July 03, 2007

Info Hits

While I haven't yet displayed any serious symptoms of news media withdrawal, I'm taking emergency steps today to get myself back on a minimum IV drip of current events and commentary. A couple of the new roommates don't believe in paying for broadband (it's like the Easter Bunny to them) and so that's going to have to be sorted out this week. Or next. Or whenever a service provider apparatchik can be summoned to the scene. OTOH, I'm only three blocks from a Metro station. So.

A month ago, I was in San Francisco for a few days, then back to Madison, WI, then here in D.C. for a few days, then back to Madison, then in New York, then back to Madison, then there was a 28 hour drive in a U-Haul (the knee is still complaining) from Madison to D.C. with intermittent truckstop naps, then in Seattle most of last week, and now back in D.C., hopefully for a good while. And the month before that? Don't ask, but it's all catching up, right about ... now. My internal clock has no idea what time it is, so large doses of morning coffee are being applied daily to attempt a reset. Do you care? I don't know, but I'm pretty tense right now, so I'm telling you anyway. You should be glad that I'm sparing you the gory details of why I've been bouncing all over the country, along with the main narrative's accumulating sideplots.

It must be granted, in deference to Ampersand, that Garfield is a particularly substandard comic strip. However, there was one Garfield strip that seems especially pertinent to my year-to-date, and it went like this: You see Jon sitting in front of the curtains holding his coffee cup and from above, a ripping sound. Then you see Garfield sliding down the curtains hanging from his front claws, tearing them on the way down. And then you see Jon yelling at Garfield asking why he did that, with the reply, 'That's not half as interesting as how I got up there in the first place.'

And so, without further preamble, I give you links to some of the things I've seen today that I thought were worth sharing:

Daily Kos: Scooter Libby's 30-month sentence has been commuted, as everybody but me probably knew yesterday. The folks at dKos have been all over it. First, some Republican commentary from the Clinton archives, which seems both pertinent to today's situation and pretty much absent from their current sentiments. Every day Bush continues unimpeached in office is a day that the U.S. Congress aids and abets his unbridled contempt for the rule of law. But the New York Times thinks that Bush is displaying "liberated" behavior instead of acting in a way that should have the Judiciary Committee coming down like a ton of bricks. Reaction from congressional Democrats and the presidential candidates.

America Blog: Only the little people do time. Unlike in the stock market, past political performance is often indicative of future results, as should surprise absolutely no one by now. Ann Coulter, now more of a man than ever (and as a side note, I have vastly more respect for transexuals than for straight people in exaggerated gender-role drag that they use as cover to push a regressive, bigoted agenda.) Glenn Greenwald contrasts the UK terror plots with the right wing's good vs. evil motif, noting that they were thwarted within the confines of criminal law and not by governmental vigilante activities.

Pomegranate Queen: Racist pickup lines and other adventures in stereotyping.

Having Read The Fine Print ...: The System is inherently bloody, we all participate. Just like our economy is inherently wasteful of fossil fuel and destructive of the environment, and we all participate in that. That's just the way it is, like it or not. I'm using electronic components whose raw materials came from conflict zones at great human cost, that were transported all around the world and manufactured at an exorbitant environmental cost, which only accounts for my computer and phone. That doesn't take into account where my clothes came from, my recently sold car, the food I eat at restaurants, the companies I buy services from every day, etc. I'm an intrinsic part of the violence of the world-at-large. It makes me want to throw up my hands and ask, "Hey, what can I do?", but that's when I know that this question could be the start of something good instead of just another cop-out.

Shakesville: A blog roundup. Pointer to the all-important question, what if Scooter Libby were a mentally retarded black man?

Asia Times: India highlights its Buddhist credentials to improve its standing with neighboring countries as a counterweight to China's growing influence. The proving grounds of Iraq's orgy of destruction have helped revive Al Qaeda in Yemen. U.S. policy towards Iran continues to follow a pattern of threatening Iran whenever diplomacy seems to be breaking out.

BBC: China's "no strings" trade with Africa is fueling their rise as the continent's third-largest trading partner and growing demands at home for a greater selection of consumer goods. Brazil's anti-slavery taskforce has freed over 1,100 slave laborers on a sugarcane ethanol plantation in the Amazon. Bush and Putin play footsie over Iran, continue to argue about missile defense in Eastern Europe. Europe prepares to adopt U.S.-style air travel databases in response to the latest terror attacks.

MSNBC: An employee of Fidelity National Information Services recently stole the financial records of 2.3 million people, but company spokepeople hastened to assure the public that there's nothing to worry about. Flooded Kansans also have to deal with 42,000 gallons of crude oil drifting towards their reservoirs and through their flooded homes.

Pandagon: Like all the other extra-credit projects that attempt to sidestep the underlying problems of troubled relationships, kids don't fix marriages. Particularly not when you believe that they're synonymous with giving up those aspects of relationship satisfaction that led you to tie the knot in the first place, leaving a pair of more-or-less passively contemptuous roommates in place of the couple you once were, which is always such a great environment for child-rearing. Yet that's religious conservatism these days; always making the argument that it's a terrible thing everybody's life doesn't have to be a daily misery anymore. Though they're just trying to do their part to promote family life, promising paradise in the afterlife to all their patriarchal household martyrs.

"You know what, Mom? You know what I'm gonna get you next Christmas? A big wooden cross. So every time you feel unappreciated for all your sacrifices ... you can climb on up and nail yourself to it." - Lloyd, as played by Kevin Spacey in The Ref.

Posted by natasha at July 3, 2007 01:38 PM | Recommended Reading | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |

Ann is more of a man than ever, and here's proof:
Strap on veterans for truth

Posted by: gefilte at July 4, 2007 08:01 PM

1) Anything that gives pain to Joseph Wilson is a balm to me.

2) Impeachment? How about a reality check! There are
NO GROUNDS to impeach the president. Why? Because he hasn't committed high crimes or misdemeanors. Duh?

3) The Daily Kos is a regressive blog site far outside the mainstream of American thought and Jew-hating to boot.

4) Thanks for noticing the freeing of the slave labor in Brazil. A tip of the cap.

5) Glenn Greenwald's boyfriend lives in Brazil. (I
assume he's not a kept slave.)

6) Another tip of that for the amoral money-grubbing china foreign policy.

7) I guess if can't engage Ann Coulter in the realm of ideas you have to resort to this unseemly
garbage. Coulter is brilliant and funny woman.

8) Scooter is Joseph K.

9) Intentionally left blank.

10) Have you seen the murder rate in old New Orleans? It could reach 300 this year. Almost of the victims black males.

Posted by: Jose Chung at July 10, 2007 10:59 PM