February 19, 2007

Flattering Review in The Literary Review

Ben Freeman at Fairleigh Dickinson U's The Literary Review has written a flattering review of Good War in their Winter issue. Click on the title of this post for a look.

Here's an excerpt:

Encountering Griffith’s nonfiction debut, a collage of images interwoven into eight essays of thoughtful criticism, we learn to see the Abu Ghraib photos as imaginative pathways. We find ourselves standing behind a nude Iraqi in a Christ pose, fearing with him a guard with a weapon raised. We are naked, clutching inward in fear and holdout modesty. And in a sheer 180-degree shift, we are the photographers, we know our own fear, our power. As the author writes, “We meet ourselves coming and going.”

Thanks, Ben.

February 12, 2007

Why Are the Pascifists So Passive?

An op-ed from the NYT by Lynn Chu and John Yoo:

...The fact is, Congress has every power to end the war — if it really wanted to. It has the power of the purse. Its British forebears in Parliament micromanaged the monarchy quite a bit, for instance by making money (the “sinews of war”) contingent on attacking one country and making peace with another. And there is more direct precedent: In 1973, Congress affirmatively acted to cut off funds for Vietnam. It also cut off money for the Nicaraguan contras with the Boland Amendment in 1982.

Not only could Congress cut off money, it could require scheduled troop withdrawals, shrink or eliminate units, or freeze weapons supplies. It could even repeal or amend the authorization to use force it passed in 2002.

A pullout, however, would have no chance of success, because its supporters are likely to lack the two-thirds majority necessary to override a presidential veto. But to stop President Bush’s proposed troop surge, Congress doesn’t have to do anything. It can just sit back and fail to enact the periodic supplemental spending measures required to keep the war going. Congress has wielded considerable power by just threatening such measures, as with President James K. Polk in the Mexican-American War and President Ronald Reagan in Lebanon after the 1983 barracks bombing.

The Constitution doesn’t pick winners. It leaves it to the three branches to use their unique powers to struggle for supremacy. James Madison, the leading intellectual force behind the Constitution, rebutted Patrick Henry’s firebrand attack on executive war powers during the Virginia ratifying convention by reminding him that Congress could control any renegade president by stopping the flow of money.

But with power comes responsibility. The truth is that this Congress is not sure what to do in Iraq. Its hesitation reflects America’s uncertainty and divisions. Antiwar bluster is high at the moment, echoing popular frustration and grim news from Baghdad.

February 09, 2007

Celebrating the Work of Brett Yasko

Click on the title of this post for a flattering article about Brett Yasko, Pittsburgh-based graphic design guru. He designed my book and won an award from the AIGA for it. For a closer look at the design and a statement by Brett on the design, go here: http://designarchives.aiga.org/?s1=2|s2=1|eid=1209

An excerpt:

“It’s crucial to think about everyone out there,” the lanky, soft-spoken Yasko says, “and hope my designs have an effect on them. I’m touched when they do.

“I always wanted to make things,” [Yasko] adds. “Design is good for that. Design is where I’ve fallen.”

Fallen is far too passive for so rich a graphic portfolio, so powerful a vision in two dimensions – especially given the raves Yasko’s getting all over town. All over the world, in fact. With clients in New York, Virginia, and Barcelona, Yasko has placed his graphics in the Whitney Museum’s permanent collection, the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Denver archives, Partisan Project’s poster archives in LA and so on. As a fave of New York’s Princeton Architectural Press, he’s designed three books.

Books? In this e-age? “I feel great when I finish a book,” Yakso says. “It goes on a shelf. It has a permanence. I love books.”

February 05, 2007

Good War excerpt in Utne Reader

Click on the title of this post to read my most recent publication in the Utne Reader.

February 04, 2007

Two Charged in Manhole Murders

Click on the title of this post to read the South Bend Tribune's coverage.

Also, check out an interesting story on "scrapping" in South Bend: http://www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070204/News01/702040358

February 02, 2007

South Bend Trib reports on National (and local) media attention garnered by Manhole Murders

I had a pleasant surprise yesterday when South Bend Tribune reporter Alicia Gallegos showed up at our apartment to ask me a few questions about my interest in the murder of four homeless men mere blocks away. She had read this blog and after a bit of driving around, she spotted the green awning that I mention in my post about the murders. She guessed at which doorbell to ring and got it on the first try. Despite attempts by my 13 month-old daughter to rip the pen from Alicia's hands while taking notes, we had a nice chat about the ongoing case.

Click on the title of this post to read Alicia's Tribune article.

About the photo: This is the photo that accompanied the story on the South Bend Tribune's Web site. It is of the New York Time's photographer walking near the train tracks where the men were found. Post-Modern anyone?

February 01, 2007

Good Article in Sojourners (makes mention of Good War)