Jeez. It's been a long time, huh...well, to get started, Eric Alterman is on the warpath about a column by Cathy Young the other week that insinuated he was an anti-semite (of the self hating Jew sort). Good for him. The Boston Globe should be doing better, for humanity's sake. Here's the email I wrote to their Editorial page editor, Alterman has all the contact info listed, you should send something too...

From: "Alex Baker" Add Address to Address Book
To: n_king@globe.com
Cc: whatliberalmedia@aol.com
Date: 02/15/2005 11:24 PM
Subject: RE: Cathy Young column

Dear Mr. King,

I would like to add my voice to what I am sure is already a chorus
disapproving of Cathy Young's column "When Jews Wax Anri-Semitic". If the
Globe is to maintain its credibility, I think it must deem Young's column
outside the bounds of civil public discourse.

The label of anti-semitism is a serious and incendiary charge. Applying it
to figures with public reputations, academic, political or otherwise, is a
heavy business and should rightfully lead to serious damage to a public
figure's credibility and standing. So the notion that Eric Alterman, a
leading public intellectual, a prominent Jewish writer and speaker, a
major voice in debates over U.S. policy in the Middle East and towards
Israel, should have the label of anti-semitism attached to him is,
frankly, perverse.

Anyone is welcome to disagree with Alterman's views about Israel, about
the peace process, or about his refusal to condemn the incident with the
Muslim group and the Auschwitz memorial. But Young is not arguing with
Alterman. She doesn't like his views about foreign policy so she levels an
accusation meant to discredit and humiliate him in the hope that it does
the job instead. This is character assassination by insinuation, and if
our media institutions are to mean anything, it should be kept in the
tabloids and on the Internet where it belongs.

Publishing that column cheapened your newspaper's standards, cheapened the
seriousness of bigotry towards Jews, and cheapened the public discourse. I
do hope you can find a way to remedy the situation.


Alex Baker
New York, NY


Mars, Bitches!!!

I wonder if there are a lot of NASA employees who are really bummed tonight? I have to say, I would totally support the Mars initiative if he threw that in the speech. We should totally go to Mars. Bitches. Does Halliburton have interests in the space business?


Snark and quibbles

1. I wish Bush and other conservatives for that matter would stop taking credit for any election in any formerly corrupt authoritarian state anywhere. I mean, unless they killed Arafat somehow. That said, the $350 million for Palestine is great...way to put money where the mouth is.

2. Does anyone think the flypaper and humanitarian rationales for the war are kind of at odds? I can understand different people supporting them at different times, but it doesn't seem like they should get to coexist in one speech, i.e. you can have a democracy, but we're going to fight a guerilla war of attrition with terrorists at the same time.

3. No big surprises on the Social Security stuff. Check out the background briefing from ealier today, and the CBPP analysis of it.

4. Oh man, Harry Reid is making me so bored...and we haven't even gotten to the robotress yet! Really makes you appreciate John Kerry's telegenic skills.

He's still talking. But I don't care. God's children vs. tax breaks? I read the text of this before and it sounded good.

5. Shit. It's worse with her. Those eyes are so piercing.

6. Is there any corollary for the government skipping out on treasury bonds it owes itself by changing the law?

7. There has been very little insight into the administration's internal thought process on Social Security, and I think that information gap is starting to show. Are people really thinking about this? Really? Or did he just make some decision, and everyone has been toeing the line.

8. Fuck this Linda Douglas woman on ABC. "These responses to Social Security I've been getting from the Democrats are very shrill." You're shrill. Asshole.

9. Peter Jennings splitting the private/personal account difference. Totally fucking weak. You know what you're doing, Peter Jennings, just use the goddamn word.

10. Off-loading price indexing on Tim Penny was soooo weak. Duh...who would think that Bush's own Social Security commission put that on the table 4 years ago? Oh no, it was all Tim Penny's idea. I don't know who the idiots that understand benefit indexation are, but Bush apparently thinks they are out there and ripe for the suckering.