Friday, April 14, 2006


A few unrelated items I've accumulated for today.

  • In a recent post of mine (GWB: Double or Nothing), I sort of tried to suggest that the neocons' current designs on Iran were akin to compulsive problem gambling behavior. I've since come across an article over at Whiskey Bar which makes this point far, far better than I did. Read "The Flight Forward" and be afraid. Be very afraid.
  • Need a breather? Here are two MSM cute animal stories. First, an NY Times story about why the city goes bonkers for dramatic cat rescues.
  • Also, a pair of crows are nesting outside the Guardian's offices.
  • Cute animal stuff is the closest I get to celebrating Easter. But I think someone's finally figured out how to do it right. The Portland Mercury lets us know that the Sabala's Mt. Tabor club up on Hawthorne is doing a special screening of The Passion of the Christ, accompanied by the music of Slayer. Ooooohhhh...
  • Two other Easter perspective, if you care: a mythological/anthropological interpretation, which is somewhat interesting (though I don't buy into all that Joseph Campbell silliness), and the inevitable absolute literal historical truth angle.
  • If you (like me) find the US's current grim blood-n-guts approach to Easter kind of icky and offputting, here's a small breath of fresh air: Some pics from an easter egg hunt at a recently-renovated park in Geneva, Switzerland. Previous posts at that blog detail the ongoing renovation efforts.
  • And some Easter photos from a Polish blogger visiting the Netherlands.
  • Ok, breather's over, back to politics again. What's it going to take to finally impeach Bush? Here's one great idea. Volunteers, anyone?
  • On a vastly more serious note, The Nation has an article by Kevin Phillips, based on his new book American Theocracy, which I've mentioned a couple of times before. Truly frightening, all the more so because he's not writing in the near-hysterical mode we get so used to on the net (and to which I myself am prone on occasion). At the very start, he explains that we aren't heading for an all-out revival of Calvinist Geneva, but the things that are possible are scary on their own. I don't usually run out and buy the controversial political book of the moment, but this time I may have to.
  • Is a Jamaican theocracy in the works, too? Two scary articles suggest it's already well on its way. People in the US tend not to realize that much of the Caribbean is deeply religious and conservative, I guess probably because they only ever talk to their fellow cruise passengers and avoid interacting with the locals at all costs.
  • As a non-churchgoing state, Oregon's usually not fertile ground for the theocrats, but at least one of the leading Republican candidates for governor thinks we ought to start teaching creationism in the schools. And the scary part is that this'll probably play extremely well with voters in the May primary. And the R's keep wondering why they keep losing general elections in this state. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.
  • One endlessly fascinating bit about right-wingers is that they'd love a theocracy so long as their own religion gets to be in charge, but they absolutely freak out at the prospect of living under someone else's theocracy. And then they turn around and fantasize happily about those other evildoin' theocrats coming here and blowing up liberals. Truly disgusting.
  • And thanks to the magic of the internet, we learn that there are creationists in India, as well. Who knew? The article seems to assume readers already know what a "Cosmo Theorist" is, and I'm afraid I don't.
  • And a couple of perspectives on the current Rumsfeld controversy. from Political Cortex, and the ever-brilliant Jon Swift. I actually think the anti-Rumsfeld campaign is pointless, maybe even counterproductive. His replacement would just be another chickenhawk neocon, just as bad or even worse than the current guy. There's zero chance of getting a moderate, non-divisive defense secretary so long as Bush & Cheney run the show. Zero. Replacing the current guy would make it look as though something positive had been accomplished, and that's how the media would spin it. And then nothing would actually improve or change in any way. Any attempt to mitigate the sheer badness of the current administration is doomed to failure, and it's pointless and counterproductive to even try. Why help them rearrange the deck chairs? The new chickenhawk would just get a fresh grace period in which to screw up over and over again without being criticized for it, and that's the last thing we need right now.
  • Switching gears completely, here are some cool new Mars pictures from MRO.
  • Returning to cute animals for just a moment, here's today's tiny tidbit of echidna news. Awwwwww.....
  • Here's someone's list of the Top 18 skylines in the world. This was going to go into either one of my recent art-related posts, or something about Dubai (since it's one of the 18) but it didn't fit anywhere, so here it is.
  • Meanwhile, fresh off the Dubai ports deal, we find out that a Kuwaiti company's buying a minority stake in Krispy Kreme Donuts.
  • I'm actually ok with that, though. I'm not a Krispy Kreme fan. If you're looking for good donuts in the greater Portland area, I recommend Donut Day in Aloha. I should add that the owners are immigrants from (I think) Lebanon. And they're wonderful people.


Shawn said...

On the impeachment thing, I would be willing to put in a few bucks to buy a cheap Sandy Blvd. Ho' for him.
Helen Bernhard makes some pretty good donuts too. May be out of your way if you live on the west side, but worth it if you're in the area.

atul666 said...

I used to live out on the westside, but I'm downtown now, so I haven't gotten my Donut Day fix for a few months. Few people know this, but there's a sort of fried pastry vortex centered around the intersection of 185th & TV Highway. Besides Donut Day (which is in the old Aloha Theater building), the area is also home to Cafe Beignet, a tiny little cafe with the best beignets in town (that I'm aware of). It's located in what was the old Aloha post office back when I was a kid.

I'll have to try the place you mentioned. I'm always on the lookout for tasty baked goods other than the ubiquitous rock-hard scones full of weird granola-ish bits and random healthful chunks. And I've never gotten into the whole Voodoo Donut thing -- I tried one of their donuts with the Nyquil topping once, and it was just plain inedible. I heard the state or county health department later ordered them to cease and desist making donuts with over-the-counter medicines, which I think was a very wise move.