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07/16/03: Oakland settles Bari, Cherney case for $2 million
from Associated Press:

OAKLAND, Calif. -
The city of Oakland has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a case arising from the disputed arrest of two environmental activists, who jurors ruled were wrongly accused by police as "eco-terrorists" when their car exploded in 1990.

The City Council decided not to appeal the case and agreed Tuesday to settle as a business decision after its attorneys fees in the 12-year-old case topped $4 million.

"What we analyzed was looking at a settlement in hand versus an unknown future," said Karen Boyd, a spokeswoman for the Oakland city attorney's office.

Earth First! activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were arrested in May 1990 after a bomb exploded in their Subaru while they were driving in Oakland. Both Bari and Cherney were hurt in the explosion. Bari, who was at the wheel, suffered a crushed pelvis.

Investigators contended that the pair, who were at the time organizing a series of protests against the logging of old-growth forests, were carrying the bomb for some act of environmental sabotage.

But the case fell apart weeks later when prosecutors said there wasn't sufficient evidence to bring charges.

Last year, jurors found that Oakland police and FBI agents wrongly blamed the pair for the explosion in an effort to silence their environmental activism. In the federal suit, Darryl and the estate of Bari, who died of cancer in 1997, won a total of $4.4 million - $2 million from the city of Oakland and $2.4 million from the federal government.

The settlement comes two months after the Oakland City Council declared May 24 "Judi Bari Day" to honor the late activist.

07/01/03: EFF Launches "Let the Music Play" Campaign
Electronic Frontier Foundation Launches "Let the Music Play" Campaign Urges 60 Million Music Lovers in U.S. to Demand Legal Rights

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on Monday, June 30, launched a "Let the Music Play" campaign urging the more than 60 million U.S. citizens who use file-sharing software to demand changes in copyright law to get artists paid and make file-sharing legal.

The EFF Let the Music Play campaign counters the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) announcement that it will file thousands of lawsuits against individuals who use file- sharing software like Kazaa, Grokster, and Morpheus.

"Copyright law is out of step with the views of the American public and the reality of music distribution online," said EFF Executive Director Shari Steele. "Rather than trying to sue people into submission, we need to find a better alternative that gets artists paid while making file sharing legal."

EFF's Let the Music Play campaign provides alternatives to the RIAA's litigation barrage, details EFF's efforts to defend peer- to-peer file sharing, and makes it easy for individuals to write members of Congress. EFF will also place advertisements about the Right to Share campaign in magazines such as Spin, Blender, Computer Gaming World, and PC Gamer.

"Today, more U.S. citizens use file-sharing software than voted for President Bush," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "Congress needs to spend less time listening to record industry lobbyists and more time listening to the more than 60 million Americans who use file-sharing software today."

According to online media analyst Big Champagne, more than 60 million Americans are using file-sharing software.

For this release:

06/18/03: World Land Speed Record Broken in New Mexico

A rocket-powered sled that can reach speeds of approximately 10,300 km/h has broken the world land speed record.

The un-piloted monorail sled reached Mach 8.6 - about nine times the speed of sound - beating the previous record of Mach 8 (9,852 km/h) set in 1982.

Both records were broken at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

Travelling down a 5 km straightway, the vehicle reached its target in around 6 seconds. Because of the sheer speed of the sled, observers heard only silence until a split second before it reached the end of the track.

"Psychologically, you think it's over", says Lt Col. Russ Kurtz, Director of Operations. "But then comes the sonic boom. I know it's coming. But I always jump a little".

"There were a lot of high-fives, hugs, handshakes all around," said Lt. Col. James Jolliffe, Commander of the 846th Test Squadron. "My hat's off to all the people that made it happen."

06/16/03: Musicians Labeled 'TRAITOR'

lifted from -

A number of stars including Madonna, Eddie Vedder, Dixie Chicks and Fred Durst have been singled out as "traitors" by right-wing website

The site follows in the wake of widespread U.S. media coverage of a commercially available deck of cards depicting figures that have been outspoken in their criticism of the current American administration, called 'Deck of Weasels'.

The site also names Sheryl Crow, Barbara Streisand, Rage Against The Machine's Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello, Mos Def, Ani Di Franco, Michael Franti and a host of other musicians, writers and public figures.

Both the probush website and the 'Deck of Weasels' use the legal disclaimer that they are satirical, though the website reads: "Parody. Not to be taken seriously. These "traitors" are not legal "traitors" of the United States. Though we wish they were."

Speaking to, Iriscience of the hip hop act Dilated Peoples and one of the artists named by the site said: "Things like this are ridiculous and irresponsible especially in today's political and social climate where a handful of powerful people are trying to squash dissent.

"Most of the people on this list had an anti-war stance not an anti-American stance. It's ridiculous to equate anti-war sentiments with being Anti-American.

"What's ironic is the fact that I'm out here trying to promote peace and end violence so you would think I and others would have a bigger platform to speak out. Unfortunately, we have people trying to silence and ridicule us for promoting peace."

06/04/03: Beer ice cream goes on sale
from the BBC
The distinctive taste of Newcastle Brown Ale has become the latest ice cream flavour from a family-run Northumberland dairy

Newcastle Brown Ale flavoured ice cream was launched on Tuesday by Doddington Dairies, and will only be available during the summer months.

The makers say the handmade ice cream reflects the region's identity, and was even handed out to the European Capital of Culture 2008 judges on their last visit.

Newcastle Brown Ale has already been used as an ingredient in locally produced products, such as bread.

Famous brand

Although the ice cream is made using the ale, under licence from brewers Scottish and Newcastle, the cooking process means it contains less than 1% alcohol.

Jackie Maxwell, director of Doddington Dairy said: "We were looking for an ice cream flavour that was distinctive, and had a strong identity with the region.

"Newcastle Brown Ale has all of that.

"It has been a fantastic challenge working on a product like this, with one of the world's most famous brands.

"Every part of the process has been great for us - from the design of the cartons, through to testing the ale syrup for just the right flavour.

"The ice cream highlights Newcastle Brown's unique flavour characteristics."

Award-winning products

Mrs Maxwell said the product had a caramel flavour with a "subtle" taste of Newcastle Brown and said it had gone down well with the Capital of Culture judges.

She added: "I think they liked it, they thought it was great. We got some feedback from the organisers and they said they had tasted it and enjoyed it."

Sharon Annette, of Scottish Courage, who brew Newcastle Brown Ale, said: "Doddington Dairy are an award winning North Eastern company, Newcastle Brown is an award winning North Eastern beer. It's a perfect partnership."

The Newcastle Brown Ale ice cream goes on sale at supermarkets and speciality shops across Newcastle and Northumberland from next week.

06/03/03: Wesley Willis Undergoes Emergency Surgery

Wesley Willis, Alternative Tentacle's Rock Star, had to undergo emergency surgery on June 2nd at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Illinois to identify the source of, and to suppress internal bleeding.

On Sunday, June 1st, Wesley was at a physical therapy appointment when he started bleeding. He was rushed back to the hospital where doctors tried to determine the source of his bleeding. Despite exhaustive attempts to locate the source of his bleeding via non-intrusive methods, doctors decided that they had to operate. So, on Monday, June 2nd, at around 1pm CST, Wesley was in surgery for 6 1/2 hours. They were able to locate the source of the bleeding and suppress it. Tissue has been sent off for tests to see if his leukemia has spread to other regions.

Wesley Willis, who has released over 50 albums - 3 of which on Alternative Tentacles - was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) at the end of 2002. It is not clear if this bleeding was related to his leukemia. This form of leukemia is treatable. Wesley has been undergoing care for his leukemia, and his doctors are very hopeful that the treatment will be successful. Prior to this incident, he has responded well to treatments. But this will be an ongoing battle. Wesley is clearly not out of the woods yet.

For more information on this type of leukemia, you can visit and we will have updates of his condition on our website.

All touring plans for the rest of the year have been cancelled.

Wesley celebrated his 40th Birthday on Saturday, May 31st.

Well-wishers are encouraged to send Get Well cards to Wesley care of the following address :

Northwest Community Hospital
Critical Care Unit
Attn. Mr. Wesley Willis
800 West Central Rd.
Arlington Heights, IL

06/03/03: Alternative Tentacles Release Schedule - NEW!

June 09, 2003 :

Virus 301 COMETS ON FIRE s/t CD

July 07, 2003 :

Virus 302 DEADWEIGHT stroking the moon LP/CD

August 4th, 2003 :

Virus 303 ARUNDHATI ROY come September - in conversation with Howard Zinn CD
Virus 304 PANSY DIVISION total entertainment ! CD

September 8th, 2003 :

Virus 305 PHANTOM LIMBS Displacement LP/ CD
Virus 307 NOAM CHOMSKY The Emerging Framework of World Power CD

Recent Releases :

Virus 298 WARD CHURCHILL Pacifism as Pathology CD
Virus 297 FLESHIES The Sicilian LP/CD
Virus 295 CHRISTIAN PARENTI Taking Liberties: Prisons, Policing and Surveillance in an Age of Crisis CD
Virus 296 JIM HIGHTOWERThe People Are Revolting (in the very best sense of that word) CD
Virus 294 JFA We Know You Suck CD
Virus 290 JELLO BIAFRA Machine Gun In The Clown's Hand - Spoken Word Album #7 3xLP/3xCD
Virus 292 HOWARD ZINN Artists In A Time Of War CD
Virus 293 NOAM CHOMSKY The "New War On Terrorism" CD
Virus 291 RATOS DE PORAO onisciente coletivo LP/CD
Virus 284 ALEXANDER COCKBURN Beating The Devil: The Incendiary Rants Of Alexander Cockburn CD
Virus 287 ARTICLES OF FAITH Complete, Vol. 1 LP/CD
Virus 288 ARTICLES OF FAITH Complete, Vol 2 LP/CD
Virus 286 The FLAMING STARS Sunset & Void CD
Virus 289 DARRYL CHERNEY and the CHERNOBLES Bush It! / Send George Bush a Pretzel CDS

05/21/03: Oakland Declares Judi Bari day!

The city of Oakland has gone from proclaiming Judi Bari to be a terrorist to honoring her with her own official city day. This remarkable turnaround was proclaimed yesterday, May 20, in the chambers of the Oakland City Council nearly a year after a jury award Bari's estate along with fellow activist Darryl Cherney $4.4 million for violations of their civil rights committed by Oakland Police and FBI agents thirteen years ago. Bari and Cherney were falsely accused of car-bombing themselves while on a musical organizing tour for Redwood Summer 1990. The First Annual Judi Bari Day of Oakland will take place this Sat., May 24 at 11:30 am and consist of a quiet anniversary gathering at the site of the bombing at Park Blvd. nd MacArthur in Oakland, in front of Oakland High School. The public and media are inviated to attend. The resolution follows below this release.

Activist Darryl Cherney, who was riding with Judi Bari the day a car bomb almost killed her noted that in these days of the war on terror, "The government can not be trusted to decide who is a terrorist and who is not in many cases." Cherney said, "There is a political agenda that the federal government follows in declaring peaceful activists to be terrorists while anti-abortion groups and the Ku Klux Klan remain unscathed. Thankfully, the City of Oakland has righted a wrong. They should do this more often, like in the case of the activists who were shot by police at the port of Oakland during a peaceful anti-war rally. It's OK to admit you're wrong and make amends."

Cherney presented the Oakland City Council with a statue of "Gaia," the ancient Greek Goddess representation of the living, breathing Mother Earth. He said that she would be watching over them as they make their decisions about school closures and police brutality. The statue is the work of Oberon Ravenheart of Mythic Images in Sonoma County.

websites to check out: To hear "Bush It" CD single by Darryl Cherney and the Chernobles (lyrics included): On the bombing and attempted frame up by FBI of Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney: $50,000 Reward for info leading to incarceration of Charles Hurwitz: Darryl Cherney's music homepage:

05/16/03: U.S. Army video game to train soldiers

By Reed Stevenson
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The U.S. Army has found a powerful new weapon in training soldiers for the dirty and dangerous business of urban warfare -- video games.

For the past year, the Army has been handing out free games as part of its recruiting efforts, but in the coming months it will also turn to a video game to train squad leaders in real-life combat tactics.

"If you enrol in the army of the future, you'll get your helmet, your gun and one of these discs," said Wil Stahl, a game designer at Pandemic Studios who led the three-year project to develop the game based on the Army's requirements.

"You have an Xbox -- they assume -- at home," he said.

The combat simulator, which Santa Monica, California-based Pandemic showed off for reporters at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles this week, puts players at the head of two light-infantry teams locked in a running firefight in a vaguely Middle Eastern city.

The "bad guys" pop out from behind walls and pull up in pickup trucks with automatic-weapons mounted on the beds. When shot, they fall with a burst of blood from the head.

In developing the game, which is now being spun off as a mass-market release titled "Full Spectrum Warrior, Pandemic said it was careful to fictionalise details of the game's setting and to make sure that the U.S. soldiers acted with discipline and professionalism.

As for the digital battleground, the look shifted from Bosnia-like terrain to a more Arab-looking street during the course of development, he said.

"We can't ignore the fact that we are in Afghanistan. We are in Iraq," said Stahl.

The commercial version of "Full Spectrum Warrior" will be published by Calabasas, California-based THQ in early 2004 for Microsoft's Xbox game console.

The project is not without its critics, especially among experts who question the relationship between video games and violence among children.

"It seems to me that they're using the Army's involvement to legitimise the violence," said Joanne Cantor, a professor who researches issues concerning violent games at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Separately, the U.S. Army said that more than 1.1 million people have gone through "basic training" in its "America's Army" personal computer game, which debuted at the Expo in Los Angeles last year.

05/07/03: Hearing on Media Consolidation With FCC Commissioner Michael Copps

Monday, May 12th, 1:00 - 3:00 PM. Shield Room, Caleruega Hall, Dominican University of California, San Rafael.

Congresswoman Woolsey and Commissioner Copps invite you to a discussion on proposed new FCC rules which would lift limits on media ownership and enable large conglomerates to own multiple broadcast outlets and newspapers in local markets. This important issue will affect how all of us receive news, information and entertainment.

Panelists: Orville Schell, Dean, Graduate School of Journalism, U.C. Berkeley; Peter Phillips, Ph.D., Project Censored, Sonoma State University; Kim Spencer, President, Worldlink TV; Roger Grossman, Publisher, Marin Independent Journal; John Burgess, General Manager, KFTY Channel 50. Public testimony will follow the panel.

Parking is available at Conlon Recreation Center on Grand Avenue with signs to the Caleruega Hall on Magnolia. For a campus map and directions, go to

05/06/03: Lydia Lunch Launches Literary e-zine, WIDOWSPEAK
Lydia Lunch has launched a new literary e-zine, WIDOWSPEAK. ( Updated monthly, WIDOWSPEAK.ORG strives to serve as an outpost for writers who war with words, not only as a method to ensure survival, but because they truly understand that although we all stand alone, we are united in our strengths. The strength to not merely overcome adversity, addiction, trauma, and abuse, but to truly rebel against their life killing constraints.

Featured writers include Ms. Lunch, Erika Wear, Rachel Resnick, John Evans, Mike Ryan, Stephen Elliott and Chris Campion. In addition, they welcome submissions for inclusion on WIDOWSPEAK, if you would like to submit writing for consideration, please send your pieces to .

05/06/03: Major Labels To Mess With Your Computers?
May 5, 2003, 4:48 AM PT

Some of the world's largest record labels are quietly financing the creation of programs by small software firms that, if deployed, would sabotage the computers and Internet connections of people who download pirated music, according to a published report.

Citing industry executives, The New York Times reported in an article that appeared on its Web site on Saturday, that the efforts bear varying degrees of legality including attacking a computer's Internet connection to slow or halt downloads and overwhelming distribution networks with programs that masquerade as music files.

"There are a lot of things you can do--some quite nasty," the Times quoted Marc Morgenstern, chief executive of software company Overpeer, as saying. The company receives support from several large media companies, it said.

If large record labels roll out the programs, it would be the most aggressive tactic yet in the music piracy wars by the recording industry, which has claimed that music piracy costs it more than $4 billion in annual sales worldwide.

Last month a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that file-sharing services Grokster and Morpheus were not guilty of copyright infringement.

The Times said approaches under development range from relatively modest in degree to quite severe.

One method is a "Trojan horse" program that simply redirects users to Web sites where they can legitimately buy the songs they had tried to download.

Another locks up a computer for a certain amount of time, minutes or hours, risking the loss of data that was not saved if the user restarts the computer, the paper reported.

The industry's big five labels--Vivendi's Universal Music Group, AOL Time Warner's Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Bertelsmann's BMG and EMI Group--have all backed the development of counterpiracy programs, according the industry executives, but none would discuss details publicly, the paper reported.

05/01/03: Wanted: 2 new Mac's for Trade

Cash-strapped Alternative Tentacles needs 2 new Apple computers. We would happily swap AT CDs, LPs, merchandise and books (or partial with $) for 2 new computers.

We would like a flat-panel iMac or a G4 iMac or an eMac or iBook. All need to be less than 16 months old and of course in excellent shape.

If you are interested or have more questions or have some suggestions, please get in touch at the following email address.


04/17/03: Missing Arms Cast Doubt on War
by Scott Ritter (former weapons inspector!!!)  

The remarkable images of the fall of Baghdad, while not signaling the end of "Operation Iraqi Freedom," do bring to an end a critical phase of the military operation - that in which coalition forces wore special protective equipment in anticipation of the use by Iraq of chemical and/or biological weapons.

The orders to strip down to regular battle dress reflect not only the advance stage of the campaign to liberate Iraq, but also the recognition by coalition commanders that the threat from Iraqi chemical and biological weapons has been all but eliminated.

The fact that these protective suits were not needed by coalition forces is a cause for celebration. But the total lack of chemical weapons on the battlefield, combined with the inability of the coalition, to date, to uncover any of the massive stockpiles of prohibited weapons or weapons-manufacturing capability, raises disturbing questions about what was supposed to be the main justification for the American-led military action: disarming a recalcitrant dictator.

While the days to come may bring with them the uncovering of weapons of mass destruction and/or associated production facilities, the inescapable fact is the allegations of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction used by the Bush administration to sustain the legitimacy of its Iraq intervention remain, as of this point, unsustained.

This uncomfortable fact must be addressed. It is not that anyone should shed tears for the demise of Saddam Hussein.The world will be a better place without him and his regime. But the world should be concerned about the damage the American military incursion did to the credibility and viability of the United Nations, especially given the dangerous world we all live in today.

Now, more than ever, the world needs a sound strategy for non-proliferation and disarmament. The United Nations had been, until recently, the accepted forum for dealing with such issues.

See rest of article here :

04/16/03: (hoax) WORKER DEAD AT DESK FOR 5 DAYS
(of course we put this story up on our site and then found it wasn't true. Good story nonetheless in this day and age.)

Bosses of a publishing firm are trying to work out why no one noticed that one of their employees had been sitting dead at his desk for FIVE DAYS before anyone asked if he was feeling okay.

George Turklebaum, 51, who had been employed as a proof-reader at a New York firm for 30 years, had a heart attack in the open-plan office he shared with 23 other workers. He quietly passed away on Monday, but nobody noticed until Saturday morning when an office cleaner asked why he was still working during the weekend.

His boss Elliot Wachiaski said: "George was always the first guy in each morning and the last to leave at night, so no one found it unusual that he was in the same position all that time and didn't say anything. He was always absorbed in his work and kept much to himself."

A post mortem examination revealed that he had been dead for five days after suffering a coronary. Ironically, George was proofreading manuscripts of medical textbooks when he died.

You may want to give your co-workers a nudge occasionally.

Moral of the story: Don't work too hard. Nobody notices anyway.

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