Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Best Post Debate Coverage I Saw

I won't get the quote exactly right, but in interviewing Rudy Guiliani, who was repeating his inane and infuriating drivel about how inconsistent Kerry was in the debate, John Stewart was pointing out the what Kerry actually said was that he thought disarming Saddam was a good idea, although he disagreed with Bush's means for doing it, he added that Saddam was actually disarmed already, because there weren't weapons of mass destruction after all.


I just finished watching the debate, and I have to say, I believe that John Kerry did a good job. It will be interesting to see what other people say.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Hitting Home

In response to Bush's speech to the United Nation, Juan Cole posted this scenario yesterday, trying to frame the disintegration in Iraq in United States scale terms. He says:
  • "What would America look like if it were in Iraq's current situation? The population of the US is over 11 times that of Iraq, so a lot of statistics would have to be multiplied by that number....What if, during the past year, the Secretary of State (Aqilah Hashemi), the President (Izzedine Salim), and the Attorney General (Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim) had all been assassinated?"

God Is On Our Side

I can't figure out how to link to the post directly, but onegoodmove's September 22 post overlays the paths of the three most recent hurricans with the results of the 2000 election, showing a the hurricanes' keen interest in the counties that voted Bush. I was raised to believe that there is a theological problem with the idea that God punished people for the bad things they do, even voting for Bush, but you have to admit, it is visually striking.

Dead Leaves

Well clearly all that new leaf stuff didn't amount to much. It's been days since I posted and even longer since I wrote something substantive. New strategy now: Blogger is now my home page on my home computer. We will see how that works. I have in fact found several things worth drawing readers attention to, mostly relating the disintegrating situation in Iraq. Baghdad Burning is a very powerful, tell-it-like-it-is blog written by a woman living in Baghdad and she recently got her hands on a copy of Fahrenheit 9/11. She discusses the complicated and necessarily emotional reaction to watching American soldiers talk about the fighting, the mother of the soldier raging against the war that took her son, and the difficulty of sitting through two hours of George Bush.

She says:
  • "All in all, the film was… what is the right word for it? Great? Amazing? Fantastic? No. It made me furious, it made me sad and I cried more than I’d like to admit… but it was brilliant. The words he used to narrate were simple and to the point. I wish everyone could see the film. I know I'll be getting dozens of emails from enraged Americans telling me that so-and-so statement was exaggerated, etc. But it really doesn't matter to me. What matters is the underlying message of the film- things aren't better for Americans now than they were in 2001, and they certainly aren't better for Iraqis."

Sunday, September 19, 2004


It's fall, with glorious sunny days when the sky is blue and the wind is high. These are my worst days in the respiratory department. I get terrible allergic attacks that reduce me to a cartoon character, chasing little pills as they bounce on the floor when I drop them, accidently expelling my cough drop when I sneeze in extended exagerated bouts. Yes, I am an allegra commercial. Ugh.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Crocodile Tears

I saw the spookiest pictures today across the street from my office. The man who sells old things on the sidewalk against the wall that hides the parking garage from Ninth Avenue, behind the Time Warner monstrosity, had these old photos of children that could have been taken in the twenties or thirties . The prints had been blown up to poster size photos and foam mounted so there were old images, at twice or three times their natural size in this entirely modern showcasing, mugging at me with expressions that were droll and sweet, in clothes that were entirely old-fashioned as I walked along to my meeting. I often wonder where those guys get the stuff they sell.

I'm dropping and thinking about heading off to sleep, but have been tortured by an emotionally needy cat the last several nights. My cat, who is patently not allowed in my bedroom after bedtime, has begun steady weeping outside of my door at 2:00 am the last several nights. When I don't come and open the door, he sticks his pitiful paw under the door, and jiggles the whole door. Although it seems like he is begging for food, this has happened only a few hours after his evening meal, and I speculate that its an cry for more intimacy, which unfortunately, I'm unable to give, as I'm extremely allergic to cat dander. I've tried a couple strategies to address this, but so far nothing seems to work. Tonight I got out the better cat food and relented with a larger portion, but I'm not too optimistic.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

New Leaf

Hi, It's been a pretty long time since I have put up anything of any consequence, but starting with tonight, I am making a new commitment to the blog. I have been more flakier than usual because of an increase in work stress, and also feeling leerier of spending big chunks of time in the office on personal work. Also the computer wasn't really set up in the new home, until just a couple weeks ago, and even when it was, there was usually a bicycle propped up against the desk. Now that the bike can be propped up against the bed or the closet door, instead of the desk or the refrigerator, my access to the computer is literally inimpeded. The other big factor is that over the Labor Day weekend, I gritted my teeth and installed the cable modem that the nice girl at the Time Warner gave me. And it works! And its really quite amazing.

This weekend I spent in Pittsburgh, doing the generous and improbable. I attended my father's 50th high school reunion with him in a prosperous suburb of the city, as well as one of the old, venerable business clubs established by the city's business establishment. All in all, it was a very nice weekend, a good opportunity to get out of the city, a nice chance to see where my Dad grew up, and a good way to make him happy. A great part of what he wanted to do on the trip was to drive by the houses in which he grew up and spent time in and to see Pittsburgh again for the first time after many years. What surprised me is that while he was showing me around, not only was I seeing things that he remembered, but I was seeing the backdrop of the stories from my childhood. Where my father got hit by a car, the church tower that he climbed surrepticiously, the hill he climbed with groceries in his little wagon during the war, because his parents were saving their gas rations. One aspect of the suburb it its relentless homogeneity ("The only Catholics we knew lived in that house there") and with some notable exceptions, the people at the dinner were exceptionally conservative. I had lots of exchanges with people at the fancy dinner about how lovely the suburb was, which were followed by lots of curious comments about how it hadn't changed at all, after all these year it is still the same, which I took to be a coded way of saying that it is so nice it is still white. In fact the neighborhood, and the football field and the municipal park, and the little downtown area were a bit heavy on the all american high school nostalgia for my taste and I found myself reflecting on my own attraction and repulsion to school spirit, high school and the pursuit of popularity, when, as I got a little older, I found so much in the world that was more important and worthwhile than high school.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Buckets of Rain

I walked outside and stepped into a deluge of water, three inches deep that was running down the sidewalk. Ray Bradbury had a couple stories about never ending rain, of which days like today always remind me. The subway was uncommonly bad, as well. It seems that summer has come to an end.

Friday, September 03, 2004


There's a giant hurricane coming to Florida, a school in Russia has been under siege, the single most important election in my lifetime getting into gear with bitter, bitter recrimination, xenophobia and jingoistic rallies on all fronts, it hasn't been a good week. My homemaking preoccupations seem a wee bit indulgent these days.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Checking in

On the blog front, I have been lazy, completely slothfull. All I do is turn on the television for a few moments a night and then turn it off in rage.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

A Report from the Convention

Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo reported this:

I'm here in Madison Square Garden and I just heard the head of the South Carolina delegation announce their votes and add that South Carolina is the "most patriotic state" in the country. But of course South Carolina was also the seedbed and the leader of the only organized treason in the country's history. But I guess I'm just picky.