Posts from May 18, 2004



: The politicizing and grand-standing of the 9/11 Commission does not end. Just now John Lehman launched a totally uncalled-for attack on New York’s police and fire officials, saying their command and control was “scandalous” and not good enough for the Boy Scouts.

How dare he?

This was not only disrespectful to the work of many heroes it was said for effect and publicity. If Lehman truly cared about getting to ways to make things better, he would not have said it this way. But he did.

The former police and fire bosses being questioned gave him restrained what-for (I would have given him the finger). Thomas Van Essen said that the kind of statement Lehman just made is the essence of the problem people have with this commission.


: Getaloada the self-puffery on

John F. Lehman, the youngest and most controversial Secretary of the Navy who built the six hundred ship Navy during the Reagan administration, speaks with authority and candor on a variety of subjects which shape contemporary thought.

The ego that launched 600 ships.

Debate of the dinosaurs

Debate of the dinosaurs

Romenesko captures a pissing match between Greg Mitchell, editor of the failing newspaper trade rag E&P, and Abe Rosenthal, aged ex-editor of the NY Times.

Mitchell wrote a numbnutty column in E&P calling on newspapers to call for a withdrawl from Iraq. Rosenthal wrote a column in the NY Sun taking him to task. And Mitchell responded with a sputtering and misspelled response to Romenesko.

Be that all as it may, Rosenthal attacks newspapers for their coverage of Abu Ghraib that now ignores Saddam’s atrocities. Rosenthal never was known for writing a clear column but he has some clear things to say on this:

I do not know if the Iraqis regularly used leashes on prisoners. But they did use poison gas on civilians they wanted to eliminate, like the Kurds.

Strangely, we are uneasy even at the very idea of bringing up the mass Iraqi torture and murder.That is an insult to all those murdered masses of Iraqis, Kuwaitis, Jews, and Iranians.

It is essential that we remember, ourselves, and the young members of the American armed forces know that they are fighting a government that is fascist in organization and in its slavering sadism.

To remember the sufferings of Saddam

More memories: The 9/11 Commission

More memories: The 9/11 Commission

: I find out today that I wasn’t an idiot.

When the South Tower of the World Trade Center fell, I was a block away on Liberty Street and I saw the top bend over to the south and I ran.

At today’s 9/11 Commission hearing in New York, they said that the tower took 10 seconds to fall. 10 seconds.

So I was engulfed in the cloud in mere seconds, with no light and no air.

I thought for the rest of that morning that the tower had not collapsed. I remember walking uptown with a businessman an hour later saying that the top of the building fell. I imagined that the rest still stood, burning, mortally damaged. But I couldn’t imagine that it has collapsed.

At the start of the hearings today, one of the FDNY brass who was in the lobby of the North Tower said that even though did not know the South Tower had collapsed. They thought something had fallen into the lobby. He kept repeating that he thought the firemen around him were the people at risk.

Even they could not yet imagine that the tower had collapsed.

The Daily Stern

The Daily Stern

: CALM BEFORE THE STORM? Stern said this morning that things are quiet on the FCC front now and he thinks that could be because major press has — at last — been writing about the threat to the First Amendment posed by the FCC and Congress’ actions. He cited the wonderful piece in the NY Times by NPR’s Ira Glass and also mentioned other stories including, he thought, The New Republic… he was corrected that it was The Nation (that’s the story I wrote, oh, well). I hope he’s right that saner voices are finally being heard. We’ll see.

: AMERICA CASTRATED BY THE FCC: Ernie Miller reports on the latest decision by the FCC that mention of the penis on the air — even not in a sexual context — is a crime because the organ could be used in sex and, of course, sex is dirty, don’t ya know?

: POLICE TO ARREST BIG BIRD WHEN SESAME STREET IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE LETTERS F OR U: Ernie also joins Eugene Volokh taking police to task for citing a man who displayed a sign saying “F U G W” as a Presidential motorcade passed.

: CATCHING UP: And I wanted to send you to a Sunday NY Times story arguing that the technology of entertainment has grown up and so it’s time for the FCC to do likewise.

Adios, Yasser?

Adios, Yasser?

Do I hear a groundswell in the Middle East to jettison Yasser Arafat?

From today’s Times:

In an interview, King Abdullah also said the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, should have “a long look in the mirror” to decide whether he should yield authority. Such a demand is made frequently by the Bush administration and Israel but rarely voiced so openly in the Arab world.

And a few days ago, Lebanon’s Dar Al Hayat called for him to quit. Go with it.