Senryū Eight. Blame It On Rio

Hitler dances on

Paper-maché Jews

At the Copacabana

Judge bans Holocaust float, ‘Hitler’ in Rio’s carnival

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) — A Rio judge Thursday banned a float depicting Holocaust victims and an Adolf Hitler costume due to take part in this weekend’s carnival parade, saying they trivialized Nazi atrocities.

The carnival “cannot be used as a tool in the cult of hate or for any form of racism … or for the banalization of barbaric events,” judge Juliana Kalichszteim said, upholding a complaint by the city’s Jewish community.

The Unidos do Viradouro samba school, one of 12 competing in the parades to take place Sunday and Monday night, had planned to enter the float and a dancer dressed as Hitler as part of its theme protesting horrifying human actions.

Its creative director, Paulo Barros, had insisted the morbid float — which depicts skeletal figures piled on top of each other — was a “very respectful” reminder of the Holocaust and a warning that it should “never be repeated.”

A War We Should Have Won

In an open letter from October 2007 now featured on the home page of the Democratic Leadership Council, Chairman Harold Ford of the DLC and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sibelius of the Democratic Governors Association define the issues they believe the Democratic presidential candidates need to address and how they should deal with them.

In the introduction of the letter, Sibelius and Ford lay out the challenges facing the next administration, including this one:

We are engaged in what has become a civil war in Iraq — a war we either should have won, or never have fought.

If you want proof of intellectual bankruptcy at the DLC and the Democratic party leadership, there it is. Just over three months ago — even after learning all we have about the lies that led the US into war, the hundreds of thousands of dead, and the millions of refugees, the destruction of Fallujah and much of the rest of the country — the bright lights at the DLC still think the war could have been “won.”

Not that there was any justification for going to war in Iraq in the first place, of course.

Senryū Seven. The South


It rhymes because it’s

The South

“I wish there was somebody worth voting for,” said Buford Moss, a retired Union Carbide worker sitting at the back table of Bucky’s Family Restaurant here, with a group of regulars, in a county seat that — as the home of the 11th president, James K. Polk — is one of the ancestral homelands of Jacksonian Democracy.

“The Democrats have left the working people,” Mr. Moss said.

“We have nobody representing us,” he continued, adding that he was “sad to say” he had voted previously for Mr. Bush. He was considering sitting out this election altogether. “Anyone but Obama-Osama,” he said, chuckling at a designation that met with mirthful approval at the table.

Cheat Mode Active!

Someone finally returned the second disk in the fourth season of The Wire to Netflix, so I could go ahead and watch the third and fourth disks that I’d jumped ahead of the waitlisted disk (I have to invent a term for that technique). Then, in the middle of a little mini-marathon of episodes (specifically, “Corner Boys”), there’s this reference to some long-ago thing in my past.

Danger UXB2IED

Danger UXB2IED

Jonathan Schwarz at A Tiny Revolution links to Tom Engelhardt’s long article on air war tactics in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the use of air munitions to explode buried bombs and weapons caches. According to a photoessay in Foreign Affairs a year ago, 20% of Iraqis live within a mile of an area covered with unexploded munitions.

I wonder if you could use the explosive material from unexploded bombs to make, you know, an IED or something.

The Groundhog Cometh

As anyone in Oregon who’s ever given their email address to the Democratic Party of Multnomah County knows, they’re having their Dick Celsi Awards Dinner this Saturday. But did you know that there’s a prominent national Democrat who’s going to be in town that day who’s not mentioned on the program?

It’s odd, because DLC chairman Harold Ford, Jr. could probably make dinner at 5:30. He’s speaking at Reed College at 2pm to kick off their Black History Month events (as I mentioned earlier this month).

It seems unlikely that Mr. Ford would fly all the way out here for a speech at a small — though admittedly prestigious — college and not take care of some other sort of political business, particularly when the state’s got an election on this year for a potentially vulnerable Senate seat (not that he was particularly good at winning Senate seats).

Do you suppose he might be meeting up with some local politicians and candidates? Either at the dinner or behind the scenes? Will he meet up with the Senate candidates? Just one or the other?

The Center Is Never Wrong

Most of the comments I’ve seen about Markos Moulitsas’s interview at Radar Online last year have had to do with his claim that “Bill Clinton destroyed the Democratic Party”. I’m down with that.

Where he’s completely off base though is this:

You can lose with all your convictions intact and that’s great—now we have George Bush with hundreds of thousands dead in Iraq because of the left’s insistence, via Ralph Nader, on putting purity above practicality.

Is it ever not the left’s fault in the minds of these Johnny-come-lately Democrats? Right, it was the left that made Al Gore too stupid to take down someone like George Bush in the campaign. It was the left that made Al Gore pick Joe Lieberman as his running mate.

Poor the candidates. Always beholden to the whims of the left. People used to blame the length of the Vietnam War on the large demonstrations that enraged people in the ’60s and ’70s. Well, we haven’t exactly had anything equivalent going on, but the Iraq War’s still lasted five years and it’s not ending anytime soon, so I think that excuse is just about used up.


According to my little counter above, it’s been 1776 days since the invasion of Iraq.

Kicking It Up a Notch On the Campaign Trail

GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is calling out GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney over whether fried chicken should be eaten with the skin on (Huckabee) or off (Romney), which bring to mind another political rivalry over “proper” food ettiquette which I’ve mentioned before in passing but which has also been noted by the folks at Emeril Lagasse’s place:

Question: In 1930, Governor Huey Long began extolling the virtues of a popular Southern food, calling it “the noblest dish the mind of man has yet conceived.” He also gave explicit directions on how the dish was to be eaten. By the following year, his pronouncements had generated a national debate, with Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York taking an opposing view. What was the food in question, and how did Long and Roosevelt differ over how it should be eaten?

Answer: The food was potlikker, the liquid left in the pan from cooking turnip greens or collards. Long proclaimed that it should be eaten with cornpone, which should be dipped in the potlikker. Crumbling the pone into a bowl of potlikker was strictly taboo. Roosevelt, on the other hand, preferred to crumble his cornpone into the potlikker.