December 1, 2005

she's too much for my mirror

sign, newton, new jersey, 1939, photographed by russell lee for the farm security administration

* New York Times. excerpt:

"It has been obvious for months that Americans don't believe the war is going just fine, and they needed to hear that President Bush gets that. They wanted to see that he had learned from his mistakes and adjusted his course, and that he had a measurable and realistic plan for making Iraq safe enough to withdraw United States troops. Americans didn't need to be convinced of Mr. Bush's commitment to his idealized version of the war. They needed to be reassured that he recognized the reality of the war."
"That may be the most grandiose set of ambitions for the region since the vision of Nebuchadnezzar's son Belshazzar, who saw the hand writing on the wall. Mr. Bush hates comparisons between Vietnam and Iraq. But after watching the president, we couldn't resist reading Richard Nixon's 1969 Vietnamization speech. Substitute the Iraqi constitutional process for the Paris peace talks, and Mr. Bush's ideas about the Iraqi Army are not much different from Nixon's plans - except Nixon admitted the war was going very badly (which was easier for him to do because he didn't start it), and he was very clear about the risks and huge sacrifices ahead.

"A president who seems less in touch with reality than Richard Nixon needs to get out more."

* In England, there are new proposals to set a threshold for the amount of drugs anyone can claim is for personal use. The proposed thresholds:

-- heroin and crack cocaine: Seven grams in bulk or ten or more 0.1 gram 'wraps.'

-- cocaine: Seven grams in bulk or ten one-gram wraps.

-- ecstasy: Ten tablets.

-- amphetemine: Fourteen grams in bulk or ten one-gram wraps.

-- cannabis: Resin, 4oz or 10 individual pieces, wraps or blocks. Leaf, 0.5 kilograms or more than 20 individual 2in-by-2in bags. Four ounces of cannabis would be enough to roll about 512 light joints or about 256 strong ones, according to drugs education charity DrugScope.

* from a November 23, 1970 letter to carey mcwilliams (the nation) from hunter s. thompson written after the nation ran an editorial in support of Aspen's Freak Power Uprising. Thompson had run for sheriff of pitkin county, colorado.

"what neither the times nor the national observer said, incidentally, is that we ran straight at these bastards with an out-front mescaline platform. my drug tastes were discussed quite openly, not only in the newspaper but also in mass public forums...and through it all I refused to say I'd stop eating mescaline if I got elected. marijuana got lost in the scramble; we completely jumped over it -- to the extent that I probably could have won if I'd compromised to the extent of foreswearing mescaline if they'd let me keep smoking grass. but we refused to compromise at all, on any issue...and we still won the city. which is weird...and certainly worth thinking about."

* tim o thompson:

"Whenever I see the title that 'Tanglewood Numbers' song, I struggle to remember why it's so ingenious. And then it hits me. As someone on the Silver Jews board pointed out recently, the words correlate to grades (poor=D, fair=C, good=B), spelling out the initials of David C. Berman (DCB)."
* Empire Online lists the 50 greatest independent films.


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