April 27, 2006
The Sick Rose O rose, thou art sick! The invisible worm That flies in the...
Karl Rove's appearance before a grand jury in the CIA leak case Wednesday comes on...
The United States policy toward Cuba, a country that poses no threat to us, is...
There is a petition to sign which I am sure most of you will...
David Cole writes that good translators speak for others, not for themselves. So why is a translator for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman being prosecuted as a co-conspirator?
Patricia J. Williams writes that Bush's goofily unmoored positioning of himself as 'the decider' duncifies us all.
President Bush's decision to hire conservative commentator Tony Snow as his chief spokesman reflects a consensus among the president and his top advisers that his White House operation has been too insular and needs to be more aggressive in engaging with the news media and other Washington constituencies, according to Bush aides and outside advisers.
Although it underscores what we already knew - that Glenn Reynolds (whose book is selling much better) has remarkable respect in the blogosphere for his integrity and intelligence - I must say I am surprised at the relatively pathetic sales figures for Markos Zuniga's book "Crashing the Gates.
As of this morning, for Reynolds’ An Army of Davids (February 2006), Bookscan reports 1716 retail sales and 2609 “discount” sales, for a total of 4325.
As of this morning, for Armstrong and Kos’s Crashing the Gate (March 2006), Bookscan reports 2598 retail sales and 1804 “discount” sales, for a total of 4402.
In other words, despite the fact that it’s been available for four fewer weeks, Kos and Armstrong’s book has now clocked Bookscan sales in excess of Reynolds’. Notably, several hundred more full-price sales. This is leaving aside the fact that Kos and Armstrong’s book is currently at #40 on Amazon, whereas Reynolds’ is at #801.
And, yes, Bookscan doesn't tell the full story and neither do Amazon rankings, but i Simon has any evidence for his claims he's free to provide it.
The point here is not a pissing contest about books sales; I don't give a shit and I doubt Markos or Glenn do either. The point is the wholesale embrace of manufactured horseshit to desperately prop up their collapsing worldview.
Mahmood Mamdani writes about three new books that examine the distinctions between religious and political Islam.
Book sales, Iraq, the Dixie Chicks:
The Chicks are back at it again with a new CD available to the world of country music. This just a few weeks after announcing that they were giving up on the genre and branching out to other forms of music.
Will their new music be played? Of course the tunes will go out over the airwaves because the powers in Nashville and New York that drive the music industry today will never be part of an unsuccessful album release and will make sure the Chick’s receive air play.
The Dixie Chicks have every right to speak their mind in public. Many Americans died to give them that right and I support their freedom of expression.
But, we do not have to listen to their music, buy their products or attend their concerts.
We have the right to call or write the advertisers who pay for the music to be played on the radio and refuse to do business with them as long as they support the Chicks. We have the right to ignore the Dixie Chicks until they are “has-beens” in the music industry and they are forced to sell their mansions on the hill.
Raffi Khatchadourian considers new scholarship that sheds light on Osama bin Laden's rhetoric, charisma and complex religious and political vision.
"It was like airplane pilots experimenting with the engines in flight..."
-- Valeri Legaslov, Soviet Chernobyl accident investigator
-- a 1986 painting about the Chernobyl disaster, by Lyudmila Koulichenko, age 12
"We did not yet possess a system of imagination, analogies, words or experiences for the catastrophe of Chernobyl."
-- Svetlana Alexiyevich, writer from Belarus
On 26 April, 1986, the worst commercial nuclear accident in history occurred during a test at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which lies near the Belarus-Ukraine border, 100 km north of Kiev, Ukraine. At 1:23:58 am local time, the plant's Unit 4 reactor was rocked by a steam explosion, followed by a hydrogen explosion and a fire resulting in temperatures over 2,000°C. The 1,000 ton reactor lid was blown off the core, the nuclear fuel rods melted, and more than 100 times the radiation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined was released into the atmosphere over the 10 days that the fire burned.
Many of the small towns and villages close to Chernobyl were rendered uninhabitable, and radioactive fallout from the accident was detected all over Europe. On that day, the lives of over 130,000 people evacuees from the 30 km radius "exclusion zone" (left, click to enlarge) were changed in a way that is difficult, if not impossible, for most of us to imagine.
Most of the recent media discussion of the Chernobyl catastrophe has
focused on the controversy about the number of people who have died - and will die - as a result of the accident. In other words, the media has largely failed to see the people behind the statistics. The purpose of this post is not to discuss the numbers, but to put a human face on the legacy of that day in April 1986.
This post is dedicated to those who died, and those who are still with us today.
(A note to the nerds out there: for brevity, I am not going into extreme technical detail about the disaster. However, if you're interested, this article [pdf] is excellent.)
Philip Weiss writes that criticisms of the Israel lobby have circulated at the periphery for years, but it took two professors and the failing war in Iraq to make realist ideas part of the debate.
If we could slap corporate logos on politicians, like NASCAR drivers do with their cars, we could get to the bottom of where they really stand on the issues.
Eric Alterman writes that the FBI's bid to examine Jack Anderson's papers is the latest battle in the Bush Administration's war against the media. Yet the mainstream media play along.
Let’s impeach the president for lying
And leading our country into war
Abusing all the power that we gave him
And shipping all our money out the door
He’s the man who hired all the criminals
The White House shadows who hide behind closed doors
And bend the facts to fit with their new stories
Of why we have to send our men to war
Let’s impeach the president for spying
On citizens inside their own homes
KATRINA: Remember Last September
Professor the Editors
once gave a sage lecture on the self-similarity of the wingnut function, and Glenn Greenwald (whose book is still #1)
picks up where he left off. Their defective mind processes work the same way, whether it's Iraq or book sales.
Don't they have somewhere lurking in their brain any critical faculties at all? For the sake of one's own integrity and reputation if nothing else, who would read an undocumented assertion on Drudge -- no matter how much of an emotional need they feel for it to be true -- and then run around reflexively reciting it as truth, writing whole posts celebrating it and analyzing it, without bothering to spend a second of time or a molecule of mental energy trying to figure out if it's really true?
This intellectually corrupt syndrome goes back a long way and has been festering for a long time. Nuggets of deceitful, fact-free fantasy get planted in some cesspool like Drudge and then mindless followers who want to believe it start repeating it as fact, and then it gets ossified forever as conventional wisdom and can never be dislodged from their minds. That's how Al Gore came to "claim that he invented the Internet," how Howard Dean became a far left radical pacifist, how Jessica Lynch had a heroic shoot-out with Al Qaeda and was then rescued by gun-blazing Marines, how Moveon.org produced commercials saying that Bush was Hitler, how Saddam funded Al Qaeda and personally participated in the planning of 9/11. It's even how the lesbian, Hillary, killed Vince Foster in order to ensure that their affair (or whitewater crimes or drug-running landing strip) would be kept quiet and, to this day, it's how Bill Clinton was a wildly unpopular president.
Soon after 9/11, the Bush movement became driven by much more than a set of political beliefs. It provides its adherents with much more than just a vehicle for political activism. It gives them purpose and a feeling of strength and power that they otherwise lack. In that sense, it is not dissimilar to a religion, and it is therefore unsurprising -- but nontheless ugly and destructive -- that their beliefs and convictions are not grounded in facts and reality but in a resolute faith that cannot be shaken by facts. Every event is interpreted so as to bolster the faith, facts are disregarded which undermine the faith and fact-free assertions are embraced which confirm the faith.
The way in which it became an instantaneous certainty that CTG is a failure (and Glenn Reynolds's book is a grand success) -- a "fact" that will endure in those circles forever, literally -- reflects a process that repeats itself over and over, with a whole range of issues. That is the process that led us into Iraq and not only kept us there, but ensured that we remained immoveably wedded to policies which were so plainly producing nothing but horrendous failure. Being able to pick and choose what facts you want to believe based upon which ones feel good or vindicate your desires can be emotionally satisfying, but there is no more destructive and dangerous mental approach than this for determing how the world's sole superpower will be governed.
With less than one week to go until Primary Election Day on Tuesday, May 2nd, good news continues to come in for our fight to turn Ohio’s 3rd Congressional District around. Today the United Automobile Workers of America (UAW) endorsed my campaign for Congress. UAW Local 696’s Legislative Committee Chairperson, Rick Tincher, said the UAW [...]