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

Thursday, March 31, 2005
Reportedly some woman named Terri Schiavo died today in Florida.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005
riverbend's "Two Years..."

Tuesday, March 29, 2005
How we love Iraq

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will soon back a U.S. pullout of Iraq, reports Robert Novak in yesterday's Chicago Sun Times. Novack also says that Paul Wolfowitz is/will be supportive of this plan "to leave even if what is left behind does not constitute perfection."

Why they aren't shooting for a desert utopia is beyond me since the BBC reports today that the Iraqi parliament couldn't get anything done in their second session and banned the media from covering the proceedings, by which I think the BBC report means no direct coverage.

This of course should not be used in any way to say that their is a lack of transparency in that government, just as the details included in Charles Hanley's recent AP report on the dangers of unaccounted for equipment and materials in Iraq should not in any way say anything even the slightest bit remotely bad about our wonderful leaders' wonderful plan to liberate the Iraqi people, protect us good Americans or whatever the goal was:

Dozens of ballistic missiles are missing in Iraq. Vials of dangerous microbes are unaccounted for. Sensitive sites, once under U.N. seal, stand gutted today, their arms-making gear hauled off by looters, or by arms-makers.

…two years after U.S. teams began their futile hunt for weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has… a landscape of ruined military plants and of unanswered questions and loose ends, some potentially lethal, an Associated Press review of official reporting shows.

The chief U.N. arms inspector told AP that outsiders are seeing only a "sliver" of the mess inside Iraq. Demetrius Perricos reports that satellite images indicate at least 90 sites in the old Iraqi military-industrial complex have been pillaged.

The U.S. teams paint a similar picture. "There is nothing but a concrete slab at locations where once stood plants or laboratories," the Iraq Survey Group said in its final report.

But that report from inside Iraq, though 986 pages thick, is at times thin on relevant hard information and silent in critically important areas.

The Iraq Survey Group, which ended its arms hunt in December, says a complete accounting of the Samouds "may not be possible due to various factors."

Besides the Samouds, up to 34 Fatah missiles — a similar but solid-fueled weapon — are also unaccounted for. And more than 600 missile engines may be missing; the U.S. document simply doesn't report their status.

Perricos, in the AP interview at his New York headquarters, expressed concern about the missiles. "If they have been destroyed, somebody should know they've been destroyed or not. Have they gone somewhere?" he asked.

The worry is not that Iraqi insurgents might field the missiles, he said, but that advanced Samoud or Fatah parts might secretly boost missile-building programs elsewhere in the region or beyond. "The engines can easily be sold for a lot of money for the insurgency," he said.

The whole thing is worth reading.

In light of the evidence, there is no reason that Team Bush should be able to get out of Iraq while still claiming that we did our duty as Americans to fix the world of Iraqis and to make the world safe for America.

If a pullout does begin, which I support in case that was not clear, I have little doubt that this is exactly what they will claim and that they will get away with it.

Monday, March 28, 2005
Hugo has pointed the way to two very different interesting destinations on the web...

The first is David Randall and Andrew Buncombe's story in yesterday's Independent on the revelations of abuse of Iraqis by Uncle Sam at a jail in Mosul:

An investigation by a US officer after a prisoner's jaw was broken found that inmates were hit with water bottles, made to do exhausting physical exercises until they collapsed, deprived of sleep, subjected to deafening heavy metal music and had cigarette smoke blown into sandbags they were forced to wear as hoods. One soldier said troops "always harassed the hell out of detainees"; another said that at times "the detainees would get so scared they would piss themselves".

In December 2003 a prisoner died after four days of continuous punishment. According to the documents, which were obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, mistreatmentwas [sic] not confined to Abu Ghraib jail, where abuse and sexual humiliation of inmates caused worldwide outrage last year.

The facility at Mosul was run by the 311th Military Intelligence Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division. In a memo, the investigating officer said: "There is evidence that suggests the 311th MI personnel ... engaged in physical torture." His report in January 2004 said prisoners' rights under the Geneva Conventions had been violated.

Hey losers, this is just part of the job of getting the best possible information so we can rid the world of terror and evil.

The other place of interest is zeynep's post entitled "Due to Today's Developments, Tens of Millions of People Not-Named Terri Schiavo May Die," which is primarily based on a March 23 AP article by Rajesh Mahaptra on criticism of India's new legislation that will curtail the ability of the Indian manufacturers to make low cost generic version of medications:

Some 50 percent of 700,000 HIV patients taking antiretroviral medicines in Africa, Asia and Latin America rely on low-cost drugs from India. A month's dose of a generic AIDS drug cocktail costs US$30 (euro22), or 5 percent of similar drugs sold by Western producers.

"Because India is one of the world's biggest producers of generic drugs, this law will have a severe knock-on effect on many developing countries which depend on imported generic drugs from India," said Samar Verma, regional policy adviser at Oxfam International...

Officials also allayed fears that the new law will push up prices of essential medicines. Jairam Ramesh, the governing Congress party's economic adviser, said more than 90 percent of essential medicines currently sold in the country are generic products with expired patents. Also, nothing in the new law prevents the government from setting caps on prices of new essential drugs in the future, Ramesh said.

Ellen 't Hoen of Doctors Without Borders, who led representatives from more than two dozen aid groups, said the bill was still vague in many respects and allowed for abuses by multinational companies...

A key concern relates to the government's ability to override patents on medicines that a large number of people need, but can't afford to buy. The bill says the government must wait at least three years before this is allowed, except in a national emergency.

Even though India has some 5.1 million HIV-infected people -- the second largest number after South Africa -- the disease is not seen as a national emergency, and Indian companies will therefore no longer be allowed to copy new inventions in AIDS treatment, Hoen said.

I will be convinced that Hardt and Negri's "multitude" could become a reality when those with the technical know how necessary to produce these potentially life saving medications seize control of their production and find a means to then distribute them in a more just manner.

Sunday, March 27, 2005
MSU 94
Kentucky 88

I have never seen a greater game. Better played games? Yes. Better outcomes (sports fandom is subjective to me)? Yes, but not by much. A game more symbolic? I doubt it and there is beauty in that.

My beloved Spartans had gone since 2001 without a championship. This was the last shot at it for seniors Alan Anderson, Tim Bograkos, Chris Hill and Kelvin Torbert, and they did it.

Michigan State had a 23-16 lead with 8:14 left in the first half. Kentucky went on an 11 point run. The first half end at 37-33. The Spartans had it tied up less than two minutes into the next period.

MSU dominated much of the second half with quick play from Maurice Ager and Shannon Brown, stifling defense and Paul Davis' solid play. They had an 8 point lead with 5:20 left and things looked good.

Kentucky, as you might have guessed if you didn't already know, came back and tied it up with last second three to secure an extra five minutes. Patrick Sparks may have had his foot on the line when he took the shot. He probably didn't, and Kentucky had the energy.

The Wildcats scored the first four of overtime and went up 79-75. MSU looked lost and I think it appeared to just about everybody that they were going to lose, but they kept it tight by finally getting three point shot after four offensive rebounds.

The first overtime ended at 81-81 after MSU prevented Kentucky from scoring on another shot with less than a second. The second overtime was better and through great free throw shooting, Michigan State won 94-88.

The game featured MSU playing well, screwing it up and falling behind, making a sold comeback that they couldn't quite finish and then looking hopeless. In short, it was MSU basketball for the last four seasons. But redemption came and somehow that makes everything ok. They are champions.

Some things are sublime because they are not what came before.

Saturday, March 26, 2005
The Culture of Death rolls on...

Terri Schiavo's parents have given up on federal appeals, but in more important Culture of Death news...

Army commanders do not agree with the recommendations of investigators and will not prosecute 17 soldiers for the deaths of Iraqis...

"The United States has committed 'grave violations of human rights' against prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan and Iraq, the Foreign Affairs Committee of Britain's parliament said in a report on Friday," Reuters says in a story from Thursday...

"Newly released government documents say the abuse of prisoners in Iraq by U.S. forces was more widespread than previously reported," Matt Kelley writes in an AP story published today. "The documents released Friday were the first to reveal abuses at the jail in Mosul and are among the few to allege torture directly."

Yep, Terri Schiavo's case is the most important event going on in the world today that involves the United States and state sanctioned life and death.

Friday, March 25, 2005
Rush responds to Micah

Rush Limbaugh responded to me today on his radio program. No my name wasn't mentioned and the doctor of democracy didn't respond to yesterday's entry on this here collection of stuff but in saying that the coverage of Terri Schiavo's case over the last week has lead some to believe that "mercy killing" is justified, Limbaugh must have been commenting on what I wrote yesterday in a comment on Hugo's blog:

The more I think about this, the more I believe that people should have an option in living wills to state that they do not want a feeding tube to be removed, or life support removed, and then to die naturally but that, under certain situations, they want to be killed. I know that sounds harsh but for all the talk of "dignity" in death, I just can't see how death from dehydration, even if it does not involve pain, is dignified.
My words were inexact because I am not clear on what I want my formulation to be, but I do agree with what I wrote, so I guess, according to Limbaugh, I am taking joy in the eventual death of Schiavo.

Of course, I have heard Limbaugh more than once this week say that some people are happy that Schiavo is dying and will be really happy when she is dead. According to Limbaugh's own If It Were True They Wouldn't Need To Say It So Much logic of yesterday I have to conclude that Limbaugh is wrong about this. May God damn him to hell.

Thursday, March 24, 2005
Rush Limbaugh said on his radio program today that lots of news outlets have been reporting that many medical experts say death from dehydration is not painful for someone in the state that Terri Schiavo is in. Limbaugh then proceeded to refute this claim by saying that if it were true, “they” wouldn’t need to keep saying it.

I plan to use this logic in the future.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Yesterday I heard what could have beent he greatest moment in the history of talk radio. Michael Reagan said it was illegal to starve a dog to death and thus argued that in light of Terri Schiavo, that we treat dogs better than humans.

I guess the phrase "put to sleep" means nothing to this son of a dead prez, or maybe he was saying that he would favor just killing Schiavo and those in her situation over the removal of feeding tubes.


Leonid Ragozin of BBCRussian has an interesting look at the instability in Kyrgyzstan (March 21).


"The budget deficit has overtaken terrorism as the greatest short-term risk to the U.S. economy, and concern about the current account gap is rising, a survey of American businesses released Monday showed," Reuters says in a March 21 story. "In the survey of 172 members of the National Association For Business Economics, 27 percent said the deficit or government spending was the largest short-term threat to the economy, up from 23 percent who thought so in August."

Monday, March 21, 2005
"VIDEO footage of the treatment of prisoners by the US military at Guantanamo Bay would reveal many cases of substantial abuse as 'explosive as anything from Abu Ghraib', a lawyer said today," John Sheed writes in today's The Australian. "Adelaide lawyer Stephen Kenny, who represented Australian David Hicks during the early part of his detention at the military prison in Cuba, told a law conference today 500 hours of videotape of prisoners at the US base existed."

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Saturday, March 19, 2005
Via a comment from Hugo, here's Lindsay Beyerstein's "Lies Terri Schiavo's parents told me."

One things I should have said yesterday, but didn't, is that it is amazing how many of the "supporters" of Schiavo aren't interested in the specifics of this case so much as the role judges in policy decisions and abortion.

Also, yesterday G. Gordon Liddy said on his radio show that the treatment of Schiavo is something like would happen in Nazi Germany. He did not disclose when he will be having lunch with Ward Churchill.

Friday, March 18, 2005
I don't know what exactly to think of the situation involving Terri Schiavo because of the disputes over what is in fact the case.

For instance, Manuel Roig-Franzia and William Branigin of The Washington Post write today, "[c]ourt-appointed doctors say she is in a persistent vegetative state," but Schiavo's parents appear to have a much different view. Abby Goodnough and Maria Newman of The New York Times write today, "her parents... believe she responds to them and want her to be kept alive by providing her with nutrition through a tube."

Chris Johnston of Times Online writes (March 18), "[d]octors say she has no hope of recovery, and Michael Schiavo says that his wife told him years ago that if anything ever happened to her she would not want to be kept alive artificially," but you can hear a lot of very different things on right wing talk radio.

If somebody tried to clarify what was true according to the rules of science and did so in a manner that attempted to explain what the basis for other view points was, would they be believed or trusted?

I doubt it.

One thing that can be heard on right wing talk radio is that this is about society being increasingly willing to kill. What a joke. Today's the second anniversary of the beginning of the invasion stage of the U.S. war in Iraq. 100,000 or so Iraqis have been killed in the process, or maybe it was roughly 20,000, and virtually nobody wants to talk about them. The Sean Hannitys certainly don't. And what about all the millions who die from starvation each year? We could just feed a lot of them if we really wanted to, just as we could continue to feed to Schiavo… if we really wanted to.

Thursday, March 17, 2005
From the department of what ever is on the other side of projection, yesterday Bush said:
I like the idea of people running for office. There's a positive effect when you run for office. Maybe some will run for office and say, vote for me, I look forward to blowing up America. I don't know, I don't know if that will be their platform or not. But it's -- I don't think so. I think people who generally run for office say, vote for me, I'm looking forward to fixing your potholes, or making sure you got bread on the table.

Conal Urquhart reports in Monday's Guardian that the Druze are kicking ass again:

Dozens of Christian families have fled their homes in northern Israel, accusing the Israeli police of failing to protect them from attacks by their Druze neighbours.

The quiet town of Mughar was paralysed for three days last month when thousands of Druze youth roamed the streets, attacking properties and cars belonging to Christians. Twelve people were injured - two of whom were shot.

The violence began when a rumour spread among the Druze that Christian schoolboys had created photomontages of Druze schoolgirls with naked bodies and posted them on the internet. The police found no evidence and arrested a 16-year-old boy for starting the hoax.

God Bless Each and Every One of Them!


"At least 108 people have died in American custody in Iraq and Afghanistan, most of them violently, according to government data provided to The Associated Press. Roughly a quarter of those deaths have been investigated as possible abuse by U.S. personnel," writes the AP in a story published yesterday.


"America's top general [Richard Myers] said Wednesday that Afghanistan is secure and the United States is considering keeping long-term bases here as it repositions its military forces around the world," Stephen Graham writes in a March 16 AP story.

And I thought we only wanted a place to bury our dead.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Juan Cole argues today at salon.com that Bush doesn't deserve credit for the democratization that is going on in the Middle East.

Cole's case is impressive, but if things are seen as turning out well and there is more "democracy" that is seen as good by Uncle Sam, Bush will credit for it. At one point in the piece Cole writes, "the Bush administration has shown no signs that it will push for democracy in countries where freedom of choice would lead to outcomes unfavorable to U.S. interests."

Yes you see the real deal -I must stop sounding like Jack Tanner- is that the U.S. likes democracy when it sees democracy as the best way to get what it wants.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
"U.S. authorities charged 18 people in an alleged scheme to smuggle grenade launchers, shoulder-fired missiles and other Russian military weapons into the United States," Michael Weissenstein of the AP writes in a story published today. "The arrests resulted from a yearlong investigation in which an FBI informant posed as an arms buyer who claimed to have ties to al-Qaida."

Assuming this is true, it would have been interesting if a little test had been done to see if they could get the weapons in.

Monday, March 14, 2005
Yesterday's New York Times featured a fascinating story by James Glanz and William J. Broad on how Iraqi deputy minister of industry Sami al-Araji says that in the weeks after the invasion of Iraq there was widespread and systematic looting of machinery that could be used in the production of WMDS in Iraq.

Assuming this is true, this is more evidence that Team Bush was not as serious about eliminating the threat they said was posed by Iraqi WMDs, and they now say was posed by Iraqi WMD programs and materials that could be used to make WMDs, as they would like us to believe.

Saturday, March 12, 2005
Mr. President begs me to stop spotlighting his appeasing ways

My old buddy from the small hard working rugged towns of Texas, President George W. Bush, called me up recently to talk about "Stop appeasing Syria, Mr. President." The following is a transcript of our conversation:

Prez: Hello, is Micah there?

Me: Yes, this him.

Prez: This is the president, Big Guy.

Me: Please don’t call "Big Guy." I’ve told you this before, but I have poor body image and I don’t need you reinforcing it.

Prez: OK… say I read “Stop appeasing Syria, Mr. President" and I’m glad to see you picked up my love of [Michael] Hardt and [Antonio] Negri.

Me: That’s… um, interesting. Do you ever get confused?

Prez: What!?!

Me: I mean, do you ever get confused reading them?

Prez: Sometimes, but you know it is my job to read this shit and report back to [Richard] Cheney.

Me: Interesting…

Prez: Say you aren’t going to keep criticizing me for appeasement are you?

Me: Yes I am.

Prez: Why?

Me: Because you are an evil appeaser Mr. President! What happened to you? Why would we liberate Iraqis only to let Syrians have a say in the world? Freedom isn’t free! And I do not appreciate you making a mockery of it, using it as bathroom tissue and so forth.

Prez: Uh…

Me: You’ve become a disgrace. Having the UN deliver your message… What have you done? What have you done?

Prez: I don’t know what to say.

Me: Mr. President, I’ve always believed you were a Godly man Mr. President, so I believe you do know the Bible verse that says, “America rules the Goddamn planet.” Right, Mr. President. May I, no I do suggest that you spend no less than 100 minutes thinking about it.

Then I hung up.

In retrospect, I should have made it clear to President Bush that most Biblical scholars agree that America means the United States of America in that passage, and not Peru as some so-called Biblical scholars claimed in the infamous 1987 Declaration from Peru. Also, you get that quote is a Bible code.

Thursday, March 10, 2005
Stop appeasing Syria, Mr. President

I'm not a very poliitcal person, but it seems to me that Syria has been told by us to do something and they aren't doing it. Why aren't we bombing them?

Could it be that President Bush wants to use other means as if he is a stick in a mud who believes Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri are on to something in Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (Penguin, 2004)? I think it is.

This is nothing but appeasement plain and simple and anybody who doesn't favor bombing Syria out of the stone age right now is a fascist plain and simple.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005
riverbend has an excellent post up today on the current situation in Iraq. She, in my not exactly humble opinion, gets it right on little power Iraqis actually have.

Monday, March 07, 2005
In a country where Oliver North has a tv show, I just don't think there is even a chance the public will accept Martha Stewart.

Friday, March 04, 2005
Justin Raimondo says the U.S. of A is pretty close to fascism today in an antiwar.com column. Raimondo overstates the quality of the U.S. as a society throughout history -he's no Ward Churchill- and, in my not exactly humble opinion, overestimates the potential for the need for massive repressive measures. If there is another major attack against the U.S. on U.S. soil, the public will likely just fall in line again and there will be no need to jail dissidents.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005
It is funny, but right now I don't feel the need to blog about anything.