Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Gleiwitz incident

False Flag Terrorism is an old and effective way to justify acts of aggression that would be hard to justify otherwise. In our conspiracy loving country, events such as the World Trade Center attack are often given as an example; the premise being that our administration staged it in order to justify a war against Iraq.

Famous examples are the Berlin Reichstag fire in 1933 that gave Hitler reason to demand emergency powers and the completely phony attack on the Gleiwitz radio station used to justify Hitler's invasion of Poland the following day. A corpse wearing a Polish uniform was arranged outside of a radio station in Silesia, anti-German messages were broadcast and the public told that Poland had attacked.

It shouldn't really surprise anyone that there is speculation as to what exactly happened in Karbala on January 20th. The official story that the men, wearing American uniforms, who carried out the kidnapping and murder of American troops were just too good to be Iraqis or even members of al Qaeda is everywhere, but the source is hard to pin down.

Iran involvement suspected blares the headline on CNN. Unnamed sources" say "We believe it's possible the executors of the attack were Iranian or Iranian-trained."

"People are looking at it seriously," says another "official" whose use of the "people say" trope reminds me so much of Fox News' favorite method of launching fabricated rumor. Just who is doing the suspecting here and why should we be convinced that it isn't propaganda?

Anything is possible and of course it is also possible that the perpetrators were Iraqis or others looking to get the US involved in an attack on Iran and "people are saying" that it's entirely possible that US interests directly or indirectly linked to the administration would love to use this as an excuse and were directly involved in facilitating or carrying out this attack.

False flag terrorism or not, this speculative linking of Iran with an increasing number of incidents and unverifiable stories of sudden progress in the making of nuclear weapons, looks a lot like the run up to the fake state of emergency that precipitated the invasion of Iraq. Of course it is possible that Iran is involved, if not in this incident at least in other incidents in Iraq, but we are dependent upon the testimony of proven liars for our information. Does the Bush administration have enough credibility to be able to convince us that we need another war on another front? Does George really care what we think anyway? People are talking.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ban the ban?

The perception that something needs to be done is the mother of many a bad measure. It's a quote I've seen attributed to Daniel Webster. I can't confirm it, but I believe it.

The mayor of Brazonia Texas, for instance, had heard enough of the "N word" around town and having used it himself as many a southern gentleman would have to admit of, he knew it was wrong to use a hate laden epithet against an entire and diverse class of people. Was it an act of naivete that prompted Mayor Ken Corley, apparently a good and decent man, to decide that Brazonia shouldn't tolerate such meanness of speech and should ban the N?

Of course Brazonia thought otherwise, and I think I do too. I don't like "slippery slope" arguments, but legal precedent is of import and such a thing would make other nasty words easier to ban and other words easier to label as nasty. As one local gentleman of apparent African descent pointed out on CNN this morning: "we use it more than they do." If that is true, then the local authorities would be all over the news the first time they fined an African American for using it. Brazonia would be faced not only with having to selectively enforce the law thus not only creating two classes of citizen with different rights, but creating the need to establish a legal test to determine race - a bad measure regardless of its mother. Would such a law require books from Mark Twain to Malcom X to be removed from the library? Not a good idea if you ask me and not a good idea if you ask a constitutional lawyer.

It's true that other countries, like Germany have laws against hate speech or antilocution and one can be fined there for that favorite American one fingered wave, but somehow legal bans on merely ugly speech do not seem to me to be what we are about, or pretend to be about.

Ashura thing

"Enlightenment" fills people with rage: for the slave wants something absolute; he understands only the tyrannical, even in morality; he loves as he hates, without subtlety, to the depths, to the point of pain, to the point of sickness."

Friedrich Nietzsche - Jenseits Gut und Böse

What Nietzsche calls the slave, I simply call the Human and as humans, as social apes, the urge to submit to the Alpha ape whether real or imaginary seems to me to be our ineluctable heritage. We have our religions and dogmas and cults of personality and no matter what the nature of the founding god or literature may be, mankind has always made and always will make his slavish devotion into an excuse for his ego, his aggression and his love of violence. I'm not setting one religion above another and nearly any religion I can think of has at some time or another indulged in torture, witch hunts, heretic burning, territorial aggression, persecution, domination and worse, but reading about and watching footage of the self-mutilating frenzy of those commemorating their perceived loss in a battle nearly 1400 years past, I lose hope for all of us.

One of the worst characteristics of such mythologized events is that devotion to a God who is supposed after all to be kind,loving and merciful, is the need to promote ourselves to be the right hand, the defender and the avenger of God, as though his arms were too short to reach our world. The slave of God becomes the scourge of God and the mercy and justice of God becomes the property of madmen. It has been a long time since 680 of the common era, but The journey from Karbala to car bomb takes but a moment.

If the victory that was the death of the grandson of the Prophet did not settle anything but rather brought on a war that never ends, what can we say of George W. Bush's phantom victory in Iraq?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Temple of Bush

I just can’t read the papers any more. What’s the point of life if you can’t spend Sunday morning by the pool with the paper and a cup of coffee without being enraged, depressed and nauseated before the second bite of that toasted bagel?

The A section of today’s Palm Beach Post hit the recycle bin after the first paragraph of the first front-page article which announced to us that the rising incidence of drive by shootings in the really bad neighborhoods of Palm Beach County result not from gangs and poverty and inadequate enforcement but from cheap (at $750) readily obtainable (after a background check with the sheriff and a three day wait) replicas of AK-47’s that look like real AK-47’s but are not any more “deadly” than grandpa’s hunting rifle. Guns are only “designed to maim and kill” screams the article although somehow, liberalized gun laws have accompanied lower crime rates in nearly every other part of the state. Maybe a shot of Bailey’s would do nicely with that coffee.

So let’s get down to the good old Sunday Comics. I usually turn to Doonesbury to start with, but no, it’s about that half a billion dollars (think about how many scholarships that could provide) that will be wasted on building the George W. Bush Fake Presidential Library. If it were a real presidential library, it would contain the papers of a real president, not just the selected documents deemed likely not to be embarrassing or proof of felonious misuse of presidential powers by someone who got into office using rigged elections. But of course this half billion dollar shrine will be protected from housing dirty laundry since the Bastard Prince signed Executive Order 13233 back in 2001 that allows a president to block the release of anything he wants from the reign of Reagan forward and has successfully kept “activist Judges” from doing anything about it.

Half a billion dollars to build a propaganda shrine; just the sort of thing you’d expect from some European dictator from the middle of the last century. But he’s the decision maker and he’s decided that even though the law once mandated that presidential papers belonged to the American People, the American People were no longer worthy and the presidential “library” is the president’s property and the names of the donors secret and that’s that.

Maybe a valium or two with that coffee wouldn’t hurt and wouldn’t you know, it looks like it’s going to rain. The hell with it. I’m going back to bed until it all blows over.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The end of Cheney?

I've been a fan of The Daily Show since Jon Stewart became the "anchor." Many times it was the only "news" source that would dare address the insanity of American current affairs and would air stories that didn't come straight from the evil - I mean oval office. Lately, American politics has become so disgusting and reportage so close to the borderline that even a parody is more than I can stand and I don't watch it as faithfully as I once did, but I prefer to read than to watch and Comedy Central has a blog.

Listed under Absurd political predictions that do not belong here is a political prediction that is so absurd that it belongs here: Cheney will resign (reasons of health perhaps) to be replaced by Condoleezza Rice. Losing Cheney would be to lose a loser; his approval ratings being on a par with Augusto Pinochet and it would make the GOP seem less of an Old Man's club and create the false perception that the President is actually addressing the crises he caused. Besides, it would Give Bush a VP that he could control completely and his party something unique in 2008 with an incumbent Vice President.

The benefits are too many to list although Comedy Central Insider has been listing them for weeks now and even The New Republic has jumped on the conjecture wagon. I have to admit that it would be a move so brilliantly sinister that I'm beginning to believe in its likelihood.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Pit Bull News

Why are we so polite about describing Fox News? Admittedly I and others have called them liars, whores, assholes, bastards and enemies of all that is true and good, but good and evil are relative terms despite what the religious idiots are selling and any organization in the position of being able to advise and inform tens of millions of people but that chooses to profit through elevating lies, bearing false witness and undermining justice, tolerance and good will between men is beyond ordinary estimations of good and evil. It's time to destroy Rupert Murdock's malignant scheme.

So the racist slimecasters at Fox have no intention of giving up trying to ruin Barak Obama as a candidate; trying to subliminally equate Obama with Osama and with Saddam. from minor idiocies like acting shocked and outraged that he has been said to consume three cigarettes a day, to inventing stories about being a "Madressa" student learning to hate Americans and then attributing the lies to another Democrat they hate - Hillary. It never stops and when the stories are debunked, these seven headed dogs of hell don't hesitate to invent another story: the CNN reporter who found the alleged Madrassa to be an ordinary school must of course be a Madressa trained terrorist sympathizer. It never stops. It never helps to debunk them; it never helps to defeat them in debate. It never helps to treat them with any respect.

It may be satisfying to believe in a God of justice who might some day when it is too late, commit these liars and pirates and terrorists; these enemies of freedom to some blazing tantric hell to have their innards unreeled and their eyes gouged out forever, but we need to be rid of them now.

We need to allow slanderers, liars and libelers to be prosecuted when they attack public personalities with gross negligence, gross malice and no diligence in verifying their stories and sources. There should indeed be a threshold beyond which one may not go without repercussions and if we do nothing, we will not survive as a free society.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bush Vs. the Bushmen

OK, so I didn't watch the State of the Union Address last night. I'm recovering from the flu and my stomach hasn't felt agreeable for the last week. If you want my opinion of last night's bit of vaudeville, Glenn Greenwald does his usual excellent job of giving my opinions better than I can.

I have enough trouble holding dinner down when watching the President at the best of times, so I set the Tivo to record it and watched one of my favorite shows, No Reservations with restaurateur, chef and raconteur Anthony Bourdain.

Wise choice, it proved to be. Instead of watching Bush, I got to watch Bourdain dining in Namibia with the Bushmen: eating charcoal grilled warthog rectum with baked warthog vomit right from the skull. I feel much better this morning and I don't have that nasty taste in my mouth I usually get from watching our president.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Experto crede

Nobody knows anything; a quote attributed to movie mogul Sam Goldwyn and in the sense he gave it, I agree.  It’s about the cult of expertise and the gullibility of the rest of us.  It’s about truth and marketing and incompatibility.

One of my pet subjects is automobiles and as far as I’m concerned it’s impossible to get a valid opinion from any journalistic or industry source that isn’t mostly advertising and as larded with hyperbole as Kobe beef is with fat.  Advertising does not come free. Journalists know where their paychecks come from and their editors know where their revenue comes from. Journalists mostly write for neophytes and neophytes love to quote journalists and use the jargon they are given to hide the fact that they are neophytes at best and idiots at worst, so you’ll hear that the Yamaguchi 50 is edgy or blingish, has lots of valves or has attitude or is “race car inspired.”  You’ll hear about sound systems but you won’t hear a damn thing about lap times or braking distances or quarter mile ET’s. You’ll hear about how American cars don’t “handle” and “understeer” from people who have no idea what that means and will tell you with a straight face that their family sedan has “neutral” handling which is better.  If the car is a dog, you brag about how many gazillian RPM you need to get useful power out of it and people will eat it up because bigger numbers are better unless they refer to bigger displacement which is better but is sold as worse – understand?  I don’t either, but as I said, nobody knows anything.

So I’m not even partly surprised to read on CNN that a poll by a insurance company specializing in insuring collector cars claims that in the future the big deal will be Japanese cars.

Now I’ve been reading the car mags for over 50 years and I’ve yet to hear a description of the car of the future that proved true.  What is held to be of supreme importance in one decade is ignored in the next,  for the last few decades, what is held to be important is what the massive advertisers want you to think is important – low drag coefficients one year, variable valve timing the next, tiny engines today, huge honking V8’s the next, so I’m not inclined to believe a bit of this, but I have to include myself in the group called nobody and nobody knows anything.  You can only glimpse the truth in retrospect and looking back, I can’t think of more than one Japanese car that has collector value today and that one just barely.

We are assured however that, “in the future, Toyota's Scion cars and its FJ Cruiser off-roader might be hot items at car auctions.”  That’s as likely true as those once upon a time predictions that we’d all be driving two seaters with two cylinder, two cycle ceramic engines or maybe Wankels.  The reason collector cars are desirable and expensive is that predicting what people will want 30 years hence is nearly impossible.  

The main ingredients that make cars desirable, said Hagerty Insurance president McKeel Hagerty, are “cool designs and honest performance. Cars that look hot but don't perform won't end up being desirable in the long term,” he said.  Is this why a 1953 Corvette, a disappointing dog on the road is worth many times what my 2006 model is even though it will run 100MPH faster?  Is this why people buy dead-dog slow cars, insist they’re “ultimate” and try to take on Vipers at stoplights?  Nobody knows anything. Will people 20 years from now think “cool design” means a cube with tiny wheels and a fake wing on top?  What about some swoopy things full of curvilinear triangles, a grill like a yellow smiley and lots of fake aero devices; who the hell knows and surely not Haggerty.  He’s trying to predict what the children and grandchildren of today’s collectors will want to spend big bucks on and I think he’s got a better chance at winning the lottery.

It’s a fact that people who buy what they think will be the hot ticket 20 years hence and put it in storage usually lose a lot of money, unless it was something very rare and very expensive in the first place and the people who buy McLarens don’t usually care about turning a profit 30 years hence.  Even collector cars that were hot in the 80’s are going for half or less than their peak prices.  Nobody knows, but here’s a wager:  I will meet you at Pebble Beach  or the Palm Beach International Concours D’Elegance in 2050.  I’ll bring what I have now and you can bring a pristine, skate-board inspired Pokemon Special and bring your title and registration.


Chum is stinky chunks of bait that one throws overboard to attract fish to the vicinity of your boat and your hooks. That's sort of like what happens when fishy stories like the one Fox and Friends picked up about Barak Obama and the Madrassa. Others, like Headline News' Glenn Beck soon joined the frenzy and I am quite sure that the now debunked story will embark on an internet e-mail tour that will take it around the world for years to come - feeding off the idiots who didn't hear about it or its demise who will forward it to millions of unsuspecting ignoramuses. Like most of these circulating slime bombs, it will begin with pictures of the World Trade Towers or an image of bin Laden with a demonic smile and will pretend to be hot off the press news that has been suppressed by Liberals

Very few of the gullible millions will know or bother to find out that not only was there no source for this "revelation" in the Clinton camp as the slime brokers insisted, but that the Madrassa turned out to be a western style public school. The simple joy of being able to believe that Obama is a brainwashed Islamic extremist will overwhelm the urge to find the truth.

It may be true that humans descend from apes who frequently scavenged their meals from the leavings of predators. Perhaps that would explain the joy with which humans cherish these rotten bits of misinformation and their reluctance to relinquish them in the face of truth, but perhaps there will come a time when the question of repeatedly fooling the public will no longer be about shame on you or shame on me, but shame on anyone who listens to the lying hyenas.

Friends don't let friends watch Fox.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Reasonable and normal

Does ABC really mean All Bull Crap? They report, you decide.

It's hard to go for a day without some story of some professionally pious man being caught molesting children or engaging in some unsavory acts with barnyard animals, yet despite sociopathic frauds like Ted Haggard having been humiliated in front of the country with his Gay prostitution and drug bust, he's out there bragging about evangelicals getting more nookie than other, less sexy cults do.

We may have thought we had seen the last of him, but like a bad case of herpes or a clogged septic tank, Ted is back again. Ted Haggard, the former president of the National Association of Evangelicals is part of a documentary called Friends of God with the Speaker of the House's daughter Andrea Pelosi, that the New York Times describes as "a road trip into the world of evangelical Christians that includes a drive-through church, a Christian wrestling federation, a stand-up Christian comic, an evangelical Elvis' and more.

Pelosi as quoted by ABC, says "It was interesting for me to say, these are good people. He was a reasonable, normal everyday man. So, it was hard to stomach what had happened."

Yes, I too wonder why there is such a fuss made about the earthshaking hypocrisy that seems to characterize this egotistical, hedonistic gay bashing homosexual with delusions of grandeur who takes the poor, the stupid, the frightened and the ignorant for huge sums of money.

Haggard is already an object of intense disgust for me, with his brand of ignorant, narcissistic, idolatrous and paranoid shamanism, but I'd rather watch one of those National Geographic films about the mating habits of hyenas than be forced to imagine what debauchery Haggard performs in sordid motel rooms while little old ladies pump a fortune into his bank accounts. Pelosi however is beyond my understanding; insisting that the experience made her want to get her two month old involved in Church as soon as possible and thinks we should accommodate this group of thieves, perverts, blasphemers and liars because of their political power.

What a great country we might have if these subhumans had all elected to start Evangelical villages in Guyana where they could dance naked around campfires pounding on Bibles, having lizard sex with each other and left the rest of us the hell alone.

Bloody Sunday

I can't believe the news today
Oh, I can't close my eyes and make it go away
How long...
How long must we sing this song?
How long? how long...

The Army Times lists a flurry of Iraqi violence Sunday:

* A bomb left in a bag struck a small bus carrying people to work in a predominantly Shiite area in Baghdad, killing seven passengers and wounding 15.

* A parked car bomb also exploded outside a restaurant in eastern Baghdad, killing one person and wounding five, according to police.

* A suicide car bomber targeting an Iraqi army patrol killed one woman and wounded five other people in the northern city of Mosul.

It was a big improvement over Saturday.

Saturday saw a Blackhawk helicopter shot down killing 12 Americans and a raid on Provincial Headquarters in Karbala by a group of Insurgents dressed as Americans, that resulted in the deaths of five American soldiers.

The 2nd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division, consisting of about 3,200 soldiers are now arriving in the Baghdad area and will, according to the official statement “assist Iraqi Security Forces to clear, control and retain key areas of the capital city in order to reduce violence and to set the conditions for a transition to full Iraqi control of security in the city,”

No suggestion as to how a few more troops will be able to influence the balance of power here, but assist is the key word we need to look at. It contains the assumption that Iraqi Security Forces have the manpower, training and will to have any effect whatever and it suggests that the burden will not be directly on the shoulders of US troops who might, one supposes, be there to show them how to clean their weapons after a hard day's patrol. That's two lies in one word.

Throughout the Viet Nam debacle we were told that we were there as advisers and that we were in the process of training the Vietnamese and turning the fight over to them. Call me a cynic, but I think we're being lied to again. It doesn't take a Nostradamus to predict that there will be a series of little schemes used as ploys to demand silence of the public and give hope to the hopeaholics long enough so that the final ignominious collapse of the misbegotten enterprise will occur only after the Texas Tyrant leaves office and can then be blamed on "liberals" by Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, William Kristol and Fox News.

Broken bottles under children's feet
Bodies strewn across the dead end street
But I wont heed the battle call
It puts my back up
Puts my back up against the wall

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Kristol Nacht

Shameless blowhard William Kristol said on Fox News this morning, that Democratic congress members are

"so irresponsible that they can’t be quiet for six or nine months and say the president has made a decision, we’re not going to change that decision, we’re not going to cut off funds and insist on the troops coming back, so let’s give it a chance to work."

I'm interested to know what Kristol thinks the responsibility of the Congress is and why that responsibility necessitates silence in the face of continued Administrative irresponsibility and dishonesty. He's not stupid enough to think that adding 7000 combat troops and about another 13000 support troops will stop our inadequate vehicles from being blown to bits on a daily basis and he's not so stupid to believe that we need to wait nine months in silence before we decide that perhaps we need a few thousand more which will of course result in the necessity of another nine months of waiting and on infinitum. Kristol remembers Viet Nam and Kristol is not a complete idiot so what are we to assume about his honesty and loyalty to the best interests of his country but that he favors totalitarian, militaristic rule and hates the functions of government necessary to open, transparent, honest and democratic government.

Oh, hell why don't I just come out and call him the lying son of a bitch and enemy of freedom that he is? And why don't we line the Fox News Nazis and the bastard who owns them up against the same wall?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

We don't talk to evildoers

Did the Warpresident create the Iranian impasse in order to justify another war? According to the BBC, aides to the former Secretary of State Colin Powell say that back in 2003, Iran offered to make essentially the concessions Bush is demanding. In exchange for ending its hostility and support of terrorism we were asked to end sanctions, and to disband the Iranian rebel group the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq. Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, an anti-Iranian insurgency, was allowed by Saddam Hussein to base itself in Iraq before the American invasion.

Powell's State Department apparently recommended that we go along with the deal, which might well have ended Iranian supported insurgencies in Iraq and Iranian funded militants like Hezbullah elsewhere, but predictably Dick Cheney's White House shot it down. The world might have been a little better today, a war in Lebanon averted and Iraq closer to becoming a functioning country, but we seem poised for an all out war with Iran and this story, if true, raises questions.

If the invasion of Iraq was conceived as a gateway to a war with Iran, one could see why peace would be anathema, why persuading Iran to make it's nuclear program transparent and its militancy cease would be a stumbling block for the Halliburton Crusade. If Cheney actually believes that we are fighting the devil, are at war with "evildoers" and that negotiation is heresy, one can conclude that the problem in Washington is not incompetence but delusion - and of course they could simply be a bunch of bumbling, stupid, greedy, power intoxicated and incompetent fools. I report, you decide.

Condi supports child abuse

"My Fox guys, I love every single one of them." So said our gap-toothed Secretary of State last week, thinking the mike was off. Every single one would include perforce Slimy Bill O' Reilly and slimy Bill thinks it makes for good ratings to tell you St Louis kidnapping victim Shawn Hornbeck wasn't really kidnapped by Michael J. Devlin, the guy who seems to have a history of kidnapping and perhaps murder - he was just skipping school.

"The question is why didn't he escape when he could have? There are all kinds of theories about that…"

"Theories:" these are the vague things people like Bill invoke to make the preposterous seem possible and the demonstrable seem doubtful, but whether O'Reilly is deranged or just a whore is a less important question than why someone with as much power to destabilize the world as does George's favorite retainer would support, much less "love" him. O'Reilly may make excuses for a child molester for profit, out of irrational hatred of everything good and decent or for other reasons of his own. He's only an ugly and malignant nobody. I can only speculate as to Rice's reasons for backing such a man, but then I can only speculate about her reasons for backing Bush, whose mouthpiece she is.

But if she loves and supports someone who supports a kidnapper of young boys she has something to answer for and if Condi is a conduit for the opinions of Bush, perhaps he too loves and supports a man who apologizes for child molesters.

There are many theories about that, but the search for traces of honesty, decency, logical consistency or intelligence in George Bush and his familiars is best left to dishonest, indecent, deranged and stupid people like O'Reilly and the Fox Boys - and of course the bitter, aging and angry women who love every single one of them.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Little Victory

Perhaps it's not entirely true that the Bush administration can get away with selective obedience to the law. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is reported to have written to the the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee announcing that after more than a year of asserting that the authority of the president absolved him from the requirement to seek judicial approval before listening in to the telephone calls of Americans, Bush will now comply.

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, a Democrat from Texas states that "It proves that this surveillance has always been possible under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and that there was never a good reason to evade the law,"

Whether this proposed cessation of persecution of the American people results from some Pauline epiphany or from the realization that the new congress might have the power to make Bush face some consequences I don't know, but a step is a step. Who knows what might come next?

Still I have to agree with Glenn Greenwald that to celebrate the idea that the government has given a fuzzy promise to begin to obey one of the laws it has been flaunting is a sad state of affairs.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

One way or another

One way or another I'm gonna find yaI'm gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha”


Whether or not the Warpresident will attack Iran within the next few months, it matters that much of the world and probably much of the Islamic world, believes it. Despite the indications that Bush is aware that regional and world stability is not disturbed with impunity, he continues to brandish his weapons. It matters that Bush seems to believe that threats are the better part of international relations and that you can effect positive long term change in the world by blowing things up and threatening to blow things up.  

Will Bush gamble that a “régime change” in Iran will make things easier in Iraq? Will destroying Iran’s infrastructure and its oil production capacity make for an America loving, western secular democracy that will stop sponsoring insurgents and guerilla warfare?  If you reply that nobody is that stupid, I will beg to take exception.

It’s been demonstrated that the US had the ability to project our power into Baghdad, neutralize its military and topple the government. It may still be possible for the US to use massive air power to make Iran into a smoking ruin, but it’s also been demonstrated that whatever the word victory means when Bush uses it, it does not result from anything Bush has done or seems to contemplate doing.

Whether the Buildup of naval power in the Persian Gulf is a bluff, a precaution or preparation for another attack; if it is only a paranoid fantasy in a frightened world, it serves to further the image of the United States as a nation run amok.  George has made it clear that his crusade does not depend on the will of the nation he is supposed to represent and by attacking Iran or provoking an attack on our navy by Iran he might perhaps feel he can make it more difficult for Congress to cut him off – and perhaps he can emulate Lyndon Johnson’s Gulf of Tonkin deception.  His actions make it more likely that we will suffer another attack on our soil and if such a thing happens we can be certain that he will use it to crush his adversaries at home as well as to make an adversary of the world.

Talk softly and forget about that stick

It’s just possible that Bush’s biggest fear is that a movement toward Democracy or simply against tyranny will flower in the Middle East. After all, the countries we favor most are not democratic and some are monarchies so absolute that the kingdom that spawned the American experiment seems liberal in comparison.  Bush the elder went to war to preserve monarchy in Kuwait and has done nothing to promote the liberalization of that country since. Jordan is a monarchy and it would be hard to describe Saudi Arabia in terms that might suggest democracy or a move in that direction – yet Bush the lesser doesn’t seem to have been lecturing them on the subject, much less invading them.

And then there’s Egypt.  Whether or not a transition to something more closely resembling true Democracy, with tolerance for opposition and guarantees of liberty and justice for all, is possible without risk of war and chaos, I am not qualified to speculate about, but I will venture to say that even by our own weakened standards, Egypt is a brutal and repressive place.

The New York Times today, talks about corruption, cronyism, torture and political repression in Egypt. The polite conduct of Condoleezza Rice’s current visit to Egypt seems to illustrate that the US no longer wishes to be seen pushing Egypt to address such abuses. Amidst the chaos in the Middle East and the hatred of the US following Bush’s adventure in nation building (or oilfield grabbing if you prefer,) the preference for stability and avoidance of open hostility have strongly tempered messianic zeal.  While we openly support a variety of brutal and undemocratic régimes, according to the Times “The United States is so unpopular in the region now, many here say, that its support is enough to undermine a government’s legitimacy with its public.”

That we are no longer pushing for Democracy, if indeed we ever really were, can be seen as a strategy of avoiding further instability, but by non longer pushing for democracy in the interest of stability, we may be seen as supporting the kind of tyranny we were hated for supporting in the first place.

“The former pressure was an illusion and the lack of any pressure now will push the crisis between the people and their rulers to the edge,” said Ibrahim Eissa, the editor of Al Dustoor, a weekly newspaper of Egyptian opposition, and will increase the perception “that the United States is supporting democracy when it is in strict alliance with the oppressive regimes,”

Perhaps it’s not just in Iraq that any possible outcome is hard to describe as “winning” and victory is irrelevant.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Dangerous George

Many men have been motivated by early experiences of humiliation and a sense of inferiority to rise above it in one way or another. Teddy Roosevelt was inspired by his sickly childhood to be a rough rider, big game hunter, soldier, man's man and President of the United States. If we are to believe the ubiquitous comic book advertisement of my youth, the 98 pound weakling Charles Atlas was so humiliated by having sand kicked in his face by a bully who stole his girlfriend that he was inspired to become a body builder and inspiration to all other underdeveloped males.

And then there is George W. Bush, the runt of the family litter, the guy who was a cheerleader not a football player, the guy who got shit faced and smashed up the car, who sent a fortune up his privileged nose; the guy whose dad bailed him out of everything, covered up his AWOL, made records disappear, gave him businesses to ruin. He's been trying to swagger his way back into machismo half of his life; trying to equal his over-achiever father.

While one might question whether Teddy Roosevelt really belongs on Mount Rushmore, I question that George's image wouldn't disgrace a toilet in the Park Service mens' room, but all this is beside the point. George is facing the biggest humiliation of his life, with the country and the Party turning away from him, the military grumbling, respect for America gone, caught in a hundred lies, his dream of power and glory and adulation fading by the hour. You have to ask yourself what this fragile, marginal and nearly pathological personality will do when faced with defeat. Glenn Greenwald says:

"The most dangerous George Bush is one who feels weak, powerless and under attack. Those perceptions are intolerable for him and I doubt there are many limits, if there are any, on what he would be willing to do in order to restore a feeling of power and to rid himself of the sensations of his own weakness and defeat."

History suggests that the faltering tyrant will not give up his lust for power and like the losing gambler, will only increase his bets. Just what might he do to make us all afraid again? Just what power might he arrogate to himself now while he still can? Will 2008 be too late?

Lower than Limbaugh

First it was Obama the party animal (call me!) then it was Obama who sounds like Osama, then it was Obama Hussein who sounds like you know who and now it's Obama the sex offender. I'm sure you know the name Fox News can't be far behind.

Wild and malicious hyperbole, bizarre associations and preposterous lies - these are the life blood of Fox and when it comes to values, ethics or any restraint of viciousness or commitment to honesty, they have proved again and again that there is no bottom.

The latest terrorist attack in Rupert Murdoch's war on America was run on Saturday by Twin Cities Fox affiliate KMSP, and it consisted of a clip of a Barak Obama rally run during a story about the sentencing of a child molester. I would be inclined to accept the apology of KMSP's News Director Bill Dallman if it weren't for the constant flow of such "unfortunate incidents" emanating from that motherload of malicious mendacity: Fox News.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Great blogs

I read Libby Spencer's witty post about Peggy Noonan in The Reaction today and want to recommend her blog The Impolitic to anyone who enjoys good writing and trenchant humor. While I'm in recommendation mode, let me also mention Minor Ripper. Whether or not he is related to Jack the Ripper, he certainly does cut up some people who sorely deserve it.

Don't forget to come back here though.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The surge is on



a. A political order whose head of state is not a monarch and in modern times is usually a president.

b. A nation that has such a political order.


a. A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them.

b. A nation that has such a political order.

What is the difference between a monarch and a president? That’s a question you have to answer before deciding where the USA is in the scheme of things. A monarch in the European tradition, has been described as being so Dei gratia, or by the will of God. In other words he listens to a “higher father” and takes the will of the people into account only if he feels like it. A president, on the other hand will have a constitution and body of laws he not only shares the obligation to obey with the people but is often sworn to uphold and protect against attempts to ignore or override.

In a Republic, as the supreme power is vested in the people, it would therefore be contrary to the usual model for a president to persist in stifling and ignoring the will of the people and not only failing to protect the constitution but weakening it by fiat.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to call the United States of America a Republic. Our current president has asserted that although the power to declare war is vested in the congress alone, he will conduct and continue to conduct wars when and where and for as long as he wishes despite what the will of the people as expressed through that congress might be. It is becoming difficult to call George W. Bush a president.

In a clip uploaded to the CBS News web site Friday night of a 60 Minutes interview which will air tomorrow, Bush is asked whether he has the right to ignore congress if they forbid him to escalate troop levels in Iraq.

"I think I've got, in this situation, I do, yeah. Now I fully understand they will, they could try to stop me from doing it, but, uh, I've made my decision and we're going forward."

Thus proclaims the monarch of America.


To charge (a public official) with improper conduct in office before a proper tribunal.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

With a President like this. . .

Although cheerleaders for George W. Bush and war in general like to talk of battles and victories, the majority of casualties amongst our troops in Iraq result from roadside bombs, something the standard Humvee offers little protection against. Although some of them have been upgraded and equipped with improvised armor by the troops, the switch from Hummers to the Cougar and the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle would save a very considerable amount of American lives. "They are expensive, but they are going to save lives," said Gen. James T. Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps, during a recent trip to Iraq. But there’s the rub. According to the Baltimore Sun, procurement of such armored vehicles is painfully slow and the additional troops “surging” into Baghdad will not likely be riding in them any time soon.

Actually, the Improvised Explosive Devices doing such horrible damage to our occupying forces and the lack of vehicles that can offer protection against them are problems that grow from the same source: the obstinate refusal of George W. Bush to plan for that occupation and the removal from his presence of anyone suggesting the need. Not much effort was made to secure Iraqi stockpiles of explosives at the time Bush’s “mission” was accomplished because Democracy and peace were due to spring up within days and they were consequently stolen. Little money was budgeted for the development and purchase of armored vehicles simply because the Warpresident insisted that we were only weeks away from “victory.”

So when we hear that that 60 or more percent of the casualties among the “surges” result from inadequate Humvees and that rate could have been reduced to around 2% by use of armored vehicles; when we hear from the Government Accountability Office that all these deaths result from explosives literally handed to insurgents by George W. Bush and his merry band of bastards what can we ask ourselves but that with a President like this, who needs enemies?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Daisy Girl

How things change. In 1964 when a TV ad was aired, linking presidential candidate Barry Goldwater with the possibility of nuclear war, it caused devastating harm to his campaign. Has America stopped worrying and learned to love the bomb? Have we begun to see ourselves as the new Roman Empire bringing order to the world through conquest and domination or are we simply cowards too afraid of the scary world of foreigners to give a damn about whether it’s right or wrong to nuke them?

I don’t know, but if we are not so repelled by a Deputy National Security advisor with the unlikely name of J.D. Crouch who not only advocated nuking and invading North Korea back in 1995 but is the “brains” behind Bush’s latest plan to achieve different results in Iraq by doing more of the same thing that has steadily failed for four years, then the cowardice scenario seems credible.

"Diplomacy in Pyongyang without military power is appeasement plain and simple," Crouch wrote, according to Raw Story, in 1995. Perhaps J.D. Crouch thinks of diplomacy in the way that people like Osama bin Laden thinks of diplomacy or perhaps he’s a psychotic nut job with his bowels full of dogma like so many others in the Bush administration. Perhaps like many barbarians and Mafiosi, he feels it’s better to be feared than admired but fails to consider how such people usually wind up.

The Bush administration continues to provide one similarity after another to the one depicted in Dr. Strangelove – and we all know how that movie ended. The trouble is, we’re not in a movie.

Two bucks on the number three pig

Texas – what a place! I have no idea as to whether the bogus claim to victimhood so popular with Fox-watching shitweasels all over America is as popular in Katy, Texas as in other small towns like the one I live in, but the odds are good. I do know that any objections to words and actions that do not make public display of reverence for Christian supremacy do not seem to transfer to respect for other religions in either place.

Witness the New Tradition of the Friday running of the swine in that charming, all American, Texas town. “You’ll love Katy” is the municipal slogan but if you’re Muslim it may not apply, nor would the “Welcome to the heart of Katy” you might see driving west on Interstate 10 from Houston. Some locals object to the presence of Muslims and to the mosque they plan to build on some 12 acres on Baker Road and so one good Christian neighbor has decided to hold pig races adjacent to their future place of worship every Friday to make them feel unwelcome.

I’m sure it will work, although there will probably be less reaction than if the local Jews staged a Sunday Gospel burning at the Katy Mills Mall or the local Spanish speaking population were to sing the National Anthem in something other than English or the village atheist were to hang a God Sucks banner from his window. But I guess every nation, like every animal, needs an anus – and so we have Katy Texas. Even so, there must be some good souls in that Suburban Sodom. I assume that there will be sermons on Sunday, denouncing the intolerance, the “suspect thy neighbor” rhetoric and of course, the pig races – well, at least I hope so. I wouldn’t want to become a cynic.

Monday, January 08, 2007

No Exit

Even George F. Will is calling George “Warpresident” Bush’s “surge” plan to “a policy that is akin to Defense Secretary Robert McNamara's and Gen. William Westmoreland's policy in Vietnam.”   It may be important to note that we no longer have a draft and we may no longer have the ability to equip and adequately train any substantial number of new troops, even if we can somehow manage to reach recruitment goals.

Will’s editorial today compares the failed (both militarily and politically) policy of continued escalation (probably easier for Bush to pronounce than surge) with the “phased withdrawal” scenario promised by Nixon and implemented by Defense Secretary Melvin Laird and Gen. Creighton Abrams. Will Phased withdrawal work in Iraq – will it work better than it did in Viet Nam?

According to conventional wisdom emerging from the Balkan experience, about 130,000 troops would be needed to maintain order in Baghdad alone.  Currently we have 120,000 in place, but 66,000 of them are Iraqi Police whose loyalties are divided and who are often incompetent. Bush’s proposed increase is insignificant no matter how well it is received by his die-hard supporters; it may be, as it was in Viet Nam, “a recipe for protracting failure.”

I think comparison between war ravaged Europe in 1946 and Iraq 60 years later is apt, yet we have no ability to implement anything like the Marshall Plan that allowed the return of enough order and stability and quality of life to make a Democratic Europe a possibility.  Without infrastructure; without electricity, water, heat, medical care and the ability to earn a living – and without immediate prospects for any improvement, Civil war will persist.  As Gen. Wesley Clark says, the escalation will  "put more American troops in harm's way, further undercut US forces' morale, and risk further alienation of elements of the Iraqi populace."

In short, we can’t supply enough troops to pacify the country by force. We can’t rebuild the country well enough to bring about peace and we can’t get rid of the administration that got us into this.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Bury my heart at Haditha

“After the taxi passengers were shot, the report found, the Marines raided nearby houses, firing indiscriminately, using both grenades and guns, in a bloody, door-to-door sweep, killing 14 unarmed inhabitants, in just 10 minutes.”

The notion that the Mainstream Media only reports bad news and does so only to make the administration look bad, may be more muted than it was several years ago, but it is still operative amongst the people who identify themselves as “conservative.”

“One 13-year-old girl was the lone survivor in the second house, losing five family members, including her mother and 3-year-old sister and 5-year-old brother. ‘He fired and killed everybody. The American fired and killed everybody,’ Safah Yunis Salem told investigators.”

Setting aside the notion that the press ought to stress the scanty examples of improvements in Iraqi life attributable to the American presence rather than the random acts of horrifying brutality because we need to maintain morale, we should ask ourselves what we would be most affected by were we in the shoes of the Iraqis. How would I weigh the news that my son’s school had reopened although it might be too dangerous for him to attend against the news that the Americans had raped my daughter, destroyed my brother’s car, killed my sister’s husband and ruined my livelihood?

I am not arguing that our troops are barbarians, but I cannot argue that some of them are not. Regardless of whether it is one percent or half of one percent that are committing humiliating acts, brutal acts and even murderous acts and regardless of whether we think we should take notice or ignore it, the Iraqis; the people we tell ourselves we conquered for their own good are going to remember each and every detail. They have little else to do sitting in the dark trying to cook something over a fire over scrap wood someone risked their life to obtain while bullets ricochet in the street.

How is it that our leadership was stupid enough to think we could demolish the infrastructure and institutions and resources of Iraq without plunging it into chaos and how is it that these idiots could believe we could do it without turning them against us? How is it that Americans who might otherwise seem sane can insist we need to ignore all this for the good of the troops and can still talk about “winning” when what we hoped to win has long since been destroyed?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Send in the yes men.

George W. Bush shares yet another characteristic of Adolph Hitler - he thinks he knows more about conducting military operations than his generals. As he has done countless times, George has now got rid of two more people who question his genius. Raw Story reports the breaking news that Gen. John Abizaid, US commander in the Middle East who was scheduled to retire in March will leave now to be replaced by Admiral William J. Fallon. David Petraeus will replace General George Casey, commander of US forces in Iraq. Both men have expressed concern about George Bush's "more of the same" strategy which so closely mirrors Lyndon B. Johnson's reliance on ever increasing troop levels in Viet Nam.

Once again we are shown that Bush's only measure of his subordinates is blind loyalty to his crusade. Screw up and you get a medal, speak up and you get the back door.

Another step

exigent \EK-suh-juhnt\, adjective:1. Requiring immediate aid or action; pressing; critical.2. Requiring much effort or expense; demanding; exacting.

George Bush asserted another self-granted authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on December 20th  by issuing yet another  "signing statement" that declared his right to open people's mail without a warrant.  Typical of White House interpretations of Presidential pronouncements, spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore denied Bush was claiming any new authority and asserted that “the Constitution does not require warrants for reasonable searches” under what Bush calls “exigent circumstances.”

One can concoct a scenario wherein such things may be advisable, but of course the definition of exigency is here determined by George W. Bush and not by the law or by the courts whose job it is to do such things.  All Bush has to do is cite 9/11 and anything he can relate to it no matter how speciously, can be justified.

It’s not a surprise, given Bush’s attitudes toward listening to phone calls, reading e-mail and his endless appeals to fear to justify outright defiance of law.  It’s another giant step toward a government of Men – or perhaps more specifically one man, rather than of laws.

Certainly one can stop wondering whether the Republican defeat at the polls just two months ago taught the President anything.  He seems to be staying that same course and damn the constitution, damn the Generals, damn the will of the people – he will stay the course.

Raw Story has the nauseating details.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Common Sense

"If the Congress chooses to pass bills that are simply political statements, they will have chosen stalemate. If a different approach is taken, the next two years can be fruitful ones for our nation."

-George W. Bush-

Seems George is more than a clown – he’s a comedy writer too.  So what did the Republican congress have in mind when pushing the flag burning amendment?  George’s attempt in his Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, to appear as a wise, circumspect statesman is a real stomach turner.  The different approach of course, is a continuation of the Rubber Stamp function of the legislature; an approach about as different as his likely escalation of troop levels in Iraq.  

A continuation of Borrow and Spend, a continuation of optimistic economic prediction and continuing to press for more executive power – that’s the plan. Destroying the institutions and infrastructure and livelihood and the internal security of a country and plunging it into civil war?  Well we just define it as a common sense approach because :

“when America is willing to use her influence abroad, the American people are safer and the world is more secure.”

If the new congress really wishes to take a new approach, it really has only one choice and that is impeachment – and quickly – before George W. Bush’s common sense destroys the world.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Where's Obama?

CNN’s “Where’s Obama” incident may or may not have been purely accidental, but the practice of falsely relating disparate or even antithetical things has become a refined skill in advertising and the media (is there a difference?)

Barak Obama seems to be the recipient of a suspicious number of accidental associations with militant Islamic figures and some quite obviously deliberate.  I’d like to say it will backfire and I’d like to say that such things are too childish to work, but fictitious association building has become the way things, people and ideas are sold in our brave new world.  Last night I watched an advertisement – a video shot from the cockpit you’re meant to believe is a race car on the Nürnburg Ring complete with sporty engine sounds.  We pass sports cars like they’re standing still.  Of course what they’re advertising is a truck and the entire premise is a grotesque lie on a par with the “Joe Isuzu” ads of the 1980’s only without the humor.

No your SAAB doesn’t “come from jets,” a Suzuki truck is not a fair substitute for the performance and excitement of a high performance motorcycle, your Jeep may have been “Inspired by race car design” but has no actual race car design, performance or safety,  Theresa Kerry has never been the CEO of the ketchup company and Barak Hussein Obama shares nothing other than a name with the former tyrant of Iraq and nothing at all with Osama bin Laden.  CNN may apologize profusely, but the image has been created, the outrageous lie has been launched and there is no bringing it under control.  Are we one step closer to a world where the truth is what you want it to be and facts are things you create to sell it?