Blacknell.net

Politics, technology, and society. And the seasonal incursion of pro cycling.

Month: September 2006 (Page 1 of 2)

Wow.

There really aren't any words for this, at the moment. As cynical and partisan as I've become in the past few years, I'd really like this to turn out to be a mistake . . .

Vote No, Virginia

Do something about it.

Post-mortem on the Great Writ

Read Glenn Greenwald's take on the moments-old 65-34 vote in favor of destroying one of the basic tenents of democracy. I'm too appalled to say anything more.

Shilling for Kazakhstan

Today's Washington Post brings us a editorial from one S. Frederick Starr, who admonishes us against criticizing Kazakstan, a despotic regime that is rife with human rights abuses. Starr rolls out what has become a tired refrain of his kind, amounting to "well, if we don't buy their oil, someone else will!" The piece only identifes Starr as "chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies." Harmless enough, yes? Harper's has something that might interest the reader:
Starr, who is perhaps the [Uzbekistan President] Karimov regime's most outspoken advocate in Washington—a regime that once tortured a political prisoner to death with methods that included the use of boiling water and then arrested his elderly mother when she complained. He also speaks fondly of several other despotic governments in central Asia, a region he views almost exclusively through the prism of American geopolitical interests and with little interest in issues like human rights and corruption.
Perhaps the Washington Post's readers would like to know that. But hey, who am I to criticize, when - in a few short hours from now - my own legislature will vote to legalize torture and the indefinite detention of anyone, based solely upon the word of the President.

A Rather Green Bryant Park


Fortress of Solitude

I just finished (a few years after everyone else did, apparently) Fortress of Solitude, by Jonathan Lethem.  It is an  . . . *amazing*  examination of race.  I have never come across a book (or article, or movie, or . . .) that has done a better job of capturing the impact of race in the 70s and 80s.  Read it.

Rubbish

I think it's a wonderful word, especially when describing something that is, in fact, rubbish.  Who knew that my appreciation for the word would land my name on the pages of both the New York Times (here) and the Wall Street Journal (last item on page here)?

Your camera needs a gun.

A brilliant solution to a growing problem. I'll definitely be doing this next time I need to check luggage.

And cowards, too

So, George Allen's official blog is too cowardly to actually accept comments that don't already agree with him. Surprise. But it sure seems to be happy to come here and spew it's unbelievable crap. Just like the candidate - not at all open to anything that doesn't fit with its small-minded and racist worldview. Oh, and more evidence that he's a liar.

Isn’t it a mortal sin

to get your mother to lie for you?

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