Archive for February, 2007

February 28, 2007

Everyone needs to read this article from the Post right away.

Jabour had spent two years in “black sites” — a network of secret internment facilities the CIA operated around the world. His account of life in that system, which he described in three interviews with The Washington Post, offers an inside view of a clandestine world that held far more prisoners than the 14 men President Bush acknowledged and had transferred out of CIA custody in September.

The practices described in here are absolutely brutal. Read the whole thing.


February 26, 2007

Today Whiskey Fire has the most concise explanation I’ve ever heard of why this whole Unity ’08 thing is so unbelievably stupid.

The Unity Party is a project put together by Wise Men who are fed up with Partisan Bickering. The trouble with politics, they argue, is that people disagree. Their brilliant solution to this problem is to agree on everything, thus ending all disagreement. Shazam! It is truly a wonder that nobody has ever thought of this before.

Meanwhile, Paul Krugman had a novel idea today, which is maybe that the problem with modern elections isn’t that they involve two or more candidates who disagree with each other (what us partisan, divisive bickerers like to call “democracy”), but that modern elections are a bundle of dull slogans, focus group tested platitudes and other bullshit.

We’re in for a very, very long season of that, and I’m starting to feel increasingly pessimistic about the outcome.

Should Lieberman flip?
February 23, 2007

David Sirota thinks that the Democrats (and the public) would be better off if Lieberman wouldjust flip to the Republicans already. I’m not so sure, but he makes a compelling case. Either way, the advantages of a slight Senate majority are definitely pretty close to the disadvantages of having somebody like Lieberman there botching every single progressive initiative.

The best scenario would be that in two years we pick up one or two seats in the Senate and that just renders Lieberman irrelevant. Then the Democrats make it perfectly clear to him that they don’t give a damn whether or not he switches parties. But the problem is that these two years are important, particularly because of Senator Kerry’s efforts to set a deadline on Iraq and Senator Dodd’s efforts to repeal the Military Commissions Act. I don’t think we can wait two years to get rid of Lieberman.

At the very least I hope that Senators Obama, Biden and Landrieu, among others, now realize what a major fuck up they made in not supporting Ned Lamont for Senate. But at least in the case of Biden and Landrieu, I kind of doubt it.

February 22, 2007

I’m generally not a huge fan of the New York Times editorial board, but occasionally they really hit one out of the park. Like today, for example.

The Military Commissions Act is one of the most destructive pieces of legislation from a very bad session for Congress. The fact that the new Democratic congress, with the exception of a few people like Chris Dodd, has been sitting around with their thumbs up their asses on this issue is absolutely unforgivable.

February 21, 2007

John Kerry’s big push to set a time table for Iraq is now off the ground. Why don’t you add your name to the list?

There’s a place in the sidebar on this blog where you can add your name, but for Facebook where that won’t show up, here it is again:

February 20, 2007

My god, is there really any doubt how cool Tom Morello is? He’s one of my heroes, and not just because he’s an absolute guitar god – I could try for decades and I’d never be able to make my guitar sound quite like his.

And it’s not just because Rage Against the Machine is finally coming back to replace its hideously deformed inbred child, known to the world as Audioslave.

A big part of it also has to do with his amazing podcast with System of a Down’s Serj Tankian, Axis of Justice, the only radio show I listen to regularly. But that’s not all of it.

Now, on top of all of this, I find out that his long-running protest folk project, Nightwatchman, finally is producing the album I’ve been waiting for. And the first track released off of it sounds awesome, proving once and for all that there’s probably no genre of music that Tom Morello can’t do.

I want to be him. It’s really that simple.

February 20, 2007

It is extremely important that everyone in CT who is opposed to the war try to make it to a Connecticut Opposes the War town meeting on February 24, from 2 PM to 3:30 PM. There are over 20 such meetings occurring, and while I don’t know where they all are, I do know that everyone in Middletown and the surrounding area should haul ass to Room 107 of Wesleyan University’s Shanklin Building. Here’s a link to the Facebook invite.

February 20, 2007

Is it just me or is the 9/11 “Truth” movement gaining some ground? This kind of nonsense has been on the fringes of pop culture for the past five years, but it seems like I’m starting to hear more and more about it. It’s a disturbing development to say the least. I’m a little embarrassed to even be talking about it – I’m all for free and open debate on any number of things, but there are some ideas that should be immediately dismissed, and this 9/11 conspiracy bull is one of them. Its existence is a continual embarrassment to those of us who actually want investigations into the Bush administration for legitimate reasons.

I love Philip K. Dick
February 19, 2007

A few weeks ago I finally got the chance to watch A Scanner Darkly, and holy crap, if it wasn’t the best adaptation of any of Philip K. Dick’s works I had ever seen. A week later I watched the movie again, and it was even better. It’s painstakingly faithful to the book and manages to capture all of Dick’s favorite themes – the paranoia, the dark irony and humor, the weird sort of sadness and poignancy, and on top of that full-on all-out weirdness. It reminded me why I love this guy’s books so much, and since then I’ve been itching to go back and read some of his classics.

In that spirit I just went back and reread Ubik and found that it too had improved on a second reading. Right now I’m about halfway through The Simulacra, and finding the same to be true there.

This is an author who desperately deserves a wider audience, particularly now, when his persistent paranoia seems to be becoming more and more validated.

Senator McCain goes to Hollywood
February 18, 2007

A lot of people have been comparing John McCain’s website for his presidential exploratory committee to The Triumph of the Will, or even Star Wars. I can see why, but I’d like to throw another one out there. Watch the video “Stand Up.”

Recognize that music? It sounds eerily similar to the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack. It lacks the rhetorical heft of Nazi propaganda videos or the dark side of the Force, the similarities are pretty hard to deny.

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