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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in sonofnihilism's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, April 1st, 2007
11:18 pm
As-Salamu Alaykum
As I was leaving the MARTA (public transportation), a young guy who can easily be described as stereotypically gangsta said aloud, "As-Salamu Alaykum." I so was entranced with the Slayer album "South of Heaven" blasting in my ears that I barely realized he was speaking to me. I was taken aback. So much so that all I could do was make eye contact and nod; not even bow... simply nod. Only later did it occur to me that there is actually a reply to that greeting, "wa `Alaykum As-Salām," and that if I wasn't such a dumbass, I could have returned the courtesy. I was wearing my usual tan cargo pants, a long sleeved white shirt, and a beard that I've been growing since December, so maybe I was giving off a monk-ish vibe? I just don't know.

"As-Salāmu `Alaykum" is an Arabic language greeting used in both Muslim and Christian cultures. It means "Peace be upon you." The traditional response is "wa `Alaykum As-Salām", meaning "and on you be peace".

This type of greeting is common in the Middle East; it is similar to the Hebrew greeting of "shalom aleichem," meaning "Peace be upon you". The appropriate response is "Aleichem shalom".
Monday, March 12th, 2007
8:12 am

The Everything Test

There are many different types of tests on the internet today. Personality tests, purity tests, stereotype tests, political tests. But now, there is one test to rule them all.

Traditionally, online tests would ask certain questions about your musical tastes or clothing for a stereotype, your experiences for a purity test, or deep questions for a personality test.We're turning that upside down - all the questions affect all the results, and we've got some innovative results too! Enjoy :-)

You are more logical than emotional, more concerned about others than concerned about self, more atheist than religious, more dependent than loner, more lazy than workaholic, more rebel than traditional, more artistic mind than engineering mind, more cynical than idealist, more leader than follower, and more introverted than extroverted.

As for specific personality traits, you are adventurous (95%), intellectual (93%), artistic (72%), horny (61%).

Punk Rock80%
Emo Kid67%
White Trash55%
Life Experience

Your political views would best be described as Socialist, whom you agree with around 94% of the time.
Your attitude toward life best associates you with Working Class. You make more than 0% of those who have taken this test, and 68% less than the U.S. average.

If your life was a movie, it would be rated PG.
By the way, your hottness rank is 33%, hotter than 48% of other test takers.

brought to you by thatsurveysite

Monday, January 22nd, 2007
9:57 pm
MUSICIAN: Have there been parts of your life that you've neglected because you've been as absorbed as you are in your music?

ZAPPA:Well, what am I missing? Do I regret not going horseback riding, or learning how to water ski? Well, no. I don't want to climb mountains, I don't want to do bungie-jumping. I haven't missed any of these things. If you're absorbed by something, what's to miss?

Population of Atlanta on 01/17/2007: 4,868,083
Sunday, December 31st, 2006
11:25 pm
Sunday, October 22nd, 2006
3:03 am
I saw the Royal Drummers of Burundi tonight and it was beautiful.
Saturday, September 30th, 2006
10:49 pm
"Other People Think"
"One of the greatest blessings that the United States could receive in the near future would be to have her industries halted, her business discontinued, her people speechless, a great pause in her world of affairs created, and finally to have everything stopped that runs, until everyone should hear the last wheel go around and the last echo fade away....then, in that moment of complete intermission, of undisturbed calm, would be the hour most conducive to the birth of a Pan-American Conscience. Then we should be capable of answering the question, "What ought we to do?" For we should be hushed and silent, and we should have the opportunity to learn that other people think."

John Cage, Southern California Oratorical Contest, 1927 (age 15)
Sunday, August 27th, 2006
12:07 am
Frank Zappa
FZ: "I think that everything is happening all the time, and the only reason we think of time linearly is because we are conditioned to do it. That's because the human idea of stuff is: it has a beginning and it has an end. I don't think that's necessarily true. You think of time as a constant, a spherical constant... [in which]... everything's happening all the time, always did, always will... We're dealing with time in a quasi-practical manner. We have devised our own personal universe and lifestyle that is ruled by time sliced this way, and we progress from notch to notch, day by day, and you just learn to meet your deadlines that way. That's only for human convenience. That, to me, is not a good explanation of how things really work. That's only the human perception version of how things work. It seems just as feasible to me that everything is happening all the time. And whether you believe your coffee cup is full or not is irrelevant... What something is depends more on when it is than anything else. You can't define something accurately until you understand when it is... When is what. Without the perfect understanding of when, you've got nothing to deal with, see? 'Cause you analyze that cup of coffee a little bit earlier, and it's full. In a few minutes, you'll kick it over, and it won't even exist anymore. The state of the cup is determined by when you're perceiving it... And the reason why I feel so strongly about this is, you know, this is one of the better explanations for why people can have premonitions, because instead of looking ahead, they're just looking around. You don't have to look ahead to see the future. You can look over there."
Monday, July 31st, 2006
11:22 pm
Ascetic? I wish.
ARGH!!! It's 11:30pm and I'm still here packing. Damn it, I have too much shit. Not only do I have too much shit, but I'm disorganized as a motherfucker. One good thing, though, is the crickets outside, chirping away in wonderful hocket. Will I finish and get out of here tonight? I just don't know.

Population of Atlanta on 07/31/2006: 4,864,168
Sunday, July 30th, 2006
10:09 pm
Tonight's my last night in this apartment complex. I need to pack, rent a U-Haul and move. This new place should be much better: close to transportation(!!!), bigger, less expensive and close to the farmer's market. The farmer's market in Decatur (the next town east of Atlanta) is huge and awesome--it makes Trader Joe's look like a gas station's food mart. My attempt to graduate in three semesters was vetoed the other day, so it looks like I will have to tough it out here at GSU until December of 2007. Ugh. In the words of Calvin's dad, "It'll build character"! And in the words of Stewie, "it smells like servitude." Now I am dealing with my new found abandonment issues. A friend is preparing to leave the country, one whom, I fear, I will never see again.

Population of Atlanta on 07/30/2006: 4,863,881
Friday, July 28th, 2006
12:11 am
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
from the BBC on 26 July 2006

Regime change, 1950s-style
By Roger Hardy, BBC News Middle East Analyst

Western powers decide that the ruler of a major Arab state has become an intolerable threat.

They launch a concerted attack to topple him, but provoke a storm of international controversy over the wisdom - and legality - of their action. Half a century on from the Suez crisis, the contemporary echoes are unmistakable. In 1956 the Western powers were Britain and France. The Arab ruler was President Nasser of Egypt. Both felt threatened by his dramatic decision to nationalise the company which operated the Suez Canal. The British Prime Minister, Anthony Eden, regarded the canal as the "jugular" of the British empire. The French resented the help Nasser was giving the Algerian insurgency. The two European powers reached a secret agreement with Israel to attack Egypt, regain the canal and overthrow Nasser.

US halted intervention

But it all went disastrously wrong. The American President, Dwight Eisenhower, was furious with his British ally for keeping him in the dark - and forced the three aggressors to halt their attack and withdraw from Egyptian territory. Nasser emerged an Arab hero, Eden's career ended in ruins - and the whole affair confirmed the demise of Britain and France as global powers. Then and now historians find the comparison between Egypt in 1956 and Iraq in 2003 irresistible - even if the differences are as obvious as the similarities. Saddam Hussein was no Nasser - however much he would have wished to be. In the earlier crisis, the United States brought the fighting to a close; in the later one, it was the instigator. Above all, the international climate was completely different. In the 1950s there were two superpowers locked in a Cold War. In 2003 America dominated world affairs in an entirely new way.

Was it legal?

Nevertheless both crises raised issues that are uncannily alike. Was the action of the Western powers legal? In neither case did the argument of self-defence really hold up. Were they sincere in going to the United Nations in search of a diplomatic solution - or had they already made up their minds to go to war? In both cases, there is evidence of the latter. Given that the real aim was "regime change", how far was there a coherent plan for the "day after"? In 2003, as in 1956, there seems to have been astonishingly little planning for the aftermath.

History's verdict

Finally, how far was public opinion deceived? This is a sensitive charge. All politicians make mistakes, but mistakes based on deception carry an added stigma. Eden kept the truth about Suez not only from the Americans, but from members of his own cabinet. Certainly today's British prime minister, Tony Blair, would resist any comparison between himself and Eden. He would say he made an honest mistake in claiming Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. His critics would say he "spun" the country into a war which achieved "regime change" but with disastrous consequences. History's judgement on Britain's role over Suez has been damning. It remains, to this day, a moment of shame - a warning to politicians and generals alike of the price to be paid for risky foreign adventures. For history's verdict on the Iraq affair, we will have to wait a little longer.
Wednesday, July 12th, 2006
9:31 pm
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I have rediscovered my love of jazz music. It feels like I have not listened to it in years, which is only a mild exaggeration, so imagine my delight to find it as fresh and exciting as when I left it.

Population of Atlanta on 07/12/2006: 4,859,182
Thursday, June 29th, 2006
12:27 am
Music has Nothing to do with Sound; Music has Nothing to do with Time
Happy Birthday, Graham!!!

At Rob's urging, I have begun to investigate JSTOR, and it has turned out to be a marvelous resource of "over 30 music journals." It has articles on John Zorn's Theatre of Musical Optics (from which my subject heading comes), Brian Ferneyhough's "Bone Alphabet" (I'm still determined to learn that piece, even though I am currently reconsidering my repertoire priorities), the John Cage/Pierre Boulez letters (don't forget the 'Z'; it is striking how much like love letters they seem),... still no information on what a "Northwest Indian rattle" is, though. I haven't even scratched the surface of JSTOR! Recently, I was saddened by Brynn's change of events; however, personal health is paramount. Hopefully she can take solace in that. There is still much to be done (especially by me, truth be told) to get "Third Construction" from acceptable to exciting. Currently scheming on materializing a performance of "Crippled Symmetry." Even though "Why Patterns?" is my favorite and the opening page of "For Philip Guston" is some of the most spectacular music ever written, I do feel drawn to "Crippled Symmetry," like one is "drawn to an old lover." (Take that, Joan Lee!) Mills College? I'll keep that in the back of my mind for now. I just watched "Walkabout" and I don't yet know what to make of it.

Population of Atlanta on 06/29/2006: 4,845,701
Monday, June 19th, 2006
10:33 pm
"Virtuoso Voodoo"
Today marks the beginning of my serious practice of "Gri-Gri," a "very challenging and very difficult polyrhythmic piece for 13 tuned drums," by John Zorn.

Population of Atlanta on 06/19/2006: 4,843,158
Friday, June 16th, 2006
3:14 pm
Timeline: Iraq
from the BBC on Thursday, 08 June 2006:

1920 25 April - Iraq is placed under British mandate.

1921 23 August - Faysal, son of Hussein Bin Ali, the Sharif of Mecca, is crowned Iraq's first king.

1932 3 October - Iraq becomes an independent state.

1958 14 July - The monarchy is overthrown in a military coup led by Brig Abd-al-Karim Qasim and Col Abd-al-Salam Muhammad Arif. Iraq is declared a republic and Qasim becomes prime minister.

1963 8 February - Qasim is ousted in a coup led by the Arab Socialist Baath Party (ASBP). Arif becomes president.

1963 18 November - The Baathist government is overthrown by Arif and a group of officers.

1966 17 April - After Arif is killed in a helicopter crash on 13 April, his elder brother, Maj-Gen Abd-al-Rahman Muhammad Arif, succeeds him as president.

1968 17 July - A Baathist led-coup ousts Arif and Gen Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr becomes president.

1970 11 March - The Revolution Command Council (RCC) and Mullah Mustafa Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), sign a peace agreement.

1972 - A 15-year Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation is signed between Iraq and the Soviet Union.

Petroleum firm nationalised

1972 - Iraq nationalises the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC).

1974 - In implementation of the 1970 agreement, Iraq grants limited autonomy to the Kurds but the KDP rejects it.

1975 March - At a meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) in Algiers, Iraq and Iran sign a treaty ending their border disputes.

1979 16 July - President Al-Bakr resigns and is succeeded by Vice-President Saddam Hussein.

1980 1 April - The pro-Iranian Dawah Party claims responsibility for an attack on Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, at Mustansiriyah University, Baghdad.

Iran-Iraq war

1980 4 September - Iran shells Iraqi border towns (Iraq considers this as the start of the Iran/Iraq war).

1980 17 September - Iraq abrogates the 1975 treaty with Iran.

1980 22 September - Iraq attacks Iranian air bases.

1980 23 September - Iran bombs Iraqi military and economic targets.

1981 7 June - Israel attacks an Iraqi nuclear research centre at Tuwaythah near Baghdad.

Chemical attack on Kurds

1988 16 March - Iraq is said to have used chemical weapons against the Kurdish town of Halabjah.

1988 20 August - A ceasefire comes into effect to be monitored by the UN Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (Uniimog).

1990 15 March - Farzad Bazoft, an Iranian-born journalist with London's Observer newspaper, accused of spying on a military installation, is hanged in Baghdad.

Iraq invades Kuwait

1990 2 August - Iraq invades Kuwait and is condemned by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 660 which calls for full withdrawal.

1990 6 August - UNSC Resolution 661 imposes economic sanctions on Iraq.

1990 8 August - Iraq announces the merger of Iraq and Kuwait.

1990 29 November - UNSC Resolution 678 authorizes the states cooperating with Kuwait to use "all necessary means" to uphold UNSC Resolution 660.

1991 16 -17 January - The Gulf War starts when the coalition forces begin aerial bombing of Iraq ("Operation Desert Storm").

1991 13 February - US planes destroy an air raid shelter at Amiriyah in Baghdad, killing more than 300 people.

1991 24 February - The start of a ground operation which results in the liberation of Kuwait on 27 February.


1991 3 March - Iraq accepts the terms of a ceasefire.

1991 Mid-March/early April - Iraqi forces suppress rebellions in the south and the north of the country.

1991 8 April - A plan to establish a UN safe-haven in northern Iraq to protect the Kurds is approved at a European Union meeting. On 10 April the USA orders Iraq to end all military activity in this area.

1992 26 August - A no-fly zone, which Iraqi planes are not allowed to enter, is set up in southern Iraq, south of latitude 32 degrees north.

1993 27 June - US forces launch a cruise missile attack on Iraqi intelligence headquarters in Baghdad in retaliation for the attempted assassination of US President George Bush in Kuwait in April.

1994 29 May - Saddam Hussein becomes prime minister.

1994 10 November - Iraqi National Assembly recognises Kuwait's borders and its independence.


1995 14 April - UNSC Resolution 986 allows the partial resumption of Iraq's oil exports to buy food and medicine ( the "oil-for-food programme"). It is not accepted by Iraq until May 1996 and is not implemented until December 1996.

1995 August - Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, Gen Hussein Kamil Hasan al-Majid, his brother and their families leave Iraq and are granted asylum in Jordan.

1995 15 October - Saddam Hussein wins a referendum allowing him to remain president for another seven years.

1996 20 February - Hussein Kamil Hasan al-Majid and his brother, promised a pardon by Saddam Hussein, return to Baghdad and are killed on 23 February.

1996 31 August - After call for aid from KDP, Iraqi forces launch offensive into northern no-fly zone and capture Irbil.

1996 3 September - US extends northern limit of southern no-fly zone to latitude 33 degrees north, just south of Baghdad.

1996 12 December - Saddam Hussein's elder son, Uday, is seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in Baghdad.

1998 31 October - Iraq ends cooperation with UN Special Commission to Oversee the Destruction of Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction (Unscom).

Operation Desert Fox

1998 16-19 December - After UN staff are evacuated from Baghdad, the US and UK launch a bombing campaign, "Operation Desert Fox", to destroy Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes.

1999 19 February - Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, spiritual leader of the Shia community, is assassinated in Najaf.

1999 17 December - UNSC Resolution 1284 creates the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (Unmovic) to replace Unscom. Iraq rejects the resolution.

2001 February - Britain, US carry out bombing raids to try to disable Iraq's air defence network. The bombings have little international support.

2001 May - Saddam's son Qusay elected to the leadership of the ruling Baath Party, fuelling speculation that he's being groomed to succeed his father.

2002 April - Baghdad suspends oil exports to protest against Israeli incursions into Palestinian territories. Despite calls by Saddam Hussein, no other Arab countries follow suit. Exports resume after 30 days.

Weapons inspectors return

2002 September - US President George W Bush tells sceptical world leaders at a UN General Assembly session to confront the "grave and gathering danger" of Iraq - or stand aside as the US acts. In the same month British Prime Minister Tony Blair publishes a dossier on Iraq's military capability.

2002 November - UN weapons inspectors return to Iraq backed by a UN resolution which threatens serious consequences if Iraq is in "material breach" of its terms.

2003 March - Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix reports that Iraq has accelerated its cooperation but says inspectors need more time to verify Iraq's compliance.

Saddam ousted

2003 17 March - UK's ambassador to the UN says the diplomatic process on Iraq has ended; arms inspectors evacuate; US President George W Bush gives Saddam Hussein and his sons 48 hours to leave Iraq or face war.

2003 20 March - American missiles hit targets in Baghdad, marking the start of a US-led campaign to topple Saddam Hussein. In the following days US and British ground troops enter Iraq from the south.

2003 9 April - US forces advance into central Baghdad. Saddam Hussein's grip on the city is broken. In the following days Kurdish fighters and US forces take control of the northern cities of Kirkuk and Mosul. There is looting in Baghdad and elsewhere.

2003 April - US lists 55 most-wanted members of former regime in the form of a deck of cards. Former deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz is taken into custody.

2003 May - UN Security Council backs US-led administration in Iraq and lifts economic sanctions. US administrator abolishes Baath Party and institutions of former regime.

2003 July - US-appointed Governing Council meets for first time. Commander of US forces says his troops face low-intensity guerrilla-style war. Saddam's sons Uday and Qusay killed in gun battle in Mosul.

Guerrilla warfare intensifies

2003 August - Deadly bomb attacks on Jordanian embassy and UN HQ in Baghdad. Saddam's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, or Chemical Ali, captured. Car bomb in Najaf kills 125 including Shia leader Ayatollah Mohammed Baqr al-Hakim.

2003 14 December - Saddam Hussein captured in Tikrit.

2004 February - More than 100 killed in Irbil in suicide attacks on offices of main Kurdish factions.

2004 March - Suicide bombers attack Shia festival-goers in Karbala and Baghdad, killing 140 people.

2004 April/May - Shia militias loyal to radical cleric Moqtada Sadr take on coalition forces.

Hundreds are reported killed in fighting during the month-long US military siege of the Sunni Muslim city of Falluja.

Photographic evidence emerges of abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US troops.

Sovereignty and elections

2004 June - US hands sovereignty to interim government headed by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

Saddam Hussein transferred to Iraqi legal custody.

2004 August - Fighting in Najaf between US forces and Shia militia of radical cleric Moqtada Sadr.

2004 November - Major US-led offensive against insurgents in Falluja.

2005 30 January - An estimated eight million people vote in elections for a Transitional National Assembly. The Shia United Iraqi Alliance wins a majority of assembly seats. Kurdish parties come second.

2005 28 February - At least 114 people are killed by a massive car bomb in Hilla, south of Baghdad. It is the worst single such incident since the US-led invasion.

2005 April - Amid escalating violence, parliament selects Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani as president. Ibrahim Jaafari, a Shia, is named as prime minister.

2005 May onwards - Surge in car bombings, bomb explosions and shootings: Iraqi ministries put the civilian death toll for May at 672, up from 364 in April.

2005 June - Massoud Barzani is sworn in as regional president of Iraqi Kurdistan.

2005 July - Study compiled by the non-governmental Iraq Body Count organisation estimates that nearly 25,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the 2003 US-led invasion.

2005 August - Draft constitution is endorsed by Shia and Kurdish negotiators, but not by Sunni representatives.

More than 1,000 people are killed during a stampede at a Shia ceremony in Baghdad.

Suicide bomber blows up a fuel tanker, killing 90 people in Musayibb.

2005 September - 182 people are killed in attacks in Baghdad, including a car bomb attack on a group of workers in a mainly-Shia district.

Saddam on trial

2005 October - Saddam Hussein goes on trial on charges of crimes against humanity.

Voters approve a new constitution, which aims to create an Islamic federal democracy.

2005 November - Suicide bombers target mosques in Khanaqin, killing at least 74 people.

2005 15 December - Iraqis vote for the first, full-term government and parliament since the US-led invasion.

2006 4-5 January - More than 150 people are killed in suicide bombings and attacks targeting Karbala, Ramadi, Miqdadiya and Baghdad.

2006 20 January - Shia-led United Iraqi Alliance emerges as the winner of December's parliamentary elections, but fails to gain an absolute majority.

2006 February onwards - A bomb attack on an important Shia shrine in Samarra unleashes a wave of sectarian violence in which hundreds of people are killed.

2006 7 April - More than 70 people are killed when three suicide bombers attack a Shia mosque in Baghdad.

2006 22 April - Newly re-elected President Talabani asks Shia compromise candidate Jawad al-Maliki to form a new government. The move ends four months of political deadlock.

2006 8 June - Prime Minister Maliki announces that al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has been killed in an air strike.
3:03 pm
Timeline: US-Iran ties
from the BBC on Wednesday, 31 May 2006:

1953 US and British intelligence services help Iranian military officers depose Prime Minister Muhammad Mussadeq, a leading exponent of nationalising the oil industry.

1979 16 January - US-backed Shah of Iran forced to leave the country after widespread demonstrations and strikes.

1979 1 February - Islamic religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini returns from exile and takes effective power.

1979 4 November - Iranian students seize 63 hostages at US embassy in Tehran, prompting drawn-out crisis leading to severing of diplomatic ties and sweeping US sanctions against Iran. Their initial demand is that the Shah return from the US to Iran to face trial. Later Iran also demands the US undertake not to interfere in its affairs.

1980 25 April - Secret US military mission to rescue hostages ends in disaster in sandstorm in central Iranian desert.

1980 27 July - Exiled Shah dies of cancer in Egypt, but hostage crisis continues.

1980 22 September - Iraq invades, sparking a war with Iran which lasts the rest of the decade. While several Western countries provide support to Iraq during the war, Iran remains diplomatically isolated.

1981 20 January - Last 52 US hostages freed in January after intense diplomatic activity. Their release comes a few hours after US President Jimmy Carter leaves office. They had been held for 444 days.

1985/6 US holds secret talks with Iran and makes weapons shipments, allegedly in exchange for Iranian assistance in releasing US hostages in Lebanon. With revelations that profits were illegally channelled to Nicaraguan rebels, this creates the biggest crisis of Ronald Reagan's US presidency.

1987/8 US forces engage in series of encounters with Iranian forces, including strikes on Gulf oil platforms.

19883 July - US cruiser Vincennes mistakenly shoots down Iran Air Airbus over the Gulf, killing all 290 people on board.

1989 3 June - Ayatollah Khomeini dies. President Khamenei is appointed supreme leader the following day.

1989 17 August - Hashemi Rafsanjani sworn in as president, with apparent backing of both conservatives and reformers in the leadership.

1990/1 Iran remains neutral in US-led intervention in Kuwait. Rapprochement with West hindered by Ayatollah Khomeini's 1989 religious edict ordering that British author Salman Rushdie be killed for offending Islam in one of his novels.

1992/3 Iran criticises perceived US regional interference in the wake of the Gulf War and the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

1993 US President Bill Clinton takes office.

1995 President Clinton imposes oil and trade sanctions on Iran for alleged sponsorship of "terrorism", seeking to acquire nuclear arms and hostility to the Middle East process. Iran denies the charges.

1996 Mr Clinton stiffens sanctions with penalties against any firm that invests $40m or more a year in oil and gas projects in Iran and Libya.

1997 23 May - Muhammad Khatami elected president of Iran.

1998 President Khatami calls for a "dialogue with the American people" in American TV interview. But in a sermon a few weeks later he is sharply critical of US "oppressive policies".

1999 Twentieth anniversary of US embassy siege. Hardliners celebrate the occasion, as reformists look to the future rather than the past.

2000 18 February - Iranian reformists win landslide victory in general election. Shortly afterwards, President Clinton extends ban on US oil contracts with Iran, accusing it of continuing to support international terrorism.

2000 March - US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright calls for a new start in US-Iranian relations and announces lifting of sanctions on Iranian exports ranging from carpets to food products. Iranian foreign ministry initially welcomes the move, but Ayatollah Khamenei later describes it as deceitful and belated.

2000 September - Mrs Albright meets Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi at UN in New York - the first such talks since diplomatic ties were severed in 1979.

2001 June - The US alleges that elements within the Iranian Government were directly involved in the bombing of an American military base in Saudi Arabia in 1996. Tehran angrily rejects the allegations.

2001 September - Report by Central Intelligence Agency accuses Iran of having one of the world's most active programmes to acquire nuclear weapons. The CIA report says Iran is seeking missile-related technology from a number of countries including Russia and China.

2002 29 January - US President George W Bush, in his State of the Union address, describes Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an "axis of evil". He warns that the proliferation of long-range missiles being developed in these countries is as great a danger to the US as terrorism. The speech causes outrage in Iran and is condemned by reformists and conservatives alike.

2002 September - Russian technicians begin construction of Iran's first nuclear reactor at Bushehr despite strong objections from US.

2002 December - The US accuses Iran of seeking to develop a secret nuclear weapons programme and publishes satellite images of two nuclear sites under construction at Natanz and Arak.

2003 February-May - The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conducts a series of inspections in Iran. The country confirms that there are sites at Natanz and Arak under construction, but insists that these, like Bushehr, are designed solely to provide fuel for future power plants.

2003 June - White House refuses to rule out the "military option" in dealing with Iran after IAEA says Iran "failed to report certain nuclear materials and activities". But IAEA does not declare Iran in breach of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

2003 September - Washington says Iran is not complying with non-proliferation accords but agrees to support proposal from Britain, France and Germany to give Iran until end of October fully to disclose nuclear activities and allow surprise inspections.

2003 October-November - Tehran agrees to suspend its uranium enrichment programme and allow tougher UN inspections of its nuclear facilities. An IAEA report says Iran has admitted producing plutonium but adds there is no evidence that it was trying to build an atomic bomb. However, US dismisses the report as "impossible to believe". The IAEA votes to censure Iran but stops short of imposing sanctions.

2003 December - US sends humanitarian aid to Iran after earthquake kills up to 50,000 people in city of Bam. US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Iran's permanent envoy to UN, Mohammad Javad Zarif, hold telephone talks in a rare direct contact.

2004 January - President Bush denies that US has changed its policy towards Tehran and says moves to help Iran in the wake of earthquake do not indicate a thaw in relations.

2004 March - A UN resolution condemns Iran for keeping some of its nuclear activities secret. Iran reacts by banning inspectors from its sites for several weeks.

2004 September - The IAEA passes a resolution giving a November deadline for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment. Iran rejects the call and begins converting raw uranium into gas.

A US nuclear monitor publishes satellite images of an Iranian weapons facility which it says may be involved in work on nuclear arms.

2004 November - Iran agrees to a European offer to suspend uranium enrichment in exchange for trade concessions. At the last minute, Tehran backs down from its demand to exclude some centrifuges from the freeze. The US says it maintains its right to send Iran unilaterally to the UN Security Council if Tehran fails to fulfil its commitment.

2005 January - Europe and Iran begin trade talks. The European trio, France, Germany and the UK, demand Iran stop its uranium enrichment programme permanently.

2005 February - Iranian President Mohammed Khatami says his country will never give up nuclear technology, but stresses it is for peaceful purposes. Russia backs Tehran, and signs a deal to supply fuel to Iran's Bushehr reactor.

New US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says attacking Iran is not on the US agenda "at this point in time".

2005 March - President George W Bush signals a major change in policy towards Iran. He says the US will back the negotiation track led by the European trio - EU3 - and offer economic incentives for the Islamic state to give up its alleged nuclear ambitions.

Mr Bush announces the US will lift a decade-long block on Iran's membership of the World Trade Organization, and objections to Tehran obtaining parts for commercial planes.

2005 June - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Tehran's ultra-conservative mayor, wins a run-off vote in presidential elections, defeating cleric and former president Hashemi Rafsanjani.

2005 July - The US concludes that President Ahmadinejad was a leader of the group behind the 1979 hostage crisis at its embassy in Tehran, but says it is unsure whether he took an active part in taking Americans prisoner.

2005 August - President George W Bush makes the first of several statements in which he refuses to rule out using force against Iran.

2005 August-September - Tehran says it has resumed uranium conversion at its Isfahan plant and insists the programme is for peaceful purposes. The IAEA finds Iran in violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

2006 March - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the US faces "no greater challenge" than Iran's nuclear programme.

2006 April - A report in the New Yorker suggests the US is planning a tactical nuclear strike against underground nuclear sites - a claim Washington denies. Iran says it will retaliate against any attack and complains to the UN.

Iran announces it has successfully enriched uranium - prompting Ms Rice to demand "strong steps" by the UN. An IAEA report concludes Iran has not complied with a Security Council demand that it suspend uranium enrichment. Mr Ahmadinejad insists the pursuit of peaceful nuclear technology is Iran's "absolute right".

Tehran offers to hold direct talks with Washington on the situation in Iraq, in what would have been the first such talks since 1980. Tehran later withdraws the offer.

2006 May - The US, Britain and France table a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council calling on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment or face "further action".

In response, Iran's parliament threatens to pull out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty if pressure over its nuclear programme increases.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad then sends a letter to President George W Bush proposing "new solutions" to their differences. It is reported to be the first time an Iranian leader has written to the US leader since the Iranian revolution in 1979.

It was given a dusty response by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"This letter is not the place that one would find an opening to engage on the nuclear issue or anything of the sort," she said.

On 31 May the US offers to join EU nations in direct talks with Iran. The US will "come to the table" if Iran suspends uranium enrichment and reprocessing work, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says.

She urges Iran to consider an EU-US incentive package aimed at persuading Iran to abandon its nuclear plans.
Thursday, June 15th, 2006
10:37 pm
1) My bicycle if fixed!

2) My new favorite album: http://www.vice-recordings.com/boredoms/seadrum/

Population of Atlanta on 06/15/2006: 4,842,155
Monday, June 5th, 2006
3:12 am
And if you feel like throwing underpants onto the stage, put them over there.
Wonderful. It doesn't get much better than this: I'm drunk, laying on my balcony (too bad I can't see the North Star), listening to Frank Zappa's "The Yellow Shark" and thinking of Brynn.
Tuesday, May 30th, 2006
10:48 pm
Time is Material; Exteriminate All Rational Thought
Before I forget, New York was wonderful.

THURSDAY 05/11/2006: I arrive late morning, exit the airport (La Guardia) and take the shuttle to Grand Central Terminal. A quick walk to my friend's apartment puts me safe and sound right in the middle of New York about noon. A nap on the floor re-energizes me after a late night and early alarm clock. Feeling a tad hungry, I set out for food and find an oriental restaurant (Vietnamese? I can't remember). I order noodles with duck only to find the duck inedible. It seems they gave the back, spinal segments and all. The noodles were good, though. Cheap, too. Continuing my bipedal exploration, I find myself and 61st. It's now close to 5:00 and my friend will be returning from class, so I turn back. Hugs and joke await me at the apartment. I haven't seen my friend since we both left Santa Cruz two years ago. It's dinner time, so we set out for a nearby sushi joint (note to self: it seems like everything in New York is nearby. goodie gum drops) where it is half-price-salmon night. We meet up with my friend's wife and proceed to order an obscene amount of food. I agree with Pudding-san: if I could eat sushi every night, I would. After dinner, we head downtown to the Stone, an intimate music venue to see a tribute to the recently deceased guitarist, Derek Bailey, featuring Lisle Ellis' Audible Means. Pamela Z (voice), Rudresh Mahanthappa (saxophone), Kathy Supove (piano), Guillermo E Brown (drums, electronics)and Lisle Ellis (bass and circuitry). Excellent.

FRIDAY 05/12/2006: MOMA (as it is late morning on a weekday, the crowd in large, but not overwhelming) I love it. Paintings and sculptures from people I've never heard of and old favorites. It's quite exciting to see the work of Rothko, Pollock, Guston, Agnes Martin and Picasso up close and personal. We go back to the apartment to gather some equipment for my friend's gig tonight. We take a taxi over to CUNY (City University of New York) so my friend can set up. I walk back to the apartment as I have a concert to see at the Japan Society: New Voices from Japan. John Zorn, Ikue Mori, Mike Patton, Yamataka Eye, Makigami Koichi, Haino Keiji and Jim O'Rourke. Excellent.

SATURDAY 05/13/2006: 5th Avenue. New York Public Library and old maps. Apparently California was an island back in the 15th and 16th centuries. Maybe it still is and we just don't know it... Dim sum with my friends and my cousin and his family. The last time I saw my cousin was in Oakland...attending a John Zorn concert. Funny how times (don't) change. Chinatown. Outdoor markets. The smell of seafood. Dinner. The Japan Society (again). Same crew, but no Makigami Koichi. He's sick. Too bad, because his playing last night was so marvelous. Tonight's music? Excellent.

SUNDAY 05/14/2006: John Cage day! I go to the Library for the Performing Arts and look at manuscripts from the John Cage collection. I'm crawling out of my skin with excitement. Apparently he wanted mini-thundersheets (pieces of papers, that is, played accordingly) for players 3 and 4 for Third Construction. Why he settled on a rattle and shaker, respectively, I don't know, but paper thundersheets would have been way sweet. Dare I say sooper suh-weet. Oh, well. For someone who was derided as taking the easy way out with his "chance operations," he sure did do a lot of preparatory work. I wonder if those composers were as diligent as Cage, or if they just relied on their good taste and fancy formulas. Dinner: ramen. Not as good as Santa's ramen, but good nonetheless. Maybe it's the company the makes the meal? Regardless, I'll take Santa's ramen any day. Ramen for lunch and sushi for dinner. I'd have to throw in some raw veggies for fiber and balance, but that's easy enough. We head back down to the Stone for a John Zorn/Eugene Chadbourne duet. Amazing. Just when I think I know all of Zorn's saxophone tricks, I see him in a little room playing to a small audience. Absolutely amazing: his playing tonight was transcendental. Really. Chadbourne was in fine form as usual; however, I do miss his pebble-filled hollow body guitar. No complaints though. After the concert I see my opportunity and re-introduce myself to Zorn for a brief chat. He still recognizes me from a couple years ago when I first met him in San Francisco. I am happy.

MONDAY 05/15/2006: I follow my friend to Brooklyn college where he has a class to teach and I have a library (Brooklyn College Library, that is) to peruse. Next, I meet my cousin and his son at a kid's park for a short visit and then go to the New York University library. I still can't find a score to "Okho" (a percussion trio by Iannis Xenakis) but enjoy myself anyway. I meet my friend at Merkin Hall for a concert by the New York New Music Ensemble. A good performance, but we leave at half time ("intermission" if you want to mince words). Serialism for the sake of notes, I have decided, leaves me cold. I need something...a texture, a mood, an atmosphere...something more than a cryptic tone row. Bed time. It's raining, so we take a cab.

TUESDAY 05/16/2006: I'm Audi 9000, brah. I make it back, safe and sound, to Atlanta, land of smog and humidity. I'm tired, so what do I do? Go to dinner with a friend and stay up all night. Moron. I find myself a little slap-happy by the time I get to Wednesday afternoon. Eh... I guess that's what summer vacation is for. Needless to say, I sleep well that night. So, to sum up my time in the Big Apple: walking, libraries, walking, museums, walking, concerts, walking...and the occasional taxi ride. I only used the subways a few times, I didn't really get to experience a functional public transportation system in all of its glory. Maybe next time.

Population of Atlanta on 05/30/2006: 4,731,246
Friday, May 19th, 2006
1:39 am
Do I Look Like a Fucking People Person???
Perhaps I will move to New York.

Population of Atlanta on 05/19/2006: 4,474,474
Sunday, May 14th, 2006
10:08 pm
It's just like John Zorn told me, "Remember! It's soft...[pause]...with explosions."
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