Eating It Now Playing:twenty-five dollars worth of it,goddamn!
I made a mistake today. I did a thing I do every month ---and have for many months now--- and it has, for the first time, caused a serious problem for me. I have no idea how I have heretofore avoided incurring the penalty for doing this thing, but, by God, it's hit me today.
The law allows for mitigating circumstances, so let the circumstances start to mitigate.
Buncha sons of bitches.
This is the kinda shit that turns normal people into goddamned Democrats! The kind that just stay mad all the time because they know that even the sons of bitches who go by that same name in the halls of Congress couldn't care less about them as poor, tax-paying, bill-paying consumers at the mercy of Big Business.
Because let us be clear: This Government helps asshole institutions stick it to you in new ways that would make Messalina blush.
You have to know things before you do other things. Even if you always thought you could do things the original way.
And now for the key to the story (because I am sloppy-mad): there is no such thing as a personal check what goes into the bag of the mailman from Blondie and gets carried along in a truck and delivered to bespectacled old spinster clerks sitting with pneumatic tubes hissing behind them all day and IBM punchcards at the ready to credit your account.
Over at CNN, Lou Dobbs has lately been making it a point to recite the following quote from Theodore Roosevelt (emphasis mine):
"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, birthplace or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here.
"Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all.
"We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
Dobbs says this quote dates from 1907, but it may actually have been taken from TR's final message ---a letter to the President of the American Defense Society, dated 3 January 1919 and read at a meeting in New York two days later.
I don't know the truth of the quote's provenance or whether it is only a medley of remarks that TR had been making all along. The fact is that Roosevelt was a genius who understood History perhaps better than any of our Presidents. What he was saying in 1907 or 1919 or whenever it was is amazingly relevant to our current condition.
Theodore Roosevelt's view of the Latin American peoples was no more sanguine than Woodrow Wilson's. But I think he would have recognized a fait accompli when he saw it. That's what we have in America today.
Really all that's left to do is to hope for a more affirmative advancement of the English language ---which is now the world's language--- and the eventual relegation of the old cultural habits that cannot be reconciled to the needs of our democratized and educated citizenry.
Self-Repudiator Now Playing:do you have prince albert in the can?
I read a really excellent essay this afternoon in the American Prospect about Al Gore and what I would call the most Nixonesque self-rehabilitation of a failed politician since, uh, Richard Nixon.
My favorite part, though, is author Ezra Klein's explanation for why Gore stuck a knife in Joe Lieberman's back in 2003 when he threw his support behind Howard Dean for the party's nomination:
But it has been a strange trajectory, like watching a corporate yes-man regress back into an idealistic teenager -- Al Gore goes Bulworth. And never was it so stunning as when he endorsed Howard Dean’s candidacy in December 2003, throwing his institutional weight behind the Democratic field’s anti-establishment, pugilistic, liberal champion. In doing so, he snubbed Joe Lieberman, his running mate from four years earlier. But what all the commentators who fretted about Gore’s etiquette missed was that the Dean endorsement wasn’t a repudiation of Lieberman, but a repudiation of Gore.
Farce Now Playing:press one for english...
I'm watching these Senators talking about their new immigration bill and it's just a farce. What are you gonna do?
No one in the leadership of the United States Government ---neither Republican nor Democrat--- has any intention of doing anything meaningful about the illegal immigration issues facing our country. Absolutely none. At most, this will be a jobs bill for the border patrol bureaucracy and a potential bit of superficial bipartisanship.
It's a joke.
Ain't nobody rounding up nobody in Aztlan, baby. The transmogrification of the American People is an hourly event, amigos. It is an irreversible prospect.
(By the way, why didn't anyone believe me a dozen years ago when I said we must make English the official language of this country? Are we not Romans? Are we not all children of the lingua latina?)
More Honored in the Breach
Look. Even if your conception of "the news" is that it's a means of reporting to its consumers only the aberrant event, doesn't that mean you have some obligation to educate people as to what is the norm?
In Iraq, Big Media too often takes the easy way out. It simply runs with the most violent and chaotic images ---rarely turning to the other, more numerous events in that troubled country that would acquaint America with the stories of our successes among the Iraqi people.
This is what balance on the airwaves and newspapers means: reporting the political and cultural events in Iraq and analyzing them for the benefit of our own country. What is going on with a free press in Iraq? How about all of the new satellite dishes sprouting up? What are the Iraqis watching? What are they importing? What sorts of groups are they joining? What use are they making of the Internet?
There's a lot of stuff going on in Iraq's civil society ---and Big Media isn't doing enough to make the Iraqi people's struggle for peace and liberty relevant to us. Even if it takes the crassest sort of exploitative and ridiculous showmanship that America can muster, make it happen. Bring the Iraqi people ---not just the murderers and wacked-out Islamofascists--- into our homes and make their successes our own. This should be the big networks' bailiwick, but they have done jack.
I read somewhere today that Don Rumsfeld says that our Government does a lousy job of communicating the superiority of our ideas to the world. A "D or D-minus." It's an amazing thing for him to say, but I agree absolutely. I want the kind of propaganda that made America famous. I want for us to stand up in our own little ways and say to the world that our system is one that tends towards peace and freedom and opportunity. Those are inherently desirable states of being for any citizen in the world. In large measure, we realize those high standards ---and it is necessary that we remind our neighbors it is so.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 8:07 PM CST
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Updated: Monday, 3 April 2006 8:37 PM CDT
Demography Is Destiny
For many decades now, Black America has been the single most reliable voting bloc in the Democratic Party. It is safely a 90/10 split every time out.
So I'd really like to know what the general consensus is among black people with respect to the illegal immigration thing. Are they in favor of essentially granting amnesty and citizenship to Spanish-speaking immigrants from south of the border?
"A Chorus of Admiration"
Even Pope Benedict was asking Hamid Karzai to see to it that the Christian convert Abdul Rahman be exonerated:
"I am certain, Mr President, that the dropping of the case against Mr Rahman would bestow great honour upon the Afghan people and would raise a chorus of admiration in the international community[...]"
Can you imagine Sistani or some renowned Sunni cleric making that appeal on behalf of religious tolerance?
Secular Western liberals really must come around to reason and give their assent to the efforts of Christians who stand for the liberation of the individual in the face of the illiberalism and repression in Islam.
Thanks to Jeff Goldstein and his correspondent Bezuhov, from whom comes this quote of the indispensible Mark Steyn:
In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of "suttee" - the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. Gen. Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:
"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks, and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
I have no problem with us overtly pressuring Afghanistan to affirm the right of Muslims to become Christians without fear of capital punishment (for Christ's sake!) ---democracy or not. There are gradations of moral responsibility and democratic legitimacy ---and this is a case where we are going to damned well insist on the proper outcome until these people become more like us and arrive at that choice of their own volition.
Is that funny? I don't think so.
How many Japanese women had the vote before MacArthur showed up? How many Nazis were condemned to die in the city where German Jews were stripped of their rights as citizens little more than a decade before? And before Lincoln, the great majority of black Americans were chattel.
Things can change for the better when force is applied. Why don't hippies get that?
UPDATE: Jeff Goldstein, as is his wont, hips us to a really good post from neo-neocon, who also sees the moral right of insisting on the right thing:
It's not unheard of that gradual internal processes of change are accelerated by more forced external pressures. For example, when we took over countries through force in the past, we usually imposed certain rules on those countries from the outside (for example, in post-WWII American-occupied Japan, MacArthur and the Americans wrote the Japanese constitution to conform to our idea of what was needed). With great responsibility came a great ability to dictate things.
This Is Why I Don't Mind My Bracket Falling Apart Mood:
This is George Mason University's men's basketball team and they won a trip to the Final Four tonight.
It is a moment that these young men will remember til their dying day ---maybe 60 or 70 years from now. And not more than a day or two between now and then will pass without at least some momentary recollection of some image or thought from their triumph this evening.
Good people should sometimes experience the heaven of joy. Even the ones who weren't expected to.
(Thanks to Susan Walsh of the Associated Press for the picture.)
Very disappointed that the Longhorns lost. It may be that LSU has the better team or it may be that Texas was just too timid to match up down in the paint or it could be that our guys were getting fouled hard and it only sometimes got called.
Sticking It in and Breaking It Off Now Playing:what kind of a tree would you be?
The Oprahfication of the American journalist continues apace with stupid shit like this from yesterday's Pentagon press briefing:
Reporter: "Do you feel embattled at this point in your tenure? In a recent column, Maureen Dowd quoted an unidentified administration official who described you as an "eccentric old uncle who's ignored." She claims that you don't hold the same sway in meetings."
Rumsfeld: "Did you get all that? You want to be on camera, right? That's a sure way to get on the evening news. The answer to your question is no."
Reporter: "Well, I'm asking about the facts reported in the column. Do you feel you hold the same sway in meetings?"
Rumsfeld: "I'm not going to comment on that."
(Pause)- Rumsfeld looks away for a moment, then...
Rumsfeld: "If you believe everything you read in Maureen Dowd, you better get a life."
Everybody wants to be goddamned David Gregory anymore. Have you noticed that?
I can't imagine why supporters of this Administration think that the press are a bunch of chickenshits.
And, no, I don't know that reporter's name, but it sounds like a girl.
Lift, Oft Now Playing:ladies and gentlemen...Kognomenklatura!!!
By an overwhelming margin, the hottest topic in the blogosphere tonight is the accusation of plagiarism and subsequent resignation of some kid the Washington Post hired to be their new (and first, really) conservative blogger. Yet, I don't have an active memory of even hearing his name until earlier this week when the said blog was begun.
Now, I don't want to burst any bubbles here, but literary Wunderkinder are a dime-a-dozen. No 24 year-old punk is interesting ---or has lived--- long enough to tell me anything important about American history or politics or any other damned thing that I don't already know. Sorry, but it's an insult to the political junkie culture in America for the Washington Post to presume to put this boy in such a role.
On a related note, I think there has to be something wrong with not only your moral compass, but the grade of your intellect to believe that it is acceptable to steal others' writing and pass it off as your own. What must be missing from such a person's code? Can he sleep at night? How does he not live in constant fear of being discovered?
The world mind is opening, dumbass. It inhabits the whole globe ---physically, instantaneously, and omnisciently.
No genius can fail to understand this. And no charlatan deserves to profit from it.
Ingratitude Is a Cardinal Sin
Next time, let the stupid bastards free themselves.
In a late addendum gingerly attached to the statement issued by the Christian Peacemaker Teams upon the liberation of three of their members by Coalition soldiers, they write of the men who risked their own lives to save their coreligionists:
As peacemakers who hold firm to our commitment to nonviolence, we are also deeply grateful that they fired no shots to free our colleagues.
Because if they had used force, you would have preferred that your friends remain in brutal captivity, never to be free again if it meant that the blood of even their evil captors would be shed?
There's something inhuman about these people that exudes its own odor, like a belch on a sour stomach fed with patchouli, fish, and fear.
Slouching toward Cambridge to Be Reborn Now Playing:is jimmuh carter rotting yet?
So if neither strategic nor moral arguments can account for America’s support for Israel, how are we to explain it?
If you are looking for an exhaustive catalogue of all the reasons why Israel sucks and why America shouldn't permit itself to be manipulated by an international cabal of big-nosed diamond merchants, you can scarcely do better than this paper by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, published earlier this month in The London Review of Books.
Mearsheimer is a political science professor at the University of Chicago and Walt is an international affairs professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. But the prominence of their positions isn't what makes this anti-Jewish screed so offensive; rather, it's the moral equivalence of their argument in vacating the Arab and Muslim responsibility for the current infestation of Judenhass in the world.
"The Israel Lobby" ---as it's entitled at the LRB--- has gotten a lot of attention in the blogosphere, but I actually came across it via one of my very favorite websites, Arts & Letters Daily (a staple link here at Neognostikos). I recommend reading it in full.
I'm not going to get into it tonight because my Longhorns are playing in a while, but let me leave you with a small sample of their reasoning:
The first Gulf War revealed the extent to which Israel was becoming a strategic burden. The US could not use Israeli bases without rupturing the anti-Iraq coalition, and had to divert resources (e.g. Patriot missile batteries) to prevent Tel Aviv doing anything that might harm the alliance against Saddam Hussein. History repeated itself in 2003: although Israel was eager for the US to attack Iraq, Bush could not ask it to help without triggering Arab opposition. So Israel stayed on the sidelines once again.
Note that Israel is to be blamed for that pesky necessity of having to defend itself. Is there any more universal a right than that of self-defense? But Mearsheimer and Walt won't concede it with respect to Israel: it is their fault that they could not contribute to the efforts in the Gulf War because they are themselves the cause of Arab and Muslim anger.
No criticism of the infantile and retarded attitudes of the Arab nations? What mindlessness.
I would argue ---and will again, you may be sure--- for Jewish exceptionalism, but if that is any more irrational than the double standards and excuse-making that go into the Left's defense of the poor oppressed Palestinian people, I will be amazed to know it.
Helen Thomas Is Probably Down on the ZOG Now Playing: "We're Gonna Groove" by Led Zeppelin
So [the dean of the White House Press Corps] Helen Thomas is on with Wolf Blitzer yesterday and she says, apropos of her berating of the President earlier in the day:
"Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. It certainly had -- it was secular, it was not tied to al Qaeda. I think he wanted to go into Iraq with -- he had all the neo-conservatives advising. That's the top of their agenda for Project for a New American Century. First Iraq, then Iran -- then Syria, then Iran, and so forth."
First of all, whenever a Leftist like the notorious old Arab-American Helen Thomas starts in on the PNAC, you can be sure that you're just hearing the new code for Zionist Occupied Government. It's Bircher-grade horseshit.
Second, this ignorant nonsense about how Saddamite Iraq couldn't have had anything to do with al-Qaeda since the Saddamites were secular and al-Qaeda was hardcore fundamentalist is just embarrassing. Where did that line of logic come from? If Saddamite Iraq was so secular prior to our invasion, how did it become so quickly embroiled in sectarian violence? You don't think that a dispossessed Sunni minority would turn to fundamentalist Salafist murderers to help them fight back against American Crusaders?
It may be that this logic is an expression of the Left's ultimate reason for rejecting the War for Iraq: they didn't want to see the [secular] Saddam Hussein overthrown because that would represent the triumph of the truly democratic society ---where religious beliefs, however odious, are tolerated--- over the [secular] oppression of the totalitarian cult of the gangster.
And when, in the course of the democratization of Iraq, the process breaks down and intolerance rears its head, the American Left are heartened. They hope for failure and civil war in Iraq because they hate Bush more than they love their own country. Or more than they are willing to stand champions of human liberty.
Thomas then complains to Blitzer that the ZOG is going after Syria and Iran next because it's all part of some Jew plot to destroy these countries or whatever it is. She says she doesn't know why Bush invaded Iraq if it wasn't for the sake of Israel and/or oil. But Thomas should know why we are there and forcing the issue with the mullahs and the Ba'athists: because they are a menace to the region and, thereby, the world.
And no observer of the international scene right now who knows what he's talking about is in any doubt as to what must be done about Iran's nuclear ambitions. Is Thomas really that clueless? No one is in doubt about what must be done. Russ Fucking Feingold himself is not in any doubt about what must be done. He knows that we Westerners will not tolerate another descent into genocidal Judenhass. And if that means that the United States' war machine vaporizes Iran, then that's what will happen.
So, it isn't a perfidious Jew plot, Helen, for the United States to defend her allies and to leave open the world's access to petroleum. Curbing Iran and Syria is a necessity that your ignorant Leftist understanding of the world isn't going to vitiate.
A Stupid Name for a Blog Now Playing:where do you toss your hot dog?
Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake is a total loser for banning me ---after my very first post! What the fuck? She wants to refer to Joe Lieberman as "Holy Joe" ---an obvious swipe at his identity as an observant Orthodox Jew. Those fucking Democrats just can't stand a man of faith, can they? They'll run 'em out of their party faster than shit through the proverbial Christmas goose.
Tell me that this comment merits such summacious crushing of dissent:
"Holy" Joe, eh? Is that supposed to be a slam at Lieberman for being an observant Jew?
Seriously. You're making fun of him for his piety, which, unfortunately, he had to stow away when the Gorebot made him his running mate so as not to scare off the degenerate hippie voters your sell-out of a party depends on.
Stuff this "Holy" business. Makes you sound like Duncan Black.