From the monthly archives:

June 2010

Weekend browser tabs

June 27, 2010

Bringing closure to many of the week’s best intentions to read further, to focus, to write and so forth…

  • The G20 and their commitment to bolstering the wealth of the ruling class by cutting spending and holding down taxes. Toronto, what a riot! With the Wall Street Journal interpreting policy alternatives for them it’s small wonder that they remain clueless.
  • Grace Lee Boggs on the US Social Forum
  • Oliver Stone: South of the Border
  • Janis Gold
  • n+1 magazine: On Your Marx
  • How Should Journalists be Judged?
  • Grateful Dead, live at the Nassau Coliseum, April 12, 1982
  • 21-C the future is here
  • Kierkegaard’s “Mystery Of Unrighteousness” In The Information Age
  • Sunlight Foundation
  • Wisconsin Agriculturalist
  • SSRN
  • Netroots Nation
  • Anosognosia, in five parts
  • Cockburn on McChrystal

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Petraeus

June 23, 2010

Obama is sure as hell not Harry Truman, but neither is Big Mouth Stan McChrystal any kind of “Fade Away” Doug MacArthur.

General Petraeus is no Doug MacArthur either, and that’s a good thing. He’s not likely to repeat the insubordinate nonsense that brought down Stan. On the other hand, I’m concerned about his health. A week ago he collapsed in front of the Senate. What caused it? Dehydration? Stress? Did he have some foreshadowing of the fate that would soon befall his subordinate? If so, was he stressing about the demotion he would have to take in order to set things right?

Three years ago MoveOn sponsored a controversial ad regarding Petraeus’ performance in Iraq. The ad said,

General Petraeus is a military man constantly at war with the facts. In 2004, just before the election, he said there was “tangible progress” in Iraq and that “Iraqi leaders are stepping forward.” And last week Petraeus, the architect of the escalation of troops in Iraq, said, “We say we have achieved progress, and we are obviously going to do everything we can to build on that progress.”
Every independent report on the ground situation in Iraq shows that the surge strategy has failed. Yet the General claims a reduction in violence. That’s because, according to the New York Times, the Pentagon has adopted a bizarre formula for keeping tabs on violence. For example, deaths by car bombs don’t count. The Washington Post reported that assassinations only count if you’re shot in the back of the head — not the front. According to the Associated Press, there have been more civilian deaths and more American soldier deaths in the past three months than in any other summer we’ve been there. We’ll hear of neighborhoods where violence has decreased. But we won’t hear that those neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed. Most importantly, General Petraeus will not admit what everyone knows: Iraq is mired in an unwinnable religious civil war. We may hear of a plan to withdraw a few thousand American troops. But we won’t hear what Americans are desperate to hear: a timetable for withdrawing all our troops. General Petraeus has actually said American troops will need to stay in Iraq for as long as ten years.

The substance of the ad was never questioned, but the appropriateness brought a world of hurt down on MoveOn. Someone in the MoveOn camp discovered the unfortunate rhyme of “Petraeus” with “betray us,” and, with McChrystal-like adolescent glee, MoveOn hooked their criticism to that silly rhyme and lost the power of the argument.

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Another week another link list

June 19, 2010

Today’s tabs from my browser, tabs that have somehow remained unclosed until today, when I shall surely close them, tabs that reflect my good intentions and my short attention span: Juneteenth! WordPress Version 3.0 - “Thelonious” Greenhouse gas mitigation by agricultural intensification Andrew Hessel - Introduction to Synthetic Biology Golden Rice Julian Assange Iceland’s new [...]

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The tweeting of Ronnie Lee Gardner

June 18, 2010

Ronnie Lee Gardner had his surf and turf, a couple of days of fasting, and then he was executed. This made the news. To assure complete coverage, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff tweeted the event. twitter: complete coverage of the World Cup, the Lakers, and deaths by firing squad. All the fits that’s news… and [...]

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Weekend Bobcat

June 13, 2010

Lots o’ lynx… Google stuff. So much of this is great. Why is Feedburner so difficult for me? Can the US Punish BP’s Shareholders? The editors of the New York Times asked that question. Is there any doubt that the US could freeze their assets and confiscate every dime? And would that be “punishment?” The [...]

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Michael Pollan Food Polemicist

June 12, 2010

From the Financial Times via @jayrosen_nyu “…Pollan’s winning way with food polemics is all his own, coloured by an easy-going humane generosity. The reader never feels hectored into gastric virtue. Guilt is not his trip. This is a writer who wants to restore the culture of true eating but who can own up to a [...]

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Write What You Know

June 7, 2010

“Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time,” said the pithy poet Howard Nemerov. Elmore Leonard published “Ten Rules of Writing” a few years ago. The book repackaged Leonard’s 2001 New York Times essay, “Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points, and Especially Hooptedoodle”. Today, on the Word Count blog, [...]

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Weekend sausage

June 6, 2010

More tabs from my browser: International Association of Time Travelers- 11/15/2104 At 14:52:28, FreedomFighter69 wrote: Reporting my first temporal excursion since joining IATT: have just returned from 1936 Berlin, having taken the place of one of Leni Riefenstahl’s cameramen and assassinated Adolf Hitler during the opening of the Olympic Games. Let a free world rejoice! [...]

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