November 2006

What makes a civil war a “civil war”? Obviously it depends less on who is actually fighting it and more on what other people want to make of it. Several news organizations, most notably NBC and MSNBC, have bitten the bullet and started calling the current “conflict” in Iraq a bonified “civil war.” The Bush administration, still Cheney-ganged into thinking the good guys will rout the bad guys according to the neocon scenario, is loathe to call the debacle of our occupation a “civil war.” But at least there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that what we see is some kind of war, and not just a few rowdies on a Saddam-nostalgia binge. (more…)

Yesterday millions of Americans celebrated Thanksgiving, an annual food-stuffing ritual commemorating an event in 1621 when the Plymouth Rock Pilgrims hosted the native Wampanoags for a three-day feast to offer thanks for the survival aid given by these gracious hosts. Before long, the Wampanoags and most other indigenous groups encountered by the European illegal aliens of the time were devastated by disease and outright genocide to the point they had little to give thanks for. George Washington enshrined the idea of a national day of Thanksgiving and set November 26 as the mark. During America’s Civil War Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it a national holiday for the last Thursday in November. When a country is embroiled in a terrible family-gutting war, why not broil a bird and give thanks you are still alive? (more…)

by Sean Emer

One night, several months after Scheherazade had ended her fabled thousand and one night succession of tales, the king (sleeping beside his now pardoned bride) suddenly awoke from his slumber – quite a feat indeed, as he had not been able to sleep for the equivalent of roughly 2.7425 years, due to a certain progression of interesting and arousing recounts of people, places, and wonders.

Turning towards his queen, who was knitting contentedly (she had long since disposed of the pesky indulgence of sleep during the darker hours of the day), he started, “My wife, I have a question to ask of you.” (more…)

[Webshaykh’s Note: One of the more delightfully nonsensical take-offs on the famous ‘Tales of the 1001 Nights’ was penned by the late 18th century literary wit Horace Walpole. The following is a selection from his ‘Hieroglyphic Tales’, published in 1785.]

The King and his Three Daughters

There was formerly a king, who had three daughters—that is, he would have had three, if he had had one more, but some how or other the eldest never was born. She was extremely handsome, had a great deal of wit, and spoke French in perfection, as all the authors of that age affirm, and yet none of them pretend that she ever existed. It is very certain that the two other princesses were far from beauties; the second had a strong Yorkshire dialect, and the youngest had bad teeth and but one leg, which occasioned her dancing very ill. (more…)

[President Bush Thursday in Billings, Montana, photo by Jason Reed, Reuters, left; President Bush speaking under a halo at the dedication of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship’s Youth Education Center in Dallas, Texas, 10/29/03, photo by Charles Dharapak, AP, right.]

Recent polls from a number of news organizations and independent groups make it clear that the Bush administration’s dragged-out, coalition-of-the-once-upon-a-time-willing war in Iraq can best be labeled “Mission Botched.” A Newsweek poll from October 26-27 indicated that twice as many American adults think the current strategy is losing ground (60%) as opposed to making progress (29%) in Iraq. Recent polls also indicate that despite the White House election strategy of not straying (even if not calling it staying) from the course, public opinion is singing the blues even in the red states. The reasons for this dissatisfaction with the way in which the war has been waged now cross party lines. The liberal vs. conservative, cut-and-run vs. lobby-and-don’t-tell mantras are increasingly (and fortunately) falling on deafened ears.