Copyright © 2005 Frank Lynch.
Me: Frank Lynch
These are my mundane daily ramblings.
I'm shocked, SHOCKED, to learn that
there's gambling going on... Poland is launching
an investigation into whether the CIA has, in fact, been
using its territory for secret prisons and jails. Forgive me, but
what a charade: think about this — Bush has been desperate
to hold together his vaunted "Coalition of the Willing" in Iraq;
and in the 2004 debates, he chastised Kerry for failing to list
Poland among the participants. And every time a country threatens
to take its transistor radios and Erector Sets out of Iraq, the
White House pulls out all the stops to keep them in, just for the
show. Does Poland really think it can act as if the CIA
was operating without its knowledge? Does anyone really
think the CIA would have done so without the appropriate parties
being in the know? GMAFB.
Calling the Red Cross, but only when it's convenient. Reuters tells us that a Belgian critic of the U.S.'s Guantanamo facility will be allowed to see it, but won't be allowed to see any of the detainees; that's the role of the Red Cross, Uncle Sam says. Glad we see the value of the Red Cross, and glad the Red Cross is petitioning for access to detainees in our secret jails around the world. (Don't forget Poland! He forgot Poland!) But apparently Uncle Sam has d ecided otherwise: as terrorists, they're not entitled to rights under the Geneva Convention, says a spokesperson.
Mr. Ereli said that the Geneva Conventions requiring humane treatment of prisoners of war did not apply to certain terrorism suspects seized as "unlawful enemy combatants," but that, in any case, the United States treats most of them as prisoners of war.
So to repeat a frequently asked question, if we're really
fighting a war against terrorism, and these prisoners are
terorrists, doesn't that make them prisoners of war? Or
are we not fighting a war against terror? Mr. President?
Can you elucidate, clearly and succinctly, in a sentence which a
6th grader could diagram?
Me, Pierre! Cook for me, Pierre! I subscribe to the New York Times' premium "Times Select" service, and I think it's amazing how many people associate it solely with online access to op-ed columnists. Truth be told, practically unlimited access to the archives is great... Tonight a bunch of us were laughing over a food section article from 1987 where chef Pierre Franey and a Times writer would approach people in supermarkets with this challenge for Franey in mind: he had to cook dinner for them based on what was in their cart and whatever he might find in their pantry at the time.
Here's a bit (I'm presuming the link won't work!):
Ya gotta admit, the idea of Pierre Franey foraging in your
kitchen is a pretty fantasy. Taking out your Kellogg's corn chips
and mashing them to bread a can of tuna for instance.
Think about it: Pick me, Pierre! I have Tabasco
Torture works! It helps fuel
the fires of war, and makes "Big Time" Dick Cheney feel good
about signing onto the principles of the Project for a New American
Century, which called for regime change using less than
peaceful means. Go Dick! Yay! Blood's on your hands, bub. Rot in
A very simple Lennon tribute. We all know by now that this is the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's murder. Most tributes I've seen have been lengthy affairs: long quotations of lyrics, collections of others' appreciations and such. Tonight I passed by a bulletin board in my kid's school that really hit me hard in its simplicity. The board must have been something like six feet wide and four feet tall; the background was completely red, made up of stapled pieces of construction paper. Off in one corner (but not all the way in the corner, maybe 5 inches from each border?) there was a white black and white photo of Lennon from the late 70's, John flashing a peace sign; underneath someone had written just "Thank you, John" and the years 1940-1980.
Sometimes it helps to remember the
differences in British English. It's not just the use of the
letter 'u' in words like 'colour' or the interesting way they say
that Charlie Parker was a saxophonist. But when I read this
article, I really had forgotten, and imagined something like
crash test dummies used to reduce crib deaths. But then I
Condoleezza Rice's European song and dance. I guess we should accentuate the positive: she's much more willing to venture onto foreign soil than Our Fearless Leader is, and not only that, they don't riot when she's there. So it's a win-win: we get to show our face, and the locals don't have their cars and shop windows destroyed in her wake. Still, I can't help but recall a cover from The New Republic sometime in the period 1989 to 1992: it had a map of the world, and there were countries like the Middle East, and the color key labeled them as "doo-doo;" countries like China and Korea, color-keyed as "deep doo-doo;" and others (can't remember) color-keyed as "really deep doo-doo." Finally, there was Australia and the UK, color-keyed as "Safe for Quayle Travel." We really can be thankful that Rice ventures out more than Bush; and there's no doubt that her recent expressions against torture constitute a (welcome) firmer stance than anything "Big Time" Dick Cheney or OFL have ventured to express. Perhaps we have McCain to thank for this; maybe even Rove, who might just have finally noticed that Bush's approval ratings have sucked?
I hope to have more to say on these and other things tonight,
later. Rest assured, I am no longer on the West Coast, but I
landed back into a week of evening time demands (tonight our
daughter is in the school play, tomorrow night it's a company
Christmas party...). I do hope to be baaack.
Hiatus warning. Going on a business
trip for a few days starting tomorrow morning, so you probably
won't see anything new here until Wednesday. Maybe Tuesday
night if I bring along my camera and have enough energy to post a
photo on my return. This means no more words, no more pics until
then (unless I have something to say later tonight). As I've said
before on these occasions, you can be sure you won't miss my
return by setting up an account at bloglines.com (it's free...) and then adding
to your list of feeds. (Feeds are cool: bloglines will check to
see if your blogs have new posts so you spend less time
Is "Alito" Italian for "Souter"?
Remember how in your grade school classes they taught that you
can learn about a character in fiction not only by what they
do but by how others react to them? (I think there
were other ways, too — what the narrator says, what the
character thinks...) Keep that idea about how others react in
mind for a moment. Doubtless you've noticed that Alito has
continued to distance himself from
anti-Roe positions he expressed in the 1980's. How has the
"Right" responded? Pretty silently, if you ask me... (Have I been
missing some? I tried a search at technorati, but didn't find
anything.) You would think that if Alito really didn't
intend to act on his 1980's opinions on abortion, that the Right
would feel as if they'd been sold a bill of goods, wouldn't you?
Again, assuming I'm right that the they've been silent, this
means that the Right thinks he's anything but a Souter;
meaning, of course, that Alito isn't being square and the Right
has information we don't have. The Silence is damns his
Confirmation Conversion, if you ask me.
Jeff Jarvis memories... OK, so the Pentagon has admitted to planting news items in Iraqi papers, but does that mean the terrorists have won? I don't think so: it's perfectly in line with other PR efforts the U.S. government has foisted on its own citizens, so why should we think that Iraqi citizens deserve better treatment? If the terrorists have won, they won a long time ago! Rather, I think it means that Eric Alterman has won, at least in respect to an argument he had with Jeff Jarvis on MSNBC back in January. Alterman speculated that the pro-American Iraqi bloggers which have been embraced by many on the right might have been planted by the CIA. Here's Jarvis's account; I think this is Alterman's, but I can't verify it: for some reason my browser or Internet connection is acting up (although the kid has hers, and we're on the same network). (Here's a link to Google searches on the topic, for good measure.)
Jarvis's irascibility on the issue is the really puzzling
point to me: given how often the U.S. government has lied to its
citizens over major foreign policy issues (the Gulf of Tonkin,
Yalta accords over Poland... and some country in the Middle
East), and given that the government hired a PR exec to "improve"
our image in the
In any event, whether or not Alterman was right about specific
bloggers, his basic idea was correct: we don't know the limits of
what our government is doing, and we should all be skeptical.
Jarvis may have changed his views with this week's revelations on
the planted news stories, but if he's talked about it, it isn't
on his blog. Perhaps elsewhere.