Sunday, August 31

Friday, August 29

Friday Selections:
Paul Krugman on the Bush Team's blundering of the budget and occupation. (nytimes login: opensewer; password: iswatching)

The Voice's J. Hoberman on the Bush - 9/11 "documentary."

Slate on Bill O'Rielly's favorite two-word phrase.

Reason's Nick Gillespie on attorneys general running out of crime to fight.

Tuesday, August 26

They want to take bitter away. Don't they get it? Bitter is important. They want us to only have the easily enjoyed sweet and salty, and maybe a mild sour. Bitter signifies something. It is an evolutionary asset, the ability to recognize bitter. It is associated with potency in herbs like ginseng. Bitter adds character and is essential to things you learn to love, like coffee (ok, I hate coffee) and flavorful beer. My grapefruit juice shouldn't taste like orange juice. Don't homognize my food. I hate this kind of thing.

Monday, August 25

Even the NY Times gets in on the act, calling Ashcroft's tour to promote the liberty crushing Patriot Act "Unpatriotic." - nytimes login:opensewer; password: iswatching

Friday, August 22

Early next month, a dozen families whose tar-paper shacks lack even running water will move into new homes here with heat, flush toilets and hot showers. ... The people of Bayview, most of them related by marriage or blood, are descended from freed slaves. ... As a child, [Alice Coles] picked potatoes with her seven brothers and sisters for 10 cents a bag. ... Those were the good days, when the big farmhouses had high-pitched roofs and screened porches, and when it was possible to get enough work to pay the rent, maybe even buy a house. ... Ms. Coles, who has at one time or another done all those jobs, blamed government subsidies and what some might call progress for the area's decline. ... "They paid farmers not to plant — or what to plant, like soybeans and barley," she said. "And harvesting machines put people out of work." ... Now retirement houses, second homes and golf courses are spreading in the town of Cape Charles on the bay, for those who can afford the $14 round trip from Norfolk through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. But down the back roads, away from the water, half the people are barely literate, and the average income is $9,000 a year. (NYT; usr: opensewer; pwd: iswatching)

Saturday, August 16

We should learn to love our cars: "The truth in question is that motorcars are dreadful things but human beings love 'em. There's a contradiction there, but refusing to accept that we are a mass of contradictions is one of our biggest denial issues... [Does the car culture] make New York a machine city, a petro-freak, abhorrent waste land? Not a bit. Architect Rem Koolhaas calls it the culture of congestion. The city where the car runs free is the most human-proportioned metropolis on the planet, the most encouraging to walk in and on and through. It is a natural landscape, a modern natural landscape. For all its skyscraping, it is curiously human-dimensioned. And curiously full of cars... The streets run hither and thither across town and the avenues are adorned by carefully synched traffic lights to help people drive up and down the island. Get a roll on at 42 miles per hour and you can get halfway downtown in one exciting rush."

Tuesday, August 12

"When students in Biloxi, Miss., show up this morning for the first day of the new school year, a virtual army of digital cameras will be recording every minute of every lesson in every classroom." The language in the article betrays the military/prison charateristics of such a project. Schools into prisons = students into prisoners...

Sunday, August 10

The Unbearable Heaviness of Industry: The scenes in these black-and-white photographs ... seem from the Industrial Revolution at its worst. But they are very much part of today's China, where glitzy electronics and the crudest of mechanical industries coexist.

From the New York Times. Be sure not to miss the slide show, and take a look at Zhou Hai's website. Thanks to our friend Maria for the link. (usr: opensewer; pwd: iswatching)

Thursday, August 7

I haven't been following the recall donnybrook in California too closely, and now it seems two big name candidates - Schwarzenegger and Huffington - are in. The potential for an Arnold candidacy had me wondering (and worrying a little) but last week I found an interesting piece that made me feel a little better about an Arnold governorship. How many other candidates have gotten stoned on camera? Hard to be a rabid drug warrior with that on your resume. What other candidate has said things like, "I have no sexual standards in my head that say this is good or this is bad. 'Homosexual'—that only means to me that he enjoys sex with a man and I enjoy sex with a woman... it's all legitimate to me" ? Perhaps he's a politician who'll actually leave people's personal lives alone....
And hey, he did make a movie with ex Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura.

Wednesday, August 6

Illegal linking? Linking as a terrorist act? Jailed for distributing information... think about this extended in a broad sense....

Tuesday, August 5

Fox Television News - home of powerful presidential critique, spoken by an articulate defender of the Constiution and liberty?

Monday, August 4

Following up - not only non-threatening notes, but also pictures of dynamite can get you banned from the airways (from
Saying you don't have a bomb in your bag is, apparently, an arrestable bomb threat.