Monday, October 24, 2005

Mostly Guardian, Most of The Time

Well, it sure does feel like Fitzmas eve. I swear to God, I am excited at the prospect of these guys' mugshots all over the Net. Anyway, here are some linx for a lazy Monday; very Guardian/Observer heavy; no particular reason, well, I guess there is-lots of interesting stories there over the last few days:

  • Account of kidnapping experience. (reg'n may be required) by Guardian's recently released correspondent, Rory Carroll. One thing I noted at his treatment was how well he seems to have been treated; his kidnapper assuring him of his colleagues' safety, his good diet (pita bread, jelly, peanut-butter, etc.) among other thing, the fact that he has a pillow and what is needed for a decent nights' sleep. This contrasted very unfavorably with the defensiveness of Rummy when stating that Gitmo detainees are the subjects of greater spending than most other, um, illegally-held detainees without access to legal help or contact with visitors, than any others in the world. And of course, as with most things, Rummy is lying. And now, while one would think Rummy would be glad that those poor darker-skinned folks aren't eating, it seems that those engaging in a hunger strike are now being force-fed. One prisoner receives the feeding tube just removed from another detainee's mouth-BEFORE IT WAS EVEN CLEANED!!!! But no, we're assured by the Gitmo spokesman, nothing untoward is going on. This is all part of a blatant attempt to discredit that most honorable of institutions, the US military, which has never been involved in flushing Qu'rans down toilets, sexually humiliating illegally-held detainees, allowing over 100 detainees to die in their custody, or anything else remotely bad. Nope, that must be another US military. Nothing to see here. Move along.

  • Very awkward exchange on Radio 4 (reg'n may, again, be required) in Britain. And as the article makes clear, and as I remember from growing up and my mother listening to The Archers on Radio 4 and other current affairs and what seemed, to a 14 year-old, mind-numblingly dull radio (Radio 1 all the way!!!), this station is usually very staid and button-down. However, I have to admit, that while Joan Rivers seems to me very untalented (though I gather she was, at one time, a very talented comedienne), rather inane in interviewing celebs before awards shows, and mother to a woman, Melissa Rivers, who might just be The Most Irritating Person in the World, I wouldn't have thought of her as racist. I don't know why Darcus Howe said she was "uncomfortable" with the term black. Quite frankly, I probably would have been as mad as she was if someone had said the same thing about me. You can listen to the whole show at the link above, or you can listen simply to Howe's comment and Joan's subsequent eruption. I admit I haven't listened to the whole show, but according to this commentary, he was baiting her and then making a discourse on race for a significant period of time, and at some point Joan became frustrated and responded, perhaps justifiably, to his comment. Anyway, it seems that she was upset, ultimately, that he had suggested that she had a problem with the term black. And quite possibly with good reason. As the commentator says, when one has two provocateurs on the radio, it shouldn't be too shocking that somethign like this occurs. Anyway, interesting incident, although it shows that sometimes it can be difficult to talk reasonably about race.

  • Great post by Digby the continued fracturing of the Conservatives in Washington. He makes a well-taken point that Brent Scowcroft, a close associate of Cheney and Rummy at one time, in criticizing their policy initiatives, reveals the possibility that the Cheney/Rummy/Rove three-headed monster may, to some extent, have played on Monkey Boy's considerable insecurities about saving his father's legacy in order to advance the dreadful neo-con "agenda" (to put it succinctly: either kill or jail darker people in far-off places where there is oil and then take control of that region). Excellent post...and the subsequent one is very good also.

  • Very sad article on the plight of kids in remote, earthquake-effected parts of central Asia. The response to this tragedy, while I'm not sure on the amount donated to its relief, seems to have been, as Musharraf has said, totally inadequate. Not that I have been able to do anything myself, but I certainly have helped in other recent disasters. Still, this is terribly sad.

  • And I love to hear from bloggers on the ground in Iraq and Iran-getting primary sources, as it were, especially given the paucity of journalists doing much over there. So I was happy to find Iran Bloggers and today, Words from Iraq. Of course, well, maybe not of course, but there is always Riverbend and Raed in the Middle, both of which I've been reading for a long time, if you want very insightful and fairly frequent entries.

  • A couple of great Sunday cartoons, from Doonesbury, Non-Sequitur, as well as a nice one from Non-Sequitur today and, well, a couple from the fearless legend that is Ted Rall.

  • And here's a nice bit of fluff on the band Franz Ferdinand, which I happen to like a lot.

  • I'll review the Queen concert later today, or tomorrow


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