You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

April 27, 2007


The realm of the conventionally possible is the wrong place to start on Gitmo. It must be closed right away, the prisoners repatriated if that's what they choose, or given citizenship here if they prefer, they must be generously compensated for the crimes committed against them and the architects of the kidnap/torture plan must stand trial. The buildings must be razed, a memorial to an infamous chapter erected and the land must be returned to Cuba. This is the minimum response. Our political elite have crossed a line and need a sharp lesson.

Posted by: Scruggs at April 27, 2007 09:12 PM

I will say it again: the amount of Cho-Bush analogies is dumbfounding. I don't see how a poor, probably autistic immigrant kid whose mind broke from a mix of humiliation, frustration, a sense of sexual inadequacy and ostracism and a competitive family environment can ever compare to a President motivated by his own sense of vainglory, willful ignorance and entitlement. The case of Cho by right is a case to touch on issues that affect minority and newfounded immigrant communities like never before, and here we go linking it to Bush again...

Posted by: En Ming Hee at April 27, 2007 09:51 PM

En Ming Hee: Why are you blaming immigrants? Why are you saying Cho's killing spree touches on issues that affect .. immigrant communities?

The fact is that lunatics going on a rampage is an old American tradition. Happens all the time. And it almost NEVER involves immigrants. Cho's case is a statistical aberration.

Immigrants have lots of problems but mass murder is usually not how they deal with them. I wish you would stop implying that it's an "immigrant issue." You're beginning to sound like Don Imus.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at April 28, 2007 01:12 AM

I do not blame immigrants at all, in fact I am coming from the OTHER end that Don Imus is.

I am just saying that the case of Cho gives an opportunity to uncover a lot of issues. The New York Times had a long expose about the struggling milieu that Cho grew up in, and the constant highly competitive environment he was exposed to, and the signs of mental splintering he was already experiencing before anyone noticed it.

I am instead thinking of the sorts of pressures and expectations that can be placed on immigrants by society and by immigrants among themselves, as well as how American society is still mired in its conflicts between welcoming and ostracizing immigrants. This has also been expressed by photographer ALAN CHIN:

He summed it up better than I can.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at April 28, 2007 02:09 AM

Greenburg ends her piece on Guantanamo stating that what is needed is a president with the ability for real leadership and accountability. If that is true then where is such a person to be found? McCain, Gulliani, Obama, Clinton, Edwards? I guess all bets are off if Greenburg is correct. The recent post by Arthur Silber regarding the recent legislation passed by congress that supposedly challenges Bush on ending the occupation in Iraq illustrates that what it actually does is to allow the occupation to continue means that no one is serious about ending said occupation. There is no real leadership except for a very small group of politicos. And they are not even considered as serious contenders for the presidency as the polls clearly show and certainly not be the news media who will no doubt ridicule this small group into even greater obscurity until they will finally cease to exist in the minds of the majority of voters if they even exist in their minds at this point in time. It looks like Guantanamo will remain a big hairy wart on the tip of America’s nose for many years to come. Besides, we will surely be liberating Iran before we even think about doing something about Guantanamo.

Posted by: rob payne at April 28, 2007 05:08 AM

ARTICLE I SECTION 8 CLAUSE 17, THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION gives Congress total control over, not to exceed, 10 square miles, Washington D.C. This has traditionally extended to protectorates (Guam) and military reservations (Gitmo). NO REASON SOMEONE CANNOT BE TRIED IN COURT AT GITMO SAME AS ON GUAM

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 28, 2007 02:11 PM

Cho was a mental health issue, not an immigrant issue. I think Bush might have mental problems himself, which is not exactly an original observation. So it might be fair to compare them on that basis.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at April 28, 2007 03:20 PM

I get the sense that Bush isn't really mentally ill, at least not moreso than the rest of us anyway. It's just that he's in a position to indulge his sense of vainglory and sloth in a way that inadvertently produces bad decisions and harmful consequences for the rest of us. I don't know if you consider that mix of vanity and sloth to be insanity...but I don't think it is.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at April 28, 2007 06:29 PM

"I don't know if you consider that mix of vanity and sloth to be insanity"

I don't, FWIW. He's a pretty typical welfare queen yuppie, privileged way beyond his merit and out of his depth when it comes to anything more than slash and burn investment scams. Even there, he needs bail outs. In other circumstances, without the family connections, he'd probably be serving a ten year sentence for fraud. One can be a bad person without being mentally ill.

Posted by: Scruggs at April 28, 2007 07:45 PM

Right, my point Scruggs, which is why the comparison of Cho to Bush smacks of controversy-baiting. And here is a second voice that attempts to put Cho's case in terms of immigrant issues as well: the writer should know, she is actress Jacqueline Kim.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at April 29, 2007 12:31 AM

Nell: None of the candidates seem to address the fact this is ALL a simple raid on the Treasury and has nothing to do with stoping Terror at all. This comes from Congress failing to do it's job of controling the purse strings and handing it's DUTY TO DECLARE OR NOT DECLARE WAR over to the Administration. If Congress won't discuss these issues and the Candidates will not then I suppose we are left talking to ourselves.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 29, 2007 03:47 PM

Gitmo will close down soon after any attack on Iran.
Cuba would have a golden opprotunity to demolish that abomination almost without any effort. All the "Marines" will be shitting themselves wondering where the fuck all of the planes/choppers that usually bailed their ass out from a real fight are on the Iranian plateau by then.

Posted by: at May 1, 2007 09:25 AM

Iran is not Iraq. Not by a long shot Payne, my boy. Iran in this day and age makes Iraq look like Bulgaria militarily speaking.

Posted by: at May 1, 2007 09:28 AM

Yet another reason why Iran is the new Soviet Union and thus will NEVER be attacked. There are literally hundreds of reasons why but I have neither the time or inclination. Alot of tought talk but no one stupid enough to commit suicide basically.

Posted by: at May 1, 2007 09:33 AM