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

Saturday, January 24, 2004
The power of belief

This morning on Fox & Friends -the #1 cable “this would be even more entertaining if nobody took it seriously" show- one of the hosts, the black guy, labeled Howard Dean’s much talked about words a “tirade.” The hosts also talked about Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.

Interestingly the question of the day was, "No WMD Found: Does it Matter?"

There was no doubt that a mildly amusing performance from Dean and the break-up of two insignificant movie stars mattered, but whether or not the prez lied or whether U.S. intelligence gathering and analysis could be broken apparently are matters that reasonable people can disagree about whether or not they are important.

Now since "matter" was never defined, perhaps there is room to have an actual discussion. If by "matter" the mean "will the Bush Administration not be able to get away with it," I would have to say it probably doesn't matter. Team Bush will probably most likely get away with it. (Of course one of my main problems with "debates" and "discussion" on cable news programming and on many blogs is that the issue of whether or not X is right or wrong usually gets mixed in with whether or not X is popular even though in most, but certainly not all, cases these issues are independent of one another.)

The general mood amongst callers was that it didn't matter. That's interesting because the weapons that had to be stopped a year ago now apparently are harmless despite Bush's indication that not all is known about them. In fact, maybe we didn't need to have that fun little war in order to stay safe.


I'm not sure exactly what prompted the question but it seems likely that it had something to do with David Kay quitting and an interview with Reuters where Kay responded to "What happened to the stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons that everyone expected to be there?" by saying "I don't think they existed."

Howard Dean's mannerisms and sound on Monday earned him much ridicule so it is interesting to not that a truly ridiculous statement received no such response from many in the blogosphere. In a January 21 piece for The Age Caroline Overington writes about meeting a man who lost a son, a soldier in the U.S. military, in Iraq:

"But I never thought it was about the weapons," my seat mate said. And, although I can't remember his exact words, he also said something like: "We have always stood up for freedom, in our own country, and for other people."
Always? This person needs to look up some history. Sorry but losing your son, or anything else, does not give you the monopoly on truth. (Would the father of an Iraqi soldier who died fighting the U.S. automatically be correct if they said, "my son was right to fight against the Americans"? Of course not!)

Overington's piece has the title of "They like Bush, and they are not stupid," even though she shows that at least some of Bush's supporters are in fact stupid.


What explains the difference in reactions?

I suspect it is a matter of what people want to believe. Those who want to believe America and Team Bush are absolutely correct in the "war on terror" will find reasons to think that, however comical or illogical. Those who want to believe Dean should receive no support will find reasons for to believe that. And, yes, those of us who oppose the "war on terror" will find reasons to support that opinion.

Is there a difference. I believe that I, for one, am able to acknowledge that contradictory aspects of the "war on terror" that I oppose, which is to say I do not see as all bad or as having no positive impacts.

But I'm sure others don't see it that way.


On a related note, is it possible that the reason just about nobody of any standing or with any audience has challenged Bush's use of "the terrorists" is because the term gained popular currency after the Bush Administration used it the days and weeks after "September 11," a time when serious criticism was something that most people in such positions were not willing to do for fear of offending the public?

If so, this perfectly illustrates the dangers of blind patriotism. It may feel good at the moment but it can lead to some terrible results.