November 13, 2002

A Bullet-Proof Mind?

A Bullet-Proof Mind? "Too much, and you end up with a My Lai.... Too little, and your soldiers will be defeated and killed." A balanced look at the reasons for, and consequences of, the reflex-based killing techniques in which U.S. Special Forces soldiers are trained. (NYTimes Magazine).
posted by josh at 9:35 PM PST - 33 comments

To establish the Department of Homeland Security, and for other purposes.

The Homeland Security Bill. It has passed the House, on to the Senate where it is believed that it will pass. The President will sign it. Yet the text of H.R.5710 is unavailable to the American public.
posted by four panels at 7:48 PM PST - 22 comments

American killed by American government in anti-terrorism campaign

Ten days ago in Yemen, a car carrying several men, including an American citizen, was blown up. They were deliberately killed by a missile fired from a CIA drone aircraft. The American is from Lackawanna, New York, about nine miles away from my house. When I first heard about this bombing, I thought of Orlando Letelier. Where are the lines now separating law enforcement and war, targeted strikes and murder?
posted by skoosh at 5:23 PM PST - 38 comments

Actors hired to heckle US troops in mock Arab town

Actors hired to heckle US troops in mock Arab town The military is taking pains to prepare naive recruits for the reality of their dirty work, and at the same time diminish the regard for native populations. Oh, people whining about being attacked is so routine. Don't they know we're trying to liberate them?
posted by letterneversent at 5:15 PM PST - 44 comments

Drudge Blows Past a Billion, Nobody Cares

Drudge Blows Past a Billion, Nobody Cares If we are to believe his counter, Matt Drudge cleared over a billion page views so far this year, a milestone, certainly, amid a collective yawn to those in the press or those on the web. How could this be? How could one man be apparently so popular while going so unrecognized? Is the Drudge Report the web's dirtiest little secret? And for those of you who are part of the billion, why on Earth do you go there? He doesn't write anything, really. And when he does it's not always true. And the final question is, why hasn't any of the major news services borrowed from his format or style, he's just a guy in a dumb hat after all. Isn't he?
posted by tsarfan at 4:44 PM PST - 38 comments

Badthoughts

Hate crime police raid 150 homes 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,' it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.'
posted by kablam at 4:41 PM PST - 14 comments

Bizarre Police Interrogation In Indonesia

"Those are the sorts of people that I wanted to kill." The chief suspect in the Bali bombing joked and laughed with Indonesia's police chief last night during a bizarre public interrogation in which he told of his "delight" at the carnage caused by his crime.
posted by tpoh.org at 4:40 PM PST - 30 comments

Eminem

Did the election of Bush create an environment that would allow a violent misogynist like Eminem to become famous? Or, does Eminem's popularity reflect how easily we are blinded by nice wrapping? This article looks into what this kind of popularity could indicate to us about our present social conditions.
posted by Raichle at 3:10 PM PST - 75 comments

Closing time? Not yet!

Britain's Pubs to Entertain Longer Hours? Tony Blair Says Yes! In an effort to curb binge drinking and overall ruddy behavior after closing times at 11pm, Parliament has it before them to allow for extended bar hours, rather than fixed open and closing hours. Communities would have some sort of say in which pubs would be able to have which hours, probably based on distance to residential areas, etc. CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale was one of the formal organizations backing this plan. Open All Hours? is a group opposing the plan. Check it out!
posted by djspicerack at 2:31 PM PST - 32 comments

Bestseller Imposters

Cervantes no not THAT Cervantes silly, THIS Cervantes wrote the first half of Don Quixote in 1605. The popularity of the world's first novel was so great that an impostor book was published chronicling the continued misadventures of the Don Quixote and Sancho, so scandalously in fact that Cervantes himself had to write a second half ten years later which ends (SPOILER) with the death of Alonso Quixano and the end of all further tales. Now it seems some 400 years later its happening to our young Harry Potter!
posted by Pollomacho at 2:15 PM PST - 27 comments

The Army Is Dumb

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Matter If You Are Fluent In Arabic, Despite Our Serious Need For That.... This story hits very close to home. This is a friend from college (Emory) who was just thrown out of the army when they discovered he had a boyfriend. Particularly ridiculous is the fact that he had just achieved fluency in Arabic and would have been (among other gay soldiers) extremely useful to the cause at present. Apparently, heterosexual couples discovered coupled in their rooms at the same inspection were given 10 days restriction and extra duty.
posted by adrober at 1:47 PM PST - 66 comments

iraq news

saddam makes it tough for reporters to work, but this two-person US team gets uncut news out of iraq daily in audio, video, and print.
posted by jfc at 1:11 PM PST - 4 comments

Believe who, again?

Believe who, again? "So twice a week, for US$3,000 a month, the Iraqi student says, under condition of anonymity, that he took a taxi...to a Boston-area recording studio rented by the Rendon Group, a DC-based public relations firm with close ties to the US government. His job: translate and dub spoofed Saddam Hussein speeches and tongue-in-cheek newscasts for broadcast throughout Iraq." And other machinations of the PR-industrial complex in this piece from the Asia Times (courtesy of prwatch). Not so much funny "ha-ha" as funny "Ahhhhh!!! Ahhhh!"
posted by chandy72 at 12:08 PM PST - 12 comments

Who is the real Posh?

Victoria Beckham aka Posh Spice is fighting a move by second division Peterborough United to register their nickname POSH as a trademark for it's club merchandise claiming that the nickname is recognised around the world as belonging to her.

The term POSH is widely believed to have originated in the time of the British Raj when P&O passenger ship tickets were marked POSH -Port Out Starboard Home - port (left-hand side) berths were mostly in the shade when travelling out (easterly) and the starboard ones when coming back. So the best and most expensive berths were POSH. Unfortunately P&O say they have never issued such tickets and none have ever been found even though many tickets do exist from the time.

But this page from the US Navy METOC site claims it originated in Boston as a label for the luggage of wealthy passengers travelling from the US to Europe to indicate which side of the ship to place the luggage to protect it from the sun.

Should you be allowed to register a word in common usage as a trademark? If posh goes what word is next.
posted by stunned at 11:08 AM PST - 32 comments

149 ways to leave your lover:

149 ways to leave your lover: Hell Hath No Fury is a collection of women's breakup letters. (A few excerpts here.) Great premise for a book, but good breakup letters are very rare. Rather than embarrass yourself when dumping your not-so-significant-other, perhaps you should just fork over $149 and have a reverse-Cyrano write one for you.
posted by ptermit at 9:59 AM PST - 10 comments

Making Evil Look Innocent

The Beast cracks your child's mind when he reads Harry Potter. Yeah, you probably have seen this site before, but with the new movie coming out soon, it's worth revisiting. Incidently, Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged comes out on DVD December 1, with never before seen extra footage.
posted by zedzebedia at 9:51 AM PST - 15 comments

Nailed With Their Own Hammer

A Mad Parody Of The Onion Well, if this isn't Meta, I don't know what is. Certainly, we all know about The Onion (and, indeed, our consensus is that we don't post Onion links here). The fine fellows at MAD magazine have hoisted the Area Men by their own petard. I hate to say it, 'cuz I think The Onion is often quite funny, but they've got it nailed. (via Heath Row's Media Diet)
posted by briank at 8:58 AM PST - 58 comments

The male contraceptive pill

The male contraceptive pill is 100% effective and will be available in 2005. Will you take it? Will men stop using condoms and STDs increase as a result? Can men be trusted to take it every day?
posted by norm29 at 8:08 AM PST - 66 comments

Essay by Charles Bock on Comics and Contemporary Art

Picasso vs The Uncanny X-Men. Charles Bock with a really long essay digs up the old dead horse of "What Is Art?" Do you stare blankly at contemporary/conceptual art and try to get what critics and curators think is so great? Was Tolstoy right that truly great art must be able to communicate to laypeople with no art training? I myself love spending afternoons at Museums, not to look at the art, but to look at people confused out of their minds.
posted by Stan Chin at 7:42 AM PST - 28 comments

Update on the trapped coal miners

Paging Andy Warhol What happens during the 16th minute after you unexpectedly become famous? Here's a follow up story on the Coal Miners trapped and then rescued last July. You know its gonna get weirder, so lets get on with the show
posted by BentPenguin at 7:25 AM PST - 9 comments

Roger Ebert salutes Buster Keaton

Roger Ebert salutes Buster Keaton in an article in which he says the Great Stone Face is "the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies." High praise indeed! Any other Keaton fans out there? (This is from the Chicago Sun-times--I don't believe registration is required.) And if you want to see Buster smiling--sort of--here's a picture of him with one-time movie partner Fatty Arbuckle.
posted by Man-Thing at 7:22 AM PST - 19 comments

The Human Penknife

Taking the adage "be prepared" to the next level Eric, a thirty year old electrician from Lyons, France, has made the record books for having the "most practical suit of clothing". Often dubbed "The Human Penknife" Eric has no less that 1,300 useful objects, ranging from a humble toothbrush to a soldering iron, arranged in carefully designed pouches sewn into his clothing. What won't you leave home without?
posted by lucien at 4:37 AM PST - 29 comments