Sunday, October 30, 2005


I have a cat, goes by the name of Zanzibar. She's a lovely little thing, and I've had her since she was born. I live alone, so when I come home, she's a treat and a friend indeed to have around.

Now, she's got a big problem, something called hyperthropic cardiomapathy. It's a heart disease that thickens the heart muscles, which makes breathing difficult and blood clots can form, which is bad for humans and cats alike.

With treatment, she has an unknown time to live, like all of us, but her time has been shortened dramatically, anywhere from three months to three years. I love her very much, and will do all that I can to help her live as long as possible. I don't have much money, though, and that's always a problem with doctor's bills and all. And I have pet insurance!

Anyway, there's picture of The Zanzibar above. Send some good wishes her way!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Dear Mrs. Parks

On behalf of my parents and my entire family, thank you for your courage.
Rest in Peace


In yet another round of crazyness in an on-going crazy world, Liz Rozen from the excellent international news blog, War and Piece, has written a story regarding the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, who in turn has broken a story regarding possibly forged documents claiming that Iraq attempted to purchase large quantities of uranium yellowcake from Niger. Her full report, "La Repubblica's Scoop, Confirmed," can be found at the American Prospect. La Repubblica's article, portions of which have been translated from the Italian, can be found here. If you're lucky enough to read Italian, you can go straight to the source... unlike our Government, who likes to make shit up.

Linda Rozen writes:
The investigative reporting team at Italy's La Repubblica has an explosive story out today, on the Italian angle on the Nigergate mysteries. In it they report that Nicolo Pollari, the chief of Italian military intelligence Sismi, met with then deputy national security advisor Stephen Hadley in September 2002 -- just as the White House was assembling the evidence it would use to convince the American public and Congress of the need for war, in large part, the White House claimed, to prevent Saddam from reconstituting his nuclear arsenal. The meeting could help explain why despite numerous attempts by the CIA to get the White House to take out the Niger yellowcake claims from its speeches, the claims made their way back into Bush's 2003 State of the Union speech. The unusual meeting may also help explain the seemingly hysterical overreaction of the White House to Joseph Wilson's pushback on the Niger yellowcake claims, several months later. I'm reporting on the case over at The American Prospect and Tapped.
Rozen later updated that a National Security Council spokesman confirmed that Pollari and Hadley did meet in Italy on September 9, 2002, though what they met about was unconfirmed to Rozen.

According to Joseph Wilson's book, The Politics of Truth (pg. 352), Hadley was
"'one of those responsible for vetting Bush's State of the Union address. On July 22 [2003], Hadley acknowledged that he should have deleted the reference [the "16 words" in the SOTU address] to Iraq's attempts to buy uranium, because months earlier, in two memos and a phone call from Tenet himself, the CIA had warned him that the claim was weak. All three of those warnings had been issued before the president's Cincinnati speech in early October. Hadley clamed that he had evidently failed to recall them three months later, in January. "The high standards the president set were not met." Hadley admitted.'"
Rozen writes in her piece today that:
Yet if anyone knew who was actually responsible for the White House's trumpeting of the Niger claims, it would seem from the Repubblica report that Hadley did. He also knew that the CIA, which had initially rejected the Italian claims, was not to blame. Hadley's meeting with Pollari, at precisely the time when the Niger forgeries came into the possession of the U.S. government, may explain the seemingly hysterical White House overreaction to Wilson's article almost a year later.
Hmmm. The plot thickens. We'll have to wait and see what Patrick Fitzgerald says, as rumor has it that sealed indictments are coming down on Wednesday. Steve Clemons notes:
An uber-insider source has just reported the following to TWN:

1. 1-5 indictments are being issued. The source feels that it will be towards the higher end. 2. The targets of indictment have already received their letters.
3. The indictments will be sealed indictments and "filed" tomorrow.
4. A press conference is being scheduled for Thursday.
We'll see, now won't we? I tend to err on the side of caution. Who knows what tomorrow may bring?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Random Woman to Sudan

I work in the Bronx and live in Brooklyn. Needless to say, it's a long trip home on the subway. If you've ever been on the New York City subway, you know that a seat is a precious thing during rush hour, and as I get on the train toward home at the penultimate stop on my particular subway, I normally get a seat immediately. I read a lot, try not to engage too much, and get annoyed when someone tries to squeeze in between my big butt and the big butt next to mine when a space in between is smallish.

So I'm reading this past Sunday's New York Times Magazine article on Colonel Nathan Sassaman ("What the War Did to Colonel Sassaman"), who recently retired from the Army after men under his command forced two Iraqi cousins to jump off of a bridge, killing one. Colonel Sassaman would still have his job, if he had chosen to tell the higher ups that he knew about the incident. Instead, he chose not to tell his bosses, and now he's back in Colorado as a civilian.

But that's not this story.

So I'm sitting my big butt in a seat, and there's a smaller seat between me and another woman with a big butt, and a small woman wedges in between us. I'm a little annoyed, but I know that I've done it before, and hey, if the seat is big enough and if your butt's not so big, and you can squeeze in without causing serious turmoil, more power to you.

When the random small woman sat down, she pulled out a letter, which looked like it might have been faxed. Now how do I know that? Well... on the subway, it's very easy to peak over your shoulder and read someone else's reading material, when something catches your eye.

Like the United Nations letterhead on the top of the letter she was reading.

Needless to say, in this day and age, it's something that catches your eye.

She had gotten on at 42nd Street, not far from the United Nations building at 42nd and 1st Avenue. It started: "Dear Ms. C, We are pleased to inform you of your new temporary assignment in the country of Sudan."

And yes. I did feel like a smuck for begrudging her a seat between my big butt and the other lady's bigger butt.

I'm pretty sure it was her letter. She was reading it much too intently. I only caught the first few paragraphs, but essentially, she was off to Sudan for an assignment, doing who knows what for a period of time. I contemplated asking her about it, but she got off at 14th Street, and well, you know, I was looking at something that was none of my business anyway.

The only thing I can say, is that I wish you well, Ms. C.; good luck and bon voyage.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Public Editor Speaks

But will the Times listen?

The Miller Mess: Lingering Issues Among the Answers

The drumbeat to Miller's dismissal gets louder.

If you follow the link to Calame's take on the case, you will find a link where he has posted emails sent to him by Keller and Miller regarding their take on the situation.

Dowd vs. Miller

How deep is the animosity toward Judith Miller at the
New York Times these days? So deep as to be an irreparable danger.

Maureen Dowd (Op-ed columnist and a bit of a diva herself) has called the other diva of the
Times, intrepid reporter and government mouthpiece, Miller, out onto the carpet, and frankly, it ain't pretty.

Miller may have been a reporter of merit at one time, but like many people who have enjoyed excellent and powerful careers, it can all go to their heads. Miller, full of herself, has painted her reputation into a corner that will be hard to come back from. (Though I'm sure a nice job at ultra-conservative and crazed World Net Daily awaits her.) And the
Times, one of America's papers of record, has no other choice but to can her ass to save its own ass from going down in a raging and bloody pit of flames.

Now, Dowd is a bit of a pill herself. She dogged Bill Clinton to no end (deserved and otherwise), and though her wry humor is amazing, I, for one, would like to choke her with it occasionally (metaphorically speaking, of course). There's only so many cute turns of phrases that anyone can summon or stomach, but whatever you can say about Dowd, she's an editorial columnist, not a reporter. And that's the biggest difference between them: Miller reportedly brings forth the actual facts of a story, in order to further the public's knowledge about issues while Dowd takes the news that's out there and adds her opinion to the mix.

So when Dowd goes off and mixes the news, personal opinion, and a full-on slam regarding Miller, the
Times better stand up and take notice. (Dowd's Op-ed, "Woman of Mass Destruction" which currently rests behind the opinion wall that Times Select has built, can be read at

And so should we all.

According to Dowd, Ms. Run Amok (a nickname Miller acknowledges), did the following in regards to helping report us into the current Iraq War:

Judy's stories about W.M.D. fit too perfectly with the White House's case for war. She was close to Ahmad Chalabi, the con man who was conning the neocons to knock out Saddam so he could get his hands on Iraq, and I worried that she was playing a leading role in the dangerous echo chamber that Senator Bob Graham, now retired, dubbed "incestuous amplification." Using Iraqi defectors and exiles, Mr. Chalabi planted bogus stories with Judy and other credulous journalists.
"Incestuous amplication." Great name for a rock band, eh?

On April 30, 2005, Dowd wrote an opinion piece ("Swindler on a Gusher") regarding Mr. Ahmad Chalabi that pointed out something everyone who cares to know, knows: that Chalabi cannot step foot in the country of Jordan because he's under indictment for embezzling money from the nation's bank, and for alledged close ties to Iran. So close, in fact, as to be labeled a spy for the Iranians and leaking information regarding America to Iran. Oh, and for providing patented lies to America to help us into war against Iraq.

According to Dowd, Miller fired off an email to her in defense of the indefensible, that Chalabi (and I'm hyposthesizing here since Dowd didn't mention exactly
what was contained in that email) is an honorable man. OK, whatever.

Dowd, who I suspect might be a little run amok herself (she is a powerful editorial writer, after all; aren't they inheritantly a bit off the beaten track of the traditional leadership of a paper?), wonders why Bill Keller, executive editor of the
Times, did not rail her in, even when he knew that she kept 'drifting back' to national security issues that they had taken her off of after being originally questioned by Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald in the Plame Affair. Dowd goes on to say that Miller was quoted in the Sunday Times of October 16, 2005, that "If your sources are wrong, you are wrong." Dowd correctly nails her on this gem by saying that journalism and reporting are not stenography. A journalist seeks out whether her sources are right or wrong. There is no evidence that Miller ever sought to speak with Joseph Wilson himself, to get a second opinion that didn't come out of the White House Iraq Group and Dick Cheney's office.

Miller even went so far as to manipulate the White House title of her source, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, by naming him as a "former Hill staffer," instead of "current White House mole." Just another falsity in a land of high-flying and dangerous tales.

In essence, the rest of Dowd's piece continues the onslaught by stating the obvious in Dowd's own way, but I'll restate it in
my own way: Miller is a liar and an obsfucator and though Dowd doesn't come out and say it, there is no doubt as to what she's feeling. She sums up her righteous tirade by saying that though she admires Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Bill Keller (Times owner and editor) for standing up for important First Amendment rights, if Miller were allowed to continue at the newspaper, then they are pretty much damned:
Judy told The Times that she plans to write a book and intends to return to the newsroom, hoping to cover "the same thing I've always covered - threats to our country." If that were to happen, the institution most in danger would be the newspaper in your hands.
Hot damn. That's how deep the animosity toward Miller is at the Times and I wouldn't be surprised if a mass walkout happens if and when Miller is allowed to continue to cover "threats to our country." Cause truthfully, in my humble opinion, the biggest threat to our country right now is Miller herself and what she represents: lying to the American people to get the war the government wanted with all their heart and soul.

If that were to happen, the institution most in danger would be the government that you, as citizens, hold in your hands.

So will the
Times commit journalistic suicide and allow Miller to continue in her old job? I certainly hope not. In some respects, the paper has lost so much respectability over Miller as well as the Jayson Blair plagiarism issue, that they don't have a lot further to fall. So, let's hope Sulzberger and Keller (who may have stood up for journalistic freedom, but it sounds also like they were a bit adrift in Hurricane Judy) comes to their senses and fires her.

Is that so wrong of both Maureen Dowd and me to want so much?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Crappiest Generation?

Red Tory said...

I’ve always harbored more than a little resentment at “baby boomers” given that I was born in late 1959. It seems I totally missed the boat and have always been riding in their wake. Too young to enjoy/appreciate the youthful liberation of the 60’s, mired in schizophrenic disco/punk world during much of the 70’s when I was attending school. Then hitting a shithole recession just when I was seriously entering the labour market (18%-22% interest rates… give me a break — buying a car or a house was out of the question.) Then having to deal with these smug bastards when they were making off with all the candy in the store during the mid-late 80’s and entrenching themselves in the establishment. To me, they have been and always will be the utterly selfish, self-absorbed “Me generation” and I really believe they’re a huge part of the problem with America these days. To paraphrase Tom Brokaw, they’re “The Crappiest Generation.” No offense intended.

Red Tory left a comment regarding the "Baby Boomers," and it packs a wallop. Having been born in 1959, Red lands in the latter part of the Boomers, and apparently is quite resentful of it! I certainly will conceed all that Red wrote; he's quite articulate and certainly has thought about it long and hard. And no offense taken, I've often thought myself that the Boomers missed their calling because of economic complacency and self-indulgence.

And hey, my 'generation' is hardly any better.

In Boomer formulation, 1964 technically straddles the end of the Boomers and the start of Gen X (a term I hate with a passion) or the Cold War Generation, so maybe I'll rename my blog to ward off further angst!

I started this blog as an exploration of my birth year and current events. So Red, if you think you felt never quite in place at the tailend of the Boom, I feel as if I've been swimming in a sea of complacency and the 'defiance' that supposedly is pinned to the members of Generation X. But having been born at the end of one generation and the very start of another, I've often felt too young for one and too old for the other. Having parents that were Depression-era kids complicates my scenario. My parents' generation did all they could by the books; working hard, keeping their nose out of trouble, and trying not to get stomped by 'the man.' It was more about survival with them, things were easier, except for the constant haunt of racism that dogged their lives for the most part.

1964 was a seminal year (no pun intended), in my opinion (birth or no). It marked a transitional phase in America, at least. The trauma of Kennedy's death in 1963, the end of a certain kind of utopian (if flawed) dream that America was at its youthful best was tragically ended. 1964 brought a new unsteadiness as the country struggled to move forward with a new President, a new way of viewing race, new threats (perceived or real), and a new war brewing. It was the end of one boom but the start of another: a booming world of free love exploration, drug experimentation, countries around the world yearning to break free from colonialism, and a direct confrontation of the older youth of your generation, Red, coming of age and trying to change the world.

I don't know how old my birth parents were when they they joined the Peace Corps and ended up in Pakistan in 1963, but I certainly think that they were influenced by whatever social happenings that affected kids of the older boom generation, the same generation as President Clinton, born in 1946. (Though horror of horrors, President Bush was born in 1946, too, which may blow my hypothesis straight out of the water.) When I think of the Boomers, I like to fantasize about them as an example of the best of the generation: they heard the call of Kennedy's words when he spoke extemporaneously on the stairs of the University of Michigan in 1960:
How many of you who are going to be doctors, are willing to spend your days in Ghana? Technicians or engineers, how many of you are willing to work in the Foreign Service and spend your lives travelling around the world? On your willingness to do that, not merely to serve one or two years in the service, but on your willingness to contribute part of your life to this country, I think will depend the answer whether a free society can compete. I think it can! And I think Americans are willing to contribute. But the effort must be far greater than we have ever made in the past.

Therefore, I am delighted to come to Michigan, to this University, because unless we have those resources in this school, unless you comprehend the nature of what is being asked of you this country can't possible move through the next ten years in a period of relative strength.
My birth parents, in college, heeded this call to reach out to the world, but ultimately, the call was far too great and the effort seems to have failed. The Boomers who heeded the call ultimately wasted their time and energy and became somewhat self-absorbed and materialistic. Clinton became so self-absorded that he gambled it all away on a tryst, and Bush certainly is one self-absorbed motherfucker himself. It's a pity. I wonder what would have happened if something different had occured.

But hey, I'm one self-absorbed Booming Xer myself. Welcome to my generation.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Today in 1964

As you know, this blog is both a screed on current events as well as an exploration of my birth year, 1964, the Last Year of the Boomers. So occasionally I'll post "Today in 1964" timeline events, sometimes with comments, sometimes not. It's late, and I should be asleep, so I'll just post an event for the night.

On this day, October 14, 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr., the leader of the Civil Rights movement in the United States, received the Nobel Peace Prize for his leading the non-violent movement to end racial prejudice in the United States. According to his biography at the Nobel Peace Prize website, "at the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement."

Thank you, Dr. King. We all miss you.

Sites used:
Nobel Peace Prize website on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
including Presentation Speech, Biography, Nobel Lecture and Acceptance Speech.
Wikipedia Timeline, October 1964

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Australia Sure Looks Like North Korea

ABC (no, not THAT ABC, but the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) has been playing some nastily hilarious games with Americans, specifically, in Texas. From Crooks and Liars, I saw a clip from ABC's "CNNNN" or Chaser Non-Stop News Network of their intrepid reporter on the Dallas streets, asking the pointed question, "Who Should the U.S. Bomb Next?" Now, I'll give the folks on the streets one caveat: the names of countries were intentionally mislabled to add further hilarity (or intellectual challenge) into the mix. But the question has to be asked: "When the hell did Australia ever look like North Korea?"

The answer: Never, you lovable American clods, never!

What's so frustrating about this scenario is that geography is one of
the most simple lessons to be learned, really. It takes all of looking at a World map and being somewhat curious about the world outside of one's front porch, city or county borders, state lines, and national boundaries. It takes thinking outside the box of your own little world and having teachers and leaders foment a sense that there is a larger world outside of your own damned borders.

It just makes me crazy.

What's even more frustrating is that we are in the middle of this so-called "Global War on Terror" (which I like to call the G-WOT Now?) and Americans can't pay enough attention to the countries we're declaring hypothetical war on to know that Australia ain't North Korea. Not by a long shot. (Though, hey, I will say that at least they are on the same side of the globe.)

Now, I'm not the smartest person in the world. I have trouble remembering exactly which States make up the "Four Corners," but I know one of them isn't Hawaii. Not by a longshot.

All I ask of my fellow citizens is that if we are going to fight the G-WOT Now?, please, please, please, let's at least know where we're fighting, who we're fighting, and for the love of a duck, why we're fighting it. If we can't bother to learn the basics, we have no reason fighting anyone.

I fear, however, that it's just much too late for us, because CNNNN has now discovered that:

Oh, and here is what Kyrgyzstan looks like:

All maps from the CIA World Factbook. The CIA will not hunt you down if you go to their site and find out more regarding 1) Facts or 2) The World. However, they might be a little bugged if you go to their site and start a war on a country that you 1) can't find or 2) can't be bothered finding out about before you declare war on them. I think. Well, maybe. Or maybe not.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

a WoRd aBout ReLigioN

I hang a lot at the Air America Radio Al Franken blog. We have some crazy fun conversations, some wrong-wing trolls pop in for a little rough and tumble, and occasionally we talk about the serious issues of the day, usually riffing off of what Al or Katherine or what Randi Rhodes talks about later in the day on her show. Today (and yesterday) we started in on a conversation about religion, which seems to rule the roost of our government these days.

Of course, it got me thinking about my own religious past life, and of course, any discussion like that begins in the year of 1964.

I don't remember having any recollection of religion when I was born. In fact, I had no recollection of anything, but religion? Hell, I don't think so. Of course, in Buddhism, a child brings his baggage with him. In Christianity, we are all born sinners, each and every little bundle of joy that arrives in the world. In Christianity, you have to be baptized to help in the first stage of being rescued from the grip of hell, the sooner the better, so your soul can be safe in the hands of Jesus, just in case you happen to die at the age of day one.


It's a bit of a toss-up in life as to which religion you happen to be born into. It depends on where you born and into what family you were born into. Each family believes something different, each culture worships their own icons.

I was conceived in Pakistan in 1963, sometime in July. My birth parents were in the Peace Corps. Things happened, and here I am. Both were, I am assuming, of the Christian faith. She maybe Roman Catholic, he maybe Episcopalian. But still, if they had been Pakistani, they would more than likely have been Muslims. My adoptive mother was the daughter of a Baptist minister. My adoptive father didn't really give a care about religion. Family legend has it that at the time I came home, Dad hadn't been in a church since the pastor locked the door and wouldn't let people leave until they gave a donation. I don't know if it's true or not, but it makes a good story.

So here were five chances to be of two different strains of religion; Islamic or Christian. Within these strains the chances are that I could have been Sunni, Shite, or maybe even Sufi; I could have been Baptist, Roman Catholic or Episcopalian. Or I could have been somewhat agnostic, like my father.

So, six different possibilities within two different religious strains and one "what, you want me to give money? Open the damn door" possibility.

Who can really say that any of the six are the right or the wrong way to have been born, to have been brought into the world of religion, of faith, for a little bundle of mewling baby who doesn't even know that there is such a thing called "God"?

It's a crap shoot, my friends. All a crap shoot. The dice of birth is rolled and "poof," you have a religion.

It's like magic, don't you think?

Before I sleep...

Look at the photo on your left.

Please describe, in 50 words or less,
why the blood of black people would boil upon seeing such a scene.
You have 10 minutes to ponder.

Many black people have a lifetime to ponder such things.

Monday, October 10, 2005


I was on the subway today (terrorist alert be damned), reading am/New York, a free news rag printed by Newsday (or is it the New York Post that prints it? there's a rival rag out there called METRO printed by one or the other, but I digress). Some days I don't feel like reading the gigantic Times and I like my news in sound bites on those days. I read way too much daily news on the Internet or watch it on the TV or listen to it on radio, and certain days I need to just chill out on too much information. I rarely buy the Daily News or Post, but occasionally like to scan these papers, which takes about as long as it does to read am/New York or Metro. And you don't have to pay for it at all! (Come on, a quarter for the Post? I'd rather save the tree.)

Anyway, the Op-Ed and letters page of am/New York prints a quote at the top of the page each day. Today's quote:
"Everything is destroyed -- the ground shook and took everything down. All the government people, the press people, they are just driving past."
--Syad Hassan of Pakistan on the earthquake that's killed more than 20,000 people there,
which reminded me of this quote,
"We understood that the police couldn't help us, but we couldn't understand why the National Guard couldn't help us, because we kept seeing them but they never would stop and help us."
Charmaine Neville during Hurricane Katrina.
Reading Mr. Hassan's words reminded me of Ms. Neville's words, and the earthquake (which was a thousand times worse than Katrina, IMHO), reminded me of people in both Louisiana and Mississippi who spoke of the government people, the press people, who would just drive by, and not help, for whatever reason: logistics, shock, no supplies, overwhelming needs, a thousand and one reasons in the face of utter desperation.

In one aspect, it's understandable why, under the magnitude of both disasters, systems break down. But that doesn't excuse the way the folk on the street feel about the systems and government when they do break down.

We expect our governments, whether in Pakistan or the United States, to help us in our hours of need. It's a bit natural, if you ask me, to make this assumption. Whether it's when we lose our jobs by downsizing or lose our homes by natural disaster. That's why we are called "Americans" or "Pakistanis." Our respective countries expect us to consider ourselves citizens, to be productive, to be civil, to pay some sort of tax or levy, to lay down our own lives at certain times, whatever. Why should we not expect something from our country in return? It's a reciprocal relationship, and if our government expects us to wait on the side of the road until help comes, then I'll wait to pay my taxes for X number of years and see how long the government tolerates that crap.

Whether your an American or a Pakistani, no one wants to wait while the press files their stories and the government moves on to another place and passes a citizen by while their family drowns or lies under a building.

On a lighter note, here's another comparision, via Mr. Doggity.

Uncanny, isn't it?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Things found in the Blogsphere

This blog thing is a tad intimidating. That's probably why the first one I started crashed and burned rather quickly. It's someplace out there in the blogosphere, and I dare you to find it, if you can! Or would want to. It sucked.

I have no staying power when it comes to creativity. The problem springs from a nightmarish lack of confidence, working a full-time job along with part-time work (which tires me out by this date in my life), and past life hoohah. If you believe in past life hoohah, that is.


I was doing random "Next Blog" clicking today (in between watching CNN coverage of Pakistan and Guatemala and skimming through a multitude of political blogs), just to get of sense of what people and collectives are doing around the blogosphere. I'm a librarian, so I can randomly click a lot of things and find something fascinating. It's a librarian thing. You wouldn't understand.*

A Trip Around the Blogosphere
Does one use their blog to just write about what's been happening in their day, or build a theme? Does one just post a bunch of butt shots, like the site I saw this afternoon? (I was rather happy it was an equal opportunity bum page!) Maybe a military blog, one in Canada, another in Iraq. Some folks blog to be creative, others to express the "existence of no one but the lone human occupant."

Hell, you might even meet a Western professor teaching on Environmental Studies in China or see a scary Halloween cake. And then there's the blonde girls who made me want to gag. In fact, the entire family was just so... so... blonde.

I saw a bunch of other sites in languages besides English, including Swedish, Turkish, German, Portuguese, French and Spanish.

My second favorite site (besides the bum shots) was Pets on Crack.

And that's my trip around the blogosphere today.

*In fact, archivists are talking about Blogs as online diaries and how, in the future, we could be losing potentially vital information regarding how we live today; much depends on how information will be, should be or can be archived in a relatively ephemeral medium as the Internet. ACLU assistant archivist Catherine O'Sullivan wrote a recent American Archivist article (v. 68, n. 1; Spring/Summer 2005) entitled "Diaries, Online Diaries and the Future Loss to Archives; or, Blogs and the Blogging Bloggers Who Blog Them." Good luck finding the article. It's not online yet unless you pay for it and the American Archivist is mostly only available at academic libraries and archives.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Tragedy, Half a World Away

Thursday: Hurricane Stan hits Mexico, floods Guatemala, and a landslide destroys the town of Panabaj, with a population of 800 people. More then 1,200 are dead throughout the region.

Saturday: A 7.6 earthquake hits Pakistan and parts of India and Afghanistan. At least 3,000 are dead and the toll might be higher. UPDATE 10:50 PM EST: 18,000 dead and over 41,000 injured.

I'm beginning to think that the Earth is a little pissed at us. Of course, my mom, a born-again Christian, is thinking it's God's wrath, but I'm going to stick here on Earth and just say that Gaia is pissed off right now.

But disasters happen all the time. It just seems that lately there are more: the Asian tsunami, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Stan, and the Iranian and Pakistani earthquakes. These storms/seismic happenings were unprecendented and large, but natural disasters happen. Of course, with global warming (believe it or not), we may be heralding the advent of bigger and more powerful disasters as we destroy natural coastlines, the air we breath, the earth we sit on, and the natural resources that we need to live.

But hey, as long as I have my air conditioning, what do I care? (Note: dripping sarcasm.)

In 1964, the most powerful earthquake to hit the United States (and Canada) occurred:

March 27 - The Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2, strikes South Central Alaska killing 125 people and inflicting massive damage to the city of Anchorage.

According to "The Tsunami Page," the Good Friday Earthquake was the second largest ever recorded to hit the world. 52 aftershocks followed over a period of three weeks. 119 people died of both the quake and the subsequent tsunami it created. The low death toll was due to the fact that the area was not densely populated.

FEMA, our favorite disaster management outfit, has a list of Federal Disaster Declarations for the US and its territories in 1964. Among them were Typhoon Louise that hit the Federated States of Micronesia (when we still had them), and Hurricanes Hilda (Louisiana, October 3), Cleo (Florida/Georgia, August 27) and Dora (Florida, September 10).

Other Worldwide disasters that year included:
January 18 - Earthquake in Taiwan affects 62,485 folks.
April 4 - A flood inundates Saudi Arabia, killing 20 and affecting 1,000.
June 13 - A windstorm hits Samoa, killing 250.
November - Another windstorm blows through Vietnam, killing 7,000.
December 22 - What's up with the windstorms? Another one kills 206 in Sri Lanka.
During the year, a drought rampaged Iran, affecting 625,000.
(The above statistics were compiled from various documents at

The Walker Art Center in St. Paul, Minnesota is curating an interesting show called ANDY WARHOL/SUPERNOVA: Stars, Deaths, and Disasters, 1962-1964. According to the Walker site, the show will bring together more than 20 examples of the artist's early silkscreen paintings juxtaposing his iconic serial images of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Elvis Presley with the artist's evocative and at times disturbing appropriations of car crashes, electric chairs, and other "disasters." The other "disasters" would fascinate me, but only the ones that occured in 1964, of course.

And speaking of the Federated States of Micronesia, I almost applied for a two-year position as a project archivist on the island of Yap, but my cat would have had to stay in Hawaii under quarantine for six months, and then another two months once she made it to Yap. I just might have used that as an excuse not to apply for the position in the first place, but I did think about it long and hard. Two years in a Pacific paradise. As long as I could have left during typhoon season, that is. But it sure is pretty...

Friday, October 07, 2005

Lyndon Baines Johnson won in 1964

Let us start off with an exploration of my year of birth by talking a bit about Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Though I was born in 1964, I wasn't very cognizant of what was happening during the year. It might be that I had just been born. In March. Though I didn't get out of the orphanage until September 1964. But we'll talk about that a little later.

The last year of the Baby Boomers found us having just gone through a rough 1963, I'm told. Folks were walking around in a daze after suffering from the assasination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 24, 1963, the day after Doctor Who premiered on the BBC in the United Kingdom. So, one day you have a far-reaching, mindbending telly program happening in the U.K., and the next day, the somewhat liberal, and future-thinking President is getting murdered in the U.S on the telly. As things in life go, this little metaphor actually defines the forty+ years that follows it: brave steps in the mind's imagination juxtaposed against many steps backward in the political life of the imagination. And both played out on the telly as well.

And then we head into the Johnson years, beginning in 1960 when he became Vice-President, but starting really in 1964, when he won the Presidency in his own right against Goldwater.


Both good and bad times the Johnson years were. They were very turbulent, as the country was literally wrassling with itself about the direction in which it would head. Into this year I was born.

Johnson did more for Negroes (called such at the time) during his Presidency since Truman's integration of the military in 1948, possibly Roosevelt's New Deal in certain respects, and certainly, Lincoln's freeing of the slaves. As my African-American adoptive parents can tell you, being black in America was not an easy proposition. At least Johnson did right, mostly, for blacks and the poor. He did try. He left behind his Dixiecrat roots and dared to move forward.

But then there's the other side of his legacy. The Vietnam War, inherited from the French and Kennedy, and brimmng with America's obsession toward Communism. And that was the worse shit ever.

But in 1964, I didn't know any of this. I was born in March and didn't leave the orphanage until September. But I wouldn't find out about any of that until 1996.

Calm down, oh ye of little Rovian patience

OK. Folks need to calm down about Karl Rove on the left. Yes, I know that it's really hard to contain whatever giddy glee we will be feeling if his butt gets indicted, but we've been fooled before and could get fooled again.

So, step back from the giddy machine and just wait until we hear from Fitzgerald.

Once we hear the indictment, then gloat away.

I must admit, that I can't wait for any announcement from Fitzgerald regarding the Plame case. But I'm gonna try and keep as calm as possible, as god only know what the indictment will bring, and it just may be the opposite of what we all anticipate. I'm not going to get my hopes skyhigh like last year... I'm going to breathe deeply and wait patiently for Mr. Fitzgerald to give us the news. Yes, I'm going the Josh Marshall route and urging calm...even though every bone in my body wants to see Rove flushed out of his hideyhole.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

My first comment! And it's spam!

Wow, my first comment is spam. It's not that I think a lot of people will come flocking to my blog, begging to comment, but the first one is spam? How discouraging...
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NYC Under Media/Mass Transit Threat

We have a little breaking news here in NYC, there is an heightened state of alert on the subway. Mayor Bloomie and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and an FBI guy just spoke. The threat was heard by a news network two days ago and was asked not to break the information. The information is "credible but uncorroborated." So we'll see what happens. Both the Jewish and Islamic holidays have started, so it's no wonder there's a little tension going on now. Today I'm home sick, and no subway for today, but if I feel better tomorrow, I've got to go to work. I live in Brooklyn and work in the Bronx. There's no way I can't avoid the subway. But it'll be ok... If I blog again, you'll know that it all worked out...

1964 was a good year

So, I've entered the blog world for the second time. The first, a complete failure, but it's good to try again, I suppose.

So, why the title, "At the End of the Boom"? Well, I was born in 1964, the 'official' end of the baby boom. But it can also work as a triple-entendre: at the end of the American boom; at the end of the bomb comes the boom.

I've always been fascinated by being a baby boomer. But being at the end of the cycle is a little like coming to the party late: you can still get in, but mostly everyone is already gone by the time you get there. It's a little like being invited and then some folks won't believe you actually have an invitation. There's all kinds of arguments that 1964 wasn't the actual end of the boom (and I'm too lazy to go and find them for you, so there), but just suffice it to say that I'm late and no one cares if I'm here or not.

Anyway, my blog will be a mismash of stuff, items on politics, life, and a compilation of news of the day. Pretty much like every other blog on the 'net, only mine.