Monday, April 28, 2003

via Cursor.Org:
"Amnesty International expressed concern today at the disturbing article and images portrayed in the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet which show American soldiers escorting naked Iraqi men through a park in Baghdad. The pictures reveal that someone has written the words 'Ali Baba - Haram(i)' (which means Ali Baba - thief) in Arabic on the prisoners' chests..."

an unnamed military officer is quoted as saying the men are thieves and unapoligetically stating that the technique will be used again.

Memory Hole wonders if they "will be using this technique on their comrades who stole $13.1 million in Iraq. Or the journalists who looted Iraq's art."

Sunday, April 27, 2003

More TNR tid bits:
from Gregg Easterbrook's New Republic review of Keith Bradsher's High and Mighty: SUVs--The World's Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got That Way:

"They tend to be people who are insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors." This is Bradsher's summary of the auto industry's own marketing research about SUV buyers, and he adduces numerous on-the-record comments from auto-marketing gurus to back this up. One such wise man, named Clotaire Rapaille, tells the Big Three that people buy SUVs "because they want to look as menacing as possible." It is perhaps not startling that rather than trying to alter these buyer proclivities, the manufacturers of SUVs have tried to encourage them... One hostility-intensification feature is the "grill guard" that SUV manufacturers promote. Grill guards, useful mainly for pushing oryx out of the road in Namibia, have no application under normal driving conditions. But they make SUVs look angrier... "

Cindy th' Lion says she likes The Guardian's weblog, and it's all my fault. I'd rather drive people to my own site, but what the heck. Upon her suggestion I went there this weekend and came upon Fatboy Delgado, a British blogger they take a shine to. I also note that earlier today I had my 1,000th visit, which is quite a milestone for an obscure blogger like me. Yippee.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

an amusing bit from Jenny the Shifted Librarian:

"A major research institution recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science, tentatively named "Administratium." Administratium has 1 neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 111 assistant neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by a force called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of peons."

Friday, April 25, 2003

"Even the Liberal New Republic..."
Google's description of reads:
"Description: A journal of politics and the arts. Liberal tradition though more recently has developed a neo-liberal bent."

What the hell is a "neo-liberal bent?" Most descriptions in Google entries, as you may know, are supplied by the Url's owners. So presumably TNR has belatedly acknowledged they're not running a liberal magazine any more-- well, sort of acknowleded.You just have to supply the translation to "neo-liberal" yourself..."we're not liberal-- we're neo-liberal."

Thursday, April 24, 2003

from Yahoo news

Ninety Dead Tigers Found at Calif. Cat Rescue Home
Gina Keating
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jon Weinhart saw himself as a big cat lover who for over 35 years provided a sanctuary in Southern California, under the name of Tiger Rescue, for retired animal actors whose performing days were over.

But California authorities on Thursday held a starkly different view of Weinhart's activities after discovering nearly 90 dead tigers and leopards at his home -- including 58 dead cubs stuffed into three freezers -- and piles of big cat pelts stacked in a storage barn.

Authorities raided Weinhart's home in Riverside, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, this week after being tipped that he was keeping a tiger cub and two alligators there without permits, Assistant Chief Mike McBride, of the California Department of Fish and Game, said on Thursday.

"We found a whole lot more," McBride said. Agents first found a 4-month-old tiger tethered to a pole and a 7-month-old confined to a four-foot (1.2 meter)-square cage.

A search of the attic, where agents heard noises, yielded a litter of seven tiger cubs and two leopard cubs, all less than two weeks old.

But the yard was most disturbing to agents, who found carcasses of at least 30 animals, including the skeleton of one big cat sharing a cage with a live burro, McBride said. Inside three freezers were the frozen bodies of 58 cubs, and the bodies of numerous animals in various states of decomposition.

The alligators were there, too, in a bathtub inside the house. "This kind of adds up into concern by our department," McBride said.


Fish and game officials called in the sheriff's department after discovering Weinhart's 8-year-old son living among the animals, McBride said. Deputies arrested Weinhart and the boy's mother, Marla Smith, on suspicion of child endangerment and placed the boy in protective custody on Tuesday.

Authorities also arrested Tiger Rescue's veterinarian, Wendelin Rae Ringel, on an animal cruelty charge, said Deputy District Attorney Paul Dickerson.

Although Dickerson said he hasn't received law enforcement reports about the raid, the trio likely will face additional charges of animal cruelty at their first court appearance on May 21, he said.

"I am going to be prosecuting this case aggressively -- based on the information I have heard. So far, it sounds like they were mistreating a lot of animals," he said.

The living tigers were taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center run by Chuck Traisi, who said some were dehydrated and malnourished, and one was suffering from mange. Traisi said Weinhart was allowing adult tigers to starve after they became too old to breed, which is illegal in California.

Actress Tippi Hedren, who runs a well-regarded animal sanctuary in Acton, California, took in three tigers seized in a November raid at Tiger Rescue. The raid resulted in an animal cruelty case against Weinhart that is pending in San Bernardino County.

Hedren said the conditions were "filthy."

"I left there in tears," she said. Hedren said tiger body parts are prized in Asia as aphrodisiacs and can bring up to $40,000 per tiger.

from today's Skimble; go and see:

"Blogs: "A parallel journalistic universe." All journalistic writing must now be done under the explicit sponsorship of corporate entities whose power must remain intact. That's the moral of this story in Editor & Publisher:

Hartford (Conn.) Courant Editor Brian Toolan recently told Courant Travel Editor Denis Horgan that he could no longer publish commentary on his Web log, Horgan is a former columnist for the paper who was transferred to the travel writing position earlier this year.

After losing his column, Horgan decided to set up his own Web page..."

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Wolfe began to nurse the baby again, using her own bib and blanket. She says the man got out of his seat, walked over to hers and stood staring at her. She says she approached him afterward and twice asked if he had a problem with her feeding her son.

"He marched past me and to the very back of the cabin to talk to the flight attendant," she wrote. "He told her, 'This woman just assaulted me.' ... He then explained that the asking of two questions by a 'foreign national' in international airspace made him feel the victim of terror and as such he wanted to file an assault charge." ...from the Montreal Gazette:

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

From a recent Online Journal posting:
(via Testify, if I remember correctly...)

Bill Burkett-

I've sat in total grief for the past three years, watching the institutions of America being spent as if they were lottery winnings.

I don't want to say it, "But I told you so."

In January of 1998 and what seems like a full lifetime ago, I was stricken by a deadly case of meningoencephalitis. I was returning from a short duty trip to Panama as a team chief to inspect the hand over of Ft. Clayton to the Panamanians. I had been 'loaned' from the senior staff and state planning officer of the Texas National Guard to the Department of the Army for a series of these special projects after angering George W. Bush by refusing to falsify readiness information and reports; confronting a fraudulent funding scheme which kept 'ghost' soldiers on the books for additional funding, and refusing to alter official personnel records [of George W. Bush].

George W. Bush and his lieutenants were mad. They ordered that I not be accessed[sic] to emergency medical care services, healthcare benefits I earned by my official duty; and I was withheld from medical care for 154 days before I was withdrawn from Texas responsibility by the Department of the Army, by order of the White House...

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Two recent posts from Follow Me Here:
1.'Two California poultry farmers who fed some 30,000 live chickens into wood chippers will not face criminal charges because they had permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, prosecutors said on Friday.' Brooke says it best:
Tell Ann Veneman, the head of the Dept. of Agriculture, that you think that's deeply fucked up, won't you? Call her at (202) 720-2791 or email her at

Update: DA to continue inquiry:
After receiving calls, letters and e-mails from across the country, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis yesterday decided to continue investigating two poultry ranches where workers dumped thousands of live chickens into wood chippers.
Investigators will conduct additional interviews so Dumanis can decide whether to reverse an earlier decision not to prosecute ranch owners Arie and Bill Wilgenburg for animal cruelty.

Gail Stewart, district attorney spokeswoman, said Dumanis decided to reconsider after she received a letter from the Humane Society of the United States.

2. Why the Web Will Win the Culture Wars for the Left:
"The architecture of the web, and the way users navigate it, closely resembles theories about the authority and coherence of texts that liberal deconstructionist critics have offered for thirty years. Deconstructionists believe that close analysis reduces any text -- novel, statute, religious work -- to meaningless blather. The popular response to deconstruction has always been that it's counterintuitive, that no one reads that way, that it lacks common sense.
That will change. Like reading or breathing, web browsing itself is agnostic with respect to politics and culture. Unlike reading or breathing, however, surfing mimics a postmodern, deconstructionist perspective by undermining the authority of texts. Anyone who has spent a lot of time online, particularly the very young, will find themselves thinking about content -- articles, texts, pictures -- in ways that would be familiar to any deconstructionist critic. And a community of citizens who think like Jacques Derrida will not be a particularly conservative one." — Peter Lurie, ctheory [via wood s lot]

Saturday, April 19, 2003

I'm not sure that Scot professor Gerard de Groot's observations are accurate, but it's interesting to see how one European sees America*, post Gulf War II.
*Unless of course, you contend that the Scots aren't Europeans...

Monday, April 14, 2003

Skimble posts on the looting of the Iraqi musuem.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Atrios notes this BBC interview with Lawrence Eagleberger who says that if W. invades Iran and Syria that he should be impeached.
Let Them Eat Cake:
from Yahoo News:
'The president was irritated by media reports that focused on the chaos and looting in Iraq after the fall of Saddam's government.

"You know its amazing. The statue (of Saddam) comes down on Wednesday, and the headlines start to read, 'Oh, there's disorder.' Well, no kidding!" Bush said.'

Saturday, April 12, 2003

International A.N.S.W.E.R. is organizing protests in San Francisco and DC and elsewhere today-- from their site:

"The Bush administration is moving rapidly to impose a colonial-style occupation government on Iraq. This is not liberation. It is the use of overwhelming firepower to seize the land and resources of Iraq, and eliminate Iraq's sovereignty, while violating the most basic principles of self-determination. This is a war for Empire. The Bush administration, having carried out a war of conquest in Afghanistan and now in Iraq, will now step up its plans for future wars of aggression in the Middle East and elsewhere..."

I hate to admit I disagree. Although I agreed with the antiwar protest in February, we need to stay and help rebuild, something that I strongly suspect the Bush administration wants to figure out how to get credit for with only token effort. Dubya and his minions are adept at twisting meanings, and, I suspect, would be happy to leave Iraq in her wrecked, chaotic state saying, "see, we've accomodated the peaceniks. We left as soon as we could." I'd love to see International ANSWERists marching against the dividend tax cut and for aid to Iraq in its stead, but I simply don't see it happening. The current protest is akin to a Nader vote in Florida in 2000.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Steve Baum of Ethel the Blog has several excellent posts today, 11 April-- I'm not linking to them directly because I keep getting an error msg. Go and see...

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Another link: David Mamet, of all people, talks to the Guardian about truth in acting. Nowhere does he mention syncopated line delivery...
Another delightful internet quiz, via Alas, a Blog: TPM Online
(No connection to Josh Marshall's talking points memo.)

Thursday, April 03, 2003

I'm going on "hiatus" for about a week to 10 days, 'cause I have to catch up with my own real life and its demands. But I'll be back.
Being a Yahoo! news link it'll disappear soon, but I think it's important to reference it now, as Jessica Lynch's father goes on record saying his daughter was not stabbed or shot, contrary to prior reports. It strikes me as another one of those news items that may have a mythology and life of its own.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

"...Donald Rehkopf, co-chairman of the military law committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said the government is "inventing the law as they go along. The Constitution is not suspended, even during times of war," he said. 'I'm not saying there are not national security arguments, but they are false arguments in the sense that national security somehow trumps a person's due-process rights. There is absolutely no law for that.'"

A status report on the Moussaoui
trial, via Altercation.