Rumsfeld and the Pentagon: All is Not Well

Posted in Observations on March 31st 2003 by Randy Reichardt

According to Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker, Donald Rumsfeld and his civilian advisors have been handling the day-to-day aspects of the war on Iraq, much to the chagrin and anger of senior Pentagon war planners. Rumsfeld is denying the charge, saying he bullied no one. With the war seemingly dragging on despite being less than two weeks old, news coverage of this article has already circled the globe. Hersh is a respected investigative journalist, having won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for exposing the My Lai massacre in Vietnam in 1968. BTW, my mother brought this to my attention. Thanks, Mom! 🙂

Bits and Pieces

Posted in Film, Mixed Bag Special, Observations, Pop Culture on March 27th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

Yesterday in Sydney, Australia, there was a huge protest against the war in Iraq. A participant videotaped some of the march, it’s mostly raw footage with some short interviews interspersed throughout. (Note: an ad plays before you can watch the video.)

The only film nominated in one of the major Oscar categories that I did not see in 2002 was Y Tu Mama Tambien. I hope to rectify that soon. In the meantime, read this fascinating short interview with the director, Alfonso Cuarn, from last Sunday’s NYT Magazine. Chances are you won’t guess what film he’s now directing.

On March 25th in Toronto, Paul Cellucci, the US Ambassador to Canada, spanked our national ass and sent us to bed without supper.

The Book-Film-TV-Video Critiquees are the awards voted on by members of Blogcritics (of which I am one – but didn’t vote, this happened before I was invited to join.)

Many reviews of the Oscars have been written this week, and my favorite was in Michael Musto’s column in The Village Voice. His take on Jennifer Connelly is too good.

Should Celebrity Activists Shut Up for Now?” This piece appeared on, and is “reprinted” on Bill Maher’s site, featuring interviews with two of my favorite entertainers, Maher, and Janeane Garofalo. (I saw both of them in NYC in November 2002)

Did you hear that the Boeing 777 carrying Tony Blair to the USA to meet with Dubya was struck by lightning? A message from God, perhaps?

“Iraq 2003: Sources of News”

Posted in Observations on March 26th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

Two librarians at the Leddy Library, University of Windsor in Ontario, have created a site called “Iraq 2003: Sources of News“. The site includes alternative media sources as well as mainstream outlets. The site creators are encouraging feedback. One of the librarians, Lisa Sloniowski, has sent an e-mail to a library-related listserv, describing the page. With her permission, I’m posting it here as well:
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Late Night Ramblings

Posted in Film, Miscellaneous, Observations, Pop Culture on March 25th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

The brain functions better with sleep, of which I have not been getting much lately. Today at work the world was spinning too quickly – so much paper pushing. Yeesh.

Librarians looking for an interesting sig file can check Lib.Sigs., “Quotations for Librarians’ E-mail Signature Files”. The latest entry comes from the Oscars, courtesy of Michael Moore: “We like nonfiction, and we live in fictitious times.”

Speaking of Michael Moore’s Oscar acceptance speech, this evening I watched a video of the IFP Independent Spirit Awards, which were handed out on Saturday night, the day before the Oscars. Moore won an award there as well, and his acceptance speech was essentially the same one he gave at the Academy Awards, but longer and more drawn out, as he didn’t face a time constraint, and the attendees, independent filmmakers, writers, actors, etc., were on his side for the most part. The nominees and award winners are listed here.

Remember Clonaid and their claims of having created clone babies? Apparently this is a picture of the third one. What, you thought there were only two clone babies? Well, try five.

Tired of the one-sided tv coverage of the war on Iraq? I’m disgusted with the coverage on CNN today, broadcasting interviews with families of captured US soldiers – what horse pucky! One interviewer asked a father if he’d prefer to have his son released. Well, DUH! Hey, can we get a few more retired generals on board? Cheer up and read You Might Be A Right Wing Republican If …

“We’re At War”

Posted in Observations on March 20th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

Some years ago I asked my mother if she remembered first hearing about the start of WWII in 1939. She was 7 years old at the time, and said she did. She was playing outside, bouncing a ball against a wall, and heard another kid say the war had started. Tonight I was in Safeway buying some groceries, and while standing in line at the checkout, heard a staff member say, “We’re at war. Started about 20 minute ago.” She then began bagging my groceries for me. I’ll probably remember that moment for the rest of my life.

The link to Michael Moore’s letter to “Governor Bush” is spreading through blogdom like a virus. But it’s a virus worth spreading.

Of interest to me is the bashing being absorbed by Natalie Maines and The Dixie Chicks, after Maines’ comment at a recent concert in London, England: “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas.” Shortly after her comment made it to the shores of the USA, The Chicks issued a statement clarifying her earlier comment, and two days later, Maines issued an demeaning apology, most likely with the pressure from and the urging of The Chicks’ record company, as fans began steamrolling their CDs and country music stations stopped playing their music.

I give props to Maines for having the guts to speak her mind, perhaps unaware of the consequences, but having done so despite that. It’s unfortunate that she had to issue an apology that reads like she got a spanking and was sent to her room without dinner for being a bad girl. Oddly enough, on her website (or a website devoted to her, I can’t tell), is a different message: “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. ***Theodore Roosevelt***” Strong words, but words that do not seem to apply to the Bush Administration.

I think I will buy their new album.

Further Investigations

Posted in Observations on March 9th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

Each day we look for meaning in what we do, in what happens to us. This weekend reminded me of how important and rewarding it is to have great friends, to laugh and be silly, to meet friends and just talk about whatever, to eat good food, and to care about those less fortunate. A close family member has been struggling for a year to find meaningful employment, and a favorite cousin, dealing with Krohn’s disease for years, had another major surgery this past week. I keep them close to my heart, and when I step back for a moment, can easily see how incredibly fortunate I am to be in Edmonton, with great friends and colleagues, a great job, clean air, food in my belly, and warmth in my home when the temperature hits -40C/F, like it did yesterday. No, I’m not going to suggest you hug someone you love, but please permit me this moment to wax eloquent about what’s important to me at this time. And if you do hug someone, more power to you! Thank you.

We are looking forward to breaking through to the plus side temperatures by Friday, when the mercury is forecast to rise from -23C on Thursday to +13C on Friday. I’ll believe it when I feel it.
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