I know, I know….

I haven’t been able to post for days, and that’s not going to change, even after we go to war tonight. Give me another two days, okay?

Comments Off on I know, I know….

Hebrew-speaking Fish Warns the End is Near

At first I thought this story was a joke, but after reading it through to the end I don’t know what to think. As we prepare for war, it really seems as though the world has gone utterly mad.

Comments Off on Hebrew-speaking Fish Warns the End is Near

Funniest thing ever. Ever.

I have been off the Web for nearly three days, so this is probably all over the place by now. In case you missed it, a very smart satirist has taken actual illustrations from the site of the brilliantly conceived Office of Homeland Security and written wickedly irreverent captions for them. I found them here , thanks to Mark Kleiman.

Comments Off on Funniest thing ever. Ever.

Catatonia. Only 7 hours ago,

Catatonia. Only 7 hours ago, at around 1 A.M., I was standing in the huge ballroom of a hotel where vendors are busy constructing a custom-made stage for today’s event. Almost no sleep. I promised I’d do a number of things yesterday and today, reply to letters, write about something, finish this, work on that, and it’s all been superceded by The Big Project, which starts at 11:30 this morning. It’s literally the biggest thing I’ve ever worked on, and executives from around the world flew in last night for the rehearsal.

I’ll be there at least until 9 P.M. tonight, so no blogging until tomorrow. Now I’ve got to try and wake up and head back to the hotel.

Comments Off on Catatonia. Only 7 hours ago,

China Modernizes with Stylish Execution Vans

If you’re among the unfortunate 15,000 or so wrong-doers put to death each year in China, you’ll be pleased to know that those messy shots to the head may soon be a thing of the past, soon to be replaced by up-to-the-minute deathmobiles.

According to this article, the bullet’s out, killer vans are in:

The execution vans are converted 24-seater buses. The windowless execution chamber at the back contains a metal bed on which the prisoner is strapped down. A police officer presses a button and an automatic syringe plunges a lethal drug into the prisoner’s vein. The execution can be watched on a video monitor next to the driver’s seat and be recorded if required.

The times, they are a changin’. This is courtesy of Tim Blair.
[Edited 3/14/2003 8:07 P.M. CST]

Comments Off on China Modernizes with Stylish Execution Vans

Bad link below has been

Bad link below has been corrected. Thanks for telling me.

Comments Off on Bad link below has been

How can it be?

Wrenching piece by Dan Gillmor on fear and loathing in the Texas justice system. How can we be so blatantly inhumane, this great land of liberty and justice?
[UPDATE: Go here for more on the inanity of the Texas capital punishment machine, which through some design flaw apparently has no “Off” button.]

Comments Off on How can it be?

When Sullivan’s Good….

….he can be the best. Extremely thought-provoking and disturbing musings on the fate of the earth now that crummy little rogue states that are totally broke (like, say, Iraq or North Korea) can acquire or make nuclear weapons fairly easily and wreak havoc on unprecedented scales.

Just a sample:

Europeans simply don’t believe that we’re living in a radically more dangerous and unstable world. Or they think that mild measures can temporarily solve the problem — like porous and largely inneffective inspection regimes in Iraq. So we are at a deadlock. And if we cannot get consensus on Iraq — with umpteen U.N. resolutions and the precedent of a previous unprovoked war — what hope is there of getting consensus if Iran’s mullahs go nuclear? Or North Korea’s nut-case gets several nukes? Or someone else out there we have yet to hear from decides to go to heaven via a suitcase nuke in L.A.?

A DISMAL THOUGHT: I’m left with the conclusion that we will only get such a consensus in favor of pre-emption after the destruction of a major Western city, or a chemical or biological catastrophe.

I guess you can’t get much grimmer than that. It’s especially interesting for its brooding, almost reticent tone, as though he’s resigned himself to the fact that his drum-beating failed to move earth and heaven. Let’s see how long it lasts….

Comments Off on When Sullivan’s Good….

Check out Josh Marshall’s interesting

Check out Josh Marshall’s interesting piece on Richard Perle’s abuse of the T-word.

Comments Off on Check out Josh Marshall’s interesting

Dangerous Voices

I usually reserve my most fervent enthusiasm for my special causes, like Mozart and Wagner and Thomas Wolfe, but in this case I must make an exception and wax poetic, for the third time, about a blog.

I refer of course to the latest addition, part 10 of Orcinus’ magnificent analysis of how the Far Right gets its messages implanted into the Mainstream Conservative psyche. This time the focus is on the quintessential “transmitter” Rush Limbaugh.

This is a subject close to my heart. For years, as a former journalist and student of the media, I have been examining the Rush phenomenon with fascination and amazement. In 1994, I had a lengthy essay printed in an Arizona newspaper on the insidiousness and willful truth distortions of Rush Limbaugh. (It was so heartfelt that the paper called and asked if I wanted to write a periodic column.)

Ever rational and calm, Orcinus describes how back in 1996 he was “trying to get a handle on the seething, venomous hatred of the government that was seeping out in the bile of movements like the Freemen, but was much, much more widespread.”

Later, while listening to a Rush rant, Orcinus experiences an epiphinous moment:

Suddenly I had a very clear picture about how hatred of the government had reached such illogical and hysterical heights. Americans were being told, relentlessly and repeatedly, that not only was government a bad thing, it was inherently evil, indeed conspiring to take away their freedom and enslave them. The person telling them this was a mainstream conservative. And he was giving them essentially the very same message being spread by the Freemen and militias, but this time with the mantle of mainstream legitimacy. Rush was essentially taking people up to the edge of Patriot beliefs and introducing his listeners to them..

I, too, believe that this conditioning, this presenting as a mainstream Truth the concept that the Government is a wicked enemy upon whose visit you should “aim for the head” — this helped to create the now commonplace hatred once confined only to the most far-right fringes. It is important that people understand this — that this clownish “entertainer” is nothing to laugh about.

I will never forget how Rush would refer to “bureaucrats” as though they were a form of bacteria, a worm that was somehow rotting our great nation from the inside out. Well, on that fateful day, in Oklahoma City, we all got to see those “bureaucrats,” many of them torn limb from limb, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters and friends and neighbors.

After quoting Rush at his most noxious, Orcinus concludes:

This is extremely dangerous talk, and not merely because it is divisive. It actually threatens to simultaneously harden the growing alliance between extremist and mainstream conservatives, and create a milieu in which violence against dissenters becomes acceptable. As I’ve been discussing, it is when we see this kind of coalescence that we are in real danger of seeing fascism blossom in America.

Again, if you haven’t been to Orcinus’ site yet, please make the visit.

I just moved him to the top of my Best Blogs list, above Andrew Sullivan.

[Edited Wednesday, March 12 at 7:35 a.m. CST]

Comments Off on Dangerous Voices