Monthly Archives: December 2008

Krugman looks for a word

Looking for a word

Unusually, I’m having a vocabulary problem. There has to be some word for the kind of person who considers his mild discomfort the equivalent of torture, crippling injury, or death for other people. But I can’t think of it.

What brings this to mind is this from Alberto Gonzales:

I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.

This reminded me of Laura Bush’s remark on carnage in Iraq:

And believe me, no one suffers more than their president and I do when we watch this.

Remember this. And remember, too, that for long years these people were considered heroic patriots, defenders of the nation.

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How much snow fell in Spokane Washington this month?

Nearly 60 inches.  That is a LOT of snow.  Spokane sits against the Rockies about 100 miles from the Canadian border, directly below some of BC’s best skiing country.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/12/31/spokane_buried_by_record_dec_snows/

From Sydney, where they just couldn’t wait any longer to get this ugly year behind them

Happy New Year.

Harold Pinter

Harold Pinter in conversation at the British Library

A few months before his death, Harold Pinter was interviewed by actor Harry Burton at the British Library to commemorate the donation of his archive. In this edited version of their conversation, Pinter reminisces about his years in rep theatre, talks about his relationship with his father, discusses his poetry – and explains why not everything Alan Ayckbourn says about him is true …

audio file here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/audio/2008/dec/31/harold-pinter-podcast

War propaganda

Haaretz notes the launch, by the Israeli military, of a YouTube channel.

The channel was launched as part of the army’s PR campaign to draw international support for its military operation on Hamas’ infrastructure in Gaza.

The channel is here: http://www.youtube.com/idfnadesk

As with Desert Storm, video footage taken from remote controlled weapons or from the vantage of the unit firing rockets are used as a propaganda tool.  “Isn’t this technology cool!?”

We don’t see the chests exploding or the heads on fire, of course.  That’s all the wrong reality.

As one observer put it on NPR radio several years ago, the signal difference between Al Jazeera and the US media in their the coverage of the Iraq war was that the US media showed the rockets being launched and Al Jazeera showed them landing.

Quote of the day – “famous duster-movie prop for sale” category

George Bush, 2001, talking to reporters about the Crawford ‘ranch’, his forever home…

“But when you’re from Texas — and love Texas — this is where you come home. It’ll be the house where I live in for the rest of my life. I like my own home, and I don’t mind the heat.”

Quote of the day – “Huh?” category

From Michael Gerson in today’s Washington Post.  Gerson, of course, was George Bush’s speech-writer.

Obama does not need the service of nymphomaniacs on his honeymoon.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/30/AR2008123002400.html?hpid=opinionsbox1