Wednesday, December 31, 2003

A frenzied round of gardening and debauchery

Saw a Wesley Clark stump speech on McNeil-Lehrer. Someone needs to ask him to explain how military experience--and only military experience--makes him so qualified to handle foreign policy, as he keeps saying. He also says that if he’d been president, we would have caught Osama bin Laden by now, because he knows how to do it. So maybe he should share that with somebody, rather than withhold it until he can become president, which is over a year away. This is Nixon’s secret plan to win in Vietnam all over again.

A week ago I mentioned that a quote in a Fisk article of a US officer talking about the need to “instill fear” in Iraqi villagers, and that the quote appeared in no other media that I could find. A search today still only shows it in Fisk’s piece (since picked up by Aljazeerah & a Bangladeshi newspaper), ditto Lexis-Nexis. However, one of y’all informs me that it actually was FILMED and broadcast by CNN International, so there really is no excuse for the media silence.

Tony Blair says his job is only half-done. If there is a rash of suicides in the UK, it might have something to do with the prospect of Our Tone still being PM in 2010.

Today’s the day Britain releases 30-year old secret documents, so I’ve been reading up on 1973. Ted Heath thought (sounds like with good reason) that the US was planning to invade Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait in response to the oil embargo. There was also a juicy sex scandal in which a junior defence minister was filmed smoking a joint in bed with two prostitutes. He told MI5 that in response to depression over losing a fight to use the title “viscount,” he threw himself into a “frenzied” round of “gardening and debauchery.” Some files were not released, leaving us wondering what remains top secret about an Imelda Marcos visit to London.

CBS paid Michael Jackson $1 million for an interview on 60 Minutes. Journalistic ethics at its finest.

A Liverpool woman had a heart attack on a flight to America. Which also turned out to be carrying 15 cardiologists on their way to a convention, so she was ok.

In Nature, the scientific journal for people with too much time on their hands, an article analyzes the best way to skip stones (a 20 degree angle to the water’s surface).

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