May 25, 2004

via corrente, Stirling Newberry's eloquent post about the speech last night, a speech I did not watch. Go read the whole thing, as TPM might say.

"It is time for someone, someone with something to lose, come forward and state the obvious: we have, installed in our oval office, a man who is so unfit for the duties - by reason of a pathological dishonesty and complete disregard for the welfare of the citizens of this country - as to demand that we remove him, and his party, from power - and then use every law and organ of government to investigate the nakedly criminal underpinnings of that party....

We must face the facts, the cold, hard facts. We illegally invaded another nation, engaging in war crimes to do so, in that we lied to the UN as to the causes for war. We did so without pressing necessity to invade - or to lie at all, since our target was an individual who could have been legally indicted for war crimes by merely stretching forth our hand....

We did not invade because Saddam was a threat, but because he was not. We did not invade because we knew he had WMD, but because we knew he did not.

Posted by dbrown at 09:05 PM
May 21, 2004
So That Happened

in Newsday, what could be the story to end all stories. Or maybe it becomes like Hersh's stories, verified but mostly disapeared. I'm thinking the Iran thing is going to give it legs. Not to mention the pure fucking beauty.

May 21, 2004, 7:29 PM EDT

WASHINGTON -- The Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that a U.S.-funded arm of Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress has been used for years by Iranian intelligence to pass disinformation to the United States and to collect highly sensitive American secrets, according to intelligence sources.

"Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the United States through Chalabi by furnishing through his Information Collection Program information to provoke the United States into getting rid of Saddam Hussein," said an intelligence source Friday who was briefed on the Defense Intelligence Agency's conclusions, which were based on a review of thousands of internal documents.

Posted by dbrown at 10:29 PM
May 20, 2004
Dear Maury

Guy blogs about his experience meeting Maury Povich. Blog gets high Google ranking. Maury fans mistake guy's blog for official Maury site. Result: Lots of comments.

Posted by hirmes at 03:06 PM
May 18, 2004
All the Strange Hours

After many years, I have looped back to pick up Loren Eisley again, who I was introduced to in 1987. The book of his I read then was about deafness and depression and insomnia, as well as anthropology. The Night Country, also an autobiography, ranges as widely. From the train ride home:

"A man who has once looked with the archaeological eye will never see quite normally. He will be wounded by what other men call trifles. It is possible to refine the sense of time until an old shoe in the bunch grass or a pile of nineteenth-century beer bottles in an abandoned mining town tolls in one's head like a hall clock. This is the price one pays for learning to read time from surfaces rather than an illuminated dial. It is the melancholy secret of the artifact, the humanly touched thing."

Posted by dbrown at 09:27 PM
May 17, 2004
Q: And Babies?

from an interview with a recently discharged Marine, published yesterday in the Sacramento Bee:

Q: Baghdad was being bombed. The civilians were trying to get out, right?
A: Yes. They received pamphlets, propaganda we dropped on them. It said, "Just throw up your hands, lay down weapons." That's what they were doing, but we were still lighting them up. They weren't in uniform. We never found any weapons.
Q: You got to see the bodies and casualties?
A: Yeah, firsthand. I helped throw them in a ditch.
Q: The reports said the cars were loaded with explosives. In all the incidents did you find that to be the case?
A: Never. Not once. There were no secondary explosions. As a matter of fact, we lit up a rally after we heard a stray gunshot.
Q: Who gave the order to wipe the demonstrators out?
A: Higher command....The order to shoot the demonstrators, I believe, came from senior government officials, including intelligence communities within the military and the U.S. government.
Q: You fired into six or ten kids? Were they all taken out?
A: Oh, yeah. Well, I had a "mercy" on one guy. When we rolled up, he was hiding behind a concrete pillar. I saw him and raised my weapon up, and he put up his hands. He ran off. I told everybody, "Don't shoot." Half of his foot was trailing behind him. So he was running with half of his foot cut off.
Q: Were you in the vicinity of of depleted uranium?
A: Oh, yeah. It's everywhere. DU is everywhere on the battlefield. If you hit a tank, there's dust.
Q: Did you breath any dust?
A: Yeah.
Q: And if DU is affecting you or our troops, it's impacting Iraqi civilians.
A: Oh, yeah. They got a big wasteland problem.

Posted by dbrown at 09:30 PM
May 16, 2004
This Game Totally Sucks


Posted by dbrown at 11:44 AM
May 14, 2004
Made Real


A few years ago, I bought Mr. Slavin a board game version of Centipede on ebay. Though I don't think it ever made it to his apartment. It seemed simply amusing at the time; now it seems poignant, an early Milton-Bradley ruminatiion on how to turn pixels and sprites into plastic. Today I found that Topps got there even earlier, in 1982, with these scratch-offs (Donkey Kong and Ms. Pac-Man, too, probably others.)

Posted by dbrown at 08:15 PM
May 13, 2004
bark bark


NYObserver's The Rummy Club

"...the most shocking response I have received from any Iraqi with regard to Abu Ghraib.

"I haven’t heard about it," said Mujtaba, the hejab-seller, when we first asked for his reaction.

"Don’t you watch television?" my translator, Shamil Aziz, asked in astonishment.

"Yes, I watch television," Mujtaba retorted. "But the electricity is off all the time.""

Posted by dbrown at 05:00 PM
Dept. of Unintentional

Dorothy Rabinowitz, a member of the WSJ's editorial board, cc'd Kristen Breitweiser a critique of B's proposed op-ed; the Daily News covers the mess, but doesn't dwell on one quote from the critique: "we [WSJ] don't publish nonsensical contentions that offer no news, no insight..."

Which qualifies as actual news.

Posted by dbrown at 10:11 AM
May 10, 2004

More adventures in not necessarily the blurring of lines between video games and real life, but the occasional puncture of that barrier. Via atrios, this item in US News & World Report:

It was the lead item on the government's daily threat matrix one day last April. Don Emilio Fulci described by an FBI tipster as a reclusive but evil millionaire, had formed a terrorist group that was planning chemical attacks against London and Washington, D.C. That day even FBI director Robert Mueller was briefed on the Fulci matter. But as the day went on without incident, a White House staffer had a brainstorm: He Googled Fulci. His findings: Fulci is the crime boss in the popular video game Headhunter. "Stand down," came the order from embarrassed national security types.

Posted by dbrown at 09:26 PM
Unintended Consequences of the Day

In the Times's good story on using some sort of pattern recognition to see behind the black bars of redacted documents, this nice bit on font choice: "In January, the State Department required that its documents use a more modern font, Times New Roman, instead of Courier, Mr. Naccache said. Because Courier is a monospace font, in which all letters are of the same width, it is harder to decipher with the computer technique. There is no indication that the State Department knew that."

Posted by dbrown at 03:09 PM
May 09, 2004
Cooper Down


I don't know Mike Essl, but his tattoo is a tribute to both Cooper Union and to a former Cooper student named Kevin Slavin. I would like to see a picture of the pirate flag.

Posted by dbrown at 12:28 PM
May 08, 2004
Bleeds Like a Duck

Bombshells in the Washington Post, at least in the PR war.

Army Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., ... when asked whether he believes the United States is losing, he said, "I think strategically, we are."
Army Col. Paul Hughes, who last year was the first director of strategic planning for the U.S. occupation authority in Baghdad, said he agrees with that view and noted that a pattern of winning battles while losing a war characterized the U.S. failure in Vietnam. "Unless we ensure that we have coherency in our policy, we will lose strategically."

A senior general at the Pentagon said he believes the United States is already on the road to defeat. "It is doubtful we can go on much longer like this. ... The current OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense] refused to listen or adhere to military advice."

Posted by dbrown at 11:19 PM
May 07, 2004
Long Drink of Water


video of the hecklers today, during Rummy's first hearing. Not that I was around, but it didn't feel like Vietnam until just now.

Posted by dbrown at 01:17 PM
May 05, 2004

I never thought about the possibilities in the conjunction of Koolhaas-fawning and blogs, though certainly I should have since Saturation was born in just such agar. But his "magazine" launched the other week, and the opening-hopping bloggers who apparently infest manhattan were on the scene. "When Koolhaas addressed the audience of cheese-cube-popping-personnel, I made certain to grab a good look at the steely man. His nose was a wedge of sharp cheese, and everything about him was gray, even his eyes."

Posted by dbrown at 04:58 PM
May 04, 2004
Adventures in Headline Writing

on drudge:

"Abu Ghraib inmate population to be cut in half..."

Posted by dbrown at 05:12 PM
I Hit a Dot


via metafilter, PacManhattan. Pretty much self-explanatory. But also a forcing of the issue of how to describe video game events, places, things, feelings that creep, or jump, into one's actual life.

Next game saturday may 8.

Posted by dbrown at 02:29 PM
If the 60s were the 90s

they might have done something like this.

Posted by tmonkey at 09:41 AM
May 03, 2004
The Memory Hole

Two saturation posters recently decided to delete their posts. We wish them well.

Unfortunately, they took down a lot of words written by others, too. Fortunately, nothing is ever deleted anymore. If you're looking for their posts, you can find them here and here. [main posts say "posted by xxx"; comments say "posted by: xxx," with a colon in there.] QQ47 will return shortly, and no one can deflect it. Please let me know if there are other posts that you'd like to see reappear.

Posted by dbrown at 12:17 PM
Do Not Drink Cold Water

from the incomparable archives of the Buffalo County Historical Society journal, Buffalo Tales, a selection of letters from Sally Coffman to her daughter, Marilla, 1878-1880

"Your father is well, only more helpless. George and his family are well. Delbert's baby is dead. It was buried a week ago today. Cholera Infantum caused its death. It was near 6 months old. Mrs. Clark has a girl baby 8 weeks old. Mrs. Seaman has a girl 7 weeks old. Mrs. Majors has her 3rd boy, 6 or 7 weeks old. Lots of babies, and folks too. There is from 25 to 30 scholars in school this term....
        We had a dry winter, very little snow, a great many windy days, and so little rain all the spring until June. Seed laid in the ground and did not sprout. Garden seeds planted early and nothing came, in June a few come up but there is no gardens and no potatoes now and I think there will be but few if any raised this year in this part of the state. The 3rd of this month there was a heavy storm. It blew away our little house and tore it to pieces and broke some of the boards, and broke my ash tree that Grant set out, took the roof off from several houses. I think the wind blew the hardest I ever heard it. Wood River was so high they had to tie the bridge to keep it....
        The Koughs have all gone, everyone....
        Marilla, dear girl, I am sorry you have got to suffer so much again. Take care of yourself, do not work too hard, and don't worry. Do not drink cold water. I think drinking cold water when her child was young killed Del's wife. Now he is alone and very lonesome."

Posted by dbrown at 09:11 AM