Pavilion Digest: June 2006

A plethora of perplexing pavilion posts. The Pavilion Annex thread, the Pavilion Discussion thread, and monthly digests of all messages from the Pavilion.

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Mark Goldberg

Postby Mark Goldberg » Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:15 am

Name: Mark Goldberg
Source: unca20060807.htm
Just a clarification for everyone that the discussion on the War on Iraq can be found in the thread titled Patronizing the Arts.

Rob Ewen, I thought of you yesterday as I went to Hell's Kitchen for lunch. Shame you missed that place while you were here, great food and really unusual artwork all over the place.

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Jim Davis
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Everything You Know Is Wrong, #57,218?

Postby Jim Davis » Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:33 am

Name: Jim Davis
Source: unca20060807.htm
I don't know if you missed Chris Johnston's earlier post, but he provided a link (via Metafilter) to a site debunking the notion that 38 witnesses did nothing to stop the brutal murder of Kitty Genovese. Now, I don't necessarily agree with all of Joseph De May's interpretations--he seems, in a couple instances, to bend over backwards to exonerate some of the Mowbray residents, and I still have questions concerning some details of the attack--but he does appear to lay out a pretty exhaustive case that the 38 witnesses (if there were that many) were not the callous monsters the NY Times led everyone to believe.

Read the article, and see what you think:

(For balance, here's CourtTV's CrimeLibrary account of the Genovese murder: ... _genovese/)

CINDY: I've gotta be honest--your defense of Bush and the current war would sound plausible . . . if it were 2003. It's like the past three years, with all the testimony from Paul O'Neil and Richard Clarke, and the journalism of Seymour Hersh and Anthony Packer and Anthony Shadid and Robert Fisk and dozens of others, and the Duelfer Report, and the accounts of the seige of Fallujah, and the many, many reports of abuses against detainees, not to mention virtually every newspaper headline that's come down the pike, simply haven't existed for you. I'm not going to debate the worth of this administration, because that would be a waste of my time and yours, but I have to say this: I simply DO NOT GET, in the most profound and deep-rooted sense, this Pavlovian Obeisanse that so many folks have towards Bush and his policies.

Or, to put it another way: How bad do things have to get before all the Bushites finally admit the invasion of Iraq was not such a bright idea?

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Those Seven Minutes

Postby Adam-Troy » Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:04 am

Name: Adam-Troy Castro
Source: unca20060807.htm

My problems with Bush have little to do with those seven minutes of inactivity and everything to do with his actions before and afterward.

That said, I have yet to hear any defense of those seven minutes, including your own, that make any sense to me.

For decades we've lived in a nuclear age, where the entirety of human civilization has rested on our ability to trust people in power to make critical decisions in seconds.

Abraham Lincoln might have been able to muse for seven minutes, when receiving a dispatch on distant Civil War engagements. FDR might have been able to reflect for seven minutes, when receiving word about Pearl Harbor.

A modern President, aware that hijacked airplanes were crashing into buildings, shouldn't have sat in that stupid chair for seven minutes.

Excuses to the effect that it was a confusing, shocking moment fail to cut any ice. He knew the job's requirements when he spent two years and God alone knows how much money campaigning for it. He had no business being that paralyzed at a moment of crisis.

Excuses to the effect that he was sparing the feelings of the children fail to cut any ice. He could have said, "Excuse me, Kids; I have an important phone call to answer," and been out of there in ten seconds flat, without any of the kids ever realizing that something was wrong.

Excuses to the effect that his people were already taking care of it fail to cut any ice. They weren't.

Chimp Boy should have left that room, gotten on the phone, and started asking questions immediately. I won't blame him for the next part, as we are talking minutes here, but had he been a brilliant President he could have put the dots together and said, "Ground all Planes now." Thus preventing further hijackings and, by the way, saving the lives of the people on Flight 93 (who were still backed up on the Runway, awaiting takeoff.) I do not know if he COULD have managed that, but the fact remains that, while all this was going on, nobody was able to get in touch with him and get any direction from him.

Excuses to the effect that this was indeed his weakest moment, and that he rallied, maturing into a better leader, cut no ice with me either. Because he didn't. The second worst moment of his Presidency was Katrina...and the week New Orleans became one of the greatest disaster areas in American history, he claimed that he didn't even know the levees had broken until Thursday. Indeed. he joked around, getting pictures of himself playing the guitar at fundraisers, even while the people of New Orleans were crying out for help.

Excuses to the effect that reports coming out of New Orleans were inadequate or confused fail to cut any ice with me. Because, you know what? I just recently checked posts in my own newsgroup, on In the days before Katrina made its second landfall on the Gulf Coast (its previous landfall having already cost my family several days of power in Miami), there are long, educated posts about the catastrophe about to strike New Orleans. We were talking about it Sunday night. And on Monday. And on Tuesday, while the President was playing guitar.

I'm not saying this to imply that the people frequenting my newsgroup are brilliant.

I'm saying this because we're reasonably well-informed, for people not directly plugged in to power.

And the President did not know until Thursday.

The President, who said, "Nobody anticipated a breach of the levees," a direct lie, was the same President who said that nobody anticipated the use of commercial airliners as missiles, another direct lie.

All of this is secondary to the real reasons I hate this President, who has damaged the country in more ways than I have room or inclination to name here. You know I can provide the charges. But they're outside the specific point I'm making here.

There are no excuses for those seven minutes. None.


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Postby Eric Martin » Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:51 am

Name: Eric Martin
Source: unca20060807.htm
Oh, I don't know. It's easy to armchait QB this one now. But consider this: Bush is in a scheduled reading session with little kids. He's got handlers and security people all over the building.

He's told by someone a plane has hit a building. He continues reading. This is a big day for the kids and the school, and idiots are crashing planes all the time.

He's told a second plane has hit, and that we are under attack. Now what's he supposed to do? Run down the hall and make a cell call? The calls are coming in, his people are on it...I think he felt he had to sit tight until he knew the shot.

Whether he spent the seven minutes sitting in an elementary classroom or standing around watching his entourage yammer into their cell phones seems pretty relative, to me. And who are they yammering with? No-one knew what was going on...who do you call? The army? The Pentagon? Rudy Giuliani? No, you call the White House and tell THEM to get information and get it back to you.

And that's going to take more than seven minutes.

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Billy Preston Dead at 59

Postby Darryl » Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:46 am

Name: Darryl
Source: unca20060807.htm
Reuters Story. Makes me a bit sad. ... RESTON.xml

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Steve Evil
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Happy 6, 6, '06!!

Postby Steve Evil » Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:59 am

Name: Steve Evil
Source: unca20060807.htm

Whoops. There are a great many Steves here and I often forget most of them are not me.

Now I know it's moved to the forums, but I just gotta say:

The UN DID do their job. Hans Blix kept telling everyone 'till he was blue in the face; "There are no weapons of Mass Destruction here! THERE ARE NO WEAPONS HERE!!" Who didn't listen? And who frankly didn't care?

I think a Harlan Ellison Myspace account would be a hoot! Wanna be my friend?

Alan Coil
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Postby Alan Coil » Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:43 pm

Name: Alan Coil
Source: unca20060807.htm
Required reading if you truly think Bush won the last election. ... ion_stolen

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Thanks, Harlan

Postby chbryan » Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:00 pm

Name: Charles Bryan
Source: unca20060807.htm
While this doesn't fit with the tone of the other posts I've read here, and maybe it's a little shmaltzy, but I just wanted to say "Thank You, Harlan" for your work.

When I learned of Alex Toth's passing, I regretted that I never took the opportunity to express my admiration and gratitude for his work. I felt bad that I didn't even know that he was ill, and then it occurred to me that that shouldn't have made a difference. Why not express some affection for someone's work long before it looks like the chance to do so is slipping away?

Given that you're on jury duty, I'll assume that you're in reasonably good health, so I'm glad that the "slipping away" aspect doesn't apply here.

So, Mr. Ellison, amongst many other stories and essays, thanks for "Repent, Harlequin!", The Glass Teat, Strange Wine, Your Hornbook, Dangerous Visions, a very insightful essay that you wrote about writing for The Bloombury(sp?) Review, and the Weird Heroes adventure of Cordwainer Bird.

Most of these I read during my high school and college years (seventies and early eighties) and they have been frequently revisited. The content and style of your writing had a great influence on me then, and continues to do so.

I know doing this might mean more to me than to the recipient, but I hope no harm can come from telling someone that their creativity has been appreciated. I don't doubt that any number of people have told you that your writing has been important in their lives; I'm gratified if I can increase that number by one.

Be well, and again, thanks.

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Postby FrankChurch » Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:32 pm

Name: Frank Church
Source: unca20060807.htm
Ok, one last time:

They planned to take over Iraq before the 2000 election. This is part of the Neo-Conned strategy to create hegemony and control the oil wealth in the region--this is why the main oil cartel, Saudi Arabia is so loved by the same cabal of ex-Marxists gone soft in the head and groin. 9/11 gave Bush the reason to justify taking over parts of the middle east, this is why he did the famous "Axis Of Ego--I mean, Evil" speech. Karl Rove is part of the same good buddy brood. Bush also had ample warnings about a possible terrorist attack, but he was more into going fishing and watching his sweetie knit hot pads. George touches the hot stove a lot--forgets basic physics.

Bush and Cheney went to the CIA and asked them to give them only the intelligence that matched the WMD story, knowing there were conflicting reports, which Bush and Cheney ignored, especially the bogus Niger, Uranium scam. Grover Norquist, on orders from the White House, wrote up a plan about how to privatize the assets of Iraq. The plan was later leaked to reporter Greg Palast. The plan is in his new book, Armed Madhouse. They doctored the plans, because they knew that the public would not buy regime change as the reasons for going to war, since the public is always skittish about such things.

The war was illegal, under the Nuremberg Tribunal, which says that armed agression goes beyond "norms of international law." Under the war we killed over a hundred thousand civilians and created an insurgency, most being Iraqis, not outsiders, as the media tell us. There is also a huge resistance movement, lead by the Shites, which use non-violent means to force America to conduct elections and the like. Remember, even though it wasn't reported, the Bush people did not want Iraq to vote so soon, knowing that they would choose the Shites, who have stronge ties to Iran. Some of the militias that are now fighting in the streets of Iraq were trained in Iran, as well.

As occupiers, we have no rights under international law or normal norms of decency. We have to get out now and let Iraq sort out its own problem. Huge reparations would help them train their army and if they nationalize their oil, that would help them fund whatever they need. But, we all know the Neo-cons would never go for that, especially knowing that there are fourteen permanent bases being built there. If we don't own Iraq, we do want to control it, even from the outside. Economic imperialism works just as well for these creeps.

Ask Scott Ritter, he will tell you.

Greg Palast has written some stunning stuff, about how Bush wants to keep oil prices high.

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Postby Duane » Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:37 pm

Name: Duane
Source: unca20060807.htm
Ok, one last time:

"This is Harlan's little breakfast nook at Webderland. When he's not here, we chat about him and his work. When he is, we act like we're guests in his home. That's about all there is to it."

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Burgundy Ficus
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Postby Burgundy Ficus » Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:59 pm

Name: Burgundy Ficus
Source: unca20060807.htm
___Ask Scott Ritter, he will tell you.____

Yeah, for a five-digit appearance fee, I'm sure he will.

Keith McC.

Postby Keith McC. » Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:40 pm

Name: Keith McC.
Source: unca20060807.htm
"At the top of the listings under '' was this...

The Whimper of Whipped Dogs

The poster doesn't mention Harlan, though."

Check out the title at the top of the page. The poster definitely referenced Harlan's story (and one of these days, I'm going to be able to spell my most Nemesis-tic of words, "definitely" without having to spell-check it. I swear...)
I've been a member of that site since they were putting cats on scanners, so there's not way I was going to let that post pass without a little love for Harlan (I post as "Cyrano" there. Someone beat me to the attribution.)

(And on a totally unrelated note: Susan, would there be any way for you to confirm that I paid up my HERC dues? [I think I've seen other people ask you similar questions here. I lurk, and yet I'm still pretty dumb.]) I'm almost positive I did, but I'm all the sudden gripped with this cold fear that I forgot to write the check.

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Postby BrianSiano » Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:53 pm

Name: Brian Siano
Source: unca20060807.htm
What could Bush have done on the morning of September 11th? It's so simple that it can't be called "monday-morning quarterbacking."

He puts the book aside and says, "I'm sorry, boys and girls, but I can't finish the book for you. I've just been told of a severe disaster that's happened in New York City. And I have to go right away. This could be a very dangerous event, and we have to help those people if we can. I really wish I could aty here and finish the book... but I'm the President, and this is what the President does."

And after a quick word with the teacher, he could've added, "Actually, there's something you can do to help. When you go home today, and talk about this with your parents, could you ask them to give blood down at the Red Cross? That could help us save a lot of lives."

How much wit does something like that need? Not much. Frankly, for a guy who likes to push the Texas cowboy stuff, Bush sure passd up a GREAT chance to do a Gary Cooper/John Wayne that morning.

But could you do your country a really big favor? When you get home, and you talk to your parents about this, could you as your parents to donate blood to the Red Cross? I'm sorry I can't finish your book, but I'm the President.

Anthony Ravenscroft
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So what?

Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:16 pm

Name: Tony Ravenscroft
Source: unca20060807.htm
"Sad but true," you can call yourself "pitiable but stupid."

Scott Ritter is of dubious moral persuasion... so he lied about finding WMDs?

George Bush was arrested for the effects of long-term cocaine abuse. George Bush was arrested for a drunken car wreck. Those records were sealed. George Bush can't provide concrete proof that he participated in his military duty to protect Texas from the Viet Cong. Those records conveniently evaporated.

Try at least to be consistent in your little delusional world, eh?

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Chuck Messer
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One of the Guilty Parties...

Postby Chuck Messer » Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:03 pm

Name: Chuck Messer
Source: unca20060807.htm
So, what do you think of Harlan's take on the Kitty Genovese thing? Was it about people not getting involved? Maybe treating the whole world as if it were television?

Were the people who didn't help scared? Too many TV shows where the witnesses are threatened by the bad guy?


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