micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links

Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.

Please send him email at micahth@chartermi.net.

Holmquist's full archives are listed here.

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Sites Holmquist trys, and often fails, to go no more than a couple of days without visiting (some of which Holmquist regularly swipes links from without attribution)

Aljazeera.Net English
AlterNet (War on Iraq)
Alternative Press Review
Always Low Prices -- Always
Another Irani online
antiwar.com (blog)
Asia Times Online
Axis of Logic
Baghdad Burning (riverbend)
BBC News
blogdex.net ("track this weblog")
The Christian Science Monitor (Daily Update)
Common Dreams
Daily Rotten
Democracy Now
The Drudge Report
Eat the Press (Harry Shearer, The Huffington Post)
Empire Notes (Rahul Mahajan)
frontpagemag.com (HorowitzWatch)
Guardian Unlimited
The Independent
Information Clearing House
Informed Comment (Juan Cole)
Iranians for Peace

Iraq Dispatches (Dahr Jamail)
Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation
Iraq Occupation and Resistance Report (Psychoanalysts for Peace and Justice)
Mr. Show and Other Comedy
The Narco News Bulletin (blog)
The New York Times
Occupation Watch
Political Theory Daily Review
Press Action
Project Syndicate
Raed in the Middle (Raed Jarrar)
The Simpsons Archive
Simpsons Collector Sector
Technorati ("search for mth.blogspot.com")
United States Central Command
U.S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq
War Report (Project on Defense Alternatives)
The Washington Post
Wildfire (Jo Wilding)
wood s lot
www.mnftiu.cc (David Rees)

Blogs that for one reason or another Holmquist would like to read on at least something of a regular basis (always in development)

Thivai Abhor
As'ad AbuKhalil
Ken Adrian
Christopher Allbritton
Douglas Anders
Mark W. Anderson
Aziz Ansari
Atomic Archive
James Benjamin
Elton Beard
Charlie Bertsch
alister black
Blame India Watch
Blog Left: Critical Interventions Warblog / war blog
Igor Boog
Martin Butler
Chris Campbell
James M. Capozzola
Avedon Carol
Elaine Cassel
cats blog
Jeff Chang
Margaret Cho
Citizens Of Upright Moral Character
Louis CK
Les Dabney
Natalie Davis
Scoobie Davis
The Day Job
Jodi Dean
Dominic Duval
Steve Earle
Daniel Ellsberg
Tom Engelhardt
Lisa English
Barbara Flaska
Brian Flemming
Joe Foster
Yoshie Furuhashi
Al Giordano
Rob Goodspeed
Grand Puba
Guardian Unlimited Weblog
Pete Guither
The Hairy Eyeball
Ray Hanania
Mark Hand
Hector Rottweiller Jr's Web Log Jim Henley Arvin Hill Hit & Run (Reason) Hugo Clark Humphrey Indri The Iraqi Agora Dru Oja Jay Jeff Lynne d Johnson Dallas Jones Julia Kane Blues Benjamin Kepple Ken Layne Phil Leggiere Brian Linse Adam Magazine Majority Report Radio Marc Maron Josh Marshall Jeralyn Merritt J.R. Mooneyham Michael Scott Moore Bob Morris Bob Mould Mr. Show and Tell Muslims For Nader/Camejo David Neiwert NewPages Weblog Aimee Nezhukumatathil Sean O'Brien Patton Oswalt The Panda's Thumb Randy Paul Rodger A. Payne Ian Penman politx Neal Pollack Greg Proops Pro-War.com Pure Polemics Seyed Razavi Rayne Simon Reynolds richardpryor.com Clay Richards Mike Rogers Yuval Rubinstein
Steven Rubio
Saragon Noah Shachtman Court Schuett The Simpsons Archive Amardeep Singh Sam Smith Soundbitten Jack Sparks Ian Spiers Morgan Spurlock Stand Down: The Left-Right Blog Opposing an Invasion of Iraq Aaron Stark Morgaine Swann Tapped (The American Prospect) tex Matthew Tobey Annie Tomlin Tom Tomorrow The University Without Condition Jesse Walker Warblogger Watch Diane Warth The Watchful Babbler The Weblog we have brains Matt Welch
Alex Whalen
Jon Wiener
Lizz Winstead
James Wolcott
Wooster Collective
Mickey Z

Monday, June 16, 2003
"Slaughtered"? and other hyperlinks

American troops 'slaughtered' more than one hundred Iraqi civilians, most of them killed while asleep, at the early hours of Friday, June13 , eyewitnesses told IslamOnline.net.," Hossam al-Sayed writes in a June 14 IslamOnline.net story. "The U.S. forces deliberately opened fire from tanks and helicopter gunships at the houses of Iraqi civilians in Rawah, 400 kilometer to the north-west of Baghdad, killing tens of people, they charged."

Daniel Williams of The Washington Post filed a very different story that included these two paragraphs:

Officials in Washington said the site was a "terrorist training camp." However, there were no signs of firing ranges or other facilities that suggested military training. Residents of Rawah, three miles south of the camp, said the fighters had pitched their tents just three days before and were on the run from Samarra, a city about 100 miles to the southeast.

Nonetheless, the presence of such a large force underscores the breadth of anti-American armed opposition in central Iraq. Rawah residents said that the dead were mostly foreigners from Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and Afghanistan. They were apparently supporting a wide range of Iraqi fighters who are harassing U.S. troops throughout the central region, from Baghdad north to Baqubah and Tikrit and west through Fallujah and Ramadi.

It will be, at the very least, interesting to find out what actually happened.


"Iraq needs a transitional administration within three weeks if it is to avoid a descent into chaos, the most prominent Iraqi leader acceptable to all sides told The Independent last night," Patrick Cockburn writes in an Independent story dated June 16. "Adnan Pachachi, a highly regarded former Iraqi foreign minister who is expected to play a big role in a transitional Iraqi administration, criticised the heavy-handed US sweeps that have cost more than 100 Iraqi lives, calling them 'an overreaction'. He said the Americans felt 'very vulnerable and afraid'."


"In October 2002, a classified National Intelligence Estimate prepared jointly by U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Iraq possessed chemical and biological weapons. But one month later, the Defense Intelligence Agency issued a report stating that there was "no reliable information" showing that Iraq was actually producing or stockpiling chemical weapons, U.S. News has learned," David E. Kaplan and Mark Mazzetti write in a June 13 U.S. News & World Report piece designed to interest other media outlets. "The DIA's classified November assessment mirrors a Sptember [sic] analysis that the agency made on the same subject." Key paragraph:

The newly-disclosed DIA report, classified "secret,'' is entitled, "Iraq's Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapon and Missile Program: Progress, Prospects, and Potential Vulnerabilities.'' Its existence raises more questions about the quality of U.S. intelligence before the March invasion. In one section about Iraq's chemical weapons capabilities, the report says: "No reliable information indicates whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons or where the country has or will establish its chemical agent production facility." The report cites suspicious weapons transfers and improvements on Iraq's "dual-use" chemical infrastructure. Nonetheless, says a DIA spokesman, "there was no single piece of irrefutable data that said [Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein] definitely has it."

" Senate intelligence committee Chairman Pat Roberts said yesterday his panel will hold closed hearings and probably will produce a report on what U.S. intelligence agencies knew about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the war and whether the Bush administration conveyed that information accurately to the public," Susan Schmidt writes in today's Washington Post.


The Taliban is apparently eligible for rehabilitation. (Thanks to Jim Henley for the link.)


In today's Washington Post, Laura Blumenfeld reports that Rand Beers, former "top White House counterterrorism advisor" to Bush, has some very critical things to say about Team Bush's counterterrorism efforts, including:

"The administration wasn't matching its deeds to its words in the war on terrorism. They're making us less secure, not more secure," said Beers, who until now has remained largely silent about leaving his National Security Council job as special assistant to the president for combating terrorism. "As an insider, I saw the things that weren't being done. And the longer I sat and watched, the more concerned I became, until I got up and walked out."
And this:
The focus on Iraq has robbed domestic security of manpower, brainpower and money, he said. The Iraq war created fissures in the United States' counterterrorism alliances, he said, and could breed a new generation of al Qaeda recruits. Many of his government colleagues, he said, thought Iraq was an "ill-conceived and poorly executed strategy."

"I continue to be puzzled by it," said Beers, who did not oppose the war but thought it should have been fought with a broader coalition. "Why was it such a policy priority?" The official rationale was the search for weapons of mass destruction, he said, "although the evidence was pretty qualified, if you listened carefully."

He thinks the war in Afghanistan was a job begun, then abandoned. Rather than destroying al Qaeda terrorists, the fighting only dispersed them. The flow of aid has been slow and the U.S. military presence is too small, he said. "Terrorists move around the country with ease. We don't even know what's going on. Osama bin Laden could be almost anywhere in Afghanistan," he said.

As for the Saudis, he said, the administration has not pushed them hard enough to address their own problem with terrorism. Even last September, he said, "attacks in Saudi Arabia sounded like they were going to happen imminently."

Within U.S. borders, homeland security is suffering from "policy constipation. Nothing gets done," Beers said. "Fixing an agency management problem doesn't make headlines or produce voter support. So if you're looking at things from a political perspective, it's easier to go to war."

There's more but keep in mind that Beers is now an advisor for Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry.


In a story from earlier this morning, Teruaki Ueno of Reuters writes:

Japan demanded Monday that the U.S. military hand over a Marine suspected of raping a 19-year-old woman on Okinawa in a case that looks set to fuel resentment of the U.S. military presence there.

The allegation, which follows several high-profile criminal cases involving U.S. military personnel based on the island, comes at a time when Washington is considering an overhaul of its forces in Asia, about a quarter of which are based in Okinawa.

Police in Naha, the capital, said they had obtained an arrest warrant for Lance Corporal Jose W. Torres, who allegedly raped a Japanese woman after punching her in the face on May 25.

The 21-year-old Marine, whose hometown was withheld, is in U.S. military custody.


"The Supreme Court upheld a controversial anti-crime policy in Richmond's public housing projects today, ruling unanimously that putting the streets and sidewalks of the complexes off-limits to nonresidents does not violate the constitutional right to free speech," Charles Lane writes in a Washington Post story filed less than an hour ago.


"Scientists say they've identified a flawed gene that appears to promote manic-depression, or bipolar disorder, a finding that could eventually help guide scientists to new treatments," Malcolm Ritter writes in an AP story from last night, that also notes that Dr. John Kelsoe of the University of California, San Diego is the "senior author" of the study. More:

Genetics clearly play a role. Kelsoe's work focused on a gene called GRK3, which influences the brain's sensitivity to chemical messages brain cells send each other. Defects in the gene might promote manic-depression by making people oversensitive to these messages, which are carried by dopamine and other substances, he said.

Kelsoe and colleagues found statistical evidence tying a particular variant of the GRK3 gene to the disease. They tracked the inheritance of this variant from parent to child in families with a history of bipolar disorder. Overall, the variant was passed along more often than one would expect by chance to a child who later developed the disease.

That suggests the variant promotes susceptibility to bipolar disorder.

The association between the variant gene and the disorder appeared in one group of 153 families and a second group of 275 families. That association is only statistical, and Kelsoe said researchers now are looking for biological evidence that this variant of the gene acts abnormally.


Ted Joans Lives


Plenty of a tickets are reportedly being sold for a horribly named basketball game.


10-10 forever.