Wednesday, April 18, 2007


The town of Blacksburg, Virginia, site of the bloodiest school massacre in American history, was a few days before named by Money magazine as one of the best places to retire young. Found here. One blog comment: Blacksburg, Virginia–Never heard of it

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

New Comics in Honolulu Star-Bulletin

When you read tomorrow's comics section, you'll notice some changes.

Webmaster's Note: The comics appear in the print edition of the Star-Bulletin only.

This is Step 1 of the revamping of our comics selection -- Step 2 happens next Sunday with a new lineup of strips in a new format (more on that later).

Weekdays, Zack Hill, La Cucaracha, and Preteena have been voted off the island [as a result of this solicitation--P.Z.], replaced by:

Housebroken: Steve Watkins tells the story of DJ Dog, a self-described "Ghetto Snoopy" and his adventures with two African-American siblings -- Mya Watson, 9-year-old multimillionaire businesswoman, and Malik, her free-spirited brother who masquerades as the costumed crime fighter "Blackman," fighting racial injustice (real or imagined).

State of the Union: Creator Carl Moore calls himself a "fallen liberal," and his caricature-driven satirical strip definitely has a conservative slant. But he says he's really a libertarian who only calls himself a conservative because "not enough people know what a libertarian is." ...

Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!: Satire takes on a more sci-fi flavor at the hands of Tim Rickard, who describes his strip as "a parody both of old serial comic strips such as 'Flash Gordon' and 1950s B-level sci-fi movies. 'Brewster's' reach also extends to skewer other genres such as superhero, fantasy, monster and horror. Even real science and current events aren't safe." His setting is the space station R.U. Sirius.

Enjoy. We'll talk again next week when we debut an exciting new Sunday comics section.

30 April update: Back when Zack, Cucaracha, and Preteena were fresh.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Start Your Week Off Right

Kunstler usually has his weekly column posted on Sundays, despite the claim that it's published Monday mornings. This week, he takes on Thomas Friedman and his sanguine take on "The Power of Green."

Tom Friedman has no idea what the implications are of all these things. His fatuous advice to the nation -- served up by a confused and cowardly Times editorial staff -- will only spur more delusional thinking, which is, of course, the last thing we need. The showcasing of Friedman's article may represent an inflection point in the fate of the mainstream media -- the moment when it demonstrates most clearly its failure to make current events comprehensible, the moment when its lost legitimacy is finally recognized. That legitimacy has been passing to the Internet, where commentators have no advertisers to pander to and no need to defend any status quo.

UPDATE, 20 April: Harvey Wasserman, author of SOLARTOPIA!: Our Green-Powered Earth, A.D. 2030, takes Friedman to task in CounterPunch for suggesting that "clean" coal and nuclear power be considered green.

UPDATE, 22 April: Friedman's documentary, Green: The New Red, White, and Blue premiered Saturday on the Discovery Channel. (Here)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

R.I.P., Don Ho

22 May update: As The Sopranos comes to an end, I wondered if there are any connections between the show and Hawaii. I recall a scene from one of the later seasons in which a newlywed couple was on their way to a honeymoon in Hawaii and a character calls out, "Say hi to Don Ho!" (I'll try to find more on this later.) This is an article on Dominic Chianese and his visit to Honolulu in 2004, where he showed up at Don Ho's Waikiki show.

Photo Caption: He may not be a soprano but HBO's "Sopranos" star Dominic Chianese did get a chance to show his musical side when he showed up at Don Ho's show.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

More Lookalikes

I was watching Olbermann today. He interviewed Bob Herbert by telephone about Dun Miso* and I just realized how much Herbert resembles Michael Berryman. I mean no disrespect to either man, but the similarity of their faces, especially about the eyes, is amazing.
*An anagram for a grizzled old coot fond of wearing cowboy hats indoors.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Johnny Hart, Creator of "B.C." Comic, Is Dead

Josh Fruhlinger, of ComicsCurmudgeon, was one of Hart's more vociferous critics, but he writes:

"I’m not going to write anything mean about him today. Instead, I’ll just note that the dude died at his drawing board. That’s hardcore."

Both B.C. and The Wizard of ID will continue, according to this:

"Richard Newcombe, the founder and president of Creators Syndicate, which syndicates both BC and The Wizard of Id, said both cartoons would continue. Family members have been helping produce the strips for years, and they have an extensive computer archive of drawings to work with, he told AP."

Hart was a devout Christian. This article from 1996 is about his faith.

17 April update: Brant Parker, with whom Hart collaborated on The Wizard of ID, has also died.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Update to List of Links

I've just added to the list of political links. Based in India, it's a webzine much like CounterPunch. I found it yesterday while searching for writings by Thomas C. Mountain. I'll also add links to the names and titles listed in the Cockburn post.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Alexander Cockburn on C-SPAN2's BookTV

Update (April 4, 2:58 p.m.): A brief segment (1:08:55-1:16:35) in the middle of the program features Cockburn at his place in Petrolia. Towards the end (beginning 1:15:17) were three lists:

People Who Have Inspired Alexander Cockburn

His father, Claud Cockburn
His mother, Patricia Cockburn
His friends at New Left Review
His friend, Andrew Kopkind
His friend, Pierre Sprey
The Abraham Lincoln Brigades
Patrice Lumumba
Frantz Fanon

Some of Alexander Cockburn's Favorite Writers

Marcel Proust
Nikolai Gogol
Mikhail Bulgakov
Thomas Love Peacock
Gustave Flaubert
James Joyce
Flann O'Brien
Theodor Adorno
H.J. Massingham
Edward Abbey
Ezra Pound
Jean-Paul Sartre
P.G. Wodehouse

Alexander Cockburn is Currently Reading

Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project
Siegfried Giedion, Mechanization Takes Control*
Douglas Peacock, Walking It Off
Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews
Ella Lingens-Reiner, Prisoners of Fear
David Arora, Mushrooms Demystified*
E.C.S. and Elizabeth Handy, Native Planters of Hawaii*
Joan Halperin, Felix Feneon
K.T. Achaya, Historical Dictionary of Indian Food
Joy Williams, The Quick and the Dead*
*As identified on C-SPAN2. The author's first name is spelled Sigfried and the book's title is actually Mechanization Takes Command (all emphases mine)

*As identified on C-SPAN2. The book's title is actually Native Planters in Old Hawaii: Their Life, Lore, and Environment. The C and S in E.C.S. were transposed. The author's initials are actually E.S.C. (short for Edward Smith Craighill). An index to Native Planters was compiled in 1987.

*The results list for David Arora includes an item for a work (Treatment Options for Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Other Contaminants in Recycled Backwash Water [American Water Works Association, 2001]) co-edited by one Harish Arora. I wonder if David and Harish Arora are related.

*The original meaning of "the quick and the dead" is explained here.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

GOP Hawaii Blog Returns

After an eight-month hiatus, GOP Hawaii ("The unofficial blogspot of the Hawaii County Republican Party.") returned March 30 with a blast at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the earmarks approved in order to secure 218 votes for H.R. 1591. The writer reminds people that:

In 2008 we need to support the conservative agenda and that means supporting either Rudy Guilani, Mit Romney, Newt Gingrich (if he runs) and possibly, Fred Thompson (again, if he runs). NOT JOHN McCAIN. This guy cannot be trusted. He is the GOP / MALE version of Hillary Clinton.