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Showing posts from November 11, 2001
Remora Carol Morehead at Index has a must read or not read or don't know if one should read article on the Taliban propensity to torture (limited inc has a definite limit, not inc., on how much torture in a text we can stomach). We were feeling a little guilty about celebrating the victory of the Northern Alliance. James Ridgeway , who we certainly respect, at the Village Voice had some scoriating things to say about the thuggishness of said Good Witch of the North Alliance, and the American responsibility vis a vis Afghanistan: "Shielding the refugees from the marauding Taliban and tribal fighting led by the U.S.-backed thugs of the Northern Alliance will almost surely necessitate a long-term commitment of American ground forces in Central Asia." But as one reads through Ridgeway's article, one gets an uncomfortable sense that Ridgeway considers everything that happens in Afghanistan somehow the fault of the USA. In actuality, the threat of mass starvatio
Dope 'Hunger reduces one to an utterly spineless, brainless condition, more like the after-effects of influenza than anything else," Orwell claimed in Down and Out in Paris and London. Well, Limited Inc is on that downward spiral too, at the moment, although for less highminded reasons than Orwell. We have discovered that we are living anachronistically, ie the old habit of advancing freelancers money when they don't have it has, we've found in the last two weeks, simply died. It has been replaced by a new habit: you simply don't pay your writers until they have no money whatsoever. Then you see if they can get back on track. There has to be a scientific interest in this, the way there is in, say, cutting the olfactory nerves of a rat and seeing if it makes a difference in his cage life. By treating the intelligentsia to the bottomless pit of poverty (and lets face it, people like Limited Inc are despised anyway for their snobbishness and sniping), surely in
Remora Limited inc thought that Bushy's hunting metaphors about Afghanistan were way too Big Daddy -- going hunting for those otherskinned coons, it just conjures up the images, n'est-ce pas? And lately the Big Daddy side has been putting its foot down. The booted black foot. Since it looks like we might capture some jihadists, yesterday an emergency decree came down that should be rejected with revulsion by the right thinking. Oh, not that it is going to be. Not when people want blood on their tongue, want to taste it. Here's the WP headline: Military May Try Terrorism Cases : Bush Cites 'Emergency' By George Lardner Jr. and Peter Slevin And here are the last grafs: "Some legal scholars such as John Norton Moore, director of the Center for National Security Law, had favored the creation of an international tribunal by the United Nations Security Council to deal with the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath, but others said such tribunals typically d
Elias Norbert, in his The Civilizing Process, took one of Erasmus' minor works, a book on manners written for boys, as a measure of the civilizing process, such as it was, in the 15th century. Manners, of course, in Erasmus' time were not simply an adjunct to behavior, but the emblem of status and the mark of one's subtlety. Subtlety is power, in the Renaissance. Elias was fortunate to discover Erasmus' text , for it turns out that the humanist had a school teacher's ineradicable impulse to correct the slouching, wayward boy: "If you pass by any ancient Person, a Magistrate, a Minister, or Doctor, or any Person of Figure, be sure to pull off your Hat, and make your Reverence: Do the same when you pass by any sacred Place, or the Image of the Cross. When you are at a Feast, behave yourself chearfully, but always so as to remember what becomes your Age: Serve yourself last; and if any nice Bit be offer'd you, refuse it modestly; but if they press it upon
Remora We should supplement yesterday's rattled post. Although it is good news that the Taliban is collapsing, it is good news with the smell of a corpse. In today's NYT, David Rohde has written a grim account of the victory over the Taliban. lede grafs: "Near an abandoned Taliban bunker, Northern Alliance soldiers dragged a wounded Taliban soldier out of a ditch today. As the terrified man begged for his life, the alliance soldiers pulled him to his feet. They searched him and emptied his pockets. Then, one soldier fired two bursts from his rifle into the man's chest. A second soldier beat the lifeless body with his rifle butt. A third repeatedly smashed a rocket- propelled-grenade launcher into the man's head." Later on, Rohde goes for that small but telling little foreign correspondant flourish: in the abandoned Taliban encampment, there's a cooked goat's head on a wooden plate that's been hastily left behind. Shades of Scoop,
Remora Last night, Limited Inc was planning on writing that there is, at last, good news: if the Taliban has suffered a major defeat by the Northern Alliance yesterday, and if the reports today that the defeat is having a broad, knock down effect, then it is good news all the way around. Here's the graf from the AP story, in the LAT: "Opposition fighters punched through Taliban defenses about noon today after a punishing attack by U.S. B-52 bombers. Taliban positions began to fall one by one along the main road into Kabul. A senior opposition commander, Bismillah Khan, said his troops had halted their advance at Mir Bacha Kot, about 12 miles north of Kabul, and were awaiting orders." The bombing has got to stop. We don't believe the guff about the bombers. But now, with a traditional victory at hand, we have another reason to pull the plug on the bomb squad. Now, mind you, we haven't lost our minds here: this good news is not absolutely good. It would
Dope Gretchen the light of my eyes -- as a biz journalist you have no peer, but... but I must confess that my heart is straying. Yes, Limited Inc just became acquainted with the Guardian's Gregory Palast. We were looking for earlier articles on Argentina, once hailed, in the carefree days when The Lexis and The Olive Tree was supposedly the law and the prophets, as this amazing success story. The South American way (sing it to a Carmen Miranda beat) went via Chile on to the wondrous policies of the USA, where free enterprise made everything (the water, the roads, the women) so much better. That mythical USA, which today is heading resolutely towards budget deficits, still lives in the advice proferred by American officials like Condoleeza Rice, who had the affrontery to suggest that Argentina repair its budget the other day. Condoleeza doesn't seem to have noticed that, with the American economy taking a serious dive, nobody is so silly as to worry about deficits in the Heim
Dope We at Limited Inc don't usually read ourselves. We simply go forward to the next topic, with a certain contempt for lingering over the dead and the wounded -- the solecisms, logical gaps, and misspellings of previous posts. But we forced ourselves to read ourselves this morning -- or at least read two week's worth of posts. So many opportunities squandered! So many sensible things dissipated in vain stylistic preening! It is appalling. On the bright side, we are doing a better job of editing, lately. Or so we hope. And the mistakes we make are, after all, dinner table mistakes -- for the whole point of this log is to produce the same effect of spontaneity as is produced by conversation. Our point here is to reassure our readers that we are trying to get better and better. Of course, since our readers are silent, never using the comment tool we took such pains to install on this site, our correctives are still one-sided -- too dependent on our own erratic p.o.v. So it go