Monday, December 18, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
I can not think of a single major newspaper or TV news outlet that remarked on this, and how the CIA backed the coup in Chile. It's this kind of censorship of criticism of U.S. foreign policy in the so-called Liberal Media that is why so many U.S. citizens remain clueless and surprised when world opinion about the actions of our government are less than admiring.
Rice's remarks indicated that, despite a maelstrom of criticism of Bush's policies by outside experts and Democrats, the administration's extensive review of policy in Iraq and the region will not yield major changes in its approach.
And again, there are only references to "sectarian violence," and NOT "civil war."
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Meanwhile, in Tehran, the supposedly powerful president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad still dominates the news as the glowering face of Iran; ominously, he is even a frontrunner in Time magazine's "person of the year" poll.
But Ahmadinejad's puffed-up persona in the western press has to be balanced against - as is too seldom done - the erosion of his rickety powerbase at home. He was elected in June 2005 on an economic platform and he will be judged on the economy. Iran is struggling with rising unemployment and surging inflation that is felt most severely by the poor, who are among his most important constituency.
Sounds a lot like, "It's the economy, stupid." Makes Ahmadinejad's posturing and anti-Israeli rants looks more like attempts at deflecting attention from his inability to deliver on his campaign promises of economic prosperity before his election.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
"...Mayme Clayton amassed almost 30,000 rare, first-edition and out-of-print books. She was especially strong on the writers of the Harlem Renaissance, obtaining first editions and correspondence from Langston Hughes, Richard Wright and Zora Neale Hurston.
"Her trove includes the first book published in America by an author of African descent, Phillis Wheatley's "Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral," dated 1773, when she was a slave in Boston. Clayton has the only known copy signed by the author; she paid $600 for it in 1972, far more than she usually spent. Her collecting style was more bargain basement than Sotheby's auction. She'd prowl used bookstores, flea markets, estate sales. When old people died, she'd get into their attics."
The collection includes movies, movie posters, and magazines, among other things. Thankfully, it is in the process of being cataloged and moved to more secure facilities.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
"The International Mozart Foundation in Salzburg, Austria, has put a scholarly edition of the bound volumes of Mozart's more than 600 works on a Web site.
The site allows visitors to find specific symphonies, arias or even single lines of text from some 24,000 pages of music."
You can view the site here. Unfortunately, though the site is available in English, the search boxes are in German.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Now, if only I had more time to read some of them...But alas, there is never enough time to read all the books you want to read. For now, back to The Black Book.
Friday, December 8, 2006
A couple of questions also have to be asked,
Would the descent into civil war have happened regardless of when and how Saddam Hussein was removed from power?
With Iran and Syria backing the Shia, and Saudi Arabia backing the Sunni, is the civil war also serving as a proxy war for the region?
With Iran and Syria's involvement, how can Bush ignore the ISG's recommendation to talk directly with those two countries to devise a peaceful solution?
Bush is still saying that he believes we will prevail. At what? Fomenting wars throughout the Middle East?
Thursday, December 7, 2006
Enough ink and bandwidth has been used up in the McEwan Plagiarism Debacle. Suffice to say I don't think McEwan did anything wrong. He has always highlighted his reliance on the memoir he is accused of supposedly copying from for research for his book Atonement.
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
I’m writing to tell you, my Lifestyle Hero, why I am such a dedicated customer of your company. It started about six months ago when I finally walked into the Echo Park store to buy some of your Fine Jersey Short Sleeve T-shirts . When my girlfriend ripped off my last non-corporate logo T-shirt in a sexual frenzy after a night of heavy drinking at the Shortstop, I realized I needed some new shirts. Durable shirts. Stylish shirts. Sold to guys like me with horny girlfriends. For the past few years I’ve seen all those ads of yours on bus benches and billboards around L.A. with pictures of girls in “come hither” poses. Your ads spoke to me. They said, in a hushed but impatient voice, “We want you.”
I wasn’t in the store more than two seconds when I saw her. This absolutely gorgeous-looking girl wearing one of your Cotton Spandex Jersey Criss-Cross Short Sleeve Unitards in black. She had long straight black hair, dark brown eyes and brown skin. She looked like she could have been Italian or Mexican with some Asian thrown in for good measure.
“Can I help you find something?” she asked.
“Yeah, I need some T-shirts,” I said.
She led me over to them and said, “Any particular colors you’re looking for?”
“Maybe green,” I said, “and definitely black.” I shot her a look to say I liked the way black looked on her. My eyes strolled down from her lips, past the criss-cross at her breasts, to rest at her hips.
“Large, right?” she said with a broad smile.
I nodded, matching her smile.
She picked out the shirts and said, “You should try these on. Make sure they fit.”
I followed her to the dressing rooms in the back of the store. (BTW, those classic Penthouse magazine covers for wallpaper? Nice touch!)
She pulled back the curtain and hung the shirts on a hook. I stepped inside and she said, “Let me help you.” Then she stepped in and pulled back the curtain.
Now, those dressing rooms are not huge but the two of us had plenty of room...Let’s just say that those unitards sure can cover a body, but boy do they slip off ever so easily. And underneath, I couldn’t believe it, she was wearing the Baby Rib Thong in black! Oh, sweet baby...
Since that first time, I’ve had more similarly rewarding experiences at your stores. Later, there was the Asian chick in the Cotton Spandex Jersey Strapless Rouched Bodysuit in raspberry and a pair of Shiny Stirrup Pants in turquoise at the Los Feliz store. Then the black chick in the Cotton Spandex Jersey Turtleneck Dress in eggplant at the Chinatown store. And it keeps getting better everytime I go.
Because of the extraordinary service your salesgirls provide at your stores, I will always buy my clothes from them. They know exactly how to wear and take off what they sell.
Z. K. Bander, Satisfied American Apparel Customer
P.S. I can’t wait for the release on DVD of the American Apparel Porn Series next Spring!
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
"According to the judges, her work "gives a kind of depth and illusion to abstraction which you normally find in figurative painting."
"It's not often you find work that has rigour and incredible beauty. Her work is an extraordinary achievement both technically and aesthetically.
"Her project stands quite apart from other painters of her generation," they said.
I am not familiar with her work. But it sounds quite different (and more accessible) than putting dead animals in formaldehyde or incorporating feces into a painting. As the article details, this award has been the source of a lot of controversy given the nature of the art produced by past winners. Abts appears to be a much tamer winner than the current and past nominees and winners.
Monday, December 4, 2006
Sunday, December 3, 2006
"I also believe that he is an honest man and that his administration has been largely void of widespread corruption. This will help him from being portrayed as a true villain."
And Bush didn't know Jack Abramoff.
And Halliburton (VP Cheney's old company) hasn't repeatedly overcharged our government for its services in Iraq.
And Michael "Heckuva Job Brownie" Brown was qualified to run FEMA.
And he's never ignored science and common sense when it comes to appointing people to run an agency like the FDA or a position within the Department of Health and Human Services.
And he didn't lie about Saddam Hussein having WMDs.
And he didn't joke about not being able to find the WMDs.
I could go on...But I don't want to do anymore research for Mr. Brinkley without getting paid for it.
Friday, December 1, 2006
"The travelers are not allowed to see or directly challenge these risk assessments, which the government intends to keep on file for 40 years."
Sounds like shades of Orwell's 1984, just like the NSA's wiretapping program.
Couple those programs with the indefinite confinement of those prisoners down in Guantanamo (a scenario right out of Kafka's The Trial) and we keep inching closer toward a police state. Let's hope the Democratic Congress will investigate these programs and cut off their funding once it's clear their constitutionality is lacking.