Archive for December, 2007

Tom Tommorrow Looks Back, I Look Forward to (Blogger) (12/31/07)

December 31, 2007

Cartoon from Salon. Part one is here. See also, Tom Tomorrow’s blog.

And speaking of tomorrow, that’s when I move The Writing Corner to its new home at http://bethwellington.blogspot.com/. How fitting that I’m having to type this in a second time, as the post disappeared the first time I saved it.

I’ve been waiting longer than many, unfixed bugs and all, for Yahoo to provide specifics about its “transition” to a new platform. No word since October 24, when the company promised to:

preserve your Yahoo! 360 blog content, profile photo, nickname, and friends lists during and after the transition. You’ll have a way to back up your information as well as a tool to migrate your information into the new profile service.

Well, “it’s too late,” as Carole King sang in Tapestry, her 1971 album I listened to incessantly back in my youth.

Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time
There’s something wrong here
There can be no denying
One of us is changing
Or maybe we’ve just stopped trying

And it’s too late baby, now it’s too late
Though we really did try to make it.
Something inside has died and I can’t hide
And I just can’t fake it

It used to be so easy living here with you
You were light and breezy
And I knew just what to do
Now you look so unhappy
And I feel like a fool

And it’s too late baby, now it’s too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has died
and I can’t hide it
And I just can’t fake it

There’ll be good times again for me and you
But we just can’t stay together
Don’t you feel it too
Still I’m glad for what we had
And how I once loved you

But it’s too late baby, now it’s too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has died and I can’t hide
And I just can’t fake it

Don’t you know that I…
I just can’t fake it
Oh it’s too late my baby
Too late my baby
You know
It’s too late my baby

So goodbye at 360. Please come join me over at Blogger. And best wishes for the new year for you and yours.

A. J. Rossmiller (12/30/07)

December 30, 2007

A. J. Rossmiller left his position as a civilian with will finish this tomorrow.

Opus on Books (12/29/07)

December 29, 2007

This week’s cartoon from Salon by Berkeley Breathed.

Is the future in electronic book readers or in books? I admit, as much as I like computers, I love books. Barry’s holiday presents last night included:

  • Still Life With Menu Cookbook by Mollie Katzen including her pastel illustrations (Ten Speed Press, 1994)
  • The Battle of Blair Mountain: The Story of America’s Largest Labour Uprising, by Robert Shogan (Westview Press, 2004)
  • Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness, Erik Reece ( Riverhead Books, 2006)
  • Flatland: A Parable of Spiritual Dimensions, Edwin A Abbot, (One World Publications, 1994)

Cotroversy continues over Bhutto’s death (12/28/07)

December 29, 2007

My friend Barry was over for dinner and he reminded me that we went to see Bhutto when she spoke at Roanoke college. He couldn’t remember her talk and until he reminded me, I hadn’t recalled that I had ever seen her. The reason being that her talk seemed to lack substance and instead serve the purpose of self-agrandizement. If she had the charisma others have described, it either wasn’t much in evidence in that setting or, as in the case of many sales pitches, my momma raised me to be immune.

It’s still hard to figure out what’s going on here. Did Islamists kill Bhutto? Did Musharraf as a pretext for invoking matial law, after the brokered deal for power sharing had broken down and Bhutto had, as a result, publicly confronted him. Was Bhutto a woman of destiny who died tragically or someone who took foolhardy chances in an attempt to return to power? Did she use members of the Bush administration or did they meddle and urge her on? What exactly killed her (as if that matters, despite the strange releases by the Pakistani government that it wasn’t a gunshot or the percussion from the bomb, but that she hit her head on the limosine’s roof handle.) And what does all this mean for the future of Pakistan? Has there every been democracy there. Do its changes improve or not, at this juncture.

Here are a couple of stories I read today and my reactions:

U.S. Brokered Bhutto’s Return to Pakistan
Washington Post

The reporters talked to a number of sources to flesh out how the deal was struck for Bhutto to return to Pakistan and put a “democratic facade” on the President’s regime. Did anyone notice their October story about the deal before Bhutto’s return or did this gain “legs” only upon her death? Bhutto’s amnesty v.s. none for Sharif raised a flag for me back then, although I didn’t read their earlier article until today.

In a separate, germane piece, Igatius writes,

Bhutto’s death is a brutal demonstration of the difficulty for outsiders in understanding — let alone tinkering with — a country such as Pakistan. Yesterday’s events were a reminder that global politics is not Prospero’s island, where we can conjure up the outcomes we want.

But, he adds, and I don’t think it follows logically,

The best memorial for Bhutto — and the right transition for this nation in turmoil — is to go ahead with the elections set for early January. Bhutto wasn’t afraid of that tumultuous and sometimes deadly process of change, nor should anyone be.

This supposition also appears in the current article and goes unquestioned. How does a January election bode for democracy and power sharing if a viable prime minister is lacking? Bhutto is dead. While her party might get the sympathy vote, her successor has no following. Nawaz Sharif, another major party’s leader, has been forbidden from holding office, promises a boycott and is trying to recruit other parties to join him.

Bhutto’s End Could Mean Musharif’s As Well
Forbes

This story features an interview with a retired Indian diplomat to Pakistan and with others who question Great Britain and the U.S. officials calling for the elections as originally scheduled.

TSA has more memos! Bhutto slain by suicide killer (12/27/07)

December 27, 2007

BBC photo coverage of reaction to Bhutto’s assassination.

Yesterday I received a comment from Chris Joyner, the reporter I linked to, who had covered the TSA flap. See my post: Is the Transportation Security Administration Providing Transportaton Security? (11/14/07). After I posted, Chris wrote on November 21, “Airport drills eased by TSA.” Believe it or not there’s another memo, this time calling for holiday security suspensions. Like no terrorists would betray Thanksgiving or Christmas. Chris also has a blog in which he posted an update on his attempts to get documents from TSA through a FOIA request and details how he happened to get the copy of the first TSA memo..

Meanwhile, in an account of real terrorism, BBC news covered the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. And the reports were all over the map, depending on who was being interviewed. Bhutto was either despised for graft (see John F. Burns NYT special report, “House of Graft” from January 9, 1998) or practically worshipped for braving a return from exile. And there was no mediating voice, so depending on when you tuned in determined what you might think of how Bhutto was regarded. I have a sense of questions raised in my mind, but no definitive answers, while some posit their “truth.”

(Today I spent time getting my car checked out (an all-day affair as the bus service takes you a mile from Gabor’s, so not much time to write. More tomorrow.)

(12/26/07)

December 27, 2007

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(12/25/07)

December 27, 2007

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(12/24/07)

December 27, 2007

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(12/23/07)

December 27, 2007

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(12/22/07)

December 27, 2007

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