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The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.
Testosterone and Brain Cells
29 Sep 2006 11:10 am
A case-study at YouTube. And I'm not embedding this one because he might find out and beat the crap out of me.
At that point [before testosterone injections] I weighed around 165 pounds. I now weigh 185 pounds. My collar size went from a 15 to a 17 1/2 in a few months; my chest went from 40 to 44. My appetite in every sense of that word expanded beyond measure. Going from napping two hours a day, I now rarely sleep in the daytime and have enough energy for daily workouts and a hefty work schedule. I can squat more than 400 pounds. Depression, once a regular feature of my life, is now a distant memory. I feel better able to recover from life's curveballs, more persistent, more alive. These are the long-term effects. They are almost as striking as the short-term ones.
Because the testosterone is injected every two weeks, and it quickly leaves the bloodstream, I can actually feel its power on almost a daily basis. Within hours, and at most a day, I feel a deep surge of energy. It is less edgy than a double espresso, but just as powerful. My attention span shortens. In the two or three days after my shot, I find it harder to concentrate on writing and feel the need to exercise more. My wit is quicker, my mind faster, but my judgment is more impulsive. It is not unlike the kind of rush I get before talking in front of a large audience, or going on a first date, or getting on an airplane, but it suffuses me in a less abrupt and more consistent way. In a word, I feel braced. For what? It scarcely seems to matter.
The Big T correlates with energy, self-confidence, competitiveness, tenacity, strength and sexual drive. When you talk to men in testosterone therapy, several themes recur. "People talk about extremes," one man in his late 30's told me. "But that's not what testosterone does for me. It makes me think more clearly. It makes me think more positively. It's my Saint Johnswort." A man in his 20's said: "Usually, I cycle up the hill to my apartment in 12th gear. In the days after my shot, I ride it easily in 16th." A 40-year-old executive who took testosterone for bodybuilding purposes told me: "I walk into a business meeting now and I just exude self-confidence. I know there are lots of other reasons for this, but my company has just exploded since my treatment. I'm on a roll. I feel capable of almost anything."
The New York Times reports:The [military detention] bill’s ultimate passage was assured on Wednesday when Democrats agreed to forgo a filibuster in return for consideration of the [Specter] amendment [on habeas, which lost by a 48-51 vote]. Any changes in the Senate bill, however, would have made it impossible for Republican leaders to meet their goal of sending the bill to the White House before adjourning on Friday to hit the campaign trail.
Underscoring the political stakes involved, White House spokesman Tony Snow said today that President Bush will emphasize Democratic opposition to the bill in campaign appearances.
“He’ll be citing some of the comments that members of the Democratic leadership have made in recent days about what they think is necessary for winning the war on terror,” Mr. Snow told reporters en route to a fundraiser in Alabama, according to a transcript provided by the White House.
So let me get this straight: The Democrats give up the chance at filibustering one of the worst bills in recent memory because they were afraid that the President would paint them as soft on terrorism.
After the bill passes, the President plans to paint them as soft on terrorism.
What a spineless, worthless lot the Democrats in the Senate are. They deserve every lost Senate and House seat that comes from this.
[I]t is still difficult to understand the Democrats' strategy here. They failed to try to mount a filibuster because they feared being attacked as coddlers of the terrorists. But now they are going to vote against the bill, thereby ensuring those exact accusations will be made, and loudly (the White House already started today). Yet at the same time, they absented themselves the whole time from the debate (until they magically appeared today) and thus lost the opportunity to defend their position. They make this same mistake over and over.
Carper, Johnson, Landrieu, Lautenberg, Lieberman, Menendez, Nelson (Fla.), Nelson (Neb.), Pryor, Rockefeller, Salazar, and Stabenow
the center of the piece is an argument that she's been a capable but undistinguished senator without clear beliefs, and that that's a problem for the presidency.
Today Clinton offers no big ideas, no crusading causes—by her own tacit admission, no evidence of bravery in the service of a larger ideal. Instead, her Senate record is an assemblage of many, many small gains. Her real accomplishment in the Senate has been to rehabilitate the image and political career of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Impressive though that has been in its particulars, it makes for a rather thin claim on the presidency. Senator Clinton has plenty to talk about, but she doesn’t have much to say.
Hm those kinds of considerations (how remarkable are her legislative accomplishments?) might be relevant for a Senator who's merely a Senator and pondering a prez run, but Hillary operates under completely different semiotic rules. She's iconic, for better and for worse.
Posted by: solomongrundy at September 28, 2006 11:52 AM
“He kicked through the wall,” Shawna Rose, Louboutin’s public-relations director, said the other day, pointing to a large, jagged crater just to the left of the office’s front door. “When I got off the elevator, I saw piles and piles of drywall and fibreglass. The door was wide open. My first thought, even though it wasn’t logical, was water damage.” The date was June 26th, a Monday morning. Rose went through the door, only to come upon a scene out of an especially hellacious sample sale. Shoeboxes and lids askew. Tissue paper everywhere. Lefts without rights strewn across the room, their trademark scarlet soles upturned like pools of blood in a Brian De Palma movie.Did you catch that? Dude kicked through drywall to get his greedy, fashionable hands on their Spring line of unwearably avant-garde footwear.
Q: Do these techniques even work?Didn't touch them? Does he really buy his own BS? Maybe in the sense of "we no longer have to adhere to them" we didn't touch them, true.
John McCain: They work to an extent, but we have to be very careful because we have many examples of if you torture someone they'll tell you anything [to make you stop].
Q: But can you give a specific example of when torture has ever resulted in valuable information?
JM: Only what the president talked about in his speech. There has been some valuable info gained. What techniques were used i don't know. But we have to have the moral high ground and we cant' violate the Geneva Conventions, which we've stuck to for 50 years. That's why we didn't touch the Geneva Conventions.
I've never wished so hard I could speak Wolof. "Addu Kalpin" is apparently about a gang of thugs robbing minibus passengers. The sisters do sound a little squawky and disapproving on this track, don't they? Wolof-speakers, liner-notes-havers, I welcome your insights. Also, Alif? It stands for the Women's Infantry Liberation Army. (Dude, you had me at hello.)
REID: AMERICA MUST BRING TERRORISTS TO JUSTICE
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Washington, DC — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid released the following statement today on Republicans’ announcement of a deal on legislation to bring terrorists to justice.
“Democrats are united behind the need to work on a bipartisan basis to bring terrorists to justice, and to do it in a manner consistent with our laws, our values, and our national security. Hopefully, today’s press conference means that President Bush and the congressional Republican leadership have changed course and listened to numerous national security experts such as General Colin Powell. Five years after 9/11, it is time to make the tough and smart decisions to give the American people the real security they deserve.”
Levin Statement on Military Commissions Compromise Between White House and Senate Republicans
WASHINGTON – Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., made the following statement today regarding the compromise language reached by the Administration and Senate Republicans on military commission legislation:
“Senators Warner, McCain and Graham have done an admirable job of standing up to the Administration and have produced a compromise bill that, while it has a number of problems, is a substantial improvement over the language proposed by the Administration.
“One of those problems is a provision permitting the use of coerced testimony. This provision appropriately prohibits the use of statements obtained after December 30, 2005, through “cruel, unusual, or inhumane treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution,” but it inexplicably permits the use of statements obtained through these same methods prior to that date. This approach, which was insisted upon by the Administration, would put our own troops at risk if other countries decide to apply a similar standard and is abhorrent to American values. I support the language originally proposed by Senators Warner, McCain and Graham and approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee, which would exclude statements obtained by cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, without regard to when the statements were obtained.
“I also expect to work with Senators Specter and Leahy, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to address a provision that would eliminate the writ of habeas corpus for detainees in U.S. custody, even in cases where they have no alternative means to prove that they are being improperly held.”
With Congress planning to adjourn by Sept. 30, it is possible that last-minute snags could complicate or even prevent the bill's passage. But top Democrats in both houses indicated that they will not stand in the bill's path and risk being blamed for its demise.
“They are many of us that are concerned about this habeas corpus issue,” Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin said Wednesday before the deal was unveiled. “We don’t know what will be in the final bill, but if they (Republicans) try to remove and extinguish up to 50 pending lawsuits where prisoners who have been held for years are asking (to contest) the charges brought against them, they’ll be some of us who’ll be ready to fight that on the Senate floor.”
This being election season, as soon as a reporter heard Durbin say that, she pounced on the political angle, asking whether in the run-up to Election Day, Durbin’s stance might be “a risky strategy” for Democrats “because it might make it look like you’re siding with terrorists?”
“Standing up for the Constitution can be risky at times,” Durbin replied.
Most Democrats appear poised to support the bill, but some say they will insist on being given more information before supporting changes to the War Crimes Act. Representative Jane Harmon, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said she will insist that the president detail the interrogation techniques he plans to approve, and provide a legal justification for each one before the intelligence committee.
Chris Clarke makes me really happy today, not least because the guy he filets totally deserves it.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday that Democrats were "on the sidelines watching the catfights" among Republicans on terrorism legislation. He said they had little choice until the GOP settled on its position.
Serious physical pain or suffering means "bodily injury that involves"
(1) a substantial risk of death;
(2) extreme physical pain;
(3) a burn or physical disfigurement of a serious nature, not to include cuts, abrasions, or bruises; or
(4) significant loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.
So what does "serious" physical pain or suffering mean? Apparently only "extreme physical pain," plus certain horrible forms of injury and disfigurement, but it does NOT include the infliction of cuts, abrasions, or bruises.
NOTE ALSO that the infliction of physical pain or suffering, however severe, does not count as "serious" pain or suffering, UNLESS IT OCCURS THROUGH "BODILY INJURY," whatever that means.
I can't understand the paragraph about "serious" mental pain or suffering. But if the legal parsers turn for instruction to the language about "serious" physical pain or suffering, they will be inspired to define "serious" mental pain or suffering very narrowly indeed. We get a return here to extreme pain, organ failure, and death. The Bybee torture memo lives! In the years to come, we can look forward to learned disquisitions on the meaning of "serious" pain, "extreme" pain, organ failure, bodily injury, burns and disfigurements of a "serious nature."
So the fine print is terrible, and that's just the beginning.
The day (or hour) after this bill is passed, Bush will publicly announce his interpretation of Common Article Three. It will be the same flexible standard (linked to the "shocks the conscience" formula) that appeared in Bush's original bill. Only now, Congress isn't "stained" by putting that language directly in the legislation.
In one way this "compromise" is WORSE than Bush's original bill. Instead of redefining Common Article Three itself, the new legislative proposal gives the President carte blanche to do so himself, without any possibility of judicial review. So the governing interpretation of Common Article Three could turn out to be MUCH WORSE than what appeared in Bush's original bill. Not only that, but the bill gives the President a free hand in interpreting all of the Geneva Conventions. Get ready for some very creative interpretation of other Geneva provisions. (Expect that the Supreme Court's extension of Common Article III to suspected terrorists will be whittled away to nothing.)
All this of course is combined with the habeas-stripping provisions that deny torture victims any judicial remedy whatsoever, and the rewriting of the War Crimes Act so that torture (by which I mean torture rather than the administration's fancy definition of "torture") is no longer a federal crime.
And yes the bill does effectively block reference to Geneva even in criminal trials, since the ability to prosecute war crimes is extremely narrowly circumscribed in the ways we have seen.
"We've got to go on the offensive," explained a senior Democratic aide, "and keep our eye on the ball -- and that's the economy"
"We're not going to win 15 seats on the war in Iraq," said another Democratic staffer, insisting it is the economy that will, in the words of Roll Call, "bring the party across the goal line."
Sen. Debbie Stabenow is quoted as saying the 2006 election "is all about jobs."
Once Democrats do weigh in, their strategy is to show there is no daylight between the two parties on fighting terrorism, Democrats say.
"Marcuse believed that the workers and the prosperous, technologically advanced countries now have their needs satisfied beyond sufficiency to superfluity by the power elite, but much of what they receive is the satisfaction of false needs, while their true needs remain undisoverable even by themselves. Do you understand what I'm getting at? Let me put it in another way. The notion Marcuse calls surplus repression has to be fought by liberating ourselves from the constaints of dominant sexual practice. It's true that there will be no revolution without sexual revolution, but it's also true that there will be no sexual revolution without homosexual revoliution. Do you understand what i mean?"
"Wait a minute, Gudrun, you want us to have sex with black men?"
Gay American, former Jersey mayor and current press whore Jim McGreevey kicked off his whirlwind talk show tour yesterday by submitting to a wildly awkward chat with Oprah yesterday (stunningly liveblogged by the Grey Lady -- just scroll down), during which he actually read aloud our favorite passage from his memoir, The Confession. The utter lack of emotion as he reads of "a boastful, passionate, whispering, masculine kind of love" is the kind of audio you want to listen to alone, in a darkened room, with nothing but tissue and lotion. It's followed by a sheepish eyeroll, which is almost as priceless as the seven second pause he takes before telling Oprah that making love to his wife "was special." Good to choose those banal words carefully, though we'd guess his wife would disagree.
Via NoLandGrab, Will at onNYTurf describes how the MTA is now planning service cuts to close their deficit, in a year when they gave away $50 million in fare cuts to tourists, and are trying or tried to give away far more than that to the Jets and Bruce Ratner. Fun shit. Don't say we didn't warn you.
And via mole333 at the Daily Gotham, a New York Magazine article about Brooklyn arson fires that have, as mole333 put it, the "amazingly convenient result of helping developers":
The [Greenpoint Terminal Market] blaze was only one of the many, many “suspicious” fires to hit the Brooklyn development zones of late. Within three months, from December 7, 2005, to February 24, 2006, there were eleven such fires along Prospect Heights’ “Pacific Street Corridor,” formerly home to single-story factories and flat-fix establishments but now part of the realty zone sandwiched between the escalating rent sprawl of Williamsburg and Fort Greene and the proposed Atlantic Yards megaproject to the West.
Location, location, location. The proximity of the afflicted Prospect Heights addresses raises eyebrows: 1033 Pacific, 1084 Pacific, 1198 Pacific, 1440 Pacific. Other fires were around the corner, at 530 and 600 St. Marks Avenue. Two more occurred at 461 and 658 Park Place, with another at nearby 683 Dean Street.
No issue, however, raises the ire of activists like the mayor’s assault on the fire marshal’s office does. It is a fire marshal who figures out how a fire started and whether it was set on purpose. By law, no fire can be certified as an arson unless a marshal files a report saying it is.
“This job is not for everyone,” says one marshal. But for the meticulous few who, through copious interviews and analysis of factors like “accelerant residue” and “burn patterns,” determine whether fire was the result of an “incendiary” process, the job has deep rewards.
Ed Burke, who was a Brooklyn firefighter and spent eleven years as a fire marshal, says that what’s going on at his old job is “unbelievable … You think it can’t get worse, then it does.”
“When you hear Chief Fire Marshal Garcia in front of the City Council saying arsons are not up, I just have to laugh,” says Burke. “Of course arsons are not up. How could they be up when only a fire marshal can call a fire arson, and there aren’t any fire marshals? Back in the late eighties, around the time of the Happy Land fire, there were something like 400 marshals. In the middle nineties, we had 292. Now we’re down to 80, and 20 supervisors. That means that at any given time, you’ve got 35 or so guys actually working, and two of those are Scoppetta’s bodyguards. And only eight of them are in the field.
“We investigated every fire, from a garbage can in a project hallway to a brush fire in Staten Island. Now we don’t. They stopped investigating all car fires until people started screaming. If you once looked at 1,000 fires and now you look at 500 or 250, that knocks out three quarters of your potential arsons right there. It’s sick what they’re doing with those numbers.”
Another marshal, still on the job, says, “The department keeps saying, ‘We’re doing more with less,’ but they never say exactly how much less is less. At night, when most of the fires happen, we have exactly four fire marshals working.
“Four! Four guys, in two cars, for the whole city!
“I am not a conspiracy guy, but you can’t help thinking they made a conscious decision to get rid of us. It bothers me, because those fires on Pacific Street were extraordinary. In almost every case, you had doors kicked in and gasoline spread so flames immediately made their way up the staircase. Staircase fires are terrible. You can’t get out, people panic. The fire at 1033, where people died—we were late on that one. It had to do with our pagers. They suck. The mood here is very, very strained. It’s enough to make you cry.”
Digby lays it out better than I ever could. Summary:
It is retarded to let "moderate" Republicans fight your battles for you.
I predict that McCain and Graham are prepared to do the big el-foldo on all that and take the "victory" on amending the Geneva Convention which was never really in dispute in the first place. They will be heroes, the president will claim victory like he always does and everyone will get exactly what they need. (Man, I'll bet Joe Lieberman is kicking himself that he didn't get a piece of this. It's his kind of bipartisan deal.)
But what in the hell are the Dems going to do if McCain makes a deal and this thing gets to the floor? Are they actually going to vote for a bill that eliminates habeas corpus for terrorist suspects? Because if they don't, you know what the Republicans are going to be saying, don't you? After all, the saviors of the republic and guardian kinghts of the constitution say this bill is ok. The only reason the Dems can possibly have for opposing it now is that they are terrorist loving cowards.
The White House has argued that without more “clarity,” it will have no choice but to shut down a C.I.A. program for interrogating top terrorism suspects. But Mr. Warner, Mr. McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have argued against any changes in the language interpreting the article, saying such a change would invite other countries to reinterpret the Geneva Conventions as they saw fit, which in turn could endanger captured American troops.
The senators propose to provide clearer guidelines for interrogators by amending the War Crimes Act to enumerate several “grave breaches” that constitute violations of Common Article 3.
Simply stated, the fact that there are right now so many solidly conservative districts on the toss-up list is a sign either that Democratic strength is overstated or understated.
A woman emerged from the subway wearing an ID tag identifying her as an employee of the New York State attorney general's office. "I'm for you," she murmured to Green. How many in your department feel the same way, the candidate couldn't help asking. "Everyone," she answered. "Everyone I know in my bureau is hoping you'll win."
I only taught college classes for a total of about two years, but my experience was almost exactly like this. Via Pharyngula.
Also, Solomon and I are called "butt boys," and Solomon is further called "Mary" after he successfully induces a homosexual panic. Emma B. thinks "butt boys" should be the inspiration for the next generation of Left Behinds t-shirts, which leads me to wonder: did we ever make the first generation available? Couldn't we do it on CafePress for free? Wouldn't our reading public love a bright pink t-shirt with the LB/double-peacock logo?
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a design, courtesy of Emma B.
One question for the readers: do you think it would be better singular, that is, identifying the wearer as a "Left Behinds Butt Boy"? Or leave it like it is, so it's kind of a team jersey?
All my financial contributors were vying for payback as well. My goal had been to raise $40 million for the campaign, which, unless you’re a Clinton or a Bush, is an obscene amount to pull out of pockets. You can’t take large sums of money from people without making them specific and personal promises in return. People weren’t shy about saying what they expected for their “investments”—board appointments to the Sports Authority or the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, for example, which were coveted not just for their prestige but because they offered control over tremendously potent economic engines, with discretionary budgets in the tens of millions. The plum was the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; directors there controlled a multi-billion-dollar budget. I tried to stay as naïve about this horse trading as possible. But I allowed my staff to intimate things to donors. This is the daredevil’s dance every politician faces.
Dems 'confused,' Obama writes in latest book
WASHINGTON -- In his new book, dedicated to his mother and maternal grandmother -- the women "who raised me" -- Sen. Barack Obama accuses fellow Democrats of being "confused" as the Democratic Party "has become the party of reaction."
"We Democrats are just, well, confused," Obama writes. He goes on. "Mainly, though, the Democratic Party has become the party of reaction. In reaction to a war that is ill-conceived, we appear suspicious of all military action.
"In reaction to those who proclaim the market can cure all ills, we resist efforts to use market principles to tackle pressing problems. In reaction to religious overreach, we equate tolerance with secularism, and forfeit the moral language that would help infuse our policies with a larger meaning."
On Bush, Obama relates two encounters with the president. "Both times I found the President to be a likable man, shrewd and disciplined but with the same straightforward manner that had helped him win two elections."
Our own Emma B got a mention on today's Lunch Box. Check it out.
Holy. Fucking. Shit.
More than 2,200 women and girls have been brutally murdered in Guatemala since 2001. Up to 665 cases were registered in 2005; 527 in 2004; 383 in 2003 and 163 in 2002. In 2006, 299 cases have been reported between January and May -- a faster pace than in 2005.
According to Guatemala's Human Rights Ombudsman, up to 70 percent of murders of women were not investigated and no arrests were made in 97 percent of cases.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 — The White House took a critical step on Wednesday in its effort to get Congressional blessing for President Bush’s domestic eavesdropping program, but it ran into increasingly fierce resistance from leading Republicans over its plan to try terror suspects being held in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Democrats have allowed Republicans to fight among themselves over the issues, and appear willing to allow the issues to come to a vote rather than risk charges of political obstructionism in an election season.
But Senators Warner, McCain and Graham appeared to be providing cover for the Democrats, allowing them to stay on the sidelines while the three senators, respected Republicans with distinguished military records, take on the White House.
“We think that this is a sincere effort, based on principle, by Senators Warner, McCain and Graham, to come up with the best legislation they can,” said Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island and a member of the Armed Services Committee.
Asked whether Democrats were worried that the Republicans might yield to the White House, Mr. Reed said: “I haven’t seen any evidence of that yet. What I’ve seen is that they’re approaching this looking at the substance, not just over weeks and months, but what’s in the best interests of the United States, what’s in the best interests of American military personnel who might years from now be held.”
The administration had also faced resistance over the N.S.A. wiretapping program. The Democrats had bottled up the administration’s proposals, saying Congress was being forced to legislate “in the dark” about a secret program that few members had been briefed on. They have repeatedly used procedural maneuvers to block the proposals from coming to a vote in the Judiciary Committee, drawing accusations of obstructionism from Republicans.
But Democrats, who appeared to realize the risk of being accused of thwarting debate on national security matters, did not stand in the way of the committee vote on Wednesday.
Democrats claimed a partial victory on the wiretapping issue when they won Judiciary Committee approval of another measure that could effectively ban the security agency’s eavesdropping program.
That plan, drafted by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, would affirm that the foreign intelligence law passed by Congress in 1978, requiring court approval for eavesdropping, as the “exclusive” means of authorizing wiretaps in the United States against suspected terrorists and spies.
That set the stage for the unusual spectacle of the Judiciary Committee — and its chairman — supporting two proposals that many lawmakers said would effectively nullify each other if passed.
In the past two national elections, in 2002 and 2004, Republicans outperformed Democrats in bringing their backers to the polls, but many Democrats and independent analysts have suggested that the competition may be different this year, in part because of slumping morale among GOP activists. But Chafee's performance -- combined with reports of late-starting organization and internal bickering on the Democratic side -- suggest that the Republican advantage on turnout may remain intact even as many other trends are favoring the opposition.
"Their turnout operation is exquisite," a senior Democratic strategist said. "We are not going to match them."
About six months ago, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sat down with the Chafee campaign to construct a voter-turnout program. Weekly phone calls followed and a number of NRSC senior staffers -- including political director Blaise Hazelwood -- made regular trips to the state to ensure the structure was being built. They identified potential Chafee voters and pressed Democrats to change their party identification to "unaffiliated," a move that would allow them to vote in the Republican primary.
As the campaign wore on, Republicans began another slew of phone calls to unaffiliated voters to tell them that they could vote for Chafee and then immediately change their registration back to unaffiliated or Democrat. The RNC road-tested a new technology in the race that officials said is making their targeting program faster and more precise. It is based on a program that allows volunteers to call potential voters, note their political views and preferences on sheet of paper and immediately scan the results into a huge database known as the Voter Vault. Experts in the political practice known as microtargeting can then instantly analyze the results to determine which issues are moving voters and adjust their pitch.
Anywhere else in the country, people say, “Gee, you really published a book?” In Brooklyn, they ask when you’re going on Charlie Rose and if you know Jonathan Lethem. If not, end of conversation, time to move on. Getting off the F train right now is a young woman whose first novel was just pre-empted by Vintage for high six figures. The New York Times Magazine is writing her profile, Marion Ettlinger is taking her head shots, and she’s preapproved for a co-op on Prospect Park West.
You try writing a book under these circumstances.
I don't really believe in evil at all. I mean, I don't believe in God, and I certainly don't, therefore, believe in some sort of supernatural or trans-historical force that somehow organizes life on dark or black principles. I think there are only people behaving -- and sometimes behaving monstrously. And sometimes their monstrous behavior is so beyond our abilities to explain it, we have to reach for this numinous notion of evil. But I think it's often better to try and understand it in real terms ... either political or psychological terms. There's something, at the same time, very, very attractive about this word. ... It's a great intensifier. It just lets us say that we thoroughly abhor this behavior.
But it's quite clear, as a species ... in our nature, we are capable of acts of extraordinary love and kindness, and inventiveness, and mutual aid. And, on the other side, we are capable of acts of extraordinary destruction. And I think it's inherent. I think one of the great tasks of art is really to explore that. ...
But I'm a little suspicious of the way we want to throw up our hands and just say, "Well, it's evil." It's us. You know? And any reflection on, for example, the Holocaust, probably our greatest, lowest moment in modern history, has to finally reflect on what it is we seem to be able to be capable of. Especially once we have the power of technology to kill on a vast scale. ...
I think we have to beware, too, of treating September the 11th as the only and most spectacular event of human cruelty. There have been many, many acts of cruelty. Some of them on an even larger scale. So I can't accept the notion that somehow this punctures our understanding of human nature. We have before us, in the 20th century alone, acts of unbelievable depravity. Deliberate, methodical, bureaucratic, technological destruction of human lives in the Holocaust, for example. ... And we see it again now in those men, in those awful lunatics with their fixed beliefs. We see it again. ...
It would be one thing if Rumsfeld were in office, then made some missteps, and then Bush fired him. Presidents sometimes hire people they wind up regretting. But Rumsfeld's been in office for almost six years. And Bush has gotten rid of many members of his national security team. Colin Powell, Richard Armitage, and Richard Haas were all ditched. A lot of your prominent "liberal" national security experts -- Richard Clarke, Rand Beers, Flynt Leverett -- used to work in the Bush administration (see also Anthony Zinni). Rumsfeld is around because Rumsfeld's policies are Bush's policies. Dumping him would, at this point, be a meaningless cosmetic change.
[W]hat Rumsfeld actually represents to the Democrats is a means of attacking the Republicans on the Iraq issue without having to explain their own vote in support of the invasion.
A typical comment will be one like Chuck Schumer's of last week: "There are growing doubts about how competently he's conducted the war." (How do you competently invade the wrong country?) And so the Democrats once again will make an effort to sound antiwar out of one side of their mouths, and pro-war out the other side; they will then close their eyes and hope that they pick up 16 seats before anyone notices. If that ain't leadership, what is?
The Bush administration’s proposal to bring leading terrorism suspects before military tribunals met stiff resistance Thursday from key Republicans and top military lawyers who said some provisions would not withstand legal scrutiny or do enough to repair the nation’s tarnished reputation internationally.
Democrats, meanwhile, said they were inclined to go along with Senate Republicans drafting an alternative to the White House plan, one that would allow defendants more rights.
Democrats have essentially said they would back Senators Warner, Graham and McCain, leaving the Republicans to lead the fight against the administration, and allowing the Democrats to avoid political fallout from challenging the administration while maintaining their criticism of the administration’s handling of the war in Iraq.
“I think you’re looking for a fight that doesn’t exist,” Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader, told reporters.
Next week, I'm informed via troubled White House sources, will see the full unveiling of Karl Rove's fall election strategy. He's intending to line up 9/11 families to accuse McCain, Warner and Graham of delaying justice for the perpetrators of that atrocity, because they want to uphold the ancient judicial traditions of the U.S. military and abide by the Constitution. He will use the families as an argument for legalizing torture, setting up kangaroo courts for military prisoners, and giving war crime impunity for his own aides and cronies.
From: Kathleen Grimm (Coastal Storm Plan)
Sent: Friday, September 08, 2006 8:12 AM
Subject: Action Requested - Coastal Storm Plan Registration
To: All Department of Education Employees
From: Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm
Subject: Hurricane Preparedness Registration
August 1st marked the first official day of hurricane season for New York City, and thanks to the updated Coastal Storm Plan recently announced by the Mayor, we will be prepared should a hurricane strike at or near our City. As part of our preparation, we must ensure proper staffing to implement the plan, and to that end, the City is currently recruiting approximately 68,000 of its employees.
Today, I am reminding everyone in our agency of our obligation to serve our fellow New Yorkers, just as we do everyday, but especially if a hurricane were to reach our City, and asking once again that you volunteer as part of our staff recruitment effort. It is imperative that all of us do our part to prepare and protect the people of New York City should a hurricane strike. Our agency is recruiting 45,000 employees; to sign up, please go to www.nyc.gov/coastalstorm.
The City's Coastal Storm Plan (CSP) calls for the evacuation of threatened coastal areas and may require the City to provide emergency shelter. The shelters are located outside evacuation zones in public schools and City University of New York buildings and will be run primarily by City employees. The City must draw on the talents of all of its agencies, including ours, to staff these facilities.
None of us could forget the devastation inflicted upon the people of the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita last year, nor could we forget the overwhelming outpouring of support by the people of our City who came to the aid of those ravaged by those storms. New Yorkers have a great history of helping others, and by preparing properly in advance, we can safely and effectively guide our City through a hurricane.
Please join your colleagues in this immensely important effort by becoming a volunteer today. Attached to this letter, you will find a fact sheet that should help you answer basic questions about serving in the City's hurricane shelter system. For additional information and to volunteer, go to www.nyc.gov/coastalstorm.
Democratic Primary Polls
Source Date Cuomo Green Maloney
Green Papers 9/9 47% 35% 18%
Green Papers 9/8 50% 29% 21%
Green Papers 9/7 52% 31% 17%
Green Papers 9/6 51% 33% 16%
Qunnipiac 9/5 53% 31% 18%
Quinnipiac 9/3 40% 23% 16%
Quinnipiac 8/29 42% 26% 14%
Quinnipiac 8/5 49% 21% 9%
Quinnipiac 7/22 57% 19% 5%
Like the world needs another fucking Barbara Kruger! Apparently Banksy has been inspired by those tote bags and fridge magnets in Camden Market, emblazoned with Kruger's classic fighting-talk slogans such as 'I Shop Therefore I Am' and 'Your Body Is A Battleground'. Anticapitalist art fuck off and die!After the jump, Fycelle rounds up some more of his favorite political art.
Paris, already enjoyable as a persona for her glacial nonchalance, is only being elevated by the amusing (and slightly hysterical) upset caused by her music career. I think the 'Every CD you buy puts me further out of your league' slogan is revealing - its her wonderful air of self-containment, even when doing something as precarious and potentially embarassing as attempting to launch herself as a popstar, that pisses people right off. I often hear the word 'talent' being banded around and it makes me blush - are people really so naive about pop? Like a film, a popstar is the work of a team of people across various creative disciplines, visual and aural. Paris is doing not bad and has so far given the world three and a half good songs, which is better than Banksy's piles of shit art and stencilling.
Hey guys, I found more really great art!
I am not averse to art by any means, and neither to the idea that things like it can sometimes be profound, but it's this shit that pisses me off. Like, once a friend of mine (whose parents call themselves marxists) told me that she thought the most important duty of art was to 'express a social and political message'. I think the exact opposite! The idea that art should be massaging our (trite) moral sensibilities is obviously outrageous, but this is what so much shit vying to be called 'art' prides itself upon, including Banksy. His bullshit stunts remind me of the class clown who picks on the weakest teacher and then looks round for approval from the other kids - it's like a form of posing. There is a quote, I think it's from Proust, which is something like 'Art that contains theories is like an object on which the price tag has been left'. I like it because I've always struggled with the premium placed on ideas and meaning in a lot of art discussion and especially in my shortlived art education - it says eloquently how much art like this diminishes itself by cancelling out its own mystery. Anyway, once I was able to to free myself from the anxiety caused by the poisonous idea of 'meaning' and focus on the surfaces - the formal and aesthetic qualities - in art, I found my appreciation became both wider and deeper. Two really good essays that helped me were 'Against Interpretation' and 'The Aesthetics of Silence' by Susan Sontag.How adorable of Fycelle to struggle so mightily with the question of meaning in art! Reading that made me feel like a cynical old man, which prompted me to sit back in my leather armchair, take a puff on my pipe, and stir the embers of my study of the philosophy of art ten years ago, most of which I'm sure is completely wrong and oversimplified.
for kant, art (including poetry) stimulates a particular part of our brains that nothing else can, precisely because its ambiguities stimulate creative, associative, unpredictable thinking. it's a kind of pure reason that needs the occasional workout.
bad political art does not serve this function. there's a simple meaning and not much more.
of course, good political art comprises more than one heavyhanded political message. i'm thinking of the film maria full of grace, or some of felix gonzalez-torres' better pieces, for example.
there are many other theories of the purpose of art (especially relevant might be adorno's argument that good, critical art can be a particularly effective indirect critique of petrified ways of thinking), but i always liked kant.
Mr. Green has run for a lot of offices and has frequently been undone by his prickly personality. But when elected, he has always repaid voters by doing the job well.I couldn't say it better, though I'd add that I also trust Green's commitment to social justice, based on his record.
Green served as city consumer affairs commissioner under Mayor David Dinkins, is an advocate in the mold of Ralph Nader and came close to defeating Michael Bloomberg for mayor in 2001. His accomplishments include petitioning the Federal Trade Commission to bar "Joe Camel" cigarette ads aimed at children. His plans for the AG's office include targeting abusive practices by HMOs and, as is standard for all candidates this year, attacking Medicaid fraud.Who cares if he's behind in the polls? These endorsements could help him surge in this, the last weekend.
Green envisions an office that is oriented toward consumer protection and says that, at age 61, attorney general is his career "destination." Voters would have a good idea what they would get in choosing Green on Tuesday.
Mark Green thinks he should be US Senator, would like to be Mayor, and now understands that, like Alan Hevesi, his future glory lies in the past, and it’s time to settle for one of those elected positions to which New Yorkers like to give life tenure. If he serves as long as Louie Lefkowitz or Arthur Levitt, he can maximize his pension while becoming a beloved alter kocker and having a state office building named for him which will eventually be turned into luxury condos.
Green worked for Ralph Nader, but in that distant point in time when this was not embarrassing to admit. Cuomo’s folks have apparently tried to use the Nader connections against Green, but Green actually tried to talk Nader out of running for President (and used their relationship in an attempt to leverage him). And seriously, does anyone really believe that Green will ever express the same opinions on Israel as Nader (even if he shared them), and how would he do so as AG anyway? While working for Nader, Green apparently compiled a solid record of muckraking, which he carried through to his positions as Consumer Affairs Commissioner and Public Advocate. He’s clearly been the gold standard in each of these positions, although that means he’s to be compared to the likes of Bess Meyerson and Bruce Ratner in the former, and Betsy Gotbaum in the latter. Arguably, this all translates into relevant experience for an AG; though Green seems more the sharpshooter than the Police Chief or DA.
Mark Green’s record is at least marginally more relevant to the job than Andrew’s. Andrew’s record of “public service” to the state of New York does not deserve to be rewarded. And, voting for Mark Green is the only opportunity voters in a statewide primary will have to effectively send a message that it is time to put an end to politics as usual as practiced by the Albany bi-partisan iron triangle. Voting for Mark Green may be the equivalent of cold showers and root canal, but no one ever said that growing up would be fun.
[A]s a result of facing two paltry and absurd candidates who were buoyed by labor anger, [Ed] Towns now coasts to re-election even firmer in his commitment to business interests and less dependent on the working families of Brooklyn who so badly need his help.
Hakeem's latest flyer takes a pretty clear anti-Ratner stand. And yet when he thinks he is among Ratner supporters, he takes a completely different stand. A gentleman contacted me specifically to convey an anecdote. Here are his words (he spoke on the record):
Though I do not know Mr. Jeffries personally and have not had extended conversations with him on this issue, I feel I should relay to you what he told me around 6:45 P.M. on August 23, 2006. As I was waiting to get into the public hearing regarding the Atlantic Yards Project DEIS, Mr. Jeffries came down the line shaking hands. As he shook my hand, I asked Mr. Jeffries if he had a solid position on the project as it now stands. Mr. Jeffries looked me in the eye and said that he was "fully in favor of the project" and that he thought "it will be great for Brooklyn."
As I said, I don't know the man personally. I can only tell you what he told me that evening. I take him at his word, that he is fully in favor of the Ratner Atlantic Yards project as it is described in the current DEIS.
Jeff emphasized to me that he was standing "in a sea" of people wearing red ACORN shirts, so it probably appeared to Hakeem that Jeff was pro-Ratner. Hakeem was presumably telling him what he thought he wanted to hear.
a lack of confidence in the 'winningness' of the good guys. Remember, the only way to win this is to help out, not to sit around and pout. If you're not signed up yet to volunteer on primary day, contact your favorite campaign office or contact us to help out with NoLandGrab's efforts.This is fair enough, except that I endorsed at least two of the candidates for tactical reasons specifically because I am convinced they are going to lose. Of the others there is only one, as I said, that I'm actually passionate about, and while I haven't been able to give my time (and can't on primary day, either, since I have to vote and then travel), I have given him money.