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America vs. The World

The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart. — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

News and notes

1.) Peter Beinart, editor-at-large at The New Republic, was on The Colbert Report last night. And at the end of his interview, he actually said that we'd be better off if we'd never invaded and Saddam was still in power.

I happen to agree with him, but that's easy for me to say. Since, you know, no one actually cares what I say. I have a lot of problems with Beinart, but it takes great big brass balls to make that statement. No one else of any prominence is.

Then again, he also said that we should stay in Iraq as long as the Iraqi government wants us there. I would submit that the Iraqi government has absolutely no idea what they want us to do.
Iraq's prime minister sharply criticized a U.S.-Iraqi attack Monday on a Shiite militia stronghold in Baghdad, breaking with his American partners on security tactics as the United States launches a major operation to secure the capital.

Tourism map2.) Billy Joe Mills over at a Urbanagora (a new blog also started by two Daily Illini columnists) has a post about an awesome new mapping application created at the University of Michigan. (As Mills points out, one of the few good things Michigan has produced.)

If you like interesting new ways of presenting complex data in easy-to-understand formats (like us former library science students), this is a can't miss. The map to the right represents tourism profit, one of the few things Europe (particularly Spain) is still doing well in. They have dozens of other maps, from toy exports to women's income to aircraft departures.

3.) Sen. Joe Lieberman might well lose the Democratic primary to challenger Ned Lamont today. Atrios, writing in the LA Times, gives the best explanation why that I've read.

4.) As predicted, Target has put all future development in Chicago on hold, including previously planned stores, as it waits to see if Mayor Daley will veto the "big-box retailer" ordinance the City Council passed last month.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart has decided to raise their wages an average of 6 percent nationwide. Which is what happens when you let the market handle this sort of thing, even if it takes some time. Of course, our friend Ald. Joe Moore disagrees.

5.) I've kind of lost my taste for the Girls Gone Wild series after reading this article about its founder, Joe Francis. Believe it or not, during the course of the story he assaults the author and rapes an 18-year-old girl. Really.

6.) Digby has some commentary on the same sort of Katrina hypocrisy that I talked about a few weeks ago.


Blogger Mandasaurus said...

Buck up, Buck. You've "kind of lost your taste for Girls Gone Wild"?

I'm certain you can use more unflinching words than that after reading about this asshole.

Be bold, and even honest. You - and many men, I hope - can say, "Even though I like watching girls make out, it makes me sick that creep Joe Francis sits upon an empire worth millions of dollars when he quite clearly is a criminal, or at least mentally unhinged and a threat to drunk and sober women alike."

Really, really, really - read this article.

Blogger Billy Joe Mills said...


Thanks for the e-nod there on #2.

Also, thanks for the Beinart link, I missed that interview on Colbert. Beinart has been one of my favorite liberals since he wrote the article, "A Fighting Faith." What's interesting is that in the interview he says that he should not have supported the original invasion effort because he should have known that the intelligence was bogus. However, in the Fighting Faith article I recall his reasons being much more along the lines as those of my blogmate Brian Pierce. By that I mean, the old liberal values of spreading democracy - the exact values held by guys like Truman, FDR, Wilson(only President to hold a PhD), RFK, and JFK. Essentially the brand of liberalism that was the precursor to neoconservatism. The weapons issue has usually been secondary, or even irrelevant, to liberals who supported the war on those terms. I indentify with this view because it is essentially my own.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen mandasaurus. This ugly and violent fucker should be in jail as far as I can see.

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Jeff Goldstein is a wanker.