Thursday, March 30, 2006

George F Will: Them Commies were right

George F. Will, a once-respected conservative intellect writing in the once-respected Washington Post (didn't they have something to do with the Watergate investigation? No? Musta been a different paper), wants us to take a page from East Germany and do an updated Berlin Wall.

Christ, Pundit-ocracy. How far is he willing to sell out his own intellect?

The historical parallel that isn't going away...

They'll deny it and deny it, but they're making the same tragic, greedy, arrogant, brutal mistakes they always do.

I said it August 10 2005.

1. Underestimating the enemy. They won't give up.

2. Deceiving the public. The public won't buy it.

3. Blaming the media. Reporters don't lose it.

4. Gaming the statistics. Body counts don't win it.

5. Counterinsurgency instead of hearts and minds.

6. “Search and destroy” instead of "clear and hold."

7. “Iraqization” = “Vietnamization”

8. Absence of exit strategy.

9. Letting suits, not uniforms, make strategic decisions.

10. Lying about the reasons.

Jesus. What a pointless un-necessary disaster.

Now 5-deferment Dick claims to be a Minuteman

At the Radio & Television Correspondents' Dinner, our President-in-Fact said, to journalists, "The lighting could be better but I can still see the whites of your eyes."

Mr P-i-F, I grew up just down the road from Bunker Hill, now in Charlestown Mass. And, in case you've forgotten your history, it was spoken by Captain William Prescott, leader of the group of Revolutionary Minutemen who held Bunker and Breed's Hills so long, and at such cost to the hired professional soldiers of the imperialist King, that even though the rebels retreated, it was reckoned a British loss.

The cowardice of a man who seeks five deferments during Vietnam but sends young men to die during a pointless greedy war, who shoots a "friend" in the face and sends women out to defend him--they're going to come back and haunt you. Karl Rove has sold you down the river and you'll be resigned within a year. And history will catch up with you.

Historical payback's a mother, Dick. You're not a rebel, you're an imperialist. And your fucking imperial presidency is hemorrhaging at every orifice. And we're coming for you.

"The World Turned Upside Down."

Oh, and in the meantime, Mr P-i-F: I'll stand up in the field against you any time.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


For an old Boston boy, it's very weird to be rooting for any team with "Detroit" on its jerseys, because we remember the infamous thugs of the Lambeer-era 80s Pistons--who weren't anywhere near as talented as the Celts and the Lakers, but very willing to play way more dirty--and whiney with it.

But the 21st-century Pistons are just so goddamned good, and so tough, and so selfless. 5 starters who haven't missed a game in, what, 2 1/2 years? They get stronger when they're down, and they're a fuckin' juggernaut when they're ahead. And they do it without a "marquee" player.

No School like the Old School.

John Sherman: brass balls

Blind man hears neighbor screaming for help, runs into burning house and pulls her to safety.

"Courage" doesn't even begin to describe it. That's one person who'll skip a few reincarnations.

Well done, Mr Sherman.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Another old soldier calls "bullshit" on the Chickenhawks

3 years as a dogface 1942-45, and 78-year-old Albert Sobol has more guts than the entire White House:

To assume that because we are a nation founded in constitutional democracy, we have any special entitlement to violate all of its principles in order to save it, is beyond hypocrisy: it is madness. It is time to impeach both the president and vice president.
Read it all, though. Another damning condemnation of the greed, cowardice, and pathology that runs the Bush White House.

Ol' Sam Adams puts it in a nutshell...

Amazing quote from Scrutiny Hooligans:

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen. -- Samuel Adams
In other words,

Up against the wall. The Revolution lives, and we're not going away.

Kick Jerry's ass right up between his shoulders

Maybe a fascist but he sure wasn't a wimp.

The late Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater on John McCain's new pal Jerry Falwell, July 1981: "I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass."

Monday, March 27, 2006

Must be Spring: Mockingbirds arrive

As I was walking to the car, I realized it must be spring here on the South Plains: there was a mockingbird singing his fool head off (every other bird song he could think of).
We've had one who comes back to live in the almost-broken-down Black Walnut in our front yard each summer for the last three years. He usually starts up about 4:30am.

As I said: Must be spring.

To Sharpe James: don't let the door hit you in the back

Sharpe James, the borderline-nutzo but crazy-like-a-fox machine politician who won 5 terms as mayor of Newark (mostly by intimidation, dishonesty, the most contemptible form of race-baiting, etc), has bailed on the race for the sixth term. He cedes the field to candidate Corey Booker, who was the victim in a previous 2002 race of some of the James Machine's most flagrant tactics, as detailed in the magnificent documentary Street Fight. Corey's still in the race and is now by far the favored candidate.

Race-baiting can be black-on-black too, and James was a past master at it. It's great to see him go, and the only thing sweeter would be to see a criminal investigation into his past malfeasance.

[Update 5.11.06] Called it.

Delta top-sergeant calls "bullshit" on the Chickenhawks

Eric Haney, now a Hollywood consultant, was a founding sergeant in the Delta Force, the legendary, semi-secret counter-terrorism and exfiltration commando unit.

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For a good description of the ferocity, courage, and effectiveness of the D-Boys in action, see Mark Bowden's superb Black Hawk Down, but at all costs avoid Ridley Scott's contemptible, simplistic, exploitative, and racist film of the same name.

Command Sergeant Haney is calling "bullshit" on the Chickenhawks and their failed war. The difference is, he's a real warrior, and he's not afraid of those armchair imperialists and cowardly careerists back in DC. His very first Q&A in the interview runs like this:

Q: What's your assessment of the war in Iraq?

A: Utter debacle. But it had to be from the very first. The reasons were wrong. The reasons of this administration for taking this nation to war were not what they stated. (Army Gen.) Tommy Franks was brow-beaten and ... pursued warfare that he knew strategically was wrong in the long term. That's why he retired immediately afterward. His own staff could tell him what was going to happen afterward.

We have fomented civil war in Iraq. We have probably fomented internecine war in the Muslim world between the Shias and the Sunnis, and I think Bush may well have started the third world war, all for their own personal policies.

But that really, barely, begins to cover the damning indictment he provides. Read the whole article, and note this nugget about Dick Cheney's pet program:
Q: What do you make of the torture debate? Cheney ...

A: (Interrupting) That's Cheney's pursuit. The only reason anyone tortures is because they like to do it. It's about vengeance, it's about revenge, or it's about cover-up. You don't gain intelligence that way. Everyone in the world knows that. It's worse than small-minded, and look what it does.... I ask, who would you want to pay to be a torturer? Do you want someone that the American public pays to torture? He's an employee of yours. It's worse than ridiculous. It's criminal; it's utterly criminal. ... Debating what constitutes torture: Mistreatment of helpless people in your power is torture, period. And (I'm saying this as) a man who has been involved in the most pointed of our activities. I know it, and all of my mates know it. You don't do it. It's an act of cowardice.

So there we have it. A real soldier--the kind of man who parachutes into enemy strongholds with 2 or 3 other companions and kills in order to save lives--has confirmed that the USA is led by people who torture because they like it.

Thank you, Sergeant. Let's see how swiftly the keyboard commandos and the armchair imperialists try to Swift-boat you.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Kathleen Harris is just batshit crazy

This is the woman who helped steal the Dade County votes that put GWB illegally into the White House in 2000, who is now running to try to unseat the incumbent Democrat. Her campaign has been hemorraging anybody with any sanity, and she's now turning toward religious Svengalis.

Can I just say that for anyone to refer to her 10 million dollar inheritance as a "widow's mite" is despicable? If you have to see your own stupidity as "punishment for your godliness", can you at least hold onto the thought that 10 million bucks is not a "mite"?!?

Christ said it would be "easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich (wo)man to enter heaven." What part of the Scripture has she forgotten (besides most of it)?

Tancredo? Goebbels? You be the judge!

Tom Tancredo thinks that bashing ethnic undesirables is a sure road to political power. Who made the following statements?

"a scourge that threatens the very future of our nation"

they "have no right to claim equality with us. If they wish to speak on the streets, in lines outside shops or in public transportation, they should be ignored, not only because their are simply wrong, but because they... have no right to a voice in the community."

You decide.
Tom Tancredo at Kiowa Creek Sporting Club

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Repugs just stepped in it

Those idiots. Sensenbrenner's bill HR 4437 would essentially make it criminal to be, to know, to employ, or to provide basic medical care for an illegal alien.

Those racist pigs think that because they've been able in the past to energize their redneck/far-right base by bashing people of color it'll work again.

They've miscalculated. 500,000 people in the streets of LA, dozens of other demonstrations across the country. This might be the single wedge issue that drives 'em out of the House and Senate both.

Viva la Raza!

Cheney the Chickenhawk

Ol' Five-Deferment-Dick claims he's more competent to fight a war than are Democrats. Or maybe he means he's a better lip-syncher than they are. Or maybe...oh, hell. I don't know what the fuck he means:

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday rejected charges by Democrats that the Bush administration was mishandling Iraq and said: "If they are competent to fight this war, then I ought to be singing on American Idol."

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Nazi enforcer rehabs the Crusades

So now Benedict wants a "do-over" on the impact of the Crusades, seeking to market them as "wars fought with the “noble aim” of regaining the Holy Land for Christianity." John Paul may not have been an actual saint but at least he "asked pardon" for the human suffering that Westerners imposed on the Middle East during the Crusades. Not our Benedict the Nazi collaborator, though.

Herr Benedict, here's just a short-list to refresh your memory:

The above is only a fragment. Benedict is a liar--about history, as well as his own Nazi past--and, like many other fascists, is attempting to "erase" history in order to consolidate power.

I look forward to his demise.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Pat Robertson: "Professors are killers"

David Horowitz was on 700 Club and Pat worked himself into another paranoid/Rapturist frenzy, claiming of college professors that "some of them are killers."

We're coming to get you, Pat. We're going to jam your broadcasts, we're going to quote you back at yourself, we're going to laugh during your broadcasts, and we're going to make you go get an honest job.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Why film school grads make lousy critics...

I gotta admit, it beefs me out when I read reviews that criticize flicks on the basis of the subjects' "unreality" or "stylization." This punk didn't like O Brother because it was "episodic" (what the fuck do you think is the formula of most epics, you dipshit?!?) and that punk didn't like Big Lebowski because it was too "aimless" (do you even recognize the allusions to Big Sleep and other similarly "aimless" noir, you midget?), and a whole bunch of punks didn't like Million-Dollar Baby because it was too "formulaic" (as if genre is automatically less valuable than auteurite).

I'm convinced that one reason why such critics don't like such films is because their field of experience and intellectual reference is so fucking small. Too many of these guys' reviews read as if their authors' only frame of reference is other movies they picked apart in a lecture hall at NYU. And goddammit, I've sat in those lecture halls and I've watched those po-mo show-offs disappear up each others' asses.

But here's the deal: sure, Million-Dollar Baby is an exercise in genre. Sure, it uses the melodrama and occasional bathos of any classic boxing film. Sure, it drags in the second half--not to mention using a "Star Trek red-velour shirt" plot twist--but what none of the above-mentioned punks recognized is that this movie understands about poverty. The fighters I knew didn't get into it because they thought it was fun, or because they liked beating up other people, or because they were macho, or any of that bullshit. They got into fighting because it was a way out. This movie understands that.

The other thing those dipshit reviewers tend to do is to ignore acting in favor of screenwriting. Virtually every bad critic I've ever read is bad in part because s/he is a failed screenwriter. It makes sense--they try to write a script, they can't sell it, they don't know how to act, and so they keep using words, but this time to talk about how the words in someone else's movie are bad. And such critics can't recognize a great piece of acting if they fucking fall over it.

Baby is a case in point. None of the critics I cited above have anything good to say about the acting. But the thing that makes Baby so compelling, and that makes me watch the first half every time it's on, is the absolute conviction--in fact, the absolute lack of self-consciousness--in the three principle roles, that overcomes the script, or the plot line, or the cliches.

We expect Morgan Freeman to leave all/any aspects of the Hollywood persona at the door. We expect him to inhabit any character (in this case, Scrap, the busted-down one-eyed ex-fighter who "cleans up other peoples' spit" at the gym). Watch his face, and listen to his inflections, as he delivers the line "You see the way she did that? Sugar Ray would do that. Girl's got Sugar."

We expect Eastwood, within his more limited dramatic compass, to deliver persuasively--if for no other reason than that he doesn't cast himself in roles he can't cut.

But the really pleasure to watch is Hillary Swank, and not just because of the obvious investment of time and physical effort she put in to make her fight scenes persuasive.
It's in the degree to which, in company with two actors who are collectively probably 80 years older than she, she also abandons any pretensions to star character--any of the Nicole Kidmanesque "I'm playing a character but you'll never forget I'm A Star" quirks--and becomes this dirt-poor girl from the Ozarks. Watch the scene in the emergency room waiting room, where she sits with a broken nose and her head tilted back, and says "I'm O.K., Frankie."

It's a great performance and it's without ego. Which such are scarcer in Hollywood than educated critics.

NYC St Pat's chair lives up to the parade's history of hate...

John Dunleavy, current chair of the St Patrick's Day Parade committee, which has a long history of cravenly catering to what they perceive to be the most intolerant parts of the Irish-American demographic, has compared gays to war criminals and sociopaths:

"If an Israeli group wants to march in New York, do you allow neo-Nazis into their parade? If African-Americans are marching in Harlem, do they have to let the Ku Klux Klan into their parade?"

The stupid son-of-a-bitch. Way to go, Jack.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

They know how to do Patrick's Day here

Dateline: Chicago

Three folks in janitor's uniforms (two guys and a woman), standing by the Dearborn Bridge, necks craned, looking back and up across the river, talking on walkie-talkies. Discreetly walk past them, then turn and look back and whatever they're looking at:

22-story building across the river, all windows dark, except for offices where they've replaced overhead incandescents with green bulbs, yielding a green shamrock covering about 12 floors, while the janitors across the river look back and talk them through the last few bulb-switches.

Boy, I like this city a lot more now than the last time I was here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"Jessica Simpson snubs Bush"

You know it's gotten bad when even the ones as dumb as he is won't take his calls.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bush II's "Irish roots": ...blarrrrggghhhhhh....

I suppose it was inevitable: first Reagan, now this:

DETROIT -- The very thought of President George W. Bush having Irish roots makes me wince. But genealogists are providing the cursed evidence. The worst president in American history can trace an important branch of his heritage to our beloved Emerald Isle. As we shall see, his lineage is important in understanding what may have given him a genetic predisposition to bollocks up the world.
Nice recollection of RTE reporter pummeling the crap out of the Boy in '04.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Also going to hell...

Rev Jerry Falwell, who hastens to correct the misapprehension that he might believe Jews can be saved without accepting Jesus Christ as a personal saviour. In this "age of political correctness and diversity", the Rev wants us all to know that he still believes they're going to hell. Nice of him to clear that up. God forbid we might think he was a tolerant man.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The miracle of an elm

Here on the South Plains, it's definitely Spring: 50 F overnight, 70 F during the day (OK, it's spring by Modern Global Warming standards, which we're all going to have to get used to).

I'm stunned by the miracle of an elm tree in blossom. If you come from where I come from, you've learned to say farewell to elms, because they were 'most all killed in the '50s and '60s by Dutch Elm disease. But the disease never got this far, and the trees down here survived. We've got four of them--lank, springy, dead in parts, but still hanging on--in our back yard.

I'm sitting under our four boys right now, profoundly thankful.

Paisley declines WH St Patrick's invitation (d'oh!)

OK, now I just don't understand this at all. Chimpie invites the Unionists to a St Patrick's celebration? Do he and Rove think the Prods celebrate St Patrick? Did they actually think hate-monger Paisley would attend?!? And if they did, did they think that would be a good thing?!?

Ib small things as in large ones, they continually demonstrate their laughable political obtuseness. Jeeezus!

Soldiers are not war criminals

When you order a soldier to commit a war crime, you put him/her in an impossible and unacceptable situation: does s/he disobey orders--risking discharge, court martial, or worse--or does s/he obey, and commit the crime?

Ben Griffith, an 8-year veteran of the UK SAS (the toughest of the tough), refused the choice: he left the service. The greater tragedy? That when decent and humane soldiers who believe in the Code of Conduct leave, only the monsters will remain.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Sayonara, Gale!

Don't let the door hit you in the back on your way out.

Gale Norton, the Bush insider appointed as Secretary of Interior, who betrayed the heroic tradition of John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, and Stewart Udall to sell off drilling and logging rights on US Parks land--and who has been tied to massive and typical Bush II corruption schemes, is resigning to "spend more time with her family."

Image from the website; need I say more? Oh,'s Gale with Jack Abramoff and the Native Americans he helped her rip off.

Good riddance, Gale. And as you head out the door, here's a little prayer from Gary Snyder to commemorate your tenure. Get out while you can--or Smokey will "crush your butt":


Once in the Jurassic about 150 million years ago, the Great Sun Buddha in this corner of the Infinite Void gave a discourse to all the assembled elements and energies: to the standing beings, the walking beings, the flying beings, and the sitting beings--even the grasses, to the number of thirteen billion, each one born from a seed, assembled there: a Discourse concerning Enlightenment on the planet Earth.

"In some future time, there will be a continent called America. It will have great centers of power called such as Pyramid Lake, Walden Pond, Mt. Rainier, Big Sur, Everglades, and so forth; and powerful nerves and channels such as Columbia River, Mississippi River, and Grand Canyon. The human race in that era will get into troubles all over its head, and practically wreck everything in spite of its own strong intelligent Buddha-nature."

"The twisting strata of the great mountains and the pulsings of volcanoes are my love burning deep in the earth. My obstinate compassion is schist and basalt and granite, to be mountains, to bring down the rain. In that future American Era I shall enter a new form; to cure the world of loveless knowledge that seeks with blind hunger: and mindless rage eating food that will not fill it."

And he showed himself in his true form of

A handsome smokey-colored brown bear standing on his hind legs, showing that he is aroused and watchful.

Bearing in his right paw the Shovel that digs to the truth beneath appearances; cuts the roots of useless attachments, and flings damp sand on the fires of greed and war;

His left paw in the mudra of Comradely Display--indicating that all creatures have the full right to live to their limits and that of deer, rabbits, chipmunks, snakes, dandelions, and lizards all grow in the realm of the Dharma;

Wearing the blue work overalls symbolic of slaves and laborers, the countless men oppressed by a civilization that claims to save but often destroys;

Wearing the broad-brimmed hat of the west, symbolic of the forces that guard the wilderness, which is the Natural State of the Dharma and the true path of man on Earth:

all true paths lead through mountains--

With a halo of smoke and flame behind, the forest fires of the kali-yuga, fires caused by the stupidity of those who think things can be gained and lost whereas in truth all is contained vast and free in the Blue Sky and Green Earth of One Mind;

Round-bellied to show his kind nature and that the great earth has food enough for everyone who loves her and trusts her;

Trampling underfoot wasteful freeways and needless suburbs, smashing the worms of capitalism and totalitarianism;

Indicating the task: his followers, becoming free of cars, houses, canned foods, universities, and shoes, master the Three Mysteries of their own Body, Speech, and Mind; and fearlessly chop down the rotten trees and prune out the sick limbs of this country America and then burn the leftover trash.

Wrathful but calm. Austere but Comic. Smokey the Bear will Illuminate those who would help him; but for those who would hinder or slander him...

Thus his great Mantra:

Namah samanta vajranam chanda maharoshana Sphataya hum traka ham mam


And he will protect those who love the woods and rivers, Gods and animals, hobos and madmen, prisoners and sick people, musicians, playful women, and hopeful children:

And if anyone is threatened by advertising, air pollution, television, or the police, they should chant SMOKEY THE BEAR'S WAR SPELL:

And SMOKEY THE BEAR will surely appear to put the enemy out with his vajra-shovel.

Now those who recite this Sutra and then try to put it in practice will accumulate merit as countless as the sands of Arizona and Nevada.

Will help save the planet Earth from total oil slick.
Will enter the age of harmony of man and nature.
Will win the tender love and caresses of men, women, and beasts.
Will always have ripened blackberries to eat and a sunny spot under a pine tree to sit at.


...thus we have heard...

(may be reproduced free forever)

Thursday, March 09, 2006


The IWW has recently won a labor settlement against corporate giant (and "fair-trade" practitioner) Starbucks. Damn! For a union that every center/right historian would like to believe ended with the Palmer Raids in 1917 (which forever tainted Wilson's presidency and paved the way for fascist repression as recent as Gitmo), this is a huge accomplishment.

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One Big Motherin' UNION. Wow! this is the best news I've had all day.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Are you a "Republican"? (shhh!)

Oh, this is priceless. Now the rats are not only leaving the sinking ship, but they're denying they ever sailed in her:

The campaign flier is elegantly done. One page on fine stock paper, multicolored on both sides, with a detailed list of the money and projects Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Jim Gerlach has brought to his 6th District. There's a photograph of the handsome two-term congressman and several hundred words outlining his record in this elegant mailing to his constituents.

One word, however, is conspicuously missing: Republican.

Instead, the mailing bills Gerlach as "An Independent Voice, Working for You."
"Damn you, George [Bush]. Damn you and all who sail in you."
--paraphrasing "Mother Russia", Connie Sachs, in John Le Carre's Smiley's People (and I can bet that Meister John is enjoying this too).

NOT a "swimming elephant"

Nessie: the Loch Ness monster.

Can I confess to a lifelong fascination with the old girl? Ever since, as a child, I read a luridly-illustrated and quite terrifying "Haunted Houses of Old England" (sic) book, I've loved the idea that, somewhere out there in the peat-colored waters of the loch, there was something that science couldn't explain?

Now somebody's trying to argue that sightings of Nessie might be of a swimming elephant. I ask you: does this nessie.jpg (7383 bytes)look like Dumbo?

Or this?

Or this?

I don't know if she's out there or not, but if she is, I hope they never kill or capture her.

I'll admit that images like this give me a wonderful, child-like frisson.

ps: Greatest literary take on Nessie ever: "Synchronicity II" by The Police (wherein Sting also has the good taste to steal from Robert Burns). Chilling.

Another suburban family morning.
Grandmother screaming at the wall.

We have to shout above the din of our Rice Crispies
We can't hear anything at all.
Mother chants her litany of boredom and frustration,
But we know all her suicides are fake.

Daddy only stares into the distance
There's only so much more that he can take.
Many miles away something crawls from the slime
At the bottom of a dark Scottish lake.

Another industrial ugly morning
The factory belches filth into the sky.
He walks unhindered through the picket lines today,
He doesn't think to wonder why.
The secretaries pout and preen like cheap tarts in a red light street,
But all he ever thinks to do is watch.
And every single meeting with his so-called superior
Is a humiliating kick in the crotch.
Many miles away something crawls to the surface
Of a dark Scottish lake.

Another working day has ended.
Only the rush hour hell to face.
Packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes.
Contestants in a suicidal race.
Daddy grips the wheel and stares alone into the distance,
He knows that something somewhere has to break.
He sees the family home now looming in the headlights,
the pain upstairs that makes his eyeballs ache.
Many miles away there's a shadow on the door
Of a cottage on the shore
Of a dark Scottish lake...............

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Alberto Gonzales is a war criminal

...and he lies to protect his boss's crimes:

The U.S. government's leading lawyer defended the Guantanamo Bay prison camp on Tuesday, saying detainees there were granted state-of-the-art health care, good food and "unprecedented legal protection."
It's fuckin' unprecedented, all right, Albert: no American president or Attorney General before you has publically stated that torture was acceptible government policy.

Also goin' to hell.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

ethical Catholics step away

The gutless punks who serve as bishops and board members in the Massachusetts chapter of Catholic Charities are knuckling under to Benedict the Nazi and trying to prevent gays from adopting. Seven courageous Catholics have stepped away, saying that such action "threatens the very essence of our Christian mission." Good for them.

Remember "inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me"?

That opportunistic fink Mitt Romney is getting his hands dirty, too:

Governor Mitt Romney met for nearly an hour yesterday to discuss the issue with Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley and the Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, president of Catholic Charities. The bishops have said they deserve an exemption from the state's antidiscrimination laws, which prohibit discrimination against gays, on religious freedom grounds. The Vatican has described gay adoptions as ''gravely immoral."

O'Malley and Hehir should be ashamed of themselves. They've evidently also forgotten their own ethnic history: remember "No Blacks, No Irish, No Jews"?

Bush and his Eichmann

He's delusional, he's losing, and he thinks he's winning. And so he's surrounded in his bunker by "adoring women" and handlers who "control the flow of information to him."

Within the sanctum of the White House, his aides often handle him with flattery. They tell him that he is among the greatest presidents, that his difficulties are testimony to his greatness, that his refusal to change is also a sign of his greatness. The more is he flattered, the more he approves of the flatterer. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has risen along with her current of flattery. She is expert at the handwritten little note extolling his historical radiance. Karen Hughes, now undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, was a pioneer of the flatterer's method. White House legal counsel Harriet Miers is also adept.

But it is Vice President Dick Cheney who has sought and gained the most through flattery. While Bush is constantly and lavishly complimented as supreme leader, Cheney runs the show. Through his chief of staff, David Addington, he controls most of the flow of information, especially on national security, that reaches the incurious president. Bush seeks no contrary information or independent sources. He does not delve into the recesses of government himself, as Presidents Kennedy and Clinton did. He never demands worst-case scenarios. Cheney and his team oversee the writing of key decision memos before Bush finally gets to check the box indicating approval.

That's the way that Adolf Eichmann handled Hitler, too.

Tim Robbins's 1984

Tim Robbins has more guts than most of the rest of Hollywood put together.

RIP the Artful Dodger

Jack Wild, who played the Artful Dodger in the 1968 film musical Oliver, is said to have died of mouth cancer. But that's impossible: everyone knows that character can't die. I saw that film at age 9, and knew instantly that, the ferocity of Oliver Reed ("Bill Sikes") and and the comic smarm of Ron Moody ("Fagin") notwithstanding, and regardless of Shani Willis's ("Nancy") heartbreaking and poignant sensuality, the Dodger was easily the coolest character in Regency London; that was obvious.

RIP, Dodger. May the fingers always be nimble and the wallets always full.

They intend a true police state.

They truly do intend a police state:

These so-called "Continuity of Government" or COG proposals included vastly expanded detention capabilities, warrantless eavesdropping and detention, and preparations for greater use of martial law.'
Nixon planned it, then Reagan did, now Bush II.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lott to Bush "Don't put your fist in my face"

I got no love for Trent Lott, but this exchange clearly delineates the difference between a real Southerner and the drawl-chewing, chain-saw-toting, Lubbock-dissing, punk-ass corporate-cowboy-in-a-blue-suit who claims to be a Texan. Lott's best line from the article:

"Don't threaten me like that again," said the former majority leader, recounting the conversation with an official he declined to name. "It doesn't make a difference if you're a Republican or a Democrat. Don't put your fist in my face. Where I'm from, we're willing to fight back."

Real Southerners--hell, even Red-state Republican real southerners--know that little bastard for the phony he is.

Bush's "fabled intuition"

In politics (and in law, and in teaching, and in engineering), intuition only works if it's underpinned with expertise. Bush has neither.