IT'S A LIVING… BUT IT'S NOT A LIFE #11.6
J Church and Honey Bear are go
Fuck Thanksgiving - Sumimasen

 

APAN TOUR

Yep, I wasn't sure if it was going to happen. But it looks like we're heading back to one of my favorite places in the world. We're going over to Japan for no particular reason other than to tour with Minority Blues Band, the band we did a split with a year ago on Snuffy Smiles (who, incidentally, are booking the tour). Here are the dates:

December
Tue 16 December - Fukuoka - Keith Flack, w/Pear Of The West, Practice
Wed 17 - Matsuyama - Hoshizora-Jet, w/Practice, Drift Age
Thu 18 - Tokushima - Jitterbug, w/Practice, Hush Puppy, Hamk
Fri 19 - Kyoto - East, w/Practice, I Excuse
Sat 20 - Nagoya ­ Tsurumai - K.D. Japon, w/Navel, I Excuse
Sun 21 - Tokyo ­ Shinjuku - Red Cloth, w/The Happening, I Excuse, The Urchin
Mon 22 - Sendai - Birdland, w/Deeds Not Words
Tue 23 - Yokohama - Club 24west, w/Zero Fast, Three Minute Movie, Raise Mind

It will be cold and possibly snowy. But we're up for it. I've had it with this muggy, hot bullshit we're experiencing in Austin. Gimme that 50 degree weather!

 

LOCAL SHOW

Nothing booked at the moment. There's talk about three bands from Vulcan Video doing a show together (meaning us, The Tinys and Midori Umi). Not sure when that's gonna happen.

I would really like to thank everyone who came out to the show with From Ashes Rise, Bread and Water, Garuda and Signal Lost. It was packed and a pretty fun time even though we were having some tuning problems. It's pretty outstanding that people drove from as far as Laramie, Wyoming for the show.

 

THE GUARDIAN / OBSERVER

For some reason we were used as a reference in the Guardian / Observer in England. It's very strange and extremely flattering. It's one of my favorite news sources…

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/omm/story/0,13887,1083283,00.html


NOAM CHOMSKY ON EAST TIMOR

Not much else to report this time around, so I'm gonna use this space to run a piece that's been floating around lately from Noam Chomsky.

December 2003

Dear Friends of East Timor,

East Timor has been independent for a little more than a year and a half. Many foreign policy experts and Washington insiders predicted that Indonesia would never let go of the former Portuguese colony. Yet the impossible happened in no small part due to the support of people like you, working in conjunction with the East Timor Action Network (ETAN). But now ETAN is in dire financial straits.

I have been deeply involved with self-determination for East Timor since before Indonesia's 1975 invasion, and I can attest to the tremendous ­ maybe even decisive ­ difference that ETAN's wonderful work has made. However, ETAN's ability to continue to work at the level needed is in serious jeopardy due to a shortage of funds. By giving generously, you can help strengthen ETAN financially for the coming year, so together we can meet the many challenges ahead.

Even with independence, the world's newest country ­ and Asia's poorest ­ faces daunting challenges. Its two giant neighbors, Indonesia and Australia, continue to threaten East Timor's peace and, indeed, its full sovereignty. Anti-independence paramilitary groups across the border in Indonesian West Timor pose an increasing security threat as the United Nations prepares to end its mission next May. Meanwhile, Australia is openly stealing billions of dollars worth of East Timor's revenue from Timor Sea oil and natural gas. Australia is flagrantly violating international law and has even withdrawn from international mechanisms to resolve the maritime boundary dispute - leaving East Timor with no legal recourse.

The global powers-that-be continue to deny East Timor justice for the myriad war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against its people from 1975 to 1999. At the same time, the Bush administration, in the name of the "war on terrorism," is committed to full relations with Indonesia's brutal military establishment, as the military daily terrorizes the people of Aceh, Papua and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, East Timor is still trying to reconstruct in the aftermath of 24 years of Indonesian military terror and dispossession, endeavoring to build a society that meets its citizens' basic needs. It is doing so in the face of a world order unfriendly to independent and alternative forms of political-economic organization. International financial institutions (IFIs) such as the International Monetary Fund are intimately involved in nearly every facet of life in East Timor. The East Timorese government is under real pressure to borrow money from IFIs and thus fall into debt, as it faces a predicted $126 million budgetary shortfall from 2005 to 2007.

Your support can help ETAN meet these and other challenges. ETAN's track record shows that it is up to the task. Recently, ETAN beat back the Bush administration's latest effort to restore military training for Indonesia. Congress reinstated restrictions on IMET, just weeks after President Bush publicly predicted Congress would drop them. In November, the Indonesian government and military extended martial law in Aceh, where extrajudicial execution, rape, torture, and disappearance are rampant. While world governments remained quiet, ETAN worked to achieve a Congressional resolution calling for a ceasefire, an end to human rights violations, and a return to negotiations with significant involvement from Acehnese civil society and the international community.

ETAN showed the government of Australia that the world was watching as talks began on a permanent maritime boundary with East Timor. A letter coordinated by ETAN and signed by more than 100 organizations from 19 countries worldwide received widespread press coverage and put Australia's Prime Minister on notice that what is "at stake in these negotiations are East Timor's rights as an independent nation to establish national boundaries and to benefit from its own resources." Without public pressure, Australia profits by waiting out the exhaustion of the resources, taking up to $30 billion in revenue that belongs to East Timor. That revenue can help East Timor become independent of foreign donors and escape from dire poverty. We need ETAN to help generate that pressure.

These examples show how ETAN's work is now more complicated and multifaceted ­ and no less vital ­ than during the Indonesian occupation. Yet, because East Timor has fallen off the radar screen of many activists, foundations, and policymakers, ETAN has far fewer financial resources than it needs. In fact, its very effectiveness is threatened. Despite having significantly cut costs over the last few years, ETAN has only enough resources to keep its staff for another four months at most.

You can change this. With your critical assistance, ETAN can continue its work supporting East Timorese efforts to ensure accountability for Indonesia's crimes as well as for the complicity of Jakarta's partners-in-crime, such as the U.S. government. ETAN has led the effort to prevent a strengthening of U.S.-Indonesia military ties, a struggle that has resulted in significant victories of late and must continue to do so. Despite these wins, we cannot rest. The Bush administration and its Pentagon allies have already renewed their efforts to normalize ties with Indonesia's brutal military establishment.

Our sisters and brothers in East Timor repeatedly underscore the tremendous importance of ETAN's continued solidarity work in the U.S. now that their country is free.

That is why I am writing to you. More than ever, ETAN needs your support to survive and grow to address these challenges. ETAN's accomplishments speak for themselves, as does the organization's modest budget. ETAN has truly done very much with very little

Since its founding in 1991, ETAN has made sure that U.S. policymakers cannot ignore the human rights of the East Timorese and Indonesian people. With your support, it will continue to do so in 2004. Such work has implications far beyond East Timor and Indonesia. By working to change the way in which the U.S. government conducts foreign policy, ETAN contributes to wider change.

From the ongoing U.S. war in Iraq to the Indonesian military campaign in Aceh, the current state of the world is hardly bright. Nevertheless, ETAN remains an important example of what a dedicated group of activists can do to improve our world and to move our country in a more sane direction. Your financial support is needed to continue their work. During this holiday season, please think about ETAN and make as generous a donation as possible.

Thank you for you support.

Sincerely,

Noam Chomsky

It takes just a minute to make a secure tax-deductible contribution on our website, at http://etan.org/etan/donate.htm.

You can also write a check to "ETAN/U.S." in support of our political advocacy work, or make a tax-deductible donation of over $50 to "A.J. Muste Memorial Institute/ETAN", which supports our educational efforts.

Please mail donations to: ETAN/U.S., PO Box 15774, Washington, DC 20003.

Thank you.

John M. Miller Internet: fbp@igc.org

Media & Outreach Coordinator
East Timor Action Network: 12 Years for Self-Determination & Justice

48 Duffield St., Brooklyn, NY 11201 USA
Phone: (718)596-7668 Fax: (718)222-4097
Mobile phone: (917)690-4391
Web site: http://www.etan.org

Support ETAN, make a secure financial contribution: http://etan.org/etan/donate.htm

Send a blank e-mail message to info@etan.org to find out how to learn more about East Timor on the Internet

 

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