June 30, 2006
Pulp often ties Guns-N-Roses for my favorite band (and Jarvis Cocker ties Vincent Gallo for the celebrity I most crush on). Via Ace, I found INDCJournal posting William Shatner’s version of the Pulp hit “Common People”. That led me to YouTube and their whole collection of Pulp videos. I’ve posted “Do you remember the first time” above. The video made me kind of dizzy but the song is great.
It has the added bonus of being the first song Peter and I ever dance to together. We met at a Britpop club, he had come over to talk to me and this song came on. He says I exclaimed “I love this song!” and he asked me to dance. The rest is an almost 5-year history (”who took the over bet on 6 months on that one!?”-Pheeleepok).
Prime Minister Koizumi at Graceland: Bush, Koizumi pay their respects to ‘the king’
I’ll be celebrating our nation’s freedom by playing poker and lounging on the beach in Atlantic City.
June 29, 2006
*I know the pretty girl at Pretty Numbers. Welcome her to the NYC section.
A couple of days ago, Dawn Summers informed me there were rumors of a Bush-Condi relationship that had caused Laura Bush to move out of the White House. Dawn (who to her credit hasn’t spread this rumor like she’s spread previous ones) and I, of course, made all the requisite jokes about it, and laughed for a good 5 minutes.
But today I heard this same rumor from a serious-ish friend. Apparently, it’s really circulating. My friend isn’t even political.
Wonkette doubts the rumors but notes “Despite our big-time skepticism with respect to the Bush-Condi rumors, we’ll never say never when presented with a seemingly outlandish tale of presidential misbehavior.”
I dunno, I’ll go ahead and say ‘never’.
Technorati Tags: Yearly+Kos Alexander+Cockburn Christopher+Hitchens Iraq+War Human+Shields
Al Gore says that the ‘vitriol’ in politics today comes ‘mostly’ from the right. Tom Elliot doesn’t quite think so.
“I came in the wrong door when I first got here,” [Howard] Dean said. “I came in the back, and everybody was talking about praising the Lord, and I thought, ‘I am home. Finally, a group of people who want to praise the Lord and help their fellow man just like Jesus did and just like Jesus taught.’ Thank you so much for doing that for me.”
“My father used to tell us how much strength he got from religion,” he told the Globe, “but we didn’t have Bible readings. There are traditions where people do that. We didn’t. People in the Northeast don’t talk about their religion. It’s a very personal, private matter, and that’s the tradition I was brought up in.”
Dean himself is frank on this point, perhaps too frank. “[I] don’t go to church very often,” the Episcopalian-turned-Congregationalist remarked in a debate last month. “My religion doesn’t inform my public policy.” When Dean talks about organized religion, it is often in a negative context. “I don’t want to listen to the fundamentalist preachers anymore,” he shouted at the California Democratic Convention in March. And, when he discusses spirituality, it is generally divorced from any mention of God or church. “We are not cogs in a corporate machine,” he preached last month in Iowa. “We are human, spiritual beings who deserve better consideration as human beings than we’re getting from this administration.”
Then, the hard part began: getting the land for the bike trail–a fight that ultimately wound its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Part of the struggle involved convincing the local Episcopal diocese to cede ownership of a stretch of old railroad tracks that ran across their property. When the church first resisted, threatening to join a lawsuit, “Howard went to talk to them into it,” says Sharp. Thanks to Dean’s persistence, the Episcopalians eventually succumbed. But their initial resistance left a bad taste in Dean’s mouth. As Dean has described it in recent months, the dispute over the bike path caused him to break with the Episcopal Church and become a Congregationalist.
Technorati Tags: Howard+Dean+Religion Howard+Dean Religion Christianity
I am, pretty obviously, all riled up about the Corporal Shalit kidnapping. I feel like it’s a turning point in dealing with terrorists. So far it has been the case that a kidnapping earns some strong words from various world leaders, then a head is returned or a video of the beheading is found, and the world waits for them to do it again. I just have a feeling that’s not the way it’s going to go this time. Israel seems determined to burn the place down to find their soldier. I salute them in their goal and wish them success.
Curious what the Brits were thinking about the Corporal Shalit kidnapping, I did a little stroll through their newspapers. Most of the coverage is, for once, sympathetic to the Israelis but capitulation is still suggested just a little too often.
Talking about the captured soldier, Osama Hamdan, a Hamas spokesman, said: “It is premature to discuss this matter.
“If the Israelis want to trade them (Palestinian politicians) for the soldier then let them say it frankly and then we will react.”
He insisted the case of the Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit who Palestinian militants were holding and the Hamas politicians was different.
“He’s an Israeli soldier, a prisoner of war, taken in a battle and falls under a legal category,” Hamdan said of Shalit.
“What happened yesterday were hostage-takings and acts of terrorism.”
Just so we’re clear, Hamas is the Palestinian government. So, the spokesman for the Palestian goverment just said that kidnapping soldiers is ‘legal’. Are you listening, Europe? THE SPOKESMAN FOR THE PALESTINIAN GOVERNMENT SAID THAT KIDNAPPING SOLDIERS IS LEGAL. Just making sure everyone is aware…..
The Guardian thinks that bombing the electric supply was just plain mean and also that Palestinians are more open to dialogue than those meanie Israelis who just continue the cycle of violence blah blah:
Bombing bridges may have some military logic, but the destruction of a power station seems intended solely to intimidate and inflict collective punishment. No other purpose is achieved by cruelly depriving hundreds of thousands of ordinary Gazans of their electricity supply (and shutting down water pumps) in sweltering heat. The international community, rightly alarmed at this dangerous escalation, can only call for restraint and back whatever diplomatic moves are afoot, through Egyptian mediation, to secure a peaceful outcome to a grave crisis.
Polling evidence consistently shows that a majority of Palestinians, many of whom voted for Hamas to protest against a corrupt and ineffective PLO, back negotiations with Israel. The obverse is true of Israelis. But there can clearly be no negotiations until the guns fall silent and the harsh cycle of attack, retaliation and vengeance is broken.
If Corporal Shalit is killed while in the hands of militants linked to Hamas, any prospect of a rapprochement between Israel and a Hamas-led Palestinian Government will vanish for years to come, perhaps for ever.
Israel will seek revenge against those it holds responsible — not only on the Hamas leadership in Gaza but also against the group’s more militant exiled leaders in Beirut and Damascus. But should Israel’s military pressure — or a deal to swap Palestinian prisoners for the soldier — persuade Hamas to release Corporal Shalit, surprising possibilities could open up.
The Scotsman makes you pay to read some of their pieces, including the one titled “Israel should pause for thought”. Israel has paused for thought. They thought ‘those bastards took our soldier and we’re going to do whatever it takes to get him back.” Here’s to hoping they stick with that thought.
June 28, 2006
President Vladimir V. Putin ordered Russia’s secret services today to find and kill those who kidnapped four Russian embassy employees in Iraq and then executed them, the Kremlin announced in a statement.
“The president gave instructions to the Russian special services to take all measures for finding and destroying the criminals who committed this atrocity,” the Kremlin said, according to the official Russian Information Agency.
Of course, because it’s Russia, you can’t completely escape the crazy:
American military commanders in Iraq pledged to help find the hostages and, after their deaths, to assist in finding those who killed them. But far from finding common cause over the killings, many Russian officials, clerics, politicians and commentators have blamed the deaths on the United States and the failure of the American-led forces to provide security.
The lower house of Parliament voted today to adopt a statement that referred only to the “occupying countries” in Iraq, but blamed them for the deaths. “We believe they could have prevented the tragedy,” the statement said.
Well, to them we say ’suck it’. Had you helped us in the first place, instead of counting the Saddam bucks and trying to stay influential, perhaps Iraq would be more secure today.
Ain’t nobody going nowhere:
Israeli forces appeared to be stepping up the pressure on the Palestinians. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that Israel would not hesitate to use “extreme steps” in its effort to rescue the soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, 19.
Israeli forces conducted an air strike on a Hamas training camp in southern Gaza. According to witnesses, Israeli troops also took over the old Gaza airport and moved toward Rafah on the road that marks the border between Gaza and Egypt while Egyptian troops watched.
As Israeli tanks took positions on the outskirts of the airport, more tanks and ground forces massed in staging areas along the northeastern and southern border fence with Gaza, especially around Nahal Oz and Kerem Shalom.
Israel destroys bridges and a power station in Gaza in an effort to get their soldier back. Prime Minister Olmert said that Israel is ready to take extreme steps (I love that destroying bridges and cutting off power is not seen as extreme) to get their guy.
On Tuesday, as Palestinians tried to block roads with dirt mounds and barbed wire against any Israeli armored assault, their political factions completed a draft agreement aimed at a national unity government that could include an implicit recognition of Israel by Hamas.
The prospect of an invasion, threatened by Israel if Corporal Shalit was not released, seemed to have pushed the Palestinians toward agreement after months of internal fighting.
America should take a good look at Israeli actions and learn that the kid gloves treatment will never work. The terrorists in Iraq know we won’t scorch the earth to recover kidnapped Americans, lest we get an earful from the ‘international community’. Israel plain doesn’t care. I want to be more like them.
June 27, 2006
A majority of Americans support the flag-burning amendment (not this American, but that’s besides the point). So, obviously, Republicans are only pushing it to help drive conservatives to the polls in November–as CNN.com takes pains to remind its readers twice in one article:
The measure was the latest in a series of controversial election-year votes engineered by the chamber’s GOP leaders in an effort to entice the party’s conservative base to the polls in November.
And then 2 paragraphs later:
A constitutional ban on flag burning is seen as being more widely popular than the proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriages. A gay-marriage ban was defeated earlier this month and was seen as another attempt by the GOP to mobilize its conservative base before November.
Technorati Tags: CNN+Bias Flag+Burning+Amendment Republicans Democrats
I love that Michelle Malkin is inadvertently flashing the British sign for F-U in her latest Hot Air video.