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Showing posts from September 16, 2007

His Toughness Problem—and Ours, By Ian Buruma

On Norman Podhoretz -- neocon fanatic extraordinaire and Giuliani foreign policy adviser -- and his newly minted, 9/11-released screed.

It does seem silly that we all have to suffer because Poddy's weak masculinity was so terribly threatened by his own bookish predisposition and various (to him) more manly specimens of the dusky variety.

Could it be that Poddy lusts after our darker brethren? Given his and his wife's diatribes against homosexuals, do the math.

I really would rather Poddy come out and join the limp-wristed legions of those men who like to fool around with other men from time to time (you know, big-time shrinking lilies like Alexander and Caesar), get himself a big, handsome, brown-eyed Arab man, and retire from the scene.

In any event, see Joseph Heller's classic, Good as Gold, for more insight into this particular psychological illness -- neoconservatism in self-doubting Jews, not homosexuality, which (gasp!) isn't an illness.

In fact, the most d…

Disaster Capitalism: The new economy of catastrophe, Naomi Klein

Only a crisis—actual or perceived—produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. —Milton Friedman Three years ago, when I was in Baghdad on assignment for this magazine, I paid an early-morning visit to Khadamiya, a mostly Shiite area. An Iraqi colleague had heard that part of the neighborhood had flooded the night before, as it did regularly. When we arrived, the streets were drenched in slick green-blue liquid that was bubbling up from sewage pipes beneath exhausted asphalt. A family invited us to see what the frequent floods had done to their once lovely home. The walls were moldy and cracked, and every item—books, photos, sofas—was caked in the algae-like scum. Out back, a walled garden was a fetid swamp, with a child’s swing dangling forlornly from a dead palm tree. “It was a beautiful garden,” Durdham Yassin, the owner, told us.…

"Specific suggestion: General strike," Garrett Keizer, Harper's

November 7, 2007. Sounds like a great fucking idea to me.

Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust.
—Isaiah 26:19 1.Of all the various depredations of the Bush regime, none has been so thorough as its plundering of hope. Iraq will recover sooner. What was supposed to have been the crux of our foreign policy—a shock-and-awe tutorial on the utter futility of any opposition to the whims of American power—has achieved its greatest and perhaps its only lasting success in the American soul. You will want to cite the exceptions, the lunch-hour protests against the war, the dinner-party ejaculations of dissent, though you might also want to ask what substantive difference they bear to grousing about the weather or even to raging against the dying of the light—that is, to any ritualized complaint against forces universally acknowledged as unalterable. Bush is no longer the name of a president so much as the abbreviatio…

Amnesty International Petition on Darfur; More Information, Too

For the most updated news & actions, visit
Dear Doug,

I opened the newspaper today, and here's what I saw:The War in Iraq, presidential candidates battling in New Hampshire, and the slow housing market. There was little mention of the ongoing deadly conflict in Darfur, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced 2.5 million people to date.That's unacceptable. The people of Darfur need your help to put this crisis at the top of our country and the President's agenda.Please take a minute, and sign Amnesty's Global Petition to help end the violence in Darfur. What good will an online petition do? More than you think.By signing, you will join hundreds of thousands of activists who are urging President Bush to guarantee the swift deployment of more than 26,000 peacekeepers and police -- as mandated by the UN Resolution six weeks ago. You will also ensure that he lives up to his promises to get UN peacekeepers on the ground, fun…

Food, water run low on third day of Israeli raid on Palestinian refugee camp in West Bank

Haaretz: Four Palestinians killed in IDF raid in Gaza StripHaaretz: EU calls on Israel to reconsider sanctions against Gaza StripUN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs -- Occupied Palestinian Territory: A wealth of information on what life is like in Gaza and the West Bank.The following piece from The Real News:
Recent report on the impact of settlements, by OCHA. PDFs below. Here's the blurb from the OCHA-OPT site:The Humanitarian Impact on Palestinians of Israeli Settlements and Other Infrastructure in the West Bank | July 2007 The report examines the humanitarian impact on Palestinians from the ongoing settlements in the West Bank and other Israeli infrastructure, such as the Barrier and the roads that accompany them. The analysis shows that more than 38% of the West Bank is now taken up by Israeli infrastructure. Roads linking settlements and other infrastructure to Israel – in conjunction with an extensive system of checkpoints and roadblocks – have fragmented…

Student Tasered for ‘Armed Madhouse’ Question to Kerry

More here about the "mystery book," otherwise known as Greg Palast's Armed Madhouse. Morons.

Byzantium: The Lost Empire

Update:Part 1: Building the Dream

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Part 2: Heaven on Earth

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Part 3: The Envy of the World

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Part 4: Forever and Ever

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