Honey, Put Down Your Flamethrower, You Know I've Always Loved You

That's the last line from a Lawrence Raab poem I love, Attack of the Crab Monsters.

I'm a poet. I went about 10 years between poems, having just finished one recently. I'm not really sure why that gap yawns across the last decade. I could say it's because we've been raising two kids, working our asses off, watching in disbelief as George Bush took this country down a few notches, losing everything due to my disability, and starting all over out here in Rural upstate New York. But it's really because I just didn't have much to say.

The State of the News

The New Yorker article Out of Print: The death and life of the American newspaper last week by Eric Alterman doesn't say too much that we all here haven't reported on or said before, but it is an interesting read to get his take on, among many other things of concern to news folk, the Bill Keller speech in Europe that both Aaron and I wrote commentaries upon.

Bill Keller, the executive editor of the Times, said recently in a speech in London, “At places where editors and publishers gather, the mood these days is funereal. Editors ask one another, ‘How are you?,’ in that sober tone one employs with friends who have just emerged from rehab or a messy divorce.” Keller’s speech appeared on the Web site of its sponsor, the Guardian, under the headline “NOT DEAD YET.”

Chinese Citizen Journalist Killed

The story of Wei Wenhua's killing appeared in the Thursday 10 January edition of the Guardian.

What was Mr. Wenhua filming that would cause a large group of government workers set upon him?

On Monday, Wei Wenhau accidentally found himself a witness to a confrontation in the town where he lived in the central Chinese province of Hubei.

Villagers were quarreling with city officials who had arrived in the area to dump waste near their homes. When the officials started to unload the rubbish, a scuffle broke out.

Wenhau worked at a senior level for a construction company and was also a member of the Communist party. He was an upstanding member of the community and on seeing the violence he thought he'd record it.

As Iraqis See It

good stuff, rba. -- cho

Michael Massing: As Iraqis See It:
When it comes to covering the war in Iraq, McClatchy Newspapers has always done things a bit differently. .. About a year ago, it set up a blog exclusively for contributions from its Iraqi staff. "Inside Iraq," it's called, and several times a week the Iraqi staff members post on it about their experiences and impressions (the blog can be found at "It's an opportunity for Iraqis to talk directly to an American audience," says Leila Fadel, the current bureau chief, whose father is from Lebanon and whose mother is from Michigan, who grew up in Saudi Arabia, and who is all of twenty-six years old. [The New York Review of Books (17 January 2008)].

[This just in (via standingup): McClatchy has launched a new blog called Crisis in Pakistan, with entries by Jonathan Landay & Warren Stroebel.]
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[Logo grabbed @ McClatchy Co.]