Thursday, July 26, 2007

Was Pat Tillman fragged?

Maybe the apparently obvious conclusion is wrong, but at the moment this looks about as bad as possible:

Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
The doctors--whose names were blacked out--said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.
No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene--no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.
This is horrible for Tillman's family, but it's worse for our country.

Update at 22:27 PST, based on my ObWi comment in the linked thread:

I read the part about three closely-spaced bullet holes in the forehead and 10 yards and was filled with horror.

On reflection, and having read this article describing the incident, I'm inclined to be skeptical that Tillman was fragged in his first exposure to live fire in an apparently close-knit unit. And I'm certainly not going to draw any conclusions until I hear from people with combat experience.

The cover-up looks even more culpable regardless.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

The history of the response to African AIDS

From William Easterly in The New York Review of Books, this fine sentence:
The history of the response to African AIDS can be divided into two phases: (1) fiddling while Rome burns, and then (2) trying to use the fiddles to put out the fire.
I know too little about the subject to comment on the article, though a it's not reassuring to read a review that says the book in question's key claims are thin on evidence but plausible and convincing.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bring Me The Sweat Of Gabriela Sabatini

The following is a poem by Clive James, taken (with an obvious emendation) from the web, since I haven't gotten my hands on a copy of his book yet, plus some commentary of sorts by link as an experiment.

Bring Me The Sweat Of Gabriela Sabatini

Bring me the sweat of Gabriela Sabatini
For I know it tastes as pure as Malvern water,
Though laced with bright bubbles like the aqua minerale
That melted the kidney stones of Michelangelo,
As sunlight the snow in spring.

Bring me the sweat of Gabriela Sabatini
In a green Lycurgus cup with a sprig of mint.
But add no sugar, the bitterness is what I want.
If I crave sweetness, I would be asking you to bring me
The tears of Annabel Croft.

So let me drink deep from the bitter cup.
Take it to her between any two points of the tie-break,
That she may shake above it her thick black hair,
A nocturne from which the droplets as they fall,
Flash like shooting stars.
And as their lustre becomes liqueur, let the full calyx
Be repeatedly carried to me.
Until I tell you to stop,
Bring me the sweat of Gabriela Sabatini.



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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Rilkekind at one

As usual, click for a larger version.

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