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Saturday, February 21, 2004

Off to the Alternate Press Expo, back Monday afternoon. Read the good folks on the sidebar if you run out of reading material. See you!

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:20 AM PST [Link]

Richard II and Thomas Becket (not to mention Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton) were made for each other. And then God got in the way.
Becket Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole. This isn't strictly why I like this film, but it's mainly the acting and a few of the locations. It certainly isn't the clothes or music.
(Note: How can this NOT be on DVD?)

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:18 AM PST [Link]

"And the masked man's allegiance to Saddam is not particularly surprising. Some reports in the Western press have portrayed the resistance as anti-Saddam nationalists, contradicting Donald Rumsfeld's assertions that they are "dead enders," loyal to the vanquished regime. But among the fighters and resistance supporters and Sunni in general I talked with, the former dictator is actually quite popular. This phenomenon may be difficult to explain, given Saddam's atrocities, but it is real.

"One former Fedayeen fighter I interviewed loves Saddam Hussein despite having been jailed for a month and severely tortured by his police. Now this man is largely apolitical but he supports the resistance in principle (a family member was active but is now jailed, and other kin have stored weapons for the underground). When Saddam was captured the former torture victim wept openly, and in conversation he will defend the ex-dictator to the end."
Two Sides, by Christian Parenti, The Nation, from the February 23, 2004 issue

Oh, Lord, I must ask again: What have we gotten ourselves into?

And C Parenti ought to be more careful. Getting in cars with strangers in the middle of the night in Baghdad is asking for trouble, like being kidnapped. Beirut, anyone?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:17 AM PST [Link]

"According to the large American team that spent hundreds of millions of dollars looking for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, there aren't any and have not been any since 1991.

"Both President Bush and Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, now claim that Saddam Hussein provoked this war by refusing to allow United Nations weapons inspectors into his country. That is not true."
Before things go down the memory hole, by Molly Ivins, Star-Telegram, February 12, 2004

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:14 AM PST [Link]

Friday, February 20, 2004

"8. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall."
12 reasons why gay people should not be allowed to get married, JeSurgisLac's LJ, February 16, 2004

Um... yeah.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 02:44 PM PST [Link]

"About 25 anti-gay protesters later blocked the door of the county clerk's office, laying down in front of the line and singing religious songs. Gays and lesbians responded by belting out "The Star-Spangled Banner" until deputies escorted out the protesters. No arrests were made."

What a riot! Next it will be showtunes! Wheeeeee!

"Meanwhile, in New Mexico, the Sandoval County clerk married a lesbian couple after announcing that the state had no legal grounds to refuse them licenses, and other same-sex couples quickly began lining up to get married themselves."
San Francisco Mayor defiant as conservatives return to court, AP, February 20, 2004

Hooray for Sandoval County!

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 01:57 PM PST [Link]

To have and have not
Lauren Bacall is smacked with her own US Passport and doesn't flinch. Mediocre singing at the end, but her dress is a killer.
To have and have not, yeah yeah, Hoagy Stardust Carmichael and Walter Brennen Walter Brennen Walter Brennen! Is there no escape from Walter Brennen?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:20 AM PST [Link]

Hm, not as Southern as I thought I was. Only 58%.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:19 AM PST [Link]

"In July 2002 a retired US Army colonel who would be dead within months unburdened himself of twenty-two classified documents concerning war crimes in Vietnam. The colonel didn't care for journalists, but he was fond of his neighbor in Springfield, Virginia, a Washington-based science reporter for the Toledo Blade. Those twenty-two documents laid the groundwork for a remarkable four-part series published in the Blade this past October--a series that meticulously reconstructed the activities of an elite US Army reconnaissance platoon and its descent into barbarism at the height of the Vietnam War."


"Why did major news organizations handle the Blade series with tongs, or not at all? As Daniel Okrent noted, major newspapers are rarely generous to their less distinguished rivals. But there seem to be other reasons as well. 'There is a sense,' the Blade's Sallah told NPR's On the Media, 'that we should not be too openly critical and evoke these painful memories of Vietnam when we're already in a conflict.' Indeed, with a few exceptions like Ted Koppel, US journalists have been noticeably reluctant to ponder the contemporary relevance of the Blade report. It was left to the foreign press to wonder if there is any symmetry between US intervention in Southeast Asia in 1967 and the Middle East in 2004: 'Tiger Force continues to be an active part of the US military,' affirmed the Toronto Star. 'It is currently on duty in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq.'"
Press Watch, by Scott Sherman, The Nation, from the March 1, 2004 issue

Paraphrasing Faulkner here - the past is never over, it's not even in the past.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:18 AM PST [Link]

"The impact of all those albums - all those multiple copies of multiple titles - wasn't lost on me. I'd only begun buying records a year or two earlier, when the Beatles came to America and as the Beach Boys were reaching their peak. That had meant almost daily visits to a small-town Iowa variety store to sort through its heartbreaking record bin once again. To me, it felt like we lived at the bitter end of the distribution chain, where every now and then a freight shipper might haul to town a couple of copies of the Beatles' latest single among the swather knives and the tractor parts. And so I regarded the inventory at Tower Records with reverence. There was more than just abundance in it. There was news. It was as immediate as radio. The new releases were newly released. The catalog was deep."
Tower Records in the Maelstrom of Consumer Desire, by Verlyn Klinkenborg, NY Times Op Ed, February 15, 2004

Yeah, I think I spent my adolescence in Tower, too. Especially the head shop. I did buy my first John Coltrane album there, Coltrane Sound, and this was very important to me. It still is.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:12 AM PST [Link]

Thursday, February 19, 2004

In our ongoing series of The Ginger Mayerson Fifty Films, here is 11/50:

The American Friend
Not a clue what this film is about, but it's fabulous and Dennis Hopper is way cool.
The American Friend, Dennis Hopper and Hamburg when there was a West Germany for it to be in.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:33 AM PST [Link]

"John Kerry has been twice a hero. First, as a soldier in Vietnam, he displayed extraordinary physical courage, winning the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Once, injured and under heavy fire, he turned back his river boat to rescue a wounded comrade, who now credits Kerry with saving his life. Second, displaying civil courage at home equal to his physical courage in battle, he embarked on a campaign of protest against the war in which he had fought, becoming a spokesperson for Vietnam Veterans Against the War. In 1971, the VVAW camped out on the Mall in Washington. President Nixon's Justice Department then sought and obtained a court injunction forbidding the groups from using the Mall. Immediately and spontaneously, the veterans, as if re-enacting the American Revolution, assembled in caucuses by state to deliberate and vote--and so created, at the symbolic center of the Republic, a kind of instant, ideal mini-republic of their own. They decided to defy the injunction and appeal their case to the Supreme Court, which reversed the lower court decision and permitted the protest to continue."
Letter From Ground Zero, by Jonathan Schell, The Nation, [from the March 1, 2004 issue]

Just Kerry Watching.

I suppose John Kerry has called 'em like he's seen 'em all his life. A lucky/unlucky man, like most of us.

Yeah, I know the rest of this Nation article goes negative on Kerry. I suppose I should say something thoughtful about how Kerry voted the best he could on the information he had, but it won't make a difference to The Nation and their readers. I've no idea what the people at The Nation want, I'm not sure it's in the dimension anyway, so I'm just going to keep on ignoring it.

All I know it that Kerry (or Edwards for that matter) will be a better President than bush. If The Nation (and The Progressive for that matter) decided to get hip to that fact, they might get my subscription money again. Until then, fuck 'em.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:26 AM PST [Link]

"During the early 90's, when Mr. Cheney was a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Mr. Chalabi was in a full courtship press with Washington's conservative and journalistic elites. He saw them as a springboard for his triumphant return to Iraq.

"After 9/11, his passionate desire to take out Saddam coincided with that of conservatives. All they needed for their belli was a casus, so Mr. Chalabi obligingly conned the neocons.

"He hoodwinked his pals Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle into believing Iraq would be a flowery cakewalk to democracy."
The Thief of Baghdad, by Maureen Dowd, NY Times Op Ed, February 15, 2004

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:15 AM PST [Link]

Check out the Dishonest Dubya Lying Action Figure. And don't forget to make him choke on a pretzel at the end.

Always good for a cheap laugh, that's me.

Posted by Laurel Sutton @ 08:11 AM PST [Link]

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Okay, here's why I'm backing Kerry: There is a huge international mess to clean up and Edwards, bless his Southern heart, does not have the background or the gravitas to clean it up.

We might want to elect our Presidents on domestic issues, but, in my lifetime at least, we elect them on that and then they spend most of their Presidency on international issues. Going into this election the United States has the following international issues to address:

Our mess in Iraq
The nukes in North Korea
The war inside Israel
That almost the entire world hates us
And whatever else I've missed here (feel free to put your list in the comments)

I don't say solve, some of these are not ours to solve, but at least address in a more rational fashion than the bush administration. The next President inherits a mess; at least a Democrat will know it's a mess.

So, because General Clark is no longer in the race, Kerry's the guy. I mean, I don't care why he gets elected, I just think he's going to have more than the economy on his hands when he gets in there. And further, I'd be happy if it is Edwards as President, I'll be happier with anyone but bush. I think most of the world will be happier with ABB.

My money is on Kerry, but as of December 12, 2000, I'm a Democrat first and will vote the party no matter what.

And three years down the road, we know what an extreme Right (not to mention illegal) US government looks like. How much more do we need to see? How much more can we really take?

The goal is to win and much depends on it. As my man Franklin said: We can all hang together or we can all hang separately.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:09 PM PST [Link]

In our ongoing series of The Ginger Mayerson Fifty Films, here is 10/50:

Okay, more John Wayne, but young John Wayne this time. Bad guy redeemed by love and social forces. John Wayne, Claire Trevor, and John Carradine (odd, all these years I remembered the actor as being Basil Rathbone, hm). The Cavalry really does come over the hill in this one.
Stagecoach, John Wayne, Monument Valley, Indians, the Calvary, etc.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:17 AM PST [Link]

"The issue here goes beyond using the Government Printing Office to publish campaign brochures. In this budget, as in almost everything it does, the Bush administration tries to blur the line between reverence for the office of president and reverence for the person who currently holds that office.

"Operation Flight Suit was only slightly more over the top than other Bush photo-ops, like the carefully staged picture that placed Mr. Bush's head in line with the stone faces on Mount Rushmore. The goal is to suggest that it's unpatriotic to criticize the president, and to use his heroic image to block any substantive discussion of his policies."


"Still, we may be on our way to an election in which Mr. Bush is judged on his record, not his legend. And that, of course, is what the White House fears."
The Real Man, by Paul Krugman, NY Times Op Ed, February 13, 2004

Oh, let us pray.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:16 AM PST [Link]

"It's a variant of Kay's we-all-blew-it explanation. The intent is clear: If everyone was wrong about the WMDs, then no one--especially not Bush--is to blame now."

"But Kay was incorrect. Not everybody was mistaken on the question of Iraq's WMDs. Not UN inspectors, including Hans Blix, who worried about Saddam Hussein's WMD capabilities but questioned whether discrepancies in Iraq's accounting meant stockpiles existed. Not US intelligence analysts who argued that critical pieces of evidence were not solid. And there were many nongovernment experts who disputed the Bush Administration's WMD allegations. It was Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and other aides who missed the mark."
The Blame Game, by David Corn, The Nation, from the March 1, 2004 issue

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:13 AM PST [Link]

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

"One judge said on Tuesday that he had been inclined to order Mayor Gavin Newsom and other city officials to stop issuing the marriage licenses but agreed to give them a chance first to argue their case at a hearing late next month. The judge, James L. Warren of San Francisco County Superior Court, issued a cease and desist order against the city but said it was not binding if the city chose to attend the hearing on March 29 instead. The city said it would."
Gay Weddings Continue in San Francisco as Lawyers Argue, by Dean E. Murphy and Carolyn Marshall, NY Times, February 18, 2004

How civilized!

So, now, Mayor Hahn, are you going to let San Francisco make Los Angeles look bad?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:02 PM PST [Link]

Rock on Kentucky!

And congratulations to Congressman Chandler (D-Kentucky) and the wave of the future.

And a blast from the past - MVRD: The Bluegrass Vote, Hackenblog, November 14, 2003

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:48 PM PST [Link]

In our ongoing series of The Ginger Mayerson Fifty Films, here is 9/50:

In addition to "The Plainsman", all young girls should see this one for a female role model, too. When the film cut to Ripley taping that huge gun and flamethrower together, every woman in the theater let out a low growl of support.
Aliens, starring massive weapons and a massive maternal instinct.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:15 AM PST [Link]

My Systemizing Quotient is 39.

My Empathy Quotient is 51.

Hm. I know I was wondering about this. Next.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:14 AM PST [Link]

"Many people might wonder why virus writers aren't simply rounded up and arrested for producing their creations. But in most countries, writing viruses is not illegal.

"Indeed, in the United States some legal scholars argue that it is protected as free speech. Software is a type of language, and writing a program is akin to writing a recipe for beef stew. It is merely a bunch of instructions for the computer to follow, in the same way that a recipe is a set of instructions for a cook to follow.

"A virus or worm becomes illegal only when it is activated - when someone sends it to a victim and starts it spreading in the wild, and it does measurable damage to computer systems. The top malware authors are acutely aware of this distinction."
The stealth worm era. With the pace of virus development accelerating, experts fear even nastier criminal attacks in future, by Clive Thompson, Toronto Star, February 15, 2004

Isn't that a little like the guns argument? 'The virus or worm doesn't wreck your computer, downloading them does.' Sigh. Doesn't quite work for me.

Symantec's Sarah Gordon also says the authors are ethically naive.

Doesn't that just make them plain, old sociopaths?

So, how soon do we get Sci-Fi about sentient computer viruses? And if it's out there already, can somebody point me to it? TIA.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:12 AM PST [Link]

Monday, February 16, 2004

In our ongoing series of The Ginger Mayerson Fifty Films, here is 8/50:

Blade Runner
When I lived in Prague and I'd get homesick, I'd go see Blade Runner. It was always playing somewhere in Prague. I could never figure out why.
Blade Runner, starring dark and moody LA locations and Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer when they were still good looking.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:24 AM PST [Link]

black-collar workers: Once a term for miners and oil workers, today it more often refers to creative types (artists, graphic designers, video producers) who’ve made black attire a kind of unofficial uniform.
Nominated by Laurel Sutton
Buzzwhack Word of the Day, February 13, 2004

We are SO proud of her!

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:23 AM PST [Link]

"His (Greenspan's) position on the budget controls, termed pay-as-you-go rules, was a break with the Bush administration, which has proposed applying the rules to proposed changes in mandatory spending, but not to any proposed changes in taxes. That way, they would not endanger the president's proposal to make his tax cuts permanent, which is his top economic policy priority this election year.

"However, Greenspan also reiterated his support for making the tax cuts permanent and his preference for balancing the budget 'primarily, if not wholly' by restraining spending growth before considering tax increases."
Greenspan: Revive Spending Controls. Fed Chief Warns of Deficit Growth, by Nell Henderson, Washington Post, February 13, 2004

Mrs. Greenspan must handle the family finances because Alan obviously doesn't have a clue. Like someone else I despise, he has a very dangerous job for a man without a clue.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:11 AM PST [Link]

Sunday, February 15, 2004

New interview with Jon Carroll of the SF Chron at J LHLS.
Links to it, please, are very welcome, thank you.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 12:20 PM PST [Link]

In our ongoing series of The Ginger Mayerson Fifty Films, here is 7/50:

Gah. Run to "Ran". Sorry, folks, Shakespeare is just so much better in Japanese. And this "King Lear" is THE Lear for me.
Ran, directed by Akira Kurosawa when he was 75 years old and everyone, especially Mieko Harada as Lady Kaede (whew!), I mean, everyone is just incredible in it. Amazing battle scenes, gorgeous costumes, and huge, epic scenery, too.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:55 AM PST [Link]

"For much of the hearing, Powell had calmly answered barbs by Democrats over the administration's inability to find weapons in Iraq despite alarms before the war about the grave threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

"'Truth is the first casualty of war,' said Ackerman, who had voted for the war resolution. 'I would contend truth was murdered before a shot was fired.'

"Powell, however, became testy when Brown said, in a reference to questions about whether Bush completed his National Guard service: 'You are one of the very few people in this administration that understands war. We have a president who may have been AWOL' from duty.

"'First of all, Mr. Brown, I won't dignify your comments about the president because you don't know what you are talking about,' Powell snapped.

"'I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean, Mr. Secretary,' Brown replied.

"'You made reference to the president,' Powell said.

"'I say he may have been AWOL,' Brown repeated.

"'Mr. Brown, let's not go there,' Powell retorted. 'Let's not go there in this hearing. If you want to have a political fight on this matter, that is very controversial, and I think is being dealt with by the White House, fine. But let's not go there.'"
Powell Scolds Hill Staffer At Hearing. Secretary Also Clashes With Ohio Lawmaker, by Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, February 12, 2004

Wouldn't it just be more honorable for General Powell to admit he picked the wrong side and resign? This is not pretty to watch, however justified it might be.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:54 AM PST [Link]

"Mr Powell has sent a letter to senior figures in the cable industry, asking them to clean up their act voluntarily. Cable, he said, "cannot completely ignore the discontent".

"Jackson could have enough of a galvanising effect on the right for the idea of somehow regulating cable content to gain momentum. That would leave Tony Soprano feeling really bleeped off."
No sex, please - we're American, by David Teather, Guardian, February 13, 2004

Is there a Libertarian in the house?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:52 AM PST [Link]

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