17 Apr, 06 > 23 Apr, 06
10 Apr, 06 > 16 Apr, 06
3 Apr, 06 > 9 Apr, 06
27 Mar, 06 > 2 Apr, 06
20 Mar, 06 > 26 Mar, 06
13 Mar, 06 > 19 Mar, 06
6 Mar, 06 > 12 Mar, 06
27 Feb, 06 > 5 Mar, 06
20 Feb, 06 > 26 Feb, 06
13 Feb, 06 > 19 Feb, 06
6 Feb, 06 > 12 Feb, 06
30 Jan, 06 > 5 Feb, 06
23 Jan, 06 > 29 Jan, 06
16 Jan, 06 > 22 Jan, 06
9 Jan, 06 > 15 Jan, 06
2 Jan, 06 > 8 Jan, 06
26 Dec, 05 > 1 Jan, 06
19 Dec, 05 > 25 Dec, 05
12 Dec, 05 > 18 Dec, 05
5 Dec, 05 > 11 Dec, 05
28 Nov, 05 > 4 Dec, 05
21 Nov, 05 > 27 Nov, 05
14 Nov, 05 > 20 Nov, 05
7 Nov, 05 > 13 Nov, 05
31 Oct, 05 > 6 Nov, 05
24 Oct, 05 > 30 Oct, 05
17 Oct, 05 > 23 Oct, 05
10 Oct, 05 > 16 Oct, 05
3 Oct, 05 > 9 Oct, 05
26 Sep, 05 > 2 Oct, 05
19 Sep, 05 > 25 Sep, 05
12 Sep, 05 > 18 Sep, 05
5 Sep, 05 > 11 Sep, 05
29 Aug, 05 > 4 Sep, 05
22 Aug, 05 > 28 Aug, 05
15 Aug, 05 > 21 Aug, 05
8 Aug, 05 > 14 Aug, 05
1 Aug, 05 > 7 Aug, 05
25 Jul, 05 > 31 Jul, 05
18 Jul, 05 > 24 Jul, 05
11 Jul, 05 > 17 Jul, 05
4 Jul, 05 > 10 Jul, 05
27 Jun, 05 > 3 Jul, 05
20 Jun, 05 > 26 Jun, 05
13 Jun, 05 > 19 Jun, 05
6 Jun, 05 > 12 Jun, 05
30 May, 05 > 5 Jun, 05
23 May, 05 > 29 May, 05
16 May, 05 > 22 May, 05
9 May, 05 > 15 May, 05
2 May, 05 > 8 May, 05
25 Apr, 05 > 1 May, 05
18 Apr, 05 > 24 Apr, 05
11 Apr, 05 > 17 Apr, 05
4 Apr, 05 > 10 Apr, 05
28 Mar, 05 > 3 Apr, 05
21 Mar, 05 > 27 Mar, 05
14 Mar, 05 > 20 Mar, 05
7 Mar, 05 > 13 Mar, 05
28 Feb, 05 > 6 Mar, 05
21 Feb, 05 > 27 Feb, 05
14 Feb, 05 > 20 Feb, 05
7 Feb, 05 > 13 Feb, 05
31 Jan, 05 > 6 Feb, 05
24 Jan, 05 > 30 Jan, 05
17 Jan, 05 > 23 Jan, 05
10 Jan, 05 > 16 Jan, 05
3 Jan, 05 > 9 Jan, 05
27 Dec, 04 > 2 Jan, 05
20 Dec, 04 > 26 Dec, 04
13 Dec, 04 > 19 Dec, 04
6 Dec, 04 > 12 Dec, 04
29 Nov, 04 > 5 Dec, 04
22 Nov, 04 > 28 Nov, 04
15 Nov, 04 > 21 Nov, 04
8 Nov, 04 > 14 Nov, 04
1 Nov, 04 > 7 Nov, 04
25 Oct, 04 > 31 Oct, 04
18 Oct, 04 > 24 Oct, 04
11 Oct, 04 > 17 Oct, 04
4 Oct, 04 > 10 Oct, 04
27 Sep, 04 > 3 Oct, 04
20 Sep, 04 > 26 Sep, 04
13 Sep, 04 > 19 Sep, 04
6 Sep, 04 > 12 Sep, 04
30 Aug, 04 > 5 Sep, 04
23 Aug, 04 > 29 Aug, 04
16 Aug, 04 > 22 Aug, 04
9 Aug, 04 > 15 Aug, 04
2 Aug, 04 > 8 Aug, 04
26 Jul, 04 > 1 Aug, 04
19 Jul, 04 > 25 Jul, 04
12 Jul, 04 > 18 Jul, 04
5 Jul, 04 > 11 Jul, 04
28 Jun, 04 > 4 Jul, 04
21 Jun, 04 > 27 Jun, 04
14 Jun, 04 > 20 Jun, 04
7 Jun, 04 > 13 Jun, 04
31 May, 04 > 6 Jun, 04
24 May, 04 > 30 May, 04
17 May, 04 > 23 May, 04
10 May, 04 > 16 May, 04
3 May, 04 > 9 May, 04
26 Apr, 04 > 2 May, 04
19 Apr, 04 > 25 Apr, 04
12 Apr, 04 > 18 Apr, 04
5 Apr, 04 > 11 Apr, 04
29 Mar, 04 > 4 Apr, 04
22 Mar, 04 > 28 Mar, 04
15 Mar, 04 > 21 Mar, 04
8 Mar, 04 > 14 Mar, 04
1 Mar, 04 > 7 Mar, 04
23 Feb, 04 > 29 Feb, 04
16 Feb, 04 > 22 Feb, 04
9 Feb, 04 > 15 Feb, 04
2 Feb, 04 > 8 Feb, 04
26 Jan, 04 > 1 Feb, 04
19 Jan, 04 > 25 Jan, 04
12 Jan, 04 > 18 Jan, 04
5 Jan, 04 > 11 Jan, 04
29 Dec, 03 > 4 Jan, 04
22 Dec, 03 > 28 Dec, 03
15 Dec, 03 > 21 Dec, 03
8 Dec, 03 > 14 Dec, 03
1 Dec, 03 > 7 Dec, 03
24 Nov, 03 > 30 Nov, 03
17 Nov, 03 > 23 Nov, 03
10 Nov, 03 > 16 Nov, 03
27 Oct, 03 > 2 Nov, 03
20 Oct, 03 > 26 Oct, 03
13 Oct, 03 > 19 Oct, 03
6 Oct, 03 > 12 Oct, 03
29 Sep, 03 > 5 Oct, 03
22 Sep, 03 > 28 Sep, 03
15 Sep, 03 > 21 Sep, 03
8 Sep, 03 > 14 Sep, 03
1 Sep, 03 > 7 Sep, 03
25 Aug, 03 > 31 Aug, 03
18 Aug, 03 > 24 Aug, 03
11 Aug, 03 > 17 Aug, 03
4 Aug, 03 > 10 Aug, 03
28 Jul, 03 > 3 Aug, 03
21 Jul, 03 > 27 Jul, 03
14 Jul, 03 > 20 Jul, 03
7 Jul, 03 > 13 Jul, 03
30 Jun, 03 > 6 Jul, 03
23 Jun, 03 > 29 Jun, 03
16 Jun, 03 > 22 Jun, 03
9 Jun, 03 > 15 Jun, 03
2 Jun, 03 > 8 Jun, 03
26 May, 03 > 1 Jun, 03
19 May, 03 > 25 May, 03
12 May, 03 > 18 May, 03
5 May, 03 > 11 May, 03
28 Apr, 03 > 4 May, 03
21 Apr, 03 > 27 Apr, 03
Better Living through Science
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
The Loyal Opposition
The Left Coaster
Deep Blade
Moonbattery Park
Sunday, 20 July 2003
Mood:  not sure
I don't like the Lakers. They win too much, just like the fucking Yankees. But there's nothing not to at least respect about Kobe Bryant. The guy is obviously the Jordan of his generation and a joy to watch. I am sorry that he is in trouble. It just doesn't seem like his M.O. And when you see the friends of this girl who is accusing him of rape being interviewed on the TV, you really have to wonder whether it's even possible for any of them to be raped. Get my drift? They all strike me as being a bunch of pampered, well-heeled sluts. They're a lot of starfuckers. Just listen to them. They have no idea what's wrong with going up to the private room of a man like Kobe Bryant in the middle of the night. "Like, omigod, who wouldn't?!" I just don't think it's possible for women of this type to be raped: they live these lives of easy sex and social opportunity, always putting out scent and looking for the next slab of hunk to open up and say "aah" for. Anyway, it's a shame that Kobe would cheat on a woman as impossibly beautiful as his wife is. He's a Grade A dumbass for doing it and maybe this is his punishment: big fat lawyers fees, some lost endorsements, and some tarnish. But I'll bet you that this rape allegation is pure crap. He'll get off ---only I hope it's not with the help anymore.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 1:01 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Good God Almighty
Mood:  a-ok
Have you seen that new Beyonce Knowles video? Good God almighty!

Posted by Toby Petzold at 12:44 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 18 July 2003
What Intelligence Gets Us
Another thing for all you Krugmanites and Kennedys and Heinz-Kerrys: think back on the past century or so of American wars and the "uses" of intelligence in those conflicts. The Spanish-American War was brought on by the presumption that the Maine had been bombed by Spanish saboteurs, yet no one really believes that anymore. And they had shit for intelligence at the time. But the result of believing that "lie"? A relatively quick war that brought us crucial territories in the Pacific and a reputation for liberation here in our own backyard. It also truly united the United States for he first time in 30 years. And what about the First World War? It wasn't the sinking of the Lusitania or any other of the Hun's outright barbarities that drew us in, but the capture and decoding of the Zimmermann Telegram, which alluded to some cockamamie plot by the Germans to get the Mexicans involved in keeping Pershing and the Army tied down at home. Tee hee. It wasn't that the krauts were littering the Atlantic with our torpedoed ships, but that the messkins might come and try to take back Texas! Now that's putting intelligence to some use! It only made us into a world power and a savior of Europe. And how about the long series of rectocranial responses to the warnings that the Japanese were coming at us in December of 1941? That particular "intelligence failure" made us the most powerful nation on Earth. So powerful that when the Last of the New Dealers ---one of the most dishonest men who ever occupied the White House--- cooked up the Gulf of Tonkin incident 20 years after, we were still able to stand in the wake of our own defeat. In every one of these cases, American (and sometimes British) intelligence was used and abused to advance ourselves in a greater cause than the ostensible "cause". But there is a price to be paid: the hysterical and flustered eruptions of essentially ignorant liberal isolationists and [conscientious] objectors. They are all in high dudgeon just now, vowing to get to the bottom of things and demanding before the bathroom mirrors of their audience to know what the President knew and when he knew it. But their shrill shitheadedness is only manufactured for the sake of the appearance of integrity: most of them supported the President in Afghanistan and Iraq because they knew that the American people wanted a piece of those regimes' asses. That's what we got and continue to get. High prices to pay, but we are making it possible for those people to live in peace and liberty. Why such an objective should merit the disdain of supposedly liberal one-worlders is a question worth answering.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 8:09 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 18 July 2003 8:41 PM CDT
Summa @#%$! Laude
Mood:  suave
Now Playing: "Honky Tonk Angels" as covered by my friend Adam Bork
The most interesting thing about Maarten's latest (and, he suggests, last) posting is his claim to have studied "political sciences" (presumably all of them), for which he earned a degree and graduated "summa @#%$! laude." That's [sic], mind you. Now, what I am fascinated by is whether Maarten believes that the Latin preposition cum is a dirty word and did not want to type it or whether he has some sort of weird software filter which automatically replaces "dirty words" with the nonsense of @#%$!. I am inclined to believe it's the latter, for, as you can see, other dirty words are similarly substituted out with the same keystrokes. So, I wonder what sort of world it is that Maarten inhabits where even his right to cuss has been circumscribed. That's not my world. Maarten says that dissent has been crushed and disallowed in this new world of fascists fighting fascists, but everywhere I look, I see people casting aspersions and doubts and even dice on the President's honesty and character. On the TV and radio and in my readables, too. The craphounds and crackpots running for the Democratic nomination for President are constantly suggesting that the President has led us into a war on false pretenses and that we "need to get to the bottom" of such and such. Well, what these dopes desperately need to do is fuck off. Their own judgement (collective or individual) could not be more suspect in my eyes and I wouldn't vote for them for toilet flushers. But, look: they're dissenting, Maarten. Do you think there was much dissenting in Ba'athist Iraq, the land of the 99.9 per cent electoral landslide? Much dissenting among the womenfolk in Taliban-run Afghanistan on whether to wear their burqas? As a matter of fact, Mr. Political Sciences, I don't know of too many places in the Muslim world where dissent is much in fashion, unless you count the Universal First Amendment Right to strap dynamite or plastique to your abdomen and detonate it in a cafe or bus.

Oh, I'm sure there's dozens of great examples of American villainy and treachery you could regale us with, but why don't you remember the other dozens of examples of American greatness and nobility and moral right? I presume you are a European of some kind, maybe Dutch or Belgian. Whether I am correct, let me remind you, Maarten, that you come from a place (literally or "ideally") where you have not had to fight off a Nazi or Commie for more than fifty years because of the presence of the American military on the continent of Europe. Western Europeans of our generation don't know a goddamned thing about real fascism or communism because America has either beaten them down or back. Thus, you have a whole culture of wankers who have not earned their freedom, but feel free to exercise it, nonetheless, when they rip into Uncle Sam about his excesses. Fuck that shit, jackson. I almost look forward to the day when a million skinheaded Robespierres go fighting Algerian psychopaths on the Champs Elysees with breadsticks and mo-ped parts. Maybe Villepin can write a poem about it and stuff it up Jacques Shiraq's garage.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 7:24 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
9/11: "A nominal reason"
Mood:  on fire
Be sure to click on the comments links. (Tripod finally switched back to showing whether an entry has been commented on, as they should never have not done that to begin with.) The latest comments by Heather do not encourage a respectful tolerance of the liberal mentality, which, with respect to he present state of world affairs, consists of a lot of self-loathing and anti-Christian caca. Now, ordinarily, I take a backseat to no one in pointing up the failures of Christian belief and practice, but nothing sends me back to the hecklers' perch faster than a doe-eyed white chick trying to stick up for her put-upon brown-skinned turbanheaded Muhammedan heroes. It just seems unnatural.

But listen to what Heather has to say about the terror of 11 September 2001: it was just a "nominal reason" ---a pretext--- for us in the West to act upon our genocidal bigotry for the Muslim. Yes, we were just looking for an excuse. Hmmm. May be. But it almost sounds like she believes (or, with enough cable access or late-night radio in her eyes and ears, be led to believe) that the whole thing was planned. Maybe the Government was in on it. (Certainly the Jews were.)

Anyhow, Heather is wretchedly wrong. Our country (well, mine, anyway) was attacked by Muslim psychopaths. Young men who were willing to die in order to kill thousands of Americans in the furtherance of ---what? What did they mean to accomplish? In the end, all they will have accomplished is the end of the Muslim world as they knew it and the abortion of a Muslim fantasy that they will never know. Their pipe dreams are for snuffing out. We hear that al-Qaeda will strike at us again on our own soil. I fear it's so. But the ratcheting up of our fury will make these petty lawyers' complaints of "wrongfully" detained young men from Yemen or Saudi Arabia look quaint. Do you want to see real profiling in America? If the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam were to come undone by Muslim sabotage, you're going to have people burnt at the stake. You're going to see engineering college dormitories and gas stations and mosques firebombed like a week of 4th of Julys. People aren't going to be debating whether Saddam tried to buy uranium or whether some tape is actually of Osama's voice; you're just going to have extreme, cut-nut, shot-wad, blown-nosed violence. And I say let it be.

Heather (as you can read for yourself) also laments what repressed, Dark-Aged fascists we are under the control of here in America, and how terrible it is that we just had to go and blow something up (e.g., the Taliban in Afghanistan) without even trying diplomacy. Ha, ha. Bless her heart. She just don't know no better.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 6:24 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
The Blair House
I was very pleased to see Tony Blair lend a hand (and some much-needed eloquence) to the President yesterday before a joint meeting of Congress. The PM was dead on with just about everything, but I would disagree with him on the issue of whether what we're engaged in is a war between civilizations. I say we are. He says we are not because, basically, every great culture has something good to add to the whole of humanity. Certainly, Islam did a helluva bang-up job preserving the wisdom of the ancient Greco-Roman world while Europe was soiling itself in superstitious degradation, but that's been at least 500 years ago. There can't be any real question of which of the great monotheisms has since gone forth and conquered in every meaningful aspect of civilization. (Oops. Sorry. I'm not supposed to claim anything good in the name of Judeo-Christian culture.) So, what is it, exactly, that Islam has been contributing, lo, this past half-millennium? Slavery? Clitorectomies? Extreme political and civil repression, oppression, and censorship? Even the source of most of the Muslim world's wealth (oil) has only been possible through stealing (nationalizing) the infrastructure by which it is extracted and refined. These are medieval men, far removed from the glory of their ancestors, whose only purpose is to conflict with us and human destiny.

Anyhow, I am a great fan of Tony Blair's and I am pleased that he is such an Americophile. He complements Mr. Bush well, for our President is no orator (at least not by habit). They both know this, of course, so it's not all that much of a problem. The real eloquence is in their deeds and, at that, they are 21st Century Catos, Lincolns, and Churchills. Long live the Anglo-Saxons!

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:32 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 16 July 2003
In Favor of Corrupting Our Intelligence Assessments
Mood:  cheeky
My correspondents have also supplied me with a link to New York Times columnist Paul Krugman's latest swipe at the Administration and the intelligence community. Krugman's basic complaint is that the neocons and hawks have deliberately corrupted the process of intelligence assessment so that we could be more easily drawn into war against the Islamofascists and the other Middle Eastern tyrannies. George Tenet gets Bush thinking that Osama and Saddam are conjoined twins. Paul Wolfowitz and Bill Kristol and other trouble-making Jews pound on the war drums until no one can think straight and we just wind up attacking everybody with a towel on his head and a wife on her knees. Well, it's good work if you can get it: keep up the "simple-mindedness," gentlemen.

In case you missed it the first thousand times, let me remind you that September 11th changed everything. That's the day that medieval-minded savages reached into our society and shook us to pieces ---for a few hours. After that, any American with any balls or brains knew what had to come next. We've only just begun crossing the names off of our shit list. We're not even two years removed from the nightmare of that day and, already, we have done great damage to al-Qaeda and the Ba'athists. They say that Afghanistan is already in the grips of another Taliban, but the first one sleeps in the dirt forever, jackson. Maybe these new guys want some, too. Let's find out. But I'm betting on music in the streets and girls with the sun on their skin. Junior's done been to Gay Par-ee.

The thing is that the war is on and it won't end until every Mohammedan psychopath is under glass. Craphounds like Krugman think their reasons and reasoning are enough to turn the world upside down, but, ultimately, no one is going to care. There is a general threat against this culture and its prosperity ---and it comes, too often, from Arab/Muslim men in their 20s and 30s. Saudis, Yemenis, Egyptians ---who cares? The human race cannot survive or tolerate these people blowing themselves and everyone else to bits because of their fucked up fantasies of paradise.

You think American intelligence is mixed up about what goes on? Well, everyone is to blame for the confusion. We pretend, as an oil-buying and car-crazy consumer society, that the monarchy of Saudi Arabia are our friends, but they are the root cause of much of the world's terrorism. They pay the families of young Palestinian suicide bombers in compensation for their sons' murder of innocent Israeli Jews. But, so did Saddam. And even though we bankroll the Egyptians and the Palestinian Authority, they continue to commit atrocities against us and our allies. Why are we at such cross-purposes? Sooner or later, we're going to have to be done with them all. And the world will be a better place for it.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:10 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 18 July 2003 7:38 PM CDT
The Thrust of His Porcupine
Another reader of this blog (Heather's husband) has written to take me to task. Or, shall we say, several of them? There's no comprehensive way to address all of Maarten's many points and complaints except to answer in general. And I would begin by making the essential point that Maarten is an "internationalist." Nothing he says can be appreciated in full without knowing that he wishes the world to be a borderless, global society of former nations. ("Former" because they will have all surrendered their sovereignty to the greater good of internationalism.) This reminds us of Einstein's contempt for nationalism as an infantile notion. But it also reminds me that Utopia literally means "no where" ---and that's the one place where "internationalists" and other such sophistos feel most at home. The post-nationalist and indistinguishable world frightens me, and I would only be a stranger there, never a citizen.

I say all this to make the point that, in the real world, there are winners and losers and that there is nothing Utopians and internationalists (i.e., people who have a loathing for their own particular places of origin) can do about it. Sameness and equality and indistinction are anathema to individuals of will and self-determinancy. Winners make losers of their enemies because there are great issues of human dignity and value at stake and these cannot be dispensed with by resort to moral relativism. Why would a great culture such as ours set its sights on the overthrow of a tyrant like Saddam? Because he is an enemy to human freedom and dignity. Maarten, of course, laughs at the very idea that this country should care for liberty and democracy in places like Iraq, but that's because he is an embittered cynic. He doesn't know enough of our purpose as Americans. He was not taught his Lincoln or about the "last, best hope of Earth." We are a light unto the nations (Oops. Sorry about the drippingly Christian language, Heather.), but we are also an instrument of justice. These cosmopolitan types who are too busy being correct and sensitive are living in a state of unnature, as it were; they don't know enough about geopolitics.

Anyhow, there are too many liberals and sophistos out there thinking too much of their own rigteousness and being too pathologically absorbed with hating the President. I would suggest that these feelings of righteous indignation are too often the result of either paranoid ignorance or partisan hypocrisy. Yes, yes: the Bush Administration is just one big cabal of oilmen and Freemasons and Trilateralists. They stole the election from Gore because the President's brother was the governor of Florida and he must have set it all up, right? Right? It's devastatingly pathetic thinking like that that drives me insane. But it only gets worse when you turn to the war against Iraq. It was all done to provide huge contracts to Haliburton or Brown & Root or whoever the fuck. I guess our military screwed it up by not allowing even a fraction of the oil well fires that the alarmists were prophesying.

And, of course, all of that intelligence that was used and abused by Bush and Blair as a pretext for having it out with Saddam was all fabricated. Never mind that Saddam has twice (and, now, probably thrice) been stopped from developing nuclear weapons. Never mind that even pieces of shit like Hans Blix and that traitor/child molester ex-Marine (whose name I can't recall just now) acknowledged that there were huge amounts of bioweapons unaccounted for when the inspectors were finally driven out of Iraq in 1998. Are there really dumbasses in this world who believe that Saddam would have destroyed all of his WMD without telling anyone, thereby denying himself the credit by which he could have ended all of the sanctions against his country? It's fucking stupidity. Of course there are bioweapons in Iraq! Pull your head out!

Let me finish this little rant with the old philosopher's question, "What good is a baby?" All they do is eat, sleep, poop, and cry. And this goes on and on for months. What the hell good are they? It may be that what good we have done in Iraq is also difficult to see because all of its value lies in its potential, not in its essence. It is entirely possible that Iraq will become an ally and friend to the United States in years to come once its physical and political infrastructure has been repaired. That happened in Japan and in Germany; why is it such a joke to those like Maarten that we try it there, too?

Posted by Toby Petzold at 3:30 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Spitting Blood
Mood:  don't ask
I am extremely put out with the rain situation around here. You're telling me that a hurricane can come our way and we still don't get anything out of it? Outrageous crap. See, I like rain. I don't view it as a weekend-destroyer or a great hazard, but as a vital phenomenon. Any real Texan is happy to see it rain. It's good for the crops and the aquifers and it keeps the heat down. These sissified craphounds they've got doing the weather on the TV around here make me mad. It's almost like their negative energy has created a force field around the city of Austin, impervious to rain or even a cool breeze. I've given this a lot of thought and am convinced it's true.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 12:34 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 15 July 2003
Mood:  suave
Be sure to check out this Clifford May piece at National Review Online. If you want to know what's fueling the non-story of what, I guess, is the President's outrageous slanders against Saddam and African uranium merchants, this will give you an idea.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:01 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Regarding Jon Stewart's Quip about FOX
Mood:  silly
Jon Stewart, host of the brilliant Daily Show on Comedy Central, was talking with the well-known New Age tampon/flake Bill Moyers the other day and they were beefing about how "gaslighted" the American public has been by an irresponsible media. True dat: I don't give a fuck about Scott Peterson, either, and can't understand why the 24-hour news outlets are so smitten with such irrelevance in the face of far greater issues.

Anyway, Stewart singled out and dismissed FOX News among all other American news divisions and channels because "every country needs its own al-Jazeera." (Please write to correct me if my quote is off.) That is, FOX News is so blatantly pro-conservative that it's no better than the cartoonishly pro-Arab/Jew-hating al-Jazeera Network is in the Middle East.

Well, it was a great line, but let's be clear about something: neutrality in the name of objectivity is no virtue. No news division or network is in any danger of becoming objective any time soon, so why should the public tolerate the pretenses to objectivity made by CNN or Jennings or Rather? It's a joke. The animus of these news outlets against the Bush administration is as clear as FOX's supposed cheerleading so long as you bother to recognize it. How do they get their digs in? Listen to the verbs, watch how many seconds or minutes get split between our own President and his detractors, and notice who gets let off the hook. I'd spend an hour watching test patterns before I'd give Aaron Brown or Keith Olbermann ten seconds. Ah, such wits. Cynicism over justification any day, right?

If people are concerned that they're being gaslighted, they are free to turn to other resources for their news. The profundity of this fact is often lost on clever assholes who rant and rave about our allegedly shrinking array of media choices. The truth is that there are more ways now to find out about the things that matter most to each of us than ever before. Do you doubt that as you surf between the online newspapers of practically every country on Earth or the hundreds of professional journals available at the click of a mouse or the thousands of well-maintained blogs calling out from every corner of cyberspace? Many cities and towns and every level of their government now routinely post and update information on the Internet so that you can be better-informed. I can read the full opinions of any supreme or appellate court in the land on any case I please by just looking for it online. I can participate in learned discussions on every conceivable topic of any value any time I wish.

Keep your evening newscasts, jack. There's nothing you can tell me that I couldn't have already learned from a half-dozen other sources ---if I will.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 3:06 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Smashing the Well-Oiled Machine
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" by the Ink Spots
My earnest and thoughtful correspondent followed up her demand for the reasons why we invaded Iraq with some more comments on my hatefulness and warmongering, but she made two big mistakes.

First, I am not a Christian. I'm sure that my moral compass largely follows the cast of its original Protestant orientation, but I do not believe in any of the things that Heather herself apparently believes in: God, the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth, Biblical authority, etc. I have always been curious about why my interlocutors make this mistake. Is it because there is something unconsciously Christian in my language or is it because some (many, as I have noted over the years) lack a certain subtlety of understanding in distinguishing between religion and morality? That is to say, even Neognostikos can find fault and be offended with the doctrinal inconsistencies in the religions of others.

Second, Heather misunderstands what the well-oiled machine of Islamic culture is: it is fascism. Some writers call it Islamofascism, a term I like a lot. I would like to help smash this well-oiled machine because I find it to be threatening. What is compatible between the free will of Western man and his pursuit of happiness and the idea of "submission"? Nothing. One ideology/spiritual tradition informs its believers with a sound regard for liberty and self-salvation while the other demands rigid obedience and repression. The medieval mind is interesting ---in books. But in practice? Today? There's a spectrum of bodily behavior among montheistic man, ranging from the simplicity of the Protestant's bowed head during a prayer to the Catholic's very busy crossing and dipping and smudging and counting with fingers and knees and beads and water down to the prostrations and petty humiliations of the Mohammedan. Normally, unless he's gone medieval, a Protestant doesn't bend his knees because he isn't a slave; a Muslim does because that's how he thinks of himself.

Well, let's not be slaves. Let's be men (or women) who are free to stand on our own and cause trouble and be squeaky wheels. We are not, as you claimed, Heather, a well-oiled machine; if we were, you wouldn't have the voice to dissent or the right to travel unmolested in your own country or the happiness to imagine a single good thing. Everything would be circumscribed and homogenized and begrudged by a power-hungry fascist state. But you say we're well-oiled? No way. Not enough of us have given up yet.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:11 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (6) | Permalink
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: "Frankenstein" by the Edgar Winter Group
A reader of this blog has written to demand that I supply the good reasons why our country invaded Iraq since I'm so sure of them. (Her message is available through the comments link of a few days ago.)

Well, we're a military superpower, for one thing; if we didn't project our power abroad in those areas of the world that hate and resist us, pretty soon, we'd be perceived as weak. The United States, like all great cultures and empires, is obligated to itself and the world to wield its power against tyrants and terrorists. If we withdraw from this obligation and become the isolationists that the Democrats and liberals wish us to be, we will squander our greatness and lose the ability to right the wrongs of the world. Look at your history, Heather: Uncle Sam has saved the world many times now (i.e., by winning both World Wars and outlasting the Communists in the Cold War). We are depended on in ways no other country knows. We prop up the United Nations so that little tin-pot dictatorships and our chastened former/erstwhile allies can have a forum to tell us what sorry bastards we are. But what happens when the UN repeatedly finds that a country like Iraq is in violation of all these resolutions, but does nothing? If there's no consequences for non-compliance, then nobody is going to care. They're just like errors in baseball: looks bad on paper, but where's the punishment? Without our force or the threat of our force, Iraq would never have complied.

Okay, so I've given you a few good reasons. Kicking the bad guys' asses is what the good guys do. Putting the bite in the bark of the paper police is the only way to preserve the legitimacy of world conference. If you don't use it, you lose it. The perception of weakness is weakness. What else do you want, Heather? Now that we are in Iraq, the people there have a chance at self-government and basic civil liberties/human rights. They didn't have that before. Am I happy about our losing soldiers nearly every day there to some sort of violence? No. It makes me anxious and sad. But our soldiers are buying an entire culture the time and space to be re-born and to have what we have, which is liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Think of it! The New World is helping Mesopotamia find its dignity and self-worth again. That's pretty great.

Plus, we are in a position to apply pressure on the rest of the Middle East to find a way to lasting peace. Those governments need to be forced into it because, otherwise, they will keep on oppressing their people and retarding their progress. Iran sees what we have done in Iraq and knows that they can be done with tyranny, too. Our invasion also is making things possible in Israel that were impossible a year ago. There may be a chance at a solution there, as well. All of this has to do with geopolitical influence. I believe we have a moral obligation to keep Israel Jewish. Don't you? I believe we have an economic obligation to our own society to make sure no one can cut off our oil supplies and wreck our economy. Doesn't that make sense?

When you doubt and deny the wisdom of our decision to invade Iraq, you are defending the right of tyrants like Saddam and his regime to murder and oppress his people. You are saying that America has no obligation to stand up and fight for what is right. You are rolling over and taking it when you cast aspersions upon our political and ideological superiority. Of course we are superior to those rotten Muslim dictatorships and monrachies! How can you find yourself in the position of contradicting that truth?

Posted by Toby Petzold at 1:12 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 15 July 2003 3:22 AM CDT
Saturday, 12 July 2003
Howard Dean's Saliva
Mood:  accident prone
With unprecedented precision of force and great care to spare the population, the United States and its friends went into Iraq and overthrew one of the worst tyrants of the last half-century. We were and are right to have done this for a great number of reasons, few of which are intelligible to the Springer-type voter-oid (or, to his somewhat more sophisticated cousin, the still-traumatized Floridians-for-Gore voter). But what we have now is the media desperate to open a crack in the armor of this President ---and it will do so with this terribly hot issue of whether Bush was lying to the world about the Iraqis seeking uranium from Africa. Well, let's call this what it is and be done with it.

Bush was wrong to have included this claim in his State of the Union address. It was gratuitous and, had he been more careful, he would not have used it. Someone on the TV made the good point that Bush the Elder, being the former head of the CIA, would certainly not have made such a poor choice.

Okay, so the President oversold us on all the reasons why Saddam and the Baathists needed to be driven from Iraq. Maybe he believed that the uranium claim was just one more stick of kindling to toss onto the fire to get people's attention. Regardless, this is no crime, no matter how anxious Howard Dean and the liberals are to make it one.

It just so happens that Saddam and his regime did, at one point, seek to develop a nuclear program. And it is absolutely certain that Saddam was in possession of multiple kinds of extremely dangerous chemicals and biotoxins. We still don't know the full extent of these programs or what their status was when we liberated Iraq. There are still plenty of Iraqi psychopaths that we haven't liquidated yet who, if they could, would try to use those weapons of mass murder against us and their own people. Do the self-loathing, Bush-haters doubt that? They can be angry all they want about the President's error in judgement in advertising some low-grade intelligence (now known to be false), but what does that mean in the broader context? The isolationism of the Democratic Party continues to be one of the oddest developments of the early 21st Century. Who would've guessed that the party of Wilson and FDR and Truman would be such a bunch of ostriches with their heads in the sand?

Posted by Toby Petzold at 6:00 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Friday, 11 July 2003
Mein Springerhass
Mood:  don't ask
Looks like Springer's actually going to do this thing and run for the U.S. Senate from Ohio. It's an absolute outrage. I don't care if he was mayor of Cincinnati or the King of Siam: he's a rotten whoremonger and a cultural disease-carrier. He has no right to cheapen the dignity of our highest institutions with his appeal to the dregs of society.

I can't explicitly advocate the one thing I would most like to see done in the case of this piece of shit, but I would laugh loud and long and dance a drunken jig if that one thing ever occurred. There ought to be consequences for what pieces of shit like Jerry Springer do to our culture. I don't permit that sort of shit in my home and I disrespect anyone who does.

Down with whoremongers and the vectors of vulgarity and ignorance. They should be burnt at the stake.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:45 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 9 July 2003
How It Will End
The world cannot long endure the ideological antagonism between Islam and the West. The former ideological division of communism and capitalism largely resolved itself, with either a sudden and traumatic change of course ---or through the gradual evolution from the state economy through the black market and into the brave new world of the free market. The artificial blocs and unions came tumbling apart in the space of only a few years, and what hasn't already disintegrated will, as I say, evolve away from the communist "ideal."

But, now, we have a new enemy: Islam. You don't want to hear that, being the fair-minded and loving humanitarian you are, but that is our new foe. Oh, you knew that neither drugs nor spam nor porno were going to keep Vulcan's fires burning; they're too ubiquitous and essential to our own character to have ever been the replacement for our struggle with the commies we needed. So here comes Islam --militant, anti-western, anti-Christian, Jew-hating Islam--- to slap us in the face and remind us that our work is never done, and that mankind's destiny is in danger so long as that religion's most violent practitioners are at liberty. Moreover, it has the far deeper roots of history and culture and the threat of God's violence inculcated into its believers' [souls] from the start that mere Leninism or Stalinism could never depend on. That is, the infection of this ideology runs too deep to ever be turned through conversion; it must be eradicated one beating heart at a time.

September 11th changed everything. Exposed a lot of shitheadedness and treachery and self-loathing among people you'd always hoped were better than that. But they aren't. They hate their own culture and they hate their own country and they're going down on their knees right along with the fez-headed floor-kissers. Apologists and cannon fodder is how I see them. Subhuman whores who go to Baghdad and chain themselves to Saddam's mosques because they were beaten and sexually abused by their fathers when they were children and don't know how to stop hating themselves. Pathetic. I won't pity you, though. Don't have enough contempt, although I should.

No, my mind is wandering over to the reason why it will end the way it will. It's because the Muslim cannot keep his mosque and his capitol apart. He still sees some virtue in treating everyone he knows just as Mohammed would: hatred for the outsider (never mind the much-storied friendliness to strangers, Jew boy: you ain't never seein' none of that), shame over women, distrust of one's own free will, etc. Governed and enslaved by a book in ways that no secularized Christian would tolerate anymore. And that's the thing: here in the Christian and post-Christian West, we've found a way to put everything where it belongs. Look at how freaked out the pricks from the ACLU get when someone suggests that we have a minute of silence in a public classroom. That's quite a bit different from your basic madrassa where the [teachers] tell the kids that Jews are monkeys and pigs, and where they all get on their knees and touch the floor with their foreheads and pray in the direction of Mecca. What a well-oiled machine. What a thing worth smashing.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:56 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: Wednesday, 9 July 2003 11:51 AM CDT
I've only read a couple of short articles on the "settlement" reached by basketball fan Spike Lee and Viacom (parent company of the television network TNN) regarding the latter's move to change that network's name from TNN to Spike TV, but I detect the strong odor of extortion in what few details have emerged.

A few weeks ago, as you may vaguely recall, TNN (formerly The Nashville Network and, later, The National Network) began advertising its new name, Spike TV. Apparently, the word spike conjures up the appropriate image and style that the network was looking for in pursuing the young white male demographic.

However, all of that came to a screeching halt when two incredible things happened: Spike Lee filed a suit against Viacom for using "his" name which, somehow, caused a judge to issue an injunction in his favor.

I still don't see how that was possible, since Lee is hardly the first or even the only person or creation to sport the name Spike. What kind of a dumbass judge would have even entertained his complaint? It's absurd on its face.

Anyhow, it's all water under the bridge, for it now appears that Viacom will get to have its way and call TNN Spike ---but at a price. For, you see, Spike Lee was not so much concerned about "his" name being associated with a lot of low-brow, cracker-assed, trailer-park televison entertainment (a racist rationale, anyway), but was far more interested in the fact that he could get Viacom (a huge multimedia corporation) over a barrel and cause them some trouble. Hmmm. So, what should Viacom do to get out of trouble? Why, play some ball, Johnny! Spike will now "allow" the use of "his" name to go forward so long as Viacom enters into substantial negotiations with him in opening up its other entertainment venues, like MTV and VH1. Get it? The whole thing was an extortion bid. Ridiculous.

Congratulations, Spike: you're no better than Jesse Fucking Jackson or one of Dr. King's kids.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 3:35 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 7 July 2003
Then Go Back to Your Office
I'm listening to these Democratic reps on the Texas House floor complaining that they are being kept from "meaningfully" participating in the process of redrawing this state's district map, but they aren't accomplishing anything. Their participation, at this moment, is meaningless. And it's all their fault. They fucked around during the regular session with their running off to Oklahoma and not doing their jobs, and because of that the taxpayers of Texas now have to spend money we don't have to hold a special session to finish the job that should have been finished back then. Oh, what a brave bunch of civil disobeyers! Show the whole country what a bullying lot of Republicans there are in the President's home state. Not one of you lousy sword-swallowers is actually going to keep this redistricting from happening, so what the hell are you doing wasting our time? Stand up and pander to your base on my dime? Get the fuck out of here! Go rhetoricize in your head!

The district map we have now is out of date because it is gerrymandered to favor the Democratic Party, which is no longer the dominant electoral party in this state. Look at the numbers, you dopes. More Republicans are voting here than ever before. The Governor, the Lt. Governor, the Speaker, and every major statewide office in Texas is held by a Republican. Is it possible that you crybabies imagined that the GOP's dominance wasn't going to be reflected in our federal legislative delegation?

You've already lost. The map will change regardless of your nonsense. Apologize to us for causing this special session to be called and go back to lobbying each other until you blow back into town in '05.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:03 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 6 July 2003
The Infantilization of the Texas Democratic Party
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: "Low Rider" by War
As I've pointed out before, the Texas state rep Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) is a personally likable guy, but his behavior in all this quorum-killing and race-baiting that the Texas Democratic Party is engaged in is simply outrageous. There is nothing honorable or clever or constructive in what these fucking morons have done, and Richard's been front and center during this whole thing. The state party has handled its electoral "demotion" with an astonishing lack of maturity, but that is what happens when your party conceives of itself as a clearinghouse for ethnic identity politics and the celebration of victimization. You say you're "entitled" to be heard at every turn in this redistricting mess because you're Latino? What a joke! Nobody around here gives a good damn who your parents are, Richard. Grow up and face the reality of the situation: the Republican Party (and if there was ever a case where the phrase "for now" applied, it would be here) has become the majority party in this state. Are you really such a two year-old that you can't accept the logic of this state's Congressional caucus also being Republican-controlled? You don't seem to have any trouble recognizing the legitimacy of proportional representation in other areas of political life, so what's your malfunction here?

It may be of some slight interest to the reader to know that, when I was an operative with the TDP back in the mid 90s, I met Richard Raymond and a good many other state politicians. Part of my job was working with these people and getting the best possible information on who was voting for the party. In far too many cases, it wasn't Latinos who were voting. And it wasn't blacks, either. Politicans like Richard need to keep their districts configured to maximize the effect of ghettoized or balkanized ethnic groups because, if districts were simply organized along the most logical and geographical lines, white voters would overwhelm these minority groups. That's a stone fact. Actual, by-the-numbers competition would kill these ethno-politicians.

By the way, Lloyd Doggett the U.S. Representative from Travis County, Texas, makes me sick. It's okay for him to go ahead and stick his dick in the mashed potatoes, but God forbid that Tom De Lay get in on the action, too.

Let's hear it for a majority-Republican Congressional caucus from a Republican-majority state! Yeee-haaaa!!!!

Posted by Toby Petzold at 3:07 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 5 July 2003
Letters of the Law
I've read a few articles lately dissenting from the current Supreme Court's decision to overturn the states' anti-sodomy laws and the chief argument always seems to be that the Constitution does not guarantee any right to gay sex. This is the very face of the "strict constructionist" ---and it represents the very worst of conservatism.

Strict constructionists ignore the many thousands of statutes and regulations established and enforced by the Federal government that have no discernable origin in the Constitution and, yet, there they are, uncontroversial and morally neutral. It must be the wider-ranging interpretive authority of the judiciary that strict constructionists balk at, but why? They can't actually doubt that laws must be interpreted, can they? If every contingency and circumstance of criminal and civil law could be anticipated with mathematical certainty, the executive could force out the judiciary with the end of its abacus.

So, why is a judiciary necessary? At the higher, more abstract end of the spectrum of the answer is the fact that laws and regulations sometimes outlive the social context in which they were first drafted; judgements must sometimes be rendered in cases and places where a politicized legislative body is unwilling to abolish a foolish and unpopular law. A black slave, for example, is no longer considered three-fifths of a human being for the purposes of calculating a state's number of representatives because, obviously, no black person (at least on this continent) is still a slave. Historical reality superseded the law.

Nor is the Constitution an absolutely perfect document in other ways. It did not spring from the forehead of Zeus or was drawn from a stone like Excalibur. It, too, has been monkeyed with over the decades (e.g., the Prohibition amendments) or been necessarily emended (e.g., the amendment providing for the succession to the Presidency), so it is not as though the Constitution is above interpretation or expansion.

Conservatives making a Constitutional argument against the repeal of the anti-sodomy laws are out of step with the historical reality of gay rights. If they wish to make this case a proving ground against other left-to-libertarian social attitudes and practices, they are making a huge error. Next will come the gay marriage laws and we shall see just how reciprocal the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution truly is. Conservatives and the Christian right and whoever else are going to have to face the reality of gay rights, whether they approve or not.

Strict constructionism is a loser of an argument, friends. Every time some otherwise reasonable conservative commentator or legislator or executive starts up with what the Constitution "allows," they make everyone else uneasy. For instance, if you want to see conservatism collapse at the ballot box, just pipe up about how Roe v. Wade is "bad Constitutional law." The conservative may, in the strictest sense, be correct, but will being correct be enough to pay the bills when his ass is out of office?

Posted by Toby Petzold at 6:35 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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