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July 26, 2003

Why does George W. Bush hate the flag?

(Note: this entry posted by Bob Harris)

First saw this at Kos, and it merits attention:

President Bush signs American flags for workers at Beaver Aerospace and Defense after speaking about jobs and economic growth in Livonia, Michigan, Thursday, July 23, 2003. President Bush, in campaign-style speeches in states vital to his re-election, sought Thursday to make sure voters give him credit for rebates heading to millions of taxpayers this week. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Yep. That's who you think it is. Signing the flag.

Um... defacing a flag, even to sign your name on it, is still defacing a flag.

Don't these people have even the most basic sixth-grade civics education?


July 24, 2003

A quick one

Don't have time to post much (and I'm sure there's plenty of commentary elsewhere on the death of the Hussein boys and the release of the 9/11 report and everything else that's suddenly going on while I'm mostly off-grid), but wanted to put this one up:

WASHINGTON The Secret Service used "profoundly bad judgment" in seeking to question a Los Angeles Times (search) cartoonist over a political cartoon depicting a man pointing a gun at President Bush, a senior House Republican said Tuesday.

Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the Secret Service owed Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Michael Ramirez (search) an apology "and the public is owed an explanation both of how this happened and why it will not happen again."

The use of "federal power to attempt to influence the work of an editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times," Cox said in a letter to U.S. Secret Service Director Ralph Basham, "reflects profoundly bad judgment."


The cartoon is a takeoff of a chilling 1968 photograph from the Vietnam War showing Vietnamese police Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan shooting a man he said was a Viet Cong in the right temple on a Saigon street.

In the cartoon, the man pointing the gun at a caricature of the president has "politics" written across his back, and there's a sign on the street scene in the back reading "Iraq."

The Times quoted Ramirez as saying he was not advocating violence against Bush but trying to show that the president is the target of political assassination because of his State of the Union address when he used faulty intelligence to back up claims of Iraq's nuclear weapons program.

See, the thing is, Ramirez is a conservative. It was a pro-Bush cartoon.

This is such bad news. Sure, they get called on it when they go after a guy who works for the LA Times, who's won the Pulitzer, and who was actually trying to support the President. But what happens when they decide to hassle some obscure left-wing type?

Hypothetically speaking.


Off to wander through the rain in search of a new phone card so I can call home. So far I've spent my time watching some extraordinary performances and drinking a lot of Guiness; will post more when I get home...


July 21, 2003

Out of here

Off to Ireland.

Don't forget to buy the book.

If it seems like I'm pushing this incessantly, well, I am, and will continue doing so. I kind of have to--I'm ultimately the only one who really gives a damn. I just got a look at some of the order numbers for some various independent bookstores around the country, and I have to say, I'm a little disappointed. Two copies here, three copies there--and some of these are bookstores which I know for a fact have sold a lot of my books over the years. And this is what will happen, most likely: they'll sell those two or three copies pretty quickly, and then they'll reorder a few more, but they'll be out of stock for a week or two, and every customer who walks in their door who might have picked up the book on impulse won't do so, because it won't be there, because they're ordering three copies at a time, because they're afraid it won't sell--which then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. So, yeah, I'm gonna flog it here. It's all I've really got.

Anyway--sporadic posting this week. Not sure if Bob's going to be around or not. And as I say, if you want to send email, you'd probably be smart to wait until I get back, so your message doesn't get lost in the flood.


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