Archive for April, 2009

Spectral Readables: April 29, 2009

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

“Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s reemergence on the political stage after his ignominious departure on Inauguration Day, eschewing the traditional handshake with his successor and the new president, is nothing if not ironic. The most secretive individual in American politics is now calling for the selective release of documents that remain classified in one of his own files marked “Detainees.” We have also learned that a principal reason for having tortured senior al Qaeda detainees was not, in fact, to defend the Homeland, but rather to build the case for war with Iraq based on alleged ties between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Despite literally hundreds of waterboarding sessions, there was no evidence developed that such a link existed. But that did not stop Cheney. He and others in the Bush administration simply asserted a link even though they knew one did not exist.”–Joe Wilson, “Dick Cheney’s Torture Hypocrisy

Swine Readables: April 28, 2009

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Toxic Readables: April 27, 2009

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Torture: When Even Fox Gets It Right

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Then again, Shep Smith is a liberal in Fox clothing.

The Roxana Saberi Sham

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Churlish David Brooks

Friday, April 17th, 2009

David Brooks this morning: “Israel is a country held together by argument. Public culture is one long cacophony of criticism. The politicians go at each other with a fury we can’t even fathom in the U.S.”

Has the guy read American blogs, listened to shout-radio or watched O’Reilly lately?

Not Quite Overdue

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

From The New Yorker’s book blog: “I’m not quite sure what kind of person you have to be to want to turn your personal book collection into a veritable stamp-and-loan library (obsessive-compulsive? jerk?), but there is no denying that this little library set is cute to look at and, if you’re anything like me, could satisfy a long-standing desire to stamp everything in sight with serif-heavy numbers.”

Afghan Women Get Stoned

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

No, not stoned as in Amsterdam reefer bar. Stoned as in assaulted with rocks for daring to protest a law that would turn wives into their husbands’ indentured servants, and conjugal rape an act (an obscenity) protected by law. “Get out of here, you whores!” men shouted at the protesting women. “Get out!” (The men aren’t entirely familiar with the law, which also forbids women to “get out” without a man’s permission.) That’s the state of things in Afghanistan today: when human rights make a peep, brutality drowns it out. Literally. As anywhere from 50 to 300 women attempted to demonstrate against the law in Kabul today, counter-demonstrators, men and women, heckled them with shouts to drown out whatever the demonstrators were saying. The peppered them with rocks. That’s what NATO and the United States are defending in Afghanistan: a place where dignity itself is under assault, in the streets of the capital and in law–because we shouldn’t forget where all this started: in a legislative act that legalizes rape in the name of some religious tenet, and that Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president the United States spent billions to install, defend and protect, signed. The full story

Coup Readables: April 15, 2009

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Deadliest Readables: April 14

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

The Other Kind of Minority

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009



Obama’s World Cup Play

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

No, not the rescue of Richard Phillips from Somali pirates, but his bid for the 2022 World Cup (the New York Times says “2018 or 2022,” but the 2018 cup can’t be held in the Americas, since the 2014 cup is being held in Brazil and no two successive cups are, by god’s–that is, the soccer federations’–law, to be held in the same hemisphere). Should the United States win the bid, 28 years will have elapsed since it hosted the World Cup in 1994 (when Brazil won in that ridiculous penalty shoot-out against Italy). Here’s what The Times got right: <p>

“As a child, I played soccer on a dirt road in Jakarta, and the game brought the children of my neighborhood together,” the president wrote in a letter that was hand-delivered recently to Joseph S. Blatter, the president of the world soccer body, known as FIFA. Obama was referring to the years from ages 6 to 10 that he spent in Indonesia with his mother. “As a father, I saw that same spirit of unity alive on the fields and sidelines of my own daughters’ soccer games in Chicago,” the president added. Obama seems to understand the implications of the world’s favorite sport, in the same way he gave early interviews to Arabic newspapers, stopped off in Turkey on his first European trip and held the first Seder in the history of the White House.“Soccer is truly the world’s sport, and the World Cup promotes camaraderie and friendly competition across the globe,” Obama added in the letter, a part of which was released to The New York Times by the United States Soccer Federation with permission from the White House.

Pirated Readables: April 13, 2009

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Weekend Readables: April 10-12

Friday, April 10th, 2009

President Barack Chavez Obama?

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

U.S. Rep. José Serrano, the Democrat representing the Bronx, appropriately has an image of the Bronx Zoo flanking him on his congressional home page, next to an image of the old Yankee Stadium. His latest bill is a left-field gem: a proposal to repeal the 22nd Amendment (which limits a president to two terms). The amendment “shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification.” get it? Just in time to let Obama run for a third term in 2016. Even if Sarah Palin is running at the time, this is just idiotic.


Abbey Readables: April 9, 2009

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Meet Israel’s Lieberman

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

The man who makes Arafat look like Mother Teresa. But a segment of American Jews are speaking out–and paying the price.

When even such a rabid Likudist as The New Republic’s Marty Peretz objects to Lieberman, you know the man is a menace. Peretz wrote a few days ago:

Avigdor Lieberman has been the Israeli foreign minister not quite a week. And already he has spent three days in questioning by the police. That’s while he’s been in office. There have been dozens of times before.

With what criminal charges will he be charged? They are all tangible variations of the seven deadly sins. The most relevant of these is gluttony. Lieberman is a gluttonous man: anything to make money. He has not been accused–I don’t think–of commercial traffic in women. But I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if that, too, were to appear on his bill of particulars.

As I read the newspapers, Lieberman will be indicted -and very soon. He won’t be able to conduct foreign policy from jail or, for that matter, as soon as he has been charged.

Blessed is the righteous judge.

Haloscan Trouble?

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

This comment utility is the Yugo of commenting utilities (anyone who gets that reference gets a year’s subscription to the Notebooks, free.) Anyone else having trouble clicking into comments? Let me know. Using the comments, obviously.

Back in Bizness Readables: April 8

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Obama’s Turkish Amnesia

Monday, April 6th, 2009

So this is how Obama put it to Turkey: “At the end of World War I, Turkey could have succumbed to the foreign powers that were trying to claim its territory, or sought to restore an ancient empire. But Turkey chose a different future. You freed yourself from foreign control. And you founded a Republic that commands the respect of the United States and the wider world.There is a simple truth to this story: Turkey’s democracy is your own achievement. It was not forced upon you by any outside power, nor did it come without struggle and sacrifice. Like any democracy, Turkey draws strength from both the successes of the past, and from the efforts of each generation of Turks that makes new progress for your people.”

No mention of Turkey’s genocide of Armenians. No hint. No nod. Just a democracy emerging out of World War I. Great rewrite. Sure to make Turkish nationalists rake their pee with raki tonight.