L.A. Filmmaker Sues Rumsfeld Over Detention in Iraq

cyrus karIn the first civil case challenging U.S. detention policies in Iraq, an Iranian-American filmmaker who was imprisoned in Abu Ghraib and other facilities for 55 days without charge sued Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other high-ranking military officials.

Cyrus Kar, 45, of Los Feliz, alleges that his detention violated his civil rights, the law of nations and the Geneva Convention.

source: L.A. Times.

Now how about some justice? Amnesty has this report on detention under the American occupation in Iraq, in which at least four Americans in addition to Kar have been also held without charge.

Denucularization of the Presidency

This morning as I was listening to the presididn’t speak in my kinda town, I distinctly heard him express his intent to not only “denucularize” the Korean Peninsula, but he clearly reiterated — amid bad jokes about being old that absolutely none of the Chicago-centric media even chuckled at — that the priority is to end North Korea’s “nucularization.”

Its nothing new that the president has always used “nucular” in place of “nuclear,” and while he’s shown no desire to fix this slight impediment (I suspect it has something to do with a misunderstanding of the term “clear”– as in “clear and present danger”) I can’t figure out why the media fails to report his speeches correctly. Granted, the White House official release corrects his grammar for him, but while all these journos allow Bush to do basically whatever he wants… why ever would they keep him from mincing, or just flat-out mispronouncing words?

Do a Google News search and you’ll see what I’m saying.

In keeping up with the theme of bad grammar — I nearly vomited after attempting to read the AP article, “Push for Simpler Spelling Persists,” which begs such notable insight as “wuudn’t it maek mor sens to spel wurdz the wae thae sound?”

I hereby call for the denucularificazation of the presidency.

To ‘Google’ — now legit

“Google” was officially added to the most-stringent of grammarian resources, the Oxford English Dictionary in recent weeks.

To google” has been considered by other resources — and of course casually — as a legitimate verb for quite a while now.

But now that Merriam-Webster has confirmed to Google’s verbage, I’m left wondering — along with Neil at InfoWorld — if ever the verb will lose its copyright-mandated capital “G.”

The bad news, as far as this concerned, is the long standing predecessors in official tech lingo: The capitalizing of both the “W” on “Web site” and the “I” on “Internet.” But neither of those are verbs, so I’ll ask, how long did it take before the capital “X” was slashed off “to xerox?” (Granted, xerographic is a similar word, but the word “Xerox” itself is most definitely protected).

UPDATE: The L.A. Times reports that Merriam-Webster has defined “google” — small “g.” Good news from the fine newspaper that is not afraid to divert from AP style, commonly using website (one word) and internet (small “i”) as well as the pathetic “Southland (not in reference to the Lynyrd Skynyrd song).

The Red, White and Blah

I had a conversation with an older friend this week about some of the unbelievable things taking place at the government level. Visibly enraged, he suggested that a social revolution is in the offing. I shot back with the assumption that he had probably had that feeling most of his life. He shook his head, and as a million thoughts flashed before me, said, “its never been like this.” While youthful anger and rebellious thoughts are one thing, I thought aloud, how can the young generations of today comprehend a social revolution?

The difference, he pointed out, is that — older generations knew things would get better, their parents had made it through the depression, etc, and inevitably they would become the how-u-say generation most great, and shared with their offspring, the most money ever. Now, I take my friend’s opinions and statements seriously, dramatic as they may occasionally be, and always with some sort of Jon Stewart-ism thrown in, but this is a man who reported on both the Vietnam and Korean wars.

The youth today are faced with the reality that we will not be as well-off as our parents, generally speaking, and that aside — inefficient, overpriced health care, poor schools, etc — it may become obvious that we’re on our own. We can’t change foreign policy or prevent future nihilatory preemtion abroad, but we can muster it within us to rebel and come together to improve our own tangible independent worlds.

Things may happen fast, but in regards to freedom, liberty and independence, things seem to be falling apart quickly, or at least getting ugly. Old glory can’t be old forever, at least not while maintaining its glory.

American sentiment and esteem appears to be so low at this point, it’s laughable. Here are some links to recent snippets from home and abroad:

Christopher Hitchens: Ignore Polls on the U.S. Image
David Rieff: America the Untethered
Poll: Britons Tire of Cruel, Vulgar Americans
Oxford Analytica: Negative Image of U.S. Grows Overseas
Mort Zuckerman: What Sets Us Apart

Cartoon by S. Kelley, New Orleans Times Picayune 2006