Books I didn't finish reading
In recent years I've been reading like a good Protestant, finishing every book I started no matter how disagreeable. But life is short and there are so many books waiting to be read that now I'm ready to abandon the ones that really put me off, like Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections -- I got as far as the talking turd. And other books which, though vaguely interesting and on important topics, are just dull, like Francisco Martín Moreno's novelized history of oil exploitation in Mexico, México negro.


US Army: "dysfunctional, angry and near losing its honor"
Josh Marshal's blog for May 18, 2004 is a letter from an unidentified (for obvious reasons) US Army intelligence officer in Iraq. The occupation is a disaster, even the US's former supporters can't wait for our troops to leave, and the US Army is degrading itself, he writes. Check it out: Apocalypse Again, From Talking Points Memo 
Torturing the language, abusing the prisoners
Check out Amy Gahran's blog entry for May 21, on Loaded Words and Tortured Definitions, on U.S. media's avoidance of the word "torture" to describe what's been going on in Abu Ghraib.


Recommended reading: America's mercenaries
Outsourcing taken to dangerous extremes -- dangerous to our democracy as well as to other people. Read Should we support our mercenaries too? by another National Writers Union colleague, Don Monkerud.