Oct. 13th, 2003

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Susan Sontag Receives German Peace Prize, Criticizes U.S.

With a swipe at U.S. President Bush and his "imperial program," the American novelist, playwright and critic accepted the prestigious peace prize from the German booksellers’ association on Sunday.

One of America’s foremost writers and intellectuals was bestowed with Germany’s highest literary honors at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Sunday. The German Booksellers’ Association, which hands out the annual Peace Prize, hailed Susan Sontag for her "exceptional sense of morality and immorality."

Yes, Virginia (perhaps near Foggy Bottom), there is a Susan Sontag award, and it's in Germany.

Bet she ordered alsatian beer, too.
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for god's sake, don't tell Karl.

President George W. Bush on Monday rejected complaints from some members of Congress that he needs to assert more control over Iraq policy, saying, ''The person who is in charge is me.''

aw, fudge.

Oct. 13th, 2003 09:45 pm
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I've had such a lovely weekend away, meeting people and cleaning house and drinking wine and howling Beatles songs in the back yard.

Only now it's Monday and there are spambots and Our Fearless Leader is still a jerk and the governor of California is a newer and bluer meanie and, well, all the stuff that was wrong on Thursday is pretty much still wrong.

Only I spent the weekend with some good people.

Depending how you want to look at it, good people are

-- the highest achievement of evolution
-- a reason to believe that one's higher power of choice does some things right
-- a triumph of hope over reason
-- great good fun and a fine thing to spend the weekend with

I can live with pretty much any of those.

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Emma grew up in Castro's Cuba.

She knows about this stuff.

There's a disease in Latin American politics called caudillismo. It's a complicated phenomenon, with many sub-varieties, but it usually manifests itself in the national stage in the election of a "strong man" by a disgusted public looking for solutions. The caudillo is seen as the "new broom" that will sweep "those corrupt bastards" out of office and re-establish the Republic. For a while, it works, because the caudillo can make things happen just on momentum, especially if his advisors have some smarts. In the long range, though, the whole thing is a disaster because the caudillo is not interested in the Republic. He's interested in the power that comes with it. And given a choice, he will screw the Republic every time.

Welcome to Latin American-style politics, Californios. Enjoy your stay.


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