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.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

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, May 22, 2004
Media hilarity

The media has certainly done its part to entertain me over the last two days.

On Thursday, Deputy Director for Coalition Operations Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt said this about the "wedding party" raid:

I am persuaded that, again, the purposes that caused us to conduct that operation in the middle of the barren desert in the early mornings (sic) of the hour, which is kind of an odd time to be having a wedding, against what we believed to be 34 to 35 men and a number of women, less than a handful of women, which doesn't seem to be numbers that one would associate with a wedding, by a group in their four-by- fours, well away from any town, in a known RAT line, which is being used by smugglers and foreign fighters frequently, and other intelligence that we found on the ground, pretty well convinces us that what got us there had a valid purpose.

By the way, as Mike Rogers points out, a cover-up isn't out of the question.

In the same briefing, Dan Senor, Senior Adviser of the Coalition Provisional Authority, got involved in this exchange:

Q Hello. (Name inaudible) -- Four Corners Media. Were you aware that two days ago the museum in Nasiriyah was burned and looted, possibly by the Mahdi Army? And there's continued looting at sites all over the south of Iraq including reports of about 200 looters a night at Uma (sp). And I'm wondering why this is still happening a year after the war ended and what plan you have in place to stop it.

MR. SENOR: We have built up an Iraqi security force. If you look at all the security forces -- the Iraqi police, the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, the new Iraqi army, Facilities Protection Service and Iraqi Civil Defense Corps and the Iraqi border patrol -- five security forces, some 200,000 Iraqis in security positions. We've built that up in about a year.

When Ambassador Bremer arrived here last spring there wasn't a single Iraqi police officer on the streets. Today we have recruited and deployed an Iraqi police force of approximately 70,000 individuals. The building up of the Iraqi security forces, plus the reinforcement role that American and coalition security forces have played, has drawn down -- resulted in the reduction of looting dramatically. I mean, just -- in the aftermath of the war, there was significant looting. Now there's virtually none.

In certain areas you've seen a direct cause effect where we've dedicated either coalition forces or, more primarily, Iraqi security forces, you've seen a dramatic reduction. Take political sabotage attacks against the electrical lines, or the oil infrastructure. While we've seen a spike in the last week, you've got to understand, for about the past year, past 10 months, we've seen virtually none. Immediately after the war, electrical lines were being taken down on almost a weekly basis. And we went for about 10 or 11 months and we see none of it, and that's because we have built up a Facilities Protection Service of Iraqis in the number of tens of thousands, who are now securing the electrical lines. And that has done two things. One, it has made the marginal risk for those who engage in these attacks that much higher. When they try to take down a line, the odds of them themselves getting killed or captured have increased significantly. Also, our investment in the electrical infrastructure has meant there's more redundancy in the system, so the marginal benefit to those engaging in these attacks against infrastructure, and the looting, has gone way down because when they try to take down a piece of infrastructure, when they try to knock down an electrical line, it either doesn't have the desired effect -- electrical power doesn't go out, or our ability to put it back up increases that much more significantly.

So overall, you've seen dramatic improvement. That's not to say there aren't isolated pockets where there are still problems. Certainly, in the United States of America, where we have millions and millions and millions and millions of people in security positions, we still have crime. We're still going to have areas where there's looting in Iraq. Our goal is not perfection, our goal is making it that much more difficulty for those who engage in those attacks to complete them successfully, and we've done a very good job on that. The Iraqis have done an outstanding job on that. And we've got to continue to improve it.

Funny how not too many mayors run for reelection by bragging about how they have reduced looting every year that they've been in office.

Later on Thursday, Nancy Pelosi's not exactly complimentary statement about Bush was the top story on Hannity & Colmes. "Just how much more vicious can they get?" Sean Hannity asked as the audience at home got to see the smiling face of Ann Coulter.

I hope I'm not the only person who found this amusing.

The fun continued yesterday.

If evolution, how come we're not "idiot gorillas?" Rush Limbaugh ostensibly asked on his program yesterday. Here's what John Rennie had to say on this matter in an article entitled "15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense" from the July 2002 edition of Scientific American:

6. If humans descended from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?

This surprisingly common argument reflects several levels of ignorance about evolution. The first mistake is that evolution does not teach that humans descended from monkeys; it states that both have a common ancestor.

The deeper error is that this objection is tantamount to asking, "If children descended from adults, why are there still adults?" New species evolve by splintering off from established ones, when populations of organisms become isolated from the main branch of their family and acquire sufficient differences to remain forever distinct. The parent species may survive indefinitely thereafter, or it may become extinct.

If Rush could be wrong, I just don't know what to believe.

Later, on the radio, I heard Hannity telling Arianna Huffington that she and her "rich Hollywood friends" should start their own automobile company if they want people to start driving more fuel-efficient vehicles, as if the entry costs were not prohibitively high.

Bored with Hannity but still having a few more minutes of driving to kill, I turned to WorldNetDaily RadioActive in order to hear host Joseph Farah assert that OutKast was a "gangster rap" group as well as that Bill Clinton and Sister Souljah were friends and fascism is bound to be the response the presumed immorality of the U.S.


The above examples are all good, but I'm most impressed by the opening graf of Jack Wheeler column from yesterday's Washington Times:

We know conclusively that the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal is as phony as a Bill Clinton sex denial because there are no calls for the resignation of the one individual most responsible for the abuses.
Words fail to describe the laughter this should provoke.