Bagels of the Amazon

A nice bit of satire from SNL.

Yet Another Reason to Remember Ford

The Mayaguez incident, the 1975 attempted rescue of a 40-member crew of the container ship Mayaguez seized by Cambodia. There were 60 American casualties—and the crew had been moved and released before the assault on Koh Tang, the island where the crew had been held, began.

Ford ordered the operation in part out of a desire not to appear weak after the final pullout from Vietnam two weeks earlier. Permament damage was done to U.S.-Thailand relations and the rescue was an operational disaster.


Gerald Ford, Dead at 93

Before the hagiography starts, we should remember this from 1974:
Throughout the most painful week of Gerald Ford's fledgling presidency, public protest continued to batter the White House. Far from easing after the first shock of Ford's precipitate pardon of Richard Nixon for any and all federal crimes committed during his presidency, the controversy grew. It was fed partly by Ford's refusal to explain further his mysterious reversal on his Executive intervention, partly by White House fumbling on whether all the other Watergate offenders might also be pardoned. Ford's inexperienced aides —almost all of whom had opposed the timing of the pardon—were left scrambling futilely to justify the President's action.
However decent Ford may have been, his pardon of Nixon set the stage for the criminal actions of the Reagan and Bush administrations.

Requiescat in pacem.


Buffy Wisdom Monday!

BUFFY: You know, I didn't even realize it was December. Maybe when we get home, we should decorate the rubble.

Bring on the Night, Season 7


White Christmas

All the holiday cheer you need is right here.

Link courtesy of Crooks and Liars.


Buffy Wisdom Monday!

PRINCIPAL WOOD:OK then. And, Buffy, relax. There's only three things these kids understand: the boot, the bat, and the bastinada. (chuckles, no response from Buffy) It's the... it's a... it's a bad joke. It's the bastinada. No one ever knows what that thing is.

BUFFY: Wooden rod to slap the soles of the feet in Turkish prisons, but if made with the correct wood makes an awesome Billy club.

PRINCIPAL WOOD: I think you're gonna fit in just fine.

Season 7, Beneath You


Boeing and Contradiction

The Radish King and I have been have a sort of dialog about the post below in the comments. I started to comment again, looked at the length, and decided I'd bump it up here. RK asked, after pointing to a WaPo story that Boeing has a contract for securing the border between the U.S. and Mexico, whether I'd prefer flying in a DC-10 or a 747.

Having been on both, and remembering some spectacular DC-10 crashes, the 747, of course.

As a marxist roommate was fond of saying when rationalizing some bourgeois luxury, "It's impossible to live under capitalism without contradiction."

Yes, Boeing being part of the secret prisons revolts me. And yet. And yet. There's a very good chance that there's some very familiar software involved in tracking, planning, etc. all of this. Stuff I've had a role in at some point.

I've never been sure what to do about this sort of thing. You can try drawing a line, but it's an awfully squiggly line. And somewhere along it, you either go live entirely off the grid, or start compromising. It's hard to stop at just one compromise. More always follow.

Some leftist magazines have a policy of taking ads from anyone and then beating the advertiser over the head with the money—editorializing against the thing advertised opposite the published ad. There's a "be wise as serpents" cleverness or perversity in it that appeals to me. But what do I as an individual do? Is a donation to Amnesty International enough? Civil disobedience? Armed revolution? (Note to the NSA: this is an abstract spectrum of actions and should in nowise be construed as a list of options that I am actively considering.)

I just don't know. The boundary between conscience and living is under constant negotiation, I suppose. Caveat lector, mon hypocrite lecteur, mon semblable, mon frère.