Archive for February of 2007

February 19, 2007
Nouvelle Vague, Evil and Dangerous

I just came back from one of the most stirring and sensual experiences I've ever had, a concert by Nouvelle Vague in Uebel & Gefährlich. They were finalement francais, tres chic, golden and gorgeous, lovely and luscious, obercool, übersexy and gewaltig geil. If you missed the concert tonight, then it sucks to be you.

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February 13, 2007
Hazardous to Your Health

While the site was down, I discovered that acquaintenances of mine -- well, one colleague, anyway -- have been checking back to see if I've still successfully managed to quit smoking. If that's what you're here for, Gentle Reader, then thank you for your interest and I'm pleased to inform you that after six weeks, I haven't touched the stuff, and I haven't missed it either.

It's amazing to remember how impossible it seemed, for years, to kick the habit, and then one day I made a New Year's resolution, went cold turkey, and just like that it was all over. Now I'm wondering how many other apparently impenetrable barriers I can burst through with no effort at all. I'd been playing around with the idea of quitting for a long time, telling everyone that I'd given it up while schnorring from everyone in sight, so much that I was straining friendships and offending strangers. I especially liked Tom Waits' line to Iggy Pop in Coffee and Cigarettes: "Since I quit, I can have one." Well, I've really quit now, and I won't be having another one.

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February 12, 2007
Interrogator Confesses Abuse of Iraqi Prisoners on WaPo

(I posted this item as a diary on the Daily Kos late last week while my own site was temporarily down, and it turned out to be my first trip to the Recommended List. It got as far up as #2 on the list, quite an honor for dKos contributions. I'd say that was partly in recognition of my own commentary on the story, which I think was fairly well written, but, to be honest, mostly because I was the first one to write about the Washington Post editorial, which tells a very disturbing and important story.)

It was bound to start sooner or later. In today's Washington Post, a former Army contractor named Eric Fair has admitted to the abuses that he committed as an interrogator of Iraqi prisoners.

Despite my best efforts, I cannot ignore the mistakes I made at the interrogation facility in Fallujah. I failed to disobey a meritless order, I failed to protect a prisoner in my custody, and I failed to uphold the standards of human decency. Instead, I intimidated, degraded and humiliated a man who could not defend himself. I compromised my values. I will never forgive myself.

Most of our knowledge about the abuses conducted with the approval of the Bush regime has been anonymous allegations. But before long, the people involved, both victims and perpetrators, will begin to tell their stories in detail. What Eric Fair did is, by his own admission, immoral and unforgivable, but he's done the right thing by coming forward. The time is now for more people like him to shine a light on the atrocities conducted in our name.

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February 12, 2007
Uh, Sorry About That

The site went away for a few days because, erm, some slacker had fallen behind paying his provider bills.

Your regularly scheduled programming has returned.