Friday, July 13, 2007

Now I'm getting pissed off

The US military has apparently cut off all electricity to a part of Baghdad to force its residents to turn over insurgents that, says our military, reside in the district. No electricity in the middle of the summer in Baghdad.

This is precisely what the Nazis did to portions of Warsaw and other occupied cities during World War II--except then it was fuel in wintertime--an utterly forbidden act of "collective punishment," an acknowledged war crime.

The last straw...

or the straw that broke the camel's back. Whatever. This may be it.

The air war

Here's a graph that shows that there's more to the surge than additional boots on the ground.

How do you spell, "War crimes"?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

No more Mr. Nice Guy

A few months ago, our little Saturday peace marching group decided to stop chanting "Support the troops, bring them home!" Indeed, a few of us wanted to chant, "Fuck the troops. They're the problem!"

Here's why.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Wizard of Odd

What's next for the wretched citizens of Iraq? Lions and tigers and badgers, oh my!

Will the Right stop at nothing?

I happen to have made the acquaintance with Dr. Carmona, when he was an emergency room doctor at Tucson Medical Center. A straight-shooter if there ever was one. And he still is.

I hate to use this phrase

--"There's a part of me..." but I know no other quick way to identify my reaction to this story about the regular updating of the Merriam-Webster dictionary to include "new" words. Words like "ginormous" and "IED." I certainly don't think it's a bad idea to set forth definitions of words that, from whatever source, creep into our national communications. But, damn, it pains me to watch such a lofty concept as language become reduced, diluted, by this type of expression. I mean, "ginormous," as defined (essentially "huge"--a combination of gigantic and enormous) adds nothing to our dialog and, it seems to me, bastardizes both words; and IED is nothing but military shorthand for a roadside mine.

Okay, so maybe they have a place in our modern culture. But to memorialize them by inclusion in an authoritative dictionary? Could this be less a linguistic effort than a marketing device?