Saturday, November 11, 2006


Miss Molly


You'd expect Molly Ivins -- syndicated columnist, best-selling author, and veteran eviscerator of the pompous and mendacious -- to freely offer her opinions to a reporter, and she does, even suggesting this lede: "Molly Ivins Still Not Dead."

The third recurrence of the breast cancer she has been battling since 1999 (and which recently claimed her good friend, former Texas Gov. Ann Richards) has left the 62-year-old Ivins with precarious balance, minimal hair, and no illusions about the redemptive quality of life-threatening illness. "I'd hoped to become a better person from confronting my own mortality," she laughs. "But it hasn't happened."

What has happened, and continues to happen, are her two columns a week, syndicated in hundreds of newspapers, wittily skewering Republicans and "Republican-lite" Democrats with her trademark, Texas-size sense of humor, politely referred to as "ribald" in some quarters. (She contends she was fired from The New York Times back in 1982 for, among other things, referring to a community's annual chicken-killing festival as a "gang pluck.") Her passion for newspapers, and the good they can do, remains undiminished. As chair of the Texas Observer board, she's especially intent on helping to keep alive the print media's small, independent voices.

"We must keep these alive, or you lose an incredibly important part of journalism," she says. "The Observer breaks a lot of stories, but its real function is to move stories up the food chain. They get picked up by The Washington Post and the New York Times. We broke a big chunk of the Indian casinos stuff on Abramoff, and were the first to do the DeLay stuff. That proves it doesn't take that many horses to get the story; it takes a culture where it's assumed you get up off your ass and get the story."

War Criminals


Just days after his resignation, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany's top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The plaintiffs in the case include 11 Iraqis who were prisoners at Abu Ghraib, as well as Mohammad al-Qahtani, a Saudi held at Guantanamo, whom the U.S. has identified as the so-called "20th hijacker" and a would-be participant in the 9/11 hijackings. As TIME first reported in June 2005, Qahtani underwent a "special interrogation plan," personally approved by Rumsfeld, which the U.S. says produced valuable intelligence. But to obtain it, according to the log of his interrogation and government reports, Qahtani was subjected to forced nudity, sexual humiliation, religious humiliation, prolonged stress positions, sleep deprivation and other controversial interrogation techniques.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say that one of the witnesses who will testify on their behalf is former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the one-time commander of all U.S. military prisons in Iraq. Karpinski — who the lawyers say will be in Germany next week to publicly address her accusations in the case — has issued a written statement to accompany the legal filing, which says, in part: "It was clear the knowledge and responsibility [for what happened at Abu Ghraib] goes all the way to the top of the chain of command to the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ."

Friday, November 10, 2006

Hear Beer

Homebrewing is the hobby of creating beer in one's own home. Though the complexity of the homebrewing process varies between hobbyists, five major steps are typically taken: cleaning, cooking, fermenting, storing, and consuming. Visiting each of these steps in turn, Hear Beer offers an aural interpretation of homebrewing by recombining field recordings of homebrewing.

Hear Beer

friday random ten

Photo by Ryan McManus

Listen to the friday random ten here.

Calexico - Garden Ruin
1. "All Systems Red" - Calexico [Garden Ruin]

Beulah - Yoko
2. "You're Only King Once" - Beulah [Yoko]

The Microphones - The Glow Pt. 2
3. "The Moon" - The Microphones [The Glow, Pt.2]

Various Artists - Genres - Japan - GS I Love You: Japanese Garage Bands of the '60s
4. "You Gat a Call Me" - The Out Cast [GS I Love You: Japanese Garage Bands of the '60s]

Echo and the Bunnymen - Crocodiles
5. "Going Up" - Echo and the Bunnymen [Crocodiles]

6. "Daysleeper" - Dear and the Headlights [Sweet Talk single]

Deerhoof - The Runners Four
7. "Wrong Time Capsule" - Deerhoof [The Runners Four]

Galaxie 500 - This Is Our Music
8. "Listen, the Snow Is Falling" - Galaxie 500 [This Is Our Music]

Green on Red - Here Come the Snakes
9. "Way Back Home" - Green On Red [Here Come the Snakes]

The Cure - Disintegration
10. "Closedown" - The Cure [Disintegration]

Bonus #11: "Romeo and Juliet" - Dire Straits [Making Movies]

friday random ten (10/11/2006)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Art From the Streets

Art From the Streets

November 11th & 12th, 2006

Noon - 5 PM

500 E. 7th Street

Austin, TX 78701

ICC's First Case

Guardian Unlimited

The international criminal court today began its first case, considering evidence against an alleged Congolese warlord accused of recruiting child soldiers and forcing them to kill and mutilate his enemies.

Prosecution lawyers say Thomas Lubanga's Union of Congolese Patriots and its armed wing, the FPLC, recruited children and trained them to kill members of rival tribes in the Democratic Republic of Congo. If they refused to fight, they were threatened with execution, their case alleges.

Opening their evidence at the international criminal court in The Hague today, the deputy prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she hoped the case would signal that the world would not tolerate the conscription of child soldiers.

shrub's presser

Monday, November 06, 2006

Perverting Reality

Digby: Neo-cons are enshrining dishonesty and hypocrisy as a moral imperative.

Glenn Greenwald: The White House and the right-wing blogosphere -- mirror images

Ted Haggard roundup

Mrs. Betty Bowers' Words of Christian Concern for Ted Haggard's Delicious Disgrace

Listen to Paul Hipp's song: "Meth and Man Ass"

The General assures us that the pastors and staff of New Life Curch are 110% Heterosexual... Really, they are.