Saturday, July 31, 2004

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: Licorice Speaks

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: Licorice Speaks

I guess I'm just missing something.
I saw my whole life pass before my eyes. My life has not been all that interesting, so it wasn't exactly like watching "The Godfather I and II." I mean, I'm a hamster. I could see a bright light, but I seemed to be on a wheel that rotated as I ran, so I never got any closer. But I was aware of a shining, all-loving divine rodent presence telling me: "It's not time yet. You have more to do on earth."

pretty edgy. this is the sort of insight that i've really been missing in the american press. why does the new york times even bother with an op-ed page if this is the best that they can come up with?

Yahoo! News - Newspaper Says Moore Film Used Fake Front

Yahoo! News - Newspaper Says Moore Film Used Fake Front

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph newspaper in central Illinois has sent a letter to Moore and his production company, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., asking Moore to apologize for using what the newspaper says was a doctored front page in the film, the paper reported Friday. It also is seeking compensatory damages of $1.

A scene early in the movie that shows newspaper headlines related to the legally contested presidential election of 2000 included a shot of The Pantagraph's Dec. 19, 2001, front page, with the prominent headline: "Latest Florida recount shows Gore won election."

The paper says that headline never appeared on that day. It appeared in a Dec. 5, 2001, edition, but the headline was not used on the front page. Instead, it was found in much smaller type above a letter to the editor, which the paper says reflects "only the opinions of the letter writer."

"If (Moore) wants to 'edit' The Pantagraph, he should apply for a copy-editing job," the paper said.

Lions Gate Entertainment did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment Friday.
regardless of whether this clears up, i'd like to say for the 100th time, michael moore is an idiot. i don't like him, and i don't get the feeling that i soon will.

krugman strikes again

just read the article.

Paul Krugman : Triumph of the Trivial: "In short, the triumph of the trivial is not a trivial matter. The failure of TV news to inform the public about the policy proposals of this year's presidential candidates is, in its own way, as serious a journalistic betrayal as the failure to raise questions about the rush to invade Iraq."

Thursday, July 29, 2004

terror alerts

Tom Ridge has issued a terror warning for California and New Mexico. According to the above AP article,
"The FBI decided to pass along the threat information but warned that it was considered unsubstantiated and uncorroborated, said the official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity."

i might not have fancy-shmancy intelligence agencies working on this for me around the clock, but this terror-forecaster predicts future warnings for ohio, florida, missouri (and potentially arkansas if they start actin up).

wait!! are you insinuating that the bush administration would play up faulty intelligence to play on americans' emotions to further administration goals??? how DARE you!?

Son, this is what happens when you...

-Ok, time for Plan B. You might want to watch out that front window Larry.


the big lebowski. fabulous.

Yahoo! News - Oops, Wrong Car. Sorry.: "BERLIN (Reuters) - A German woman became so furious after a fight with her husband she stormed out of the house armed with a hammer and smashed up his car -- before realizing she had vandalized the wrong vehicle, police said Wednesday.

The 43-year-old from Essen, western Germany, told police she shattered the windshield, broke the headlights and wrenched off the wing mirrors, causing more than $1,200 in damage, because she was filled with rage after a telephone quarrel.
After going back indoors she realized she had battered the wrong car. Only noticing the color, she had attacked her neighbor's blue Opel Corsa and not the blue Ford Fiesta belonging to her spouse. "

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

following the election

a few useful sites for election coverage.

if you have some good sites you're following, post links in a comment to this post!

The New York Times > Opinion > Krugman : Fear of Fraud

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Fear of Fraud:
This shouldn't be a partisan issue. Think about what a tainted election would do to America's sense of itself, and its role in the world. In the face of official stonewalling, doubters probably wouldn't be able to prove one way or the other whether the vote count was distorted - but if the result looked suspicious, most of the world and many Americans would believe the worst. I'll write soon about what can be done in the few weeks that remain, but here's a first step: if Governor Bush cares at all about the future of the nation, as well as his family's political fortunes, he will allow that independent audit. - Krugman

who's ready to argue with him?

it's time

Make a campaign contribution to John Kerry - John Edwards

From the latest campaign email.

There are fewer than 48 hours left to make your last direct contribution to the Kerry-Edwards campaign.

In the months ahead, we'll be looking to you to support the Democratic Party as it pulls John Kerry, John Edwards, and other Democratic candidates through to victory in the general election. But in the next 48 hours, you and I have one vitally important piece of business to take care of.


Hundreds of thousands of you have come together to break all fundraising records. George Bush, Dick Cheney, the pundits, and the media thought we would be overwhelmed by the Republicans' enormous bankroll. You proved them wrong. Because of you, we are about to enter this general election stronger than any Democrat in history.

In the next 48 hours, we have to finish off this phase of our campaign with as strong a showing as possible. The media will report our final fundraising numbers as a sign of our ability to win this election. Make a contribution by visiting:


In March, you gave us the first push, launching our campaign against George Bush; in April, May, and June, you kept our momentum going. We've beaten his fundraising four months in a row. Think about that accomplishment: we beat the biggest, big money fundraiser in history with the power of our grassroots. But our work is not done; we need to finish strong.


One last thing: I need you to forward this email to your friends and family who care about the future of this country. Ask them to contribute before our deadline. A strong showing now will make all the difference on Election Day.

Thank you,

Mary Beth Cahill
Campaign Manager

Barack Obama at the Convention

Windows Media File of Barack Obama's speech at the convention. Also you can read the full text here. Sadly, I haven't been watching the convention or the convention coverage because of my russian school obligations, but i had to make an exception for this. I received two emails right after this speech was delivered, and now it's available on the internet. I'm not sure how long this link will work, but in a day or two this speech will undoubtedly be posted to a more stable site once the demand for it subsides and bandwidth problems aren't so significant. thanks to the anonymous poster who responded to my post on the official Barack Obama campaign webpage for a link.

Monday, July 26, 2004

August Strindberg

August Strindberg

Once upon a time, dear readers, i drew your attention to the superb Strindberg and Helium. I recently and sheepishly discovered that August Srindberg was, in fact, a real person, and even an important one. and what a compelling mug.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

just a screen shot of and so i was thinking... maybe we should have just picked the likeable guy to be our candidate in the first place. it's kind of a bad sign when kerry looks like the #2 guy on his own website

jon stewart's talking points

The Daily Show: Talking Points


Friday, July 23, 2004

putin's kremlin security routine

this article is translated from pravda, but i snatched it from johnson's russia list. because i am lazy about how i collect my news. anyway, it's funny.
July 23, 2004
Kremlin provides absolute security for top officials

It is not ruled out that the Russian president will soon fly to work by

The Central Clinical Hospital, known for the Russian initials as CKB, has
always been the place where foreign guess of the Communist Party stayed for
treatment - the elite of all communist parties of the world. Doctors often
prescribed them to rest in the Crimea, in the Caucasus, or in the Moscow
region. The hospital has a special block for the Russian president, which
was previously meant for secretaries general of the communist party. It is
a large three-room suite, where the president can work and hold meetings.
According to world standards, the inviting side should provide high-quality
medical aid to a foreign leader in case of an accident, or unforeseen
circumstances. The top official's motorcade should be escorted with an
ambulance vehicle. ER doctors have specific instructions: if something
happens, they will take a guest to the CKB for the medical aid and 24-hours

A threat for the president

In the event a dangerous emergency occurs, a special helicopter is always
prepared to take off. In this case the security service will use a plan to
guarantee security to the president. According to the plan, the president
can leave the Kremlin territory not only by helicopter, but also by any
other transport. There are several state objects, from where the president
will be able to rule the country in a state of emergency. In Stalin's
times, such an object was situated in the city of Samara. It was Samara,
where the Soviet government was evacuated to, when fascist Germany attacked
the USSR. The long-lasting Cold War years made it possible to organize and
build shelters and security for any scenario. Such centers were built not
only in Samara, but in other cities too, and they are always ready to be used.

The presidential garage

There are not less than 150 cars in the Kremlin. There are Mercedes, ZIL,
Volkswagen, Volvo and other cars among them. Needless to mention, Kremlin
drivers are perfect with their driving skills. In addition, they are
professional shooters.

The Kremlin garage is always half-opened. Three cars usually escort the
president's limousine. The security service chief sits next to the driver.
They wash and examine the president's car after every drive. All cars in
the Kremlin garage are meticulously examined daily. They are tested twice a
month. All cars are polished once a week. This work is entrusted only to

The motorcade

The Russian president drives a custom-made Mercedes. It takes a year or
even longer for the limousine to be ready - the company receives VIP orders
from all over the world. Presidents usually have two limousines - one of
them is meant to be used in case of emergency.

The president does not drive only limos. A minivan is often used too.
Usually, the presidential motorcade consists of five cars. The central car
is escorted by two security vehicles; there is a communication car and a
reserve car. The presidential car can be escorted by SUV vehicles too.

The Kremlin is currently considering the opportunity about a special
helicopter, which the president would use to fly to work, as it is
practiced in Washington. However, there is a big lawn next to the White
House. In the Kremlin, there are churches instead. Helicopter's engine
noise and wind from propeller blades may cause irretrievable damage to
historical monuments and values of the Kremlin.


russians seem to have a bizarre fascination with the power of their leaders, even while they complain about it....also, the italics are mine.


Comrades! I have finally succeeded in my 6 week quest for internet access. I am online in Gifford 522 [Applause]. The shadowy network guru in the basement of voter was at his wit's end, and after failing to discover the real problem, advised me to purchase a PCMCIA card! HA! well, turns out the auto-negotiation thing for the full-duplex/half-duplex wasn't working properly, and i manually configured it. I will be back in full force tomorrow, after my exam [Sustained applause].

Sunday, July 18, 2004

ny times

It's over Ralph.

overall, a pretty exceptional op-ed piece. dean, nader and kucinch moved the democratic party for the better. now, friends, it's time to ready our aim, and that's all there is to it.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

fischer caught

Fischer nabbed in Japan

so they finally found bobby fischer. chances are most of you haven't been following his whereabouts over the past handful of years, but he's been turning up quite a bit lately. ...just this time he's in custody. the interesting thing is that he's apparently still playing chess - in the past few years he's claimed that he's only playing a variant he invented/made popular, called fischer random. the general idea is that the pieces on the back row are mixed up before the game so that standard opening theory doesn't apply. keep an eye on this story in the coming weeks if you were left with any sympathy for fischer after that doting film. anyway i couldn't help but point this article out... as offensive and obnoxious as he's been over the past few decades, he's still a terribly intriguing figure in my book. who knows... maybe he'll come back? korchnoi is still playing and winning at 74. too bad about pissing off the IRS, though. that's going to be a pain in the ass.

Saturday, July 03, 2004


i spent about two hours outside last night trying to take pictures of the thunderstorm instead of preparing for my exam, and it turned out to be the right decision. the exam was pretty easy and i got one really good photo of the storm. i'd post the photo but i don't have the card reader with me at the moment. i'm currently emailing from good ol' armstrong library in bicentennial hall. to those middlebury students who are actually having a summer vacation - the new library is just about finished, and i have some pictures of that too, which i'll post eventually. they still haven't decorated much inside, but it looks like it could be a nice building. i don't know much about architecture, but the whole thing is very much in the mindset of ross dining hall or bicenteniall hall... i guess you could probably tell as much from the outside. there's a nice terrace though, and lots of nooks. i found a ladder (like the one on gifford 5 leading up to gifford 6..) but there was no goin up. i'm not sure of the orange shag carpet is being relocated from starr? that's really my only request.

so yeah. 3 weeks of my 9 at middlebury russian school are complete. поскользнулся, упал, закрытый перелом, потерял сознание, очнулся - гипс. and i can almost type in russian without looking at the keyboard. we'll call it progress. also i've discovered a couple russian bands that take melodies from american rock songs and either sing them with new lyrics or (roughly) translate the songs and sing them in russian. the biggest disaster so far was a translated version of eric clapton's cocaine. i did find, however, a decent take on the american classic, 'house of the rising sun' (dylan, the animals, etc). this kinda goofy band конец фильма wrote new lyrics for it which seem appropriately true to the emotions of the original, if not the details. if you want to give it a listen, you can download the song from the group's website, or click here.

i'm also really behind on the news because i'm mostly trying to refrain from reading and writing too much english. someone tell me when kerry picks a running mate, ok? well, just kidding. kind of. bbc russian is ok. i'm just too lazy to try to read the news in russian every day.

and now it is time for me to go back to class. the fourth and final hour of every day we watch videos. we're currently watching Бриллиантовая рука .. 'the golden arm.' i've already seen it a couple times, but it's worth rewatching. ok.