Friday, May 30, 2008

Oh, No! We've Been Deceived!

So: former Dubya press secretary Scott McClellan is disgruntled. Why, that Darth Cheney turns out to have been nothing but a wicked deceiver! And, even though the loyal and charitable Scott McC is oh-so-reluctant to doubt the Decider's sincerity ... well, it must be admitted that George the Slow got terribly off-track. Oh, cruel, cruel deceivers!

The trouble is that even I, a poor Hoosier mushroom out here in the very backwaters of flyover country, surely the least-connected biped in all the land, knew exactly what was going on, by, let's say, 25 September 2001 at the latest. That's the date by which I would claim it had become very obvious that Iraq was going to be invaded again, along with Afghanistan. Young Scott hadn't even thought of becoming press secretary yet when it was obvious to we hayseeds what would soon happen.

But he was fooled. He had no idea that the imperial government was less than honest. Seems to me that this is about as likely as that Tessio or Clemenza thought that Don Corleone was an honest olive-oil merchant.

I'm not here to pick on poor innocent Scotty. Others are already doing quite enough of that. I'm wondering about something else, and I'll address my question to those who voted for the Decider, or who are preparing to elect Old Field Marshal Bombs Away, or are looking forward to electing either Senator Obliterate Them at 3 A.M., or Senator Yes We Can Insist That All Options Are On the Table. I'd like to ask those who are enthusiastic about government, who has two legitimate antiwar presidential candidates they could have supported (Mike Gravel or Dennis Kucinich), as well as those who are skeptical about government (who had Ron Paul as a possibility). My question -- like me -- is both short and simple:

What's your excuse?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cruel False Hope

Ah, they're teasing me again! Just when I've come to some sort of terms with the idea that "justice," in the American public context, is a lifeless, smelly corpse ... its eyelid twitches:
A Texas appeals court ruled today that state child welfare authorities had no right to seize dozens of children living at the ranch of a polygamist religious sect, saying they were in no immediate danger of abuse.

The 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin ruled in favor of 48 mothers seeking the return of more than 130 children who had been living at a ranch near Eldorado, Tex., associated with the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

An attorney for the women said the ruling is likely to become a precedent for other mothers seeking the return of the 468 children in all who were taken from the ranch last month by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
It isn't necessary to have any respect for the beliefs of any LDS cult, "fundamentalist" or otherwise, to recognize that one kind of wrong does not justify a far worse wrong: that which our supervisors practice against us every day. Only occasionally does the wrong perpetrated by the "legal" gangsters who feed from our taxes become spectacular enough to be deemed newsworthy by the modern lapdog press. It goes on all the same, though.

In due course, I suppose some "higher" court yet will reverse the appellate court in Austin, and the State will continue its work. Meanwhile ... who knows? It's pleasant to see a "Department of Family and Protective Services" (ha!) and the tame judge who served as its cat's-paw get smacked upside the head, if only temporarily.

The Unthinkable

What would happen if there was no farm bill?

None at all. No "stopgap." No farm bill this year. No farm bill next year. What would happen?

Given the way things are, I'm sure we'll never, ever, ever find out. Until ...

Unless ...

There I go, dreaming again. Sorry. I'll get busy right away, typing up a post on something really vital, like who's on Obama's VP short list. Or McCain's. Or who really ought to be named the winner on "American Idolatry."

Friday, May 16, 2008

I've Seen the Trailer ...

... so, can I skip the movie?

We're slipping into this year's general-election campaign in much the same way that a person might find himself slipping toward the fragrant edge of a sewage-treatment settling tank. It's obviously a bad idea, but there doesn't seem to be any way to stop.

Once again, we 'Murkans will show off our unmatched ability to simulate heated quarrels over nothing and less-than-nothing, while ignoring, in fully heroic and bipartisan fashion, the several huge and garishly-colored elephants that occupy most of our parlor. Today's trailer:
In a preview of the political onslaught Michelle Obama may face in the fall, the Tennessee Republican Party unveiled a Web video Thursday highlighting her comment that she was proud of America "for the first time in my adult life."

The four-minute video coincides with a visit to the state by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama's wife for a Democratic Party event Thursday evening.

It features several Tennesseans saying why they are proud of America while repeatedly cutting to Michelle Obama's comments.

"The Tennessee Republican Party has always been proud of America. To further honor the occasion of Mrs. Obama's visit, the Tennessee Republican Party has requested the playing of patriotic music by radio stations across the state," said a statement on the party's Web site that accompanied the video.

"While Mrs. Obama has trouble being proud of the country where she earned degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Law School and then became a multimillionaire, her husband makes statements that belittle average Americans' response to the difficulties of life."

The Obama campaign called the attack "shameful."

"This is a shameful attempt to attack a woman who has repeatedly said she wouldn't be here without the opportunities and blessings of this nation," Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan said. "The Republican Party's pathetic attempts to use the same smear tactics to win elections have failed in Mississippi, failed in Louisiana and will fail in November because the American people are looking for a positive vision of real change.

"And if the Tennessee Republican Party has a problem with Senator Obama, maybe next time they'll have the courage to address him directly instead of attacking his family."

Michelle Obama's comments came at a campaign event in February, where she told a crowd, "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country, because it feels like hope is making a comeback. Not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change."

The comments immediately drew fire from many conservatives, and she later clarified her statement.

"What I was clearly talking about is that I am proud in how Americans are engaging in the political process," she said. "I mean, everyone has said what I said, in that we haven't seen these record numbers of turnouts, people who are paying attention, going to rallies, watching debates."
And there, in just a few short paragraphs, are enough different ways in which to become discouraged and depressed that I find myself paralyzed by too much choice. You have your Tennessee 'Pubbies doing their brownshirt act, and that's no good; and then you have your St. and Mrs. Obama, effectively endorsing red-state fascism by defending themselves as they do: we're just as hyperpatriotic as you, and it's so unfair of you to suggest otherwise! And then there's the fully-obligatory homage to The Precioussss:
The Tennessee Republican Party took heat in early February when it used Obama's middle name, Hussein, in a news release that questioned the Illinois senator's support of Israel.
Yes, but wasn't St. Obama running for President of the United States, not Prime Minister of Israel?

Finally, a redemptive touch of slapstick:
That statement also included a photograph of Obama from a 2006 trip to Kenya, in which he is dressed in traditional attire.

Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan later said of that news release, "The RNC rejects these kinds of campaign tactics."
I wish I could have seen Mr. Duncan firsthand as he said that, just to assess the difficulty with which he must have stifled his giggles. If he even bothered to do so, that is.


The Chittering Chimp Show has moved on from the Promised Land to PetroWorld:
Oil and Iran on Bush Saudi agenda

US President George W Bush has arrived in Saudi Arabia following a three-day visit to Israel.

His talks with King Abdullah are expected to focus on oil production and Iran's nuclear activities.

Mr Bush's trip to Israel coincided with the 60th anniversary of the country's foundation. He told MPs in Jerusalem the US was Israel's closest ally.

While not visiting the West Bank or Gaza Strip, Mr Bush is due to meet the Palestinian leader in Egypt later.

King Abdullah is expected to reject a renewed appeal to increase Saudi oil production to reduce soaring fuel prices.

But correspondents say the two leaders are likely to find common ground on Iran, which they see as a rising threat to Middle East stability.
Let's see if we can summarize:

El Supremo: Please, Mr. Allegedly Pro-Western Corrupt Ay-rab Despot, Your Highness, Sir, could you pump a little more oil so my chosen successor can get his ancient, psychotic ass elected this fall?

Da King: Nope.

El Supremo: Well, then, please, Your Excellency, Your Worshipfulness, Your Highness, Sir, would you mind if we expend a whole bunch more American lives and borrowed money to destroy a threat to you: an Islamic regime not affiliated with the U.S.?

Da King: Okay.

So, I wonder: what happens to "Middle East stability" (a joke in just three words!) when "king" Abdullah and the House of Saud get themselves overthrown by Bad Muslims, or maybe just decide it isn't in their interests to continue selling oil for wastepaper dollars? What happens when they decide that it's euros or nothing?

What Color is Your Parachute?

Is El Presidente lining up some post-White House employment with Ringling Brothers / Barnum & Bailey?

I dunno, I see him more in a top hat and claw-hammer coat. The bottom line, though: primates can indeed be trained to perform amusing tricks.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

One War Criminal To a Bunch More

El Presidente has been addressing the Israeli Knesset. As is his wont, he polished his imaginary moral excellence in good masturbatory style. Sadly, there is no indication that any actual American took any action to revoke or invalidate El Supremo's passport during his absence, so that he might be compelled to remain in the synthesized "country" whose bitch he so manifestly is:
In a speech prepared for delivery to the Knesset, or parliament, Bush pledged that the United States has an unbreakable bond with Israel.

"Some people suggest that if the United States would just break ties with Israel, all our problems in the Middle East would go away," Bush said in his prepared address. "This is a tired argument that buys into the propaganda of our enemies, and America rejects it utterly. Israel's population may be just over 7 million. But when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong, because America stands with you."
Supreme Commander Chickenhawk did not miss an opportunity to promote his chances of sending other goyim-Americans' loved ones into the fresh Middle Eastern slice of hell that he plans to open up:
Bush took special aim at Iran and said the United States stands with Israel in opposing moves by Tehran to obtain nuclear weapons.

"Permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror to possess the world's deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations," the president said. "For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon."
Ah, irony: alive and well you are. No American has to think very hard to answer today's bonus question: What nation-state is the leading sponsor practitioner of terrorism? Today's bonus answer: We have met the terrorist, and he is us. And we do seem to have a practical monopoly on possession, and use, of "the world's deadliest weapon."

But now for some Inspiration & Uplift™, imperial style:
"Israel will be celebrating its 120th anniversary as one of the world's great democracies, a secure and flourishing homeland for the Jewish people," Bush said.
O My Glorious Emperor, know well that in the year 2068, Israel might be democratic, or it might be a "Jewish state" -- but it certainly can't be both. There's this thing called "demographics." To generalize and oversimplify, Muslims have children, and Israelis have contraception and abortion and prosperity, at least for now. Unless Israel can impose an effective form of the Final Solution on those recalcitrant Muslims, Jewish Israelis will find themselves increasingly outnumbered and democratically irrelevant. This is, perhaps, something that hasn't occurred to Your Mediocrity?

How about some prescriptive Inspiration & Uplift™?
"The Palestinian people will have the homeland they have long dreamed of and deserved a democratic state that is governed by law, respects human rights, and rejects terror.

"From Cairo and Riyadh to Baghdad and Beirut, people will live in free and independent societies, where a desire for peace is reinforced by ties of diplomacy, tourism, and trade. Iran and Syria will be peaceful nations, where today's oppression is a distant memory and people are free to speak their minds and develop their talents. And al-Qaida, Hezbollah, and Hamas will be defeated, as Muslims across the region recognize the emptiness of the terrorists' vision and the injustice of their cause."
Yep, as soon as you swarthy descendants of Esau figure out how to step off the sidewalks and tug your forelocks when in the presence of your betters, there's no reason why you shouldn't have nicer cabins with sound roofs and oiled-paper windows. And, as long as you show that you know your place, we might very well allow you to sit out on the cabin porch of an evening and sing spirituals. Just be sure to show your gratitude. And, uh ... stay away from the white women, Abdul.

Finally, lest the camel jockeys get a big head, Our Glorious Wartime Leader puts 'em in their place once more:
"The killers claim the mantle of Islam, but they are not religious men," Bush said. "No one who prays to the God of Abraham could strap a suicide vest to an innocent child, or blow up guiltless guests at a Passover Seder, or fly planes into office buildings filled with unsuspecting workers."

Bush said that those who carry out such violent acts are serving only their own desire for power.

"They accept no God before themselves. And they reserve a special hatred for the most ardent defenders of liberty, including Americans and Israelis," Bush said. "That is why the founding charter of Hamas calls for the `elimination' of Israel. That is why the followers of Hezbollah chant `Death to Israel, Death to America!' ..."
So that's why they hate Americans and Israelis! Silly me, I had imagined that it might have had something to do with our having used their lands as a bombing practice range for decades, now. But it's really because they're godless! My, my, we truly can learn something new every day ... I guess ...

But you have to hand it to the Theologian-in-Chief, now. I really like that "God of Abraham" formulation ... after all, it wouldn't do be over there in the Land of the Chosen and use any sort of impolitic name, like "Jesus." No, sir, wouldn't be prudent. But let's just skip over that. Those evil jihadis, they're not religious men -- not like the real true religious men and ardent defenders of liberty who've made a blasted moonscape out of the miserable fragments of Gaza where those whose parents had to be tossed off their land to make way for the creation of the Precioussss, sixty years ago, have been pushed. They're not religious men, like Ariel Sharon, who oversaw the massacre of refugee camps in Lebanon in the early 80s. They're not religious men, like the ones who drove their Caterpillar™ bulldozer over the living body of Rachel Corrie. They're not religious men, like the ones who littered the border areas of Lebanon with cluster munitions -- "the gift that keeps on giving" -- a couple of years ago. They're not religious men, like the massacre boys of Haditha, or the guys who shot the wounded in Fallujah, or the perverts who ran -- and are still running, I bet -- Abu Ghraib. They're not religious men, like the remote-control Predator warriors who sit in their air-conditioned workplaces in Nevada and blow up women and children and the occasional wedding party in Afghanistan and Pakistan with Hellfire missiles, pickled off in classic video-game style. No, religious men would never fly an airplane into a building, kill a bunch of civilians, and call it "jihad." Real true religious men use precision-guided standoff weapons, and they live to call it "collateral damage." (And they also live to stop at the O-Club after the day's work for Miller time, too.)

It's a very good thing that the Empire's going broke. Here's hoping that it goes "not with a bang, but a whimper." Because Bush is correct about one thing: it's very bad when rogue states have nukes. And we've got a hell of a lot of them. Worse yet, a substantial fraction of them probably still work. Yikes.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Slow Week

Well, for me it's been murderously fast. At least, that's my excuse for even less blog productivity than usual -- and my "usual" is an incredibly undemanding standard.

Be that as it may -- if I can't write a post, I can at least read others' posts.

Want to see someone making some sense? Check out Grace on Bush, trying to intimidate the Swiss with a typical primate aggression display.

And, if you'd like to see something truly funny, check out Hillary in the bunker, passed along by IOZ.


Friday, May 02, 2008

A Little Less Local

Via Nancy Nall, here's an account of a narrow escape:
McCain fields audience question on whether he called wife an expletive

A Clive man drew gasps from fellow audience members at today’s presidential candidate forum by using a four-letter word in a question to Sen. John McCain.

A member of the audience, identified as Marty Parrish of Clive, asked McCain during the event at the Polk County Convention Complex about a rumor that McCain had once used a profane word referencing female genitalia to describe his wife.

A book, “The Real McCain” by Cliff Schecter, accuses McCain of using the word in an exchange with his wife, Cindy, in 1992.

Here’s a transcript of today’s remarks:

PARRISH: This question goes to mental health and mental health care. Previously, I’ve been married to a woman that was verbally abusive to me. Is it true that you called your wife a (expletive)?

MCCAIN: Now, now. You don’t want to … Um, you know that’s the great thing about town hall meetings, sir, but we really don’t, there’s people here who don’t respect that kind of language. So I’ll move on to the next questioner in the back.

The audience gasped at the question and applauded at McCain’s handling of it. Parrish was escorted from the event and questioned by Secret Service, but not charged. Parrish had checked in to the event as a member of the press.

Parrish, a 45-year-old Baptist minister and technology business owner, said he attended the event specifically to confront McCain about the rumor.

“This is about character,” Parrish said, when reached by telephone afterward. “And in a moment of intemperance, he called his wife the most despicable name a person can call a woman.
I guess what interested me here was not the business of Old Man Bombs Away being called on his famously psychotic conduct, so much as it was the little bit at the end of the story about how Mr. Parrish was "escorted from the event" -- fair enough, I suppose -- and "questioned by the Secret Service." Once again, what the hell sort of police state are we living in these days, anyway?

At least, as far as we know now, they didn't hand out some summary Taser punishment. Maybe they were feeling kind of lazy and logged up on Krispy Kremes, or something.

A Note of Local Interest

Hey. we're all just white nizzles in our little hizzle, here. That's OK.

Via Drudge, of all places.