And Celibate Priests Give Marriage Counseling? Now Playing: "It's Not for Me to Say" by Johnny Mathis
I don't mean to be a disrespectful dismisser of all religious and ecclesiastical belief and practice and someone who is immovably opposed to wasting any time at all on such nonsense, but what do you think of this gay Episcopalian bishop thang? They say it's going to break up the Episcopalian church. Well, good. That's what Protestant denominations are supposed to do, you dummies! When they stay all ganged up and constipated, they become Catholic, I guess. The whole idea is to constantly engage the schismatic impulse and find the next best thing. Churches that want to stick together are only in it for the money and the clout. Whoever loves his [property out on Loop 360] shall lose it, right? So, the best possible thing to do is for every Christian to become disaffected with his or her church and to break away from it. Get in touch with your gnostic side, is what I say. If your Christian upbringing won't allow you any truck with faggots in the pulpit, then tell 'em they're all going to hell and start up your own church. See, you Protestants should be ashamed that you have to have an atheist tell you these things and remind you of your original genius. What are the Evangelical Lutherans going to do about their trading partners in the Episcopal church? Why, they're going to denounce them, of course. And break up that old gang of mine. And that is the whole idea: reject everyone. Do your own thang. If the Episcopalians want to run their business in the ground by letting the queers steer, fine! They'll just become two Episcopalian churches with different clienteles. And that's the way it's supposed to go.
From an Anonymous Howard Dean Supporter (in Its Master's Voice?)
I received this as a comment on an entirely different subject, but since the poster went to the trouble, I will oblige him. My comments are interspersed in italics.
As Howard Dean noted...
The United States has a special role to play in world affairs as an historic inspiration to those around the world seeking democracy, freedom, and opportunity.
Sure. People respond to us because they know their history. That's why the current generation of young people from France and Germany to South Korea is infected with an extreme ignorance of American sacrifice for their countries' sake.
Our own fight for independence, democracy, and basic human rights has allowed us to act as a moral force in world affairs and a guiding light for other nations.
"Moral force" never rooted out a tyrant and this so-called "guiding light" never helped the oppressed to see but for the reality of American military and economic might backing it all up. That's the half of the equation that pie-in-the-sky types like you always leave out. Nothing gets done until Uncle Sam brings the toys.
In the last century, our strength as a nation was measured more by the extent to which others emulated and respected us abroad than by the extent to which they feared and loathed us.
Divorcing fear from respect in geopolitical terms is a childish notion, frankly. The threat of force is always there. If other nations have emulated our example, it's because they saw for themselves what dividends it paid to do so.
Under George W. Bush, this nation has lost its way.
Not only are we less secure at home and abroad, we have squandered our role as the inspiration and guiding light for other peoples.
None of what you are saying is true. Quantify our loss of security, please. Are you blaming Bush for 11 September? Do you doubt that we could respond to any situation we had to at this very moment with as much force as was needed?
As for what we have squandered, it seems to me that when a country is falling apart anywhere in the world, you see the natives waving signs and American flags and screaming for our help into the lenses of any TV camera they can find. They're not asking for the French or the Germans to come because they know who has the will and the way to help ---and it ain't those wankers.
I seek to restore America's rightful place in the world and its moral leadership in world affairs.
We remain the sole superpower in the world as Madeleine Albright once put it, the "indispensable power" for addressing so many of the challenges around the world.
Why does attributing this banality to Madeleine Albright make my skin crawl? Couldn't you have referenced someone whose judgement matters?
But we cannot lead the world by force,
"So, we'll do it with weakness!"
and we cannot go it alone.
Well, we usually have the English-speaking peoples to help out.
We must lead toward clearly articulated and shared goals and with the cooperation and respect of friends and allies.
You and the governor will soon discover that clarity of purpose and coordination of power in geopolitics is neither achievable nor desirable. Hegemons like the United States will wind up fucking ourselves if we ever again allow so-called allies like France and Germany to drag us down. It was the obstructionism and moral cowardice of those countries, be reminded, that gave Saddam the time he needed to further conceal his weapons programs. Had we acted quickly, those stockpiles might have been much more easily found.
But what's all this about clear goals and cooperation? Sounds like a U.N. sorta deal. And it would benefit us how? We'd give it all we had just to answer to a failed colonial power or a reconstructed fascist state? To hell with that.
I seek to restore the best traditions of American leadership. Leadership in which our power is multiplied by the appeal of democratic ideals and by the knowledge that our country is a force for law around the world, not a law unto itself.
The only thing I can draw out of this is a vague sense of self-loathing.
I will not divide the world into us versus them.
Okay. We'll just become them and forget about us.
Rather, I will rally the world around fundamental principles of decency, responsibility, freedom, and mutual respect. Our foreign and military policy must be about the notion of America leading the world not America against the world.
This is simple gibberish, Howie. When American and British soldiers go into Iraq and liberate its people from 30 years of dictatorial oppression, THAT is a force for decency and freedom. We took responsibility and acted on it. We didn't sit back and stroke ourselves at a big round table: we acted as a force for good.
I opposed President Bush's war in Iraq from the beginning.
Translation: "I am somewhat different from my fellow-campaigners."
While Saddam Hussein's regime was clearly evil and needed to be disarmed, it did not present an immediate threat to U.S. security that would justify going to war, particularly going to war alone.
This is a perfect example of Democratic hypocrisy and doublespeak. Yes, Saddam was a bad guy who needed to be removed, but it could have been done with another year or two of talking with the French and blah, blah, blah. You can't make moral cowards act! You have to act and then rub their noses in the shit of their own indecision. More time spent talking and the guy who isn't any danger to anyone suddenly has weaponized anthrax and the missiles to deliver them. Was there something in his character or in his past that made you think that he could be brought to his senses and dealt with peacefully? What crap. Furthermore, guv, we didn't act alone. We had the help and approval of many nations. The lie that we acted unilaterally will only live amongst you who hate this country and wish to denigrate it.
From the beginning, I felt that winning the war would not be the hard part winning the peace would be. This administration failed to plan for the postwar period as it did for the battle, and today we are paying the price.
Howard Dean has repeatedly demonstrated his incompetence and ignorance regarding the United States military and is unqualified on that basis alone to speak to any strategic or operational aspect of the war or its aftermath.
I sure do hope y'all manage to get him the nomination. Just imagine! A George McGovern without any of the moral or experiential authority to oppose anything. You're practically guaranteeing a second term to the man you hate the most in this world. What a throat-slitting irony.
Here's a Picture of John H. Reagan
Here's a picture of the original Mr. Not-Without-Honor. Maybe I'll go find a picture of Sara Lee, too, but I think she is just a name. Earlier this year, we were told of the murder of a young woman at good old John H. Reagan High School. Her estranged boyfriend had a large knife and got her into a very desperate situation where he wound up murdering her there in what we used to call the "New Mall." These dumb kids. They say it was the first time a student had ever been murdered on a high school campus in the Austin Independent School District, but I just can't believe that. All of the local affiliates repeated that same factoid, but it just doesn't ring true. You're telling me that in a century or more of high school life in this town, that was the one and only time someone did such a thing? I just don't know about that. Anyhow, Reagan was the Postmaster General of the Confederate States of America and a Senator and lots of other things, besides. He came from the same part of the country and the same bolt of ethnic cloth that many of my ancestors did (Eastern Tennessee Irish) and made a home here in Texas. Interesting character. His descendants live in and around Austin, I believe. Seems like many years ago I read an obituary that mentioned a then-living John Henninger Reagan VI. Dem's good genes dere.
on fire Now Playing: "Burnin' for You" by the Blue Oyster Cult
It was 108 degrees Fahrenheit here in Austin yesterday ---and then we got some sort of unforecasted freak thunderstorm this afternoon and evening. They say it was the fourth hottest temperature ever recorded in this town, but I always wonder about the accuracy of thermometers. Three of the four hottest days ever here have come in the last three years. Is that a reason to believe in global warming, or do we just not have the length of years to know whether these things are part of a cycle? Well, since we can't really know which, but can know that the former possibility is something we can't really recover from, it makes sense to believe in it, anyway. The consequences of denying it and trusting that this sort of unprecedented kind of heat is merely a phase in some unknowable cycle is irresponsible.
So, what to do? Stop buying and driving these goddamned Bradley troop transports and acting like you need them to "feel safer" in traffic or for the sake of the kids. (Aah, for the sake of the kids...). If you want to feel safer in traffic, get out of it. Stop talking on your goddamned cell phone and go home. And, then, insist that government get behind alternative energy sources and new automotive and architectural technologies and make them economically viable. Recycle. Telecommute. Destroy Vegas. Wear white. Live underground. There's a lot that can be done to conserve and not waste and not exacerbate the warming trends.
Sara Lee Mood:
Do you know how many years I went thinking that the little jingle/motto for Sara Lee was "Nobody Does It Like Sara Lee"? Turns out that it's "Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee," but I only found that out in the past year or so. It's a slightly odd way to put things, you know. It's not unlike the motto of John Henninger Reagan, Postmaster of the Confederate States of America and the man for whom my high school was named: "Not Without Honor." These aren't really double negatives, but they aren't singularly positive, either.
Goober-natorial Now Playing: "Everybody One Shoe" by Billy Squier
The Governor's race in California is going to be way more interesting than Kobe Bryant's goddamned show trial. I am hereby putting out a call to my friends in Orange County (you know who you are!) to send me a Schwarzenegger bumper sticker and/or button. A poster or placard for my walls would just be too much to hope for, I know, but even a pamphlet would do. It's going to be very interesting.
Of course, there are too many poor immigrants and their sympathizers in California to think that even the Terminator could move that huge nation-state towards the GOP. But the influence that a Governor Schwarzenegger could wield in the Presidential election come November 2004 would be considerable. Get him out there campaigning for Bush and it's gonna confuse some of the swing voters into thinking that our President isn't such a bastard after all.
Free for All
Gary Coleman's running for Governor of California? Gimme a break. This recall election is going to be the biggest can of laughter in a long while. My money's on Arnold, though. Californios may like fung shui in their own houses, but aren't above po-mo kitsch in the statehouse.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 1:40 PM CDT
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Updated: Thursday, 7 August 2003 1:41 PM CDT
Wednesday, 6 August 2003
Let Freedom Mushroom
Today is the 58th anniversary of our nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. Let that be a reminder to the fascists and terrorists of the world: what you start, Uncle Sam will finish.
Enough with This Post-Mortem on Kobe Bryant, Already! Mood:
Don't pay any attention to these self-important pricks on the TV who say that Kobe is washed up and that he is endorsement poison. He's the best basketball player of his generation and almost certainly innocent of the crime with which he has been charged. These stupid sports analysts are going on and on about how he's ruined his career, but just relax!
As I said before, Kobe's a dumbass for cheating on his wife (not the least reason for which is because she is nine kinds o' fines), but his biggest mistake (apparently) was picking the wrong starfucker to share his essence with. This girl who's accusing Kobe of rape is very obviously a blow-up doll on the make and I wouldn't trust her for what she's doing, which is trying to generate enough of a scandal to make a name for herself. Ironically, of course, the major media won't give out her name for now, but they'll probably get around to it by the time she does her Playboy photo shoot next year.
You know what's weird? After seeing that DA and some of the locals on the TV, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Kobe's attorneys do play the race card ---with me applauding it the entire way. I don't know why, but I caught a strong whiff of Wonderbread up in that mug ---with the crust cut off. Y'know whu'm sayin'?
Shoot to Kill, Please Mood:
We don't need an encore of Hermann Goerring at the Nuremberg Trials, so when we catch up to Saddam later this week, we need to make sure to shoot him dead. Give us a Boston Corbett or a Jack Ruby to spare us months and years of Saddam justifying himself and inciting the fascists of the Arab world. Let his old age be a time to nurture sandfly larvae.
If he lives, the towelheads and cheese-eaters will guarantee he lives forever and in comfort. They will resist us to the last if we make any effort to put him to death. This is because they are civilized. The Old Europeans are so grown up now that they regard us as barbaric for our capital punishment. And the autocratic and fascist Arab world will not let us execute the Butcher of Baghdad because they are fearful of reprisals in their own streets. Just as with Osama, Saddam can make a place for himself in the marketplace of disaffected Arab affection and be found on T-shirts, rearview mirror deodorizers, and bootleg audio tapes.
Don't let it happen, men. Snuff him out in his hole. Go to the stockade, if you have to, but do murder him. History will forgive and bless you. And we will have taken a giant leap in making Iraq a friend to the United States.
A Reply from a Good Friend in California on the Recall of Her Governor Mood:
"What do I think of the recall? In one way, I think it's a shame, a shame that we didn't know what he had done when we reelected him in the last election...that would save us the supposedly 30 million it's going to cost to recall him. I just think that he sucks as a governor, but I don't like the alternative. Most people here think that Arnold Schwarzenegger will get elected, if he runs. I hope that doesn't happen because, I really don't see what qualifies him to be Governor, except that he is an actor and sleeps with a Kennedy, which should cancel out him running on the Republican ticket at any time. Also, according to my copy of the Constitution, he can only run for an office as high as U.S. Senator (assuming that he has lived in the US for 14 years, which I think he has). I just don't think that a person who can never run for President should be Governor...I have NO idea WHY I feel this way, I just do.... I don't know, it just makes me think that the only reason he'll win is because of Terminator 3. I mean, are people in California THAT stupid? Ok, yes they are! They would vote for someone just because they were familiar. Personally, I'm probably gonna vote for Darryl Issa if he runs. Ok, that's my extremely NON analytical rant on that..."
Reflecting on the War
Perhaps the most legitimate counter-argument to Bush's war against Saddam's regime is the insistence on the potentially greater threat posed by that hydroencephalitic turd who rules North Korea. After all, his nuclear bomb-building is so obvious that it earned him a huge bribery package from the Clinton Administration in the mid-1990s. Many thoughtful opponents of the President have said that North Korea is the bigger problem, specifically because of the nuke. There we are with what amounts to 37,000 hostages and a bunch of allies within nuclear striking distance of a very obviously deranged dictator. You bet your ass that's a problem, but what are you (and I say this to the President's thoughtful opponents) going to do about it? Okay, so you got it all ranked and prioritized like a shopping trip, but do you have any solutions to the North Korean problem?
Bribe 'em. Make sure they get all the fuel oil and and food they need so long as they don't continue with their nuclear program. Well, that didn't work, did it? Clinton and Carter and the other foreign policy wanks (wonks?) got nothing but lies from Kim. He took the bribe and kept on developing his warheads and delivery systems.
Negotiate with them. But, to what end? They've already thrown down every gauntlet, breastplate, shinguard, and codpiece they own. They are nakedly daring us to fuck with them, although Bill Richardson says not to worry; that it's just their way of negotiating. Well, that's a lot of crap ---and we don't have to take it.
Bomb them. Use the nuke. Well, I don't see any situation where that would happen, but the further away you push that awful thought, the more likely it is to come true. North Korea is on its knees economically and culturally. Everything has been subsumed into the military power-cult of Kim Jong-Il. Is it really so hard to imagine him going out in a blaze of glory? He is the State and the State is him in even more ways than that could be said of Saddam.
Kim is mentally ill and believes that he deserves to be respected enough to have unilateral "talks" with Washington. Bush has refused that until just this moment. In a month or so, I guess, we will have multilateral talks with both Koreas, China, Japan, and Russia, but we have finally relented and will also have informal unilateral talks with the North during the larger conference.
But do observe the idiocy and hypocrisy of the President's critics on this score. They will criticize him for caving in when he said he wouldn't, but of what else would the Left approve except talking and negotiating and caving in? Get it? They themselves believe that these are the ways to peace and, yet, will make as much hay as they can if this Republican President takes that path. What lousy hypocrites. These people never had any plan at all for North Korea, except to scream out loud that it was more dangerous than Saddam's Iraq. But were they ever going to approve of a pre-emptive conventional or nuclear strike there? Of course not! It was always enough to just undermine this President.
And now for the kicker, gentlemen: Bush and his people did oversell the nuclear threat in Iraq ---not just because it was a plausible argument, if not a probable one--- but because it put the option of dealing with Iraq first on an equal basis with North Korea. You said they were both threats, but now your argument as to which was the greater is moot. Did you suppose that dealing with a nuclearized nation would have been the preferable starting point? Did we go into Fascist Italy first ---or Nazi Germany? There is a logic to these things that has to be considered before jumping up and down and accusing this President and his Administration of crimes against the peace of the world.
Getting the Disdain Out Mood:
I'm half-way paying attention to this weekly PBS news program about religion and I can't explain how little use I have for any of that crap. The Episcopalians are all in a dither about whether they should give this gay bishop-trainee his wings and I'm saying, "Who gives a shit?" Or, how about this Franciscan mick who's going to be running the show in Boston now? What a bunch of criminals and confidence men. I wouldn't wipe my nose on the Pope's prettiest Sunday dress.
About That Dead Link
There's no reason I know of for that "very cool link" to not work (see yesterday's blog), but it will at least take you to the site's error page from which you can (and should, because it's a lot of fun) locate the anagram-generator. Give it a shot.
And if you're a clever lad, write and tell me why my link doesn't work. I can't figure it out.
Okay, on second thought, I'd say Oprah Winfrey is the most visible and powerful black woman in America. But if you're talking about one of the principal players on the stage of international diplomacy ---and someone who has the trust and respect of the President--- then Dr. Rice is the bigger deal.
A Winning Strategy
I see that Slate.com and other liberal media outlets have turned their sights on to Dr. Condoleezza Rice, our President's National Security Adviser, to see how much blame they can stick her with for the horrible, soul-negating, society-destroying non-lie about Saddam's uranium purchases that the President mentioned in his State of the Union address last January. Good stuff, dickheads.
First, you have made utter glue of the dead horse you've been beating on for the past several weeks. Even Bill Clinton has told you people to shut up and find another topic, but you seem determined to have the world think that your approval of Bush's war in Iraq either rose or fell by the fact of Saddam's nuclear weapons program. That's all bullshit. You wouldn't have approved of the war if God had manifested himself as tattoos on your foreheads, urging you to liberate the Iraqi people. There's a lot of petty little Woodsteins out there, convinced that these "sixteen words" have spelled the doom of the Bush Presidency. Got him on the ropes, do you? That's great.
Now, though, you want to attack the most visible and powerful black woman in the country over some question of whether the President should have referenced British intelligence on Saddam's uranium deals in Niger? Sure. Pursue that. Make Dr. Rice grovel over something that she and her boss and everyone they know has already described as a mistake and a simple overreach. Keep hammering away at her. Nobody will have any idea what the fuck you're thinking of ---and, in the bargain, you may even alienate those segments of the black population which regard her as a role model and a person to respect.
A Very Cool Link
This website is the coolest thing since sliced bread. Just type in a name or whatever, hit enter, and watch the anagrams come thick and fast.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 6:41 PM CDT
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Updated: Friday, 1 August 2003 11:13 PM CDT
Thursday, 31 July 2003
The Maw of the Law
A friend of mine writes to complain of a new racist law he read about that's been passed by the Israeli parliament. Apparently, the perfidious Israeli Jews are tired of Palestinian Arabs from the [occupied territories] abusing the laws which grant them residency rights in Israel by marrying Israeli Arabs. Seems there's a lot of them doing it and that it's starting to show. Israel says they can marry all they want, but that they must either leave Israel proper (can't quite call it "unoccupied," can we?) or begin their married lives apart.
It sounds racist, I guess, but Israel is only trying to restrict the number of ways these fine, upstanding terrorist-trainees can use the laws of its own society against itself. Sound familiar? My friend suggests that it all sounds like certain laws passed in the 1930s. He may be referring to the Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany which didn't allow Juden from fouling the Aryan stock, but he could just as easily have pointed to the unenforced laws on the books of America's legal system today which allow pregnant Mexican women to run across the bridges and spillways in El Paso and hatch an American on the doorstep of the nearest hospital: Viva el nuevo Americano y la madre!
I will tire of this world when no one wants to see my passport anymore. I think of borders and boundaries as things to be protected and respected. Of course, clever people have never thought of America as an actual nation with a complicated history and certain cultural peculiarities, but as an "idea" ---some sort of neverland where we can all bleed into one (and get checks from the Big G on our way). Well, that may happen yet, grasshopper. But you gotta take it from [me] first.
If It Were All Conceded As Lies
Let's pretend that the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and all their intelligence and military men (as well as those of the partners in the "willing coalition") concocted the whole thing about Saddam having weapons of mass destruction. Just made it up out of whole cloth. A simple-minded pretext, easily and soon to be exposed for what it was. Even if it were all conceded as lies, how can the results of our [warmongering] be considered as anything but positive? We have liberated two massively oppressed peoples in Afghanistan and Iraq and given them at least a chance to participate in normal and peaceful societies. Soon, this example will lead the Iranians to overthrow (or at least reform) their own government. In doing all of this, the flow of money into the coffers of terror groups in and around Israel will begin to slow. The eternally disaffected youth of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Syria will begin to notice the advantages of a free society enjoyed by their Arab brothers and will demand these things of their own government. In the end, a whole swath of South and Western Asia and the Middle East itself may experience a rebirth of freedom and economic opportunity.
The young men and women of the United States armed forces who are dying in those countries are the fathers and mothers of global liberty. They are the makers of America's legacy to human civilization ---and I am proud of each of them. Let no one say they died in vain.
And let no one doubt the wisdom of the political and personal sacrifices men such as Bush and Blair are making. They are laying a foundation for a safer world ---and all they are getting in return is the cynical and paranoiac denunciations of hypocritical isolationists.
Why the BBC Is a Big Front for the Commies Mood:
I strongly encourage you to read Dennis Boyles' account of listening to the BBC World Service on the day Baghdad fell. It's astonishing to what depths the anti-war crowd will descend in trying to discredit the liberation of Iraq.
It's also a real disappointment for a traveler like me, who once very much enjoyed the comfort and reassurance of listening to the World Service on my little short wave radio in darkened hotel rooms throughout Europe.
When did multiculturalism become anti-white and anti-Christian? You'd think the Anglo-Saxon world hadn't done anything for the betterment of humanity.