Thursday, October 28, 2004


I have no idea how accurate the study is which says that 100,000 civilians have died in Iraq, but I do know what to make of the Pentagon spokesman who told the WaPo that this war has been “prosecuted in the most precise fashion of any conflict in the history of modern warfare”. Precise warfare is retail warfare. Swords are precise. Dropping huge quantities of high explosives out of airplanes onto cities, not so much.

Speaking of swords, a worker at a steel car-parts factory in Detroit made himself a sword over the course of several days and then killed a fellow worker with it. Good workplace rule of thumb: when someone suddenly starts making a sword, it’s not good.

Yesterday I mentioned a white Zimbabwean MP (one of three) who hit the justice minister, in parliament. He has been sentenced by that parliament to one year of hard labor. A bill of attainder, you don’t see those much anymore.

Putin is in Ukraine just days before its presidential elections, trying to boost the chances of Viktor Yanukovych. They even brought up the date of a military parade celebrating the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Kiev from the Germans. I don’t get this mixing of symbols of national independence and national subservience. I also don’t get why some of the members of the military were dressed up as Snoopy pretending to be a World War I flying ace.

Speaking of Halloween, I’ve had this picture for a couple of weeks without thinking of anything especially funny to say about it. What I like about it is that when picking out a pumpkin, which are customarily carved into faces, he instinctively went not for a round pumpkin, but for one with a long “face” like his own.

(Update: Bob Goodsell finds the rich pumpkinny humor that I couldn’t.)

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