Shiver me Neocons

It was only a matter of time before Long Bill Kristol and his scurvy dogs of war used piracy as an excuse to goad young Mr. Bush into invading one last country before the door hits him. In the December 8 gurgitation of the Weekly Standard, Bill suggests that the best thing young Mr. Bush can do in his final days as commander in chief is send the Marines into Somalia to deep six those pesky buccaneers. Now: if we can’t identify and capture pirates while they’re plundering ships on the bounding main, I’d like to know how the yo-ho-ho Bill thinks the Marines can tell the pirates from the rest of the poor starving Somalis once they go ashore.

Bill also remarks how Bush can do the nation a service “by reminding Americans of our successes fighting the war on terror.” One wonders if Bill is no fooling unaware that terrorists are on the verge of a sparking war between two nuclear powers, or that a congressionally mandated task force has reported that “it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013,” or that, according to the respected analysts at the Rand Corporation, Mr. Bush’s pursuit of a military-centric counter-terror strategy “has not undermined al Qaeda” and that the terrorist group “has remained a strong and competent organization.”

One would hope that given the enormous influence he wields, Bill is at least partially cognizant of the world around him, that he just talks that way because he’s a master of Socratic dialectic* who recites gibberish until people agree with him so he shuts up. Continue reading

Write "Love" and live on

“Write ‘love’ on your forearm,” my student’s message said.

It seemed an odd request, but it came from someone I admired and respected, and so I read on.

To write “love” on my forearm, it turned out, would make me part of a national movement of forearm-love-writers. The following day was actually the second annual international “To Write Love on Her Arms” Day (TWLOHA), an effort to raise awareness about suicide prevention and offer support to survivors of suicide. Continue reading

'You want me on that wall! You need (a good journalist) on that wall!'

For 20 years, I was a newsman. A damned good one. I learned the craft from good newsmen who learned it from other good newsmen before me. No steenkin’ journalism school for me.

I learned to parse cop code by making daily phone calls to the cops to get the police log — and often walked to the cop shop and read it myself when the damned desk sergeant wouldn’t read it to me. I learned by paying attention to details. I listened to what sources said — always more than one, y’know — and wrote it down. I had a newsroom godfather who taught me well: “Get it right. Period.” I only used anonymous sources three times in 20 years.

One day Editor Bob said he’d heard somebody was going to build a nuclear plant up river. “Find out,” he said. I did. I had to learn how nukes operated in less than two hours before going to the presser for the announcement. I was the only newsman who asked: “Will this be a boiling water or pressurized water reactor?” Hell, the PR types didn’t know. I did. I knew the in’s and out’s of each. Score one for me. I learned the beat quickly. I reported what the utility and the government didn’t want my readers to know. I wore a button given to me by my news editor: “Question Authority.” I found facts — so my readers found out something they needed to know.
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EPA violations by Executive Recyling unclear

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has accused Executive Recycling (ER) of Englewood, Colorado of violations of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations regarding electronics waste (e-waste). As a result of the GAO report, the EPA is now investigating ER. But an S&R investigation into the findings of the GAO report, the EPA regulations and ER’s actions has discovered that ER’s guilt of CRT rule violations may depend greatly on how the EPA classifies the “waste” shipped overseas. The investigation also discovered evidence of possible conflicts of interest on the part of the non-profit environmental advocacy group Basel Action Network (BAN) and one of BAN’s affiliates with respect to the investigation. Continue reading

A Scrogues holiday: part 1

By Ann Ivins

“Sweet fancy tap-dancing Jesus, Ivins!” roared Sam. “What crapped on your head?”

Ann abandoned her effort at slinking into the Scholars and Rogues newsroom; an effort, if truth be told, rendered futile at its inception by not only the astonishing configuration of her normally flat, mousy hair, but also by the conspicuously awkward floating-head stride she was attempting to maintain. She sighed, gingerly lowered herself into her chair, offloaded an enormous tote bag, and only then replied, “It’s an updo, boss.” Continue reading