May 24, 2004

"The Photographs Are Us" Susan Sontag: "If there is something comparable to what these pictures show it would be some of the photographs of black victims of lynching taken between the 1880's and 1930's, which show Americans grinning beneath the naked mutilated body of a black man or woman hanging behind them from a tree. The lynching photographs were souvenirs of a collective action whose participants felt perfectly justified in what they had done. So are the pictures from Abu Ghraib." ... A collection of those photographs/postcards can be seen here.

Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal: "No matter how exalted the aims of the US in that war, in the final analysis it was a colonial war very similar to the wars conducted by the ex-colonial powers when they went out to conquer the rest of the world."

Flip -- Flop: "Justice Department officials recently announced that they were awarding $47 million to scores of local law enforcement agencies for the hiring of police officers. Mr. Bush had just proposed cutting the budget for the program ... by 87 percent, to $97 million next year, from $756 million. ... The administration also announced recently that it was providing $11.6 million to the states so they could buy defibrillators to save the lives of heart attack victims. But Mr. Bush had proposed cutting the budget for such devices by 82 percent, to $2 million from $10.9 million. ... In April, Secretary Thompson announced that the administration was awarding $3.1 million in grants to improve health care in rural areas of Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico and New York. He did not mention that the administration was trying to cut the same rural health program by 72 percent, to $11.1 million next year, from $39.6 million."

Digby on you-know-who: "He's like a Japanese speaking actor playing a role in phonetic English. No matter how passionately he delivers the lines, the inflection and the rhythm are always off because he doesn't understand the language he's speaking."

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