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Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Well, at least he's off of Howell Raine's ass....
Poor Andy Sullivan. He's only one man, but now he has to take on both the New York Times and the BBC (or as he calls it: The Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation...lol, bump, ping). Four rambling posts that point out that...the BBC doesn't agree with him. I did enjoy the treatment given to Tony Blair by a BBC interviewer:
TONY BLAIR: Well I can assure you I've said every time I'm asked about this, the [sanctions] have contained [Saddam] up to a point and the fact is the sanctions regime was beginning to crumble, it's why ... we had a whole series of negotiations about tightening the sanctions regime but the truth is the inspectors were put out of Iraq so -
JEREMY PAXMAN: They were not put out of Iraq, Prime Minister, that is just not true. The weapons inspectors left Iraq after being told by the American government that bombs will be dropped on the country.
TONY BLAIR: I'm sorry, that is simply not right. What happened is that the inspectors told us that they were unable to carry out their work, they couldn't do their work because they weren't being allowed access to the sites. They detailed that in the reports to the Security Council. On that basis, we said they should come out because they couldn't do their job properly.
JEREMY PAXMAN: That wasn't what you said, you said they were thrown out of Iraq -
TONY BLAIR: Well they were effectively because they couldn't do the work they were supposed to do
JEREMY PAXMAN: No, effectively they were not thrown out of Iraq, they withdrew.
TONY BLAIR: No I'm sorry Jeremy, I'm not allowing you to get away with that, that is completely wrong. Let me just explain to you what happened.
JEREMY PAXMAN: You've just said the decision was taken by the inspectors to leave the country. They were therefore not thrown out.
TONY BLAIR: They were effectively thrown out for the reason that I will give you
Can you imagine President Thin Skin actually sitting down with a reporter for a chat like this?
No. I can't either...
posted by tbogg at 11:56 PM
General Powell's Coalition of the Lemmings
Looks like Colin Powell did a real bang-up job at the UN
Nation after nation from all parts of the globe demanded weapons inspectors have a chance to disarm Iraq peacefully, defying intentions by the United States and Britain to seek a resolution authorizing war.
Only Australia, Japan, Argentina and Peru, in varying degrees, supported the tough U.S.-British position during 27 presentations on Tuesday by U.N. members who do not have seats on the 15-nation Security Council. Another 29 ambassadors address the council on Wednesday.
But most speakers, many from developing nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America as well as Iraq's neighbors in the Middle East, spoke out against war and backed France's position to let arms inspectors have more time to account for Baghdad's weapons of mass destruction programs.
So did Greece, New Zealand, Ukraine and Belarus.
South Africa's U.N. ambassador, Dumisani Kumalo, head of the 115-member Non-Aligned movement, which called for the meeting, said that "Resorting to war without fully exhausting all other options represents an admission of failure by the Security Council in carrying out its mandate."
Iran's ambassador, Javad Zarif, whose country was invaded by neighboring Iraq in 1980, said "the prospect of another destabilizing war in our immediate vicinity is a nightmare scenario of death and destruction."
Zarif said that war would produce "the prospect of appointing a foreign military commander to run an Islamic and Arab country is all the more destabilizing and only indicative of prevailing delusions."
posted by tbogg at 11:45 PM
is good nukes for the warmongers in power.
The Bush administration is planning a secret meeting in August to discuss the construction of a new generation of nuclear weapons, including "mini-nukes", "bunker-busters" and neutron bombs designed to destroy chemical or biological agents, according to a leaked Pentagon document.
The meeting of senior military officials and US nuclear scientists at the Omaha headquarters of the US Strategic Command would also decide whether to restart nuclear testing and how to convince the American public that the new weapons are necessary.
The leaked preparations for the meeting are the clearest sign yet that the administration is determined to overhaul its nuclear arsenal so that it could be used as part of the new "Bush doctrine" of pre-emption, to strike the stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons of rogue states.
Greg Mello, the head of the Los Alamos Study Group, a nuclear watchdog organisation that obtained the Pentagon documents, said the meeting would also prepare the ground for a US breakaway from global arms control treaties, and the moratorium on conducting nuclear tests.
"It is impossible to overstate the challenge these plans pose to the comprehensive test ban treaty, the existing nuclear test moratorium, and US compliance with article six of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty," Mr Mello said
Think about this...They want to have "tactical nukes" so they can "pre-emptively" attack sovereign countries who might just have weapons like...the United States. Forget about an American Empire in the Middle East. That's kid's stuff. This is world domination.
And it gets worse:
The panel would also contemplate the "requirements for low-yield weapons, EPWs [earth-penetrating weapons], enhanced radiation weapons, agent defeat weapons".
This is the menu of weapons being actively considered by the Pentagon. Low-yield means tactical warheads of less than a kiloton, "mini-nukes", which advocates of the new arsenal say represent a far more effective deterrent than the existing huge weapons, because they are more "usable".
The Bush administration has been working to reduce the amount of warning the test sites in the western US desert would need to be reactivated after 10 years lying dormant.
One more time...Thanks Ralph....you assclown.
posted by tbogg at 11:22 PM
Yeah, sure...and I want a pony...
For all of his world travels and reputation for expertise when it comes to reporting on foreign relations/policy you have to wonder how Thomas Friedman
manages to remain so naive. He's honest enough to make the following observation:
Tell people the truth. Saddam does not threaten us today. He can be deterred. Taking him out is a war of choice — but it's a legitimate choice. It's because he is undermining the U.N., it's because if left alone he will seek weapons that will threaten all his neighbors, it's because you believe the people of Iraq deserve to be liberated from his tyranny, and it's because you intend to help Iraqis create a progressive state that could stimulate reform in the Arab/Muslim world, so that this region won't keep churning out angry young people who are attracted to radical Islam and are the real weapons of mass destruction.
That's the case for war — and it will require years of occupying Iraq and a simultaneous effort to defuse the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to create a regional context for success. If done right, such a war could shrink Al Qaeda's influence — but Al Qaeda is a separate enemy that will have to be fought separately, and will remain a threat even if Saddam is ousted.
Then he goes all "wish-upon-a-star":
Some of this we can't control. But some we can, which is why it's time for the Bush team to shape up — dial down the attitude, start selling this war on the truth, give us a budget that prepares the nation for a war abroad, not a party at home, and start doing everything possible to create a global context where we can confront Saddam without the world applauding for him.
The Bush Administration has had months to do any and all of this, but they haven't, and they won't, because they don't think they have to. Besides, that would mean admitting that the Cheney-Rice-Powell-Rumsfeld Axis of Incompetence have been leading us down a two-year boondoggle. Those four wasted the world's sympathy following 9/11 by exhibiting every possible facet of ugly-Americanism: arrogance, thoughtlessness, bullying, anti-intellectualism, self-righteousness, and provincial religiosity. Let's face it; they have been mirroring the best attributes of the Boy Emperor.
So Tom Friedman had best disabuse himself of hoping for a change for the better. The Bush Administration can no more change its spots than George Bush can change the yellow stripe down his back.
Andy Sullivan mentions the Friedman column and makes this statement
IS CHIRAC BUSH'S FAULT? Tom Friedman seems to think so. I wish I thought that the visceral hostility of Chirac and Schroder were a function of George Bush's bad diplomacy. But I fear their positions would be the same whatever president was in power, if he were trying to accomplish the magnitude of what Bush is aiming for in the war on terror.
Whoa there, Prince of Provincetown....
"whatever President was in power"?
If another President were in power, say the guy who got more votes, we wouldn't be beating the wardrums about Iraq. Last I heard, Saddam never made an attempt on the late Sen. Gore.
Oh, and as for this:
And does Friedman think Colin Powell's ceaseless efforts around the globe were window-dressing?
Window-dressing would be putting a positive spin on it. After last week, Powell's credibility is approaching Michael Jackson territory.
posted by tbogg at 10:30 PM
Cut it out! I'm being serious here..really.
Global analyst, Howell Raines scourge, and Pet Shop Boys aficionado Andy Sullivan noted this
the other day:
A WASTE OF SPACE: Reading Maureen Dowd's characteristically inane column today, I asked myself once again why, at this moment of gravity and importance, a major American columnist has simply nothing to say, except occasional lame pop-cultural associations and a superficial account of the views of others. I'm not the only one.
Here's Andy during today's moment of gravity and importance
SHOW US THE PHALLUS!: In an encouraging sign of non-p.c.-ness (what a word), Harvard students busied themselves over the weekend building a large penis out of snow. It was quite a work of art, apparently, and was featured in the Crimson, under the headline, 'Winter Wonder." But now the photo is nowhere in the web and the usual suspects are "offended." A letter-writer to the Crimson wondered whether the Crimson would ever show a photo of a snowy vagina. I think this deep and troubling issue cannot be fully understood or debated until we actually have a picture online of the great white monster, don't you? C'mon, fellow Harvardians. Post it!
I guess we should give Andy the benefit of the doubt and assume that he wishes to enlighten us with his views on both political correctness and the anti-phallocentrism permeating our leftward-leaning institutes of higher education in this era of deep seriousness and rising Islamo-fascism.
Or he just wants to see the big snow dick...
I report...you deride.
posted by tbogg at 1:54 PM
Ready for a good shearing...
posted by tbogg at 1:17 PM
Too bad ctrl+alt+delete doesn't cause regime change at home.
War for dummies
posted by tbogg at 1:10 PM
We'd like to leave no child behind...but we're using that money to buy a friend.
The Bush administration's plans for a northern front against Iraq reached a critical point today, as Turkish leaders ruled out a deal to allow American combat troops to use their country without agreement first on a multibillion dollar economic aid package.
With time running out, a senior Turkish official said the government would present its final offer to American diplomats tonight. If the Bush administration agreed to the proposal, the official said, Parliament would probably vote this week to allow American combat troops to use the country as a base against Iraq.
If the Americans rejected the offer, the official said, Turkish leaders would decline to put the question to Parliament this week. In all likelihood, the Turkish official said, such a decision would mean that the American plans for a northern front from Turkey would be all but dead.
A senior Bush administration official said American aides told the Turks that the White House's offer of $26 billion — $6 billion in grants and $20 billion in loans — was "final."
Turkey requested more than twice that sum, the official said, but President Bush made clear that he would go no higher and that time for the Turks to make a decision was short.
Obvious question: wouldn't it just be cheaper to offer Saddam a billion dollars to go away? The we could use another, say, $5 billion to buy Bush some manhood, and we would be $20 billion ahead.
Oh yeah. And a bunch of people would still be alive....
posted by tbogg at 10:55 AM
Where can we get us one of those "leaders"?
George W. Bush who spent most of his younger days in a drunken stupor, who dodged the draft by going into the National Guard, and then proceeded to desert, and who became our first appointed President with the help of his father's friends had this
to say today about why he is still going to go to war:
"Size of protest, it's like deciding, 'Well I'm going to decide policy based up on a focus group.' The role of a leader is to decide policy based upon the security - in this case - security of the people."
Then again, a leader would make a case for going to war which Bush and his bumbling, stumbling Administration have completely failed to do. This ignorant, brain-damaged frat boy is about to plunge the country into a war that may see countless American soldiers killed or wounded, that will surely result in an increase in terrorism against American citizens both here and abroad, that will further destroy an American economy already reeling from his mis-administration, and that will serve as a pretext for the further erosion of our freedoms.
George Bush is killing America.
posted by tbogg at 10:06 AM
Monday, February 17, 2003
I know that Saddam and Osama sound a lot alike....
Why exactly is it that the warbloggers can't figure out that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11? I really hesitate to link to some of the "take that hill, hoo-yah" hyperbole that comes so naturally from those who will be watching the war front-row-center on Fox news, with a Zima in one hand and a box of Screaming Yellow Zonkers in the other, but this
is so over the top that I thought it was fairly amusing in a watching-the-guy-in-the-wifebeater-tank-on-COPS
We're in a war at the moment, a war that might get very very ugly before its over, but nevertheless the consequences of NOT fighting it are very likely to be even WORSE.
And we're the only damn CO on the planet. Or, at the very least, the only nation capable of backing up our claim to the rank, a rank that we never asked for in the first place.
But we're on Omaha Beach right now, pinned down by enemy machinegun fire from the bunkers up ahead, watching our fellow soldiers being cut down by the Grim Reaper while we cower behind the obstacles on the beach, every logical fibre of our being screaming to us to keep hugging the ground rather than advancing into the killing fields ahead.
But deep within, at the back of our minds and as a result of our training, we KNOW that if we don't knock out those positions up ahead, we'll all end up dead sooner or later, so it's up to us or somebody else to stand up and cry "who wants to live forever?, ON ME!" and charge up towards the sea wall.
And we're the only ones likely to take the initiative. If we do, the rest will get the message and follow, but if we wait for somebody else to jump of first, we're likely to get disappointed... And dead...
It's time to put our mouthes(sic) where our money is, to show the world why we're the strongest nation on Earth and to leave them to either follow or piss off into infamy as the filthy cowards they are.
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! (....repeat until all logical thought and facts are just misty water-colored memories of the people we were....)
posted by tbogg at 11:34 PM
Selling the war.
Paul Krugman takes on the media
, particularly cable news:
What would someone watching cable news have seen? On Saturday, news anchors on Fox described the demonstrators in New York as "the usual protesters" or "serial protesters." CNN wasn't quite so dismissive, but on Sunday morning the headline on the network's Web site read "Antiwar rallies delight Iraq," and the accompanying picture showed marchers in Baghdad, not London or New York.
Krugman's assertion is that the networks who see the war as inevitable are selling it as their patriotic duty. Let me add my cynical voice in agreement, but also add that it's also about ratings. CNN's glory days harken back to the forst Gulf War and they would love to see those numbers again. As for Fox...they'd show America's Funniest Lynchings
if they thought they could get a 24 share.
posted by tbogg at 10:31 PM
Disturbing...but not too suprising.
New York Times
Overall the entire article is disturbing in that, with all that is discussed within it, the Administration is still
is rushing headlong into war. But I've underlined something that I thought was illuminating in the way it was phrased by authors David Sager and Thom Shanker:
Senior Bush administration officials are for the first time openly discussing a subject they have sidestepped during the buildup of forces around Iraq: what could go wrong, and not only during an attack but also in the aftermath of an invasion.
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld has a four- to five-page, typewritten catalog of risks that senior aides say he keeps in his desk drawer. He refers to it constantly, updating it with his own ideas and suggestions from senior military commanders, and discussing it with President Bush.
His list includes a "concern about Saddam Hussein using weapons of mass destruction against his own people and blaming it on us, which would fit a pattern," Mr. Rumsfeld said. He said the document also noted "that he could do what he did to the Kuwaiti oil fields and explode them, detonate, in a way that lost that important revenue for the Iraqi people."
That item is of particular concern to administration officials' postwar planning because they are counting on Iraqi oil revenues to help pay for rebuilding the nation
As I read this, they are "particularly" concerned about losing the oil revenues than they are about Hussein using weapons of mass destruction against his own people, and even then they're only concerned with being blamed for it.
Oh, wait...Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Don Evans....never mind. Nothing too suprising here...
posted by tbogg at 9:54 PM
"This is Ashleigh Banfield reporting...from The Rhumba Room at the Kuwait Hilton"
Look's like a good time to stock up on bush jacket futures and world-weary expressions. The journalists are coming
...the journalists are coming....:
For the first time since World War II and on a scale never before seen in the American military, journalists covering any United States attack on Iraq will have assigned slots with combat and support units and accompany them throughout the conflict
According to a Pentagon document outlining some of the rules of journalistic engagement, reports of live, continuing action cannot be released without the permission of the commanding officer.
There will be strict prohibitions on any reporting of future operations or postponed or canceled operations, the document further states. The date, time and place of military action, as well as the outcomes of mission results, can be described only in general terms. Other ground rules remain to be spelled out.
Yet both the Pentagon and news executives welcomed the initiative. It is a sharp about-face from the restrictive news policies the Pentagon has maintained since the Vietnam War, which to many commanders showed the psychological perils of broadcasting a war into the nation's living rooms. In the Persian Gulf war, for example, only pool reporters were given regular front-line access.
"Psychological perils"....Americans dying, civilians dying, destruction, horror...You know. War stuff. Reality.
Only, to the XBox generation, you can't hit restart on your controller, and a dead child or woman is neither "collateral damage" nor free. They're just dead.
A good resource for excellent war reportage from that era of "psychological perils" is Library of America's Reporting Vietnam vols. I
. Among other pieces it contains Michael Herr's complete Dispatches
posted by tbogg at 9:39 PM
I thought I would put this up before Norah Vincent
does and tries to claim it as her own
Lives in the Balance
I've been waiting for something to happen
For a week or a month or a year
With the blood in the ink of the headlines
And the sound of the crowd in my ear
You might ask what it takes to remember
When you know that you've seen it before
Where a government lies to a people
And a country is drifting to war
And there's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who send the guns
To the wars that are fought in places
Where their business interest runs
On the radio talk shows and the T.V.
You hear one thing again and again
How the U.S.A. stands for freedom
And we come to the aid of a friend
But who are the ones that we call our friends--
These governments killing their own?
Or the people who finally can't take any more
And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone
There are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire
There's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who fan the flames
Of the wars that are fought in places
Where we can't even say the names
They sell us the President the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us every thing from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars
I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they're never the ones to fight or to die
And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire
(c) 1986 SWALLOW TURN MUSIC, ASCAP
posted by tbogg at 9:17 PM
This "snow" that you speak of..it is white, yes?
As a native born San Diegan, and having never lived anywhere else, I look at those pictures of the east socked in snow and wonder how you folks who dwell in those parts live with something like that. We get two inches of rain here and panic sets in. Barry over at bloggy makes the snow seem so damn pretty
Hang in there everyone...
posted by tbogg at 8:48 PM
Wimpy candy-assed coating outside, chewy ass-kicking Teamster inside...
Much has been written today about Rod Dreher's comments quoted in the Moonie Times
National Review's Rod Dreher was around Grand Central Station in New York on Saturday after the anti-war demonstration ended, and he did not like what he saw.
"I grant that there are morally serious people against the war. I just didn't see any of them today. This is what I saw: a child whose parents hung a poster around her neck that read: 'More candy and ice cream/less war and bigotry.' I'm not making that up.
"I also saw this slogan on a poster: 'The Iraqi people need our love, not our bombs.' Ooh yeah, and mean people are bad," Mr. Dreher writes in the Corner on the magazine's Web site.
But that was not the worst of it
"I also saw a woman carrying a poster that had an image of President Bush with a Hitler mustache drawn on.
"I nearly lost it over that. What kind of decent person would have anything to do with a movement that likened the president of the United States to a genocidal mass murderer?
"Just to see them walking the street is to put oneself in touch with one's inner Teamster."
Fortunately Dreher's anger management skills kept him from beating up a woman (looks like Morgan Pillsbury
fell in with the wrong guy...), but then again, this
is the incredible fearsome Mr. Dreher
. Jeez, he makes Justin Timberlake
seem awfully butch.
It looks to me that, even if Dreher tag-teamed with compatriot Christian film critic Michael Medved
, they'd be hard pressed to beat up a 12 year-old blind girl.
posted by tbogg at 5:54 PM
Ich bin ein Ashcroftian...
has a link and a few words to say about the Justice Department under John "Does goose-stepping count as dancing?" Ashcroft.
posted by tbogg at 4:20 PM
There is much in Peggy Noonan's latest
to make fun of: reading people's minds (again), assumptions about how people are going about their lives:
Something that is happening is that the leaders of networks and the executive producers of shows and the managing editors of magazines are all fully aware that they set the tone for their organization. The young look to them for cues and clues. So they kiss the wife or husband goodbye and hug the kids and leave the house in the morning wondering if today is the terrible day and they won't get home again. Then they get into work and lounge against the wall in front of their office as if this is a snoozy Tuesday in August. They glide through the halls making jokes and referring to plans for the big summer meeting in July. They're cool as a cuke for the kids in the hall.
but this is my favorite:
Wednesday I was in town for a lunch for Laura Bush, who had been invited to the mauve walled dining room of Good Housekeeping magazine to speak about literacy. About halfway through her speech there came from the streets a howl of sudden sirens, and no one moved or altered his expression. Mrs. Bush continued talking.
I looked at my watch: 1:37 pm. I wondered if the journalists around me were going through the same thought-stream I was. 1. Oh no, is this the trouble? 2. I'm with the first lady at a dramatic moment in history, take notes. 3. Maybe being with the president's wife isn't a bad place to be; her Secret Service detail knows how to handle things like this and they must carry gas masks, etc. Then a romantic sense of history kicked in: Maybe this is like being with Mary Todd Lincoln the morning of first Bull Run. In five seconds or so the sirens died down and moved on. Mrs. Bush seemed wholly unaffected.
Earlier, when I'd asked how she was doing, she said she was fine, this is obviously a difficult time for people but anxiety has a way of diminishing with time, people get used to it and then don't feel it so sharply. I asked how the staffers in the White House were doing, and again she said fine; she was mindful that they'd been forced to flee the White House by foot on 9/11 and had had some hard days. She mentioned to the table that she thought people were watching things like Michael Jackson and Joe Millionaire "to distract ourselves." In her remarks she said, "I know we will get through this," and that she finds herself thinking, "This too will pass."
She was poised and composed in the way of someone who isn't trying, and she was humorous. When Good Housekeeping's editor, Ellen Levine, stepped in to pick the first questioner in the ensuing Q&A, a bright woman in eyeglasses began to ask a question. Mrs. Bush asked her to identify herself and her organization. She gave her name and said she was the deputy editor of . . . Good Housekeeping. "Oh great, this must be the setup," Mrs. Bush said, to laughter.
She was in a well-tailored dove-gray wool suit, collarless and double-breasted, with a knee-length skirt, dark-gray heels and pearl earrings. Her makeup had been applied with some art, her auburn hair was subtly highlighted, and her nails were professionally manicured, with red-orange nail polish. I mention this because sometimes grooming is a statement. Mrs. Bush said: Don't worry too much, we'll all be fine; if I didn't know this I wouldn't have been able to put on my eyeliner in such a straight line. Good grooming and a cheerful demeanor are sometimes heroic.
Using this as a barometer, the next time Laura Bush shows up in public with uncombed hair, in a housecoat, with a scotch in one hand and a cigarette hanging off her lip....kiss your ass goodbye.
posted by tbogg at 10:19 AM
San Diego...conservative Navy town no more...
Since I don't have time to do much this morning, I thought I would share a few letters from the normally conservative San Diego Union
. It is the Union's policy to publish letters proportionate to the sides of an issue involved. Please note that all six letters are critical of President Get Your War On. My favorite:
Bush says it's time for people to show "some backbone." He's right. Let's start with him.
He can have a press conference and go before the American people in a forum that isn't as staged as his gatherings with Republicans, hand-picked religious groups or tightly controlled appearances at military bases. He can stand up and answer questions that aren't offered up by his administration's selected reporters.
After all, he is asking for a commitment that will kill hundreds of thousands of mostly innocent people, a fact that is the least talked about part of his patriotic bravado.
To ask people to support such a war, Bush needs to give them more than catch phrases without substance. Americans are probably the bravest, kindest people in the world; but there are things they won't forgive– such as being misled.
If Bush cannot stand in front of this country and answer hard questions, he has no business plunging the United States and the rest of the world into this war.
posted by tbogg at 9:55 AM
Saturday, February 15, 2003
Photo from Samizdata
I really like the sign
to the right.
posted by tbogg at 4:08 PM
I'll get your hat and coat, Mr President.
Gwen Hodges, a self-described "former liberal" (why are conservatives so embarassed to admit they have always
been conservatives?) showed up at U of T the other day to protest
the last elected President's visit there and said this:
"If Bill Clinton were a Republican, he would have resigned instead of sitting through the impeachment trial," Hodges said. "We [Republicans] are the type of people that if we mess up, we step aside from the leadership role."
Blown surplus...rising unemployment....deficits as far as the eye can see...allowed 9/11 to happen...alienated most of our allies.
You get his bags, Gwen. I buy the one-way ticket to Crawford.
posted by tbogg at 3:38 PM
We're here to be there when our kid has three goals and an assist. And especially when he doesn't
This Rick Reilly column
is reprinted in this weeks Sports Illustrated
. Considering all that has gone so horribly wrong in the past few years it reminds us that, back in 1999, life was a whole helluva lot better:
So we were lying on our backs on the grass in the park next to our hamburger wrappers, my 14-year-old son and I, watching the clouds loiter overhead, when he asked me, "Dad, why are we here?"
And this is what I said
"I've thought a lot about it, son, and I don't think it's all that complicated. I think maybe we're here just to teach a kid how to bunt, turn two and eat sunflower seeds without using his hands.
posted by tbogg at 1:22 PM
Would someone please put a muzzle on that loose cannon?
Want to lose friends and influence no one? Looks like Rummy
is your man:
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's cranky frankness made him a star in a bland administration, but now his periodic slaps at Europe are being blamed by some for adding to the administration's difficulties in recruiting a coalition to confront Iraq.
...when Rumsfeld dismissed France and Germany as "old Europe" last month, and provocatively included Germany with Libya and Cuba as "three or four countries that have said they won't do anything" to assist in reconstructing a postwar Iraq, his comments offered a measure of vindication for Europeans who contend that Bush has no interest in working with officials who do not instantly agree with him.
Maybe someone needs to explain to Old Man Rummy that those aren't "damn kids" and they aren't on "his lawn."
posted by tbogg at 12:45 PM
...but admitting we were wrong would be, well…wrong.
Starship Commander. Den Beste of the aptly named USS Clueless
thinks we have to "diplomatically nuke France or Germany" because they refuse to fall in line with an administration that could very well be out of office in 2004.
If we do not, and if other nations in the world see both France and Germany standing up to us without having to pay a price for doing so, more and more nations will rally to them. There is opposition to the US all over the world; it threatens to crystallize into a unified force if it is not derailed soon.
And those who have taken the risk of standing beside us will also share that peril, and in some cases are even more vulnerable than we are.
In the immediate future we cannot be loved. That is not possible; there is nothing we can do which will cause our opponents to change their minds and hold us in high esteem. Our only choice in the short run is between being feared and being held in contempt. France and Germany must pay for what they have done to us, or we will stand exposed as cowards whose threats and demands can be ignored with impunity and who can be attacked without risk. And once that happens, the physical peril we face will grow as other enemies begin to threaten us in other and far more dangerous ways.
It is too late now for us to be seen as nice guys. Our only choice remaining is bully or wimp. We thus must become bullies, because being wimps would be disastrous. France and Germany are standing up to us and calling us out. They must be crushed.
In other words: destroy those that would point out that the emperor has no clothes. We have always
been at war with France and Germany…..
Meanwhile, like-minded Star Trek nerd, Admiral Quixote
chimes in with:
I do not believe Bush is bluffing. Other than some leftists who think this is about oil (which shows they have little understanding of economics – if someone disagrees, send me a note why and I’ll be glad to post it and comment), this is about national security. Even Bush’s opponents agree that President Bush sincerely feels Saddam Hussein is a danger to the security of the US. He may be wrong – and this is the position of France, Germany, and several other nations. But since he believes the US is at risk, he will follow through and remove this particular threat.
Even if you doubt Bush’s sincerity, there are now political reasons for Bush to attack Iraq. 30-40% of American citizens almost always vote Republican, just as 30%-40% of American voters support the Democrats. It’s the folks in the middle (like myself) who aren’t really attached to either party who decide each election. According to most polls, Americans are not too impressed with Bush’s handling of the economy. However, they strongly support Bush’s handling of the war on terror (America considers the Iraq problem as a part of this larger effort). If Bush backed down against Iraq at this point, he would lose the 2004 elections in a landslide. He knows this, and like most politicians he wants to stay in office.
America is a diverse nation and you will see pro-war protests and anti-war protests. I have friends who are strongly against the war. However, I have noticed something – Almost every single anti-war protester is a confirmed Democrat and did not vote for President Bush in 2000 and will vote against him in 2004 no matter what Bush does. Do you think President Bush cares about appeasing this group? Of course not – from a political perspective there is nothing to be gained and a lot to be lost. (By the way, I am NOT saying all Democrats are anti-war – there are many Democrats who also believe the risks of leaving Saddam in power are much higher than the risks of removing him from power).
Let's see: Bush really really really believes that Saddam is a threat to the United States, although he and Powell, Rice, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Tenet, Perle, Wolfowitz, and even the White House janitor have failed to make that case. Instead we are given shifting rationales for war with Iraq: terrorism, WMD, gassing the Kurds, friend of bin Laden (whoops! that one backfired...), murdering his countrymen (hello, General Pinochet...), and even the benefit of a more stable supply of oil. How any one can dismiss the oil factor when the Administration is run by those so steeped in the oil bidness that it runs through their black sludgy hearts, is beyond me.
…and here is the heart of a true believer: “He may be wrong – and this is the position of France, Germany, and several other nations. But since he believes the US is at risk, he will follow through and remove this particular threat”
Such a good soldier….
Then there is the "Admiral's" second point: re-election. Is he implying that Bush would put not only the fine men and women of the military at risk, as well as increasing the possibilty of more "homeland" terrorism, just so he can get re-elected?
I am shocked, shocked, I tell you! Not that el Presidente
would do such a horrifyingly selfish thing, but that true believers like the Quixote’s of the world would actually admit it.
The next step is admitting that we have a problem here. That maybe, just maybe, President Bush and his motivations are...just...wrong.
posted by tbogg at 12:28 PM
New to the Hot Links
posted by tbogg at 11:30 AM
Friday, February 14, 2003
It's lightweight Friday night
We have just returned from Valentine's dinner #1 (wife, daughter, and myself) to be followed by Valentine's dinner #2 (wife & moi
, only) tomorrow night at one of our favorite restaurants. I am content, happy, and in no mood to look into whatever atrocities the Bush administartion has commited today (this
being the exception).
I would like to mention a couple of things of little world-wide consequence....
One, I bought Phrenology
by the Roots today, and its probably the best music I have purchased in the past year. While rap/hip hop isn't exactly my thing, there is a lot to be said for a group as talented as the Roots. I had the opportunity to see them last summer at San Diego's Street Scene
(along with Sugarcult, Crystal Method, Unwritten Law, and Ja Rule) and I've kept them in the back of my mind since then. Take a gamble, you might like them.
The secong thind is that I will be taking off for a week from blogging starting 2/22 because I have to go to friggin' Florida for a friggin' week on friggin' business. Up until now, I have managed to avoid Florida like it was a Scientologist selling Amway, but business calls and I have to answer. I'm not sure that time will allow me to do any blogging from there and if not, I intend to use what free time I have to catch up on my reading, which has been badly neglected because of ...well, blogging. For those interested (no, it's not a tbogg Bookclub..) I am, and will be reading, The Life of Pi
by Yann Martel, The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford
by Ron Hansen, and Fierce Pajamas- An Anthology of Humor Writing from The New Yorker
Like you care.
See you on Sunday night.
posted by tbogg at 10:54 PM
Alert reader Rich writes in:
Charles Krauthamer is a psychiatrist (they're MDs and don't want anyone to forget it), not a psychologist (I'm a psychologist and we have enough problems without having Krauthameer being considered one of us). He's also laughable when he spouts off about psychiatric issues. I think he got himself board certified (an exercise in memorization) so that he could try to show off, but he's obviously never seen a patient since his medical training.
My apologies to psychologists...my sympathies to psychiatrists.
posted by tbogg at 10:15 PM
First it was Sullivan's Book club...now it looks like it will be Tony Blair. War is hell.
As George W. Bush moves ever closer to military action against Iraq, a key consideration to be factored into his calculations is that his staunchest ally does not end up becoming the first political casualty of the war.
Without a second resolution, Mr. Blair may well have only a few weeks in which to save his political career. For no matter how high his standing might be in Washington, where he is now referred to in some circles as Mr. Bush's "wedding planner," at home Mr. Blair is a prime minister at bay. One needs only to visit the Commons during the weekly "Questions to the Prime Minister" to gauge the depth of hostility he faces, primarily from his own Labour backbenchers, who make no secret of their opposition to war, nor of their almost rabid anti-Americanism.
At what point does Blair start chewing his arm off in order to get away from Coyote George?
posted by tbogg at 10:11 PM
Okay. I'll say it.
Who picked out his tie
posted by tbogg at 10:05 PM
Not following the leader.
Looks like not everyone is as enthused about World War III as President Deserter and Prime Minister Poodle are.
Tens of thousands rally against war
Massive antiwar protests begin
Big Protests Planned in Europe
...and one big question. How come both warhawks and chickenhawks alike blame this all on France, Germany, and Belgium? Is Russia 'Old Europe' or 'Young Europe'? Is China 'Old Asia' or 'Young Asia? Are they "irrelevant" too?
posted by tbogg at 4:49 PM
The Kerry pile-on
Credit Ryan Lizza
of The New Republic
to find the most tasteless way to impugn John Kerry's credibility:
He can't even be straight about his prostate cancer. That was the uncharitable--and off-the-record--reaction from more than one Democratic presidential campaign after Senator John Kerry's February 11 announcement that he had the illness and would be undergoing surgery. What should have been a moment of sympathy for Kerry was already morphing into another story about his candor.
It happened with the very first question at Kerry's press conference. "Senator Kerry," The Boston Globe's Glen Johnson demanded, "why didn't you answer truthfully ten days ago when you were asked directly if you were sick, given that you were diagnosed with prostate cancer on December 23 and it's now mid-February?" (Johnson had noticed earlier in the month that Kerry appeared tired and run-down and had asked the senator if he was sick or had a medical problem. Kerry had said no.)
Prostategate will probably soon be forgotten. Most voters won't begrudge Kerry for wanting to tell his family about his cancer before he told The Boston Globe, even if that meant telling a white lie. But the story comes at a moment when Kerry has emerged as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, a status that makes him the number-one target for both the press and the rest of the field.
'Prostategate?" Is Lizza such a hack that he thinks he's got an issue here? Kerry was informed by his doctor back in December that he has prostate cancer. He recently agreed to a course of treatment and then informed the public of the status of his health. And he chose not to share this information with The Boston Globe
wanted to. Why? Because it not any of their business. If he needed any other additional reason for keeping it to himself and his family, Lizza just provided it. It's a shoddy piece of attack journalism masquerading as "investigative" reporting. We could put part of the blame on The New Republic, but since they have been going downhill faster than Colin Powell's credibility, that would be cruel. So let's just give credit to Ryan Lizza. Maybe he can use this to wangle a date with Joan Vennochi
and they can trade Kerry hate stories over drinks. I think Ryan might even get lucky...as long as Ryan is over that premature ejaculation problem.
Whoops. I guess that was supposed to be private....
posted by tbogg at 4:35 PM
Log-in name "GOPhullraiser" is available again at Free Republic
Looks like Rick Santorum just lost another constituent
Federal authorities said a man who is pictured in a Ku Klux Klan Web site as the group's leader planned to attack abortion clinics with hand grenades and bombs.
David W. Hull, 40, was charged with giving a disassembled pipe bomb to someone who is cooperating in a federal firearms investigation
posted by tbogg at 12:01 PM
The New New World Order
Georgie Ann Geyer, one of the few columnists who specializes in one subject (global politics) and then writes about it, sees an administration that wants to change the world order, lies to get where they want to go, and can't finish what they started. Read this
The struggle this week between Washington and France, Germany and Belgium has not, however, been only about differences over Iraq. It is more about the intention of the neo-conservatives around the White House and Pentagon to break off the United States from old allies. The new configuration would be a nexus no longer of the Atlantic alliance, but now of an aggressive alliance roughly composed of the U.S., a "democratized" Iraq, Turkey, possibly India, the formerly communist Eastern European countries now in NATO, and Israel as the West's predominant proconsul in the Middle East.
Then we have Charles Krauthammer the gloomy dyspeptic psychologist who knows just enough to be dangerous but not enough to be correct. Problems in the world? It's Clinton's fault
You don't get to a place like this overnight. It takes at least, oh, a decade. We are now paying the wages of the 1990s, our holiday from history. During that decade, every major challenge to America was deferred. The chief aim of the Clinton administration was to make sure that nothing terrible happened on its watch. Accordingly, every can was kicked down the road
There is no avoiding the danger any longer. Last year President Bush's axis-of-evil speech was met with eye-rolling disdain by the sophisticates. One year later the warning has been vindicated in all its parts. Even the United Nations says Iraq must be disarmed. The International Atomic Energy Agency has just (politely) declared North Korea a nuclear outlaw. Iran has announced plans to mine uranium and reprocess spent nuclear fuel; we have recently discovered two secret Iranian nuclear complexes.
It's like Krauthammer never heard of the Cold War. There have always been rogue states and there have been weapons of mass destruction since 1945. But there have also been cool-headed governments that knew how to use diplomacy to keep things from getting out of control. Until a little over two years ago we didn't have a belligerent President stomping around the world like a slow-witted three year-old threatening and pouting and claiming he was "getting tired" of it all.
The world is a hornet's nest and we now have the profound bad luck to be living in it under a child armed with a big stick while a bunch of his friends "double-dog dare" him to just do it and see what happens.
posted by tbogg at 10:23 AM
Todays NY Post
(via No More Mr Nice Blog
posted by tbogg at 9:41 AM
Kevin over at CalPundit
does a great job of slicing and dicing Jerry Bowyer's highly dishonest hack-work
for NRO on the Bush deficits. Kevin mentions that it was too bad they didn't get a real economist to write a real article about the very real deficits.And who is Jerry Bowyer? He's the "chairman of Bowyer Media, a company specializing in radio and television production, print and internet publishing and economic analysis." I guess they couldn't dig up a single actual economist — even a conservative one — to put his name to this shameless piece of deceit. I'm not surprised.
...where have we heard that name before? A quick search in google takes us here
, where we discover:Jerry Bowyer is a Pennsylvania radio and television talk show host. He is the morning host on WPTT Radio in Pittsburgh, and he also hosts Pennsylvania Newsmakers, Pennsylvania's premier public affairs television program
Pittsburgh! Hmmmm. That takes us ...here
where we learn :Despite criticisms of some specific forms of home rule which have been proposed in the past, the Allegheny Institute Taxpayer Coalition (AITC) has always viewed the concept of "home rule," i.e. local control, very favorably. According to AITC spokesman Jerry Bowyer, "While I do have concerns about the checks on the power of the executive, those possible deficiencies are more than compensated for by the enhanced taxpayer protections included in the final draft. When the home rule enabling legislation passed the legislature, the AITC advanced a series of suggestions in various editorials in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, and in numerous radio and TV interviews
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review! Why that belongs to.....Richard Mellon Scaife
. What a coincidence! And look at this: Jerry Bowyer is President of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, a Pittsburgh- based conservative policy organization.
...and the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy gets it's money
from:The Sarah Scaife FoundationThe Carthage FoundationThe Allegheny FoundationThe Scaife Family Foundation
I sense a pattern here.
Looks like Mr. Scaife
still hasn't gotten over his Clinton obsession. Jerry Bowyer is just his latest sock puppet.
You know, looking at Bowyer's website
it occured to me: don't most "Media Companies" proudly trumpet their list of clients? I guess they don't when they only have one.
More on Scaife here
, and here
posted by tbogg at 2:05 AM
Thursday, February 13, 2003
Our national emergency
points out that Republicans are of two minds when it comes to a balanced budget. They want one...just not on their watch.
Republican Congressmen Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, of Wisconsin and Ernest Istook of Oklahoma have introduced a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget.
Why would such an amendment be needed when just two years ago we had budget surpluses? There are two reasons. First, the President’s proposed budget will produce deficits for as far as the eye can see. Secondly, with Congress and the White House controlled by Republicans, no fiscal discipline can be expected
The White House has said that it too supports a balanced budget amendment with exceptions for war, national emergency and recession.
War, national emergency and recession are as synonymous with the Bush name as Manny, Moe, and Jack are with Pep Boys.
posted by tbogg at 10:56 PM
Professional Standards specifically state the the suspect must be addressed as either "Noelle" or "Ms. Bush"
A police officer followed Michael Andrews down a street in the Cherry Hills section of town last month, calling him a "crack man" over his cruiser's public address system.
Andrews' attorney complained to the Police Department and, after the Professional Standards division investigated, Chief Marshall Gage reprimanded Officer Chuck King.
"I agree with you that this type of behavior by an officer is counterproductive and, at the very least, contrary to our rules and regulations," Gage wrote to Andrews' attorney, Herman Stevens Jr., in a Jan. 17 letter
I like this part:
Stevens acknowledged that his client, who he said was an unemployed "entrepreneur," has a criminal history and "some ongoing issues." But he said it was something his client didn't do that led to the incident with King.
"Unemployed entrepreneur" with a "criminal history" and some "ongoing issues"? Does Jeb know Neil
is in town?
posted by tbogg at 10:34 PM
Hey Mister. Will you buy us a a $225 bottle of vodka?
Every state has made it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcoholic beverages. Yet government surveys show that the beer and distilled spirits industry earns an estimated $100 million from the underage youth market in California, and $1 billion nationwide
Of course that $1 billion has gone down considerably since last November 25th
Meanwhile, Laura Bush had another driving "mishap
posted by tbogg at 9:39 PM
Uniter not a divider update
Looks like President Can't We All Just Get Along...With Me is having some trouble with the troops
After two years of largely lockstep unity, congressional Republicans are parting ways with President Bush on key domestic priorities, jeopardizing the White House's control over the legislative agenda in the months ahead.
Complaining that they have been inadequately consulted in the design of policy by administration officials distracted by foreign concerns, GOP lawmakers have begun to draft their own proposals and to distance themselves from some aspects of Bush's plans for tax cuts, health care and other social policies.
The sharpest dissent has arisen over the White House's plans to restructure Medicare. Even before the proposal's completion, several senior Republicans have criticized Bush's anticipated suggestion to offer prescription drug coverage only to elderly people who join doctors' networks and other private health plans.
At a recent meeting with Vice President Cheney, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and other GOP House leaders urged the White House to drop plans to issue a detailed proposal and, instead, to allow Congress to take the lead, according to congressional sources. Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), who wields heavy influence over Medicare policy as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said he, too, is no longer deferring to the White House.
Grassley said the White House "botched" the development and announcement of its plan and caused "needless problems" by failing to confer with him early enough about pitfalls. "We've tried to be polite," Grassley said in an interview, but "I can't wait until the president presents a program to Congress . . . any longer. I've got to start right now."
But...but...he has a mandate
. Don't you guys listen to the pundits?
posted by tbogg at 9:31 PM
Snookering the enabler
Paul Krugman takes Alan Greenspan to task and shows him to be Bush's next victim
No doubt you're under intense pressure to be a team player. But these guys are users: they persuade other people to squander their hard-won credibility on behalf of bad policies, then discard those people once they are no longer useful. Think of John DiIulio, or your friend Paul O'Neill. It's happening to Colin Powell right now. (A digression: The U.S. media are soft-pedaling it as usual, but the business of the Osama tape has destroyed Mr. Powell's credibility in much of the world. The tape calls Saddam Hussein an "infidel" whose "jurisdiction . . . has fallen," but says that it's still O.K. to fight the "Crusaders" — and Mr. Powell claims that it ties Saddam to Al Qaeda. Huh? All it shows is that Al Qaeda views a U.S. invasion of Iraq as an excellent recruiting opportunity.)
posted by tbogg at 9:22 PM
More poetry for the masses
Earlier today I linked to the Wall Street Journals heartfelt but profoundly crapulent* pro-war poetry
. This has brought out the poetry lovers in my email. My two favorites:
"next to of course god america i
love you land of the pilgrims' and so forth oh
say can you see by the dawn's early my
country 'tis of centuries come and go
and are no more what of it we should worry
in every language even deafanddumb
thy sons acclaim thy glorious name by gorry
by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
iful than these heroic happy dead
who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
they did not stop to think they died instead
then shall the voice of liberty be mute?"
He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water
e e cummings, 1926
(sent in by Brian)
"If any question why we died, Tell them, because our fathers lied."
-- Rudyard Kipling
(sent in by Megan)
Oh, sure they're not:
So do take pause before telling a lie,
for there's one more thing I saw on that night,
as the wind and the rain began to die,
I walked away, turned, and beheld a light.
...but what is?
(* Note to self...used "crapulent. Tear off April 6th on Word of the Day calendar)
posted by tbogg at 8:52 PM
All the clarification that is fit to print
As attentive readers will remember (or even you slackers who keep coming here looking for Hillary+Duffy+nude) from about noon
today, young Master Ben Shapiro started tapdancing like Savion Glover over his comments about Germans never having "experienced the tyranny of Communist rule" with the following "what I meant to say but didn't because I'm a callow little rightwing twerp completely lacking in perspective and my dog ate my history book" excuse:
Note: After reading the article, you will understand this comment: East Germany was under Communist control, but West Germany was not, and the majority of the German population hails from West Germany. That is why Germany today is so appeasement-minded
Reader Jeff has provided us with a bit of Shapiro-logic
to match the Virgin Ben's latest:
In a recent column, I noted that America was braver than other nations because Americans have never been slaves. After reading the article, you will understand this comment: black people had been slaves, but white people hadn't, and the majority of the American population is white. That is why America is so brave.
posted by tbogg at 8:23 PM
Just added to the Hot Links
The ReachM High Cowboy Network Noose
to be designated as Cowboy Kahlil, because it sounds so cool.
posted by tbogg at 8:03 PM
Top Ten Conservative Idiots
I have been remiss in pointing out DemocraticUnderground.com
and their sharply written Top Ten Conservative Idiots
posted weekly. Stop by and throw them a little cash while you're at it. I did, and I've got the bumpersticker
to prove it.
posted by tbogg at 7:54 PM
Setting up shop in women's wombs
Republican Congressmen, ever fascinated with the sexual organs of women, have decided that the time is ripe to invade their privacy
and their bodies and tell them what they can do with them.
Making good on a November election promise, House Republicans began pushing a bill Thursday that would ban a controversial late-term abortion procedure.
"It's time for Congress to act and place this bill in front of the president so that we can finally end this national tragedy," said Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, the measure's sponsor.
"While I expect that some of the Senate's most zealous pro-abortion advocates will again attempt to block this legislation, I am confident that we will finally be able to pass this ban into law," Chabot said.
Here is Steve "Comb-over" Chabot
who coincidently lacks both a vagina and a brain.
Big Flaming Irony Alert
Congressman Chabot, also served as a House Manager during the Senate impeachment trial of President Clinton. Chabot received praise for his even-handed and thoughtful approach to the trial.
Chabot has helped lead efforts to block taxation of the Internet, pass product liability reform measures, and toughen anti-drug laws. He is an outspoken defender of individual privacy rights.
Want to drop Hair Club for Men
Steve an email? Just go here
and use his home office address
441 Vine Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2808
...as yours. After all, as a taxpayer, you pay for it.
Remember, he's a Congressman. Don't say anything stupid...like he would.
posted by tbogg at 7:36 PM
Fun with fiction time
War cheerleader Andrew Sullivan posts:
LETTERS: "In light of the current crisis with Iraq, I thought it might be interesting to read again Frederick Forsyth's wonderful novel on the Gulf War, The Fist of God, published in 1994. Take note of this gem I discovered on page 351:
'He (Saddam Hussein) thinks the United Nations peacemongers could pull the rug. He's gambling that time is on his side, that if he can keep spinning things out the resolve of the UN will ebb away. He could be right.'
'The man doesn't make sense,' snapped Laing. 'He has the deadline. January 16, not twenty days away. He's going to be crushed.'
'Unless,' suggested Paxman, 'one of the Permanent Members of the Security Council comes up with a last-minute peace plan to put the dealine(sic) on hold.'
Laing looked gloomy.
'Paris or Moscow, or both,' he predicted.
So why are we surprised now?"
Ooooooooo...spooky. Speaking of prescient novels, try this one on:
It Can't Happen Here
Novel by Sinclair Lewis, published in 1935. It is a cautionary tale about the rise of fascism in the United States. During the presidential election of 1936, Doremus Jessup, a newspaper editor, observes with dismay that many of the people he knows support the candidacy of a fascist, Berzelius Windrip. When Windrip wins the election, he forcibly gains control of Congress and the Supreme Court, and, with the aid of his personal paramilitary storm troopers, turns the United States into a totalitarian state. Jessup opposes him, is captured, and escapes to Canada.
In this novel, Sinclair Lewis asks the question – what if some ambitious politician would use the 1936 presidential election to make himself dictator by promising quick, easy solutions to the depression - just as Hitler had done in Germany in 1933.
The hero, Doremus Jessup, a small-town newspaper editor in Vermont, turns 60 years old the year the dictator is elected. Doremus struggling for a year with the new government’s attempts to censor his paper and ends up in a concentration camp. Within a year he escapes to Canada, from there, he goes on missions back into the states for the underground resistance movement against the dictatorship.
While Doremus Jessup could be anybody, the identity of Buzz Windrip, the power-hungry senator who makes himself a dictator would be obvious to any American in 1935. Parallels are made in his dictatorial control of his own un-named state with the career of Huey Long, senator from Louisiana. In 1935 Long had a mass organization, the Share the Wealth League, and was planning to challenge Roosevelt for the Democratic nomination for the president in 1936. (While Lewis was writing his novel, Long was assassinated.)
The identity of the main ally of the fictional dictator would be equally obvious, Bishop Peter Paul Prang, the popular radio preacher who endorses Buzz Windrip’s campaign, is based on Father Charles Coughlin, the most popular radio speaker of the thirties who had a weekly program on CBS in which he denounced President Roosevelt and the Jews for causing and perpetuating the depression. Father Coughlin’s fans included the father of Pat Buchanan, a candidate for the Republican nomination for the president in the year 2000.
The parallel between Father Coughlin and such present-day TV evangelists as Pat Robertson is equally obvious. (In his novel, Lewis foresees that TV would have even greater propaganda potential than the radio – this fictional dictator introduces mass coast-to-coast TV broadcasting in 1937 - something that did not happen in reality until 1948.)
Lewis’s novel was supposed to be made into a film in 1936, but Will Hays who was in charge of censorship for the movie studios, used all his power and stopped the film from being made. Hays felt that a film of this novel would be seen as an attack on the Republican party.
Notice any coincidences?
posted by tbogg at 7:08 PM
Bring out the hypocrites...
I hope one of the Democratic Senators reads Michael Kinsley's latest
into the record during the Estrada filibuster. Especially this part:
Judgeship nominations bring out the hypocrite in politicians of both parties, but the Republican hypocrisy here is especially impressive. When Bill Clinton was appointing judges, the senior Judiciary Committee Republican, Sen. Orrin Hatch, called for "more diligent and extensive … questioning of nominees' jurisprudential views." Now Hatch says Democrats have no right to demand any such thing. President Bush fired the American Bar Association as official auditor of judicial nominations because the ABA gave some Republican nominees a lousy grade. Now Hatch cites the ABA's judgment as "the gold standard" because it unofficially gave Estrada a high grade.
Hatch needs to be bitch-slapped by the Angel Moroni.
posted by tbogg at 6:51 PM
Every so often I like to share Top Ten Lists from Top 5.com
that get emailed to me. This one is pretty damn funny:
Some people celebrate Darwin Day today, the birthday of Charles Darwin. You can find more info here: http://www.darwinday.org
The Top 14 Ways to Celebrate Darwin Day
14> Survival of the Jell-O shootingest.
13> Taunt monkeys.
12> Work really hard at making big toes opposable.
11> Turn off NASCAR, spit out tobacco, straighten posture and stop using the word "fixin'."
10> Have sex with someone whose IQ is higher than the number of your favorite cable channel.
9> Outlive or inseminate a creationist.
8> Change name of your performance art piece from "Idiot Falling Down Stairs" to "The Descent of Man."
7> Pig out. Darwin said the fattest survive, didn't he?
6> Finally lose that tail.
5> If his exhumed corpse casts a shadow, teach six more weeks of fundamentalism. (Kansas only)
4> Party like it's 1869.
3> Same as yesterday: Rid self of old sperm to make room for newer, more evolved sperm.
2> Get four friends with bad posture to follow you all day as the "Evolution of Man."
and Topfive.com's Number 1 Way to Celebrate Darwin Day...
1> Take a fish for a walk.
posted by tbogg at 6:25 PM
Green eggs and war...
Thanks to reader Chris, we see that the Wall Street Journal
has gone into the iambic pentameter business.
Last month we noted that the White House had canceled a poetry event Laura Bush planned for today because a group of "antiwar," anti-American, anti-Semitic and pro-Saddam poets, declaring today "A Day of Poetry Against the War," had announced their intention to hijack the event in the name of their infantile politics. (Roger Kimball in The Wall Street Journal and J. Bottum in The Weekly Standard both subsequently wrote excellent commentaries on the subject.) These poets have a Web site, PoetsAgainsttheWar.com, featuring such lovely sentiments as " 'God Bless America' would be blasphemy / if there were a god concerned with humanity" and "Jews who learned their comportment from storm-troopers / act out the nightmares that woke their grandmothers."
Well, two can play at this game. We declared today "A Day of Poetry for the War" and asked our readers to submit pro-American, pro-freedom, anti-Saddam, anti-idiotarian poems. And we got one heck of a response: more than 300 e-mails--some from published poets, most from amateurs. Some were very good, some were very bad, most were in between, and some were so bad they were good. Some made us laugh, and some made us sad; what follows are the ones we liked best. Thanks to all who responded.
Are you ready for some poetry? Keep in mind, these are the best of the lot:
I was born in Middle East
I left to escape terror
My family came to America
To make our lives better
Mom and Dad worked
I got an education
Joined the Army
to show my appreciation
Now the region suffers
Worse than when we lived there
An evil man is charge
The horror's too much to bear
Let's go free the people
Who live in those lands
We're their other hope
In Iraq and Iran
Put down your signs
Come join our team
You have been lied to
War is not what it seems
I know you want peace
But your ideals are misguided
The world is not safe
Your views are one-sided
Let me go fight
Let me go win
Let my people be free
Now tell me: Are you in?
Holy Maya Angelou! When can we start the bombing? But wait...there's more:
The night fell fast, I found myself alone,
A D.C. summer storm was blowing in,
I stood at the tomb, these soldiers unknown,
and knelt and prayed for the rain to begin.
Not for the monuments nor any money,
nor pomp, circumstance, nor the pedant's pride,
the politician's smile, nor lawyer's fee,
for these present treasures, none of them died.
I ran to Jefferson to read the wall,
to make sure that God was still written there,
then to Washington, and across the Mall,
where Lincoln invoked his immortal prayer.
Winded and ragged, lightning everywhere,
I slowed to a walk, pondered what would be,
if God's great Enlightenment weren't there,
we could still be brave but never be free.
I found comfort in the Mall's mud and rain,
without mines nor cannons nor raining shells,
so free from fear, iniquity, and pain,
because thousands had endured a thousand hells.
And I found myself back before the tomb,
humbled by the humbled, with naught for name,
shivering, though they had the colder room,
sans light, nor sound, nor tomorrow, nor fame.
I thought for a moment, what it could be,
the center and circumference of their dreaming,
it must have been the prophet's poetry,
that granted their souls eternal meaning.
So judges and congressmen, please don't forget,
the reason these patriots picked up swords,
not for perks nor power were their deaths met,
but for honor and duty--for mere words.
So do take pause before telling a lie,
for there's one more thing I saw on that night,
as the wind and the rain began to die,
I walked away, turned, and beheld a light.
Will 'o' wisp, reddish light, sailor's delight,
It hovered there--just above the tomb's stone,
As fading thunder whispered to the night,
"Freedom's the name of all soldiers unknown."
There's more, but I'm all choked up...or choking...or something. As ee cummings
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
posted by tbogg at 12:51 PM
That clears that up...except that it doesn't.
The Virgin Ben is no more successful with clearing up matters
than he is with the ladies.
As noted before
, from his column:
If Western Europe has its way, this will never happen. France, Germany and their other accommodation-minded cohorts are in the palms of Middle Eastern Islamic dictatorships. For these countries that never experienced the tyranny of Communist rule during the Cold War, the idea of evil is anathema
...and now the explanation from his blog
Note: After reading the article, you will understand this comment: East Germany was under Communist control, but West Germany was not, and the majority of the German population hails from West Germany. That is why Germany today is so appeasement-minded.
Besides the completely unfounded comment that the West Germans would be more appeasement-minded, he fails to admit that he...was...wrong.
these countries that never experienced the tyranny of Communist rule during the Cold War,
East Germany was under Communist control
Should we chalk this up to:
b)"can't admit when he was wrong"
c)"not as smart as he thinks he is" or
d) all of the above aka "look...our baby is a Republican"
posted by tbogg at 11:52 AM
Looks like Karl Rove lost another one of his PowerPoint presentations.
This is the placemat
that President Booster Seat colors in everyday at lunch.
posted by tbogg at 11:15 AM
If you need me, I'll be in my hidey hole in Nebraska
With his Official Presidential Evildoers Fightin'™ jacket
on President McCoward visited Florida today to rally the troops
being sent in harm's way as part of Operation Inigo Montoya.
He told sailors at the Mayport Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, Thursday that the greatest threat to the United States was outlaw nations that possess weapons of mass destruction.
"These regimes could use such weapons for blackmail, terror, mass murder. They could also give or sell those weapons to terrorist allies who would use them without the least bit of hesitation," Bush said.
Shrewd White House speechwriters deleted the section about Donald Rumsfeld
giving Saddam the anthrax, giving the sailors one less reason to kick Rummy's ass.
posted by tbogg at 11:01 AM
has prostate cancer.
posted by tbogg at 10:47 AM
Viagra for warbloggers
Jeanne D'Arc has this picture
up and it made me think of all the complaints by Republicans about Clinton when the barricades went up on Pennsylvania Avenue .
Is this progress?
Meanwhile, John Ashcroft has ordered a 555 foot condom for the Washington monument because of it's "disturbing turgidness thrusting boldly over and over again into a moist and virginal sky"
posted by tbogg at 10:20 AM
I think he served in the 101st Roach Calvary
Thanks to Nitpicker
for this following improbable snippet that Bug Killer Tom Delay is relating about his own bad self:
I was at a celebration of India's Independence Day," he told reporters, "and a Frenchman came walking up to me and started talking to me about Iraq, and it was obvious we were not going to agree. And I said, 'Wait a minute. Do you speak German?' And he looked at me kind of funny and said, 'No, I don't speak German.' And I said, 'You're welcome,' turned around and walked off." From The Washington Post.
Odd. I don't remember DeLay serving in the military in WWII, much less the Korean War or Viet Nam. Last I heard, he could't get in because the minorities
had taken up all the good jobs:
In his early years in Congress, DeLay tended to keep his bizarre views out of the headlines. But in 1988 one of his barmier moments occurred in public. According to the Houston Press, DeLay gave an impassioned defense of Dan Quayle, who was then under fire for using family ties to get into a National Guard unit and out of serving in Vietnam. DeLay explained to reporters a theretofore little-noted phenomenon. DeLay claimed there was no room in the Army for people like himself and Quayle because so many minority youths had gone into uniform to escape poverty and the ghetto. This remarkable explanation left his audience dumbfounded. After DeLay left the microphone, a television reporter asked, "Who was that idiot?"
posted by tbogg at 10:09 AM
I could have been, uh, doing something else
It looks like people who like to waste their time are mad at Fox
for...wasting their time.
Viewers were fuming and David Letterman was cracking wise about Fox promotions for "Joe Millionaire" that seemed to promise more than the show delivered.
Evan Marriott didn't make the final choice between would-be loves Sarah and Zora Monday night, although network hints seemed to indicate that he would. Instead, the episode was mostly a recap.
"We got duped. We totally got duped," viewer Cynthia Wiggin of San Carlos said Wednesday. She dismissed the episode as "Total filler. A whole filler night."
Looks like Cynthia Wiggin is going to have to spend another Monday afternoon dressing up her cats for her Joe Millionaire, God I Haven't Had Sex In Four Years. Where's The Ben & Jerry's and My Loose Sweatpants
party, next week.
posted by tbogg at 9:48 AM
Geezers for Estrada
Watch out obstructionist Democrats, 60 Plus has got Miguel Estrada's parte posteriora
Confirm Estrada Now
Washington, DC – Way back on May 9 of 2001, some 643 days ago, President Bush nominated Miguel A. Estrada to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The 60 Plus Association said then – and says now – “Bravo!”
Mr. Estrada would be the first Hispanic in history to sit on the District’s Court of Appeals, viewed by many as the most important and prestigious Court of Appeals in the land. His nomination would be a huge event for the Hispanic community, an ever-expanding segment of the United States. He has worked at the Justice Department under both Republicans and Democrats and has shown a commitment to upholding the integrity of the law. He has argued 15 cases before the Supreme Court – and all before reaching the age of 40! He deserves the “well qualified” rating bestowed upon him by the American Bar Association, their highest possible evaluation. Attorneys from both parties who know Mr. Estrada are convinced he’ll be a fair and honest judge, following law rather than personal opinion.
So who is 60 Plus
? Glad you asked:
The 60 Plus Association is a non-partisan seniors advocacy group with a free enterprise, less government, less taxes approach to seniors issues. 60 Plus has set ending the federal estate tax and saving Social Security for the young as its top priorities. 60 Plus is often viewed as the conservative alternative to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
Apparently they have set their sights on ending the "death tax" a modest goal considering their earlier efforts to end "death", which proved to be unrealistic. But old James L. Martin, President of 60 Plus sure has a wild hair up his slack withered ass about AARP:
The American Association of Retired Persons (or AARP) is the eight hundred pound gorilla of associations supposedly representing senior citizens.
In actuality, the organization is a huge fraud on seniors, profiting by commission from a variety of money making schemes, receiving millions of taxpayer dollars, and promoting programs of big government and high taxes which hurt, not help, seniors. Considering the record of the AARP, we like to call them the AARP--the Association Against Retired Persons.
You see there are the 33 million members of AARP and 60 Plus appears to have, well, they claim 500,000 "citizen lobbyists". But it looks more like a cash cow for old man Martin
. More about Jim:
Jim served for six years as Chief of Staff to Congressman, then Senator, the late Edward J. Gurney (R-FL), 1964-69. He has helped to organize and direct several advocacy groups including the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC) and the Public Service Research Council (PSRC) (Americans Against Union Control of Government), which opposes public sector compulsory unionism as a threat to elected representation.
with Roach Scourge Tom DeLay.
...and here's Jim
with President Senior Friendly If They Are Rich. Please note that, then 22 year old George Bush, nicknamed Martin "Buddha" back in the day when Bush was still only smoking dope and hadn't moved on to harder snortable reality enhancers...if you know what I mean.
posted by tbogg at 9:18 AM
It was a quiet September 9th evening....too quiet
points out to us that, while America slept, Andy Sullivan was attending a drag show in Provincetown.
Drag may eventually disappear altogether - which will be a shame in one respect, since it's a glorious and wonderful tradition. But I won't be sad to see the days pass when gay men had to pass as effeminate or almost indistinguishable from women to gain a foothold of recognition or acceptance. If drag collapses because gay freedom thrives, then it will be a worthwhile trade-off.
Little did he know.......
posted by tbogg at 8:41 AM
Consider the source...
I received this email from "Tallan":
BS! While you may disagree with DenBeste, he uses analysis with little invective. You use invective with a little analysis.
If you are so sure you are right, why all the personal attacts (sic). It is the meaness and the silliness of the European criticisms that are strengthening Bush at home.
I'll type slowly so you will understand this. I pointed to a piece over at the Daily Kos written by a former serviceman
about how the war might
go. I compared that to the writings of Steven Den Beste, a telephone engineer
, who fancies himself the Carl von Clausewitz of the blogospere. I find the fact that warbloggers and their loyal following of chickenhawks seek reassurance from these warhawk wannabes to be endlessly amusing.
Here's a life tip: Being a shut-in with a roomful of Tom Clancy novels doesn't make you a "serious war planner". It makes you a shut-in with a roomful of Tom Clancy novels.
As far as the "invective vs. analysis" conundrum. That's what I do. I don't pretend to be something I'm not, writing about things I don't know anything about. I leave that to the Michael Kellys and Andy Sullivans. I "do" invective because I like it, I'm good at it, and doggone it, people like me.
posted by tbogg at 8:30 AM
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
The freepers have announced their boycott of "french fries", "french toast", and Pepe Le Pew cartoons.
Some members of Congress are stamping their little feet and threatening boycotts
and other stuff against France.
In his nearly 20 years in the US House of Representatives, New Jersey's James Saxton has built a solid if low-profile record as a moderate Republican.
But when it comes to Iraq, the unassuming Mr Saxton is an avowed hawk and he has now found a new target for his anger over European intransigence: the Paris Air Show.
The senior member of the House armed services committee has drafted a resolution, which he intends to introduce this week, that would call on all US companies and government officials to bypass the biennial gathering, widely regarded as the most important trade show for the industry.
Although the resolution would not be binding, Mr Saxton said if it passed he believed it would have a significant impact, particularly on the US military.
In other words, the relatively obscure New Jersey Congressman is just jerking off for an easily amused public. Meanwhile...
The resolution is only one of several efforts being considered in Congress to punish French industry. Dennis Hastert, speaker of the House, has discussed with Republican colleagues imposing regulations on French wine and bottled water imported into the US
In retaliation, hot French women vowed to never have sex with overweight former wrestling coaches from the Midwest...until they remembered that they never had sex with overweight former wrestling coaches from the Midwest in the first place. Instead they just licked their lips in a seductive manner causing America's overweight former wrestling coaches from the Midwest to shift uncomfortably in their elastic-waisted Dockers and wish that they could have about thirty seconds alone in the men's room to deal with their precious bodily fluids...if you know what I mean, and I'm sure you wish you didn't.
posted by tbogg at 2:53 PM
Like it was written by a Steven Den Beste... except this one knows what he's talking about.
The Daily Kos has a great summary
of how the war (which one?) could
By the way, am I the only one who thinks that Den Beste
looks like the Comic Book Guy
from The Simpsons? You decide.
posted by tbogg at 1:22 PM
The Bush "scorched brain" policy.
has this up:
Has our political class lost its collective mind? Here’s a story buried inside The Washington Post: “Faced with a U.S. invasion of Iraq, President Saddam Hussein would likely launch missile and terrorist attacks against Israel and U.S. facilities abroad, preemptive strikes against the Kurds in the north, and a ‘scorched-earth strategy’ in Iraq ‘significant enough to stop a military advance,’ the Defense Department’s top intelligence official said yesterday.”
Oh wait, this gentleman, Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has actually served in the military, unlike George Bush, Dick Cheney, Tom Delay, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, George Will, Rush Limbaugh, Marty Peretz, Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens, Michael Kelly, etc. He must not know what he is talking about.
Oh, here it comes. (Freeper voice): "Uh, Bush served in the Texas National Guard. LOL. Bump. Ping. Hitlery Klintoon...grunt grunt."
That doesn't exactly make President Grounded Until He Pees In A Bottle exactly Pentagon corner-office-material.