The Shoulders of Monsters
Here's a great column by Mark Gelernter on the importance of knowing one's history.
Ignorance of history destroys our judgment. Consider Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill), who just compared the Guantanamo Bay detention center to Stalin's gulag and to the death camps of Hitler and Pol Pot — an astonishing, obscene piece of ignorance. Between 15 million and 30 million people died from 1918 through 1956 in the prisons and labor camps of the Soviet gulag. Historian Robert Conquest gives some facts. A prisoner at the Kholodnaya Gora prison had to stuff his ears with bread before sleeping on account of the shrieks of women being interrogated. At the Kolyma in Siberia, inmates labored through 12-hour days in cheap canvas shoes, on almost no food, in temperatures that could go to minus-58. At one camp, 1,300 of 3,000 inmates died in one year.
And how many of these rats who commit mass murder in the name of Allah have died at Gitmo?
There is an ongoing culture war between Americans who are ashamed of this nation's history and those who acknowledge with sorrow its many sins and are fiercely proud of it anyway. Proud of the 17th century settlers who threw their entire lives overboard and set sail for religious freedom in their rickety little ships. Proud of the new nation that taught democracy to the world. Proud of its ferocious fight to free the slaves, save the Union and drag (lug, shove, sweat, bleed) America a few inches closer to its own sublime ideals. Proud of its victories in two world wars and the Cold War, proud of the fight it is waging this very day for freedom in Iraq and the whole Middle East.
If you are proud of this country and don't want its identity to vanish, you must teach U.S. history to your children. They won't learn it in school. This nation's memory will go blank unless you act.
And it is this historical amnesia or ---maybe at least as bad--- this historical perversion among the Left today that is so difficult to counter. These people literally do not know what they're talking about when they insist that we aren't being true to our Founding Fathers and our highest principles when we wage war for Iraq. Nonsense. We have sacrificed mightily for the advancement of democratic values all over the world. And our own Civil War? It consisted of one half of the nation destroying the other half so that the whole union might be preserved for the sake of all its inhabitants.
We've been here before, people. I'm writing to you from the heart of "occupied territory." I'm writing to you in the wake of generations of slaveholders, sharecroppers, immigrants, and lawbreakers. If we stand on the shoulders of giants, we also stand on the shoulders of monsters. I won't deny it. I won't bury it and walk away from it. Grow up and recognize what's been lost and won on your behalf, whether you appreciate it or want it or know what to do with it but piss and moan.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 5:13 PM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 19 June 2005 6:51 PM CDT
Impeach My Ass
Right now, I'm watching C-SPAN's replay of this past week's little hearing on the Downing Street Minutes. All the usual suspects are there, standing up for truth, justice, and the American Way.
But are any of them aware that regime change in Iraq was ---until it finally came to fruition--- the official policy of the Government of the United States? Did any of these people complain that Bill Clinton had signed off on a terrible policy? No. They all supported it because they knew that President Clinton calling for regime change was worth about as much as your basic United Nations resolution.
But there were other kinds of Americans who supported regime change in Iraq and meant it.
And, so, too bad for these ninnies and malcontents that the Chimperor came along and forced them to take sides and stand for something at long last.
So Bush had a plan to invade Iraq all along and thought he could use terrorism and WMD as an excuse? Okay. The reality behind his pretexts is a lot closer to objective truth than those used by LBJ in the Gulf of Tonkin or McKinley in Havana Harbor.
And we haven't even seen the full return on our men and women's sacrifices there. They are paying a terrible price for our sake and for the sake of that region. I don't forget that. Nor should you.
The Meaningless Crap Act of 2005
I know my colleagues join with me in standing for good things and against ----and this is important now--- against all bad things. I congratulate everyone involved for their great courage in passing this measure.
Is This the Same Man Who Ruined the Buffet at the Harrow Club This Morning? Now Playing: "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys" by Traffic
With a tip of the hat to Jeff Goldstein, here's a link to a "sketch" by the Washington Post's Dana Milbank. No, really. Dana Milbank:
In the Capitol basement yesterday, long-suffering House Democrats took a trip to the land of make-believe.
They pretended a small conference room was the Judiciary Committee hearing room, draping white linens over folding tables to make them look like witness tables and bringing in cardboard name tags and extra flags to make the whole thing look official.
Rep. John Conyers Jr. [...] and other Democrats held a mock Judiciary Committee hearing as a protest against the war in Iraq.
Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) banged a large wooden gavel and got the other lawmakers to call him "Mr. Chairman." He liked that so much that he started calling himself "the chairman" and spouted other chairmanly phrases, such as "unanimous consent" and "without objection so ordered." The dress-up game looked realistic enough on C-SPAN, so two dozen more Democrats came downstairs to play along.
The session was a mock impeachment inquiry over the Iraq war. As luck would have it, all four of the witnesses agreed that President Bush lied to the nation and was guilty of high crimes -- and that a British memo on "fixed" intelligence that surfaced last month was the smoking gun equivalent to the Watergate tapes. Conyers was having so much fun that he ignored aides' entreaties to end the session.
(Is this a good enough source for you, Mr. Zappone?)
Say, Dick, Have a Big Cup of Ain't-Goin'-Away Now Playing: "Cirrus Minor" by the Pink Floyd
Looks like US Senator Dick Durbin finally went ahead and stepped in it with the perfidious Jews:
The Anti-Defamation League blasted Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin on Thursday, demanding that he apologize for comparing U.S. troops at Guantanamo Bay to "Nazis."
"Whatever your views on the treatment of detainees and alleged excesses at the Guantanamo Bay facility, it is inappropriate and insensitive to suggest that actions by American troops in any way resemble actions taken by Nazis in their treatment of prisoners," ADL chief Abraham Foxman wrote in a letter addressed to Durbin.
"Suggesting some kind of equivalence between their interrogation tactics demonstrates a profound lack of understanding about the horrors that Hitler and his regime actually perpetrated," Foxman added. "We urge you to repudiate your remarks and apologize to the American people for distorting an important issue with an inappropriate comparison to Nazi tactics," the ADL chief said.
Who's the winner in all of this? That's right: Howard Dean.
I wonder when the Austin American-Statesman will publish quality work like this. I can only take so much of the huge-assed elephant men and the yellow dog Democratic crap that Ben Sargent cranks out.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 9:20 PM CDT
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Updated: Friday, 17 June 2005 9:22 PM CDT
Something I Said to Charlie Kelly Now Playing: "Oh Death" by Charlie Patton, King of the Delta Blues
Over at Steve Soto's place, a man named Charlie Kelly provided me a link to a webpage featuring his honorable discharge from the United States Army, circa 1972. This link was attached to an invitation to kiss his tattooed ass, which, of course, must be declined in these days of the hepatitis. But I did write him the following:
I thank you for serving our country, Charlie.
But your idea that no one who hasn't served can make a moral case for war is wrong. I advocate interplanetary space exploration, even though I will never take the risks that astronauts do. I advocate unfettered stem cell research, even though I do not have the knowledge or skills to perform it. I can say that a musician sucks, even though I don't play an instrument. I support a woman's reproductive rights, even though I can never exercise them myself.
This is a civil society. One that you defended as a young man and, I am sure, still defend today. But it is for that reason that we do not bar the opinions or resist the actions of those we disagree with or whom we are demonstrably better experienced than.
The only demand that may be placed upon me as I advocate this War for Iraq is that I be knowledgeable about and sensitive to what is being done in my behalf. I believe I meet that standard and I do not take lightly what is required of those who fight for us.
Kudos to News 8 Austin
The poor things have been airing this mild atrocity for at least an hour and a half now ---and without any interruption. It's been amazing. A huge goldmine of negative examples from Austin's Latino and black communities for me to plow back into and be sickened by again.
And it breaks my heart, frankly. I'm always looking to be harmonious in the places where I live. Which is why I make this my catharsis.
Why don't these people have any sense of decorum or dignity? What scrapings. What residue.
Keep one eye on the prize and the other on the TV camera. Assholes.
I am truly embarrassed for the state of this city when I see the kinds of racist idiots who've showed up tonight for this forum.
And there's a good question. What about those parents who know that their kids are sacks of drug-selling and drug-using shit, but don't do anything to correct their behavior? Do these [communities] know what their role in a healthy society is? It's not to turn out big litters and suck on El Hefe's joint to keep them fed; rather, it's their responsibility to raise their kids to know good from bad and to do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.
These people are fucking dolts. Rude, ill-informed, and belligerently stupid dolts.
The out and out racism of these speakers is amazing. But it's okay, kids: it's just Mexicans threatening the Dominant White Power Structure. Mexicans can threaten the editors and reporters of both English and Spanish newspapers with the charges of racial disloyalty because that's showing a sense of "community." Jesus Christ! Keep it real somewhere else!
See, in a renters' community, you don't have to worry about declining property values due to drug and gang activity because your sorry transient asses don't have to be around when it's time to sell. And you expect these good-for-nothing punks to do what they do because the Dominant White Power Structure won't hand them enough jobs or cash. It's always The Man's fault that these vermin ride around dealing crack and heroin and dope: they're being forced to do it!
Policemen on Parade
News 8 Austin is carrying live the Austin Police Department's presentation of their preliminary investigation into the recent fatal shooting of Daniel Rocha. It's a real embarrassment. These jackasses refuse to shut up and let the speakers make their points. A typical crowd of ill-mannered and terminally-ignorant dopes.
Shut the fuck up!
This stupid cow wants a cop to drag her out of there so that she can feel vindicated.
Still Defending Zuniga
In one of the most notorious remarks in the relatively young life of the blogosphere, Leftist blogger Markos Zuniga passed judgement on the lives of four American contractors murdered in Fallujah last year, saying on 1 April 2004:
Let the people see what war is like. This isn't an Xbox game. There are real repercussions to Bush's folly.
That said, I feel nothing over the death of mercenaries. They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.
It was a huge mistake, of course, and helped to seal the public's opinion of the liberal Democrats as backstabbers in a time of war and elections.
Zuniga's remarks have also proved to be very useful for people like me who wish to remind their correspondents of what's at stake. Thus, when I raised Zuniga's remarks again this afternoon at a well-known online Leftist klavern, this is the response I got from some wanker calling himself Woody Guthrie's Guitar:
i have absolutely no sympathy for dead mercenaries, of any nationality, race, creed, or gender.
they have sold their humanity. thus they deserve no tears, no tributes, no compassion.
a dead merc is just one fewer inhumane, murderous, soulless, mutherfocker that we have to worry about...
Yep. This is what became of the hippies: they went psychopathic.
"Akbar" Now Playing: "They're Hanging Me Tonight" by Marty Robbins
Just watched Christiane Amanpour's live interview with "Akbar" Hashemi Rafsanjani on CNN. The once and probably future President of Iran denied that his country is harboring al-Qaeda terrorists, instead insisting that these people are a creation of the United States and are actually terrorizing Iran. Huh!
Who knew that Rafsanjani was such a close reader of The Daily Kos and Eschaton?
I've been home sick today with some sort of flu-like problem and just heard the verdict in the Michael Jackson trial.
What a disgusting bunch of nonsense.
Jackson is a degenerate piece of shit. There can be no question about that. He uses his great wealth and celebrity to do things that no normal man would even think of doing or getting away with. He is above the law because that's where some people have put him.
Thus, from where I stand, the greatest crime Jackson has committed is nothing he's personally done as a child-molesting faggot ---and I do not use that term lightly--- but what he does to move others. He is the cause of immoral and degenerate behavior in those who unashamedly worship him. They excuse his disgusting behavior because they are mindless turds, bobbing up and down in the kiddie pool of this celebrity culture. Jackson is their demiurge ---and they are content to be ruled by him in a perpetual state of irresponsible adolescence.
chillin' Now Playing: "Big Iron" by Marty Robbins
With thanks to Pejmanesque for the link, here's a shiv between the ribs from Patrick Ruffini on the subject of Howard Dean's negative influence on the Democratic Party:
It's safe to say that Howard Dean's first four months as chairman of the Democratic National Committee have not gone exactly according to plan. After a Presidential season in which small donors eclipsed the power of the bundlers, Dean was supposed to keep the spigot of Internet money flowing, and perhaps even juice it up some more after the departure of the reviled McAuliffe. The selection of this unconventional politician was supposed to have morphed the DNC from a shadowy, inside-the-Beltway cabal into a populist grassroots machine, with a little bit of the same pop, sizzle, and spontaneity that characterized Dean's rise to the top of the Democratic field. In my parochial area of concern, online politics, Mr. Internet Candidate was supposed to be running laps around the Republicans, attracting hundreds of thousands of quirky, devoted online followers.
Instead, the DNC was outraised by the RNC $34 million to $16.7 million in the first quarter – following the 2004 cycle where the DNC actually raised more. Big donors are leaving in droves. The antics (helpful anthology here) that seemed refreshing and out-of-the-ordinary on the campaign trail are now grating and uncouth. And the DNC's web site still sucks, its blog has remained essentially unchanged since the election; gone is the excitement of Blog for America, in is the quaint charm of a major party weblog with 1, 3, and 7 comments respectively on its last three substantive posts. So much for the Internet Candidate™.
And how do the morons at Eschaton respond to my criticisms of Dean in their comment threads? By declaring ---with too much emphasis and generosity to actually be true--- that they're off to donate ever more money to the DNC. Got that? As a [rebuke] to me for my sensible remarks, these partisan bottom-dwellers ---who wallow in the mud of hatred for yuppies and Rethuglikkkan $cum--- can only think to send money to the Democratic Party. For what? More money would equal more approval of Dean's chairmanship? That's certainly interesting! All that more money is going to do is pay for the extra toppings on the pizzas the envelope-lickers will be ordering. You know: from their five-figure-a-month office space in a downtown near you where their coat-and-tied hippy bosses strategize on how to appear grassroots enough to fool you yet again.
Nader's still right about the two-party machine, even if you dumbasses still hate him for 2000.
A 360 on the 180 Now Playing: "Obsession" by Animotion
The Chicago Sun-Times' Thomas Lipscomb has some doubts about whether John Kerry has, in fact, released all of his military service records:
A front page story in the Boston Globe claimed that: "Senator John F. Kerry, ending at least two years of refusal, has waived privacy restrictions and authorized the release of his full military and medical records." In another Globe story Kerry had promised "The truth in its entirety will come out." But did it?
Kerry's election hopes faltered last summer and fall as accusations of fraudulent and incomplete military records were aired. The fact that Kerry repeatedly refused to sign a single-page military form called the Standard Form 180, that would have released all his military records to the public, was taken as proof he had something to hide.
Whether you think harping on this is chickenshit or irrelevant or anything else, you must agree that there is no other rational explanation for why John Kerry refused to release those files. None. He must have had something to hide ---and it's not (as Steve Soto speculates)--- "vanity" over having the world see that he did worse than Bush in school.
Care to take a guess as to what the real embarrassment was?