Thursday, February 6
In Defense of a UN Protest: Group sues to get permit
Patricia Hurtado, Long Island, NY Newsday, February 6, 2003

A coalition of local and national organizations opposed to a United States invasion of Iraq sued the city yesterday for denying it a permit to march past the United Nations en masse next week.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan sought a declaration from the court that the city's action violated the First Amendment and for an order permitting a parade of between 50,000 and 100,000 people. The Feb. 15 event would begin across from the United Nations and proceed to Central Park for a rally.

"When we're in times of crisis, it's all the more important that we zealously safeguard our rights, and there's nothing more basic than the right to march, to protest," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the groups.

The suit is the first of its kind against the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. During the administration of his predecessor, Rudolph Giuliani, scores of individuals and groups successfully sued the city in state and federal courts for seeking to abridge their freedom of speech or assembly.

Federal Judge Barbara Jones has scheduled a hearing for tomorrow on the anti-war rally. [...]

'Madness of George Dubya' a UK Hit, February 5, 2003

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- British theatre-goers are flocking to a new farce which mocks U.S. President George W. Bush as a pyjama-wearing buffoon cuddling a teddy-bear while his crazed military chiefs order nuclear strikes on Iraq.

"The Madness of George Dubya" -- which mercilessly satirises British Prime Minister Tony Blair as well as Bush -- has proved such a success at a fringe theatre in London that it is moving to a larger venue next week for an extended run.

"As war comes closer, the mood among audiences has changed," actor Nicholas Burns, who plays Blair, said after a performance this week. "The audience is actually laughing more, but the tension behind their laughs has grown. People are scared."

The play, whose title picks up on the Texan pronunciation of Bush's middle initial, is the only overtly anti-war play written in Britain during the Iraq standoff.

It comes, however, against a backdrop of increasing disquiet among UK intellectuals and artists about London's support for Washington's hawkish position towards Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Many have been writing poems and open letters or attending anti-war events [...]

"It's the mother of all Flash games. [Click on link to play]:
Gulf War 2 (aka World War 2.5)

This is a projection of the most likely outcome of a new war in the Gulf. I [] used sophisticated temporal algorithms and historical semiotic analysis to achieve an accuracy rating of 99.999%.
COMMENT (on above game): Toppling Saddam Hussein in the war simulation game "Gulf War 2" is the easy part. Coping with what comes next is more difficult.

In "Gulf War 2", players assume the role of President Bush in the online game, receiving regular briefings from caricatures of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.

The game starts with Baghdad's quick fall, but then proceeds to an Iraqi anthrax attack on Israel, a retaliatory nuclear strike, revolt in Saudi Arabia, and a Kurdish coup in northern Iraq. Once Saddam Hussein's body is found, players are asked to select one of three look-alike successors, who soon requires military backing to fend off an anxious Iran.

Dermot O'Connor, a 33 year old computer animator who moved to California from Ireland 3 years ago created the game in November. As Dermot says "This is a projection of the most likely outcome of a new war in the Gulf".

The game appears interactive but leads players down a set path, designed by O'Connor to highlight the risks of war. "There is only one deliberate outcome. It didn't make sense to give people the idea that they could avoid the worst," he said in an interview.

So far, over 20,000 people play the game every day. Dermot recently posted this on his web site...
I've been getting a LOT of emails lately, and the majority are overwhelmingly positive. Some of the "critics" just don't seem to get it however. Out of the 12 messages in my "negative" folder, 2 are literate, 1 is written in a strange version of the english language, 8 are childish to varying degrees, and one is from a psycopath. Infantile Ad Hominem attacks are common. Sounds like the republican party to me.

[News source: Reuters]
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