Sunday, August 31, 2008

No Mas

After mulling things over, I've come to the conclusion that it makes sense to close up shop here. Things have run their course.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by, at one point or another. There's a good chance I'll pop up elsewhere on the blog front, eventually. Perhaps we'll run across each other there...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Well, I guess I should say something.

Blogging is not do-able for me at the current moment, at least not in the way I'd like. I'm leaving stuff on ice for the time being until I figure out whether to: a) resume things here; b) close up shop altogether; or c) possibly start a different blog, with a different focus.

I'm not sure how long it's going to take me to figure out what to do next, since I'm juggling a couple of variables. Sorry about that. Stay tuned, I guess.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

'Agreed in principle'

War With Iran Might Be Closer Than You Think.


Israel Without Zionism?

Tony Karon: Israel is 60, Zionism is Dead, What Now?

'The Arab Mind'

I have long found it amusing how the people most likely to denounce Edward Said's thesis in Orientalism routinely confirm that very thesis with their constant opining and alleged understanding of the "Arab" or the "Muslim."

The Patai stuff is just the most obvious marker here; examples abound in the neocon-o-sphere, not atypically in the reverence given to Bernard "22 August" Lewis.

ps - Said torched Lewis' critical style in this old Harper's essay. Well worth the read.

Fall down

Greg Mitchell wonders why it took so long for the press to break the Abu Ghraib story.

A good question, but still too tame when you consider the larger context of the scandal -- something that also was readily apparent at the time, if you bothered to look.

Deploying the unfit

Ok, so it's not the Washington Post and it's only been a year, but I wasn't too far off base.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A DIY journalist

Check an interview with Dahr Jamail in the Guardian.

Israel's bday

A joyous occasion for some. For others, it's been sixty years of dispossession.


Paulville? Seriously?

Defiling another city

Yet another example of destroying a village to save it, so to speak. This time it's Sadr City.

"Surge" Strains

Jim Lobe says that Bush soon will be running into problems funding his beloved "surge" in Iraq.

Demolishing Feith and Wolfowitz

Gosh, maybe if I start lying more and enabling war crimes I, too, can teach at Georgetown. Or -- even better -- run the World Bank for a stretch of time.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Celebrating a terrorist

I like Miami. I really do. It's such a shame that, using the logic of the GWOT™, we're going to have to bomb the shit out of it, pronto.

Persistent Injustice

Let's hope Jeremiah Wright doesn't see this. Might make him angrier.

African Americans have suffered much higher rates of arrests and imprisonment than whites in the nearly 30-year-old U.S. "war on drugs", according to two reports released here this week.

While white citizens constitute the large majority of convicted drug offenders, African American communities have been the principal "fronts" in the war, according to "Targeting Blacks: Drug Law Enforcement and Race in the United States", by New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Among other conclusions, the 67-page report found that African Americans constituted 53.5 percent of all individuals who were sentenced to prison for violating drug laws between the war's launch in 1980 and 2003, the most recent year for which statistics are available.

Across 34 states covered by the HRW report, a black man was found to be nearly 12 times more likely than a white man to be sentenced to prison for drug offences. A black woman is nearly five times more likely to go to prison than a white woman.

In a separate study of data from 43 of the largest U.S. cities, the Sentencing Project found that the rate of drug arrests for African Americans increased by 225 percent, compared to 70 percent among whites over the same 23-year period, despite the absence of any statistical evidence that the rate of drug use in each community had changed.

In 11 cities, the 45-page study, "Disparity by Geography: The War on Drugs in America's Cities", found that black arrest rates grew by more than 500 percent over the period.

"Urban black Americans have borne the brunt of the war on drugs," said Michael Tonry, a professor of criminal law at the University of Minnesota associated with the Sentencing Project. "They have been arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned at increasing rates since the early 1980s, and grossly out of proportion to their numbers in the general population or among drug users."

Recreate sixty-eight?

Frida Berrigan takes apart some myths about the peace movement.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

'The horrific mess that is America'

Some interesting thoughts about Bageant's Deer Hunting With Jesus.


Targeting hospitals

Last week US and Iraqi forces bombed a hospital in Sadr City, inadvertently or not. This week they're storming hospitals, beating and arresting workers.

They must be getting nostalgic for Fallujah or something.

Off the Table?

Bill Berkowitz wonders, how will immigration issues play in Election 2008?

The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class

A talk by Elizabeth Warren. Also see some related pieces/links:

* The Middle Class on the Precipice
* What’s Hurting the Middle Class
* Middle-class income doesn't buy middle-class lifestyle

Some more here, too. If you've read her Two-Income Trap, much of this will look and sound familiar.


Post-War Suicides May Exceed Combat Deaths

"It's quite possible that the suicides and psychiatric mortality of this war [GWOT] could trump the combat deaths."

Immigrant deaths in custody

The WSWS's Naomi Spencer flags a disturbing NYT story about a rash of immigrant deaths in government detention centers.

Cyclone fallout

Follow the fallout from the deadly cyclone in Burma/Myanmar here, here, here, and here.

Monday, May 05, 2008


Stephen Holmes reviews The Shock Doctrine in the LRB. He has somewhat mixed feelings for the book, but generally comes across as more negative than positive.

Holmes is especially critical of Klein for mistaking the forest for the trees, so to speak, and placing corporate greed at the heart of too many disparate developments. He also doesn't like the liberal deployment of the "shock" metaphor, a point noted by several previous reviewers.

J Street

No, we don't need another Israel lobby.

If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is ever to be "solved" in a judicious manner, it's going to come about from the effort of forces who are not aligned with Israel out of the gate. Because when it gets down to it, Israeli doves and hawks have long been in agreement about the prudence of grafting a "secure Israel" over the lives and livelihood of Palestinians. Their disputes are mostly tactical, and tangential.

I fear that all J Street is going to give us is more clucking from Dennis Ross, et al. and hand-wringing over why Palestinians don't jump at whatever "generous offer" of a ghettoized, cantonized state is in vogue this time around. Surely, that's not going to help the situation.

New photos from Ground Zero

Barbarity and terrorism on a scale scarcely seen before.

Building walls

One of the more ironic aspects of the "success" of the "surge" in Iraq is how driving wedges between warring parties actually put the prospects for national reconciliation further off into the distance, perhaps so far off on the horizon as to render it a pipe dream at this point.

This dilemma is highlighted, in varying detail, here, here, and here.

Unsustainable chains

"Is just-in-time nearly out of time?" Could be.