Posts Tagged 'New York Times'

Talking Turkey

memestream turkey
Better Thanksgiving turkey in half the time — by braising.

It’s time for traditionalists to face facts: turkey is a pretty lousy item of poultry. That it became the standard for the Thanksgiving celebration is, of course, a function of the mythologized first date of “pilgrims” and “Indians” in 1621, Plymouth Colony. (Somehow, a carefree night of dinner and dancing led to a violent, abusive long-term relationship, to the everlasting regret of the indigenous peoples of North America and the well-repressed shame of generations of settler colonizers.) Turkeys were one of the principal comestibles mentioned in the account of Plymouth Governor, William Bradford. But he also listed waterfowl, venison, fish, lobster, and clams on that first menu – all of which are way tastier than turkey.

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Posted

Washington Post Masthead

This has been a lucky stretch for me in getting letters to the editor printed in major daily newspapers. Today the Washington Post ran a badly edited version of this letter I sent in response to Josh White’s report of a former Guantanamo prisoner involved in a suicide bombing in Iraq.

To the Editor:

Your story, Ex-Guantanamo Detainee Joined Iraq Suicide Attack (8 May 2008) states that “the Defense Intelligence Agency has estimated that as many as three dozen former Guantanamo detainees are confirmed or suspected of having returned to terrorist activities.”

This characterization begs the question which is absolutely central — and completely unaddressed in your report — as to whether this activity is, indeed, a “return” to terrorist activities or an initiation into terrorist action prompted, at least in part, by resentment based on the Guantanamo imprisonments. In a system which puts habeas corpus, not to mention release, beyond the reach of most detainees, is it plausible to believe that the DoD had evidence of prior terrorist participation on those it had released?

Mark B. Jacobs
San Francisco, California

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Driven to Write

Tata Nano

It’s been a crazy few days for this blog. The announcement by Tata of the launch of its Nano, the Rs. 1 lakh ($2,500) “People’s Car” designed to bring automobile ownership to India’s masses, gave my old essay, India: Going Nowhere Fast, a new currency; and this blog has received more than 1,300 hits in the last three days.

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Blasts from the Past

... because the idiocy of manliness is an evergreen topic.

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... because Canada and the US will celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays and, regrettably and preventably, not 1-cook-in-10 will serve a decent turkey.

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... because everyday is Mother's Day.

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... because the American Dream seems but a distant memory, given the country's dominant ethos of small-mindedness.

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... to remind us that not every mix of Tibetans and Western spiritual seekers has to be nauseating.

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... to celebrate the new edition of Infinite Vision published in India.

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... reprised because military strategy seems more cruel and less effective than ever -- and certainly there is a better way.

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... because cars are ruining Pondicherry, where I live. How badly are they fucking up your Indian town?

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... reprinted because more-and-more people seem want to understand the gift economy. (Yeah!)

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