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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holmquist's full archives are listed here.
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)
Blogs that for one reason or another Holmquist would like to read on at least something of a regular basis (always in development)
Monday, March 31, 2003
Assessing this blog
“You ‘don't trust’ ‘Team Bush’… That's the bottom line of your every non-basketball-related entry and the conclusion you draw from every single news story,” Saragon wrote today in an exchange about “Foggy.”
I have been thinking some similar thoughts myself. Since Operation Iraqi Freedom began almost all of my commentary on the war has been loaded with the message that the Bush Administration has not been honest about this war even with the creation of a new a dominant discourse that I outlined in “Why I don't believe Bush and don't believe you should ‘support our troops.’”
I guess I have to say that this has happened because of my particular interest in this subject and because for a variety of reasons it is the matter in this war that I feel most comfortable to comment on. Military analysis is good but I really don’t have much to add right now, with the exception of my suspicion that the longer the U.S. military –or should I say “coalition forces”- delay moving into Baghdad, the more likely stiff resistance in and around that city from the Iraqi military is due to Uncle Sam not looking particularly strong. (What do you know? I guess I did have one thing to say.)
This blog is a hobby and I would sincerely worry if I knew that anybody went to mth.blogspot.com for their news, so I don’t feel the need to include everything here or comment on all of the event’s of the world. I try to write interesting entries that say something substantial that you aren’t going to read somewhere else, or at least not everywhere else. (Well that and create a set of bookmarks on Michigan State football and men’s basketball games.) Hopefully I will continue to write such entries, which is to say that I believe I have done so already, and at least a small number of readers will continue to read those entries.
Sunday, March 30, 2003
Till next season...
Texas defeated my beloved Spartans today 85-76. So MSU finishes the season with a 22-13 record.
Aside from giving up 85 points, Michigan State's biggest problems today were poor shooting, turnovers and foul trouble. These are the same problems that hampered the team all season and so it is fitting in some cosmic sense that I am unable to appreciate that they were the reason they lost their final game. And yet the team hung in there and was in the game till the final minute despite not playing a pace anything like what they have preferred. That was symbolic of the team's season as well. And remember they did this with no consistent scoring threat and nobody comfortable in the point guard spot.
Thanks to seniors Adam Wolfe, Adam Ballinger and especially Aloysius Anagonye for the memories.
I'm sure Tom Izzo thinks next season is going to be a lot better.
The game conveniently ended just in time to switch over and watch King of the Hill. Did I do that? No I did not.
Saturday, March 29, 2003
My beloved Spartans advanced to the Elite Eight tonight with a 60-58 win over defending champs Maryland. MSU has a 54-40 lead in the second half but Maryland then scored 15 straight points. MSU came back from a 56-56 deficit with four points from Paul Davis in the final 64 seconds.
So Michigan State is now 22-12 on the season and will play Texas -who beat Connecticut 82-78 tonight- on Sunday for a chance at the team's fourth trip to the Final Four in five years.
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was asked on Friday if Saddam Hussein was still in control of Iraq, he replied, "I don't know."
"Day by day, Saddam Hussein is losing his grip on Iraq," President George W. Bush said today.
Since Rumsfeld has never said that he now knows that Saddam is in charge of Iraq, these two statements are irreconcilable since Bush's makes it clear that Saddam is in charge of Iraq to the extent anybody besides the U.S. is in charge while the Rumsfeld's says that it is not known if Saddam is in control of anything.
There are a few explanations for these two statements. Bush and Rumsfeld might have access to different sources of information. They may have drawn different conclusions from the same information. Or they could simply be presenting the situation in the light that serves their needs at the time regardless of what the facts are. By questioning Saddam's control, Rumsfeld may have been trying to encourage the collapse of Saddam's government by discouraging people in that government from fighting for a leader that they would not think was in control. Similarly, having Saddam in control of the Iraqi government served Bush's point today as placed the Uncle Sam The Great Liberator against the long demonized Saddam, which has better ring to it than Sam vs. whoever is in charge now. Saying that Saddam is in control also allows Bush to blame Saddam for the Iraqi military's immoral practices of unnecessarily endangering Iraqi civilians, as Bush did today.
If the last explanation I gave is in fact the case, and I believe it most likely is, this once again demonstrates that Team Bush is not interested in the truth when politics makes it inconvenient.
"I'm sorry I didn't get to hear Toby Keith and Daryl Worley," Bush also said today.
I think the record will show that I haven't said Bush is an idiot with certainty before. But if he actually likes the music of Keith and Worley, I feel pretty confident in saying he is an idiot. And if he just said he regretted not hearing their music to be diplomatic and actually does know their music, Bush has no self-respect.
UPDATE: Somebody asked White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer this question today:
Q Ari, a week ago, President Bush was saying that Saddam was losing his grip on power. In a way, this seemed to indicate he believed Saddam was alive. Now the message from the administration is one of doubt that Saddam is alive. Has something happened in the last week, or are you just -- are you trying to sow doubt among the Iraqi leadership?For the rest of my life I plan to talk about Bush whenever a president does something that I don't like. 9:10 p.m. 04/01/03
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Yesterday Secretary of State Colin Powell said:
Right now, our troops are essentially fighting the battle and when this battle has been won and when things have settled down, we'll have more than ample opportunity to take a thorough look at the country and determine what weapons of mass destruction programs we can show to the world.I'm no military expert but it seems to me that if Iraq indeed does have WMD, which I think is more likely than not, then it would be be a primary priority of the U.S. to locate and get control of these weapons if only because the Bush Administration's primary argument for war involves these weapons existing and these weapons could do a lot of damage if used. I somehow doubt Powell's comment reflects actual policy...
Free the Moroccan Monkeys!
Monday, March 24, 2003
By Max Standard
There has never been a better time to be an American. We have sent thousands of missiles and bombs to Iraq and will send more as part of an effort to liberate the Iraqis! Yes some of our weapons of liberation have gone off course but that hasn't been much of a loss as this example just warns Syria that they might be next! We are telling countries who "are with the terrorists" to take their international institutions and shove it! They don't have the power to stop us and so all they can do is whine! Never has there been so many way to show one's pride in America with such things as patriotic e-cards and I haven't seen this much patriotism since after September 11, which was nice but this is better since we are acting proactively. Americans are finally waking up and realizing that we need to get rid of the Statue of Liberty if we are to remain free. As I predicted the war has made for great television, especially when compared to Michael Moore's treasonous temper tantrum. Soon we will be awarding new medals going after new targets, hopefully including Canada and Great Britain, so the great t.v. should continue!
Despite all of this, anti-American liars continue to spread anti-American lies. No example of this phenomenon is more offensive than a "comic strip" called "get your war on," which encourages young people to be cynical about President George W. Bush and his advisors and to use profane language before they have entered the military. Instead of this trash, concerned parents should have their children read some of the fine funny pages available at rightoons.com.
Justin Raimondo of appeasement.com has long argued against America defending herself and he keeps up his stance with this foolishness:
...there are millions of Fouads in Iraq, and they are fighting back. Not for Saddam, or for the Baath Party, but due to the most basic of human instincts: hatred of foreign invaders.ABC News has also chimed with the same wrong idea.
These traitors have either forgotten are intentionally trying to cause people to forget the words of President George W. Bush:
It is presumptuous and insulting to suggest that a whole region of the world -- or the one-fifth of humanity that is Muslim -- is somehow untouched by the most basic aspirations of life. Human cultures can be vastly different. Yet the human heart desires the same good things, everywhere on Earth. In our desire to be safe from brutal and bullying oppression, human beings are the same. In our desire to care for our children and give them a better life, we are the same. For these fundamental reasons, freedom and democracy will always and everywhere have greater appeal than the slogans of hatred and the tactics of terror.There can be no doubt that our President is right and these traitors are wrong. If there is military conflict between Iraqis, it is obviously part of our plan to control their country so we can free it.
There are anti-American liars who are complaining about the number of "civilains" that the U.S. of A. has killed in Iraq. What they fail to understand is that Iraq is an immediate threat to America. Saddam Hussein is just itching to kill Americans and if we give him the opportunity he will do so. They will be DEAD! That's right - DEAD AMERICANS! We are already doing too much to prevent casualties due to political correctness, which should stop immediately! If Iraqis die it is their own fault since they should have got rid of Saddam earlier. And I don't think I even need to mention September 11!
Perhaps the only good thing that coming from these anti-American lies is that the anti-American liars are starting to fight amongst themselves. For instance, Curtiss Leung has criticized Eric Alterman from the left. Since Alterman is nothing short of a Revolutionary Communist, this is big news and perhaps opens up the opportunity for at least a few anti-American liars to see the truth!
Sunday, March 23, 2003
Michigan State advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time in five years tonight with a 68-46 rout of Florida. The game was close till late in the first half when MSU built a 37-27 lead at the end of the half. The score never got any closer.
The Spartans are no 21-12 on the season and will play defending National Champions Maryland this Friday. Maryland defeated Xavier by a score of 77 to 64 today.
Saturday, March 22, 2003
Why I don't believe Bush and don't believe you should "support our troops"
Now that U.S. military might is liberating Iraqis and acquiring Iraq, the calls to "support our troops" have continued unabated. While there are practical ways to provide support, this call has far less to do with providing items such as care packages, compact discs and pornography to U.S. military personal -activities that few U.S. citizens have taken part in compared to the number that support the war with Iraq- than it does with not criticizing military commanders and the decisions they make, as such criticism is considered the antithesis of support. "Support" in this context essentially means trusting the George W. Bush Administration, an entity hardly deserving of that trust.
As I have documented in posts such as "Bush's Charade," "Dominating the world," "30 Questions for Bush" and "Deadline Iraq United States," Team Bush was dishonest and illogical in justifying this war. And now that it is here, they appear to be up their same tricks. In a statement from Thursday Bush made it seem like he was focusing on Medicare as much as the war. This, of course, is absurd but pretending like it is true makes Bush and friends look like they have a handle on the war and keeps debate away from the area of politics and into the realm of military tactics and strategies that do not explore the justness of the effort. Bush has put political positioning ahead of honesty.
That Bush is doing this should not come as a surprise and unfortunately there is little that can be done about it immediately. The best response is simply to continue pointing out his lies and dishonestly and hope that the public begins to care. In the mean time, there are no valid reasons to trust the Bush Administration.
Friday, March 21, 2003
Michigan State moved on to the second round of the NCAA Men's Tournament tonight with a 79-64 win over Colorado. The team is now 20-12 on the season and will play the winner of the Florida/Sam Houston State game tonight.
For the first time in a long time, I don't care what happens all that much due to you know what.
UPDATE: Florida beat Sam Houston State 85--55 so Florida will play MSU this Sunday at 7:00 Eastern Standard Time. 4:33 p.m. 03/22/03
Thursday, March 20, 2003
Deadline Iraq United States
President George W. Bush says the escalated war is on -as part of an effort "against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001," of course-, so now seems like a good time to point how ridiculous the U.S. reaction to Bush's Monday deadline was.
First of all, there is the media. Yesterday MSNBC had a "DEADLINE" clock on screen. This is funny in part because the clock was ticking down to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and Bush actually gave his 48 hour ultimatum at slightly past 8:00 p.m. EST on Monday. But mostly it is funny because it was a clock. My sources tell me that Dick Clark was flipping through the channels, came across MSNBC and said, "What the hell? I didn't know I was supposed to blather about how 'we made it' and introduce Darryl Worley tonight."
Sadly MSNBC was far from the worst of the media. That distinction probably has to go to Bill O'Reilly. Yesterday on his radio show he made it clear that he feels anybody who opposes this war and expresses this belief while not in his or her place of living is a "bad American." (If you merely oppose this war and don't express this outside of your house, you are a "misguided American," in his view.) He also called Walter Cronkite "too self-important" and said he "should just shut up." O'Reilly presumably wasn't trying to be as funny as he actually was.
Then there is the general public, which according to my observations is in the mood to show the Red, White and Blue a bit more than they had been say a week ago. As someone inside the spectator sports fandom subculture, I understand the desire to show one's "colors" and the positive feeling that one gets when you see that someone else is on the same side as you. Having said that, it seems to me that maybe, just maybe, the spectator sports fandom model is not a good a model for how people should react when their country is dropping bombs and launching missiles.
Most laughable is the idea that war has broken out between Iraq and the United States. Now I'm not considered properly credentialed to talk about foreign policy on television shows, but something in me says that when one country has already been bombing another country regularly for several years, and the country being bombed shoots back, that war is going on. "Operation Iraqi Freedom," as this new mission is known, may represent a new stage in the conflict that was going on like usual yesterday afternoon, but war is nothing new.
I've contemplated changing the format of this blog now that a new state of war with Iraq has broken out, but decided not to. There are plenty of far more useful blogs, not to mention sites publishing reporting, to go to for links to excellent stories on this stage of the Bush's "war on terror." I don't have the time to compete with those sites and so I am going to stick to what can I do well, which is provide commentary.
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
The "war on terror" marches on
It should come as no surprise that the George W. Bush Administration has given up on getting the United Nations Security Council to approve escalating the current war with Iraq.
The underlying theme of Team Bush's over six month long courtship of the security council has been that the body, like the rest of the U.N., is only valuable because of what it could do for the United States.
Bush, the president of the U.S. explicitly made this point in his September 12 speech to the United Nations General Assembly. "We will work with the U.N. Security Council for the necessary resolutions. But the purposes of the United States should not be doubted. The Security Council resolutions will be enforced -- the just demands of peace and security will be met -- or action will be unavoidable," said Bush. "And a regime," the president added in a section where it was clear that Iraq and the U.N. were receiving the same message, "that has lost its legitimacy will also lose its power."
The Security Council has resolutions on Iraq that the U.S. would like to enforce. Support from the Security Council could have silenced critics who believe the Bush is not interested enough in coalitions and provide political cover for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a staunch Bush supporter governing a country where such a stance is hardly universally popular. The Security Council could have made everything nice and proper and give greater legitimacy to both Bush's plans with regard to Iraq and his broader "war on terror."
Now that the U.N. is out of the picture, however, Bush is presenting himself as a brave and independent man who won't let a bunch of a foreign bureaucrats endanger the U.S. of A. "The United States of America has the sovereign authority to use force in assuring its own national security," the president said Monday night. "That duty falls to me, as Commander-in-Chief, by the oath I have sworn, by the oath I will keep."
Such commitment would be admirable and honorable if Bush had more of a case for war. Rather than attempt to show Saddam to be an actual threat to the U.S., the Bush Administration has merely implied that "Saddam + at least the ability to produce weapons of mass destruction = threat." The logic is dubious since the government of Iraq appears to have no desire to attack the U.S. and many countries, including some that the U.S. doesn't get along with, already have WMD. Furthermore it is unclear if the Bush Administration actually believes Iraq is much of a threat since, as I pointed out in "Bush's Charade" and "Dominating the world," their public rhetoric about the Iraqi threat is not easily reconciled with their slow movement to remove the threat.
The Bush Administration has also given mixed signals about the benefits of this war. The explicit line, best exemplified by Bush's February 26 speech at the American Enterprise Institute's Annual Dinner, is that the U.S. military removing Saddam and occupying Iraq will not only liberate the Iraqis but also bring democracy, freedom, peace and presumably a cure to cancer to the entire Middle East. Given these suggested benefits, one could be excused for thinking the Bush Administration viewed war as the best possible option but Bush has not gone this far. "Across the world and in every part of America, people of goodwill are hoping and praying for peace," Bush said on March 6. And then this past Sunday the president said, "Tomorrow is the day that we will determine whether or not diplomacy can work," with the implication being that some method other than war was preferable despite all the advantages of war that his team has claimed.
Combine these logical problem with what Walter Pincus and Dana Milbank of The Washington Post have called the "Dubious Allegations" of the Bush Administrations case escalating the current war with Iraq and it should be clear that there is little, if any, reason to think that Bush's actions are admirable or honorable.
But facts apparently have little to do with support for the Iraqi mission of Bush's "war on terror" as a majority of people in the U.S. appear to support Bush's policy. So, barring some unforeseeable event, the "war on terror" will march on to Iraq with popular support at least in the U.S. and at least for now. The scenarios of events that could reasonably happen are numerous and range from being catastrophic to wonderful.
What is clear is that Bush Administration and its staunch supporter do not intend for the "war on terror" to end in Iraq. "Even as President Bush struggles against robust international opposition to launch a regime-toppling invasion of Iraq," writes David Westphal of The Sacramento Bee, some of the strongest and earliest supporters of military action against Saddam Hussein are already looking ahead to the next target." Fox News and The Weekly Standard are probably already licking their chops at the possibility of beginning to argue that some country like Iran, North Korea, Syria or perhaps even Saudi Arabia poses a threat to the U.S. that must be dealt with as soon as the Bush Administration gets around to doing so. This may in fact be, as many have said, a "historic moment" but only because it represents the likely beginning of the new status quo where the White House picks some government they don't like, says this government is a threat so many times that people assume there must be some truth to it and then moves in for the kill. While the costs could be high at just about every stage, this process will likely go on without end at least until the White House suffers a militarily defeat or a political defeat where the public says no to this war without end.
It is time for opponents of Bush's "war on terror" to start acting accordingly.
Sunday, March 16, 2003
Michigan State is the seventh seed in the south region of this year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. They will play Colorado on Friday in Tampa, Florida.
Saturday, March 15, 2003
Third time's not a charm
In the third meeting of the season between the two teams Ohio State pulled out a 55-54 win over my beloved Spartans in the semi-finals of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament. Ohio State had a 29-10 lead at one point in the first half and after 20 minutes the score was 29-17. The Spartans made a comeback and had a 51-50 lead late in the game but Ohio State pulled it out.
So MSU is now 19-12 on the season and await placement in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, which happens tomorrow night.
Friday, March 14, 2003
Michigan State advanced to the semi-finals of this year's Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament with a 54-42 win over Purdue in a game that ended a few minutes ago. Neither team had much offense in the first half as MSU scored 24 points to Purdue's 12.
The Spartans are now 19-11 on the season and probably a lock for the NCAA Tournament. They Play Ohio State tomorrow, which is coming off a 66-64 win over Iowa yesterday and a 58-50 upset of regular season conference champion Wisconsin. MSU and Ohio State met twice during the regular with MSU winning by a score of 66-55 in East Lansing on January 9 and then again six days ago in Columbus 72-58.
Thursday, March 13, 2003
(unorganized) Notes #2
-get your sad on is David Rees' tribute to the late Mister Rogers. My mom has told me that Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was my favorite show for a few years before I turned five. I, however, have no memory of ever watching it. Don't worry about Rees going soft. He has already returned to the traditional format of the best comic strip now published on anything approaching on a regular basis. The first one of the new batch is one his best. -Speaking of comic strips, check out Harvey Pekar's take on Sundance, with images by Gary Dumm. -I want to thank Barbara Flaska for throwing a link my way. -Why do all the cool things happen to other people? Douglas Anders got to see a sign reading "God Bless the USA & NASCAR." -Am I the only one who finds the suggestion that Paul Harvey was a blogger before there were blogs more than a bit amusing and something less than a compliment? -I can and will dream of life without spam. -A nice quiz has told me: - Can people now stop calling hawk Hillary Clinton a leftist? -Proof that Seymour Hersh just might be the greatest journalist alive "Sy Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist," Defense Policy Board Chairman Richard Perle said during Sunday's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer. Perle was asked by Blitzer to respond to "Lunch with the Chairman," a New Yorker article by Hersh that takes a critical look at Perle. Here is the full exchange from the transcript: Let me read a quote from the New Yorker article, the March 17th issue, just out now. "There is no question that Perle believes that removing Saddam from power is the right thing to do. At the same time, he has set up a company that may gain from a war." PERLE: I don't believe that a company would gain from a war. On the contrary, I believe that the successful removal of Saddam Hussein, and I've said this over and over again, will diminish the threat of terrorism. And what he's talking about is investments in homeland defense, which I think are vital and are necessary. Look, Sy Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist, frankly. BLITZER: Well, on the basis of -- why do you say that? A terrorist? PERLE: Because he's widely irresponsible. If you read the article, it's first of all, impossible to find any consistent theme in it. But the suggestion that my views are somehow related for the potential for investments in homeland defense is complete nonsense. BLITZER: But I don't understand. Why do you accuse him of being a terrorist? PERLE: Because he sets out to do damage and he will do it by whatever innuendo, whatever distortion he can -- look, he hasn't written a serious piece since Maylie (ph).
-get your sad on is David Rees' tribute to the late Mister Rogers. My mom has told me that Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was my favorite show for a few years before I turned five. I, however, have no memory of ever watching it. Don't worry about Rees going soft. He has already returned to the traditional format of the best comic strip now published on anything approaching on a regular basis. The first one of the new batch is one his best.
-Speaking of comic strips, check out Harvey Pekar's take on Sundance, with images by Gary Dumm.
-I want to thank Barbara Flaska for throwing a link my way.
-Why do all the cool things happen to other people? Douglas Anders got to see a sign reading "God Bless the USA & NASCAR."
-Am I the only one who finds the suggestion that Paul Harvey was a blogger before there were blogs more than a bit amusing and something less than a compliment?
-I can and will dream of life without spam.
-A nice quiz has told me:
- Can people now stop calling hawk Hillary Clinton a leftist?
-Proof that Seymour Hersh just might be the greatest journalist alive
"Sy Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist," Defense Policy Board Chairman Richard Perle said during Sunday's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer. Perle was asked by Blitzer to respond to "Lunch with the Chairman," a New Yorker article by Hersh that takes a critical look at Perle.
Here is the full exchange from the transcript:
Let me read a quote from the New Yorker article, the March 17th issue, just out now. "There is no question that Perle believes that removing Saddam from power is the right thing to do. At the same time, he has set up a company that may gain from a war."
PERLE: I don't believe that a company would gain from a war. On the contrary, I believe that the successful removal of Saddam Hussein, and I've said this over and over again, will diminish the threat of terrorism. And what he's talking about is investments in homeland defense, which I think are vital and are necessary.
Look, Sy Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist, frankly.
BLITZER: Well, on the basis of -- why do you say that? A terrorist?
PERLE: Because he's widely irresponsible. If you read the article, it's first of all, impossible to find any consistent theme in it. But the suggestion that my views are somehow related for the potential for investments in homeland defense is complete nonsense.
BLITZER: But I don't understand. Why do you accuse him of being a terrorist?
PERLE: Because he sets out to do damage and he will do it by whatever innuendo, whatever distortion he can -- look, he hasn't written a serious piece since Maylie (ph).
-John Hawkins appears to have a better grip on what Team Bush is doing than most:
Can we convince Saddam Hussein to stop supporting terrorism through diplomatic methods? Since the answer to that question is obviously "no," we need to remove Saddam via military force.
-For some strange reason I get the feeling that I wouldn't want to be a member of Patriots for the Defense of America.
-Maybe I should stop giving blood.
-Rep. James P. Moran is a racist idiot asshole however you look at it. His brand of anti-Semitism is most likely not shared by anywhere near a majority of opponents of Bush's "war on terror" but it is a current of thought that can be found in places like libertyforum.org. All that said, I don't think he should step down for his comments. True I don’t like the idea of him holding an elected office, but that is par for the course for those in such positions.
-this Fred Thompson commercial in support of escalating the war with Iraq is funny because it appears that Thompson and those around him are unaware of any terrorism by al Qaeda against U.S. targets prior to September 11, 2001. That, or Thompson and those around him are idiots and/or don't feel that nobody who wasn't one of the hijackers is any way responsible for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
If a celeb advocating the U.N. be in charge of preventing Iraq from having WMD were to have made this claim hawks of all stripes would be all over him or her. But I guess facts aren't so important when you are on the "right side."
- Curtiss Leung's "The New War Profiteers" is worth a read, and not just if you are trying to figure out how Darryl Worley should pay for his crime against intelligence
-I love the American Anti-Colonial and Democratic Spirit!
The U.S. should encourage democracy and economic development in former French colonies in Africa to "punish the French," according to Nick Denton.
Yesterday Glenn Reynolds called Denton's post "Brilliant," which is interesting because on Friday instapundit said he thought the U.S. should have been more supportive of French colonialism towards the Middle East in the 1950s.
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
By Max Standard
Liberating the people of Iraq through bombs is going to be lots of fun. Don't get me wrong. I am "hoping and praying for peace," but I am also really looking forward to watching us liberating Iraq on my new big screen t.v. that will be glued to the Fox New Channel, unless of course one of those wonderful new MSNBC hires is on.
Once we get done with Iraq, however, it is important that we neither lose momentum nor stop playing "Have You Forgotten?" We need to move quickly to take care of the next big enemy in the world - Canada, a country so notorious for human rights abuses that the equally notoriously left wing and anti-American organizations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both have pages on the human rights abuses in Canada.
In a world full of countries like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, it is reasonable to ask, "Why Canada?" My research indicates that I have not heard about Canada going out of its way to support the War On Terror, which means, according to President Bush, that the Cannucks "are with the terrorists."
Canada also is quite near to the U.S. and could easily attack us. They seem bent on something called "Canadian World Domination" through their communistic health care system and attempt to ruin the America lumber industry.
Some possibly well-meaning but usefully idiotic people will ask, "Where's the proof?" To them I ask, where was was the proof of September 11? We will find the proof once we take over Canada and liberate the Canucks. We will then see that they are behind Axis of Evil countries like Iran, Iraq, North Korea and France. Canada isn't going to just give out this information but I have no doubt that once we gain control we will see that Canadian Prime Minister Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien is really the secret force behind al Qaeda and other anti-American terrorist groups. We will find the proof that they are building Weapons of Mass Destruction to destroy America with. You just wait. All the proof will be in their archives.
Of course supporters of Chrétien will follow up their support of Saddam by calling for appeasement. They will say it is enough to sanction Canada and bomb our treacherous northern neighbors on a daily basis. These communist anti-American appeasers are only supporting the further enslavement of the Canucks! They have blood on their hands and need to take responsibility for their actions. If Canada does attack us they will be responsible the death of many Americans. Canada, like Iraq, is just waiting to attack us. We have to stop them! Don't these appeasers remember the brave fire fighters who gave their lives so that others could live on September 11? How could they forget the most tragic day in the history of the world? The only explanation is that they haven't forgotten but rather want another September 11 so they can listen to Martha & the Vandellas again. Michael Savage is right. These Canadian appeasers need to be locked up for sedition!
May God Bless America and May America Liberate Canada!
Max Standard is an important intellectual who always tells the pro-American truth. His essay "Yeah for war!" appeared in the January edition of this blog.
UPDATE BY MAX STANDARD: There can be no more doubt that Canada is the enemy! Swift Action is needed! No more Molson with you Freedom Fries! Instead of "canadian bacon," eat Liberty Swine! Tell those geese to stay in their own miserabel country! And of course don't watch another Mike Meyers movie! 1:12 a.m. 03/13/03
Monday, March 10, 2003
The 2003 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament pairings are set. After finishing in a three way tie for third place, Michigan State is seeded fifth and plays fourth seed Purdue on Friday. The teams split their two regular season games. Purdue won the game in West Lafayette on January 14 in West Lafayette, 72-60, while MSU won in East Lansing, 69-61, on March 1.
Sunday, March 09, 2003
Better to be a "shit-bag conspiracy theorist" than believe Bush's lies
Eight days ago I started an exchange with Howard Owens about escalating the current war with Iraq. At one point I said I didn't believe much of anything the George W. Bush administration has to say about the "war on terror." Owens responded by "labeling me shit-bag conspiracy theorist" and implying that lack of trust in Team Bush meant I believe anything said by Saddam Hussein. "[Y]you seem to believe whatever leftist crap some Hollywood star feeds you," Owens also said even though the matter of entertainers being against some aspect or another of the drive to escalate the war with Iraq had previously not been brought up. It was clear that Owens couldn't deal with real arguments but only with logic at about the level of Bush's pronouncements.
Saturday, March 08, 2003
Michigan State finished the regular season with a 72-58 win over Ohio State in Columbus. It was MSU's fourth straight win.
The Spartans finished the Big Ten season with a 10-6. As was also the case last year, they began the conference season with a 2-4 record but won eight of the final 10 conference games. Michigan State's overall record is 18-11. The play next on Friday in the Big Ten Tournament against Michigan or Purdue.
Friday, March 07, 2003
30 Questions for Bush
President George W. Bush's meet-and-greet with the press yesterday would be great comedy, if wasn't for the fact that this is what currently passes for serious discussion in many quarters.
If Bush actually believes the things he says, then he is an idiot. It he doesn't believe the things he says, it appears that he assumes that the vast majority of people in and out of the U.S. are idiots. I tend to think that latter is true.
If the questions asked by the reporters are the best that they could up with, then they are idiots. If those questions are not the best they could come up with, then they are willing propagandists for the Bush Administration and embarrassments to their profession. I tend to think the latter is true. That said, I have a hard time believing that not a single one of the sixteen journalists who got to ask a question yesterday would not ask a critical question if they could up with one, so maybe they are idiots.
Here are some questions that should have been asked and which easily could have been prepared:
1) Mr. President, you have said many times, including during your October 7 speech in Cincinnati, Ohio, that Saddam Hussein is a threat because he seeks weapons of mass destruction. However, the Federation of American Scientists says at least 31 countries, excluding Iraq and the United States but including a number of countries that are not friendly to the U.S., that have weapons of mass destruction or are trying or have tried to acquire or develop them. What makes Saddam so much of a threat and if it is matter of him having used chemical weapons in the 1980s, do you believe the U.S. was right to continue to support Saddam's government after it was known that it had used chemical weapons?
2) If Saddam is as much of a threat as you say he is Mr. President, why has he failed to attack the U.S. or any other country for over decade, and if your answer involves the actions of the U.S., why will a continuation of the current policies fail to protect the country?
3) Given the threat that you say Saddam poses, why have you still not removed him from power after being in office for nearly 26 months and why did you not make removing Saddam a bigger part of your campaign for the White House in 2000?
4) Do you have or have you had any fear that openly talking about overthrowing Saddam for over a year might provoke him to strike preemptively?
5) Clause 10 of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, which the U.S. of course supports, "requests" that member states provide "any information related to prohibited programmes or other aspects of their mandates, including on Iraqi attempts since 1998 to acquire prohibited items, and by recommending sites to be inspected, persons to be interviewed, conditions of such interviews, and data to be collected." Yet members of your administration have repeatedly talked of information relating to Iraqi weapons programs that weapons inspectors from the U.N. did not have. The most notable example of this is Secretary of State Colin Powell's February 5 speech before the Security Council. Why is the U.S. not in full compliance with 1441 and given this what credibility does it have to being leading the charge to get Iraq to comply?
6) This past October 16 you said, ""Iraq is a part on the war on terror." Nine days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, you said "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." Mr. President what is the maximum level of opposition that a country can provide to a U.S. war against Iraq and not be "with the terrorists"?
7) Do you plan to use the proceeds of Iraqi oil to finance the war effort and the military occupation that will follow and have you consider do so as has been reported?
8) Under what circumstances, if any, would you approve of an employee of the U.S. federal government engaging in an act of torture?
9) In your February 26 speech at the American Enterprise Institute's Annual Dinner, Mr. President, you said one of the reasons for going to war with Iraq was to bring "human freedom" to Iraq. How do you define "human freedom" and what freedoms are worth going to war to ensure that they exist in another country?
10) Mr. President in the same speech you also said, "we will remain in Iraq as long as necessary, and not a day more." Is that the same standard the U.S. uses with regard to the stationing of troops in Germany and Japan?
11) One final question about that speech, Mr. President. In it you imply that the key to peace between the Israelis and Palestinians is Palestinian concessions. Why do you feel that Israel should not also have to make concessions?
12) You've spoken of bringing democracy to Iraq on numerous occasions. If some Islamic fundamentalist group in Iraq wants to form a party and participate, as has been done in Turkey, in that democracy, will they be allowed to?
13) Mr. President during your many speeches about Iraq you have hardly addressed the possibility that escalating the current war with Iraq might increase anti-American sentiments amongst Arabs and Muslims throughout the world. Why have you not informed the American people of this possibility?
14) How do you defend the fact the U.S. might soon be going to war with Iraq in the name of "freedom," but continues to give billions of dollars in aid to countries like Colombia and Egypt, which are governed by brutal governments?
15) After the U.S. has disarmed Iraq, what other countries do you feel must be dealt with?
16) Mr. President, many have said that you have turned the "war on terror" into an imperial enterprise because you have said that the targets of the "war on terror" would not be limited to those who perpetrated the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks or even those who are allied with them. What gives you and your administration the right to use the terrible events of September 11, 2001 for a war that has no conceivable end?
The above questions could all have been prepared before the press conference while the following questions relate to things that Bush said during the event.
17) Mr. President, tonight you said Iraq threatened scientists from cooperating with U.N. weapons inspectors. Have you shared this information with Hans Blix's team as you should do to be in compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441?
18) Tonight you said, "If the world fails to confront the threat posed by the Iraqi regime, refusing to use force, even as a last resort, free nations would assume immense and unacceptable risks." Given that the only two countries Saddam has attacked in the past -Iran and Kuwait- are hardly "free" in the sense that most Americans would use the term, why is Saddam a particular threat to "free nations"?
19) Tonight you used the term "terrorist state." What is your definition of a "terrorist state"? and what terrorist groups is Iraq allied with and what evidence do you have of this alliance?
20) Mr. President, whatever the sins of Saddam, there is no evidence that he was involved with the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. As you have done multiple times in the past, tonight you said that we can get some idea of Saddam's intention to strike the U.S. by looking at the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and that this justifies war. What is the connection and how you learn something about what Saddam wants from the actions of a group like al Qaeda that opposes him?
21) Mr. President tonight you talked about the need to "protect innocent lives" in Iraq and how the U.S. would bring food and medicine to that country. What is your opinion of the economic sanctions on Iraq that have been conservatively estimated to played a role in the premature deaths of 100,000 Iraqis?
22) At several points tonight you mentioned that war, actually the escalation of the current war, with Iraq is not inevitable, given that you do not believe Saddam can be trusted, what scenario or scenarios do you envision that could prevent the escalation of the current war?
23) Mr. President tonight you mentioned that it is not in the "interest" of North Korea to have nuclear weapons and said, "we must deal with weapons of mass destruction" Since you have not proposed the elimination of the U.S.' weapons of mass destruction, you are obviously not talking about the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction. What factors determine when it is in a country's "interest" to have nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and what standards must a country meet before you are not concerned with them having weapons of mass destruction?
24) With all due respect Mr. President, why did you twice tonight not answer questions regarding why the leaders of a number of other countries are not as concerned about the Iraqi threat as you are?
25) Mr. President tonight you implied that the resolution on Iraq pending in the U.N. Security Council only said that Iraq was not in compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441. In fact what the proposed resolution is understood within the context of Chapter VII of U.N. Charter, which the proposed resolution mentions, it is clearly a call for war. Why did you leave that part out?
26) Tonight you said that your administration was not being defiant of the U.N. because it had gone to the U.N. and asked for U.N. support in escalating the current war with Iraq. Isn't the basic message of what you said, that if U.S. asks the U.N. for something, the U.N. is obligated to give it to the U.S?
27) Mr. President tonight you said, "it's hard to envision more terror on America than September the 11th, 2001." As terrible as the events of that day were, a basic knowledge of history would reveal that there have been other events as horrible or more. And it is hardly difficult to imagine worse events happening in the future, especially if the events involve weapons of mass destruction. Do you have honestly find it "hard to envision more terror on America than September the 11th, 2001" and what would you say to those who believe you only used that phrase as part of an attempt to convince Americans that their suffering is more important than the suffering of other people so that they will be less concerned with the already existing and possible future negative effects of your "war on terror"?
28) The Vietnam War was brought up tonight Mr. President. Do you feel that there are any lessons to be drawn from that conflict about problems involved with trying to control other countries?
29) You referenced the alleged al Qaeda chemical factory in Northern Iraq during your response to one of tonight's questions as a way of showing a link between al Qaeda and Saddam. Why didn't you mention that Northern Iraq is not under the control of Saddam?
30) Tonight Mr. President you said, "We will not wait to see what terrorists or terrorist states could do with weapons of mass destruction" but you have already waited a fair amount of time to see what Saddam would do with the weapons of mass destruction he most likely already has. If Saddam is as much of a threat as you say he is, haven't you effectively put the safety of people in the U.S. at risk?
There are of course many more questions that could be asked of Bush. Furthermore, the answers to any of these questions are not necessarily going to convince anyone of the folly or wisdom of escalating the current war with Iraq. What they do get at are some important questions about the "war on terror," specifically as it relates to Iraq, that anyone who is interested in Iraq, U.S. foreign policy or the U.S. should want the answer to. If even one of them had been asked of and answered by Bush last night, the press conference would have been infinitely more informative.
UPDATE: I just emailed President Bush this list of questions with editing done for continuity. I will post his responses as soon as I receive them. Don't worry I didn't send the email on a library computer. 11:12 a.m. 03/08/03
UPDATE #2: White House Mail Relay Autoresponder; on behalf of; Autoresponder@WhiteHouse.GOV has responded and writes:
Thank you for emailing President Bush. Your ideas and comments are very important to him.Bush is ducking me.
UPDATE #3: "Holmquist has one legitimate question on his list: 'After the U.S. has disarmed Iraq, what other countries do you feel must be dealt with? The rest are crap," says the compliant Richard Bennett. 12:56 a.m. 03/13/03
Thursday, March 06, 2003
A "top White House source" says President Bush is making the final decision RE Iraq tonight, reports Matt Drudge.
Decision? What the hell kind of decision is there to make? I can hear the debate now - "Should we allow "another September 11" to happen or should we go in for security, peace, freedom and extending democracy to the Arabs who live under regimes we don't like at the moment?"
"Oh, by the way," to quote the great Homer J. Simpson, "I was being sarcastic."
In all seriousness, me thinks thinks this report, if true, bolsters my theory that Team Bush doesn't take the Iraqi "threat" as seriously as we are supposed to.
Michigan State moved to 17-11 on the season and 9-6 in Big Ten play tonight with a 82-54 win over Iowa in the final regular season game this season in East Lansing.
The team finishes up the regular season this Saturday against Ohio State.
Tuesday, March 04, 2003
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, the CBS television special that aired this past Friday, comes across as the Casino (Martin Scorsese, 1995) to the Goodfellas (Scorsese, 1990) that was Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Live in New York City (Chris Hilson, 2001). The settings and stories are different but the theme is the same, although dulled by the repetition. The Scorsese films tell the story of the corporatization and suburbanization of the U.S., while these music programs are a celebration of the magical state presence possessed by Bruce Springsteen. The compelling nature of Springsteen as a stage performer is undeniable in this program. Through what appears to be a combination of innate talent, loads of practice and force of will, Springsteen is able to take audiences on a trip through the intersections of the happier and rougher sides of life that would seem cliched with any other guide. The call-and-response that Springsteen engages with the audience in seems to reflect a connection that does not extend to the real world but is real and true within the fantasy concert universe.
Unlike Live in New York City, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band does not even attempt to come across as a full concert or to reflect the changes and pacing that the live performances entail. Working with a little less than 60 minutes, the presentation is rather just a few snapshots of Springsteen and the band practicing their trade. If and when this special comes out on DVD, I would like to see a full concert constructed but there is little reason to think that is actually going to happen. Despite the presentation's disjointed nature in relation to a live show, I find it hard to pick out any one section that stands out. If I had to make a choice, it would be "Waiting On A Sunny Day," but perhaps only because that performance can be viewed on the web via Quick Time, Real and Windows Media.
By far the most disappointing aspect of this special does not have to do with the program as a text but rather with the public's reaction to it. Airing at 9 p.m. in most of the United States, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band placed fourth in its timeslot behind a "news" magazine, a "reality" t.v. show and a Baywatch special.
Monday, March 03, 2003
Please help me forget!
The bellicose Toby Keith song “Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American)” looks like a masterpiece when compared to Darryl Worley’s “Have You Forgotten?” (Click here for the song in Real Audio and here for it in Windows Media.) The song by Keith, who like Worley is on the Dreamworks Nashville record label, at least was interesting in that it was purely about revenge and made it clear that the singer’s patriotic credentials stem from his father’s military service, not his own. “Have You Forgotten?” is pure idiocy as the lyrics make clear:
I hear people saying we don't need this warThis clearly is a call for war in Iraq but I am completely confused on how taking over another country protects freedom in the United States. It is also unclear how not attacking a country that is not a threat to the U.S. is an example of “backing down.” I do give Worley points for still be friends with the infidels of the “war on terror,” however, which I guess includes me because of I don’t favor escalating the current war with Iraq. I don’t even want to touch the matter of how land was “acquired” in the U.S.
Have you forgotten how it felt that dayMy answer to all of three questions in this chorus is no. I would like to ask, who exactly is saying not to worry about bin Laden? And what does Iraq have to do with bin Laden? Justifying escalating the current war with Iraq on the basis of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks makes about as much sense as saying the Vietnam War was just because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. I mean the Japanese and Vietnamese are both Asian.
They took all the footage off my T.V.I disagree with the part about showing the footage of September 11, 2001 every day because I really don’t see what the point of doing so would be –the U.S. is already using that day’s events for a war without end, so how much more anger is needed?- but I agree completely with the last two lines, although I don’t think the U.S. “looking for a fight” is a good thing.
After a repeat of the chorus the song goes on:
I've been there with the soldiersFunny the song never explains why the U.S. is about to take over Iraq but just assumes that it is known.
Next up is a variation on the chorus that says nothing:
Have you forgotten all the people killed?Mix in some horribly generic pop country background music and you have a song that apparently is a hit on country radio. The song is a celebration of understanding the world solely through what Team Bush and the less intellectual of Bush’s unpaid propagandists say.
Maybe the lesson is that as bad as the music on country radio is, it is bound to be worse in a couple of months. How depressing.
UPDATE:The question of when ""Have You Forgotten?" was written has arisen. "Worley, who co-wrote the song with Wynn Varble, was inspired to pen the tune after returning from a recent USO tour entertaining troops in Afghanistan," writes Chrissie Dickinson in the March 3 edition of The Chicago Tribune.
"I said to Wynn, `I really feel like we need to write a song together that will honor our troops in some way and lift them up," Worley recalls. "That's really what this is about. And at the same time, I felt we could also send out a message. It's real easy to forget about the kind of thing that happened to us on 9/11. We just wrote the song from the heart, and expressed the way we feel about things."I guess it is form of "honor" to place the troops in the category of being an archetype that only exists to the extent that it knows better than the ostensible audience of the song, but it seems rather shallow to me.
I found this part of Dickinson's article hilarious:
Worley disagrees with the charge that his single endorses war with Iraq.Yeah right. The first verse of this song is based on the idea that there are some people who are opposed to "this war" but they are wrong because some wars in the past were good wars -if one war in the past was "worth fighting," it apparently follows that all wars are "worth fighting" in Worley's mind- and that the opponents of "this war" would see the error of their ways if they just remember one thing, which the chorus explains to be the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The idea that there are people in the U.S. who have forgotten the events of a little less than 18 months ago is priceless because it probably does reveal something about much of the hawkish mentality. My guess is that those who think President George W. Bush makes perfect sense when he justifies conquering Iraq on the basis of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks see the events of the day that I have said "for the foreseeable future will be signified by the phrases 'September 11,' 'September the 11th,' 'nine-eleven' and '911'” as being so significant as to actually have created a world where everything has changed. They can't imagine not favoring war with just about anybody that Bush says is an enemy in his "war on terror" in light of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and, according to my theory, thus assume that anybody who opposes escalating the current war with Iraq must not remember that day.
Worley can't even stay in his ecumenical mode for very long, however, hence the "Even with the people who stand up against the war..." bit. He clearly has taken a side and Worley isn't sharing space in the barricade with opponents of escalating the current war.
"Have You Forgotten?" has a dynamic that it shares with Merle Haggard's "The Fightin' Side of Me" and Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)." All three songs on the surface talk to those who disagree with the speaker in each song and yet have become celebrations for those who do agree with the speaker. This isn't unique to right-wing country songs, as most pop and country songs that have sing-along appeal have it because the audience identifies with the speaker, but it does suggest that the point to these very political songs is not convince or change minds but rather to create a common bond based on a few shared stands and a belief that too many people don't see things the way they ought to, which is to say the way the song does. 11:25 a.m. 03/04/03.
Sunday, March 02, 2003
The Blog Archives of Micah Holmquist Sorted by Date:
Saturday, March 01, 2003
Michigan State had two long stretches where they couldn't score but still pulled out a 69-61 in over Purdue today in East Lansing. The Spartans were down by as many 10 in the game and eight in the second half.
MSU is now 16-11 on the season and 8-6 in the Big Ten. They have their last scheduled game at the Breslin Center of the season this Wednesday against Iowa.