December 30, 2002

Rumsfeld met Saddam in late 80s

Rumsfeld helped Saddam during war with Iran, while they had precise information about daily use of chemical weapons such as mustard gas, nerve gas, anthrax, and sarin. He met Saddam Hussein in Baghdad and passed on the US willingness to help his regime and restore full diplomatic relations, in order to help Iraq win the war. [source: Guardian]
posted by hoder at 10:15 PM PST - 60 comments

"Where is Raed?"

"Where is Raed?" Here's a blog from Baghdad.
posted by ubueditor at 7:43 PM PST - 11 comments

Samuel Pepy's weblog

Samuel Pepy's weblog. Starting on January 1, 2003, Phil Gyford will be running Samuel Pepy's diary entries (who's he?), starting with January 1, 1660. [via Interconnected]
posted by kirkaracha at 5:30 PM PST - 10 comments

The Baader-Meinhoff gang

This is Baader-Meinhoff. Extensive info about the West German terrorist phenomenon of the 1970s, compiled by a guy whose father was head of the US Army's Bomb Disposal unit in Berlin while Baader-Meinhoff (aka the Red Army Faction) was on the run. Other leftist "urban guerillas" included Movement 2 June and the Socialist Patients collective. The detailed timeline, art criticism, terrorist bios and info about 1970s terror groups in the Mid-East and South America make fascinating reading. There's also the Joe Strummer connection, of course.
posted by mediareport at 3:48 PM PST - 20 comments

Och, It's Wee Jonnie Updike

Och, It's Wee Jonnie Updike. A verging-on-the-Brigadoonish rewrite of Scottish national bard Robert Burns (you'll be singing his "Auld Lang Syne" in about 24 hours), by the scrofulous old Joyce of the 'burbs himself. The original verse is "To a Mouse", rewritten after the news that geneticists find a lot in common between the DNA of mice and men.

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
Braw science says that at the leastie
We share full ninety-nine per cent
O' genes, where'er the odd ane went.

'At the leastie'!? Jings, crivens, help ma boab, I think he's jeopardised his joab.
posted by theplayethic at 3:16 PM PST - 4 comments

The King As Art

The King As Art. Artist Naoki Mitsuse writes, "I remember reading an article in the morning paper about a local teenage girl who had thrown herself out of a balcony of a tall apartment building, leaving a note that said something like, 'now that Elvis is dead, I have nothing to live for and goodbye.' This had a profound impact on me and I realized then, that Elvis was a very powerful man." So the artist created two series of Elvis paintings that are way better than any Elvis on black velvet you might find on eBay.
posted by VelvetHellvis at 2:49 PM PST - 10 comments

Misconceptions about the Welfare State in the U.K.

Poverty and the Welfare State: Dispelling the myths This working paper (PDF file) states that "debates on poverty and welfare in Britain are full of myths." Among them (culled from the exec summary, since I'm still reading the paper): 1. The belief that poverty is long term and is passed from generation to generation is not consistent with the evidence. 2. Poverty is not caused by people behaving differently (although people act differently after they become poor), or by people having too many children, or by racial differences. 3. Scare stories about spiraling costs and abuse are greatly exaggerated. 4. Welfare does not encourage dependency. Just in case anybody's writing a major paper over the holidays or anything. I found this via the fantastic Canadian Social Research Links web site. (And if this came up in a previous post, I apologize; I searched on just about every relevant term I could think of.)
posted by 314/ at 12:30 PM PST - 32 comments


Rubbish Portland's top brass said it was OK to swipe your garbage--so this weekly newspaper grabbed theirs. Informative and adventurous story results.
posted by sparky at 8:36 AM PST - 22 comments

dead ... completely

list of deaths in 2g2 -win a few of those 'are-they-dead?' arguments in 2g3.
posted by alfredogarcia at 8:35 AM PST - 23 comments


Chickens are "natural born killers". This is the basic message of a recent ad from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. This organization has filed a lawsuit against Tyson Foods for making false health claims. I came across this organization and its campaign on an entertaining C-Span program[Did anybody else watch this program?]. On the program, Neal Barnard, the leader of this organization, said that when you heat chicken(and other meats) certain carcinogenic amines are created. But, when you heat a veggie burger, it just warms up. Therefore, he recommends a 100% vegetarian diet. It looks like the organization's next move is a TV ad with this message. Your reactions?
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy at 7:51 AM PST - 43 comments

The Best Thing on Television in 2002

The Best Thing on Television in 2002 The WPIX Yule Log makes its triumphant return.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:16 AM PST - 14 comments

Images, Reputations and Sounds of Patti Smith

Is It Better To Look Marvellous Than To Sound Marvellous? Like The Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop and (controversially) David Bowie, Patti Smith, specially when photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe, looked way cooler than she sounded, imho. What other rock legends were more beautiful than the music they made? And, conversely, which artists' music was better than the image they projected?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:54 AM PST - 88 comments

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