Thursday, July 26, 2007

July 26 Birthdays: George Bernard Shaw —

and let's not forget Jeremy Piven, either...

July 26 Birthdays: George Bernard Shaw — "# Carl Jung
Psychiatrist (1875)
# Aldous Huxley
author (1894)
# Salvador Allende
president of Chile (1908)
# Stanley Kubrick
filmmaker (1928)
# Charlotte Beers
advertising executive (1935)
# Mick Jagger
musician (1943)
# Helen Mirren
actress (1946)
# Kevin Spacey
actor, director (1959)
# Sandra Bullock
actress (1964)"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dowd gets all scorchin' and shit

Brutal, brutal assessment: From Mo Dowd, yo!

Oh, as it turns out, they’re not on the run.

And, oh yeah, they can fight us here even if we fight them there.

And oh, one more thing, after spending hundreds of billions and losing all those lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’re more vulnerable to terrorists than ever.

And, um, you know that Dead-or-Alive stuff? We may be the ones who end up dead.

Squirming White House officials had to confront the fact yesterday that everything President Bush has been spouting the last six years about Al Qaeda being on the run, disrupted and weakened was just guff.

Last year, W. called his “personal friend” Gen. Pervez Musharraf “a strong defender of freedom.” Unfortunately, it turned out to be Al Qaeda’s freedom. The White House is pinning the blame on Pervez.

While the administration lavishes billions on Pakistan, including $750 million in a risible attempt to win “hearts and minds” in tribal areas where Al Qaeda leaders are hiding and training, President Musharraf has helped create a quiet mountain retreat, a veritable terrorism spa, for Osama and Ayman al-Zawahiri to refresh themselves and get back in shape.

The administration’s most thorough intelligence assessment since 9/11 is stark and dark. Two pages add up to one message: The Bushies blew it. Al Qaeda has exploded into a worldwide state of mind. Because of what’s going on with Iraq and Iran, Hezbollah may now “be more likely to consider” attacking us. Al Qaeda will try to “put operatives here” — (some news reports say a cell from Pakistan already is en route or has arrived) — and “acquire and employ chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear material in attacks.”

(Democrats on cots are ineffectual, but Al Qaeda in caves gets the job done?)

After 9/11, W. stopped mentioning Osama’s name, calling him “just a person who’s now been marginalized,” and adding “I just don’t spend that much time on him.”

This week, as counterterrorism officials gathered at the White House to frantically brainstorm on covert and overt plans to capture Osama, the president may have regretted his perverse attempt to demote America’s most determined enemy.

W. began to mention Osama and Al Qaeda more recently, but only to assert: “The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th.” His conflation is contradicted by the fact that Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, as the Sunni terrorist group in Iraq is known, did not exist before 9/11.

Fran Townsend, the president’s homeland security adviser, did her best to put a gloss on the dross but failed. She had to admit that the hands-off approach used by Mr. Musharraf with the tribal leaders in North Waziristan, which always looked like a nutty way to give Al Qaeda room to regroup, was a nutty way to give Al Qaeda room to regroup.

“It hasn’t worked for Pakistan,” she conceded. “It hasn’t worked for the United States.”

Just as we outsourced capturing Osama at Tora Bora to Afghans who had no motive to do it, we outsourced capturing Osama in Pakistan to Mr. Musharraf, who had no motive to do it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tiny Mix Tapes Mix Tapes: if you're happy and you know it clap your hands - requested by: clap clap

Every once in a while the Automatic Mix Tape generator spits up something tasty.

Tiny Mix Tapes Mix Tapes: if you're happy and you know it clap your hands - requested by: clap clap: "requested by: clap clap
compiled by: portraitofsound

My goal was to have songs that were filled with that type of primal joy that inevitably leads to involuntary hand-clapping.

01. The Danielson Famile- 'We Don’t Say Shut Up' (Fetch The Compass Kids)
02. Kester & the Kitchenettes- 'Ya Ya Ya' (Yay 4 Cuteness)
03. Architecture in Helsinki- 'It’s 5!' (In Case We Die)
04. Animal Collective- 'Baby Day' (live acoustic at Othermusic)
05. Deerhoof- 'Flower' (Apple O’)
06. Beat Happening- 'Down At The Sea' (Beat Happening)
07. I’m From Barcelona- 'We’re From Barcelona' (Let Me Introduce My Friends)
08. The Unicorns- 'I Was Born A Unicorn' (Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?)
09. Of Montreal- 'Jennifer Louise' (Aldhils Arboretum) 10. Daniel Johnston- 'Happy Time' (Fun)"

Saturday, July 14, 2007

36 Hours in Vancouver - New York Times

36 hours in Vancouver? I've got a better story than this one...

36 Hours in Vancouver - New York Times: "VANCOUVER, British Columbia, is two cities rolled into one. For outdoorsy types, this western Canadian city is a nature paradise, with miles of scenic hiking trails and bike paths that sweep along the Strait of Georgia, the pine tree-lined waterway that connects Vancouver with the Pacific Ocean. For urbanites, Vancouver is a sophisticated destination, with thriving immigrant enclaves, an ever-expanding restaurant scene, quirky neighborhoods, distinctive shops and lively bars that party all night. Part of the fun is weaving your way through Vancouver's two sides, and realizing that's why the city ranks as one of the world's most livable places."

Monday, July 09, 2007

Daytrotter | Free Songs: The National

Very cool cover of the Psychedelic Furs classic.

Daytrotter | Free Songs: The National: "Fourth song
Pretty in Pink (The National) [3.16MB] [1721 downloads]"

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

At a Theater Near You ... - New York Times

Friedman scores when he doesn't overdo his metaphors.

At a Theater Near You ... - New York Times: "But this movie gets more confusing every time you watch it. When you watched it on 9/11 it was about America’s presence in the heart of Arabia. And when you watched it on 7/7 it was about unemployed and alienated Muslim youth in Britain. In Jordan not long ago it was about a wedding at a Western hotel. In Morocco recently it was about an Internet cafe. And two days ago in Yemen it was about seven Spanish tourists who were killed when a suicide bomber drove into them at a local tourist site. Wasn’t Spain the country that quit Iraq to get its people out of the line of fire?

Because these incidents are scattered, we’re growing numb to just how crazy they are. In the past few years, hundreds of Muslims have committed suicide amid innocent civilians — without making any concrete political demands and without generating any vigorous, sustained condemnation in the Muslim world.

Two trends are at work here: humiliation and atomization. Islam’s self-identity is that it is the most perfect and complete expression of God’s monotheistic message, and the Koran is God’s last and most perfect word. To put it another way, young Muslims are raised on the view that Islam is God 3.0. Christianity is God 2.0. Judaism is God 1.0. And Hinduism and all others are God 0.0."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The London car-bomb plot was designed to kill women. - By Christopher Hitchens - Slate Magazine

+2 Mr. Hitchens.

The London car-bomb plot was designed to kill women. - By Christopher Hitchens - Slate Magazine: "Only at the tail end of the coverage was it admitted that a car bomb might have been parked outside a club in Piccadilly because it was 'ladies night' and that this explosion might have been designed to lure people into to the street, the better to be burned and shredded by the succeeding explosion from the second car-borne cargo of gasoline and nails. Since we have known since 2004 that a near-identical attack on a club called the Ministry of Sound was proposed in just these terms, on the grounds that dead 'slags' or 'sluts' would be regretted by nobody, a certain amount of trouble might have been saved by assuming the obvious. The murderers did not just want body parts in general but female body parts in particular.

I suppose that some people might want to shy away from this conclusion for whatever reason, but they cannot have been among the viewers of British Channel 4's recent Undercover Mosque, or among those who watched Sunday's report from Christiane Amanpour on CNN's Special Investigations Unit. On these shows, the British Muslim fanatics came right out with their program. Straight into the camera, leading figures like Anjem Choudary spoke of their love for Osama Bin Laden and their explicit rejection of any definition of Islam as a religion of peace. On tape or in person, mullahs in prominent British mosques called for the killing of Indians and Jews."