Dried Roses

Sunday cat pix

Josie from the ground up.

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LinkMay 10, 2008 in Cats

Sound of the week

A brief interlude: Echoburble.

LinkMay 10, 2008 in Music

Sunday cat pix

Musa, waiting an eternity to go outside.

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LinkMay 20, 2008 in Cats

Wednesday garden pix

Azalea: it’s not much to look at the rest of the year, but for two weeks in May…

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LinkMay 24, 2008 in Garden

Sunday cat pix

An eternal afternoon.
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HS, 11 May 2008

LinkMay 24, 2008 in Cats

Honor the dead

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The American Cemetery at Cambridge. Source: the American Battle Monuments Commission.
Here are some of the ways the Bush administration has chosen to honor our soldiers in the current conflict.
Addendum: Sadly, No! has more items for the list. If you’re a veteran of the Iraq War, take a look at Iraq Veterans Against the War.
Addendum: Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake, asked about the problem of post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans, said that
some of the concern about post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury has been overblown.
Many of the brain injuries are serious but some of them are akin to what anyone who played football in their youth might have suffered […]
Peake also wondered whether PTSD was being overdiagnosed.
“I worry about labeling all these kids coming back,” he said. “Just because someone might need a little counseling when they get back, doesn’t mean they need the PTSD label their whole lives.”
In response to the story mentioned above on the diagnosis of PTSD, Peake said that the VA is “committed to absolute accuracy in a diagnosis and unwavering in providing any and all earned benefits” (Kelly Kennedy, “VA e-mail: Save money, do not diagnose PTSD”, Army Times, 19 Mary 2008).

LinkMay 26, 2008 in Current Affairs

Wednesday garden pix

A volunteer pansy springing up between the bricks of the patio. It’s about three-quarters of an inch across.

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LinkMay 30, 2008 in Garden

The message automaton speaks

Scott McClellan, Bush’s former press secretary, has a tell-all book just out. Among other things he chides the media for their slavish behavior in the run-up to the war. Of course not everyone was slavish. Three McClatchy correspondents respond:
we find it a wee bit preposterous — and we are being diplomatic here — that a man who slavishly — no, robotically! — defended President Bush’s policies in Iraq and elsewhere is trying to “set the record straight” (and sell a few books) five years and more after the invasion, with U.S. troops still bravely fighting and dying to stabilize that country.
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They go on to show decisively that for anyone willing to listen, they and other journalists had shown that the Bush administration had decided on war by February 2002 and that the evidence cited for going to war was not sound.
Their word “robotic” reminds me of an entry here in which I described the “message automaton” generating McClellan’s reponses to questions about the ads attacking Kerry that were paid for by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. McClellan responded to the press, which did its best that day to get a straight answer, in a way easily simulated by a nondeterministic finite-state automaton, which is to say, by a rather dumb sort of computer. I guess Mr. McClellan has gotten smarter since then. Has he acquired some morals?
For more on the conduct of the press, see Eric Boehlert’s Lapdogs.

LinkMay 30, 2008 in Current Affairs · Language