Tuesday, May 30, 2006

the Goddess of Democracy

Our friends at Wikipedia note that today is the 17th anniversary of the erecting of the statue of the Goddess of Democracy [????]in Tianamen Square in China. From Wiki:

"The statue was constructed in only four days out of styrofoam and papier-mâché over a metal armature by students of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. The students decided to make the statue as large as possible so the government would be unable to dismantle it. The government would either have to destroy it, showing its anti-democratic nature, or leave it standing.

Many people have noted its resemblance to the Statue of Liberty. Nonetheless, a sculptor present during its construction, Tsao Tsing-yuan, has written that the students decided not to model their statue after the Statue of Liberty because they were concerned that it would be unoriginal and "too openly pro-American." Tsao further notes the influence on the statue of the work of Russian sculptor Vera Mukhina, associated with the school of revolutionary realism (Tsao 1994, 141-2).

On May 30, 1989, it was erected in Tiananmen Square, facing the large photograph of Mao Zedong posted on Tiananmen Gate. The Chinese People's Liberation Army destroyed the statue during the June 4 protests."

the photo on the right, above, is from 1989, while the golden replica is a statue at York University in Canada.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

1953 Panhard Dyna Junior

the 1st image, presumably from an old magazine or catalogue advert, is from carcatalog3.free.fr, and the second is from the "retro expo 2003" at Avignon, via islet-sur-sorgue-antiques.com. I had to include a photo of a real example, lest you think I made up such a fanciful car. Panhard was founded in the 1890s and is still around, although they stopped making cars in '67 and now they only manufacture military transport vehicles for the French army, which are considerably less fanciful.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

saturday middle eastern pop star blogging-mo' maya nasri 4U

from oghnia.com

Thursday, May 25, 2006

fascism, fukuyama, etc.

Diebold machine via the Augusta Chronicle(l.);Nicola Jennings cartoon of Francis Fukuyama via the Guardian.

1.from Billmon: "Cooking With Gas"

It's quite unfair, if you think about it. The Saudis hold token elections for toothless municipal councils -- in which women weren't even allowed to vote -- and get petted and praised by democracy boy and his office wife. Egypt holds semi-rigged elections for its national parliament, in which an illegal opposition party nonetheless wins a substantial number of seats (albeit under various aliases) -- and gets nothing but grief. So what does Saudi Arabia have that Egypt doesn't have (or at least, not in exportable quantities)?

2.via American Samizdat:
"Top Ten Signs of the Impending U.S. Police State"

3. a reminder, from indie journalist Robert Lindsay that the war is hardly over in Afghanistan either.

4. hey Francis: next time, say something before the bombs start falling:
from Scott Harrop, guest-posting at Helena Cobban's Just World News:

Why has Fukuyama's recently released book, America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power and the Neoconservative Legacy (Yale UP) caused such a sensation? Quite simply, here we have a leading inner member of the neoconservatives in the Reagan and Bush Administrations breaking ranks with his former comrades. His book and his address at UVA explain why and set out a better course for American foreign policy.

In his lively prepared remarks , Fukuyama condensed his book into 30 minutes. He began with an overview of neoconservatism's roots. Evolving far from its origins on the Trotskyite left in the 1930?s, neoconservatives after World War II retained an idealism about the universality of human rights and were impressed that American power could be used for noble purposes. On the domestic front, neoconservatives focused on counterproductive consequences of government social engineering efforts.

Yet between these two themes emerged a key contradiction and legacy. The same movement so eloquently skeptical of government'?s capacity to enact social transformation was as sure in its convictions about the utility of international force to bring about ?transformation? for other countries.

Applied then to the post 9-11 world, the Bush neoconservatives made three critical misjudgments. First was the expansion of the doctrine of pre-emptive war into that of preventive war. After 9/11, Fukuyama agreed that containment was no longer an option and invading Afghanistan was necessary - to pre-empt a demonstrated imminent threat. But too many variables of the presumed threat from Iraq were unclear. What imminent threat was to be pre-empted?

Out of a desire to be lazy, I was just going to post these links and excerpts and leave it at that, but Fukuyama bears some HugoCommenting:Harrop discusses FF's remarks at some length, and just based on this JWN post(haven't read th' book), it's difficult to not come away with the impressions that

1.Fukuyama's thesis is just warmed-over Kerryism, a la Mister there's-a-better-way's pusilanimous insistence(s) in 2004 that even though he voted both for and against the war, if it was up to him he would've worked harder to get the Europeans to support it first, but hey I'm not a dove, don't accuse me of that, blah blah blah... Only with bigger words, and (presumably) footnotes.

2.Apparently Fukuyama says nothing about the shifting rationales for the war, as if the phoney-baloney concern about WMDs from '02-'03 is just not something we talk about in polite society. Harrop doesn't call him on this, saying nothing about it either. As I was hitherto unfamiliar with Harrop's writing, I don't know if I should attribute this to an oversight or flimflammery.

3.Harrop is kind in not pointing out that Fukuyama is an intellectual seeking redemption*, because he's (a)best known for The End of History and the Last Man, and (b)how blitheringly wrong he was in The End of History, because he seemed to buy the staggeringly insipid assumption that the fall of Soviet communism was, somehow, the only unentanglement of a major world conflict that mattered, because the Soviets, the Europeans, and the Americans were the only peoples that mattered in geopolitical terms. Billions of other people exist, sure. But to make shoes and low-cost electronics gear for us, give us their oil, and maybe smile when we visit their countries and take photos of their charmingly indigeneous ways.

*Harrop says Fukuyama arrived at his UVA speech gig on a Harley(please stop laughing). This strikes me as tellingly poetic, not only because it reminds me of Kerry's lame Leno appearance doing the same thing two years ago, but because Harley Davidsons are ridiculously overpriced and antiquated bikes sold as boutique items for yuppies who want to recapture their youth, much as FF wants to recapture his relavence.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Spinnin' Saddam

this screenshot, edited slightly to make it fit blogger's format(not for content, just for the space between items) is of a Google News search for "shiite crackdown", from around 11am central time. (you might be able to double-click to see it in a larger version, depending on your browser settings.) The Forbes and Wash. Post stories appear to actually be the same one, the different headline notwithstanding. This isn't anything unusual of course, because editors make choices like that on how to run an AP story all the time. What's a little more interesting is that the CNN and Jamaica Observer stories; again from the same AP item(a different one from the 1st pair) whose headlines more substantially contradict each other. Incidentally, when I actually went to the CNN story, the headline read "Hussein trial tape talks about destroying farms."

for a non-ap pov, here's al-jazeera's take:
"Tariq Aziz takes stand for Saddam"

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

assorted items

ap/ under the same sun

Barbara O’Brien discusses two recent commencement speeches, and the right-wing take on them:
So, to re-cap the rules: (1) When a pro-war politician gives a pro-war speech as part of a graduation ceremony, and students in the audience heckle and boo him, that shows how Deranged the Angry Left is - because they heckled a pro-war speech. (2) When an anti-war politician gives an anti-war speech as part of a graduation ceremony, and students in the audience heckle, walk out and even riot, that also shows how Angry the Left is - because they “provoked a near riot” by pro-war students.

Mark Kleiman discusses Tom Kean’s commencement speech at Skidmore:

Former NJ Gov. Tom Kean is reported to have told the Skidmore College commencement:"Plato said, 'The penalty for not participating in government is to be governed by your inferiors.' Think about it. It may be happening."

some older news from Qadeeb al-Ban at Mere Islam, who hasn’t posted in a while.
"in a gesture of love"

Zeynep, at Under the Same Sun:

Welcome to the Club, Iran

Iran has decided to adopt the techniques of the rich and powerul:

"I officially announce that Iran has joined countries with nuclear technology," Ahmadinejad said today.[11April-JV] But more importantly, he might have said, Iran will now join the West in using an even more important technology: modern public relations. They, too, will use the ubiquitous, orwellian writing behind the leader.

1. Now, I think it would've been helpful if Kean had been this prickly when he was a bigshot on the 9-11 comission, as opposed to years later. He could have objected when George Junior insisted that his testimony not take place under oath and in the same place (and with cameras rolling) like everybody else's, but instead in a private session in the white house with Cheney present to coach him. But hey, that's the past.

2. do you like the doves? I think they're a nice touch.

Stonewall Jackson Coke magazine ad, 1943

I found this at two different sites, Southern Messenger.Org and Wesley Clark's site*, and at both the image is a bit washed out. I tried my best to punch up the contrast, but this was as good as it got. I have a feeling there wouldn't be much point in looking for at at Coca Cola's site. Just a guess.

*with two very different points of view, as you might imagine. Southern Messenger is a white separatist site.

Monday, May 22, 2006

199 years ago today...

In the tradition of occasional writing, I thought I'd revisit May 22nd, 1807 and engage in some neo-plutarchian blogging, especially given the hue and cry of people requesting I do so, which I might be making up.

Aaron Burr of course, was the 3rd vice president of the United States, and Dick Cheney(on his right, above)is the 46th, in case you haven't been keeping up with the numbers.
(I'll admit I haven't, but I cleverly looked it up.)

Burr was chosen as vice-president after the election of 1800, by the house of representatives, after the election left the result unresolved.

Cheney was chosen as vice-president by the supreme court after the election of 2000, after the election left the result unresolved.

Burr was Jefferson's VP for his 1st term, 1800-1804. Jefferson dumped Burr after the that 1st term and was widely reputed to have intensely disliked him, and to have ignored any advice Burr may have given him.

Cheney was VP for George Bush jr's 1st term, as well as for this 2nd term(so far), and is widely reputed to have a disproportionately greater influence on the president than any previous veep has had on the boss.

Burr was a war hero. He was a major in the war of independence, and served on General Washington's staff.

Cheney received five deferrments from service in Vietnam in the 60s, first for going to college, then for getting married, then for the birth of his first daughter.

Gore Vidal(who is a distant relative of 45th vp Al Gore), wrote a loosely historial novel about Aaron Burr. Even though it was published 33 years ago, it is still easy to find in second-hand bookstores and online.

So far(and so far as I know), nobody has written a novel about Dick Cheney, but his wife Lynne wrote a (sort of) historical novel, Sisters, which is very difficult to find a copy of in bookstores or for purchase online. Supposedly this is because she has actively sought to suppress it after she became the head of the NEH in the 80s, and was concerned that the book's prurient lesbianism might reflect badly on her. (Although at least 2 sites have it available as a free pdf as I write this.)

Whatever they may have accomplished in public life, both veeps will be remembered for shooting people. Burr for his duel with Alexander Hamilton in 1804, and of course Cheney for shooting lawyer Harry Whittington not too long ago. Neither suffered any legal consequences, although both inflicted considerable injury. And yes, Burr's aim was better.

Now you're wondering: what happened 199 years ago? Aaron Burr was indicted by a grand jury for treason. (He was aquitted that September for lack of evidence.) The details weren't entirely clear, but Burr was believed to be conspiring to start his own country(!), partially from lands controlled by Spain, and partly from American territory. If you want to draw additional parallels with Cheney and the present day administration, well...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

It's time for me to make some unfounded observations about yet another movie I haven't seen...

I saw an ad on teevee for The Omen recently-- I wasn't really paying attention-- either it's a made-for-tv remake or a big-screen one. I just know it's coming out on "06-06-06" which is really handy if you've had a head injury and are having a hard time distinguishing between the European and American conventions on abbreviating the date. I think they should make a movie in which Tom Hanks saves civilization from Omen-boy by bonking him on the head with the Mona Lisa, only the canvas rips, then with Michaelangelo's David, which finally knocks him out. I don't know what to call it, but I think it would make A LOT OF MONEY. And the reporters on Foxnews, not having anything better to do, would scour far and wide to find a no-good liberal professor who denounces it for romanticizing child-abuse, or makes some comments which when taken out of context might suggest he said that, so they can make fun of him. They could talk about how P.C. and out-of-touch with reality he is, what with not understanding that evil is real, its true nature, etc.

By the way, did you catch any of FoxNews' coverage of Da Vinci movie? It was creepy, how they were going through the motions of their usual schtick of inviting religious types on to denounce a cultural happening, and instead of egging them on as they usually do, they downplayed their criticisms. It was as if, with corporate cover, they were trying to earn points for their reasonableness so their stupider* viewers buy their usuual flame-throwing as having some gravitas. Well that, and they didn't want to f*** with Sony. Now if only Walmart came out in favor of immigration amnesty, or we suddenly heard about how GE landed a big contract to cool the reactors in Iran, maybe we could avoid a race war and make the middle east a little safer.

see also Skimble, "the Opus Dei Code"
and Micah T. Holmquist: "What is wrong with people?"

*yeah, I know...

Friday, May 19, 2006

more Friday MEPopStar blogging- Haifa Wehbe

Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe, and a pair of her albums.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Arts n' Science

for all of you who've complained that I have far too many images of pop singers and too few of physicists, here's Min Liu. I think he teaches at Houston. If I had a photo of him in his lab I'd call it "Min Liu in his millieu", but I don't.

the "Bride of Acheron" as she likes to call herself, keeps sending me links to her material. It's not really my cup of tea, but if you like thepoetryman, Ayn Clouter and Mad Kane, you might enjoy her posts.

Speaking of thepoetryman, I told him that I felt that there was probably a secret political haiku blogging club somewhere deep in the bowels of the internet, and encouraged him to let me know if he knew anything. I'll bet they invited him but didn't say anything to me...

so here's my feeble attempt at a haiku, or more properly, a Senryu:

Murderous Zombies
Like to go shopping at night
For WalMart bargains.

Stanley Kunitz, I am not.

Arvin is now blogging on Thursdays at the American Street, as well as on other days at his regular url.

Stanley Kunitz 1905-2006

Lauren Redniss, 2005 from provincetowngov.org

dead at 100(nearly 101):

"Poetry is ultimately mythology, the telling of stories of the soul," he wrote. "The old myths, the old gods, the old heroes have never died. They are only sleeping at the bottom of our minds, waiting for our call. We have need of them, for in their sum they epitomize the wisdom and experience of the race."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

from the Whiskey Bar

I'll admit I don't often vist Billmon's Whiskey Bar-- he has this map up, referencing a series of polls by Surveyusa.com which say that at the moment, the president has a net positive approval rating only in Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. This may be, but it's the wrong time for the democrats to get cocky-- the GOP still seems to control, if not everything you see or hear, to borrow from the old Outer Limits show, much of it. Last year, for example, the democrats crowed over defeating the GOP attempt to privatize social security, but most ordinary people still think social security is going broke and that the democrats have offered nothing by which to fix it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Lockheed Electra c. 1937

Monday, May 15, 2006

Are they EVER called mercenaries?

both images are from the AFP. The first is from Mosul, November 2005. I am uncertain of the one of the helicopter. I wonder if most Americans would readily see how disturbing the second image would be to most people in the Arab world, the juxtaposition of the flying mercenary and the minaret-- although I imagine the photographer did.

circa May 2nd:
BAGHDAD - U.S. private security contractors shot dead an Iraqi ambulance crewman as the ambulance approached a site in northern Baghdad where the contractors' armoured vehicle had been hit by a roadside bomb, a U.S. military spokesman said.
last month (via Mike at Lunaville), there's this regarding a Q and A junior had with students at Johns Hopkins regarding the legal status of "independent military contractors" The transcript suggests GW was dismissive both in his words and his tone, although the 2nd thing is difficult to tell.

Also, a while back there was this item, via Cursor(3.24.2006):

A Raleigh News & Observer analysis of newly released "incident reports" leads to the conclusion that "security contractors supporting the U.S. effort in Iraq regularly shoot into civilian cars with little accountability."

Sunday, May 14, 2006

a Nixon cover

from FederalObserver.com

I don't even know if this was an actual Time cover from the era, as it seems to be lacking some info, like the date. I was looking for the infamous (Newsweek?) Nixon's nose as a dripping faucet cover, which I still can't find, when I found this.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

tax cut fever

"The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money."- de Tocqueville

see also Jonathan Chait's "Bankrupted by Voodoo Economics"

Friday, May 12, 2006

Gautama is groovy, man

Today Michelle Goldberg’s Salon.com excerpt from her new book "Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism" is out, as well as the new Tom Hanks movie about the super-accurate Da Vinci Code. So, I thought I’d take note of the Buddha’s birthday. I don’t know if Buddhists would find it objectionable if I put a party hat on the Buddha himself, so I figured I’d just put them on the deer and the accolytes. How’s that? (By the way, don't feed deer cake in real life. These are special, magical cakes that won't make them sick, baked by the monks in magical ovens.)

Friday middle eastern pop-star blogging: Najwa Karam

Ms. Najwa's official site, here, and her wiki entry, which mainly discusses her album history.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Ike at West Point, Bush at Yale.

1.from Bob’s inelegant URL: “Hey New York! Please get rid of Hillary!!!

First, she has Rupert Murdoch organizing fundraisers for her, and now she decides that 31% is a great time to declare her affection [*] for the worst pResident in US history:

In a speech at the National Archives on her political career, Mrs. Clinton said of Bush: "He is someone who has a lot of charm and charisma, and I think in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, I was very grateful to him for his support for New York."

While asserting that she had "many disagreements about many, many issues" with the Republican president, she added, "He's been very willing to talk. He's been affable. He's been good company."

[*]“As Bush’s popularity sinks to new lows-a boost from Hillary Clinton

2. from Haroon Moghul, “dubai is a train, which has no brakes

I have new appreciation for Fareed Zakaria. He just smacked George Will, idiot extraordinaire, up there with [that] stupid Thomas Friedman: George Will just said, on Stephanopoulus' "This Week", and I'm paraphrasing, "I blame God for putting the oil under the ground of very unstable places, like Venezuela, the Middle East..." and I was like oh my God you stupid head, you didn't just say that out loud? (Yes. Stupid Head.) Thank Allah Fareed Zakaria intervened with a welcome and necessary shot of intelligence. He pointed out, as gently as possible, that it was the other way around: Oil makes places unstable. It's easy money and attracts ugly people as such. So the places weren't unstable so much as they were made unstable...

3.Some guy named Joel Aufrecht writes:

I got a free online subscription to The New Republic when I renewed my Salon subscription. The New Republic annoys me. One reason is their gratuitously contrarian article summaries. These examples are all from the last week[early Feb 2005-JV]:

* Hosni Mubarak is a nasty dictator who has stymied liberalism in Egypt. But it's precisely for the sake of liberalism in Egypt that he should be allowed to reelect himself one more time.

* The U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal is not really a scandal. It worked exactly as expected. And that's the problem.

* Bush's record on global warming is better than you think.

* Why North Korea's announcement that it has nuclear weapons could prove to be a good thing.

* Holland thought it was a model for Muslim integration into Europe. Unfortunately, it might be.

Aufrecht doesn’t care very much for Stanley Kauffmann either, saying that “big chunks of plot and meaning fly right over his head. And I don't mean deep Kurosawa or Renoir subtext. I mean basic plot elements.” Aufrecht only provides one example, for a film with which I’m unfamiliar.

4. And finally, West Point Grads Against the War:this site may disappear soon because the defense department says they are not authorized to use the name “West Point”, as it is the property of the government(!).

from Newsday:
A co-founder of West Point Graduates Against the War countered Friday that his organization is simply following the cadets' code.

"At West Point, we were taught that cadets do not lie, cheat or steal -- and to oppose those who do," said William Cross, a 1962 West Point graduate. "We are a positive organization. We are not anti-West Point or anti-military. We are just trying to uphold what we were taught."

The group, open to West Point graduates, spouses and children, claims about 50 members.

West Point spokesman Lt. Col. Kent Cassella said the academy sent the April 12 warning letter because the group failed to go through a licensing process to get permission to use the term "West Point." The group's anti-war stance is irrelevant, he said.

"This is not a political issue. They did not ask for permission. We are doing what any college or university would do to enforce its trademarks," Cassella said.

and, from the site in question:

"When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war."

"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity. War settles nothing."

"Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion."

"If all that Americans want is security, they can go to prison. They’ll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads. But if an American wants to preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow his neck to any dictatorial government."

Dwight D. Eisenhower

34th President of the United States

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Stanley Kauffmann is 90

Actually, he's 90 and a couple of weeks, having been born on the 24th of April, 1916. Many years ago I wrote to him, I think it was in early '87, and he sent me back a nice, warm-spirited note on New Republic stationery. If I install my printer/combo machine this week, I suppose I could scan it and show you a GIF of it. I wonder how he would feel about that, and why TNR didn't make a big fuss about his birthday and invite me. Ok, I don't really wonder about them not inviting me, and they may have, in fact, made something of a fuss-- since I stopped subscribing to TNR in 2002, I really haven't kept up that much. But I do know that Kauffmann is still cranking out one column a week, 48 times a year.

Anyway, apropo of my paying homage to the dean of American film criticism and teaching myself more about photo-editing, I thought I'd put up this pixilated 2-D monument up to him. (It's also a sort of inside joke, insofar as an old friend of mine from the late 80s used to tease me for being excessively enamored with Kauffmann's writing style and sensibility, and often joked about how he meant to sneak into my dwelling and but up a similar monument to SK while I was away. That was back in the day when I had all sorts of foolish dreams of being the next Stanley Kubrick and so forth...)

finally-- I will be away for 2 or 3 days. I actually note this not because I have a vast readership-- clearly I don't-- but to see what effect it has on my visits, since I'm curious how many people come here (semi-)regularly, as opposed to because a web search somehow paired two or more words that happended to appear in one of my posts, like the guy(?) who visited HZ a couple of years ago looking for "gay+vampire+trilateral+comission"...........???

(of course, I'll admit that having once been the no. 1 googled source for "giant+robots+run+amuck" gave me a nice warm feeling inside. Be seeing you.)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bobby Sands(1954-1981)

Bobby Sands died 25 years ago today. He was a member of the Irish Republican Army, very briefly a member of the British parliament, and died as a consequence of a hunger strike while in a British prison. Wikipedia has a pretty decent article discussing his brief life, and the impact he had on people.
(In Tehran there is a Bobby Sands Street, which used to be named after Winston Churchill in the days of the Shah.)
Frederick at Demagogue reminded me of the anniversary, and notes this Independent article. And there's this, from his hometown newspaper.

The image of the mural, located in Belfast, is also courtesy Wikipedia. Note the camera.

Friday midle eastern pop star blogging: the return of Gulben

Gulben Ergen, originally from Gulbence.net, but I think it's defunct or temporarily shut down for retooling. There's also Gulbenergen.com [note: opens with automatic sound file] and her wiki entry.

I don't know a lick of Turkish, but I note that her site features a photo of her attending a meeting of parliament, which naturally makes me curious about the significance.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

5 Easy Pieces: the chicken salad sandwich scene

Bobby: I'll have an omelet, no potatoes. Give me tomatoes instead, and wheat toast instead of rolls.
Waitress: No substitutions.
Bobby: What do you mean? You don't have any tomatoes?
Waitress: Only what's on the menu. You can have a number two - a plain omelet. It comes with cottage, fries, and rolls.
Bobby: Yea, I know what it comes with, but that's not what I want.
Waitress: I'll come back when you make up your mind.
Bobby: Wait a minute, I have made up my mind. I'd like a plain omelet, no potatoes on the plate. A cup of coffee and a side order of wheat toast.
Waitress: I'm sorry, we don't have any side orders of toast. I'll give you a English muffin or a coffee roll.
Bobby: What do you mean "you don't make side orders of toast"? You make sandwiches, don't you?
Waitress: Would you like to talk to the manager?
Bobby: You've got bread. And a toaster of some kind?
Waitress: I don't make the rules.
Bobby: OK, I'll make it as easy for you as I can. I'd like an omelet, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast, no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce. And a cup of coffee.
Waitress: A number two, chicken sal san. Hold the butter, the lettuce, the mayonnaise, and a cup of coffee. Anything else?
Bobby: Yeah, now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven't broken any rules.
Waitress: You want me to hold the chicken, huh?
Bobby: I want you to hold it between your knees.

Five Easy Pieces still via BBS/Columbia/Criterion.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I don't oppress people, I just reinvest my dividends

this illustration looks kind of Thomas Nast-y to me, but from whence the original issued I am unsure. I got it from univie.ac.at

1. from Editor and Publisher:"Reports: Plame Was Monitoring Iran Nukes When Outed"

and, from my email:

2. Frank Barnako's internet newsletter:

Microsoft gunning for Google

There are 5,000 stories about Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Google Inc. (GOOG), but apparently not one Web site or newsletter that sees an opportunity here to alert investors on how to make money in this fight to the death.

Imagine the acquisitions to be made, heads to be hunted, lawsuits to be filed and patents to be infringed!

3. and, from my Motley Fool e-mail:
"How America's Wealthiest Families Accidentally Got Rich"
that's the title of their latest message, offered without any apparent irony, in an attempt to sell another newsletter. They cite two past high performers, PepsiCo[1] and Phillip Morris. And some more verbiage:
"Put simply, no other financial services company in the world is nearly so well positioned. Just watch as this world-class operation skims the cream right off the top of this country's customer pool.

Meanwhile, an incredibly robust distribution network will allow it to run roughshod over the U.S. market... cherry-picking the most profitable accounts in the nation. And it's you, the shareholders, who will reap the benefits..."

"When India and Asia take over the world... will you profit?

Well, you'll have a much better chance of doing so if you own a piece of this South Korean steel manufacturer..."

You would get a letter grade off for your melodramatically lurid tone if you made this up as an assignment in a creative writing class. My sarcastic title aside, I often find myself wanting to discuss the question of moral agency vis-a-vis living in an industrialized society, because I do see it as a particularly thorny one. I started to discuss this topic last fall(here and here) but stopped myself, only partly because of a lack of time.

cross-posted at Arvin Hill.