Friday, August 26, 2005


Goodbye, Walter Reed.

The Washington Post has a number of articles about the decision to shut down Walter Reed Army Hospital (among other base and facility closures), including: Panel Votes to Close Walter Reed Hospital; Walter Reed Hospital Has Storied Past; News of Hospital Closing Hits Hard; and a Walter Reed Photo Gallery. Why do I care about this, you might ask? Well, I was born in Walter Reed hospital. It's true. So shed a little tear as you drive by on Georgia Avenue (or 16th Street, if that's your thing) -- I know I will. Goodbye, Walter Reed, thanks for the memories. Actually, there aren't too many memories (since I don't actually remember being born), but still -- good times, man ... good times. You're my boy, Blue!


Shomei Tomatsu

I went to see the Shomei Tomatsu exhibit at the Corcoran before it leaves next week, and it was fabulous. Here are some photos from the exhibit.

Untitled from the series The Pencil of the Sun

Japan World Exposition, Osaka 1970

Uragami Church, 600 meters from blast, Nagasaki, 1961

Chewing Gum and Chocolates, Yokosuka, 1959

A Bottle that Was Melted by Heat Wave and Fires, Nagasaki, 1961

Some more photos are here (Thanks Amanda).

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Say It Ain't So

Maradona admits "hand of God." The best part?
"Never did I regret having scored in that way," said Maradona, because he said that compensated for the loss of Malvinas (Falkland) Islands to the English in the 1982 war between Argentina and Great Britain.
Yeah, I guess life has a way of evening things out like that.


"Everything will be B'sader"

Michael Crowley, filling in over at Talking Points Memo, is doing his best to unravel the Jack Abramoff-Tom DeLay tangle of corruption, particularly looking into the role of NaftaSib. Crowley writes:
NaftaSib is a Russian oil and gas company which apparently underwrote a six-day "fact-finding" trip to Moscow that DeLay took with Abramoff in 1997, during which the two met with NaftaSib executives for reasons that remain unknown. The trip and DeLay's meeting with NaftaSib officials was widely reported earlier this year. What I never saw was any follow-up on additional evidence released by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on June 22 that shed some additional light on Abramoff's relationship with NaftaSib, and on the company's true nature.

That evidence included an eye-popping 2001 email between Abramoff and a Russian man named Vadim. The email concerned the purchase of paramilitary equipment, apparently including night vision goggles, that Abramoff intended to send to his Israeli West Bank settler friends.
Crowley provides a link to the actual text of the email (p. 79 of this pdf), and reading it really shows how nutty these folks are. Abramoff's nutty settler friend Schmuel Ben Zvi, the one purchasing high powered military thermal visors from shady Russian corporations, writes the following about passages from the Zohar [all spelling/capitalization/grammar errors are in original]:
About the pasages,
1) Daf vav in the hagdama of the Zohar mentions Beladin.
2) And parchas Balak in the Zohar says that before Moshiach comes three towers will burn in the gate of Rome (edom), I freaked out when I saw how the schematic drawing in newsweek refered to the smaller (45 story) world trade center building is refered to as the "third tower"
Ok, so I would trust this guy to write for the Weekly World News -- I'm not so comfortable with him buying military equipment for settlers in the West Bank. The fact that he has close ties to a high-powered lobbyist/fundraiser/DC mover-and-shaker is quite illustrative, I think, of how fucked we all are. Seriously, one of the leading fund-raisers for the president of the United States is setting up shady deals for military equipment going to a settler in the West Bank who is talking about 9/11 being a sign of the coming of the Messiah. As they say, something ain't b'sader about all that.

(Thanks to Aunt Deb for sending me to TPM)

Monday, August 22, 2005


This anti-disengagement protest brought to you by . . .

From Ha'aretz:
The eyes of the world will be trained on the settlement of Sa-Nur, where hardliners were holding out against Israeli evacuation forces. So says a young couple purporting to own a house in Sa-Nur, who are offering to sell advertising space on their home on eBay.

"Put your ad on West Bank Settlers Fortress!" blares their ad on the auctions website. The starting bid: $40,000....

The couple explains it plans to hole up with "hundreds" more to fight the evacuation forces.
What company wouldn't want to be associated with a bunch of religious nuts holed up in a settlement slated for destruction? Sounds like a wise investment to me.

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