Saturday, August 27, 2005
The bad part, as I've shared with a few of you, is a side effect called cough syncope, which causes me to sometimes black out after a particularly bad coughing jag. I sincerely hope I'm not killing a bunch of brain cells every time that happens, but there's really no way to know (an increase in typos on this blog might be a tip off -- let me know if that starts happening).
Anyway, if you should happen to find me slumped over in a coffee shop or pulled over on the side of the road, please be kind enough to clear the breathing passages and call 911 if I'm not responding. I've gone back to wearing my dog tags. They've got my legal name and blood type (A+) on them. Disregard the religious preference. That's no longer operative.
Have a nice weekend.
But I'm certain some part of Dr. Gonzo is still with us here on earth. Today it can be found in the writing of Billmon, speaking of fundie-fascist preacher cum con man Pat Robertson:
Personally, I've known Pat was either a demented psychopath or a world-class con artist ever since he first emerged on the national scene back in the early 1980s. I remember seeing some old footage of Robertson hopping down the aisle of his "church" on one foot in some kind of a faith-healing trace, and thinking to myself: Nobody does something like that unless they're authentically ripped on the Holy Spirit, or they expect to make some nice coin out of it.Uncle Duke is alive and well.
I always assumed it was the latter (a business associate who traveled with Robertson claims he never saw him reading the Bible -- just Investor's Business Daily and the Wall Street Journal.) But then I happened to catch Robertson on the tube giving a speech during the 1988 Republican convention, and I realized he was both a con man and a nut case -- with no clear dividing line between them.
Robertson's speech was devoted not to the evils of the San Francisco Democrats or the disaster that would befall America if Mike Dukakis ever set foot in the White House -- the usual stuff -- but to a full-throated attack on the French Revolution, the Bavarian Illuminati and the international banker's cartel. He sounded like a cross between Robert Anton Wilson and Henry Ford on acid. I haven't heard so many freaking conspiracy theories in one place since my one and only conversation with Larry Flynt, back when he was still hooked on the hard stuff. (I'll tell that story some other time.)
After much negotiation, it got watered down enough that almost everyone could support it.
Now Fafblog explains why. I'm gonna go to a swap meet today to see if I can find a spine.
Thursday, August 25, 2005|
"Everyone should have a hobby." -- Edward Abbey, The Monkey Wrench Gang
A commandment here, a commandment there. But hey, who's counting?
Susie quotes the entertaining and sometimes even reliable Capitol Hill Blue, which portrays Bush as positively Nixonesque in his angry rages over the "motherfucking traitors." Break out the official enemies list.
We have all been here before.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Yesterday I watched as a pretty boy 35ish yuppy political hack from the crowd of sycophants with whom the president has surrounded himself described Hagel (with a sneer) as "someone who has lost his way." He (the yup) went on to say that Hagel has no ideas worth listening to in the matter of the possible resemblance of the Vietnam War to the mess in Iraq. Actually, he said, Hagel no longer knows what the war in Vietnam was about.One wonders what preppy nursery school produced such valiant young men.
Now, consider that. This kid was still crapping in his pants and crying for the pacifier when Hagel and his brother and Hagel's "boys" were fighting to defeat the VC/NVA in the outskirts of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) but he, from the depths of his marvelous intellect knows better what VN was "about."
Meeting briefly with reporters Monday aboard Air Force One, Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman subbing for Scott McClellan, said that President Bush believes that those who want the U.S. to begin to change course in Iraq do not want America to win the overall "war on terror." (emphasis mine)Really, who gives a fuck what the former governor of Texas believes? The man is dumber than dog shit, believes that intelligent design should get a fair shake in the science classroom, and probably wonders if the world might really be flat.
The leader of the fact-free administration stays the course. My apologies, but some times I just need to get the rant out of my system.
For political reasons, the president has a history of silence on America's war dead. But he finally mentioned them on Monday because it became politically useful to use them as a rationale for war - now that all the other rationales have gone up in smoke.Thanks to AMERICAblog for the link.
"We owe them something," he told veterans in Salt Lake City (even though his administration tried to shortchange the veterans agency by $1.5 billion). "We will finish the task that they gave their lives for."
What twisted logic: with no W.M.D., no link to 9/11 and no democracy, now we have to keep killing people and have our kids killed because so many of our kids have been killed already? Talk about a vicious circle: the killing keeps justifying itself.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Pass the Kool-Aid. I guess we need a word for the wacko christian version of sharia, and a Council of Guardians to make sure that federal and state laws are aligned with scripture. I'm sure that's what our founding fathers had in mind when they established America as a "Christian Nation."
They learn to view every vote as a religious duty, and to consider compromise a sin.
That puts them at the vanguard of a bold effort by evangelical conservatives to mold a new generation of leaders who will answer not to voters, but to God.
[ . . . ]
The philosophy animating Cameron's lecture -- that federal law should be based on biblical precepts -- troubles the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
"This nation was founded specifically to avoid the government making religious and theological decisions," Lynn said. "We are not to turn the Holy Scriptures of any group into public policy."
Kennedy counters that evangelicals have every right to put up candidates who vote what they believe to be God's will -- and let voters judge them.
To which Lynn responds, with exasperation: "He says that because he knows in a majority Christian country, the Christian view is going to be expressed by more voters. They have no problem imposing their biblical worldview on every American."
Evangelical conservatives acknowledge that's their goal.
And they now have a systematic plan for achieving it.
UPDATE Monday morning: The General has recovered the lost verses, which show beyond a shodow of a doubt that The Lord and Savior was a butt-kicking ninja assassin.
They also note that Salt Lake TV stations are refusing to air Cindy Sheehan's ad, stating that it constituted an "inappropriate commercial advertisement for Salt Lake City."
That's right. Send in the riot troops to stop the children from dancing, but don't let the mother of and dead U.S. soldier get anybody excited.
We should have let Utah keep polygamy and not let them join the Union. Of course, we would have missed out on those great National Parks. And there was the railroad that had to go though there.
But, jeebus, what a dysfunctional fucking state! No offense, Ed.
(Disclosure statement: Both my mother and father were born in Salt Lake City, though they met in San Francisco during WWII).
Monday, August 22, 2005
Having studied WWII a bit (I was a history minor before I was an intelligence officer), I found this proclamation facinating.
Let's have a little fun. Let's play, if W were president during WWII . . .
I'll start it off. If W were president during WWII, the U.S. would have invaded Mexico after Pearl Harbor (my apologies to Richard Clarke).
A deal perceived by Sunni elites has leading to the destruction of the Iraq state, rammed through an assembly in which Sunnis are almost entirely absent, will have the opposite effect. It could be read, in fact, as a declaration of civil war -- and probably will be so read by Sunni moderates and rejectionists alike.In April of last year, back when I had time to write rather long, well thought out posts, I looked at 5 possible ways the misadventure in Iraq could go. Civil war was the worst of the bunch. It also may have been inevitable, given how little reality was included in planning of this disaster.
By blessing such a deal, the Cheney administration will have ripped away the last fig leaf of any claim to support a united, democratic and free Iraq.
Intel Dump is frequented by current and former military officers, many of them JAG officers. The conversation is getting lively. Check it out. It's the sort of information that should lead to a thorough investigation (and maybe a Michael Moore book).
UPDATE Monday afternoon: Be sure and read Laura Rozen's take over at War and Piece. She notes that Able Danger was cancelled in March of 2001 by the Bush administration. That's 6 months prior to 9-11 for anyone who is keeping track.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
I'm not saying there's hope for these people. It's just kind of fun to see them get smacked across the head with the hard truth.
In an unprecedented scale of terror attacks, a banned Islamist militant group yesterday simultaneously blasted at least 459 time bombs in 63 of 64 districts across the country.Maybe we should invade Bangladesh so we can help them learn about Democracy and stuff. Oh, wait. The Brits already tried that. Didn't they try it in Iraq, too? Never mind.
[ . . . ]
In the leaflets, in Bangla and Arabic, found with the bomb devices, Jama'atul, which was banned on February 23 this year, said: "It is time to implement Islamic law in Bangladesh. There is no future with man-made law."
I'd even be willing to consider the relative merits of Intelligent Design. But I've got this one little problem. I can't figure out how an intelligent Creator could have come up with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Anne Coulter, or George W. Bush.
Of course, that crowd seems to defy evolution, too. Go figure.
I guess I'm going to just accept that my higher power has a really twisted sense of humor.
Thanks to Duncan for the link.
General Peter Schoomaker, the Army Chief of Staff, continues with the Bush-Rumsfeld happy horseshit line that he will let the "commanders in the field" decide what forces they require and they will get them. You don't need a line and block chart and a caculator to know this is a lie. There are no more troops to send. The regular army is tapped out, and the mobilized reserves aren't likely to wait around for a second call-up once they rotate home.
As for that worst case scenario estimate, there is reason to believe that, as bad as things are in Iraq right now, they are about to get worse. Billmon notes a piece in the WaPo in which Tony Shadid and Steve Fainaru paint a picture of sectarian fighting in Iraq starting to look like civil war between the Crips and the Bloods.
And even if the US forces stay the course and somehow manage to keep a lid on the civil war that is already tearing Iraq apart, the end state is likely to be the creation of an Islamic republic that represses the non-devout, treats woman like cattle, and thumbs its nose at democracy.
Your tax dollars (and the blood of thousands), hard at work. Thank a Republican.
I got an email the other day and it said, "Cindy if you didn't use so much profanity ... there's people on the fence that get offended.Don't bother pandering to those "undecideds" on the fence. There's nobody there.
And you know what I said? "You know what? You know what, god damn it? How in the world is anybody still sitting on that fence?
If you fall on the side that is pro-George and pro-war, you get your ass over to Iraq, and take the place of somebody who wants to come home. And if you fall on the side that is against this war and against George Bush, stand up and speak out.