wonder Bush had such a mandate for his Machiavellian schemes. Americans go to war to learn geography.

The US, not Iraq or the UN, must take responsibility
So now we have this strange situation that all these Americans – most of whom, I'm sure, are probably decent people at heart, but fed by false information from this bullying, lying president and media with vested interests in military sales – all these Americans who wanted to blast innocent Iraqi families to smithereens, now don't want to patch up the immense damage they caused. Can this be fair?

The arguments posed by organisations like the National Priorities Project (below) sound very persuasive, even compassionate. It's politics of the warm inner glow. "Let's not spend money in Iraq, let's spend the money on soccer balls for Jimmy and Jenny; let's build new hospitals in Oklahoma. We need that money to patch the pot-holes in Elm Street."

Well, I understand that sentiment. I want the pot-holes patched in Ironbark Drive. I want free dental, not just fee medical. We Aussies would like a few more library books too, and I sure need a job. But hang on a minute here. These Moms and Pops who want $87 billion spent on projects in the world's richest hyper-nation, and here in Oz, are the same Moms and Pops and Mums and Dads I saw back in February squealing that all those towel-heads and sand-niggers had to be murdered "because of what they done to America on September 11". You couldn't reason with those people then, and you can't reason with them now.

We of the compassionate tendency of politics always like to blame Bush and those truly diabolical neo-cons like Rumsfeld, Perl, Rove and Wolfowitz, as well we might. We always point the finger at General Electric/NBC, Westinghouse, Fox, Rupert Murdoch, the military-industrial complex, but never, ever at ordinary citizens. However, let us never forget that those near-fascists of the Bush cabal have killed tens of thousands of people lately, not all by themselves, but with the enthusiastic, vociferous, jingoistic, self-righteous, racist and blood-chilling support of the majority of the American people. There. I've said it. It seems that no one else on the progressive side will.

I put my case thus: How dare our American cousins abrogate their responsibility to clean up some of the mess they so wilfully and heartlessly caused our Iraqi and Afghan cousins? To the American people, whom I have always loved and defended through thick and thin, I say this: You upfucked it, now you go fix it. Restore electricity to the Moms and Pops of Iraq and Afghanistan. Send in food and medicines. Provide the same grief counsellors you send in when one of your corporations "downsizes" its staff. Airlift in textbooks, computers and advisers on sustainable agriculture and permaculture. Restore the water supply and transportation where you bombed the pipelines, bridges and roads. (I am assuming here that you did not believe the 6 o'clock news's deceitful representation of the two Gulf Wars as being clean, precise and victimless.)

Your troops, on orders, stood by and deliberately allowed hospitals to be looted – send not $87 billion to build new hospitals, send $870 billion. In your lust for the rivers of prosperity and comfort that flow from Middle Eastern petroleum, it was you who placed such unwarranted sanctions on Iraq that some 500,000 completely innocent Iraqi babies and kiddies died of malnutrition and disease between 1992 and 2003. It was America that blew up the public buildings and utilities of Iraq and beautiful Afghanistan, and it is the once-proud America (which is addicted to boasting to the other 190 countries of being the world's greatest nation) that must rebuild them. Let's put an end now to this distasteful clamour to keep American dollars at home.

Yesterday in the United Nations, President George W Bush, having previously done his utmost to destroy that necessary institution, came unctuously begging for the other nations of the world to come in and pay for the ruin that his country is still inflicting on Iraqi men, women and children. To use a New York idiom "De noive of dat guy!" Old Beady Eyes' smarmy oration came shortly after an excellent speech by the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, who sensibly pointed out that this awful US policy of "pre-emptive invasion" is a dangerous precedent that bodes ill for world peace. Hear! Hear!

Friends in America (and Britain and Australia): You turned these countries into rubble. Now you go and fix them up. And please, no more of these simpering emails telling me that we should be spending this money on building new locker rooms for college athletes and sandpits for our fat, whingeing children. At least, not while most of the world is near starving and getting mighty, mighty pissed off with our self-centred ways.

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[*Here's the email to which I referred above:]

NPP Bulletin - September 23, 2003
"The National Priorities Project has just released its latest Grassroots Factsheet: 'Invading and Occupying Iraq: The Impact on Your State'. Go to http://www.nationalpriorities.org/issues/military/iraq/factsheet03/index.html to select your state. You will find a breakdown of how President Bush's requested $87 billion in additional war spending could be spent instead to create more jobs in your state for school construction, affordable housing units and better roads and bridges.

"The Factsheet also provides a graphic illustration of current federal spending priorities, comparing the total amount of war-related spending with spending on basic needs such as food and nutrition, the environment, housing, education, the environment, housing and veterans' benefits.

If you want to add your voice to the federal debate, go to http://www.nationalpriorities.org/takeaction/index.html to find out how to contact your Congressperson."

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac | Bawdy Phallic Plate Heads for Oxford

London (Reuters)

"A leading British museum has paid $387,000 for a Renaissance plate which shows a male head made up entirely of phalluses. The Italian plate is thought to have been made by ceramicist Francesco Urbini in the 16th century. It shows a head made up of around 50 fleshy penises, wrapped round each other to form a dense, knotted whole.

"The head is framed by a garland carrying the inscription: 'Ogni homo me guarda come fosse una testa de cazi' (Every man looks at me as if I were a dickhead). The phrase is still a common term of abuse in Italy and elsewhere.

"Oxford's Ashmolean Museum, which has bought the plate, describes it as 'one of the most extraordinary and fascinating pieces of Italian maiolica (a style of ceramic painting) in existence.'

"It is a rare example of bawdy Renaissance art which survived the suppression of later, more prudish, generations, it said. The Ashmolean said the inspiration for the plate remains obscure but it was painted 'presumably with an individual in mind.'"


*Ø* Blogmanac | Blogmaniacs, please spread the word

Holden website will donate $1 to leukaemia patient support for every person who clicks

Your click can help drive a cure for Australians living with leukaemia. Visit the Holden website home page at


and click on the button where it says. With every click Holden will donate $1 to Leukaemia Foundation patient support.

It costs nothing to click, takes only a few moments and no personal details are required. The more people who click, the more Holden donates to the Leukaemia Foundation – so make sure you forward this to your family and friends too. The Leukaemia Foundation is a national organisation dedicated to the care and cure of Australians living with leukaemia and related blood disorders. The patient transport program is just one way that the Leukaemia Foundation provides practical assistance to help patients and their families. As a supporter of the Leukaemia Foundation, Holden provides vehicles for the national patient transport program. The Holden-provided cars travel in excess of 400,000 kms a year, transporting patients to and from their treatment sessions. Every click you make will enable the Leukaemia Foundation to extend their mission of care.

*Ø* Blogmanac | Dangerrrr! cats could alter your personality

[When my son told me about this report I insisted to him that it must be a spoof, but apparently it's not!]

from The Sunday Times
Jonathan Leake, Science Editor
September 21

"They may look like lovable pets but Britain’s estimated 9m domestic cats are being blamed by scientists for infecting up to half the population with a parasite that can alter people’s personalities.

"The startling figures emerge from studies into toxoplasma gondii, a parasite carried by almost all the country’s feline population. They show that half of Britain’s human population carry the parasite in their brains, and that infected people may undergo slow but crucial changes in their behaviour.

"Infected men, suggests one new study, tend to become more aggressive, scruffy, antisocial and are less attractive. Women, on the other hand, appear to exhibit the “sex kitten” effect, becoming less trustworthy, more desirable, fun-loving and possibly more promiscuous.

"Interestingly, for those who draw glib conclusions about national stereotypes, the number of people infected in France is much higher than in the UK.

"The findings will not please cat lovers. The research — conducted at universities in Britain, the Czech Republic and America — was sponsored by the Stanley Research Medical Institute of Maryland, a leading centre for the study of mental illness."

Read on (if you dare) here

Monday, September 22, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac | And bull**** walks

Lights! Camera! The new $20
With Hollywood's help, Treasury will spend $53 million
over 5 years to market new pink greenbacks.

By Gordon T. Anderson, CNN/Money Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The new pink $20 bill is about to enter into circulation, like it or not. But the government wants you to like it.

The Department of the Treasury will spend $53 million over the next five years on a public relations campaign to market new money (in addition to the new $20, the budget includes expenditures to promote the planned releases of a new $50 in 2004 and a new $100 in 2005). To do the job, it has signed up a few of Hollywood's leading image makers.

"The goal is public education, to build awareness and trust," said Dawn Haley, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP).

On Oct. 9, the new bills will begin to circulate, as banks around the country release them to customers. Since they will be the nation's official currency, you'll have no choice but to use the notes. Even so, the BEP wants to make sure nobody is confused into questioning the authenticity of the bills, despite their radically altered look.


*Ø* Blogmanac | Some more about Virgil

Yesterday we had a brief item about the Latin poet, Virgil, on the anniversary of his death. Here is a bit more about the author of the Aeneid and many wonderful poems:

Virgil: larger than life
Many fables were told about this Roman poet whose persona grew to mythological proportions by the time of the Middle Ages.

His birth was announced by an earthquake in Rome, and he grew to be skilled in the magical arts, or so it is said. Virgil made a lamp that lit every street in Rome; he was said to have founded the city of Naples upon eggs, as a magical charm for protection. On one of Naples's gateways he erected two statues: one had a happy face, the other a deformed and miserable one. If one was to enter the town near the happy statue, that person would prosper; if near the sad statue, the person would have a contrary fate. On another gate he erected a statue of a fly, the presence of which kept out flies from Naples for eight years.

He built baths that cured all ills, and surrounded his house with a stream of air that served as a wall. Virgil also constructed a bridge of brass which took him anywhere he pleased.

A beautiful woman whom he courted told him to come to her castle tower by night. She would let down a basket on a rope for him to ascend; but she left him dangling halfway up the tower wall.

When the Emperor of Rome was troubled by rumours of rebellion, he called on the poet, who made for him a statue representing each of the provinces, and one representing Rome. The former all turned their backs on the latter, and rang bells, thus warning the emperor of the coming rebellion.

Pip Wilson's articles are available for your publication, on application. Further details
Receive similar items free each day with a free subscription to Wilson's Almanac ezine. Send a blank email

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*Ø* Blogmanac | Nathan Hale quote

I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.
Nathan Hale (1755-1776), US revolutionary soldier; speech, September 22, 1776, before being executed as a spy by the British. In 1713, English author Joseph Addison had written similar words: “What pity is it/That we can die but once to serve our country!” (Cato, act 4, sc. 4)

[George Washington was so taken with the character of Cato the younger in Joseph Addison's 1713 play Cato that he made the Roman republican his role model. He went to see Cato numerous times from early manhood into maturity and even had it performed for his troops at Valley Forge despite a congressional resolution that plays were inimical to republican virtue. Washington included lines from the play in his private correspondence and even in his farewell address.
Jim Stockdale; Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot, Hoover Press, 1995, p. 75]

Highly recommended
*Ø* Blogmanac | Iraq: Coast is clear, time to do what we came for

Privatisation ... and privateers
Don't let this one slip through the news cracks: yesterday was another black day for Iraq.

The BBC reports on how America is selling off the assets of the Iraqi people. From this day on, the laws that have just been passed by Bush's puppet government in Baghdad say that foreign companies can own what they like in Iraq and have no responsibility to keep any part of the profits in that country. For all Saddam Hussein's horrible excesses, much of the means of production, distribution and consumption of good and services was owned by the state, and by Iraqis. Not any more

State socialism certainly has its own way of exploitation, but at least Iraqis had free education and health care and many other civilised features enjoyed by almost all advanced societies – with the notable exception of America – and the profits of enterprise stayed in the same country as the workers. Bush and Co. are ideologically opposed to such nonsense and have put an end to it, according to plans laid down years ago. As predicted here, the real purpose of the invasion is now underway. The hard work of Iraqi men and women will now pay for the lifestyles of the rich and almost-rich corporate invaders, and Iraq's resources will be bled dry. Oil will nominally remain a state enterprise, but only under the advantageous terms of the Bush cartel and their party donors and friends:

Iraq adopts sweeping economic reforms
"The American-backed administration in Iraq has announced sweeping economic reforms, including the sale of all state industries except for oil.

"The surprise announcement by Iraqi Finance Minister Kamel al-Keylani dominated the second day of meetings organised by the International Monetary Fund in Dubai.

"The recently-appointed minister unveiled a string of reforms that analysts said read like a manifesto devised by Washington, signing off 30 years of Saddam Hussein and the socialist Baath Party.

"Al-Keylani said liberalisation of foreign investment, the banking sector, taxes and tariffs would 'significantly advance efforts to build a free and open market economy in Iraq'.

"But the BBC's Nick Springate, in Baghdad, says many ordinary Iraqis will see the moves as a big sell-off with predominantly multi-national, American companies viewed as getting 'rewards' ..."

*Ø* Blogmanac | Blogmanac news and hospital call

Welcome back Nora!
I'm pleased to pass on the news that Nora Ui Dhuibhir has come back to the Blogmanac team. As you might recall, Nora had to leave recently due to ill health; she is still, unfortunately, having a pretty rough time with that, but our Irish correspondent wants to continue sharing her insightful and often funny posts with Blogmanac readers. I'm delighted Nora's back and look forward to reading her messages again. Nora tells me she might not be able to post as often as before, but I'm just happy that we'll be hearing from her at all. Good health, Nora, and welcome back!

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News on J-9
Meanwhile, this is probably an appropriate time to share with you about Jeannine ('J-9') Wilson, another of our team members. J-9 is one of our two American correspondents, and, like Nora, she too has been seriously ill. As many readers will know, she is currently battling cancer. She sends news that she is moving house this week and that she was given a laptop. This latter is great news because she hasn't been well enough to sit up at the computer. Jeannine sounds excited and brimming with optimism that soon she'll be able to communicate with the world again, from her bed. So maybe we'll be hearing from our Indiana, USA correspondent some day soon. No pressure, J-9, but it will be great if we have you on board soon. And our good wishes for a speedy recovery go out to you today.

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Coming up for 1,000
I notice that the script in the masthead today says: "This is the blog for Wilson's Almanac free, illustrated ezine which was founded on the first day of the millennium, January 1, 2001, 994 daily editions ago." So it's less than a week until we celebrate 1,000 days on the wires! Somehow, I've managed to send out Wilson's Almanac ezine nearly each one of those days, and I hope to continue as long as possible (though with the relentless toothache I have this week, anything's possible, including mass murder/suicide). If you'd like a subscription, there's a box in the right-hand column of this page.

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Veralynne's blog going strong
Our other Blogmanac team member is Veralynne Pepper, from Texas, USA. Have you seen her excellent blog, A Changin' Times? Veralynne (Vee to her friends) also has an international team of correspondents complementing her own cutting-edge work on ACT the Blog, and what a team it is. ACT is definitely one to bookmark, particularly for news, current affairs and opinion on the crucial issues of our day. And look for Vee's great posts here at the Blogmanac. Vee, please look after your health. You might have to hold this whole gig together.

*Ø* Blogmanac | Moon brings green power to Arctic living

"Households on the Arctic tip of Norway are getting power from the moon through a unique undersea power station driven by the rise and fall of the tides.

"On Saturday, near the town of Hammerfest, a tidal current in a sea channel, caused by the gravitational tug of the moon on the Earth, started turning the 10-metre blades of a turbine bolted to the seabed to generate electricity for the local grid.

"The prototype looks like an underwater windmill and is expected to generate about 700,000 kilowatt hours of non-polluting energy a year – enough to light and heat about 30 homes.

"'This is the first time in the world that electricity from a tidal current has been fed into a power grid,' said Harald Johansen, the managing director of Hammerfest Stroem, which has led the project ..."

Sunday, September 21, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac | Iraq recovers priceless "Mona Lisa of Mesopotamia" looted from museum

I'm sure we all recall how the US and its Coalition of the Killing stood by and, for reasons not yet made public, allowed the looting of Baghdad museums and hospitals when they had more than enough military power to stop it. Now, some good news regarding this appalling crime, the recovery of the 'Lady of Warka', a Sumerian mask:

"There was some good good news in Baghdad with Iraq's new culture minister announcing that a 5,000-year-old sculpture looted from the Baghdad Museum in April had been recovered ...

"The 20-centimeter (eight-inch) high marble sculpture, dating from 3,000 BC, depicts the head of a woman. It was fashioned in the southern city of Warka during the Sumerian period, and was among the five most precious pieces still missing since the museum was sacked after the April 9 fall of Saddam Hussein.

"Yet there are many more artefacts still to be recovered.

"Jaaber Jelil Ibrahim, Iraq's director general of antiquities, recently told AFP that around 13,000 pieces are still to be found, 32 of them of great value."

*Ø* Blogmanac | Similarities of ancient gods to Jesus

New page posted at the Scriptorium
Well, it's not exactly new, but much updated, and I've given it its own space – it used to live on the Christmas folklore page. This page is an ongoing project: a comparison of various ancient gods with Jesus Christ. It looks at who was born of a virgin, who was called "Light of the World", who was crucified or "hung on a tree" for enlightenment, and so on. Here's a snippet:

"Krishna was born of the virgin Devaki in a cave, which at the time of his birth was miraculously illuminated. The cow-herds adored his birth. King Kansa sought the life of the Indian Christ by ordering the massacre of all male children born during the same night ..."

"Mithras was known as: Saviour; Son of God; Redeemer; Lamb of God; the Way, the Truth and the Light; Messiah."

"In the catacombs at Rome today can be found pictures of the baby Horus being held by the Virgin Isis-Meri in what scholars have claimed is the original 'Madonna and Child'."

I'm continually adding to this page, so you can come back and drop in from time to time. I hope you enjoy Gods and saviours and their similarities to Jesus Christ.

*Ø* Blogmanac September 21, 1866 | HG Wells

A time will come when a politician who has wilfully made war and promoted international dissension will be as sure of the dock and much surer of the noose than a private homicide. It is not reasonable that those who gamble with men's lives should not stake their own.
HG Wells, English social activist and writer, born on September 21, 1866

There was no aloofness or coldness in approaching him, no barriers to break down as with most Englishmen; his twinkling eyes were like those of a mischievous boy.
Margaret Sanger, American feminist, on her former lover, HG Wells

1866 HG (Herbert George) Wells (d. August 13, 1946), English social activist and writer best known for his science fiction novels such as The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine.

"Part of Wells' Utopian vision was one in which all codes of sexual behavior had been abolished, and he refers to this as well in Days of the Comet: "The old-time men and women went apart in couples, into defensive little houses, like beasts into little pits, and in these 'homes' they sat down purposing to love, but really coming very soon to jealous watching of this extravagant mutual proprietorship. All freshness passed very speedily out of their love, out of their conversation, all pride out of their common life. To permit each other freedom was blank dishonour."
Wells's love life
More on Wells
And more
HG Wells bibliography including his utopian and socialist books

*Ø* Blogmanac September 21, 1995 | New Delhi's Milk Miracle

1995 The milk miracle of New Delhi, India which spread worldwide and finished in 24 hours as suddenly as it had started.

“It all began on September 21st when an otherwise ordinary man in New Delhi dreamt that Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God of Wisdom, craved a little milk. Upon awakening, he rushed in the dark before dawn to the nearest temple, where a skeptical priest allowed him to proffer a spoonful of milk to the small stone image. Both watched in astonishment as it disappeared, magically consumed by the God.

"What followed is unprecedented in modern Hindu history. Within hours news had spread like a brush fire across India that Ganesha was accepting milk offerings. Tens of millions of people of all ages flocked to the nation's temples. The unworldly happening brought worldly New Delhi to a standstill, and its vast stocks of milk - more than a million liters - sold out within hours. Just as suddenly as it started in India, it stopped in just 24 hours.” Source (with video)

Crying, bleeding, milking ... similar miracles

*Ø* Blogmanac September 21 | A little about today from the Almanac

Feast day of Raud the Strong, Norway
Martyrdom of Raud the Strong by the King of Norway, Olav Tryggvason, commemorated on the eve of Autumnal Equinox. He was tortured and died rather than give up the old Norse gods.

Feast of Kuodor-Gup, Selkup, Siberia
God of Riches. Source: The Daily Bleed

19 BCE The Roman poet Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro, b. October 15, 70 BCE), aged 50, died in the port of Brindisii (Brundisium) upon his return from Greece, having removed from his last will an earlier request that the Aeneid be burned upon his death.

1327 England's King Edward II (b. April 25, 1284) was murdered in the dungeons of Berkeley Castle, allegedly by a red hot poker being shoved in his rectum, at the bidding of his estranged and ambitious wife, Queen Isabella of France, whom the hapless homosexual had married on January 25, 1308.

"An alternative version of events, which has received little attention from historians, suggests that the body buried at Gloucester is not that of King Edward, but that he was allowed to escape to the Continent and survived many more years.” Source

1741 A fall of "angel’s hair"- an unknown fluffy substance - fell on Selborne, England, then became gelatinous, then evaporated away altogether. Similar experiences have happened in Japan (October 1, 679 CE and September 27, 1477) .

1968 In a bloody prelude to the Mexico City massacre of October 2 this year, in which more than 300 students were massacred by the police, cops raided the Tlatelolco district of the city and battled with students and other residents. A baby girl and at least three students were killed and many hundreds arrested during this battle. More

Ah, lives there a man with soul so dead,
who never to himself hath said
As he hunched and rolled in his comfortable bed:
To hell with the rent ... I'll drink instead!

Hunter S Thompson, The Proud Highway

1986 Hunter S Thompson claims he remained sober on this day.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac | Slim, the man with no peer

Slim Dusty dies after 60 years in the biz, and 106 albums

Slim Dusty, who died yesterday at 76, was Australia's great communicator, and not simply because he had 1000 songs to sing, writes Peter Garrett, ex-Midnight Oil.

"Slim Dusty transversed generations. He crossed over musical genres with his distinctive and authentically Australian voice. In pioneering terms, first he made country a musical form that was viable in Australia - it WAS Australian country music - and second, he laid some of the foundations of building and sustaining a career for all who followed, by heading out and playing to people all over the country ..."
Read on
State funeral planned

It's lonesome away from your kindred and all
By the camp fire at night where the wild dingoes call,
But there's nothing so lonesome so morbid or drear
Than to stand in a bar of a pub with no beer.

Now the publican's anxious for the quota to come
There's a far away look on the face of the bum
The maid's gone all cranky and the cook's acting queer
What a terrible place is a pub with no beer.

I live just up the road from Slim's home town, and not far from The Pub With No Beer at Taylor's Arm, made famous by Slim's 1946 hit song of the same name, which was the first official gold record in Australia. For all his 1000 songs and many hits, Slim could never get away from this one request. Slim Dusty celebrated 60 years of recording this year.
Midi audio of the song.

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