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

Sunday, January 04, 2004
Badly organized

Syracuse 96
Michigan State 83

And with that comes the end of the most disappointing pre-conference season for the MSU men's basketball team that I can remember.

Todd Schulz of The Lansing State Journal says it best, "Missing in action - Spartans' defense."

Underneath all the wreckage and woe of a non conference season that saw MSU go winless in six big games lies the unavoidable truth that this team hasn't played defense.

And there's simply no defense for it.

"Inexcusable," MSU coach Tom Izzo said. "No matter what we're doing, we should be able to check people. We're just not defending. That hasn't happened at our place since I've been there. I better do something to take care of it." ...The D's disappearance is baffling. Even when MSU struggled the past two years, it generally stuck to its hard-nosed heritage. But in planning its return to power this season, someone forgot to pack the program's most prized possession...

The last time the Spartans gave up as many points in regulation (99 in a March 1993 loss at Indiana), Izzo was still three years removed from taking the head job.

Now it's his job - and his alone - to restore the defensive walls that created his kingdom. If he can't, these Spartans might crumble quicker than anyone imagined.

MSU is now 5-6 on the season. They start Big Ten play this Saturday against Wisconsin in Madison. I still believe the pieces are there for this team to start playing well but I'm highly doubtful that it is going to happen. Then again, sometimes Izzo has been at his best when the team is at its most desperate.


Robert Parry on Iraq.


Jonathan Rosenbaum on Charlie Chaplin:

I don't have much patience with colleagues who dismiss Charlie Chaplin by saying that Buster Keaton was better (whatever that means). To the best of my knowledge, with the arguable exception of Dickens, no one else in the history of art has shown us in greater detail what it means to be poor, and certainly no one else in the history of movies has played to a more diverse audience or evolved more ambitiously from one feature to the next.

"How Can You People Support David Cross"


Tom Engelhardt says 2003 was the "Imperial Gong Show Year."

Certainly everything didn't go smoothly for the "war on terror" partisans but they aren't the fast moving bunch as shown by the fact that they spent 2002 only planning new adventures, not actually engaging in them.


I don't like Howard Dean much, but his blunt style isn't one of his drawbacks for me. In fact, it and his "anger" are what I like about him most.

I could do without Dean's newfound piousness.


Although Sean Wilentz calls it "sickening," I find myself largely in agreement with Christopher Hitchen's September 13, 2001 Guardian piece "Americans ask How, but not Why."


Ken MacLeod's "For the sake of the argument" makes the mistake of connecting the justness of the invasion of Iraq with the issue of whether or not the Bush Administration was dishonest in the build-up to the war. A decent pro-invasion argument was of course that the removal of Saddam would result in improving the lives of most Iraqis as even some critics of the invasion, like Slavoj Zizek, recognized. That in no way means that Team Bush's acts of deception were justifiable as that deception poses problems that are not all related to the Iraqi theater of the "war on terror" and in fact involve whether or not, or to what extent, the United States is a democracy and/or a republic.


Via Eli, Aws Al-Sharqy of Islam Online writes:

A statement issued by the U.S.-led authority and broadcast by the Iraqi media network Wednesday, December31 , said no individual or group is allowed to organize marches or demonstrations or even gather in streets, public places or buildings at any time without a prior from the occupation command.

It demanded those who want to demonstrate or organize a meeting to submit a written request to the occupation authorities no less than a day before.

The request, according to the statement, must include the purpose and duration of the demonstration, an estimate of the maximum number of demonstrators and names and addresses of the organizers.

I'm suspicious of this report because the statement is never quoted and I can't find anything about by searching the CPA's website. Nonetheless if true...


Two great FReeper quotes.


What kind of world will this become if the U.S. government has a blank check to drop commandos, assassins, and bombs wherever it wants?

One in which a twisted bunch of diaper-headed, 11th-Century-minded fanatics will not threaten the civilized world with annihilation.

"What kind of world will this become if the U.S. government has a blank check to drop commandos, assassins, and bombs wherever it wants?"

A world where kids can sleep at night, and their parents don't have to explain to them why they saw a plane crash into a skyscraper.

A world where American is no longer a synonym for "target."

A world that enjoys freedom and liberty, and passes the blessings of those to future generations.

One of the things that I find interesting about much of the modern conservative movement in the U.S. is how it has clearly defined lines between good and evil. The U.S. government, in their view, is always right outside of the U.S. and just about, if not always, wrong inside the U.S. Grover G. Norquist illustrated this in one passage from his mid-1990s description of the "Leave Us Alone" coalition:
During the Cold War, Americans who were rightly concerned about the threat of Soviet imperialism were a strong part of the "Leave Us Alone" coalition. They wanted to be left alone from foreign aggression. Today, Americans with the same concern about predatory criminals are also part of the coalition. They know that the Left's response to the Soviet Union - that it wasn't hostile, that it wasn't a real threat, and that it behaved badly only because we mistreated it - is also the Left's response to crime and criminals. They also know that the Left's solution to crime, which is gun control, mirrors its belief that unilateral arms control was the proper response to the Red Army.
Later he says:
Let me close with an anecdote from a reunion meeting of my liberal college newspaper that took place in 1991. A now prominent liberal writer came up to me and said, "Grover, you conservatives must be so unhappy now that Bush has betrayed you on taxes."

"Nick," I replied, "for 40 years American conservatives had to fight a two-front war against Soviet imperialism abroad all the while domestic statists were gnawing at our legs. Today, thanks to the leadership of Ronald Reagan and the sacrifice of millions of American servicemen from Korea to Vietnam to Europe, the Soviet Union is broken into 15 pieces. It no longer exists. So now we can turn all our attention and energy to crushing you."

He was taken aback, but I added two thoughts. "And Nick, the Soviet Union had nuclear weapons. You don't. And with the Soviets, it was simply business. With you it's personal."

Freedom is on the march around the globe. There is a great deal of work to be done, but the imperial city of Washington will fall to the forces of freedom just as Moscow did. It is as hollow, as brittle, and as bereft of self-confidence. The "Leave Us Alone" coalition is growing, and it is fighting on the winning side of history.

"Don't mess with us. That's our job" doesn't quite work as a slogan for Norquist's crew.

I probably should write more about this topic at some point.


I have a hard time believing that it matters all that much who captured Saddam but if this is what causes people to see Team Bush for the find adherents to the first part of the Boy Scout Law, so be it.

Maybe my five years in the Boy Scouts influenced me far more than I usually think of them as doing.


Potentially good news from Afghanistan.


Why start now?


"Who forged the Niger uranium papers?" asks Don Sellar of the Toronto Star.


"Five teenaged conscientious objectors who refused to join the Israel Defense Forces were sentenced to one year imprisonment each on Sunday," Lily Galili of Haaretz writes. "The time they have already served will not be deducted from their The time they have already served will not be deducted from their sentences."


Gideon Alon of Haaretz writes:

Six percent of West Bank territory will effectively be annexed into the Green Line with the completion of the separation fence planned for the end of 2005, a security official said on Sunday.

The official, speaking to a forum supporting the West Bank fence, said that the first and second phases of the construction have already transferred 1.7 percent of the West Bank into the Green Line.

In addition, Ministry of Defense data revealed that the fence's deviation eastward from the Green Line in the area between Salem and the settlement of Elkana has resulted in 15,000 Palestinians being located west of the fence. This population includes the residents of Baka al-Sharkiya as well as Palestinians staying in Israel illegally. The official, speaking to a forum supporting the West Bank fence, said that the first and second phases of the construction have already transferred 1.7 percent of the West Bank into the Green Line.


Ze'ev Schiff of Haaretz writes:

Cuts in the 2004 defense budget will constrain the war on terror in the territories, and will include the dismantling of reservists battalions that serve in the territories and guard detention centers where Palestinian prisoners are held. Also, the number of days slotted for the defense of settlements will be reduced, and training flights for Israel Air Force pilots will be canceled.

This information was conveyed late last week in a dramatic written statement submitted to the Knesset sub-committee that handles defense budget matters. The budget cuts will also have an impact on weapons supplies, the Israel Defense Forces announcement implied. "There is no budget for ammunition procurement, apart from existing orders," the army's statement read.

The defense budget cuts will also reduce the number of training-flight hours undertaken by would-be Israel Air Force pilots.


organic food


"The Christian Science Monitor feature A Continent at Peace: Five African Hot Spots Cool Down describes how action by the Africans themselves and the US War on Terror has brought comparative tranquility to the continent," writes Wretchard.

Funny I read Abraham McLaughlin's piece and read this graf:

...outside powers, including the United States, are more engaged. They may be motivated by antiterror fears, need for oil, or guilt for inaction during Rwanda's 1994 genocide, but they're increasingly supporting Africa's peaceful impulses.
So the motivations may not be all directly died to the "war on terror" as Wretchard would have you believe and others are playing a role as well. Who? France and the United Nations are named, but I suppose they don't count anymore than Iraqis, Palestinians and other mistakes of God.

Gideon Levy of Haaretz says Israelis "are all soldiers at checkpoints" or more specifically all implicated in the human rights violations of the Israeli military. Following the same logic, it could be said that all people in the "axis of the willing" are responsible for what "the coalition."

Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Don't worry though, as Chief Wiggum said tonight, "just close your eyes and club them."