Monday, March 31, 2003

Barnicle'd 3-31-03

Ah the things we do to hold out to that nice spread in Lincoln Mass eh Mikey?
Yup you guessed it, my utmost ultimate favorite was on Imus today, the disgraced former columnist for the Boston Globe Mike Barnicle.
Ghod I love this guy, he is my very meat.
This blog couldn't exist without him.
Mike is now a New York Daily News columnist (where I'm sure the absence of a fact-checker was a contractual prerequisite) and a radio talk show tyrant here in Boston.
He has wandered out onto that lonely windswept place where the contrarians abide and endorsed wholeheartedly Mr. Bush's war-much to Don Imus' delight.
True to form Mike was out to score as many cheap pseudo-populist shots as he could from this conflict...his voice was up a full octave over normal as he surrendered to hysterics with gusto.
Frankly Barnicle was hyperventilating all through out his phone-in like a stoolie down to his last tip. You'd a thought he was nervous about something....
Anxious or not, Barnicle came out swinging, he noted with all due bluster and on the basis of no evidence that there were class differences between the war protesters and the U.S. soldiers...and that somehow is a bad thing.
Ever noticed how endlessly hung up on class conflict Mike Barnicle is?
A shot does not ring out anywhere in this world that Mike can't break down the whole conflict in terms of the effete haves versus the virtuous have-nots...and if the have-nots are poor put upon white urbanites much oppressed by poverty pimps and naive state legislators from the burbs' so much the better.
Mike is a kind of poet laureate for what I like to call "Caucasiastan" an entirely mythical urban white enclave in which upstanding sleeveless undershirted white father's beat frowzy white wives who in turn are saintly tyrants over their adorable children. And above them all the Monsignor broods over his simpleminded flock 24-7 even as they play stickball in the streets after catechism.
It doesn't exist of course, except maybe in the old "Dead End Kids" movies but nevertheless it does form the basis of Mike's omnipresent class consciousness.
Which is the predictable spin Mike has on this collar whites love President Bush, Bush in turn wants this war, therefore Mike Barnicle is for this war out of a sad delusional fear that any other stance might separate him from his beloved Caucasiastani readership.
My thing with Mike is for all his ranting and raving I do think he has either a mind or a heart...I can't quite figure which though. Because the agitated, sweaty and huffy way he barrels through these call-ins with Imus indicates that Barnicle doesn't quite believe his own line of bullshit.
At one point Mike blurted out that he just wanted Saddam dead and he didn't care whether democracy took root in Iraq or another General seized power...he just wanted it over.
Which is a sure sign Mike is panicking, because the news isn't good of late, his hero George Bush may have just stumbled into the U.S.A. own intifadah complete with fanatical suicide bombers.
Barnicle is braying hard that we are there "for the best of purposes" yet he's a peace with notion that we can quit once Saddam is dead and another tyrant substituted in his place.
If Mike was a conservative true believer he'd NEVER abandon the Admin's nonsensical line about exporting democracy with it's PACs and recounts to Iraq....the Severins and Limbaughs of this world are settled on that point.
No, Barnicle has just enough wherewithal left to realize that this war might end badly.
He has already naively asserted that Secretary Rumsfeld should come-clean and admit he let his expectations "got too high"...a hypothetical statement subdued in it's truthfulness but still no comfort to the soldiers in the field.
Poor Mike, he has no safe harbor in this war; he knows we've been lied to all along, he can't line up with the anti-war faction for class based reasons...and so he flails and grunts his way through these Imus appearances sounding more and more like a stroke victim whose meds are inexplicably late.
Ultimately his whole Ambassador-from-Caucasiastan act has got Mike so beaten down that he can't even begin to articulate his own suspicions and worries.
Well...that is what happens to reporters and editorialists who make place sentiment and partisanship above the end up yapping incoherently like Mike Barnicle.
Frankly when a "journalist" even one as bad as Mike Barnicle can't even tell himself the truth anymore it's time to bail on the newsman's trade and see if the local Dairy Queen is hiring.
Barnicle'd 3-31-03

Ah the things we do to hold out to that nice spread in Lincoln Mass eh Mikey?
Yup you guessed it, my utmost ultimate favorite was on Imus today, the disgraced former columnist for the Boston Globe Mike Barnicle.
Ghod I love this guy, he is my very meat.
This blog couldn't exist without him.
Mike is now a New York Daily News columnist (where I'm sure the absence of a fact-checker was a contractual prerequisite) and a radio talk show tyrant here in Boston.
He has wandered out onto that lonely windswept place where the contrarians abide and endorsed wholeheartedly Mr. Bush's war-much to Don Imus' delight.
True to form Mike was out to score as many cheap pseudo-populist shots as he could from this conflict...his voice was up a full octave over normal as he surrendered to hysterics with gusto.
Frankly Barnicle was hyperventilating all through out his phone-in like a stoolie down to his last tip. You'd a thought he was nervous about something....
Anxious or not, Barnicle came out swinging, he noted with all due bluster and on the basis of no evidence that there were class differences between the war protesters and the U.S. soldiers...and that somehow is a bad thing.
Ever noticed how endlessly hung up on class conflict Mike Barnicle is?
A shot does not ring out anywhere in this world that Mike can't break down the whole conflict in terms of the effete haves versus the virtuous have-nots...and if the have-nots are poor put upon white urbanites much oppressed by poverty pimps and naive state legislators from the burbs' so much the better.
Mike is a kind of poet laureate for what I like to call "Caucasiastan" an entirely mythical urban white enclave in which upstanding sleeveless undershirted white father's beat frowzy white wives who in turn are saintly tyrants over their adorable children. And above them all the Monsignor broods over his simpleminded flock 24-7 even as they play stickball in the streets after catechism.
It doesn't exist of course, except maybe in the old "Dead End Kids" movies but nevertheless it does form the basis of Mike's omnipresent class consciousness.
Which is the predictable spin Mike has on this collar whites love President Bush, Bush in turn wants this war, therefore Mike Barnicle is for this war out of a sad delusional fear that any other stance might separate him from his beloved Caucasiastani readership.
My thing with Mike is for all his ranting and raving I do think he has either a mind or a heart...I can't quite figure which though. Because the agitated, sweaty and huffy way he barrels through these call-ins with Imus indicates that Barnicle doesn't quite believe his own line of bullshit.
At one point Mike blurted out that he just wanted Saddam dead and he didn't care whether democracy took root in Iraq or another General seized power...he just wanted it over.
Which is a sure sign Mike is panicking, because the news isn't good of late, his hero George Bush may have just stumbled into the U.S.A. own intifadah complete with fanatical suicide bombers.
Barnicle is braying hard that we are there "for the best of purposes" yet he's a peace with notion that we can quit once Saddam is dead and another tyrant substituted in his place.
If Mike was a conservative true believer he'd NEVER abandon the Admin's nonsensical line about exporting democracy with it's PACs and recounts to Iraq....the Severins and Limbaughs of this world are settled on that point.
No, Barnicle has just enough wherewithal left to realize that this war might end badly.
He has already naively asserted that Secretary Rumsfeld should come-clean and admit he let his expectations "got too high"...a hypothetical statement subdued in it's truthfulness but still no comfort to the soldiers in the field.
Poor Mike, he has no safe harbor in this war; he knows we've been lied to all along, he can't line up with the anti-war faction for class based reasons...and so he flails and grunts his way through these Imus appearances sounding more and more like a stroke victim whose meds are inexplicably late.
Ultimately his whole Ambassador-from-Caucasiastan act has got Mike so beaten down that he can't even begin to articulate his own suspicions and worries.
Well...that is what happens to reporters and editorialists who make place sentiment and partisanship above the end up yapping incoherently like Mike Barnicle.
Frankly when a "journalist" even one as bad as Mike Barnicle can't even tell himself the truth anymore it's time to bail on the newsman's trade and see if the local Dairy Queen is hiring.

Friday, March 28, 2003

Short timing with Thomas Friedman...

Modern conservatism could not exist without "liberals" like New York Times columnist Tom Friedman.
Lauded as a foreign policy whiz by both left and right, Tom still has this weird religious veneration for the holy free market's power to work positive transformation. This makes him palatable to the rightical chic media elite who do most of the opinion formation in the U.S. Tom is "okay" because no matter what his foreign policy views are he's ready willing and able to keep them in lock step with the conservative cult of free enterprise.
Now, mind you, he's not one of these libertarian whackjobs, rather Tom truly believes with the bliss of the faithful that free markets somehow safeguard liberalism. Taken by itself you can see where this becomes sheer religious dogma wherein people are somehow empowered consumers before they are democratic citizens. As I've said before our opinion elites worship embarrassingly tattered and smelly little fetishes these days with the fervor of 19th century zulus. Some of those idols include peace, guns, Jesus the GOP's in house savior, and in Tom's case the free market, holy protector of women's rights and the environment.
And it's this selfsame divine "market" that will somehow transform Iraq into a secular democratic paradise.

Someone once said that democracies prefer markets but markets don't necessarily prefer democracies.
You'd think a smart fellow like Tom Friedman would get that...
Nonetheless, thwe New York Times' columnist was on Imus this morning, most of his discussion with the aging and repulsive I-man was preempted by a military press conference in the Middle East. The gist of Tom's line was, he was fine with the war in Iraq and hoped something good would come of it when Saddam was deposed. He was hopeful that destroying Saddam and his regime would create a kind of "truth zone" in the region one that'll be the basis for "opportunities" for young people and a chance to set free the private sector based energies of the plain people.
Yup...I'll bet he just can't wait to read Rumsfeld's draft of the new Iraqi constitution, surely that will be a document for the ages. Tom can no doubt see the Iraqi intelligentsia sprawled around the Tikrit Starbucks reading all about it in new Farsi language edition of the New Republic.
Tom is gonna look awfully stupid when Iraq ends up being run by an American General with some sorry assed flunkie from the Iraqi Opposition as his frontman. Tom is gonna look pretty dumb if we end up parlaying with some bloodthirsty tyrannical general who has deposed Saddam in a coup...
No matter what Tom is riding for a fall here, chiefly because like the fervent worshippers of other threadbare secular phenomena he's got it in his head that his revered thingie is the universal answer to all life's problems.
Who can blame him though? Millions of dollars are spent every year to flood the mediaverse with paens of praise to the free market...who am I to blame Tom Friedman if he honestly believes such rubbish?
It's not like anyone has ever gone to any lengths to bombard the culture with any counter arguments.
Alas now more than ever we need that debate...because modern conservatism is dying in this country.
Yup you read that right, what was once a simpleminded collection of small-gummint-big-profits-no-taxes type nostrums has degenerated over the past twenty years into a bloated power worshipping cult. The so called conservative movement long ago stopped believing in small government and freedom for the individual and a host of other once hallowed precepts. Nowadays the wreck of the movement is largely dedicated to punishing the vanishing American liberal and otherwise keeping it's options open. It is kept afloat mostly through the day to day ministrations of a weird native class of editorialists and partisan hacks who define "debate" as demonizing the liberalism and who de-legitimize any real discussion of public affairs with anyone. After a full twenty years of "conservative backlash" in power and out the main accomplishment of these vengeful buffoons has been to make shrill ideological warfare an all weather year round sport.
This is the new and all conquering overclass, and they can self perpetuate with the best of them.
They claim to be contrarians but this is hype and nonsense based on the scope of their power.
But it's all coming to an end my friends be assured of that.
Not only that, but the "democratic spirit" is fast expiring in this nation as well. It is a quaint and much sneered at thing that asserts that a free people can govern themselves well enough without descending into anarchy or dictatorship.
A sensible opinion can no longer be found in "the wild" and must now be considered an endangered species.
Reason is being hunted to extinction in this one proud republic....
At best, the modern punditariat might preach that a free people must have the constant guidance of a new strata of thinkers and explainers ergo partisan hacks, brutes, and intellectual bandits.
But the democratic spirit? Nope it takes second place to military affairs, profit opportunities, whining about taxes, and the punishment of liberals.
These are the values that insinuate themselves into every public debate, is it any wonder a poor naive fool like Tom Friedman is overwhelmed?
Demented Typical...

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Howard Fineman on Imus-in-the-Morning 3-27-03

Ah Howard Fineman, Newsweek's most dependable solon...the man is my very meat I tell you.
And today he sounded dispirited...why he could barely summon up the energy to shill for President Bush.
It's a hard life indeed for those pundits who selflessly consign themselves to the rear with the gear so that the whole war can be properly explained and supported preferably via $20,000.00 personal appearances.
The war in some ways is not going well according to Fineman, we were supposed to be greeted by smiling Iraqi faces and instead the Fedayeen guerillas are gunning for us.
Howard puts on a helpless "how could we have known" tone but then hasn't Saddam be promising traditional guerilla warfare for years now? Indeed threatening all out guerilla warfare has been a staple of every regional tyrant's rhetoric for over fifty years now going back to the salad days of Gamal Nasser. Given the low operational readiness of his war machine arming his flunkies and calling them freedom fighters about all Hussein can would think someone at Newsweek would keep Fineman up to date on this things.
Fineman also claims no one in the Pentagon took into account the possibility of guerilla warfare, this is sheer nonsense. What Howars means is, in the rush to make this war look easy-peasy nobody in the DC punditariat opted to explore the notion in any detail.
No Fineman sighed shifted and admitted we've "lost the propaganda war" and also misplaced "the moral high ground" during this conflict. Now on the surface these are damning admissions, but notice how the Newsweek columnist does not and indeed cannot link our diplomatic isolation to the President and his decisions?
Nope Howard merely mutters about "over confidence at the Pentagon" without mentioning any names and leaves it at that.
This is a line taken by more and more serious conservative apologists in the media as the war looks less and less like cakewalk. Jeff Greenfield and Howard Fineman will outline the political problems in detail and then notably refuse to link any of these pathologies to President Bush, his ideology, decisions, or leadership style.
Buried deep in this approach is a basic refusal to question the President's sincerity...until someone gets over this, it is a malign dichotomy we will have to live with.
No if we are having problems then it's the fault of 24 hour cable news coverage, the same networks that pay hard cash for the services of these selfsame pundits.
Howard then roused himself a bit to dump on the perfidious Turks for refusing to allow our troops free transit to the Northern Front. Again left unsaid is Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's harsh and heavy handed treatment of the Turkish Government in the run up to this war. Hell, I don't know much but if we don't have the Turks on our side, we've GOT to be doing something wrong....they are even more pro-American than the Shreveport Louisiana Rotary Club.
Fineman's solution to the current diplomatic feud with Ankara is to cut Turkey out of the current foreign aid package being debated in congress...geez these DC hammerheads sure do get spiteful when the going gets a little tough don't they?
Which is when Fineman wrapped himself in the flag like a funeral shroud and abruptly announced "Saddam thinks democracy is a weakness, but democracy is in fact our strength"...
Just as long as we make sure democracy is properly guided by a nice reliable man like you Howard....
And yet despite Presidential prevarication, overconfidence, diplomatic isolation, stupidity and arrogance...all of which goes unreported every day Howard can still blurt out ; "I'm proud of the American media!"
Frankly nothing more need be said that sums this was his ultimate peroration and possibly our epitaph.
Memories of Irrational Exuberance or Beware the Savage Shore of 1994

This is an excerpt from my never before published "memoirs" detailing the life of a low level unskilled clerk in a major
software corporation. It is utterly vindictive in every way....

Chapter One
My Christmas bonus climbed Mount Everest

Sotto Voce the Boss let it be known that we would not be getting a Christmas
bonus this year. He cited the fact that the tres-trendy software company we
contract for declined to finance such an extravagance . Never mind the fact
that a few of our familied toilers were depending on that fifty bucks to buy
a reasonable facsimile of GI Joe with the Kung Fu grip for their kids-the
money simply wasn't there. The Company WE work for (reliably known as one of
Boston's most upstanding dealers in human flesh by way of janitorial
services) takes a sweaty ill-at-ease silence on the whole controversial
subject of the Christmas bonus. The entire subcontracting gig depends on
carpet-billing the client for a galaxy of petty boons and services thus
paying the bonus out of pocket is an ghastly example of budgetary incest.
So you can see why no-one wants to talk about it.
It gets better though-our host entity fired off an e-mail the other day,
joyfully announcing to all and sundry that the corporation was co-sponsoring
an expedition up Mount Everest. The apparent goal here is to obtain a world
class orgasm of publicity for their groupware package and to field test a
proposed satellite hook-up. Moreover three lucky employees will be chosen
via lottery to accompany the expedition to Base camp -us poor left behinders
can keep up with the climb's progress through a special in house database.
That is assuming that anyone can tear themselves away from Alt.Sex.Mortuaries
long enough to watch their coworkers wax illiterate about the breath-taking
beauty of the "Himalayan Andes".
We shouldn't complain, if anything can give that groupware a solid field-test
it is the prospect of being frog-marched up a mountain, over the freeze-dried
corpses of other nameless compulsives and on to the summit where the
atmosphere faithfully mimics Mars in the throes of winter.
Frankly, I'm almost glad to see that bonus go...given it's self abusive
proclivities it was clearly way more trouble than its worth. Like the parent of a willful adolescent I'm resigned to allowing the money to seek it's own destiny no matter how dubious the plan may be.
Copyright 1994
It's All True

The S.L.A. ate my Homework...
Virginia Holman, author of the new book "Rescuing Patty Hearst" did a reading at Newtonville Books last night. Despite the sensational title, the book has nothing to do with Patty Hearst and is rather an account of Holman's mother and her battle with schizophrenia.
It was an excellent reading and all decent citizens are duly urged to rush out and buy this book with the utmost dispatch.
As for myself well....when I was eleven years old, Patty Hearst was my first true love.
I must've searched all over Arlington Massachusetts for poor was those veiled California co-ed eyes of hers- -drove me nuts!
Ah but in the fullness of time the Federales caught her and I was muscled out of the rescuing-Patty-Hearst spotlight for good.
Just as well, by then I was becoming more realistic in my heterosexual proclivities....someone with dignity...someone like...Barbara Eden.
Years later I told this story in passing to a college girlfriend who had a well concealed streak of benign dementia.
The next weekend I found an audio tape on my doorstep with a list of "demands" she had recorded. All I remember is that demand #3 was "be more open with your emotions."
As if being queer for kidnapped newspaper heiresses wasn't perestroika for the ages!
I suppose I got lucky looking back, she could've done herself up as Genie or something. On the surface that sounds trashy and fun, but take it from Humble John, those scenes all end in total defeat and disarray.
Ah but it was all a long time ago and besides,
the wench is a matron of some sort in New Jersey.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Slack and Jaw
The HELL these jackasses in the White House weren't hoping for a short war!
You all know as well as I do that Bush flew off to Camp David this weekend hoping to time his return to DC to coincide with the fall of Baghdad!
Bush no doubt had nasty little fantasies of getting off Marine One, clutching his hands over his head in a victory salute and being buried in cheers. Then it's off to the Oval Office to sign off on a ruinous tax cut and order the Senate Democratic caucus to be beheaded like he was Heliogabalus or something.
Instead he came back to U.S. soldiers getting killed and captured plus ominous anonymous complains that the DoD micro-managed the whole thing providing too little armor for the job.
On the other hand, who do these chickenhawk boneheads at the Pentagon think they are kidding?
If they really thought this was gonna be a "tough fight" they'd a lobbied hard against any new tax cuts for fear of losing revenue needed for the war. I mean, Rummy is a nasty vindictive GOP bureaubot, but even he isn't that dumb.
Or maybe they just can't penetrate the President's sunny sense of self delusion...appointed by Ghod to destroy Saddam or some damn thing.
No these guys from the Prez on down thought or perhaps devoutly wished to the exclusion of all reason that Saddam would've adjourned to a nice new bunker and shot himself on Sunday afternoon.
No wonder they are all walking around now with eyes downcast mumbling about "regime change is our goal not necessarily getting Saddam". Which is a prime tip off the cruise missile cannonade didn't kill the bastard! Not so easy to off a serious tyrant with missiles is it Mister President? Bill Clinton knew as much...
No these guys are all red faced and hunkered down now, it's no doubt embarrassing when your whole policy is exposed as little more that prolonged intellectual masturbation.
The Iraqis do have a serious weapon of mass destruction though, it's called a SANDSTORM!
Well...all I can say is, good luck to our armed forces...
Meanwhile Senator Chris Dodd sounded refreshingly candid and sober on the Don Imus show today. He harped on one important policy note that bears repeating, the deficit for 2003 will top out at 400 Billion smackers....under those fiscal constraints it is likely we will stiff Iraq on reconstruction once regime change has been affected due to the sheer expense of the project.
Let me just add we've done much the same thing to post-Taliban Afganistan...why should the pattern be any different?
Dodd also pointed out that the congressional GOP has gone nicely silent over the dire necessity of a balanced budget amendment to the constitution...Messr's Frist, Lott or Grassley have swallowed manfully and bleated "deficits are good!"

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Field Marshals and Attorneys
I can never quite make up my mind as to who exactly occupies the position of maximum tedium in the punditariat.
Usually the prize goes to that vacuous harpy and reputed mean drunk Laura Ingraham.
But every so often some "mainstream" character blunders onto Imus in the Morning and makes a very public display of heretofore unknown powers of ennui.
Which brings us to Jeff Greenfield, Time Magazine columnist and correspondent for CNN. His qualifications for the job of superjournalist are unremarkable, he is a lawyer of course and a former flack for hapless New York Mayor John V. Lindsay. Thankfully Jeff's has a DC class appetite for R.N.C. "talking points" and all the usual credulous anti-Clinton bona fides. But so does everyone else in DC, what makes Jeff so special?
Well, unlike most of his competitors who are largely press agents to the mighty or lowbrow intellectual bullies, Jeff is a man with a heroic sense of destiny. He wants to be cable teevee's big think Walter Lippman style superpundit-and it's this poor naive belief in the sheer gravity of his wafer-thin analysis that makes Jeff Greenfield such a prize bore.
He also has the ability to be almost hilariously judicious and sober when he's evaluating the latest rightical chic policy proposals this gives him that extra Lippman-esque pretentiousness.
Watch for it...
Take today's sermon, it turns out Jeff's powter-pigeon self is worried that relentless 24-7 cable news coverage of the war is exerting some influence over coalition tactics and strategy in Iraq. Bombing strategies against Baghdad are judged on "how it will look on TV" or so Jeff claims. World War 2 he opines would've come out differently if CNN had existed then to broadcast video footage of allied mistakes and setbacks. Jeff can't seem to figure out what "role" the news media should play in war-time, this doesn't surprise me, he's an attorney by trade and role-playing is a big part of the attorney mindset.
Therefore, we can conclude and not unjustly either that the reason Jeff Greenfield is in the rear with the gear is out of a puritanical devotion to principal...his presence on the battlefield might alter the war's outcome given the sheer power of the media.
That my friends is the mark of a true self worshipping monolith, the placid belief that your own trade occupies the very center position in all of reality.
Imus of course let this pass challenged preferring to pepper Greenfield with tactical and strategic questions that the CNN correspondent is completely unqualified to answer in any way.
At one point Jeff paid tribute to the ability of the Iraqi Republican Guards in this demented fashion; "These are serious troops, we're not talking Marshal Petain sending the troops to the front in taxi-cabs in world war one!"
Sigh...if Jeff Greenfield feels compelled to make his francophobic bones the least he can do is get his god damned story right.
Marshal Petain had nothing to do with the famous Parisian "taxicab army" from World War One. No it was General Galleini who as Commander in Chief of the Paris Military district sent the Paris garrison's troops to the Battle of the Marne
via taxicab and thus saved France. This is NOT an example of French Military haplessness, but rather a stunning display of celerity on the battlefield.
Well what do you want?
He's an attorney by trade getting the facts right is secondary to audience effect....but it's curious to me that in a age of rampant francophobia Jeff couldn't even summon up the right humiliating example.
Which is when Jeff gathered up his remaining strength and outlined several important pointed questions the administration must "answer" about their strategy of international pre-emption. Notice the rhetorical adroitness here, the Admin must somehow "Answer" questions that Jeff doesn't have the guts to ask as it might imperil the goodwill of the famously vindictive Bush apparatus. You'd almost think he was serious the way he droned on and on about China preempting Taiwan or India preempting Pakistan....nope he'll find out about it all via CNN updates like the rest of us no sense in making real enemies now is there Jeff?
Like his President there is a certain amount of raw passive aggression that colors Jeff's approach to big time national politics.
What a difference just four years makes though, back in 1999 snitch politics were all the rage and no question in regards to President Clinton no matter how humiliating was out of bounds if it meant power and advancement among the media elite.
Now...Jeff Greenfield addresses questions that ougt to be asked of HIS President to...Don Imus.
Changing the tone in Washington indeed.

And by the way at some future date I've got to address on this blog the critical problem of over population-LAWYER over population I mean. No joke true believers, the sheer glut of lawyers we have out there is forcing surplus attorney's into journalism and other entertainment trades...congress must act!
Ah but that is another column.

Monday, March 24, 2003

This year's Empire:
"These Americans represent the new Roman empire and we Britons, like the Greeks of old, must teach them how to make it go"
Harold MacMillan 1943
Dear sweet stodgy old Harold MacMillan, what did they call him when he was
summoned to the Palace to save the U.K. from Anthony Eden's naive', unilateral, and ill advised attack on Egypt in 1956?
"SuperMac" as I recall.
What a saphead...poor dim bastard.
Gotta hand it to Harold though, he became Prime Minister proclaimed "you have
never had it so good" and then sat blithely unaware that his cabinet was
equally divided between fixers, pervs, and narcs for the KGB.
No wonder J.F.K. treated him like a crazy old Uncle...naivete' was never an
attribute of even the dumbest Kennedy. The Late President could see what
deleterious effects two hundred years of empire building had wrought in Great
Britain. Chiefly bringing to power a particularly helpless sort of slack
melonhead covered with a thick layer of baffled nostalgia ergo the Right Honorable Mister MacMillan.
Used to a system composed of global imperial actors embattled wartime Brits were hard-wired to look for a companionable Empire on the make...for some reason they decided the U.S.A. was destined to be the next big planetary real estate mogul.
George Orwell observed that there was something ineffable about serious empire building as it seemed to bring more and more third rate personalities into politics. Hence a nation that once boasted a Disraeli as Prime Minister was soon reduced by a mere seventy years of empire to the boneheaded likes of Neville Chamberlain as His Majesty's Chief Minister.
Which brings us to today's screed, that word "empire" is now being gleefully
whispered by the likes of Dinesh D'Souza and other sleek snitches in the
punditariat. The National Review is openly shilling for an english speaking alliance (the U.S. Great Britain and-and yes Australia!) to keep the global peace. Yer garden variety suburban liberals will look at the current cover of the NR and shudder in despair. I prefer to see this as prima facie evidence of how quickly the radical right starts rubbing it's anglo-saxon supremacy fetish and murmuring supplications to the caucasian power god when things get dicey.
So the words of the Former Prime Minister and other infernal British Universal overseers are slowly coming back into vogue...and there is nothing we can do so long as the incense is burning before the lost temple of Cecil Rhodes.
Cuz' once we've smashed Iraq it's on to Teheran and Damascus to repeat a wave
of conquest that was old hat when Vespasian burnt the Temple.
Last year these all chickenhawk jack offs wanted to do was "destroy terrorism" and retire to their think tanks to watch the election returns. But Bush's polls faltered last summer and so thus his year they've moved on conquering the whole wide world and
turning it into a laboratory for the Cato Institute.
But somehow it's become hip to be an imperialist long as someone
else's kids do the dying.
The sad thing is, when all is said and done when the U.S. is bankrupt, our
alliances in shambles, when we've been beaten down, and other nation states
have reared their ugly heads...when it all goes to smash doubtless someone as foolish vain and safely conservative as Harold MacMillan will be in the White House.
How old will Neil Bush be in 2016?

Friday, March 21, 2003

Post war is a science...
Again I must be all stupid-like but....
But after terror, oppression, war, bombardment, and more oppression don't we owe the Iraqi people something better than a constitution written by that nasty old screwhead Donald Rumsfeld?
Insane you say?
Please remember that the current Japanese Constitution was dictated practically in one sitting by then Allied Viceroy, Douglas MacArthur...
So why wouldn't Rummy (aka "America's Stud" per Tim Russert) write the basic law of post war Iraq?
Hell he has such a ticky-tacky bureabotic mind no doubt he may already have a draft of the whole document formatted and ready on his hard drive.
It's not like Colin Powell would ever be asked to undertake such a task. No the rumor out of DC is The President is trying on his triumphal regalia and has declined to rub Colin's head for good luck. During increasingly infrequent cabinet meetings Powell usually sits out in the hall on a humiliating child sized chair.
Which is a good tip off that the neocon superhawks have won the debate within the Admin.
Now Cheney might end up with the constitutional portfolio...he's certainly stupid, stubborn, and vulgar enough...all vital components of a new democratic Iraq.
But my gut is, it'll be Rumsfeld.
And the sad part is you know he'll farm the final version out to unpaid outside contractors like George Will , William Safire or Laura Ingraham if they need the feminine touch from a shrill boring social climbing drunk.
And that my friends is today's heavy handed irony , that bunch of buckracking rightical chic hammerheads who have no problem with mob rule when it comes to recounting the votes, are somehow gonna cram truth, justice, and democracy down the Iraqis throats.
Can you imagine the sort of document these worthies would come up with?
Abortion would be outlawed, abortion clinic bombing would be a misdemeanor, and every Iraqi child would get a $200 private school voucher at birth.
And that is just the beginning...
Or they will do a cost benefit analysis and decide it's cheaper to let Iraq devolve into four smaller statelets, think of it as the international equivalent of a hostile take over and sell off of assets.
It is after all a businessman's Admin.
Lets all think about this before we are all swept away by the displaced homsexuality fueled euphoria of a victorious punditariat.
For this has been a pundit's war from the git-go...but it had damn well better be a peace for everyone.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

War is swell...

Eric Alterman and Joshau Marshall are already preaching for everyone to move on, the outbreak of war invalidates the anti-war movement for the moment. "We lost" sez Alterman "it's time to wish the best of our soldiers and victims of this war and focus on building a better future".
Or so his weblog reads.
Interesting sentiments, I agree with some of them. But then in a larger sense there isn't a whole lot we can do at the moment.
We are forced spectators to the whole war...and many thing do conspire to make us so.
We don't draft anyone to fight thus the sacrifice is unduly placed on a all volunteer force of professionals whose "hero-ization" is the main benefit derived from the conflict.
We don't militarize our economy in any way, with this war we many be the first industrialized country ever to countenance a tax cut during war-time. So we don't even draft money further reducing the body politic to spectatorship...
In a larger sense no specific sacrifices material or spiritual are requested or for that fact offered.
Quite frankly, it's a frighteningly passive experience for a free people at war.
Some will argue that this is a dangerous thing to reduce the citizenry to a mere audience whilst the elite rosily goes off to collect the laurel crowns of conquest.
I wonder if fear isn't at the bottom of it all.
I mean, militarizing the economy, raising taxes to cover the costs of the fighting, drafting kids into the army, all puts a burden on the electorate and electorates as Karl Rove can tell you are unpredictable things. Asking all these things from a free people democratizes the conflict in ways that could have repercussions from a security fixated-messianic minded admin.
Society is a fragile thing to your committed class-warrior type American conservative. These guys live in fear of mobs storming down the avenue screaming for blood and dynamite. At their core they have a dark simplistic view of democracy that defines the citizens either as ripe for manipulation or potential blood-actors in the drama of mob rule/revolution.
Think about that...
The Parable of the Crows
This morning, I finally figured out which varmints were tearing up my trashbags in search of succulent rotting food.
Initially the suspicion fell on racoons, skunks or possibly possums.
Now when I hear possum I think "Beverly Hillbillies" but their particular zoological milieu may as well be on the planet Mongo for all I know. You might thing the chesty little suburb I live in is too damn overdeveloped to support such exotic creatures. But my next door neighbor pointed one off this ghostly beasties to me and so, they got on the list.
Be that as it may, the bags are getting torn apart by verminous crows in their mindless search for easy carrion-hell I saw them going at like this morning like they were hungry or something.
Now tearing my trashbags apart is a bad thing, it makes the front yard look hideous and makes ME look ineffectual in the eyes of my neighbors.
Now, the conventional wisdom dictates sealing my trash inside a plastic trash barrel-all very safe and amicable to the Brookings Institute. This would be the "containment" option but as any reader of the Wall Street Journal's op-ed page can tell you, containment is tantamount to appeasement.
And appeasement according to every single breathing pundit in this great land of ours is a bad thing.
There is a crow-king and his hag infested harem up there in the branches LAUGHING at me and all decent mores of suburban life!
And he is eating off my rubbish for FREE!
So I've decided to exterminate the not all of them, I'm not genocidal. Nope just their pesky noisy leadership and his harem.
So I've opted for a proportional response after a quick glance at the accumulated editorials of William Safire going back to 1997 I'm deploying three armored divisions, 110,00 infantry, an air campaign that would give Marshal Italo Balbo wood for the ages, and assistance from forty five select bankrupt micro-duchies some of whom can be found on any map.
The crow-king and his vile harem will be destroyed and never again will consume my refuse or the refuse of my neighbors all of whom have opted like surrender monkeys for sealed plastic trash barrels.
The airborne @ss-clown is not gonna make the rule of law or ME look stupid!!!!!
I however am feeling awesomely comfortable now in my skin and am being fitted for a silver laurel crow and perhaps a cape made of crow feathers.
Crow feathers don't smell do they?
I hate bad smells.
Sans this malign dictatorship the surviving crows will get the message for sure, elect a congress entirely with funds raised by the private sector and institute performance enhancing school vouchers for their nestlings.
The neighborhood block association will rise from their cellars and craters and no doubt end the practice of elections and simply elect me chairman for Infinity.
The first thing we a church.
And cut taxes....
Health to our crow hunters on the ground today.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Virtue-crats, Autocrats, and Plutocrats
I still have the February issue of "Imprimis: The National Speech Digest of Hillsdale College" on my desk.
Hillsdale College is a teensy "conservative arts" school in Michigan that is seemingly dedicated to passing lavish per diems on to every rightical chic crackpot in the book.
As such this school is a favorite stop on the conservative speech circuit where the most imbecilic platitudes may be mumbled for all the market can bear and in front of a sympathetic audience.
Last month's front-pager was hapless virtue-crat William J. Bennett the former Secretary of Education under Reagan and later Bush I's "Drug Czar". Big Bill is a famously inept player on the national level, his stint as Education Secretary occasioned plunging test scores all over the nation followed by a run as Drug Policy Director in which crack cocaine became as cheap and plentiful as leaves in the autumn.
No man so perfectly suits the notion of relentlessly "failing upward" as Mr. Bennett. He is also proof positive that conservative standards of success revolve mostly around who gets blamed for your own failures.
In Bill's case he has made a twenty year career now blaming the manifold policy failures of conservative governance on liberals, teachers, spoiled middle class kids, atheism, single parent families etc etc etc.
You all know the drill.
And it's been a profitable ride for Bennett, two disastrous periods in government have been followed by easy money flowing in by the bushel as Bill has marketed himself as a perennial head of various "concerned American" think tanks and lobbying groups in D.C.
All of whom pay the former Secretary of Education hefty compensation for his fulminations.
The problem with Bill Bennett is the same as it is with most other rightical chic players in DC. They have a long list of woes and problems they are upset about (expl. illegitimacy, divorce, crime, SAT scores, and drug dependency) all of which can be objectively measured and quantified. They then make a mighty rhetorical leap to the conclusion that "virtues" must be practiced, taught, and inflicted on all and sundry in order to solve the above list of problems.
Virtue is a value, and a profitably transcendent value to Bill Bennett who has made big money off of it, but there is no logical link between a normative preference and a disparate set of disquieting statistics.
Bill Bennett, having allegedly studied philosophy ought to understand that there is an gulf between facts and values, but there too much money to be made to pay any attention to that little detail.
And there is his unremarkable sense of white upper middle class identity politics most of which he's cribbed from Michael Medved. Apparently to hear Bill tell it, businessmen come in for too much abuse from aspiring pseudo-intellectuals and Hollywood producers. He's trying to assign these poor dears victimhood status, which might work if those same Hollywood producers weren't themselves the most ruthless businesspeople on the planet..
As for the menace of pseudo-intellectuals to poor middle class folks well...consider the source and his swollen pride in his law degree from Harvard and his PhD in Philosophy.
Bill has essentially figured out a way to make money off of the point where he clearly doesn't need to hit up the current admin for a job.
Half formed thoughts on the last day of peace

Joshua Marshall the noted blogger talks about the need to shape the post war debate about our goals and policies in the Middle East. He speaks authoritatively about an internal dialogue within the Admin between those who want to "take out" Syria and Iran next and those that want to get it "did" and get out quick.
Clearly "you are next" faction's mind is made up and their barefaced motivation is hanging out there for all to see.
The "get it did" bunch is at a disadvantage owing to their lack of proximity to our famously lacking-in-an-attention-span Commander in Chief.

I've been thinking about this and the debate we must have after this god-damned war.
Syria backed us to the hilt in 1991 and I believe sent forces to help "liberate" Kuwait.
Ditto Egypt...
Iran spoke bitterly about the war but pointed did nothing when push came to shove....
If after the war the debate is limited to "who is next?" then shouldn't we be asking why the U.S. is turning our former "allies" from Gulf War 1?
An alliance even a tactical one with Washington doesn't seem to confer many benefits does it?
Think about that...
Bush II is could be contemplating toppling the very people whose acquiescence made his father's war such a success.
On the other hand, the kid is noted for his lack of interest in the boring post conquest details. So more than likely we'll cut and run if it gets dicey in occupied Iraq. If Afghanistan is any indicator we will do precious little nation building once Bush gets a look at real cost of the proposal.
That having been said, poor Hamid Karzai is looking less and less like Konrad Adenauer every day and more and more like Lon Nol the hapless ruler of Cambodia prior to the Khymer Rouge's seizure of power in 1975.
The Afghan President has been ineffectually rattling his tin cup for almost a year now to no avail.
And I think Iraq will ultimately go down the same way...a meaningless lightning victory followed by enough chaos and woe as to call the whole adventure into question.
Meanwhile Saddam will be sipping delicate pepper-flavored vodka on the veranda in Petro-Dalneye...just down the street from Nikita Khrushchev's retirement dacha.
Let us hope Humble John is wrong, for there is so much to be wrong about...

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Gaullism along the Potomac:
I suppose I'm all stupid-like, but how is it that President Bush#1 managed to gain U.N. backing, NATO backing, and regional backing for HIS gulf war in 1991 whilst today his haughty dim-witted son leads a coalition of Britain and the dregs of the Warsaw Pact?
I remember the first Gulf War with the simplest nostalgia, the speed of the whole thing hamstrung peace activists quite nicely, democrats could take comfort in the multilateralism of the affair.
And it paid for itself in the weary wicked end thanks to generous invoices from interested nations.
Granted liberating Kuwait did exactly nothing for enhancing the chances of peace in the region....but it was a well-managed thing compared to this loud circus-like diplomatic catastrophe we got now.
Is Saddam really worth breaking up NATO over?
Is Saddam really worth humbling the U.N. the way we've humbled South Korea, The Russians, The Olde Europeans etc etc etc?
The punditariat asserts that NATO and the U.N.'s reluctance to assist in destroying Iraq is conclusive evidence of the systemic decline of those organizations.
If all goes well with this war, look for the likes of Laura Ingraham and Big Bill Safire to start beating the tom-toms for a new international organization or worse a kind of super-situationism that posits the rapid collection of a coalition to deal with all imminent threats.
If all doesn't go well...look for likewise and the same to blame both Bill Clinton and Colin Powell in equal measure.
So a kind of Texas Gaullism is what we are left with to replace with fifty years of collective security and tacit alliance with the functioning democracies of the world. Here for once I don't fault the President's mind, I do fault his ideas which are radical in a bad way and absurdly idealistic in the long run.

Monday, March 17, 2003

The Peace Piece or the confessions of an activist of another kind:

Peace is a religion in the U.S.A.
Along with guns, the little baby jesus (not to be confused with Jesus Christ
Armed Republican, ex-officio chairdeity of the R.N.C. that is a whole
different sect), certain U.S. Presidents with senile dementia, omnipresent
sexuality, good olde gelt and the faith of stern puritans like George Will,
the free market.
It is a discordant, mutually suspicious, hagridden modern pantheon we got.
Why exactly olde timey god went silent on us is a matter for speculation and
certainly it's too heavy a topic for humble John to untangle in detail. It
might've happened around the time the big one flattened Nagasaki, or when the
last skeleton was buried at Dachau, or maybe when Pol Pot was born. My
personal fave the very moment when Boris Pasternak got twenty years in the
slams for winning the Nobel Prize.
You seem my theory is that God doesn't go in for heavy irony.
But I could be wrong.
As a matter of historic record in modern times, the voice of god first went
silent for that spastic scholar, Friedrich Nietzsche. Oh at first old Fred
treated it like a joke proclaiming "god is dead" to good natured titters.
THAT transgressive bon mot got him invited to ALL the trendy philosophical
confabs...oh it was a goldmine for a while. Then one night Fred awoke and
decided that it was true! God WAS dead!!
In that very instant a million pound existential shithammer anointed
Nietzsche in the solar plexus and the hirsute professor started frantically
looking for a new system of transcendent ethics.
In search for a new law of life, He tried the superman ("Caesar with the soul of Christ" was the best he could
manage) and he mulled over Wagner's music (but once he saw the Valkyries
flying in on chains at Bayreuth bellowing for their lives, he was back to
square one).
He even marked out for the French as inherently closer to the divine spark
than mere Bavarians and Prussians...or maybe he just liked the weather in
Finally he gave up the ghost and went decorously nuts and ended up dying in
an insane Asylum.
Metaphorically speaking, this is the same insane asylum from which a good
chunk of 20th Century leadership cadres graduated from, all intent on
screeching up a good god voice, from Cambodia to the Spahn Ranch.
So welcome to post god civilization cuz' as far as I can see, the divine
eternal has gone totally silent as of January 2000. Which brings back to the
threadbare collection of public and private totems we're all convinced are as
nutritious as that concept once worshipped on Sundays.
Whatever it was called.
Which is where I enter the picture, as my chesty unthinking bedroom suburb
was neck deep in peace protesters today. I mean HUNDREDS of these worthies
were out in battalion strength with signs and pleas and leaflets.
If you really worshipped peace, it'd a been an inspiring sight.
There were about a half dozen "pro-war" demonstrators in the center of
town...but they were laboring under a conceptual burden in that no one is
supposed to express an honest love of combat and slaughter.
So their best sign was "Support Our Troops" followed by "Remember September
11th" (a forlorn hope most citizens these days can't remember their oldest
offspring's middle name). But what the hell, they tried.
The peace faction had variations on "Let the Inspectors do their Job"...a
nice simple text byte-very effective.
And then there was the car horn sympathy symphony all day long...a crude
measure of the public sentiments but a telling one.
I'm not really for this notional war, but not for any reasons amicable to
peace worshippers. I'm simply resigned to the fact that Bin Laden isn't in
Baghdad therefore why tussle with Hussein when we have unfinished business
with Al Queda and now with Pyongyang?
And is destroying Iraq really worth busting up the NATO Alliance?
NATO has kept the peace for nigh on fifty years now with few losses to
personal freedom and fewer shots being fired-not a bad record. This battered
collection of bankrupts and mendicant-statelets the President is taping
together to advance his current foreign policy can only fantasize about doing
so well.
Now if Bin Laden was in Baghdad, well then alas down fall the bombs like
leaves in a New Hampshire autumn.
No I'm afraid that sort of thinking is none too welcome with the activists
down in the Town Center.
One thought though did arc across my frontal lobes as I walked past endless
peace placard holders this morning.
And it surprised even me...
"WHERE were this M@#$%^%f$%^@#*s back in November of 2002 when we were up
against the wall in this state and all over this nation? MY Ghod with
numbers like this out in the streets Romney would've fled the Commonwealth to
campaign via shortwave radio from Crab Key!
WHERE was these legions when Bush's lawyers and a mob of gucci'd anarchists
shut down the recount in Miami-Dade?
Where were any of them when I NEEDED THEM?? Because I busted my ass for Gore
and O'Brien in succession and gave time and treasure to them and host of
others only to see it all go to smash election night after election night.
I can tell you what they were doing in my precinct, they were handing out
instructions on how to write in some naïf' for senator instead of John Kerry.
Apparently our Junior Senator's stance on the middle east is insufficiently
peaceful for these citizens.
Well Kerry won and Romney rolled over us all like a tidal wave from the
sewage plant.
You tell me these are the unaffiliated leftist who were "unmoved" by the
choices presented to them in the last two elections.
The HELL they weren't!
Their peace bone hadn't been sprung yet that is all, and as I noted wa-ay
above, peace is a religion and it's worshippers were out in force Saturday.
The laughable inability of these proud peace activists to apply themselves
to any other aspect of politics is in part what dooms us to rule by genial
corruptards like Mitt Romney and Richard Perle.
Eric Alterman spoke the other night about the ingrained barriers preventing
democrats-liberals and leftists on co-operating on any program that might
promise a return to power.
It's easier to lobby with success than to explain failure but try telling
that to the crowd downtown beatin' the drums for peace.
The only thing they care about is peace-peace-peace...and they apparently
think a reactionary U.S. President and a reactionary U.S. congress can easily
be overcome by marches and demonstrations....
I think they are all very idealistic but they are two full years late and
armed with a political plan that was old hat in 1970.
We are now perhaps forty eight hours away from war, we were once forty eight
hours away from having Al Gore as President and two years later Congress less heavy
infested with homicidal buffoons.
And I'm afraid despite all the protests we'll be forty eight hours away from
any of that for the rest of my god-damned life.
Peace Be With You All...
Lament of a compulsive film goer
Two things I wanna see before I depart this mortal coil:
1) A movie wherein Jennifer Lopez does NOT find love whether it's with some hapless doughboy or Antonio Banderas or whoever...NO LOVE for Jennifer.
In movie after movie, love smacks her in the noggin or gets stuck to her shoe...what is so inherently lovable about Jennifer? She looks like a plastic action figure to me...a dime a dozen in every way.
2) I also want to see a film where Bruce Willis obeys orders without question or grumbling like a spiteful schoolgirl under his breath about his dopey equivocal superiors.
Screenwriters think this sort of malice makes Bruce's soldier characters look noble, nothing could be further from the truth... would you follow an officer into peril who was bitching like a junior high school girl about gutless senior officers and the like?
I wouldn't.
BTW that gleaming sweating chrome dome of Bruce's in "Tears of the Sun" is a laughable nonstarter. A half trained farmboy could pick him off with a squirrel gun from a mile off the way his head glitters shamelessly in the sun.
The spewin'' oh th' venom...
Mis-ter Wiz-ard I don't wanna be Irish anymore!
Mis-ter Wizard!!!!!!!
So John Kerry bit the bullet and showed up for the annual South Boston Saint Patrick's Day breakfast....big frickin' whoop.
I was half hoping his initial nonappearance might've lead to an uncontrollable outbreak of taste and modesty amongst the Bay State's governing classes.
But no, it was a kelly green victory for boorish behavior the world over.
Whenever I watch the Saint Patrick's Day breakfast on teevee, especially after a hard lost gubernatorial campaign I always reflect that in a crowd of alleged yellow dawg urban democrats statistics indicate at least of third of them deserted the party and voted for Romney (or Cellucci or Weld certainly...).
So the whole thing takes on less the appearance of a nice inoffensive tribal holiday and more a gruesome groveling circus enacted at the feat of some grinning jack off who has once again made off with the governorship with the connivance of the usual boyos.
Harsh words?
Yup I'm allowed, hell these are my people ghod help me.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Friday, March 14, 2003

Ingrates and Ingraham....
Laura Ingraham on Imus today...3-14-03

I stifled a yawn as Laura Ingraham spewed malice and venom on the Imus in the Morning Program today.
Imus and Laura are both syndicated by Westwood One making me wonder if it's in the I-man's contract that he HAS to have this spiteful talentless harpy on every four weeks or so. Cuz' quite frankly, Laura is so mind numbingly tedious that she could be bottled and sold to third world hospitals as cheap anesthesia.
Either that or Imus who is at best a doddering nasty old fool needs to breath some oxygen or something as Laura prattles on and on saying the exact same things about the exact same people from four and eight weeks ago.
Oh she tried to stir some sh*t up, taking shots at the "Dixie Chicks" for expressing anti-war sentiments...and sniping at the thought of what reception they'd get if said band went on a U.S.O. tour.
Here Laura is making the classic rightical chic error of conflating her own extremism with the alleged views of the troops in the field...frankly if I had a hard day dropping daisy-cutters through the clean desert breeze I'd welcome a Dixie Chicks appearance down by the airstrip....anti war sentiments be damned.
By the way...did you know it's all Colin Powell's fault?
Yup that is Laura's take on the matter....apparently the Secretary of State's unremarkable notion that enforcing a U.N. resolution to the letter ought to presuppose U.N. support is tantamount to appeasement in Laura's eyes.
Mark my words now that Bush has gone back on his promise to bring the matter of intervention to a Security Council vote a world of hard right sh*t will be exploding over Powell's head.
No instead Laura's post conservative policy is one of spite, if the U.N. won't obey, then throw the bums out and start a new more subservient international organization! Here she lapses into pure Gilbert-and-Sullivan and notes this organization could include such stalwarts as Bulgaria, Poland, Latvia, Spain and Italy....essentially she wants to enroll these minuscule and fragile duchies into what amounts to a new Warsaw Pact...composed for the most part by the dregs of the Old Warsaw Pact.
The notion that we are gonna actively police the world with the Bulgarians and Spanish as our sidekicks is a sure fire Broadway musical comedy formula.
But wait, it gets better; Laura then went on to disparage Angola and Cameroon for playing diplomatic hard to get in the lead up to the now cancelled Security Council vote.
Bulgaria and Latvia are lands fit for 21st century heroes...but Angola is an ungrateful pup-a more imbecilic Augustan view of the world couldn't be generated by the original if he tried.
Here at last is a drunken fembot's idea of foreign policy, the boozy contradictions fly fast and furious at 7:40am EST.
The problem with obnoxious ne'er do well's like Laura is that for all their kewl-kidz put downs they are utterly uncontaminated by irony or subtlety. She lights into dim jewbaiting Representative Moran like he's Lavrenty Beria or something. Conveniently forgetting Moran's heroic efforts to get Bill Clinton impeached and thrown out of office.
Which is an object lesson to all squishies and moderates out there as to the perils of co-operating with our current punditariat. No matter how much service you render them, they'll turn on you in a second on any pretext if there is relative advantage to be gained.
There is just no percentage to trying to collaborate with the likes of Laura Ingraham. She's got the snitch mentality down pat, which is that betrayal is everyday business...and this goes back with her to her Dartmouth days when she was allegedly dating Dinesh D' Souza and forcibly outing homosexuals in the pages of the right wing Dartmouth Review.
Remember that.
But now I wonder, why is Laura so tedious?
As shrill as any hormone crazed teenybopper, she still excites exactly none of my passions...her whole trip is about stirring up the enmity of liberals.
Yet she does nothing for me...maybe it's because she comes off as such a phony.
She puts on a glib frantic eager-to-be-shocking tone but she is concealing a very sad tired desire to live in a Chilean style one party state.
It's that kind of thinking she has to conceal and keep concealing...because lets face it, tyranny still isn't kewl in this country, and Laura is not one to openly defy conventions no matter how much she wishes that General Pinochet was in charge of the U.S.

Such is the Kingdom of Hell
On the Congressionally Licensed Airwaves
And Elsewhere
7:50am EST

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Pat "Bum Knee" Buchanan on Imus today...
I'm not one of those hapless specimens who has a secret high opinion of Pat Buchanan. I think the reason Pat gets a fair hearing from some on the left is mute testimony to how beaten down the progressives and radicals have gotten over the years.
To me, he is still the same grinning authoritarian yanker he's always been. If the purpose of the conservative movement is to pull the right ever rightward then standing on the extreme of their line is Pat Buchanan who can see the left's positions from his vantage point.
That doesn't make him anyone's friend or secret ally no matter how much he SOUNDS like an orthodox hard leftwinger.
Back in the old nuclear freeze days, Pat would've cheerfully unleashed tanks and armored cars on demonstrators no matter how peaceful the protest.
To Pat, peaceful and nonviolent opposition is naught but a heaven sent opportunity to bust heads among those least inclined to fight back.
He is that kind of a guy, going back to his halcyon days as a street corner bully in Washington D.C. with two alleged assaults on police officers on his rapsheet.
Pat's appearance on Imus was the usual snarled bluster interspersed with odd bouts of giggling, he's called the notional upcoming Iraq War as both a reach for empire and a sop to Israel. He has nothing but contempt for neocons . However his solution is classical bullying in action. As President he claims he'd send Richard Armitage over to Baghdad with a long list of gruesome threats to force Saddam to toe the line.
Which is different from Bush's current policy in what way?
Well nothing except Bush seems willing to hazard American Lives and Treasure on backing his threats up...
So it doesn't really sound like Pat differs all that much from George, it's just Buchanan wouldn't be doing it for Israel per se.
Well let us be charitable, it's hard for cartoonishly truculent people like Pat and George to NOT wallow in bellicosity...we shouldn't begrudge them their inability to reconcile the details.
In other words, Pat is willing to go to war, just not on behalf of Israel...whereas Bush will take his justifications where he can find them.
To me, there is not a dime's worth of difference between the two men's views to paraphrase the late George Wallace.
Credit Pat with one notion though, he realized early on that Mao had it wrong, power does not proceed from the barrel of a gun; it issues out from a teevee set. He is the first of a new breed that combines DC insider pundit elite politics with mass electoral politics. Others will pick up his mantle in due course and run for high office on the same mix of simpleminded nonsense, purged of Pat's ethnic hang-ups but just as detrimental to democracy on the long run.
So remember that the next time someone opines "I don't agree with Pat Buchanan but..."
Eric Alterman in Cambridge....
I went to see Eric Alterman at a book signing in Cambridge Ma. last night.
I wasn't going to buy his new book "What Liberal Media", but a pair of wingnuts got more than a little testy during the Q&A, that along with Eric's claim he's got to send his kid to college and well...let's just say I'm a proud owner of a hardcover copy of "What Liberal Media" suitably autographed...
BTW: If I'm recalling this correctly, Eric's dismissal of Ann Coulter as a "peroxide blonde" somehow makes him a man of "no integrity" or so an audience member snarled.
No I can't disentangle that logic either.
But it was an interesting and suggestive time otherwise....
He makes an excellent case that today's journalists would sooner be accused of plagiarism rather than liberalism.
Like Eric I'm a little nonplussed at the lack of anything "positive" going on with Liberals right now. The most positive thing we've accomplished so far is sandbagging Estrada and who knows if that'll stick!?
No we are too hampered by our traditional issue based divisions, lack of cooperation and lack of a coherent media strategy.
Alterman made one very notable point, nothing not even modern conservatism lasts forever. Sooner or later U.S. conservatives will over-reach themselves but liberalism is so thoroughly pistol-whipped that as a political movement is it out of position to exploit any opportunities. Hence it's more likely something worse than conservatism will take the field.
That is an ominous notion isn't it?
We need one idea and we need to push it like Pepsi cola and we have to rally 8 million people behind it win or lose.
What that is, I don't know...but I'm known as an "idea man" so I'll get back to you all if I think of anything.
Well worth remembering in the by and by.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

David Brock in Cambridge:
David Brock author of "Blinded by the Right" did a book signing in Harvard Square last night as his memoirs are now out in paperback.
Humble John IAT was there to get his copy duly autographed.
Brock is an odd duck, he's slight of frame like Bobby Kennedy with none of the facile glibness you'd associate with an ex-hard core rightical chic attack dog.
Hell he comes across as earnest...not a whole lot of verbal pyrotechnics.
This is is what makes his discource noteworthy....whether you believe him or not.
Personally I think "Blinded by the Right" is somewhat akin to Albert Speer's confessional "Inside the Third Reich"
in that both men can be relied to tell the truth about everyone else whilst trying to reinvent themselves as someone who is now worthy of trust/respect.
That is not to conflate Brock with nazism or anything only to note heavy political memoirs have to serve the author's agenda be it rehabilitation or preparation for a new career or whatever.
That having been said...
Brock made three useful and suggestive points about the rise of the conservative counter establishment in the 1990's.
1.) The endless attacks on Bill Clinton and his wife, weren't about them as people. Bill Clinton was perceived as an affective democratic politician by the conservative movement and had to be de-legitimized by any means. Clinton's most vociferous GOP/conservative critics would have done the same thing to Tom Harkin, Paul Tsongas or Mario Cuomo if they were elected and seen as a similar threat. So in that sense it wasn't about adultery or perjury at all it was about power.
The same thing will happen again if a democrat is elected in 2004. The conservative movement's issues are demonstrably out of sync with the U.S. electorate therefore they must use their considerable spin power to demonize the opposition and emotionalize the race.
2.) The movement's anti Bill Clinton crowd are now the leading lights of the Bush Administration. The approval of the right wing Federalist Society are a prerequisite to nomination to any post under Bush Jr.
Hillary's "vast right wing conspiracy" has essentially followed Bill Clinton into the White House.
3.) There is a vast well funded conservative counter establishment that exists and prospers irregardless of whether the GOP is in office. The main mission of this counter establishment is to relentlessly propagandize on behalf of conservative issues in as emotionally manipulative manner as possible through as many conservative media outlets as possible.
To call this process part of the "ongoing debate" is disengenuous...the primary purpose of said conservative propaganda is to forestall discourse and discussion in favor of their own ideological precepts.

So it's all very much food for may not be anything new dear readers but it does bear repeating as we swing into the next election cycle.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

A Final Note: or what you are fighting for courtesy Cable Teevee
CNN ran a piece last night about gasoline prices reaching 2.25 per gallon in San Francisco California.
The following comercial break included two ads for American made S.U.V.'s encrusted with enough luxury extras as to make Queen Cleopatra look like a bag lady.
Howard Fineman on Imus yesterday:
Like the President he venerates, I think Howard is getting sick of heaping the same old praiseful platitudes on the current Commander in Chief.
The signs are subtle...during yesterday's appearance on the Imus show he waxed long and loud about the confusing and contradictory aspects of the President's justifications for war.
The mark of a true media whore is that they suddenly sound forlorn and ineffectual when they start criticizing their usual objects of worship. This is because they are used to dumping on easily bullied targets that can't fight back. The punditariat gets nervous when the object of their derision has potent means of retaliation.
And Howard Fineman is no different, a craven frightened tone invaded his usual insufferably unctuous manner.
Indeed why not? There is no doubt a full time Karl Rover staffer whose job it is to transcribe and summarize the Imus Show on a daily basis.
Otherwise it was a classic performance characterized (as always) with at least one blatant intellectual howler of T.D. Lysenko-esque proportions.
I refer of course to Fineman's bizarre assertion that Bush's notion that political liberty is derived from god is a well documented concept traceable to the Declaration of Independence.
This is sheer nonsense.
More precisely it can be said that Bush's simpleminded view proclaims Jesus Christ armed republican and a sort of ex-officio RNC Chairdeity is the divine source of our current liberties.
THAT bearded bane of feminists and rap singers ain't got nothing to do with the deistic divine "Providence" that Tom Jefferson used to invoke.
I can promise you that if anyone ever read the Declaration of Independence to Bush his only response would be "what commie wrote that stuff?"
Savage Elation:

If MSNBC was a legit player in 1948, Reichsmarshal Herman Goering would've never faced the prospect of committing suicide in his Nuremburg prison cell. No doubt he'd a copped a lucrative radio show gig howling long and hard for "racial purity" whilst MSNBC clouded the air with press releases celebrating his "legitimate attempt to expand the marketplace of ideas".
It's taken forty plus years for Herman's legacy to finally transform radio and television, but there he is Michael Savage a talk show tyrant with a particular hang up with immigrants, traitors and possibly the Danzig Corridor.
Hey MSNBC-I can "expand the marketplace of ideas" too...
How about hiring me?
Of course I've got a slightly different target list....
I can call my critics rats, degenerates and traitors....
I can call for the mass deportation of radio talk show hosts...
I can call for select drum head court martials for the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Jay Severin...
I can do it all, easiest thing in the world.
And in fact I AM calling for all that...
Except of course, I'm joking...there I'm safe from all recriminations!

Monday, March 10, 2003

Will Romneys ever cease?
I refer of course to the Gigantic Romney-Healey-2002 that is still up atop their campaign headquarters in Fresh Pond Cambridge.
A more steroidal monument to prolonged electoral gloating can't imagined.
Okay Willard we get it, YOU WON THE ELECTION!
Ghod I have to see that damn thing practically ever time I wanna get myself a nice nightcap!
The fact that this eyesore has persisted in Fresh Pond for five long months now is mute testimony to Governor Romney's ferocious self aggrandizement.
Well what can anyone expect?
This is a Governor planning to destroy the Massachusetts State College system all to force State Board of Higher Education Chair Billy Bulger out of a job.
That will no doubt impress Romney's future employers in Washington with his Bonapartist bona fides.
So hell yeah that sign stays up, let the students go bankrupt, let ignorance rule...but that garish banner remains on high until Romney ascends to Washington on a pillar of fire!

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Crash go the Steeples:
I ran into a Lebanese friend of mine at a comic book convention the other day. He has taken to attending a Unitarian Universalist Church downtown on Sundays with his girlfriend. His voice has even taken on that eager one-functioning-nostril honk that is the unmistakable sign of a man eager to move up the religious food chain in the Commonwealth.
There is a lot of dice rolling going on these days when it comes to revealed religion.
Scenes like the above are being enacted all over the Bay State even as I write this with every Mullah, Witch Doctor, or Lutheran rubbing their hands in anticipation.
Massachusetts, that final redoubt of Irish Catholic Puritanism is now governed by a feckless Mormon-itself a religion whose infrastructure resembles the corporate hierarchy at Papa Ginos.
When it comes to God everyone is on the make these days nagged by the knowledge that the Almighty may be immutable but his churches are investments-to be worried over like Genuity's common stock.
And lately the Dioceses of Boston is looking less like Augustine's City of God and more like the House of Enron.
And indeed why not? The R.C.C. (Roman Catholic Church) is falling to none too picturesque ruins. An appetite among the clergy for little boys and long term cover-ups has turned this thing of splendor into a loser on a bad streak.
It wasn't always like this.
Once this was a Viceregal Dioceses run like a empire and presided over by autocratic cardinals who could make em' and break em' 24-7. Now the whole shebang is reduced to a gothic bunker on Commonwealth Ave in Brighton, under siege by attorneys and process servers.
I've long theorized that the Former Cardinal Law, kept many of those tainted priests on the job simply because he had no adequate source of replacement clerics. The dirty truth to the R.C.C. is that vocations have been plunging over the last twenty years. "Saint John's Seminary" in Brighton (which abuts the Cardinal's residence) ordained a bare FIVE priests in 2002.
Yes that is right FIVE!
The average age of a Roman Catholic priest goes up one year, every year. This is an actuarial nightmare in the making. At their normal rate of depletion the church will simply run out of clergy within the next twenty years.
Faced with this looming disaster what did Cardinal Law do?
Did he demand an audience with the Pope to hash out a new policy?
Did he convene a conference to look at the decline in vocations in a critical and objective fashion?
Did he dig down deep and call for reconsideration of the harsh rules of celibacy that constrict the priesthood?
And we sure as hell know he didn't propose to ordain women!
No...No to it all.
Law kept the same gang of chicken hawks on the job because they were all he had to work with.
And if the laity won't come forward to volunteer for holy orders in sufficient numbers then it's THEIR fault he had to make due with predatory sex offenders as his Ministers of the Gospel.
In short, I wonder if the Cardinal didn't conceal a kind of "anti-laitical" attitude through out this whole affair?
The funny thing about the local clergy-sex abuse scandal was the relative detachment of the liberals. The loudest and most insistent voices for Law's deposition as Cardinal turned out to be the Parish Council types, deeply conservative churchgoers who provide the diocesan volunteer and fundraising base.
Times are tough even for a non-practicing catholic such as myself... and if that is the case think of how bad it must be for the true blue believers.
Eventually the scandal grew to such proportions that the laws of the commonwealth AND Fox News 25 came a-knockin'!
But still Cardinal Law stonewalled' em.
Finally, a bare fifty eight priests through-out the Bay State signed a letter expressing no confidence in the Cardinal's leadership and POOF Bernard Law was gone.
The situation has to be beyond hope when even famously rigid Pope John Paul asks for your resignation.
The rumor around town has been another critical letter was circulating that had even more clerical signatures on it.
Now a bare ninety days after Law left town on the last helicopter out a few ultra-hardliners are whining that those fifty eight priests who went on record as asking for Law's resignation were suspicious malcontents.
George Weigel a conservative catholic columnist syndicated in "The Pilot" (the Boston Dioceses' weekly newspaper) has blasted this timorous act of resistance in no uncertain terms. Reverend Richard John Neuhaus in an article in the radical reactionary journal "First Things" has hissed the fifty-eight are part of a "subculture of infidelity".
The Pilot has been a lackluster weekly since the 80's when Cardinal Law took time out of his busy schedule to purge all the talented writers and editors. Instead, the usual toadies and sycophants were given good paying jobs on the Diocesan dime so it's to be expected that they would indulge one last blast on behalf of their former patron.
"First Things" on the other hand is an ultra-rightical chic intellectual journal of impeccably weird credentials. It is probably best known for publishing in 1996 Chuck Colson's musings over whether it was time for American Conservatives to take up arms and overthrow the U.S. Government.
It's also an article of faith among the few remaining irreconcilables in the laity that somehow a nasty cabal of homosexuals from with priesthood ousted Law and are only laying low until good times come around again. In myself have heard this imbecilic nonsense from persons of otherwise normal critical intelligence.
George Wiegel in particular being a nationally syndicated columnist remains profoundly ignorant of the antipathy Cardinal Law's behavior stirred up among local catholics of all persuasions.
Frankly, George and the Reverend Rich need to take a horse sized chill-pill. They can sit and pout and screech for the appointment of a new reactionary Cardinal who'll fire the fifty eight dissenters toot sweet. And if that somehow happens I guarantee you parishes will be closed and the local supply of clergy will be strained past the breaking point. All George, The Reverend Rich, and this notional Cardinal will have accomplished is making the laity even more sullen and angry than they are now. Remember the Dioceses doesn't have a warehouse full of priests it can deploy to fill those gaps.
Naw... them days is over.
Alas George and the Rev's petulance is a last spasm from the much harried ultra conservative wing of the faith. They had their champion, Bernard Cardinal Law, and he turned out to be a world class brute and a jackass.
The problems facing the church are much graver and more pressing than some wild hunt for dissenting prelates.
Meanwhile as George and Rich complain as the vocational crisis and the sex abuse scandal get worse and worse every day.
In the end there may be nothing left to fight over.
My white haired old mother has a saying "not to decide, is to decide".
As long as Rome elects to do nothing about the aging and declining clerical population then they are in effect opting for extinction.
That formulation alone should frame the looming debate between Rome and it's Flock.
Because someday soon all those catholic believers for lack of clergy could end up in other sects, cults, and churches. What will the Reverend Rich and George Wiegel do then?
Full immersion baptism in goose creek?
Or revive the People's Temple?
Who can say?

Friday, March 07, 2003

And then there is...Korea.
Last night the President also figuratively threw up his hands in frustration declaring North Korea's acquisition of nuclear weapons to be a "regional" issue.
He TRIED to sound sincere and engaged...and tried and tried. Nevertheless the net effect communicated as nothing has before the utter bankruptcy of Bush's neither "talk nor fight" approach to Pyongyang. The initiative completely passed to Komrade Kim at about 8:45pm EST last long he will have it or what he will do with it is unknown.
By stressing the "regional" nature of the crisis Bush has rationalized his own hapless passive-aggressive "policy" in a manner that brings us closer to either war or abject humiliation on the Korean peninsula.
Gamely Bush listed the "other countries" who have an alleged vested interested in keeping nukes out of Pyongyang's mitts , but as we all know Colin Powell was treated like a red-headed stepchild on his tour of the region last week.
In other words, we are waiting like sheep in the slaughterhouse for someone else to get a policy that not craven by definition.
This country is bound by oath and treaty to the defense of something like four functioning democracies in this region. If we don't start handling this situation right the ineffable quality of our security guarantees to those countries will become fatally compromised. Given the Powell's reception last week it looks like that security guarantee is devaluing by the hour.
Security never vanishes, but countries that can't provide it for themselves will inevitably shop for it from other sources...sources within the region, sources that might not be democratically oriented.
It's just amazing to me that a so-called movement conservative with all the usual national security fixations DOESN'T realize this.
And why why why do I have the sinking suspicion that if North Korea attacks and conquers the South, all Bush will do is bray long and loud over the dire necessity to speed up the Strategic Defense Initiative? (or whatever they calling it today?)
Let us hope South Korea has a President with a plan, cause' his American counterpart seems to have nothing at all on tap.
Frankly Bush is looking more and more like Allen Drury's sinister caricature of Presidential timidity and indecisiveness "Edward M. Jason" the hapless Commander-in-Chief in his novel "Come Nineveh, Come Tyre" last of the rightical chic "Advise and Consent" series.
Of course, Allen was good movement conservative, his Jason is a paragon of liberalism whom the Russians relentlessly bully and intimidate into abject surrender over the course of some 473 stultifying pages. "The Reds" are ably assisted by their domestic servitors including a ruthless amoral U.S. Senator whose police state tactics nicely prefigure John Ashcroft.
Of course "Come Nineveh, Come Tyre" is fiction, a CONSERVATIVE U.S. President would never preside over the disintegration of American security guarantees in Asia would he? A CONSERVATIVE U.S. President by nature can't be timid, indecisive, cowardly, opportunistic, callow, and easily manipulated by brutes and thugs on his own staff?
Can he?
I've always had a perverse liking for Allen Drury...despite his ponderous comic book dialogue he was a Samuel Johnson compared to today's semi-literate freeper trogs like Tom Clancy.
When the Sleeper Fakes:
Albert Speer, Hitler's Minister of Armaments, used to recall the Führer characterizing his own superhuman steadfastness as "the assurance of a sleepwalker".
The frightening implications of that infelicitous turn of phrase only struck Speer after the war when he was in Spandau Prison.
I'm not one of these Bush=Hitler bloggers, it's a mendacious nasty connotation IMHO....but something about Bush's robotic Q&A session last night called that quote to mind.
I wasn't even going to do anything on last night's Presidential press conference, but when I saw the dispirited somnambulant performance put on by Bush, I revised my plan.
Bush is like a callow seventeen year old trying to explain the half consumed vodka bottle found in his bedroom.
He doesn't even sound convinced by his own bullsh*t!
He repeats himself endlessly, sheer repetition might be wearing down even this famously on-message politician.
Hell, Bush's biggest effort last night was paradoxically devoted to NOT calling on the venerable Helen Thomas, whose seniority in the press room means nothing to the vengeful White House Gang.

Tom Shales the teevee critic at the Washington Post has suggested that Bush might have been a wee bit medicated last night which supposedly accounts for his listless monotonal delivery.
This is a nice oblique way of suggesting the Prez is off the wagon as well...
However I'm a sunny optimistic christian who prefers to think that like most people with fatally truncated attention spans Bush is starting to find his own lies boring.
He may even be waking up to the fact that this whole soul-draining slog to war is Rumsfeld-Cheney-Wolfowitz's collective idea from the git go.
When puppets awake to their status as useful toys, there usually a certain amount of psychic pain involved.
Or who knows maybe he WAS drunk and the whole room turned into a festering snake pit complete with cobras spitting questions about North Korea at his head.
THAT would account for his half-hypnotized demeanor....
Such is the Kingdom of Hell
On the congressionally licensed airwaves and elsewhere
3-7-03 1:07pm EST
Premature political eulogy for Miguel "the snitch" Estrada toast, possibly well done toast...

As of yesterday Miguel "the snitch" Estrada's prospects of getting on the Federal Appeals Court (and thus one buttcheek away from a seat on the Supreme Court) were lookin' mighty slim.
Senate Republicans failed to stop a Democratic filibuster of the nomination....Majority Leader Dr. Bill "baby face" Frist got his clock cleaned on his first serious errand on behalf of the White House. So the vast rightwing conspiracy finally collected nice painful kick in the shins....well what of it?
No matter how much chaos and doubt invades the Executive and Legislative branches of the Federal Government, the great cause of reviving feudalism in the 21st century marches on!
The Estradas of this world may falter and fall, but the Rehnquist Court still stands a lonely heroic watch on the battlements of post modern conservative civilization.
Where there is a seal to be clubbed
A gay marriage to prevent
An endangered species to be ground up
A pregnant woman to hassle
A Wilderness to be bulldozed
An election to overthrow...
Justice Bill Rehnquist and his Posse will be there...count on it.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Ned Flanders in Chief:
One last note re. Howard Fineman's servile profile of the President's religious beliefs in the current "Newsweek".
Howard would have us believe that Bush gets up before dawn to earnestly read his bible prior to starting the daily abuse of common sense and the laws of the Republic.
On the one hand, you can dismiss this as the sort of hopeless hackneyed junk that was once used by the odious likes of Mark Hanna to fob William McKinley off on the voters.
On the other hand we are living in embarrassingly unsophisticated times, so it's probably true that the Prez is down to five hours of sleep on account of his compulsive bible study.
No doubt this morning Bush found a quiet little spot in the family quarters to pour over the battle scenes in the Book of Judges or edify himself in the most gruesome way possible with the "Song of Solomon.
An advance on Mother's Day:
Last night John IAT's venerable mother said the following:
"Far be it for me to criticize anyone's faith. Mitt Romney's religion won't let him drink, smoke, or touch caffeine-but he sure can LIE like a son of a b*tch! So THAT won't get him sent to hell, but if he drinks a coke he's doomed?"
3-5-03 10:17pm EST

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

A note to Boston Globe Ombudsman Mark Jurkowitz re. his profile of Mike Savage in today's Arts and Entertainment section.

I have to fault one aspect of your Michael "Savage" profile today...

Mike is also the proud sponsor of a weird quasi vigilante group called the "Paul Revere Society" which he heavy promotes on his website
Herein is the PRS basic program:
The Paul Revere Society 9-Point Program

1. Make tax cuts permanent.
2. Close the borders now.
3. Deport all illegal immigrants now.
4. Eliminate bilingual education in all states.
5. Require health tests for all recent foreign born immigrants.
6. Eliminate as many entitlement programs as possible.
7. Reduce the number of Federal Employees.
8. Oil Drilling on U.S. Soil.
9. Tort Reform "STOP LAWYERS".

Clearly Savage has some of the same obscene ambitions that once animated William Dudley Pelley and his fascistic "Silver Shirt Legion". Pelley was hung up on immigration and hanging everyone who scared him just like Savage. Now back in the dim dark 1930's guys like Pelley were marginalized as cranks and brutes....but fortunately we live in enlightened times and nowadays ethnophobes like Mike Weiner can look forward to lucrative television contracts and straight-up profiles in the Boston Globe.
You might have at least described this hate group in your piece...just for the purposes of full disclosure.

John IAT
Notes for Future Veterans:
Assuming we DO go to war in Iraq, what skylarking world of wonder have we promised our victorious veterans?
1.) A zip-lipped snitch named Miguel Estrada is awarded a Federal Judgeship. Moreover, a notorious narc for massacre-advocate Anne Coulter, Estrada is on the short list for a seat on the Supreme Court.
2.) Grandma and Grandpa will be forced to choose by a beneficent Government between their Medicare coverage and a threadbare prescription drug benefit.
3.) Meanwhile the Attorney General will still be reading your mail, cataloguing your e-mail, compiling lists of the videos you rent, and no doubt seizing excrement samples for forcible analysis.
That is if you are not already in jail for buying a bong on line....
4.) Oh...and your Boss? She or he will be ludicrously over capitalized thanks to relentless tax cuts. In effect they will join a new unprecedented class of wealthy tax exempt GOP clients and social deadbeats.
5.) The one trillion dollar cost of the war you won will be paid for by you, your progeny, and possibly their offspring as well.
6.) Whoops almost forgot to mention, a white power activist named Mike Savage now has a talk show on MSNBC. Boy when Grand-dad was drafted back in 1942 creepy tinpot stormtroopers like Mike were treated as the brutes and buffoons they were. But it's a new era in 2003 and those selfsame falangists can look forward lucrative careers on cable television.
Frankly, in some ways, you guys are a lot safer over there than we are back here at home...all you have to do is topple Saddam....we've got to deal with freakjob hammerheads like Coulter, Savage, Will, Limbaugh, Severin, Hannity, Carlson, etc etc etc...

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Me and God in Washington:
Newsweek has found it's own Hugh Sidey.
I refer of course to Howard Fineman who has the White House Beat for that fine and noble newsweekly.
Unlike Sidey though, Fineman restricts his nauseating brown-nosing to the person of the incumbent President Mister George Bush Jr.
In this week's heavily hyped cover story Fineman "examines" the stale religious kitsch that passes for the President's closely held Christian faith. As an article it manages to render the President's alleged victory over chronic inebriation in terms that would do justice to a medal of honor winner. It is certainly not Fineman's fault that our standards of public heroism have fallen so abysmally low that one can aspire to the top ranks simply by drying out.
No, Fineman's sin is a one of omission-but it is a glaring one. Howard manages to churn out the usual hagiography without once calling the President a "mean drunk" which is what he was back in his drinking days, assuming those drinking days are done.
The problem with mean drunks is that sometimes they dry out only to be mean sober citizens...this has got to be the case with GWB. He's got that blood crimson angry look in his eye that comes from chronic hallucinations wherein congress turns into loud dancing Jack Daniels' bottles...this is when the President's faith comes in and he starts making with the harsh over the top threats.

Monday, March 03, 2003

All Power to the Jacoby-ins

Jeff Jacoby, yet another one of the Boston Globe's poor helpless token conservative op-ed trogs, thinks the proposed "liberal" talk radio show won't work.
It's pointless to wallow in why he thinks it won't work-the real reason is, Jeff doesn't need the competition.
Like most regional conservative columnists Jeff desperately wants to rake in the big bucks with a television sinecure or better yet a full time radio gig like Boston Herald Columnista Howie Carr has got.
And why not?
For today's jingo-propagandist-punditocrat, the loose journalism standards to today's talk radio/opinion teevee are a potential can profitably call for the elevation of George Bush Junior to the Sultanate or accuse Senator Clinton of necromancy sans reproof or damage to advertising sales.
Jeff has wanted such a gig for so long he can taste it, I recall with the simplest nostalgia the smirking constipated rictus he'd affect on WCVB's old "Five on Five" sunday morning yakfest.
It was like he was rehearsing his game face for the notional "Jeff Jacoby" cable-show.
Mark my words he wants it and he wants it bad, beating up a liberal radio show that'll never come to pass is just the dues he has to happily pay in order to get scheduled after Mike Savage on MSNBC.