Friday Open Thread

How about an open thread to get the weekend off and rolling? Some things I'm reading:

  • Arianna on the two trials going on in the Libby courtroom.

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    consequences of torture (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Sailor on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 12:46:26 PM EST
    An Iraq Interrogator's Nightmare

    Aman with no face stares at me from the corner of a room. He pleads for help, but I'm afraid to move. He begins to cry. It is a pitiful sound, and it sickens me. He screams, but as I awaken, I realize the screams are mine.

    That dream, along with a host of other nightmares, has plagued me since my return from Iraq in the summer of 2004. Though the man in this particular nightmare has no face, I know who he is. I assisted in his interrogation at a detention facility in Fallujah. I was one of two civilian interrogators assigned to the division interrogation facility (DIF) of the 82nd Airborne Division.

    For the first time, (none / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 11:40:49 AM EST
    Sunni insurgents disclose their conditions for ceasefire in Iraq
    For the first time, one of Iraq's principal insurgent groups has set out the terms of a ceasefire that would allow American and British forces to leave the country they invaded almost four years ago.
    Shia militias are nowhere mentioned. The demands include the cancellation of the entire Iraqi constitution - almost certainly because the document, in effect, awards oil-bearing areas of Iraq to Shia and Kurds, but not to the minority Sunni community. Yet the Sunnis remain Washington's principal enemies in the Iraqi war.
    Al-Jeelani described President George Bush's new plans for countering the insurgents as "political chicanery" and added that "on the field of battle, we do not believe that the Americans are able to diminish the capability of the resistance fighters to continue the struggle to liberate Iraq from occupation

    I'd never heard of.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 12:04:35 PM EST
    The James McMurtry Band before, but they were on the bill with Dave Alvin at The Bowery Ballroom last week, and I was floored by this tune at the show.
    The best damn protest song I've heard in awhile, I urge you all to check it out.  Here's a youtube clip with a video montage to accompany the track.

    "We Can't Make it Here Anymore"

    Says it all, doesn't it? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 12:11:24 PM EST
    He's kind of Steve Earle-ish, too.

    James McMurtry (none / 0) (#4)
    by Peaches on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 12:17:36 PM EST
    Is the son of Novelist Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show, Terms Of Endearment and the Screenplay for Brokeback Mountain). He's a great song-writer Kdog. You got a lot of nice songs in front of you if yoI envy your recent discovery of him, KDOG, because their is a lot of good songs in front of you if you go back and collect his whole catalog of songs and albums.

    What a feeling..... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 12:33:23 PM EST
    to stumble across an unfamilar artist by chance, it's like an unexpected Christmas bonus.  

    I'm hoping to find time to head over to "Mr. Cheapos", my local used/rare record shop, and pick up some of his stuff this weekend.  He really floored the whole crowd with that track, you could hear a pin drop after they finished and before the applause...and that's rare.


    Dave Alvin (none / 0) (#5)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 12:27:02 PM EST
    right on. We try to catch his show every time he's in town. He's the real deal.

    Hell Yeah Sarc..... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 12:43:20 PM EST
    He sounded especially good last week. Last time I saw him he was doing the acoustic thing, which is great but I much prefer Alvin plugged in.  Catch him on this tour if you can, brother....

    Saw him (none / 0) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 12:56:20 PM EST
    just before the new year with a band called "The Knitters." They sucked, imo, but he plugged it in and tore it up a few times!

    He's playing in town next weekend but I'm not too hip on the venue.

    McCabe's Guitar Shop - famous (in LA) to be sure - but you sit in rows in auditorium-type folding chairs, there's no food or drink, and it'll probably be an acoustic show there.

    I'm debating, although it's also probably sold out by now anyway...


    I didn't catch the name... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 01:32:47 PM EST
    of his backing band this time...but the keyboard player and 2nd guitarist were top notch.

    I especially liked their jammed out version of "The Ashford".


    kdog (none / 0) (#12)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 01:58:11 PM EST
    Found a bunch of Dave Alvin on You Tube.

    I don't usually crank tunes in my office, people are looking at me kinda funny.

    Ah well, it's Friday.


    I'm jealous.... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 02:31:51 PM EST
    My place pipes in the easy listening...who said this crap is easy to listen to?

    I listened (none / 0) (#14)
    by Patrick on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 02:36:43 PM EST
    but I guess I'm not that into the blues.  Here's my cousin's band from L.A.  I'm not a big Indie fan either, but I like some of their stuff, and they seem to be making it...Or at least making it to MTV, Letterman and The OC.  Let me know what you think.  I'm a little old to appreciate all of it.  

    Patrick (none / 0) (#15)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 03:17:08 PM EST
    Stylistically, Alvin writes and plays songs from all over the map, but I think you're right, it's mostly all got a strong blues foundation.

    Especially when he's plugged in, man, he brings the house down.

    I'm listening to Well Thought Out Twinkles, I like it.


    Never too old Pat.... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 05:23:27 PM EST
    and never too young to get into the old sh*t.

    I'll keep an eye out for Silversun Pickups when they roll through NY...not my usual style, but they sound tight and have a nice sound going.  I'm digging it....they remind me of Smashing Pumpkins a little.


    Smashing Pumpkins (none / 0) (#20)
    by Patrick on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 05:34:12 PM EST
    Yes they do...I thought that same thing.  

    They'll be at the Theater @ MSG March 26 and 27.  I get a few looks when people walk by my office and here their CD playing on my computer.  


    Hear.... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Patrick on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 05:34:56 PM EST
    Thanks! (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 07:34:23 PM EST
    I'll mark my calendar and call the boys!

    Great lyrics (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 12:33:49 PM EST
    You can read it in the paper
    Read it on the wall
    Hear it on the wind
    If you're listening at all...

    -- We can't make it here anymore


    My fav... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 05:35:45 PM EST
    Now I'm stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store
    Just like the ones we made before
    'Cept this one came from Singapore
    I guess we can't make it here anymore

    It's a freakin' epic poem.


    Oh, yeah... definitely. (none / 0) (#23)
    by Edger on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 05:41:12 PM EST
    I was thinking it would be great if Neil Young recorded a version of it too!

    McMurtry's solo acoustic version (none / 0) (#25)
    by Edger on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 07:21:21 PM EST
    here. 5-Stars!

    Vanity Fair, March 2007 (none / 0) (#16)
    by Edger on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 03:25:13 PM EST
    From the Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Iraq
    "Everything the advocates of war said would happen hasn't happened," says the president of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist, an influential conservative who backed the Iraq invasion. "And all the things the critics said would happen have happened. [The president's neoconservative advisers] are effectively saying, 'Invade Iran. Then everyone will see how smart we are.' But after you've lost x number of times at the roulette wheel, do you double-down?"

    By now, the story of how neoconservatives hijacked American foreign policy is a familiar one.
    What's less understood is that the same tactics have been in play with Iran. Once again, neocon ideologues have been flogging questionable intelligence about W.M.D.
    Nevertheless, neoconservatives still advocate continuing on the path Netanyahu staked out in his speech and taking the fight to Iran. As they see it, the Iraqi debacle is not the product of their failed policies. Rather, it is the result of America's failure to think big. "It's a mess, isn't it?" says Meyrav Wurmser, who now serves as director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Hudson Institute. "My argument has always been that this war is senseless if you don't give it a regional context."

    Oh it was a joy!... (none / 0) (#17)
    by desertswine on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 04:02:06 PM EST
    Anyone who grew up in NYC in the fifties knows who this guy was and what he meant.

    Hank Bauer dies.

    Maybe an appeal to greed... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 04:57:43 PM EST
    ...will work where appeals to reason don't.

    Branson offers a $25 million prize for reducing global warming
    British billionaire Richard Branson and the former U.S. Vice President Al Gore ... announced a $25 million prize to overcome what could be the biggest challenge faced by humankind: To reduce the huge quantities of planet-warming gases that have collected in the atmosphere since the dawn of the industrial revolution.
    Branson called on governments to match the money he had offered for the prize...

    Branson's judges would award the "Virgin Earth Challenge" prize money to any individual or group developing a commercially viable technology capable of removing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases at the rate of at least one billion tons a year over a 10-year period.

    Tongue-in-cheek Pelosi visual (none / 0) (#24)
    by Daniel DiRito on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 06:29:39 PM EST
    See a tongue-in-cheek visual of "Nancy's Flight Of Fancy"...here:


    A toast to genocide? (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 12:31:35 PM EST
    Why did Bosnia collapse into the worst slaughter in Europe since World War Two? In the thirty years before the meltdown, Bosnian Serbs had declined from 43 percent to 31 percent of the population, while Bosnian Muslims had increased from 26 percent to 44 percent. In a democratic age, you can't buck demography -- except through civil war. The Serbs figured that out -- as other Continentals will in the years ahead: if you can't outbreed the enemy, cull 'em. The problem that Europe faces is that Bosnia's demographic profile is now the model for the entire continent.

    Hitchens calls for genocide. What is he drinking?

    if you can't outbreed the enemy, cull 'em. (none / 0) (#29)
    by Edger on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 12:43:37 PM EST
    I don't think this is quite what Hitchens had in mind, but..........OK.

    The few of them left are barely worth listening to or talking to anyway.


    Let the sunshine in (none / 0) (#28)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 12:43:06 PM EST
    Looks like America is getting a return for chosing Democrats last November. It is called oversight and accountability.

    Some light is being shed on Douglas Feith's treasonous conspiracy. Time to prosecute and not mince words. tristero smacks down the NYT for mincing words.

    This is not the kind of behavior over which to mince words. These are the sorts of actions that treason trials and international war crimes tribunals are for.

    There is something terribly corrupt about a country that will permit such unspeakable, murderous acts to remain unpunished. And it is high time the so-called political and cultural leaders of this country said so without equivocation. My God, people, we've had our country's government openly as well as secretly establish concentration camps all over the world; practice torture as an approved government policy; engaged in, and boasted about, international assasinations; destroyed through military action a foreign state merely because it could (and openly plan to do it again in the near future); undermined the integrity of the press by deliberately planting false stories and suborning journalists; been exposed as capable of using every tactic short of physical violence to prevent critics from publishing the truth; ignored the will of the American people, expert opinion, commonsense, and all common decency; advocated ever more bizarre theories of unlimited, unchecked power, and acted as if they were the law of the land ...

     We are being ruled by psychopaths and fascists, not link cookers.