31 August 2004

Quote of the Day

"It's the economy stupid, not all of the brown people in the world / I don't want a moron gettin' this war on - and 'nucular' is not a word. . ."

~~Laura Love, "I Want You Gone" ©2003

Dawson Arrested at GOP Protest

EURWEB: Headlines: ROSARIO DAWSON ARRESTED: GOP protest mixup leads to actress being cuffed.

Rosario Dawson(Aug. 31, 2004) *Rosario Dawson probably thought she was being “Punk’d” for the second time when cops arrested her Sunday for disorderly conduct. Sadly, Ashton Kutcher was no where to be found.

Believing the cops could tell that she was an actress in the middle of a New York City film shoot and not one of the thousands of GOP protesters near the set, Rosario Dawson flat out refused police commands to move off of a roadway. And it didn’t help that she looked G’d up with a black bandana covering her nose and mouth.

According to the "New York Daily News," Dawson was filming a scene for a movie called "The Revolution," shooting just blocks away from the Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden. The film was using thousands of nearby GOP protesters as de facto extras. According to the criminal complaint, cops spotted Dawson and director Stephen Marshall in a road with about 30 people gathered around them.

A police officer told Dawson and co-star Brigita Grosgalvis that they had to leave the roadway, the complaint said, but they reportedly refused. They also refused to remove their bandanas, which violates a New York law prohibiting protesters from hiding their identities.

According to police, Dawson "refused to be handcuffed." Marshall reportedly tried to show police his city film permit but was also arrested. Dawson, Grosgalvis and Marshall were all put into a police van and taken into custody around noon. All three were charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, blocking traffic and obstruction of government administration. They were released without bail and told to return to court Nov. 9.


Fighting Terrorism Since 1492. . .

Note to Iraqis: "What ever you do, don't sign any treaties with these bastards, they're here to steal your land!"


Tribes, Iraqis Have Sovereignty Issues in Common

By JODI RAVE Lee Enterprises
August 28, 2004

A popular T-shirt in Indian Country these days shows Geronimo and his band brandishing rifles, looking mean and tough. The heading over the picture reads: "Homeland Security." The slogan under the photo: "Fighting Terrorism Since 1492."

It's an obvious play on U.S. policy since Sept. 11 - policy that led, in part, to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. But a more a apt comparison could be made between Native people and Iraqis.

Both are subject to U.S. definitions of sovereignty. And if Native history can be a guide, the Iraqi people should be worried.

A few centuries of Washington-led efforts to eliminate, restore and then chip away at tribal sovereignty have reduced formerly self-governing tribes to quasi-sovereign nations. Their remaining independence is frequently trumped by state and federal interests.
Another common tie uniting Iraq and Native people? U.S. interest in their sovereignty seems to rest squarely on each nation's wealth of natural resources.

Who will ultimately control Iraqi oil?

In the United States, chiefs and warriors like Crow Flies High, Sitting Bull and Chief Joseph were among the original homeland defenders - North America teemed with vast oil and mineral reserves, topped with timber stretches and nutrient-rich soils - who refused to adopt foreign concepts of self-governance.

Yet, the United States forced them to abandon land bases and traditional power structures. In 1934, Congress passed the Indian Reorganization Act, creating cookie-cutter constitutions for tribes.
Most tribes had no choice but to accept it.

The Dine, or Navajo, were among the few tribes to successfully reject the IRA. It remains one of the most culturally grounded, politically successful and populous tribes in the country.

Now, decades later and a half a world away, the United States is ushering in a new government, and new leadership for Iraq.
The militant cleric Muqtada al-Sadr refuses to accept Iraq's foreign-made government. Instead, he set up a military stronghold within the Imam Ali Shrine, where he has led a bloody battle in defiance of U.S. attempts to set the course for sovereignty in his homeland.

Will history paint him as Iraq's "savage Indian" or its Crazy Horse? How long can al-Sadr's bows and arrows withstand ferocious bombardment from U.S. aerial assaults?

But battles can only be waged for so long.

Here in the Land of Plenty, warriors laid down their weapons and chiefs signed treaties. In exchange for millions of acres, the United States promised to uphold tribal sovereignty and provide compensation for destroyed tribal infrastructures.

Government neglect remains a hallmark of that tradition.

The U.S. War Department was the first agency charged with helping tribes recover from warfare. The baton was later handed to the Interior Department and its Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Today, Eloise Cobell and more than 500,000 Native landowners are suing the Interior Department. They demand a proper accounting of billions of dollars missing from U.S. managed-trust fund accounts. The accounts contained money that belonged to tribal citizens; they earned the money from the use of natural resources on Native land.
If Native trust funds appear to be a boondoggle for the Interior Department, a similar scheme may likely haunt the Iraqi Trust Fund, created to pool billions of dollars needed to rebuild what war has destroyed.

The L.A. Times recently reported 27 criminal investigations of the U.S.-led agency overseeing the rebuilding of Iraq. It reports "evidence of millions of dollars' worth of fraud, waste, and abuse," according to the Coalitions Provisional Authorities inspector general.

If foreign-policy makers believe it's possible for a country to parachute into another nation, impose its military might, kill innocent civilians, install a new government then choose and replace its leaders - and still guarantee sovereignty - they might only look at U.S-Indian relations.

It's a lesson yet to be learned.

It's been 130 years since the last major Indian War was fought in this country. And 70 years since passage of the IRA.

In that time, U.S. leaders have made scant progress in rebuilding tribal infrastructures. And sovereignty is but a problematic curiosity.

Jodi Rave covers Native issues for Lee Enterprises. She can be reached at (406) 523-5299 or jodi.rave@missoulian.com

The Big Lie Lives On. . .

It just never stops. . .


ROGUE NATION: What Would Machiavelli Do? The Big Lie Lives On

   By Thom Hartmann via Truthout

   Thursday 26 August 2004

   There is nothing new about the Swift Boat ads.

   German filmmaker Fritz Kippler, one of Goebbels' most effective propagandists, once said that two steps were necessary to promote a Big Lie so the majority of the people in a nation would believe it. The first was to reduce an issue to a simple black-and-white choice that "even the most feebleminded could understand." The second was to repeat the oversimplification over and over. If these two steps were followed, people would always come to believe the Big Lie.

   In Kippler's day, the best example of his application of the principle was his 1940 movie "Campaign in Poland," which argued that the Polish people were suffering under tyranny - a tyranny that would someday threaten Germany - and that the German people could either allow this cancer to fester, or preemptively "liberate" Poland. Hitler took the "strong and decisive" path, the movie suggested, to liberate Poland, even though after the invasion little evidence was found that Poland represented any threat whatsoever to the powerful German Reich. The movie was Hitler's way of saying that invading Poland was the right thing to do, and that, in retrospect, he would have done it again.

   The Big Lie is alive and well today in the United States of America, and what's most troubling about it is the basic premise that underlies its use. In order for somebody to undertake a Big Lie, they must first believe Niccolo Machiavelli's premise (in "The Prince," 1532) that the end justifies the means.

   Hitler, after all, claimed to have based everything he did on the virtuous goal of uniting Europe - and then the world - in a thousand-year era of peace, foreshadowed in the Bible. If you believe that a thousand years of peace is such a noble end that any means is justified to reach it, it's a short leap to eugenics, preemptive wars, torture of dissidents and prisoners, and mass murder.

   Believing that the end justifies the means is the ultimate slippery slope. It will ultimately kill any noble goal, because even if the goal is achieved, it will have been corrupted along the way by the means used to accomplish it.

   In fiction, it's the story of Mary Shelley's good Doctor Frankenstein's attempt to conquer mortality, of Darth Vader's misuse of the Force, and of the tragic consequence of the inquisitive Dr. Jeckyll's attempt to understand good and evil going tragically wrong when, as Robert Louis Stevenson notes, he wrote, "I had gone to bed Henry Jekyll, I had awakened Edward Hyde."

   In real life, it's the story of the many tinpot dictators around the world who quote Jefferson while enforcing a brutal rule, of power industry executives pushing for lax mercury rules to "help the American economy," of the legion of lobbyists who work daily to corrupt democracy in the good name of GMOs, pharmaceuticals, and the insurance industry (among others).

   Gandhi, Jesus, and Buddha all warned us about it, as did Tolstoy, Tolkien, Hemmingway, and Kafka.

   Be it "small sins" like Nader getting into bed with Republicans to get on state ballots, or "big sins" like George W. Bush repeatedly asserting that he had to invade Iraq because of WMDs and because Saddam "threw out the weapons inspectors" (something Saddam never did - inspectors were removed by Clinton in 1998 and by Bush in 2003), trying to accomplish a "good" by using the means of an "evil" like a Big Lie inherently corrupts the good.

   Now the Bush campaign and its allies are encouraging a new series of Big Lie techniques to assail John Kerry's Vietnam War record. With a smug assurance of damage done to the enemy, George W. Bush refused to address specifically the misrepresentations in the ads, and called for "the end of all 527s," a goal he cynically knows unachievable in this election cycle.

   Defenders of the Bush campaign are overrunning the media, trying to imply equivalence between the Swift Boat ads and the many "attack" ads run by anti-Bush 527 organizations over previous months. But the Bush campaign has never disputed the truthfulness of charges against him (loss of jobs, ruinous Iraq policy, environmental despoliation, etc.) in previous 527 ads.

   Thus, there is no equivalence between the MoveOn (and other) ads and the Swift Boat ads, moral or otherwise. Truths and issues - however unpleasant - cannot be weighed on the same scale as lies and character assassination, explicit or implicit.

   This is why the Kerry campaign is not complaining about attacks per se - those are to be expected in politics - but about Big Lie techniques used in these particular attacks. Techniques, interestingly enough, that have an uncanny resemblance to character smears used by the Bush family against Michael Dukakis in 1988, against Ann Richards in 1994, against John McCain in 2000, and against Max Cleland in 2002.

   Lee Atwater, on his deathbed, realized that the "ends justifies the means" technique of campaigning he had unleashed on behalf of the Bush family was both immoral and harmful to American democracy.
   "In 1988, fighting Dukakis, I said that I 'would strip the bark off the little bastard' and 'make Willie Horton his [Dukakis'] running mate,'" Atwater said. "I am sorry for both statements: the first for its naked cruelty, the second because it makes me sound racist, which I am not. Mostly I am sorry for the way I thought of other people. Like a good general, I had treated everyone who wasn't with me as against me."

   But Atwater's spiritual and political prot?, Karl Rove, soldiers on. Big Lies are emerging from Bush allies with startling regularity, and old Big Lies are being resurrected almost daily, most on right-wing talk radio.

   The most alarming contrast in the election of 2004 isn't between the conservative Bush and liberal Kerry. It's between those who will use any means to get and hold power, and those who are unwilling to engage in the Big Lie.

   History tells us that, over the short term, the Big Lie usually works. Over the long term, though, the damage it does - both to those who use it, and to the society on which it is inflicted - is incalculable.

   Thom Hartmann (thom at thomhartmann.com) is a Project Censored Award-winning best-selling author and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk show. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People: A Call To Take Back America," and "What Would Jefferson Do?: A Return To Democracy."

Evidence of the "Bush Effect" on Terrorism

It's just like I thought...


Excerpt from article in The New Yorker Magazine:

A few days after the train bombing in Madrid, a terrorist group claiming affiliation with Al Qaeda sent a message to a London Islamic newspaper.

They avowed responsibility for the bombing and addressed the speculation that the terrorist would try to replicate their political success in Spain by disrupting the November U.S. elections.   "We are very keen that Bush does not lose the upcoming elections," the terrorist group writes.  Bush's "idiocy and religious fanaticism" are useful, the authors contend, for they stir the Islamic world to action...

*This is excerpted from a 13-page article by Lawrence Wright in the August 2, 2004 issue of The New Yorker Magazine. 

Appaloosa 2.0

Most excellent!


Tribe Reclaims Its Tradition With a New Breed of Horse
A chocolate brown horse with white speckles on his rump prances inside a small arena near the Nez Perce Indian Reservation town of Lapwai, population 932. The animal resembles an appaloosa, a horse historically associated with the Nez Perce, except it's taller and a little leaner.

"This is what we wanted for the tribe," says Rudy Shebala, a man under a black cowboy hat who runs the Nez Perce Indian Tribe's horse breeding program.

The Nez Perce developed the appaloosa breed from wild mustangs. The tribe lost its mounts in the Nez Perce War of 1877 and never regained its horse culture.

The light-footed war horses were scattered and the breed was lost.
Now, the tribe has reclaimed its place among horsemen by creating a new line called the Nez Perce Horse. It blends the appaloosa with traits from a lean Central Asian war horse called akhal-teke.
The breeding program was aided by a Minnesota breeder who donated four tall akhal-teke horses to the tribe in 1994. In the spring of 1995, 24 colts were born. Dozens more followed. The youngest generation is now almost fully grown.

The Nez Perce aren't ready to brag yet, because the breed is so young, Shebala said. But everything looks good so far.
"Dreams are scary when they start coming true," Shebala said. "We have these awesome horses now."

They also have the attention of the national media.

The Nez Perce have always captured the imaginations of Western culture buffs, because of the appaloosa and Chief Joseph's famous speech, "I will fight no more forever."

The historical significance of the tribe reuniting with its horse culture has pushed the Nez Perce to the forefront of popular culture.
The New York Times and Sunset Magazine have written stories about the tribe. Cable channels like A&E, Outdoor Channel and NW Cable news have all featured the Nez Perce horse program.

Interest has been increasing as the program matures. Visitors driving through the area frequently spot the horses grazing in pens.
"Hi, we're here to see the horses," says a woman leading two others.
Shebala's assistant waves them toward the pen where colts are kept.
With two full-time employees and 80 horses, the program's 1999 budget was $111,000 -- funded by the tribe, Shebala said. He recently sold a horse to a Virginia man for $5,000.

Shebala wants to develop a thriving horse business while bringing a horse culture back to the people.

Helping him out during the summer are 10 teenagers who are part of the tribe's youth program.

Carl Ray Powaukee, 15, keeps a horsehair braid on his hat, a gift from a woman he helped once while riding a rough trail.

"I like riding horses," Powaukee said. "I'm just usually out here all the time, riding horses or feeding and watering them."

Six teens haul hay into bins, clean out stalls and practice their riding skills while Shebala watches.

Many are also part of the Young Horseman project for youth age 14-21 who are trained to care for horses as their ancestors did.

In July, they rode with the Salish and Kootenai Indians while repairing trails on the Montana route the Nez Perce used during the 1877 war.
"It's really wonderful to see these young people," said Otis Halfmoon, an unofficial tribal historian and manager at the Nez Perce National Historical Park. "There's great pride in their eyes when you visit with them."

And with so many young people getting involved again with horses, their parents and grandparents are learning horsemanship with other reservation groups like the Chief Joseph Foundation and Nez Perce Appaloosa Club.

And along with the renewed interest is a return of old regalia and traditional ceremonial wear for horses. Halfmoon recently saw a Nez Perce horse dressed in a cornhusk trapping, the kind of work no one does anymore, he said.

"A lot of Nez Perce families, they save and put away a lot of the regalia. They must have put it in a trunk and they decided to bring it out again," Halfmoon said. "To see these old things come back makes me feel good."

It ensures the culture will never die, he said.


30 August 2004

My Brother's New Gig

My younger brother David has a regular column in this new mag. Check it out at your local bookstore.


Glued Magazine Stuck on TV the #1 resource for smart TV watchers

Athens Games Close with Spectacular Show

Thank You Greece, Thanks Athens! It was Great!


BBC SPORT: Greece Bids Games Farewell

The 2004 Olympic Games officially came to an end in Athens with a spectacular closing ceremony on Sunday.

Greek music and dance kicked off an evening of celebration before the flame was extinguished and the flag lowered.

A firework display welcomed the athletes into the Olympic Stadium, with double gold-medallist Kelly Holmes carrying Great Britain's flag.

The torch has now been passed to China as Beijing prepares to host the Games in 2008.

Their athletes will be relishing the prospect of performing on home soil after collecting a record medal haul in Athens.

They finished second in the overall medal table behind the United States, with Great Britain finishing a creditable 10th.

Despite pre-Games fears over construction and security, the Athens Olympics have generally been hailed as a success.

In his closing speech, International Olympic committee president Jacques Rogge told the city: "You have won.

"These were unforgettable, dream Games."

And Athens Games boss Gianna Angelopoulos added: "The Olympics came home and we've shown the world the great things Greeks can do."

The opening of the Games was overshadowed by the missed drugs tests of Greek stars Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou.

And among a steady stream of failed drugs tests during the two-week event, three Olympic champions were stripped of their titles.

But Rogge said the 2004 Games would be remembered for the improvement in drug testing which allowed honest athletes to prevail.

"These Games were held in peace and brotherhood," he said.

"These were the Games where it became increasingly difficult to cheat and where clean athletes were better protected."

Earlier in the Games, Rogge had described security, which saw athletes outnumbered seven to one by security personnel, as "flawless".

But on the final day of action, the men's marathon was marred by an intruder who dramatically pushed race leader Vanderlei de Lima into the crowd.

De Lima went on to take bronze which he was awarded during the closing ceremony.

The Brazilian was also honoured with the Pierre de Coubertin Medal, which recognises acts of sportsmanship, and was given a huge cheer by those in the stadium.

It was one of many highlights of the two-week extravaganza, which also saw two notable athletics doubles.

After Holmes' double over 800m and 1500m, Morrocan Hicham El Guerrouj became the first man since Paavo Nurmi in 1924 to win both the 1500m and 5,000m.

And earlier in the Games, US swimmer Michael Phelps scooped six gold medals among a total of eight.

Team GB had its ups and downs, with Matthew Pinsent's tears after winning his fourth Olympic gold contrasting with the tears of despair as Paula Radcliffe saw her marathon dreams disappear.

But Britain ended on a high note when teenage boxing sensation Amir Khan picked up a well-deserved silver to take Britain's final medal tally to 30 - eclipsing the total from Sydney 2000 by two.

Story from BBC SPORT:

Published: 2004/08/29 20:57:27 GMT


29 August 2004

Proud NDN Girl


A first grade teacher explains to her class that she is an American.
She asks her students to raise their hands if they were American too.
Not really knowing why but wanting to be like their teacher, their
hands explode into the air like flashy fireworks.

There is, however, one exception.

A girl named Gita has not gone along with the crowd.
The teacher asks her why she has decided to be different.

"Because I am not an American." replied Gita.

"Then", asks the teacher, "What are you?"

"I'm a proud Indian," boasts the little girl.

The teacher is a little perturbed now, her face slightly red. She asks Gita why she is an Indian.

"Well, my mom and dad are Indians, so I'm an Indian too."

The teacher is now angry. "That's no reason", she says loudly "if
your mom was an idiot, and your dad was an idiot, what would you be then?"

A pause and a smile; "Then" says Gita, "I'd be an American."

Quote of the Day

"When your army entered the country of the Six Nations, we called you Caunotaucarius, the Town Destroyer, and to this day when that name is heard, our women look behind them and turn pale, and our children cling to the knees of their mothers. . ."

~~Cornplanter, Seneca, to George Washington, 1790

The Latest From Chief Arvol Looking Horse

ICT [2004/08/27] Looking Horse explains traditional stand as Unity Ride nears summit

Posted: August 27, 2004 - 11:07am EST

by: Jim Adams / Associate Editor / Indian Country Today

OHSWEKEN, Ontario - As the summer-long Unity Ride and Run neared its end at the International Elders Summit on the Six Nations Reserve of the Grand River, Arvol Looking Horse, one of the most widely known and possibly most controversial Native spiritual leaders of the current generation, defended the traditional position in a conversation with Indian Country Today.

"We’re the original caretakers," he said. "We’re traditional people. I’ve been traditional people all my life. I have no choice."

Looking Horse, Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Woman pipe bundle, was in the news recently in a protest over the use of pipestone in a floor installation at the new National Museum of the American Indian. Because of several complaints, the NMAI removed the pipestone, which came from the Minnesota quarries of red clay stone (also called Catlinite) used to fashion the bowls of the sacred pipes. But he also discussed broader controversies arising from decisions at recent meetings of traditional elders to restrict non-Indian involvement in sacred indigenous ceremonies.

This long-standing concern came to the fore in an important gathering December 2002 in Lame Deer, Mont., which one organizer, Northern Cheyenne Sun Dance leader Bernard Red Cherries, said at the time was inspired in part by reports of the deaths of two non-Indian participants in an improperly run sweat lodge. Looking Horse emerged as a spokesman for subsequent meetings on "protection of the ceremonies" and also took the brunt of the critical reaction.

In March 2003, he issued a detailed statement excluding non-Natives from the hocoka, the sacred center of the Seven Rites of the Sioux Nation. According to a tradition that some scholars say is confirmed by contemporary documents, the Sioux learned these rites from a mysterious visitor known as the White Buffalo Calf Woman.

Looking Horse told ICT that he was asked to make that statement by participants in a meeting of some 22 "Spiritual Leaders and Bundle Keepers" of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota nations, the Cheyenne and the Arapaho. "When I met that statement," he said, "only a person in my position could make that statement.

"When I went back home, they turned around and criticized me, about protecting the ceremonies. Even today, they’re saying Arvol stands alone.

"If Crazy Horse was alive, I’m sure he’d stand with me."

An accomplished horseman, Looking Horse was also a leader in the Unity Ride healing movement begun in 1986 to retrace the journey of Chief Sitanka, which ended in the 1892 massacre at Wounded Knee, S.D. Subsequent rides have journeyed through Canada. The current Unity Ride began in the spring of 2003 with the ultimate goal of honoring the "Great Tree of Peace" on Iroquois territory. The current stage set out from Sioux Valley, Manitoba on June 24 and was scheduled to arrive at the Six Nations Reserve on Aug. 27 to inaugurate a week-long International Indigenous Elders Summit.

"We’re trying to do this as traditional as we can today," he said. "So we’re going to ride there."

Looking Horse explained his role in the controversy about the new NMAI building:

"When I heard about the pipestone being in the lobby, or entrance where the people come in, I thought this was very disrespectful. In our traditional ways, in our protocols, ceremonies, in our sacred way of life, we respect everything; everything is sacred. For instance, a child, you can’t put our children’s clothes on the floor. You can’t even walk over our children’s clothes or our children.

"What I told them was this is something that is created by the Creator, the red pipestone, is part of our people and the sacred pipe made of the red pipestone and to do that is like putting Bibles on the floor and walking all over them.

"In our sacred places we don’t allow women to come in who are on their moon. We don’t know how many women on their moon are coming in [to the NMAI foyer]. These are things they’re not looking at. We were upset."

In a broader context, Looking Horse said the pipestone protest was part of the campaign to protect the sacred rites. "What we’re up against today," he said, "is every time you turn around someone is borrowing our ceremonies. We’re talking about protection of our ceremonies.

"In spiritual sense, we have a spiritual people getting sick as a people. It falls back on our people, and people are getting sick because of it. Even people are trying to blame me. They say that I’m doing this and I’m doing that, and people are getting sick. Look at what’s happening to the sacred sites and the pipestone quarries, the red pipestone itself. They’re selling that and abusing that, and that’s why the people are getting sick."

"And one of the elders we have today said the leaders think about the seventh generation, but today people just think about their back pocket. We need to bring strong leaders back to our sacred way, they need to understand why we have sicknesses and negative energy - because people are not walking the sacred way of life.

"And the White Buffalo Calf Woman said ‘walk upon Mother Earth in a sacred manner.’ And this is a way of life, that we walk upon Mother Earth in a sacred manner."

Looking Horse said that he had met the U.S. Attorney in Pierre, S.D. for help in enforcing federal law prohibiting non-Natives from using eagle feathers. The elders behind the "protection of ceremonies" statements look to that law as the means of enforcing their protocols.

"I told him we respect the eagles, the eagle nation," Looking Horse said. "Where eagles are being taken off the endangered species list, I told him, no, we have to add on the red pipestone quarry. Right now, the market makes it an endangered species.

"Every person is supposed to make his own pipe; that’s our traditional way. That way they understand the meaning of the sacred pipe.
"But today, everybody buys their pipes, and who knows what kind of energy it comes with? You sell them for different reasons, and that’s what we’re talking about."

Looking Horse has sometimes been criticized for his extensive travels and his efforts to introduce the outside world to the Lakota religion. He replied that the message had global importance.

"Some people think we’re just talking about on the reservation. But no, I tell them ‘open your eyes to what’s going on around the world.’ On Internet they’re selling our ceremonies. Even when a white buffalo calf is born, why do we pay attention to a white buffalo born in Janesville, [Wis.] because it’s off the reservation? Our people are thinking about boundaries, just on the reservation, but in our ceremonies, it’s so important, everything is global.

"It’s Mother Earth," he said, illustrating with the ceremony often called the sweat lodge. "In the Inipi, our ceremony we call inipi, you go in there you only see half; the other half it’s below the earth. They argue it’s only on the reservation, but holistically it’s the Mother Earth.

"But always maintain the ceremonies," he said. "They’re doing this very important message from our reservation, from our sacred sites."
Looking Horse has emphasized this global reach in a series of World Peace and Prayer days held each Spring Equinox for more than a decade. In recent years, ceremonies have taken place in sacred sites around the world. Borrowing a term from Tibetan Buddhism, he said, "These are the chakras of Mother Earth."

But next year, he said, the main observance would come home to the Black Hills in South Dakota, in the Tower, Grey Butte area. "Right now, we’re working on that," he said.

But his recent schedule has revolved around the Unity Ride. "It’s a huge event in Six Nations, Canada, the Elders Summit," he said. "Since I came back from Japan, I’ve been on this ride. I ran a Sun Dance, and I’m going back on the ride. The UN had an Indigenous Day for 10 years," he said, "This is the tenth year."

Looking Horse sees the past decade as a momentous period of the Lakota religion, as well. "In 1994, the first white buffalo was born. Almost every year since then a white buffalo calf has been born. White Buffalo Calf Woman said, "I shall return, when the people are having a hard time.’ She said, "I would come to earth as a white buffalo, with black nose and black tongue.’

"Since 1994 almost every year a white buffalo calf has been born. When I came out of Sun Dance I heard … that a white buffalo calf was born in Venezuela."
This article can be found at http://www.indiancountry.com/?1093619286

28 August 2004

Quote of the Day

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. . ."

~~Theodore Roosevelt, May 7,1918

27 August 2004

Number 9 Has Left the Stadium. . .

Hamm Goes Out in Style

Women's football legend Mia Hamm went out on a high by confirming her retirement after winning Olympic gold.

Hamm was the most successful player of her generation, winning more than 200 international caps for the USA.

After helping the United States to victory over Brazil on Thursday - her second Olympic gold medal - Hamm said she had made the right decision.

"I want to have a life after soccer that includes quality of life," the 32-year-old striker insisted.

Hamm's career spanned 17 years, during which time she became a household name in the USA, inspiring thousands of women to take up the sport.

But she believes she is no longer at an age to perform at the very highest level.

"We've seen the game grow and change and intensify every single year," she said.

"I hope I see myself at the very beginning, that there are so many better things to come."

Hamm, who scored two goals in Athens but failed to get on the scoresheet in the final, admitted she did not know what she was going to do with herself in retirement.

"I'm happy to say I have no idea and that's excellent with me," she said.

"Now I if I want to go for a run I can go for a run without having to worry about the time."

IOC Tells Bush to Stop Ads

The man simply has no respect for international institutions which do not allow themselves to be dominated by the United States. . .


IOC Furious Over Bush Ads

IOC furious over Bush ads

Athens - Top International Olympic Committee officials are furious at what they see as US President George Bush's hijacking of the Olympic name for his re-election campaign.

IOC marketing head Gerhard Heiberg tried to play down the controversy on Wednesday, saying simply that they would like the ads running on American television to stop.

"We are following what is happening and hope the campaign will stop," said Heiberg.

"The United States Olympic Committee is dealing with the matter. We own the rights to the Olympic name and no one has asked our permission," he added.

But privately the IOC is seething.

The ads use words and images to invoke the Athens Games.

One says "This Olympics ... there will be two more free nations" in a clear reference to Afghanistan and Iraq.

The ads air on MSNBC, CNBC and other NBC cable networks during their Olympic programming.

Heiberg said that having seen the ad, "We would like to see it changed a little."

Other officials are less reticent.

"The arrogance of the US administration is quite amazing. To hijack the Olympics name ... it is difficult to put it into words," said one senior IOC member.

There was further anger here when there were suggestions that President Bush would come to the Olympics if Iraq had won their semi-final soccer match against Paraguay on Tuesday.

It was seen by many IOC members as another move by the US president to exploit the Olympics in his campaign against his Democratic rival John Kerry.

Heiberg admitted he was uncomfortable at the Olympic brand being used by politicians.

"This is not good. We do not want this to happen. We are politically neutral," said Heiberg.

On Tuesday the controversial British political party the UK Independence Party, hijacked the IOC rings when they unfurled a banner in London carrying the Paris 2012 logo carrying the rings and vowed their support for the French bid.

A spokesman for the party said that they were backing Paris because they did not want London taxpayers to pay for hosting the Games.

Paris, London, New York, Madrid and Moscow are all vying for the 2012 Games.

The decision will be taken at the IOC Session in Singapore next July.

The IOC has a special team of commercial investigators to stop anyone worldwide using the famous five rings - one of the most recognised symbols in the world.

Recently a chain store in Britain was stopped from selling polo shirts with the word Olympics on it.

"33 Extreme Reasons to Give Bush the Boot!"

It's time to wake up and smell the roadkill!


'We Could Control This Country': 33 Extreme Reasons to Give Bush the Boot

by Maureen Farrell

"I am deeply disturbed by the dangerous and growing influence of people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell on our nation’s political leaders." – Walter Cronkite, January, 2004

Last week, I wrote about how the GOP's secret bride, the Religious Right, will be shuffled into the broom closet during next week’s Republican National Convention. And lest you think this is a case of leftist "religion bashing," consider this: The National Council of Churches, which represents the country's Methodists, Episcopalians,Lutherans, Presbyterians and 32 other denominations, has, against all tradition, been brushed aside by this President, while evangelicalshave enjoyed unparalleled access. . .

26 August 2004

Frank Sanache (Meskwaki) 1918 - 2004

Code Talker, Last One from His tribe, Dies
Frank Sanache was 86

by Sam Lewin 8/24/2004

The achievements of Frank Sanache, the last living Code Talker from the Meskwaki Indian tribe, are being remembered following his death this past weekend.

Sanache passed away Saturday at the age of 86. He was all that remained of the original eight members of the tribe who served as scouts and Code Talkers for eight companies of their division in North Africa during World War 2. The Meskawaki Tribe is based in Tama, Iowa. They were one of 18 tribes that sent Code Talkers out during the war. Twenty-seven Meskwakis in total enlisted in the Iowa National Guard in 1941 and were activated in the Army's 34th Division. Sanache was the eldest at the age of twenty-two, and later news accounts indicate he took a leadership role.

Karen Morris works for the tribe’s Senior Center. She said she knew Sanache her “whole life.”

“ He was a pretty quite guy, didn’t say much,” Morris told the Native American Times.

She said he never discussed his wartime service.

Sanache never really got the chance to use his language skills after being shipped to North Africa because of the limited numbers of the Meskwakis and the short range of walkie-talkies. Sanache was captured just five months after he arrived in North Africa and spent 28 months as a prisoner of war in a Polish camp after being captured by the Germans. Sanache once called the duty in the African desert, "the worst place this side of hell.”

President Bush presented twenty-nine original Navajo code talkers with the Congressional Gold Medal in 2001. The Meskwakis never received that recognition, although Senators Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, both pushed for it along with other lawmakers.

"Unfortunately, the Meskwaki code talkers were left out of the recognition received by the Navajos," said Sen. John Putney, a Republican who co-sponsored a resolution in the Iowa legislature that honored Sanache. "They did the same job and sacrificed greatly, and so I believe it is time that we honor our own Native Americans and request that the Congress do so too.

Harkin awarded Sanache medals in 2002.

Sanache’s brother, Willard, also served as a Code Talker. The others from the Meskwaki were Dewey Youngbear, Edward Benson, Judie Wayne Wabaunasee, Mike Wayne Wabaunasee, Dewey Roberts, and Melvin Twin.

Sanache worked at a paper mill upon returning to Iowa. Morris said that he is survived by four daughters.

Boykin: A Disgrace to the Uniform

This is some depressingly scary and disturbing shit. Reminds me of Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale." Welcome back to the Dark Ages. . .


Three-Star Bigotry


A Defense Department investigation has found that a top Army general violated Pentagon rules with his anti-Muslim remarks to Christian groups, yet one Pentagon official dismissed the errors as "relatively minor." That obtuseness reflects a stunning inability to understand how much the comments have hurt the United States abroad.

It is unfathomable why Lt. Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin has been allowed to keep his job. When Boykin's remarks became known last October, President Bush limited himself to a tepid announcement that the comments about Muslims and Islam did not reflect his point of view or that of his administration. And Boykin soldiers on.

The general remains the deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, the job he held while appearing in uniform to tell an Oregon religious group in June 2003 that radical Islamists hated the U.S. "because we're a Christian nation â€∫ and the enemy is a guy named Satan." He told a Florida audience months earlier that a Muslim Somali warlord was captured because
"I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

Boykin's comments have been widely reported in the Muslim world. They resonate with supporters of Osama bin Laden and other radical Islamic fundamentalists preaching a war between Islam and Christian "crusaders" and Jews. Any time the flames of bigotry wane, a fundamentalist need only broadcast a tape of Boykin again and contend he is mouthing official U.S. policy, made clear by the fact that he holds the same job and wears the
same uniform. U.S. Muslims have protested, for good reason.

The internal Defense Department report concluded that Boykin had failed to clear the speeches with the Pentagon, had not given a required statement that he was not speaking for the military and had failed to report that a religious group paid for his travel. His punishment is unlikely to go beyond a written reprimand.

The comments would be bad enough from a buck private. From a three-star general whose job includes gathering information for the campaign against Islamic radicals, they are unforgivable. Let Boykin retire and speak out as much as he wants. But do not give others the chance to assume that the general speaks for the Pentagon, the administration and the nation.

Two months ago, Bush told the graduating class at the U.S. Air Force Academy that a clash of ideologies should not be viewed as a fight between civilizations or religions. He called Islam a religion that "teaches moral responsibility that ennobles men and women." Fine words, those, and incompatible with letting one of his generals get away with preaching bigotry.

Laura Love: 'You Ain't Got No Easter Clothes'

Just came home from Joseph-Beth with this CD. If you are a Laura Love fan, it's a must buy. If you don't know who Laura Love is- Where the feck have you been? This is REAL music, not the big corporate watered down tripe usually found on the store shelves. Laura Love is indeed a remarkable woman . . .


NPR : Laura Love: 'You Ain't Got No Easter Clothes'

Aug. 26, 2004 -- Singer-songwriter Laura Love isn't yet a household name, but she's done pretty well for an African-American woman who grew up in abject poverty in Nebraska -- a place where other black faces like hers were few and far between.

She's got her own flavor of music she calls folk-funk, and has sold more than 200,000 records over the span of her short and very independent career. Her latest creative blast is a combination memoir and CD of songs inspired by the trials during her young life, You Ain't Got No Easter Clothes.

The Tavis Smiley Show producer Roy Hurst talks to Love about her music, her writing and her very unique story. Love's life story isn't an easy one, but her words and music convey a wry wit and deep sense of joy and humor.

Almost all of the songs on the You Ain't Got No Easter Clothes CD were composed at the same time she wrote her memoir. The book reveals Love's often shocking struggle against adversity -- her mother's mental illness, the family's deep poverty, her stays in foster homes and other setbacks.

But instead of hitting back, Love's words and music recall the gratitude, joy and sense of humor that characterize her outlook on life. The album's opening track, "Good Enough for Me," is a paen to the words of wisdom she absorbed from loved ones as she grew up.

Love is currently touring to perform her songs, and she's including a number of readings and book signings on her nationwide tour.

Visit LauraLove.net

25 August 2004

Quote of the Day

"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your
hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and
you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these
things don't matter at all, because once you are Real
you can't be ugly, except to people who don't
understand. . ."

- Margery Williams, 'The Velveteen Rabbit'

24 August 2004

Quote of the Day

"The bicycle is the vehicle of a new mentality. It quietly challenges
a system of values which condones dependency, wastage, inequality of mobility, and daily carnage."

--Jim McGurn

Cruel & Unusual Punishment: In the Eye of the Beholder

By Leonard Peltier

Amendment VIII. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

The Eighth Amendment is supposed to be about dignity, humanity and decency. It is intended to prohibit "deliberate indifference to serious infliction of unnecessary or wanton pain or physical torture or lingering death." The Eighth Amendment, I'm told, should reflect the standards of a maturing society and your correctional system shouldn't be just about depriving people of freedom, but rehabilitation.

But that is not how it works for me or many other prisoners. Protection against "cruel and unusual punishment" has faded away as have the rights of ordinary citizens under such things as the Patriot Act and Homeland Security. More and more information about FBI misconduct has come to light recently. Our government continues to fabricate and/or withhold evidence. They do this not to protect and serve, but for political gain.

Prison is a very cruel reality. But unusual? Imprisonment has become a common experience, especially among Native Americans. There are now approximately 3 million people in United States prisons.
The Constitution protects against "cruel and unusual punishment," and, therefore, if the Constitution has meaning, then you, as citizens, MUST care. To ignore the cruel and extreme conditions prisoners endure- overcrowding, poor medical care, and unhealthy conditions -- is to return to a way that the Eighth Amendment was intended to end.

The courts say prison officials have to have acted with deliberate indifference to the safety, health and welfare of prisoners for punishment to be considered cruel and unusual. I don't know what this means because 'deliberate indifference' is a way of life in prison. Imagine suffering a stroke, as I did, and slowly losing part of your sight in an environment where all of your senses are required for survival; or suffering extreme jaw pain for years, until the United Nations forced your government to stop the torture and provide the necessary health care.

There are other ways prisoners are deprived of their humanity. In many prisons, we Native Americans are not allowed to practice our spiritual beliefs and traditions, as if separation from the earth with which we are one-as stewards, not owners-were not punishment enough.

The Eighth Amendment prohibits arbitrary and disproportionate punishments, too. The normal Federal guideline for prisoners convicted of homicide offenses is 200+ months. This means that I should have been released from prison over a decade ago. The U.S. Parole Commission refuses to consider the possibility of my receiving parole until at least December 2008 -- when I will have served double the normal time-and there is no guarantee that I will be paroled even then. This disproportionate sentence is particularly cruel and unusual because there is no basis to support the Commission's reasons for doubling my time for parole consideration. The Commission explains its departure from its own congressionally mandated guidelines by saying that I was involved in an ambush of two FBI agents and that I executed them at point blank range after the agents had been incapacitated. There's no evidence to support those findings and there never was. The government attorneys have even admitted that they do not know who shot the agents.

The Commission's ruling is not supported by my convictions, which the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld on an aiding and abetting theory. That was a shift in the government's position after we discovered the government withheld evidence that undercut their case. I was never tried on aiding and abetting and there is no evidence that I knowingly aided and abetted in the shooting of the two agents.

I can tell you I didn't intend (nor did I) shoot anyone. My only crime was that I defended my People from attack. In my culture, our first responsibility is always survival. There is no other choice when faced with destruction, but to turn and defend ourselves, our women and our children. That is what I did when the agents invaded the private property of the people I and others were there to protect. Yet, I remain in prison awaiting another appeal, another parole hearing. and so it goes.

The so-called patriots of today ignore constitutional protections, the very ideas this country was founded upon. Under the guise of threats to national security, the U.S. government has rounded up terrorists< and detained them, never to try them or, if they do, to conduct sham trials.

This reminds me of the stories I heard as a child about the hanging of 39 Dakota warriors on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota. The hanging followed trials which condemned over 300 combatants in the 1862 Dakota Conflict, and stands as the largest mass execution in American history. The mere participation of the warriors in a battle justified the death sentence. So, where a prisoner admitted firing shots, he was immediately pronounced guilty without any consideration. President Lincoln might have signed the death warrants of all 300 defendants. He stopped at 38 after an aide told him that history would look upon him unfavorably if he signed all of the death warrants. A youth the guards simply grabbed along the way to the gallows became the 39th victim. The mass execution occurred in the opening years of the American-Sioux treaty conflict that would not end until the Seventh Calvary completed its massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on December 29, 1890.

What I have learned in the past 28 years is that innocence is the weakest defense where your government has decided to target a person and/or squash dissent. Innocence has a single voice that can only say over and over again, "I didn't do it." Guilt has a thousand voices, all of them lies. And, unless an innocent lies and admits guilt-so the government can claim victory-the innocent remains imprisoned. Punishment for a crime a person did not commit is the cruelest punishment of all.

In the end, maybe you think injustice can't happen to you, only to someone else, the Other. Maybe you can sweep the streets of all undesirables, of everyone who is an Other. But, one day, you may be declared the Other yourself.

What then?

Justice is not a flexible tool. Unless we all do our part to ensure that justice is applied equally to all human beings, we are a party to its abuse. We must stand together to protect the rights of others. No child should go hungry, no woman denied protection from abuse, no person refused health care or an education, no prisoner held for political reasons. But, as long as any constitutional rights are allowed to become meaningless, YOU are at risk. The sad thing is that most people outside the prison walls don't even know it.

Mitakuye Oyasin.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Leonard Peltier

Dylan Jefferson's Grand Entry

What a moment! I would loved to have been there. . .


GrandEntry: Soldier Expresses His Joy by Dancing at Crow Fair

Of The Gazette Staff
August 21, 2004

CROW AGENCY - Camouflage is meant to make a soldier less conspicuous. Not so for Spc. Dylan Jefferson as he danced into the arbor at Crow Fair on Friday evening.

Followed by hundreds of dancers in bright regalia, Jefferson's Army camo stood out as much as a fancy dancer's bustle would be in Tikrit, Iraq, where he has spent the last 18 months.

Kicking back at Crow Fair, a huge hometown event he has missed for two years, "is the best feeling," Jefferson said.

Jefferson flew into Billings on Wednesday and was met by a group of well-wishers whose warrior's welcome kicked off a four-day round of honors, including carrying the eagle staff and leading the grand entry into the powwow Friday evening at Crow Fair.

Being home and enjoying the safety of being with friends and going shopping in Billings is a nice although a "kind of weird" change of pace, Jefferson said.

"We're always carrying a weapon and watching our backs," Jefferson said. "To come home and not have to worry about that, all I can say is it feels good, it's a wonderful experience."

Jefferson is a man of few words, but he exuded happiness while standing in the sun waiting to lead the dancers into the arbor.
"I'm just getting over how hot it was and the stress, no sleep," he said.

Jefferson joined the Army fresh out of Hardin High School when he was 17. He needed his mother, Melanie Walker, to approve his enlistment. Signing the Army papers is a move Walker said she does not regret, even though she gets kind of crazy keeping up with war news.
"It's good to see him back," Walker said sitting in her family's camp at Crow Fair. "I go through spells. If I let it get to me, I'll just sit there and cry, then I just have to pick myself up and work. Keep busy and pray."

Jefferson, who had a birthday last week, has always been responsible, disciplined and a "really good kid," Walker said. But the veteran who returned to Crow Fair is not the boy who was a championship dancer there just a few years ago.

"He's really matured," she said. "He's only 20 years old and he's already seen so much."

His younger brother, Kameron, senses a more subtle change: "I see him as the same, but happier - happier to be home."

Jefferson usually calls his family on Sundays. Depending on the satellite phone reception, they talk 15 to 30 minutes. He knew his family was praying and rooting for him, but when Jefferson came into the airport and saw dozens of others there, he realized how many people had him in their thoughts.

Jefferson's dad, Calvin, said his son was elated as they drove in a caravan through Crow Agency and the campgrounds Wednesday night, even if the soldier thought they were a little loud for the late hour.

"Hey, it's not every day you go to war and come home a warrior," Calvin Jefferson said, adding that this time is an emotional and spiritual recharge for his son.

Jefferson still has six months to serve in his tour of duty in Iraq. He will leave in early September and return to duty in Tikrit with the 1st Infantry Division, 2nd Brigade. The city is the hometown of Saddam Hussein and, possibly because it was one of the first cities occupied, it has been relatively quiet in terms of insurgent attacks.

"I keep watching the news (to see) where the activity is," Walker said, her mother's nerves showing. "Right now in Tikrit, there's not much, but it could change. At this point, anything could happen."

Next week Jefferson's family will indulge his request to go to Big Splash water park. Laughing and enjoying the cool water is just about as far removed as one can get from conflict-filled, hot days in Iraq.

Jefferson said he is well provided for in Iraq, but care packages are much needed and much appreciated.

"There's a lot of stress out there, the heat," he said. "When you get stuff in from the states; care packages, they give you that warm feeling."


23 August 2004

Black Mold on the Rez'

Once again, the Rez' gets the worst of the last. . .
I'll bet if they found black mold in the White House, they'd have USAMRIID and the CDC there scoping it out!


High levels of black mold found in Pine Ridge Reservation homes

Posted on Wed, Aug. 18, 2004

Associated Press

PINE RIDGE, S.D. - After living in their Pine Ridge Indian Reservation home for 12 years, Jerome High Horse's family moved out in 2002 because black mold made living conditions unbearable.

"It looked like somebody took black paint and started to paint in the corners of the walls and ran it down to the floor," said High Horse. "To breathe in there was like trying to breathe with a trash bag over your head."

He attributes the mold to poor construction that led to ventilation problems.

Haz-Matters Inc., of Black Hawk, inspected the High Horse home in 2002. Its report says fungal spores in the home exceeded safe levels. The firm's recommendations said the home may be considered uninhabitable, depending on the health and medical conditions of the occupants. . .

Hippocratic or Hypocritical?

What ever happened to "do no harm"?


Analysis: Doctors a Part of Iraq Abuse

Aug 19, 8:45 PM EDT

AP Medical Writer

LONDON (AP) -- Doctors working for the U.S. military in Iraq collaborated with interrogators in the abuse of detainees at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison, profoundly breaching medical ethics and human rights, a bioethicist charges in The Lancet medical journal.

In a scathing analysis of the behavior of military doctors, nurses and medics, University of Minnesota professor Steven Miles calls for a reform of military medicine and an official investigation into the role played by physicians and other medical staff in the torture scandal.

He cites evidence that doctors or medics falsified death certificates to cover up homicides, hid evidence of beatings and revived a prisoner so he could be further tortured. No reports of abuses were initiated by medical personnel until the official investigation into Abu Ghraib began, he found.

"The medical system collaborated with designing and implementing psychologically and physically coercive interrogations," Miles said in this week's edition of Lancet. "Army officials stated that a physician and a psychiatrist helped design, approve and monitor interrogations at Abu Ghraib."

The analysis does not shed light on how many doctors were involved or how widespread the problem of medical complicity was, aspects that Miles said he is now investigating.

A U.S. military spokesman said the incidents recounted by Miles came primarily from the Pentagon's own investigation of the abuses.

"Many of these cases remain under investigation and charges will be brought against any individual where there is evidence of abuse," said Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, U.S. Army spokesman for detainee operations in Iraq.

In a related matter, two military officials in Washington said Thursday that a high-level Army inquiry will cite medical personnel who knew of abuse at Abu Ghraib but did not report it up the chain of command. The inquiry also will criticize senior U.S. commanders for a lack of leadership that allowed abuses to occur, but finds no evidence they ordered the abuse, said the sources, who spoke condition of anonymity.

Photographs of prisoners being abused and humiliated by U.S. troops in Iraq have sparked worldwide condemnation. Although the conduct of soldiers has been scrutinized, the role of medical staff in the scandal has received relatively little attention.

"The detaining power's health personnel are the first and often the last line of defense against human rights abuses. Their failure to assume that role emphasizes to the prisoner how utterly beyond humane appeal they are," Miles said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

He said military medicine reform needs to be enshrined in international law and include more clout for military medical staff in the defense of human rights.

Miles gathered evidence from U.S. congressional hearings, sworn statements of detainees and soldiers, medical journal accounts and press reports to build a picture of physician complicity, and in isolated cases active participation by medical personnel in abuse at the Baghdad prison, as well as in Afghanistan and at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba.

In one example, cited in a sworn statement from an Abu Ghraib detainee, a prisoner collapsed and was apparently unconscious after a beating. Medical staff revived the detainee and left, allowing the abuse to continue, Miles reported.

Depositions from two detainees at Abu Ghraib described an incident in which a doctor allowed a medically untrained guard to sew up a prisoner's wound.

A military police officer reported a medic inserted an intravenous tube into the corpse of a detainee who died while being tortured to create evidence that he was alive at the hospital, Miles said.

At prisons in both Iraq and Afghanistan, "Physicians routinely attributed detainee deaths on death certificates to heart attacks, heat stroke or natural causes without noting the unnatural (cause) of the death," Miles wrote.

He cites an example from a Human Rights Watch report in which soldiers tied a beaten detainee to the top of his cell door and gagged him. The death certificate indicated he died of "natural causes ... during his sleep." However, after media coverage, the Pentagon changed the cause of death to homicide by blunt force injuries and suffocation.

Dr. Robert Jay Lifton, a psychiatrist at Harvard University-affiliated Cambridge Hospital who wrote a book on doctors and torture in Nazi Germany, called the Lancet analysis "a very good, detailed description of violations of medical policies involving medical ethics."

In a July 29 New England Journal of Medicine essay, Lifton urged medics to report what they know about American torture at Abu Ghraib and other prisons, and said in an interview Thursday that a non-military-led investigation of doctors' conduct is needed.

"They made choices," he said. "No doctor would have been physically abused or put to death if he or she tried to interrupt that torture. It would have taken courage, but it was a choice they had."

The World Medical Association, an umbrella group for national medical associations, reiterated its policy of condemning any doctor's involvement in abuse or torture of detainees.

In an editorial comment, The Lancet condemned the behavior of the doctors, saying that despite dual loyalties, they are doctors first and soldiers second.

"Health care workers should now break their silence," the journal said. "Those who were involved or witnessed ill-treatment need to give a full and accurate account of events at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. Those who are still in positions where dual commitments prevent them from putting the rights of their patients above other interests should protest loudly and refuse cooperation with authorities."

Johnson, the Army spokesman, said the U.S. military "will allow no actions that undermine or compromise medical professionals' commitment to caring for the sick and wounded, regardless of who they are or their circumstances."

In his article, Miles dismissed Pentagon officials putting the blame for the abuse on poor training, understaffing, racism, pressure to procure intelligence and the stress of war.

"Fundamentally, however, the stage for these offenses was set by policies that were lax or permissive with regard to human rights abuses, and a military command that was inattentive to human rights," Miles concluded.

Party Like a Grizzly...?

This brings a whole new meaning to the expression "Party Naked!"




Bear Guzzles 36 Beers, Passes Out at Campground

Thursday, August 19, 2004 Posted: 4:23 PM EDT (2023 GMT)

After guzzling down three dozen cans of a local beer, a campground worker said on Wednesday.

"We noticed a bear sleeping on the common lawn and wondered what was going on until we discovered that there were a lot of beer cans lying around," said Lisa Broxson, a worker at the Baker Lake Resort, 80 miles (129 kilometers) northeast of Seattle.

The hard-drinking bear, estimated to be about two years old, broke into campers' coolers and, using his claws and teeth to open the cans, swilled down the suds.

It turns out the bear was a bit of a beer sophisticate. He tried a mass-market Busch beer, but switched to Rainier Beer, a local ale, and stuck with it for his drinking binge.

Wildlife agents chased the bear away, but it returned the next day, said Broxson.

They set a trap using as bait some doughnuts, honey and two cans of Rainier Beer. It worked, and the bear was captured for relocation.

21 August 2004

3000 Metre Pursuit Record Thrashed!

Simply Awesome! --ryan

Women's 3,000m Individual Pursuit - Heats

By Andy McDobbin
Date: 8/21/2004
Olympic Track Cycling - Day Two

As in the last Olympic Games, the 3,000m IP was expected to be a tactical dogfight between New Zealander Sarah Ulmer and the retiring Dutch lady Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel, who recently finished victorious in the road time-trial, despite having had to nurse wounds after crashing in the road race. However, another name was bought into the equation to make it a very interesting qualifying for the medal contests.

Like yesterday, the heats of the IP proved that the track was still lightning quick. Several personal bests were set – including one for Erin Mirabella (USA) - although the big name riders went last. First, Australia's Katie Mactier produced the first ever sub 3:30 3km ride in history, breaking the world record with 3:29:945. van Moorsel was found wanting, though, and despite an excellent ride of 3:30:422, all eyes were on Ulmer. After a slow first km, the New Zealander just got faster and faster, and she crossed the line having broken the world record again by about 3 and a half seconds - her time was an incredible 3:26:40.

1. Sarah Ulmer (NZL) 3:26:40 (WR)
2. Katie Mactier (AUS) 3:29:945
3. Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel (NED) 3:30:422
4. Katherine Bates (AUS) 3:31:236
5. Elena Chalykh (RUS) 3:33:709
6. Karin Theurig (SWI) 3:34:746
7. Emma Davies (GBR) 3:35:069
8. Olga Slyusareva (RUS) 3:35:177
9. Maria Luisa Calle Williams (COL) 3:35:430
10. Erin Mirabella (USA) 3:36:992
11. Lenka Valova (CZE) 3:54:372
12. Evelyn Garcia (ESA) 3:56:055

Round 1

Eight women went through to the next stage, as fourth and fifth fastest from the heats battled, and so on. As expected, the first heat between Katherine Bates (Australia) and Elena Chalykh of Russia was the most keenly contested. Both riders under-performed in comparison to their heat times, with Bates over three seconds slower on 3:34:743, beating Chalykh by 1.7 seconds.
Current champion in this event Van Moorsel, no doubt smarting from being pushed into third best time, was next up, against Switzerland's Karin Thuerig. Apparently, though, she had been holding back as she clocked 3:28:747, to be the third woman in history (and the third in the space of 2 hours) to go under 3:30. Surely good enough for the gold medal contest?

The penultimate heat was between Katie Mactier and Britain's Emma Davies. Mactier got out of the starting gate like a rocket and already had 4 seconds lead on Davies. With 500m to go on the crown of a bend, the hapless Briton was caught, and could only watch as Mactier gritted her teeth and rode on to the finish. Her time was a new personal best, beating her 'new-old' world record - 3:28:095. It was either going to be Ulmer or Van Moorsel excluded from the gold medal duel, and - as expected - Ulmer came through the better. She caught World Points champion Olga Slyusareva on the line, clocking a time of 3:27:444 - the best time in Round 1, and one which will take her to the gold medal contest tomorrowe, against Katie Mactier of Australia. Meanwhile, van Moorsel will have to be content with a battle for bronze, against another Aussie - Katherine Bates.

3,000m IP - Round 1

Heat 1
Katherine Bates (AUS) bt. Elena Chalykh (RUS)
3:34:743 3:36:442

Heat 2
Leontien Ziljaard-van Moorsel (NED) bt. Karin Thuerig (SWI)
3:28:747 3:34:831

Heat 3
Katie Mactier (AUS) bt. Emma Davies (GBR)
3:28:095 3:38:015

Heat 4
Sarah Ulmer (NZL) bt. Olga Slyusareva (RUS)
3:27:444 3:36:263

The Track is HOT!

Humidity, Heat and Speed

Why track records are falling at Athens

"I wasn't looking at a world record here, but the conditions were hot and dry, and that's when the track is always fastest," said Olympic champion Anna Meares after her Olympic and world record-breaking ride in the women's 500m time trial. As it happens Meares was half right - hot, humid weather provides the best conditions for breaking records on the track. As John Stevenson explains, it's all a matter of gas physics.

Why are track records falling at Athens, a sea-level velodrome that wasn't expected to be fast? In short, it's the heat and humidity. Hot air is less dense, and therefore easier to push through and increased humidity involves the air being partly replaced with less dense water vapour. Combine the two - especially as hot air can contain more water vapour than cold air - and conditions are right for records. Read on for a more detailed explanation.

In cycling, the rider's biggest enemy - after his or her competitors - is the air. In pure against-the-clock events such as the kilo, 500m and pursuit, the factor that can make a difference between breaking a world or Olympic record and not is the resistance from the mixture of gases that riders have to punch their way through on their frantic dash to the finish line.

Assuming it's not windy - the case for indoor velodromes and conditions at the Athens track events so far have been less affected by wind in the partially-open velodrome than was feared - the air property that matters most is its density. Fluids such as air and water are harder to move through the more dense they are, which is why it's a lot harder to ride a bike through a river than along a road.

The difference between the density of the air at one time and another is less extreme, but it's still significant when you're measuring a cyclist to a thousandth of a second over four kilometers.

Three things affect air density: altitude, temperature and humidity. To understand what's going on here, it's convenient to imagine the molecules and atoms that make up the air as being 'point masses' - that is, specks of matter with mass but no volume. The heat energy of the gas molecules causes them to whiz about all over the place like a Greek sprinter evading a drug test, and in the process the bulk gas expands to fill whatever container it's in - or until it's constrained by some other factor like the Earth's gravity.

Gravity keeps the atmosphere in place and weight of the atmosphere compresses the air at sea level to the density we're all familiar with. As you go higher there's less air above you to compress the air around you, its density is lower and you go faster for a given effort. This is why track records have traditionally been set at altitude. Arnoud Tournant's 58.87 second record for the kilometer was set at the La Paz velodrome in Bolivia at an altitude of 3,417m, for example.

Temperature has a similar effect. By increasing the speed at which the air molecules move, a higher temperature causes the bulk gas to occupy more volume, if it can. The Athens velodrome isn't airtight (a good job too, as all the spectators who turned out to have been patiently waiting for the track racing to start before showing their faces last night would have suffocated if it were) so higher temperatures mean less dense air, and faster times.

The effect of humidity is perhaps the least obvious. Humidity is a measure of the amount of water vapour the air contains - in other words, it's an indication of the composition of the air. Perfectly dry air consists mostly of oxygen and nitrogen, with a bit of an inert gas called argon and a trace of carbon dioxide. For our purposes we can ignore everything but the nitrogen and oxygen, which make up 78 percent and 21 percent of the air, respectively. As the humidity increases a small but significant amount of water vapour is added to the mix.

The air's density is affected by its volume, as we've seen with the effect of altitude and temperature, but also by its average mass. Because air behaves as a bunch of point masses whizzing about, any given number of gas molecules will occupy the same volume at a given temperature and pressure.

The mass of a molecule of gas is determined by the masses of the atoms that come together to form it. A water molecule is made up of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen - the good old chemical formula H2O. Hydrogen atoms are the lightest atoms around, so their 'atomic weight' is considered to be 1 and the weight of all other atoms is expressed proportional to a hydrogen atom. (Actually the baseline is 1/12 of the weight of a carbon-12 atom, but for our purposes it's the same thing). An oxygen atom has an atomic weight of 16 and a nitrogen atom a weight of 14.

There are two atoms in the oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the air, so their molecular masses are 32 and 28 respectively. The molecular weight of water, however, is just 18: 1 + 1 + 16. That means that as you increase the humidity, water molecules displace some of the oxygen and nitrogen molecules. The volume stays the same, so the density of the air goes down and, once again, times decrease.

Bradley Wiggins's Golden Pursuit

Wiggins Wins Cycling Gold

Bradley Wiggins has won Great Britain's second cycling gold in the men's four kilometre individual pursuit.

The 23-year-old produced an awesome display to beat Australia's Brad McGee in a time of 4:16.304 seconds.

Wiggins, who set a new Olympic record in qualifying a day earlier, follows Chris Hoy's success in the one kilometre time trial on Friday.

But Rob Hayles missed out on bronze when he was beaten by Spain's Sergi Escobar in the third-place race-off.

Such was Wiggins' dominance in the race, he caught up with McGee in the final few laps.

"With three or four laps to go I knew I had it in the bag," said Wiggins. "But I was hurting that much I couldn't enjoy it until I had crossed the line.

Nicely done, Bradley; it was also good to see the mutual respect of the two finalists
From MM

Wiggins' victory avenged his defeat to McGee in the final of the same event at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

"It was sweet to beat McGee," he said. "He's the guy who's made me go out and train.

"Two years ago Brad sent a message out to the world and really put a new level on pursuit. It's people like that in sport who spur you on.

"This gold medal is something I've wanted to do since I was 12-years old watching Chris Boardman win the gold in Barcelona. I decided then that I really wanted to win Olympic gold.

"This sort of thing happens to other people when you watch the television and you never accept that it's going to happen to you one day and when it does it's all a bit of a blur."

Wiggins' hero Boardman could not contain his delight after watching his awesome performance at the Athens velodrome.

"Bradley rode a beautifully even ride all the way through," he said.

"I was worried the nerves would get him but he made an aggressive start and after 10m I said it was a done deal.

"I love it when I see people get their reward after they work so hard."

Story from BBC SPORT:

Published: 2004/08/21 15:01:25 GMT


Yuliya Nesterenko: World's Fastest Woman

Nesterenko Grabs 100m Gold

Belarus' Yuliya Nesterenko stormed through in the last 30 metres to take 100m gold from Lauryn Williams.

Nesterenko, the form athlete all through the heats, ran 10.93 seconds to take her first global title.

Williams led at 60m but Nesterenko stayed relaxed and powered past as Williams tied up under pressure.

Jamaica's Veronica Campbell took bronze, but former Olympic champion Gail Devers and France's Christine Arron failed to make the final.

Britain's Abi Oyepitan missed out on the final by one place.

"I am very, very happy," said 25-year-old Nesterenko.

I anticipated this success, but I didn't want to think about it because otherwise it would have put pressure on me
Yuliya Nesterenko
"For six months I have been working and training very hard so I knew I could win."

Nesterenko came into the Games as an unfancied contender, despite posting some strong times in the build-up to Athens.

But the Belarussian insisted she had pointed to her potential when she clinched the bronze medal over 60m at the world indoor championships in March.

"I did not just arrive from nowhere," Nesterenko said.

"I was on the podium in Budapest."

Her win saw the first time since the 1980 Moscow Games - which the US boycotted - that an American had not won the sprint crown.
Story from BBC SPORT:

Published: 2004/08/21 20:11:50 GMT


Senator Ted Kennedy a Terrorist?

Is Senator Ted Kennedy a terrorist?
Only to the Bush Administration. . .


Senator? Terrorist? A Watch List Stops Kennedy at Airport

Published: August 20, 2004

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 - The meeting had all the hallmarks of an ordinary Congressional hearing. There was Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, discussing the problems faced by ordinary citizens mistakenly placed on terrorist watch lists. Then, to the astonishment of the crowd attending a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, Mr. Kennedy offered himself up as Exhibit A.

Between March 1 and April 6, airline agents tried to block Mr.Kennedy from boarding airplanes on five occasions because his name resembled an alias used by a suspected terrorist who had been barred from flying on airlines in the United States, his aides and government officials said. . .

Drop Dead!

Choosing NYC as the site for their convention really shows both the arrogance and ignorrance of the Bush Administration and the Republican Party. Remember, this is the same arrogance and ignorrance that drives current U.S. Foreign Policy, which has made us so wildly popular and beloved throughout the World...



Tourists are pleasantly surprised when New Yorkers act as friendly and polite as the people back home in Maybury. However, delegates to this month's Republican National Convention shouldn't expect to be treated to our standard out-of-towner treatment. The Republican delegates here to coronate George W. Bush are unwelcome members of a hostile invading army. Like the hapless saps whose blood they sent to be spilled into Middle Eastern sands, they will be given intentionally incorrect directions to nonexistent places. Objects will be thrown in their direction. Children will call them obscene names. They will not be greeted as liberators.

Well aware that it is barren soil for their party's anti-urban, anti-immigrant, anti-feminist, overtly racist ideology, Republican leaders have wisely avoided New York City as a convention site for the past 150 years. Even as the rest of America turns red, we New Yorkers remain as liberal as the people's republic of San Francisco: fewer than 18 percent of the citizens of New York's five boroughs (which include relatively conservative places like Staten Island) cast ballots for Bush/Cheney in 2000. But White House strategist Karl Rove sees the continued exploitation of 9/11 for partisan political gain as Bush's key to victory in November. That means bringing the big bash three miles north of the hole where the Twin Towers used to stand, where most of the victims of 9/11 were burned, suffocated, impaled and pulverized.

Making hay of the dead is also the point of this confab's timing. The 2004 Necropublican National Convention is being held a full month later than normal, from August 30 to September 2. The original plan was to have Bush shuttle between Madison Square Garden and Ground Zero for photo ops to coincide with the third anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Bush's visits to the Trade Center site were quietly canceled a few months back after 9/11 survivors expressed revulsion at the idea. But it was too late to change the date.

Anti-Republican sentiment is rising to a fever pitch here as the dog days tick down to the dreaded affair. A poll cited by the local ABC affiliate shows 83 percent of New Yorkers don't want their city to host the RNC. And many of them are planning to do something about it.

Rejecting ex-mayor Ed Koch's call to "make nice" with the party that used the deaths of 2,801 New Yorkers--most of them Democrats--for everything from tax cuts for the rich to building concentration camps at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib to invading Iraq to enrich Dick Cheney and his fellow Halliburton execs, some groups are encouraging liberal-minded New Yorkers to volunteer for the city's squad of official greeters. Creatively altered maps of streets and subways will be handed out to button-clad stupid white men. Other saboteurs wearing fake RNC T-shirts will direct them to parts of town where Bush's policies have hit hardest. Rumor has it that prostitutes suffering from sexually transmitted diseases will discourage the use of condoms with Republican customers.

Anywhere between 250,000 and 1,000,000 anti-Bush demonstrators are expected to hit the streets of Manhattan, but the city and protest organizers can't agree on where to put them. Activists say they'll direct marchers to Central Park, their preferred site; city officials are threatening mass arrests if they do. Adding to the already combustible Chicago '68 vibe is a possible wildcat strike by city cops and firefighters. And now, as if everyone concerned wasn't already tweaky, FBI agents are traveling around the United States, to harass members of leftist groups planning to protest the New York RNC.

Strikebreaking policemen and private security personnel may be able to keep the protesters away from the convention hall. But Republicans who venture outside the Garden deserve the abuse ordinary New Yorkers will likely inflict upon them.

True, the Administration eventually coughed up the $20 billion aid package Bush promised the city after 9/11. But that sum--equal to the cost of occupying Iraq for four months--barely made up for such disaster-related expenses as police overtime, debris removal and rebuilding damaged subway stations and tunnels. New York's economy hasn't even begun to recover. As the nation's official unemployment rate hovers at six percent, the city's runs around eight. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican, opposes virtually every Bush Administration decision concerning New York City.

Even viler than Bush's urban neglect is his failure to avenge the World Trade Center victims as he pledged to do on 9/14, dusty firefighter helpfully posing under his arm on The Pile. After 9/11, Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden were in Pakistan. They and the Taliban received funding from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The 19 hijackers, organized by Egyptian Islamic Jihad, were Egyptian and Saudi. But Bush didn't attack Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or Egypt. He went after Afghanistan and Iraq instead, nations that had nothing to do with 9/11 but offered business opportunities for GOP-connected oil concerns. Incredibly, he siphoned more money and arms to the Egyptians, Saudis and Pakistanis.
Not only did Bush let the terrorists get away, he raised their allowance.

If today's GOP retained a shred of the dignity and patriotism that it once possessed as the Party of Lincoln, it would have dumped Bush in favor of a candidate more interested in defending America than his wealthy contributors. Republicans are neofascists now, and that's why New Yorkers good and true will be yelling at them to go back home.


Thoughts of Jim Thorpe & Billy Mills...

DORREEN YELLOW BIRD COLUMN: Olympics Brings Thoughts of Thorpe, Mills

The Olympics always will mean Jim Thorpe and Billy Mills to most American Indians. And when Thorpe (1912) and Mills (1964) stepped up to the podium to get their gold, you almost could hear the ancient people trill in honor of these men.

Mills' win stands as one of the most stunning upsets in modern sports. He won the 1,000-meter race at the Olympics in Tokyo. He is Oglala from Pine Ridge, S.D.

Thorpe, who was Sac and Fox, was called the "greatest athlete in the world" by Sweden's King Gustav V at the Stockholm games and greatest all-around athlete for the first 50 years of this century by The Associated Press in 1950.

He, however, was stripped of his medals in 1913.

Thorpe's story is one of misunderstanding between two cultures. It is a story of a great athlete and man. I always have felt a loyalty to Thorpe. He stared out of a photograph above my grandmother's couch for many years. He and my grandfather attended Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. My grandfather, Louis Felix, also was a football player. My grandparents died many years ago, and I have not been able to trace the whereabouts of that photo. I do remember my grandmother referring to the photograph and Thorpe, but I was just a child, and the name Jim Thorpe meant nothing to me then.

I met Thorpe's daughter, Grace, when I lived in Phoenix years ago. She has the strength of her father and years of experience as an advocate.

But I'm getting ahead of my story.

Thorpe attended Carlisle Indian School in 1907 then again in 1911 and 1912. His most famous achievement is his Olympic win in the decathlon and pentathlon. Thorpe also excelled as a professional football and baseball player.

His coach was the famous Glenn "Pop" Warner, who had no interest in the young, 5-foot-tall Thorpe at first. Five years later, Thorpe came back to Carlisle from the Oklahoma reservation where he lived. He was 25 by then and had grown to about 6 feet and weighed about 190 pounds.

Sportswriters said it was Thorpe who led Carlisle Indian School in their win over the powerful Harvard Crimson. They beat the Ivy League school 18-13, and the Indian team won the National Collegiate Championship.

It must have been terrible blow for those alumni of Harvard and the sports fan to sit and watch the "Indians" defeat their elite teams.

That wasn't their only big win, either. Carlisle also defeated Army 27-6, probably leaving that military school wondering who these Indians were.

Thorpe also played for the New York Giants and for a short time in Cincinnati. In 1920, he became the first president of the American Football Association, now called the National Football League.

He was a natural athlete. Thorpe also was good at tennis, golf, billiards, rowing, gymnastics and bowling.

Unfortunately, Thorpe was stripped of his gold medals by the Olympic committee because the rules said no professionals were permitted to compete in those strictly amateur Olympic games.

A Worcester (Mass.) Telegram reporter wrote that Thorpe got $25 per week to play minor league baseball in North Carolina. Unlike the other players who played for money, Thorpe signed his real name.

"The modern-day Olympics started in 1896, and they had no hard and fast rules on mixing professional and amateur sports. They sort of made the rules on Dad," said Grace Thorpe, his daughter, in a 1995 Tulsa (Okla.) World interview. After five years of her own sort of Olympics, the International Olympic Committee returned replicas of Thorpe's gold medals to his family.

Those people who are my mother's age remember Thorpe well. Young people remember Mills because he advocates for drug-free living and is an excellent role model.

The Olympics in Greece started me thinking about some of the talented Indian people on reservations who could be the Thorpes or Mills of today. It got me thinking it is time for more men like Thorpe and Mills to reach for the gold, and it is time for Indian women to start looking toward the Olympics.

The talent is still there.

Yellow Bird writes columns Tuesday and Saturday. Reach her by phone at 780-1228 or (800) 477-6572, extension. 228, or by e-mail at dyellowbird@gfherald.com.

Grandma's Apron

This was sent to me by a Good Friend...


The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a holder for removing hot pans from the oven; it was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

 From the chicken-coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those old aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids; and when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling-wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

 From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had
been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, it was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out on the porch and waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields for dinner. It will be a long time before anyone invents something that will replace that old-time apron that served so many purposes.

20 August 2004

Mighty Meares Takes 500m TT Gold in Record Time!

Meares Sets New 500m Mark in Athens

By Jason Sumner
VeloNews associate editor
In Athens
This report filed August 20, 2004

For most Olympic athletes in Athens the heat is a hindrance, but when it comes to track racers, the balmier the better. The heat makes the boards of the 250-meter wooden track expand and tighten, and that makes conditions fast. That was certainly the case on the opening day of competition at the Olympic velodrome, where two Olympic records and one world record were eclipsed on a sizzling Friday afternoon in Greece.

Meares realizes that she's won

The new world's best came in the women's 500-meter time trial, with Aussie Anna Meares becoming the first woman to complete two laps in under 34 seconds. Her time of 33.952 also earned Australia its second cycling gold medal of these Games. Sara Carrigan won the women's road race last Saturday.

"I can't remember half the race, and I definitely wasn't expecting to break the world record," said Meares, who beat out the previous world recorder holder Yonghua Jiang of China. "The 2003 world's was a big eye opener for me. That was the first time I really stood back and had the belief that I can really match it with these girls."

Belarusian Natallia Tsylinskaya took the bronze. Canada's Lori-Ann Muenzer was seventh, while Mexico's former world champion Nancy Contreras Reyes had to settle for eighth.

Hoy, Hoy, Hoy

The next mark to fall came in the finals of the men's 1km time trial, when four riders eclipsed the former best held by Britain's Jason Queally, who won the gold in Sydney. Queally couldn't have been too upset with day's outcome, though. It was his U.K. teammate Chris Hoy who was the day's fastest, completing four laps of the track in 1:00.71 to win gold for England. This was much to the delight of the sold-out crowd, dominated by Union Jack waving Brits.

"The crowd was unbelievable," said Hoy, who outgunned France's Arnaud Tournant and German speedster Stefan Nimke to take gold. "This is a complete shock. It took a few laps afterward for it to really sink in."

Hoy's mark is the fastest ever at sea level. Tournant owns the current world mark of 58.875, but that standard was set in the thin air of La Paz, Bolivia.

No gold for Tournant, but he keeps the world record
"I really didn't expect in a 100 years to go that fast," said Hoy. "It's a lot of pressure being the last man but I knew what I had to do. Anyone of us could have won the gold medal tonight, it was extremely close, but it's just my night tonight."

The top Olympic mark was also felled in the qualifying round of the men's individual pursuit. And again it was a British rider, as Bradley Wiggins covered 4000 meters in 4:15.165. Wiggins also had the top mark in the ensuing first round, putting him into Saturday's gold medal final against Aussie Brad McGee. Spain's Sergi Escobar and Brit Rob Hayles will battle for the bronze.

Racing on the first of six days at the velodrome began with the qualifying round for the individual pursuit, which saw a field of 15 whittled to eight. Five riders would come in under the old Olympic mark, set by German Robert Bartko four years ago in Sydney. Bartko didn't has the gas this time around, being ousted later in the day from medal contention by McGee in the first round.

Next up was Meares and the rest of the 12-rider 500-meter field. The 20-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the sport this year, taking the 500 at this year's world's and finishing second in the sprint. On this day she was the final rider to take the track, but was impervious to the pressure.

Afterwards she brushed off questions about the drug scandal that has plagued the Aussie track program on the lead-up to the Games.

"There's nothing to say," she said. "The performances on the track will speak for themselves."

Finally came arguably the greatest night men's kilo racing in history, as Aussie Shane Kelly and the three medal winners all came in under Queeally's old Olympic mark. It may well have been five if Dutchman Theo Boss hadn't mistimed his start. But the reigning sprint world champion barged the gate, and ended up fifth.

"When you see the Olympic record broken four times in a day that tells you a lot about the quality of the race," Tournant said.

Olympic track racing continues Saturday in Athens at 4:30 p.m. local time. Besides the men's individual pursuit, medals will be handed out in the team sprint.