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The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return

The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return

Arrogant Capital

Arrogant Capital

Great American Political Repair Manual

Sam Smith's Great American Political Repair Manual: How to Rebuild Our Country So the Politics Aren't Broken and Politicians Aren't Fixed

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare

Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare

The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy

The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy

into the buzzsaw

Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of the Free Press

Amazon Light

Stop Policeware

Campaign for Audiovisual Freedom

Just consider what current events will sound like two thousand years from now -- the greatest nation on Earth bombing some of the smallest and weakest for no clear reasons, people starving in parts of the world while farmers are paid not to plant crops in others, technophiles sitting at home playing electronic golf rahter than the real thing, and police forces ordered to arrest people who simply desire to ingest a psychoactive weed. People of that era will also likely laugh it all off as fantastic myths...

It is time for those who desire true freedom to exert themselves -- to fight back against the forces who desire domination through fear and disunity.

This does not have to involve violence. It can be done in small, simple ways, like not financing that new Sport Utility Vehicle, cutting up all but one credit card, not opting for a second mortgage, turning off that TV sitcom for a good book, asking questions and speaking out in church or synagogue, attending school board and city council meetings, voting for the candidate who has the least money, learning about the Fully Informed Jury movement and using it when called -- in general, taking responsibility for one's own actions. Despite the omnipresent advertising for the Lotto -- legalized government gambling -- there is no free lunch. Giving up one's individual power for the hope of comfort and security has proven to lead only to tyranny.

from Rule by Secrecy by Jim Marrs

You had to take those pieces of paper with you when you went shopping, though by the time I was nine or ten most people used plastic cards. . .It seems so primitive, totemistic even, like cowry shells. I must have used that kind of money myself, a little, before everything went on the Compubank.

I guess that's how they were able to do it, in the way they did, all at once, without anyone knowing beforehand. If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult.

It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.

Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control.

I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?

That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.

. . . Things continued on in that state of suspended animation for weeks, although some things did happen. Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons they said. The roadblocks began to appear, and Identipasses. Everyone approved of that, since it was obvious you couldn't be too careful. They said that new elections would be held, but that it would take some time to prepare for them. The thing to do, they said, was to continue on as usual.

from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

By the time Oscar reached the outskirts of Washington, DC, The Louisiana air base had benn placed under siege.

The base's electrical power supply had long since been cut off for lack of payment. The aircraft had no fuel. The desperate federal troops were bartering stolen equipment for food and booze. Desertion was rampant. The air base commander had released a sobbing video confession and had shot himself.

Green Huey had lost patience with the long-festering scandal. He was moving in for the kill. Attacking and seizing an federal air base with his loyal state militia would have been entirely too blatant and straightforward. Instead the rogue Governor employed proxy guerrillas.

Huey had won the favor of nomad prole groups by providing them with safe havens. He allowed them to squat in Louisiana's many federally declared contamination zones. These forgotten landscapes were tainted with petrochemical effluent and hormone-warping pesticides, and were hence officially unfit for human settlement. The prole hordes had different opinions on that subject.

Proles cheerfully grouped in any locale where conventional authority had grown weak. Whenever the net-based proles were not constantly harassed by the authorities, they coalesced and grew ambitious. Though easily scattered by focused crackdowns, they regrouped as swiftly as a horde of gnats. With their reaping machines and bio-breweries, they could live off the land at the very base of the food chain. They had no stake in the established order, and they cherished a canny street-level knowledge of society's infrastructural weaknesses. They made expensive enemies. . .

Louisiana's ecologically blighted areas were ideal for proles. The disaster zones were also impromptu wildlife sanctuaries, since wild animals found chemical fouling much easier to survive than the presence of human beings. After decades of wild subtropical growth, Louisiana's toxic dumps were as impenetrable as Sherwood Forest.

from Distraction by Bruce Sterling


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Saturday, July 19, 2003

Soldiers "fighting terrorism" in Aceh jailed for rape

11:53 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Atlanta man gets FBI grilling for reading magazine piece on corporate influence on the media in cafe [u]

11:50 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Rhymes with spoils

You can bet the neocons/shrubco will find a reason to liberate Sao Tome where there was a coup last week

11:47 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Study calls high fat diet as addictive as nicotine or heroin [u]

11:30 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Psychotic anti-pot policy of shrubco sure to ramp up under Czarina Tandy [u]

11:24 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

When Caesar went to Senegal [u]
More than 1,500 persons have been arrested and put in jail between Thursday and Monday. Hopefully they will be released now that the Big Man is gone.

The US Army's planes flying day and night over Dakar. The noise they make is so loud that one hardly sleeps at night.

About 700 security people from the US for Bush's security in Senegal, with their dogs, and their cars. Senegalese security forces were not allowed to come near the US president.

All trees in places where Bush will pass have been cut. Some of them have more than 100 years.

All roads going down town (where hospitals, businesses, schools are located) were closed from Monday night to Tuesday at 3 PM. This means that we could not go to our offices or schools. Sick people were also obliged to stay at home.

11:20 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

You knew this would happen eventually

Provenance of Homeland Security shifts to "pornographers, child prostitution rings, Internet predators, immigrant smugglers and other criminals"

Did Homeland Security ever have anything to do with terrorism?
Back when the Department of Homeland Security was first being discussed, we were told that such a department was necessary to ensure cooperation among diverse federal law enforcement agencies. Critics and skeptics feared that it would soon be turned from an antiterror agency into a general purpose federal police force, something that Americans have traditionally rejected. Ridge's mission-creep has made clear that the critics and skeptics were right all along.

Since Ridge has, with this initiative, essentially admitted that Homeland Security is no longer urgent enough to occupy the Department of Homeland Security, let's abolish the Department, and pass the savings on to the taxpayers. Not only will this save money, but it will serve as a salutary warning to future Tom Ridges that overstepping the bounds of a mandate is politically dangerous.

11:17 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Like the arrogant authoritarian husband and the shrewish passive-aggressive castrating wife

US Congress shows first signs of devolution into reality show mayhem
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) introduced a resolution protesting the GOP's behavior, triggering an afternoon-long debate in which each side accused the other of debasing Congress. Democrats charged that Republicans were running "a police state," with Pelosi saying her colleagues had suffered "an indignity no member should be expected to endure."

Republicans recounted indignities of their own: When Rep. Scott McInnis (R-Colo.) had told Stark to "shut up" during the committee meeting, Stark denounced him as "a little wimp. Come on, come over here and make me, I dare you. . . . You little fruitcake. You little fruitcake. I said you are a fruitcake."

Democrats said the GOP simply wanted to change the subject, since Thomas had summoned the police before Stark lit into McInnis. Thomas neither answered reporters' questions nor appeared on the House floor yesterday, letting Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.) counter Democratic charges.
The next few years should be a lot of fun to watch.

12:12 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

International trade rules let overseas meat that doesn't meet USDA standards on US shelves

12:02 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Friday, July 18, 2003

shrubco obfuscation extends to email

New White House email system makes it harder to send one

10:32 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Body of key player in Iraq dossier scandal in UK found 5 miles from home

10:27 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Nice deep politics booklist at cryptogon

Perhaps the blog closest to this one on the political uh continuum.

2:06 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Just like IBM and Ford with the Nazis file

Halliburton and GE doing business through proxies in states accused of sponsoring terrirsm

1:43 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Same old CIA bait-n-bomb strategy file

shrubco duplicity and conniving keeping Afghanistan & Pakistan unstable and their relationship fractious
It is certain that more killings will ensue, likely precipitating full-fledged sectarian violence between Shi'ites and Sunnis in already-troubled Pakistan that may, sooner or later, embroil the keeper of the Shi'ite faith - Iran. Indeed, some in Washington, particularly the neo-conservatives thumping to "take out" the Iran regime, would like to get Tehran involved in the brawl. This crude layer of the American political mainstream hopes that such action by Tehran would provide the "smoking gun" to justify a regime change in Iran to the hapless American populace.

The stoning of the Pakistan embassy in Kabul was yet another incident waiting to happen. The fact is that under the guidance of its Afghan-born expert, Zalmay Khalilzad, the Bush administration has been pursuing a policy that will not only set Pakistan and Afghanistan on the road to confrontation, but also threaten to tear down the already-stretched fabric of Pakistani society.

1:39 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Graham floats "I" word: is the fix in? [drudge]

1:23 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Senate GOP kills independent investigation of WMD intel & shrubco [Urban Survival]

7:52 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Bernie Sanders put the screws to Greedspan the other day, though like the well-lubricated snake he is, AG just didn't bother to answer the question
SANDERS: And I must tell you that your testimony today only confirms all of my suspicions, and I urge you -- and I mean this seriously, because you're an honest person, I think you just don't know what's going on in the real world -- and I would urge you come with me to Vermont, meet real people. The country club and the cocktail parties are not real America. The millionaires and billionaires are the exception to the rule.

You talk about an improving economy while we have lost 3 million private sector jobs in the last two years, long-term unemployment is more than tripled, unemployment is higher than it's been since 1994.

We have a $4 trillion national debt, 1.4 million Americans have lost their health insurance, millions of seniors can't afford prescription drugs, middle-class families can't send their kids to college because they don't have the money to do that, bankruptcy cases have increased by a record-breaking 23 percent, business investment is at its lowest level in more than 50 years, CEOs make more than 500 times of what their workers make, the middle class is shrinking, we have the greatest gap between the rich and the poor of any industrialized nation, and this is an economy that is improving.

I'd hate to see what would happen if our economy was sinking...

GREENSPAN: Congressman, we have the highest standard of living in the world.

1:08 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Soldier's "Most Wanted"

Morale bottoming out in Iraq
The sergeant at the 2nd Battle Combat Team Headquarters pulled me aside in the corridor. "I've got my own 'Most Wanted' list," he told me.

He was referring to the deck of cards the U.S. government published, featuring Saddam Hussein, his sons and other wanted members of the former Iraqi regime.

"The aces in my deck are Paul Bremer, Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush and Paul Wolfowitz," he said.

He was referring to the four men who are running U.S. policy here in Iraq ? the four men who are ultimately responsible for the fate of U.S. troops here.

Those four are not popular at 2nd BCT these days. It is home to 4,000 troops from the 2nd Brigade of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division.


"If Donald Rumsfeld were sitting here in front of us, what would you say to him?" I asked a group of soldiers who gathered around a table, eager to talk to a visiting reporter.

"If he was here," said Pfc. Jason Punyahotra, "I would ask him why we're still here, why we've been told so many times and it's changed."

In the back of the group, Spc. Clinton Deitz put up his hand. "If Donald Rumsfeld was here," he said, "I'd ask him for his resignation."
How quickly things change.

I just finished John Laurence's The Cat from Hué (which I highly recommend), about the TV journo's 3 stints in Vietnam during the war. It took 5 years from the major troop deployment in '65 for this kind of talk to show up on TV, and it was more muted even then.

This time it took 4 months.

This is no 20th century war.

2:21 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

CIA says Syrian WMD exaggerated by shrubco, Bolton testimony delayed [drudge]

1:20 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Salam on differences between UK and US areas in Iraq [u]
The other reason why it feels like you are going into another country is the British presence in the south. The first thing you notice is that everything is smaller, their vehicles are tiny compared with what the Americans are using in Baghdad. They have these cute little tanks which go really fast, our driver called them "baby-tanks". As we were entering Basra we encountered a small convoy, just a couple of vehicles escorted by the British equivalent of a Humvee. On the top sat a soldier with a BIG gun.

In Baghdad that gun would be pointing either at the car right behind the military vehicle or at the sidewalk, scanning the buildings. But the British guy wasn't pointing at anything, he was just looking around with the gun turned in, at an angle that would have shot him in the foot if it had gone off by accident. You appreciate this only after you have been driving behind an American Humvee and praying that your car doesn't backfire or make strange noises, because the US soldier has that gun pointing right at you.

The next thing was getting into Basra and being stopped at the checkpoint. One soldier in a floppy hat waving his hand for you to slow down, and when you lower the window he actually greets you with "al salamu alaikum". That got him some appreciative giggles - imagine that happening in Baghdad. Everybody here in Basra is so much more laid back, even after the incidents in al-Majar al-Kabir. To their credit they didn't decide to punish the whole population and clamp down on them.

12:43 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Anyone working in any agency of Iraq rebuilding coalition must now submit comments to "Directorate" before talking to press [u]

12:39 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monsanto sues small dairy for advertising it doesn't use growth hormone [u]

12:35 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Ron Paul's Neocon checklist [Undernews]
Here is a brief summary of the general understanding of what neocons believe:

1. They agree with Trotsky on permanent revolution, violent as well as intellectual.

2. They are for redrawing the map of the Middle East and are willing to use force to do so.

3. They believe in preemptive war to achieve desired ends.

4. They accept the notion that the ends justify the means - that hard-ball politics is a moral necessity.

5. They express no opposition to the welfare state.

6. They are not bashful about an American empire; instead they strongly endorse it.

7. They believe lying is necessary for the state to survive.

8. They believe a powerful federal government is a benefit.

9. They believe pertinent facts about how a society should be run should be held by the elite and withheld from those who do not have the courage to deal with it.

10. They believe neutrality in foreign affairs is ill-advised.

11. They hold Leo Strauss in high esteem.

12. They believe in imperialism, if progressive in nature, is appropriate.

13. The believe in using American might to force American ideals on others is acceptable. Force should not be limited to the defense of our country.

14. 9-11 resulted from the lack of foreign entanglements, not from too many.

15. They dislike and despise libertarians (therefore, the same applies to all strict constitutionalists.)

16. They endorse attacks on civil liberties, such as those found in the Patriot Act, as being necessary.

17. They unconditionally support Israel and have a close alliance with the Likud Party.

12:18 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Louisiana is losing a football field of coastland every half hour since 1930s [u]
Louisiana's sinking coast has endangered not only the single greatest source of shrimp, oysters and other seafood outside Alaska, but also major supplies of oil and natural gas and the only deep-sea offloading terminal for supertankers in the continental United States. Water supplies are in peril; oil and gas lines are exposed. Entire coastal towns are sinking, and New Orleans is threatened as never before. And as the coast loses its protective buffer, inland areas are increasingly vulnerable to hurricanes, even minor ones.
I doubt there's much that can be done about this, frankly, but plans should be made for this and similar coastal changes in the next hundred years.

12:09 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

shrubco diplomacy at work file:

Concentration camps -- on one the site of a notorious and dreaded prison during the Saddam era --are being built in Iraq
NEVER again did families in Baghdad imagine that they need fear the midnight knock at the door. But in recent weeks there have been increasing reports of Iraqi men, women and even children being dragged from their homes at night by American patrols, or snatched off the streets and taken, hooded and manacled, to prison camps around the capital.

Children as young as 11 are claimed to be among those locked up for 24 hours a day in rooms with no light, or held in overcrowded tents in temperatures approaching 50C (122F).

On the edge of Baghdad International Airport, US military commanders have built a tent city that human rights groups are comparing to the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Remarkably, the Americans have also set up another detention camp in the grounds of the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad. Many thousands of Iraqis were taken there during the Saddam years and never seen again.

12:03 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Transcript of Bill Moyers interviewing Jon Stewart [u]
MOYERS: I do want people to understand that you do not pass yourself off as Walter Lippman.


MOYERS: Am I right? Here's a clip.

Stewart: But we are at war, and we here at THE DAILY SHOW will do our best to keep you informed of any late-breaking...humor we can find. Of course, our show is obviously at a disadvantage compared to the many news sources that we're competing with? at a disadvantage in several respects. For one thing, we are fake. They are not. So in terms of credibility we are, well, oddly enough, actually about even. We're about even.

STEWART: I feel bad looking at that. I mean, I don't mean to disparage. There's tremendously talented, smart people in the news industry.

MOYERS: But I look at that, and I think there's no hope for me.

STEWART: Well, that's why I'm here today. This is really an intervention, Bill.

11:54 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Cost of Israeli occupation for US, Palestinians and Israel will catch up eventually
While poverty is growing among Israelis, it is definitive among the Palestinians. Over 50% of the West Bank and Gaza populations are jobless, and 75% of Gaza's residents live on less than $2 a day. The U.S. Agency for International Development found that 13.2% of Gaza's children and 4.3% in the West Bank suffer from what it called "body wasting" or inadequate nutrition. Almost one in five children has moderate anemia.

The settlements are a massive drain on the Israeli budget. Aside from the cost of deploying the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to guard the settlements, a vast network of special roads labeled for "settlers only" has been constructed, along with an enormous water and electrical power infrastructure. Tel Aviv also subsidizes the 220,000 settlers (plus the 200,000 in East Jerusalem). Mortgage rates in the occupied territories are one quarter of those in Israel, education is subsidized, and settlers receive a 10% break on their income taxes plus a 7% discount on their social security.

According to Peace Now, the occupation costs the Israeli government about $1.4 billion a year, a figure that will surely rise with the continued expansion of the settlements.

1:37 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Foreign Policy in Focus publishes book on the neo-con takeover of US policy: Power Trip: U.S. Unilateralism and Global Strategy After September 11

1:31 AM - [Link] - Comments ()


Do my eyes deceive me?

Congress appears set to kill TIA

Thanks to Aubrey Turner for the pic.

12:46 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

WMD lowdown

"Of the nine main conclusions in the British government document 'Iraq's weapons of mass destruction', not one has been shown to be conclusively true"

12:41 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Moussaoui prosecutors defy court order to allow al Qaeda leader to be questioned, "acknowledging that this may lead to the case being dismissed"

12:36 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Italian drought emergency -- Po River 24' below normal, water supplies guaranteed only through end of month

12:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Grass roots community TV station in Caracas shut down by pro-coup mayor

12:20 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

UK commits big to wind power
Licences are being issued for thousands of turbines to be built off the British coast to generate as much energy as around six nuclear power stations.

It will also make a major contribution to the government's targets for renewable energy and create up to 20,000 jobs.
No wind here in the US so we can't do that, of course.

12:14 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, July 14, 2003

Ari's out

One less creepy face sapping my energy as I flip channels
"Make no mistake. I work for the President. He is my boss, I reflect and represent him," he said. "But I also, by virtue of my job, am paid to help the press, to get the stories, to find out the truth..."

1:35 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

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gak file for griffin

1:03 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

From July 11 Undernews:
WASHINGTON POST - Somebody appreciates all that hard work that congressional staffers did in getting the Medicare drug benefit bills through the House and Senate. Johnson & Johnson sent out a special invite: "In recognition of your part in the historic passage of Medicare drug bills by both houses of Congress (as well as the living hell most of you will be subjected to during the conference), Johnson & Johnson invites you to a cocktail party." The party is tonight at "Lounge 201, 201 Massachusetts Ave., NE (the Back Room). What: Martinis and everything else, plus crab cakes, quesadillas, spring rolls etc. . . " It's an invitation-only affair. . . Another affair for congressional staffers, the "Rooftop Rendezvous," is planned for July 17 at 1700 Pennsylvania Ave., with local band Blame It on Jane playing. That party is being held by the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, Aetna, Advance PCS, the American Federation of Hospitals, the American Hospital Association and the American Association of Health Plans, among others.

2:09 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Japanese bookstores "desperate to stop 'digital shoplifting' with cellphones [u]

Half of the mobile phone shipped between March 2002 and March 2003 were camera phones.

2:06 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Comcast attempting to use 1st Amendment to kill public access cable channels [u]

1:49 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

I get nervous when public confidence lurches towards the military...

CNN poll: % of Americans who have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the following institutions
Military 83%
Police 61%
Presidency 55%
Church or organized religion 50%
Banks 50%
Supreme Court 47%
Medical system 44%
Public schools 40%
Television news 35%
Newspapers 33%
Congress 29%
Justice system 29%
Organized labor 28%
Big business 22%
HMOs 17%

Of course it could be bullshit too.

1:34 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

World Bank "drive to end malnutrition" total failure [u]

1:27 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

More than they want to know

TiVo tells broadcasters -- and sponsors -- how many ads viewers actually watch
Broadcasters are frightened over this development, according to a new report by BusinessWeek Online. "This is the beginning of the end of that drunken orgy of dollars spent on broadcast TV as the ultimate 'reach' vehicle," said Tim Hanlon, vice-president for emerging contacts at Starcom MediaVest, an ad agency that helped TiVo design its new service.

1:24 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

xymphora dissects the Niger uranium shitstorm. in detail.

1:05 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Energy policy in US bungled for decades
Why are Congress and the White House responsible? As part of a long-standing ritual involving Democrats and Republicans, lawmakers and Presidents have devised energy plans that add up to no plan at all -- not deliberately but by default. In pursuit of different agendas, competing interests tend to cancel one another out over time, leaving the nation with no coherent direction on energy. Lawmakers launch programs to develop alternative-energy supplies but later quietly cut or eliminate the funding so there are no realistic alternative sources. They enact legislation offering incentives to stimulate crude-oil production in the U.S., when the politicians know -- or should know -- that the programs will not do so in any significant way. They encourage utilities, businesses and industries to shift to natural gas, then fail to ensure sufficient supplies of the fuel. The lawmakers refuse to make the tough choices on energy supplies and consumption, while they cater to the demands of campaign contributors and special interests. Worst of all, when politicians craft a conservation program that actually works, they abandon it. As a result, after three decades and dozens of energy bills, Congress has helped position Americans so they may be closer to an energy crisis than at any time since the oil shocks of the 1970s. And this time, the U.S. is finally beginning to run out of domestic oil and easily recoverable natural gas. Here is how it happened...

5:37 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Just one of the lies

Uranium ref cut in October -- Tenet and Bush are obviously trying to stuff the truth here

5:34 PM - [Link] - Comments ()


Server was down for the last 12 hours or so.

5:17 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Select Smart quiz to see which candidate you're most like issue-wise [u]

12:41 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Iraqi "child prison" from which 107 kids were "liberated" was actually an orphanage [u]

12:22 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Quote of (at least) the Week

At a recent news conference, U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said, "It never ceases to amaze me that people are so cynical they want to tie money to issues, money to bills, money to amendments."

12:15 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

UK Guardian to launch US version as weekly next winter [u]
It struck me first that -- even given the Guardian's campus chic-ness -- the U.S. has never been less receptive to the European point of view than it is now. By any measure, to be successful in the U.S. news business is to be staunch, patriotic, defensive. It's Fox or bust. And it struck me even more forcefully that beyond the difficulties of liberalness, the prospects for literate media -- the Guardian being a writer's paper -- were, as everybody knew, nil.

Then, during the next break in the conference, Rusbridger took me across the street to his office and showed me the prototype for the new American Guardian. Its tentative form is as a weekly magazine, quite unlike any other weekly magazine that has been started in the U.S. in the past generation. Not only is it about politics (Rusbridger is looking to launch in the winter to cover the presidential-primary season), but the magazine -- meant to be 60 percent derived from the Guardian itself, with the rest to come from American contributors -- has a great deal of text unbroken by design elements. This is almost an extreme notion. Quite the antithesis of what virtually every publishing professional would tell you is the key to popular and profitable publishing -- having less to read, not more. Even with the Guardian's signature sans-serif face, it looks like an old-fashioned magazine. Polemical. Written. Excessive. Contentious. Even long-winded.

This was either radically wrongheaded, or so forcefully and stylishly counterintuitive -- and unexpected -- that I found myself thinking, light-headedly, that it might define a turnaround in American publishing.

Bear with me. There is something here.


Arguably the two most successful print publications to be introduced during the past decade in the U.S. market are The Economist and the Financial Times. (The third is Maxim, also English in lineage, and a different packaging story.)

Both The Economist and the FT succeeded by pursuing the opposite strategy of almost every other U.S. publication: offering too much, rather than too little, information -- and charging plenty for it.

12:05 AM - [Link] - Comments ()


from Sassafrass (9/23/02)
"Unconventional viewpoints at 'charging the canvas'

Opinions that will ruffle feathers, from someone who clearly knows their way around information and the blogosphere."

Blog of the Day


In the eyes of posterity it will inevitably seem that, in safeguarding our freedom, we destroyed it; that the vast clandestine apparatus we built up to probe our enemies' resources and intentions only served in the end to confuse our own purposes; that the practice of deceiving others for the good of the state led infallibly to our deceiving ourselves; and that the vast army of intelligence personnel built up to execute these purposes were soon caught up in the web of their own sick fantasies, with disastrous consequences to them and us.

-- Malcolm Muggeridge

Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.

-- Mark Twain

(link to list against Iraq War)


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[Get Opera!]


They were past the motels now, condos on both sides. The nicer ones, on the left, had soothing pluraled nature-names carved on hanging wooden signs, The Coves, The Glades, The Meadowlands. The cheaper condos, on the right, were smaller and closer to the road, and had names like roaring powerboats, Seaspray, Barracuda's, and Beachcomber III.

Jackie sneezed, a snippy poodle kind of sneeze, God-blessed herself, and said, "I bet it's on the left, Raymond. You better slow down."

Raymond Rios, the driver and young science teacher to the bright and gifted, didn't nod or really hear. He was thinking of the motels they had passed and the problem with the signs, No Vacancy. This message bothered him, he couldn't decide why. Then Jackie sneezed and it came to him, the motels said no vacancy because they were closed for the season (or off-season or not-season) and were, therefore, totally vacant, as vacant as they ever got, and so the sign, No Vacancy, was maximum-inaccurate, yet he understood exactly what it meant. This thought or chain of thoughts made him feel vacant and relaxed, done with a problem, a pleasant empty feeling driving by the beaches in the wind.

from Big If by Mark Costello

*       *       *       *

Bailey was having trouble with his bagel. Warming to my subject, I kept on talking while cutting the bagel into smaller pieces, wiping a dob of cream from his collar, giving him a fresh napkin. "There's a pretense at democracy. Blather about consensus and empowering employees with opinion surveys and minority networks. But it's a sop. Bogus as costume jewelry. The decisions have already been made. Everything's hush-hush, on a need-to-know-only basis. Compartmentalized. Paper shredders, e-mail monitoring, taping phone conversations, dossiers. Misinformation, disinformation. Rewriting history. The apparatus of fascism. It's the kind of environment that can only foster extreme caution. Only breed base behavior. You know, if I had one word to describe corporate life, it would be 'craven.' Unhappy word."

Bailey's attention was elsewhere, on a terrier tied to a parking meter, a cheeky fellow with a grizzled coat. Dogs mesmerized Bailey. He sized them up the way they sized each other up. I plowed on. "Corporations are like fortressed city-states. Or occupied territories. Remember The Sorrow and the Pity? Nazi-occupied France, the Vichy government. Remember the way people rationalized their behavior, cheering Pétain at the beginning and then cheering de Gaulle at the end? In corporations, there are out-and-out collaborators. Opportunists. Born that way. But most of the employees are like the French in the forties. Fearful. Attentiste. Waiting to see what happens. Hunkering down. Turning a blind eye.

from Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings

*       *       *       *


When the sashaying of gentlemen
Gives you grievance now and then
What's needed are some memories of planing lakes
Those planing lakes will surely calm you down

Nothing frightens me more
Than religion at my door
I never answer panic knocking
Falling down the stairs upon the law
What Law?

There's a law for everything
And for elephants that sing to feed
The cows that Agriculture won't allow

Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow

-- John Cale

© me