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Omaha, Batman, Cinderella Man, Cats, Dogs, Squirrels, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 06, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

SWEET EMOTION: Aerosmith's Steven Tyler received an honorary degree from U Mass o­n Friday.

IF CLAUDE PATE could cover the Bee Gees' "Nights o­n Broadway," I suppose I can't fault Billy Corgan too much for covering the oft-covered "To Love Somebody," which Stereogum has for download.

ELVIS COSTELLO: As I linked to a story of EC refusing to refund fans for a concert delayed so that he could watch soccer o­n TV, it's o­nly fair that I also link to an account that puts the King of America in a better light.

PATTI SMITH talks about the artists who influenced her, wh will also be a focus of the Meltdown festival she is curating this year.

COLDPLAY is "the most insufferable band of the decade," according to Jon Pareles in The New York Times. Frontman Chris Martin is confused about how iPods work and by childbirth. Not very promising from a guy who likes to lecture his audience and just about anyone else who will listen.

THE OMAHA SOUND: Listen, my friends -- the Arizona Republic provides a family tree.

SUMMER MUSIC: Salon is giving away a free iPod for the best summer soundtrack of freely available MP3s.

YO LA TENGO got a nice feature in the Japan Times.

LIVE 8: More headaches for Bob Geldof -- according to The Independent, "anarchist groups that have rioted at previous G8 gatherings are planning similar disruptions in Scotland and plan to hijack Geldof's 'long march to freedom' o­n 6 July and the Make Poverty History rally o­n 2 July."

ROD STEWART, having impregnated his fiancee, files for a divorce from Rachel Hunter. No word o­n who gets custody of Stacy.

TRENT REZNOR won a jury verdict of almost three million bucks against his former manager. Now he will probably discover that it's easier to win a judgment than it is to collect it.

78 RPM MP3s from 1911-26 aplenty at Turtle Services, Ltd.

THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G. murder nvestigation has been driven in no small part by an informer who describes himself as a paranoid schizophrenic and has said under oath that that his identification of the alleged gunman was fraudulent. The statements cast grave doubt o­n the theory that has been featured in Rolling Stone magazine, o­n MTV and PBS' Frontline, and in books and movies -- that corrupt police officers played a role in the killing and that top LAPD officials covered up their actions.

PODCASTING: Live stuff from Steve Earle and Rilo Kiley is up at Some Depresssion.

TOMMY LEE may be looking for Adriana Lima, but in the meantime, he was spotted kissing seven different women in o­ne night.

BATMAN BEGINS, and so do the advance reviews at Ain't-It-Cool-News. Two raves, in fact. I admit that Christopher Nolan in the director's chair has my hopes up.

YOUR MOMENT OF SITH: Courtesy of MetaFilter, but don't click o­n the links there if you want to avoid a spoiler.

SHORT TAKES: Filmcritic.com lists its Top 40 "Short Take" Movie Moments -- memorable scenes that are no more than five seconds long. Number 40 is o­ne of my Dad's favorites.

CINDERELLA MAN is getting overwhelmingly good reviews, but placed fourth at the weekend box office. I saw it and enjoyed it. It will suffer by comparison to Seabiscut, but the final fight is gripping and Paul Giamatti is as good as always, albeit in a supporting role here.

IRAQ: The New York Times has a truly interesting chart of statistics for May 2003 (the first full month after the fall of Baghdad), June 2004 (the last month before the Coalition Authority gave way to the interim Iraqi government) and May 2005. Some of the numbers are debatable, but kudos to the NYT for taking a look at the big picture, which can be lost in today's 24/7 news cycle.

IRAQ II: United Nations satellite imagery experts have determined that material that could be used to make biological or chemical weapons and banned long-range missiles has been removed from 109 sites in Iraq. This is doubly disturbing. First, because we may not know where these materials are. Second, because the Iraq Survey Groups found that Saddam's regime had o­ngoing chemical and biological programs and trained terrorists, which seems kinda threatening, even in the absence of WMD stockpiles.

CATS AND DOGS: Gidget the cat tries to provoke guide dogs for a living.

DOGS: Maya, a 74-pound black Lab, took o­n India, a 120-pound pit bull who was mauling a sixth-grader. She probably saved the boy's life, as the cops had to fire so many shots to stop the lunging pit bull that the gunpowder set off an overhead smoke detector.

IS AMERICA THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD? Matthew Yglesias, blogging the progressive Take Back America conference, starts a discussion of polling data showing that when you ask if America is "the greatest country in the world" most voters say that it is, but when you ask if Democrats believe that America is the greatest country, most voters say that they do not. Be sure to read the comments also.

SCANDAL ROUND-UP: In Nashville, two-year FBI sting operation examining how state contracts were awarded during former state Gov. Don Sundquist's administration, nicknamed the "Tennessee Waltz" has led to the arrest of several lawmakers. In Ohio's "Coingate," between $10 million and $12 million in rare coins have disappeared a collection in which the state Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) began investing in 1998 as a peculiar form of stock hedge.

WASHINGTON ELECTION UPDATE: Chelan County Superior Court Judge John Bridges is expected to announce his decision o­n the contest of the Governor's race today.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Katie Holmes joined Tom Cruise o­nstage when he picked up a lifetime achievement award at the MTV Movie Awards, which airs June 9th. I'm sure it was a memorable as Lisa-Marie Presley kissing Michael Jackson o­n some other MTV award show. The War of the Worlds world premiere has been canceled in part because of concerns about providing security for Cruise. Cruise's recent behaviour has been so spectacularly off-the-wall that it has prompted senior executives at Paramount Studios to call crisis meetings and consider cancelling the third instalment of the Mission Impossible series, due to shoot next month. Meanwhile, Brooke Shields, whose use of Paxil to treat her postpartum depression was recently attacked by Cruise, left a pair of tickets to her show Chicago for Cruise and Holmes, "one adult, o­ne child." Meahwhile, Holmes tells Entertainment Tonight that Cruise "cast a spell o­n me. Katie, you may be new to Scientology, but spell-casting is for Wiccans and Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Holmes is a top candidate to paly Wonder Woman, which would be a mistake, imho. And in the UK, folks worry that Cruise is enticing the Beckhams into Scientology.

PORN DRIVES TECHNOLOGY: Adult movies in the Sony PlayStaion Portable-friendly Universal Media Disc format will be released in Japan this summer. One of the reasons for the failure of Sony's Betamax format was the explosion of VHS adult movies, since this genre was not given production clearance in Sony's Betamax format.

GIRLS GONE WILD creator gone wild enough to be blackmailed. You would think the guy would know the power of embarassing videotape.

NORTH KOREA: The government is sending millions of city dwellers to work o­n farms each weekend, largely to transplant rice to combat growing food shortages.

SPAIN: Nearly a million people protesting the Socialist government's moves to negotiate with Basque terrorists. Pictures here. Funny how the folks who pulled out of Iraq after the Madrid train bombing are becoming more serious about terror in their own backyard.

AZERBAIJAN: Yet another country has thousands demonstrating for elections, election law reforms and access to state-controlled television.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie and Pitt were spotted in canoodle delicto o­n a NYC hotel rooftop Thursday. Meanwhile, Jennifer Aniston has turned to Buddhism to get over her split with Pitt. Sounds to me like she's been spending time with a copy of Seven Years In Tibet.

JESSICA SIMPSON'S ears probably were burning when Philadelphia’s Q102 radio station aired accusations that she's been busy outside her marriage. The Superficial also has this story, but adds pictures from Simpson's latest video shoot because... well, it is The Superficial...

JESSICA ALBA attended the MTV Movie Awards; Golden Fiddle admires her dress. Well, it would be more accurate to say that he admires its translucency. Photo possibly NSFW.

IN THE FUTURE, everyone will be Hitler for 15 minutes.

IRAQ III: At Friday prayers, a cleric representing o­ne of the ruling Shiite Arab parties, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, called for the Iraqi government to execute Saddam Hussein and his aides as soon as possible, which he said would help deflate the insurgency. I don't know whether that will deflate the ethnic tensions the insurgents are trying to create and exploit.

YOU'RE TOO KIND: Amber Taylor blogs kindness in past love affairs. If you click through to the comments, you can read mine, which was inevitable.

LI-LO: Lindsay Lohan and new pal Nicole Richie are featred at the Gallery of the Absurd. And she's publicly complaining about injuries suffered after a papparazzi got into a car accident with the Lohan while playing cat-and-mouse. Lawsuit to follow, or will LL simply be glad she didn't snap like a toothpick?

DIE(T) LAUGHING: American researchers have found that 10-15 minutes of genuine giggling can burn off the number of calories found in a medium square of chocolate. Lindsay Lohan must never stop laughing.

JUDGE MICHAEL McCONNELL may be President Bush's first nominee to the Supreme Court, if o­ne or more Justices retires at the end of the Court's term (which is usuall the end of June). You can read a profile from the Legal Times in which veteran Supremes scribe Tony Mauro writes,"it's hard for many to decide exactly what McConnell is: conservative, liberal, or a perplexing blend of both."

IRAQ IV: Iraq's new government appealed to the Bush administration to be more assertive o­n four key political and military issues, including help with drafting the new constitution and bringing Sunnis into the political process. Fortunately, it appears that Sunnis have begun talks with members of the panel writing the country's new constitution.

IRAQ V: Roughly half of the 15,000 items looted from the National Museum of Iraq in 2003 have been recovered, said its director, who thanked American officials for assistance in restoring the building.

LEBANON: As expected, Hizbollah is doing well in the second round of elections, especially as it has allied with its historical arch-foe, the Amal Movement (though both have backed Syria).

BASEBALL BOOKS are featured in the Pittsburg Post-Review and at the blog of Laregehearted Boy, from whom I steal almost daily.

THE NATIONAL SPELLING BEE was dominated by kids of Indian ancestry. What's their secret? In part, it's a craze the Indian-American community; in another part, it's a devotion to rote learning largely abandoned in public schools.

SEN. ROBERT BYRD looks shockingly vulnerable in the latest polling -- he's lucky he has another year to campaign.

SEN. TOM HARKIN calls Christian broadcasters "sort of our home-grown Taliban." Pat Robertson often says stupid and outrageous things, so apparently Tom feels he must sink to that level.

IRAQ VI: In Operation Lightning, Iraqi and U.S. forces are rounding up hundreds of suspected insurgents and have uncovered 50 weapons and ammunition caches and a huge underground insurgent bunker complex west of the capital, containing "numerous types of machine guns, ordnance, including mortars, rockets and artillery rounds, black uniforms, ski masks, compasses, log books, night vision goggles, and fully charged cell phones." Also, an Iraqi believed to be a top terror leader in northern Iraq also was captured by U.S. and Iraqi forces in Mosul.

ZARQAWI DIED o­n FRIDAY, according to Iraqi Sunni sheikh Ammar Abdel Rahim Nasir. But Zarqawi is o­ne cat with nine lives, so count me extremely skeptical.

DEEP THROAT: W. Mark Felt is almost certainly the Watergate informer, but there's a reason why you won't see him doing TV interviews. John Dean -- yes, the former counsel to President Nixon -- argues at length that the story begins with Felt, but does not end there.

THE DAWN PATROL: The Mudville Gazette rounds up posts from Milbloggers in Iraq and Iraqi bloggers about the small steps forward in Iraq that generally go unreported. Often, the soldiers' version of events differs from the version we see o­n television.

VIOLATING THE GENEVA CONVENTION: The ACLU is so devoted to exposing any violation of the Geneva Convention by U.S. troops that it has successfully sued for the release of four videos from Abu Ghraib prison and dozens of photographs, arguably in violation of Article 3.1(c) of the Geneva Convention. At least, the International Committee for the Red Cross thought when pictures were published of Saddam Hussein in his underwear.

ACLU II: When not busy forcing the release of photos sure to inflame the Muslim world, the group has been shredding some documents over the repeated objections of its records manager and in conflict with its longstanding policies o­n the preservation and disposal of records. The debate over the use of shredders is reminiscent of o­ne late last year over the organization's efforts to collect a wide variety of data o­n its donors, even as it criticizes corporations and government agencies for accumulating personal data as a violation of privacy rights.

GITMO A GULAG? William Schulz, the head of the Amnesty International USA said o­n Sunday the group doesn't "know for sure" that the military is running a "gulag." Schulz later said, "Clearly this is not an exact or a literal analogy." Natan Sharansky, a former Soviet dissident and political prisoner, argued that Amnesty compromises its work by refusing to differentiate "between democracies where there are sometimes serious violations of human rights and dictatorships where no human rights exist at all." Washington Post columnist (and frequent Bush critic) E.J. Dionne asks, "Why do President Bush's critics make life so easy for him?" The column could be summed up by its conclusion: "Human rights are too important to be lost in bad metaphors." Speaking of bad metaphors, The New York Times now calls for Gitmo to be shut down, asserting that "What Guantánamo exemplifies - harsh, indefinite detention without formal charges or legal recourse - may or may not bring to mind the Soviet Union's sprawling network of Stalinist penal colonies. It certainly has nothing in common with any American notions of justice or the rule of law." The NYT editorial board is usuing the same metaphor used in body of the Amnesty report -- the metaphor of law enforcement. The U.S. tried the law enforcement model of dealing with terrorists for a while. The NYT editors might stroll down to Ground Zero to remind themselves of how well that worked out.

QURAN DESECRATION: A military inquiry found five cases Quran mishandling, of which only three were intentional. Of the major media, it appears that only CNN headlines the fact that the inquiry foun 15 cases where detainees mishandled the Quran, including the attempt to flush it down a toilet. Meanwhile, three GIs face murder charges for the suffocation of an Iraqi general during an interrogation last year. Call me crazy (who doesn't?), but I think that merits more attention from the media than a guard stepping o­n a Quran.

AMERICANS TRUST THE MILITARY much more than they do the media. The latest Gallup Poll shows 74 percent of Americans have a lot of confidence in the military, but o­nly 28 percent have that much confidence in TV news and newspapers. Oddly enough, a Google News search shows almost no major media coverage of these results.

WARNING: THE BIBLE may be hazardous to your health, according to some British hospital officials. Shouldn't Amnesty International demand an investigation of this treatment of a holy book?

SQUIRRELS INVADE the city of Novosibirsk ("New Siberia") in Russia.

THE SAN FRANCISCO SNAKE had to be imported from the Netherlands.

THE SWARM: Two women were hospitalized Thursday after they were attacked by a swarm of bees in East Bexar County, TX.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: The o­nly U.N. staffer fired for wrongdoing in the affair claims that he acted o­n orders of higher-ups and is being scapegoated to take the heat off Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other bigwigs. And it appears he has documents to back his claim.

JACK-FM: The supposed iPod-random format has, without notice, replaced the oldies stations in NYC and Chicago.

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The Fame, a White wedding, Live 8, Smoosh and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 03, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

YOUR FRIDAY TIME-WASTER: The addictive bounce of Poom.

FREE DOUGHNUTS AT KRISPY KREME TODAY to celebrate National Doughnut Day.

THIS WEEKEND, I'm fulfilling requests. If you don't know what I mean, don't sweat it.

THE FAME: The New York Press think piece o­n this unsigned band manages to namecheck The Raspberries, Cheap Trick, Off Broadway, Artful Dodger, Dwight Twilley and Shoes in the space of two paragraphs. Read, then listen. And maybe change your pants.

JACK WHITE apparently got married in Brazil, though the announcement is suspicious... or maybe just as odd as Jack White. His new bride is model Karen Elson, who appeared in the White Stripes' video for "Blue Orchid."

"I WANNA BE YOUR DOG:" 27 versions, from Iggy & The Stooges to Radio Birdman to Sonic Youth and Wilco.

"DON'T FEAR THE REAPER:" Copy, Right? has eight versions, including takes by The Beautiful South, Apollo 440 and Goo Goo Dolls. Of course, all of them could... well, you know...

ELVIS COSTELLO refused to refund an audience after arriving o­n stage late because he was watching the Liverpool vs AC Milan Champions League Final. Stereogum leaves a better taste in your mouth with a download of a live version of "Chemistry Class" from 1978.

THE HOLD STEADY talk about the Replacements, Kiss, BTO and The Boss. Metromix notes a great Springsteen-inspired lyric o­n the band's new album: "Tramps like us, and we like tramps..."

LIVE 8 can't seem to make it's mind up whether it is a concert or an insurrection. Organizer Bob Geldof has called o­n children to quit school and people to abandon their jobs in order to descend o­n Edinburgh for the G8 summit, causing local officials to panic and sending co-organizer Midge Ure (Ultravox) into damage control mode. UK press reaction has been mixed, though not predictably so. Geldof has also faced anger from African bands over the predominantly white lineup of artists he has chosen. The Telegraph and the Scotsman have different takes o­n the agenda of the G8 summit and Live 8. The coverage seems to assume that the concerts will have anti-Bush overtones, though in the past, Geldof has praised the Bush administration as o­ne of Africa's best friends in its fight against hunger and AIDS. Moreover, after a recent meeting, South African President Thabo Mbeki is "absolutely certain that President Bush is committed" to helping Africa o­n market access and ending agricultural subsidies, a major issue for the G8 and Live 8. The main disagreement will probably be over foreign aid, which President Bush is unlikely to get from Congress absent conditions requiring further democratic reforms in Africa. ALSO: No Rock and Roll Fun blogs the terrifying possibility of a Sting-Madonna duet.

ANASTASIA BARONE remembered the thick padlocked chain around her neck, her husband's steel-toed boot striking her over and over in the face, and then the dizziness that overcame her as she slowly slipped into unconsciousness o­n the tile floor of her Dix Hills basement. Not to mention the leopards...

S&M SLAVE freed from car trunk in Berlin. After discovering that this was not a kidnapping and deciding the trunk was not safe for the man, officers told him to sit inside the car and sent him and his mistress o­n their way.

JOURNALIST TARGETED FOR ASSASSINATION with a car bomb in Beirut, Lebanon. Opposition figures were quick to point the finger at Syria's allies, not the United States, so journalists here won't care.

OUR FRIENDS THE SAUDIS: Consultative Council member Mohammad al-Zulfa proposed conducting a study into the feasibility of reversing the ban o­n women drivers. He now faces phone text messages calling o­n Allah to freeze his blood and calls to remove him from the council and strip him of his Saudi nationality.

DOGS: Tragedy struck the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track when a fire early Wednesday killed at least 10 dogs and injured dozens more. Even so, firefighters pulled dogs from their metal crates, carried them out of the concrete building and administered oxygen with masks meant for people. ALSO: Flashback, Sylvia Hauser's rescued Greyhound, is out of the hospital and remains o­n the mend.

HOW TO BECOME AN EARLY RISER: A window into my world and some of yours.

XXX WEBSITES soon to be masters of their domain.

GET RHYTHM as an infant. They don't call it rocking the cradle for nothing.

GENERATIONAL MOVIES are discussed at Daniel W. Drezner's blog. I think he's confusing the idea of a generational movie with "the Tron effect." There may be overlap, but I do not think they are identical concepts.

SMOOSH, the indie rock duo of sisters Asya, 13, and Chloe, 11, have played SXSW and Sasquatch and get some local pub from the Tacoma News-Tribune.

GANG OF FOUR tore the roof off... somewhere.

THE KILLERS, in a rare moment of modesty, decline the top slot at the Glastonbury festival that became vacant when Kylie Minogue was forced to pull out after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

MUSIC DOWNLOADING GROWS, legally and otherwise.

JEFF TWEEDY, Larry Lessig and others recently did a panel o­n "Who Owns Culture?" at the New York Public Library. I've mentioned it before, but it's finally available o­nline.

CULT OF THE iPod: The Superior Court of California for San Mateo County has conditionally approved a settlement in a class action suit brought against Apple Computer by consumers who purchased a first-, second-, or third-generation iPod model o­n or before May 31, 2004, and experienced "battery failure."

EDDIE MONEY o­n a bad cellphone is pretty amusing.

TOMMY LEE is already done with Tara Reid and has set his sights o­n model Adriana Lima. I wouldn't bet against him.

HILLARY'S HOLLYWOOD HOEDOWN was infiltrated by Defamer.

DEEP THROAT: Kudos to Edward Jay Epstein for picking W. Mark Felt as DT in July 1974. He also explained how little Woodward and Bernstein had to do with exposing the Watergate conspiracy.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM hurt the ability of the historic system of African-American community groups to register and mobilize black voters, according to the president of the National Urban League and mambers of the Congressional Black Caucus.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise has reportedly told Katie Holmes to nix her plans to star as Andy Warhol protege Edie Sedgwick in Factory Girl because Edie was o­n psychotropic drugs and in mental institutions -- both of which are taboo to Scientologists. Katie, that's what happens when you let Tom help you prep for the role.

BRITNEY SPEARS says that she loves being pregnant, because sex is "better than it was before." That's so sweet.

MAJOR RECORD LABELS wise up momentarily and open their vaults to DJs for remixes and mash-ups.

THE FUTURE OF THE CAR: Radar, lasers, wireless radio networks and other embedded tech will enable our cars to sense faraway traffic and stop accidents before they happen. But who will be in the driver’s seat? I know Craig O'Neill's answer. Imho, an electric car that is as fast as a Ferrari would be a good place to start.

THE FRENCH REJECTION of the EU Constitution was due in part to bloggers.

GUN TABLE LAMP: I doubt there's a big market for them, which would explain the hefty price tag.

GITMO A GULAG? Amnesty International, not knowing when to stop digging, defended its description of Guantanamo prison as a "gulag" Thursday, even though William F. Schulz, AI USA's director, said earlier that he would expend "no energy" in defending AI Secretary General Irene Khan's use of the word "gulag." Given that Schultz previously served o­n the board of directors of People for the American Way and Planned Parenthood, as well as contributed the maximum 2,000 bucks to Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign (as did Joe W. "Chip" Pitts III, AI USA's board chairman), his refusal ought to tell AI how this story is playing. Even NPR commentator Peter Klein, who has been researching some family history about Soviet gulags, says that AI is off-base. As I've noted before there are people having serious discussions of the issues raised by Gitmo, but AI's hype is going to drown them out.

GITMO II: As Amnesty's report re-raises the issue of classifying Gitmo detainees as unlawful combatants, I would note that Bill Whittle's latest essay, "Sanctuary," explains why the difference between unlawful combatant and P.O.W. is important, though he does so in language not for the faint of heart. The Pentagon has posted posted quite a bit about the general treatment of detainees and the information gained from them. And it's worth remembering that not every detainee released from Gitmo claims abuse.

NANOTECH: A team from the University of Alberta has created a molecular transistor, which could could revolutionize the field of electronics, providing a leap ahead for everything from computers to batteries to medical equipment.

IT'S NOT HORSE-TRADING: Sweden's state-owned forestry firm has launched a moose stock exchange for would-be hunters.

THINGS THAT DON'T EXIST: A free lunch, a general solution to the quintic polynomial using o­nly a finite formula involving the four arithmetic operations and the extraction of roots, the ability to go back in time to reverse the decision of going back in time, a book called A Connecticut Yankee in Osama bin Laden's Pants... It's a long list.

PORTABLE TOILET EXPLODES: lawsuit to follow.

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Dungen, Kings of Convenience, List-O-Mania, Deep Throat, Man-hugs, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

EVEN BETTER THAN THE REAL THING: Improv Everywhere stages its own rooftop U2 concert.

A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS emerge tonight from the "Where Are They Now?" file to perform "I Ran" (of course) o­n NBC's premiere episode of Hit Me Baby, o­ne More Time.

YOUR MENTAL SOUNDTRACK starts in childhood and is easily triggered. When you listen to your records they take you back to certain points in your life, OK?

WOXY-FM is adopting that trendy IPod Shuffle-like format called "Jack," but WOXY o­nline will retain its critically acclaimed alternative rock format. Whew!

DUNGEN is touring the U.S. in July, albeit limited to a few cities. The Pitchfork review gave a whopping 9.3 to the band's current release, Ta Det Lugnt. Did I mention that Dungen plays Swedish psych-metal? It's better than that description; you can sample it free and legal through Subliminal Sounds and Memphis Industries.

SASHA FRERE-JONES of The New Yorker swears off so-called listening parties: "I will not write about any piece of music unless I have unlimited access to a portable version of it, renderered in either the CD, MP3 or vinyl format."

KINGS OF CONVENIENCE are offering live downloads, along with a few studio rarities. Doc Loch will note a cover of Harry Nilsson's "Me and My Arrow." And a version of Simon & Garfunkel's "A Most Peculiar Man" should be a no-brainer also.

FEAR OF GLOBAL WARMING has been giving Radiohead's Thom Yorke writer's block.

CHRISTIAN SLATER UPDATE: The details of Slater's arrest for groping a woman o­n the street are better than most of what Hollywood could write. First, the woman allegedly groped is 52 years old. Second, Slater "was arguing with a female companion early yesterday when he allegedly pinched the victim's rump." Third, as he was arrested he was threatening to sue everyone involved. But the strippers at Scores will vouch for Slater's manners.

THE SEQUEL TO THE ITALIAN JOB will be The Brazilian Job. I predict another hit, if it features Charlize Theron getting waxed.

KNOXVILLE, KY used tax dollars to pay a private investigator nearly 100 dollars an hour to go to adult businesses for lap dances. It was part of an effort to force adult businesses to adhere to stricter regulations and the city says, in essence, it was money well spent.

YAHOO! seems to be making big bucks o­n chat rooms where men prey o­n young girls.

DOES A VIDEO MOCKING CHINESE-AMERICANS AND GAY MARRIAGE, including lesbian soft-porn and topless women, prepare someone to deal with the media in San Francisco? The San Francisco 49'ers thought so, but have now learned otherwise.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt and Jolie, while promoting their new movie, are resisting any personal questions. Asked whether the pair are a couple, Pitt's flack said, "I don't have a comment today, yesterday or tomorrow." ALSO: Ellen DeGeneres and girlfriend Portia de Rossi have bought "The Brad Pitt-Jennifer Aniston House" in Beverly Hills for a cool 20 million.

THE DUKES OF HAZZARD INSTITUTE, funded by Country Music Television (CMT), will pay Christopher Nelson 100 grand to watch and blog about reruns of the TV show. The contract does not include vacation time. "For $100,000 he'd better watch that show every night," said James Hitchcock, CMT's vice president for marketing.

LI-LO: A photographer who hit Lindsay Lohan's car while allegedly following her has been booked o­n suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

NAZI NUKES? The Germans may have been closer to developing a mini-nuke than was previously believed.

GOV. AHNULD SCHWARZENEGGER, attempting to avoid protesters who have been dogging him for weeks, apparently had a road crew dig up a street for a photo op where he came and filled the hole.

IRAN: In a speech celebrating the second anniversary of the Proliferation Security Initiative, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice disclosed that the U.S. and its allies have intercepted prevented Iran from obtaining material for its nuclear weapons program within the past nine months.

IRAQ: Jeff Goldstein's unique coverage at Protein Wisdom -- "Overheard inside an Haditha bunker, Wednesday, June 1." On a more realistic note, PowerLine has e-mail and photos from a tank patrol, sent by Major Eric E., who serves with the Iraq Explosive Device Task Force at Camp Victory in Baghdad.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Extra TV reports that Cruise and Holmes are not officially engaged... yet. But Holmes is studying Scientology. Heidi Oringer of ABCNEWS Radio, noting Cruise's over-the-top promotion of his supposed relationship with Holmes, predicts that "there's going to be some very damaging information about Mr. Cruise that will be exposed in the very near future." I wonder what it could be?

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON was to be feted Wednesday night at a top secret Hollywood fundraiser, hosted by Christina Aguilera, Jake Gyllenhaal, Scarlett Johansson and Lindsay Lohan. I wonder if this event would have been cancelled if the Senator's former national finance director had not been acquitted last Friday of lying to the government about a lavish 2000 Hollywood fund-raising gala.

LIST-O-MANIA: Prof. Ann Althouse blogs our love for lists and posts a classic list so good that I won't spoil it, save to say it explains why we think of the 1970s the way we do.

QURAN DESECRATION: An Al Qaeda-affiliated sucide bomber attacked a mosque in Kandahar, Afghanistan, killing at least 20 people. No word o­n how many Qurans were destroyed, but I'm sure it's the fault of the U.S., somehow.

THE UNITED NATIONS Security Council o­n Tuesday condemned for the first time sexual abuse by its peacekeepers after being told U.N. members ignored such exploitation for decades, fearing exposure of their own soldiers' wrongdoing. For some reason, this story does not seem to get the same press coverage given to more isolated incidents of wrongdoing or alleged wrongdoing by U.S. troops.

THE DUTCH overwhelmingly rejected the European Union constitution Wednesday, by a vote of 63 percent to 37 percent, an even worse defeat than the 55 percent "no" vote in France's referendum Sunday. However, the Dutch vote was not expected to have the same dramatic result for domestic politicians as France's referendum Sunday -- a loss that was a public humiliation for President Jacques Chirac. Not that the EU needs my advice, but next time, maybe try something a little shorter than 500 pages.

iDOG will listen to music with you, dance with rhythm and compose songs. A stuffed animal will listen to music with you. And I would bet that even most dog-lovers really don't want to listen to songs composed by their dog.

ROBOTS: Toyota has set up a division to make household robots, hoping to reach the market by 2010.

MAKE POVERTY HISTORY WRISTBANDS sold by Oxfam and other groups were made by Chinese forced labor. Oops.

WHOLE FOODS is the next Wal-Mart?

VICTOR NAVASKY, publisher and former editor of The Nation, has been working behind the scenes in a key, uncredited role at the Columbia Journalism Review. CJR executive editor Michael Hoyt claims Navasky is just offering business advice. However, as The Nation became profitable for the first time primarily due the magazine's role as a critic of the Bush Administration, I would like the CJR to explain how that strategy works for them.

EDU-BLOGGING: The latest Carnival of Education is o­nline. ALSO: Increases in homework may actually undercut teaching effectiveness and worsen disparities in student learning, according to two Penn State researchers. The authors argue that "in poorer households -- often headed by single parents, parents with comparatively little education or, in some nations, parents held back by language barriers -- homework may not be cordially received, especially by parents of small children." The authors note that Japanese kids do less homework than American kids, yet score higher o­n many international tests. Why? It's not class size per se -- classes are much larger in Japan. It may have more to do with instructional methods and culture. I would suggest that lack of parental involvement is at the root of the problem -- which most educators are not politically suicidal enough to say.

JESSICA SIMPSON AND PUFF DADDY are hawking ProActive acne solutions. Puffy is getting paid three million bucks. I don't know how much Simpson is getting paid, but did you really want to see Puffy's picture here?

AN EXPERIMENTAL SUPERCOMPUTER that can reconfigure itself to tackle different software problems is being built by researchers in Scotland.

DEEP THROAT: After having been embarassingly scooped by Vanity Fair, in part because the Felt family apparently thought it was unfair for Bob Woodward to make all the money from W. Mark Felt's role as Watergate informer, the Washington Post has started a Deep Throat blog. It's no surprise that the paper would like to paint the Felt family as greedy and Bob Woodward as a victim, is it? ALSO: As I thought yesterday, there are some holes in the story. Nixon biographer Jonathan Aitken argues that Felt could not have been the source for the leak about the infamous 18-and-a-half minute gap o­n the White House tape of June 20, 1972 featuring Nixon and his chief of staff, H R Halderman. PLUS: At TalkLeft, a former Clinton Adminstration Justice Department official does not think Felt should be lionized.

EVA LONGORIA is getting a lot of good vibes from fans of Desperate Housewives.

VICTORIA BECKHAM: The ex-Spice Girl is releasing a series of tracks under a secret name -- because she fears her identity will put fans off buying her music. Hey, no o­ne is using "Deep Throat" at the moment...

THE MAN-HUG: A guide for the awkward.

RIVAL GANGS OF BUDDHIST MONKS brawl after years of antagonism between monks from the two temples who had often exchanged curses, insults and rude gestures as they collected alms o­n different sides of a road in Bangkok.

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Bullette, Bono, Llamas, Cats, Dogs, Pythons, a Pig and a Chicken   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

IS THERE A BUSTLE IN YOUR HEDGEROW?

THE SONOGRAMS OF CLASSIC RECORDS: Airwindows, a CD mastering outfit, shows you what classic records look like to help sell their services.

SLEATER-KINNEY'S Carrie Brownstein tells the San Francisco Bay Guardian that the band's new song "Jumpers" was sparked by an article about suicides off the Golden Gate Bridge that appeared in The New Yorker. At the Pitchfork, Ms. Brownstein lists "Ten Songs to Enjoy o­n a Fair-Weathered Sunday."

LIVE 8: Bob Geldof officially announced a star-studded day of concerts in Europe and the United States in July (coinciding with the G-8 summit, natch) aimed at pressuring world leaders to end poverty in Africa. So if I want to fly to Berlin, I can see Brian Wilson and a-ha...

BULLETTE is trying to attract attention from record labels by offering an entire album for free download at her website. You can download the whole thing at o­nce or a track at a time, which is what I'm doing. So far, so good. It's indie-rockish, with various flourishes...tuneful, not inviting an obvious comparison with others offhand, which is good.

50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR LOVER: The Paul Simon tune lists o­nly a few of them; The Morning News has the rest.

"I WANNA DESTROY YOU," as covered by Six By Seven, can be downloaded this week over at Chromewaves.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Director Doug Liman fears the shocking sex scenes between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Mr. & Mrs. Smith are so realistic that fans of Jennifer Aniston will boycott the film. Or Liman thinks the controversy will boost the box office. Apparently, Aniston is so upset that she's asked David Arquette for help, a sure sign of temporary insanity. New York Daily News Gossip Ben Widdicombe thinks that Mr. & Mrs. Smith shows that Pitt and Jolie have "maybe the best o­nscreen chemistry since the invention of color film." Of course, in the same column, Widdicombe quotes disco diva Vickie Sue Robinson, who died in 2000.

CHRISTIAN SLATER, last heard from asking strangers for Cialis in a restaurant restroom, is arrested for groping a woman o­n the street. Sounds like someone fronted him that Cialis.

BRITNEY SPEARS is more famous than her husband, but I have to hand it to the folks at the Boston Herald for dubbing her "The Bride of Federline."

TOM-KAT UPDATE: You can stream clips of Cruise's interview with Access Hollywood, including a Scientology-based rant against psychiatry and drug treatments. Katie Holmes is joining the ffort to convince people that their romance is real.

CHARLES LINDBURGH had three German mistresses simultaneously, according to a new book published o­n Monday. Apparently, when Chuck dropped the isolationist stance, her really dropped it.

BONO talks about Pope John Paul II, President Bush, Jesse Helms, Gorbachev and more in a book excerpt published in the London Sunday Times.

STAWBERRY FIELDS officially closed its doors o­n Tuesday.

THE MODERN ROCK 500 is being repeated throughout the week at WOXY, a longtime pick to click of prof. Ken King.

GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE rent control. That's all they really want.

THE LOVE STORY OF JOHNNY AND JUNE CARTER CASH, as read by Sarah Vowell, a/k/a Violet Parr of The Incredibles.

LLAMAS have "nanobodies" that are smaller and more stable than human antibodies, which may could point the way to new ways of tackling human diseases. They also have two ears, a heart, a forehead, and a beak for eating honey.

CATS AND DOGS: U.S. airlines will track the number of cargo-area pet deaths and begin reporting the data to the government.

DOGS are tortured to tell the future in Bulgaria. o­n a lighter note, the Jodiverse has a gallery of dogs Jodi has met. Awwww...

FRENCH MELT: In the wake of the "no" vote o­n the EU Constitution, president Jacques Chirac has named Dominique de Villepin (who is a man) as France's new prime minister. The BBC's Caroline Wyatt in Paris says that he of all candidates "most typifies the French elite so roundly rejected by the French people o­n Sunday." But Reuters thinks he's "dashing." So he's got that going for him, which is nice.

GERMAN MELT: German teens, faced with liberal parents who are tolerant about sex, drugs and rock and roll, are increasingly rebelling by turning to neo-nazi fashion, music and ideology.

DEEP THROAT is revealed to be W. Mark Felt, former number two man at the FBI. Woodward and Bernstein confirm the admission, though I believe Watergate junkies will find that if Felt is the guy, Woodstein offered up red herrings about his identity. In 1980, Felt was convicted of conspiracy to violate civil rights for his admitted role in arranging illegal break-ins, burglaries and other measures against friends and relatives of fugitive members of the Weather Underground; he was pardoned by President Reagan in 1981. The same story notes that James Mann, who worked at the Washington Post during the time in question, gave everyone a big hint about this back in 1992. At Protein Wisdom, Jeff Goldstein lists "9 rejected names Bob Woodward ALMOST used for his Watergate source, 'Deep Throat.'"

DARFUR, perhaps the world's worst humanitarian crisis, is blogged at Brooklyn Vegan. The links to NSFW pics of Natalie Portman are just a bonus.

UZBEKISTAN: Sens. McCain, Graham and Sununu met with opposition leaders and urged Karimov's Government to allow international inspectors in to investigate the reports of massacre in Andijan. (President Bush has similarly urged an investigation.) The Karimov government would not meet with the Senators.

IT SHAKES ALL OVER LIKE A JELLYFISH, that crazy little thing called love.

IT'S NOT A CONE OF SILENCE, but the cone of babble serves the same privacy function.

BATMAN BEGINS opens this month. The art of Mark Chamberlin reminds us why it's a good thing that this prequel-of-sorts will not feature the ambiguously gay duo.

NANOROBOTS could soon be taking pictures in your intestines.

THE UNMELTING POT: 26 groups are lobbying to have NYC to translate all school documents, including school notices and report cards, into nine languages.

NOT A FORTUNE-TELLER as much as a fortune-writer.

ARROGANCE IN JOURNALISM: Andrew Cline, a former journalist going into academia, lists ways in which j-school students are taught arrogance. But if you want a case study, you need o­nly read Jon Carroll's column in the San Francisco Chronicle, the thrust of which is that the press may get things wrong, but we should just grovel at the feet of his colleagues for actually doing the job of journalism.

GITMO UPDATE: The Associated Press repeats the complaints of some detainees, claiming that they "offer a glimpse into the secretive world of Guantanamo Bay," before admitting that "Whether the stories are true may never be known." Amnesty International's idiotic claim that Gitmo is a "gulag" was served up as a pinata for President Bush, who called the claim absurd. More absurd is Amnesty's refusal to admit that this was a mistake, which will o­nly further marginalize the group and distract from whatever valid claims it may have. Meanwhile, terrorists bomb mosques, kill Muslim worshippers and some Pakistanis blame America, going so far as to torch a KFC restaurant in Karachi, killing six more innocent locals. "We hate America because Americans are responsible for the miseries of all Muslims in the world," said Nisar Haider, a spokesman for the Immamia Student Organization. Which explains the bombing of the aforementioned mosque by an al-Qaeda affiliate. And why most Afghans and Iraqis demand their old regimes back. What, they don't?

MINI-ZOO DISCOVERED IN PUBLIC HOUSING: In Vienna, Austria, firemen called to a flooded first floor council flat discovered a mini-zoo including a pig, two pythons, a caiman and several cats swimming in the water.

HIKER ESCAPES BEAR ATTACK with his Brazilian martial arts training.

CHICKEN TICKETED FOR CROSSING ROAD gets complaint tossed in court.

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Summer music, Celeb engagements, The Breakfast Club and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

HOPE THAT CLICKING FINGER IS LIMBER:

MEMORIAL DAY HANGOVER: There are plenty of ways to support our troops. Chicago Boyz links to groups helping wounded soldiers. Winds of Change links to a slew of groups, just scroll down to find the U.S. links.

SUMMER MUSIC is blogged by Michele at A Small Victory.

THE TEN WORST ALBUM COVERS OF ALL TIME, according to the Pork Tornado.

LOU BARLOW discusses his new solo record and the Dinosaur, Jr., reunion with London24.

THE WHO SELL OUT (AGAIN): Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey are asking Who fans to help them squeeze a few more drops of blood from their rock.

BECK is opening for the Rolling Stones in Canada. Loser.

ELVIS COSTELLO: Fans discuss when he jumped the shark.

YOUR MOMENT OF SITH: The official Star Wars site publishes the Easter Egg List of the Sith. We now know that Anakin's father is ESPN NBA analyst Dee Brown. And why does C-3PO, a droid fluent in over six million languages, need a spokesman?

EDDIE ALBERT HEADS FOR GREENER ACRES, passing away at 99.

JESSICA SIMPSON is resisting doing publicity for The Dukes of Hazzard with married co-star Johnny Knoxville because she doesn't want to feed gossip that they had a fling, according to Rush & Molloy at the New York Daily News. She's also done a duet with Wille Nelson o­n "These Boots are Made for Walkin'." A photo from the video shoot adorns the cover of Us magazine. Putting her in a bikini washing a car is an inspired choice.

LI-LO: Stereogum has a SFW picture of Lindsay Lohan that is worth a thousand words, though I don't think I could tell you what most of them are.

BRITNEY SPEARS' mother is upset over all of the sex talk o­n the pop tart's UPN-televised train-wreck. Cheer up, Ma: the show is on the verge of being cancelled because her fans just don't care anymore.

THE FRENCH HOTEL gets engaged to a guy named Paris. I guess she couldn't stand that the rumored Tom-Kat weekend engagement was going to suck up all the pub. Or is it that Nicole Richie has moved o­n to hanging with Lindsay Lohan, who would be classed as a larger starlet were she not vanishing before our very eyes.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled ex-Libertines frontman believes his apartment is bugged.

NINE INCH NAILS will not play the MTV Movie Awards because the band would not be allowed to play "The Hand That Feeds" in front of a giant photo of President Bush.

NO ROCK AND ROLL FUN demonstrates that some issues transcend politics.

ELTON JOHN ATTACKS MADONNA AGAIN, suggesting that Madge will probably not perform at this year's Geldof-organized "Live 8" charity concert because she would rather attend a Kabbalah meeting.

CHEAP TRICK is slated to be honored with a display at the Rockford, IL Civic Center. Always nice when local boys make good.

ROCKIN' VERDICTS: A jury awarded the BoDeans more than 200 grand in damages Thursday from a longtime former manager, Mark McCraw. In the latest chapter of a decades-long dispute, Sony Music was ordered to pay 5 million bucks for not putting indie Cleveland International Records' logo o­n Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album.

GENRES: Yes, it's o­ne of may favorite words and even moreso when Chuck Klosterman explains some pop genres for the curious yet inexpert listener.

THE BREAKFAST CLUB sequel turned out to be a hoax, but the cast is reuniting at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards, with the possible exception of Emilio Estevez. Yellowcard is set to perform "Don't You Forget About Me."

HOW THE HEATHERS HAVE FALLEN: Shannen Doherty is dropped from a UPN series before it even premieres. Wynona Ryder gets pub for wearing out Jamiroquai frontman Jay Kay with her non-stop demands for sex. And in an apparently unrelated story, Christian Slater gets caught asking a stranger in the bathroom of Brother Jimmy's BBQ in NYC whether he had any Cialis to spare.

EVA MENDEZ, like Li-Lo, appears to be a candidate for a digital breast reduction.

HUNTER S. THOMPSON: The late gonzo author's archives are homeless. Thompson was not much of a planner, but we all assumed that, didn't we?

JOHNNY DEPP is arranging for the creation of 150-foot cannon, designed to resemble Hunter S. Thompson's "gonzo fist" emblem, built to shoot the late gonzo journo's ashes.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: The latest trailer is online at Moviefone, complete with Oompa-Loompas. I want an Oompa-Loompa now!

THERE ARE CERTAIN STEREOTYPES ABOUT THE SOUTH, but the Northeast has the dumbest drivers.

CATS: I guess you would call Romeo a "fat cat" at 33 pounds.

DOGS: Doggie day cares are instituting rigorous admissions standards as they strive to put together classes or play groups of well-behaved animals that don't growl, nip or bite. An innocent dog is killed after terrorists in Iraq strapped an explosive belt to it. A bomb-sniffing dog causes a stink at the South African parliament. Plus, I just like saying the name "Mangosuthu Buthelezi" to myself.

IRAQ: Some of the insurgent bombers claim they were deceived into killing and wounding innocent Iraqis. Is there no honor among terrorists? For four days this month, U.S. Marines were o­nlookers at a battle between suspected followers of Zarqawi and Iraqi Sunni tribal fighters at the western frontier town of Husaybah. And the London Sunday Times seems to confirm that Zarqawi has fled the country for emergency surgery after an American airstrike left him with shrapnel lodged in his chest.

LEBANON ELECTION UPDATE: Publius Pundit has a nice backgrounder pointing out that with Syria removed as a common enemy, we can expect the opposition to become more factionalized. Publius also covers the first round of the election, concluding with a photo of Miss Lebanon, just because she's hawt. Lebanon's anti-Syrian alliance has swept the board in the first round of general elections, but pro-Syrian Shia groups are tipped to fare better in next Sunday's second round of voting.

SYRIA, meanwhile, is cracking down o­n human rights activists and dissidents are calling for protests.

THE ARAB STREET has been polled. They seems to understand their problems pretty well, which is better news than from the Muslim focus groups who think the U.S. is 85 percent Jewish.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: Teri "They're Real and They're Spectacular" Hatcher claims that ABC has spent thousands of dollars digitally airbrushing her nipples out of the show -- Nicollette Sheridan's, too. If ABC is smart, they can recoup that cost by using the unaltered footage for the inevitable DVD box set.

CULT OF THE iPod: The gadgets are being used for official and unofficial museum guides. o­ne official use if for listening stations at the exhibition of portraits from famed celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz in Austin, TX.

PRESIDENT BUSH'S POLL NUMBERS are as low as ever, but it seems that he's doing better than nearly all his fellow leaders of the world's big industrial democracies. Indeed, France's vote o­n the European Constitution has become more of a referendum o­n the record of President Jacques Chirac and most analysts believe the expected "no" vote would destroy any possibility of Chirac standing again for the presidency in 2007.

THE FRENCH VOTE AGAINST THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION: The Times of London thinks Chirac is done, but that Europe will muddle along. A piece at Tech Central Station suggests France is going protectionist and collectivist. Power Line has more reactions from Europe and France's own "Red State - Blue State" map.

THE "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND" ACT may have its faults, but it is spurring an extraordinary effort into improving the achievement of minority students.

ABDULLAH MESHUD is a Taliban commander who was captured in December 2001 in northern Afghanistan and turned over to the U.S. military. He spent a little over two years in the detainee camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But since his release, he has rejoined the jihad, operating out of Pakistan, including kidnapping Chinese contractors in Waziristan, along the border with Afghanistan. And there are at least 10 detainees released from Guantanamo that have been recaptured or killed fighting U.S. or coalition forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

QURAN DESECRATION: I want to give credit to the ACLU for posting the documents it obtained from the FBI investigation, along with summaries of detainee interviews o­n its website. For example, FBI notes from 07/30/02 state: "[t]he Camp Delta detainee uprising which occurred o­n or about 19-20 July 2002, was started when o­ne detainee claimed that a guard dropped a Qur'an. In actuality the detainee dropped the Qur'an and then blamed the guard. Many other detainees reacted to this claim and this initiated the uprising." The records for 03/28/03 suggest that some soldiers were handling the Quran because "it had been found that detainees were hiding things within the pages of the Qur'an. As a result, the guards were required to look through the Qur'an for their own safety." Did you hear all about these reports o­n TV and in the newspapers? No?

SHUT IT DOWN? Thomas L. Friedman writes in The New York Times that the U.S. should shut down the Guantanamo prison. The first reason he cites is a May 8th article in The Observer of London about an American soldier's claims of abuse and sexual torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. The soldier is Eric Saar; his allegations were reported by the AP in January, which Friedman would havee known if he read his own newspaper. Saar's book has already been found to contain at least o­ne serious error, so I'm reserving judgment o­n his credibility until folks have had time to analyze it in toto. Friedman also cites an Australian radio report repeating allegations from detainees, without considering that the Al Qaeda training manual instructs jihadis to lie about being abused, or that the FBI investigation at Gitmo shows instances where the prisoners lied about being beaten (see, e.g., reports for detainees 3998, 4086-4088 and probably 4047). Nor does Friedman consider that the Guantanamo detainees have provided useful information o­n Al Qaeda and other terror groups, including their leadership, recruiting, funding, training and plans for attacking the United States and other countries, as well as Al Qaeda's pursuit of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Nor does he address the aforementioned problems arising from releasing terrorists like Abdullah Meshud. Friedman's argument --taken to its conclusion -- is that in fighting a war against Islamic extremists, we cannot imprison them if other Islamic extremists complain about it, regardless of whether the charges are true. Imho, it's better to have complaints investigated and, if proven, proper punishment imposed.

A MORE SERIOUS DISCUSSION OF DETAINEE TORTURE can be found at The Q & O Blog. Jon Henke lays out the reasons why he believes detainee torture is more widespread than it should be, focusing o­n the serious accusations, rather than the sensationalistic charges of Quran desecration. In turn, the reader comments make a few points regarding possible flaws in Henke's use of statistics. o­ne commenter notes, as does Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that since the 9/11 those attacks, the U.S. has taken 68,000 suspects into custody in Afghanistan and Iraq, with relatively few deaths and cases of abuse. Of course, the U.S. should always strive to do better.

JAMES DEAN lived fast, died young and left a good-looking image behind. But was Dean's three-movie resume more promise than perfection?

PARKER POSEY, who was so great in Best In Show, unfortunately, smells.

OLIVER STONE was arrested for investigation of drug possession and driving while intoxicated, Beverly Hills cops said Saturday. I'm sure it's a conspiracy of some sort.

SLANDERING THE MILITARY: Newspaper Guild President Linda Foley made a public statement o­n May 13th that journalists are "being targeted for real in places like Iraq." Foley's spokeswoman admits that Foley can provide "no evidence" to support her charges. Thomas Lipscomb, writing for Editor & Publisher, notes that Foley seems to be getting away with it, but observes that this is o­ne reason why "Media credibility is in the toilet, even if the Koran isn’t." Journalist Hiawatha Bray also weighs in after speaking with Foley by telephone. BTW, unlike the U.S. military, insurgent snipers are in fact trained to shoot journalists. Not that Linda Foley cares.

JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA is the most likely replacement for ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist, should he he step down this summer. U.S. News & World Report claims the White House thinking is: How could the Senate reject a judge they OK'd for the court 98 to 0? I don't know about the Senate as a whole, but I expect the Democrats would answer, "Based o­n Scalia's record since he got o­n the Court." That being said, it probably would be unwise for the Democrats to spend much time o­n Scalia if he gets the nod. After all, when Chief Justice Burger retired, then-Associate Justice Rehnquist was nominated for Chief and Scalia was nominated for Associate. The Democrats devoted their efforts to attacking Rehnquist and lost -- but Rehnquist could have remained o­n the Court even if his promotion had been nixed. As for Scalia, the Democrats joined in the celebration of the first Italian-American to be nominated for the Court and gave him little scrutiny, much to their later regret. If President Bush tapped Scalia for Chief, the Democrats should not fight the last war.

NO, VIRGINIA: A billboard that questions the existence of Santa Claus went o­n display o­n a street corner in Glasgow, Scotland o­n Friday. Critics say the piece -- which carries the slogans "Stop Lying To Your Children About Santa Claus" and "Santa Gives More To Rich Kids Than Poor Kids" -- is an attempt to ruin the magic of Christmas.

A NASHVILLE MOM faces criminal charges after she hired a stripper to dance at her 16-year-old son's birthday party.

KNIFE CONTROL: Britain already has strict gun control laws, so E.R. doctors are calling for a government ban o­n the sale of long, pointed kitchen knives.

DANCE LIKE A WHITE GUY: How did this video leak o­nto the 'net? It's supposed to be a secret.

IOWA'S "BUTTER COW" LADY: Norma "Duffy" Lyon, who has carved a full-size dairy cow at the Iowa State Fair for almost 50 years, hopes to also hopes to sculpt a life-size Tiger Woods.

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