Friday, August 31, 2007

Michael Jackson -- RIP

"He was simply the best beer writer we've ever known. He told wonderful stories about beer, breweries and far away places." -- Tim Hampson

International Herald Tribune Obit

Michael's view of my favorite Irish ale, Caffrey's.

Pharoah's Army

A small movie with a compelling story about the civil war among the common people.

A review.

Two of my favorite actors, patricia clarkson and chris cooper, excel.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Unforgiveable Blackness

Ken Burns' best documentary to date, imho.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Are we an EMPIRE or a REPUBLIC?

We are neither.

Special interests select representatives, citizens elect the selections. We are at least 1 remove from a republic. "A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them". --

We have never been an empire, although we have individuals and factions who are empire builders. In our earlier days, washington rejected being enthroned as a king, then john adams wore powdered wigs and flitted about in a royal carriage. Thanks be that t_jeff brought us back down to earth, saving us from emulating our former brit masters, a ". . . political unit having an extensive territory or comprising a number of territories or nations and ruled by a single supreme authority." --

Iraq: A Done Deal Pre-9/11?

I have seen opinion* to the effect that neocons believe the country (unfortunately, the USA) is at its best while at war.

So which war we're in is irrelevant to them except for whether it is a robust war (takes a licking but keeps on ticking). Afghanistan had a paucity of targets, and anyway chalabi already had gained their assurances on iraq.

Worse, whether or not we win a war is irrelevant to them, because we cannot be in a state of war if we ever define winning.

Therefore, a war against terror centered in a non-country without a functional government is heaven on earth for neocons (a euphemism for war profiteers).

*I will attempt to document (help, anyone?)
  • “Americans are a warlike people and that we love war . . . What we hate is not casualties but losing.” -- Michael Ledeen (link)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


"Beware the fallacies into which undisciplined thinkers most easily fall--they are the real distorting prisms of human nature." -- Francis Bacon

"Assuming more order than exists in chaotic nature." -- Francis Bacon

"Our brains are wired for narrative, not statistical uncertainty. And so we tell ourselves simple stories to explain complex things we don't--and, most importantly, can't--know." -- Chris Anderson


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Is this the America of which we dream?

America -- locked down.

In the land of the free, we lock up a greater percentage of our population than any nation. The U.S. prison population has increased 91 percent in the past 15 years. More than 7 million Americans are under some form of state or federal correctional supervision, and this does not include the legions of Americans in county and city facilities. -- Cory Booker