Saturday, April 14, 2007

All you need to know

about everything is set forth here, more incisively and articulately than I could ever write it. Enjoy.

I don't know whether to applaud or cry

about this fabulous job of reporting by AP writers on a Pentagon coverup of a series of massacres of civilians by the US Army during the Korean War. It's 57 years too late to be helpful to those who were affected, and the Army is still denying any wrongdoing, but at least the truth is emerging. The story is written in direct prose, without those irritating qualifiers that so often fuzz over the reporting these days. The Army lied and is lying still, and may never cease lying, but these reporters, undaunted, are exposing the truth.

So--I suppose, on balance, I'm applauding.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Enough, already!

This Don Imus thing. What a waste of energy! There are so many evils, far more evil than Imus' remarks, that are disregarded by the media, while it flails away at this story. I've tried not to comment, but now find I must in order to maintain my sanity.

I used to listen to "Imus in the morning" regularly. About six years ago I quit, finding his commentary negative and inane. I also believed his project to build a "ranch" in New Mexico to host cancer-afflicted kids (using largely sponsors' funds for the construction so that the bunkhouse was named the American Express Bunkhouse, and so forth) was simply an excuse for him to return to the desert and have a toy to play with. Also, I found his interviews with newsmakers (which he touted as incisive and informative) were pap. I didn't really have trouble with the often-shaky references he made to various minorities, and even after seeing the lists of his remarks in various stories lately, I find many of them offensive but not incendiary, not more vulgar than what passes in many quarters these days for humor.

Of course, MSNBC can cut off its simulcast of his radio show, and others who carry his daily program can cease broadcasting it. That's their right (assuming they're not contractually bound to the contrary). But--and here's where my old ACLU instinct arises--he has a protected right to say what he says, and although it's not my cup of tea it may be somebody's. And--and here's my point--if it's nobody's then "market forces" will drive him off the air because nobody's forcing his listeners to listen.

Furthermore, I find the posturing and feigned outrage of many (especially politicians and media wags who've regularly appeared on his shows over the years, during which time he often used offensive words and references) to be beyond hypocritical, if there is such a state.

There, I've said my piece. Just as Imus has a right to say his.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Explain this to me

Over the years, I've seen (we've all seen) scores of photos of Iraqis holding dead or injured loved ones, wailing in outrage or sadness. Many of the dead were killed by U.S. troops, no doubt, which caused me even greater pain to see. But somehow this photo and its caption make me want to rise up and strike back at those in our nation who've caused this to happen. The man, beholding his wrecked pickup--probably his major asset, probably his means of livelihood--seems so anguished, in such helpless despair. And I can just imagine the hotheaded, frightened U.S. soldiers--teenagers, probably--who were driving the Bradley fighting vehicle, or whatever, that ran over his truck. They were likely afraid to wait for traffic to clear--they're sitting ducks in Baghdad--and so...this. A ruin of a man's life and livelihood.

For what?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sunday, April 08, 2007

An old friend on film

Environmentalist, humanist Edward Abbey was a friend of mine, and a client. I met him in the mid-sixties when I represented his wife, Judith, who'd been arrested in an antiwar protest. (Judy, still in her thirties, died a few years later.)

Ed later moved to Tucson (my realtor brother, Charlie, found his home in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains), and we saw each other often, for legal stuff and social stuff.

Ed's books were reverent celebrations of the American west. Desert Solitaire, an early book, described his summer as a park ranger in Utah, and a later book, The Monkey Wrench Gang, decried the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam in northern Arizona, a huge project that dammed the Colorado River, flooding the Glen Canyon's fabulous terrain and monumental geological structures.

This video shows Ed in 1981 giving a speech on the top of Glen Canyon to a gathering that is said to have been the genesis of the environmental group, Earth First! It was good to see my old friend, alive and kicking. He died about ten years ago, and as with many things in his life, his death was shrouded in controversy. But that's another story.