Terry McAuliffe's Winning Strategy
Democratic partisans get so much mileage out of propagating the lie that they were cheated out of the Presidency in 2000 that one must wonder why they are doing everything they can to guarantee a huge landslide loss for 2004 ---one that can't be taken as a close contest turning on an accident of numbers. There are at least eight Democratic candidates, each one splintering the party in another direction. In the race to distinguish themselves, they will resort to fringe ideas and the merest kinds of contrarianism. Nixon said of the GOP that a candidate must run to the right in the primaries to get the nomination and run back to the center to win the election. The Dems will either try to out-liberal each other to preserve their own bona fides as actual Democrats or they will do what The Impeachee-in-Chief Bill Clinton did and move so far to the Republicans' left flank that party labels will become as meaningless as Nader says they are. Regardless, Bush will kick their ass. The only thing that will keep him from winning is if the economy goes deeper into the toilet. After all, just look at the garbage the Democratic Party is allowing on stage with the main contenders. Al Sharpton? He's an obscenity. How can they be taken seriously when they would allow something like that to participate in debates with them?
Keep up the good work, McAuliffe. You're making it too easy, you lousy craphound.
This Weather Is Simply Unacceptable
There's clearly been a curse issued against the city of Austin that keeps us in a wretched state of hyperhumidity ---but without any hope of rain. What the hell is going on here? It must be well over 95 per cent humidity. Oh, and lots of lung-pleasin' smog or haze or whatever they want to call it draped over the skyline. Like fog with a temperature in the 80s.
Half-expect to see a goddamned pterodactyl fly over any moment now.
Piped in from the Waiting Rooms in Hell
I've always been amused at how it's the very worst songs possible that're the ones that come and bore themelves into your head, unwelcome guests that stay for hour after hour. Do we secretly love these songs, but are too conditioned by society's prejudices to give them full vent? Or, just occasionally, do our cranial super-tuners catch a skip in the atmosphere and offer us an auditory glimpse into the realm of Satan?
Yesterday, for instance, it took all my powers of concentration to read and ruminate and NOT, as you must surely know by now, find myself, everywhere inside my head, singing Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves." At such points, it is necessary to stand up and bellow out some John Philip Sousa or some other such banality until the warbles of Cher are safely flushed away.
It's been at least two weeks since I quit smoking and, all in all, it's been a tolerable experience. The physical benefits have not proved quite so dramatic as I had hoped, but they are undeniably there and accruing with every day. My lung capacity seems to have improved most dramatically, but I am not expectorating nearly as much as I had expected. Hopefully, that will change ---and on my own terms.
Based on the rate of usage at the time I quit (something just over a half a pack a day) and on the cost of cartons (they seem, diabolically, to be getting cheaper), I figure I'll be saving myself at least $40 a month. That's a utility bill right there.
I don't suppose it's possible that I will never smoke again. I may bum a smoke off a friend at a party just to see what I'm missing, but it really comes down to individual will. Who, after all, would choose to draw carbon monoxide, sulfur, and tar (among many other chemicals) into his own delicate lungs? And to pay good money for the privilege? It's barbaric, frankly. It's something that a slave would do.
I'm not much of a modern country music fan and don't really have anything for or against the Dixie Chicks, but why must it be they who are in the role of martyrs? They're pretty ladies, basically, and quite talented musicians (check out their performance on Austin City Limits of a few years ago), but they don't strike me as particularly exalted heroines in the question of who has a right to say what and where and when it should be said. They're no better in this role than Luther Campbell or Larry Flynt.
No, Natalie Maines isn't a traitor for telling a British concert audience that she and her bandmates are ashamed that the President hails from their own home state, but she's quite possibly a dumbass for doing so. Country music fans are a pretty conservative bunch and it is a huge commercial blunder to put them in the position of having to defend their President against the opinions of a favorite music group. (Then again, I love John Lennon and his music dearly, but have never felt threatened by his politics.) Ultimately, it was a gratuitous thing to say and she certainly didn't need to curry favor with a paying audience. If she had wanted to be on record as being opposed to the war, she could have said the same thing she did say to a magazine reporter and would at least have spoken her mind in a less turbulent setting.
Anyhow, the point is this: Maines is entitled to her opinion. That's the American Way. She should never be threatened with death or personal harm of any kind for what she said. That is not the American Way. But in the absence of killing or harming her (something the Baathists or Stalinists would have had no problem doing), there is, in fact, a very American way of responding to her with a passion equal to hers: protest and boycott. How do you take down a well-paid commercial artist? You cut her off and withdraw your support. That's not execution for treason; that's discretion after indiscretion.
Rooting for Tubers, Truffles, and WMD
These [logicians] make me laugh. Go ahead and keep demanding that we find the Iraqis' weapons of mass destruction (the existence of which, it is said, was the sine qua non of our war against Saddam). Your approval of the war's outcome depends on irrefutable proof that Saddam possessed botulo-toxins and anthrax? Even though Iraq was liberated from the Baathists with a minimal loss of civilian life? Even though the first expressions of religious and civil liberties in a generation have been made possible by American soldiers and marines? Did you see the torture chambers and holding cells for the small children of the enemies of Saddam's state? Have you seen the footage of schools and mosques filled to the rafters with grenade launchers and Kalishnikovs? Yeah, well, you want us to follow the letter of the law. I see. Oh, well. I watched happy young men riding the statued heads of their country's former tyrant through the streets of Baghdad like sleighs. Go lodge your complaints with Dr. Blix or the MP for Glasgow Kelvin. The good guys won, no thanks to the "patriotic" exercise of your right to second-guess and denigrate.
Alive to History
Just watched the President's very fine speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln and it reminded me of just how much more alive to History Bush the Younger is than is his father. GWB has a sense of symbolism that his father would probably think imprudent, but that's something to love about the man, not find improper or presumptuous.
A year and a half ago, our country went to war to preserve our way of life, whether we accept or realize that or not. We have imposed our will upon some part of the world, but that is for the good of all mankind and not for ourselves as imperialists or vandals. The Left (i.e., anti-Semitic Europhiles, wretchedly embittered anti-American natives, the underemployed, et al.) will not see this, of course, but that's just part of their illness. They are wracked by a kind of self-loathing that poisons their lives and the hopes of others. What to do? Cut them off and recognize, against the cynicism of these wankers who "know better," that it's okay to be patriotic and it's okay to be grateful for a decent man in the White House and it's high time that the American people stand up and support our military when it's time to go in and lay waste to the bad guys.
It all comes down to making a judgement call. Why do we say it's a good thing that we have invaded such a country as Iraq? Because they and we both know that our way of life and our political system is better than what they have known. If it weren't so, we'd just be something like France.
No Cameras on Traffic Lights in Texas
The state legislature decided yesterday to not allow the cops to install cameras at intersections for the purpose of busting red light-runners. Sweet! Why am I always surprised when the Texas State Legislature does something that even the ACLU would approve of? Damn straight, y'all: if you ball-breakers want to make some extra revenue off of people running red lights, then put some boots on the ground. I hate the people who endanger others' lives by blazing through a red light, but they're not going to get the message from some puny little $75 fine in the mail a few days later. With a real live cop, he can use his own professional judgement and charge the offender with a flagrant violation, costing way more than the revenue-generating fine would have.
For instance: speeding through a red light? That's crazy. A cop ought to be allowed to kick your ass right there on the spot. But, if it's one of them deals like making a left-hand turn in Los Angeles, where even the most conscientious motorist is obligated to (technically) run several red lights per day, then no way.
I laugh in the face of any municipal official who had dreams of raking it in with both hands with these damned cameras. These were the same jackasses who finally prompted the Legislature to set a cap on the percentage of a town's revenue base derived from speed traps (Howdy, Selma!!!).
I just love it when the chickenshit comes home to roost.
Will It Stop with Galloway?
It appears overwhelmingly likely that George Galloway is an utterly corrupt and well-paid traitor to his country. But will the intrigue end there? Is it not likely that Saddam and his secret police maintained other clients in the anti-war West?
One thing I'd like to know is how Kofi Annan came by such great personal control over the oil-for-food program in Iraq. How did that come about? Not only are his actions unreviewable, but he doesn't even have to open the books on what purchases he has authorized. Buying boats and boating equipment from France? That's to teach the starving Iraqi children how to fish, right? Billions and billions of dollars and Annan doesn't have to answer to anyone. How did that come about?
Bill Richardson Is SUCH a Tool!
Why does this Clinton-era stooge (now the governor of New Mexico) repeatedly make excuses for the North Koreans? Listening to him on Meet the Press yesterday, it was ridiculous how often he characterized their explicit and belligerent threats against us as only "negotiating tactics" and inconsequential "bluster." I've heard his stupid suggestions before that these are just cultural differences. Well, horseshit, jack. The mentally-ill kimchi pot running that broken country is NOT negotiating; he's threatening. Do you get the difference, Bill? He lies and reneges on deals (made with the brilliant Clinton State Department), withdraws from nuclear weapons agreements, returns to banned practices such as nuclear fuel reprocessing, tests missiles, sells weapons to other belligerents, and makes outrageous threats. I haven't even mentioned what Kim is doing to destroy his own country and people. So, why is Richardson soft-pedalling on these threats to take us into nuclear war? Is that considered a respectable goal among international diplomatic types? To smile and ignore the kind of talk that, coming from a punk on the street, would get him his ass kicked? Forget that.
We should do whatever is necessary to move our troops out of harm's way along the DMZ ---and as soon as possible. After that, send in the Enola Gay. It sickens me to watch interviews with these clueless and well-fed South Korean teenagers who think that WE are the problem and that WE are the ones picking a fight. Go read your fucking history, Dum Pling: if it weren't for American soldiers and our allies (back when we still had some in the UN), your country would look just rike your blothers up north. Man, I HATE ignorant, ungrateful dumbasses.
As for Richardson, I can only guess that the Bush Administration keeps including him in "negotiations" with these commie rats to remind people what an absolute disaster the Clinton Administration made of things when they tried to bribe the Dear One the first time around. "Ooh, we blake our plomise!" What a surprise.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 5:54 AM CDT
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Updated: Tuesday, 29 April 2003 9:04 AM CDT
Sunday, 27 April 2003
Is there any reason to believe that this economy is going to get better any time soon? I happen to belong to a certain stratum of the socioeconomic pile where my talents and education would be misapplied to the flipping of burgers but, then again, are insufficient to otherwise make a good damn. I have glimpsed prosperity from time to time, but always manage to do (or not to do) something that leaves me holding my johnson. I'll take the blame for that, but it won't make you any richer.
The President is pulling for that huge tax cut, but it ain't gonna help me. It'll put more money in the coffers of people who are so wealthy that their income from stock dividends is actually worth fighting over. Senate majority leader Bill Frist even went so far as to call the present scheme of taxation of stock dividends "immoral," but that's because he's a very rich man who is given to making such judgements when it comes down to the bottom line.
Well, here's my bottom line: if Bush and Frist want to pledge $15 billion to fighting AIDS in Africa, fine, but don't go thinking that that's going to divert our attention from a $400 billion tax cut for the champagne-and-caviar set.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 9:59 AM CDT
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Updated: Tuesday, 29 April 2003 2:11 AM CDT
Saturday, 26 April 2003
It's Official: The SARS Epidemic Is Boring Me
So quit talking about it, already! The only marginally interesting thing about it is watching some other giant world power (i.e., China) taking the heat for being so old-school. "You owe us A-number one expranation, buddy!"
Rauchen Ist Verboten
Yeah, sure I miss smoking. It's like my days are these huge blocks of unpunctuated, unindented text. And you really get a true outsider's view of your own conditioning, too: what should you be doing ten minutes or so after a meal? Didn't I just finish up a few chores and it's time to sit down and ---ahh, crap. It's always going to be hard, mate. One day at a time, recovering alcoholic kind of stuff, you know. I never knew my Daddy as an active smoker, but I only knew him as a recovering one. There was always a toothpick in his mouth or a half-dozen within reach. He had quit cold turkey with his partner in the Texas Highway Patrol, a guy called Al Chambers. It seems like Al was older than Daddy, but it must have been around the time that Daddy turned 30 that they were riding along and Al challenged him to quit smoking ---cold turkey. As I recall the tale, Al grabbed Daddy's Zippo and smokes and tossed them out the window of their patrol car and Daddy did the same to Al's. I think they must have thrived off of the competition. But it was a done deal before I ever came along in '69 because I never once saw my Daddy smoke.
Travelling in Europe, you can't help but be struck by how complete tobacco's influence is there. Italians practically smoke in church. They would never tolerate the kind of restrictions you see in a town like Austin, where you can't even smoke in bars until after noon, if then. I don't know. Keep on banning it and maybe people will wise up.
But, here's someting for my lefty friends to consider: you're always beefing about how these international supercongolmerates are taking over the world and destroying jobs and basically returning us to serfdom and villainy and, yet, without the slightest sense of irony, you willingly pay forty, fifty, a hundred bucks a month to multibillion-dollar companies like RJR and Phillip Morris to keep you on a leash. They've got you "sitting bitch" and lovin' it. The revolution starts at home, asshole. I done kicked the redcoats out.
Thinking About Pete Shelley's "Homo Sapiens"
Man, I wish I knew where to find that old video! That's early MTV, baby (early 1980s, back when MTV still played videos). In retrospect, I don't suppose it's possible that that song was not about being gay, but it couldn't matter less: it is every bit as cool as The Vapours' "Turning Japanese."
Anyhow, now that I have the set-up for some good old-fashioned Catholic-bashing (which they say is the anti-Semitism of the intellectual set), let's get back to Sen. Santorum and homosexuality. Here's a man who attends mass daily and apparently supports the doctrinal prohibition against homosexual love. But wouldn't you think that he has had, at least recently, some cause to doubt the legitimacy and logic of the Catholic Church's position on homosexuality? Ought he not see, as many other of his co-religionists have, that the Church is comprised of men ---mortal, grossly fallible men--- whose own practices have shocked the conscience of the world? The clerical orders and hierarchy of the Catholic Church are to homosexuality what a dank cellar is to mushrooms. Perhaps it is from the ranks of sexually-confused and guilt-ridden young men that the promise of salvation from the desires of the flesh is the most agreeable point of recruitment for the Church's next generation of priests. But, once locked into the embrace of virginity and celibacy (is there a truer form of atheism?), can there be any surprise what comes next? These are, as Margaret Sanger said, "men who know nothing of love or marriage." Of what value is their advice in such matters? If, on the other hand (as all the great Protestant patriarchs have understood) the clergy were allowed to marry and be the natural men that they are, then the impulse to homosexual degradation among heterosexual men would not occur and it would be strictly a matter of natural love between homosexual men where such an impulse did exist.
So what is the argument against homosexual love? That the Church or the Bible is against it? That can't be enough to anyone who thinks. That it's unnatural? Not to those who desire it. That it spreads disease? No one who knows the facts has made that argument in more than a decade. That is corrupts and persuades heterosexuals into also desiring it? Well, if you're a heterosexual man, for instance, who desires the intimacy of other men, you may want to take a long, cold look into your owner's manual and see just how straight you really are. Is it possible, outside the confines of a prison or some other cloistered environment, that a man who loves the sights, sounds, and sensations of women can be made gay? That's a monstrously stupid idea. It's not something you catch off of doorknobs, you know?
Like I always said, homophobes are the biggest faggots around. People, especially those in positions of power, need to let their fellow human beings be what they naturally are and stop freaking out on them with their doctrinal whip-crackery.
The Dirty MP
If you're a reader of the UK's Telegraph newspaper (and the Christian Science Monitor got in on the act today, too, with some details of its own), then you'll know that George Galloway, the Member of Parliament from Glasgow who vehemently opposed the war for Iraq and who called Blair and Bush war criminals, has been found to have been on the take from Saddam's government. He and his wife (not incidentally, a niece of the Palestinian terrorist-Nobel Peace Prize laureate Yasser Arafat) have been taking money from the oil-for-food program, a United Nations-created instrument by which Saddam was systematically starving his own people. If the documents on which this huge scandal hold up, Galloway will not only have condemned himself to a reputation as a traitor, but will have brought enough discredit upon the anti-war movement in Great Britain to last a generation.
Now for the question: why is this story not getting reported in the American press? Are you seeing it on the nightly news? How about Bill-Fucking-Moyers or NPR? Personally, I'm eating this stuff up like an ice cream cone in August. The only thing that could possibly be better is if the Clintons or Kerry or someone like them were found out to have been in the employ of Saddam. I mean, holy cow, people! You couldn't write stuff like this! Ha, ha, ha...
Nor Do I Care That John Kerry Is a Viet Nam Veteran
John Kerry, the Democratic U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, is a very creepy man and I wouldn't give him my vote for lounge attendant. He believes that he is going to be the next Democratic nominee for President ---and that may well be. But, all that will be good for is to supply a question for some future edition of Trivial Pursuit. I can't think of anything that will cost Bush the Younger his re-election.
I watched Kerry deliver some major address on C-SPAN a few weeks before the war began and it was utterly torpid. Jesus! He made Dukakis seem like a dynamo of wit and charm by comparison. Kerry is such a typical liberal: there's nothing wrong with anyone that the government can't make better by spending your money on it. AND LOTS OF IT!!!
Kerry is as much of a fence-sitting equivocator as Clinton or Gore or any other successful Democratic politician. He was wrong about the war and he is wrong about Bush. Who cares that he's a vet? Who cares that he's got nice hair? Remember: Kerry likes to be likened to his heroes in the Kennedy family, especially JFK. He's basically riffing off of John Kennedy's initials and haircut, but what does that mean to anyone except some nostalgic old Eastern liberal establishment types? This won't be the second coming, folks, no matter how much of his wife's money he spends trying to make you think otherwise.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I Give You....TARIQ AZIZ!!!
Back during the Gulf War of 1990-91, when I was a college boy and a lot more interesting than I am now, I used to tell all my friends that we should start up a heavy metal band called Tariq Aziz. After insisting on how cool this would be, I would then burst out into this preposterous air guitar jam, making these speed metal riffs with my mouth and singing, a la Lemmy (of Motorhead fame), "Everybody, eat my shit!!!"
Anyhow, I used to do this so much that I'll bet that there are several young men of my past and present acquaintance who, when they hear that THE Tariq Aziz has surrendered to the good guys today, will say, "Oh, yeah, that's the guy we were going to name our band after."
The Nut Jobs at the United Nations
Kofi Annan and Hans Blix must be tripping balls (or, maybe tripping over them) to believe that the United Nations has any moral or political authority in rebuilding Iraq. They have the temerity to demand a place in the peace in the aftermath of a war they absolutely opposed? They say that only the UN can confer legitimacy upon the government of a new Iraq? No one could be prouder than I am of Tony Blair's courage in prosecuting the war along with Uncle Sam, but there was never a chance that the President was going to give the UN any role that a competent etiquette consultant couldn't do more cheaply. Blair was said to be a dead duck for charging ahead as he did. Had single-digit approval ratings; now, he's more popular than John Lennon. And so the liberal British press and his own Labour party have set out another hurdle for him: make nice with the UN and, so, repair the breach with the UK's European pals. To hell with that. Bush may owe Blair a lot, but the line MUST be drawn at giving the UN any sense of a political victory. They didn't earn it: young American and British soldiers, sailors, and airmen did.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 4:08 AM CDT
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Updated: Thursday, 24 April 2003 6:09 PM CDT
Wednesday, 23 April 2003
What's all this, then? Apparently, U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) has come down against the practice of homosexuality. Or, maybe that's the best I can do with ten broken minutes of Bill O'Reilly's radio program. Anyhow, I don't know what Santorum's deal is, but it's high time for him and the religious right to grow up about the whole gay thang. Attention, ladies and gentlemen: lesbians and homosexuals are out and about and ain't going anywhere. What, are you going to witness to them and set them back down on the straight and narrow? That is to ask: are you going to insist on the non-solution of artificial "change" of what is, to them, perfectly natural? Grow up.
The civil recognition of marriage was necessitated by the question of property rights (e.g., Who's a legitimate heir? What does a survivor inherit? Etc.). It also serves social cohesion by promoting the stability of the nuclear family (let's not kid ourselves about what marriage does to promote monogamy). Now, how are either of these issues mutually exclusive with the purposes of gay marriage and the free practice of homosexual love between consenting adults? It is the very limit of arrogance to deny homosexuals the benefits of marriage because they aren't heterosexuals. And it is outrageous that homosexual love should actually be illegal in the Great State of Texas. Why is that? What should the law care?
I personally find the idea of homosexual intimacy to be repellent and alien, but that's only because it would be an unnatural act for me. But not so for my homosexual friends; to them, what I would find to be natural and desirable would be distasteful (as it were).
But, what the hell? All this talk about homosexual and heterosexual is simplistic crap, as though the whole of a man's identity could only be understood by segregating the animal from the cerebral. The day must come that these identities are recognized and accepted. Nature demands it.
Turns out that, once you stop smoking, everything around you starts to smell bad. And then you feel sorry for the poor bastards around you, whom you can only hope have become so accustomed to the general malodorousness of every day life that they are not burdened, as you are, with all this rottenness.