micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links

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

Please send him email at micahth@chartermi.net.

Holmquist's full archives are listed here.

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 11, 2004
Notes on the production of "reality"

It is telling that a group of rightist owned telly stations planning to air an anti-Kerry documentary is news, but the fawning coverage the mainstream media gives both Bush and Kerry is considered a given. In other words, if you had any doubts about your "real" choices are supposed to be, you should just drop them and leave.

This is only one of numerous examples of the mainstream media acting to reinforce the binary politics of the United States. In the process, they create what is widely perceived as "reality."


Team Bush is also good at creating the reality they desire, and they haven't been shrieking from this important task in recent days.

In Friday night's debate, Bush responded to a question about who he would pick for the Supreme Court with:

I really don't have -- haven't picked anybody yet. Plus, I want them all voting for me.

I would pick somebody who would not allow their personal opinion to get in the way of the law. I would pick somebody who would strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States.

Let me give you a couple of examples, I guess, of the kind of person I wouldn't pick.

I wouldn't pick a judge who said that the Pledge of Allegiance couldn't be said in a school because it had the words under God in it. I think that's an example of a judge allowing personal opinion to enter into the decision-making process as opposed to a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

Another example would be the Dred Scott case, which is where judges, years ago, said that the Constitution allowed slavery because of personal property rights.

That's a personal opinion. That's not what the Constitution says. The Constitution of the United States says we're all -- you know, it doesn't say that. It doesn't speak to the equality of America.

And so, I would pick people that would be strict constructionists. We've got plenty of lawmakers in Washington, D.C. Legislators make law; judges interpret the Constitution.

And I suspect one of us will have a pick at the end of next year -- the next four years. And that's the kind of judge I'm going to put on there. No litmus test except for how they interpret the Constitution.

Does Bush know what Dred Scott v. Sanford was about? Does he think the 13th Amendment was unnecessary? This should be a fairly significant story.

Here you have the prez showing great ignorance of one of the most important Supreme Court decisions ever in and making the case for a literal interpretation of the Constitution in part by criticizing a decision that was a literal reading of that document, and nobody cares. No wonder Bush was able to convince people Saddam was a "threat."

Speaking of that matter, yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Condoleezza Rice said:

...Saddam Hussein had an insatiable appetite for weapons of mass destruction. He had an unflinching hatred for the United States. He had every reason to cooperate with our enemies. This was a gathering and growing threat, and it was time to take care of it.
"[G]rowing threat"? "[G]rowing threat"? "[G]rowing threat"?

Bush, Rice and the rest of the crew never proved there was any threat beyond the mere possibility that anybody with Saddam's money and resources could, if they decided they really wanted to, begin to think about attacking the United States. There was no "threat," if that word is defined in a conventional manner. The fact that no "mainstream" journalist will point this out shows them to be nothing but a pitiful group of hack enablers.

What should be equally disturbing, but somehow isn't to me, is the way in which Team Bush has created ridiculously utopian goals for public consumption and yet manage to ridicule a political opponent who goes along with these goals as not supporting them.

In a Matt Bai's moderately hagiographical profile of Kerry in yesterday's New York Times Magazine, the Great John Kerry is presented as saying:

'We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance,'' Kerry said. ''As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life.''
This doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Terrorism exists in singularities and so as long as it exists, it will be more than a nuisance, unless of course Kerry is more wedded to the latter part of these words. (Besides, how can he ignore the myriad of ways in which prostitution and illegal gambling are destroying the very fabric of the sprit that makes America great?)

Team Bush's response to this is laughable. CNN writes:

>Bush campaign Chairman Marc Racicot, in an appearance on CNN's "Late Edition," interpreted Kerry's remarks as saying "that the war on terrorism is like a nuisance. He equated it to prostitution and gambling, a nuisance activity. You know, quite frankly, I just don't think he has the right view of the world. It's a pre-9/11 view of the world."

Republican Party Chairman Ed Gillespie, on CBS' "Face the Nation," used similar language.

"Terrorism is not a law enforcement matter, as John Kerry repeatedly says. Terrorist activities are not like gambling. Terrorist activities are not like prostitution. And this demonstrates a disconcerting pre-September 11 mindset that will not make our country safer. And that is what we see relative to winning the war on terror and relative to Iraq."

If you can create your own reality, why bother with the commonly accepted one? It will just be full of unpleasant things that go bump in the night.


I'd criticize Team Kerry for creating their own reality, something they most certainly want to do, as well, but they are so bad at it that it isn't worth doing.