Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Orwell He Most Certainly Ain't
I'm not saying I would exchange Homage To Catalonia for Orwell dying on principle; nor am I suggesting that Hitch's best place is on any kind of battlefield (he's too old and slow, among other things). I too have my disagreements with "Operation Yellow Elephant" - it's in poor taste, it denigrates those who are serving, and never mind the guilt(moral, not emotional) one would face if one convinced some poor sap like Jonah Goldberg to go and he actually did get his head blown off (we lefty humanists love you all, even if you are the capitalist pig oppressors - you know not what you do). What I am saying is Hitch has no business at all invoking Orwell when he attacks anyone - especially on the left - and he should step right the eff off as the self-proclaimed modern interpreter of and intellectual heir to Orwell. He's given up that privilege.
Update: The good folks at SullyWatch have a much less elliptical disagreement.
And Regarding That Speech
Update: Democracy Arsenal has a report card with which I agree. Points 5 through 8 are of special note, although I don't think you can really accuse the President of not having a plan to win. He does: Keep doing whatever it is we're doing and not tell anyone what it actually is(did this remind anyone else of Nixon?). I think the argument, in all seriousness, is "is 'keep doing what we're doing' really the plan to win?" Leave aside that the administration and its cheerleaders like Hitch and Sullivan - I pick them because they seem to have the most certainty about what the "Iraq Project" actually means to Iraqis and the world, as opposed to Coulter or Limbaugh who really only care about how this makes Republicans look - can only manage to define "winning" as "not failing"(to do what exactly?). It's difficult to ignore the failure of the current plan to lead to more politics and less bloodshed.
Totally Not About The Speech
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
The Rest Of Maryland
What Did You Do During The Press Conference?
They Make Petitions
Monday, June 27, 2005
Ok, What He Said
Update:While we're at it, via Rox Populi we get the secrets of undermining speech as practiced by Snay, above (who I don't think is a liberal, but who is still practicing the black art anyway). Also, I'm glad that Rox's question isn't actually answered by the post linked, because the big all out assault on all things neo-con begins at RUFNKM in the coming weeks, and that's one of the questions we fully intend to answer.
Why is this not suprising?
Strange Times Indeed
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Update: I dig this post at Sisyphus Shrugged.
Update: This one's a multiple. One, guess who's the bigger man? Yeah, you know. Second, Rove is lying. Conservatives got on television and said America got what it deserved. Third, you know what else gets played on Al Jezerra? "Bring'em on." Fourth, what the eff is he talking about here? When asked about the Downing Street Memo he talks about post war planning. That makes effin' sense. Didn't they used to call this "spin"?
I will say this, though. The Democratic Party could sure learn a few things from these guys. Durbin has to tearfully apologize because members of his own party are too lame to stick by him, whereas Karl just gets to keep on spoutin' with a hearty "gung ho!" from his fellow travelers. Nice racket they got going.
Update: Also, read John(not Juan) Cole.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
An Argument From Design
Junior Engineer: "Now why the eff does it do that?"
Me: "Because some idiot at (company name deleted) wrote it that way."
Junior Engineer: "Thanks. I knew that and you're not helping."
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
You Can Do It W, Put Your Back Into It!
Tick, Check, Etc...
Monday, June 20, 2005
Sweet Dreams, Dopplegangers!
Friday, June 17, 2005
Attention Pod People
But then there's the new wrinkle. Fresh from erecting "the right's" usual strawman - that those who object to, say, torturing detainees are also suggesting that they be set free (well, maybe Alexander Cockburn has, I don't know, I don't read Counterpunch, but Durbin certainly hasn't) he whips out his "gotcha" lighter and touches it to the straw. The people we've got detained are definately not nice people and intend to do us harm, and as such certain harsh techniques are not-uncalled for. Ok, I'm sure you're wondering when we're going to ask, so how about now? ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME????
First off, this is not the product of the self satisfied Dangerous Mind. If Pod II Hitch thinks he's being either original or provocative, he's sadly mistaken. Rush Limbaugh, Jonah Goldberg and others have him beat by over a year. Second no sensible person is suggesting we ought to let these people run around free. What we are suggesting is that the United States should not behave in this manner. No one is trying to elicit sympathy for our enemies, we're suggesting it's a bad thing if we become like them. Finally, we know that these techniques have nothing to do with information extraction and everything to do with venting some post-9-11 angst out. I could go on, but it's been put very very well elsewhere:
Nobody has yet even suggested that the disgusting saturnalia in Abu Ghraib produced any "intelligence" worth the name or switched off any "ticking bomb." How could it? It was trashily recreational...
...Skill, in these matters, depends on taking pains and not on inflicting them. You make the chap go through his story several times, preferably on video, and then you ask his friends a huge number of tedious questions, and then you go through it all again to check for discrepancies, and then you watch the first (very boring and sexless) video all over once more, and then you make him answer all the same questions and perhaps a couple of new and clever ones. If you have got the wrong guy—and it does happen—you let him go and offer him a ride home and an apology. And you know what? It often works. Only a lazy and incompetent dirtbag looks for brutal shortcuts so that he can get off his shift early. And sometimes, gunmen and bombers even have changes of heart, as well as mind...
...But you must not bring in that pig or that electrode. That way lies madness and corruption and the extraction of junk confessions.
Read the whole thing. It's a very sensible, humane peice that seems to have been written by a sensible human being.
This Can't Be Right
Let's Talk Reprehensible
Update:DemVet noticed this too.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
For myself I'm glad I'll never have more than blogospheric access to, say, Wes Clark, because when he does finally say something idiotic I'll feel totally free to say so.
Some people might think the occaision has arisen. Although I don't share Brilliant At Breakfast's opinion - that in some way this is an act of treason - the news is a little worrisome. It's worrisome because Fox expects one (or a combination) of two things from Democrats. Either Democrats are supposed to be milquetoasts like Colmes, or they're supposed to answer for, or justify, other Democrats - preferably critically. The game on Fox is just rigged that way. I hope would Our General is smart enough and tough enough not to fall into either trap. A major problem for Wes is that his views on Iraq are sensible, but nuanced, and there isn't room for that on Fox. Take heart, though. Viewers of "Outfoxed" ought to know; when it comes to military affairs Fox will fire anyone who is insufficiently gung-ho about Bush policy. So it's quite possible Clark will get fired in six weeks anyway. I'll just say I wish him luck and hope he can "get the message out" with his new, uh, bullhorn.
In any case, before you write him off I think maybe some of these people might be worth some of your attention.
Update: And since we're being all self-referential, we should note that another perspective is provided as RJ's Harley pulls up at Skippy.
Surround the White House
Anybody wanna carpool?
Update from Jay: This is staying up top today.
A Waking Nightmare
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Double What They Said
Update: I had an update, since abandoned, the point of which was to say "the true believers won't believe the medical examination represents real evidence, but the political hacks like Noonan and Frist won't say anything because it's no longer politically convenient." Well, I don't know about the second part, but the first part is totally correct. I wish I could say we are living in strange paranoid times, but I think it's always been more or less like this. It's just that, pre-internets, I didn't know so many of these people existed.
Update II:For obsessive hair splitters there's this.
Totally At A Loss
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
There Are No Little Surfer Girls In Outer Space
A few good things about seeing the Pixies at Merriweather pavilion:
- Better than sitting at home with the CD's on shuffle.
- Satisfying to know I still know all the words to "Monkey Gone To Heaven"
- Surprised to know I still know all the words to "Bone Machine".
- Played "UK Surf Mix" of "Wave Of Mutilation", which is far superior to "Doolittle" album version.
- Gold record stunt seemed off the cuff and special even if it's being done on every other stop on the tour.
- Kim Deal still sounds cute and menacing in the same breath.
- Joey Santiago still plays a mean toggle switch.
- Remembered live review from 1991 in some Brit music rag: "I'm sorry, but 'arrahhg rahg arrhhg!' says nothing to me about my life." Feel satisfied being reminded that reviewer was not an American adolescent in the late 1980's.
A few odd things about seeing the Pixies at Merriweather pavilion:
- Who the eff are all these people under 25? It was over 10 years ago that Cobain said he ripped off everything from the Pixies and Husker Du, and almost 15 years ago that the Pixies broke up. There's no way these people came on the strength of Frank Black's solo career.
- Realizing that, much to my suprise, this band has a timeless quality.
- Ok, so I am one of these over 30 burnouts re-living his misspent youth.
- I still don't know what the hell that song in Spanish means.
- Despite surrealist pretentions the best moments are still the ones that go "arrahhg rahg arrhhg!".
A few disappointing things about seeing the Pixies at Merriweather pavilion:
- Not all that much different than sitting at home with the CD's on shuffle.
- Kim Deal "Chain Smoking Bass Playing Badass" show is minor footnote to one song.
- Joey Santiago is effin' bald and is clearly getting arthritis.
- Wait all night through the encore for "Here Comes Your Man" and get let down when the band gets tired and decides to be punk enough not to play their one pop hit, despite it being one of the most gorgeous pop songs ever.
Final thoughts: The RevCo reunion - if it hasn't already happened - can't be too far away!
Monday, June 13, 2005
Our Kind Of Republican
The same Sensenbrenner who was so desperate to obstruct the 9/11 Commission intel legislation that he actually rejected language that he himself had submitted.
It takes a special kind of person to object to their own language, and that person ought to be writing for RUFNKM.
More Bull From The Moose
- Sneakers - every red blooded American should embrace their god given right to comfortable shoes.
- Dr. Martens - Good for heavy work, good for face stomping, when well polished can substitute for dress shoes.
- Wrist Watches - They look neat and tell the time too!
- Eye glasses - Duh!
- Scarves - Here in Merlin the winters are sometimes cold. We assume it snows in Red States too.
- Rings - Especially if you're married.
- Beer Cosies - My preferred model is the "Ravens Logo Fit For a Bottle", but we're no elitists - a plain ol' Budwiser logo is fine too.
The list could go on. But we reach a moment where the absurditiy gets a little much, even for us. Yes, thanks for the advice about embracing "American Values". But this line is JUST EFFIN' BIZARRE:
More bolo ties and less Ben and Jerry's.
I'm tempted to scream something like "what the eff' are you talking about? How do you get from Bolo-ties, advice for Howard Dean, and 'American Values' to effin' Ben&Jerry's?", but I think I get it. Somehow we're supposed to accept that Ben & Jerry's ice cream - something sold in EVERY GROCERY STORE IN AMERICA (including Wal-Mart, I'll bet) - is a signifier of effete elitism to ol' fashioned Red Staters, whereas bolo ties are not.
ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME? If Red State America has so much damn time to spend pondering and assigning the meanings of cultural signifiers, then Red State America needs to get itself a collective job. But that really isn't the case. The people who spend the time doing the pondering and assigning are political hacks like the Moose who, during the Gingrich Revolution, went out of their way to sew just this kind of bizarre culture-via-brand conciousness in favor of a good healthy dose of class conciousness. So thanks Moose. You talk about uniting America, but you are as full of Bull as is possible to get. If you were interested in uniting you'd quit with the bogus culture baiting and talk about what Americans really DO have in common. By the by, it's time you got yourself a job, so when you talk about "working people" you'll actually be a working person.
More jobs for Americans and less political hackery.
It's Not Really That Funny, Is It?
It's on an effin' cartoon being joked about, but somehow I can be all fat and drunk and happy laughing at it, while this terrifying anti-American crap is STILL GOING ON. I know, I'm a big fuddy-duddy liberal who just wants to be a downer, waive his finger like mean ol' grandma, and tell all the South Park Republicans when it's appropriate to laugh. (If that were really the case, you'd think I'd delete the post 2 down from this one, but I haven't, so maybe I'm not such a matronly old stick in the mud). Anyway, with that, I offer a link to Democracy Arsenal's 10 Reasons To Close Gitmo.
Yeah, What He Said...
All the focus on the "fixed" issue might be a distraction. This memo is evidence--more evidence, I should say--that Bush was committed to war from the start and said whatever needed saying (truth be damned) to sway the citizenry.
Yes. This is the point. This war, whatever you may or may not think of it, was decided upon before the public had any say. Then a PR campaign was launched to convince us. If you think that is any way for a democratic republic to behave, you'll love what Mr. Orwell has in store for you.
Update: Not like Atrios needs a link from us, but effin' right on, man!
Sunday, June 12, 2005
Friday, June 10, 2005
A Merry Prank
Update: eebmore's statement in comments is totally correct.
Peggy Has Her Fantasy, I Have Mine
Hey honey, it's Ron. I've got Paul Wellstone and Terry Schiavo with me. The Big Man asked us to have a talk with you, and when we sat down and jawed about who should deliver the message, darn it if Paul and Terry didn't ask me to do it. See, Paul is still a little tee'd at you for distorting the message he gave you, and we all know no matter how many crocodile tears you cried for Terry you wouldn't really give her the time of day never mind letting her into your head. Well, considering all that, they both figured you'd listen to me best.
Peg, the Big Man sees it all. All of it. Not just what the simpy pinko hate America firsters are doing, but our side too. I don't know if I can explain how it feels to meet him and have him know, and have to account for all of it, but it's tough, darn tough. And when he gets you on bearing false witness, like he did me on fighting in WWII, well, it doesn't feel too good.
You don't get what I'm trying to say? Well, let me put it this way. I didn't build this party on being nice, and you should stop pretending we ever did. If you're going to bear false witness, kiddo, you've at least gotta bear one that isn't so obviously false. The Big Man doesn't like it, and neither do I. What I'm trying to say, honey, is that you need to get a grip. You wrote me some good speeches, but you're making us, and me especially, out to be a bunch of wussy rich kid whiners. That's something me and Barry spent 30 years trying to get rid of.
Well, I guess that's all for now. I can't tell you anything else; the Big Man's plans are his and his alone to know. Though I don't think I'll be giving too much away if I say "I'll be seeing you."
PS. Tell Ron Jr. I loved that line about me crapping bigger ones than GW. I never did like the Bush kids.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Outrageous Outrage Outage
Outside of Inside The Wagon Circle
First, as a regular reader of both blogs, it was obvious that RJ was never a good fit for BoP. His style is far too direct for the Cali-wool-and-egg-head abstractions that make up BoP's stock in trade. Even if the majority of the posters at BoP aren't from Cali, I always get the feeling their posts blow in on a warm ocean breeze and attempt to caress your temples(and only someone who's spent a great deal of time in California could take that "new politics" thing seriously). RJ's posts roar up on a Harley, give you the finger, then tell you to take it outside. This incongruity wasn't going to last and the only suprise is how long it did.
Second, this points up why, if you want to maintain some level of personal integrity and you're interested in both political candidates and political commentary, you should deny yourself personal access to the people you're supposed to be covering. As Our Man Somerby constantly points out, one of the reasons our Washington Press Corps is so vacuous is that its members go to the same fancy cocktail parties as the politicians. Being nice to your friends in print - and leaving the public out to dry - is called "civility". The BoP guys are clearly junior insiders, so of course they're going to insist on "civility". RJ is better off without that constraint. For myself I'm glad I'll never have more than blogospheric access to, say, Wes Clark, because when he does finally say something idiotic I'll feel totally free to say so. Blogs are supposed to be cool because bloggers are supposed to be unfettered by the civility requirement. That BoP is so fettered just shows why their "new politics" is really just more of the same ol'.
Finally, the censorship question and the Stalinization of a "liberal blog". ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME? Yes, deleting all of RJ's posts was a totally lame move, and just shows where Newberry's priorities lie. But it is Newberry's blog, and he can do what he wants. Sure, it's lame, but it's not like he's going to get RJ banned from Typepad or or skippy. IMHO, skippy is a better (and funnier) blog anyway.
Oh yeah, on the germination of the dust-up: Dean is doing a fine job of riling up the base, and Edwards is doing a fine job of trying to be pragmatic and sensible. Neither one of them is going to be president. I'd prefer we'd be having arguments and purges over ideas, not tactics, but that's why I'm an anonymous software engineer Baltimore blogger and not a DC insider.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
And Speaking Of Our Postmodern World
Similar Mindless Esoterica
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
We Tried To Warn You
On a serious note, let's be clear. The policies the race obsessed idiots would have us implement will have net zero effect against the events described above. "Excuse me sir, is that a blood caked chainsaw? Oh, wait, sorry. You're sufficiently Nordic. Go ahead to the fast line."
Monday, June 06, 2005
Fancy! New! Dig etc...
Pure Professional Terror
Friday, June 03, 2005
Stainless Steel Providers
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Death From Above
Update: A Hah! I Spy A New Talking Point Edition: Via Altercation we learn that Loony Noony picks up the same theme. Some worker bee at Heritage should really be fired. This is the absolute best they could come up with?