Cycles of violence

posted 07.23.05

Woke up this AM to the news about the bombings in Egypt. More shocking and horrible acts of murder. We send our support and sincere wishes of well-being.

Our governor, in response to the second series of bombings in London, returned to Massachusetts from Washington D.C. to be at home (despite the fact he's actually a resident of Utah - but I digress...), he's been riding the subway fearlessly, in a time of crisis.

I think Tony Blair might counsel Mr. Romney to go about his business - unless directly impacted - not take this as an opportunity to increase his visibility, and to scare people instead of reassure them. I mean, honestly, if you got on the subway in Boston and ran into the governor there wouldn't it make you anxious? Would me, "Uh, Mitt... didn't anyone tell you that the attacks were in, um, London? The attacks were in the 'tube', not on the 'T'..."

Here in Boston, we call our subway, the "T" - don't get smart and start asking why.

We're sending hearty wishes for safety to the peoples of London and Egypt who have suffered grievous attacks. May you uncover your enemies swiftly and avert any further attacks in the process.

Holding your breath...

I know you're all probably holding your breath, waiting for this, so... IT'S KARL ROVE!!! KARL ROVE leaked Valerie Plame/Wilson's name to the press! Karl Rove blew her covert status as a CIA agent. In a horrible way, this is simply too beautiful to be true. It made the most entertaining reading and listening while I was away on vacation. I wonder if Ann Coulter is calling the s.o.b a traitor? (As she called anyone who dared to talk out against administration policies after 9/11...) Just in case she's not - TRAITOR! TRAITOR!! A pox on you and your house! You compromised national interest to pursue a personal vendetta - who's the traitor now, Sweetness?

These were the people who were supposed to return integrity to the Presidency?! The supposed "grown ups"?!

I suppose it was pretty grown up to announce the Supreme Court nominee a week early to interrupt the increasingly vehment calls for Rove's dismissal... and, probably more importantly, to interrupt the 24 hour news cycle, which, in this country, effectively changes the subject. For now...

Ah, I feel better. You?

Note: I've learned that Republican operatives have not been calling Mr. Rove a traitor, but instead, in their honored tradition of disinformation doublespeak, they're calling him a whistleblower... Now, why didn't I think of that? You leak the name of a CIA operative to the press in retaliation against that operative's husband's remarks (accurate or not) and that makes you, in the eyes of your steadfast followers - a whistleblower... That must be zen thinking - 'cuz I sure as hell can't follow it.

Oxygen and other essential gasses

It's been a hot week here at camp Brulee. So hot, in fact, that I'm not getting enough oxygen. Oxygen appears to be something of a crucial ingredient in the thought process... Mine goes to hell when the temperature tops 90F, and the humidity pours it all down your back. I start babbling about nothing in particular and everything in general... or is that the other way around... when it's not the very same thing?

So, let's not tax our brains any more, let's look at pretty pictures instead (I know you want to...). Here, in a nutshell, is why we feel beyond fortunate to live close enough to Cape Cod to vacation there.

Fish and chips - ain't it grand?

Oh, and it's kinda pretty too...

And there's some coastline...

And views...

"George, I think we can take her - she has no claw."


And obligatory fence shots.


The gentle man's back with a morning literary blurb - you can read the daily poem on the site and listen online...
The Writer's Almanac (Garrison Keillor)

Entertain yourself to bits on this site - kinda like a digital executive toy:

I thought this was a great bit of radio about the Ivory Billed woodpecker:
Brinkley, Ark., Embraces 'The Lord God Bird'

You too can listen to an hour of Andrew Bird playing live on a radio program:
Morning Becomes Eclectic (04.06.05)

Mr. Bird has a new CD out too, The Mysterious Production of Eggs

Cool nature photos on this site:
Madagascar (

In the news...

Dozens killed in Egyptian blasts (BBC, 07.23.05)

Keeping track:
Timeline: The CIA case (NPR)
Q & A: Behind the CIA Leak Case (NPR, 07.21.05)

Don't like the science of global climate change? Attack the scientists - naturally...
Congress, Scientists and Climate Change (Science Friday, 07.22.05)


posted 07.07.05

We'd like to extend our deepest condolences to those effected by the attacks in London today.

I thought Tony Blair's response was thoughful and to the point, so I've included it here.


It's reasonably clear that there have been a series of terrorist attacks in London.

There are obviously casualties, both people that have died and people seriously injured and our thoughts and prayers, of course, are with victims and their families.

It's my intention to leave the G8 within the next couple of hours and go down to London and get a report face-to-face with the police and emergency services and the ministers that have been dealing with this, and then to return later this evening.

It is the will of all the leaders of the G8, however, that the meeting should continue in my absence, that we should continue to discuss the issues that we were going to discuss and reach the conclusions that we were going to reach.

Each of the countries round that table have some experience of the effects of terrorism and all the leaders, as they will indicate later, share our complete resolution to defeat this terrorism.

It's particularly barbaric that this has happened on a day when people are meeting to try to help the problems of poverty in Africa and the long-term problems of climate change and the environment.

Just as it is reasonably clear that this is a terrorist attack or a series of terrorist attacks, it is also reasonably clear that it is designed and aimed to coincide with the opening of the G8.

There'll be time to talk later about this.

It's important however that those engaged in terrorism realise that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world.

Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilised nations throughout the world.

--Tony Blair 07.07.05


Into the hornet's nest...

posted 07.02.05

Sandra Day O'Connor has stepped down from the bench. Here we go people - into the hornet's nest!

This week Bush has asked for our patience in Iraq. Cheney says the insurgency is in its "last throes"... The Bush media ass-lick brigade kicks into overdrive explaining that when Dick Cheney says "last throes" he does not mean imminent victory, but "last throes" as in the final stage of something that might end... sometime... It's much like when they tried to tell us that "fixed" used in "The Downing Street Memo", as in, intelligence and facts were "being fixed around the policy" by the Bush administration - meant something other than, well, the obvious...

It's a successful strategy for them - poll numbers for support of the war in Iraq have fallen, but approval for Bush's handling of the War on Terror <teeth gritted> are still solid.

People aren't, however, so easily re-educated about the reality of their neighbors dying far away in a country we shouldn't have occupied in the first place. Which, slowly, the American public appears to be grasping. And concurrently losing interest in occupying said country... (practically an American tradition - "Oh, you mean we have to sacrifice something when we go somewhere and start killing people? I thought it was all down hill after the shock and awe. Okay, send some poor kids from the south and mid-west over there. But you're not going to raise taxes or anything, right?")

Related tangent, check this out...
U.S. Moves to Shore Up V.A. Funding

So, what do we do? Just leave Iraq? Create the worst terrorist training ground on the planet and go home? Create an unstable country in the middle of the most unstable region on the planet, then skip out because, well, we just thought it was going to be easier? Oh yeah, that makes sense.

What's the strategy for getting out then? How the hell should I know? I'm a civilian with, like, dink military experience and even less experience than that in stabilizing countries of that size - had it been a smaller country, well then, I may have had something useful to contribute... An idea that's been floated for getting out of Iraq (never mind stabilizing it) is a timetable. Is that the answer? Sure, if you want to give the impression that your patience is limited and you're in a rush to move on to the next country you want to ruin - Iran, maybe... Iran's got potential, can't mess with North Korea, might upset the Chinese, let's go screw up Iran - that last election there, it wasn't really democratic, not really, not like Florida in 2000 - now that was a democratic election!

What I want to know is, what's wrong with milestones? Train the friggin' army, train as many policemen as you can prevent from getting blown up in the process - transition them into service - get the government in place so that the army and police you've trained don't end up running it - and step back when it's working reasonably well. We've got a few smart people who can agree what the signs of stability are, what a fairly secure situation is - or at least when the lights are coming on for more than two hours a day. They must be able to come up with something.

The Bush administration keeps on smiling and telling us that it may be hard, but it's going really well, and we're God's children so everything is going to be alright. And if it's not, well then, we'll make it illegal for gays to marry in the states, and stem the decay of western civilization that way. Much easier than trying to privatize social security... Oh, and fix that disaster over in Iraq...

And Bush keeps saying that he feels for the soldiers and their families, and appreciates the ultimate sacrifice they're making as a result of his criminal gamble on the world stage. And as he's so deeply enamored of himself and probably thinks they're going over there to die for him - maybe he does appreciate their sacrifice. But maybe if he appreciated their lives as much, they wouldn't have had to sacrifice them in the first place. This man is asking for our patience? That's rich. How about a little accountability instead?

Marblehead Mourns Fallen Soldier

Recalling a Soldier: Stan Lapinski

Check out NPR's Span of War series, they've interviewed soldiers on duty in Iraq.

Happy Fourth of July weekend.

Add comments | View comments
Return to top


Someone has made off with my e-mail account (my nemesis, Flan, most likely) - if you're getting e-mail from the cremebrulee address, you're not getting it from me. There was no saved addressbook on that account, so no e-mail addresses other than mine own were absconded with. If you want to e-mail me, you can do that from the contact page.

In the news

Canada and... SPAIN!!! I'm still swooning...
Gay marriage cements Canada's liberal reputation (Reuters, 06.29.05)
Spain defies Church to legalise gay marriage (Reuters, 06.30.05)

Meanwhile, in the USofA - Mitt, you scumbag:
Romney backs new effort to prohibit gay marriages: Proposal for ballot excludes civil unions (Boston Globe, 06.17.05)

And... (missed this one):
Did Microsoft Put Knife In Washington Gay Rights Bill? (, 04.05)

Y'all did see this, right?
MasterCard Reports Major Security Breach (All Things Considered, 06.08.05)

Yee HAW!!!
House votes to curb Patriot Act, defies Bush (Reuters, 06.15.05)

Wonder if this will get them anywhere:
Time Inc says will hand over papers in Plame case (Reuters, 06.30.05)

Doctors weigh in on morning-after pill denials (Reuters, 06.21.05)

Brilliant new lows in the public sphere...
US Congress seen paving way for private toll roads (Reuters, 06.30.05)

Here's a Republican who seems to think that as a homosexual, I'm some kind of walking joke (or maybe I misinterpreted his tone...), but at least he grasps the importance of the separation of church and state:
Former Republican Senator John Danforth (Fresh Air, 06.29.05)

Look at the list of his best friends - suprised to find Ralph Sneed and Tom Delay in there?
Abramoff's Last Stand? (OnPoint, 06.30.05)

I prefer to be pickled the old fashioned way, in alcohol...
Scientists shed new light on aging process (OnPoint, 06.30.05)